The story of Daud AS started with the story of Talut and Jalut. After Daud AS killed the tyrant Jalut in single combat, with his sling, the Israelites achieved victory and were freed from the oppression of Jalut’s rule. Daud AS, previously an unknown young lad, became famous overnight.
Many of the stories of Daud AS and his son Sulaiman AS are recorded in the Israeli traditions. However, many of these narratives have been distorted and fabricated, creating vicious lies against both Prophets. The general rule of interpretation is that if these Israeli traditions conflict with Muslim reports, then the Muslim reports will take precedence. If the Israeli accounts are not contradictory to Muslim narratives, then we are neither to believe nor disbelieve in them, in that we should not confirm nor deny the accuracy of such reports. Also to bear in mind is that Prophets and Messengers are the chosen ones, and are protected against committing major sins such as adultery, murder and black magic (some of which the Israelite traditions accuse Prophets of doing). If any reports put the Prophets’ and Messengers’ characters in disrepute, such reports are to be rejected entirely. It is impossible that Allah would choose people of evil character to be Prophets and Messengers and be the spiritual and moral leader of their people.
After leading his people to victory in the short but decisive face to face combat, the Israelites loved Daud AS. The lands of the Bani Israel, previously confiscated by the tyrant ruler, was restored to them, and their status of abject humiliation was lifted. Allah then chose Daud AS to be the king of his people to succeed Talut. This was the first time that prophethood and kinghood came together in one individual. Daud AS was also unique in that he was one of the very few prophets to be granted wealth (the other two are Ayyoub AS and Daud’s AS son and heir in kingship and prophethood, Sulaiman AS.
Allah SWT says:
So they defeated them by permission of Allah, and Daud killed Jalut, and Allah gave him the kingship and prophethood and taught him from that which He willed. And if it were not for Allah checking [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted, but Allah is full of bounty to the worlds. (Al Qur’an 2:251)
The Unique Status of Daud AS
Each Prophet and Messenger has his own unique attributes, and was gifted by Allah to perform miracles specific to them. Daud AS possessed plenty of magnificent characteristics.
As a ruler and a judge, he was extremely just to his subjects. Despite his mighty kingdom, he was always accessible to the general public who wanted him to preside and judge over their personal grievances. Allah SWT granted him the wisdom and intelligence to issue judgments which were fair and insightful. He was courageous, and Allah strengthened his kingdom, and bestowed upon him wisdom and sound judgment.
Daud (AS) was also granted the scriptures in the forms of the Zabur (the Psalms of David). Allah the Almighty tells us:
Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Nuh and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yaqoub, the descendants, Isa, Ayyoub, Yunus, Harun, and Sulaiman, and to Daud We gave the book [of Psalms]. (Al Qur’an 4:163)
By the power of Allah, iron became malleable in his hands, and he could shape this metal without the need for a kiln or a hammer. He was also the first to know the skills of making armour from iron – a knowledge that was taught to him by Allah.
Of these gifts and abilities, the most outstanding one which was unique to him was his golden voice. Whenever he sang from the Zabur or in glorification of Allah, his melodious voice resonated though the air and the birds would stop in the air to join his singing. Even mountains would join in praising and glorifying Allah every morning and evening. It is reported that his voice was so hypnotic that if he did not stop singing, birds would die of hunger because they were too enraptured in singing praises of Allah with him to eat.