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In The Name Of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
THE AFRICAN AMERICAN ISLAMIC INSTITUTE
Shaykh Hassan Cisse, Founder ~ Shaykh Tijani Cisse, President
B.P. 411, Medina Kaolack, SENEGAL
The Prophets and the Saints see Allah before everything, the Righteous see Allah in everything, and the Common Believers see Allah after everything.The Nocturnal Journey: and The Heavenly Ascension, p. 47.] [Contact Bilal Abdullah, c/o Masjid Taqwa Atlanta, 1677 Dorsey Ave, East Point, Georgia 30344 USA.]] [www.TheNocturnalJourney.com]
Allahu Jalla Jalaaluhu
Allah's Splendor be Glorified
Volume 20, Issue 10
[Editors note: The following story about Prophet Samuel, King Saul, Prophet David (peace be upon them) comes from a book that we found named: The Bible, The Koran, And The Talmud; or Biblical Legends of The Mussulmans, it was compiled from Arabic sources and compared with Jewish traditions. It was printed in London in 1846.]
Prophet Samuel, King Saul, And Prophet David
(May Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon them.)
[continued from June-17]
Saul and David Reconciled
One night, while Saul was asleep, David went through a cave which was quite near to the king's encampment, and took the signet ring from his finger, together with his arms and a standard which were lying by his side. He then retreated through the cave, which had a double entrance, and the next morning appeared on the pinnacle of a mountain which stood opposite to the camp of the Israelites, having girt on Saul's huge sword and waving his standard up and down, and stretching out his finger on which he had placed the king's ring.
Saul, who could not understand how a thief could have penetrated into the midst of his well guarded camp, recognized David and the articles which had been taken from him. This new proof of his dexterity and magnanimous disposition overcame at last the king's envy and displeasure; he therefore dispatched a messenger, who in the royal name begged forgiveness for all the grievances he had inflicted, and invited David to return to his home.
David was overjoyed at reconciliation with his father-in-law, and. they now lived together in peace and harmony until Saul was slain, in a disastrous engagement with the Philistines.
The Royal Singer
After Saul's death, David was unanimously elected king of Israel, and by the help of Allah, he soon re-conquered the Philistines, and extended the boundaries of his kingdom far and wide.
David was not only a brave warrior and a wise king, but likewise a great prophet. Allah revealed to him seventy Psalms (Songs), and endowed him with a voice such as no mortal possessed before him. In height and depth, in power and melody combined, no human voice had ever equaled it. He could imitate the thunders of Heaven and the roar of the lion, as well as the delicious notes of the nightingale; nor was there any other musician or singer in Israel as long as David lived, because no one who had once heard him could take pleasure in any other performance. Every third day he prayed with the congregation, and sung the Psalms in a chapel that was hewn out of the mountain-rocks. Then not only all men assembled to hear him, but even beasts and birds came from afar, attracted by his wonderful song.
One day, as he was on his return from prayer, he heard two of his subjects contending, which of the two was the greater prophet, Abraham or himself. "Was not Abraham", said the one, "saved from the burning pile?" "Has not David," replied the other, "slain the giant Djalut?" "But what has David achieved," resumed the first, "that might be compared with Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son?"
Presumption And Fall
As soon as David came home, he fell down before Allah and prayed: "Lord, who hast proved on the pile, Abraham's fidelity and obedience, grant unto me too an opportunity to show unto my people that my love to thee withstands every temptation."
David's prayer was heard: when three days afterwards he ascended his pulpit, he perceived a bird of such beautiful plumage, that it attracted his whole attention, and he followed it with his eyes to every corner of the chapel, and to the trees and shrubs beyond. He sung fewer Psalms than he was wont to do; his voice failed him as often as he lost sight of this graceful bird, and grew soft and playful in the most solemn parts of the worship whenever it re-appeared.
At the close of the prayers, which, to the astonishment of the whole assembly, were concluded on this occasion several hours sooner than usual, he followed the bird, which flew from tree to tree, until he found himself, at sunset, on the margin of a little lake. The bird disappeared in the lake; but David soon forgot it, for in its stead there rose up a female form, whose beauty dazzled him like the clearest midday sun. He inquired her name: it was Saja, the daughter of Josu, the wife of Uriah Ibn Haman, who was with the army. David departed, and on his return commanded the chief of his troops to appoint Uriah to the most dangerous post in the vanguard of the army. His command was executed, and soon afterwards the death of Uriah was reported. David then wooed his widow, and married her at the expiration of the prescribed time.
On the day after his marriage, there appeared, at Allah's command, Gabriel and Michael in human form before David, and Gabriel said: "The man whom thou seest here before thee is the owner of ninety-nine sheep, while I possess an only one; nevertheless he pursues me without ceasing, and demands that I should give up my only sheep to him."
"Thy demand is unreasonable," said David, "and betrays an unbelieving heart, and a rude disposition."
But Gabriel interrupted him, saying, "Many a noble and accomplished believer permits himself more unjust things than this."
David now perceived this to be an allusion to his conduct towards Uriah; and filled with wrath, he grasped his sword*, and would have plunged it into Gabriel, but Michael gave a loud laugh of scorn, and when Gabriel and himself had ascended above David's head on their angels' wings, he said to David, "Thou hast pronounced thine own sentence, and called thy act that of a barbarous infidel: Allah will therefore bestow upon thy son a portion of the power which he had originally intended for thee. Thy guilt is so much the greater, since thou prayed that thou mightest be led into temptation without having the power of resisting it."
[* The Scriptures teach that David acknowledged his sin on Nathan's reproof. The whole narrative is so beautiful, that we subjoin it, as given in 2 Sam. xii. 1-8, 13.
"And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, "There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die; And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, "I anointed thee king over Israel and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things." "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord."]
At these words the angels vanished through the ceiling; but David felt the whole burden of his sin. He tore the crown from his head, and the royal purple from his body, and wandered through the wilderness wrapped in simple woolen garments, and pining, with remorse, weeping so bitterly, that his skin fell from his face, and that the angels in Heaven had compassion on him, and implored for him the Mercy of Allah. But it was not until he had spent three full years in penitence and contrition, that he heard a voice from Heaven, which announced to him that the All Compassionate Allah had at length opened the gate of mercy. Pacified and strengthened by these words of consolation, David soon recovered his physical powers and his blooming appearance, so that on his return to Palestine no one observed in him the slightest change.
But during the king's long absence, many of the rabble-rousers whom he had banished, gathered round his son Absalom, and made him king over Israel. He was therefore compelled, as Absalom would not renounce the throne, to make war against him. But no engagement took place, for when the prince was about to join his forces, Allah commanded the Angel of Death to take him from his horse and hang him on a tree by his long hair, that to all future time rebellious sons might take warning by his fate. Absalom remained, hanging there until one of David's chieftains passed by and slew him with the sword. But although David soon came to be esteemed and beloved by his people as before, yet, mindful of what had taken place with the two angels, he ventured not again to execute judgment. He had already nominated a Qadi (judge), who was to adjust in his place all disputes that might arise, when the angel Gabriel brought him an iron tube with a bell, and said: - “Allah has beheld thy diffidence with pleasure, and therefore sends thee this tube and bell, by means of which it will be easy for thee to maintain the law in Israel, and never to pronounce an unjust sentence. Suspend this tube in thy hall of judgment, and hang the bell in the midst thereof: place the accuser on one side of it, and the accused on the other, and always pronounce judgment in favor of him, who on touching the tube elicits a sound from the bell. David was greatly delighted at this gift, by means of which he who was in the right was sure to triumph: so that soon no one dared to commit any injustice, since he was certain to be detected by the bell.
One day, however, there came two men before the judgment-seat, one of whom maintained that he had given a pearl into the keeping of the other, who now refused to restore it. The defendant on the other hand swore that he had already given it back. As usual, David compelled them both, one after the other, to touch the tube; but the bell uttered no sound, so that he did not know which of the two spoke truth, and was inclined to doubt the further virtue of the bell. But when he had repeatedly directed both to touch the tube, he observed that as often as the accused was to pass the ordeal, he handed his staff to be held by his antagonist. David now took the staff in his own hand, and sent the accused once more to touch the tube, when instantly the bell began to ring aloud. David then caused the staff to be inspected, and behold it was hollow, and the pearl in question was concealed within it. But on account of his thus doubting the value of the tube which Allah had given him, it was again removed to Heaven: so that David frequently erred in his decisions, until Solomon, whom his wife Saja, the daughter of Josu, had borne him, aided him with his counsel. In him David placed implicit confidence, and was guided by him in the most difficult questions, for he had heard in the night of his birth the angel Gabriel exclaim: "Satan's dominion is drawing to its close, for this night a child is born, to whom Iblis and all his hosts, together with all his descendant's shall be subject. The earth, air, and water, with all the creatures that live therein, shall be his servants: he shall be gifted with nine-tenths of all the wisdom and knowledge which Allah has granted unto mankind, and understand not only all the languages of men, but those also of beasts and of birds."
One day, Solomon was then scarcely thirteen years of age, there appeared two men before the tribunal, the novelty of whose case excited the astonishment of all present, and even greatly confounded David. The accuser had bought some property of the other, and in clearing out a cellar, had found a treasure. He now, demanded that the accused should give up the treasure, since he had bought the property without it: while the other maintained that the accuser possessed no right to the treasure, since he had known nothing of it, and had sold the property with all that it contained. After long meditation, David adjudged that the treasure should be divided between them. But Solomon inquired of the accuser whether he had a son, and when he replied that he had a son, he inquired of the other if he had a daughter, and he also answering in the affirmative, Solomon said, "If you will adjust your strife so as not to do injustice one to the other, unite your children in marriage, and give them this treasure as their dowry."
On another occasion, there came a husbandman (farmer) and accused a shepherd whose flock had pastured on the grain of his field. David sentenced the shepherd to give part of his flock in restitution to the husbandman; but Solomon disapproved of this judgment, and said, "Let the shepherd give up to the husbandman the use of his flock, their work, their milk, and their young ones, until the field shall be restored to the condition in which it was at the time of the flock's breaking in, when the sheep shall once more return to their owner.
David, however, one day observed that the high tribunal over which he presided beheld with displeasure the interference of Solomon in their transactions, although they were obliged to confess that his views were always better than their own. The king therefore demanded of them to examine Solomon in the face of all the great and noble men of his kingdom, in all the doctrines and laws of Moses. "If you have satisfied yourselves," he added, "that my son knows these perfectly, and consequently never pronounces an unjust judgment, you must not slight him by reason of his youth, if his views regarding the application of the law often differ from mine and yours. Allah bestows wisdom on whomsoever he pleaseth."
The Examiners Examined
The lawyers were, indeed, persuaded of Solomon's erudition; nevertheless, hoping to confound him by all manner of subtle questions, and thus to increase their own importance, they accepted David's
proposal, and made arrangements for a public examination. But their expectations were disappointed; for before the last word of any question put to Solomon was yet pronounced, he had already given a striking answer, so that all present firmly believed that the whole matter had been arranged beforehand with his judges, and that this examination was instituted by David merely to recommend Solomon as his worthy successor to the throne. But Solomon at once effaced this suspicion when at the close of this examination he arose, and said to his judges, "You have exhausted yourselves in subtleties in the hope of manifesting your superiority over me before this great assembly; permit me now, also, to put to you a few very simple questions, the solution of which needs no manner of study, but only a little intellect and understanding. Tell me what is Everything, and what is Nothing. Who is Something, and who is less than Nothing." Solomon waited long; and when the judge whom he had addressed was not able to answer, he said, "Allah, the Creator, is Everything, but the world, the creation, is Nothing. The believer is Something, but the hypocrite is less than Nothing." Turning to another, Solomon inquired, "Which are the most in number, and which the fewest? What is sweetest, and what most bitter?" but as the second judge also was unable to find a proper answer to these questions, Solomon said, "The most numerous are the doubters, and they who possess a perfect assurance of faith are the fewest in number. The sweetest is the possession of a virtuous wife, excellent children, and a respectable competency, but a wicked wife, undutiful children, and poverty are the most bitter." Finally, Solomon put the following questions to a third judge, "Which is the vilest, and which the most beautiful? What the most certain, and what the least so?" But these questions also remained unanswered, until Solomon said, "The vilest thing is when a believer apostatizes, and the most beautiful when a sinner repents. The most certain thing is Death and the Last Judgment, and the most uncertain, Life and the Fate of the Soul after the Resurrection." "You perceive," he then continued, "it is not the oldest and most learned that are always the wisest. True wisdom is neither of years nor of learned books, but only of Allah, the All-Wise."
Solomon excited by his words the greatest astonishment in all that were present; and the heads of the people exclaimed with one voice, "Blessed be the Lord, who has given to our king a son who in wisdom surpasses all the men of his time, and who is worthy one day to sit on the throne of his father!"
David's Last Wish
David, in like manner, thanked Allah for the grace which he had shown to him in Solomon, and now only desired, before his death, to meet with his future companion in Paradise.
"Thy request is granted!" cried a voice from Heaven; "but thou must go and seek him alone; and, in order to reach his presence, thou must renounce thy earthly pomp, and wander as a poor pilgrim through the world."
The next day David nominated Solomon as his representative, laid aside his royal robes, wrapped himself round with a simple woolen garment, put on his sandals, took a staff in his hand, and left his palace. He now wandered from city to city, and from village to village, inquiring every where for such of the inhabitants as were most distinguished for piety, and endeavoring to make their acquaintance; but for many weeks he found no one whom he had reason to consider as his destined companion in the life to come.
One day, on reaching a village on the shores of the Mediterranean ocean, there arrived at the same time with him a poorly clad aged man, who was carrying a heavy burden of wood on his head. The appearance of the hoary man was so venerable, that David followed him, to see where he lived. But he entered into no house at all, and sold his wood to a merchant who stood at the door of his warehouse, then gave to a poor man who begged him for alms the half of the little money which he had earned, bought with the rest a small loaf of bread, of which also he gave a large portion to a blind woman, who implored the compassion of the faithful, and then returned on his way to the mountain from whence he had come. "This man," thought David, "might well be my companion in Paradise; for his venerable appearance and his actions which I have just witnessed, testify to a rare piety. I must therefore seek to become better acquainted with him," He then followed the aged man at some distance, until, after a march of several hours over steep mountains, crossed by deep ravines, the latter entered
into a cave, which admitted the light of Heaven through a crevice of the rock. David remained standing, at the entrance of the cave, and heard how the hermit prayed fervently, and then read the Law and the Psalms, until the sun had set. He then lit a lamp, and pronounced the evening prayer, drew from his bag the bread that he had bought, and consumed about half thereof.
David, who had hitherto not ventured to disturb the man in his devotions, now stepped into the cave, and greeted him.
"Who art thou?" said the other, after having returned the salutation; "for, save the God-fearing Mata ibn Juhanna, king David's future companion in Paradise, I never saw any human being in these regions."
David gave his name, and begged for further particulars respecting Mata.
But the hermit replied, "I am not permitted to point out to thee his dwelling; but if thou searchest this mountain with attention, it cannot escape thee."
The Companion in Paradise
David now wandered up and down for a long time, without finding any traces of Mata. He was on the point of returning to the hermit, in hopes of obtaining better directions, when, on a high place, in the midst of the rocky ground, he discovered a spot which was quite moist and soft. "How singular," thought he, "that just here, on this pinnacle of a mountain, the ground should thus be moistened! Surely there can be no fountain here!" While he was thus standing absorbed in thought respecting this remarkable phenomenon, there descended on the other side of the mountain a man who was more like an angel than a human being; his looks were cast down to the earth, so that he did not observe David; but on the moistened spot he stood still, and prayed with such fervency that his tears gushed like streams from his eyes. David now understood how it came to pass that the earth was so soaked, and thought - "A man who thus worships his God may well be my companion in Paradise." But he presumed not to address him till he heard how, among other things, he prayed, "My God, pardon the sin of king David, and preserve him from further transgression! Be Merciful to him for my sake, since thou hast destined me to be his companion in Paradise."
Death of David
David now went towards him, but on reaching his presence, he was dead.
He dug up the soft earth with his staff, washed him with the water that remained in his bottle, buried him, and pronounced over him the prayer of death. He then returned to his capital, and found in his harem the Angel of Death, who received him with the words, "Allah has granted unto thee thy request, but now thy life is ended."
"God's will be done!" replied David, and fell lifeless to the earth.
Gabriel then descended to comfort Solomon, and to bring him a Heavenly robe, in which he was to wrap his father. All Israel followed his remains to the entrance of the cave where Abraham lies buried. *****
Al Hamdu li-llah