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Surah Al-Kahf at A Glance

 

This 110-verse chapter is considered as one of the most popular surahs in Quran. It is due to several hadiths related to some virtues of this Meccan surah. The Prophet said, “Whoever reads surah Al-Kahf on Friday, light shall shine forth for him between the two Fridays.”[narrated by Al-Hakim]. This surah which is named after its first story, Seven Sleepers of the Cave, contains a lot of interesting points of inspiration such as splitting Mushaf to two halfs since it is located exactly in the middle. Therefore people around the world recite this surah weekly. Especially, scholars and students find a number of its eye-catching aspects in it.

This surah was revealed responding questions which Madinian Jewish rabbis suggested to Quraish, “Ask him about three things which if he answers them then he is a Prophet. If he does not, then he is a liar. Ask him first about some young men in ancient times, about a man who travelled to the east and the west of the earth and about the Ruh (soul).” They immediately challenged the Prophet with these questions. He admitted that he hadn’t the answer but he said that he would have the answers in the morning. Unfortunately he didn’t say “Inshaallah (iif God wills it)”. Doubt in Muhammad began to grow amongst the people of Mecca since the Prophet still had no answer in the next morning because the revelation hadn’t come down. Eventually, after 15 days, he received this surah as an answer to the questions.

Additionally, the most memorable contents of this surah is its great stories. Since the Prophet stated, “Who amongst you would survive to see Dajjal should recite over him the opening verses of surah Al-Kahf.” [recorded by Muslim] and Dajjal is the most dangerous fitnah (trial), then there is no oddity when we find stories about trials in this surah. The story of Seven Sleepers speaks about trial of dictator leader and trial of young ages. The story of two people of gardens speaks about trial of arrogance and wealth. The story of Adam and Devil speaks about trial of Devil. The story of Moses, Joshua and Khadhir speaks about trial of knowledge. The story of Dhulqarnain speaks about trial of power.

Last but not least, this surah provides solutions of those difficult trials inside all of these stories and in other verses like strengthening connection with Quran in His words: “And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord.” [Quran 18:27] and to be sincere and pious in His verse: “Whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” [Quran 18;110]. Because of this importance, inshaallah we will study one or two amazing verses of this surah every Friday.

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