Benefits And Rulings From The Story Of Dawud And Sulaiman
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa’di
Translated by Abdullah Boyd
16. They say: “Our Lord! Hasten to us Qittana (i.e. our Record of good and bad deeds so that we see it) before the Day of Reckoning!”
17. Be patient (O Muhammad ) of what they say, and remember Our slave Dawud (David), endued with power. Verily, he was ever oft-returning in all matters and in repentance (toward Allah).
18. 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).
19. And (so did) the birds assembled: all with him [Dawud (David)] did turn (to Allah i.e. glorified His Praises).
20. We made his kingdom strong and gave him Al-Hikmah (Prophethood, etc.) and sound judgement in speech and decision.
21. And has the news of the litigants reached you? When they climbed over the wall into (his) Mihrab (a praying place or a private room,).
22. When they entered in upon Dawud (David), he was terrified of them, they said: “Fear not! (We are) two litigants, one of whom has wronged the other, therefore judge between us with truth, and treat us not with injustice, and guide us to the Right Way.
23. Verily, this my brother (in religion) has ninety nine ewes, while I have (only) one ewe, and he says: “Hand it over to me, and he overpowered me in speech.”
24. [Dawud (David)] said (immediately without listening to the opponent): “He has wronged you in demanding your ewe in addition to his ewes. And, verily, many partners oppress one another, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and they are few.” And Dawud (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allah) in repentance.
25. So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good place of (final) return (Paradise).
26. O Dawud (David)! Verily! We have placed you as a successor on earth, so judge you between men in truth (and justice) and follow not your desire for it will mislead you from the Path of Allah. Verily! Those who wander astray from the Path of Allah (shall) have a severe torment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.
27. And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the consideration of those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelieve (in Islamic Monotheism) from the Fire!
28. Shall We treat those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, as Mufsidun (those who associate partners in worship with Allah and commit crimes) on earth? Or shall We treat the Muttaqun (pious – see V.2:2), as the Fujjar (criminals, disbelievers, wicked, etc)?
29. (This is) a Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.
30. And to Dawud (David) We gave Sulaiman (Solomon). How excellent (a) slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!
31. When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well trained horses of the highest breed [for Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause)].
32. And he said: “Alas! I did love the good (these horses) instead of remembering my Lord (in my ‘Asr prayer)” till the time was over, and (the sun) had hidden in the veil (of night).
33. Then he said “Bring them (horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks (till the end of the display).
34. And, indeed We did try Sulaiman (Solomon) and We placed on his throne Jasadan (a devil, so he lost his kingdom for a while) but he did return (to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allah and he did return) to Allah with obedience and in repentance.
35. He said: “My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me: Verily, You are the Bestower.”
36. So, We subjected to him the wind, it blew gently to his order whithersoever he willed,
37. And also the Shayatin (devils) from the jinns (including) every kind of builder and diver,
38. And also others bound in fetters.
39. [Saying of Allah to Sulaiman (Solomon)]: “This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked.”
40. And verily, he enjoyed a near access to Us, and a good final return (Paradise).
Chapter: On the benefits and rulings made clear to us from the story of Dawud and Suleiman, upon them both be peace.
From them: that Allah the Exalted narrates to His Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wa sallam) stories of those who have gone by, in order to make his heart firm and comfort his soul. And He mentions to him their acts of worship, their severe patience, and their repentance in order to urge him to compete with them and seek nearness to Allah, the One who they sought nearness to, and to bear patiently the harms of his people. This is why, in this place, when Allah mentioned what He mentioned about how his people harmed him, what they said about him, and what they did, He ordered him to have patience and remember His slave Dawud, and console himself with that.
From them: that Allah the Exalted praises and loves strength in worship – strength of the heart and body – because of the effects it has on one’s worship, along with excellence and a large amount, which do not occur with weakness and a lack of strength. And it is only right for a slave to seek after its causes and not to become attached to laziness and idleness, which contradict strength and weaken the soul.
From them: that returning to Allah in every matter is a characteristic of the prophets of Allah and the chosen ones of His creation, since Allah praised Dawud and Sulaiman for that. So let those who wish to follow someone follow them, and let the spiritual travelers be guided by their guidance. “They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.”
From them: how Allah ennobled His prophet Dawud, upon him be peace, with a tremendously beautiful voice, which Allah used as a reason for the silent mountains and the unintelligible birds to answer him, by responding to his voice in praise, glorifying (Allah) with him in the mornings and the evenings.
From them: that one of the biggest blessings of Allah on His servant is that He provides him with beneficial knowledge, so he can know the rulings and the differences between people, because Allah made clear His favors on Dawud, upon him be peace, by mentioning this.
From them: the concern of Allah the Exalted for His prophets and chosen ones, when there is a lapse from one of them due to His testing them and trying them with what will remove this danger, that they return back to a state that’s more complete than their previous state, just like what happened to Dawud and Sulaiman, upon them be peace.
From them: that the prophets (salawat Allahu alaihim wa sallam) are protected from sin concerning what they convey from Allah the Exalted, because the purpose of sending messengers wouldn’t be fulfilled except by way of that. But also that some sin may appear from them due to their human nature, though Allah hastens to correct them with His Kindness.
From them: that Dawud, upon him be peace, used to stay in his prayer niche most of the time worshiping His Lord, and this is why the two disputants scaled over the niche – because when he retreated to his prayer niche, no one could come to him. So he didn’t set all of his time for the people, regardless of how many judgments were sent back to him. Rather, he made a time for retreating to His Lord, focusing his eyes on his worship, and obtaining sincerity in all of his affairs.
From them: that one should use proper etiquette when entering upon the rulers and other than them, because when the two disputants entered upon Dawud in a state where he wasn’t prepared for them, and without going through a known gate, he was frightened by them, it was hard on him, and they saw him in a state that wasn’t appropriate for the occasion.
From them: that the ruler should not refuse to judge justly due to the disputant having bad manners or doing what they should not do.
From them: the completeness of Dawud’s patience, upon him be peace, because he didn’t grow angry at them when they came to him without asking permission, even though he was the king, nor did he scold them, nor rebuke them.
From them: that it’s permissible for an oppressed person to say to the one who oppressed him: “You oppressed me,” or, “O you oppressor,” and like this. Or: “He wronged me,” like their statement, “(We are) two litigants, one of whom has wronged the other.”
From them: that for the one who is advised or warned, even if he is someone of high rank and impressive knowledge, if someone advises him or warns him, he shouldn’t become angry or offended. Rather, he should hasten to accept it and be grateful for it, because the two disputants advised Dawud and he didn’t become offended or get angry, nor did this divert him from the truth. Instead, he judged justly over their exchange.
From them: that making partnerships and lots of business or worldly relationships between relatives or friends is a cause for enmity to arise between them, and for them to do each other wrong, and that nothing can ward this off except having taqwa of Allah and patience through one’s affairs, by having iman and doing righteous deeds, and only a small number of people do this.
From them: that seeking forgiveness and doing acts of worship, especially the salat, are things that expiate one’s sins, because Allah made His forgiveness of Dawud’s sin follow behind his seeking forgiveness and prostrating.
From them: that Allah honored His slaves Dawud and Sulaiman by bringing them near to Him, and giving them the best of rewards, so no one would think that what happened to them is a cause of loss in their status with Allah the Exalted. And, it’s from the perfection of His Kindness to His chosen slaves, that when He forgives them and removes the traces of their sins from them, He removes the traces that follow the sin completely, to the point where it won’t even occur in the hearts of the creation. This is because if they knew of some of their sins, it might occur to them that they have lost their original status. So Allah the Exalted removed any trace of these sins, and this is not difficult for the Most Generous, Most Forgiving.
From them: that judging between the people is a spiritual status which is held by the messengers of Allah and the chosen ones of the creation, and the task of he who takes it on is to judge by the truth and avoid lowly desires. And judging by the truth requires one to know the nature of the matter at hand, and the way in which it enters into religious law. So the one who is ignorant of either of these two affairs will not bring benefit if given the task of judgment, and it is not permissible to go to him for this.
From them: that the judge should be wary of lowly desires and be cautious concerning them, because the souls will not be free from them. Rather, he should strive against his own self to make the truth his goal, and that he should discard any love or hatred he has for the disputants during the act of judgment.
From them: that Sulaiman, upon him be peace, was from the special merits of Dawud and from the favors that Allah bestowed upon him, because He gave him to him. And that it is from the greatest blessings of Allah upon His slave that He gives him a righteous child. And if he is knowledgeable, then this is light upon light.
From them: the praise and good statement of Allah the Exalted for Sulaiman when He said: “How excellent (a) slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!”
From them: the abundance of good and kindness from Allah to His slaves, when He bestows on them righteous deeds and noble character, then praises them for that, while He is the One who Bestows and the One who Gives.
From them: that Sulaiman preferred the love of Allah over the love of everything else.
From them: that everything which busies the slave from Allah is evil and blameworthy, so let him leave it off and go towards that which is more beneficial for him.
From them: the well-known principle that: “whoever leaves something for Allah, Allah will replace it with something better than it.”
From them: that Sulaiman slaughtered well-trained horses of the highest breed, which are beloved to the souls, placing the love of Allah first. So Allah gave him better than that as a replacement, taming for him soft and breezy winds which flew by his command to anywhere he wanted. Their morning errand was a month’s journey and their departure was a month’s journey. And He also tamed for him devils who were able to do things that no one from the children of Adam could do.
From them: that Sulaiman, upon him be peace, was a prophet-king, doing whatever he wanted, however he didn’t want anything except justice. This is different from a prophet-slave, whose will only follows the command of Allah and doesn’t do anything or leave off anything except by command, like the state of our prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alaihi wa sallam), and this state is more complete.
Translated by Abdullah Boyd