Four Points from Surat al-Kahf

After reading ‘al-Kahf’ today, I decided to skim through Ibn Kathir’s commentary on it. Here are a few nice points I came across:

Verse 13: {“We narrate unto you their story with truth. Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord , and We increased them in guidance.”}

Here and in the verse before it, Allah begins telling the story of a group of men who decided to believe in Him and worship Him alone, and then escaped to a cave on the outskirts of their city to save themselves from the persecution and wrongdoing of their disbelieving folk. Ibn Kathir commented on their age:

“Allah mentioned that they were young men, i.e. youths. And they are more accepting of the truth and better guided than the older men who had mired and drowned in a lifestyle of falsehood. This is why most of those who answered the call of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) were youths. As for the older men of Quraysh, most of them remained upon their old way of life, and none became Muslim except a few. Likewise, it’s pointed out here that the inhabitants of this cave were a group of youths.”

Verse 18: {“And you would have thought them awake while they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, with their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance…”}

As these young men slept inside the cave for a miraculous length of time, their dog was stretched out at its entrance. With all the heavy subjects addressed in the Qur’an, why would Allah dedicate this verse and others to mentioning this dog?

“Their dog got a share of their blessing. So, he was granted the same sleep that they were granted in these circumstances. And this is the benefit in accompanying righteous people, as this is why this dog was mentioned and given such status.”

Verses 80-81: {“”And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So, we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness and closer to mercy.””}

Here, al-Khidr is explaining to Prophet Musa why he killed a boy, and this is because he would have grown up to be full of kufr and rebellion against Allah and his parents. Ibn Kathir said:

“Qatadah said that this boy’s father was happy when he was born and was sad when he died, and he would have devastated his parents had he lived on. So, one should be content with what Allah has Ordained for him, because for Allah to Ordain what the believer dislikes is better than Him Ordaining what he likes. And it is authentically reported in a hadith that “Allah does not Ordain anything for the believer except that it is better for him.”

…and Ibn Jurayj said that when al-Khidr killed him, his mother was pregnant with a Muslim boy.”

Verse 109: {“If the sea were ink for writing the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought another sea like it.”}

Ibn Kathir made a beautiful comment on this verse:

“If the water of all the oceans and seas were ink for a pen to write the Words of Allah and His judgments and signs that all point to Him…and all of the trees were made into pens for this, the pens would break, the water of the oceans would be used up, and the Words of Allah would remain and would not disappear. This is because nobody can appreciate His Ability or praise Him as He deserves except when He praises Himself.

Our Lord is as He Says He is, and is even better than He Says He is. The comparison of the pleasures of this world from its beginning to its end to the pleasures of the Hereafter is like that of a mustard seed compared to the entire Earth.”

[‘Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘Adhim’; 3/101, 104, 133, and 145]

5 Responses to “Four Points from Surat al-Kahf”

  1. Umm 'Atiyyah Says:

    That last comment by Ibn Kathir, rahimahullaah, is just too beautiful.

    بارك الله فيك

  2. student Says:

    Barakallah feekum.

  3. Ghurabaa Says:

    Salam alaykum wa rahmatuallah

    jazakallahu khair for sharing

    True that Allah is as He Says He is as


  4. zanjabeel Says:

    Ameen , Sabhan Allah, masha’Allah , Jazakillah Khayr and blessings of Shaban to all ameen

  5. Zaman Alli Says:

    Excellent work
    Please can somebody shead light on the word Hypocrasy since this is so much a low ebb on our sense of cinsciousness when it comes to addressing Muslim on Muslim voilence please let us correct our self before we can expect our cousins can follow and then perhaps the genuine spirit of peace, love and understanding may be able to wash away the ignorance we have amongs each other to say the least whenit comes to finding true focus to the solution humanity is so lacking today,when we fail to see our own weakness we cannot correct any thing that can make sense anywhere. ASA brother Zaman

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