What would be the reason the prophet (peace & blessings upon him) emphasised and encouraged us to recite Suratul Kahf every Friday? Aside from the spiritual and virtuous aspect . . .
It is for us to on a weekly basis review, revise, reflect and ponder upon its Aayaat because it is all relevant.
The recitation of Qur’an is not simply reciting it and making it an empty Ibaadah (Act of worship). Yes the rewards are there, but what is its main purpose. . . “Tadabbur” – To reflect, to ponder, to analyse, to come to terms with and so on.
Now how do we know if we are doing “Tadabbur”? One of the ways is to look at the Aayaat of Allah from two perspectives; The physical eye and the spiritual eye.
When you recite the Qur’an and look at the physical world around you, it should also remind you of the spiritual reality of the real world.
Not only do we recite the Qur’an, but we need to learn how to take from the Qur’an. We need to start thinking the way Allah wants us to think. We need to put into practice what Allah wants us to practice.
That can only be done when if you start understanding what this book presents to us.
Many of us recite this Surah every Friday AlHamdulillah, and have been doing so for a long time.
What have we learnt from it really? Sad to say, I don’t think many of us have learnt anything by just reciting it. Again, yes the merits are there and even without learning the meaning we are rewarded. but we are not sourcing the essence of it. The fruits of the Surah.
Now Here’s some practical advice. Before you sit to recite, go over just 5 Aayaat of Tafsir of Suratul Kahf. If that’s too much, then at least 1 Aayah.
And whatever you learn and read, share it with others to help you preserve it, and most importantly, reflect upon what you read on Friday throughout the whole week in your daily life until the next Friday.
When you go back to Suratul Kahf and learn about the next Aayahs. Don’t overwhelm yourself in trying to learn too much tafsir, take your time with it. This way you will see immense benefits and you’ll be engaging with the Quran, building a relationship with it. The Quran will be your companion, whoever accompanies the Quran in this life, the Quran will accompany them on Judgement day.
Pass on this advice to others, we have book reading clubs, how about gathering a few friends/family and have a Quranic discourse club. It takes only one person, you, to make the Qur’an a subject of discussion amongst you.
Make this something which you do amongst yourselves and talk over what you read in the different Tafaasir. Reflections, thoughts, lessons, how to put the message of Quran into practice and so on.
It takes just a little bit of effort. But the benefits are immense. We need to make the Qur’an a common discourse amongst us inshaAllah.
I will start it off insha-Allah and try to keep it brief.
As is well known, Surah Al-Kahf has many merits, as mentioned by most, if not all of the scholars of Tafsir (Mufassiroon) from the Sunnah point of view.
Of the numerous benefits, the one that is highlighted quite a bit is that it protects us from the Fitnah (Trials) of the Dajjal, the greatest trial that will fall upon this Ummah and Humanity. (The Armageddon-war between good and evil)
In this Surah, Allah Azza wa Jall offers us protection according to the advice of the Prophet (Peace & blessings upon him) from that Fitnah.
The Prophet didn’t just advise us to recite it so we can be safe from the Fitnah of Dajjal, but the teachings of this Surah have a lot to do with HOW to deal and respond to that Fitnah. Some of the Great trials that are going to fall upon the world.
– – –
From a Literary point of view, the Last Aayah of Suratul Isra (Surah Preceding Al-Kahf) begins with ” Say, “Praise belongs to Allah . . .” and Suratul Kahf responds to this by Beginning with “All praise and gratitude belongs to Allah”
It’s very beautifully linked together in that sense.
. . . ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبۡدِهِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ “All praise and gratitude belongs to Allah , who has sent down upon His Slave the Book”
Now, the lowest status you can give to someone in language, is “slave”. Somebody can be below anybody, but there is nobody beneath a slave.
But in Islam, when you become a slave of Allah Azza wa Jall. There is no Higher status than that.
This is also important to understand as to why Allah used the word ‘Abd’ rather than ‘nabi’ or ‘rasool’ (prophet or messenger, respectively)
The Christians raised their messenger too high, to the point that they don’t even think of Jesus/Isa (a.s) as ‘Abd anymore.
” وَلَمۡ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ عِوَجَاۜ . . .” ‘and he did not place in it (The Holy Qur’an) any crookedness.’
” ‘Iwaj in the Arabic Language is used Literally and Figuratively “
Literally: It could mean deviation/crookedness, for example a line which is not straight, a bumpy road, or a stick which is curved and so on,
Also ‘A’awaj’ is a bodily flaw, when someone can’t walk straight, and they have crookedness in their walk, they are called ‘A’awaj’.
Figuratively: it means something complicated, or not clear. Something that has flaws and confusion in it.
So, for example you’re listening to someone talk, and you don’t really know where the conversation is going, you get confused.
Or as you’re walking on a pathway, and there’s a bend in the road that you can’t exactly see where it’s headed.
Allah is saying, he has not put any crookedness in it, this is one of the great qualities of the Qur’an. Which teaches us that there is a particular approach in every Surah, that it is leading up to something. It is not just randomly putting things together this way and that way.
They’re actually leading to a point. Heading you to a direction. Which is very straight and upright. It needs to be if its going to be your primary source of guidance.
And this is how Allah introduces Suratul Kahf. [Feel free to comment what you learn from Surah al-Kahf and share your findings with us]