Prophet Dawud (AS) was descendent of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Allah (SWT) gave him Zaboor for the guidance of Israelites. Zaboor had same basic guidance as provided in Torah.
Hence Prophet Dawud (AS) revived the guidance of Allah (SWT) brought by Musa (AS). Zaboor was in the form of songs. Allah (SWT) not only bestowed upon Dawud (AS) prophethood but also a very vast dynasty spreading over Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Eastern Jordan and beyond. He was a very eloquent speaker and his speech was very enjoyable, effective and easy to understand. He was always led to correct decision making even in the most complicated matters. Allah (SWT) says: Sad # 20
We made his kingdom strong and gave him Al-Hikmah (Prophethood) and sound judgement in speech and decision.
Allah (SWT) gave many miracles to Prophet Dawud (AS). He used to engage himself extensively in remembrance and praise of Allah (SWT). He had such a melodious voice that the people, birds, animals, Jinns and even mountains used to sway and sing with him. This is mentioned in three different chapters of Quran. Sad # 18,19
Verily, We made the mountains to glorify Our Praises with him (Dawud) in the ‘Ashi (i.e. after the mid-day till sunset) and Ishraq (i.e. after the sunrise till mid-day). And the birds assembled: all obedient to him (Dawud) [i.e. they came and glorified Allah’s Praises along with him].
And in Saba # 10
indeed We bestowed grace on Dawud from Us (saying): “O you mountains, Glorify (Allah) with him! And you birds (also)!” And We made the iron soft for him.
Also in Al-Anbiya # 79
And We made Sulaiman (Solomon) to understand (the case); and to each of them We gave Hukm (right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) and knowledge. And We subjected the mountains and the birds to glorify Our Praises along with Dawud (David). And it was We Who were the doer (of all these things).
You may be surprised to read that the mountains sang with Prophet Dawud (AS). Don’t forget that Allah (SWT) has created all the universes and every particle of the universes is obedient to Allah (SWT) and praises and glorifies its Creator in a language which we may not understand. Allah (SWT) says in Al-Isra # 44
The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.
Hence it was a miracle of Prophet Dawud (AS) that animals, birds, Jinns and even mountains used to join him in glorifying Allah (SWT). It is also well known that the pebbles used to make Islamic pledge in the presence of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and these pebbles glorified Allah (SWT). Similarly animals used to talk to Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Furthermore, Prophet Mohammad (SAS) used to lean against a trunk of an old tree when addressing his companions. Later a pulpit was built for the Prophet Mohammad (SAS) to use it for an address. The companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) heard the trunk of the old tree crying for being abandoned by the esteemed Prophet. Prophet Mohammad (SAS) touched it by his hand to console it. The tree stopped crying. There is a column built in place of this tree even now in the Mosque of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) in Madina Munawara. It is called Ustan Hannan
Sheikh Jalalud Din Sayuti said in Khasaes Al-Kubra that although pebbles glorify Allah (SWT) all the time but it was a miracle of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) that the glorification of Allah (SWT) by pebbles was heard by the companions when these pebbles were in the palm of Prophet Mohmmad (SAS).
Abdullah bin Masoud (RU) narrated that, “We used to eat meals with Prophet Mohammad (SAS) and we used to hear by our ears the glorification of Allah (SWT) by the meal served there.” (Bukhari)
Jabar bin Samra (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “I recognize that stone in Makkah which used to say salam to me even before I became a Prophet. I even recognize it now.” (Muslim)
Abu Saeed Khudhri (RU) narrated that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “People, Jinn, trees and stones listen to Aazan and they shall witness the belief of Muezzin on the day of Judgment.” (Ibn Majah)
Hence every thing including mountains glorify Allah (SWT). The actual miracle of Dawud (AS) was that the glorification of Allah (SWT) by the mountains could be heard by human ears.
Although Prophet Dawud (AS) was a great emperor but he did not wish to take a single penny from the government funds for his personal and family needs. He used to do various jobs with his own hands to earn his living like an ordinary person. He used to pray to Allah (SWT) to make such labor easy for him so that at no time in life he would need to depend on government funds.
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “Any earning made by a person by his own hand is the best earning. Indeed, Prophet Dawud (AS) used to earn his living by his own hands.” (Bukhari)
Hafiz Ibn Hajr said, “Although it is permissible for a Caliph of Islam to take reasonable amount from the government treasury to meet the basic needs of his family, it is, however, better that he finds alternative, honest means to earn his living”. For example Caliph
Abu Bakr (RU) repaid all the funds to the government treasury before his death which he had borrowed in the form of a stipend during his Caliphate.
Allah (SWT) granted the prayer of Prophet Dawud (AS) for making his daily living easier for him since he had also to fulfil the responsibilities of running the affairs of a very vast kingdom. Allah (SWT) made the iron soft for him. Saba # 10
And we made the iron soft for him.
Also in Al-Anbiya # 80
And We taught him the making of metal coats (for battles), to protect you in your fighting. Are you then grateful?
This was another miracle of Prophet Dawud (AS).
Syed Mahmood Alosi has narrated from Qurtabi in Ruhul Maani that Allah (SWT) taught Prophet Dawud (AS) to make metal coats for battles which were not heavy for the soldiers. Soldiers’ movements were not hindered in the battlefield by using these light iron coats. Nobody else was able to make such light iron coats before this time.
It is important to point out that we should not look down upon people who work with their own hands or work in factories. Ignorant people indulge in name calling to iron smiths and other handymen. We should be proud of these workers since they are following the footprints of Dawud (AS).
Allah (SWT) bestowed many unique favours upon Prophet Dawud (AS) and Prophet Sulaiman (AS). With these bounties of Allah (SWT) they became more and more thankful to Him. Allah (SWT) reminds them about this mandatory thankfulness in Saba # 13
They worked for him as he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places). “Work you, O family of Dawud (David), with thanks! But few of My slaves are grateful.”
Ibn-e-Kathir has mentioned that in the house of Prophet Dawud (AS) and Prophet Sulaiman (AS), the whole family had agreed upon such a schedule that at least one of them was always engaged in the remembrance of Allah (SWT) during the entire day and night.
Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said that Allah (SWT) loved the prayer of Dawud (AS) the most. Prophet Dawud (AS) used to sleep first half of the night, then used to pray for one third of the night and then used to sleep for the remaining one sixth of the night. Similarly Allah loved, the fasting of Dawud (AS) the most. Dawud (AS) used to fast on alternate days which is the hardest. (Bukhari, and Muslim)
Tirmidhi and Imam Abu Bakr Jassas have narrated from Atta-bin-Yasar, that when verse # 13 of Saba was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (SAS), he mounted his pulpit and after reciting this verse said, “If someone does three things, his reward will be similar to Prophet Dawud (AS)”. His companions inquired humbly, “What are those?” Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “To do justice when one is angry or at peace; to follow the middle path in adversity as well as in affluence; and to fear Allah both openly and secretly”.
When more and more favors of Allah (SWT) were bestowed upon Prophet Dawud (AS), Allah (SWT) reminded his family to engage themselves more and more in thankfulness of Allah (SWT).
It is narrated by Fadheel that when this reminder of thankfulness was revealed to Prophet Dawud (AS), he said, “ O Allah, how can I fulfil this instruction of Yours since offering of thankfulness is also one of Your bounties which itself requires thankfulness to You.” Allah said, “O Dawud, now you have thanked Me fully since you have understood and recognized your limits”.
May Allah (SWT) grant us this humbleness of Prophet Dawud (AS). (Ameen)