Qasis ul Quran Hazrat Shamweel AlahisSalam

Sayyidina Shamweel or Ishmaweel still was a descendent of Sayyidina Harun AlaihisSalam When the Amaliqah of Gaza and ‘Asqalan suppressed the Banu Isra’il they slew many of them and enslaved their children whom they sold out or retained as slaves.

Sayyidina Shamweel AlahisSalam was born in answer to his mother’s moving supplications to Allah to bless her with a son who would guide the Banu Isra’il . His name is synonymous with Isma’il, meaning “Allah has heard my prayer.” When he was of proper age Jibril started said to him, “Your Lord has sent you to your people”.

When he preached to his people, they asked him to appoint them a king, so that they would follow his orders and fight under his command.

Have you (O Prophet) not considered the chiefs of the Children of Isra’il after Musa? When they said to a Prophet of theirs, “Raise up for us a king that we may fight in the way of Allah”, (Al-Baqarah, 2:246) But their Prophet Shamweel te feared, at they would turn back from fighting

He said, Might it be that, if fighting is prescribed for you, you would not fight?” They said, “Why should we not fight in Allah’s way.

(Al-Baqarah, 2:246) But when fighting was prescribed for them, they did not fight except a few of them.

On their demand on the Prophet to appoint them a king, he said:

Surely Allah has raised up Talut to be’a king over you. (Al-Baqarah, 2:247) Talut is Saul. ‘Ikrimah and Suddi have said that he was a water-carrier and

Wahb bin Munábbih has said that he was a tanner, and there are other opinions.

This selection did not please the Banu Isra’il who claimed that they had better right to kingship than he because he had no wealth. The Prophes test them that Allah had chosen him as king and had gifted him with abundan knowledge and strength.

And Allah grants His kingship to whom He will. (Al-Baqarah, 2:247, We have seen that they had lost their sacred possession the Tabut to the enemies. It was their Ark of Covenant and they imagined that it brought there favour. Their Prophet said to them that a sign of Talut’ s kingship was that he would bring them back the tabut. He defined the tabut for them:

Wherein is clam from your Lord. (Al-Baqarah, 2:248) The Arabic word translated as “calm” is sakinah. It is said to mean a golden basin in which chests of Prophets were washed, or wind, or a cat’s sound and I it mewed during war they were confident of victory.

When Talut marched forward with the army, he let them know that Allan would try them with a river. They were asked not to drink thereof except a handful.

Ibn Abbas and many of the exegetes say that it was the River Jordan. Talut had given this command on being told by their Prophet that it was the will of Allah and that they were put to test by that command.

Bukhari has transmitted the following Hadith from Al-Bara bin ‘Aazıb. He said that they were recalling the number of fighters in the Battle of Badr and those who fought with Talut and crossed the river; they did not exceed three hundred and nineteen.

When they crossed it, they were overawed at seeing the large number of the enemy. They panicked and saw defeat. However, those of them who were brave and believed in Allah said patiently that it often happened that a smal party overcame a large party with the help of Allah.

These people prayed to Allah at that moment:

Our Lord! Pour out perseverance on us and make firm our feet, and help us against the disbelieving people. (Al-Baqarah, 2:250)

Allah granted them their prayer. He is the Mighty, the All-Powerful, the All Hearing, the All-Seeing, the Wise, the Knowing,

So they routed them by Allah’s leave. (Al-Baqarah, 2:251) The Might of Allah and His Power, not their might, the Strength of Allah and His help not their strength or their numbers, defeated the large army and their strategy.

And Dawud slew Jalut; and Allah gave him the kingship, and Wisdom, and taught him of that which He willed. (Al-Baqarah, 2:251)

This speaks highly of the courage of Dawud AlaihisSalam who killed the king of the enemy. Thereby they got a large booty of war and much wealth. At the same time, they raised the banner of faith. The men of Allah defeated the enemies of religion. Religion came through high while the forces of evil were crushed.

Suddi has said that Dawud was the youngest child of his parents. The king of the Banu Isra’il, Talut, encouraged his forces to fight on and offered his daughter in marriage to one who killed Jalut (Goliath) and to give him a share in the kingdom. Dawud killed Jalut with a catapult.

Talut fulfilled his promise and gave Dawud AlahisSalam his daughter in marriage and handed over a share in the kingdom.

Wahb bin Munabbih said: The Children of Israel remained on the straight path for a period of time after Musa (as). 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.
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Ibn Jareer reported that the condition of the Israelites deteriorated. They committed many sins and killed whom they wished of the Prophets. Consequently Allah (ﷻ) sent them tyrannous king who ill-treated them and spilled their blood, and set their enemies from outside against them as well. They used to go war, taking with them Tabut. They did this so that they would be victorious by its blessings, and it became a symbol of calm and a relic left behind by Musa’s (as) people.
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Earlier, anyone who would fight the Israelites would lose, because they had the Torah and the Tabut, which they inherited generation after generation ever since the time of Musa (as), who spoke to Allah (ﷻ) directly. Yet, the Israelites kept indulging in misguidance until some king took the Tabut from them during a battle. That king also took possession of the Torah, and only a few of the Israelites who memorized it remained. When they went to war with the people of Gaza and Askalon, they were defeated because the Tabut was captured from them. When the king of the Israelites heard of this he died on the spot. The children of Israel remained like sheep without a shepherd until Allah (ﷻ) sent them a Prophet named Shamweel (Samuel) (as).
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The Prophethood halted among their various tribes and only a pregnant woman remained of the offspring of Lavi (Levi), in whom the Prophethood still appeared. Her husband had been killed, so the Israelites kept her in a house so that Allah (ﷻ) may give her a boy, who would be their Prophet. The woman also kept invoking Allah (ﷻ) to grant her a boy. Allah (ﷻ) heard her pleas and gave her a boy whom she called ‘Shamweel’ meaning ‘Allah has heard my pleas.’ Some people said that the boy’s name was Sham’un (Simeon), which also has a similar meaning.
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As that boy grew, Allah (ﷻ) raised him to be a righteous person. When he reached the age of Prophethood, Allah (ﷻ) revealed to him and commanded him to call (his people) to Him and to His Tawhid (Oneness). Shamweel (as) called the Children of Israel (to Allah). They asked him to appoint a king over them to lead in a war against their enemies.
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🔹The Tabut:
According to Ibn Asaker, the Israelites believed their Tabut to be very holy and an important symbol of their history. They carried the Tabut even in battle and believed that, because of it, Allah (ﷻ) would protect them from their enemies. This belief gave them peace of mind and great courage, and their enemies were terrified by it. Their enemies also believed that it was given special power by Allah (ﷻ). Gradually the Israelites started to ignore Allah’s (ﷻ) law; evil habits became part of their lives. Allah (ﷻ) sent upon them an enemy, the Philistines, who defeated the Israelites, captured their Tabut, drove them out of their homes, and took away their children to use or sell as slaves. Their power was broken. They separated from one another and were very disheartened.
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Ibn Jareer pointed out in his book of history that the difference between Yoosha (as) and Shamweel (as) was four hundred and sixty years. The point to be noted is that these people, faced with tough times and enemies, and exhausted with wars, asked the Prophet of Allah, Shamweel (as), to appoint a king for them, under whose command they could unite, and defeat their enemies, once for all. Shamweel (as) who was well aware of the weaknesses and history of his people, asked them:
“…….would you then refrain from fighting, if fighting was prescribed for you?…..” (2:246)
Their answer was:
“……”How is it we should not fight in the way of Allah when we have been driven from our homes and deprived of our Sons?”…….” (2:246)
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They expressed their incredulity at Shamweel’s (as) question. How could they possibly refuse to fight their enemies, when they have been oppressed and separated from their wives and children for so long?
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But what happened next? Allah (ﷻ) mentions:
“But when they were ordered to fight they turned away, except for a few; yet Allah knows the sinners.” (2:246)
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As is also mentioned at the end of the story, only a few people chose to cross the river with their king, while the rest turned away from fighting.
“And when their prophet said to them: “Allah has raised Talut as a king over you”…..” (2:247)
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Prophet Shamweel (as) prayed to Allah (ﷻ) for guidance. Allah (ﷻ) revealed to him that He (ﷻ) had chosen one, Talut (Saul), to be their king. The prophet wanted to know how to recognize the future king. He was told that Talut would come to him by himself and that they should then hand over the control of kingdom to him, for he would lead them in battle against the Philistines.
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Ath-Thalabi has said that this king’s full name was Talut ibn Qeesh ibn Afeel ibn Saro ibn Tahoorat ibn Afeeh ibn Unays ibn Benjamin ibn Yaqub Ibn Ishaq ibn Ibrahim.
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Talut was tall and sturdy, pious, and very intelligent. He lived and worked with his father on their farm. One day, several of their donkeys were lost. Accompanied by his servant, Talut went in search of them. They traveled for many days and were very tired. Talut said to his servant: “Let us rather go back, for I am sure that my father will be worried by now, and the other animals must also be cared for.” His servant suggested that as they were already in the land of Shamweel (as) the Prophet, they should go to him to inquire about the lost donkeys. Talut agreed, and they carried on. On their way, they asked directions from some maidens carrying water. They were told to go in the direction of the mountain. Here, a vast crowd was waiting for the Prophet Shamweel (as). When Talut set eyes on him, he instantly recognized him as a Prophet by his holy men. Shamweel (as) also recognized Talut as the king that Allah (ﷻ) had chosen for them. Talut greeted the Prophet respectfully. When he asked about his missing donkeys, Shamweel (as) told him not to worry, his donkeys were already on their way to his farm. He then told Talut that Allah (ﷻ) had chosen him as the king of the children of Israel. His duty would be to take charge of their affairs, to unite them under one banner, and to protect them from their enemies. If he carried out Allah’s (ﷻ) commands, he would be given victory. Talut was surprised by this sudden honor offered to him. It was also a heavy responsibility. He protested to the prophet that he was one of the children of Benjamin, the least famous of the tribes of Jacob; he did not know anything of leadership or kingship and had no wealth. Shamweel (as) told him that it was the will of Allah (ﷻ) that he should be the king, that he should thank Allah (ﷻ) for His favor and be strong in faith.
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Ikrimah and As-Suddi have said that he was water carrier, while Wahb ibn Munabbih suggested that he was a leather tanner. Others have mentioned different things. Allah (ﷻ) knows best.
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That is why when they heard about his appointment as king, the children of Israel said: “……”How can he be king over us when we have greater right to kingship than he, for he does not even possess abundant wealth?….” (2:247)
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They meant that they were more deserving of kingship than him. It has been said that Talut was a poor man. How could a poor man rule over them?
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They were admonished that it was not for them to decide who was fit and who was unfit for kingship. Talut’s personality was unmatched among the Israelites, and that was what mattered.
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For Bani Israel, this was unacceptable. Like their stubborn predecessors during the time of Musa (as), they immediately rejected Allah’s (ﷻ) verdict, and as usual, asked for a sign.
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When they eventually accepted Allah’s (ﷻ) decision, Allah (ﷻ) gave them the miracle of the Tabut, which had been under the captivity of king for years previously, materialising before them from the sky.
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“And their Prophet (Shamweel) said to them: Verily! The sign of His Kingdom is that there shall come to you At-Tabut (a wooden box), wherein is Sakinah (peace and reassurance) from your Lord and a remnant of that which Musa and Harun left behind, carried by the angels. Verily, in this is a sign for you if you are indeed believers.” (2:248)
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They were reminded that this was blessing of Allah (ﷻ) that He had appointed a pious man over them. Also, Allah (ﷻ) returned to them the Tabut (wooden box) that they could bring with them to the battlefield as a blessing to make the war go in their favour. Prior to this, their enemies had taken it with them.
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The word SAKEENAH is said to refer to a basin made of gold, in which the chests of the Prophets were washed. In another opinion, it has been said that it was a type of strong wind. A third opinion has suggested that its shape was like that of a cat. If blown during a battle, it signaled to the Israelites that they would win.
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Ibn Jarir related that Ibn Abbas said about this Ayah:
“…….and a remnant of that which Musa and Harun left behind,”
Meaning, Musa’s (as) staff and the remnants of the Tablets.
This is the same Tafsir of Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Ikrimah, who added, “And also the Torah.”
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Abdur-Razzaq said that he asked Ath-Thawri about the meaning of, “…and a remnant of that which Musa and Harun left behind,”
Ath-Thawri said: “Some said that it contained a pot of manna and the remnants of the Tablets, while some others said that it contained (Musa’s (as)) staff and two shoes.”
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The version mentioned in the Bible states that when their enemies captured the Tabut and took it back with them to their city, they placed it beside their idol. The following morning, they discovered that the Tabut was placed at the head of their idol. They took it and placed it back in where it had been before. The next morning, they again found it in the same position. Now they knew that it was Allah (ﷻ) who was changing its location.
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Thereafter, they took it out of their city and placed it in a town. After that, they were afflicted with tumours in their necks. So they moved it to another place. They kept on moving it from one town to another.
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Finally, they decided to send it back to the Israelites and did so by placing it on a cart with two cows. It has been said that the Angels brought the cart and handed it over to the Israelites, who had been watching all this. This is what they were told by their Prophet.
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Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn Abbas said, “The angels came down while carrying the Tabut between the sky and the earth, until they placed it before Talut while the people were watching.”
As-Suddi said, “The Tabut was brought to Talut’s house, so the people believed in the Prophethood of Shamweel (as) and obeyed Talut”.
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Allah (ﷻ) knows best how the Angels actually brought it, but what is clear is that the Angels brought it by themselves.
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“When Talut led his armies, he said: “Allah will test you by a stream. Whoever drinks its water will not be of me; but those who do not drink shall be on my side. The only exception will be those who scoop up a palmful of water with their hands.” And but for a few they all drank of its water. When they had crossed it, and those who believed with him, they said: “We have no strength to combat Jalut and his forces today. But those who believed they have to face their Lord, said: “Many a time has a small band defeated a large horde by the will of Allah. Allah is with those who are patient (and persevere).” ” (2:249)
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Talut set about organizing his army with strong faith and wisdom. He ordered that only men free from responsibilities should join. Those engaged in building homes, men who were about to be married and those occupied with business should not join. After establishing a well-trained army, he decided to put them to the test. He told them that along the route they would pass a river where they should drink enough water to quench their thirst but not more than that.
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Ibn Abbas and many other scholars have said that this river was the Jordan River. This was a test from Allah (ﷻ) – whoever drank from the river wouldn’t be included in the army. Those who only drank a fistful would accompany Talut. Allah (ﷻ) informs us that most of the people drank their fill of the river water, and failed the test.
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Ibn Jurayj stated that Ibn Abbas commented, “Whoever took some of it (the river’s water) in the hollow of his hand, quenched his thirst; as for those who drank freely from it, their thirst was not quenched.”
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As-Suddi has said that the army originally comprised eighty-thousand people, out of whom sixty-seven thousand drank their fill and only four-thousand restrained themselves.
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Imam Bukhari reported on the authority of Bara ibn Azib, who said: “We, the Companions of the Prophet (ﷺ), were discussing the number of people who took part in the battle of Badr and the number of those who participated with Talut. Those who crossed the river with him did not exceed three hundred and a few people.”
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This negates the saying of as-Suddi that their number was eighty-thousand since the land where they were located was near Bayt al-Maqdis and it cannot hold that many people.  Allah (ﷻ) knows best.
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Those who disobeyed, principally from the elite in society and who preferred to utilise their intellect and to argue with Talut than to obey Allah (ﷻ), suddenly found themselves weak and fatigued. They were discouraged and claimed that they were powerless to face Jalut (Goliath) and his men. Therefore, as in the past, the majority of Bani Israel broke their covenant with Allah (ﷻ).
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“But when fighting was ordered for them, they turned away, all except a few of them. And Allah is All-Aware of the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).” (2:246)
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On the other hand, He discharged them for disobedience and kept only the few who had obeyed him, as they were the ones who proved their sincerity. This resulted in a split in the army, but he was not bothered. He believed in quality and not numbers; better a small band of true believers he could rely on than a huge army of unreliable men. Those who were steadfast in their obedience and trust in Allah (ﷻ) continued with the journey and participated in the battle.
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Talut’s men sighted the enemy on the other side of the river. Their opponents appeared physically strong and were armed with better weapons. They were led by the mighty warrior Jalut, known for his huge build and brute strength. A great number of Talut’s men ran away on seeing this strong force. The small band that remained was willing to fight, whatever the outcome, for they had heard that there had been many incidents in the past in which Allah (ﷻ) had caused a small force to defeat a larger one.
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The two armies confronted each other. Talut’s army was barely equipped and vastly outnumbered by Jalut’s soldiers who were also superior in physical stature, weaponry and experience. The odds against Talut’s army were overwhelming at best, 313 civilians against a quarter of a million soldiers! However, the believers neither panicked nor despaired. Instead, they called upon Allah (ﷻ) for His help.
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Before the battle commenced, Jalut arrogantly asked to challenge the best warrior from Talut’s army. Talut, upon consultation with his people, decided on a very young man, whose name was Dawood (David) (as). Dawood (as) was renowned for his constant state of zikr, or remembrance of Allah (ﷻ) and was selected primarily for his piety and closeness to Allah (ﷻ).
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Dawood (as) was extremely skillful with the sling. He took aim, and the stone sailed through the air, and, by the will of Allah (ﷻ), met its mark. According to some reports, the stone decapitated Jalut. The battle commenced, but it was swift and decisive. Without their leader, the forces of Jalut were soundly defeated, and the men of Talut triumphed.
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Talut promised that whoever kill Jalut, would marry his daughter and would share his kingship and authority. He kept his promise. Later, the kingship was transferred to Prophet Dawood (as) in addition to being granted Prophethood by Allah (ﷻ).
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“By the will of Allah they defeated them, and Dawood killed Jalut, and Allah gave him kingship and wisdom, and taught him whatsoever He pleased. If Allah did not make men deter one another this earth would indeed be depraved. But gracious is Allah to the people of the world.” (2:251)
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This verse is an indication of the bravery of Dawood (as) and how he killed the leader of his enemies, Jalut, which sent fear into the hearts of his army. They then gathered the spoils of war and the true religion prevailed over the idol worship.
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According to Ibn Jareer, it has been stated in the Bible that the duration of Talut’s rule until the time when he was killed along with his children was forty years. Allah (ﷻ) knows best.

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