Q: Can you tell me about Prophet Dawood (David) alaihis salaam and the zaboor (Psalms)?
A: Nabi Dawood (Alayhis Salaam) is from the progeny of Nabi Ya'qoob (Alayhis Salaam) and a Nabi from the Bani Israa'eel. After the slaying of Jaaloot (Goliath) by Nabi Dawood, the Bani Israa'eel began to love and honour him. Thereafter he became the ruler and also received the mantle of prophethood. Before this, prophethood and rulership were always in two separate families. This was the first time that both were in one family and one person. He was known for his bravery, intelligence, wisdom and accurate judgements. He was assisted with Divine revelation in his judgements. It is narrated from Sayyidina ibni Abbaas (Radhiyallaahu Anhumaa) that once two people came to Nabi Dawood to settle a dispute over ownership of a bull. Each one claimed ownership and that the other one is the usurper. Nabi Dawood delayed the judgement for the following day. On the next day he called one of them and said to him that "Last night I was instructed through revelation (Wahi) to execute you. Tell me, what is the truth?" This person replied: "O truthful Nabi of Allah! I am completely truthful with regard to the claim on the bull, but a while back I had deceived the other claimant's father and killed him." Thereafter Nabi Dawood ordered that this person be executed for the killing.
He was always blessed with victory. He always gained victory with a small group of people over large forces. Thus, in a short time, he ruled over vast areas. He was also a great orator and was blessed with an extremely beautiful voice. When he recited the Zaboor, man and Jinn, even animals and birds stopped to listen to his recital. The Taurah served as a code of law for his people. The Zaboor revealed to him did not consist of a new code of law. The Zaboor contained mostly praises of Allah Ta'aala, advices and words of wisdom. It also foretold the advent of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam). The Zaboor was revealed on the 12th night of Ramadhaan to Nabi Dawood (Alayhis Salaam). Although he was the king and had treasures at his disposal, he never took anything from the treasury for himself or his family, but earned with his own hands. His miracle was that Allah made steel become soft and flexible in his hands. He would make coats of armour and sell them for an income. He was also gifted with the ability to understand the sounds of the birds. Thus, he would understand the language of the birds.
A narration from Sayyidina Abu Hurayrah (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) is recorded in the Hadeeth compilation 'Mustadrak Haakim' that after Sayyidina Adam (Alayhis Salaam) was created, his entire progeny was presented to him. Among them he saw a handsome person with a shining forehead. He asked Allah Ta'aala who it is. Allah said that it is a person from among your progeny who will be born much later. He then asked that how long will he live for? The reply was sixty years. He then said that give him another forty years from my lifespan. When it was time for the demise of Sayyidina Adam, the angel of death arrived to take his soul. He said to the angel of death that I still have forty years of life left. The angel said to him: you forgot that you gave forty years of your life to one of your sons Dawood! From this narration it is understood that Nabi Dawood lived for a hundred years. His son Nabi Sulayman (Alayhis Salaam) became the Nabi and ruler after the demise of Nabi Dawood (Alayhis Salaam).
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai