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Stories of the Pious: Hazrat Dawood (as)

HAZRAT DAWOOD (A.S.)

Taloot and Jaloot

Bani Israel lived in Palestine under the leadership of Yusha b. Nun (a.s.)., who till the end of his life tried to improve their social and religious matters. But after he passed away, this responsibility fell upon Bani Israel themselves.

There was no king in Bani Israel for a period of 356 years after the demise of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.). Thus the reigns of the government were in the hands of the advisors (Vazir) of Bani Israel and even the Prophets of that period delivered Allah’s orders through the advisors.

It was in this period that the Amaalekah, Mudyani and Palestenians attacked the Bani Israel several times as they were settled around them. These conflicts between them ended evenly. This condition persisted till the middle of the fourth century after the demise of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.). Bani Israel decided to wage war against the Palestinians and they carried the ‘Taboot-e-Ahad’. There was a trunk (Taboot) in which they kept the pages of the Torah and other belongings of the past Prophets (a.s.). They carried this Taboot with them to all the wars and encouraged the warriors through the Taboot. However Bani Israel lost the battle against the Palestinians, and in the process also forfeited the Taboot.

The loss of the Taboot was a matter of immense shame and disgrace for the Bani Israel, and they lived under such a condition for some years. Finally they could not withstand the humiliation and they approached the Prophet of their time, Hazrat Shamueel (Samuel) (a.s.) and pleaded with him to appoint a leader for them under whose guidance they could wage a war against their enemies and regain their lost respect and honour by reclaiming the Taboot.

Since Hazrat Shamueel (a.s.) was aware of the characteristics and behaviour of the Bani Israel and knew them to be weak in fulfilling promises, he told them, ‘I fear that if Allah orders you for war you may flee away and disobey Him, as a result of which Allah may punish you.’ Bani Israel said ‘Why should we behave like this especially when our enemies have rendered us homeless, separated our children from us and under these conditions, there is no other solution for us than to fight. Then why should we flee from the battle?’

Then Hazrat Shamueel (a.s.) said ‘Allah has appointed Taloot as your leader and you should fight your enemies under his leadership.’ Taloot was a strong and handsome young man. He was from the generation of Hazrat Benyamin (a.s.), the son of Hazrat Yakoob (a.s.). There was none equal to him. However, he lacked wealth and riches and led a poor life. In view of Bani Israel, poverty was a major defect in a person and they claimed, ‘We are better than Talut. We possess wealth and riches, while he is a poor man.’ Hazrat Shamueel (a.s.) countered, ‘Allah has chosen him as a king amongst you. He is far superior to you in knowledge, strength and valour and the sign of his leadership is that he will reclaim for you the Taboot from your enemies.’

After 20 years and 7 months, Taloot reclaimed the Taboot from the Palestinians for the Bani Israel and established his leadership in their midst. The Bani Israel proceeded for war against the Palestinians under his leadership. Jalut (Goliath) was the leader of the Palestinians. Before leaving for battle, Talut told them, ‘On the way there is a river. One who drinks from it is not from me and the one who refrains from drinking is my follower.’

After travelling through the jungles, Bani Israel felt very thirsty and when they reached the river, (predicted by Taloot) except for a few, all of them drank from the river and in this way they disobeyed Taloot’s instructions. They said, ‘We cannot fight against circumstances. We are very few in number and our enemy is very powerful. There is a lot of difference between him and us.’

Those believers who did drink from the river, when they saw the faith of others weakening, they exhorted the Bani Israel, ‘There are many instances when a small group has overcome big armies with the order and help from Allah’s side and has claimed honour and respect in this world and the hereafter. Therefore, it is not necessary that a small group may defeated.’

Over here we realise that it is not possible to obtain success in this world and the hereafter without a leader. And when Allah appoints somebody as a leader, then we should accept his leadership without protest and obey his orders without any hesitation. We should not be intimidated by the large numbers of the enemy as with our unity and cooperation we can overcome them. But in order to achieve this success, we must obey Allah and His representative completely.

Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) in Taloot’s army

The few who were left in Taloot’s army stood and faced the Palestinians, who were priding themselves on Jaloot, their strong leader. Once war commenced, Jaloot marched onto the battlefield and challenged the Bani Israel. But due to his awe and terror, none in the Bani Israel had the courage to face him. There was a young boy in Taloot’s group, Dawood (a.s.) who was accompanying his three brothers. Dawood (a.s.) did not come with the intention of participating in the battle. Rather he had been sent by his father along with his brothers so that he would inform him about their victory at the earliest. Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) was appointed as a Prophet among the Bani Israel after Hazrat Shamueel (a.s.). Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) asked one person, ‘If someone vanquishes Jaloot, how will the king reward him?’ The man replied, ‘Apart from bestowing him with innumerable gifts, the king will give him his daughter’s hand. His family will be honoured and respected.’

Until that day, Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) had never participated in a battle and in fact, had no exposure whatsoever to warfare. However, he still approached the king and expressed his desire to fight Jaloot. Taloot refused to grant him permission and informed him of Jaloot’s strength compared to his own weakness. But Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) replied fearlessly, ‘I think of myself capable of fighting this war. Just a few days ago a lion had attacked the Rock of sheep of my father but I countered it and killed it.’ The king made Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) wear the armour and sent him to the battlefield. Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) felt uneasy in the armour and he removed it and went to battle Jaloot unarmed. He did not have any weapon with him except five stones, which he had picked in the jungle, a small stick and a sling.

After arriving in the battlefield, he loaded a stone in his sling, aimed it at Jaloot and flung it at him, taking Allah’s name. The stone hit Jaloot on the forehead and Jaloot fell on the ground. Hazrat Dawoood (a.s.) advanced towards Jaloot and severed his head from his body. He carried the head to Taloot. When Jaloot’s soldiers saw this sight, their hopes were frustrated and they all fled.

Hazrat Dawood’s (a.s.) relation with Taloot

As per his promise, Taloot married his daughter to Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) and appointed him the commander of his army. Gradually the discussion of Hazrat Dawood’s (a.s.) greatness and excellence increased among the people. With these discussions, love and affection for him increased manifold in the hearts of the people. Meanwhile friendship of Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) with Yunasan (son of Taloot ) grew stronger.

This widespread fame and acceptance of Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) among the people became a cause of jealousy and envy for Taloot. This fire of jealousy against Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) began raging fiercely, until one day Taloot made a plan to kill him. Yunasan tried unsuccessfully to stop his father from this disgraceful act. Taloot sent Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) to many dangerous wars so that he may be killed by the enemy. However Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) was always victorious.

Talut devised another scheme to kill Hazrat Dawood (a.s.), but the latter got news of it. He left the place that same night along with his relatives and took shelter in a cave. Gradually Hazrat Dawood’s (a.s.) other relatives, the poor, weak and needy also took shelter along with him. Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) along with the entire group sought refuge in the neighbouring kingdom of Palestine. When Talut learnt of this, he attacked the kingdom of Palestine, but was defeated and the battle ended with his death. His soldiers fled the battlefield. The kingdom fell in the hands of the Hazrat Dawood (a.s.). During the same period Hazrat Shamueel (Samuel) (a.s.) passed away and the prophethood transferred to Hazrat Dawood (a.s.). He fought several wars and Allah gave Him victory. Hence he was successful in bringing many kingdoms within the realm of Bani Israel.

Miracles of Hazrat Dawood (a.s.)
Allah bestowed numerous favours on Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) in addition to the kingdom. Apart from prophethood, knowledge, kingdom and a divine book like ‘Zaboor’, he was also blessed with a good voice. When he was engaged in Allah’s worship, the birds of the mountains and forests rushed towards him and joined him in divine remembrance in their own language. Even the mountains prayed along with him.

Hazrat Dawood’s (a.s.) miracles mentioned in the Holy Quran are:

  1. The mountain glorified Allah, the Almighty, along with him.
  2. The birds too glorified Allah along with him.
  3. Allah made iron soft as wax for him, without any furnace and tools. Allah bestowed upon him the knowledge of constructing the armour. In fact, the armour was invented by him.
  4. Allah granted him a huge, stable and secure kingdom.
  5. Allah granted him the Zaboor, which he recited with pleasant recitation. In this manner he invited the people towards Allah.

(These miracles are explained in Surae Yunus (Sura no. 10) and Surae Hud (Sura no. 11))

Hazrat Dawood’s (a.s.) wailing and worship

Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) used to fast very frequently. To the extent that all his life, he fasted on one day and ate the next day. Some traditions quote the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) – Hazrat Dawood (a.s.) grieved and wailed out of Allah’s fear in such a way that it was as if two streams (of tears) were continuously flowing forth from his eyes. Others traditions state that the vegetation and plants would turn green on being watered continuously by his tears.
(Qasasul Quran by Hashim Rasooli vol. 2)

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