So when Talut set forth with his army... surely, you are one of the Messengers.
Now Talut (Saul) prepared for Jihad and marched on with his troops. He told them that Allah-SWT would try them by the ordeal of a river en-route. They shall not be allowed to drink water from it except only a handful.
The troops, fatigued by journey and violent hot weather could not resist except those who had a strong faith. All those who drank to their fill lost the strength to continue the march and their thirst remained unquenched too. Those who were content with only a handful as permitted were no longer thirsty and were honoured with participation in Jihad. But when they came face to face with the army of Jalut (Goliath), which overwhelmingly outnumbered them, some of them were terrified. Jalut the ruler of the' Amaliqah’ was extremely arrogant and a tyrant, who had a large army. Those gifted with strong faith and perseverance amongst the Bani Israil, however, said that victory and defeat rests with Allah-SWT as the history nations bears witness to the fact that often groups smaller in number vanquished group much larger in size.
People can be classified into three categories. Firstly the flawed, who could not even resist water and were left behind, secondly, the accomplished who marched on resisting worldly temptations; and thirdly the perfected who became a source of inspiration for others to remain steadfast. When they faced the troops of Jalut they prayed to Allah-SWT for steadfastness and for inspiring in their hearts patience and perseverance and also for victory over the infidels. This indeed is the true essence of truth, that Allah-SWT be requested to help and simultaneously all possible means must be pressed into service and maximum efforts exerted, leaving the results to Allah-SWT , which then must be accepted wholeheartedly.
Hadhrat Dawud-AS who at that time was very young, pale and weak, by Allah-SWT's Will, killed Jalut reducing his arrogance to dust. Talut gave his daughter's hand in marriage and also transferred the power of the State to him. Allah-SWT blessed Hadhrat Dawud-AS with Prophethood and with many an excellence. The iron in his hands would soften as wax; he was taught the art of making armour, which became a source of livelihood for him and he ruled in accordance with the will and purpose of Allah-SWT . He could understand the language of all the animals and was blessed with a moving voice. The mountains and the trees deliberately joined him in zikr Allah-SWT , as distinct from routine zikr practiced by everything continuously. Allah-SWT always repels evil by the force of piety and the wicked by virtue of the righteous. It is indeed a great favor of Allah-SWT , as He-SWT is Merciful towards His-SWT creations.
All these accounts of past events are revealed by Allah-SWT with unchangeable accuracy to you O' Prophet-SW, which you-SW neither read nor heard. It is a strong evidence of your-SW Prophet-hood. These revelations not only contain motivation and warning for mankind, but coming from you-SW constitute your-SW great miracle. After your raising as a Messenger-SW, mankind would have to choose between your-SW obedience or else, Allaah-SWT ’s Wrath.
We exalted some of these Messengers... Allah-SWT does whatever He-SWT wills.
The second Part of the Quran is concluded on the authenticity of the Holy Prophet-SW Prophet-hood. The Divine accounts of the nations and their Prophets-AS prior to Islam given with such accuracy provide substantial evidence of his-SW Prophet-hood. The Holy Prophet-SW had never been to any school or a scholar or a recluse for education. Neither did he ever visit the public fairs nor availed the company of any storyteller. In fact, he-SW was raised as an orphan in a society, which offered no scope of education whatsoever and his-SW childhood is marked with simplicity, truthfulness, modesty and lonely moments. An announcement by such a person in his forties, with each year of his-SW life a milestone of veracity, that he receives the Divine Message has to be nothing but the truth. A person who, for forty long years, never told a lie about any fellow being, how could he possibly lie about Allah-SWT ? And then his reporting of events of the previous nations with such precision, not even possible for their own scholars, amply testifies his Prophet-hood.
This Part commences with the Order of Precedence of some of the Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS. Basically all of them enjoy a very high status, some have singular honours while the Holy Prophet-SW of Islam is the most exalted of all, the Prophets-AS par excellence.
Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS are a sacred group. The Prophet-hood itself is an exalted status, because it is only a Prophet-AS or a Messenger-AS who can communicate with Allah-SWT directly. None else in mankind is given this capability. For people the acme of excellence is they establish a relationship with their Prophet-AS or Messenger-AS so as to draw Allah-SWT's Favours and blessings through them.
The Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS are as a rule innocent of sins, an indispensable quality for deriving Divine Beneficence directly. If a person believes that someone else born after the Final Prophet-SW is also innocent, it amounts to believing in the continuation of Prophet-hood. This is infidelity as the Institution of Prophet-hood ends with the Holy Prophet-SW. Now until the Day of Judgment, this Muslim Ummah, this Quran and this very Deen will prevail. Even Prophet ‘Isa-AS, on return to this world, will not follow his own Book or Shari'ah but will adhere to the Shari'ah of Prophet Muhammad-SW and also propagate it amongst the people of that time.
The Prophets-AS and the Messengers-AS share the same exalted chain of Prophet-hood. Yet in matters of Divine nearness, rewards of the ‘Akhirah’ and precedence, some excel the others. ‘Hadith’ forbidding fixation of precedence between them has been given different explanations. One, no human being can possibly judge them on his own. However, if it is established in the Quran or ‘Hadlth’, it ought to be believed in. Secondly, in the essence of Prophet-hood all are equal. The only difference is in their levels of Allah-SWT's nearness, which can only be revealed by Allah-SWT or expressed by His-SWT Prophet-SW, by His-SWT Command.
The Mutual Superiority of the Aulia
In fact all Prophets-AS are exalted human beings and none should be extolled at the cost of the other. Amongst them some are more while others most exalted. The Aulia should be treated in the like manner because Wilayah is a relationship between Allah-SWT and man. Only Allah-SWT knows who is nearer to Him-SWT . There is nothing wrong in eulogizing someone out of them provided it is done with caution and that others are not dishonored in the process.
Some distinctions of the Messengers-AS are mentioned here. To some Allah-SWT spoke directly and some others were blessed with even higher ranks. Like Prophet Musa-AS was blessed with the honour of Divine Address without the media of Revelation and angel. Innocence is bestowed unto those chosen by Allah-SWT as Messengers-AS simultaneously with the Office. To be a human being possessing all the appetite of the flesh, to live in a society full of trials and temptations, and yet to conduct oneself with honesty, dignity, truthfulness and nobility without indulging in sin or wrong whatsoever, is the innocence identified with Allah-SWT's Messengers-AS only. Those upon whom Revelation was sent possess this elevation. One can only imagine the status of that person to whom Allaah-SWT spoke directly, and the level of purity and elegance. Praise be to Him-SWT !
Allah-SWT says that some of the Prophets have much higher status. The commentators agree that this Ayah points to the noble Personality of the Prophet-SW of Islam. Prophet Musa-AS had the honor of a dialogue with Allah-SWT, though not unveiled, on a part of this earth while the Holy Prophet-SW ascended beyond the heavens, across trillions of veils and conversed with the Supreme Being-SWT face to face. According to Al Najam Ayah 10: "so did Allah-SWT convey the inspiration to His-SWT servant what He-SWT meant to convey". When this conversation was going on, Angel Jibril-AS stood waiting at ‘Sidrat ul Muntaha’, a station way below, at the boundary of the seventh heaven, while the Holy Prophet-SW was far away up where Allah-SWT willed, being satiated with His-SWT refulgence. The request at Mount-Tur by Prophet Musa-AS "show Thyself-SWT to me," was answered "you-AS cannot see Me-SWT ." (7: 143) i.e. you will not be able to bear the sight. So did it happen, that when a ray of His-SWT Refulgence was released neither the Mount nor the Prophet-AS of Allah-SWT could bear it. The mount was reduced to ashes whilehe fell unconscious.
At this point the scholars have two opinions. Some believe that Holy Prophet-SW did not see Allah-SWT whereas others believe that he-SW did, because the incapacity to see Him-SWT is a condition within this world whereas the Holy Prophet-SW was located way above the ‘Arsh! in the Akhirah both the eyesight and the Qalb will be empowered to an extent that believers will be able to behold their Rabb-SWT .
The Beholding of Allah-SWT
When a physical body composed of matter, yet so transparent, so pure, so subtle that it can go beyond ‘Arsh’, the access to which is yearned by the Spirit, can inspect Paradise and Hell and can converse with Him-SWT , the possibility of beholding Him-SWT cannot be ruled out. This, indeed, is supported by the Quran. "His-SW sight never swerved, nor did it go wrong" (53:17) If it was not the Divine Refulgence, what did the eye not swerve from? I humbly feel Allah-SWT's closest Personal Refulgence was witnessed only by The Holy Prophet-SW. The term, "beholding Allah-SWT ", in reality, means seeing His-SWT Radiant Glory or Refulgence as He-SWT Himself is beyond human access. If any eye can behold Him-SWT it would tantamount to limiting the Supreme Being, which is a false notion because He-SWT is Limitless, above any bounds.
For the Holy Prophet-SW, "beholding Him-SWT " would denote witnessing His-SWT Personal nearest glory to which any of His-SWT creation could possibly have an access. This radiance was neither the Supreme Being Himself-SWT , nor was it separated from Him-SWT , and its excellence would, of course, increase continuously, making it possible to witness His-SWT Refulgence more and more closely. There are different stages of beholding Him-SWT , varying from person to person, their status and the timings.
Whereas all dwellers of Paradise shall have the honour to behold Him-SWT according to their own status, the Holy Prophet-SW excels everyone by all standards.
Prophet '!sa-AS was blessed with miracles such as healing the sick curing the congenitally blind and lepers, fashioning birds in clay, blowing on and them. Restoring the dead to life was also amongst his miracles; food descended for him from the heavens and Angel Jibril-AS was always in his attendance. All thesewere the Divine Rewards and a clear evidence of his Prophet-hood. Yet the Jews believed in Prophet Musa-AS and insulted Prophet 'Isa-AS. The Christians declared him-AS as son of God. Both these ideologies stand rejected, because only an adherence to the precepts and practices of these exalted Prophets-AS would mean a relationship with them-AS.
Along with the idolaters of Arabia, the Jews and Christians were the two other nations who insisted on their religious standing and declared that they were on the right path. From the Order of Precedence of the Divine Messengers-AS discussed above and the teaching of the preceding Prophets-AS, it became clear that after the advent of Prophet Muhammad-SW it would be obligatory to follow only him-SW.
Every person has a personal relationship with Allah-SWT and the results will be commensurate to the kind of relationship enjoyed by him. Allah-SWT is Omnipotent. Had it been His-SWT Will to save everyone, people would not have gone astray after the raising of such exalted personalities and absolutely clear signs, nor would have they killed each other and created mischief. But all this happened, as Allah-SWT in His-SWT Wisdom allowed them to exercise their choice. People kicked up disputes in their opinions and conflicts in their actions, which led to bloodshed. Some failed to persevere on faith while others disbelieved. This indeed is the history of the Prophets-AS and their people. Allah-SWT is all-Powerful and could have certainly prevented them from bloodshed but He-SWT is Wise and Sagacious and also the Owner, and does what pleases Him-SWT . This was indeed a great consolation for the Holy Prophet-SW. Some people indulge habitually in disagreement and they would certainly do the same with him-SW. It is indeed unlikely for all the people to agree on the same stance.