What is the meaning of the saying of Allah ta^ala about one of the two rivals who came to Dawud seeking his judgment on a dispute in Surat Sad verse #23? ﴿ إن هذا أخي له تسعٌ وتسعونَ نعجةً وليَ نعجةٌ واحدةٌ فقال أكْفلنيها وعَزَّن ىِ في الخطاب ﴾سورة ص The saying of one of the rivals means: Indeed this, my brother, has ninety-nine lambs (na^jah), and I have one lamb (na^jah); So he said, “Entrust her to me,” and he overpowered me in speech.” What is meant by “na^jah” in this verse?
Arabs may refer to women as ni^aj. However, it is not permitted to interpret the word an-ni^aj in this verse as “women”, as some interpreters did. They caused a great deal of harm with their misinterpretation, which became famous by claiming that “Prophet Dawud had 99 women and his army’s leader had one beautiful one.” It continues to claim that Prophet Dawud liked that woman, so he sent his leader to battle to die there so that Dawud would marry her after. Such an interpretation is corrupt, because this does not befit any of the Prophets.
Imam Ibn al-Jawziyy in [his book] ‘The Interpretation’, after citing this fabricated story about our master Dawud, said, “… and this [story] is not authentic through the route of narration and is not permissible by the meaning [it conveys].” That is so because Prophets are protected (impeccable) from such acts. As for Prophet Dawud, asking Allah for forgiveness, it was because he ruled for the two [brothers] after hearing from one of them and before hearing from the other.