Magic flying carpets are mentioned in Russian folk tales, Azerbaijani folklore, Hasidic legends, Middle Eastern tales, Chinese, and so on. The series “A Thousand and One Nights” includes a fairy tale about a magic carpet, where the scene is India. Let’s delve into the details of King Solomon’s Flying Carpet.
The Mystery Behind King Solomon’s Flying Carpet
In different sources, flying carpets are made of different materials and have different sizes, but they have one thing in common, they obediently fly where their owner orders. Sometimes orders are given aloud, and sometimes just thinking about the right direction is enough.
Most often, the flying carpet gets to the hero of the story from very unusual characters. Sometimes directly from the gods, sometimes from some dwarfs, mountain gnomes, magicians or genies.
The story of Solomon’s flying carpet is the best studied by historians and is recognized as one of the oldest such legends, if not the ancestor of all fairy tales about flying carpets.
Solomon, the son of David, was the third king of Israel. Described as an extremely wise man, he reigned for forty years from 971 to 931 BC. Through his wisdom, his reign was rewarded with peace and unprecedented wealth.
“His kingdom is described by the rabbis as extending until his fall to the upper world inhabited by angels, and to the entire globe with all its inhabitants, including all animals, birds and reptiles, as well as demons and spirits … His power over demons, spirits, and animals increased his splendor, demons brought him precious stones, as well as water from distant lands to irrigate his exotic plants,” as described in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Perhaps it was because of his association with demons and spirits that Solomon had access to unusual means of transportation across the sky. The same Jewish Encyclopedia says the following:
“Solomon was accustomed to flying through the air on a great eagle, which carried him in one day to Tadmor in the desert.”
This is suspiciously similar to ancient Hindu legends in which the god Krishna travels the world on the back of a great eagle named Garuda.
As for Solomon’s flying carpet, the Jewish Encyclopedia describes it this way:
“When God appointed Solomon king over all creation, he gave him a large carpet sixty miles long and sixty miles wide (!), Made of green silk interwoven with pure gold, and adorned with figured ornaments. Surrounded by his four princes: Asaph Berechiah – the prince of men, Ramirat the prince of demons, the lion the prince of beasts and the eagle the prince of birds, Solomon sat on the carpet, he was caught by the wind, and he sailed through the air so fast that they had breakfast in Damascus and dined in Media.”
The incredible size of Solomon’s Carpet, at 3,600 square miles, larger than many of Israel’s present-day provinces, most likely indicates that this is either a grossly exaggerated figure, or that a “mile” of those days meant much less than it does today.
The speed of this carpet was much less than modern commercial airliners. The distance between Damascus and Ecbatana (one of the main cities of Media in northwestern Iran) is about 1400 km, and if Solomon covered this distance between breakfast and dinner, then we can conclude that the speed of the flying carpet may have been only about 200 km/h, assuming a travel time of about seven hours.
Of course, maybe he could fly faster, just because the magic carpet has no outer cover, the wind force at such a speed would be significant and would not contribute to a comfortable flight of people.
And then the following happened:
“Once Solomon was filled with pride in his own greatness and wisdom, and in punishment for this the wind shook the carpet, throwing 40,000 people off their feet. Solomon scolded the wind for the harm he had caused, but the latter objected that the king should turn to God and stop being proud , after which Solomon became very ashamed,” writes the Jewish Encyclopedia.
Solomon flew far and wide on his magic carpet, given some Asian legends. The Suleiman Mountains, also known as Ko-e Suleimani, i.e. Solomon’s Mountains, are a mountain range located west of the Indus Valley, in Balochistan, Pakistan. The most famous peak of these Suleiman Mountains is Takht-e-Suleiman or “Throne of Solomon” with a height of 3487 meters.
According to local legends, King Solomon landed on the top of this mountain on his flying carpet, and the genies dragged boulders from there to build his Temple.
Solomon’s Throne is a natural platform on the side of a sheer cliff in Balochistan, Pakistan.
Another site associated with Solomon is in Iran. This is Takht-i Soleyman or, again, the “Throne of Solomon” – an archaeological monument in the province of Western Azerbaijan of Iran. Built during the Sassanid era, it was once a sacred place for Zoroastrianism.
The place got its biblical name after the Arab invasion of Iran in the 7th century. Folk legends tell that King Solomon imprisoned the monsters in a nearby crater 100 meters deep, called Zendan-i Soleiman, i.e. “Solomon’s Prison“.
A place with a similar name also exists in Kyrgyzstan. Suleiman Rock or Mount Suleiman is a sacred rock in the city of Osh in Kyrgyzstan, which has been a place of pilgrimage for Muslims for centuries. It contains a sanctuary that supposedly marks the tomb of Solomon.
This is pretty much everything we know about Solomon’s flying carpet from various historical sources. Now we need to deal with the rather difficult question of whether there is any historical value in these stories, or whether they were all invented later to glorify a wise ruler.
A rather unusual scholarly article on the subject called “The Secret History of the Flying Carpet” was published by journalist Azhar Abidi in Southwest Review in 2006. He wrote that a French explorer named Henri Bac found 13th-century Persian scrolls in the underground vaults of a castle near Alamut, Iran.
The manuscript was translated from Persian into English. The scrolls, written by a Jewish scholar named Isaac ben Sherrira, contained the astonishing claim that flying carpets were woven and sold until the end of the 13th century AD. But the clientele of these carpets was on the fringes of respectable society, as Muslim rulers looked at flying carpets as the invention of the devil.
According to Ben Sherire, King Solomon’s flying carpet was sent to him by the Queen of Sheba:
“At the queen’s inauguration in 977 BC, her royal alchemist, a Talmudist, demonstrated small brown rugs that could float a few feet above the ground. Years later, she sent King Solomon a magnificent flying carpet. As a token of love, it was made of green sendal, embroidered with gold and silver and studded with precious stones, and its length and width were such that the entire royal army could stand on it.
King Solomon, who was busy building his temple in Jerusalem, was unable to receive the gift and gave it to his courtiers. When news of this cool reception reached the queen, her heart was broken. She fired her artisans and never had anything to do with flying carpets again.”
The same records indicated that the great Library of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I, kept a large stock of flying carpets for its readers. They could borrow these rugs in exchange for their slippers to slide back and forth, up and down, among the shelves of papyrus manuscripts.
Ben Sherira further wrote that the use of flying carpets by the populace ceased in the middle of the 8th century when a young soldier from Baghdad fled with the royal princess in his flying carpet. This event prompted the enraged Sultan to hunt down and destroy all merchants and artisans involved in the production of flying carpets.
A brief resurgence in flying carpet production occurred in 1213 CE when Prince Behroz of the state of Khorasan in eastern Persia received two dozen flying carpets made by his father-in-law and placed a squadron of archers on them to form the world’s first airborne force. cavalry.
But the invasion of Genghis Khan in 1226 hammered the final nail into the coffin of this magical device. Genghis Khan ordered the confiscation and burning of all flying carpets in the kingdom, apparently because he wanted his sons and soldiers to be in the saddle and not on the carpet.
Interestingly, Ben Sherrira even spoke in detail about the technique that artisans used to create flying carpets. Apparently, ancient Persian artisans overheated a certain type of clay, which then acquired anti-magnetic properties. They then dyed the wool into this clay before weaving it into a carpet. The magnetized fibers of the carpet floated above the ground, repelled by the Earth’s magnetic field. The movement went along the magnetic lines of the Earth, which acted as air rails.
Alas, it is difficult to believe in all this. If there were so many flying carpets in those days, they would appear in many historical records, while we hear about them only in connection with King Solomon, and much later they appeared in the Thousand and One Night and the tales of various peoples. In addition, even in the Thousand and One Nights, the flying carpet was considered a rare and valuable commodity.
Does this mean that the flying carpet of King Solomon was also just a fairy tale? Maybe yes, or maybe something else was given out for this item.
A possible clue to the true nature of King Solomon’s flying carpet is hidden in the same old manuscripts. As Azhar Abidi writes in his article:
“But there is one episode witnessed by many people on earth, when a group of men in turbans flew at breakneck speed from Samarkand to Isfahan. This incident is confirmed by a facsimile of another rare text, compiled in the seventeenth century, in which the words of one witness are quoted: “We saw in the sky a strange spinning disk that flew over our village [Nishapur], leaving behind fire and brimstone.”
Indeed, a strange rotating disk! In other words, what we call a UFO or a flying saucer. UFO eyewitness accounts from around the world describe them as spherical or disc-shaped metal objects adorned with rows of light on the underside.
Imagine how the metal underside of the UFO reflects the green vegetation of the Earth as the object flies overhead. He then, from below, really could seem to them like something like a flying carpet of King Solomon, which, as they said, was made of green silk and embroidered with gold and precious stones.
Maybe all the flying carpets described in legends and fairy tales were UFOs. The UFO phenomenon, while appearing to be modern, actually goes back centuries.
King Solomon may have been one of the first human UFO passengers in the world. However, not the very first, since there are still vimanas from ancient Indian texts that date back to 7000 BC.
And yes, it would be much more convenient for a king to travel in a high-tech aircraft than on a woven piece of wool. Imagine that King Solomon arrives at his destination soaked in a downpour, his hair in complete disarray from high-speed winds and if it is also very cold, he will be shivering and half-frozen with icicles hanging from his beard.
It would deal a big blow to his reputation. On the other hand, a ride on an alien ship would be fast, comfortable, and awe-inspiring to the cast.
How did Solomon manage to fly a UFO at his will? Probably because he could control demons and spirits (genies). The jinn were involved in most of Solomon’s public works, such as building temples, mining precious materials, etc., and accompanied Solomon on his “flying carpet”.
According to Islamic belief, jinn were created long before humans and have a very long lifespan. They live in a parallel dimension hidden from us. They are said to mainly dwell in ruins, cemeteries, hills, caves, and deep tunnels, all of which are inaccessible to us.
The meaning of word jinn in Arabic means “hidden from prying eyes.” Not only can jinn remain invisible to us, they can also take on any form they choose. According to the Prophet Muhammad, some types of jinn have wings and can fly through the air.
In addition, each person has a genie appointed as his constant companion, who can lure us into evil deeds or save us from trouble. While benevolent jinn reward people for acts of kindness, malevolent jinn have been known to possess humans and drive them insane.
In case you’re wondering how jinn might be related to the UFO phenomenon, the answer is: very closely. Jinn corresponds to the “little people” of European legends and fairy tales, which consist of such magical creatures as elves, gnomes, fairies, etc.
In particular, dwarves are believed to be highly intelligent and capable of creating magical devices. Many reports of UFO sightings have reported dwarf humanoid beings dressed in silver suits. UFOs have also been seen diving into oceans and bodies of water such as lakes, which may be entry points to the underground bases of these supernatural beings.
All this suggests that a significant part of the modern UFO phenomenon can be attributed to various classes of fabulous creatures.
It appears from ancient Jewish and Arabic sources that the jinn held Solomon in high esteem for his wisdom and perhaps also for being the son of David. This is probably why they obeyed his orders and took him everywhere in one of their spaceships, giving rise to the legend of Solomon’s flying carpet.
The rulers who came after Solomon, apparently, did not enjoy the respect and obedience of the jinn, and over time, the story of Solomon’s air adventures passed into the realm of fantasy and myth.