Salam Jumuah everyone! Have you recited Al-Kahf yet? If you haven’t you can still do it now, or if you’re too busy you can play it on Youtube or Spotify while working!
Ever wondered what makes Al-Kahf, which actually means ‘The Cave’, so special? Why are we encouraged to read this 110 verse- Surah every Friday?
Just like any other Surahs, Al-Kahf has its own significance in terms of its contents. It comprises of four stories that highlight four important lessons. These lessons are the gems of Al-Kahf which every Muslim must educate themselves with.
The first story (Trial of Faith)
The surah begins with a story of a group of men in the cave who were referred to as ‘Ashabul Kahf’. They were among those who believe and happened to live in a non-believers country. They had left the city and hid in the cave, realising the potential of threat that the people may impose on them just because of what they believe in. While they were in the cave, with the intention of protecting their faith, Allah had given them a long-term sleep as a form of blessing.
By the time they woke up, to their surprise, all the people in the city had embraced the religion. This amazing story portrays that whenever we are faced with problems, put our faith in Allah the Almighty and He will show the way out and ease things for us.
As we know, each and every one of us believers will be tested. When a believer holds the religion stronger at a difficult time, Allah will bestow assistance in the most amazing ways. This story also shows us the importance of choosing companions that are righteous and good. By doing so, we would be more motivated to do good and become steadfast in our faith.
“And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (18:28)
The second story (Trial of Wealth)
So, this time the story is about a wealthy man who owns two gardens. He was so rich that he started to become arrogant and doubt his faith. Consequently, Allah wiped out his gardens and deprived him of all his worldly properties.
From this story, we can learn that even being wealthy is a test to see whether we would be grateful to Allah for the blessings that He has bestowed us with. Apart from that, this story teaches us to realise that everything in this world is temporary and is simply not ours, to begin with. We should never be arrogant and reluctant to give to the needy because the wealth is pretty much something that is lent to us.
“And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.” (18:45)
The third story (Trial of Knowledge)
The story is about Prophet Musa (AS) and Prophet Khizar (AS). Prophet Musa was sent to meet Prophet Khizar and follow him on a journey without asking any questions. Prophet Musa at the time taught he knew everything better than anyone else until he met Prophet Khizar who was proven to be more knowledgeable than him.
Rather than being proud of the knowledge that we have, we should always stay humble and realise that there will always be someone who knows better than we do.
Fourth story (Trial of Authority)
The last story in this Surah that Allah mentioned in the Quran is about the great king named Dhul-Qarnayn. He was known as a traveler who always helps the needy and spread goodness wherever he goes. He was also the one who had put up the huge wall which protects the people from the threat of Gag Magog (Ya’juj Ma’juj).
The message that should be taken from this story is to use the power that Allah has bestowed us with appropriately. Allah tests those who he had given any form of authority to see if it is used for the right course. Having power over others should make us more diligent in doing good deeds that would benefit others.
All in all, let’s learn from the Quran and try to integrate these lessons into our daily lives. Slowly but surely.
Content adapted from Quran Reading