The Blessings of Surah Al-Kahf

DAILY DOSE OF DEEN: Recite Surah Al-Kahf every Friday

اَعُوْذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيْمِ
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمن الرَّحِيْمِ

Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaathu everyone!

Now starting from this post, I am hoping to be posting consistently (as in daily). As it is Friday, I thought a good idea for an article would be to speak about the blessings associated with reciting Surah Al-Kahf and the stories in it.

Surah Al-Kahf is the 18th surah of the Quran. Al-Kahf translates to ‘The Cave’. It is comprised of 110 verses. Although the exact date of the revelation of the surah is unknown the Surah was revealed in Makkah tul-Mukaramah. The importance of the Surah Al-Kahf can be shown in this famous hadith.

“Whoever recites from the beginning and from the end of Surah Kahf there will be Nur (light) from his head to toe for him, and for whatever recites the entire Surah, there will be Nur from the earth to the sky for him.”

– Prophet Muhammad (صلي الله تعلي عليه واله وسلم)

Not only is it important to read the verses of Surah Al-Kahf, but we should also try to understand the meaning behind the words of Allah (سبحانه وتعالي). This surah narrates several different stories, but there are four major ones in this story.

The people of the cave

This is inspiring story is arguably the most memorable story of Surah Al-Kahf. The name of the Surah is derived from this account. It is similar to accounts found in Jewish and Christian scripture with minor differences.

It takes place in a time where idolatry and polytheism were common practices. All citizens were expected to follow these beliefs and anyone who stood against these practices were persecuted. A group of young men, who were sons of the rich, came to the realisation that the beliefs that were held by man were wrong. They realised their mistakes and shunned the false gods.

Each year the townspeople would throw a pagan festival to celebrate their idols and false gods. These young men did not partake in these rituals. Instead, they hid in secret where they prayed to Allah (سبحانه وتعالي). Eventually word got round to the ruler at the time and all of their riches and luxuries were taken away from them. They were given a night to reject their beliefs.

These young men did not listen and instead they went to a cave where they in isolation from everyone. By the Will of Allah (سبحانه وتعالي), the youth (and their dog) were protected, and they fell into a deep slumber that lasted many generations.

Eventually the youth awoke. By this time the polytheist practices had long been forgotten. The young men were under the impression that they only slept the night. One of the young men was sent out to buy food. He was warned to be careful and remain hidden as they were unaware that their persecutors had long since passed.

The man headed to find food and was disorientated by the differences in architecture and landscape. When he reached a stall to buy food, the owner did not recognise the coin that he was given. He was questioned and as his story was so implausible, he was bought to the king. The king was a Muslim and was amazed by the story of the youth. By the Will of Allah (سبحانه وتعالي). the whole societies beliefs had changed to allow the young men to live a life free of persecution.

The story of the rich man and his gardens

There were two men; one of whom was very wealthy and the other of whom was poor. Despite being poor the man used to give as much as could give to those even more less fortunate than him. However, the rich man did not. He was the owner of two gardens which and gave fruit to plenty of varieties of produce. The man became arrogant and thought that his wealth made him superior to everyone else. The poor man did his best to humble the rich man, but it failed. One night all of the crops in the garden were destroyed and the man was left with nothing. This serves as a reminder that nothing in this world is permanent and everything is temporary.

Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) and Al-Khidr

This story relates to a time during the prophethood of Musa (عليه السلام). Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) was instructed to find a man known as Al-Khidr. This man was an extremely learned person with extensive knowledge from Allah (سبحانه وتعالي). Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) accompanied Al-Khidr on his travels.

Whilst the two travelled, three main incidents occurred that confused Prophet Musa (عليه السلام).

  1. A passing ship gave Al-Khidr and Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) free passage. Whilst on the ship, Al Khidr removed one of the planks from the ship and caused some damage to it.
  2. At some point later they came across a group of boys playing. Al Khidr took one of the boys away and killed him.
  3. A while later the pair came to a town and they were extremely hungry. They went to several houses asking for food but were turned away every time. They came to a broken wall and Al-Khidr repaired the wall without asking for payment so that they could afford to buy food.

Now before the two men parted on their separate ways Al Khidr told Prophet Musa (عليه السلام) of why he did all those things and the reasons behind his actions.

  1. The ship belonged to poor people and their tyrant king would punish all functioning boats. By damaging the boat a little it would ensure that the boat would not be taken by the king and ensure the safety of the poor peoples’ livelihood
  2. The boy that was killed had pious parents. However, the boy was destined to cause a lot of pain to his parents and become a disbeliever in adulthood. Killing the boy was a command of Allah (سبحانه وتعالي) to allow the parents to not suffer.
  3. The broken wall belonged to two orphan boys. Underneath the broken wall was inheritance left by their father to the boys. By fixing the wall the treasure was concealed until the orphan boys could become of age and the time becomes right for the money to be discovered.
Dhul al-Qarnayn and the Yajooj Majooj

Dhul al-Qarnayn was pious believer in Islam whose exact era of living and identity is unknown. It is thought by some that he may have been a prophet. He travelled a lot during his lifetime and on his travels he reached a place where the people of the society were being oppressed by the evil people of Yajooj Majooj. Dhul al-Qarnayn helped these people to live their lives according the laws of Allah (سبحانه وتعالي) and liberation the community from the oppression of Yajooj Majooj. It is started in the Quran that a time will come when the barrier between the world and the Yajooj Majooj will be broken and this will be one of the first signs of the Day of Judgement.

By reading Surah Al-Kahf and understanding it we can try to learn and understand the morals and the messages behind these stories. This surah is a way to earn an abundance of rewards in barely any time at all. Everyone should try to complete a recitation of the surah every week as it will benefit our whole lives.  

Sources / Further Reading


Quran Translation – Kanz ul Iman
Video – Excellence of Reciting Surah Al-Kahf
PDF – Fundamental Teachings of Islam III

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