Bismillah. Now begins the story of Kahf (after which the Surah is named).
Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription were a wonder among Our Signs? (9)
Allah [SWT] calls the dwellers of the cave, أَصْحَابَ, ashaab (plural of saahib) and it means a companion. They were in the cave for such a long period and were living in it that they are companions to it.
وَالرَّقِيمِ , and the inscription. Raqeem is from ra qaaf meem, and it literally means to write and that which is written. There is a difference of opinion what this word means in the ayah, there are two strong opinions:
- the slate or tablet which contains the story of the cave, or the names written on it.
- it is a proper name. It is the name of the cave or the name of the city which they fled from.
Allah [SWT] asks the Prophet [SAWS], and all of us as well, do you see this ayat (sign, referring to the story) as, عَجَبًا, one amazing? ‘ajaban is from ayn jeem ba and it means something that is surprising or amazes the person, like to a point of shock and astonishment. (Aside: think of the hadeeth: ‘ajaban amrul mu’min! Amazing is the affair of the believer!) Is this story ‘ajaban, amazing, meaning are you surprised by how Allah [SWT] dealt with the companions of cave, when He controls everything in the heavens and earth and can do much more amazing things than their story? Indeed He is the Owner of Great Power and Ability (Qudrah).
(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge to the Cave, they said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!” (10)
When Allah [SWT] begins an ayah with إِذْ, ith, it means: to mention, remember and recall. So remember when أَوَى, awaa, they sought refuge. This is from hamza wow ya and it literally means to descend. From this the meaning is derived to seek refuge, to retire, to rest. They sought refuge in the cave, running away from the disbelief and persecution of their people.
The companions of the cave were الْفِتْيَةُ, young men, the age for a fataa (singular form of fityah) is a youth younger than 25.
While they were running from their people and seeking refuge in the cave they were saying: رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ>> <<رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا, O our Rabb, Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way! These youth do not say, min doonika, from near you, but they say: لَدُنْكَ , and this is closer than dooni, from very close and near to You, our Rabb, grant us: رَحْمَةً, rahmah, and in this ayah it means: guidance, forgiveness, provision.
Their duaa continues,<<وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا>>, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way.
هَيِّئْ, hayyi’, is from ha ya hamza and it means a state or appearance of something. It means to provide the means for something, or to prepare something, to make it ready. So the youth are calling out, O our Rabb, provide for us, grant us the means, take care of أَمْرِنَا , amrinaa, our affair. Subhan Allah, they left their people fleeing persecution for believing in Allah, they are young, no provisions, they don’t know what to do so they turn to Allah, o our Rabb, prepare our affair and take care of it, in which way?
رَشَدًا, the right way. from ra sheen daal and it is opposite of ghayy, which means deviation. Rush means to follow the right way, be well guided or directed, true direction. O our Rabb, take care of our affairs in the right way.