Surah al-Kahf: The Fortress

Read and reflect on Sūrah Kahf to protect yourself from the trials of:

• Religion (The people of the cave)

• Wealth (The owner of the two gardens)

• Knowledge (Mūsā and Khadir a)

• Power (Dhul Qarnayn)

• Dajjāl

Sūrah Kahf is your cave: your oasis in the desert of trials & tribulations. By protecting you from the various trials mentioned (the trials of religion, wealth, knowledge, power & shayṭan) the Sūrah will ultimately protect you from the greatest worldly trial: the trial of Dajjāl

The cave protected the youth. Likewise, the Sūrah of the ‘Cave’ will protect the believer. As they fled to the cave for safety, flee and hold on tight to this Sūrah!

Verse 1

‏ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ عِوَجَا

‏“All praise is for Allah Who has revealed the Book to His servant, and allowed no crookedness in it.” (18:1)


• The Qur’an is perfect, even if we struggle to fully comprehend the meanings within it.

• The greatest blessing Allah has bestowed the people of the earth is the Qur’an

Verse 2-3

قَيِّمًا لِّيُنذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا ، مَّـٰكِثِينَ فِيهِ أَبَدًا

“(The Qur’an is) perfectly upright, to warn of a severe torment from Him; to give good news to the believers who do good that they will have a fine reward, in which they will remain forever;” (18:2-3)


• We should feel excited about reciting the Qur’an and hope to receive the ‘fine reward’, just as we get excited and feel overjoyed at receiving happy news.

• At the same time, we should be scared of the ‘severe’ torment, and ask Allah to protect us from it.

Verse 6

فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـٰخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَـٰرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِهَـٰذَا ٱلْحَدِيثِ أَسَفًا

‏“Would you, perhaps, torment yourself to death with grief over them if they will not believe in this message?” (18:6)


‎• Be emotionally invested in bringing people to Allah.

‎• Feel a sense of deep gratitude for the pain the Prophet ﷺ experienced in order to convey the message.

Verse 7-8

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ، وَإِنَّا لَجَـٰعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًا جُرُزًا

“We have indeed made whatever is on earth as an adornment for it, in order to test which of them is best in deeds. And We will certainly reduce whatever is on it to barren ground.” (18:7-8)


• Not all that glitters is gold! This world is beautiful and glamorous. But don’t be deceived by it. It’s all going to come to an end, and what’s going to count is ‘which of them is best in deeds’.

Verse 9

أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلْكَهْفِ وَٱلرَّقِيمِ كَانُوا۟ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا عَجَبًا

‏”Did you think that the people of the cave and the plaque were (the only) wonders of Our signs?” (18:9)


There are many lessons we can learn from the incredible account of the People of the Cave. However, there are also many other signs of Allah all around us, and within us, which we can ponder and reflect upon. As believers, we should consistently worship Allah through tafakkur.

Verse 10

إِذْ أَوَى ٱلْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى ٱلْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا

(Remember) When the young men took refuge in the cave, and said, “Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Yourself and guide us rightly through our ordeal. (18:10)


Young people are more receptive to the truth. They are more eager, daring and willing to challenge the status quo and accept change. If you’re young, make the changes in your life TODAY; and if you’re old, cultivate excellent habits in your children and grandchildren by modelling these traits. An Arab proverb says,

‘من شب على شيء شاب عليه ‘

‘Old habits die hard.’

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