If you have been following our Ramadhan program, you will noticed that we have commenced weekly Tadarrus session for both Muslims and Muslimahs over the weekend. I am glad to inform you that a group of youths have requested to continue the sessions beyond the month of Ramadhan. Since it was a Thursday night, we decided to read Surah al-Kahf.
In addition to the Tadarrus session, we have a tazkirah about the verses which we read. These are some learning points that I shared from tonight’s session:
From authoritative narrations, there are many benefits from reading Surah al-Kahf. Abu Darda' reported Allah's Messenger s.a.w. to have said: “If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal.” [Muslim] The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. also said, "Whoever reads Surah al-Kahf on Friday, a light will shine for him between the 2 Fridays (until the next Friday)”. [an-Nasai, Hakim, Bayhaqi]
It is clear from the above 2 ahadeeth, that reciting this Surah is a protection against Dajjal. However, the beauty of this Surah is that it not only protects, but it paves the way in guiding us to deal with the fitnah(s) of Dajjal. There are four main stories in this Surah, and each one carries instructive lessons about our challenges in the last days and how to obviate them.
3. People Of The Cave [18: 9-31]
The Surah begins with the story of the “People Of The Cave” to highlight the test of faith that will befall Muslims, particularly in these last days. It narrates the story of a group of youths who fled their homes in order to preserve their faith. It reminds us of the virtues of youth: that they should be a source of strength for one another, to live in the bonds of brotherhood and support each other in goodness. It inspires us that there is always a solution for every problem: these youths were oppressed for their belief but they did not make that an excuse. They persevered and remained courageous standing for what is right and never gave up. It highlights the important advice that the Prophet s.a.w. gave us – choose our companions wisely. Good companions always guide us to goodness.
4. Owners Of The Two Gardens [18: 32-45]
The second story describes two neigbours and how Allah s.w.t. had given one of them more wealth than the other. In this, Allah s.w.t. reminds us of the important virtues of gratitude, humility and our absolute dependence on Him, as the Creator of all things. Wealth can be both a blessing and a test, but it is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. If used properly, it will open to many doors of goodness that can benefit our family and our community. But, we should bear in mind that wealth is merely an instrument and not the ultimate end-objective of life. We must be careful not to value others by their financial wealth – but instead, to look for valuable wealth: piety, manners, a gentle heart, generosity, courteous disposition, and so on. Use your wealth for good, and wealth will serve you well.
5. Prophet Musa And Khidr [18: 60-82]
This is probably the most famous of the story in this Surah and so I will just discuss this briefly. This story teaches us about diligence in seeking knowledge: Allah s.w.t. made Prophet Musa a.s. go out in search of knowledge from someone more knowledgeable than him. This only serves to remind us not to stop seeking knowledge. But the etiquette [adab] of seeking knowledge is equally important than the knowledge itself. The condition which Khidr imposed on Prophet Musa (to remain silent and to not ask) emphasizes the virtue of patience, especially about many things which we do not know, while seeking knowledge. There are many people who are knowledgeable these days, especially with easy access to the internet, but lack patience and humility of possessing those secondary knowledge. This explains why, despite the vast knowledge we possess, we are not able to practice them consistently. Simply put: no adab, no barakah.
6. DhulQarnayn [18: 83-98]
The final lesson is about this amazing ruler who went to the farthest corners of the world and met with many people in his travels, benefitting them. He guided them and established the law allowing no one to encroach upon each other’s rights. It is noteworthy at this juncture to clarify that DhulQarnayn is not Alexander The Great. When DhulQarnayn reached the dwellings of the people who complained about the injustices inflicted by the two tribes of Gog and Magog, he did not stand with his hands tied; rather, he made up his mind and handled the issue tenaciously as a ruler and a great king. He asked them for iron, melts them, pours molten copper over them and made a strong dam to protect the people. The important lesson here is that he shouldered the responsibility of leadership graciously, helped the weak and protected them, used the intellect that was given to him by Allah s.w.t. to reach a solution to benefit others. He was amazing in his handling of the situation, wise in his ways and unique in the manner of his thinking.
It is amazing to realise, once you have a scan idea of this Surah and what it does, that the stories related to us were taken from events so ancient, yet the lessons are aimed at the future of Islam and the protection for Muslims in the long distant future of the last days. It provides tips and guidance for salvation on how we can protect ourselves from the deceptions of Dajjal. The stories narrated above are a brief overview, but the detailed lessons behind them are laden with so much wisdom and information. I would urge you to learn this Surah in detail.
But mostly, what we learned tonight is the beauty of the Arabic language as used in this Surah. Tonight, we had time to dissect in detail verse 1 – only. Can you imagine the depth and treasures that lay within this Surah?
We mentioned during our preparations for Ramadhan that the sprit of Ramadhan must be carried beyond that month: as a gauge of our success in transforming ourselves back to a state of Fitrah. One of the most important habits that we should continue cultivating is in our interaction with the Qur’an. In fact, it could even be our salvation on the Day of Judgment.
So, if you want to continue pursuing the Qur’an, and you are available on Thursday nights from 8pm – 9:30pm, join us at The Alchemy/’ILM Centre next week. We will be reading Surah al-Kahfi 18: 30-60.
Come one, come all!