Surah Al Kahf is the 18th chapter and positioned in the 15th and 16th Juz of the Holy Quran, comprising 110 verses. Surah Al Kahf was revealed to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) in Makkah between the 8th and 10th year of Prophet Hood. At that time, Muslims of Makkah were under immense speculation and persecution. The Surah Al Kahf narrates the stories of the believers in ancient times who accepted the valid message of Allah when they received it.
The Surah Al Kahf starts with Alhumdulilah (Praise is for Allah).
ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ عِوَجَاۜ
All praise is for Allah Who has revealed the Book to His servant, allowing no crookedness in it,
قَيِّمًۭا لِّيُنذِرَ بَأْسًۭا شَدِيدًۭا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًۭا
[He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward [i.e., Paradise].
Lessons Learn from Surah Al Kahf
Quran is the book of Allah, and every Muslim believes in the authenticity and truthfulness of every word. It holds a unique set of content and the consequent reverence in the heart of Muslims. No book is more sacred or authentic for Muslims than the Quran, so a Muslim is always willing to learn the Holy Quran.
In Surah Al Kahf, Allah narrates four stories with their lesson.
Trial of Faith:
The trial of Faith is related to the Ashab e Kahf, which means the people of the cave, narrated in the first part of Surah Al Kahf. Ashab e Kahf is the people who believe in the oneness of Allah and live in a non-believers community. When they notice they are facing threats from non-believers, they decide to leave their city and lifestyle for the sake of Allah.
They took shelter in a cave where they asked help from Allah and prayed to Him to save their religion and faith from a hostile environment and non-believers. Allah bestowed them with a sleep that ended for an era. Thus when they woke up from sleep, the whole city was converted into believers.
It narrates in Quran:
إذْ أَوَى ٱلْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى ٱلْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةًۭ وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًۭا
˹Remember˺ when those youths took refuge in the cave and said, “Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Yourself and guide us rightly through our ordeal.”
The lesson need to be learned from this story is that Allah will test you through your faith. A believer’s life will come with trials, but Allah assists those who put complete trust in Him and are steadfast in their faith. It shows that when a person believes in Allah Almighty, He always comes to rescue them and make their difficulties easier. Secondly, we learn from this story to always choose the righteous people’s company with firm belief and faith.
Allah said in Quran:
وَٱصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلْعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُۥ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُۥ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُۥ فُرُطًۭا
And patiently stick with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. Do not let your eyes look beyond them, desiring the luxuries of this worldly life. And do not obey those whose hearts we have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follow ˹only˺ their desires and whose state is ˹total˺ loss.
Trial of Wealth:
The second and most exciting story mentioned in Surah Al Kahf is of two persons. One is the owner of two gardens, and the second is his poor companion. His gardens were fertile and profitable, and his wealth multiplied faster. His wealth made him stray from the right path and doubt his faith, and too arrogant in his manner even he started assuming that all things were just because of his hardworking and intelligence.
He starts disbelieving his Lord, the creator of the world who provides him with every facility to fertile his land, but instead of thankfulness, he believes that all the wealth is just because of him. His friend tries his best to explain the reality that every single thing belongs to Allah. We should be thankful for His mercy upon us that he born us with dust provides us food, water, and everything.
The lesson we need to learn in Surah Al Kahf is that everything we have is just because of the mercy of Allah Almighty. We will be tested by giving and taking back. He is the creator of the whole world. He is the Lord of humans, animals, insects, birds, water, sun, moon, land, heaven, hell, etc.
We should have faith that wealth is also a test from Allah Almighty; He will test us by granting all the facilities and wealth that after that the believer will be grateful to Him or not. And no one has enough capability to challenge Allah’s will. We should have believed that it’s up to Allah what He will give us and what He can take back from us, and He has yet not given us.
It is narrated in the Quran ,
وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُۥ فِئَةٌۭ يَنصُرُونَهُۥ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا
And he had no human resources to help him against Allah, nor could he ˹even˺ help himself.
Secondly, we need to learn that everything is temporary and momentary in this world. Therefore, when we are available, we should thank Allah Almighty for his mercies, and we should use them properly and make easiness for others. In Quran, Allah perfectly describe the reality of this world,
وَٱضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخْتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلْأَرْضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًۭا تَذْرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ مُّقْتَدِرًا
And present them a parable of this worldly life. ˹It is˺ like the earth’s plants, thriving when sustained by the rain we send down from the sky. Then they ˹soon˺ turn into chaff scattered by the wind. And Allah is fully capable of ˹doing˺ all things.
Trial of Knowledge
This story is based on Hazrat Musa (A.S.) and Hazrat Khizr (A.S.) meeting up. One day Hazrat Musa (A.S.) asked Allah Almighty, who has more knowledge on earth except you.
Hazrat Musa (A.S.) was expecting that Allah would say You! Oh, Musa, because He (A.S.) is the prophet of Allah, but Allah rectified him that I will show you who has more knowledge not wholesome, but on some particular level We granted him more. Allah showed Hazrat Musa (A.S.) some signs of meeting that person. Hazrat Musa (A.S.) started traveling to look for that person and learned how wisdom could sometimes be hidden in matters that seem inadequate.
Every skill and bounty a man has comes with a set of trials, so believers should stay devoted to Allah Almighty. The power of knowledge is the blessing of Allah Almighty. Instead of feeling proud of excessive knowledge better to spread among the human being and teach humility to people. And one should know that there is always someone who is more knowledgeable and has a better understanding of things than oneself.
Trial of Power
The last part of the Surah Al Kahf is based on Dhul Qarnayn, who is the most powerful and great king. He traveled worldwide to help the people in need and spread well wherever he went. He was the one who provided relief to people from the danger of Gag Magog. He was able to overcome the menace of Yajooj-Majooj.
Power is something that makes a person arrogant and self-pride. The lesson need to be learned from this story is that power is also a gift from Allah and to whom He gives power, He tests them by doing so. A believer couldn’t be a self-centered person. So this story also teaches us to be humble and submissive to Allah for his power and wealth.
Allah narrates in the Quran:
وَأَمَّا مَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحًۭا فَلَهُۥ جَزَآءً ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُۥ مِنْ أَمْرِنَا يُسْرًۭا
As for those who believe and do well, they will have the finest reward, and we will assign them accessible commands.”
Surah Al Kahf narrates that those who believe in Allah and ask for protection from Him, give them the best protection. We learn from the stories narrated in Surah Al Kahf that Allah will test His believers by His blessing. Allah describes briefly that a believer will be tested on every moment of his life with all the blessings given to him in this temporary world.
Sometimes he put trials on believers by providing them the facility and sometimes lacking facilities. Above, we discuss a few stories in which we learn that he will not only put trials through power or money, but He will put trials on us through faith to test how much strong belief and faith we have.
Virtues and Benefits of Surah Al Kahf
Surah Al Kahf describes the stories of ancient times and comes with various virtues as described in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said:
“Whoever memorizes the first ten Ayat of Surat Kahf, he will be protected from (the trial of Dajjal (Antichrist).”
Dajjal is one of the prominent figures who will appear sometime before the Day of Judgment. Allah Almighty will bless him with supernatural powers that will shake many people’s faith; those with low and weak faith will turn toward him. But, those who will have strong beliefs will ask Allah for help.
For this reason, all the Prophets warn their people against him. Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said to learn the first ten verses of Surah Al Kahf and strictly advised to seek refuge to Allah against him.
On the Authority of Hazrat Aisha (R.A.); the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said:
“Shall I not inform you of a Surah which is so full of greatness it reaches between the heaven and earth and it has blessings written for it of similar proportions (from the sky to earth) whoever reads it on Jummah is forgiven what occurred between that Jummah and the next, in addition to 3 days, and whoever reads the last five verses of it when he goes to sleep, Allah will send him that night what he wants. They said, Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: Surah Al-Kahf.”
This hadith narrates various benefits of reading or reciting Surah Al Kahf on Jummah. Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said that who will recite Surah Al-Kahf on Jummah would be pure from Sins for ten days. Secondly, it is narrated that whoever wishes for something and recites the last five verses of Surah Al Kahf before bed Allah will fulfill their wishes.
It is recommended to make a habit of reciting Surah Al Kahf’s last five verses every night and reciting Surah Al Kahf every Jummah.