Thursday, 4 June 2015

Virtues of Al Kahf 2

Being word of Allah, Quran has this unique lingual thoroughness. It contains direct injunctions, however, the description of ‘unseen’ is the tricky part. Explanations on beginning and end of times, invisible creatures like angels and jinns, resurrection, accountability, heaven and hell; all are unseen events described in veiled speech. These are open to interpretation. This is where human imagination goes berserk. The hardest thing for human mind in 21st Century is to accept the existence of unseen world. Our minds are used to accepting evidence. Scientific experiments are based on empirical evidence. Theories of philosophy and economy are all supported by substantive evidence. For existence of unseen Quran is the living and talking evidence. You have to find time to delve on 6666 evidences. Quran is the special mercy of our Lord. He gave us signs (Ayahs) to understand. While others waste time in debate, those blessed with the eye of the soul can clearly see those signs.

Now we move straight to our weekly segment and complete second part on virtues of Al Kahf

            Third Virtue: On the Authority of Hazrat Aisha (RA); the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Shall I not inform you of a Surah which is so full of greatness it reaches between the heaven and earth and it has blessings written for it of similar proportions (from the sky to earth) whoever reads it on Yom-ul-Juma, is forgiven what occurred between that Juma and the next, in addition to 3 days (i.e. 10days in all) and whoever reads the last five ayat of it when he goes to sleep, Allah will send him that night what he wants. They said, Yes, O Messenger of Allah. He said: Sura Ashabul Kahf.”

Firstly, it is important to address the difference in number of days for which Al Kahf shields us from Fitn and number of Ayahs to be recited. In some Hadith seven days are mentioned and on other occasions ten. Likewise, some Hadith emphasize recitation and memorization of first ten, last ten and last five Ayahs of Al Kahf. The difference is not as important as the recitation itself. If possible entire Surah be recited. Similarly, first and last ten Ayahs be memorized. No need to embroil in futile debate of numbers. Allah has also discouraged such debate in same Surah describing number of Ashab-e-Kahf. Our focus must be on the lessons intended to be drawn.

This hadith gives a variety of virtues of reading and reciting Surah al Kahf on the day of Juma. The first virtue is that reading Surah al Kahf on Friday absolves us from sins for ten days. The second virtue described in the hadith is that by reading Surah al Kahf on Friday nights and before going to sleep every night one gets the benefits of expatiating from sins as well as granting of wishes.

Now let us find out how Al Kahf may protect us from fitna of Dajjal. Appearing of Dajjal is certain towards the last days before end of times. Again Dajjal belongs to the unseen part of Quranic guidance. Similarly, things are mentioned in metaphors. Symbolism in Quran is abundant. For example, last ‘days’ mentioned in Quran and Hadith may not be of just 24 hours. Long nights and days of northern pole suggest that it is not necessary. Whereas, in our earth, days and nights span over months, how is it possible that a day in our Lord’s description fits 24 hours’ cycle. Judgement Day is considered to be equal to thousand years. We need to understand that time is a human invention and every invention is bound to end. Hence, days before end of times could be spread over years or centuries. In this context, we may comfort ourselves by thinking that we may not confront Dajjal in our lifetime and it may possibly be true. But this does not completely strike out the possibility of seeing that fitna. Who knows he exists but time of his appearance has not arrived yet. He is supposed to be an extremely powerful creature.

I recall my first readings about the Dajjal and it did scare me a bit because he will seem to be so powerful and will be able to produce many (false) miracles. Many good people will be fooled or deceived by him to his submission. It will be disconcerting to others to see known pious or good people following what the Dajjal says. This is very scary and it will tend to mislead those weak in faith. It will be an extremely trying time and the fact that he will be given the ability to offer people a choice between what seems to be certain death or life but the true believer, when forced to make that decision will choose fire (death) rather than kufr. It will be very frightening. We don't know exactly how this will occur or even when, but we have seen many of the signs of the last days come to pass so it is not farfetched to feel, to think that we are living in some of the last days before the Last Day.

Allah is the Knower of whole Truth.

May Allah protect us from Fitn of Dajjal and bless us with understanding the marvels of Quran in general and Al Kahf in particular.
(Next week, the relationship of all four stories of Al Kahf with present times and Fitn of Dajjal, Insha Allah)