Surah Al Kahf

Surah Al Kahf – 4 Stories – Trials – Lessons – Messages

Author: Muhammad Bava

Surah Al-Kahf is the 18th chapter of the Holy Quran which mentions 4 stories about:

  1. The People of Cave
  2. The Companion of Two Gardens
  3. Musa and Khidr
  4. Dhul Qarnayn

It may seem that none of these stories are related to one another, but we see that the purpose or theme of all these stories are about Fitnah. Surah Al-Kahf explains Fitnah in different aspects of life.

  1. Fitnah of Religion (Story of the People of the Cave)
  2. Fitnah of Wealth (Story of the Man with Two Gardens)
  3. Fitnah of Knowledge (Story of Musa and Khidr)
  4. Fitnah of Power (Dhul Qarnain)

Each of these stories outline how each of these 4 things can bring us fitnah. It also outlines how the believer should approach these trials and tribulations.

  1. Fitnah of Religion: The way to deal with this is mentioned in an ayaah after the story:
  2. And patiently stick with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. Do not let your eyes look beyond them, desiring the luxuries of this worldly life. And do not obey those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follow ˹only˺ their desires and whose state is ˹total˺ loss. (Surah al-Kahf: 28)

    So if you are faced with fitnah because of your religion, the solution is to be patient and to be in the company of the righteous. This will give you strength to persevere.

  3. Fitnah of Wealth: The way to deal with this is mentioned here:
  4. Wealth and children are the adornment of this worldly life, but the everlasting good deeds are far better with your Lord in reward and in hope. (Surah al-Kahf: 46)

    So the way to deal with fitnah of wealth is to realize the reality of this wordly life. It is temporary, while the hereafter is everlasting.

  5. Fitnah of Knowledge:
  6. Musa (peace be upon him) thought he was the most knowledgeable person on the earth and so Allah revealed to him that there is someone who knows more. After traveling with this man (Khidr), he could not be patient of the things he would do, and did not see the wisdom. The way to deal with this fitnah is to remain humble and not to let your knowledge delude you.

    Moses assured ˹him˺, “You will find me patient, Allah willing, and I will not disobey any of your orders.” (Surah al-Kahf: 69)

  7. Fitnah of Power:
  8. Dhul Qarnayn was given a vast kingdom stretching from the east to the west. But yet he was still sincere to Allah and did not let this power delude him, and he helped the people of the city which were fearful of Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog). So the way to deal with the Fitnah of power is to have sincerity in your deeds to Allah, as it was mentioned in this verse:

    Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Shall we inform you of who will lose the most deeds? ˹They are˺ those whose efforts are in vain in this worldly life, while they think they are doing good! (Surah al-Kahf: 103-104)

Ending of the Surah:

Surah al-Kahf ends with the most perfect way to deal with all types of fitnah, and that is to remember the hereafter.

“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Surah al-Kahf: 110)

Something to definitely reflect when we read it every Friday. As well, it is mentioned that one of the wisdoms behind reading this surah on Jumu’ah is because we are asked to leave the fitnah of this worldly life and join the congregation. How appropriate!

Extra Knowledge:

Hadith about the first 10 verses of Surah Kahf:

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal. (Sahih Muslim)

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  1. sidy Ali Bamba
  2. naz