“O Abul hasan! I do not think anybody except you knows the answers to these questions.”

Ibn al-Babawayh and al-Qutb al-Rawandi have through their chains quoted from Ibn ‘Abbas that during the caliphate of the second caliph a group of Jewish clergy came to them and asked: “What are the locks of the skies? Who was the one who warned his community of the anger of Allah though he was neither a man nor jinn? What are those five animals which did not come out of their mothers Wombs and yet were walking on earth? And finally, what do they say when a francolin, a cock, a horse, an ass, a frog and a hochan.” The caliph could not reply and bowed his head. Then turning towards the Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali said, “O Abul hasan! I do not think anybody except you knows the answers to these questions.” So ‘Ali addressed the Jewish clergy and said, “I will reply to your questions but on condition that if my replies are in accordance with the Torah you will become Muslims.” They agreed. He said, “What locks up the heavens is Polytheism meaning the deed of a polytheist man or woman does not go beyond the heavens (to heaven).” They asked “What is the key to the skies?” He said, “The announcement of laa ilaha illallaahu muhammadun Rasulullaah (confessing that there is no deity besides only one Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger).” Then they asked: “What was the grave which carried its inmate from one place to another?” He said, “That was a fish which had swallowed Yunus and carried him into the seven seas.” They asked “Who is the warner who is neither a human being nor a jinni?” He replied, “It is the ant which had frightened its community about the army of Sulayman and asked them to enter their anthills so that Solomon and his army might not crush them.”
Thereafter they asked: “Which are the five creations which have not been delivered from their mothers’ wombs but yet were walking and moving?” The said, “They are Adam and Hawwa’ and the she-camel of Salih and the ram of Ibrahim (which had replaced Isma‘il at the time of intended slaughtering) and the staff of Musa.” Finally, they asked: “What is the meaning of the calls of the five animals.” He said, “The hedgehog says ‘ar rahmaan ustawaa’ and the cock says: ‘uzkuroo......’ meaning (O Careless people! Remember Allah), the horse says:‘allaahumm...’ (O Lord! Help the faithful against the denier infidels), the ass curses those who levy tax on grain and the frog says: ‘subhaan.........’ (Holy is my Lord and the residents of the sea are praising Him) and the hochah says: O Allah! Curse the enemies of Muhammad and of the family of Muhammad.”

Reference: Hayat Al-Qulub, Vol. 1, Stories of the Prophets