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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 23-26

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Saying Insha Allah.
  2. Islah of the Prophet and our islah
  3. Conclusion of the story of Ashaabul Kahf.
  4. Why does Allah mention some details and hide other details?



Nor say of anything, “I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow”. (23)
Except when adding “if Allah wills”. And remember your Rabb when you forget. And say, “perhaps my Rabb will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct”. (24)

Saying Insha Allah

Why is Allah ta’ala mentioning these ayaat in the middle of the story of Ashaabul Kahf? When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam told the Quraysh he would tell them about the Sleepers of the Cave, the Rooh and Dhul Qarnayn, he did not say “insha Allah“, and revelation did not come to him (full narration here). We take a lesson from this and say insha Allah when intending to do something.

This incident is one of the most amazing incidents in the seerah of the Prophet. Can you imagine what he must have felt like? The Quraysh were laughing and calling him a liar while Allah ta’ala withheld the revelation from him. But subhan Allah, there is wisdom in everything that Allah does. Those who were borderline on Islam (partially convinced of its truth) witnessed the reality that the Prophet was not making up the Quran, otherwise, why would he embarrass himself this way? It affirmed that the revelation was truly from Allah.

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ

And remember your Rabb when you forget (24).

This dhikr contains three aspects:

  1. Remember to say “insha Allah” when you intend or plan to do something.
  2. Remind yourself to do the dhikr of Allah when you forget.
  3. Generally if you forget anything, start to remember Allah ta’ala (for example, saying “SubhanAllah“, “Alhamdulillah“). We make the duaa from the last ayah of surah Baqarah, “do not take us to account for what we forget”, because forgetfulness is a shortcoming from Shaytan.
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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 21-22

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Lifting the veil from Ashaabul Kahf.
  2. Speaking about the unseen without knowledge is like trying to hit a target in the dark.
  3. Arguments and debates sometimes have no point or benefit.

“Thus did We make their case known to the people, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, “Construct a building over them”: Their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said, “Let us surely build a place of worship over them.” (21)

Lifting the veil from Ashaabul Kahf

كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ- In this way, just as how Allah woke them up and they traveled to the city to purchase food, Allah ta’ala made their case known. He says: أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ- “We made their case known to the people” أَعْثَرْنَا is from ayn-thaa-raa and it literally means to slip or to fall. From this meaning comes to know something by accident, by a coincidence, as if to expose, to make one aware of something that they were not in search of. When Ashaabul Kahf woke up and one of them traveled to the city to buy food, the people of the city realized who they were when he paid for the food with the ancient currency. Their intention was to not reveal their identity. However, Allah had other plans.

لِيَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ- “so that they know the promise of Allah is true”, Allah caused those who were disputing whether the resurrection would be with body and soul to see that the promise of resurrection is true. Allah is able to make them sleep for hundreds of years and then wake them up in both body and soul. Furthermore, the Promise of Allah may also refer to the promise of Allah in helping the believers; when the youth left the city to the remove themselves from the disbelief of their people, Allah ta’ala assisted them.

The entire life of Ashaabul Kahf was made as a lesson and a means of guidance for others. If Allah can make them sleep for so long and wake them up with body and soul then likewise on the Day of Judgment, mankind will be resurrected with body and soul. So to bring end to those doubts,  Allah made them a sign.

When the people of the city discovered the youth, they began to dispute as to what to do with their graves: فَقَالُوا ابْنُوا عَلَيْهِم بُنْيَانًا – then they said, let us construct a building over them. Ibn Abbass radi Allahu anhuma said this dispute was regarding building a structure. One group wanted to make a masjid over them and the other people said  that they would take construct a statue and take that place as an honor for them. Those who overpowered in their argument and had more say are those who requested the building of a masjid over them. However, it is known in Islaam that we are not allowed to take graves as places of worship, as the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said in multiple ahadeeth.

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 19-20

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Allah knows best: a tool to protect oneself from useless discussion.
  2. Eating halal and healthy.
  3. Protecting ourselves from fitnah in times of weakness.

And similarly, We awakened them that they might question one another. Said a speaker from among them, “How long have you remained [here]?” They said, “We have remained a day or part of a day.” They said, “Your Rabb is most knowing of how long you remained. So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the city and let him look to which is best of food and bring provision from it and let him be cautious. And let no one be aware of you.” (19)

Allah knows best

Allah ta’ala transitions back to the conversation of Ashaabul Kahf. Their story is fast forwarded by centuries to when they awake, and Allah ta’ala begins the ayah: كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ بَعَثْنَاهُمْ- and similarly, We awakened them, meaning just as Allah put them to sleep in the cave for such a long time, in the same way He brought them back to consciousness.

They woke up and asked each other, كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ, “how long have you remained?” After a guess, they ended the discussion by saying: رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ-” your Rabb is most knowing of how long you remained.” From this answer we learn a quality of the believer that they do not indulge in vain and useless talk. If Ashaabul Kahf kept talking about this matter, there would be no end to the discussion. So when we are confronted with a matter that we have no knowledge of, our answer as believers should be: Allah is Most Knowing, or Allah knows best.

Eating halal and healthy

Naturally, after sleeping, they were hungry, so the subject changed to preparing a meal.They said: فَابْعَثُوا أَحَدَكُم بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَـٰذِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ – “So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the city.” From this we learn that the cave was outside and away from the city.فَلْيَنظُرْ أَيُّهَا أَزْكَىٰ طَعَامًا فَلْيَأْتِكُم بِرِزْقٍ مِّنْهُ – “and let him look to which is the best of food and bring provision from it.” They asked for the best of food,  أَزْكَىٰ- that which is most pure and clean. The healthiest and the most halaal. Our lesson here is that if you want to worship Allah and work for His deen, then we must eat healthy, so that we can worship Allah and do His work in the best manner. Allah says in Surah Baqarah, “eat of the tayyib (good) food and work righteousness”, so righteousness and eating healthy are mentioned side by side. Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah goes to the extent of saying that it is wrong for a person to eat something that they know is unhealthy for them.

وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ- “and he should be careful.” from laam-taa-fa (ل ط ف), and this word has two meanings. The first meaning is to do something with subtle planning and care. The second meaning is to be kind and gentle. They are advising the one who will be getting the food to be alert with the people, to not mention their whereabouts or who they are and also, he should deal in the best of manners with the people in the city.

وَلَا يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًا- “and let no one be aware of you.” no one should come to know about you. In other words, don’t reveal yourself or your identity to anyone, but at the same time not be hasty with regards to selecting the food.

Why were they so cautious? The next ayah reveals this:

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 17-18

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Qur’anic stories and transitions.
  2. The mercy of Allah in action.
  3. Gaining the mercy of Allah.

And you would have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the Cave. That is of the signs of Allah. He whom Allah guides, is rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no guiding friend to lead him. (17)

Qur’anic Stories and Transitions

In the Qur’an, Allah ta’ala displays transitions in stories that help us as the audience visualize the scene. In the previous ayaat, we were given a sneak peek into the dialogue that took place between Ashaabul Kahf. The beauty of these dialogues is that Allah azza wa jal could have told us what happened, but rather He chose to convey to us in the form of dialogue.

In ayah 17 and 18, a transition has taken place from the dialogue of Ashaabul Kahf and now Allah ta’ala directly addresses the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and the listener. What does this teach us? This is the kalaam (speech) of Allah, and it gives a personal touch to each listener because we are being addressed directly. Furthermore, we learn from these ayaat the amazing imagery of the Qur’an.

The mercy of Allah in action

Allah azza wa jal gives us a view of the dwellings of Ashaabul Kahf:

<<وَتَرَى الشَّمْسَ إِذَا طَلَعَتْ تَزَاوَرُ عَنْ كَهْفِهِمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ>>- and you would see the sun (if you were present there) when it rose, declining to the right of their cave.

<<وَإِذَا غَرَبَتْ تَقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ>>- and when it set, turning away from them to the left.

In ayah 16, Ashaabul Kahf said to one another: Allah will spread His mercy for you and grant you facility in your affairs. Here we learn how Allah ta’ala spread His mercy for them and His facilitation for these youth.

When Ashaabul Kahf went to sleep, the direct light of the sun, nor its heat reached them. When the sun rose, it would rise from the front of them, in such a direction that the sun was rising from their right side. Then when the sun would set, it was not directly on them when they were sleeping but on their left side. So the mouth of the cave was located towards the north or the south, because the sun was on their right side when rising and on their left side when setting. Another meaning of this is that the sun inclined away from the right when it rose so no heat or light reached them, but when it set, some of the light and heat reached them just enough for their sustenance, just enough for them to live and so they would not wake up from the heat or light of the sun.

<<وَهُمْ فِي فَجْوَةٍ مِنْهُ>>- and they were in an open space therein. فَجْوَةٍ- means a vast and open space, a gap. They were not in the entrance of the cave, but in the vast openness of the cave, showing that it was not a small cave but a large one that was not constricting, but comfortable and spacious enough to lie down. Allah took care of all of their needs, even their sleeping arrangements.

Allah ta’ala says,

<<ذَ‌ٰلِك مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ>>- That is from the ayaat of Allah! Their leaving of the people and going to the cave, the location of the cave, the sun inclining away, the sun not reaching them, the heat not burning them, the open space of the cave, all of this are miraculous signs of Allah’s Qudrah: His Power and Might. This story was not a mere coincidence, they did not just fall upon the cave, randomly found it to be an open space, the sun just happened to not fall upon them when they were sleeping, rather Allah ta’ala made it all happen for them. This is how Allah helps those who stand up for His cause. This is the mercy of Allah in action.

<<مَنْ يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ>>- and whoever Allah guides, then he is the one who is rightly guided.

<<وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُرْشِدًا>>- and whoever He leads astray, then you will never find for him a Waliyy, who will guide him to the right way.

وَلِيًّا- Waliyy is a special type of friend, who expresses the will to help to you and support you. A waliyy is a friend that you turn to for help, protection and support. Hidaayah (guidance) is only from Allah ta’ala, and not even the messengers can guide whom they wish. Allah ta’ala is the One who guided these youth, their guidance was not from any other source. And as it was mentioned earlier, guidance is given only to those who desire it.

And you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them. (18)

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 16

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Brief word analysis
  2. In God we trust: true tawakkul.

(and they said to one another): “And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave, your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair. (16)

Brief Word Analysis

The companions of the cave said to one another: اعْتَزَلْتُمُو, from ayn-zay-laam, ‘azl literally means to separate. They were discussing their plan with one another that when they physically separate from the people and separate from their deen : فَأْوُوا إِلَى الْكَهْفِ: Proceed and seek refuge in the cave. Allah says they said, إِلَى الْكَهْفِ – to the cave, indicating that they already knew about this cave and planned it as their place of hiding.

Then they said, << يَنْشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ رَحْمَتِه >> – your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy. يَنْشُرْ is from noon-sheen-ra and literally means to spread something open. Allah ta’ala will spread and unfold for all of you His Mercy.

<<وَيُهَيِّئْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مِرْفَقًا>> – and He will facilitate for you your affair.مِرْفَقًا is from ra-fa-qaaf, rifq. Mirfaqa, which literally means a tool, has several meanings:

  1. He will give you ease and convenience through means (ex: food, security in the cave).
  2. He will create facility, ease and convenience for you regarding your matter.
  3. He will create for you means which will be easy. There will be no hardship, Allah will make everything easy.

In God We Trust: True Tawakkul

Here we learn about the tawakkul (trust) of the youth in Allah ta’ala. They were certain that due to their sacrifice, Allah would grant them rahmah and make their affairs easy in return. This ayah teaches us that we need to sacrifice to gain. If we sacrifice for Allah, He will grant us something better.

If we want to gain the love of Allah, His Mercy, His Paradise, then we should give up what we love: our time, our efforts, our faculties, and disobedience for His sake. No matter how much a person loves disobedience, we should trade that in for the forgiveness and love of Allah for the better gain. These youth planned out that they would leave their city, they gave up their livelihood to go to the cave and they knew Allah would grant them rahmah and grant them mirfaqa.

We also learn that when in a position of danger, we should retreat to a place of safety. Since these youth adopted this route, and not violence, Allah gave them rahmah in return.

Lastly, we also notice that true tawakkul involves planning. They planned their escape to the cave and that is part-and-parcel of real trust in Allah.

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 15

Bismillah.

Summary

  1. Is there any substantial proof for worshiping other than Allah [SWT]?
  2. The greatest oppression and injustice is Shirk.

“These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him. Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah. (15)

Proof for worshiping other than Allah [SWT]?

After Ashaabul Kahf conveyed tawheed to their people, they asked about the people worshiping other than Allah: <<لَوْلَا يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِسُلْطَانٍ بَيِّنٍ>> – why don’t they bring a clear authority? In this ayah عَلَيْهِمْ has two meanings:

  1. Why don’t they bring clear authority of their existence?
  2. What proof do they have that these gods deserve to be worshiped?

The word they use for ‘proof’ is sultaan, which has three very important meanings: power (quwwah), authority (hukoomah), and proof (hujjah). They are not asking for just any proof, but proof that has wisdom and manifest authority.

The youth knew that their people were worshiping other than Allah, yet they asked in the form of a rhetorical question, why? They were dispelling any doubts shaytaan may have caused in their hearts. When someone belongs to the minority, they may feel shaky in their hearts as to what they’re calling to because of shaytaan’s whispers of doubt and confusion. Although the youth were the believing minority against a disbelieving majority, asking this question reaffirmed their emaan and tawheed: there is no definitive proof for worshipping other than Allah. The lesson here is that we should always know our proofs to stay firm in our deen, and ask for them as the youth did, because when we know the proofs we will remove any doubts or confusion about the truth.

A related point: can you think of some proofs for worshiping Allah [SWT] alone?

The greatest oppression and injustice is Shirk

Then the youth asked another rhetorical question:

<<فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا>>- And who is more unjust than he who invents a lie against Allah? Dhulm literally means to place something other than in its rightful place. So how is shirk dhulm? By giving the right of worship to other than Allah [SWT], one has put the rights of worship in the wrong place. That is why Allah ta’ala says, in surah Luqman, that shirk is dhulm, an injustice, but not just any injustice, shirk is dhulmun a’dheem, the greatest injustice.

Another lesson we learn–not only from this ayah but the whole story of Ashaabul Kahf–is that righteousness is not measured by age. Despite their age, these youth knew the gravity of committing shirk. Sadly, today the youth use their age as justification for commiting sins–as if it is a sufficient excuse! On the Day of Judgment, Allah ta’ala will not look at our age, nor our bodies, nor our wealth. Rather, He will only look to our deeds and our hearts.

WAllahu alam – And Allah knows best.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 14

Bismillah. One of the lessons we learned earlier was that part of effective communication is an executive summary. So applying that, here’s a new approach to this series from now onwards, in sha Allah:

Summary

  1. When does Allah [SWT] strengthen the heart? And how does He do it?
  2. Daw’ah techniques: Tawheed first.
  3. Your attitude determines your altitude, i.e. the more determined you are to make sacrifices, the higher Allah [SWT] will raise you in ranks.

Details

And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any god other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief. (14)

Strengthening of the Hearts

وَرَبَطْنَا – is from ra-ba-ta and it means to tie something up tightly. When Allah ta’ala does “rabat” of someone’s heart, it means He gave them strength and patience and removed any impatience, doubt and shakiness from them. This is how Allah [SWT] strengthens hearts. When the heart is tied tightly, the person is firm upon their emaan, they have determination of patience and the strength to say true speech. Ashaabul Kahf were only youth with no authority, but when did Allah [SWT] strengthen their hearts? Idh qaamu, when they stood up for Allah [SWT]! Allah made their hearts firm and gave them courage and confidence to stand up to their people when they took initiative and action, announcing and proclaiming tawheed and rejecting falsehood.

Daw’ah Techniques: Tawheed First

We learn a da’wah technique from these youth in how they introduced Allah to their people. Before denouncing their shirk, they taught them tawheed. They said: <<رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَنْ نَدْعُوَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِلَـٰهًا>> – Our Rabb is the Rabb of the heavens and the earth, never shall we invoke any other god besides Him. The definition of Rabb is: Khaaliq (Creator), Mudabbir (Planner), Maalik (King/Owner): the One who created us, the One who Sustains us and the One who owns us. They are proclaiming ruboobiyyah here, that Allah is the Rabb of everything. Then by mentioning duaa (نَدْعُوَ), which means both salah and supplication, they are claiming uloohiyyah, that Allah is the only object worthy of their worship.

Then they say to their people that if they call besides other than Allah, <<لَقَدْ قُلْنَا إِذًا شَطَطًا>> – ‘then indeed we would say excessive transgression’. شَطَطًا is from sheen-ta-ta and literally it means to go beyond the limits, to be far and to cross the limits. Qawlun Shatat is a speech based on falsehood, one that is distanced from truth and a statement of great transgression.

We learn from this ayah how to call people to Allah ta’ala. Ashaabul Kahf described Allah azza wa jal to their people by stating: Allah is the Only Rabb and the Only Ilaah, and calling upon others besides Him is excessive transgression.

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 13 – Do You Desire Guidance?

We narrate unto you their story with truth: Truly! They were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance. (13)

Verses 9-10 and 11-12 was only a brief summary and glimpse of their story, but now Allah says He will narrate the story in full. This is one of the things that we learn about effective communication from the Qur’an, that by mentioning an executive summary it gives the audience an idea of what is about to come so they are ready to receive the information.

نَبَأَهُمْ- their story, na’ba means news that is important and is based on truth. بِالْحَقِّ- with the truth, what We tell you of the story is truth–people have many ideas and many stories, but what Allah tells us is the right story. In the second ayah we learned that the Qur’an is qayyim, it stands for the truth. So whatever the people were disputing about Ashabul Kahf, Allah says now He will mention the reality to clear the fog.

They were: فِتْيَةٌ, youth. Fityah means a person whose mind and body is strong, they are at the peak of their strength and mental capacity. The youth are active and they were the ones who stood up against the king, so they could protect their emaan. This is one of the most important aspects of the story: the youth had the courage to stand up to protect their emaan. وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى- and We increase them in guidance. These youth had the guidance of belief already, and Allah guided them with tawfeeq (ability and success in deeds) and gave them more guidance along with their previous guidance.

One of the things we can learn from this is that when a person has true emaan, Allah shows them the way of guidance. To get guidance, you have to desire guidance. Allah [SWT] can give you everything is this life without desiring it. But to get guidance, you have to be desperate and you have to desire it. These youth had emaan and they wanted guidance, and so Allah gave them guidance. Furthermore, the more guidance you want, the more Allah will give you. Allah says in surah Muhammad ayah 17, “and those who accept guidance, We increase them in guidance”. In surah Ankaboot ayah 69 Allah says, “and those who strive for Our cause, indeed We will surely guide them to Our ways and indeed Allah is surely with those who do good.”

To obtain guidance two things are required: firstly to desire it, so one makes duaa for it. That is why we ask for guidance every single time we pray (any guesses where we do this in our prayers?).  Secondly, you have to put in the effort, based on the ayah from Surah Ankaboot. The more you strive to obtain guidance, the more guidance Allah will give you.

Bottom line: lots of sincere dua and lots of effort is how Allah [SWT] guides someone to His pleasure. And the more dua and effort invested, the higher the returns of guidance from Allah [SWT].

WAllahu alam – And Allah knows best.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 11-12

Bismillah.

Therefore We cast up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years. (11)

فَضَرَبْنَا- so we cast, daraba is from dawd-ra-ba, and it literally means to strike or hit. So “We struck”, عَلَىٰ آذَانِهِمْ – upon their ears. When something is hit, there are two objects needed: the object that is hit and the object that is used to hit. So Ashaabul Kahf had their ears struck with a hijaab (a covering) of sleep, this is implied in the verse. A covering of sleep was put on their ears, a deep sleep. They had no idea what was going on around them and were not awoken at all.

سِنِينَ عَدَدً- for a number of years. It was the mercy of Allah that He protected them from the shirk of their people, this was the answer to their duaa in ayah 10. In ayah 25 we learn that they slept for 309 years in the cave, without any disturbance. This is a marvel that Allah did this! Remember in ayah 9 Allah asked, do you think their story is amazing? This is a wonder, and if Allah can do this, He can do much more and much greater.

Then We awakened them, that We might test which of the two groups was best at calculating the time period that they had remained. (12)

Thumma– meaning after a while,  بَعَثْنَاهُمْ – “We awakened them”. Ba’ath is from ba-ayn-thaa, and it literally means movement. When someone is sleeping, how do you wake them up? First you call them, then if they don’t respond you shake them. Ba’ath is used in both ways: for resurrection, to wake up after death and secondly to wake up after sleep.

Why were they woken up? لِنَعْلَمَ – “so that We know”. Allah knows everything, so what does this mean? It means to make it known, Allah will make it happen and known to people. He would make known <<أَيُّ <<الْحِزْبَيْنِ أَحْصَىٰ – ‘which of the two groups was most precise in calculating’. أَحْصَىٰ – is from ha-saad-ya, hasiy, and it means count, enumerate and number. Ahsaa means, who knows better, who is more precise in calculating.

Calculating what? لِمَا لَبِثُوا- the time they remained. lima gives the meaning of: for which time, how long.  أَمَدًا- in time, from hamza-meem-daal and it means a span or stretch of time. So ashaabul kahf were awoken to make known which group knew the correct time of how long they were in the cave. There are many opinions as to who the hizbayn, the two groups, are:

  • Firstly, it is said that the two groups are the ashaabul kahf and the people of the city which they went too after waking up.
  • Secondly, it is said the dispute is amongst the people of the city itself, one believing group and one disbelieving group.
  • Lastly, it is said there were two groups amongst ashaabul kahf, between themselves, as to how long they remained.

Allah ta’ala is showing through this ayah that He can resurrect the people through body and soul in this world, so be certain that we will be resurrected with body and soul in the hereafter.

WAllahu alam.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.

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Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 9-10

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.

WAllahu alam.

Complete Tafsir Surah Kahf here.