The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn were two holy individuals who scrupulously maintained Allah’s bounds, showed great efforts to have Islamic moral values prevail on Earth, and who received an enormous dominion over this world in return.
The world dominion is not the only feature in common seen in the days of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn. In the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh), Muslims are given the great glad tidings that the dominion that will be experienced in the time of the Mahdi will be similar to that of those other two periods.
The Prophet Sulayman (as) was a holy prophet descended from the line of the Prophet Nuh and to whom the true path and great knowledge were imparted from the Presence of Allah. Like his father, the Prophet Dawud (as), he was sent to the Israelites as a Messenger of Allah. Allah supported him with great authority and unique wealth, jinns and birds, and blessed him with powerful armies and superior knowledge. Throughout his life, he ruled with a great justice over the lands he lived and brought different societies together for his service, with his qualifications as a great ruler and judge.
As with The Prophet Sulayman (as), Allah also gave Dhu’l-Qarnayn “power and authority on the earth.”(Surat Al-Kahf, 84) Dhu’l-Qarnayn also ruled a very powerful and world renowned state. It appears from verses that there were no problems such as economic difficulties, rebellions or revolts in the lands of Prophet Dhu’l-Qarnayn, and that his rule was very sound, rational and strong.
When the times of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn are examined, the first thing that draws the attention is how, by the will of Allah, religious moral values prevailed. However, apart from this global dominion, the two periods share another feature in common. Many of the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) stress that the worldly dominion that will be obtained in the time of the Mahdi will be very similar to that in the days of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn:
“The Mahdi will rule over the world just like Dhu’l-Qarnayn and Sulayman.” (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 29)
When the verses of the Qur’an that illuminate the days of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn are considered within the framework of this point of view, it is seen that each reveals important signs regarding the End Times and the Golden Age. Indeed, the developments in the field of science and technology and the progress in economic and social life in the End Times bear a very close similarity to many descriptions in the story of The Prophet Sulayman (as). These descriptions and the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) are very wise accounts that are means whereby believers can examine world events from a wider perspective and broaden their horizons.
The End Times and the Golden Age
The hadiths reported from our Prophet (pbuh) provide detailed information about the portents of the End Times and the Golden Age. When events taking place in the present day are compared to these portents, it can be seen that there are many indications that the period we are living in is the End Times and that also impart the glad tidings of the coming of the Golden Age.
The beginning of the End Times has been described in hadiths as an environment in which strife multiplies, wars and conflicts increase, there is terrible moral degeneration in the world and in which people turn away from religious moral values. In the period reported, there will be natural disasters all over the world, poverty will increase as never before, the crime rate will rise to a great extent, and murders and killings will follow one after another. However, this is only the first stage of the End Times; in the second stage, Allah will free mankind from this climate of chaos by means of the Mahdi.
These things have of course been experienced many times over the course of history. There have been many wars, natural disasters or earthquakes in the history of mankind. Moral degeneration has been seen in different communities in all ages, and poverty and hunger have plagued the world for hundreds of years. What makes the portents of the End Times different from all these is the fact that these portents are all coming about in a particular time and in the same period, one after the other, and in various special forms indicated in the hadiths. The good news also needs to be imparted that this great chaos described in the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) is only temporary and will come to an end with the beginning of the Golden Age.
The Golden Age will be a period when wars and conflicts come to an end, atheistic ideologies that have brought great disasters onto the mankind are consigned to the oubliette of history, when there will be abundance and fertility all over the world, and when there is true justice. Islamic moral values will spread across the world and people will flow into the stream of those values. As we have already emphasized, this great dominion of Islamic Morality is described in some of the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) as being similar to the world dominion of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn. In his famous work “Letters,” the great Islamic scholar Imam Rabbani also included the hadiths informing how the Mahdi will help Islamic morality prevail on Earth just like in the times of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn. One of these hadiths reads:
A little more than 1,000 years pass over the passing of Allah's Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) from this life, a time comes and the true Islam rises from its own ranks and unites with the truth of the Ka`bah. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 470)
As revealed in the hadith of our Prophet (pbuh), the two individuals known as the ones who helped Islamic morality prevail all over the Earth were The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn. By Allah’s will, the third Muslim will be the Mahdi announced in the hadith. These features seen in The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn will also be observed in the Mahdi.
Wise Similarities between the Times of The Prophet Sulayman (as), Dhu’l-Qarnayn and the Mahdi
The Prophet Sulayman and the Prophet Dhu’l-Qarneyn ruled the whole world with Islamic moral values and possessed very powerful armies. This aspect of their age bears great similarities to the Golden Age.
The Golden Age will be a time when people will convert to Islam in great numbers, while ideologies that deny Allah will wither away and Islam will be practiced as it was in the time of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Some of the hadiths describe the Golden Age as follows:
The Mahdi will own the entire world. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 10)
The Mahdi will invade all the places between East and West. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 56)
The Rare and Nobel Knowledge Possessed by the Mahdi and the Knowledge Bestowed on The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn
Almighty Allah bestowed various forms of knowledge on The Prophet Sulayman (as). By the will of Allah, he ruled over djinns and devils, spoke with birds, and was able to hear ants talking among themselves. The wind and copper were also given under his command. Each of these is a miraculous feature that distinguishes The Prophet Sulayman (as) from other human beings.
The Qur’an reveals the fact about Dhu’l-Qarnayn, as well: “Our knowledge encompasses all that happened to him” (Surat Al-Kahf) It is clear from this verse that Dhu’l-Qarnayn was one of His servants whom Allah bestowed knowledge. Like these two holy individuals, the Mahdi will also possess very special knowledge.
In his work Mevzuatu’l ulum (11/246) Taskopruluzade Ahmet Efendi has recorded how the Mahdi will have ilm-e-jafr (the art of divination through numbers). Another hadith provides the following information about the Mahdi:
He is called the Mahdi because he is given guidance for a situation unknown to anyone. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 77)
Muhyiddin Arabi describes how, just like The Prophet Sulayman (as), the Mahdi will understand the language of animals and have dominion over the djinn:
The Mahdi is a person who speaks the language of birds and other animals. Therefore, his justice will manifest itself over all people and jinns. (Allamah Muhaqqiq Ash-Sharif Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul, Al-Isaatu li Asrat'is-saat, p. 188)
Developments in the Fields of Science and Technology during the Golden Age
As revealed in verses of the Qur’an, in the times of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn there were great advances in science and technology, advances that were quite unfamiliar for the time. For example, The Prophet Sulayman (as)’s use of molten copper (Surah Saba 12), the floor of the palace being made out of transparent glass (Surat Al-Naml 44), or Dhu’l-Qarnayn making use of a different technology to construct a wall between two mountains in order to prevent the strife of Yajuj and Majuj (Surat Al-Kahf, 96) are just a few instances of the advanced technology employed in these two periods.
When we examine those hadiths that describe the Golden Age we encounter a very similar situation.
There will be major advances in the fields of science, technology, communications and medicine in the Golden Age. Each new development will be placed at the service of all mankind and the lives of people all over the world will thus be improved. One of the signs in the hadiths on this subject is:
The end of a man's whip will speak to him.(Tirmidhi)
It is very likely that this hadith is referring to the mobile telephone, the most widespread means of communication in the present day. (Allah knows the truth.)
Another important sign in the hadiths regarding technological progress is:
People will reap 700 measures of wheat for every one they sow ... People will throw down a few handfuls of seeds and reap 700 handfuls ... Although much rain will fall, none will be wasted. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 24)
This hadith may be referring to modern agriculture, carried out by machines that are the products of technology. As we know, it used to be a very difficult process to sow the fields and gather in the harvest. However, advances in technology have also led to enormous progress in agriculture, and the production of new machinery has made life easier in terms of both sowing and harvesting. In addition, seed improvement has led to great advances in production. As technology advances, brand new techniques are being developed and productivity is increasing.
By Allah’s will, there will also be considerable advances in the time of the Mahdi, and the lives of people engaged in agriculture will thus be very much easier.
The Importance Given to Love of Animals
The Qur’an reveals that The Prophet Sulayman (as) set aside time in order to pat his horse (Surah Sad 31-32) and that his moral values were so superior that he would not even tread on an ant, thus drawing attention to his loving and affectionate attitude towards animals.
Love of animals will also be encouraged in the Golden Age. We are told in the hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) that at this time all animals will easily be able to be approached, patted and ruled. Some of the hadiths on this subject read:
Snakes will get on with children, and cows with lions … (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 64)
Another noteworthy similarity between the Golden Age and the time of The Prophet Sulayman (as) is, as seen from the hadiths, the sovereignty over animals. In the same way that The Prophet Sulayman (as) ruled over various living things, birds in particular, there will be a similar sovereignty over them in the Golden Age, and even dangerous animals will do people no harm.
Their Support for Peace and Preference for Diplomacy
The Prophet Sulayman (as) displayed a tolerant, forgiving and peaceful attitude towards neighboring countries. He preferred to resolve problems by diplomatic and fair ways. A very advanced culture arose in the time of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and he confirmed his rule by way of diplomacy, art and culture.
Dhu’l-Qarnayn was known as a “person who prevents strife and disorder on Earth” by the peoples around him, and was a leader who brought peace and calm to people. This aspect of the ages of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn look strikingly similar to the Golden Age.
In the Golden Age people will become Muslims of their own will, and Islamic morality will rule the world without the need for any war. This age is described as follows in those hadiths:
No one will be woken up from their sleep or have a bleeding nose. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 42)
The Mahdi will follow the way of the Prophet. He will not wake up a sleeping person or shed blood. (Allamah Muhaqqiq Ash-Sharif Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul, Al-Isaatu li Asrat'is-saat, p. 163)
As stated in the hadiths, the Mahdi will use peaceful means to make Islamic moral values prevail on Earth and will avoid war and violence. The path taken by the Mahdi and a global cultural advance will be a means whereby people turn to Islamic moral values. By the will of Allah, the following verses depict this time: (Nasr Suresi 1-3)
“ When Allah’s help and victory have arrived and you have seen people entering Allah’s deen in droves, then glorify your Lord’s praise and ask His forgiveness. He is the Ever-Returning.” ( Surat An-Nasr, 1-3)
Their determination and Swift Action on urging people to Religious Morality
The rational and quick decisions taken by The Prophet Sulayman (as) stand for a role model for all true believers. The letter he wrote (Surat An-Naml 29) to call the people of Sheba to the faith is an important piece of evidence that demonstrates the power of his message. The Qur’an gives us the following information about the content of that letter:
“It is from Sulayman and says: "In the name of Allah, All-Merciful, Most Merciful. Do not rise up against me, but come to me in submission." ( Surat An-Naml, 30-31)
The style employed by The Prophet Sulayman (as) is very clear and effective. Its sincere, determined and unequivocal style make it clear that it comes from someone with great power and sovereignty. The queen of Sheba and the notables around her were highly influenced by the letter.
In addition, the way that The Prophet Sulayman (as) brought the queen of Sheba to the throne by means of someone possessed of knowledge (Surat An-Naml 38) reveals the importance he attached to the taking of swift decisions.
Prophet Dhu'l-Qarnayn's decision to build a strong wall-so strong that it would last until Doomsday-against the attacks of the Yajuj and Majuj tribes show his power and intelligence.Like The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn, the Mahdi will also be known for his intelligence and foresight.
During the Golden Age, by the will of Allah, people will turn to Islam in floods, there will be wide-ranging, sweeping activities towards this way. All nations, one after another, will adopt Islamic morality, and opposing ideologies will be wiped away through quick and lasting actions and all cruel systems will be consigned to the darkness of history. The great Islamic scholar Muhyiddin Arabi says this on the subject:
Allah will give so much power to the Mahdi. He will remove cruelty from the world overnight, religion will be established, and Islam will be revived. The Mahdi will restore its lost value to it, and it will come to life after its apparent demise ... Ignorant people, misers and cowards alike, will be very knowledgeable, generous, and brave. ... They will practice religion as in the time of Prophet Muhammad (saas).... (Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, Al-Futuhat al-Makkia, p. 66; Allamah Muhaqqiq Ash-Sharif Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Rasul, Al-Isaatu li Asrat'is-saat, p. 186)
Great Importance Placed on Construction
The importance attached to building by The Prophet Sulayman (as) is emphasized in a number of verses. He caused castles, statues, towers and furnaces to be made, using djinns and devils who were expert in the field. (Surah Sad, 37; Surah Saba, 13) People who saw his magnificent palace, the queen of Sheba in particular, was highly impressed by it. (Surat Al-Naml, 44) The technique employed in the construction of the wall erected by Dhu’l-Qarnayn was so powerful that it could only be brought down by the will of Allah. (Surat Al-Kahf, 98)
The hadiths of our Prophet (pbuh) also reveal that great importance will be attached to construction during the Golden Age. In addition to peace and tranquility, a developed civilization will be brought in this period. One of these hadiths reads:
The Mahdi will rule the world just like The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn.(Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi p. 29)
There are four kings on Earth in total. Two are from the believers and two from the unbelievers. The believers are Sulayman and Dhu’l-Qarnayn. The unbelievers are Nemrud and Buhtannasir. ONE FROM MY PEOPLE WILL RULE THE WORLD AS THE FIFTH. In other words, the Mahdi. (Letters of Rabbani, 2/251)
He (the Mahdi)
Will be the king of all the world. (Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 10)
The Mahdi will conquer all places between east and west. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 56)
He (the Mahdi) is one who is confirmed as knowing the languages of birds and all animals. Thus his justice will be agreed by all human beings and djinns
(Portents of Doomsday, Berzenci, p. 188)
He will be known as the Mahdi since he serves as a guide to a hidden state of affairs known to nobody. (Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 77)
... A person will speak to the whip in his hand... (Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 152)
When people sow one measure of wheat they will reap seven hundred measures, a man will throw down a few seeds and receive back seven hundred handfuls of harvest … Although there will be much rain, not a drop will be wasted.(Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 164)
...A person will tell his sheep and animals, “Let us go and graze,” and they will go, and although they pass through the middle of the crops they will consume not one ear, and snakes and scorpions shall harm no-one, and savage animals will wait before people’s doors and harm no-one... (Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 245)
In his time nobody shall be woken out of sleep and nobody’s nose will bleed. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 42)
The Mahdi will follow the path of the Prophet, will not waken anyone who sleeps and will cause no blood to flow. (Portents of Doomsday, Barzanji, p. 163)
Allah will give him (the Mahdi) such power that he will eliminate oppression and evil in one night, re-establish the religion, reanimate Islam, make it valuable once again after it had been accorded no importance, resurrect it after its death … In his century a man who is ignorant, parsimonious and afraid will immediately become learned, generous and brave … The religion will be practiced just as it was in the time of our Prophet (saas) … (Muhyiddin ibn Arabi, Conquests of Mecca, Bab 66, Portents of Doomsday, p. 186)
The Mahdi will work for the building of Constantinople and other countries. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 40)
The Mahdi will emerge from among my community, and Allah will send him to make people wealthy. The community will be blessed, animals will eat and drink in plenty, the earth will give up its fruits … (Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 15)
USING WEALTH AND SPLENDOR FOR ISLAM'S BENEFIT AND ALLAH'S GOOD PLEASURE
The Prophet Sulayman (as) used the wealth he possessed in the best way possible in order to spread the Islamic morality revealed by Allah. He called on the people in the countries he conquered to believe in and submit to Allah. The letter of invitation to Islam he sent to the country of Sheba is important evidence on this subject. As can be seen from the verse: “‘The power my Lord has granted me is better than that. Just give me a strong helping hand and I will build a solid barrier between you and them.” (Surat Al-Kahf, 95), Dhu’l-Qarnayn also, as a blessing from Allah, possessed stable power. He also used his power in order to prevent disorder on Earth.
During the Golden Age people will attain great wealth, well-being and peace. The Mahdi will employ all his wealth in order to make religious moral values prevail on Earth, and will take proper moral values and peace as his foundation in the countries he conquers. His unparalleled practices will soften people's hearts and lead them to Islamic morality. Thus, within a very short time this morality will rule the world. One of the hadiths on this subject reads:
Before pledging their allegiance to him, people will flock to where he resides, and everyone who goes there will enjoy the divine plenty. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 25)
Fertility and Abundance During the Golden Age
It can be seen from verses that there was great wealth in the time of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and that people lived lives of well-being. The Prophet Sulayman (as)’s palace was truly magnificent, he had great armies and ruled over all the world.
With its plenty and abundance the Golden Age will be quite similar to the period of The Prophet Sulayman (as). People will be given everything their heart desires, in large quantities and without even measuring. Even the birds in the air will be delighted with the Mahdi’s caliphate. Our Prophet (pbuh) has given very detailed descriptions of the plenty, abundance and well-being of the Golden Age. One of these reads: In that time, the people of the Earth and sky, all wild animals, birds and even the fish in the sea will rejoice at his caliphate. In his time, even flowing rivers will increase their waters. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 31)
Justice and Tolerance in the Golden Age
It is revealed in verses of the Qur’an that The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn favored tolerance, forgiveness and peace. Dhu’l-Qarnayn adopted fairness as his principle in dealing with the societies he encountered and invited those societies to what was easy for them. (Surat Al Kahf, 88) He treated them with justice and offered them the solutions to the problems. He helped the communities that sought his aid with no expectation of reward. There is no doubt that this is all a consequence of living by the moral values enjoined by our Almighty Lord.
The Prophet Sulayman (as) also ruled with justice throughout his reign. When the Mahdi appears he, just like The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn, will ensure the dominion of Islamic morality through cultural activities, will employ diplomacy, attach importance to art and esthetics, will win the love of all with his justice and honesty, and will build a peaceful world. He will make the richness of the world equally be shared by all, and poverty and misery will vanish from the Earth. Some hadiths on this subject run as follows:
After his coming, the world filled with oppression and vice will overflow with justice. (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 20)
He (the Mahdi) will own the world and fill it, which was filled with oppression and cruelty before him, with justice. Whoever of you lives to see him, go to him, even by crawling over snow, and join him. Because he is the Mahdi. (Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 14)
Ebu Said Hudri reports from the Prophet (pbuh):
“The followers of the Mahdi will shelter behind him like honey bees shelter behind the queen (where they find safety and security), and he will fill the Earth with justice and honesty.” (Book of Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, p. 30)
Glad Tidings for Muslims Concerning the End Times
The world dominion established during the days of The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn are great glad tidings for all Muslims. Because, as it is emphasized throughout this article, these stories contain important signs referring to the End Times.
Muslims who scrupulously adhere to the bounds set by Allah, who sincerely strive to bring Islamic morality to prevail across the world and who are indefatigable in the face of all difficulties will certainly be victorious at all times in history. Allah will be alongside them with His help and support.
The Prophet Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn were rewarded for the above attributes with powerful dominion in this world (and, of course, with many other spiritual blessings from Allah). That same dominion will also arise in the End Times, through the Mahdi. As our Prophet (pbuh) has told us, he will perform all services and, by the will of Allah, help Islamic morality prevail on Earth. This is Allah’s promise to the faithful:
“It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Deen of Truth to exalt it over every other deen, though the idolators hate it.” (Surat As-Saff, 9)
...He will bring down rain, bring forth the Earth’s abundance, and my community will enjoy a never before seen well-being in his time. (Book of Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times p. 9)