Musnad Ahmad contains a tradition from Hadrat Umar, saying:
Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view of causing trouble to the Holy Prophet (s.a.a.w.), but he had entered the Masjid al-Haram before me. When I arrived, I found that he was reciting Surah Al-Haaqqah in the Prayer. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur'an, I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraish alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words: "This is the Word of an honorable Messenger: it is not the word of a poet." I said to myself: Then, he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon be recited the words:"Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little it is that you reflect. It is a Revelation from the Lord and Sustainer of the worlds." On hearing this, Islam entered deep into my heart.
This tradition of Hadrat Umar shows that this Surah had been sent down long before his acceptance of Islam, for even after this event he did not believe for a long time, but he continued to be influenced in favor of Islam by different incidents from time to time, till at last in the house of his own sister he came by the experience that made him surrender and submit to the Faith completely. (Tafheemul Quran)
During the centuries of the crusades, all sorts of slanders were invented against Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But with the birth of the modern age, marked with religious tolerance and freedom of thought, there has been a great change in the approach of Western authors in their delineation of his life and character. The views of some non-Muslim scholars regarding Prophet Muhammad, given at the end, justify this opinion.
But the West has still to go a step forward to discover the greatest reality about Muhammad and that is his being the true and the last Prophet of God for the whole humanity. In spite of all its objectivity and enlightenment there has been no sincere and objective attempt by the West to understand the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh). It is so strange that very glowing tributes are paid to him for his integrity and achievement but his claim of being the Prophet of God has been rejected explicitly or implicitly. It is here that a searching of the heart is required, and a review of the so-called objectivity is needed. The following glaring facts from the life of Muhammad (pbuh) have been furnished to facilitate an unbiased, logical and objective decision regarding his Prophethood.Read more...
Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
On the day of the battle of Al-Khandaq (the Trench), we were digging the trench when a very hard boulder came in our way. The Companions went to Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and told him about it. He said, "I will go down the trench to see it.'' He stood up and it was noticed that he had tied a stone over his stomach due to intense hunger. We had not tasted anything for three days. He took up a spade and struck the hard rock with it and it turned into sand. I sought his permission to go home, (after reaching home I) said to my wife, "I have seen the Prophet (PBUH) in a state that I am unable to endure. Have you got anything in the house?'' She said, "I have a small quantity of barley and a lamb.'' I slaughtered the lamb, ground the barley and put the meat in the cooking pot. Then I went to the Prophet (PBUH). In the meantime the flour had been kneaded and the meat in the pot was nearly cooked. I said to him, "O Messenger of Allah, I have some food, will you come along with one or two Companions?'' He asked, "How many men should go there?'' I told him the number. He said, "It will be better if they are more in number. Tell your wife not to remove the pot from the hearth nor the bread from the oven till I arrive.'' Then he said to the Muhajirun and the Ansar: "Let us go (to eat).'' They all rose (and went with him). I went to my wife and said, "Bless you, the Prophet (PBUH), the Muhajirun, the Ansar and the whole company are coming.'' She said, "Did he (PBUH) ask you?'' I replied in the affirmative. (When they arrived) Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to his Companions, "Enter, but do not crowd in.'' Then he started breaking up the bread and putting meat on it. He would take from the pot and the oven then would cover them up, approach his Companions and hand it over to them. He would then go back and uncover the pot and the oven. He continued to break up the bread and put meat on it till all had eaten to their fill and still some of the food remained. Then he said to my wife, "Eat from it, and send it as a present, for the people have been afflicted with severe hunger.'' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
THE PROPHET SULAIMAN (peace be upon him)
The Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) was the youngest son of the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He was born at Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Saba. As he was a talented fellow with versatile gifts, his father made him his heir. After the death of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) he ascended the throne of Judia on account of his sagacity, power of judgement, right understanding and spiritual insight. The Holy Qur'an says: "And We verily gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulaiman and they said: praise be to Allah Who has preferred us above many of his believing servants". (27: I5)
The Prophet Sulaiman Makes Sound Decisions:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) was endowed with the quality of giving sound decision in complicated cases. Once a dispute arose between two persons. They were present before the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). One of them said: Sir, the sheep of that person have trampled over my crops. They have grazed and caused me a considerable loss. It must be compensated by the owner. The shepherd was very poor. He had nothing except sheep and the damage done to the crops exceeded the price of the sheep. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) ordered the defaulter to give his sheep to the owner of the land as reparation. Sulaiman, the teen-aged child was listening to the judgement of his father. He, respectfully, spoke out: Dear father, undoubtedly, your decision is correct but it will be handed over to more appropriate if all the sheep are the plaintiff for the utilisation of their milk and wool only. The respondent should be directed to render services to the owner of the field until the condition of the damaged fields restores to the normal position. When it is done, sheep must be given back to the shepherd. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) appreciated this novel way of awarding justice and the Holy Qur'an speaks very highly of him:
"And Dawud (David) and Sulaiman (Solomon) when they gave judgement concerning the field, when people's sheep had strayed and browsed therein by night; and We were witnesses to their judgement. And We made Sulaiman to understand (the case); and unto each of them We gave judgement and knowledge." (21: 78, 79)
Prevalence over Wind:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) inherited many virtues from his illustrious father. He was endowed with special gifts. Wind was made subservient to him and he could easily perform long journey in the twinkling of an eye. The Holy Qur'an affirms:
"And (We made) the wind subservient to Sulaiman whereof the morning course was a month's journey and the course a month's journey." (54:12)
"So We subjected the wind to his power, setting fair by his command withersoever he intended" (38:36)
"And unto Sulaiman We subdued the wind in its raging. It flows by his order towards the land which We had blessed And of every thing We are aware." (21:81)
The Prophet Dawud Perceives the Speech of the Birds:
The Prophet Sulaiman peace be upon him) was gifted with the knowledge of understanding the speech of birds, animals and insects. He was also capable to talk to them. The Holy Qur'an testifies to it in the following Verses:
"He (Sulaiman) said: O' People! We have been taught the language of the birds and have been given (abundance) of all things; this is indeed grace manifest (from Allah)."
Jinns are Subdued to Him:
He was also given the power over Jinns and Devils. He utilized them in his service. They carried out his orders ungrudgingly and were punished when they became refractory The Holy Qur'an affirms:
034.012 And to Solomon (We made) the Wind (obedient): Its early morning (stride)
was a month's (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month's (journey); and We
made a Font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in
front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from our
command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.
034.013 They worked for him as he desired, (making) arches, images, basons as large
as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places): "Work ye, sons of
David, with thanks! but few of My servants are grateful!"
In another Verse the Holy Qur'an says: "And before Sulaiman were marshalled his hosts--of Jinns, and men and birds and they were all in order and ranks." (21: 17)
It is stated that the Jinns were subjugated to the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) to help him in the construction of the Holy Temple - Baitul Muqaddas (Masjid Aqsa).
Ardent Lover of Horses:
The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) was also a great lover of horses. They constituted an essential part of his army. When they returned after a mission, he would give them strokes of affections on ankles and necks. The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) did so in approbation of their loyalty and high speed.
The Incident of the Queen of Saba:
The area which now comprises Yemen and is known as Saba was ruled by a queen. It was a prosperous kingdom. The queen enabled its people to attain a high degree of civilisation. One day Hud informed the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) of the flourishing kingdom of Saba. It said:
"The ruler of Saba is the queen upon whom, God has bestowed His unlimited favours. Her throne is magnificent. She is depraved. The inhabitants of her kingdom worship the sun and the moon. They do not make obeisance to Allah and refrain from thanking Him Who has created all these objects." Sulaiman, the Prophet of Allah and the King wrote a letter and handed over to Hud to be conveyed to the queen of Saba. He warned her not to be arrogant of her power. He advised her to submit to God and abide by His Commandments. The queen read this letter and was much puzzled. As she was a prudent lady, she called her chiefs and sought their counsels. Some proud chiefs suggested to fight tooth and nail against the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) whereas the others left the matter for her to decide. The Holy Qur'an says:
''She said: O' chiefs! Advise me in this affair for I never decide an affair until you are in my presence. They said: We are endowed with strength and ale possessors of mighty powers but the command is thine. Therefore see what you will command." (27:29-33)
The queen did not like to embroil her country into war because it would cause destruction. She thought of a plan and arranged for precious gifts for the monarch. She planned to germinate cordial relations and pacify her warlike subjects by using this device. But wealth had no value for the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him). He was annoyed at the delivery of the presents. He returned them with harsh words and said to the messenger:
"I do not hanker after wealth. I, therefore, attach no importance to there Costly gifts. I wish that the queen and his followers should submit to God and follow the true faith. I shall invade your country if the queen does not come to me in submission.''
After some time the King marched with an army and passed through the Valley of Ants on his way to the kingdom of Saba. In the Valley he overheard the conversation among the terrified ants who hurried towards their holes for fear of being crushed under the feet of the marching army. The King was moved to pity and learnt the lesson to protect the life and honour of the humble creatures. He thought that the queen and his people are just like humble ants. They should not be trampled upon and killed to win Fame in the world. An account of this incident is related in the following Verses:
"At length when they came to a valley of ants, one of the ants said: 0' ants! Get into your holes lest Sulaiman and his hosts crush you without knowing it. Thereupon he smiled at her speech and he said: 0' my Lord! So order the that I may be grateful for Your favours which You have bestowed upon me and my father and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee and admit me by Your grace into the ranks of Your righteous servants.'' (27: 18, 19)
The King did not proceed further because he did not like the massacre which would result in case of clash between two armies. His aim was to reform the queen and the inhabitants of Saba. He desired to bring them to the right path. He wished to save the depraved people from seduction.
When the queen got wind of an expected attack of the Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) she proceeded towards him to patch up differences. When the King came to know of her departure, he ordered one of the Jinns to bring the magnificent throne of the queen in the twinkling of an eye. The command was obeyed immediately. When the queen arrived at the court of Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) after a long journey, she was asked to identify her throne. She recognised the throne and said:
"I am already aware of your power and majesty. I have come to you as your submissive servant."
The Holy Qur'an states:
"So when she arrived she was asked: Is it your throne? She said: It was just like this and we were given the knowledge before it and we were already submissive and he diverted her from the worship of others besides Allah, for she was Sprung of a people that have no faith." (7:4L, 43)
The queen was taken to the lofty palace. Its floor was made of slabs of polished glass that deceived the eyes and looked like water. The queen tucked up her shirt to pass through it. She was reminded that that was not water. She then realised that reality did not lay at the surface and it needed eyes to see. According to the Holy Qur'an she said:
"O' my Lord! I have indeed wronged myself; I do submit with Sulaiman to the Lord of the Worlds." (27:45)
The queen of Saba felt penitence and accepted the religion of God. The Prophet Sulaiman (peace be upon him) ruled for thirty years. He died at the age of eighty-nine years. After his death Rohoboam, his son became a king. He led a luxurious life and yielded to pleasure seeking temptations. The people revolted against him and soon the glorious chapter of the reign of Prophet Dawud's family came to an end.