Sunday, 28 November 2010

The story of Talut (Saul)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Banu Isra'il were the ummah (nation) who Allah sent the most prophets to.  As the prophets sent to Banu Isra'il were so numerous, we are not aware of the names and stories of each of them, besides those mentioned in the Quran and/or sunnah.

After entering the Holy Land Banu Isra'il settled there and their numbers multiplied, increasing the size of their ummah over time.  The Quran mentions the story of one particular king appointed to Banu Isra'il in some detail.

Banu Isra'il told the prophet over them at the time to appoint them a king under whom they could unify and fight their enemies.  Their prophet told them that Allah had chosen a man amongst them called Talut (Saul) to be their king.  Despite themselves asking their prophet to appoint a king for them, Banu Isra'il refused to accept the decision when he did so.  They considered Talut to be unworthy of leadership over them as he did not come from among the prestigious and wealthy families among them.  Their prophet corrected their flawed thinking regarding the matter, explaining to them how Talut was suited to the position of kingship over them and that more importantly it was Allah's decision regarding the matter.  The Quran says:

And their Prophet said to them: 'Allah has appointed Talut as a king for  you.'  They said: 'How is he entitled to be a king over us, when we are better than him, and he is not even gifted with wealth in abundance?'  He said: 'Allah has chosen him above you, and has gifted him abundantly with knowledge and bodily strength.  Allah bestows sovereignty on whom He pleases, and Allah is All-Sufficient, All Knowing.'  (Surah Al Baqarah: 247)

Allah sent a sign to Banu Isra'il to eradicate all doubt over the matter of Talut's kingship.  Banu Isra'il had formally possessed something called at Tabut, which their enemies had taken from them.  At Tabut was a wooden casket containing some possessions of the former prophets of Banu Isra'il, Musa (as) and Haroon (as).  Allah now returned this casket, much beloved to them, back to Banu Isra'il as a sign of the blessings of Talut's kingship.  The Quran says:

Their prophet said to them: ‘The sign of his authority will be that the Ark [of the Covenant] will come to you. In it there will be [the gift of] tranquillity from your Lord and relics of the followers of Moses and Aaron, carried by the angels. There is a sign in this for you if you believe.’  (Surah Al Baqarah: 248)

The story of Talut will inshaAllah be continued in the next post.

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