The real stress of this verse as understood in the
background of the Qur’ān is that the disbelievers contended that the jinn-folk
were employed by the Prophet (sws) to obtain knowledge of the unseen. In this
verse, the manner in which a great Prophet of Allah – Solomon (sws) died is
presented as testimony to the fact that Jinn-folk have no such knowledge.
According to this verse, the Prophet Solomon (sws) was
made to stand on his rod even after his death, and it was only after his dead
body, which was supported by his staff, fell to the ground after white ants had
eaten it away that the jinn came to know of his death. Historically, it is known
that Solomon (sws) had put some of his subservient jinn-folk to a special task:
They were to construct the Temple at Jerusalem. Solomon (sws) died while work
was still in progress and in order to keep the jinn-folk to work, his corpse was
made to stand in front of them so that while remaining fearful to him, they
would continue the work they had been assigned.
This incident clearly shows that the jinn-folk have no
knowledge of the unseen, for had they known of Solomon’s death, they would have
stopped their all important assignment.