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Carpet of Solomon

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Carpet of Solomon or Basāṭ of Solomon (Arabic: بساط السليمان) was a carpet which transported Prophet Solomon (a) and his companions to different places with the wind. It is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but having the control of the wind by Solomon (a) is mentioned there. However, some exegetical and hadith sources have mentioned the carpet of Solomon and its features. al-Allama al-Majlisi has transmitted a hadith about landing of Carpet of Solomon (a) in Karbala.

Some believe that the carpet of Solomon (a) is more of a myth than a reality. In their view, the story of controlling the wind by Solomon (a) has been the source of creating this myth.

Description

Carpet or Basat of Solomon (a) was a vehicle which flew with the winds in control of Solomon (a) and transported him to different places. According to some sources, it was made of gold and silver by daemons who worked for Solomon (a). It is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but taking control of the winds by Solomon (a) is mentioned.[1][2] [3] In historical sources and some hadiths, Carpet of Prophet Solomon (a) is mentioned.

Features

There are different reports about the features, description and especially the size of Carpet of Solomon (a). In some sources, its size has been mentioned from one farsakh (about 5 to 5.5 Kilometer) by one farsakh up to four farsakhs by four farsakhs. Its size was mentioned in some sources even up to hundred farsakhs by hundred farsakhs, so that it could hold the throne of Solomon (a) and six thousand chairs. Therefore, some sources considered it different from a normal carpet.

According to a hadith transmitted by al-Allama al-Majlisi, Carpet of Solomon (a) held three thousand chairs made of gold and silver where the prophets (a) and scholars of the time of Solomon (a) and also other groups of people sat. On this Carpet, there was also a place for animals and daemons.

According to this verse, exegetes considered the speed of Carpet of Solomon (a) in the first half of a day (about five to six hours) to be about the distance a person could move in a month. In some sources, it is mentioned that using the wind, Solomon (a) began a journey from Syria in the morning and from the breakfast until lunch (midday snack) time, he (a) arrived in Istakhr (currently in Fars province) in Iran.

Landing in Karbala

Al-Allama al-Majlisi transmitted a hadith about arriving Solomon (a) in Karbala, the place of the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a). The carpet of Solomon (a) is also mentioned in this report. According to this report, Solomon (a) was moving in the sky on his vehicle, but when he arrived in Karbala, his carpet rolled and shook, so that he feared that he would fall. After the stormy wind ended, Carpet of Solomon (a) landed. It is mentioned in the reports that Solomon (a) asked about the reason and it informed him of the events which would happen to Imam al-Husayn (a) and his companions in that land.

Existence

Some sources considered the existence of Carpet of Solomon (a) definite. On the opposite, some researchers considered the reports about it lacking any source and regarded it a myth. They believe that the story of controlling the wind by Solomon (a) in the Qur'an has been the origin of this myth.

Notes

  1. The Qur'an 21:81, "And [We disposed] for Solomon the tempestuous wind which blew by his command toward the land which We have blessed"
  2. Qur'an 34:12, "And for Solomon [We subjected] the wind: its morning course was a month’s journey and its evening course was a month’s journey"
  3. Qur'an 38:36, "So We disposed the wind for him, blowing softly wherever he intended by his command"

References