The Blessings of Surah al-Kahf

There are numerous Ahadith that detail the blessings of Surah al-Kahf, and here we will explore a few of them. Prominent among them is the hadith of the famous companion, al-Bara’ ibn Azib, who narrates:

A man was reciting Surah al-Kahf and his horse was tied with two ropes beside him. A cloud came down and spread over that man, and it kept on coming closer and closer to him till his horse started jumping (as if afraid of something). When it was morning, the man came to the Prophet, and told him of that experience. The
Prophet said, ‘That was Al-sakinah (tranquillity), which descended because of (the recitation of) the Qur’an.’

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani explains that al-sakinah referred to here are the angels, because wherever angels go, peace and tranquillity descends. Such is the beauty of Surah al-Kahf that it is this peace and tranquillity that descended upon its recitation. It has been previously mentioned that Surah al-Kahf is one of the earliest revelations, revealed in the first or second year of the Prophet’s dawah. The reason for this early revelation is that this surah fortifies the believer with iman. It teaches that no matter what is happening, Allah will take care of you.

Another blessing of Surah al-Kahf is that it protects against the fitnah of Dajjal. As reported in the hadith of Abu al-Darda’, the Prophet said: ‘He who memorizes the first ten verses of Surah al-Kahf will be protected from the trial of the Dajjal. In another narration, it is the last ten verses of Surah al-Kahf.’ In another lengthy hadith on the authority of al-Nawwas ibn Saman, the Prophet mentioned the fitnah of Dajjal and stated:

If he comes forth while I am among you I shall be theone who will dispute with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth when I am not among you, then every man must dispute on his own behalf, and Allah will take my place in looking after every Muslim. Those of you who live up to his time should recite over him the opening verses of Surat al-Kahf, for they are your protection from his trial. We asked: How long will he remain on the Earth? He replied: Forty days, one like a year, one like a month, one like a week, and rest of his days like yours. We asked: Messenger of Allah, will one day’s prayer suffice us in this day which will be like a year? He replied: No, you must make an estimate of its extent. Then Jesus son of Mary will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will then catch him up at the gate of Lud and kill him.

We learn, therefore, that the beginning of Surah al-Kahf—and in another hadith the first ten verses of the surah—is a protection from the fitnah of Dajjal. A further blessing of Surah al-Kahf is that our Prophet has taught us that: ‘Whoever reads Surah al-Kahf on the day of Jumuah shall have a light that will shine from him from one Friday to the next.’ Similarly, Abu Said al-Khudri narrates that whoever recites Surah al-Kahf as it was revealed, i.e. recited with proper tilawah (recitation), with tajwid (the art of Qur’an recitation) and khushu (humility), should they meet Dajjal they will be saved from being overpowered by him.

This is the first blessing detailed in this hadith about Surah al-Kahf. The second blessing detailed in this particular hadith is that whoever recites the surah on Friday will have a light shining from them to Makkah. The hadith therefore shows us that the light emanating as a result of reciting this surah is so powerful that it illuminates all the way to Makkah. In yet another, slightly weaker, version it is reported that whoever recites Surah al-Kahf on a Friday will have all of their minor sins forgiven until the following Friday. Thus, the virtues of reciting this surah on Friday is clear.

Protection from Dajjal

The protection from Dajjal is evidently a significant blessing of Surah al-Kahf. The fitnah of Dajjal will be the worst fitnah mankind will ever witness, as Jabir narrates:

The Prophet Muhammad said: There is no fitnah that will arise before the Final Hour greater than the fitnah of Dajjal, and there has been no prophet in the past, except that they warned their people, and indeed, I am about to inform you that of which no prophet has informed before.Then he placed his hand on his eye and said: I bear witness that Allah Ta'ala is not one-eyed.

There is no fitnah that will cause more destruction, wreak more havoc, kill more people, and cause more bloodshed than that of Dajjal. As we learn from our traditions, Dajjal will come and claim to be God on earth, but the hadith tells us that he even looks imperfect—one of his eyes will be infested—and Allah, exalted is He, is not imperfect in any way. He will be given what will appear as miracles that will fool mankind into thinking he is divine. These apparent miracles will include the ability to stop and start the rain from falling. Even though it shall be a time of severe drought and hunger, the Dajjal will be able to make rain fall and plants grow such that people can eat, and accordingly his followers will flourish.

As for those who reject him, Dajjal will be able to kill them, and the trials on Muslim believers from Dajjal will be more severe than any other. In the face of such tribulations, what is the relevance of Surah al-Kahf? If we consider the beginning of the surah, the first ten ayahs relate the story of the people of the cave, fleeing persecution from the king for their beliefs. These men fled seeking Allah’s S protection and were granted it. In the context of Dajjal, he will be that murderous king and the believers will be the men fleeing persecution. Indeed, our Prophet has said: ‘There will come a time when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep, which he will take to the tops of mountains and the places of rainfall so as to flee with his religion from the afflictions.’ This is exactly what these young men did, and what Muslims will do in a later time.

Furthermore, among the tribulations that Dajjal will bring will be his ability to control food and water. Those who believe in him will be fed and those who do not, Dajjal will stop their sources of sustenance and cause the earth to dry up beneath them. In such a context, Allah explicitly teaches us in Surah al-Kahf: ‘In the ultimate, We shall reduce all that is on the earth to a barren plain.’ Allah thus teaches that He is the one who controls the earth and it is to Him that we must turn for sustenance, not to Dajjal. Furthermore, Surah al-Kahf teaches
us that the dwellers of the cave sought Allah’s aid and He paved a way out for them. In some traditions, it is also mentioned that people will seek protection in the caves and mountains from Dajjal, thus resembling the young men and the cave mentioned in the beginning of the surah.

The tenth verse of the surah concludes in a manner that is perfect and optimistic, with the prayer of the young men: ‘Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Yourself and provide for us rectitude in our affairs’ It is notable that it is at this tenth verse that
the verses of protection conclude. The eleventh verse goes on to relate the slumber that Allah bestowed on the young men as the manner in which they were saved. Yet this will not be the manner in which those fleeing Dajjal will be saved. As the Prophet f has taught us, it will be the arrival of Isa ibn Maryam that will herald the salvation of the Muslims. And thus we conclude at the tenth verse, a verse of dua' (supplication) which teaches us that the dwellers of the cave prayed to Allah’s for help and He accepted their dua’.

Excerpt is from Lessons from Surah al-Kahf by Dr Yasir Qadhi

Read the rest of the sample here.