One of the messengers to whom Allah revealed a book was the Prophet Dawud (as). At every moment of his life and upon every incident he encountered, the Prophet Dawud (as) was one who remembered Allah and called upon Him. As stated in a verse, he was a person “who repeatedly turned back to Allah.” Allah gave him wisdom and discernment in speech, and he was a servant of Allah who was made superior to the majority of people. In the Qur’an, Allah informs us that He granted great power to the Prophet Dawud (as), both spiritually and materially. Indeed, Allah made the mountains and birds join the Prophet Dawud (as) in exalting Him (Allah). (Surat al-Anbiya’, 79) As this verse states, the Prophet Dawud (as) possessed the kind of knowledge that could be possessed by very few people. In one verse, Allah states that He made the Prophet Dawud (as), whom He made superior in many ways, a master (khalif) in the land.
“Dawud! We have made you a master [khalif] in the land, so rule with justice among men and do not yield to your own desires, lest they turn you away from the Path of Allah. Those who stray from the Path of Allah will receive a harsh punishment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.” (Surah Sad, 26)
The Prophet Dawud (as) Commanded His People Not To Violate One Another’s Rights
The Prophet Dawud (as), to whom Allah granted true strength and vision, summoned his people to believe in Allah, as all other messengers had done. Allah gives believers the Prophet Dawud’s (as) justice and judgement without swerving from righteousness as an example. The Prophet Dawud’s (as) judgement between two litigants is exemplary for all believers:
Has the story of the litigants reached you? How they climbed up to the Upper Room and came in on Dawud who was alarmed by them. They said, “Do not be afraid. We are two litigants, one of whom has acted unjustly towards the other, so judge rightly between us and do not be unjust and guide us to the Right Path. This brother of mine has ninety-nine ewes and I have only one. He said, ‘Let me have charge of it,’ and got the better of me in the dispute.” (Surah Sad, 21-23)
The Prophet Dawud’s (as) answer to these litigants was as follows:
… “He has certainly wronged you by asking for your ewe to add to his flock. Truly, many partners are unjust to one another—except those who believe and do good works, and how few they are! …” (Surah Sad, 24)
As all other prophets, the Prophet Dawud (as) also summoned people to live by Allah’s commands. The verse above is an example. After admonishing the litigants that they should not violate one another’s rights, he reminded them that this is a kind of morality peculiar to believers.
The Prophet Dawud (as), who frequently turned to Allah, also turned to Him after this judgement. This is related in the Qur’an as follows:
… Dawud realised that We had put him to the test. He begged forgiveness from his Lord and fell down prone, prostrating himself in penitence. So We forgave him his sin, and in the world to come he shall be honoured and well received. (Surah Sad, 24-25)
This attitude of the Prophet Dawud (as), who was aware that Allah tested him in every deed in which he engaged, and that he had to seek His pleasure in every deed, sets an example for all believers. Every person of faith should take this attitude as an example and remember that Allah witnesses everything and that everyone will give an account of his deeds to Allah on the Day of Judgement.
Other Verses Relating To The Prophet Dawud (as) In The Qur’an
Be steadfast in the face of what they say and remember Our servant Dawud, who possessed true strength. He truly turned to his Lord. (Surah Sad, 17)
We made his kingdom strong and gave him wisdom and discriminating judgement. (Surah Sad, 20)
We forgave him his sin and in the world to come he shall be honoured and well received. (Surah Sad, 25)
We gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulayman who said, “Praise be to Allah Who has favoured us over many of His servants who are believers.” (Surat an-Naml, 15)
We bestowed on Dawud Our great favour: “O mountains and birds! Echo his songs of praise!” And We made iron malleable for him. (Surah Saba, 10)