Prophet Suleiman's Story & Its Message

Dawood's son Suleiman (AS) was given remarkable power and governance. He was granted an ability to manufacture and command legions to work under his instruction.
Prophet Suleiman, Suleiman Story In English, Message, David's Son, Solomon, Story Of Prophet Suleiman

اعملوا آل داوود شكرا 
Work, descendants of David...Shukran.

I know it’s poorly translated but that’s because I want to show you something beyond translation. Grammatically شكرا has been argued to be a مفعول له or a حال or it’s an implied واشكروا شكرا making it a مفعول مطلق or a مفعول به.   I know that sounds alien but I promise, the rest of this post, you need no Arabic and you can skip the Arabic in parentheses. 
Dawood's son Suleiman (AS) was given remarkable power and governance. He was granted an unprecedented ability to manufacture and command legions to work under his instruction. While describing this vast empire in Surah-34, when we get to ayah 13, we find the phrase we started with. 

1. Allah didn't address him as Suleiman:

He addressed him as descendants of Dawood. In doing so He isn’t just inspiring Suleiman but the entire family and future generations. He is also reminding them that their father did great works and they must honor his memory and put themselves to work. 
We are learning to take inspiration from the hard work of our parents and even ancestors. We are to build on what they left behind and leave ourselves as inspirations for our kids. 
Also, have you heard of the phenomenon where a family assumes we have at least one “good” person in the family, so that’s insurance for the rest of us. Uhhh no. The entire family must put themselves to work as even a family member being a prophet doesn’t get the descendants of dawood off the hook. 
We also learn that our heritage may be a source of inspiration, but it’s not a ticket by virtue of which we don’t owe Allah our own very best efforts. 

2. Act out of gratitude:

That’s one possible translation (مفعول له). Do good things BECAUSE you want to show Allah how grateful you are. Gratitude is your intention! 
3. Act while demonstrating  gratitude.
That’s another possible translation (حال). So when you do good things, even amazing good things, don’t be proud of what you’re accomplishing but exhibit gratitude of having the honor of being given the chance to do something good. So when you’re doing good to someone, your attitude isn’t showing that you’re doing them a favor but you carry yourself in a way that shows they are Allah’s favor on you! 

4. Act and be extremely grateful (حذف الفعل للمفعول المطلق):

Now it’s two separate things. You must put your talents and resources to work. But often when you do that all you think about is the work. Now stop spinning those wheels in your head about the next task in your project and just engage in mindful gratitude and don’t let that be a passing thing either. Be extremely grateful. Remember gratefulness is a state of mind and then it’s an act.

5. Do the act of gratitude:

Strange translation I know (مفعول به). You’ve heard of “do prayer” or “do justice” and now you’re getting “do gratitude”. It first means the act of pronouncing our gratitude and not just feeling it. In doing so we are inspiring others to think about their own gratitude.  It also means to things that make you more grateful and that spread gratefulness. Each of you will have to think about what that means for you. 
This last reading also means gratitude isn’t just a state of mind and that it has to translate into some sort of act. Whether it’s speech or charity or physical labor or something even as subtle as body language, gratitude isn’t like a buried seed. It blossoms and it’s fruits and scent nourish others. 

I was just reciting and stopped and this phrase and thought I’d share some musings. 

May Allah allow us to live this teaching like the family of Dawood AS.
From the wall of brother Nouman Ali Khan
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