Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and Earth glorifies God,as do the birds with their outspraed wings?Earch one knows its prayer and glorification.God knows what they do. (Qur'an,24:41)
Prophet Solomons (pbuh) Superior Knowledge And Blessing
He [Solomon] said: "My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly, You are the Ever-Giving.” (Qur'an, 38:35)
His prayer was accepted by God and He bestowed upon him great blessings, superior wisdom, more possessions than anyone else could attain, and a glorious kingdom in which he exercised an incomparable reign. Other verses give more information about his God-given wealth, power, and knowledge.
The Ability to Judge
We gave Solomon understanding of it [judgment]. We gave each of them judgment and knowledge... (Qur'an, 21:79)
When we examine the prophets' lives, we see clearly that God gave them superior wisdom to use in their conversations, decisions, and carrying out their decisions. Prophet Solomon (pbuh), a recipient of this divinely inspired judgment and knowledge, "judged with truth” (Qur'an, 38:26), like his father Prophet David (pbuh), and solved all disputes most justly.
And David and Solomon when they gave judgment about the field, when the people's sheep strayed into it at night. We were Witness to their judgment. (Qur'an, 21:78)
A system of justice, if it is to operate properly, must be directed by people with faith and who can judge justly. Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) time was one in which this understanding of justice was lived fully, for God says: "Every nation has a Messenger, and when their Messenger comes everything is decided between them justly. They are not wronged” (Qur'an, 10:47). Two people who presided over hearings and gave just decisions were Prophet David (pbuh) and Prophet Solomon (pbuh).
Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) words, upon learning that a hoopoe bird had disappeared without his permission, draws our attention to this matter:
He inspected the birds and said: "How is it that I do not see the hoopoe? Or is it absent without leave? I will certainly punish it most severely or slaughter it if it does not bring me clear authority.”
This is just one example of his justice: He gave the hoopoe an opportunity to defend itself, listened to it carefully, and inflicted no sudden penalty. Instead, he waited for it to produce clear proof.
Solomon (pbuh) and the Language of Birds
God taught Prophet Solomon (pbuh) to speak the language of birds, and because of this, he formed an army squadron composed of birds. Thus, he established a relationship with them that allowed him to command them as he wished. Fully aware that this ability was the result of God's mercy, he explained to his people that this knowledge came from God and was not the result of his own effort. In this way, he clearly expressed his submission to, and need for, God.
… O people, we have been taught the speech of birds and have been given everything. This is indeed a clear favor. (Qur'an, 27:16)
We can draw some important conclusions from this account:
Communication is important to birds, especially in habitats where vegetation impedes vision, such as forests, grasslands, and wetlands. Birds communicate by vocalizations (e.g., songs and calls) and various noises (e.g., tapping and drumming). Each species has its own specific song or songs. For example, some have over a dozen calls and songs, while others mimic the songs of other birds and humans.1
Birds do not have vocal cords. To produce sounds, vibrations are sent across a bird's syrinx (voice box). The more muscles a bird has attached to the syrinx, the more sounds it can make. For instance, mockingbirds have many muscles and can produce a variety of sounds.
"We submitted to the Lord of the heavens; surrendered to the causes of the incident." A script by Ottoman calligrapher Hafiz Osman (seventeenth century).
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY
Unmanned aircraft technology, which is important to a country's defense plans, becomes more advanced and more vital every day. The U.S. Air Force has two important programs in operation: UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and UCAV (Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle). Air Force officials call this technology new age and say that it will offer far more advantages than piloted aircraft. These aircraft, which will be controlled from the ground and pre-programmed, will have some other advantages as well, such as:
• The ability to collect intelligence and engage in battle without any loss of life.
This is a great advantage both in time and expense. These are just a few of the advantages of unmanned aircraft. The programs mentioned above have not all been put into effect yet, but they certainly will have an important place in aircraft technology in the near future. 2
The Language Used by Birds
Birds have their own language. Expert users of sound, they communicate by using frequencies which we cannot hear. Through these sounds, birds recognize their young, parents, and mates; gather in flocks; and warn one another of danger. They can change their communication frequencies and relay information very quickly.
Ultrasonic and transonic sounds are sound waves outside the normal range of human hearing. Birds, insects, and some mammals (e.g., rodents, bats, dogs, cats, and raccoons) can hear these high frequencies and use them to communicate.3 But, as we see in the Qur'an, God may have given Prophet Solomon (pbuh) the knowledge and technology to hear and understand these sounds
Prophet Solomon (pbuh) Understands the Female Ant
Then, when they reached the Valley of the Ants, an [female] ant said: "Ants! Enter your dwellings so that Solomon and his troops do not crush you unwittingly. (Qur'an, 27:18)
This verse may be interpreted as follows:
He [Solomon] smiled, laughing at its words, and said: "My Lord, keep me thankful for the blessing You have bestowed on me and my parents. Keep me acting rightly, pleasing You, and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your servants who are righteous."
In the 1950s, American scholars brought their knowledge and experience together and established the 4,000 square meter (1,500 square miles) Silicon Valley under the leadership of Stanford University in California. Eight thousand companies from around the world working on information technology and in various high-tech fields are located in this area. Nearly 300,000 scientists, engineers, and researchers, all of them experts in their fields, are developing high-tech products, and most technological advances are developed there.6
The Latest Development in Micro-Technology: An Army of Robotic Ants
The best-known project that uses ants as a model is the Army-Ant Robot project, which is being carried out independently in several countries. The study conducted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Virginia State University seeks to develop small, inexpensive, and simple robots and then form a robotic army out of physically identical robots. Project officials explain that these robots derive their usefulness from their group actions, performing physical tasks and making cooperative decisions as a coordinated team. All mechanical and electrical design aspects are decided with the group-dynamical behavior in mind. Because of their behavioral resemblance to their insect counterparts, they have been named army-ant robots.
The army-ant robot system was originally designed as a material-carrying system. According to this scenario, several small robots would jointly lift and carry objects. It was later decided that they could be used for other tasks, such as nuclear and hazardous waste cleanup with robotic swarms, mining (including material removal and search-and-rescue), mine sweeping (both land and water), surveillance and sentry, planetary surface exploration, and excavation.7Israel A. Wagner, an expert on ant robot-technology, describes such projects in these terms:
Ant-robots are simple physical and virtual creatures designed to cooperate in order to achieve a common goal. They are assumed to have very limited resources of energy, sensing and computing, and to communicate via traces left in the workspace or on the ground, like many insects naturally doÉ The distribution of work among multiple agents can be made by either a central controller who sends orders to the agents, or by an a priori agreement on a certain partitioning that, if obeyed by the agents, eventually leads to a completion of the given mission. A third way, used throughout the current work, is to design the behavior of individuals such that cooperation will naturally emerge in the course of their work, without making a priori decisions on the structure of the cooperation. The specific application that we address is covering, which is also known as exploring or searching. This variety of names hints to the many applications this problem might have: from cleaning the floor of a house to mapping an unknown planet or demining a mine field.8 Based on the above information, the ant's social lifestyle forms the basis of many projects, and the robotic technologies being implemented as a result are benefiting human beings. That is why the Qur'an mentions the ants and their valley when informing us about Prophet Solomon (pbuh). In this verse, God may be alluding to technological developments in Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) time. For example, the mention of ants may point toward a robotic army. With the help of the jinns and demons at his command, Prophet Solomon (pbuh) may have used a very advanced technology to establish a robotic army. The verses may also be indicating future developments in robot technology and how they will play an important role in human life by performing many arduous tasks, and thereby making people's lives more comfortable. (God knows the truth.)
As for those who strive in our Way, We will guide them to Our paths.Truly God is with the good doers.(Qu'ran,29:69)
Except those who believe and do right actions,and [who]remember God repeat edly and defend themselves after they have been wronged...Qu'ran 26:227)
Prophet Solomon (pbuh) Commands the Winds
Today, many countries including the United States and Denmark use wind turbines to provide electricity. These turbines, by which scientists have estimated that as much as 10 percent of the world’s electricity could be provided by the middle of the twenty-first century, offer a cheap and productive alternative to fuel-driven generators.
And to Solomon We gave the fiercely blowing wind, speeding at his command toward the land that We had blessed. And We had full knowledge of everything. (Qur’an, 21:81)
And We gave Solomon power over the wind—a month's journey in the morning and a month in the afternoon... (Qur'an, 34:12)
He send His Messenger with the Guidance and the Religion,of Truth to exalt it over every other religion,and God suffices as a witness. (Qu'ran,48:28)
Aircraft wings are designed to create a difference in pressure that enables them to fly. Flight happens as a result of the lift created by the air moving around the wings. When the aircraft reaches a lifting power equal to its weight, the wheels leave the ground and the plane takes off. This lifting force is formed in this way: Air normally moves in waves in a gentle current. But the flow of air changes as the wing moves against it. The air is divided and passes over and below the wing. The top surface of the wing has a bulged shape. According to some laws of physics, the air passing over the wing speeds up and has a lower pressure than the air under the wing. In other words, the air underneath lifts the aircraft while the air above exerts less of a downward push. This difference in pressure allows the aircraft to be pushed up from below and be lifted into the air. Under these circumstances, the aircraft overcomes the force of gravity and the carrying force that enables it to remain aloft is created.
Indications of the Use of Electricity
… And We made a fount of molten copper flow out for him… (Qur'an, 34:12)
Twenty-first-century aircraft will be far more technologically advanced than their twentieth-century counterparts. Aircraft companies say that before 2050 they will put into service aircraft that can carry at least 800 passengers and travel at twice the speed of sound. The goal is to travel long distances more economically and more quickly.
One of the great blessings given to Prophet Solomon (pbuh) was molten copper. This verse can be interpreted in several ways:
Jinns and Demons Obey Prophet Solomon (pbuh)
… And some of the jinns worked in front of him by his Lord's permission. And if a single one of them deviates at all from Our command, We let him taste the punishment of the Searing Blaze. (Qur'an, 34:12)
Another God-given blessing was the number of jinns and demons that served Prophet Solomon (pbuh). Prophet Solomon (pbuh) ordered these beings to fulfill various functions in his army, artistic creations, and construction projects:
So We subjected the wind to him to blow at his command, softly, wherever he directed. And the demons, every builder and diver. (Qur'an, 38:36-37)
God bestowed His grace upon Prophet Solomon (pbuh) by enabling him to control the demons, because Satan had great knowledge about Earth and what happened in the world, whether secret or public. Having such a creature in his power may have made it much easier for Prophet Solomon (pbuh) to arrange his foreign relations and administer his kingdom.
And some of the demons dived for him [Solomon] and did other things apart from that. And We were watching over them. (Qur'an, 21:82)
They made for him anything he wished: high arches and statues, huge dishes like cisterns, great built-in cooking vats… (Qur'an, 34:13)
This verse relates that demons created magnificent works of art according to Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) directions and very strong aesthetic sense.
And as for the blessing of your Lord, speak out! (Qur'an, 93:11)
Every Blessing Is a Grace from God
Prophet Solomon (pbuh) used all of his God-given power and possessions to represent and spread His religion in the best possible way, display the incomparable splendor of God's kingdom, and disseminate religious morality. When they saw his intelligence, knowledge, and artistic power, people more easily accepted his invitation to believe in God. Prophet Solomon (pbuh) received a fine reward for his service to God and a great kingdom. For thousands of years, Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) might and power have amazed people and been the subject of novels, paintings, and films.
This section has presented Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) God-given superior knowledge and blessings. However, one special point needs to be emphasized: The One Who gave all of these blessings and knowledge, and Who created all of them is God, the Lord of the Worlds. Everything that Prophet Solomon (pbuh) did was by God's will and approval. For example, God decrees: "We gave Solomon understanding of it" (Qur'an, 21:79), by which we can understand that no one can understand any event, notice any wisdom, or make any decision without God's consent. God, the All-Knowing, All-Wise, makes the decision; the person carrying it out is only a vehicle.
After announcing that the mountains and the birds bowed their heads with Prophet David (pbuh), Prophet Solomon’s (pbuh) father, the verse says: "This is something We are well able to do." God taught Prophet David (pbuh) how to make armor, made the wind bow before Him, and made molten copper flow at Prophet Solomon's (pbuh) command. In Qur'an 21:81, God decrees: "And We have full knowledge of everything." Unless God wills, it is impossible for any person to have knowledge. People may have read and studied for years and come to be regarded as knowledgeable, but they must never forget that only God gives them their knowledge as part of their destiny. The words of the angels in Qur'an 2:32 clearly express this reality: "Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."