It has been mentioned earlier that Dawud was Allah’s Prophet and he was born circumcised and that he was one of those four messengers whom Allah had selected for fighting with sword (jihad). Henceforth it will be described that he was named Dawud because he had healed his heart’s wound (which was caused due to Tark al-Awla = giving up the preferable) through affection for Allah.
Authentic narrators mention from Imam al-Baqir that Allah did not send, after Nuh any Messenger was also a king except Dhu’l-Qarnayn, Dawud, Sulayman and Yusuf. The kingdom of Dawud was from Syria to Istakhar in Iran.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that Dawud expired on a Sunday. Birds of the air shaded him with their wings. Allah has said,
And we gave wisdom and knowledge; and We made the mountains, and the birds to celebrate Our praise with Dawud; and We were the doers. (21:79)
Meaning: It was not beyond our Might and Power. Some say when he started remembrance and praise of Allah, the mountains and the birds also sang along with him in chorus. Some have said the birds in the air and the mountains used to walk with him.
And We taught him the making of coats of mail for you, that they might protect you in your wars; will you then be grateful? (21:78)
The first person to make an armor was Dawud. Before him, people used to join iron pieces on their body and were unable to fight due to their weight. So Allah made iron as soft as a paste in his hands and he was making armors with his own hands and which were light in weight and could also protect the body from weapons.
And certainly We gave to Dawud excellence from Us: O mountains! sing praises with him, and the birds; (34:10)
People have said that when Dawud was praising and remembering Allah, the Almighty used to make mountains and birds vocal (so they too sang with him in tune). Some have said Allah had put all of them under control of Dawud and consequently whatever he desired from the mountains possible, for example, coming out of minerals from the mines or digging of wells etc. similarly whatever he ordered to the birds his command was also carried out by them.
And We made the iron pliant to him, saying: Make ample (coats of mail), and assign a time to the making of coats of mail and do good; surely I am Seeing what you do. (34:10-11)
And He says at another place: And certainly We gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulayman, and they both said, Praise be to Allah, Who has made us to excel many of His believing servants. (27:15)
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that Allah gave Dawud and Sulayman miracles which were not given to any Prophet he was taught the language of birds and he made iron and pewter soft (pliant) for him (without the help of fire) and mountains used to sing praise of Allah with him and gave him Zabur (Psalms) which contained Tawhid (Oneness of Allah) and His praise and supplications. In it were also news about the Prophet of Allah Muhammad as well as Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali (as.) and the holy Imams and the events of the Raj‘ah (return) and the faithful and the appearance of Imam al-Mahdi, Allah says in the holy Qur’an,
“And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.” (21:105)
They, according to many traditions, are the impeccable Imams. Again ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated that when Dawud was reciting the Zabur (Psalms) in the desert, the mountains and birds in the air as well as the forest animals used to sing Praise to Allah with him and that iron used to be as pliant as wax in his hands, whereby he was making whatever he wanted easily and without melting or heating it on fire.
According to authentic narration, Imam as-Sadiq has said that whenever he (the Imam) faced any difficult task he used to do it on Tuesday, that is, on the day on which Allah had made iron soft for Dawud. it is mentioned in another hadith that Allah sent a revelation to Dawud that “You would have been a good and merited person had you earned your provision by working with your own hands and without taking it from the public treasury.”
Hearing this Dawud wept very much. So Allah ordered iron, ‘Be soft for My servant Dawud’. So Dawud was manufacturing one armor daily and selling it for 1000 Dinars until he made 360 armors and sold them for 360000 and had become needless of the public treasury. ‘Ali has, in one of his sermons, said, ‘If you like do imitation of Dawud the singer of the Psalms reciting Zabur melodiously. He will be the reciter in the Heavens. He used to weave baskets from the skin of date tree and to tell his companions who from them would sell them. Then he used to purchase bread of barley from that amount and to eat it.1
It is recorded with authentic evidences that Imam as-Sadiq said that one day Dawud said, ‘Today I will worship my Lord and recite Zabur in an unprecedented manner.’ Then he went into his niche and did as he had planned. When he concluded his prayers prayer a frog appeared suddenly and spoke to him by the command of Allah, “O Dawud! Are you pleased with this worship and recitation made by you now?” Dawud replied in the affirmative. The frog said, “You must not feel happy over it. I recite 3000 Tasbihs (praises) of my Lord every night. Out of that 3000 Tasbihs sprout and spread over me though I remain in the bottom of water. When I hear the voice of any bird, I presume that it is hungry. So I come up on the surface to enable that bird may eat me up even though I did not err.”
In a hadith it is mentioned that Imam al-Baqir said once Dawud was in his niche of worship when a red worm crawled to the spot of his prostration. Seeing it Dawud thought why did Allah created this tiny worm? In order to discipline him, Allah gave that insect the power of speaking and it, by the order of the Lord, spoke, “O Dawud! Could you hear my noise or see the signs of my steps on the hard rock?” He replied in the negative. The insect said, “Surely the Creator of the worlds hears the sound of my footsteps, my voice and even my breathing and He sees the marks of my footsteps on hard rocks. So lower your voice and do not complain so much in His presence.”
It is mentioned in reliable traditions that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, Dawud arrived for hajj, attended Arafat, saw the huge gathering of people there and went on top of a hill and engaged himself in supplication in solitude. When he concluded the hajj rituals, Archangel Gabriel came to him and asked, “Why had you gone to the hill? Your Lord asks did you think that your voice would not reach Him due to the noise of the multitude.” Then Archangel Gabriel took Dawud to Jeddah and therefrom made him reach the bottom of the sea and to the depth of a 40 day journey, on land. Then they reached a rock. They split it and found a worm in it. Archangel Gabriel told Dawud, “Your Lord says, ‘I hear the voice of this little insect in the rock at the bottom of the sea and am not unconcerned of his needs (condition) and you imagined that I might not hear your voice due to the amalgamation of the voices of others!’”2
According to reliable evidences Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Dawud prayed to Allah that whenever cases come before him Allah may enlighten him (through revelation the fact of the matter according to Divine Knowledge so that he (Dawud) might decide the cases accordingly. The Lord told Dawud that people would not be able to bear it. ‘But, I will fulfill your wish’. Then a man came to Dawud and complained that a certain person had done injustice to him. Allah ordained that the defendants might be asked to kill the plaintiff and also to give the property of the later to the former. Dawud decided accordingly. The Israelites raised a hue and cry saying “You acted with the oppressed in an unjust manner.” So Dawud again prayed to Allah, “My Lord! Relieve me of this embarrassment. There came the Divine Revelation, “O Dawud! You had desired the proper decision from Me which I ordered. The fact was that the complainant himself was the killer of the defendant’s father and he had usurped the property of the latter. So I commanded that the defendant might kill the plaintiff to retaliate the murder and to take back his father’s property. His father lies buried under such and such tree in such and such garden. Go there and call his name. He will reply. Ask him who killed him?” Dawud became very glad on hearing this and told The Israelites that Allah had relieved him from a big calamity. Then he went to the aforesaid tree along with other people and called out the name of the murdered fellow. He (the dead one) replied, “Labbaik!’ (Here I am), O Prophet of Allah!” Dawud asked who killed him and he said such and such person. He also said that he also took away all his property. Learning this, the Israelites became happy. Then Dawud requested Allah to lift from him the real command. Allah revealed to him, “My servants cannot tolerate the consequences of real command in this world. So ask for witness from the complainant, ask the defendant to sear while interrogating and then decide and leave the factual order real command to Me. on the Day of Judgment I will decide on that factual basis.”
It is authentically narrated from Imam al-Baqir that Dawud asked Allah, “Show me an example of the decisions which you are to make on the Day of Judgment.” The Almighty said, I have not shown the thing asked by you to anyone of my creation and it does not befit anyone else to decide like Me. Dawud repeated his request. Archangel Gabriel came down and said, “You have asked a thing which no Messenger had ever asked. Allah has accepted your plea and so He will expose to you the Final judgment in a case which you will face first next morning. Next day when Dawud assembled his court a youth entered quarrelling with an old man, there was a bunch of grapes in the hand of the young man. The old man complained, “My Lord! This man entered my garden without my permission, damaged my grapevines and ate up my fruits.” Dawud questioned that youth who replied that of course he had done so.
Allah sent a revelation to Dawud, “If I decide between them according to the laws of the Hereafter you will not be able to withstand it nor the Israelites will accept it. O Dawud! That garden belongs to the father of this very youth. This old man entered that garden and killed this youth’s father, usurped his wealth amounting to 40000 Dirhams and buried him in a corner of the garden. So give a sword in the hand of the youth and ask him to kill the old man and thus retaliate his father’s murder and also give away the garden to the youth and ask him to dig out his wealth from such and such spot.” Dawud hesitated (was frightened) but carried out the Divine Commandment, and issued orders accordingly.
According to another narration, two persons quarreled in the matter of a cow. Both tried to prove its ownership and both produced witnesses to that effect, Dawud prayed to Allah in his prayer niche: “My Lord! I am helpless in deciding this dispute so You give order.” Allah revealed, “Take away the rope of the cow from the hand holding it, give it to another person and cut off the head of the former. Dawud carried out the Divine commandment. The Israelites raised a hue and cry shouting what kind of a decision was it! Dawud returned to the Mihrab (prayer niche) and complained that The Israelites were not happy with this decision. Allah sent revelation that the man who was holding the cow had killed the father of another person and snatched the cow from him. “So henceforth, whenever you come across such a dispute, do make decision according to the apparent order of the case and do not ask Me for judgment. Leave My decision until the Day of Judgment.”
It is reported that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, “A chain used to hang from the sky in the time of Dawud. People decided their disputes with its help. The hand of the truthful could reach the chain. The liar could not hold it. A man entrusted a pearl to another. The latter refused to return it on demand by the former. He had concealed it in his stick. The owner of the jewel said let us go to the chain to ascertain who is telling truth and who is a liar.” (He agreed and both reached the chain). First, the real owner of the pearl tried to hold the chain and it came in his hand (to indicate that he was truthful in his claim and that he had given his pearl to the other fellow). Then came the turn of another person. He gave his staff (which contained the pearl) to the other many saying him “just hold this so that I may catch the chain.” By this trick the chain came in his hand too because at that moment the pearl was in the staff which was then in the hand of the original owner. After such cheating tactic Allah pulled the chain up and commanded Dawud to decide disputes on the basis of witness and swearing.
It is mentioned in many reliable traditions that when al-Qa'im will appear, he will decide, like Dawud, according to his own knowledge on the basis of facts and will not call for witnesses.
It is recorded from Imam al-Baqir that one day ‘Ali entered the mosque. Suddenly a young man approached him weeping. He was surrounded by a big mob of people who were consoling him.
Imam asked him the reason of weeping. He said, “Qadi Shuraih has decided my case in such a way that I cannot comprehend. These people had taken my father along with them in a journey. Now they have returned but have not brought my father back. When I asked, they said he has died. When I asked what happened to all of his goods. They say he did not leave any goods. I took them to Qadi Shuraih. He asked them questions on oath and released them.
Though, O Amir al-Mu’minin! I know that my father had taken a lot of merchandise with him.” ‘Ali said, “Come let us go back to Qadi Shuraih.” ‘Ali asked the Qadi, “How did you decide this case?” He replied, “This youth claimed that his father had joined these people in a journey and had carried goods; that his father did not return and these people did not bring any of his goods; that they say his father did not leave any goods behind him. I asked the youth whether he had any witness. He replied in the negative so I inquired from these people on oath. ‘Ali said, “It is regretful that you decide such cases in this way! By Allah! I will decide this dispute in such a way that none except Dawud had decided.’”
Then he asked Qambar to bring the sundews of the army. When they arrived, the Emir called everyone of the caravan men and then told them, “Perhaps you imagine that I do not know what you did to his father. It would be very unwise if I could not understand even this thing.” Then he ordered everyone of them to stand separately behind each one of the mosque pillars. Then he covered their faces with their clothes so that they might not be able to see one another. Then he called his writer ‘Abdullah bin Rafi’. He came with pen and paper and Imam sat as a judge. People gathered around him.
Then he instructed, “When I say Allahu Akbar bring here one of them. Likewise, he first called one of them and made him sit before him. Removed the cloth from his face and asked ‘Abdullah bin Rafi’ to write down what he uttered. Then he began questioning that man, “When did you leave your homes?” Was this man’s father with you then? He replied, “On such and such day.” He asked, “What was that month?” He gave the name of the month. Then he asked, “Where did you arrive thereafter?” He said at such and such place. He asked, “In whose house did you stay?” He said, “In the house of such and such man.” Then he asked what illness struck him (the complainant’s father)? He said such and such illness. He asked, “For how many days did he remain ill?” He said, “So many days.” He put similar questions and then asked on what day he died? On what day he was given a bath? Who gave him the bath, who wrapped him in coffin cloth? What kind of coffin was it? Who offered the prayers for the dead? In which grave was he buried. Then Imam cried Allahu Akbar. All those present also cried in unison “Allahu Akbar.”
Hearing this slogan the companions of that (interrogated) man thought that their fellow traveler has confessed to the crime of killing the complainant’s father and that was why all in court repeated the slogan “Allahu Akbar.” Then, according to the instructions of the Imam, the face of the interrogated person was again covered and he was sent to his place behind a pillar.
Thereafter another person was made to sit in front of him. Amir al-Mu’minin told him, “You had thought that I do not know what you people had done.” He said, “O Amir al-Mu’minin! Though I was one of the groups I did not agree with the plot of murdering him and confessed to the crime.” Likewise, all of them were called one by one and all made confessions to the crime. At last, he called the first person again and then he also confessed and revealed that all of them had joined hands to murder the plaintiff’s father and had usurped him property. Thus, the Imam proved the case of the complainant.
Qadi Shuraih said, “O Maula! Kindly also enlighten us how Dawud had decided the case?” The Amir al-Mu’minin said, “One day Dawud was passing by when he saw some boys playing together. They were calling one of them by the name “Maat ud Deen” (meaning religion is dead). Dawud called that boy to him and asked him, “Who gave this name to you?” He replied, “My mother.” Dawud took that boy to his mother and asked her, “Who gave such name to your son?” She replied, “His father.” asked, “How and why?” The woman said, “This boy’s father had once gone on a journey with a group of people. At that time, this boy was in my womb (unborn until then). That group came back home but this body’s father was not with them. When I asked his whereabouts to that group they said, he is dead. I asked what happened to his property and goods. They said he did not leave any wealth. I asked them whether he had made any wasiyyah (will)? They said, ‘Yes, he had said that: I have a wife who is pregnant. Tell her she should name the newborn (boy or girl) “Maat ad Deen.”’ So I did accordingly.”
Dawud asked her whether she knew that group and whether they were alive? The woman replied, “Yes, all of them are alive and I know all of them. asked her to accompany him for showing them.” Then Dawud went to the house of each and everyone of them along with that widow, called all of them and decided the case as you have seen now. All of the guilty confessed to their crime of murder and robbery. Then Dawud asked that woman to name the boy “Aash ad Deen” (meaning the religion is revived).
According to reliable narrations, it is reported that Imam as-Sadiq said that the Holy Prophet said that the age of Dawud was 100 years and that he ruled for forty years therefrom as a king.
According to authentic narrations, Imam al-Baqir has said that Allah sent a company of angels to Adam in the valley of Rauhaa which is situated between Taif and Makkah and called out his progeny who were like ants in the world of spirits. All came out of the back of Adam, collected like honey bees. Allah asked Adam to look what he could observe. Adam replied, “Numerous tiny ants are seen in the valley.” Allah said all of them are your progeny whom I have brought out from your back so that I may take oaths and swearing (promises) from them regarding my Lordship and Muhammad ’s Messengership as I had taken Such confession from them in the heaven. Adam asked, “My Lord! How can there be room for such a big number in any back?” Allah said, “It is through My minute art powerful might that I have placed them in your back.”
He inquired, “My Lord! What do you want from them by way of promise?” The Lord replied, “I want that they should not make anyone like Me in any way.” Adam said, “My Nourisher! What is the reward for the one who will obey Your Command? He replied, “I will make him live in My Paradise.” Adam asked, “What will be the punishment for the one who disobeys You?” The Lord said, “I will hurl him in the Hell.” Adam said, “My Lord! Indeed, you have done a just deed to them. But, if you will not protect them and will not make them inclined toward good most of them will indulge in sin.” Allah informed Adam of the names of Prophets and their ages. When Adam came to know about the age of Dawud which was to be only 40 years Adam said, “How less this son of mine is to live! My age is quite long. Will you accept if I give 30 years from my life to him?” The Lord said, “All right.” Adam said, “My Lord! I hereby give 30 years from my life period to Dawud. Kindly reduce it from my life and add it to the life of Dawud.” So Allah did likewise.
He has said in the Holy Qur’an that He removes whatever He wishes and establishes whatever He wills. He has the Ummul Kitab (mother of all Books) wherefrom all other Books are scribed. When the lifetime of Adam ended and the angel of death came to him to retrieve his soul Adam said, 30 years of my life still remain. The Angel said, “You have already given it to one of your sons Dawud.” Adam said, “I do not remember it.” The angel said, “You yourself had asked for it to the Almighty. He, in Zabur, decreased your age by 30 years and added the same to the life span of Dawud.” Adam said, “Produce it if there is any evidence.” Indeed Adam did not remember. From that day, Allah commanded His servants to make written deeds and promissory notes etc. in their transactions so that they might not be forgotten and they might not deny.
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that Adam had donated 50 years and when he denied, Archangel Gabriel and Mika’il gave witness and made him agreeable and then the angel of death took his soul. It is mentioned in yet another tradition that Dawud ’s life span was 40 years and Adam had added 60 to it. Some other traditions regarding this have also been quoted in the accounts of Adam and they also reply to some objections in this regard. ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has said that there was a gap (of time) of 500 years between Musa and Dawud and of 1100 years between Dawud and ‘Isa.
An Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of DawudAn Account of the Tark al-Awla of Dawud
Almighty has said, “And remember Our servant Dawud, the possessor of power; surely he was frequent in returning (to Allah). Surely We made the mountains to sing the glory (of Allah) in unison with him at the evening and the sunrise, And the birds gathered together; all joined in singing with him. And We strengthened his kingdom and We gave him wisdom and a clear judgment. And has there come to you the story of the litigants, when they made an entry into the private chamber by ascending over the walls? When they entered in upon Dawud and he was frightened at them, they said, Fear not; two litigants, of whom one has acted wrongfully towards the other, therefore decide between us with justice, and do not act unjustly, and guide us to the right way. Surely this is my brother; he has ninety-nine ewes and I have a single ewe; but he said, make it over to me, and he has prevailed against me in discourse. He said, Surely he has been unjust to you in demanding your ewe (to add) to his own ewes; and most surely most of the partners act wrongfully towards one another, save those who believe and do good, and very few are they; and Dawud was sure that We had tried him, so he sought the protection of his Lord and he fell down bowing and turned time after time (to Him)”. (38:22-24)
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir says that ‘Zann’ here means ‘Ilm’ (knowledge), that is, he felt sure that Allah took his test.
Therefore, We rectified for him this, and most surely, he had a nearness to Us and an excellent resort. O Dawud! surely We have made you a ruler in the land; so judge between men with justice and do not follow desire, lest it should lead you astray from the path of Allah; (as for) those who go astray from the path of Allah, they shall surely have a severe punishment because they forgot the day of reckoning. (38:25-6)
‘Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that when the Almighty made Dawud His vicegerent on earth and gave Zabur to him and ordered birds and mountains to sing His praise with him, it was so because when Dawud used to concluded two Rakats of his prayer, his viziers used to get up and praise Allah and also praised everyone of the previous Prophets and remembered their good and noble deeds and described their thankfulness, their engagement in worship and their endurance against calamities but they did not mention Dawud. So he (Dawud) prayed to Allah, “O Lord! You praised Your Prophets but did not praise me.”
There came a revelation from Allah: “I praised them after I took their tests and subjected them to difficulties and they showed patience over it.” Dawud said, “My Lord! Take my test also, put me into troubles so that I may also show patience and reach their status.” Allah said, “Do you give preference to calamity over safety? All right, then, I had taken tests of those Prophets without their knowledge. But now, I make you aware in advance that I will put you to test on such and such date of such and such month of such and such year.
It was a routine of Dawud that on one day he used to settle disputes of people and on the next day he secluded himself from others and engaged in worship in solitude. When the promised day of test arrived Dawud made himself deeply engrossed in worship. He sat alone in the Mihrab and prohibited people from approaching him.
The story of Uria about Dawud which is mentioned among Sunnis is a fabrication of those who believe that Messengers of Allah can commit sins. As mentioned earlier, it is an essential belief of Shi‘ahs that Messengers cannot commit crimes. Hence, we believe that this allegation about Prophets is baseless.
Abu-Basir has narrated that he asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq what did he thinks about the popular story about the wife of Uria and Dawud? He replied that the Sunnis have fabricated it. According to another hadith he said, “If I get power over one man who says that Prophet Dawud took possession of the wife of Uria, I will give him double punishment: one for lying and another for disrespecting a Prophet. People have narrated such a hadith from Amir al-Mu’minin also.
On the basis of the Shi‘ah belief and according to the opinions of some other opponent groups who believe that Prophets do not commit sins, there is a difference of opinion about the repentance of Dawud and its cause and also about the trial taken by Allah of Dawud. There are some reasons for this. The first is that his repentance was not due to any sin but it was merely to express meekness and humility in the presence of Allah. Second, Uria had asked for the hand of a woman. Thereafter Dawud also asked for her hand. Uria had no wife while Dawud had ninety-nine.
Therefore, it was preferable to leave that woman for Uria (and he should not have sent a message for marriage). But he did not do so (the desirable) and hence Allah expressed His unhappiness Third: Dawud had sent Uria in a war. Thereafter he did not feel much on hearing about his martyrdom as his wife was beautiful and he married her. This too was an ugly (undesirable) deed which did not befit his status though it was not a sin. Allah sent two angels for warning him. Fourth: The two who had come to Dawud were not angels but were thieves and they had gone to harm him. But since they could not gain what they wanted they made up this story to hide their misdeed and Dawud realized that they were (really) thieves and he thought of punishing them and it was his imagination (no certainty) which amounted to giving up or leaving the desirable. So he repented did not do anything to the two. Fifth: Allah became angry because when the plaintiff made his statement, Dawud, before ascertaining from the defendant, declared that ‘he has done injustice to you.’ His intention was that ‘If you are telling the truth then he has oppressed you’. The better course was that he should not have uttered these words before taking the statement of the defendant. Therefore, he sought forgiveness for leaving this preferable (desired) course of action. It is recorded with reliable evidence that, in the court of Al-Ma’mun, ‘Ali bin Al Jahm inquired from Imam al-Ridha.
Imam asked him, “What do your Ulama say about it?” ‘Ali bin Al Jahm replied, “They describe that one day Dawud was praying in his prayer niche when suddenly Satan appeared in the form of a beautiful bird. Dawud broke his prayer and advanced to catch that bird. The bird entered the house. Dawud also followed it. The bird sat on the upper storey. Dawud also reached there when his eye fell on the house of Uria wherein his wife was bathing in nude. He was infatuated with her at the very first sight. Uria was sent on a war front. Then he wrote to the chief of the army to place Uria in the front line against the enemy army in the battle field. So it was done. He won the war and overpowered the disbeliever. When Dawud knew this he felt unhappy. He wrote to the army chief again to place him even ahead of the Chest as-Sakina during the war. When it was done, he was martyred. Then Dawud married his widow.”
When Imam heard this story with such a mean motive behind it he hit his forehead with his palm and said, “Innaa lillaahi ve innaa ilaihi raajioon (To what extent are you going?) What a mean motive you are attributing to a Messenger of Allah! According to his (fabrication) a Messenger of Allah underestimated the value of Salat and broke his prayer for the sake of a bird and fell in love with a woman and got her husband killed for obtaining her!” ‘Ali bin al Jahm said, “O Son of the Prophet! Then what was his mistake?” Imam said, “Dawud had entertained a thought that (in his time) Allah had not made anyone else wiser than him. So (in order to correct his thinking) Allah sent two angels who crossed over the wall of the upper storey of his house and entered. The plaintiff made his claim, as Allah has mentioned in the holy Qur’an. Dawud, before hearing the other party to ascertain whether whatever the former said was true and without asking for any witnesses spoke up, ‘He has oppressed you by taking away your ewe also and by trying to add it to his herd.’ This was the mistake and Tark al-Awla (giving up the preferable) that Dawud made in deciding a case. It was not what you have said. Do you not ponder what Almighty Allah says, ‘O Dawud! We make you Our vicegerent on earth; so judge among between people justly and truthfully.’” ‘Ali bin al Jahm asked, “O son of the Messenger of Allah! What about Oriya?” Imam replied, “The law during the days of Dawud was such that if a man died or was killed his widow could never remarry. Dawud was the first person for whom Allah made permissible to marry a widow. When Oriya died, or was killed, after the lapse of the period of Iddah (during which remarriage of a woman is no permitted), Dawud asked for that woman’s hand. This was shocking to the soul of Uria as to how Dawud acted like that (breaking traditions).”3
According to authentic narrations Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Zabur was revealed to Dawud on the night of the 18th of Ramadhan and it is narrated from the Holy Prophet that Zabur was in the form of a compiled book.
It is mentioned in another hadith of the same Imam that Allah sent a revelation to Dawud, “O Dawud! Why have you gone in seclusion?” He replied, “I remain aloof from others to gain Your pleasure and people also remain away from me.” Allah asked, “Why do you remain silent?” He replied, “My Lord! My being afraid of you has made me silent.” The Lord asked, “Why do you toil so much in worship?” His submission was, “Your love has made me toil endlessly in your worship.” He inquired, “Why do you remain penniless though I have given you ample wealth?” Dawud replied, “The remembering of the rights of your bounties on me has made me like an ever-needy person.” Allah asked, “Why are you so humble?” Dawud replied, “Your limitless Grandeur and Might has made me extremely low before You. Moreover, O My Deity! Only humility is appropriate when I am facing You.” Allah said, “Greetings to you of increases in My Grace and Bounty. When you will come to Me, everything desired by you will be ready for you. So live among the populace and be social to them but keep away from bad deeds so that you may be able to gain whatever you wish from me on the Day of Judgment.”
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that Allah sent revelation to Dawud, “O Dawud! Just rest and taste the sweetness only from My remembrance and enjoy the revealing of your secrets only to Me. I will, very soon, make the world empty of the evildoers and will stamp My condemnation on the oppressors.”
According to yet another tradition Imam said that Allah said through revelation to Dawud, “Just as the sun does not stop raining its rays on the one who sits in its light, My Mercy too is not narrow for the one who wants to enter it. Similarly just as a bad omen does not harm the one who does not care for it, in my sight, on the Day of Judgment, the highest status will hold those who practice humility and lowliness and, in my sight the lowliest will be those who show pride and haughtiness.”
In another authentic hadith the same Imam said, “Allah sent revelation to Dawud that when a servant of Mine does a good deed just to please Me, I make the Paradise admissible for him. Dawud asked what that good deed was? Came the Divine reply, “Any good deed a servant does for My pleasure alone, even if he makes Me happy by merely giving a date to a needy person.” Dawud said, “My Lord! Indeed, this merits even to the one who does not recognize You (has not faith in your lordship divinity and Mercy) that he may not cut off his hope (not get disappointed of your Mercy).”
According to a reliable tradition Imam al-Baqir said, “Dawud told Sulayman, ‘O My Son! Never laugh because laughing much makes one poor on the Day of Judgment. My son! Keeping silent most of the time is better for you, except when you understand that speaking is beneficial to you, because, the humiliation experienced due to silence is better than the humiliation caused by overtalking. My Son! If speech is silver, silence is gold.’”
According to another reliable tradition, it is mentioned regarding the wisdom of the progeny of Dawud that: O Son of Adam! How do you open your mouth for advising others when you yourself have not awakened from the sleep of negligence? O Son of Adam! You woke up in the morning in a state of toughness of heart, neglecting the Grandeur of your Lord. Had you been aware of your Lord’s Greatness and Grace you would certainly have feared His anger and would have put faith in His promises? Woe unto you. Why do you not remember your grave and the impending loneliness and horror?
According to reliable evidence the Holy Prophet has said, “The Almighty sent revelation to Dawud that: Verily if a servant brings to Me a good deed on the Day of Judgment, I will give him the choice to select any place in Paradise so that it may be given to him.” Dawud asked, “My Lord! Who will be that person?” The Lord said, “A faithful who tries to fulfill the need of another faithful, irrespective of whether or not that need is fulfilled.”
In explanation of the holy verse:
And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it. (21:105)”
It is written in reliable tradition that it means that the Almighty says: “We have written in Zabur, after all that we had written in the scriptures of the earlier Messengers that the earth will be given in charge of our deserving servants, who are al-Qa’im (aj) the family of Muhammad and his companions as a heritage and said that there is information of forthcoming events in Zabur and it contains Glory and Hallowing and Remembrance of the Lord.”
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Allah sent a revelation to Dawud: Alert your community that whenever a servant of Mine whom I have entrusted any work obeys Me, it becomes incumbent on Me to help him. If he asks anything from Me, I provide it. If he seeks My protection, I protect him. If he wants Me to keep him safe from the evil of his enemies, I give him safety. If he relies on Me, I save him from all calamities. Even if the entire world conspires against him, I remove the adverse effects of that conspiracy from him.
In another hadith it is mentioned that Allah revealed to Dawud that most of my servants maintain mere verbal friendship with one another but they entertain enmity in their hearts.
According to another hadith Allah revealed to Dawud: O Dawud! Remember Me during your happiness so that I may accept your prayers during adversity and said, O Dawud! Befriend Me and also make me popular (beloved) in the eyes of My creation. Dawud replied, “My Lord! I love You. But how can I make You lovely in the eyes of your creation when I have no control over them? The Lord said, Describe My bounties to them so that they may love Me.”
It is mentioned in yet another tradition that Allah revealed to Dawud, “Congratulate (give greetings to) the sinners and frighten the friends.” Dawud said, “My Lord! How can I give good tidings to the sinners despite their evil and how can I frighten (warn) the truthful and the good despite their obedience?” Replied the Lord, “O Dawud! Give good new to the sinners that I am the Forgiver and I pardon the sinners due to My mercy and warn the good-doers that they should not become proud of their good deeds because a servant whom I will bring to account will surely be doomed.”
It is recorded in another reliable tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that it is written in the account of the intelligence of the progeny of Dawud that it is essential for a wise man to be aware of his tongue and to recognize the people of his time and be ever alert to improve himself and to restrain his tongue from talking nonsense.
It is mentioned in a reliable tradition that once a man in worn and torn clothes was sitting near Dawud who used to visit him often. That man was silent. In the meanwhile the angel of death came to Dawud and saluted him and than looked at that person. He asked its reason from the angel of death who replied, “I have been ordered to take the life of this man on the eighth day (from today) at this very spot. Dawud felt pity for that person. He asked that man, “Young man! Are you married?” He replied in the negative. said, “All right, go to such and such man who is a respected person among the Israelites and tell him that Dawud has ordered him to give his daughter in marriage to you. You must consummate the marriage on the night of marriage. Take whatever money is needed from me. Live with you wife for seven days and come back here on the eight day.” That man conveyed the order of Dawud to that person accordingly who, at once, married his daughter with him. He lived with his wife for seven days and returned to Dawud on the eighth. Dawud asked him how did he passed the last seven days. He replied, “O! Before this I had never experienced so much happiness.” Dawud told him, “All right, sit here.” Then he waited for the angel of death to arrive to retrieve his soul. When the fixed hour passed off and the angel did not come, Dawud asked that man to go back and to live with his wife and to come back after another seven days. He went back and returned after another seven days. The angel did not come even on that day. Dawud again sent that man back home and asked him to come on the eight day. On that day when that man came back, the angel of death also came. Dawud asked the angel about the reason of his not coming to end the life of that man as promised earlier and told him that three weeks had passed since than and he was until then alive. The angel of death replied, “O Messenger of Allah! Allah showered Mercy on him because you had pitied him. He extended his life by thirty years.”
It is reported from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that Allah revealed to Dawud to give good tidings of Paradise to Khalaawaa daughter of Aus and also to inform her that in Paradise she will remain near him. Dawud went to her house and knocked the door. The woman came out and asked whether there was any Divine order about her. Hearing the reply in the affirmative, she asked what it was. Dawud narrated to her the Command of Allah. She asked was there any other woman by the same name as of her? Dawud said, “No. Allah has given good tidings especially to you.” She said, “O messenger of Allah! I cannot ascribe untruth to you. But, by Allah, I do not find any such distinction in me which can be the cause of this great honor.” Dawud said, “Let me know about your personal matters.” She said, “It is only that during every trouble, pain, starvation or any other adversity I did nothing but have been patient and complained to none but only One Allah and asked Him alone to remove my hardship. I remained happy at His will and have been only thankful to Him.” Dawud said, “You got this great status only due to this virtue of yours. This is the very way and the religion which Allah has selected for His good servants.”
It is mentioned in some traditions that there were 150 Surahs (Chapters) in Zabur (Psalms) and it was written therein that: O Dawud! Listen to what I say and whatever I say is the Truth. Anyone who will come to Me with love for Me, I will admit him to Paradise. O Dawud! Hear Me. Whatever I say is Truth. If anyone comes to Me being ashamed of his sins, I will blot out his sins from his scroll of deeds.
It is recorded in another tradition that Allah revealed to Dawud that: O Dawud! Deep distance from those who indulged in worldly affairs and have embraced the material joys and pleasures because there are barriers on their intelligence and wisdom and My Grace and Mercy will not reach them. O Dawud! The one who loves someone, testifies to his (latter’s) word and the one who is fond of his friend accepts his words and likes his character and puts faith on his friend and leaves his affairs to him. The one who longs for his friend rushes swiftly towards him so as to reach him at the earliest. O Dawud! My remembrance is for the one who loves Me and My Paradise is for those who are obedient to Me and My nearness is for those who are fond of Me and I am the Protector of My obedient.
It is mentioned that Allah revealed to Dawud: Tell to such and such king that I did not give him so that he may go on gathering the worldly wealth and enjoy luxuries by sucking the blood of the poor. Rather I had given power and kingdom to him so that he may prevent the cries of the oppressed from reaching Me and so that he may help them. Therefore, I have sworn by Myself to help the oppressed and to take revenge from the one who oppressed them and also from the one who did not help them.
It is narrated that Allah revealed to Dawud: O Dawud! Thank Me as I should be thanked. Dawud said, “My Lord! How can I thank as You deserve to be thanked when my thankfulness is also one of your bounties?” Allah said, “When you have confessed that it is impossible to thank Me as I should be thanked then it itself is the desired thankfulness.”
It is mentioned in another narration that one day Dawud went to a forest alone. Allah asked him through revelation: O Dawud! Why have you adopted aloofness? He replied, “My Lord! My longing to meet You and to worship You overpowered me and it became a barrier between me and your creation.” Allah said, “Go to My creations. If you will guide even one person to My Path I will record your name in the list of my glorifiers in the Preserved Tablet.”
According to another hadith it is mentioned in the Wisdom of Dawud ’s progeny that it is essential for a wise man to remain mindful on four occasions: (1) In one part of the day he should engage himself in praying and worshipping the Almighty, (2) For one hour he must take account of himself to see how may times he obeyed his Lord and on how many occasions he defied His commandments, (3) For a period of time he should fix meetings with faithful brothers who may honestly point out his defects to him and (4) He should spare some time for his own pleasure and this period of time will provide him scope for the other engagements.
It is recorded in reliable sources that in the time of Dawud there was a woman who was being approached by a man who used to force her for adultery. One day Allah put an idea in that woman’s mind and so she told that evil man, “Is there any wonder if, at the time when you are coming to me, some other man may be going to your wife?” Hearing this that man at once returned to his home. He saw that in fact someone else was with his wife. He caught that man and took him to Dawud and complained, “O Prophet of Allah! A calamity has befallen me and perhaps no one else has been struck with such a calamity.” Dawud asked what was it and he said, “I have found this man sleeping with my wife.” Allah revealed to Dawud: “Tell him he is getting the recompense of what he himself is doing.”
It is reported that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said that Allah sent revelation to Dawud: If anyone of My servants took shelter in Me to save himself from calamities and relied on none but Me for obtaining bounties and as I know that he is true in his claim (of relying only on Me)- then I will fix for him only that which is beneficial to him even if the earth and the heavens and all in them conspire against him and I will protect him from their evil. And as regards the one about whom I know that he is not relying on Me and has taken shelter in anyone or anything other than Me then surely I will cut off all provisions for him and will make the soil beneath under his feet hard for him and I will not mind in which valley he dies.
It is mentioned in another reliable tradition that Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq said, Allah revealed to Dawud: O Dawud! Tell the oppressors and the tyrants not to remember Me because I remember a servant who remembers Me and when a tyrant remembers Me while torturing others, I curse and condemn him.
It is recorded in reliable sources that Imam al-Baqir said that there was a worshipper in the time of Dawud and he liked his worship. Allah revealed to Dawud O Dawud! None of this person’s deeds should please you because whatever he does he does it to show it to others. When he died, people came to Dawud to tell him that worshipper had died. Dawud told them, “Go and bury him.” But he himself did not go for the funeral. People of The Israelites did not like this deed of Dawud and wondered why he did not join them in the burial of such a famous worshipper. When they concluded bathing the corpse fifty of them arose and announced that “We have seen nothing but good in this person.” Similarly, fifty men gave witness like this at the time of the burial prayer also. Allah revealed to Dawud asking him why did he not attend the funeral of such and such worshipper? Dawud replied, “Because of the news you gave me about him.” Allah said, “Though it was so, a group of scholars gave witness before Me that he was a good man and I accepted their testimony and overlooked whatever I knew.”
It is narrated in a reliable tradition that Imam al-Ridha, once, in the court of Al-Ma’mun, told Raas al Jalut, the greatest Jewish scholars of the time that Allah has said in Zabur that ‘My Lord! Appoint the one who will establish the Divine Order after nature that is, at a time when no Messenger was appointed for a long time. said, Do you know any messenger who established Sunnah after nature?
Sayyid Tawus has mentioned that he had seen in the second Surah of Dawud’s Zabur that the Almighty revealed, “O Dawud! I appointed you My caliph on earth and made you a Messenger hallowing My Holiness. And in the near future a group will begin to say that My messenger ‘Isa is Allah beside Me, because of a miracle which I will give him whereby he will raise up the dead. O Dawud! Make My creation aware of My Mercy and Kindness which is despite My control over everything. O Dawud! Who is the one whose rope of hope in the creation had been broken; I disappointed him, and who is the one whom I drove away after he had turned toward Me? Then why do you not remember Allah with His Holiness and Sanctity? He is the one who shaped you and who has made you of different races. Why do not establish prayers during day and night? Why do not you, by such worship, repel the sins you had committed against Me? Do you think that you will never die; that the world will exist for you forever? Whereas there are innumerable bounties in Paradise, which are far more than what are available for them in this world, provided you think and realize. And very soon, you will understand when you will come to Me because I am seeing your deeds and know them. Holy is the Allah who is the Creator of Radiance.”
And it is written in the 10th Surah of Zabur: O Men! Do not neglect the Hereafter. This worldly life should not cheat you with its beauty and attractions. O The Israelites! Think over your return to the Hereafter and remember the Day of the Resurrection Day. If you ponder over the punishment fixed by Me for the disobedient, your laughing will decrease and your weeping will increase but you have become careless about your death and you have put aside My promise and have taken My right lightly as if you have not sinned at all and that you are not accountable. How many promises you give and then act contrary to them and how many oaths do you break? If you remember the crush of the grave your talking will decrease and you will remember Me more and will engage in worship more and more. Verily the real perfection is the perfection in the Hereafter and the worldly perfection is changing and ending. Do you not ponder over the creation of the earth and the heavens and all that I have provided therein and which are My signs? Do you not think about the things which are warning you? I have kept the birds balanced in the air while they are singing My Praise and are turning only toward Me for seeking their provision and I am the Forgiver, the Merciful, the Holy and the Creator of Light (Noor).
And it is written in the 17th chapter: O Dawud! Listen to what I say and order Sulayman to make people understand that I will give the earth as inheritance to Muhammad and his Ummah (followers) and they will be different from what you are. Their prayer will not be musical instruments and songs. So recite my Holiness more and more and weep profusely when you raise the song in My sanctification.
O Dawud! Tell The Israelites not to hoard illegal wealth otherwise; I will not accept their prayers. Tell (O Man!) if your father disobeys Me, get away from him and keep aloof even from your brother if he indulges in illegal acts. Describe the story of those two persons (to The Israelites) who lived in the time of Idris. Time for prayer arrived when they were engaged in trading (selling their goods). One of them said, I will sell my merchandise after I finish my prayer. Another said I will pray after the business deals. So one was engaged in prayer and another in trade. Then by My Command wind, rain and lightning destroyed the one who had engaged himself in business at the time of prayer and he was surrounded by darkness. He lost both, trade and prayer and it was inscribed on the gate of his house: “Just see what the world gives to its lover!”
O Dawud! When you see an oppressor whom the world has given a high status, do not long for his position. Surely and doubtlessly, he will get one of the two things: Either I will impose an oppressor on him who will be a greater tyrant than him and who will take revenge from him or I will force him to give the rights of others on the Day of Judgment.
O Dawud! If you happen to see, on the Day of Judgment, those people who had usurped the rights of others, you will surely find shackles of fire around their necks. So always, take account of your deeds and behave justly with all and give up the world and its adornments.
O extremely neglectful man! What will you do with the world in which man goes alive but it drives him out dead. Woe unto you; if you happen to see the Paradise and what I have provided therein for My friends, you will find no taste at all in any of the worldly things. I will call out My friends on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who had desire for eating and drinking the world but who had given them up just to gain My pleasure? Where are those who had mixed laughing with weeping? Where are those who were gathering in My Mosques in cold and hot seasons? Let them see today how many kinds of bounties I have kept ready for them. I will tell them: You were remaining awake for My worship when others were sleeping. Today whatever you wish is here for you. Doubtlessly your deeds of piety were restringing My anger toward the people of the world. O Rizwaan (angel in charge of paradise)! Give them drinks. When they drink the heavenly drinks, their faces will become more fresh and handsome. Rizwaan will say to them: Allah has given you these bounties because your private parts never touched that which were forbidden to you and you never longed for the position of the rich and the rulers. So I will tell Rizwaan: O Rizwaan! The heavenly bounties which are higher than the worldly wealth and which I have provided for them may now be exposed to them.
O Dawud! Whosoever bargains with me is the trader who makes the most profit. And a businessman who goes after the material world is biggest loser. Woe unto you, O Son of Adam! How stony is your heart! Your parents go on dying and you do not take any lesson from their demise. O son of Adam! Do you not see that an animal dies and the air decomposes it though it had not committed any sin? But if your sins are dumped on a mountain, they will break it into pieces.
O Dawud! I swear by My Grace and Greatness nothing is more harmful to you than your wealth and children and nothing else can make your heart more corrupt. Your noble good deed is high in My sight and My knowledge has covered everything. Holy is the Lord Who has created the Light (Noor).
It is written in the 23rd Surah that: O Sons of dust and dirty water and yet most proud people! You lean towards what has been prohibited for you by Me. So, had you known where the forbidden leads, you would certainly abhor it. Had you seen the women of Paradise fragrant with the heavenly scent who do not have the humanly discomforts, you would never pay attention to the world. Those women of Paradise always remain happy and smiling and they never get angry or agitated. They are immortal and will never die. Despite being repeatedly deflowered by their husbands, they always remain virgin. They are softer than butter and sweeter than honey. Springs of drink and honey flow before their thrones. Woe unto you who you do not realize the great kingdom and the everlasting bounties and untroubled life and eternal happiness and unending affluence which is with Me. Holy is the Lord Who is the Creator of Light (Noor).
And it is written in the 31st Surah (of the Psalms): O People! You are mortgaged to death. So do something for your Hereafter and purchase it in exchange of this world. Do not be like the group of people who wasted their worldly life in negligence and play. Remember that the one who gives me a loan will get back his capital with much profit and the one who gives a loan to Satan will find himself near him in Hell. What has happened to you that you love the world and get away from Truth? Have your imaginations cheated you? What can be the ambition of the one who is created from dust?
O Son of Adam! You will go to Hell if you worship anyone or anything except only one Allah. If you are disgusted with Me, I am also disgusted of you. I do not need your worship until you accept Islam totally and honestly. I am the Winner and the Blameless, the Creator of Noor, the Light.
In the 46th Surah: O Sons of Adam! You have underestimated My right so I will also decrease your right. The hearts and livers of those who eat usury will be torn to pieces in Hell. Whenever you give something to the needy, it reaches Me before the beggar gets it. If that thing is earned from unlawful money, I throw it back on the face of the giver. If it is from lawful earning, I order a palace for him in Paradise. Kingdom, in reality is not the kingdom of this world but it is that of the Hereafter. Holy is the Creator of the Light (Noor).
In the 27th Surah: O Dawud! Do you know why I transformed The Israelites into monkeys and pigs? It was because they used to ignore when a rich person committed a crime and took it lightly but when any poor person erred a little they used to punish him. Therefore, my curse is incumbent on one who gets power in the world and does not deal with justice with both rich and poor. You are obeying your wishes in the world. But where will you escape from Me when you will come to Me alone? How emphatically have I prohibited you from dishonoring the Muslims. But your tongues have exceeded much against the people. The Creator of the Noor (Light) is Sacred.
In the 65th chapter: O Dawud! Narrate to The Israelites about that man whose regime had encircled the entire earth. So much so that when he acquired much power, he became corrupt. He started to remove truth and to raise untruth. He built buildings, constructed forts, gathered wealth. Then I ordered a wasp which entered his party of entertainment and began to sting his face and body and his face swelled, his eyes began to bleed and puss came out from his skin. All of his flesh thinned out and rotted. Nobody was able to approach him due to his stench. He died in the same condition and was buried headless. Were the people to take lesson nobody would have dared to disobey Me. But they are engaged in enjoyment and pastime. So let them remain playing until My Command is issued about them. Sacred is the One who created Light.