Stories from the Quran:

Prophet Sulaiman and the hoopoe

                     The Signs of Allah are reflected in His creatures that are subdued to meet humans needs and requirements. In Quran Allah tells us the story of one of His creatures which is hoopoe with the Prophet Sulaiman. Allah gave the prophet Sulaiman many gifts, blessings and a kingdom that were not given to any person in the past or in the future as well. One of these gifts is the ability of talk to animals. All types of birds were serving under the army of the prophet Sulaiman, they used to report their actions and daily follow up to the Prophet Sulaiman in his council. The hoopoe was used to discover different places and find out the resources of water around.

           One day, the prophet Sulaiman was checking his council’s members, and he said, Surah Alnaml, aya 20, ”He inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees?” (وَتَفَقَّدَ الطَّيْرَ فَقَالَ مَا لِيَ لَا أَرَى الْهُدْهُدَ أَمْ كَانَ مِنَ الْغَائِبِينَ). When the hoopoe returned to the prophet Sulaiman, it gave him a brilliant introduction in an effort to minimize his anger, it said, ”But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba’ (Sheba) with true news.” (فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ). The hoopeo described to the prophet Sulaiman a kingdom ruled by a lady who possessed all types of things on the earth and a great throne. But there were not  believers, they were worshiping the sun. It said ”I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah”. The hoopoe spoke out of its strong belief in Allah, and his faith tells it that only Allah shall be worshiped, the Creator of earth and Heavens. It also remembered its role, which is discovering other areas for the Prophet Sulaiman.

                    The prophet Sulaiman were given all of these gifts to spread the oneness of Allah, and invite everyone to worship Allah. Thus, he immediately sent the hoopoe with a letter to Saba, inviting them to worship only Allah, and asked it to observe the queen of Saba’s reactions. The hoopoe followed the prophet Sulaiman’s commands, it went to Saba and threw the letter. After she read the letter, she summoned her ministers and advisors to consult them about what she received. After a series of events between the Prophet Sulaiman and the queen of Saba, she converted to Islam and her people followed her too. And this only happened after Allah’s Planning because of a sincere and devoted hoopoe who submitted to Allah and His Prophet Sulaiman. Remember that the prophet Muhammed said,Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: ”The Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited to kill four creatures: ants, bees, hoopoes, and sparrowhawks.” (Sahih (Al-Albani). This story must motivate everyone to strive harder in the call for Islam, and to have faith that Allah will give victory and security to anyone who works for Islam.


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