Why Was Prophet Solomon Allowed to Have Statues?

13 July, 2020
Q As-salamu`alaykum. In Surat Saba' 34:13, it is mentioned that Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was served by the jinn and they built lofty palaces and statues for him as he wished. As per my understanding, while Islam always gives a message of being moderate in your life in this world, it is frequently shown that Suleiman (Solomon, peace be upon him) had palaces. Also, my understanding was that creating and worshipping statues (both) is strictly prohibited in Islam. Why was there an exception in the case of Solomon (peace be upon him)?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

As for your query, the verse you mentioned does not contain any extravagance or worship of statues. Moreover, there are many prohibited acts in Islam that were permissible at the time of other Prophets.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

You are referring to the following verse, {They made for him whatever he wished of sanctuaries, and statues, and basins as [large as] great watering – troughs, and cauldrons firmly anchored. [And We said:] “Labor, O David’s people, in gratitude [towards Me] and [remember that] few are the truly grateful [even] among My servants!} (Saba’ 34:13)

I do not see any reference here to palaces, although there is no prohibition of building palaces as long as there is no extravagance.

Islam prohibits making statues because of its association with shirk; and it was not forbidden in the Law of Moses (peace be upon him).

You are right in stating that Islam is a religion that stresses moderation. However, we are not in a position to make judgments over the actions of the Prophets of the bygone past in so far as they have done certain things which were allowed for them. Such laws are not applicable to Muslims if they were abrogated.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.