Reflections On Surah Al Kahf (The Cave)


Reflections On Surah Al Kahf

The surah is incredibly rich in dynamic verbs. It includes an assortment of verbs representing verbal, physical, and spiritual  activities, hereby presenting a vivid portrayal of true life stories that carry genuine lessons for people to comprehend and reflect upon.

Imam Ahmad recorded that al Bara narrated: “A man recited surah al kahf and there was an animal in the house which began acting in a nervous manner. He looked and saw a fog or a cloud overhead. He mentioned this to the Prophet (peace be upon him), who said:

“keep on reciting so and so, for this is the tranquility which descends when one reads Quran or because of reading Quran”. This hadith has been recorded in the two Sahihs (Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari) and the man who recorded it, according to ibn Kathir, is said to be Usayd bin Hudayr.

I was marveling at how each chapter of the holy Quran carries a unique spirit of its own, and in most cases a functionality that makes it sought after for particular purposes and at specific circumstances. I stopped at Surah al Kahf, chapter 18 of the Quran, and kept going through its verses over and over again. I felt a shiver that never haunted me before, as though I was reading the Surah for the first time in my life. The rush I felt was sort of a stream of energy that penetrated through me while reading the Surah and deeply contemplating its meanings and implications.

And I could relate to a sensible theory once suggested by the renown Egyptian Muslim preacher, Dr. Amr Khaled, who said that the great number of verbs  of movement, or dynamic verbs, mentioned in Surah al Kahf, acts as a good motivator for people to be more active and engage in more meaningful activities. No wonder Muslims are advised to recite this noble Surah every Friday; which concludes a week and kick starts a new one in most Islamic countries or countries of considerable Muslim population.

Dynamic verbs;
The noble Surah narrates three main parables, that of People of the Cave, the Two Men who received Equal Blessings from God but reacted differently and thus were destined to two different fates, and the third parable telling the story of Prophet Moses’ journey to gain knowledge at the hands of al Khidr.

The surah is incredibly rich in dynamic verbs. It includes an assortment of verbs representing verbal, physical, and spiritual  activities, hereby presenting a vivid portrayal of true life stories that carry genuine lessons for people to comprehend and reflect upon.

Let me list you a few examples:

“[Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.” [The Holy Quran 18: 10]

“And [had you been present], you would see the sun when it rose, inclining away from their cave on the right, and when it set, passing away from them on the left, while they were [laying] within an open space thereof. That was from the signs of Allah . He whom Allah guides is the [rightly] guided, but he whom He leaves astray – never will you find for him a protecting guide. [The Holy Quran 18: 17]

“And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will perish – ever.”

[The Holy Quran 18: 35]

“His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man?” 

[The Holy Quran 18: 37]

“So they set out, until when they had embarked on the ship, al-Khidh r tore it open. [Moses] said, “Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.” [The Holy Quran 18: 71]

“[Al-Khidh r] said, “Did I not say that with me you would never be able to have patience?” 

—[The Holy Quran 18: 72]

“[Moses] said, “Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty.”

—[The Holy Quran 18: 73]

“So they set out, until when they met a boy, al-Khidh r killed him. [Moses] said, “Have you killed a pure soul for other than [having killed] a soul? You have certainly done a deplorable thing.” 

—[The Holy Quran 18: 74]

“So they set out, until when they came to the people of a town, they asked its people for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. And they found therein a wall about to collapse, so al-Khidhr restored it. [Moses] said, “If you wished, you could have taken for it a payment.” —[The Holy Quran 18: 77]

“Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had not made against it any shield.” —[The Holy Quran 18: 90]

“Then he followed a way” —[The Holy Quran 18: 92]

You can’t help but feel rejuvenated and ignited to rise up and get into some activity or another. Reading through the Ayas I feel a rush to get moving. A blend of inspirational, vivid and vibrant description of all sorts of human movement and activities that awaken dull spirits and lifeless souls. 

I’ve always tried to commit to the weekly schedule of reciting Surah al Kahf on Fridays, particularly before noon or Jumaa Prayer. But lately I decided to search out its merits, hopng to expound more of its blessings and grasp new level of its meanings.

And so it was.

Surah al Kahf has proved specially meritorious, and I bet you will commit to its weekly recitation like you never did before if you read through this piece of reflections.

Shield against Anti Christ:
Abu Dardaa (may Allah be pleased with him) related that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: ” One who memorized the first ten verses of Surah al Kahf will be secure against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) . And in another version, he (pbuh) is narrated to have said: “One who commits to his memory the last 10 verses of this surah will remain immune from the Dajjal.
— narrated by Imam Muslim

Light:
According to al Baihaqi Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “He who recites Suratul Kahf on Friday, Allah will shine a light for him between the two Fridays.”

Would you compromise such blessings?! I personally dare not.

As for the wisdom extracted from the Surah, it’s timelss.

The three parables described in the Surah combine a set of moral values and rationales essential for sound and faithful Muslim character.

The story of The People of the Cave speaks of the Supreme Power and Will of God, His Divine wisdom in running His creation. The parable tells the story of a group of  monotheistic youngsters  who were persecuted and thus fled to some land where they took shelter in a cave that witnessed the peak of their story. And there God caused them to sleep for a period of time said to be 309 years, neither the gust of the wind nor the heat or the light of the sun would awaken them. And when they woke up after all those years, they found the community surrounding them becoming monotheistic as well.

The second parable mentioned the story of two men who had both been given blessings from Allah (SWT), but one wronged his soul by acting arrogant and saying that nobody and simply nothing can take away his garden, and because of his arrogance, God’s wrath befallen him and his garden was destroyed.

As for the third parable it comprises of a set of mind-boggling incidents that make up the journey of enlightenment and knowledge of Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) at the hand of some man, referred in most sources as al Khidr.

Towards the very end of the Surah there’s a fourth parable describing a man, named Dhul Qarnayn (the two-horned one), said to have travelled far and wide, setting off on a journey that took him east and west. About the story of Dhul Qarnayn, one of the issues at the heart of controversial debates about Islam, Ibn Kathir, the famous and prominent Mufassir or Expert of Quranic exegesis, had said that the community of disbelievers in Mecca sent to the people of the book asking them for some knowledge or information that would help them in their mental battle against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Responding to their request, The People of the Book told them to ask about the man who travelled extensively, and was provided every means on earth, that is Dhul Qarnyan.  

Allah concludes the Surah with outright affirmation of Allah’s Supreme and Divine Power, His full control over the Universe. The Surah also sums up the Law of God, which rewards those who are faithful and punishes the disbelievers.

The recitation of this noble Surah and setting it as a weekly custom is quite essential for a productive and all-fruitful week. It would surely boost your faith, help you grow wiser and more confident of Allah’s support, let alone trust in His Supreme Wisdom that runs all matters in a way that surpasses the limited human mind capacity.

As dynamic as it is, the Surah primarily revives a resonate soul that is more attached to the future as well as what’s imminent, a soul that’s guided by light of Allah (SWT), a soul that’s tied to its Fitra (natural instinct) as originally created by Allah; a faithful soul.

Wassalaam,
Maha Youssuf

About Abdullah

Analytical & Creative. --- I'm not a Sheikh or a scholar, I'm just a regular guy in love with this Deen. Don't praise me for practicing my Deen. But pray for me, for the errors, that you haven't seen.

Posted on February 3, 2012, in Fadhilat of Jumu’ah (Friday), Qu'ran. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Mohammed khaled

    salam akhi i was wondering if i could get the first picture of Surat AL kahf without the text under it(wordpress etc)?

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