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Sunday 28 June 2015

Ramadan Reading Challenge Day 12: The People of the Cave

Most of the stories for this challenge are coming from surah Al Kahf 18 which takes its name from the story of the People of the Cave. Today's challenge is in reading about the People of the Cave, ayahs 9-26.

Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs?

(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave. They said: "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!"

Therefore We covered up their (sense of) hearing (causing them to go in deep sleep) in the Cave for a number of years.

Then We raised them up (from their sleep), that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period that they had tarried. 

We narrate unto you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) their story with truth: Truly they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.

And We made their hearts firm and strong (with the light of Faith in Allah and bestowed upon them patience to bear the separation of their kith and kin and dwellings) when they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any ilah (god) other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.

"These our people have taken for worship alihah (gods) other than Him (Allah). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.

(The young men said to one another): "And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair (i.e. will give you what you will need of provision, dwelling)."

And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the Cave. That is (one) of the Ayat (proofs, evidence, signs) of Allah. He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right Path).

And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.

Likewise, We awakened them (from their long deep sleep) that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: "How long have you stayed (here)?" They said: "We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day." They said: "Your Lord (Alone) knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town, and let him find out which is the good lawful food, and bring some of that to you. And let him be careful and let no man know of you.

"For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion; and in that case you will never be successful."

And thus We made their case known (to the people), that they might know that the Promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people of the city) disputed among themselves about their case, they said: "Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them;" (then) those who won their point said (most probably the disbelievers): "We verily shall build a place of worship over them."

(Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; and (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, - guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, and the dog being the eighth. Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few." So debate not (about their number) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you). And consult not any of them (people of the Scripture - Jews and Christians) about (the affair of) the people of the Cave.

And never say of anything, "I shall do such and such thing tomorrow."

Except (with the saying), "If Allah will!" And remember your Lord when you forget and say: "It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this."

And they stayed in their Cave three hundred (solar) years, adding nine (for lunar years). (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi)

Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule."

You might like to read Ibn Kathir's commentary in Stories of the Qur'an.

Lesson and Activity

There are so many lessons in this story. Which one will you focus on?
1. If you stay steadfast on Islam then Allah will help you. Allah is able to do anything - He can put people to sleep for 300 years so He can help you in your affairs. Rely totally on Allah for help.
2. The importance of staying away from the practices of non-believers.
3. The importance of eating halal food.
4. Remember to say "insha Allah" when you intend to do something.

These are just a few ideas for lessons. If you have any others then feel free to do them and share.

Comments Required

There are so many other lessons to learn. Can you think of any others? I'd love to hear them. Please write in the comment below.

At the end of this Ramadan Reading Challenge, if you or your children have participated then you will get a prize (not sure what yet - will keep you updated). To be eligible, please leave a comment on what lesson you have learnt from the reading of the story and include any activities that you did to extend it. Just a line or two would be fine (so that I can contact you).


  1. Asalamualikum, I talk about the People of the Cave today with my kids, the first they were dis focus but when I just said how Allah put them to sleep for 300 years I saw them get interested we finished the story and I asked each one of them to tell me what happened, and I emphasis Allah"s power I am planning to do lap book for each story from inchaallh

    1. Wa alaykum salam, lap books for the stories are a great idea. Let me know how they turn out inshaAllah.

    2. I've found this lapbook on 4 of the stories from surah Al Kahf that a sister has made with her child. Check it out

  2. Jazak Allah Khair for the lapbook link. I will do it with my children Insha Allah. We actually talk about/read and even watch this story every Friday. Alhamdoulilah. My children know it well. We focused on how Allah can help us out of any situation-no matter how difficult. These were brave men who stood up for their belief in Allah even in the face of a Tyrant ruler. We also focused on the Ruler himself. We made a comparison between him and D'hul Qarnayn. The difference between a just and kind ruler and one that oppresses his people and causes corruption in the land. Alhamdoulilah we were able to see several differences between the two. Alhamdoulilah I remind my children often of saying Insha Allah. They are just starting to say it on their own without reminders. Alhamdoulilah. We also spoke of the importance of Dua and Allah responds to the one who calls and helps the believers. We walk to him and he Runs to us. Alhamdoulilah

    1. Sister have you read and selected your audio book? Please read this post


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