Taking with him a group of jinn and people, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alyhis salaam) went to the sea. When he arrived at the seashore, he looked to the right, left and in all directions but did not see anything wonderful. Everything appeared normal. He then instructed an Ifreet to dive into the ocean, investigate and report back. (Ifreet is a designation for powerful and evil jinns. Such jinns were under the control of Nabi Sulaiman—alayhis salaam).
The Ifreet dived into the ocean. After a while he emerged and said: “O Nabi of Allah! Inspite of going down as far as I could, I did not reach the bottom nor did I see anything extraordinary.”
Sulaiman instructed another Ifreet to dive into the sea and report back with his findings. After some time he emerged and also stated his inability of discovering anything inspite of having gone down twice the depth of the first Ifreet.
Sulaiman (alayhi salaam) then instructed Aasif Bin Barkhiya who was a powerful and a pious jinn, to enter the sea. Aasif Bin Barkhya was the Prime Minister of Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) and he is mentioned in the Qur’aan Majeed. In an exceptionally short period of time, Aasif emerged from the ocean with a white-domed building, which had four doors. The doors were of a variety of precious stones. Inspite of all four doors being open, there was not a drop of water inside the structure. Although the doomed building was right at the bottom of the ocean at a depth, which both Ifreets could not reach, it was completely dry. When Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) looked inside, he was amazed to see an extremely handsome young man donning beautiful garments, engaged in Salaat. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) entered and greeted the man. He asked the man:
“What delivered you into the depths of the ocean? The man narrated his story as follows:
“O Nabi of Allah! My father was lame in his legs and my mother was blind. I served them for seventy years. When my mother was about to die, she made the following dua: “O Allah! Increase the age of my son and grant him the taufeeq to spend his life in your ibaadat.” When my father was about to die, he made dua as follows: “O Allah! Take Your service from him in such a place to which no shaitaan can have access.”
After burying my father I was walking along this seashore when I saw this doomed structure. Its beauty enticed me inside. Immediately an angel arrived and delivered the building into the depths of the ocean.”
Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “In what age did you come here?” the man replied: “During the age of Nabi Ibraahim Khalilullaah.” When he calculated the years. Nabi Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) determined it to be 2000 years. Inspite of this long period, the man was young, handsome and there was not a strand of whiteness in his hair. Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) asked: “What do you eat in this ocean?” the man replied: “O Nabi Allah! Daily a green bird comes with something the size of a man’s head I eat of it and taste in it the deliciousness of all things on earth. My hunger and thirst are satisfied by eating of it. Heat, cold, drowsiness, tiredness, fear, etc., all are eliminated by eating of it. Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said: “Do you wish to accompany us or be returned to your place?”
The man said: “Return me to my place.”
Hadhrat Sulaiman (alaylis salaam) ordered Aasif Bin Barkhiya to return the man with the domed structure to his place at the bottom of the ocean. Thus, was he returned to his abode. Turning to the gathering, Hadhrat Sulaiman (alayhis salaam) said:
“Look! How Allah has accepted the prayers of parents. May Allah have mercy on you. You refrain from fulfilling the rights of your parents. O Allah! Grant us the taufeeq to serve our parents.”