Surat al-Kahf is one particularly noted by our Prophet Muhammad (saas) and a great many Islamic scholars. The reports of the Companions of the Cave and ar-Raqim, which appear in this Sura, events regarding the Prophet Musa (pbuh) and one who had been given knowledge, and the story of the Dhu’l-Qarnayn all contain various indications regarding the End Times.
“Whoever reaches the Dajjal, he should read the beginning of the Surat al-Kahf and the rest. The end of this surah is your salvation from the fitnah of the Dajjal.”(Sunan Abu-Dawud, 5/121)
One of the greatest miracles of the Qur’an is the way that ever since it was first revealed to our Prophet (saas) it has addressed people living in all times. Allah sent down the Qur’an to be a guide to the true path until Doomsday. The stories regarding peoples of the past related in the Qur’an also serve as guides in many regards. The lives of the prophets, the messages they communicated to their peoples and their practices are all role models for believers. In addition, the Qur’an contains indications regarding the future and various secrets that believers need to reflect on. Surat al-Kahf is one of these.
Surat al-Kahf is one particularly noted by our Prophet Muhammed (saas) and a great many Islamic scholars. The reports of the Companions of the Cave and ar-Raqim, which appear in the Sura, events regarding the Prophet Musa (pbuh) and one who had been given knowledge, and the story of the Dhu’l-Qarnayn (pbuh) all contain various indications regarding the End Times. Our Prophet (saas) has also reported in several hadiths that there is a link between Surat al-Kahf and the End Times. Some of these hadiths read as follows: Whoever reads ten verses from the beginning of the Surat al-Kahf, he will be saved from the fitnah of the Dajjal. 1
Related from Nevvas b. Seman el-Kilabi:
“Whoever reaches the Dajjal, he should read the beginning of the Surat al-Kahf and the rest. The end of this surah is your salvation from the fitnah of the Dajjal.”2
Related from Nevvas b. Seman el-Kilabi:
Whoever sees him,he should read the first verses of the Surat al-Kahf. (so that you can ensure your salvation from his fitnah). 3
Related from Ulame el-Bahili:
…Whoever is afflicted by the Dajjal’s hell, he should ask help from Allah and read the first verses of the Surat al-Kahf, so that just as in Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) case, this fire can become calm and peace for him.4
…Whoever is tested by the Dajjal’s fire, he should ask help from Allah and read the first verses of the Surat al-Kahf. This way Dajjal’s fire may become calm and peace for him.5
In these hadiths our Prophet (saas) advises Muslims to read Surat al-Kahf in the End Times and states that this will be influential in foiling the snares of the Dajjal. Surat al-Kahf contains the requisite signs as to how to protect oneself against the Dajjal and the atheistic movements he will attempt to disseminate across the world and against the strife that will inflict terrible disasters on mankind. It also contains lessons from which Muslims can benefit. The way that our Prophet (saas) recommends the careful reading and learning by heart of this Sura is a clear indication of this. (Allah knows the truth of this.)
In this Sura are to be found very important indications regarding the End Times, the practices of atheistic systems that will spread in the End Times, and how Allah will eradicate these superstitious systems by sending down the truth.
The period of which we are speaking is, by Allah’s leave, very close at hand. For that reason, it is of the greatest importance that all Muslims should carefully reflect on the Sura and the story of the Cave, and examine and bear both in mind in the light of the other verses of the Qur’an.
The extraordinary situations of the Companions of the Cave and al-Raqim is emphasised in these verses. What happened to the Companions of the Cave is something out of the ordinary, a metaphysical event. Every moment of their lives is full of miraculous developments. This situation of the Companions of the Cave, whose link to the End Times is stressed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), described in the Qur’an may be indicating that people will encounter extraordinary, metaphysical events in the End Times.
The continuation of the verses may be an indication that heavy responsibilities will be laid upon young people during the End Times. Young people will assume major duties in this period in pursuing the intellectual struggle against atheistic philosophies, explaining the True Faith and eliminating the oppression to which people are subjected. The importance of young people in explaining religious moral virtues is also stressed in other verses. We are told in Surat al-Kahf, for instance, that the Prophet Musa (pbuh) had “a young assistant.” In one verse it is stated that only a young community from the people of the Prophet Musa (pbuh) had faith: “No one believed in Musa except for a few of his people out of fear that Pharaoh, and the elders, would persecute them...” (Surah Yunus, 83)
In verse 10 of Surat al-Kahf it is revealed that the young people “took refuge” somewhere. It appears from the subsequent verses of the tale that the reason why the Companions sheltered in a Cave was the climate set up by the oppressive system. Unable to speak their own minds, unable to tell the truth and prevented from communicating the message required by religious moral values, the Companions of the Cave sought a solution in distancing themselves from that society.
This verse may be an indication that a similar climate may arise in the End Times because of communist, fascist totalitarian regimes or others with comparable ideologies, that these regimes will impose restrictions of freedom of ideas and thought, and that pressure will be put on those wishing to live by religious moral values. The Companions sought refuge in a cave because of similar oppression in their own day, thus distancing themselves from the unbelievers. In the End Times, it is likely that sincere Muslims who wish to be saved from the oppression of communist and fascist regimes that inflict such catastrophes on mankind will also remain hidden and out of sight. Muslims fleeing such oppression will not be too readily visible, and will keep themselves at a distance from society.
This state of affairs does not imply distancing themselves and simply waiting, however. The Companions sought shelter in a cave and prayed to Allah to facilitate their work and bestow His mercy upon them. In short, the reason why the Companions sheltered in the cave was not simply to wait there, but to develop themselves during the process. Muslims subject to oppression in places governed by totalitarian regimes in the End Times will keep themselves concealed. In this way, they will hope for Allah to increase His mercy on them and to facilitate their work and their intellectual struggle against hostile intellectual systems.
Verse 10, which reports the prayer to Allah of the Companions of the Cave, reminds us of another very important matter. Believers must not forget that it is Allah alone Who does all things. Human beings are always needy and helpless in the face of Allah. It is impossible for them to achieve anything through their own intellect, efforts and strength. Without Allah’s permission it is impossible for a person to lift his hand, walk or even breathe, let alone to bring any work to a successful conclusion. People stand in need of Allah’s help, support and mercy at all times. Many verses in the Qur’an refer to Allah doing all things and to the helplessness of human beings. In verse 17 of Surat al-Anfal Allah tells us:
You did not kill them; it was Allah Who killed them; and you did not throw, when you threw; it was Allah Who threw: so He might test the believers with this excellent trial from Him. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat Al-Anfal, 17)
It is Allah Who creates all things and Who performs all actions. Human beings, on the other hand, are tested with sincerity and submission. Since the Companions of the Cave were sincere Muslims who knew all this, they turned to Allah the moment they sheltered in the cave and expressed their submission to Him through prayer. The Companions of the Cave knew that it was Allah Who would enable them to deepen their knowledge and Who would facilitate all their labours, for which reason they first and foremost sought His assistance. It can be seen from this that the important thing is to be a sincere Muslim and to pray to and seek all things from Allah.
Like the Companions of the Cave who sheltered in a cave for protection from the oppression of the atheistic system, believers in the End Times will also choose to conceal themselves for protection from the enemies of the faith such as the communism and fascism that built such oppressive systems across the world, and from ideologies that inflict terrible harm on their countries, nations and states. Just as in the time of the Companions of the Cave, Muslims living under such regimes will have no freedom of ideas, will be unable to speak their minds, and will be subjected to grave oppression. However, this period of concealment will not be a troubled, restless waiting for Muslims; on the contrary, it will be a calm and placid one. The words “…We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years” in the verse indicate that during the time when believers are in concealment they will enjoy great peace, as if they were asleep.
This period will be one of education, self-improvement, deepening in knowledge and strengthening of faith for believers. They will be unaffected by the oppression, cruelty and tyranny of unbelievers, the enemies of moral virtues and the acts of violence perpetrated in society by aggressive circles harmful to the country and the nation, just as if they were in a cave. This, as a mercy from Allah, will ensure their protection.
As can be seen from the verse, the concealment of the Companions of the Cave continued for a specific length of time. Later, at a time approved by Allah, these young people awoke, through His willing it. The period of concealment of believers subjected to oppression by regimes that have adopted communism or fascism in the End Times will also last for a specific length of time determined by Allah in destiny. At the end of this period all concealment will come to an end, and believers will again mingle among ordinary people and begin their work of telling them of the existence of Allah, the signs leading to faith and the moral values of the Qur’an.
The duration of this period of concealment is knowledge maintained in the Sight of Allah. The verse indicates that this period is set out, as years, days and hours, in the Sight of Allah. Our Lord, Who created the entire universe from nothingness, knows the number of all things. Allah’s title of al-Muhsi (He Who knows the number of all things, even the infinite) is revealed in these words in Surat al-Jinn: “(It is) so that He may know that they have indeed transmitted the Messages of their Lord. He encompasses what is in their hands and has counted the exact number of everything.” (Surat al-Jinn, 28)
This verse emphasises the importance of powerful faith and being one of the people of the true path. Because if a person has no powerful faith in Allah, fails to abide by the scrupulousness required by Qur’anic moral values and does not follow in the path of our Prophet (saas), then no matter what great work he performs this may be of no importance in the Sight of Allah. Even if he is successful in the worldly sense, even if his career or fame takes off, this success will be of no benefit to him in the Hereafter. Because the important thing is a person’s faith and his meticulousness in guarding against evil. Muslims, the people of the true path, are described as follows in Surat al-Baqara:
That is the Book, without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who guard against evil: those who believe in the Unseen and perform prayer and spend from what We have provided for them; those who believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you, and are certain about the Hereafter. They are the people guided by their Lord. They are the ones who have success. (Surat Al-Baqara, 2-5)
In another verse, our Lord imparts the glad tidings that those of His servants who abide by the true path will suffer no fear or distress: “We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination.” (Surat al-Kahf:14)
This verse indicates the importance of patience, determination and will-power for believers. These are features that only someone who have trust in Allah can possess. The words “We fortified” in the verse are a sign that Allah does all things within a specific destiny. It is Allah Who gives believers patience and determination in the face of difficulties and sorrow.
It is impossible for anyone to do or say anything outside the destiny appointed by Allah. Therefore, it is natural for someone who knows that Allah has created all things within a destiny, and that he has no power to do anything, to be patient. He will live by the ease and peace imparted by knowing that Allah creates all things in the finest and most auspicious manner for His devout servants. Allah tells His servants who are patient and who exhibit such a fine virtue that they will enjoy a fine reward and salvation. Verses on the subject read:
“What is with you runs out but what is with Allah goes on for ever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did. Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did.” (Surat an-Nahl, 96-97)
“Obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast” (Surat al-Anfal, 46)
If there are a hundred of you, they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are people who do not understand.” (Surat al-Anfal, 65)
Determination and will are characteristics of believers that come with faith, the true path and submission. Because someone who has submitted to Allah and has faith in destiny will never give way in the face of any trouble or difficulty and will never lose enthusiasm for the struggle. Since he knows that it is Allah Who does all things, he evaluates everything he encounters with enthusiasm and excitement, and competes to perform good works.
It is also stated in the verse that when the period in which the Companions of the Cave were concealed came to an end they appeared before the king. This period is one in which divine status was ascribed to powers other than Allah (Allah is beyond this), atheism had spread and people had turned away from religious moral values. Muslims’ beliefs were under pressure. Nonetheless, the Companions of the Cave told the king that they would never cease believing in Allah as the one and only and would never worship any other entity than Him.
As their sincere opinion, they also stated that they would have committed a crime against Allah, if they had said the opposite.
This courageous and determined attitude they adopted towards the oppressive, cruel and authoritarian ruler of the time is evidence that they were sincere Muslims. Since they knew that Allah creates all things in destiny in the finest manner and that no power could harm them unless He so wished it, they exhibited exemplary determination and trust in Allah.
The End Times, too, will be a period when people adopt false gods (Allah is beyond this) and spread atheism. As can be seen from this verse, sincere Muslims in the End Times also need to maintain the same determination and courage in the face of the oppressive and totalitarian regimes of the time.
The verse refers to the preaching activities of the Companions of the Cave. They communicated the religion of Allah to those societies in their own time who lacked faith and demanded that they cease ascribing partners to Allah.
Also, the societies who adopted other gods other than Allah are invited to display an evidence to base their unbelief. When they failed to do this, the Companions of the Cave revealed their slanders and falsehood.
As in the time of the Companions of the Cave, Muslims in our own century also demand evidence from those adopting other gods than Allah. There is a pagan prevalent belief in the End Times that regards matter and coincidences as divine: that belief is Darwinism.
Darwinism is a claim opposed to religion, which maintains that life on Earth emerged as the result of haphazard and random coincidences, and that defends a system based on conflict and violence, in such a way that in nature only the strong will survive. In fact, in attempting to deceive people by saying that random coincidences gave rise to all things, living and inanimate, that Allah actually created from nothing with His infinite might and power, Darwinists are uttering a terrible slander.
In addition, they resort to lies and false proofs in order to keep these slanders alive. The history of Darwinism is full of hoaxes, such as Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, the theory of recapitulation, and the fake dino-bird “Archaeoraptor.” Darwinism, which manufactures false evidence, and attempts to give people the impression that a process such as evolution actually took place through fictitious illustrations and scenarios, and which has no qualms about distorting the scientific facts and employs various propaganda techniques, consists of a huge deception and sleight of hand. (For more details see, The Dark Spell of Darwinism, by Harun Yahya.)
One of the worst intellectual enemies of religion facing Muslims in the End Times is therefore Darwinism. Just like the Companions of the Cave, Muslims demand that Darwinists, who are reluctant to accept the existence of Allah and adopt chance as their divinity, provide evidence to back up their claims. Once again, however, Darwinists resort to a variety of lies and hoaxes, and avoid putting forward any conclusive evidence by using demagogic methods. That is because, like the societies lacking faith, Darwinists have no evidence with which to support their claims. (For more detail, see The Evolution Deception, by Harun Yahya.) Darwinism, which maintains that everything is the work of chance, is issuing a huge slander here. People who think along these lines are referred to in the words “Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?”in verse 15 of Surat al-Kahf.
We are told in the verse that the Companions of the Cave completely abandoned the intellectual system in which unbelievers formed the majority. This departure gave rise to an intellectual conflict between the believers and those who did not comply with religious moral values. And the unbelievers attempted to pressurise the Muslims.
As a result of this pressure, the believers felt the need to completely isolate themselves and leave the situation completely behind. Sheltering in the cave is an expression of that isolation. In this period Allah poured His blessings down on the Companions of the Cave and made things easier for them in many areas. The most important element of this assistance and support was the way that the believers were able to escape the negative effects of such a system, one that failed to abide by religious virtues.
Societies that do not live by religious moral values have made a habit out of attacking Muslims’ sacred objects, motherland and nation, and their desire to serve, as well as the virtues they hold sacred. The way that believers keep themselves away from such people is in that respect a great blessing and source of ease. Because instead of listening to the negative words of people who do not comply with religious virtues, they have an opportunity to live even more according to the requirements of religious moral values. They are able to devote more time to improving themselves, deepening their knowledge and engaging in social and cultural work. Thanks to this facility bestowed on them by Allah, they can work harder for their nations, so that they can attain a better life and turn towards the moral values of the Qur’an, the sole road to salvation.
You would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, leaving them behind on the left, while they were lying in an open part of it. That was one of Allah’s Signs. Whoever Allah guides is truly guided. But if He misguides someone, you will find no protector for them to guide them rightly… (Surat al-Kahf, 17)
This verse may be pointing to the importance of Muslims’ homes receiving sunlight. It is very important for a house to receive as much sunlight as possible, as the Sun both sets and rises. This makes it possible to enjoy the positive effects of sunlight, and gives rise to a healthier environment. It may also be indicating the importance of broad and spacious homes. Making living areas as spacious, light and sunny as possible will be pleasurable and restorative for believers.
…But if He misguides someone, you will find no protector for them to guide them rightly. (Surat al-Kahf, 17)
As has already been emphasised, the importance of the path leading to salvation is stressed in this verse. We are told that only people to whom Allah vouchsafes this path will be saved, while those to whom He does not will be rewarded with eternal suffering.
For that reason, we are again reminded that someone describing religious moral values must do so in a calm, patient and moderate manner, and never forget that it is Allah Who will bestow salvation. In one verse Allah reveals: “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing” (Surat al-Baqara, 256). If someone does not react positively to the message communicated and refuses to understand it, then the person communicating it must trust in Allah, and must never pressurise the other party in any way.
You would have supposed them to be awake whereas in fact they were asleep. We moved them to the right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run and have been filled with terror at the sight of them. (Surat al-Kahf: 18)
The reason for this state of sleep the Companions of the Cave are reported to have experienced may be the trust in Allah and security imparted by the knowledge that they are subject to their destiny. Because Allah, Who created the entire universe on the basis of a destiny, also creates all things that take place in such a way as to prove positive for Muslims. In another verse our Lord has revealed: “Allah will not give the unbelievers any way against the believers .” (Surat an-Nisa’,141) This is excellent news for Muslims and a source of great peace. It is a sign that every event that takes place in the world is positive and auspicious for Muslims.
Another reason for this feeling of peace and security experienced by Muslims is the fact that Allah will definitely bestow success on His sincere servants. Believers are told the following in a verse: “Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. ‘They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.’ Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators.” (Surat an-Nur, 55)
As revealed in the above verse, Allah gives His pure servants the glad tidings that He will place them in security no matter what difficulties they may encounter. This is also a reason why, like the Companions of the Cave, modern-day sincere Muslims continue their work in peace.
Moreover, Muslims are very well aware that nothing will befall them unless Allah so wills it, and they live with the peace of mind this imparts. Allah has revealed the determination possessed by believers who have surrendered to Him, have faith in destiny and trust in Him.
Say: ‘Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.’ (Surat at-Tawba, 51).
…and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws…(Surat al-Kahf: 18)
Another matter emphasised in verse 18 of Surat al-Kahf is the affection felt for animals. By referring to the Companions of the Cave’s dog, the verse may be indicating that Muslims may have a guard dog in their gardens for security purposes. The dog is a trustworthy animal, acts in a friendly manner and is loyal to its master. It is sufficiently sensitive to immediately detect danger and its reflexes are very powerful. Therefore, the verse may be an indication that Muslims should first shelter behind Allah and then can obtain a guard dog for their own protection.
As well as for reasons of security, believers also keep animals because of the love and affection they feel for them. The Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) (pbuh) is cited as an example in this regard in the Qur’an. The prophet’s love of horses is described in these terms in verses:
“When swift horses, champing at the bit, were displayed before him in the afternoon, he (Sulayman) said, ‘I have put the love of good things above the remembrance of my Lord until the sun disappeared behind its veil. Return them to me!’ And he set about slashing through their shanks and necks.” (Surah Sad, 31-33)
That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked, ‘How long have you been here?’ They replied, ‘We have been here for a day or part of a day.’ They said, ‘Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution so that no one is aware of you, (Surat al-Kahf, 19)
The verses first indicate the importance of consulting among themselves before coming to a decision regarding events they encounter.
In addition, the verse states that the Companions of the Cave discussed the issue of how long they would stay in the cave. We are told that one of them said, “Your Lord knows best how long you have been here.” The important thing here is that in the face of something that is unclear or inconclusive, believers must immediately say “Allah knows best” and leave the wise and auspicious aspects of the matter to Him. Because only Allah knows hidden matters. For that reason, people debating a matter that they do not know and seeking to find an answer to it, and experiencing the difficulty that this entails, is not submissive behaviour. What matters at that point is the submission to Allah exhibited and the immediate recollection of destiny.
Verse 19 of Surat al-Kahf also contains signs for Muslims. The first of these is for Muslims to ask someone they send shopping to buy clean food, not any foodstuff in particular. The attention that believers pay to the subject of cleanliness is revealed in many verses of the Qur’an. For example, Allah reveals that His envoys made “good things lawful for them and bad things forbidden for them” (Surat al-A’raf, 157). He also tells believers to “purify their clothes” (Surat al-Muddaththir, 4). Some of the verses in the Qur’an that refer to cleanliness read as follows:
“So eat from what Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and be thankful for the blessing of Allah if it is Him you worship” (Surat an-Nahl 114).
“Eat of the good things We have provided for you but do not go to excess in it or My anger will be unleashed on you. Anyone who has My anger unleashed on him has plunged to his ruin” (Surah Taha, 81).
Another subject emphasised in this verse of Surat al-Kahf is that believers prefer the city when it comes to buying food. The reason for this may be that there is a wider range and diversity in cities. The importance of cities is also mentioned in other verses of the Qur’an. For instance, Allah refers to the preaching of the message commencing in the city in Surat al-An’am, verse 92:
“This is a Book We have sent down and blessed, confirming what came before it, so that you can warn the Mother of Cities and the people around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in it and safeguard their prayer .”
Believers are issued another reminder in the verse. This is that believers must always be kind and respectful. This is a requirement of the moral values imparted by Allah in the Qur’an.
There may also be an indication in the story of the cave that Muslims will mainly remain at home in the End Times. The reason for this is in order not to step outside and become a target or draw attention to oneself in this period of terrible corruption when irreligious ideologies are widespread. The verse may also be noting that when necessary, believers will spend long periods in their homes and improve themselves in terms of knowledge and information. Indeed, our Prophet (saas) told those who sought advice about the End Times to remain at home in the words, “…be the brave one of your homes” and “Do not go out of your home!” 4
For if they find out about you they will stone you or make you revert to their religion and then you will never have success.’ (Surat al-Kahf, 20)
The reference to “stone” in the verse is a description of the terrorist character. This character can clearly be seen in people who come under the influence of atheistic ideologies in the present day. For example, terrorists who support communist ideology generally use stones and similar objects to attack state officials and police officers fighting to protect the state, solely out of their enmity towards it. Their purpose is to daunt, to weaken them so as to translate their atheistic ideals into reality and to impose their own systems by inflicting chaos and confusion on their nations.
Once this has been done, their ultimate objective is to turn people loyal to their faith, motherland and nation towards their own ideological systems, which are atheistic, opposed to all moral values and which claim that there must be continual conflict between human beings. To put it another way, their aim is to cause everyone to rebel against the state, to turn them out onto the streets and to set brother against brother. However, it is obvious that anarchist movements will never achieve any results, and that those people who go along with them will never attain salvation. In one verse Allah has revealed that:
“But as for those who break Allah’s contract after it has been agreed and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the earth, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode.” (Surat ar-Ra’d, 25)
For that reason, it is of the greatest importance for people in the End Times to distance themselves from bloody ideologies that inflict nothing but tragedy on the world, from provocative actions carried out by ideologies seeking to prevent people living by religious moral values, to avoid being taken in them and not to line up alongside the corrupt.
Accordingly We made them chance upon them unexpectedly so they might know that Allah’s promise is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour. When they were arguing among themselves about the matter, they said, ‘Wall up their cave, their Lord knows best about them.’ But those who got the better of the argument concerning them said, ‘We will build a place of worship over them.’ (Surat al-Kahf, 21)
This verse makes it clear that Surat al-Kahf contains highly significant indications regarding the portents of Doomsday and the End Times.
The finding of the Companions of the cave may be a sign that good people will join with the good of their own accord, and that even if they are at a great distance from one another they will one day inevitably come together. Allah has revealed this same fact in another verse: “So race each other to the good. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together. Truly Allah has power over all things” (Surat al-Baqara, 148).
The verse also mentions that the Companions of the Cave spoke together on the subject of making a place of worship where they were. It notes that it is highly appropriate for good and trustworthy people to make buildings and masjids (small mosques) in the places where they spend their lives. The aim in this is both to remember loved ones and also, by this means, to turn those areas into places of education and worship. This will enable useful ideas and proper moral values to spread. Such places will be locations where the faithful come together and together remember Allah.
The importance of masjids, and the remembering of Allah alone in them, is stressed in several verses of the Qur’an. Some of these read as follows: “Those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying, ‘Our Lord is Allah’ (if Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, where Allah’s name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him – Allah is All-Strong, Almighty)” (Surat al-Hajj, 40).
“All mosques belong to Allah so do not call on anyone else besides Allah” (Surat al-Jinn, 18).
They will say, ‘There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.’ They will say, ‘There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,’ guessing at the Unseen. And they will say, ‘There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.’ Say: ‘My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.’ So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them. (Surat al-Kahf, 22)
This verse refers to the position of people who speculate as to the number of the Companions of the Cave. It states, however, that the number in question is known only to our Lord, He Who knows hidden things, and that He has revealed it to very few of His servants.
In the continuation of the verse, it is revealed that debate over a matter that is unknown, constantly coming up with new ideas on the subject and engaging in guesswork is wrong. Such debate is referred to as “guessing at the Unseen” . The same expression appears in other verses. In Surah Saba’, for instance, this characteristic of people is revealed in these terms:
“They will say, ‘We believe in it,’ but how can they reach out for it from a distant place when beforehand they had rejected it, shooting forth about the Unseen from a distant place? A barrier will be set up between them and the thing that they desire, just as was done with their kind before. They too were in a state of crippling doubt.” (Surah Saba’, 52-54)
Muslims must avoid this vice that is displeasing to Allah as well as debates and coming up with new ideas on subjects they are unknown. The correct course of action in such situations is to say “Allah knows the truth” and to attach no value to worthless words. Muslims’ response in such situations must be as in another verse: “…You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things…” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 116). Because we are told in several verses of the Qur’an that hidden things are known only to Allah.
One verse, for example, reads: “The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No one knows them but Him. He knows everything in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it. There is no seed in the darkness of the earth, and nothing moist or dry which is not in a Clear Book” (Surat al-An’am, 59).
As the verse makes clear, people’s only basis for producing ideas when such debates take place is popular sayings. It is obvious, however, that no correct conclusion can result from hearsay from the streets, things said by people who have no knowledge of the subject and debates based on interpretations made by someone else. As is revealed in the verse “Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of. Hearing, sight and hearts will all be questioned” (Surat al-Isra’, 36), people must not be misled by groundless accounts they hear from those around them.
The expression, “Those who know about them are very few” in the verse reveals that only a very few people possessed of profound knowledge can know the number in question.
In fact, in the Qur’an, it is revealed that envoys have possessed some knowledge of hidden things through revelation by Allah:
“He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone – except a Messenger with whom He is well pleased, and then He posts sentinels before him and behind him,” (Surat al-Jinn, 26-27)
Allah also bestowed some knowledge of hidden things to our Prophet (saas), and has revealed thus:
This is news of the Unseen which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they decided what to do and devised their scheme. (Surah Yusuf, 102).
Allah revealed to the Prophet Nuh (pbuh) certain events that he would experience in the future thus:
“It was said, ‘Nuh, descend with peace from Us and with blessings on you and on the nations which will issue from those who are with you. But there are nations to whom we will give enjoyment and then a painful punishment from Us will afflict them.’ That is some of the news of the Unseen which We reveal to you. Neither you nor your people knew it before this time. So be steadfast. The best end result is for those who guard evil” (Surah Hud, 48-49).
The expression “except in relation to what is clearly known” in the next part of the verse refers to the kind of debates that are compatible with the Qur’an. In discussing a matter, believers must attach great importance to providing evidence that fits the Qur’an. Those who fail to live by religious moral values, on the other hand, do the exact opposite. Their aim is to spark off argument and thus reveal their hostile attitude to sacred values and believers. In the Qur’an Allah reveals that such people merely cite inappropriate examples, “They retort, ‘Who is better then, our gods or him?’ They only say this to you for argument’s sake...” (Surat az-Zukhruf, 58) The reason for this is stated as being that they are “a indeed disputatious people”. People who live by Qur’anic moral values must therefore avoid all this and behave in a way that is pleasing to Allah. Allah reveals the kind of attitude that believers should adopt when talking to people who do not live by religious moral values by the use of this example:
So call and go straight as you have been ordered to. Do not follow their whims and desires but say, ‘I believe in a Book sent down by Allah and I am ordered to be just between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. We have our actions and you have your actions. There is no debate between us and you. Allah will gather us all together. He is our final destination.’ (Surat Ash-Shura, 15)
“…do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them” at the end of verse 22 of Surat al-Kahf tell us that believers should attach no credence to any information apart from that imparted by way of revelation. Because it is Allah Who knows hidden things. The erroneous opinions based on people’s own information, conjecture and interpretations is of no value to believers. It is therefore forbidden in this verse to attach any importance to words whose origin is uncertain, that travel from mouth to mouth as hearsay, and are ultimately fictitious.
This article refers to various aspects of wisdom in the verses of Surat al-Kahf, as a requirement of the verse “…Remember Allah’s blessing to you and the Book and Wisdom He has sent down to you to admonish you.” (Surat al-Baqara, 231).
However, in addition to containing various pieces of wisdom, reminders and advice, Surat al-Kahf also contains good news for believers. These tidings are that the End Times, a sacred period also revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), are close at hand. Looked at from this perspective, Surat al-Kahf indicates the periods of the dominion of Qur’anic moral values, the beginning and development of which Islam will experience in the End Times and that will conclude with the return of the Prophet ‘Isa (pbuh). Believers who attain the wisdom and profundity demanded by Allah are told of the victory and the global dominion of Qur’anic moral values. This is a period revealed in Surat an-Nur that will, by Allah’s leave, take place:
“Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. ‘They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.’ Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators” (Surat an-Nur, 55).
“Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqim were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs? When the young men took refuge in the cave and said, ‘Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation’.” (Surat al-Kahf, 9-10)
“So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years.” (Surat al-Kahf, 11)
The illustrations show people living under oppression from societies hostile to the faith. This chaos and oppression is a portent of the End Times. However, Muslims know that this difficult period will, by Allah’s leave, come to an end, and live with the enthusiasm that this imparts.
“Then We woke them up again so that we might see which of the two groups would better calculate the time they had stayed there.” (Surat al-Kahf, 12)
“We will relate their story to you with truth. They were young men who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.” (Surat al-Kahf, 13)
“We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination.” (Surat al-Kahf, 14)
“These people of ours have taken gods apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?” (Surat al-Kahf, 15)
One of the best-known evolutionist hoaxes is this skull, known as Piltdown Man. Portrayed as the ancestor of man, the skull was actually revealed to have been made by combining an orangutan jaw with a human skull bone, and the event went down in history as a scientific scandal.
“(We said to them,)When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and open the way to the best for you in your situation’.” (Surat al-Kahf, 16)
“You would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, leaving them behind on the left, while they were lying in an open part of it. That was one of Allah’s Signs. Whoever Allah guides is truly guided. But if He misguides someone, you will find no protector for them to guide them rightly.” (Surat al-Kahf, 17)
“You would have supposed them to be awake whereas in fact they were asleep. We moved them to the right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run and have been filled with terror at the sight of them.” (Surat al-Kahf, 18)
“That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked, ‘How long have you been here?’ They replied, ‘We have been here for a day or part of a day.’ They said, ‘Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution so that no one is aware of you,” (Surat al-Kahf, 19)
“For if they find out about you they will stone you or make you revert to their religion and then you will never have success’.” (Surat al-Kahf, 20)
People influenced by atheistic ideologies regard violence, enmity and rebellion against the state as a solution. This terrorist character inflicts terrible chaos on societies. The only way of preventing these things is to tell people of the fear of Allah.
“Accordingly We made them chance upon them unexpectedly so they might know that Allah’s promise is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour. When they were arguing among themselves about the matter, they said, ‘Wall up their cave, their Lord knows best about them.’ But those who got the better of the argument concerning them said, ‘We will build a place of worship over them’.” (Surat al-Kahf, 21)
“They will say, ‘There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.’ They will say, ‘There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,’ guessing at the Unseen. And they will say, ‘There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.’ Say: ‘My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.’ So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them.” (Surat al-Kahf, 22)
1 Sahih Muslim, v, 1/555; İmam Şa’rani, Death-Doomsday-The Hereafter and the Portents of the End Times, Bedir Publications, p. 479
2 Sunan Abu-Dawud , 5/121
3 Translation of and Commentary on Sunan ibn Maja, Haydar Hatipoğlu, Kahraman Yayınları, vol. 10, p. 321-324
4 Translation of and Commentary on Sunan ibn Maja, Haydar Hatipoğlu, Kahraman Publications, vol. 10, p. 332
5 Imam Sharani , Death-Doomsday-The Hereafter and the Portents of the End Times, Bedir Publications, p. 494