THE PROPHET DAWUD (peace be upon him)
Dawud (David) was not only an illustrious Prophet of the Israelites but he was also their king. The Holy Qur’an affirms:
“And Allah gave him the kingdom! and wisdom and taught him of that which He willed.” (2: 251).
“(And it was said unto him) 0′ Dawud!To! We have set you as a vicegerent in the earth, therefore, judge aright between mankind and follow not desire.” (38:26)
The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) had an ancestral link with the Prophet Ya’qub (peace be upon him). He lived in Bait-ul-Lahm which was situated at the distance of ten miles from Jerusalem. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was the youngest of his eight brothers. The Prophet Samuel (peace be upon him) had received an indication that the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) would become king after Jalut (Goliath). He went to Baitul-Lahm to cast a glance at Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He was much impressed at his attractive and angelic sight.
The Prophet Dawud Adopts the Companionship of Talut:
According to the Torah Talut (Saul)was in quest of a man who could play on a harp. As the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was well versed in this art, he was asked to come to Talut and stay with him. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) passed most of the time in the companionship of his master and visited his father off and on. He helped him in tending the sheep. Thus he got an opportunity to hunt wild beasts. The Holy Qur’an, makes mention of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) at many places.
Heroic Deeds of Prophet Dawud:
The Bible relates an incident which throws a light on the heroic deeds of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). Once a war broke out between the Israelites and the Philistines. The army of the Philistines was commanded by Jalut who was a man of lofty stature. He put on a shining armour. The Israelites were overawed to see Jalut’s army which was well accoutred. He called out his opponents to combat but none of the Israelites had the courage to accept the challenge. He declared: In case any one of the Israelites overpowered me, I would surrender to him but if I gained the upper hand, the opponents would have to become under the sway of the servitude of the Philistines. The Israelites were terror-stricken. They had lost their courage and self respect. The Prophet could not bear this disgrace. So he decided to face Jalut for the sake of truth, honour and dignity. The king Talut advised him to refrain from fighting with an experienced warrior. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) did not budge an inch from his decision. He took his cudgel and proceeded towards the battle-field to fight with Jalut. When they faced each other, Jalut disdained his adversary and cursed him by taking the name of some deities. He threatened Talut that his flesh would be thrown before the wild beasts and birds. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) did not care for such warnings and marched forward. He prayed:
“Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm and help us against those who are disbelievers.” (2:249)
By God’s will Jalut was killed by Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) and his army was put to rout. The Philistines took to their heels. The Israelites chased them and came by an enormous booty. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) won a good deal of appreciation and popularity because he rescued his people from those grave dangers which prevailed over them.
The Prophet Dawud is Raised to Eminence:
Talut (Saul) enriched Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) with valuable rewards and gave his daughter in marriage to him. He appointed him as the Supreme Commander of his army because of his valour. When he saw that Prophet Dawud’s influence was increasing rapidly, he began to feel jealous of him. He nursed enmity against his son-in-law. The son of Talut was very kind to Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). He informed him of the real position. The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) tried his best to clear the mind of his father-in-law but in vain. Accidentally Taint was killed by his enemies and his son committed suicide. The Israelites unanimously acknowledged the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) as their king. He managed the administration of the country efficiently. He conquered vast areas of land. The people prospered during his reign. They became morally strong, just, fair-minded and God-fearing
They worshipped one God. Their minds were illuminated with the light of true guidance.
Revelation of Zabur:
Allah revealed the Zabur (Book of Psalms) to Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). It contains lessons for the guidance of Israelites. The Holy Qur’an says:
We gave to Dawud Zabur. (4: 163)
Whenever he recited the verses of the Zabur in a sweet melodious tone, the listeners began to dance in a fit of religious frenzy. They Rocked around him and eulogised God in the accompaniment of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). Above all the beasts. birds, creeping insects and even mountains were fascinated on hearing the recitation of the hymns from the Zabur. The Holy Qur’an affirms:
“We bestowed grace aforetime on Dawud from Ourselves. O ye mountains! Sing you back the praises of Allah with him and you birds also.” (34:10)
It was We that made the hills declare in union with him Our praises at eventide and the break of day and the birds all with him turned to Allah.” (38:18,19)
The Prophet Dawud as an Adept Craftsman:
Iron is hard stuff but in the hands of Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) it became soft and pliable to be turned into any shape. As an adept craftsman he made coats of mail. Thus the manufacture of this defensive armour is traditionally attributed to the Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him). The Holy Qur’an says:
“It was We who taught him the making of coats of mail for your benefit, to guard you from each other’s violence. Will you then be grateful.” (11:80)
“And We made the iron soft for him (commanding) make thou coats of mail balancing well the rings of chain armour and work ye righteousness.” (34:10)
The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) was endowed with the knowledge of understanding the tones of the bird. He could talk and listen to the birds just like human beings.
Death and Burial:
The Prophet Dawud (peace be upon him) passed away at the age of 70 years. He was buried in Jerusalem.