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Sura 2
Aya 251
فَهَزَموهُم بِإِذنِ اللَّهِ وَقَتَلَ داوودُ جالوتَ وَآتاهُ اللَّهُ المُلكَ وَالحِكمَةَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمّا يَشاءُ ۗ وَلَولا دَفعُ اللَّهِ النّاسَ بَعضَهُم بِبَعضٍ لَفَسَدَتِ الأَرضُ وَلٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ ذو فَضلٍ عَلَى العالَمينَ

Yusuf Ali

By God’s will they routed them; and David1 slew Goliath; and God gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed2. And did not God Check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But God is full of bounty to all the worlds3.
  • Note how the whole story is compressed into a few words as regards narration, but its spiritual lessons are dwelt upon from many points of view. The Old Testament is mainly interested in the narrative, which is full of detail, but says little about the universal truths of which every true story is a parable. The Qur-ān assumes the story, but tells the parable.
    David was a raw youth, with no arms or armour. He was not known even in the Israelite camp, and the giant Goliath mocked him. Even David’s own elder brother chided him for deserting his sheep, for he was a poor shepherd lad to outward appearance, but his faith had made him more than a match for the Philistine hosts. When Saul offered his own armour and arms to David, the young hero declined, as he had not tried them, while his shepherd’s sling and staff were his well-tried implements. He picked up five smooth pebbles on the spot from the stream, and used his sling to such effect that he knocked down Goliath. He then used Goliath’s own sword to slay him. There was consternation in the Philistine army: they broke and fled, and were pursued and cut to pieces.
    Apart from the main lesson that if we would preserve our national existence and our faith it is our duty to fight with courage and firmness, there are other lessons in David’s story: (1) numbers do not count, but faith, determination and the blessing of God; (2) size and strength are of no avail against truth, courage, and careful planning; (3) the hero tries his own weapons, and those that are available to him at the time and place, even though people may laugh at him; (4) if God is with us, the enemy’s weapon may become an instrument of his own destruction; (5) personality conquers all dangers, and puts heart into our own wavering friends; (6) pure faith brings God’s reward, which may take many forms: in David’s case it was Power, Wisdom, and other gifts; see next note.
  • David was not only a shepherd, a warrior, a king, a wise man, and a prophet, but was also endowed with the gifts of poetry and music. (R).
  • God’s plan is universal. He loves and protects all His creatures and His bounties are for all worlds (1:2 n. 20). To protect one He may have to check another, but we must never lose faith that His love is for all in boundless measure. (Cf. 22:40).