03 Nov Sūratu’n-Naml [The Ant]:(27:19).Part3
The father of Solomon was Prophet David, upon them be peace. As for David, he was a Messenger who attained a highest position along the way of Abraham. He was one of the Prophets whom the Qur’ān praises with being “one ever-turning to God in contrition” (Sād 38:17, 30, 44). He was one of the most illustrious and praiseworthy servants who turn to God with all their being. He is worth being mentioned as one always weeping for God. So, it is inconceivable that a son whose father was David would forget his parents, who had a significant role in the attainment of his rank.
Understanding, “If I had not been brought up in such a family, I would only have been one of many ordinary Solomons,” he did not neglect including his parents in his prayer.
We can approach the matter from the following point of view as well: Those who are the nearest to a person are their parents, and it is their right to receive the warmest care, treatment, and concern from their children. The Qur’ān teaches us this with prayers. Another example of these prayers is:
“O our Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and all the believers, on the Day on which the Reckoning will be established” (Ibrāhīm 14:41).
One should pray for oneself and then one’s parents. This is what being human requires. A true human being is happy with the happiness and pain-stricken with the pains of their fellow-human beings from those closest to them in relationship to those who are the farthest. Prophet Abraham, upon him be peace, was both deeply concerned about his father’s plight—unbelief—in the world and, according to the Prophetic Traditions, will be so in the Hereafter.
Like his ancestor Abraham, Prophet Solomon, too, included his in his prayer, implying that their happiness was his happiness.
Another point worth mentioning here is that just as one’s asking for repentance for his parents is valid, his thankfulness for the bounties accorded on his parents is also valid. If a person could not fulfill their filial duties to their parents while they were alive, they should pray for them after their death. One may say,
“My Lord! I pray to You to accept my gratitude, glorification, supplication, and repentance on their behalf as well.”
We also learn this reality from Prophet Solomon, peace be upon him. Solomon, who was favored with numerous bounties as well as the ability to communicate in various languages, including the language of birds as stated in the verse,
“We have been taught the language of birds” (An-Naml 27:16),
voiced his ardent prayer on behalf of his parents through the most sincere language.
The following part of the verse, “…so that I may act righteously in a manner that will please You,” should be viewed from the perspective that God’s Prophets were sure about their ends. Indeed, they feared God very much, but they were sure that God would preserve them out of His Mercy. It may also be that this prayer was inspired in him by God Almighty. It can be said that he prayed, knowing and stressing that God’s consent or good pleasure is dependent on “acting righteously.” He also considered that a righteous, good deed usually causes another good deed. There are many apparently good deeds which do not serve their doers to attain God’s good pleasure. A truly good deed usually paves the way to other good deeds.
To sum up, in the valley of ants, which was one of the farthest dimensions of the realm of his material and spiritual authority, Prophet Solomon, upon him be peace, smiled or expressed his happiness at the blessings and bounties that God accorded on him, and, like Prophet Joseph, who prayed to God to take him to Himself with a yearning to return to Him at the moment when he felt he had reached the point where he enjoyed the greatest Divine blessings which would come in the world, prayed:
“My Lord! Inspire and guide me so that I may thank You for Your favor which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and so that I may act righteously in a manner that will please You; and include me out of Your mercy among Your righteous servants.”
At the moment when he saw his Prophethood had been crowned with employing beings from ants and birds to human beings in his service, he turned to God with all his being and expressed that the end and aim of human worldly life was emigrating to God among good, righteous people out of God’s mercy, and the means to this end was righteous, good deeds that are pleasing to God and thankfulness to Him for His bounties, which is regarded as the most comprehensive expression of servanthood.
If the righteousness of a deed lies in doing it only for God’s sake and because God orders it and expecting nothing worldly in return, both Prophet Joseph and Solomon would certainly desire to be able to do it, and so they desired.
My Lord! Inspire and guide me so that I may thank You for Your favor which You have bestowed on me and on Your sincere servants, and include us out of Your mercy among Your righteous servants. And bestow blessings and peace on the one whom You sent as a mercy for all the worlds, and on his Family and Companions, all of them.
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