David and Goliath
A Youth Full Of Faith Encounters An Experienced Warrior
It was a dreary and desolate desert for miles and miles and the Bani Israel, after their exit from Egypt roamed in this lonely desert for years in search of shelter. Many died and those who survived remained painfully restless. After a long time some of them entered the holy land of Palestine and settled there. It was a fertile region where Bani Israel worked hard for a living, which became satisfactory after some time.
In that era it was the only God-worshipping sect so God shed His mercy on them and that too in such a way that He gave to them the Ark of the Covenant wherein was the secret of their unity and survival so that people may preserve it as a relic from God and that they may, looking at it, never forget to remember Almighty Allah and seek His protection in times of trouble and hardships of war and so that they may find it a source of solace of the hearts.
Hardly two generations had passed when the moral structure of Bani Israel decayed. They began to disobey God, to revolt against God through dishonesty and every other evil behavior and filled the atmosphere with
corruption. Sinfulness spread throughout their society and their people lived a life full of immorality and shamelessness.
The idol-worshipper community of Palestine was fed up by the troublesome mischiefs of Bani Israel so they united to drive Bani Israel out of their land or kill them wherever they were found and confiscate their wealth, property and houses and separate their sons from fathers and vice versa and also take away the aforesaid Ark of Covenant from them.
The idol-worshippers of Palestine were a powerful community. Their constant attacks broke down the power of Bani Israel and disgrace became their destiny while their pomp turned into dust.
When seven years of such troublesome and disgraceful conditions passed away, God raised among them His messenger named Saul. Leading persons of Bani Israel approached him in a significant number and requested him, “Kindly announce your honor’s kingship so that you may provide for us means of making our lives righteous and that we may become united, integrated and able to wage a war in the path of God.”
Shamoil asked them, “Are you sure if I announce my kingship and a time for fighting comes before us, you will not flee from battlefield on seeing the enemy’s army?”
They replied, “How is it possible for us to find excuses at such a critical moment making us more vulnerable when we have been driven out of our homes and our sons are snatched away from us. We are quite ready to face the hardship together.” Then Shamoil (a.s) said, “Then fear God
and do not disobey His commands. He has appointed Talut as your commander and king.”
Till that time God’s prophethood had remained in the progeny of Lavi the son of Prophet Yaqub (a.s) and wealth and rulership was in the progeny of Yehuda, another son of Prophet Yaqub. The community chiefs asked Shamoil (a.s), “Talut comes from the progeny of Ibn Yamin the youngest son of Prophet Yaqub (a.s). How did he get kingship? How can he rule over us?”
Bani Israel had always been material-minded. They had never been convinced of fact and truth that there also is a power beyond the apparent world. They relied only on what they could perceive through physical faculties without any regard for the spirit. So a number of them who considered themselves members of Yehudi race did not come forward to be united under the flag of a king lacking in wealth.
Shamoil (a.s) told them, “The Most Merciful God has made Talut your king because he possesses all virtues required for military discipline and control. He is very brave, courageous and fearless and his wisdom and foresight is also exemplary and he got these virtues and qualification in inheritance. His physique is also very strong and symmetrical. He never steps backward in a battle. Above all he is appointed as your king by the Almighty Lord. God is great. He grants rule to whomever He wants.” Bani Israel had to accept Talut as their commander but they also asked Shamoil, “What is the proof that God has made Talut our king?”
Shamoil replied, “The proof or evidence is that he will procure for you the Ark of Covenant which God had sent down for the peace of your hearts and minds and which
contains the relics of Musa and Harun (a.s) and is carried by angels. Is this not a sufficient proof?”
When Bani Israel went out of the town they saw the said casket there and this satisfied them. They gathered their might and an army of seventy thousand men rallied under the flag of Talut but Talut had no trust in the major part of that army. He knew it well that this tribe, which had wandered in wilderness for years, had become totally demoralized. As they had become so weak they might not withstand the enemy assault and could flee from the battlefield. Therefore he decided to test their solidarity and integrity before going to war so that those who fail could be dismissed from the army or kept in the rear.
Talut informed his soldiers about the tactics of the enemy and then said, “God wants to take a test through a water canal. Whoever will drink its water will be disobeying my command. Who will remain patient will be allowed to drink only a handful of its water. One who fails in this test will lose my trust and those who remain steadfast and patient, obeying my order, will gain my confidence and their rank will rise in my view.”
As the soldiers had walked quite a long time in hot sandy land they were very thirsty. Many of them were not prepared to obey the command of Talut. They fell on the water and drank it fully. Only three hundred and thirteen of them were trustworthy and faithful who remained thirsty obeying their chief’s command. This test showed that the majority of them were useless and weak hearted. Only 313 of them were trustworthy and steadfast in their determination that could be relied upon. When the soldiers
of Talut crossed that canal (which had probably branched from a Jordanian river flowing in Syria) they saw Goliath advancing towards them along with his huge army in several battalions, well equipped with weapons. Observing their preparations, the soldiers of Talut exclaimed, “We cannot confront this huge army. How long could we fight them? How can we defeat them?” But the faithful 313 announced, “Almighty Allah has always made His few obedient servants victorious over the enemy’s major big armies. Why should we be afraid when our Lord is with us?” Among this group of courageous and brave minority group was a youth from the village of Bait Tam . He was the youngest of the brothers enrolled in the army of Talut.
When the warriors of Talut lined up to face the army of Goliath they prayed, “Our Lord! Grant us steadfastness and patience so that we may not step back while battling with the enemy and grant us victory.”
At this critical juncture Talut could see that those in his throng who were demoralized and fearful could not show the wisdom of even praying to God. Talut was giving encouragement to each and everyone in his army. Once he addressed them jointly saying, “Today I promise that one among you who shows maximum bravery and kills Goliath will be given my daughter in marriage. I will make him the king and he will inherit me.”
The chief of the army, Goliath, was a very strong and tough sandow from Amaliqah. He came forward and challenged Talut’s army: “Is there anyone among you who can fight with me?”
The fate of this fight depended on the life or death of this champion athlete. If he were to remain alive, it would be impossible for the army of Talut to win.
At this fateful time the eyes of Talut were searching the youths in his army to see who comes forward courageously but in his army there was none who could show such tremendous bravery while the challenging voice of Goliath was ringing in the air.
Then suddenly came out from Talut’s side a youth named Dawood. He approached Talut and whispered to him, “Please allow me to fight Goliath.” Talut could see that on the one hand was an experienced champion from Amaliqah and on the other this growing youth whose moustache was about to sprout. Talut told the youthful boy, “You are still young in age. Compared to this giant, your stature is also very small and unripe in experience. Be patient for a while so that anyone stronger than you may come forward. Then we will see.”
Now Dawood spelt out his iron will and strong determination in a serious and fearless manner saying, “Please do not look at my young age and short stature. God-willing you will see that this chief of the enemy army will be downed with my hands.”
When Talut saw that this youth was full of courage, faith and wisdom and that he is so strong in his determination and that there was not even an iota of fear in his heart and was insisting so strongly to fight with this well known champion he was obliged to accept his request and allowed him to fight with that giant. But, as it was then customary, Talut put the armor on that youth’s body with his own
hands, placed an iron helmet on his head and handed him a spear. But as Dawood had never before worn such an armor he removed it and also threw down both his helmet and the spear. He advanced only holding in his hands a stick with which he herded his sheep and a sling, picking up a few stones from the ground. Talut who saw this with astonishment asked, “Will you fight this champion warrior with stick and stones instead of arrows and spears?”
Dawood answered courageously, “Yes! With the help of God Almighty you will see how I use my simple weapons with wonder. These stones will write the story of the victory of Talut and the death of Goliath.” Saying this, he came out of the ranks and stood before Goliath.
It was indeed a very strange battle scene. On one side was the proud and hopeful army of Goliath and on the other a small battalion of disheartened and overawed soldiers. All witnessed this astonishing encounter between two extremely unequal fighters.
Looking at the small, weak and young man who had come out to fight with him Goliath exclaimed sarcastically, “O youngster! Are you going to fight with me with this weak body and without arms and armor?”
Dawood replied, “I have gifted all war weapons to you. I will confront you only in this simple style because I have full faith in my Lord. You will soon see how those who have trust and faith in God win.” Then Dawood put a stone in his sling and began to rotate it around his head and once he found full strength in his arms he dropped one of the strings of his sling, aiming the stone at the forehead of Goliath. The stone hit its target and blood began to flow
profusely from Goliath’s head. At the next instant Dawood shot another stone which pierced the champion’s brain and he came down crashing to the ground. Within no time the 313 brave warriors of Talut fell upon the huge army of Goliath, scattered them and returned victoriously.
After this great and manifest victory Dawood (a.s) received the honor of being Talut’s son-in-law. He became a great king of Bani Israel and Almighty Allah granted him prophethood as well as kingship.