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Among the jinn were some who, by the leave of his Lord, worked under him (Solomon)... (As-Saba’ 34:12)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’s-Saba’ (Sheba)

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وَمَن يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ
Among the jinn were some who, by the leave of his Lord, worked under him (Solomon). Whoever of them swerved away from Our command (by disobeying him), We would make him taste the punishment of a fiery blaze. (As-Saba’ 34:12)

Prophet Solomon, upon him be peace, knew some prayers and certain Divine Names to govern the jinn and make them work under him. By God’s leave, when Solomon recited them, the jinn came under his command. In fact, God’s Names do not consist only in the 99 Names which Abū Hurayra reported. In one of his prayers, God’s Messenger says: “O God! I ask for the sake of Your Names by Which You named Yourself or You revealed in Your Book or You taught one of Your creatures or You allocated to Yourself in Your knowledge of the Unseen (without informing anybody about it).”[1]

This prayer of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, implies that God may have taught each Prophet one or some of His Names Which He did not teach others. Thus, Prophet Solomon was possibly con-trolling the jinn by reciting the Names Which he was taught. In reality, it was God Who put the jinn and devils under Solomon’s command. This is clear in the Qur’anic chapter of Al-Anbiyā’ (Prophets).[2]

According to certain reports from the Israelite sources which are not found in any authentic Islamic sources, Prophet Solomon hid those Names in a corner of his throne so that they might not be misused after him. Nonetheless, the Jews of the time found them and used them for their interests. Some approaches in the Old Testament can be understood to be implying this assertion.

Some of the recent movements and trends have added some ultra meanings and functions to Prophet Solomon’s use of the Divine Names taught to him. For example, some claim that pleasing evil forces or powers is enough to set things right, and, therefore, there is no need to pray to God. Others assert that evil powers are superior to powers of good; therefore, they should be pleased. These assertions and certain similar Masonic ap-proaches, many of which are based on Kabala, as well as certain statements that we especially encounter in cartoons, such as “In the name of the grey skull, I have the power!” or “In the name of the power of shadows or darkness,” are falsehoods that have no place in our creeds and terminology. Such assertions and statements wound the minds and spirits of children and distort the true metaphysical or spiritual realities. It seems that such falsehoods and distortions will continue until our true conceptions of metaphysics and spirituality are established.

Another point worthy of mention in this verse is that both David and Solomon were favored with employing some sections of existence in their service. Mountains used to participate in David’s prayers and invoca-tions, and he used iron and copper to make many things, such as armor. As for Solomon, whom God praises in the Qur’ān saying, “How excellent a serv-ant Solomon was! Surely he was one ever-turning (to God) in penitence” (Sād 38:30), not only jinn and the devil but also wind was put under his service. Prophets David and Solomon represented, respectively, the inner or meta-physical and outer or physical dimensions of the Truth of Ahmad—the truth represented by Prophet Muhammad before his coming into the world. It can lastly be said that Prophet David was a seed in the name of the inner dimension of the Truth of Muhammad, while Solomon was a seed in the name of its outer dimension. When the time was due, both were united in that most illustrious person of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.

God knows the best.

[1] Musnad Ahmad, 1/391, 452.
[2] See Sūratu’l-Anbiyā’ 21: 79–82.