Hazrat Dawood Alaihis salaam was the King of his people. He had 19 sons, each one of them hoped to inherit the father’s throne. Allah revealed to Hazrat Dawood Alaihis-salaam a few questions and their answers and commanded him to put those questions to each one of his sons. Whosoever answered those questions correctly, would inherit his throne.
One day Hazrat Dawood Alaihis salaam called all his sons in the presence of the scholars and the chiefs of the tribes of his kingdom. He then put forward the following questions:
1) Which thing is closest (nearest) to man?
2) Which is the farthest thing?
3) Which two things are attached to each other?
4) Which is the most awe-creating thing?
5) Which two things remain unchanged?
6) Which two things are always different?
7) Which two things are opposed to each other?
8) What is the action the result of which is good?
9) What is that action the result of which is bad?
The first 18 sons of Hazrat Dawood Alaihis-salaam felt helpless and could not answer any of these questions. Then the youngest of the sons, Hazrat Sulaiman Alaihis-salaam (Solomon) stood up and gave the following answers:
– The nearest thing to a man is the hereafter (Life and Death – as one may die any moment).
– The farthest thing is the time which has passed away (which is not to come again).
– The two things that are attached to each other is man’s body with the soul.
– The most awe-creating is the man’s body (dead) without soul.
– The two things which remain the same are the sky and the earth.
– The two things which are different are the day and night.
– The two things which are opposed to each other are life and death.
– The action – the end of which is good – is patience and forbearance at the time of anger.
– The action – the end of which is bad is haste at the time of anger.
Hazrat Dawood Alaihis-salaam obviously, was very much impressed with his knowledge and appointed Hazrat Sulaiman Alaihis Salaam as his successor.