34:10 And certainly We conferred on Dāwūd grace from Ourselves. “You mountains! turn with him, and the birds.” And We melted iron for him,
34:10 Conventional interpretation of mountain turning with Dāwūd is understood as a metaphorical expression of nature declaring glory of Allāh by showing submission to the laws of Allāh (21:79; 38:18). The place in ancient Palestine where Dāwūd lived was rich in minerals like iron and copper (Deut. 8:9). The geological study of the terrain confirms higher reaches of this region is formed by igneous and metamorphic rocks, which are the sources of low grade iron ores that can be easily obtained by surface mining or quarrying. Particular mention of mountain turning (a’waba) with Dāwūd, followed by melting/softening (lāna) of iron is, in all possibility, indicating to mining activities undertaken by Dāwūd at the foothills of the mountain. Dāwūd’s advent approximately around 1000 B.C.E. was at the prime era when human being already discovered iron, learned its metallurgy, and in doing so they opened a brilliant chapter in the history of human civilization, aptly named as Iron Age. The verse speaks of Dāwūd softening hadīd (lit. iron), alluding to his use of iron metallurgy, probably leading to large-scale production of implements and weapons. This roughly coincides with Iron Age II, which began in the Middle East, and later the knowledge was exported to other parts of the world. Reference of coats of mail in 21:80 also elliptically lends support to Dāwūd’s use of iron for weapons and other implements.