Connect with us

#Islam

Lesson 1 From Surah Kahf

Surah al-Kahf is a Makki surah, consisting of 110 verses. It’s a late Makkan Surah (provide context of Seerah and explain the difference between Makki and Madani). It is named after the unique and interesting story of the people of the cave discussed in verses 9-26, which serves as a clear proof of the power and greatness of Allah ﷻ.

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Published

on

Virtues of Learning/Studying Qur’ān

  • عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم‏:‏ ‏ “‏ما اجتمع قوم في بيت من بيوت الله يتلون كتاب الله، ويتدارسونه بينهم، إلا نزلت عليهم السكينة، وغشيتهم الرحمة، وحفتهم الملائكة، وذكرهم الله فيمن عنده‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه مسلم‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet ﷺ as saying: No people get together in a house of the houses of Allah (i.e. a mosque), reciting the Book of Allah, and learning it together among themselves, but calmness (Sakinah) comes down to them, (Divine) mercy covers them (from above), and the angels surround them, and Allah makes a mention of them among those who are with Him.”

(Discussed the concepts of Sakinah, Rahmah and the mention of Allah)

  • عن عثمان بن عفان رضي الله عنه قال‏:‏ قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏ “‏خيركم من تعلم القرآن وعلمه‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏رواه البخاري‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏

‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Quran and teaches it.”

  • عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ ‏.‏

Abu Hurairah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever takes a path upon which to obtain knowledge, Allah makes the path to Paradise easy for him.”

Without a doubt, the Quran is the most important book in the life of a Muslim. That is because the Quran is not simply a book; it is the divine uncreated speech of Allāh ﷻ — His words revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. It is the last and final revelation sent for the guidance of humanity for all times and all places. It is our primary source of beliefs, rituals, ethics, morals, and laws in Islām. Our entire lives as Muslims revolve around the teachings of the Qurʾān. Its words are so powerful, emotive, and effective that if they were to be revealed on a mountain, it would be humbled and burst apart out of the awe of Allāh. It’s recitation, memorization, interpretation, understanding, teaching, and learning are all acts of worship that bring blessings and reward. These words are a source of light, guidance, cure, and mercy.

True love and respect for the Qurʾān is expressed through reading it, understanding its message, and applying it to our lives. We use it as a source of guidance to navigate through the world and live a life that is pleasing to Allāh ﷻ. It is literally our manual for life that we use to build a path towards the Divine. It is supposed to be our inspiration, encouragement, and tool we use to deal with the challenges of life. It contains guidance for every single aspect of our lives: theological, spiritual, individual, communal, economic, and political.

The primary objective of the Qurʾān is for us to think, ponder, and reflect over its meanings. As Allāh ﷻ tells us, “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” This one-word description of the Qurʾān is actually very comprehensive. Every single aspect of the Qurʾān is blessed: its words, meanings, style, stories, commands, and prohibitions. Its recitation, memorization, interpretation, learning, and teaching are all acts of worship that bring huge amounts of rewards and blessings.

Part of its blessings is that those who learn it and teach it to others are considered to be the best of people. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best amongst you are those who learn the Qurʾān and teach it.” For every single letter of the Qurʾān that is recited, a person is rewarded with a good deed that is multiplied by ten. “Whoever recites a letter from the book of Allāh, then for them is a good deed, and a good deed is multiplied by ten. I am not saying that Alif lām mīm is one letter, but alif is a letter, lām is a letter, and mīm is a letter.” The Qurʾān will intercede for its companion on the Day of Judgment. “Recite the Qurʾān because it will come as an intercessor for its companion on the Day of Judgment.” Through the Qurʾān, some nations are elevated while others are lowered. From all of these narrations, we can see that the simple act of reciting the Qur’ān is full of blessings, reward, virtues, and mercy.

However, it’s extremely important for us to understand and recognize that mere recitation and listening is not the purpose of the Quran. The main purpose or objective of reciting the Quran or listening to the Quran should be to reflect, ponder and think over its meanings and more importantly bring its guidance into our daily lives. When we come across a verse that has a command we’re supposed to accept it and follow it. When we come across a prohibition we stay away from it no questions asked. When we come across a verse describing the mercy of Allah we should ask for that mercy and hope for it. When we come across a verse that threatens punishment we should feel a sense of fear and seek protection from it.

The only way to contemplate and reflect over its words and meanings is to actually know what those words and meanings are, and that is learned through Tafsīr. That is why learning Tafsīr is considered to be an obligation upon every Muslim in varying degrees. One way to look at it is that the Qurʾān is a treasure chest full of guidance and wisdom. The key to unlocking that chest is Tafsīr.

Intro to Surah Kahf

Surah al-Kahf is a Makki surah, consisting of 110 verses. It’s a late Makkan Surah (provide context of Seerah and explain the difference between Makki and Madani). It is named after the unique and interesting story of the people of the cave discussed in verses 9-26, which serves as a clear proof of the power and greatness of Allah ﷻ.

Just like most Makkan revelation, it deals primarily with issues related to belief, iman. Makkan revelation generally deals with three concepts: 1) Tawhīd, 2) Risālah and 3) Qiyāmah. Syed Qutb raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) mentions that the central theme of the Surah is to purge faith of all alien concepts. “It seeks to establish correct and accurate thought and reasoning in order to establish values that are sound according to the criterion of Islam… It is to make faith the basis for the evaluation of concepts, ideas, practices, and values.” That’s part of the reason why the Surah starts and ends with declaring Allah’s oneness and accepting revelation as the absolute truth.

The Surah is made up of four main narratives: 1) the story of the companions of the cave (v. 9-26), 2) the story of the owner of the two gardens, 3) the story of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Khadr and 4) the story of Dhul Qarnayn. These four stories make up the majority of the Surah, taking up approximately 71 out of the 110 verses. In between these four narratives, we’ll find various warnings to the non-believers and descriptions of the Day of Judgment.

Virtues of Surah Kahf

One of the reasons for choosing to cover Surah Al-Kahf is because we are encouraged to recite it and memorize it by the Prophet ﷺ.

  • عن أبي الدرداء أن نبي الله قال: من حفظ عشر آيات من أول سورة الكهف عُصِمَ مِنَ الدَّجَّالِ ِ. وفي رِوايةٍ : مِنْ آخِرِ سورةِ الكهفِ ِ.

In Sahih Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nasa’i, and Tirmidhi we find a narration of Abu Darda raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) in which he narrates that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said, “Whoever memorizes the first ten verses of Surah al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal.” In another narration, it mentions the last 10 verses.

  • عن ثوبان عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه قال: “من قرأ العشر الأواخر من سورة الكهف فإنه عصمة له من الدجال.”

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever reads the last ten verses of Surah Al-Kahf it will be a protection for him from Dajjal.”

  • فمن أدركه منكم فليقرأْ عليه فواتحَ سورةِ الكهفِ ِ.

In a longer narration that talks about Dajjal and the trials that come along with him, the Prophet ﷺ told us to recite the beginning of Surah Al-Kahf upon him…

  • روي من حديث أنس أنه قال: من قرأ بها أعطي نورا بين السماء و الأرض و وقي بها فتنة القبر.

In another narration, it is mentioned that whoever reads it will be given light between the heaven and earth and it will protect him from the trial of the grave.

  • “من قرأ الكهف يوم الجمعة أضاء له من النور ما بين الجمعتين.”
  • “من قرأها ليلة الجمعة أضاء له من النور ما بينه و بين البيت العتيق.”

Another hadith mentions that a person who recites Surah al-Kahf on Friday will have light from his feet till the sky. This light will serve him well on the Day of Judgment, and every sin committed by him between the past and present Friday will be forgiven.”

Who has a problem waking up for Fajr? There is a hadith that mentions whoever recites the last five verses before going to sleep, then Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will wake him up at any time in the night that he wants. (Natural alarm clock)

Cause of Revelation

Regarding the background in which this surah was revealed it is mentioned that the Quraysh sent two men, Al-Nadr ibn Al-Harith and ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt, to the Jewish scholars of Madinah. The Quraysh told these two men to ask the Jews about Muhammad ﷺ, his characteristics and to inform them about some of his teachings because they knew more about Prophets since they were people of the book. So they arrived in Madinah and told the Rabbis about Muhammad ﷺ, about his characteristics, his message and his teachings.

They said ask him three questions; if he answers them correctly then he is a prophet and a messenger. If he doesn’t answer them then he is a fake.

  • سلوه عن ثلاث، فإن أخبركم بهن فهو نبي و إن لم يفعل فالرجل متقول

Ask him about the young men who left their city in the distant past and what happened to them, because this is a unique event. Ask him about the person who traveled the East and the West and what happened to him. Ask him about the spirit and what it is.

So they came back and posed these three questions to the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ told them that he would reply to them the next day expecting Allah ﷻ to send down the revelation, but he forgot to say inshAllah. Allah ﷻ didn’t send down any revelation for the next fifteen days (one narration says 3) and the Quraysh began to assume that he didn’t know the answers and that his claims to prophethood were false. After 15 days Allah ﷻ revealed the entire Surah and reminded the Prophet ﷺ to always say InshAllah.

Now, we should be asking ourselves the question, “What’s the connection between this noble Surah and Dajjal?” Or, “How will reciting Surah Al-Kahf protect me from the trials of Dajjal?” When we reflect upon Surah Al-Kahf we will find that its meanings carry what is extremely beneficial in protecting us from the trials of this world and security from the dajjal. Surah Al-Kahf discusses four stories that are representative of four different types of trials (fitan) and four causes of salvation:

1) The first story is about the companions of the cave, which represents the fitnah of religion.

This is a story about a group of young men who remained firm, steadfast and patient upon their faith in the face of hardship and difficulty. They were living in a society of disbelief and immorality and decided to seek refuge in a cave to protect their own faith. Allah ﷻ miraculously protected them and when they awoke they found their entire community had become believers.

Their salvation: Concern and righteous companionship.

2) The second story is of the owner of the two gardens, which represents the fitnah of wealth and children.

This is a story about an extremely wealthy man whom Allah ﷻ had blessed with wealth, properties and children. Instead of being grateful he became extremely arrogant and prideful. His friend reminded him that all of his blessings were from Allah ﷻ but he refused to recognize that. As a result, Allah ﷻ afflicted him with difficulties by taking away his wealth.

Salvation from that trial: Knowing the reality of the Dunya

3) The third story is about Musa (as) and Khadr: The fitnah of knowledge.

Musa [alayjis] was asked about the most knowledgeable person on the face of the Earth. Since he was unaware of anyone more knowledgeable than him he answered that he was. Allah ﷻ then revealed to him that there was someone even more knowledgeable than him and then Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) traveled in search of him. After finding him he spent some time in his company and saw him doing things that he couldn’t understand. We’ll talk about this story in greater detail later on, InshAllah.

Salvation from that trial: Humility

4) The story of Dhul Qarnain = The fitnah of power

The story of a great ruler who was given both knowledge and power and traveled the earth relieving hardship and spreading goodness. He solved the problem of Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj by sealing them in the earth and in doing so was able to mobilize the resources of a people who could hardly understand his speech!

Salvation from that trial: Sincerity

So what exactly is the connection of Surah Al-Kahf to the Dajjal? From a number of narrations we learn that the Dajjal will come with four trials:

1) He will demand that he be worshiped by the people (The fitnah of religion)

2) He will command the sky to rain and will be a trial of the people due to the amount of wealth he will possess (The fitnah of wealth)

3) He will be a trial for the people regarding the information he will possess and relay (The fitnah of knowledge)

4) He will have control over many parts of the world (The fitnah of power)

The causes of salvation related in the Surah:

1) Righteous companionship

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect. (Kahf v. 28)

2) Knowing the reality of this world

And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability (Kahf v. 45)

3) Humility

[Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.” (Kahf v. 69)

4) Sincerity

Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.” (Kahf v. 110)

May Allah protect all of us from the fitnah of the Dajjal, and all fitan those apparent and those hidden.

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi serves as the Director of Religious Education at the Institute of Knowledge in Diamond Bar, CA. He regularly delivers khutbahs and lectures at various Islamic Centers and events in southern California.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#Islam

Lesson 11 From Surah Al-Kahf

Tafsir Verses 72-81

Shaykh Furhan Zubairi

Published

on

Alhamdulillah last session we were able to explore the meanings and lessons of verses 60-70. InshAllah, we’ll try our best to cover the meanings of verse 71-82. As we learned in the last session, this passage of the Surah deals with a very unique and interesting episode from the life of Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). It’s the story of his encounter and journey with a man of God known as Khidr or Khadir. We reached the point in the story where Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) finally finds Khidr and asks with the utmost humility and respect to allow him to be his student. This highlights Musa’s 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) sincerity in seeking knowledge, his lack of pride and his willingness to humble himself in front of Khidr despite his own status as a Prophet.

But Khidr initially declined his request telling him, “Truly you will not be able to bear patiently with me. And how can you be patient with that which you have no knowledge?” Khidr recognized that he would do things that Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) would find to be illogical, irrational and even impermissible. Things that on the surface level seem to be horrible and despicable. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was sent as a Prophet of Divine Law, while Khidr had been entrusted with some unique knowledge and actions that seemed to be contradictory to that law. So he explained to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that he wouldn’t be able to be patient with him and his actions. But Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) was extremely eager to learn. He resolved to be patient and obedient while relying upon the will of Allah ﷻ.

He tells Khidr, “You will find me patient, if Allah wills, and I shall not disobey you in any matter.” Khidr finally gave in and both of them set off on their way. This is where we’ll pick up the story again. Allah ﷻ says,

Verse 71: So they both went on till, when they had embarked upon a ship, he made a hole in it. He said, “Have you made a hole in it to drown its people? Certainly, you have done a grave thing.”

They set out walking together along the shore looking for a ship to ride. As they were walking a ship of sailors passed by them and Khidr asked for a ride. The sailors knew Khidr so they let both him and Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) come on board without any charge. After traveling for a while Khidr got up and pulled out one of the planks from the bottom of the ship using an ax making a hole in it. This placed everyone on the ship in danger of drowning. Obviously, this seemingly absurd and cruel behavior surprised Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him). He was literally in shock. He couldn’t understand why Khidr would do such a thing to someone who helped him out. This went against his moral compass of what’s right and wrong. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) forgot about the conditions of his teacher and objected. These people gave us a free ride and you’re pulling a plank to drown their ship. You’ve done something bad. “Have you made a hole in it to drown its people? Certainly, you have done a grave thing.” Khidr then reminded him gently with patience.

Verse 72: He said, “Did I not say that you can never bear with me patiently?”

Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t be able to be patient with me and my actions? The way he says this shows that he was willing to overlook and tolerate Musa’s (as) impatience. Musa (as) felt a sense of regret and apologized to Khidr telling him that he completely forgot about his deal.

Verse 73: He (Musa) said, “Do not hold me responsible for what I forgot, and do not make my course too difficult for me.”

Basically he apologized. He said please don’t hold me responsible for what I forgot and allow me to continue travelling in your company. While telling the story the Prophet ﷺ says, “the first (question) was out of forgetfulness. While this conversation was taking place a bird came and sat on the side of the boat and took a sip of water from the ocean. Khidr said to Musa, ‘my knowledge and yours combined in comparison to the knowledge of Allah is like the sip of water compared to the ocean.’” Khidr accepting his apology and they continued travelling on their way.

Verse 74: So, they moved ahead until when they met a boy, he killed him (the boy). He (Musa) said, “Did you kill an innocent soul while he did not kill anyone? You have committed a heinous act indeed.”

“So they continued…” They both got off the ship and started walking along the shore until they came across a young boy playing with his friends. Khidr went up to this young boy and killed him by either strangling him to death or striking him on his head. This was too much for Musa (as) to handle. He objected even more vehemently. How can he kill an innocent young boy for no reason whatsoever? To Musa (as) this seemed absolutely absurd, cruel and unjustified. It was too much for him to tolerate patiently despite his promise not to question anything that he saw. So he said, How can you kill a pure innocent child for no reason whatsoever? You have done something unjustified and have committed a heinous act. Once again Khidr reminds him of the condition that he made and the promise that Musa (as) had given.

Verse 75: He said, “Did I not tell you that you can never bear with me patiently?”

Didn’t I warn you that you wouldn’t be able to handle what I would do? Didn’t I tell you that you wouldn’t be able to remain silent when I do certain things? In this reminder, Khidr added the word “laka” to show that this time his reminder is more severe and clearer. The first time someone forgets and makes a mistake it’s overlooked. The second time it’s also overlooked but with a sense of hesitation. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) again feels a sense of regret for breaking his word and not sticking to the conditions of Khidr. He’s now done this twice so he apologizes by saying,

Verse 76: He said, “If I ask you about something after this, do not keep me in your company. You have had enough excuses from me.”

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him)(as) again apologizes but this time gives himself one last chance. He said if he questions Khidr one more time then Khidr can choose to part ways with him. Once again Khidr accepts his apology and they set off on their way. After commenting on this part ibn Kathīr narrates a hadīth from the Prophet ﷺ. He writes, “Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn `Abbas that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: “Whenever the Prophet ﷺ mentioned anyone, he would pray for himself first. One day he said:

  • «رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى مُوسَى لَوْ لَبِثَ مَعَ صَاحِبِهِ لَأَبْصَرَ الْعَجَبَ، وَلَكِنَّهُ قَالَ:
  • ﴿إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً﴾»

May the mercy of Allah be upon us and upon Musa. If he had stayed with his companion he would have seen wonders, but he said, (`If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.’))” That brings us to the third and last adventure they had together.

Verse 77: Then, they moved on until they came to the people of a town and sought food from them. But they refused to show them any hospitality. Then, they found there a wall that was about to fall down. So he (Khidr) set it right. He (Musa) said, “If you wished, you could have charged a fee for this.”

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) and Khidr continued traveling until they came upon the people of a town that most commentators identify as the ancient city of Antioch. Being tired and hungry they asked them for some food but they refused to give them any or show them any hospitality whatsoever. As they were leaving the city they came across a wall that was about to fall down. Khidr stopped by it and repaired it. Now, this situation is also bizarre; Khidr is a complete stranger in a town that refused to give them food or host them yet he still stops and fixes their wall for nothing in return. Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) finds the situation full of irony. Why should a stranger exert so much effort in rebuilding a wall in a town where they were denied even a little food and all hospitality? He should have at least demanded some money for his labor and then they could have bought some food to eat.

Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) couldn’t hold himself so he objected, “If you wished, you could have charged a fee for this.” And that was the end of their relationship. Khidr responded,

Verse 78: He said, “This is the parting between me and you. I shall inform you of the meaning of that which you were unable to bear with patiently.”

Meaning, this is the end of our relationship and this is where we’ll part ways. But before we go our separate ways I’ll explain to you the wisdom and hidden meaning behind everything I did. Up till this point in the story, we’ve probably been just as impatient as Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him); we have no clue why Khidr did the things he did. But he then explains everything is detail; why he pulled a plank out of the bottom the ship, why he killed an innocent child and why he rebuilt the wall without taking anything in return.

Verse 79: As for the ship, it belonged to some poor people who worked at sea. I wanted to damage it, for just beyond them was a king who was seizing every ship by force.

Khidr is explained that his act of damaging the ship was, in reality, a means of saving it. It comes in a narration that these poor people were ten brothers, 5 of them were handicapped while the other five worked. The ship was their only source of income. The king was a cruel, tyrannical oppressor who would take ships by force. The damage done to the ship made it undesirable for the king and ultimately saved it for its owners. Had it been seaworthy, it would certainly have been confiscated by the tyrannical king. Perpetrating some small damage to the boat saved it from the greater harm and ruinous injustice which was certain to take place without it. Hence, causing such damage was a good and kindly action. So damaging the ship actually turned out to be a good thing.

Verses 80-81: And as for the young boy, his parents were believers and we feared that he would make them suffer much through rebellion and disbelief. So we desired that their Lord give them in exchange one who is better than him in purity, and nearer to mercy.

Although the young child seemed to be pure and innocent in reality the seeds of disbelief and wickedness were entrenched in his heart. If he had grown up he would have been a source of grief and sorrow for his parents who were believers. Their love for this child would have led them towards evil and wickedness as well. They would suffer because of the rebellion and disbelief. So Allah told Khidr to kill this boy to spare them that grief and to replace him with a child that would be better and more dutiful. Now obviously the parents weren’t aware of this at this time so to them this was a huge loss and tragedy. They weren’t aware of the future difficulties that they were saved from by his death.

Qatādah said, “His parents rejoiced when he was born and grieved for him when he was killed. If he had stayed alive, he would have been the cause of their doom. So let a man be content with the decree of Allah, for the decree of Allah for the believer, if he dislikes it, is better for him than if He were to decree something that he likes for him.” That’s why in connection to these verses ibn Kathīr رحمهم الله quotes the hadīth, “Allah does not decree anything for a believer, save that it is better for him.”

  • «لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ مِنْ قَضَاءٍ إِلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَه»

It is mentioned in a narration that the parents were blessed with a pious daughter who gave birth to a Prophet. So the murder of this child actually turned out to be something good in the long run.

Verse 82: And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and beneath it was a treasure belonging to them. Their father was righteous, and your Lord desired that they should reach their maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I didn’t do this upon my own command. This is the meaning of that which you couldn’t bear with patiently.

Khidr explained to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that the wall that was about to fall that he rebuilt was covering a treasure that belonged to two orphan boys. If the wall had fallen down the treasure would be exposed and the orphan children would’ve been deprived of their wealth. By rebuilding the wall Khidr made it possible for them to access their treasure when they grew up. This was done partially because their father was a righteous and pious man. Khidr then explains to Musa 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him) that he didn’t do any of these things based on his own accord or understanding. Rather he did them according to the Divine command, decree, and will of Allah ﷻ. “And I didn’t do this upon my own command.” He concludes by saying, “This is the meaning of that which you couldn’t bear with patiently.” Meaning, this is the explanation of my actions that you didn’t understand and weren’t able to be patient with.

Lessons:

1) One of the most powerful and profound lessons we learn from this entire episode is that oftentimes a tragedy is a blessing in disguise. Everything that happens in this world, whether good or bad, happens according to the Divine will and decree of Allah ﷻ. There’s some deep divine wisdom behind every single thing that happens in this world. When something good happens we recognize it as a blessing. For example, if we get a good job, get a raise at work, purchase a new car or are blessed with the birth of a child. All of recognize this as something positive. On the other hand whenever we face setbacks, difficulties, hardships and tragedies we tend to lose patience.

This incident is teaching us that difficulties, tests, trials, and hardships are oftentimes blessing in disguise. The first thing to understand is that Allah isn’t sending these difficulties our way to break us or destroy us. Rather he’s sending them our way to test our patience and faith, as a source of mercy and a reminder. As a way of nurturing and training us. He’s reminding us to turn back to Him, to hold on to our faith, to be steadfast, patient, strong, and to persevere. When we’re struggling and going through difficult times we shouldn’t assume that somehow Allah is displeased with us. Similarly, when we’re comfortable and enjoying life we shouldn’t assume that Allah is pleased with us. The opposite can be true. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,

  • « إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الْخَيْرَ عَجَّلَ لَهُالْعُقُوبَةَ فِى الدُّنْيَا وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الشَّرَّأَمْسَكَ عَنْهُ بِذَنْبِهِ حَتَّى يُوَفَّى بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

“If Allah wants good for his servant, He hurries on His punishment in this world, and if He wills ill for a servant, he holds back punishing him for his sin so He can give it to him in full on the Day of Resurrection.”

Everything we face in this world is actually a source of blessing for us. The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

  • «مَا يُصِيبُ المُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ،وَلاَ وَصَبٍ، وَلاَ هَمِّ، وَلاَ حُزْنٍ، وَلاَ أَذًى، وَلاَ غَمِّ، حَتَّىالشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا؛ إِلاَّ كَفَّرَ الله بِهَا مِنْ خَطَايَاهُ»

“No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his sins by it.”

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us that the main tool, the key to deal with the world and all the problems it contains is through patience and turning towards Him. When we’re dealing with our problems we should turn to Allah. We should make dhikr, read Quran, spend time in prayer and reflection and try to be around good company. We should try to focus our attention, our spiritual and emotional energy on our relationship with Allah instead of our problem. By doing so we’ll find peace and comfort. True contentment. Part of patience is recognizing that whatever we’re going through is something that we can handle. Whatever we’re going through will not last forever. That’s why throughout the Quran whenever Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) consoles and comforts the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) He reminds him to be patient and to turn to him. “So be patient over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord.” (20:130) “So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth.” (30:60) “So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting.” (50:39)

2) Being content with the Divine decree of Allah ﷻ.

Continue Reading

#Life

Why I Turned to Tech to Catch Laylatul Qadr

Make sure you maximize your sadaqah

Guests

Published

on

By

By Ismael Abdela

My life, just like yours, is sooo busy. So naturally, as the tech nerd I am, I turn to tech to help me manage my regular routine including project management apps to manage my daily tasks. I even have a sleeping app that wakes me up at the optimum time (whatever that means!). But even though tech has changed everything in all sectors and helped make efficiencies in my daily life, it had had little impact on my religious activities.

A few years ago, whilst I was preparing for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, it hit me – why doesn’t something exist that automates my donations during these blessed nights to catch Laylatul Qadr. Rather than putting a reminder on my phone to bring out my bank card every night and inputting it into a website – why doesn’t something exist that does it for me, solving the problem of me forgetting to donate. After all we are human and it’s interesting that the Arabic word for human being is ‘insan’ which is derived from the word ‘nasiya’ which means ‘to forget.’ It is human nature to forget.

So the techie in me came out and I built the first scrappy version of MyTenNights, a platform to automate donations in the last 10 nights of Ramadan (took two weeks) because I wanted to use it myself! I thought it would be cool and my friends and family could use it too. That same year, nearly 2000 other people used it – servers crashed, tech broke and I had to get all my friends and Oreo (my cat) to respond to email complaints about our temperamental site!

I quickly realised I wasn’t alone in my need  – everyone wanted a way to never miss Laylatul Qadr! Two years down the line we’ve called it MyTenNights, and our team has grown to 10, including Oreo, senior developers, QA specialists, brand strategists, creative directors and more. It fast became a fierce operation – an operation to help people all over the world catch Laylatul Qadr!

Last year alone we raised almost $2 million in just 10 days – and that was just in the UK. We’ve now opened MyTenNights to our American, Canadian. South African and Australian brothers and sisters and we’re so excited to see how they use it! We’ve made it available through all the biggest house name charities – Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Penny Appeal, you name it! All donations go directly to the charity donors choose – all 100% of it.

Looking back at the last couple of years – it feels surreal: The biggest charities in the world and tens of thousands of users who share my need to be certain they’ve caught Laylatul Qadr. Although I hear many impressed with the sheer amount MyTenNights has raised for charity (and that excites me too!), it’s not what motives me to go on. What excites me most is the growing number of people who catch Laylatul Qadr because we made it easier.

I often tell my team that the number of people that use MyTenNights is the only metric we care about, and the only metric we celebrate. It makes no difference to us whether you donate $1 or a million – we just want you to catch Laylatul Qadr and for you to transform your Akhirah, because (after Allah) we helped you do it.

To catch Laylatul Qadr with MyTenNights, visit their website MyTenNights.com

Ismael Abdela is a Law & Anthropology graduate from the London School of Economics. He spent some years studying Islamic Sciences in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. He is now a keen social entrepreneur. Ismael likes to write about spiritual reflections, social commentary, and tafsīr. He is particularly interested in putting religion in conversation with the social sciences.

Continue Reading

Hajj

Heart Soothers: Shaykh Noreen Mohamed Sideeq

Guests

Published

on

Continue Reading

Trending