Story of David and Goliath (Dawud and Jalut) in Islam

David, also known as Dawud (A.S) was a prophet and messenger of Allah. He was given the Holy Scripture known as the Zabur (psalms). His story begins when the Canaanites who were pagans, seized the Ark of the Covenant from the Jews. When the Jews were defeated in battle, they asked their prophet Samuel (AS) to pray to Allah to send them a king. Samuel (AS) asked them: “Will you stop fighting when Allah sends you a king?” They promised that they won’t, but most of them lied. The Quran narrated in Surah Al Baqara verse 246: Have you not thought about the group of the Children of Israel after (the time of) Musa (Moses)? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Appoint for us a king and we will fight in Allah’s Way.” He said, “Would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you?” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s Way while we have been driven out of our homes and our children (families have been taken as captives)?” But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).
Prophet Samuel (AS) prayed to Allah, and Saul (Talut) was appointed their king. Saul set out with a big army, but his army was infiltrated by hypocrites. When the army was passing a river, King Saul wanted to test his soldiers and so he told them to only drink from the hollow of their hands, and not to fill their bellies. The Quran says in Al-Baqarah 2:249: Then when Talut (Saul) set out with the army, he said: “Verily! Allah will try you by a river. So whoever drinks thereof, he is not of me, and whoever tastes it not, he is of me, except him who takes (thereof) in the hollow of his hand.” Yet, they drank thereof, all, except a few of them. So when he had crossed it (the river), he and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no power this day against Jalut (Goliath) and his hosts.” But those who knew with certainty that they were to meet their Lord, said: “How often a small group overcame a mighty host by Allah’s Leave?” And Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).
When the two armies met; the army of Saul and the army of Goliath (Jalut), Saul and his army made a dua. The Quran says in Al-Baqarah 2:250 : And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, set our feet firm and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.”
As part of the custom, Goliath challenged any soldier from King Saul’s army to a single combat. Goliath was very huge, and all the soldiers were afraid. King Saul offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to any soldier who dared face Goliath. Then to everyone’s amazement, a young lean looking man stepped forward. He was Dawud (David). Goliath laughed at the young man and promised to cut off his head with one blow. But Dawud had very strong faith in Allah and he was not afraid. Dawud set forth with a slingshot, he wheeled the stone and hurled it at Goliath. The stone hit him and Goliath fell down, lifeless. This was the miracle of Dawud (AS), and the sign that Allah blessed him with prophet hood. Allah says in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:250-251: And when they advanced to meet Jalut (Goliath) and his forces, they invoked: “Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience, set our feet firm and make us victorious over the disbelieving people.” So they routed them by Allah’s Leave and Dawud (David) killed Jalut (Goliath), and Allah gave him [Dawud (David)] the kingdom [after the death of Talut (Saul) and Samuel] and Al­Hikmah (Prophethood), 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 exists).
Goliath’s army was very shocked to see their great general killed by a little boy and they ran away, but the army of King Saul killed them, and they became victorious. The king kept his word and let Dawud marry his daughter. Although he became a hero, Dawud (AS) remained humble and obedient to Allah. He was very wise and patient. He engaged in a lot of worship, and divided his time properly. He spent ¼ of his day earning a living, ¼ to take rest and worship Allah, ¼ to mediate between people and ¼ teaching other people. Prophet Dawud (AS) had a very beautiful voice. Even the animals joined him when he was glorifying Allah, and he was gifted with the ability to speak to the animals as well. The holy Quran says in chapter 38:18-20 : Verily, We made the mountains to glorify Our Praises with him [Dawud (David)] in the ‘Ashi (i.e. after the mid-day till sunset) and Ishraq (i.e. after the sunrise till mid-day). And (so did) the birds assembled: all with him [Dawud (David)] did turn (to Allah i.e. glorified His Praises). We made his kingdom strong and gave him Al-Hikmah (Prophet hood, etc.) and sound judgement in speech and decision.
The Hadith of Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The recitation of Psalms (David’s Qur’an) was made light and easy for David that he used to have his ridding animal be saddled while he would finish the recitation before the servant had saddled it.” (Bukhari)
Dawud also fasted alternatively, and prayed very much. The hadith narrated by Abdullah bin Amr reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of (the Prophet) David who used to fast on alternate days. And the most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of David who used to sleep for (the first) half of the night and pray for 1/3 of it and (again) sleep for a sixth of it.” (Bukhari)
May Allah be pleased with him. Amin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *