The banner of kingship [Archives:2007/1105/Community]
Adel Hassan Al-Adlany
English language graduate
Allah said, “Bethink thee of the leaders of the children of Israel after Moses, how they said unto a prophet whom they had, 'Set up for us a king and we will fight in Allah's way.' He said, 'Would ye then refrain from fighting, if fighting were prescribed for you?' They said, 'Why should we not fight in Allah's way when we have been driven from our dwellings with our children?' Yet, when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, all save a few of them. Allah is aware of evildoers.” (Sura 2 Al-Baqarah, verse 246).
For the informed reader, it can be easily realized that there is wisdom beyond these verses of the Qur'an. These verses mention certain rules of Allah's in the late 11th century before Christ (1012 B.C.), more than two and a half centuries after Moses, when the children of Israel wanted to overcome their enemy. They ordered a prophet of theirs to select or send them a king in order to be their word and so that they would be under one banner, one in rule and decision making instead of experiencing separation, disagreement and repeated defeat before their enemies.
So, their prophet told them that Allah had selected or sent them Saul to be king over them, but they rejected him because he wasn't from the descendants [alasbat] who reigned and ruled generation after generation. The children of Israel said cunningly, “How can he have kingship over us when we are more deserving of the kingdom than he is, since he hasn't been given wealth enough?” (Sura 2 Al-Baqarah, verse 247)
Because Saul was, in their eyes, just like one of the common people, he wasn't qualified to have kingship, despite the fact that he was one of them. They saw that he didn't have the qualities of their intellectual beliefs, so they said no one could have kingship or prophecy except those from the descendants (the sons of Jacob).
If we look carefully, we find that by selecting Saul as king, Allah wanted to teach them that He gives kingship or prophecy to those of his human creatures whom He wants. The matter is not related to heredity Also, the intellectual correction they believed in and which had been used and known among them wasn't revealed by Allah; rather, it was simply myths. This was the reason for losing their faith at that time and the mission of the prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
The prophet Mohammed also was not of their progeny. “When there came to them a book (the Qur'an) from Allah, confirming that which was with them – although before, they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved – but when there came to them that which they recognized, they disbelieved in it, so the curse of Allah will be upon disbelievers.” (Sura 2 Al-Baqarah, verse 89) Many people and jinn believe in Him better than them without myths or authoritative sources, such as priests and pastors, due to the fact that kingship pertains to Allah. Since we are of Adam and Adam is of the dust of the earth, it's better to benefit and learn from the stories in the Qur'an.
Over time, the children of Israel believed in Saul's rule after a miracle by Allah. “And their prophet said to them, 'Indeed, a sign of his kingship is a chest that will come to you, in which is assurance from your Lord and a remnant of what the family of Moses and the family of Aaron left, carried by the angels. Indeed, in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.” (Sura 2 Al-Baqarah, verse 248)
Therefore, they believed in Saul, with the exception of a few. As a result of their mythical faith in noble descent and in comparison with Islamic instructions, we find that the system of rule or reign is not restricted to certain individuals; rather, it is via consultation and selection, and vice versa with a king or sultan, so as to preserve a nation's unification, as Allah says in Sura 42:38 and Sura 3:159, “and consult them in the matter.”