Nouman Ali KhanScholar English

The Wisdom Given to Dawud (AS)

I learned a lot from people with that kind of experience. What is the Quran actually doing here?
It’s amazing. The Quran is saying life experience. Life experience will teach you what?
And when Allah says Allah gave Dawud AS wisdom, isn’t that what he said?
He’s telling us Allah gave Dawud AS life experiences. That taught him a lot about how people work, how society works, how business partners work, how families work. And that is actually part of the wisdom he is using to understand cases, to understand human behavior. You see what I’m saying?

So we’re going to talk about two prophets or one prophet and one non prophet.
But they have something in common and I’m going to show it to you because from here on, we’re not talking about hikmah in theory, we’re going to actually look at actual places in the Quran and discuss hikmah.

So the first place we’re going to look at is the story of Dawud AS.
And here’s the place you can find it. Many of you have Quran apps on your phones, so you can open it up Inshallah I’ll open it up too and I’ll read it from here with you.
So this is Surah number 38, and Ayah number 17.
Be Patient

{اصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا دَاوُودَ ذَا الْأَيْدِ ۖ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ}
Be patient the prophet is being told. Be patient over whatever they say to you.
And remember our servant Dawud who had might. The one of great might. He kept coming back to Allah
{إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ}
{إِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ}
we subdued we overpowered the mountains along with him.
{يُسَبِّحْنَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِشْرَاقِ}
they used to praise Allah, the mountains used to praise Allah along with him in the night and in the morning time.
{وَالطَّيْرَ مَحْشُورَةً}
and the birds used to gather around for him.
{كُلٌّ لَهُ أَوَّابٌ}
they used to keep coming back towards him
{وَشَدَدْنَا مُلْكَهُ}
This is the part we’re interested in now for this discussion. And we strengthened his kingdom.
وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحِكْمَةَ
and we gave him wisdom. because our discussion is hikmah. Allah says we strengthened him, his kingdom and we gave him wisdom.
{وَفَصْلَ الْخِطَابِ} and we gave him decisive speech. Powerful speech.

Okay, now that Allah has said He’s given him wisdom,
He’s going to tell us a story about him.
And I’m not going to go into the details of that story, but I’ll give you the gist.
Dawud AS was in his quarters and Allah says
{وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ نَبَأُ الْخَصْمِ} [38:21]
did the news of the arguing groups come to you?

{إِذْ تَسَوَّرُوا الْمِحْرَابَ}
Dawud AS was a king and kings live in castles and the king’s quarters are usually higher up inside the castle
in the more secure area. And he was up in his quarters praying. And مِحْرَابَ is the corner of the house where it’s private, where you pray.

And he turns around from the prayer and he sees a bunch of people in, you can imagine, in his bedroom.
They’re in his inner quarters.
So you can imagine, like in America, there’s the White House And the White House has extra layers of security.
They’ve got snipers on the roof, and they’ve got security guards and dogs, and they’ve got all this kind of stuff.
And there’s a presidential residence inside.

And the President comes out of the bathroom, and there’s six guys sitting there “Hey, we got a question, Mr. President.”
If somebody made it through all those layers of security, what does that mean?
They’re going to kill you.
How could they get through all those layers of security and be inside your presidential bedroom?
You understand?
So he turns around and he sees these people
{إِذْ دَخَلُوا عَلَىٰ دَاوُودَ} [38:22]
They came into Dawud’s company in the مِحْرَابَ. {فَفَزِعَ مِنْهُمْ} he was terrified of them. He was shocked.
“What’s going on here?”
And by the way, Dawud AS is not just a king, he’s a military leader. And military leaders have enemies.

And if they see someone just inside their private quarters, they know this is going to be an assassination attempt.
So they say {قَالُوا لَا تَخَفْ ۖ خَصْمَانِ بَغَىٰ بَعْضُنَا عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ}
“No, don’t be afraid. We just have an issue. We just want you to give us your advice about it.”
One of the ways I think about the stories in the Quran is I try to place myself in that situation. So I imagine I finish here and I go back to the hotel I’m staying at and I go in the bathroom of the hotel, wash up, come out of the bathroom, and there’s eight of you sitting on my bed.

“Ustadh I didn’t get a chance to talk to you there, but my cousin works at this hotel and we have a question.
You said in one of your videos.”

Bro. I’m sorry, bruv. You see how shocking that would be. Right now I’m not thinking about whether or not to give you the right answer.

I’m thinking about whether or not to kick you out of my room, call the police or run.
But the thing that’s not on my mind is “Make yourselves comfortable, guys. No, it’s okay. Yeah, sit there.
No, put your shoes there.
Yeah. I never liked that suitcase.”

So he says {وَلَا تُشْطِطْ وَاهْدِنَا إِلَىٰ سَوَاءِ}
They say “Could you judge between us and don’t give us a bad answer?”
That’s what they say to him.
{لَا تُشْطِطْ} don’t give us a nonsense answer.

And then they say “Guide us to the right path. This is my brother. He owns 99 sheep. I only own one of them.”
{فَقَالَ أَكْفِلْنِيهَا} [38:23] He says, Give me that one You have also.
{وَعَزَّنِي فِي الْخِطَابِ} and he keeps yelling at me. He keeps intimidating me. He talks to me in a bullying way.
عَزَّ means to have power over someone. So he uses his power. 99 sheep means he’s wealthier, means he has more servants, he has more influence. And he uses that influence and talks down to me and says “Just give me your sheep, man.
Come on, what are you going to do with it?

If you were good at the sheep business, you wouldn’t have one, okay?
Just give it to me. It’s better for you.”
And so he keeps bullying me. By the way, let me give you a new version of this because, Free Way
I just came from Pakistan, so I saw this. They build these housing complexes, housing communities, gated communities like DHAS or whatever. And they’ll build like 5000 houses.
And you’re outside these communities with the gates and the security guards and the machine guns, and you’re in Pakistan. You know what that means?

You’re on the highway going this way. There’s a guy on a bicycle going this way. There’s a guy on a rickshaw going that way. There’s a truck going this way. This is the highway.
But it’s truly a freeway.
I understood the meaning of the word.

It’s a freeway. And then you walk through those gates and all of a sudden you’re in California. The streets are clean, everything’s prim and proper. The roads are paved. People are observing traffic laws. There’s malls, there’s people who think they speak English. There’s all kinds of stuff.

I went to some of those restaurants just to hear what they think is English. “Yaar what the hell yaar.” I love it. I love it. It tastes better than the food.
Anyway, back to the Quran.

Okay, now what they do is they build these housing developments. And there’s one guy
who owns this old ugly little house in the middle, and he doesn’t want to sell. He doesn’t want to sell his property.
So you know what they do?
They build all around him. And he can’t even get to his house. There’s no road, nothing. He can’t get there.
You got a choice. You could just sell it. Because we’re going to build them all there. We’re going to build whatever there.
You know what that is?

You’ve got people that are very powerful. They have a lot of money. And then you have someone who owns something, but he doesn’t have power.
One has 99, the other just has what one.
And the one that have 99 can bully the one that has one. And that happens in Pakistan. That happens in America. That happens in Australia. That happens in Canada. That happens in the United Kingdom. It happens in Germany. It happens all over the world.

Sometimes governments do this to citizens. Sometimes business partners do this to other business partners.
Sometimes big business does it to small businesses, doesn’t it?
And so this is a scenario that happens in the world of business all the time. Now, listen to the words of Dawud AS and I’ll get to the point.
He says, Dawud AS says, I’m only quoting a part of it that’s relevant for our discussion

{وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْخُلَطَاءِ لَيَبْغِي بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ} [38:24] Actually, a huge number of people that are mixed together in business relationships, they end up doing wrong to each other.
Who does wrong And from the context, you can tell who does wrong to who. The one who has more ends up doing wrong to the one who has less.
And the one who has the power to intimidate ends up bullying the other.
And this happened خُلَطَاءِ actually also means people that have lives connected to each other, like family.

So in families, for example, there’s the dad, and he has six sons, and one of those sons is wealthier or more powerful or politically connected, and the other sons are not. Or two of them are more connected, the other four are not. And when time comes for the inheritance, you can almost guess who’s not going to get their share. Because the ones that are connected are going to just take out the ones that are not connected, or they’re not going to get anything.
So this kind of thing plays out, and Dawud AS says, a lot of times, people that are mixed with each other,
they end up doing wrong to each other.

This statement that he makes and then he says {إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَقَلِيلٌمَا هُمْ}
Except for those who believe and do good deeds and how few they are.

Meaning a sign of people who truly believe and do good deeds, is they don’t mess with business deals.
And he says how few they are. This statement of Dawud AS, think about it. This is Allah explaining what hikmah looks like.
Allah just said, Allah gave Dawud AS what?

Now, people came to him and said, this is our case. And before he judges the case, he says “Listen, this happens a lot.” But this idea that this happens a lot, where did Dawud AS get it from? Did he get it from Revelation, you think? Or did he get it from dealing with lots of cases?
He dealt with lots and lots of cases. He’s a ruler. He’s head of بني إسرائيل.
He deals with them all the time. He sees many cases. He’s a judge. If you talk to experienced judges, they’ve seen a lot of stuff.
Some of the most insightful conversations I’ve had in my life are with military generals and judges and lawyers.
You learn a lot from those people.
Like, I just tell him, “So what have you learned 50 years sitting on the bench?”

He goes “You can’t learn that in a 30 minutes conversation.” I said “There’s always a start. Let’s begin. Give me something.”
I learned a lot from people with that kind of experience. What is the Quran actually doing here?
It’s amazing. The Quran is saying life experience. Life experience will teach you what?
Wisdom Life experience And when Allah says Allah gave Dawud AS wisdom, isn’t that what He said? He’s telling us Allah gave Dawud AS life experiences.
That taught him a lot about how people work, how society works, how business partners work, how families work. And that is actually part of the wisdom he is using to understand cases, to understand human behavior.
You see what I’m saying?

This is actually an incredible case for wisdom. Now, before this, you might think wisdom is something that comes from Allah. Wisdom is something spiritual. Wisdom is something if you pray a lot, it will come to you.
That’s the spiritual meaning of wisdom that’s there too in the Quran.
But in this passage, there’s another dimension of wisdom which we almost think is secular.
It’s not even religious, it’s secular. What is it?
His role as a judge. He’s seen people do messed up things and it’s taught him a lot. It’s taught him a lot. What does that do for a student of the Quran like myself?
You know what that does?

You know what that does?
When I’m studying something in the Quran, I’m studying, for example, there’s Ayat about divorce. We’re going to talk about the Ayat of divorce tomorrow a little bit because they mentioned wisdom in them too.
That’s going to be a fun conversation.

I’m going to leave right after that. But anyway, the reason I brought that up is when you look at the Ayat of… Or when you look at, divorce cases and you look at divorce judges and, what they have to go through, they have to actually look at real life situations and learn from them.

So when I’m studying the Ayat of Divorce, I actually talk to divorce attorneys, I talk to marital counselors, I talk to psychologists, I talk to people that experience divorces,. Because they have wisdom that I need to understand. These Ayat, what kind of wisdom do they have?
Life experience.

That is an acknowledged form of wisdom in the Quran itself. Through the example of Dawud AS. Dawud AS’s wisdom is actually life experience. So what I’m saying then is the Quran is very broad in its definition of wisdom. And we’re going to go through each one of those examples of wisdom highlights a new picture for wisdom.

So your grandparents have a lot to teach you from their life experience. The elders in our community are banks of wisdom that nobody’s utilizing. What did you learn from your life?
And we’re not taking advantage of that.

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