A Great Blessing Of Allah-SWT
Allah-SWT had indeed blessed Prophet Daud-AS with immense favours, to an extent that He-SWT had commanded the mountains and the birds to join him-AS in his-AS hymning Allah-SWT’s Praises. According to the Commentators the mountains and the birds joined Prophet Daud-AS in Allah-SWT’s Zikr, which could be heard by other people. And this Zikr was over and above the praises which are otherwise hymned by each and every thing. In other words, if a person is joined in by many others in Zikr, it is indeed a great Divine Favour peculiar to His-SWT chosen servants. And as a miracle, Allah-SWT made the iron pliant for Prophet Daud-AS so that he-AS may make coals of mail. He-AS was commanded to connect the links with precision.
The Invention Of Coats-Of-Mail In Warfare Equipment
It was Prophet Daud-AS who pioneered this invention as a warfare equipment. The Divine Command to make it in the most appropriate manner endorses the fact that to invent new things that are beneficial to the mankind is indeed Islam. And that Prophet Daud-AS must display further humility over these Divine favours and continue to act piously. It means that if a person is enjoying Allah-SWT’s blessings he must, in gratitude, become more diligent in his worship and obedience, because He-SWT views whatever he is doing.
The wind was given under the control of Prophet Sulaiman-AS. His-AS morning and evening flights would cover the distance of a month each. In other words, something like the present day airplane was endowed to Prophet Sulaiman-AS. He-AS would travel distances otherwise covered over a period of two months, in one day. According to the Commentators, he-AS would travel with his-AS legions. The carrier was not like the contemporary aeroplane with an engine, but the wind would carry them where commanded. There must have been some tangible form of this travelling whereby the passengers were carried in a comfortable manner to their destination protected from the effects of the atmosphere. So the origin of this invention can be traced back to Prophet Sulaiman-AS. His-AS second significant miracle was that Allah-SWT made a spring of molten copper to gush forth whereof different things were made. The Jinn were also given under his-AS control who served him-AS as ordered. If any of the Jinn ever dared to defy his-AS orders in violation of Allah-SWT’s Command to obey him-AS, the defiant qualified for Hell.
To Subdue Jinn And The Exorcists
The control he-AS had over the Jinn was a miracle and not an outcome of any specific action or incantations. A commentary of the Quran titled Siraj-e-Munirrecounts the names of many Companions-RAU served by the Jinn, as a Karamah. They would run their personal errands, for example Hadhrat Umar-RAU, Abu Ayub Ansari-RAU, Zayd bin Thabit-RAU, M'az bin Jabal-RAU, Abi bin K'ab-RAU and Abu Huraira-RAU. However, this was not due to any witchcraft but the Jinn had been subdued by Allah-SWT’s Command. It is also true in case of some of the Aulia’.
And as for the exorcists, a majority of them is always engaged in subduing devils, the minions of Iblis, by uttering heretic words and through evil practices. These devils then extend their assistance to them to an extent, but in turn, use them for misguiding mankind. In other words, instead of the Jinn it is the exorcist himself who is subdued by the Jinn. The accomplished do not undertake any such exercises to control the Jinn. It is purely by Allah-SWT’s favour that the Jinn obey them. Hadhrat Sulaiman-AS was given the authority by Allah-SWT to penalize the Jinn by forcing them to do extra work. They were obliged by the Shari’ah to obey him-AS, and anyone guilty of disobedience was to be subjected to Divine Punishment besides being penalized by the Prophet-SW.
The author of Mu'arif ul Quran asserts that if the Jinn become submissive to someone purely as a favour from Allah-SWT , without any effort or intention on part of the person, as seen in the case of Prophet Sulaiman-AS and certain Companions-RAU, it is as a miracle or Karamah. And if the subjugation is achieved through exorcism or other evil practices using heretic words or actions, the whole activity will become under a grave sin. The jurists have declared all such incantations unlawful where the meanings of the words uttered are unknown. The learned author further asserts that if the exercise to control the Jinn is done through the repetition of Allah-SWT’s Names or Quranic verses and the exercise is free of any impurity or pollution, it is permissible, provided the intention is self protection or the safety of other Muslims against the attacks by the Jinn. In other words, it is allowed only to avoid harm and not to acquire any gain such as for livelihood.
The Jinn remained at the beck and call of Prophet Sulaiman-AS and executed any command he-AS gave. He-AS employed their services for construction and for making heavy utensils of copper for cooking food for his-AS legions. Moreover, they also made engravements and different types of images for exterior and interior decoration of houses.
The throne of Prophet Sulaiman-AS is also said to have been adorned with the photographs of birds, which was certainly permitted in his Shari’ah. However, according to authentic Hadith Islam prohibits photography. There are two opinions on the subject, each supported by logics. In this Ayah the word Tamthil is used which according to Hadith is a statue, may be of birds or animals, and is not permissible. This rule does not apply to naqsh (engraving or sketching). Based on this pretext the pictures of Holy Prophet-SW Masjid, the Sacred Precincts and Hajj etc are taken, or TV cameras are installed there. The second opinion even opposes the sketches or engravings or pictures declaring it as forbidden. Yet the necessity of today's world for the purposes of identity cards or for identifying criminals and many other purposes cannot be ignored and as such there is no harm in photography or sketching, save when any sanctity is attached to them, which is in-correct. Allah-SWT knows the best!
Allah-SWT recounts the blessings and favours upon the progeny of Prophet Daud-AS and demands gratitude from them. There will be very few amongst mankind who are grateful. The Commentators opine that to acknowledge a blessing as endowed by Him-SWT and to dispense it according to His-SWT Will, be it wealth, power, authority or knowledge is considered as gratitude. Prophet Daud-AS had asked Allah-SWT how to offer gratitude, as the capacity to do so was also given by Him-SWT . He-AS was told that it was now that he-AS had offered true gratitude. People often assume that the blessings they enjoy are purely by their personal endeavour and may be used at their free will, which indeed is ingratitude.
Prophet Sulaiman-AS who ruled over a vast kingdom and enjoyed sway over birds, animals, winds and the Jinn had to finally leave this world, though his-AS departure was indeed peculiar. The construction of Bait al Maqdas (Dome of Rocks) started by Prophet Daud-AS continued in the time of Prophet Sulaiman-AS until the moment arrived for his-AS passing away. The construction was still underway and the Jinn were a rebellious lot. If they had known of his-AS death they would abandon the work. So he-AS was commanded to stand in the glass chamber meant for monitoring the progress of construction leaning on his-AS staff. The death was enforced in this position. Mark that in case of Prophets-AS death simply means the disconnection of Ruh's relationship with this Realm and its reconnection to the Realm of Barzakh, while it continues to reside inside their bodies as usual. For details "Hayat-ul-Nabi" (Life of a Prophet) by Shaikh Allah Yar Khan-RUA may be consulted. He-AS stood and the curtains of the glass chambers lifted in routine as if the Prophet-AS was watching over the progress of work. No Jinn could dare look up or go near him-AS neither his-AS courtiers knew of the reality save a few confidants until a year went by and the construction was completed. It was then that the propping staff was gnawed away by the termites, he-AS fell down and the Jinn came to know of his-AS demise. Had the Jinn possessed Knowledge of the Unseen they would have never gone through a yearlong labour.
Jinn And Knowledge Of The Unseen
Since the Jinn can traverse long distances within seconds and are always on the move, they can inform people over events of far off lands. This led to the misconception that the Jinn had Knowledge of the Unseen, which has been negated by this event.
People Of Saba
The Sabaens (Sabians) to which Queen Bilquis belonged were a very prosperous nation. Allah-SWT had favoured them in many ways. They had a beautiful landscape marked with valleys and mountains and had constructed a very big dam beyond the city of M'arib for storing rain water. Perennial canals were taken out to irrigate the orchards astride the roads enabling even the travellers to avail of the seasonal fruits throughout the year. Their cities were very beautiful and clean because of strong economy which obviously brings prosperity. Along with all these blessings the greatest favour they enjoyed was the Forgiveness of Allah-SWT . Had they paid heed to His-SWT Remembrance and continued to acknowledge His-SWT Magnificence the Divine Forgiveness would readily overlook unintentional human errors. However, over a period of time, they ceased to appreciate the prosperity they were endowed with and drifted away from Allah-SWT’s obedience.
The very dam which had been the source of their prosperity became a cause of their destruction. Allah-SWT infested the place with rats whose burrowing perforated the dam and it tore apart causing massive havoc. A place once marked by lush green gardens was reduced to desolation, growing only wild bushes. The city and the settlements turned into wilderness and the nation was ruined as a token of admonition for the world. This was a sequel to their denial and ingratitude, a routine fate of the arrogant.
Settlements And Security
They had also enjoyed other Divine favours, such as the highways connecting far-off cities lined up with secure and peaceful settlements at reasonable distances. The travellers would enjoy comfortable highways, fruits from the orchards, flowing canals and settlements at reasonable distances to stop over, with no threat of robbery or plunder. In other words, such blessings are indeed a Divine favour and to strive for establishing peace, security and prosperity in a society will in fact be an effort to acquire His-SWT blessings.
The Sabaens were indeed ungrateful. They began to complain that their journeys gave them no thrill. Had the routes been desolate haunted by hunger and the thirst, it would have been fun making suitable arrangements. Moreover, there was no adventure in their travelling in the absence of perils like the threat of robbery. So they prayed to Allah-SWT that their monotonous life gave them no pleasure and must be changed, and they may be made to travel on long desolate and perilous routes, for they wanted to live a life of adventure. By putting forth this request they indeed wronged themselves. They rejected favours like peace and prosperity, and were destroyed. Those who survived got scattered in small groups and were lost into history.
Queen Saba’s (Sheba) grandfather Abdus Shams was the same King of Yemen who had captured Makkah, took its citizens captives and was taken ill. So he freed and honoured them. He found out from the books that Makkah was the place where the last Prophet-SW would be raised, who would ultimately migrate to Yathrib (Madinah). The King ordered that some of his scholars be settled there in advance. He gave them a letter for the Holy Prophet-SW; expressing his desire to serve him-SW if he lived until then. This letter was presented to the Holy Prophet-SW by Hadhrat Abu Ayub Ansari-RAU on his-SW migration to Madinah. The Sabaens were the progeny of the said King and were highly majestic people. Many of them fled to Syrian and Arabian valleys to save their lives and many were deluged. Thus their kingdom, their settlements and influence was gone and they were reduced to shambles, becoming a symbol of admonition for the world. It carries a great lesson for the steadfast and the grateful that if they are put through hard times by Allah-SWT’s Will they must exercise patience. It is equally imperative to display gratitude in affluence, even more than being patient m distress. It is indeed only the patient and the grateful who qualify for Allah-SWT’s Pleasure.
The Sabaens proved so inept that they vindicated the claim Iblis's had made in the very beginning of time, that the children of Aadam-AS will be beguiled into following his instructions. They did it and became his comrades save a few fortunate who stood firm on faith. Obviously Iblis could not have forced anyone to follow him, except as a trial from Allah-SWT Himself, to identify those believing firmly in the Akhirah and those paying a lip service to it while harbouring doubts in their minds. Allah-SWT is Absolute in protecting against all evil; be it Iblis or any other power. None can wield any influence on mankind unless he himself neglects Allah-SWT and chooses to trail Iblis.