Guide Hadith Islam Quran

A Guide to Muharram

Bismillah. The no-nonsense guide to Muharram, the month of Allah:

What is the Significance of Muharram

Muharram is one of the four sacred months. The sacred months are sacred from the time Allah created everything, as Allah says in Surah Tawbah, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred…” (9:36).

The Prophet said: “The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhu’l-Qa’dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab” (reported by Bukhari).

What is the Significance of the Sacred Months

Allah says, “Allah has made the Ka’bah, the Sacred House, the sacred month, the sacrificial animal, and the necklaces put around sacrificial animals as a qiyam for mankind” (5:97). Qiyam means that by which something is made to stand/prop. The Ka’bah, the sacred months and sacrificial animals are called the prop for mankind because Allah propped life in Arabia using Hajj, its rituals, and the sacred months.

The Ka’bah and its precincts were made a place of safely and security wherein hostilities and violence were prohibited. Similarly, the institution of the sacred months – Dhul Qa’dah, Dhul Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab – prohibited killing and violence.

What to do in the Sacred Month of Muharram

Stop Committing Sins

As mentioned above, Allah says in Surah Tawbah, “Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein” (9:36).

The phrase, “so wrong not yourselves therein…” means do not wrong yourselves in these sacred months by committing sins, because sin in these months is worse than in other months. And if we fall in the trap of Shaitaan, repent excessively and resolve firmly.

Fasting Excessively

The Prophet said, “The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram” (reported by Muslim).

The phrase, “Allah’s month” shows us the honor of this month that the Prophet associated the month to Allah. For example, the Ka’bah is honored with this type of association when it is called the house of Allah.

Fasting on Ashoora

Fasting throughout Muharram is encouraged, but fasting on the day of Ashoora is particularly encouraged. Ashoora is the tenth of Muharram (for 2009, it will be January 6th), and it is reported from Bukhari that the Prophet confirmed that Musa and his followers were saved from Firawn on this day.

The Prophet was extremely keen to fast on this day. Ibn Abbaas said, “I never saw the Messenger of Allah so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other than this day, the day of Ashoora” (reported by Bukhari). So, we should be looking forward to it too by marking our calendars and setting reminders for ourselves.

Moreover, the Prophet said, “For fasting the day of Ashoora, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the year that went before” (reported by Muslim). So we should hope for the same reward as well.

Fasting on the day before Ashoora

Ibn Abbaas said:

“When the Messenger of Allah fasted on Ashooraa and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allah said, ‘If I live to see the next year, insha Allah, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allah passed away before the next year came” (reported by Muslim).

On this basis, it is better to fast the ninth as well as the tenth of Muharram. And of course, the more one fasts in Muharram, the better it is.

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayat 32-36



  1. The story of two men, one of them who had a magnificent, dense garden.
  2. The disease of arrogance: you start to look down on others because of what Allah has given you.
  3. Thinking too highly of yourself and not being grateful to Allah for His blessings is oppression of the self.
  4. “If there is a hereafter, I’ll get the best of it too since I’m so special”.

The Story of Two Men

Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed fields of crops. (32)

After mentioning the attitude of the Quraysh in the previous ayaat, Allah ta’ala strikes the example of two men; a story that holds lessons for everyone.

For one of the two men, Allah gave him a garden that had orchards. Allah ta’ala gives us a vast image of this garden, it was: full of plants, grapevines, trees, crops, and was so thick with plantation. These types of plants were the most special and most valuable to the Arabs. Imagine the garden was mainly of grapevines, the outside was surrounded by date palms and the middle had various crops.


Each of those gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein: in the midst of them We caused a river to flow. (33)

The vegetation was the maximum that the gardens could produce and there was nothing short in it. Not only this, but each of the two gardens had a river–not just an ordinary stream or body of water, but rivers that were gushing forth with fast flowing water.

Imagine, how huge the gardens must have been if the rivers were flowing with such power! And since there was such an abundance of water, it displays how green and lush the garden was and how the garden was irrigated naturally.

(Abundant) was the produce this man had: he said to his companion, in the course of a mutual argument: “more wealth have I than you, and more honour and power in (my following of) men.” (34)

Allah continues to describe the garden of this man: the fruit from the garden was plenty, and he also received wealth from the sale of the fruits.

The Disease of Arrogance

If you were given all of these blessings: a garden with rivers, grapevines, crops and plants that produces fruit in abundance and brings wealth, how would your attitude be? Allah ta’ala shows us the attitude of this man:

He said to his companion, أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًا “I have more wealth than you.” Imagine the arrogance and attitude of this man; because Allah ta’ala gave him so much of this dunya, he began to look down upon his companion.

Intercession Islam Quran

Who Do You Associate With?

Bismillah. A really beautiful explanation of the following ayat from Surah Furqan (25) done by Nouman Ali Khan.


Some points of benefit:

  • The ayah is not just talking about non-Muslims. Its talking about anyone who did dhulm (injustice or oppression). So let’s not get cozy and think it’s not about us.
  • Imagine the overwhelming grief that a person must experience to bite their hands and then not even feel the pain of their flesh being torn away. It gets scarier the more you try to comprehend it.
  • The dhalim in the ayah doesn’t say, “I wish I believed in the Messenger”. He says, “I wish I had taken a path along with the Messenger”, which is subtle. The subtlety is that even those who believe in the Messenger [SAWS] but don’t act according to his sunnah may fall in this situation.
  • The dhalim blames his closest friend/associate from taking him away from the Qur’an. Like Ustadh Nouman mentioned, this can be any thing that we hold dear.
  • The tragedy of it all is that this person had received the Qur’an and then he turned away from it. Imagine the feelings of overwhelming regret and depression that this person must feel. The psychological torture that this person will endure is unimaginable. And the real punishment has not even begun yet!
  • The feelings of regret, sorrow and depression are compounded by someone saying, “I told you so”. Imagine this person being told this…that you were told Shaitan is your enemy. But now that you realize it, it’s too late.
  • All of us want the Prophet’s intercession, but do we think that we can survive the Prophet’s prosecution against those who made hijrah (i.e. deserted) the Qur’an?

Any reflections? Please post any in the comments, in sha Allah.

May Alllah save us from this torturous situation on the day of Judgment, ameen.

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 29-31



  1. A glimpse of the hellfire: surrounded by fire, walls and canopy of smoke. “How bad is this place where they will find rest!”
  2. A glimpse of paradise: bracelets of gold, green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, raised thrones. “How excellent is this place where they will find rest!”

A glimpse of the fire of hell

Say, “The truth is from your Rabb”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How bad a resting place! (29)

الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ- the Truth is from your Rabb: The Qur’an is the haqq, the Messenger is the haqq, and everything sent from Allah is the haqq–Your Rabb only sends the haqq so:

فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن- “Let him who will believe”. Whoever chooses emaan, let him believe, وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ “and let him who will, reject it”. This is not an encouragement to disbelieve, rather it is a serious threat. Whoever chooses disbelief (kufr), let them disbelieve because:

إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا-“for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose smoke and flames, like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in”. The people of hell-fire will be surrounded by four walls on each side. The walls of hell-fire, the smoke and fumes, will completely surround them and encompass them. The fire will be their bed, their clothes, their canopy. They will not be able to escape from there.

وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا- and if they seek help, يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ – they will be relieved with muhl.

Muhl has several meanings:

  • Ibn Abbaas radi Allahu anhu states muhl refers to the black thick murky liquid that settles at the bottom of oil.
  • Imaam Raaghib states that muhl is molten metal.
  • Mujaahid states that muhl refers to puss and blood.

When they seek help they will be given the likes of molten metal, of puss and blood, of black murky oil that will: يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ – scald their faces. يَشْوِي is from sheen-wow-ya, this word is used to describe the roasting of meat and boiling of water. Such water will boil, grill, burn and roast their faces. When the water is drawn close to their faces, the faces will be burn completely–just coming close to the water will burn their faces. The punishment continues, they will be made to drink this water that will cut up and split their intestines.

بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا -How dreadful the drink and how bad the resting place!

مُرْتَفَقًا- ra-fa-qaaf: irtifaaq is to spread one elbow’s sideways and rest one’s cheek on the elbow. This is a sign of resting, calm and ease. Murtafaq refers to a resting place, where a person lives and finds peace–where they rest their face on. The usage of this word is like a mockery: how bad is this place where they will find rest!

This punishment is indeed the worst, and we seek Allah’s refuge from ever entering it.

On the other hand, those who accept the haqq:

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 27-28



  1. Reciting the Qur’an means to recite the book as the Prophet recited it and to act upon it.
  2. The kalimaat of Allah don’t change.
  3. Enduring the trials with patience requires good company.
  4. Remembering Allah during the rush hours: morning and evening.
  5. Avoiding bad company is as important as having good company.

Reciting the Book

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Rabb: none can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him. (27)

Allah ta’ala address the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and the believers, وَاتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ – and recite what has been revealed to you from your Rabb. Tilaawah is of two types:

  1. To recite the words of the Qur’an to yourself and others (out loud) as recited by the Prophet. Proper tajweed is not an option, its a requirement.
  2. To understand the Qur’an and act upon it.

The Qur’an was sent down to be recited and acted upon. Just as we learned in the previous ayah that no one has a share in the Hukm of Allah–We must fulfill this command to recite and act upon this book as the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam did and the Companions, whether the people like or do not like, if it is against or complying with their desires–continue to recite.

The Kalimaat of Allah don’t change

لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ- There is no changer of His words.

Since the revelation of the Qur’an, people have wanted to change its meanings, because they did not want to change themselves. Allah ta’ala says in another surah, “those who do not expect the meeting with us say, ‘bring us a Qur’an other than this or change it'” (10:15).

كَلِمَاتِ is of two types:

  1. Kawnee: In the creation and decisions of Allah. If Allah ta’ala sends rain, then no one can prevent the rain from coming.
  2. Shar’ee: In the Commands of Allah. If Allah ta’ala sends a command in the Qur’an, it has been preserved. There are people who change or alter the meanings and interpretations, but the true deen of Allah has been preserved and guarded. The Word of Allah cannot be changed.

And if a person does try to change the words of Allah, لَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا- none will you find as a refuge other than Him, they will have no place to run, no place of refuge to hide.

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 23-26



  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.
Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 21-22



  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.

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 19-20



  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:

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 17-18



  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)

Friday Special Islam Quran Tafsir Surah Kahf

Tafsir Surah Kahf: Ayah 16



  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.