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The People of the Cave
Channel: Mufti Menk
File Size: 16.37MB
This talk mentions about the circumstances in which Surah Kahf was revealed to Prophet Muhammed SAW and the lessons we need to learn from the stories mentioned in this Surah in the form of trial of faith, trial of wealth, trial of knowledge and trial of power. Mufti Menk thereby also addresses how:
•Every single detail in the Quran is of relevance to us in different ways.
•Quran teaches us to emulate the example of Prophet Muhammed SAW.
•To avoid unnecessary debate in order not to loose focus from the message of Allah.
Episode Transcript ©
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Salam Alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh
smilla rahmanir rahim al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil alameen wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Shafi Lambie, mousseline Nabina Muhammad wa ala alihi wa sahbihi wa being a woman tibia humby son Elijah Medina.
I commenced by praising Allah subhanho wa Taala sending blessings and salutations upon Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa sallam, his entire household all his companions May Allah subhanho wa Taala bless them all, and May Allah grant him all goodness and may He bless every single one of us and grant us all goodness as well. I mean,
my brothers and sisters, the Quran, revelation from Allah subhanho wa Taala we all know unquestionable, undeniable, we believe that it is the only book in existence, that the accuracy
is not disputed at all.
And at the same time, we know that the verses of the Quran
Allah subhanho wa Taala has not revealed that which is unnecessary, that which has no lesson in it. That which is just a waste of time Allah forbid.
So every single detail of the Quran is of relevance in our lives
in different ways.
If Allah subhanho wa Taala has revealed a story
we should understand that one of the most important
issues concerning the stories narrated and related in the Quran
is the fact that we are to draw lessons from these stories. As Allah Subhana Allah to Allah says in Surah Yusuf
after having made mention of the most beautiful of stories, and that is the story of the Prophet Joseph May peace be upon him. Allah says la cada Cana v kasasa him Eva Tony Alva, Mancha Anna howdy
da, indeed in their stories, which means in the stories of the previous messengers of those of a long time ago, there are lessons for those with sound intellect, and Allah subhanho wa Taala is making it clear. He says these are not just fabrications, they are not just tails. It is not something that was narrated without purpose.
So, to name an entire chapter of the Quran, after a group of people
or a story shows the relevance of that group or the story. And this surah is none other than surah till calf. I'm sure we all hear that it is important to read the surah on a Friday Have you heard that before? surah will calf according to one of the narrations of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam.
Surah will calf is to be read on a Friday it does not mean you should not read it on another day. No Does it mean that you should not read the rest of the Quran. But it shows the importance of this beautiful Surah Al calf referring to the cave and our little calf or as hobble calf, the people of the cave. So what is this cave all about?
This cave has a beautiful story behind it.
Or about it. It's such a beautiful story that Allah subhanho wa Taala makes mention of it at the beginning of the surah just a few verses into the surah and Allah says Allah subhanho wa Taala speaks about the calf and has he beta and
caffeine rotting can mean i a Tina Jabba is one fifth year to Ellen calf, Allah speaks about the cave, and he tells us the story of the people of the cave, those young people who sought refuge in the cave so what were they seeking refuge from? It is reported in the books of Tafseer and history that there was a tyrant
and a lot of polytheism was taking place at that time. People believed in worshipped
or worshipped deities besides Allah subhanho wa Taala and had weird beliefs.
And there was a group of young men
who questioned elders. And they asked each other, and they asked their community leaders, what is it that you are believing? What is it that you are worshiping? How can you worship deities besides your own maker? If really, you are sensible people, you would only worship the one who made you. Obviously, that makes sense. You would only worship the one who made you. And so they began to question they began to ask, and they were being harassed, persecuted as a result.
They decided, you know, let's pray to Allah subhanho wa Taala, for help and guidance. So they asked Allah Subhana Allah to Allah to help them to guide them to show them away, to protect them from the evil of society and community.
And so Allah subhanho wa Taala records this dua in this beautiful surah right at the beginning, when I say the beginning, I mean, the first story that is being made mention of in this beautiful surah and there are several stories in the surah it's not just the story of the people of the cave.
So they asked Allah subhanho wa Taala
and they said, robina Dena mila
karasuma what Hi, Lana mean Amina.
Oh, our up,
grant us from you. Mercy, have mercy on us.
And make easy for us our affairs, the affairs of righteousness and goodness, that which is correct and upright. So Allah subhanho wa Taala says in that cave, that the group of men decided or young men decided to get together.
A lot caused them to fall asleep. They fell asleep.
If you and I are really tired, how many hours would we sleep for?
Perhaps six hours. Some of you might say eight, some might say nine.
And some of the new generation might say 12.
May Allah subhanho wa Taala guide us? May he helped us. So we would sleep perhaps 12 hours after that, can you sleep any longer, you would need pills and you would need perhaps artificial methods of making you prolong your sleep.
But with these young men, they fell off to sleep in such a way that Allah records it in the Quran.
They were asleep for more than 300 years.
Imagine not three hours, three months, three days, no three days, three months, no three years, no 30 years, 300 years, there was a tyrant ruler
when they had got into the cave
at that particular time and when they got up,
we'll find out in a few moments what exactly happened. But while they were asleep,
Allah subhana wa Taala preserved them protected them in a unique way. So the sunrise and sunset was such that it did not pay us or the rays of the sun did not fall upon them
to affect their skin or to affect their bodies in any way. It rose in the right setting in the left. And at the same time they moved in their sleep or according to some narrations their eyes were opened.
And other narrations make mention of the fact that they they moved tossed in turn because if a person doesn't move at all for 300 years, what would happen?
Allah knows perhaps they might, you know be
bugs or the insects and so on. Their bodies will be affected definitely.
And so Subhanallah they moved. And Allah subhanho wa Taala says, if anyone had seen them in that condition,
they would have ran away.
They would have run away.
Because imagine if you see someone sleeping and their eyes are wide open and they moving and you're looking at them, and they fast asleep, what would happen?
So Allah says lewith, para la, la, la la la,
la la. Have you seen them? Had you looked at them, you would have run away from them?
Because it would be scary.
Now let's pause there for a moment and draw a lesson or two.
Firstly, the concern
the concern of these youth, they were asking questions, how many of us ask questions, it's very important today, for example, you listen to something online, it sounds very enticing, very attractive.
But you need to ask questions. Is this right? What I heard? Is it substantiated? Is it correct? Go and ask real people that you know what it's all about, so that you will be protected.
You'll be protected from what? From wrong information, misinformation, or sometimes a deviant path that might be seemingly attractive. May Allah subhanho wa Taala protect us. There is a lot of intolerance being promoted online, for example, a lot of extremism that is being promoted on the internet. And this is why we say learn to ask questions. Learn to ask those whom you know, with knowledge.
Learn to look at the adults, the older people, those who have knowledge, the senior scholars and ask them find out before you fall into the traps of the devil. It's a point we learn from the people of the cave. They asked questions.
And they were not satisfied until they received the correct answers. And when they didn't receive answers, they went into
the mode where they began to meditate or they began to ponder over solutions, just like Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam at a certain stage in his life when he was about 40 years old. He used to frequent the Cave of Hara, what did he used to do there? He used to ponder he used to meditate reflect over the evil condition of the people of Croatia at the time, and solutions. And this is when revelation came to him later on. As for the people of the cave, they were a group of people.
they were like minded people, you know, one of them durations is very interesting. It makes mention of how
they did not know each other. According to one of the narrations in Nicosia. Rahmatullah. Allah has made mention of it. He says, they did not know each other. And they arrived at the same cave and met each other there. And they had the same purpose. Which means if these were all separated people who were concerned about the same matters and issues, and each one of them thought, you know, what the safest place for me is to go into seclusion. So let me go to a specific place. So one goes and he sees the other and the third, and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth and the seventh, there is a discrepancy as to their exact number. And we'll get to that in a few moments in Sharla. But at the
end of the day, whether they knew each other or not, is besides the point, the reality is, they got to meet like minded people. And I want to raise a very interesting point from that. And that is, the company you keep, will make you or break you, your friends, the friends you have should be people who are like minded
people who guide you, people who are equally concerned about being upright, about serving humanity serving Allah subhanho wa Taala, through the service of the creation of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And what does that mean? I'm serving Allah by giving out to charity, I'm serving Allah by being courteous, I'm saving Allah by developing my character, and all these are being kind and good to the rest of the creatures of Allah subhanho wa Taala.
So yes, and I want to serve Allah by directly worshiping Allah subhanho wa Taala. So I will worship none besides Allah subhanho wa Taala. And at the same time, I will follow the footsteps of those who were sent to me by Allah subhanho wa Taala to teach me what I should be doing and what I should not be doing.
So the company you keep is very, very important. A lot of young people are led astray by those who are their friends, they accompany companions.
And there are so many examples of those who have learned something good, those who have been encouraged
to visit the masjid or to fulfill Salah or to dress appropriately
or to fulfill any other obligations or to abstain from prohibitions because of their friends. When the friends do the same. We find it easier to follow.
This is a beautiful example that we learn from these young men.
And this beautiful story
continues, these people had taken with them their dog.
Now one might ask, why did they take their dog? The truth is, I don't know.
But I do know that Allah subhanho wa Taala has raised very important issues in the same surah
very important issues.
And one of these issues is the debates surrounding the people of the cave.
Do you know that later on, obviously, this was at the time of Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam if you go back to the reasons of revelation of surah, to calf or the story of the people of the cave, you will find that the Jewish people in Madina munawwara had asked the Prophet peace be upon him. They asked him a few questions. And one of them was, we want to know about the people who had gone away for a long time. If you're really a prophet, tell us if you really get revelation from Allah subhanho wa Taala tell us, we want to know the story.
So Allah subhanho wa Taala revealed to Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam the story. But then came the debate, what was the debate? The debate has been there.
From the time This story was initially revealed, in the Old Testament, and even before
when the Jews had asked a question, regarding the color of the dog of the people of the cave, What color was the dog?
So some said it was light in color, some say no, it was dark in color, and a huge dispute occurred. This is a very, very important point.
They were debating debating about what debating about the color of the dog.
Like it's going to change the story.
And then the debate that is made mention of in the Quran is how many with these youngsters we want to know. So some say Oh, they were they were they were three and the fourth was the dog. And some say no, they were four
or five, the sixth was the dog.
And some say no, no, no, they were seven the eighth was the dog. Huge dispute argument. Allah doesn't tell us the answer.
Do you know why it's irrelevant. So what even if there were 80 of them? What is of essence is the lesson
there is a debate also where these people before Jesus or after Jesus debate whether they will before or after, it doesn't really cut any ice so to speak.
With these people in Rome or in Palestine debate argument, while he these are arguments made mention of
we exactly where they are. And this is why a lot of countries boast this leavers cave, have you seen that? You go to Turkey, they show it to you. You go to Egypt, they show it to you, you go to a sham they show it to you. So where exactly were they? Well, that's the point being raised no matter where they were. It's the lesson.
What do we have to learn from this powerful point?
We as Muslims mean sometimes debate about unnecessary matters, and we lose focus upon the main goal. And we don't realize that we are in actual fact causing harm to the oma because we are fighting over petits things that are irrelevant. small matters. You know, I raised my finger this way, or that way, or I make a circle in Salah or I don't and that's it. This guy is he belongs to a deviant sex. That's it, why his finger?
It's reality. These are the type of arguments these are the type of debates that we have that which means nothing. Let's talk about the essence, the most important thing, are you worshiping Allah alone? That's a question we can we can ask. And that is an answer that we have to give. Are you really following this prophet of Allah? subhanho? wa Taala? That's an important question, because I say La Isla Illallah. Muhammad
Rasulullah. What a beautiful statement. What did I say? I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides Allah. So the primary question is, do I worship Allah alone? That's what we talked about.
And I say, Mohammed, peace be upon him is the messenger, the one, what's the meaning of a messenger? Someone who came to us with a message. That's what it means. If I say this guy is that guy's messenger, that means he's just a messenger. He came and he delivered some mail, for example. So you open the envelope and you see what exactly is there. And you know, this message is actually from someone who has employed the messenger in the case of Allah. It's
Not the issue of employment and so on. It is the issue of Nobu Prophethood and this is why it is called a reseller. It's the message, the message the messengers duty is to deliver the message I declare that I will worship Allah alone. That's that's how I can enter the fold of Islam. So if I don't do that I exit the fold of Islam we follow.
And at the same time, if I say he is a messenger will bring the message, I want to see the message Subhana Allah
I want to see the message What is the message here is the Quran revealed here is the Sunnah of Mohammed Salah Salem the Quran teaches you that you must emulate the example because this messenger is unique, he has come to you conforming to that which Allah has revealed. Amazing, it's actually a gift of Allah subhanho wa Taala something unique, Allah subhanho wa Taala has given us a man to show us how to adopt the instruction of Allah subhanho wa Taala Imagine if an angel had come and the angel was fulfilling Salah A lot of us would say well, that's an angel, we can't prove we cannot fulfill that Salah if the angel came, and for example taught us how to do and how to sleep and how
to get up and how to talk we would just have an excuse to say you know what the is an angel to this day, people say well, he was not a prophet. That's not an excuse. Allah says we have sent him down as a beautiful example to emulate to follow to copy Subhan Allah you know with us, especially with the sisters, someone makes a beautiful cake and they asked you can I please have the recipe you know?
cannot have it cannot
you know it's a somewhat you just say look, you know what, that's my own secret. We don't want not allowed to copy someone makes something invent something. And we say no copyrights reserved if no one can copy, but the most beautiful of gifts ever.
That is the Quran the Sunnah when Mohammed Salah Salam did something, it became an act of worship to copy it. Copy it exactly as is no one's going to tell you a copyright because why? In fact, you have to copy that's the only way out.
May Allah help us so let's learn to smile because he smiled. Let's copy that smile Mashallah.
So this is the concern that we have, but to fight over petty items I learned from the story of the people of the cave, and Allah subhanho wa Taala says they ask questions. One of the questions, say a colonna salata, turabian some people will say, oh, three, the fourth was the dog, some will say no, five, the sixth was the dog and so on. And Allah says, Hola, me, llamo Benedetti, him.
Say that my Rob knows the exact figure how many they were, Allah knows for you and I, it's irrelevant. And from this we learn that matters of the unseen my brothers and sisters. We cannot accept them from anyone and everyone. We need to take them from Allah. We start where Allah starts and we stop where Allah stops without wanting to know more, because Allah kept it unseen. People want to know every detail. Okay? So like I said, was the dog sitting with its legs stretched towards the front or the back? A question.
Even if we knew the answer, how did it change the story? These are details that are absolutely irrelevant. You know, and voila, he This is a crisis we face in the oma today. People want to know, fine details. I recall.
A few years back, I witnessed two kids,
little children talking to each other. And I began to laugh because one says no, your hair is combed wrong. This is why he says you see my mother combs it and I've got this path here on the side. And yours is in the middle. Yours is wrong. And this guy says no, my mom is right. Yours is wrong. And I'm laughing at it. And I thought to myself that's what we do as an Akuma that's what these are kids children fighting about Hey, and they are fighting about here because each one thinks his mother is it you know, Mashallah.
And each one things my mother can never be wrong but they don't realize it's just a hairstyle you come this way the other one come that way. One come to the side, one come to the back. Big deal. It doesn't make you an ape. May Allah protect us.
Although there are some new hairstyles that one might argue that they look more like apes madula protect us.
But the point is made that look we need to ask Allah subhanho wa Taala for guidance and let's concentrate on major matters, matters of learning, while debating about a finger and the hand
We have lost track of the fact that perhaps we might not even be following the example of the process alone at all. We might be, we might not even be worshiping Allah subhanho wa Taala correctly.
We have major matters, we treat each other in a way that is not befitting the Muslim Ummah, we doubt each other we backbite we gossip, we slander, we hate, we are jealous of we create problems, not realizing that Islam is the opposite of all that we should be resolving crises, we should be creating ease in the lives of others and so on.
So Allah subhanho wa Taala guides us through a beautiful story. And then Allah subhanho wa Taala says, these young people,
when they got up, they asked the question, how long have we stayed here? How long have we stayed here? And the one reply is saying I think that they are a part of a day because obviously initially when you go off to swing, you fall off to sleep, and you get up, you know that it can't be more than a day. It won't be more than 24 hours, it should be part of a date. But things are looking a little bit messy here. Because obviously their clothing tatty or, you know, old creased, and so on.
They looked at each other, it took them short time, very quickly, they realized, you know, there's something amiss, something wrong here.
And so they knew that there was a tyrant ruler outside. And in this cave, they had sought refuge. And now they had, they were hungry, they required a little bit of food. And so they sent the one with some of the currency they had. And they said, Look, go into the city, be careful.
Come back with good food.
Come back with that which is good, pure. And what will happen?
Make sure that they don't recognize you, they might
They might engage in their persecution once again. So Allah subhanho wa Taala makes mention of this again in Surah Al Kahf, amazing. And Allah subhanho wa Taala says, when this young man went, he was recognized by the people because his clothing is of an age 300 years back, imagine if you were to take the clothing that was worn
30 years back,
you would recognize this person is from the 60s I think our kids tell us that sometimes dad you living in the 60s man. And I tell my son, you weren't even there to know what the 60s was all about. You know, if we go back to the early 1900s, you might find the Victorian era with the dress code. If they had to dress that way, they would all look like Muslims Subhanallah
it changes with the changing of time. So three entirely centuries later.
309 years Allah subhanho wa Taala says 300 years and we we increased it by nine.
You know I read something interesting about it. They say when the story is made mention of in the Old Testaments, the 300 years is made mention of and in the Quran, it says 300 years, and we added nine.
So one of the interesting points is the difference between the solar and the lunar years.
If you take a look at 300 years,
according to the solar calendar, or should I say today's maybe Gregorian calendar,
and you were to convert it into lunar years, you would get exactly 309 for every 35 years, you add a year.
So 300 years, you add nine years. So that's the beauty or one of the points that some have raised, whether it's actually relevant or not, is besides the point, it's just something interesting. It's an interesting point. So 309 is 300 plus the nine, and that nine would convert a solar to a lunar year.
But after such a long time, the currency that was brought out in order to pay for the food was something totally different. So when they were known, they were brought forth and now they were surprised to see that in this time, the ruler had changed the situation and condition and changed. People were worshipping Allah, and they were good people around and they came back and lived as a miracle in society. These are the people who were given life.
Literally after death, they were asleep for 309 years and look at them today. They are awake, they are alive. This is a gift of Allah it shows the power of Allah subhanho wa Taala.
But how many of us are prepared to sacrifice how many of us are prepared to set
If I see even in the smallest way to learn the deen to put it into practice, to convey to others to be able to pass the the torch down to the next generations to be able to have this beautiful concern for the oma,
my brothers and sisters, I've just made mention of a portion of this beautiful story, Mashallah my colleague will will take over and he will continue with more lessons, I hope that we've seen that a lot of the debates connected to the finer details of the people of the cave are actually irrelevant. And the answers are not given by Allah subhanho wa Taala or Rasulullah sallallahu sallam. So whatever we read, regarding the finer details, a lot of it is questionable. And the point being raised is that do not waste your life arguing about petits small matters and items fighting over things that are really irrelevant, whether it is in your home, whether it is in your community,
society or as an oma at large or even humanity at large. Imagine people are dying across the globe, and we are busy arguing about
some small matter. May Allah subhanho wa Taala, forgive us. May Allah bless us. Just a quick point before I close,
the surah has in it.
A few lessons like I said, it's not just the story of the people of the cave in this beautiful surah. But this story of the people of the cave, is the first thereafter Allah has made mention of the people of the garden, or the man of the garden, the man who was bestowed by Allah subhanho wa Taala was so much
and he related it to himself. He said this I've been given because of myself.
And this is the test of wealth.
And he was corrected by his friend to say no, when you have been given something, remember that it's from Allah. The lesson we learn from this, my brothers and sisters, no matter what you have, intellect, wealth, qualifications, degrees, position, children, whatever you have, related to Allah understand how insignificant man is in comparison to Allah subhanho wa Taala we are totally insignificant when we leave, we leave with absolutely nothing.
And then you have the story of Musa or Moses May peace be upon him. Musa alayhis salam and the hidden that is made mention of in Surah Toluca, what a beautiful story. It's important for you to read it.
The test of knowledge, when Allah subhanho wa Taala is showing the Prophet Musa alayhis salam that if we want, we can give pockets of knowledge,
to whomsoever we wish. And you know the story when
I was going with Musa alayhis salam, and he did certain things that Musa alayhis salam did not understand. And he says I've been given some knowledge by Allah subhanho wa Taala. So that's the test of knowledge, no matter what you know, my brothers and sisters, someone will have more knowledge than you
will fall Kaku Levy, a min haleem. Above all those with knowledge is the one who has supreme knowledge, Allah subhanho wa Taala.
So it's like a hierarchy, you have those with knowledge. And then you have those with more and those with more, and some might have knowledge of certain matters and not knowledge of the others. So we bring them together. And above all, we have a lolly, the one who has absolutely all the knowledge that Allah subhanho wa Taala.
And then we have the story of
little Carmen. Towards the end of the surah. Allah makes mention of the test of power, authority. He was a powerful ruler, but he was just
he was just no matter what position you have, whether it's in the home, the authority you have over, perhaps those who are, you know your children and so on, never abused that authority, even at your workplace, fulfill your role. Don't abuse your authority, make sure that you have
fulfilled what you are supposed to be fulfilling.
Even if Allah Subhana Allah Allah has blessed you with such authority that you become a ruler of a nation.
Or you become the CEO of a huge company. Don't let that make you arrogant. He who raised you can drop you
when you are high above make sure
that you serve the people.
Bearing in mind the duties upon you by Allah subhanho wa Taala.
How beautiful is the example of he or she who has been placed in some form of authority yet they understand their humbleness in front of Allah. they fulfill their prayers. they fulfill their obligations unto Allah. They
Humble they understand that they are just a human being. May Allah Subhana Allah Allah bless us. So these are just some of the examples, some of the lessons that we draw from this beautiful story as well as the surah itself. May Allah subhanahu wa t Allah grant us all goodness, may Allah bless us all are sallallahu wasallam albaraka Allah Nabina Muhammad