Therefore, in the light of the above verse, any accusation that Sulaiman AS practiced the dark arts or colluded with the devil is not only wrong, but is also blasphemous. Remnants of this dark knowledge, which includes inciting hatred and fortune telling, are still practiced in various parts of the world today.
The Death of Sulaiman AS
We have mentioned Sulaiman's AS dominance over the kingdom of jinn and the jinn felt resentful and humiliated to be treated this way.
There was a widespread belief that the jinn had knowledge of the unseen. In actual fact, only Allah has the knowledge of the unseen. We know from Hadith that the jinn eavesdrop on the angels, gathering snippets of information from them, and then mixing it with a hundred lies.
Sulaiman's AS death was a unique one. Because he was often in a state of deep worship, he was frequently immobile for long periods of time. On one such occasion, he passed away, but remained standing (or was supported) by his staff. His body did not decompose, so it appeared to everyone as if he was still alive although he was as still as a statue. During this time, the jinn, afraid of being punished, continued to work diligently for him. All this time, they could see his body clearly, and did not realize that he was actually dead.
Time passed. A creature of the earth (probably a termite or a woodworm) started gnawing at his staff, and according to some reports, this continued for a year until. Eventually, staff broke and the body of Sulaiman AS collapsed with it. Only then did the jinn realize that Sulaiman AS had been dead for some time!
And when We decreed for Sulaiman death, nothing indicated to the jinn his death except a creature of the earth eating his staff. But when he fell, it became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in humiliating punishment. (Al Qur'an 34:14)
This being the case, it is clear that the jinn do not even have the ability to comprehend what they can see clearly with their own eyes, much less claim to have any knowledge of the unseen!
Reports vary over how long Sulaiman AS ruled over his kingdom, but according to some is that he ruled for 20 years and that he passed away at the age of 50. No other kingdom was comparable to his, and the kingdom disintegrated one or two generations later.
The Strength of The Ummah
The site of Masjid al Aqsa is an effective barometer to gauge the strength of weakness of the Muslim ummah. When the ummah was pure and united, and obeyed the commandments of Allah, the guardianship of Masjid Al Aqsa by the Muslims was absolute. When the Muslims ummah has become weak, corrupted, and embroiled in oppression, selfishness, arrogance and disbelief, the hold of the Muslims over Masjid Al Aqsa weakened. This is the very condition that we are witnessing today. May Allah save us and prevent Baitul Maqdis form falling into the wrong hands, ameen.
Prohibition against Sihr (Magic or Sorcery)
Practicing sihr is something that is unconditionally prohibited in Islam. It is categorized as shirk (association with Allah), which is the single sin that Allah will never forgive if one dies in that state. Once we seek the help of jinn and shayateen, even for well intentioned reasons, we have fallen into a state of shirk, because we are relying on other than Allah and also colluding with the devil in order to achieve a result. There are many types of sorcery which people practise and some for seemingly good reasons: financial, relationship, matrimonial, personal security and even wellbeing.
The incident of Harut and Marut was a trial for the people at the time, and the original prohibition against practicing such dark arts still apply to us today. A large proportion of people, including Muslims, still practice sihr – and not only harm themselves, but also others in the process. The results are always corrupted, and even if in terms of dunia, the goal is achieved, the price to be paid in akhirah applies for all eternity, and is simply not worth it. If you indulge in any form of sihr, whether directly, through talismans, charms, or through a third party, please stop immediately and make taubah (repentance) before it is too late, because the consequences are eternal.
Knowledge of the Unseen
The death of Sulaiman AS conclusively proved that the jinn do not have knowledge of the unseen. At best, they have snippets of information, which is then jumbled up with lies and fabrication. This incomplete knowledge is then passed on to human beings, from fortune tellers to those practicing sorcery, and on the face of it looks authentic but in reality have more falsehood and truth.
Only Allah has the knowledge of the unseen, including knowledge of things yet to be discovered by us, knowledge of the future and knowledge of all sciences. No one else, whether human, jinn or angel has such comprehensive knowledge.