Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
Surah Al Kahf in-depth
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alameen wa Salatu was Salam O Allah Ashraf al anbiya wa Sallim wa ala alihi wa sahbihi mama bad for Billahi min ash shaytani r rajim Bismillah Ar Rahman AR Rahim what is called a masala Fatah hula aloha mahalo rainy I'm Leah hakuba rubbish at the southern US silly Emery orchidectomy listening of Coco de la masa, LTV La ilaha illallah wa lahoma, Jimena Latina, Amina, Amina Sally heart, whatever. So we'll help, whatever so the subject I mean, yeah, but it means that once again, everybody Somali Kumara. So like Ricardo,
what I'm going to do today, inshallah is a little bit unique. It's, I'm going to be going through some of my notes that were, that are also done in collaboration with a student of mine, my celebrity students, Sharif
rinda, who's, who studies Near Eastern traditions and their relationship with the Islamic tradition. So a lot of times the stories that are mentioned in the Quran, were familiar with the stories as they are in the Quran. But are there other cultures, other traditions that have similar stories, and parallels, and this is important to understand, especially, you know, when we're teaching Islam in the West, because the point of view that people have that study Islam, not non Muslims, that study Islam is very different from our point of view, right? I don't agree with their point of view, but I have to understand their point of view. So here's their point of view, their point of view,
obviously, is that a fraud is not the book of Allah. Let's start with that. That is not their point of view. their point of view is that the Quran is a mix of different kinds of folklore and traditions and stories, and that the prophets I saw them, of course, said them he's not a prophet, is just a very creative person, right? Who's taking bits and pieces from all these different traditions and stories and meshing them together. Right. So one of the most interesting
peculiarities in western studies into the Quran is actually the story of Musa and
the story, of course, but that is not mentioned by name in the in the Quran is mentioned in the Hadith, of the Prophet sallallahu sallam. But the story itself and the journey and what occurs in the journey, all of this is very fascinating to them. Because in Jewish tradition, of course, the Jewish tradition has a lot more on Moosa than the Quran does, right? Therefore, four out of the five books of the Old Testament are dedicated just to Moses. Right, but they have nothing of this, there is no mention of any journey, any person named COVID, or anywhere remotely, that close. So what that makes them say is, well, this must be a confusion of the Muslims, of the early creative writers of
the Quran, etc, etc. That's how they kind of mesh it together. And what they say is this actually has to do with the story of Gilgamesh and some other other previous legends, which in which there is a fish that goes off into the sea. So they'll see parallels that have been mentioned in other folklore somewhere and say, since there's a parallel, this must have been borrowed from that other legend, or that other story, right? And that's the formula. And it sounds very convincing to somebody who
it's actually not First of all, it's not convincing. All it is, is speculation, at the end of the day speculation that, look, I found another story in a completely different, you know, book somewhere, a mythical text somewhere that has similar elements to the story that's in the Quran, that must mean that the story in the Quran was inspired from over there. Okay? our take on this, of course, begins with the fact that we're not looking to prove that the Quran is the word of a love, of course, the word of Allah is, in and of itself moving in and of itself being it's actually self evident to us. Right? And we are studying the Quran, you're studying the Quran as believers begins
with the assumption that this is the perfect word of Allah. And it's the Absolute Truth. That's what it begins with. So we're even though it's peculiar that these parallels may be found. The only way we think about it actually is that a lot as the origin speaks absolute truth. And he, like he said in the beginning of the story, everything, like he says in the beginning of the story, even when he was telling the story of the people of the cave, national local Swan Lake and about a humble Hulk, in the home theater, an AMA nobilo be him was it now Hamada, we're going to tell you the story accurately. Allah says he's going to tell it accurately and purposefully, have also means
purposefully, okay? And also have means he's the only one who has the right to tell the story accurately and purposefully. Now that he's established that precedent, every other story he is going to tell. It says though, he's the only one who has the right to tell it as if to say others don't really know what happened. Or nobody else really knows what happened only Allah azza wa jal does, which is a unique feature of the surah because all of the stories mentioned in this surah have a have an atmosphere and air of ambiguity. You don't really know everything. Right? And it reinforces the idea that only a lot of truly knows everything, and you're going to have to relegate that trust
before Allah bow
What I'm going to do today inshallah is share some things with you from my notes about how this story is paralleled with other stories in the same surah and how themes are being built, how some of the themes are being built. So even though inshallah we'll do one more run of the story, later on, I'm just going to run through these dry notes in Sharla. So the story obviously centers around Musashi Sam, there are similar elements found in Christian literature from Alexander romance and other nearest Eastern lore.
But it is completely new from them. So some people's theory is that the Quran takes bits and pieces from these other places, and then makes a new story altogether. By the way, this happens with Musa alayhis salaam in particular several times in the Quran. So musala Islam in certain causes, a lot of talks about when his when, when Pharaoh was making fun of him, he called his general Harmon and he said, you know, build me a tower. Build me you know, largely I'm local as Bob as Baba somewhat. So, you know, K, K Italia Illa Illa he Moosa.
I want to leave, I'm going to reach the God of Moses, because the idea was well, Moosa went to a mountain, and spoke to a flame. And through the flame, he spoke to God, so why don't you build me a fire, and a tower and I'll make my own mountain, and I'll go up there and talk to God myself. I don't need to go to Moses mountain, I can make my own. I have that kind of cloud. Ironically, the pyramids also shaped like mountains. Right? But anyway, so he was being used mocking. Of course, this isn't found in Jewish literature. This claim that the Pharaoh said build me a tower is not found in Jewish literature, except it's found in a completely different story. In the book of
Xerxes, the Astor actually a kingdom Xerxes, the The Legend of the story is called the Tower of Babel, you may have heard the term, the Tower of Babel under the tower Tower of Babel, right? And that's where the king says, build me a tower, I want to go speak to God. So then they claim Well, you know, obviously, this man meaning Mohammed, we say Sol, Allahu, Allahu Allah, they don't confuse the two stories together, jumbled them together. And that's how these kinds of claims are made. And this is a very standard approach to studying Islam in the West. Okay. I personally am not shaken by it at all. I find it funny.
Because Allah tells the stories accurately and obviously he established that there are things that we're never going to know and only Allah which is critical. So where are these parting of the season? Whoo hoo, hoo, is this young man with some, you know, you shall Some say, right under his thumb that are both profits and that the meat killer which comes in the Hadith, of the prophet SAW Selim, but anyway, what's one of the first interesting thing that sticks out is Kala Musashi Fatah Who? masala some such as young man to his young lad. And this is not the first time fifth year or youth is coming up in the surah. Where did they come up before?
Oh, so you have in the beginning, young people that have no mentors, they just have each other. And by contrast, now you have young people that are on a quest, or a young person who has a mentor who has someone guiding him, and he's taking instructions from right so it's actually pretty interesting that both of those scenarios are highlighted. You'll notice also a parallel in that in the first case, young people are fleeing. They're fleeing from something. And in this case, these two are running towards something. They're not getting away from something they're they're heading towards something. Anyhow.
La blah, blah, blah, rain on the hook, but I will not I will continue I won't stop until I reach
the meeting, the part the meeting place of the two C's, or I spend ages doing so right there's so he's very committed to reaching this place. This is interesting because there is no mention of the words insha Allah
and we've already established very recently in the surah Lata Hola, nakulan Alicia in any final Malika rodden illa Anisha Allah right. So does he reached this place? Yeah. Does he pass the place? Yeah. So and then later on, he actually recognizes it. So every time he speaks his strategy in sha Allah sabalan. So inshallah actually then then comes back. And of course, you'll also notice that before I mentioned when the idea of inshallah came, Allah said was called Rebecca, the seed venture mentioned your rub, when you forget, and you will find in this story nesea who Tahoma they forgot the fish. For Indian acetal food, I forgot the fish, and they both forgot their fish. So forgetting
and then being reminded later on, right? that's actually something and then of course, even as the story progresses, the instruction was one instruction. Don't ask me anything. What does musala salaam keep doing? forgetting not to ask a Vb mondesi to hold me to account for what I forgot. So forgetting and remembering and inshallah a theme already established in the Surah Now recurs and is reinforced in a completely fresh light, right? The word Alba rain could be a reference to will moon, which is modern baclayon actually
It's possible that it's a reference to that in Mesopotamia pertanian tradition, especially in the story of Gilgamesh which is whatever altar story there is, it actually refers to the place that is actually literally called unbuckling nowadays.
Now for llama
kalama Bella was known know, I'm missing it bla bla bla ba ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, Nessie Yahoo. Tahoma bueno when the CFO toma de la COVID de Sala the word balance
which is to reach interestingly creates an anchor to reach somewhere because in the next story, which is a story of little cullinane you're going to find Bella again. So what Allah does in this story, not only are there parallels to previous stories by by the words of love chooses fifth Fatah, right, there's an anchor mean they can indicia and there's an anchor made something established with the previous story but what also going to is going to happen with the next story is that allows oh it's a little mentioned where local been reached, where he reached wherever he reached and now again reaching is being mentioned right
that's a side note but in the Alexander romance, Gilgamesh and all these other stories, the fish is very important and whatever Arab Arabic was translated the word hood was used there to
another interesting thing in this particular story,
is the word Sabine. What the what the Hadassah Bella, who is Bahia Jabba Saba, right? So we'll and you'll find the word Seville make its way again in the story of the codename. It's going to be mentioned again. So these anchors are important because they create a kind of a connection. inshallah, when we do get to the story of local nine, then we'll revisit wherever Seville used in the story of Musa and we're Seville being used in the story of la cadena. What could possibly tie these two things together, because by using these words a lot literally ties things together, he connects words that are the same and builds those bonds in our mind. Right? For llama, Java. califa
tahu atina, Hoda, Anna, when they passed it, he said to his young lad, give us our food. We you know, we're exhausted from our journey. Look at Latina and safarinow has an interesting parallel to the first story is their hunger and getting food in the first story also
isn't there? The young people get hungry when they wake up. And then they say, and by the way, the miraculous thing happened to them, and they didn't realize it. And then they said bring us food. And in this story, a miraculous thing has happened. They actually passed the place were supposed to pass and when they were passing it a fish jumped out of the thing. And it did happen. And they didn't realize it and then they got hungry later and asked for food. So there's actually a direct parallel between the story of the people of the cave and the story of Masada, Islam in that sense also.
Lacan Latina Mensa Farina Saba.
Interestingly, also, not only did the young people when they when they actually pursued the food is when the story moves forward.
And here, it's when they go in back in pursuit of the food, which is the fish that ran off. That's when the story moves forward and everything unravels, things become clear.
Also an interesting parallel in a well fit here to alcohol. What does that mean when the young people in the story of alcohol, the cave, the youth of the cave, when they took refuge into the cave, and here away nyla Sakura. They took refuge towards a boulder. So there's another parallel, they're taking refuge there and they're taking refuge here.
One of the most interesting things here is what Taka Sabina who fell back on Java
You know, it took its path in the sea in a strange way or Japan. This is not the first time Japan is used in the surah.
Allah xojo says cipta and knows how Belka fever rocky mc luminati da, Javelin Allah does miracles for young people. And it's not something out of the ordinary for him. Did you really think it's that strange? And now allows always showing not only when people are fleeing persecution, like young people standing up for their faith, fleeing persecution impossible odds, they don't know where to escape, lol miraculously ate them. And it's not a big deal for a lot. Now in a completely different context, not running away from something, something running towards something now they were running away from persecution, what are Musashi Suleiman is young assistant running towards one of the
journey tours college. And when you're running towards knowledge, the beautiful theme is when you're running towards knowledge, then Allah will open miraculous doors for you.
And it's not very strange for Allah to do. Amazing things will happen when you pursue that journey. So young people are described in these two very different circumstances. This young lad, you know, in the beginning of the story, running away from bad things in here running towards a good thing and then both miraculous things are happening for them. So panela so the word Archer but makes another
appearance, then color rally kumbhakarna gnabry falta de la casa de la casa
that is what we were pursuing. And so they retrace their steps retrace their steps and the word for their retracing their there's previously left steps is alpha
alpha is Assad making its way the first time into the surah? No further Fernanda enough sakala I sorry, him, Are you gonna kill you kill yourself in grief over the artha. Now, it's amazing that on the one hand, a lot of talks about people that that believe Allah has a son.
Right, and they say this modular home bohemian,
they have no knowledge of this. So what they leave behind the live a life that is based on something that is no knowledge, there is no knowledge. And so they leave steps behind. And now there are people who are learning, they're on their path to learning. They also leave steps behind. And sometimes as a student, you will make mistakes, and you'll have to retrace your steps, which is amazing. When you're alive, you can still take back the steps you made. Once you're dead, you know the steps that people have taken the ramifications of it can't be undone. But while you're still alive, you can actually retrace your steps, you can go back and undo the damage you may have done,
there's still hope for you. Right so but the Christians had a huge role in our call to attack attack of Allahu Allah did you know those who have already said Allah has taken us and they've established that precedent of what our tradition they have left behind them all the ruin that's coming their way. Are you gonna kill yourself in grief over the destruction that's come as a result, that's on the one hand, it's too late. And on the other hand, you've got two people who realize they crossed the line, they shouldn't have crossed, they went too far. And they had to come back. So the word I thought is actually playing on that theme. So panela just by its recurrence, for whatever the
abdomen Medina Tina, who I met him in Indiana, so beautiful. They both found us one of our slaves, who we had given a lot of a special Rama from if you go back to the first first story robina attina mendonca Rama pastor give us especially on your behalf, give us some kind of special mercy and care. And now almost in the same wording. atina hora de Mina Indira we are given to him or her that comes especially from us, what Allah is teaching us again is Allah decides who he gives us to, it only comes from him. If you have a good life, if you have knowledge, if you have the reputation, like let me put this in perspective, is that actually I mentioned this in the hope I gave a couple of weeks
ago, is so awkward man, I was giving a hookah I was about to give a call by went to this machine for the first time in Toronto, and they decided to do like a full on introduction of how honored they are that I'm there. And it was so awkward. So no one is extremely knowledgeable. He
was just making us the heart of the lightning doesn't strike because this is a place we're only allowed to be glorified.
There are no need for introductions. And so I decided I changed my football together.
Because it was so bad.
I mean, I did it did it out of love, I acknowledge that I'm not hating on them, or whatever. They did it out of love. But I felt the need to remind myself and others Musashi saddam is actually the most knowledgeable human being at the time. He is. And I told you before, when people ask them, you are the one who have the people are the most knowledgeable, or who knows more. He has sometimes you have to put students in their place. He wasn't saying that out of arrogance. But when you're dealing with dumb students, then the teacher has to say, Listen, I know more than you shut up. There are times where you have to do that. Or are you the teacher? Now? You have to do that sometimes as soon
as they're getting out of hand. And of course the students are. So I mean, they kinda have a history of getting out of line a little bit with profits. And they've been with him for a long time. And then they ask what question who's more knowledgeable? Oh my god. It's a slob. What would you ask that idiotic question? What would you ask that? This is not these people are clearly obnoxious in the way they're asking that question. masari somewhat similar place that's not the point. The point is, Allah makes him travel to meet prison.
And this person has not received a lot. This person, whoever he is, has not received the revelation that musala Islam has received has given him some knowledge. And clearly, from from an Islamic perspective, the most inspirational figure in the Quran most mentioned, most talked about most revered most repeated is Ooh, those are Lisa. And so to us, he is one of the biggest teachers in history.
And now we're learning the story in which that teacher becomes a student yes or no.
So if musala Islam in the Quran is the great teacher.
And now we're learning even he has a teacher.
The amount of reverence we have for Musa alayhis salam is actually dwarfed by the amount of reverence we're supposed to have for someone who Allah considers even Moses teacher.
And so how should this amazing honor I mean, incredibly knowledgeable human being that the, you know Colima la Musab should go learn from him.
Man musala salaam has the opportunity to speak to a lot directly
and he should go learn from him and lessons will understand the status of the person he's about to go meet. Right? And then once you understand that,
figure how Allah describes him
and then military body now
that's the description in the Quran. Okay, there are some, some slave from among our slaves.
the, I mean, not even?
Not even limitary not even probably like the slave he meant like the ultimate slave. Oh, no, not even up the line in law which would mean the slave of Allah. No, I've done some slave. Oh, let me qualify that better for you mean everybody now from the other endless ocean of slaves that we have?
What should knowledge do?
It should humble. What should knowledge do? It should make you the more knowledge you have. It should make you realize I am just a slave among other slaves, I have no ranking like that. The greatest rank you can earn actually is and that's one of the most amazing things about the Quran. I find it absolutely fascinating. You know,
Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam,
His ascension to the heavens. There is ascension to the heavens, is important because up until then, the highest human being had reached as the top of a mountain to speak to God, which was who was sorry.
But now Allah azzawajal has decided that a human being will travel the heavens, travel the heavens and meet Allah in a place where even the angel GPU can go.
He's gonna go there. Which means no human being has ever reached a higher ranking,
higher ranking than our messenger sallallahu our lives. No human beings ever reached that status. both literally and figuratively. No one's been higher. You understand that? And when Allah speaks about that ascension,
every time he speaks about it, the prophet is called nebby prophet is called soon. His name by name Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam. He's called Ahmed is called Muslim. He's called mudassar. The couple of times Allah mentions the essentially you know what he calls him so handle and the Asahi AB de
fer oh hi Ella Abdi Hema Oh Ha.
Was he call him? Let's say the ultimate position of learning from Allah directly from Allah directly, not even unless I think something down to you now he calls you up to him. And in that position, the highest honor you can earn is literally the lowest term a human being can ever use for himself. Slave