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Solaiman (AS) Solomon - 1






In the previous lesson, we talked about Dawud (David) (AS), and concentrated on his worship, reverence and amazing devotion to Allah (SWT). We also agreed to follow a kind of recipe for good faith, a recipe that will boost our belief and help us get closer to Allah (SWT). Why do we need such a recipe?




We attend lectures all the time, and some of them are very interesting and touch us deep in our hearts, but only temporarily. People get deeply affected, and the story sticks to their minds for a couple of days, but it just vanishes after some time. The main purpose of studying all these stories is to link them to our current lives and time, the purpose they were mentioned for in the Qur’an! We want these stories to help us solve the problems we are facing as a Muslim nation, as these Prophets are meant to be our idols in life after all. Islam is the best solution to the troubles in all our societies, and it should not be dissolving away or unjustly misunderstood and forgotten; it should make a strong comeback to the World, proving to everybody the truth and simplicity that lies within it. Worshiping Allah (SWT) is not only through prayers, but also through acting and living like true Muslims 24 hours a day. Now what was that recipe we talked about last time? Here is a reminder of the steps:




1. Waking up half an hour before dawn.

2. Performing the ritual ablution or Wudu.

3. Praying two Rakaa’s (units of prayer) of Qiyam (night prayer) for ten minutes.

4. Reading some pages of the Holy Qur’an, going further and further each morning towards the end.




By following these four simple steps every morning, you are highly rewarded for two very important kinds of worship:




1. Performing Qiyam prayers.

2. Reading the Holy Qur’an during dawn, Allah’s (SWT) favorite time. During the last third of the night, Allah (SWT) descends with his magnificent grace to the first heaven, responding to his worshippers pleads for guidance, blessings, and forgiveness.




This is the best time to pray and seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT). Dua’a (supplication) is always accepted during this particular time and is never rejected. Those who seek forgiveness at that time will find themselves mentioned by Allah (SWT) in the Qur’an, in what can be translated as, “Those who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning" (TMQ, Al- Imran:17)[1].




All of this is to be done before the fajr (dawn) prayer. After the Azan (The call for prayer), one should pray the two Rakaa’s of the fajr Sunnah (determined pre-dawn prayer). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) describes the value of these two Rakaa’s as equivalent to the Muslim’s whole life and its beauties. Then perform the fajr prayer (in the Masjid for the men) as it is one of the most precious compulsory prayers. It is in fact so precious that in the early days of Islam, the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions used to doubt that those who did not show up with a good excuse were becoming hypocrites.




After performing the fajr prayer, read some Dhikr (morning supplications) to seek protection from all kinds of evil throughout the day you are about to start. Allah (SWT) will not forget the Muslim that remembers Him with Dhikr, and helps this Muslim get quickly back on track if he sins that day.




Following this recipe, you will feel that your life is changing and becoming simpler and better. You become more relaxed, content, and concentrated on things such as studies or work; and will feel the satisfaction and pleasures of faith springing up within your heart stronger than ever before. Now that we have revised our recipe, we will continue with our series of stories, and begin with the story of Solaiman (AS).




Allah (SWT) granted Solaiman (PBUH) four splendid miracles, owing to his dua’a, “My Lord! I ask you to bestow upon me the greatest kingdom and power which existed and will ever exist, for you are the Bestower”. (TMQ, Saad:35).




Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said the following too, “While I was praying, Satan appeared to me in a certain form. When I was done, I caught him and tied him down to one of the poles in the Masjid so that everyone can see him at the fajr prayer, but then I recalled my brother Solaiman’s dua’a, “My Lord! I ask you to bestow upon me the greatest kingdom and power which existed and will ever exist”, so I set him free” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, Authentic).




Even though it was after thousands of years, the Prophet (PBUH) was very careful and considerate in not using any powers that were given to Solaiman (AS), keeping Solaiman’s powers as unique as the latter had wished them to be. Allah (SWT) granted the following four miracles exclusively to Solaiman (AS):




First miracle: Understanding bird language.



“Solaiman inherited (the knowledge of) Dawud, and said, “O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and everything has been bestowed upon us. This is verily an evident grace (from Allah).” (TMQ, Al-Naml:16). Solaiman (AS) had the ability to understand birds and insects when they talked amongst themselves, including their sound vibrations. What a great blessing granted to him by Allah (SWT)!




Let us compare this to later events in the history of mankind, as an indication of how great the civilizations of the Prophets actually were. When the Rosetta Stone was discovered and scientists in the West had finally cracked the language of the Pharaohs, a lot of commotion and publicity resulted! People were very proud and boasted their intelligence and ability to understand those symbols. Come to think about it, Prophet Solaiman (PBUH) had a much greater power and intelligence than any of them had. Did he boast about it and praise his own intelligence? No, he was very moderate and humble, never forgetting to thank Allah (SWT) for blessing him with that knowledge.




Some Westerners firmly believe that to progress in life, religion has to be separated from science and technology; assuming that these two “fields” do not coincide. Unfortunately, this matter is deeply rooted in some Muslims’ minds as well, despite its Western origin. Why is this so? The main reason is that the Westerners progressed rapidly with amazing discoveries when they separated the church from their scientific progress. However, our religion welcomes science; in fact they go hand in hand! We do not need to separate our religion from our everyday life to achieve scientific progress. On the contrary, implementing the religion correctly is the best path towards this progress. The first word that descended in our Qur’an was iqra’ (Read). The Holy Qur’an comprises of many verses that deal with the different human and natural sciences and emphasizes on the importance of seeking education and knowledge.




In Solaiman’s (PBUH) story, the invalidity of this conviction, which states that religion and science never go together, is proved clearly. It proves that being religious does not mean sitting in the Masjids all day in isolation. This is clearly not what Islam recommends. Solaiman (AS) properly exploited his knowledge to obeying Allah (SWT) and to serving Islam. Consequently, Allah (SWT) granted him what He did not grant any other civilization. Examining history, we will find that humanity has witnessed only two civilizations that summoned the peaks of technology, prosperity and religion; those of Solaiman (AS) and Muhammad (PBUH).




Muhammad’s (PBUH) nation lived as a devoted, worshiping and spiritual nation since the beginning of Islam, and extending a great 1300 years. Yet, they also made amazing discoveries and advancements in science and technology. For instance, there is the science of Jarh (disparagement) and Ta’deel (attestation) discovered by Imam Bukhari, the science of Human Sociology by Ibn-Khaldun, Algebra was founded by Al-Khawarizmi and the Pulmonary Blood Circulation discovered by Ibn-Nafis. Do you realize the first astrological observatory was set up by the Muslims in Al-Andalus (Andalusia), for the purpose of monitoring the movements of planets?




Furthermore, the Muslims were the first to prove the roundness of the earth in an oval-shaped map made by Al-Idrisi. Ibn-Majid, the lion of the sea, is the one who discovered the ‘Cape of Good Hope’, and invented the Muslim geographical maps. Yet, can you believe that the Tatars threw books that belonged to the library of Baghdad [which was built by the Muslims and was incomparable with any other library today] in the rivers of Dejla and Furat (The Euphrates) in order to build a bridge for their horses to pass on? Can you imagine the number of books that were in that library? There were enough books to fill up both rivers and carry an army of horses over them!




In truth, Muslims only lost track of their flourishing civilization when they distanced themselves from their religion. Solaiman’s (AS) civilization is a clear lesson for us not to be impressed by modern civilizations. It warns us that building a civilization, by moving away from Islam, is not the right solution. Let’s consider Russia, for example. It was one of the first to reach the moon, but where is it now? The Russian Empire collapsed and is gone! You can easily criticize the regime itself as being the cause of this failure in Russia, but the problems that faced the Islamic empire were different. You cannot find a flaw in Islam itself, and the flaw was only in the people that did not live up to it.




Second miracle: The subjugation of Jinn and Devils



They were all made to obey Solaiman (AS). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And also the devils from the jinn, including the builders and divers, along with others bound in fetters.” (TMQ, Saad: 37, 38).




People are misled to believe that the Jinn are capable of doing everything, so they move away from Allah (SWT) and turn to them for help. Here are the Jinn that Allah (SWT) created for Solaiman (PBUH); some were builders and others were divers that extracted pearls from the oceans and the seas. Why did Allah (SWT) grant Solaiman (PBUH) all these blessings and miracles? The answer is that Solaiman (AS) wanted to use these blessings for the sake of reviving this religion and not for personal pleasures. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Amongst them are men who made a pact with Allah, that if He bestowed on them some of His bounty, they would be generous in charity, and be truly amongst those who are righteous. But when He did bestow of His bounty, they became covetous, and turned back (from their pact), averse (from its fulfillment). So He has put as a consequence Hypocrisy into their hearts, to last till the Day when they shall meet Him: because they broke their pact with Allah, and because they lied (again and again)" (TMQ, At-Tawba:75 - 77).




Do they not realize that Allah (SWT) knows what is inside their hearts and knows their innermost secrets? If you ask Allah (SWT) to grant you money with a genuine intension of using it for supporting this religion and doing good, then He will surely give you what you have asked for. I myself have seen many examples of this in my personal life. The problem facing the majority of people is that their real intention is to use these blessings to achieve personal satisfaction. What they do is consider solely themselves, their homes and their children. It is not wrong to consider one’s self, but serving Islam should always be the priority, and doing that will automatically serve all the other purposes one seeks like a happy home and family, for himself and his brother Muslims. Who else can devise for us such a perfect way of life than He who created life itself?




As long as we marginalize Islam and do not realize its greatness, our enemies will not appreciate it either and they will marginalize it even further. When we trivialize Islam, others will trivialize us. How do we expect Islam to grow and become powerful if we ourselves cannot make it grow and be powerful in our own eyes and apply it to our lives? What will that leave for the non-Muslims who see us as examples? We are ambassadors for our religion and carry its burden. The worst thing we can do is to make it look bad and give others a bad impression about it.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And there are jinn that worked for him (Solaiman), by his Lord’s permission. And those of them that disobeyed Our command, they shall taste the torment of the blazing Fire. They worked for him as he desired, building high-walled rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and cauldrons fixed in their places. Work you, O family of Dawud, and be grateful, as there are only a few of My slaves that are grateful.” (TMQ, Saba’:12 - 13).




The high-walled rooms are Masjids, and the idols and images were not prohibited at that time. A basin is an enormous container that an entire village can eat from, and the cooking cauldrons were fixed like huge buildings, mounted upon stone poles raising them from below. Solaiman (AS) used Jinn to spread Islam, not to cause harm, evil or raise superstitions. Some people nowadays seek refuge in Jinn, but it only causes them more suffering and torment. People should turn only to Allah (SWT) in times of hardship, and turning to anyone or anything else is failing one of the tests of this life.




Third miracle: The subjugation of wind



Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “We subjected to him (Solaiman) the wind; it blew gently by his order wherever he willed.” (TMQ, Saad:36).




Solaiman (AS) used to order the wind around. He would direct the clouds over thirsty lands to help feed the Muslims, and improve their crops. When it came to fighting with Allah’s (SWT) enemies, he had a gigantic, wooden, rug-like transporter made to carry his army of Jinns, humans, birds, tigers, lions, eagles and all sorts of animals that fought under his command. It was an amazing army, with all these creatures helping him radar the lands around him. The wind would carry this rug to wherever he pleased, carrying this army across vast distances. Have you heard of anything so extraordinary?




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And to Solaiman We subjected the wind, its morning was a month’s journey, and its afternoon was another month’s journey (i.e. in one day he could travel two months’ journey in distance).” (TMQ, Saba’:12).




The distance normally covered in a month was covered by Solaiman (AS) and his soldiers in a couple of hours. Do you believe this? If this story was to be narrated to the western society, would they believe it or would we be accused of insanity? We will always have faith that Allah (SWT) is the sole owner and creator of everything in this universe, and the strong believers are clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, in what can be translated as, “Those who believe in the Ghaib (unseen things).” (TMQ, Al-Baqara:3).




Hence, we are believers, as our ancestors were. Can you picture the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions and their solid belief while they were listening to this verse more than a thousand years ago? What a strong faith they must have had! We have seen planes, rockets, and submarines in action. We think we have seen it all! This should be more reason for us to believe that such means of fast transportation can be possibly created using the resources on Earth. The Qur’an’s numerous miracles are sufficient enough for Muslims to believe blindly in everything it states. Many miracles of the Qur’an have been proven throughout history, and the remaining unexplained miracles are left there for every generation as a test of their blind faith.




Why stop at the miracle of Solaiman’s (SWT) miraculous speed? Consider how strongly our Prophet’s (PBUH) companions believed him when he told them about his night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) riding the Buraq. Upon reaching Al-Quds, he was ascended to the seventh heaven until he reached Sidrat Al-Muntaha (The Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary) and ultimately, returned to Makkah from Al-Quds; all within less than a night. When Quraysh heard about Muhammad’s (PBUH) journey, they went to inform Abu-Bakr (RA), mockingly challenging his belief. Abu-Bakr (RA) did not hesitate for a moment in affirming what the Prophet (PBUH) told and said his famous words: “I believe him in things even beyond that: I believe that his miracles come from the skies even while he is sitting among us”. Since then, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) called him Al-Sidiq (the believer). In conclusion, the stronger our faith in Islam, the stronger Allah (SWT) makes us and the higher Allah (SWT) raises us and the more problems he solves for us. It is also an important aspect of this religion to be successful in life, and advanced in science and technologies, as this will not only benefit us personally but also socially by reflecting positively on the image of Islam and Muslims.




Fourth miracle: The Subjugation of Metals.




“And We made a fount of molten brass flow for him.” (TMQ, Saba’: 12).




Another of the great miracles Allah (SWT) bestowed upon Solaiman (AS). He used the brass to manufacture different equipment and weapons to make the Muslims more powerful. His intention was forming a strong nation, to fight for spreading the name of Allah, and not for personal influence. This shows how the Muslims should use their resources wisely, and always in good intention.




But why wasn’t our Prophet (PBUH) given miracles as such, provided that he was the leader of all Prophets and all mankind? Very simply, Allah (SWT) wanted Muhammad’s (PBUH) miracle to be even greater than the four miracles of Solaiman (AS). Let us pause here and remember that miracle:




Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to a tribe who worshiped idols, buried girls alive, practiced filthy actions and ignited violent wars for periods that lasted for decades at a time. Under Islam, the same people became the most remarkable Ummah in the entire history of mankind, and led the world into peace and prosperity for a period extending over 1300 years; an accomplishment that neither jinn, wind nor metal could have achieved.




Harun Al-Rashid used to look at the clouds, ponder, and say, “Rain anywhere you desire, because wherever you rain, your benefits will reach the Muslims”. Back then, the Muslims ruled such a vast territory that if the people in any land were not Muslims, the Muslims would benefit from these lands through the payment of Jizyah (a tax paid to the ruling Muslims by non-Muslim countries, which were allowed the freedom of keeping their own religions under the protection of an Islamic empire).




Despite all the miracles granted to Solaiman (AS), he also had his share of suffering. He was afflicted with a severe disease and consequently was unable to move. The point that Allah (SWT) wishes to make to us is that being blessed with great things does not rule out the possibility of suffering hardships. Solaiman (AS), as all are people, was put through hardships; only as a reminder for humankind that the power is not completely in their hands, and also as a test for their patience and faith.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And indeed, We did test Solaiman by placing a Jasad on his throne, and he did return (to Allah with obedience and in repentance, and to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allah).” (TMQ, Saad:34). Jasad is the Arabic word for the human body, indicating that the illness was so severe that it seemed like he was just a body lying on the throne, without the ability to even move. Solaiman (PBUH) was patient, and he passed this test, regaining his health and power later on.




Another thing about Solaiman (AS) is that he used to adore watching horses. One day, while he was so busy watching them, he missed the afternoon prayer. To discipline his soul, and prove his priorities to himself and to Allah (SWT), he donated all those horses for charity and jihad (Holy War).




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And to Dawud We gave Solaiman. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft returning in repentance! When they were displayed before him, in the afternoon, the well trained horses of the highest breed, he said, "I preferred this action (watching the horses) over my duty of remembering my Lord (in my ‘Asr prayer), till the time had ran out, and the sun had hidden in the veil of night. Then he said "Bring them (the horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks (i.e. he was checking them and recommending them for being used in the army for jihad, indicating his new intentions).” (TMQ, Saad: 30 - 33).




He prepared the horses himself, washed them well and chose the best ones to be sent for jihad.




Allah (SWT) did not only grant Solaiman (AS) an ability to rule and to judge rationally, but also blessed him with better judgment than his father Dawud (AS), sometimes passing more rational verdicts with an amazing degree of wisdom.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And remember Dawud and Solaiman, when they were judges in the case of the field where the sheep had pastured at night; and We were indeed witnesses to their judgment. We gave Solaiman the understanding; and to both of them We gave Hukm (right judgment of the affairs) and knowledge.” (TMQ, Al-Anbiya’:78 -79).




The story is about a dispute that occurred between two neighbors, so they asked Dawud (AS) to judge between them. One owned a piece of land, which he cultivated and lived off, while the other owned some sheep. One night, the second man forgot to lock his barn door properly; as a result, the sheep ate the landowner’s harvest. Dawud's (AS) verdict was that the landowner would take the sheep and benefit from their milk as a payback for the lost harvest. This was a fair judgment, but Solaiman (AS) later met the two men and came up with a more just judgment. He said that the landowner would take the sheep and benefit from them, thus not overruling his father’s verdict, but adding that the other would also take the land and plant it until it harvests, after which they would exchange and get back their properties.




Allah (SWT) mentions this story in the Qur’an to teach us how to use our intelligence, stressing on the importance of cleverness for the Muslim. The idea that the religious person is not required to have any wisdom nor intelligence is completely untrue.




Another example worth mentioning in this context is that narrated by Al-Bukhari, describing another incident that shows Solaiman’s wisdom: Two women went to Dawud (AS) after fighting over a baby. The truth was that the older woman's baby had died, so she had kidnapped the younger woman's child. Both women claimed that the baby was theirs. Dawud (AS) considered the older woman as more truthful because she had more convincing arguments than the younger woman, and gave her the right of custody. Solaiman (AS) then came into the picture and said, "If you two continue arguing, we shall cut the infant in half, one half for each of you.” And as he prepared to do so and was raising the knife, the younger woman yelled: "Let him live, he is hers, I don’t want him!”. "You are his real mother", concluded Solaiman (AS).




A further example of wise judgment between Muslims is that with Ali Ibn Abu-Talib (RA). A lion had fallen into an empty well in the city of Kufah. The entire Kufah population gathered to watch this scene! With all the commotion, a man fell into the well and held on to another man dragging him down with him. The second man pulled yet a third one and the third pulled a fourth. Ultimately, the lion ate them all. The diyah (blood money) at that time was a hundred camels per person, but it was quite hard to agree on how the money should be paid in this situation. Ali Ibn Abu-Talib came up with the following verdict:




- The first person’s diyah would be twenty-five camels because he was responsible for the death of the other three.


- The second fifty camels as he killed two other men.


- The third seventy-five camels because he killed one person, and


- Nothing for the fourth person, as he didn’t pull anyone with him to the well.




Who was going to pay the money now? Everyone that was there, because they were all held responsible! This verdict saw through the complication of the situation, and everybody agreed that it was fair. Not only were the families compensated fairly, but also the people learned how to care for one another and be responsible for the whole group.




Now back to Solaiman (AS). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And indeed We gave knowledge to Dawud and Solaiman, and they both said, "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has chosen us from among many of His believing slaves!" (TMQ, Al-Naml:15).




This verse indicates the importance of knowledge. Knowledge is a gift, and a powerful tool that we should seek. The story of Solaiman (PBUH) makes us reflect back at ourselves. I wonder if there are any of us who really seek knowledge for the sake of it? I wonder how many people invest their free time in reading more and educating themselves in the fields that they are interested in? I wonder how many students read beyond the recommended textbooks in their university courses? And those who did graduate from universities already, do they take their field seriously or just pass the hours at their jobs? Do they seek continuous improvement and excellence? I am surprised at the very few number we find doing these things. How can it be possible for the Ummah of iqra’ no longer reads nor craves for knowledge? What happened, and when did we become so careless? Most of the technology and science in our current time is credited to the non-Muslim West. Why is that? If you look for reasons and incentives, our incentive is clearly stated in our faith and history! What incentive is stronger than that? Do you know that, in England in railway trains, almost every passenger has a book, newspaper, or magazine to read? You hardly find anyone waiting for a train while staring into empty space. Do we have so much free time that we can afford wasting most of our time, or are our brains saturated with knowledge already?




We must start to read and learn, not for the sake of getting a certificate that ends up being framed on the wall, but for the sake of knowledge itself. The only way to improve and become powerful is through education and smart minds, and if we become powerful, this reflects on Islam and gives it the glory it deserves. Islam stressed so much on seeking knowledge and learning only because Allah (SWT) knows how important this is to have a just, loveable, and powerful Muslim nation.




If our Ummah were to devote itself to worshipping and praying alone, Islam would neither progress nor would it benefit. On the contrary, it will diminish. We should not only concentrate our studying on religious sciences but also on other aspects such as: natural sciences, foreign languages, or modern technologies. Everyone has an interest in a certain field, and being a Muslim should not stand between them and that field. The taste of knowledge is sweet, and it is a gift we have as humans; a gift that was given for a reason. One should be equally literate in religion as well as other sciences.




The Prophet’s (PBUH) following Hadith proves this, “Indeed, Allah and his Angels, the occupants of the earth and the heavens, even the ant in her house and the whales, are praising the teacher of good knowledge”. (Narrated by al-Albany, Sahih At-Tirmidhi, 2161).




Imagine if you taught people how to recite the Holy Qur’an or how to use a computer, with a genuine intention of serving Islam. You can reach a level where even the ants and the fish will be mentioning your name in their prayers and asking Allah (SWT) for your forgiveness. Now how many prayers does that count for?




The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The distinction between an educated Muslim and an uneducated Muslim is as big as that between me and the weakest Muslim amongst you”. (Narrated by al-Albany, Islah al-Masajid, 126).




The message here is clear enough and beyond discussion. The Prophet (PBUH) did not advise us to only seek prayers and forget our education and intellect. Islam is not about isolating yourself in worship, but dividing your time equally between all aspects of life, taking the best out of everything. What else could one of us want? Islam shows us the correct way of life, and teaches us not to be extreme. Muslims are required to pray and surrender to Allah (SWT). Muslims are also required to take care of themselves and lead happy lives. Being a true Muslim does not mean giving up the good things in life. On the contrary, it helps us understand life and makes these good things even better!




Back to our story:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And gathered before Solaiman were his soldiers of jinn, men, and birds, and they were all set for battle” (TMQ, Al-Naml:17).




All pairs were gathered, a controlled and a designed army. Imagine that the army of Islam once involved birds, jinn and men. Look at the power Islam had. It just makes you feel so proud, doesn’t it? “Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said, "O you ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Solaiman and his hosts should crush you, without knowing it.” (TMQ, Al-Naml:18).




This ant, which spoke when Solaiman (PBUH) was passing her valley, deserves some praise. Scholars have agreed that this ant is extremely fluent! In one sentence, it combined six tools from the Arabic language. Of course this miracle is meant for those who know the Arabic language well, with its extreme diversity of grammar and grammatical tools. The six tools in the sentence are:




1. O: It called.


2. You ants! : It warned.


3. Enter: It commanded.


4. Lest Solaiman crush you: It forbade.


5. His hosts: It generalized.


6. While they perceive not: it apologized.




There is another point to consider. Do you see the positive side of that ant that loved its tribe and cared about saving them? This is a message to all the selfish and pessimistic people, who do not care about others. We are all responsible for spreading goodness, and speaking up in the face of wrong.




When someone lights a cigarette by our side for example, and we are bothered about it, we should not just remain silent and not do anything about it. When someone curses our religion in public, we should not just pass by without any reaction. That would be selfish and these bad habits will spread to even bigger boundaries. Brothers and sisters, I am not asking you to pick fights with people you meet doing wrong along the street. I am only asking that you give them some friendly advice; an advice that they might remember one day and think about. Hardly anybody is convinced if a harsh tone is used, and the problem will just become bigger. We must learn to be positive, and feel responsible for our society and not only for ourselves.




Do you remember a situation where you were supposed to spring up to help, but instead, you were content as a negative responder and a mere by-stander? Later on, you would find your conscious beating you in the back of the head! How often did this scenario happen to you?




I stress again that is not a call for rebellion and violence. Stay away from violence, but do not hesitate to spring to action and to talk to wrongdoers pleasantly with faith and sweet words. Do not just stand there.




A person I knew flew once with an Arabic airline and was surprised when they started serving wine during the flight. Did he jump out of his seat in the middle of the flight, scream his head off, and give a religious lecture? Certainly not! In a civilized manner, he asked for a paper and a pen, wrote a kind complaint and submitted it to the stewardess. This was certainly better than doing nothing about it, or acting too emotionally.




The Prophet (PBUH) said, “You shall enjoin good, and abstain from the wrong, or Allah will punish you, and not answer your Dua’a” (Narrated by al-Albany, Mishkat al-Masabeeh, 5068). Therefore, a Muslim who leads a perfect, sinless life full of prayers and good deeds will still be punished, unless he helps others and cares about his whole society.








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[1] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

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Solaiman (AS) “Solomon” II




Allah (SWT)[1] says what can be translated as, “So he smiled broadly, laughing at its speech, and said, “Lord! Dispense me to thank (You) for Your favor wherewith You have favored me and (both) my parents, and to do righteousness that satisfies You, and cause me to enter by Your mercy, among Your righteous bondmen.” (TMQ, 27:19)[2]




Imagine our prophet Solaiman’s expression while listening to the vibrations of the ant's voice. The very concept is, without doubt, a great blessing; how had the ant recognized Solaiman (AS)? We have learned in the previous lecture (in Solaiman I) that those who command good, guide people, invite to Allah's path, and call for reform are recognized by the whole universe.




Nevertheless, why did he laugh? Notice the meticulous character of the Qur’anic expression in describing how he gradually smiled until he started laughing. He smiled because Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as (the ant saying), “(while) they are not aware.” (TMQ, 27:18). The ant knew, by instinct, that a Muslim army could not exterminate a population of ants unjustly because a Muslim army was pure and virtuous. Solaiman (AS) laughed because he realized how the whole universe recognized that Muslims were God-fearing; they did not act irrationally. Observe the nature of Solaiman’s character. What delights and moves him most is nothing but a religious triumph. An extremely significant meaning can be noted here; is it possible to claim that Islam is a source of terror and injustice when it does not allow harming even a single ant?




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "… and said, “Lord! Dispense me to thank (You) for Your favor wherewith You have favored me…” (TMQ, 27:19). This, very simply, means: ‘O Allah, make me assemble all my might, my potentials, my mental power, my whole existence, and all that I have in order to thank You.’




Do any of us possess this dignifying feeling of thanking Allah (SWT) for all His blessings? Dawud (AS) (David) had also asked it formerly, “My Lord, how can I thank you, when thanking You is by itself a blessing which deserves thanks?” Allah (SWT) answered, “Dawud, you have thanked Me by acknowledging that.” Is there any one who is pre-occupied with thanking Allah (SWT), who sits counting some of Allah's blessings, and who is so moved that he cries affectionately, “Allah, how can I express my gratitude when You have endowed me with so and so and blessed me with so and so?” Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Indeed in case you thank (Him), indeed I will definitely increase you "(TMQ, 14:7). The more you thank Allah (SWT), the more He grants you; if you want to enhance your talent, intellect, financial status, etc., thank Allah (SWT), use that blessing in his obedience, and engage your service to content Him, and He will bestow upon you with more blessings. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Do (righteousness), House of Dawûud, in thankfulness; and few of My bondmen are constantly thankful” (TMQ, 34:13). I am deeply affected every time I hear these words. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as “Lord! Dispense me to thank (You)” (TMQ, 27:19). At the end of the ayah (verse), Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as (Solaiman (AS) saying), “… and cause me to enter by Your mercy, among Your righteous bondmen.” (TMQ, 27:19). Solaiman (AS) is asking Allah (SWT) to include him with His righteous slaves even though he is in fact, a pioneer.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And he reviewed the birds; then he said, “what is it with me that I do not see the hoopoe? Or is he among the absent?” (TMQ, 27:20). Solaiman (AS) had a habit of queuing his army, which was composed of multiple creatures, so that it was always alert and on the defence. He searched, but could not find the hoopoe; indeed, it requires sharpness to recognize that one hoopoe was absent out of so many (one amusing interpretation by some scholars, though, not supported by evidence, was that the hoopoe’s wings used to block the sun’s heat from Solaiman (AS)). What is the story and where is the hoopoe?




The hoopoe knew the time for the morning assembly; he was flying and picking out his means of living while preparing for the gathering. Being a respectable soldier, he was aware of the time. However, while soaring at a great altitude, he observed some people prostrating to the sun. He wondered what to do: should he fly back that great distance from Yemen, where those people were, to Palestine, where Solaiman (AS) was in order to arrive on time for the morning assembly. Should he stay and check this disaster? Finally, his positivism took over and he did not accept lining up, flapping his wings, and leaving this matter behind without bringing its details.




“I have to hurry and warn those people before they are severely punished!” he thought. He flew to Yemen, omitting the assembly, and began watching those people. He looked for further details until he saw a woman governing them.




This is for all those who are not concerned with guiding people: we are not just relating stories. Each of us should be deeply concerned about Islam. Only then will we find the contemporary condition of Muslims improving, as well as a better amendment of the whole universe. This is much better than each of us living for himself; if you take another person’s hands, you will develop into a stronger person day by day and you will not be alone. Pious companions will surround you. Brothers and sisters, the hoopoe had protectiveness for Islam and positivism, and he was preoccupied with an important issue, not just plain talk. Allah (SWT) is recounting this so that we may feel ashamed for any responsibility we fail to hold for our religion. It is not a question of religious lectures; the whole issue of religion must fill up your heart and become the essence of your existence.




The hoopoe flew back, but Solaiman (AS) had threatened to punish him because he was very late, contrary to the character of a Muslim army. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And he reviewed the birds; then he said, “What is it with me that I do not see the hoopoe? Or is he among the absent? Indeed I will definitely torment him with a strict torment or indeed I will definitely slay him, or indeed he should definitely come up to me with an evident, all-binding authority." (TMQ, 27:20-21).




Imagine the immense effort the hoopoe undertook as he flew back and forth and compare it to being too lazy to address your neighbour residing next to you about Islam.




When the rest of the birds saw the hoopoe they warned him that Solaiman (AS) would harm him by plucking his feathers. Did he waver? I want you to imagine the scene. Allah (SWT) says, about the hoopoe, what can be translated as, “Yet he stayed (a while) without being far away, then said, “I have encompassed that which you have not encompassed, and I have come from Saba to you with a tiding of certitude." (TMQ, 27:22) He stayed close to Solaiman (AS), firmly rooted and unshaken, and imparted to him words that would be recited until the Day of Judgment. Such words are not issued except from one who is faithful to his religion, bearing jealousy for Islam, and having self-confidence.




The hoopoe continued his story, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been brought (much) of everything, and she has a magnificent throne.” (TMQ, 27:23). He holds the tiniest details. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as "I found her and her people prostrating to the sun, apart from Allah; and Ash-Shaytan (The ever-vicious, i.e., the Devil) has adorned (i.e., made attractive) their deeds to them, so has barred them from the way, so that they are not guided, So that they do not prostrate (themselves) to Allah, Who brings out what is hidden in the heavens and the earth. And He knows whatever you conceal and whatever you make public." (TMQ, 27:24-25). Note his jealousy for Islam! Is there any of us whose blood boils because of his concern for Islam on behalf of his relatives, his friends, etc.? He mentions “what is hidden,” indicating his foodstuff concealed beneath the vegetation, his love for Allah (SWT) is connected with his source of sustenance, ‘Allah is the One who feeds me, he acknowledges.’ Our sustenance is also in the hands of Allah (SWT). Learn from the hoopoe! He knows it is not the proficiency of his beak that brings out the seeds; it is Allah's grace, which makes it possible, “knows whatever you conceal and whatever you make public.” When he mentioned the hidden, he also mentioned the concealed intentions in our hearts, which only Allah (SWT) knows. He had noted the queen's throne, “she has a magnificent throne” but he remembered that her throne was worthless in comparison to Allah's throne. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as “Allah, there is no god except He, The Lord of the Magnificent Throne.” (TMQ, 27:26). By Allah (SWT), we need loads of hoopoes like this one!




We pause here at some intriguing connotations in the ayahs. The Qur’an is not restricted in its meanings and does not expire, no matter how often you turn to it; its wonders do not end for it is Allah's words on Earth. In those words, we come across great values like the traits of a successful leader. What attributes in one’s personality can make one a successful leader in an institution, school, hospital, etc.?


1. A successful leader checks on his employees and inquires about them. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And he reviewed the birds”(TMQ 27:20)


2. He must not be hasty or reckless. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as “what is it with me that I do not see the hoopoe? Or is he among the absent?" (TMQ 27:20). If he had assumed quickly that the hoopoe was not there and threatened to punish him, the hoopoe could have been there, but Solaiman (AS) could not see him.


3. He must be resolute. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as , “Indeed I will definitely torment him with a strict torment or indeed I will definitely slay him, or indeed he should definitely come up to me with an evident, all-binding authority." (TMQ 27:21) No leader should be indecisive or else calamity would pervade throughout the army.


4. He must be objective and fair-minded. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “or indeed he should definitely come up to me with an evident, all-binding authority.” (TMQ 27:21)


5. He must be a good-listener. If the hoopoe had not known that, he would have escaped, but he stayed near-by.




The Qur’an also teaches us the virtues of a good employee:




1- Positivism: a Muslim employee should not simply go to work in the morning and come back home in the evening without thinking of ways to innovate progress.


2- Self-confidence: very important and we can sense it from what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “without being far away” (TMQ 27:22).


3- The ability to categorize priorities: one matter is more important than another. Solaiman (AS) understood that what the hoopoe did was the right thing, for if he had lined-up with the others, he would not have been able to direct Solaiman (AS) to the transgressed tribe.


4- Accuracy in recounting information. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "I have come from Saba to you with a tiding of certitude." (TMQ, 27:22)




A comprehensive and magnificent skill of administration is given here.




Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, "He said, “We will soon look whether you have (spoken) sincerely or whether you are among the liars. Go with this book (i.e., letter) of mine, then cast it to them; thereafter turn away from them, (and) so look what (answer) they return.” (TMQ, 27:27-28). Why the hoopoe? It would have been possible to assign this task to anyone else, but Solaiman (AS) wanted the hoopoe to have the full reward, since he was the one who brought the matter into light. He said, “… thereafter turn away from them” so that the hoopoe would not eavesdrop - observe the manners! “(and) so look what (answer) they return” indicates that he was to stay at a distance and bring back their news.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "She said, “O you chiefs, surely an honorable book has been cast to me. Surely it is from Solaiman, (Solomon) and surely it is in The Name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful. That “You should not exalt yourselves against me, and come up to me as Muslims.” (Or: in surrender).” (TMQ, 27:29-31)




Clearly, she did not want to fight and was paving the way for peace. The letter she received was composed of four words (in Arabic): Don’t remain arrogant and submit to Allah (SWT). It is alleged that the first to write, “In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful,” in a letter was Solaiman (AS).




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “She said, “O you chiefs, pronounce to me concerning my command; in no way have I affirmed (Literally: cutting) a command until you bear witness.” (TMQ, 27:32). It is evident that she was a rational woman and the Qur’an has proven that she was a woman of sense and awareness of consultation. We find here an extremely significant meaning: Islam does not view women as feeble-minded. The Hadith, where it was reported that the Prophet (SAWS)[3] said, addressing women, “… I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you” (The complete version of this Hadith is in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301) only means that the decrease in her religion is in the quantity during her menstruation, whereas, the decrease in her mind or judgment is because Allah (SWT) has bestowed her with excess emotion, which sometimes overcomes her judgment. However, this does not mean that women are incapable of thinking or fair judgment. Here is the Qur’an, proving to us that this queen was intelligent, and of sound and sophisticated thoughts. There are also various incidences throughout history confirming the cleverness and high-quality sense of women.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, “We are endowed with power, and we are endowed with strict violence, (i.e., we are strong and able to fight) and the command (rests) with you; so look into what you command (us).” (TMQ, 27:33).




It seems that they were inclined to fight, but they left the matter to her. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “She said, “Surely, kings, when they enter a town, do corruption in it and make the mighty ones of its population humiliated. And thus they (too) will perform (similarly).” (TMQ, 27:34). She was more prone to conciliatory means, which defines her femininity and rational disposition. She composed a plan to determine whether he was a prophet, or a king eager for her empire. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And surely I am sending to them a present, so I am waiting to look into what the emissaries return with.” (TMQ, 27:35). “I will send a gift: if he is a worldly man he will accept it and the whole matter will end, but if he is a religious man and rejects the gift and insists on his call to Allah, then we will not fight him.” What can one think of the mentality of this woman?




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "So, as soon as he (the envoy) came to Solaiman, (Solomon) he said, “Would you supply me with wealth? Then what Allah has brought me is more charitable (i.e., better) than what He has brought you. No indeed, (but) you exult with your present. Return to them. So indeed we will definitely come up against them with hosts they cannot withstand (Literally: of no withstanding). Indeed, we will definitely drive them out there from humiliated, and they will be (utterly) belittled.” (TMQ, 27:36-37). She sent him an envoy with a magnificent gift. When he saw this, Solaiman (AS) said, “What Allah has granted me of prophet-hood, religion, knowledge, miracles is much better than what He provided you, but you are only too pleased with worldly gifts.” Observe the honour of Islam in the words of the ayahs: He would send a great army because He had insisted on his concepts. This sagacious woman decided to go out herself to meet him and apologize. She commanded a delegation to be prepared. When news reached Solaiman (AS) that she was coming to meet him, he realized that she was a wise woman and did not dispatch his army. However, he wished to overwhelm her with Islamic civilization and technology.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "He said, “O you chiefs, whichever one of you will come up to me with (i.e., bring) her throne before they come up to me as Muslims?” (Or: in surrender).” (TMQ, 27:38). That is so that when she first arrived she would see her throne. He was not doing this out of conceit (Allah (SWT)-forbid) but only to ascertain Islamic power and civilization. If you do not possess the means (skill, language, talent, etc.) to impress people in order to draw them to the progressiveness Islam offers, they will not be drawn nor convinced. He did not want to impress her with words, but with real evidence of the supremacy of Muslims and the glory of Islamic civilization. This takes us back to the importance of knowledge and technology.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as,"A Ifrit (i.e., powerful, stalwart) of the jinn said, “I will come up with it to you before you rise up from your station; and surely I am indeed powerful for it (and) trustworthy." (TMQ, 27:39). Solaiman (AS) was accustomed to assemble with the people for giving legal opinion and judgment. A jinni said he could bring that throne before Solaiman (AS) got up from that council. Solaiman (AS), however, was not satisfied with that: Muslims possessed higher technology than this.




Who amongst those who keep regular prayers in the Masjid rank among the highest in high school or college? What kind of unique achievement will the religious Muslim woman, dressed in an Islamic way, offer? Does becoming religious define an endpoint? Indeed, it is only the commencement of success in this world, but most people do not understand.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Said he in whose presence was knowledge of the Book, “I will come up with it (i.e., bring) to you before your glance returns on you.” (i.e., in the twinkling of an eye).” (TMQ, 27:40) Who was it who had this knowledge? It was not Solaiman (AS); the Qur’an would have informed us if this were the case. Scholars of Qur’anic exegesis have differing opinions: some say it was a man who knew the Great name of Allah (SWT), though there is no real evidence. It seems that Allah (SWT) may occasionally let some of His creatures on secrets unknown to prophets like the story of al-Khidr in (Surat al-Kahf). There may be some people among us who see in their dreams universal events which may come true. If one happens to be one of those, then he should know that it is a gift from Allah (SWT)- thank Him and do not use it in wrongdoing.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then, as soon as he saw it secured in position in his presence, he (Solaiman) said, “This is of the Grace of my Lord that He may try me, whether I thank (Him) or be ungrateful. And whoever thanks (Him), then surely he thanks only for his (own) self, and whoever is ungrateful, (Or: whoever disbelieves) then surely my Lord is Ever-Affluent, (Literally: Ever-Wealthy, Ever-Rich) Ever-Honorable.” (TMQ, 27:40). Suddenly, he had found the throne in front of him, so he thanked Allah (SWT). As you may have noticed, Solaiman (AS) used to thank Allah (SWT) for all His blessings. In the Qur’an, thanking and gratitude are mentioned hand in hand. Whoever thanks will be the one to benefit because Allah (SWT) is self-sufficient and does not need our thanks.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "He said, “Disguise her throne for her, that we may look into whether she is guided, or she is of the ones who are not guided.” (TMQ, 27:41). The throne contained jewellery and gold. Solaiman (AS) ordered that the ornaments of this jewellery be changed to test her intelligence. If she proved to be intelligent, it would be easy for her to embrace Islam; the mind is drawn to it. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "So, as soon as she came, it was said, “Is your throne just like this?” She said, “(It is) as though it were the (very) one.” (TMQ, 27:42).




She seemed to be intelligent, for she neither confirmed nor denied. Notice how Allah (SWT) combined knowledge and Islam. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And (Solaiman) (Solomon) said, “We were brought the knowledge before her, and we were Muslims.” (i.e., we surrendered ‘to Allah’). (TMQ, 27:42) She, however, persisted on disbelieving. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And what she used to worship, apart from Allah, barred her (from belief); (for) surely she was of a disbelieving people." (TMQ, 27:43). Her pride was a barrier and the fact that she was a queen.




Solaiman (AS) wanted to give her another chance: he would overwhelm her with greater technology that had not arrived yet, not even in the twenty-first century! Brothers, it is inevitable that we should possess industrial pre-eminence and that we are keen on the enhancement of our nation so that amongst us will emerge the best computer engineer or the best parable writer in the world, for example.




Therefore, strive hard, young people. Disbelievers will not pay attention to one who prays a great deal. They will be influenced and believe if, besides spiritualism and faith, we also advance in knowledge.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "It was said to her, “Enter the tower...” (TMQ, 27:44) so that he could complete his negotiations with her in order that she would believe. She came onto a great establishment. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Then as soon as she saw it, she reckoned it a pool…" (TMQ, 27:44). This palace was constructed on the water: for her to reach the gate, she had to cross the ‘water.’ Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “… and she uncovered both her shanks. He said, “Surely it is a tower smoothed of crystal...” (TMQ, 27:44). True, though what she was facing was seawater, it was covered with a very delicate layer of glass which, despite its fragility, could still endure added weight. By Allah (SWT), has any civilization been able to construct such a building? Islam is what makes us excel! The notion 'Islam versus erudition' is a misconception. We do not know, up to our present day, how that building was constructed, nor does the Qur’an inform us. It was the technology that made her come to her senses and believe. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "She said, “Lord! Surely I have done injustice to myself, and I (now) surrender (i.e., I am a Muslim) with Solaiman to Allah, The Lord of the worlds.” (TMQ, 27:44). Excel in both your worldly and religious knowledge, and in your ethics, so that people will esteem and trust you when you are guiding them to Allah (SWT). Notice how, despite stepping-down on her pride, she still did not forget the fact that she was a queen, so she said, “I submit with Solaiman” not “for Solaiman.”




The death of Solaiman (AS):




After a full and outstanding life, it was time for Solaiman (AS) to die. Allah (SWT) has an appointed time for all His creatures. Allah (SWT) wanted the death of Solaiman (AS) to be a moral for all those who claim that the jinn have knowledge of the unseen.




A few months before his death, Solaiman (AS) commanded the jinn to construct a great tower for Islam. They continued constructing while Solaiman (AS) leaned on his cane, standing on a terrace observing them. Every time they wanted to stop, they found him watching. They were too fearful of being imprisoned by him that they would just resume working. One day, while standing in this condition, he died; he did not fall to the ground, however, as he was leaning on his cane. His successor found out about his death but did not inform anyone because he wanted the jinn to complete their work. Every now and then, he would come to whisper in his ears to deceive the jinn so they will feel that he was alive. All the time the jinn were truly wondering how he could remain in that condition not eating, drinking, sleeping, nor even sitting for so many weeks! Here is sure evidence that the jinn have no knowledge of the unseen at all. Weeks passed by with Solaiman (AS) standing in this condition until the earthworms started gnawing at the lower part of his cane making it hollow.




As a result, it could not support him any longer and he fell down. Only then did the jinn realize that Solaiman (AS) had died a while ago. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, as soon as We decreed death for him, in no way did anything indicate to them his death except the beast of the earth eating his rod. Then, as soon as he collapsed, the jinn evidently (saw) that; if they had known the Unseen, in no way would they have lingered in the degrading torment.” (TMQ, 34:14). Whoever believes that the jinn have the ability to do as they please, and the power to foresee the future, read this ayah and Allah's explanation of this matter in the Qur’an; come to your senses and strengthen your reliance on Allah (SWT).




That was the story of Solaiman (AS). Honour Islam and Allah (SWT) will honour and raise you!




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “All Extolment be to your Lord, The Lord of Might, above whatever they describe! And peace be upon the Emissaries; And praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds.” (TMQ, 37:180-182).






AmrKhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) © ÌãíÚ ÍÞæÞ ÇáäÔÑ ãÍÝæÙÉ

This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the prior written approval of the website administration. For info: dar_altarjama[at]amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)




[1] SWT=Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He


[2] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.




[3] SAWS = Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.

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The high-walled rooms are Masjids, and the idols and images were not prohibited at that time.


Um, can I point out a teeny-weeny mistake?!


"Idols" have always been prohibited, statues and images of people have not!





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