Strange Judgement

Mufti Md. Shahabuddin

There were two women each of whom had a child with her. A wolf came and took away the child of one of them. Where upon the other said, “It has taken your child”, the first said, “but it has taken your child”. So, they both carried the case before Hazrat Dawood (David) (Peace be upon him) who judged that the living child should be given to the older lady. So both of them went to Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) and informed him about the case. He said, “Bring me a knife so to cut the child into two pieces and distribute it between them. The younger lady said, `May Allah be merciful to you. Don’t do that, give the child to her, it is hers so he gave the child to the younger lady”. (Bukhari : 1/487)

Moral of the Story

Prophet Suleman (Peace be upon him) was a wise and kind king. He was endowed with a rare insight and deep sense of judgement. However Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him)asked Allah to grant him a great kingdom. The Holy Quran says: “He said, My lord! Forgive me and grant me a kingdom which will not belong to anyone else after me: For thou art the Grantor of Bounties (without measure). Then we subjected the wind to his power, to flow gently to his order, whithersoever he willed, as also the Satans including every kind of builder and diver. As also others bound together in fetters. “Such are our bounties whether thou bestow them (on others) or withhold them, no account will be asked. And he enjoyed indeed, A near approach to us. And a beautiful place of final return. (Quran: 38/35-40)

Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) thanked his creator saying “O ye people! we have been taught the speech of birds. And we have been given everything. This indeed is a grace manifest (from Allah) (Quran : 27/16). It is obvious that such sort of Kingdom and sovereignty could not be established. Unless there be profound knowledge and sagacity. Only sophisticated, armies and well-equipped offices are not enough. Therefore, Allah granted Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) a great wisdom and some other distinctive qualities. He was one of the wisest king of the world. Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) possessed great power of judgement and wisdom. The Holy Quran itself makes a mention of the event which points out his ability to judge. “And remember Dawood and Suleman, when they gave judgement in the matter of the field into which the sheep of certain people had strayed by night: we did witness their judgement. To Solomon we inspired the right understanding of the matter: to each of them we gave judgement and knowledge.(Quran:21/78-79)

Allamah Ismael bin Kaseer with the reference of Hafiz bin Jareer and Ibn Abi Hatim has written a detailed of account of this event. A number of sheep ate up the whole garden of grapes, and did not leave any leaves and bunches of fruits too. The owner of the garden and the master of the sheep appeared before Hazrat Dawood (Peace be upon him). Hazrat Dawood (Peace be upon him) gave his decision that the herd of the sheep should be given to the owner of the garden as a compensation. Meanwhile, his son Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) exclaimed that Hazrat Dawood (Peace be upon him) should not give such decision. The father asked his son, what he had to tell them. Then Hazrat Suleman (Peace be upon him) said, that the sheep should be given to the owner of the garden in order to get from them his livelihood. He also said that the garden should be granted to the master of the sheep and he had to work in the garden till it is restored to its previous condition and them the garden and the sheep should be returned to their rightful owners. (Ibn Kaseer : 2/156)

It is worthy to be mentioned here that the two decisions were interpretative decisions. There was a possibility of injustice in that decision. This sort of decision does not affect the right point of view as the perfect knowledge of right and wrong Allah alone knows. The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “When the ruler is sitting on judgement and he tries his level best to arrive at the truth and consequently he gives a right decision, he is entitled to double reward, and when he gives a decision after trying his utmost to do full justice, but fails to do so, he is entitled to single reward." (Muslim : 2/76)

The apostle of Allah (Pbuh) also said, “Verily, I am a human being and you come to me for decision And perhaps one of you is more eloquent to plead his case than the other one. So I gave decision in his favour on the basis of what I hear from him. Therefore, bear in mind that whom I give something out of his brother’s right (because of his glib tongue) he must not accept it since I slice for him a piece out of Hell-fire. (Bukhari : 2/1065)


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