The Lessons Learnt from Sulaiman’s (‘alaihis salaam) Construction of Baitul Muqaddas


Monday, 23 November 2015 14:42

(Summary of Mufti Ebrahim Salejee’s majlis - Saturday 7th November)

When Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam) had completed the construction of Baitul Muqaddas he got on to the sakhrah –  the rock beneath the dome of the rock and expressed his gratitude saying that O Allah, you have allowed me to complete this, so give me the taufeeq of offering shukr and gratitude for accomplishing this. Every step of the path of a nabi is a lesson. First, he is offering thanks for he has been allowed to complete the construction and then thanks that he has been granted the opportunity to construct this. He had a big feast and couple a thousand animals were slaughtered and he invited many people. At that time he made several du‘aas, that whoever comes here without any ulterior motive but to perform namaaz and remember Allah Ta‘ala then allow him to leave the musjid with all his sins forgiven like the day he is born. If he comes with any need then fulfil his need, if he is suffering from any ailment then cure him, if he is seeking asylum from his enemy then grant him refuge and asylum.

After completing the construction he realised that there were some finishing touches left in Baitul Muqaddas, and normally the finishing touches take a lot of time and they finish you. He estimated the approximate time will be one year, but he was now in a quandary as Malakul Maut was there to extract his soul, whereas he had been commanded to complete the Baitul Muqaddas. Hence, he constructed a glass chamber and he sat within it leaning on his staff, supervising the jinnaat that he had working for him. The jinnaat held him with a lot of awe. They would not look at him face to face. The awe of a true servant of Allah Ta‘ala and a nabi is totally different. A person who gives himself to Allah Ta‘ala, Allah Ta‘ala blesses him with a type of awe. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was also blessed with this type of awe. His awe could be perceived from a distance of approximately 500 kilometres. From that distance you could see that you are entering the company of somebody very great. This is a type of a defence granted to a nabi. Sulaiman (‘alaihis salaam) had given the jinnaat the orders to complete the building. Within that time Malakul Maut had extracted his soul and termites began eating away at his staff from within causing him to eventually fall. It was only then that the jinnaat had realised that he has passed on. They then estimated how long he had been like this and they calculated that it has been one year since he had passed on.

Seeing this, they remarked that had they only known the unseen – low kaanu ya’lamoonal ghaib, they would not have toiled in this menial work. We learn several things from here. One is with regards to the knowledge of the unseen. Many a times, people make it appear that I have jinnaat and I have knowledge of the unseen, and sometimes this is just the speculation of the mind and thoughts from Shaitaan. We don’t deny the fact that pious people can receive inspiration from Allah Ta‘ala, but it cannot be guaranteed that the inspiration is entirely correct and from Allah Ta‘ala. The only person who has the guarantee that it is divine and from Allah Ta‘ala, is a nabi. Yes, through the inspiration a person can support something that is already an obligation, like namaaz; a person is inspired to get up and perform the namaaz. It is already a duty and now he is just inspired to fulfil a duty. It is only a nabi who gets inspiration to establish some law or command. Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) had seen the dream of him slaughtering his son. Since he was a nabi, this was a command from Allah Ta‘ala without any doubt. No normal person can claim that he saw a similar dream; hence he has to slaughter his own son, for Shaitaan and the nafs can interfere with you and you will not know what it was. So how can you equate yourself with a nabi? He is divinely protected and secure. Anybody besides a nabi has got no security. The inspiration and feeling is not a guarantee that it is from Allah Ta‘ala. The guarantee is only for a nabi. Nobody can claim that his inspiration is exclusive and guaranteed. Yes, it could be a support and a form of assistance from Allah Ta‘ala, but you cannot consider that to be compulsory and necessary. The mother of Moosa (‘alaihis salaam) also received inspiration as to how to go about securing him and protecting him. Hence, a woman is not a nabi, but she can also receive inspiration and it does not have to be wrong, it can turn out to be true.

Sometimes we accept these types of things and we take it as god sent. We are not supposed to be attaching so much of importance to these matters. A simple thing to understand is that if any ta’weez or jinnaat or inspiration was conclusive then at some point in time it would have been used in the court of law. But do you ever hear of this at any time. Hence, it is not conclusive. Then how can we take it to be conclusive. You just need someone to come and give you some extraordinary story and we go by it. Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or what. You hear that the person caught the jinnaat and gave them a bayaan and they all made taubah and went in jamaat. Perhaps after three days they ran away and returned. Don’t you hear of a relapse? So just use these things as treatments but don’t put your mind to it and don’t attach great importance to it. There can be some substance to it, but really don’t go behind these things.

The first thing that we learn from this incident is that the jinnaat acknowledged that they did not have the knowledge of the unseen; otherwise they would not have worked. It took them one year to realise that Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam) had passed away. The second thing that we learn is that Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam) was instructed to finish the musjid, but he knew that he was going to pass away. Hence, he made arrangements for it to be completed after his death. Therefore, in your absence you should make arrangements for the accomplishment of your obligations and duties, whether you are alive or going to pass away. For example, you have some deeni work to accomplish but then you need to go out for some important task, so you should make sure that your responsibility is fulfilled. This is what is called trust and sense of responsibility.

Islam is not a complicated religion. It is clear-cut and pure. Allah Ta‘ala has categorised us into 2 categories. One is that person who has the strength to confront situations. For such a person he should do what he can do and he should go out striving for deen, etc. The second is the one who does not have the strength and stamina. So he should act according to his capacity. The problem with us is that we don’t want to be in any of the groups. In the second group you will do what is within your capacity and that is to look after your home. This will mean that you make sure that the activities of the home are carried out, namaaz is performed on time, zikr and tilaawat are taking place, ta’leem is done etc. Ta’leem should not only be of Fazaa’il-e-A‘amaal, but also a little of Behishti Zewar because from the fazaa’il you learn the virtues but the laws regarding them are learnt from Behishti Zewar. The masaa’il will give you the parameters; otherwise you will mix up halaal and haraam. You will listen to all the virtues of fasting and then on ‘eid day you will want to fast, or you will wake up for fajr namaaz and you are very fresh and enlightened and you think of performing 10 rakaats instead of 2. Therefore, you need to know parameters, and this is from the masaa’il kitaabs. In the second category you take care of your own home, as well as those people on whom you can easily exercise your influence. For everything else you can exercise your influence, so for deen why can’t you exercise your influence as well. Do this much at least.  Do something for your life after death. If this is not going to be done then Shaitaan will confuse you and you are not going to do anything constructive. All this is as a result of not having one single guide. However, the guide must be a person who saw the road from the beginning till the end and he understands the person and works out the itinerary for him. Then hold on to this person.

Hazrat Sulaimaan (‘alaihis salaam) knew that he was charged with the responsibility of Baitul Muqaddas, and he made the arrangements. Similarly, the father of the house needs to see that the aa’maal of the house are taking place diligently, and if he is not going to be there then he should make sure and check that they are doing it. He can phone up and find out. He needs to take it very seriously and personal. Then only will you see the true deeni colours coming into the children. But if you take it casually and at the end they fail then don’t be shocked after that. Just as in school related matters you attach so much of importance, that they must go for tuition and complete their projects so that you don’t suffer the disgrace of them failing etc., in the same token you do not want the child to become a failure and a sell-out. Hence, you are working right through. Insha-Allah when you work diligently the child will become a bundle of joy.

Look at this trust and see how lightly we treat it whereas the hadeeth speaks so highly of it. A person who does not have trustworthiness then really he does not have imaan. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has equated amaanat so thickly with imaan; without it you don’t have a place in Islam. In surah Shu‘araa, Allah Ta‘ala speaks of five Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) consecutively and every nabi is saying innee lakum rasoolun ameen. Allah Ta‘ala could have worded it differently that every nabi is ameen, but why did Allah Ta‘ala then explain that every nabi that came said that I am a trustworthy nabi. Allah Ta‘ala could have encapsulated this in one word. So why did he have to get all the Ambiyaa to say this? The reason is to impress upon us the importance of trustworthiness and to create the awareness of it. Sometimes our understanding of trust is limited. We just consider that amount of money that is given to us as a trust. But do we consider that child of ours as a trust, time as a trust, our eyes and ears as a trust. Allah Ta‘ala will therefore ask us regarding it. Had it been your own, Allah Ta‘ala will not ask you, but since they are entrusted to us we will be questioned as to how we had used them.

Do we have the degree of honesty and reliance in Allah Ta‘ala? This can only come if we have sincerity, and sincerity can only come right if our imaan is right. The gist of imaan is that we understand that Allah Ta‘ala is the controller of everything. Where we are going wrong today is that we say that this person is the spanner in the works and this person is causing it. Do we ever think that Allah Ta‘ala will make it work? Every nabi is ameen and Nabi (sallalalhu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself was called ameen even before nubuwwat. As long as there is honesty, this world will remain. The moment the consciousness of honesty is gone from people’s minds then there is no need for Allah Ta‘ala to continue with this world. Therefore the hadeeth says that when this amaanat and honesty is lost then wait for Qiyaamat. For that matter if you opened a massive business with different departments that are controlled by different managers; if it is running well you will let it continue, but when you see it taking a dip then you will think of closing down. So by the same token when the concept of answerability is gone then there is no need to let this world continue. So in this day and time the greatest concern is that we should realise that we will have to stand and answer before Allah Ta‘ala for everything that we enjoy. So have we got anything to justify our actions? The manner in which we can get this is right is for at least 10 minutes in the morning and evening think of the day of reckoning and that Allah Ta‘ala is asking me about the various ni’mats as to how we used the various ni’mats. Then only will this business of life have a meaning.

Figures were not an important thing in the life of the pious servants of Allah Ta‘ala, but they were worried about their honesty, and Allah Ta‘ala wants to see how honest we are in what we are doing. When He sees the level of honesty he will allow you to progress. Whoever it may be, he will have to go through some trial or the other.

When we study the kitaabs of our pious elders then do we study their personal lives as well? It is an injustice that we see their accomplishments and fail to see the difficulties they had undergone in achieving that.

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