Pearl of Wisdom

'Solomon, son of David (AS) one day said to his companions, 'Allah Almighty has endowed upon me a kingdom that no person after me will ever have. He has given me control of the wind, the humans, the jinn, the birds and the animals, and He has taught me the language of the birds. He has given me from everything, and with all that I possess, there has never been a day when my happiness has continued until night. I would like to enter my palace tomorrow and climb atop it and oversee my subjects. So, do not permit anyone to come to me for I do not want anyone to disturb my day.' They said, 'Yes.' When the next day came, he took his walking staff in his hand and went up to the highest point of his palace. He stood there leaning on his staff looking at his kingdom, happy for where he was and pleased with what had been given to him, when suddenly he saw a young man with a handsome face and neat clothes coming out to him from a corner of the palace. When Solomon saw him, he asked him, 'Who let you enter the palace when I wanted to be alone here for the day? And with whose per-mission did you enter?' The young man replied, 'The Lord of this palace let me enter it, and with His permission I entered.' Solomon said, 'Indeed its Lord is more rightful to it than me, so who are you?' He said, 'I am the angel of death.' Solomon asked, 'What has brought you here?' He said, 'I have come to take your soul.' Solomon said, 'Do what you have been commanded to do, for this is the day of my happiness, and Allah Almighty has refused for me to be happy but only in meeting Him.' So the angel of death took his soul, while he was leaning on his staff. Solomon stayed leaning on his staff while dead until Allah wished so, while the people continued to look at him [from below] thinking him to be alive. People then argued and differed among each other, some saying, 'Solomon has stayed leaning on his staff for all these days, nor eaten. Surely he must be our lord whom we must worship!' Others said, 'Solomon is a magician, and he is showing us that he can stand there leaning on his staff. He is conjuring our eyes, while it is not actually so!' The believers said, 'Solomon is a servant of Allah and His prophet, and Allah controls his affairs as He wishes.' So when they differed among each other Allah Almighty sent termites who crawled into Solomon's staff. When they had eaten the inside of the staff, it broke and Solomon (AS) fell from his palace onto his face.'

Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
Ilal al-Shara'i', p. 73, no. 2

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