Surat al Kahf – migrate to Allah
There is no doubt that Surat al-Kahf is a very important surah in the Quran, and accordingly we have many narrations about it telling us of some of its virtues. It is a Makki revelation. Although Makki revelations are usually short, this surah is 110 verses long.
Protection from Dajjal
وعن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: ”من حفظ عشر آيات من أول سورة الكهف، عُصِم من الدجال”
وفي رواية: ”من آخر سورة الكهف”. ((رواهما مسلم)).
Among the virtues of Surat al-Kahf are that they provide protection against Dajjal. According to one narration the protection is linked to memorising the first ten verses and according to another it is linked to memorising the last ten verses.
Abud-Darda’ (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Whoever memorised the first ten verses of Surat al-Kahf, will be protected from (the trial of) Dajjal (Antichrist).” (Muslim)
In another narration, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
Whoever memorised the last ten verses of Surat Al-Kahf, he will be protected from (the trial of) Dajjal (Antichrist).” (Muslim).
Virtues of Surat al Kahf – light
Among the authentic narrations about Surat al Kahf, we have been told that it provides light according to different narrations this light will radiate from the feet til the heavens, from one Friday til the next, from where you stand til the Ka’bah itself.
وَعَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدري رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «من قَرَأَ سُورَة الْكَهْف فِي يَوْم الْجُمُعَة أَضَاء لَهُ النُّور مَا بَيْنَ الْجُمْعَتَيْنِ» . رَوَاهُ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ فِي الدَّعَوَاتِ الْكَبِير والحاكم. واختلف في رفعه، ولا يضر حتى ولو كان موقوفاً على أبي سعيد فله حكم الرفع. والحديث صحيح.
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“If anyone recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, light will shine brightly for him till the next Friday.” (Bayhaqi in Al-Da’awat Al-Kabeer and Al-Hakim).
وعن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “من قرأ سورة الكهف يوم الجمعة أضاء له من النور ما بينه وبين البيت العتيق”. رواه البيهقي والحاكم وصححه الألباني.
Abū Sa’id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“If anyone recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, light will shine brightly for him till the Ancient House.” (Bayhaqi and Al-Hakim)
وعن ابن عمر رضي الله عنهما قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “من قرأ سورة الكهف في يوم الجمعة سطع له نور من تحت قدمه إلى عَنان السماء: يضيء له يوم القيامة، وغُفر له ما بين الجمعتين”. أخرجه المنذري في الترغيب والترهيب، وقال: رواه أبو بكر بن مردويه في تفسيره بإسناد لا بأس به.
Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever reads Surah Al-Kahf on Friday, a light will shine for him from under his feet to the heights of the sky: it will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven for what is between the two Fridays. (Ibn Mardoyah. Good narration)
Why Surat al-Kahf every week?
This surah has been singled out to be repeated every Friday because it contains messages that we should recap every week. As indicated by its name it contains the story of the People of the Cave, and in addition, it has the story of Musa and al Khidr and the story of Dhul Qarnayn, with another sub-stories about the people of the gardens, the story of Iblis the rebel and the story of the losers. The story of the people of the gardens was very relevant to the companions as it demonstrated the class conflict between the rich and poor, those with wealth and status vs those who were seemingly insignificant.
Prepare for migration
The story of the people of the cave was to motivate the Prophet (peace be on him) and his followers that there were many people before them who experienced persecution. It was an introduction to prepare the Prophet (peace be on him) for migration – in which he and the migrants would have to leave the city he loved and everything they possessed behind for the sake of Allah. They would flee to protect their religion like the People of the Cave had to protect their religion and their lives. The core message is to leave everything that distracts you from your beliefs and detracts from your principles.
Are we living by our principles or compromising them?
We too need to remind ourselves to live by our principles than to sacrifice our principles. If we are having to compromise our principles then we need to find a different environment, or direction or job where we can practice our religion and principles freely. I am not suggesting leaving the West and moving to the East, but sticking to our principles.
The example of the People of the Cave is held up to us as model to show us how these young boys clung to their faith. Allah is praising them and has immortalised their story to show us that no matter where you are, as long as you are with Allah, that is what matters.
It is our job to change ourselves and society – not Allah’s
It gave the Prophet (peace be on him) and his companions the boost though he would be challenged, those who were challenged before him survived it and made it, with Allah’s support. Miracles can happen but it takes time for people to change. Allah gave that society 309 years to change, rather than 3 seconds or 3 days. The People of the Cave slept until society had reached the point for them to emerge and be comfortable. It is not Allah’s job to change them in a split second, it is our responsibility to face our challenges and be agents of change, to be activists and forces of faith and goodness. And it was a message to the prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions and all of us that change will take time, so be patient.
Lead by example
We see in the Quran:
There is no coercion in faith. (2:256)
وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ
Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel people to become believers? (10:99)
We need people to embrace Islam by leading by example. The main focus of the story is to be the agents of change. The Prophet (peace be on him) lead by example.
Fityah: Youngsters under the shade of the throne
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“Seven people will have the shade of the throne of Allah on the day when there will be no shade except His ….” A youngster who grew up worshipping Allah. (Bukhari and Muslim)
The People of the Cave were ‘fityah’, youngsters. Normally we associate youngsters with immaturity and having a lack of responsibility, but these youths were the opposite. They were zealous to protect their faith. They tried their best to invite people to their faith, but when people did not respond and their lives were threatened, they had to flee to protect their religion and their lives. They did not give up. Allah Almighty is drawing our attention to this deep lesson.
We need to repeat this surah every week to keep these lessons alive in our daily practice. No matter what, you should not compromise your principles. Be strong and Allah is with you, but you have to take the first step.
What is the light that we get from reciting this surah?
Scholars have commented that the light which will emanate all week for reciting this surah will last all week long, and (minor) sins will be forgiven during the week. (Major sins require repentance). Another commentary says that you will be able to see this light on the Day of Judgement, and it will shine ahead of you.
On the Day when you see the believing men and believing women—their light radiating ahead of them, and to their right: “Good news for you today: gardens beneath which rivers flow, dwelling therein forever. That is the great triumph.” (57:12)
Others have said this light will shine in your heart and give you tawfiq in your life, as you reflect on this surah.
May Allah Almighty enable us to recite this surah and apply this surah in our lives. Ameen
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Khutbah 15th July 2022
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