David Challenges Goliath
When the two armies faced each other, Goliath challenged any soldier from King Saul’s army to single combat, as was the custom of battle in those days. Goliath also wanted to show off his strength. The men were terrorized, and no one had enough courage to volunteer. The king offered the hand of his pretty daughter in marriage to the man who would fight Goliath, but even this tempting offer did not change the deadly silence among his soldiers.
Then, to everyone’s surprise, a youth stepped forward. A roar of laughter echoed from the enemy’s side, and even Saul’s men shook their heads.
The young man was David (Dawud), from the city of Bethlehem. His elderly father had chosen three of his sons to join Saul’s army. He had instructed the youngest one, David, not to take part in the fighting but to help the army in other ways and to report to his father daily on what was happening on the war front.
Although Saul was very impressed by the youth’s courage, he said: “I admire your courage, but you are no match for that mighty warrior. Let the strong men come forward.” David, however, had already decided and was willing to meet the challenge. Proudly, he told the king that only the day before he had killed a lion which had threatened his father’s sheep, and on another occasion he had killed a bear. He asked Saul not to judge him by his appearance, for he feared no man or wild beast. Saul, surprised by young David’s brave stance, agreed: “My brave soldier, if you are willing, then may Allah guard you and grant you strength!”
Allah Gives David the Kingdom
Almighty Allah declared:
“So they routed them by Allah’s Leave and David killed Goliath, and Allah gave him (David) the kingdom (after the death of Saul and Samuel) and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willed. And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of Bounty to the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exist). (Ch 2:251 Quran).
David Becomes a Prophet
David became the most famous man among the Israelites. However, he was not inveigled by this;
he was not a prisoner of fame or leadership but a prisoner of Allah’s love.
Therefore, after killing Goliath he went out into the desert in the company of nature, glorifying Almighty Allah and contemplating His favors.
“Verily, We made the mountains to glorify Our Praises with him (David) in the Ashi (after the mid-day till sunset) and Ishraq (after the sunrise till mid-day). And (so did) the birds assembled:
all with him (David) did turn (to Allah, glorified His Praises). We made his kingdom strong and gave him wisdom and sound judgment in speech and decision. (Ch 38:18-20 Quran)
Creatures such as the plants, birds, beasts, and even the mountains responded to his voice glorifying Allah. Allah had chosen David to be a prophet and revealed the Psalms to him. As He the Almighty said: “And to David We gave the Psalms.” (Ch 17:55 Quran).
David is Granted the Language of Animals
David recited his scripture and glorified Allah while the mountains joined him praise and the birds rallied around him. Almighty Allah directed:
Be patient (O Muhammad) of what they say, and remember Our slave David, endured with power. Verily, he was ever oft-returning in all matters and in repentance toward Allah. (Ch 38:17 Quran).
David’s sincerity was not the only factor responsible for the birds and beasts joining with him in glorifying Allah, nor was the sweetness of his voice. IT was a miracle from Allah. This was not his only miracle, for Allah also endowed him with the faculty of understanding the languages of birds and animals.
David Becomes King
Time passed and Saul was killed in a battle in which David did not take part.
David succeeded Saul, for the people remembered what he had done for them and elected him king. So it was that David the Prophet was also a king.
Allah strengthened the dominion of David and made him victorious. His kingdom was strong and great; his enemies feared him without engaging in war with him.
The Death of Prophet David
David worshipped Allah, glorified Him and sang His praise until he died. According to traditions, David died suddenly and was mourned by four thousand priests as well as thousands of people.
It was so hot that people suffered from the intensity of the sun. Solomon called the birds to protect David and the people from the sun, and they did so until he was buried. This was the first sign of his dominion to be witnessed by the people.