Solomon’s Death
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

What is the meaning of the following verse ?

Then when We decreed [Solomon’s] death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth which kept [slowly] gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the jinn saw plainly that if they had known the unseen they would not have tarried in the humiliating penalty [of their task]. (34:14)


The real stress of this verse as understood in the background of the Qur’ān is that the disbelievers contended that the jinn-folk were employed by the Prophet (sws) to obtain knowledge of the unseen. In this verse, the manner in which a great Prophet of Allah – Solomon (sws) died is presented as testimony to the fact that Jinn-folk have no such knowledge.

According to this verse, the Prophet Solomon (sws) was made to stand on his rod even after his death, and it was only after his dead body, which was supported by his staff, fell to the ground after white ants had eaten it away that the jinn came to know of his death. Historically, it is known that Solomon (sws) had put some of his subservient jinn-folk to a special task: They were to construct the Temple at Jerusalem. Solomon (sws) died while work was still in progress and in order to keep the jinn-folk to work, his corpse was made to stand in front of them so that while remaining fearful to him, they would continue the work they had been assigned.

This incident clearly shows that the jinn-folk have no knowledge of the unseen, for had they known of Solomon’s death, they would have stopped their all important assignment.

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