The first king of Israel, called Talut in the Qur'an.
describes a story that exhorts the Israelites to fight in Allah's way.
However, a few discrepancies with the Biblical account
(1 Samuel 8)
can be found:
In the first battle of Saul, the Qur'an said that he separated the
people and picked only a few as they drank from the river.
This was not mentioned in
1 Samuel 11-12.
Instead the story is to be found in
where Gideon lead the Israelites for battle.
The first battle of Saul also did not involve Goliath and the
Philistines. Instead they were against the Ammonites
(1 Samuel 11:1).
Goliath come on the scene later when the Israelites were taunted by
the Philistines, and David volunteered to fight Goliath.
The Qur'an implied that David was serving with Saul
at his first battle!
- The Qur'an was not able to give the name of the prophet, nor
the king. The prophet was Samuel, and the king, Saul.
Saul was called Talut
in the Qur'an (see YA:, S:, SA:, RK:)
- The Israelites asked for a king because the judges (i.e.
leaders of Israel. At the time of the incident in 1 Sam 8,
Samuel's sons were judging Israel with Samuel as Israel's
spiritual leader) were evil,
and they wanted a king just like other
nations. The Qur'an says that the Israelites asked for a king
to fight in Allah's way, because they had been forced from
their homes! In the Bible, the Israelites left Egypt by
- Samuel was displeased with this proposal, and asked God. The
Qur'an said that Samuel asked if they would fight for God if they
were so commanded, indicating an agreement as long as they
were to follow what God decided!
- God was also unhappy with this, for it meant that they had
rejected God. God also told Samuel to warn the Israelites of
the consequences of having a king. The Qur'an said that the
result of asking for a king was to fight, indicating no
displeasure at all!
- The Qur'an says that fighting was prescribed and that the
Israelites failed to fight when the time comes.
The Israelites, under the
judges, have already been fighting their enemies, especially
the Philistines, long before they asked for a king!
It seemed that Muhammad knew the stories of the Old Testament, but
somehow mixed up the different episodes. We see historical compression
at work here.
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