Benefits of Sura Kahf
Sura Kahf is the 18th sura in the Quran and it consists of 110 verses. It is a Meccan surah and unlike other suras, this sura came down to Rasul (saws) in one sitting. This sura came to our Rasul (saws) as an answer to some questions from a Jew who came to question the validity of Rasul’s (saws) prophethood.
The questions asked of Rasul (saws) were
- who were the sleepers of the cave,
- who traveled the earth, to the east and west – Dhul Qarnain, and
- what was the ruh (the soul) – this was already spoken of in an earlier sura (Rehman)
Sura Kahf contains 4 main stories and a description of the Day of Judgment and some of what will occur on that day
- Story of the Sleepers
Story of the Man with
- Story of Ibn Musa (aws) and Ibn Khidr (aws)
- Story of Dhul Qarnain (aws)
The benefits of Sura Kahf
- If read every Friday before Jummah, Allah will Inshallah protect us till the next Jummah
- Whoever memorizes the 1st ten verses, it will act as a protection from the Dajjal
- Whoever memorizes the last ten verses, it will act as a protection from the Dajjal
- The Sura, as a whole, is a protection against the great calamity
- Contains moral values that all Muslims should adhere to
- Contains dua that Allah answered
- Declares the importance of showing gratitude and saying Inshallah
This Sura is an inspiration to those who feel like there is no hope or any solution left to what ails them. We learn from the context in which this sura is told and the stories in it that, if persons with strong faith can make a mistake and Allah forgives them and shows mercy to them, then as humans, who are weaker in nature, how can Allah not forgive us and give us another chance? Allah tells us over and over again to turn to Him and He will show us His mercy and bless us in this life as well as the hereafter.
The sura also teaches us that Allah loves a grateful person. He loves a person who, despite his/her shortcomings, turns to Him and asks Him for Hiss Mercy and Blessings for this life and in the hereafter.
The Story of the Sleepers
The first story in Sura Kahf talks about several young men who were being persecuted and sought shelter in a cave.
The story is as follows:
- A tyrannical king was persecuting any and all who did not worship the idols like he did.
Several young men in a town, possibly called
- These young men asked Allah to solve their unique problem with a solution wholly unto them and their situation.
rabbana atina milladunka rahmatan wahayyi’ lana min amrina rashada
Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way! 
- These young men were captured by this king for not accepting the king’s beliefs.
- The king, who would have killed them, did not because he had to go to another place for a while. The king told these men that he was giving them a respite until he came back and would expect them to agree to worship the way he worshipped instead of Allah.
- The young men were inspired to go to the cave and stay there and worship Allah the only way they knew how.
- When the king came back, the boys knew that they would be persecuted and several began to fear what the king would do to them until one of the young men reminded them to have faith in Allah. And so they collectively kept their faith strong and left their destinies in Allah’s hands.
- Allah, in all His mercy and knowledge, led the king to the cave where he found the men sleeping inside the cave. So the king had the cave’s mouth walled up. Before it could be walled up completely, a person of that time wrote the men’s story on 2 stone tablets and buried the tablets under the wall so that if it ever came down, someone would find the tablet and read of how the men came to be in the cave and died there.
- By Allah’s mercy, 300 plus 9 years (to account for lunar time), a shepherd was inspired to find the cave and take down the wall.
- The king at that time was a believer who was praying for Allah to show his people that resurrection will occur because the people stopped believing in it.
- The king and many people went to the cave and there they found the young men who were awakened by Allah’s mercy. They thought they had only slept for a few hours or a day because in their eyes nothing had changed. They were still young men.
- The king told them the reality of what the date was. The young men told their story of being persecuted and how they had come to the cave to be safe. The young men asked the king that they not be revered as saints or gods. The king agreed, covered the cave and had a simple masjid built above the cave.
- The young men were then taken back by Allah.
- Allah used these young men to teach the people that resurrection can happen and thereby enforcing the fact that it will happen.
This story has several very important lessons for us that we must use for our daily lives.
- No one can change the word of Allah as stated in the first verse and there is no crookedness in the Quran.
- Allah gives us permission to use the old stories from the people of the book before Islam for historical purposes with the knowledge that it may not be truth but it does hold some facts that we can use to help us understand better the situation at hand.
- The importance of making a specific dua. The young men did not ask for a general dua but a specific dua and Allah answered their dua.
- The answer to a dua may not be what you expect. Only Allah has the answers to why He answers a dua for us in a specific way. In this case, instead of killing the king or taking the boys to a safer town, they were put to sleep for many years. Now those boys are a guiding force and shining example to ALL Muslims after their generation; they were respected and honored both by Allah and all Muslims in the past and for all time to come.
- The important fact that where your iman is safe, you will feel safe, even if it be in a small cave. If your iman does not feel safe then you will constantly be afraid for yourself and that leaves even less room to build on your iman. When you feel safe, you are more able to enhance your iman and your faith becomes stronger.
- The importance of having good friends and good company; one reinforces the other when faith starts to lag; one prods the other to want to learn more; etc.
- Say Inshallah whenever embarking on an endeavor or making a promise to do something in the future.
in shaa Allahu - If Allâh will! [18:69]
Ask yourself a question: Have you ever felt that you were being looked
at because of your scarf or the beard your husband/father/brother had? Have you
felt that people were staring at you and thinking of ways to hurt you because
they knew you were a muslima? Have you ever wondered
if you would be safer in another country?
The Man with
The story that follows the story of the sleepers is the story of the man with two gardens and the man with nothing but his faith.
- Two men, one very rich and blessed with much in this life and the other who did not have much wealth but only had his faith with him, were together and rich man began to brag about the gardens he owned. The man was proud of his gardens that made him richer and richer every day.
- The poorer man reminded him to be mindful of Allah and to show gratitude to Allah for all the mercies and blessings given to him.
ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illabillahi
Allah's will (be done)! There is no power but with Allah! 
- The rich man denied that Allah gave him anything and then declares that his gardens will remain forever and that if he were to die, he’d be raised with similar riches because he felt he deserved it. He questions why he would not get better if in this life he must have done something to deserve such riches to begin with.
- The poor man tells him that if only he had said “Inshallah”, there may have been some rewards from Allah but the fact that he did not was going to lead to his downfall and the destruction of the gardens.
- Allah listened to the poor man’s declaration (as Allah does do this from time to time when His servants say something), and took away the gardens from the rich man and made him a loser in this life and in the Hereafter for it is mentioned that he only has one garden in his life and in death.
The important lessons that we can take away from this particular story are:
- There is a disease of the mind and heart, better known as the disease of deliriousness that all people, good and bad, have that must be cured.
- The only cure to this disease is “Mashallah laQuata Illah Billah”
- Worldly life is temporary and the life of the hereafter is forever.
Ask yourself a question: Have you ever said to yourself, “I did good. That’s why Allah is blessing me with all this…”
The Meeting of Musa (aws) and Ibn Khidr
The third story is the story of Ibn Musa (aws) and Ibn Khidr (aws). The story starts by Musa (aws) saying emphatically to his companion that he will embark on a journey to find a certain man, even if it took him forever to find him. The story actually begins when Musa (aws) was asked who the most intelligent person was and, instead of saying that Allah had all knowledge, he replied that he was the most knowledgeable. At this Allah told him that there was one person smarter than him. Musa (aws) felt a compulsion to find this man for he wanted to have more knowledge so that he could get even closer to Allah. So Allah tells him that he will find this man where two seas met and where he would lose his fish and so Musa (aws) gets a salted fish and starts on a journey with his companion to find this man who was more knowledgeable than him.
The journey continues as follows:
- While on the journey, they stopped at a rock to rest. It was at this point that the fish jumped out of the basket it was in and as it was swimming away, Allah stopped the flowing of the water so that the fish’s tracks could not be covered.
- The companion noticed the track and was amazed but forgot to tell Musa (aws) that the fish escaped.
- They continued on their journey until the next day when Musa (aws) felt hunger and asked the companion to fetch some food and it was then that the young man remembered what had happened to the fish. He told Musa (aws) the amazing thing with the fish’s tracks and said that the shaitan had made him forget to tell him. Musa (aws) realized that the place where the fish escaped was where they would find the knowledgeable man and so they both headed back to the rock.
- There they found Ibn Khidr and gave him salam.
- Ibn Khidr was surprised to hear salam in a land that he did not expect Muslims.
- Musa (aws) introduced himself and Ibn Khidr recognized him right away and commented how Musa (aws) had much knowledge but that he had other knowledge that Allah bestowed him with.
- Musa (aws) told Ibn Khidr that he wanted to stay with Ibn Khidr so that he could learn more from someone who was more knowledgeable than him.
- Ibn Khidr warned Musa (aws) that he would not be able to be patient with Ibn Khidr but Musa (aws) promised to not interrupt with questions and would Inshallah be patient. At that Ibn Khidr allowed Musa (aws) to travel with him.
- Ibn Khidr took him on a ship belonging to some poor people and as they were traveling, Ibn Khidr took off one of the planks on the boat as if to destroy it. Musa (aws) was shocked that Ibn Khidr would break something belonging to someone else and especially when they were helping them. At that Ibn Khidr warned Musa (aws) that he was being impatient and so Musa (aws) apologized and said that he would not ask any more questions.
- Ibn Khidr then got off of the boat and as they were walking on the shore, they saw several young boys playing. Ibn Khidr approached one of those boys and ripped his head off. This so shocked Musa (aws) that he couldn’t hold back and asked Ibn Khidr why he would do such a thing to such an innocent and pure boy who had not done anything wrong. At that Ibn Khidr warned Musa (aws) that he could not be patient and so again Musa (aws) said that if he opened his mouth again, then Ibn Khidr could leave his company. So Ibn Khidr agreed to let Musa (aws) travel with him a little longer.
- They kept walking and they came upon a town where everyone was corrupt and selfish. They asked for room and food but no one would give it to them. So they kept walking and at some point they came upon a broken wall which Ibn Khidr set about fixing right away. At that Musa (aws) was perplexed and asked Ibn Khidr why he would fix the wall for free when he could have charged a price for fixing it so that they could get some food and a place to stay. At that Ibn Khidr told Musa (aws) that this was where they would part since Musa (aws) said that he could if he became impatient again.
- Before Ibn Khidr left Musa (aws) he explained his actions so that there would be not doubt or confusion in Musa’s (aws) mind.
- Ibn Khidr was given knowledge that an evil king was illegally seizing ships and so he thought that it would be best to break the ship and therefore the kind would not take it from the poor people who owned the ship.
- Ibn Khidr was given knowledge that the boy was going to grow up to be a tyrant over his parents and would force them to become Kuffr and so he killed the boy in hopes that Allah would reward the believing parents with a better and purer son.
- Ibn Khidr was given knowledge that under the wall there was wealth that belonged to two orphan boys of a virtous man and Ibn Khidr was compelled to fix the wall so that no one would find the wealth except the boys when they came of age.
- In addition to telling Musa (aws) the reasoning behind his actions he went on to tell Musa (aws) that all his knowledge came from Allah and it was Allah’s mercy that he was given that knowledge of the unseen.
From this encounter we can deduce several lessons
- We must send all knowledge and blessings back to Allah. We can not accept any blessings without attributing it to Allah first and foremost.
- We must say “Alhamdulillah” to all that Allah sends our way, be they good or bad. In bad cases, we should say “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajeun” for each time we say it we get blessings and if we remember a bad situation and say it again, we get the blessings as if they were the first time it happened.
All the praises and thanks be to Allâh! [18:1]
ibn Ali :
- Blessings can come in the guise of misfortune and so instead of worrying and becoming upset that something is not happening the way you think it should, know that Allah is a better planner than you and so be patient and leave the situation in Allah’s hands.
- If you know something, there is always someone else who may know more.
- Even the greatest of men can make mistakes or show signs of weakness. However if they show their remorse at their weakness, Allah still shows them His mercy.
- We should seek knowledge for as long as we can in hopes of getting closer to Allah.
Rabbi zidnee ‘ilma
O my Lord! advance me in knowledge! [20:114]
- The shaitan will try to prevent a good thing from happening whenever he gets a chance.
Ask yourself a question: Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong? Why aren’t things changing?” Or have you ever prayed those extra rakats to ask for something and never go it? Have you woken up for Tahajjud and still not gotten what you were hoping for?
The final story is about a man called Dhul Qarnain.
- Dhul Qarnain was a very famous, rich and just king. He traveled the earth spreading his wealth and justice. He went to the East, the West, the North and the South in his travels.
- During one of his journeys he came across a place where the people were complaining of two beings called Gog and Magog who were terrorizing the area.
- The people offered Dhul Qarnain money to get rid of these two beings.
- Dhul Qarnain didn’t accept the money saying that he had enough blessings from Allah but he did offer to build a wall between them and Gog and Magog.
- Dhul Qarnain and the people built a very strong iron clad wall between Gog and Magog. They used high temperatures to melt the metals to make the wall and Allah’s mercy kept the heat away from the workers.
- When Dhul Qarnain finished building the wall he told the people that it was only Allah’s help and mercy that let him build the wall and that Gog and Magog would not be able to escape the wall until that final day when Allah would turn that wall into dust. Then Gog and Magog would be free to terrorize again.
- Dhul Qarnain put all his faith in Allah and not in the wall to save him and the people from the terror that Gog and Magog spread.
This story brings home the need to thank Allah for all that He gives us. It reminds us that we should travel the earth in search of all the beautiful things Allah has created for us so that we can better understand our place in this world.
The story also tells us that even with all his great powers and wealth, he always surrendered to Allah. We are nothing compared to Dhul Qarnain and yet we are not always thankful to Allah for His blessings to us. We need to learn to put complete trust in Allah and be grateful for everything He sends us.
The story also reminds us that the day of reckoning will come and no one can stop it from happening. And to be prepared for it, we must take lessons from the people described in the Quran and try to implement those teachings in our lives.
Ask yourself a question: Have you ever felt pride in your knowledge, your wealth, your health, your success, and forgotten to thank Allah for it?
Closing remarks on the state of our Iman and what we can do about it
We are told by Allah Himself that we will be tested again and again in this life. We will feel fear, hunger, poverty, disillusion and many other forms of sadness and disappointment. These things will be given to us as tests to see whether we are able to keep our patience and believe that Allah will save us or we lose that faith and start to argue, question and retrospect about what could have been or what we should have done. How can we possibly do anything when, ultimately, nothing is in our control?
The mercy that comes from Allah that we should think about when we get into these states of disillusionment is to remember that once Allah has guided us, He will not turn us away. Instead He will show us where we are doing wrong and will give us a chance to do what is right. And He will make doing good deeds easier for us and help us in our times of need Inshallah. All we need to do is call on Allah and ask Him and he will Inshallah answer our prayers in the best manner.
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). “(Al-Baqara, 2:155)
And Allah will never lead a people astray after He has guided them until He makes clear to them as to what they should avoid. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything. (At-Taubah, 9:115)
Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 77,
Number 595 Narrated Imran
bin Husain: A man said, "O Allah's Apostle! Can the people of
Finally, this ayah from the Quran rejuvenates our hopes.
innaseena aw akhta’
"Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden Like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith." [2:286]