Important People‎ > ‎

David and Samuel (peace be upon them)

God sent many prophets to the tribe of Israel (known as the “Children of Israel”), Moses (Mūsā – peace be upon him) being the most well-known of the earlier prophets sent to them and many prophets succeeded him.   

The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Moses (peace be upon him).  They then innovated in the religion and some of them even worshipped the idols.  Yet, there were always prophets sent among them who would command them to work righteous deeds, refrain from doing evil and who would rule them according to the commands of the Torah.  Prior to the prophethood of Samuel (Shamwīl) and David (Dāwūd) (peace be upon them), the Children of Israel had been attacked by enemies who took over large areas of their land.  

Samuel (peace be upon him) was born in the tribe of Israel; God raised him to be a righteous man and made him a prophet.  Samuel (peace be upon him) called the Children of Israel to God and they asked him to appoint a king over them so that they could fight their enemies under his command: 
 
Have you not considered the assembly of the Children of Israel after [the time of] Moses when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Send to us a king, and we will fight in the way of God"  He said, "Would you perhaps refrain from fighting if fighting was prescribed for you?"  They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause of God when we have been driven out from our homes and from our children?"  But when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, except for a few of them.  And God is Knowing of the wrongdoers.    (Al-Qur’ān, 2:246)
 
Saul (Tālūt) was appointed king and, after some initial conflict, he eventually led the Children of Isreal to battle against Golliath (Jālūt).  David (peace be upon him) accompanied Saul in the fight against Golliath.
 
And their prophet said to them, "Indeed, God has sent to you Saul as a king."  They said, "How can he have kingship over us while we are more worthy of kingship than him and he has not been given any measure of wealth?"  He said, "Indeed, God has chosen him over you and has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. And God gives His sovereignty to whom He wills.  And God is All-Encompassing [in favour] and All-Knowing."  (Al-Qur’ān, 2:246-247)
 
Saul had a huge task ahead of him and he needed to ensure that his army were fit to fulfil the task.  Thus, in order to distinguish the righteous men from the disobedient – he issued them a simple command:
 
And when Saul went forth with the soldiers, he said, "Indeed, God will be testing you with a river.  So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me, excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand."  But they drank from it, except a [very] few of them.  Then when he had crossed it along with those who believed with him, they said, "There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers."  But those who had true faith in God said, "How many a small company has overcome a large company by permission of God.  And God is with the patient."  (Al-Qur’ān, 2:249)

Only a very few men from Saul’s army upheld this command and passed the test.  Thus, God made clear to Saul those that were truly righteous and faithful, therefore deserved help and victory from God.  The soldiers that failed the test were dismissed by Saul and he proceeded to battle with the small number of faithful men:

And when they went forth to [face] Goliath and his soldiers, they said, "Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people."    
So they defeated them by permission of God, and David killed Goliath, and God gave him the kingship and wisdom [i.e., prophethood] and taught him from that which He willed.  And if it were not for God checking [some] people by means of others, the earth would have been corrupted, but God is full of bounty to the worlds.  (Al-Qur’ān, 2:250-251)

God gave them victory despite their small number and it was David (peace be upon him) who killed Goliath.  God made David (peace be upon him) a prophet after Samuel (peace be upon him) and he became king after Saul’s passing.  David (peace be upon him) called the Children of Israel to the correct guidance and he was given revelation by God – the Zaboor (book of Psalms):

Indeed, God has revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as He revealed to Noah and the prophets after him.  And He revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David He gave the book [of Psalms].  (Al-Qur’ān, 4:163)