وَٱصۡبِرۡ نَفۡسَكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ رَبَّہُم بِٱلۡغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلۡعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجۡهَهُ ۥۖ وَلَا تَعۡدُ عَيۡنَاكَ عَنۡہُمۡ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَلَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ أَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَهُ ۥ عَن ذِكۡرِنَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَٮٰهُ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُهُ ۥ فُرُطً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 28
The true servants of Allah are those whose hearts are turned to Him morning, noon and night, and who seek not worldly gain, but Allah’s Grace, Allah’s own Self, His Presence and nearness. Even if they are poor in this world’s goods, their society gives far more inward and spiritual satisfaction than worldly grandeur or worldly attractions.
For those who stray from Allah’s path, Allah’s Grace is ever anxious: it seeks to reclaim them and bring them back to the path. If such a one resists and follows his own lusts, a point is reached when his case becomes hopeless. Allah’s Grace does not then reach him and he is abandoned to his pride and insolence. Beware of following the example or advice of such a one or seeking his society, or hankering after his wretched idols.
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ مَنۡ أَحۡسَنَ عَمَلاً
Al Kahfi: 30
The righteous will be rewarded, as has been said again and again, beyond their merits. Not a single good deed of theirs will lose its reward and the mercy of Allah will blot out their sins.
أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتُ عَدۡنٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہِمُ ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ يُحَلَّوۡنَ فِيہَا مِنۡ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ۬ وَيَلۡبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضۡرً۬ا مِّن سُندُسٍ۬ وَإِسۡتَبۡرَقٍ۬ مُّتَّكِـِٔينَ فِيہَا عَلَى ٱلۡأَرَآٮِٕكِۚ نِعۡمَ ٱلثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتۡ مُرۡتَفَقً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 31
Heaven is figured by all the pictures of ease and comfort which we can imagine in our present state: Garden; perpetual springs of crystal water, which we can see as in a landscape from above; the finest and most costly ornaments; the most beautiful clothes to wear; green is the colour mentioned, because it is the most refreshing to the eye, and fits in well with the Garden; the wearer rakes the choice of fine silk or heavy brocade; and for rest and comfort, high thrones of dignity on which the blessed ones recline.
وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلاً۬ رَّجُلَيۡنِ جَعَلۡنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيۡنِ مِنۡ أَعۡنَـٰبٍ۬ وَحَفَفۡنَـٰهُمَا بِنَخۡلٍ۬ وَجَعَلۡنَا بَيۡنَہُمَا زَرۡعً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 32
Here is a sample parable of the contrast between two men. One was purse-proud and forgot that what he had was from Allah, by way of a trust and a trial in this life. The other boasted of nothing; his trust was in Allah. The worldly wealth of the first destroyed and he had nothing left. The second was the happier in the end.
وَكَانَ لَهُ ۥ ثَمَرٌ۬ فَقَالَ لِصَـٰحِبِهِۦ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ ۥۤ أَنَا۟ أَكۡثَرُ مِنكَ مَالاً۬ وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 34
The two men began to compare notes. The arrogant one was puffed up with his possessions, his income and his large family and following, and thought in his self-complacency that it would last for ever. He was also wrong in looking down on his Companion, who, though less affluent, was the better man of the two.
وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ ۥ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ۬ لِّنَفۡسِهِۦ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـٰذِهِۦۤ أَبَدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 35
It was not wealth that ruined him, but the attitude of his mind. He was unjust, not so much to his neighbour, as to his own soul. In his love of the material, he forgot or openly defied the spiritual. As verse 37 shows, he took his companion with him, to impress him with his own importance, but the companion was unmoved.
قَالَ لَهُ ۥ صَاحِبُهُ ۥ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ ۥۤ أَكَفَرۡتَ بِٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ سَوَّٮٰكَ رَجُلاً۬
Al Kahfi: 37
The three stages of man’s creation: first dust or clay, itself created out of nothing and forming the physical basis of his body; then out of the produce of the earth as incorporated in the parents body, the sperm drop (with the corresponding receptive element), and then when the different elements were mixed in due proportion and the soul was breathed into him, the fashioned man.
وَلَوۡلَآ إِذۡ دَخَلۡتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلۡتَ مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِۚ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا۟ أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالاً۬ وَوَلَدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 39
The companion’s argument divides itself into five parts:
(1) He remonstrates against the proud man denying Allah.
(2) He, from his own spiritual experience, proclaims that Allah is one and that He is good.
(3) He points out to him the better way of enjoying Allah’s gift, with gratitude to Him.
(4) He expresses contentment and satisfaction in Allah’s dealings with him.
(5) He gives a warning of the fleeting nature of this world’s goods and the certainty of Allah’s punishment for inordinate vanity
وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِۦ فَأَصۡبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيۡهِ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَنفَقَ فِيہَا وَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِہَا وَيَقُولُ يَـٰلَيۡتَنِى لَمۡ أُشۡرِكۡ بِرَبِّىٓ أَحَدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 42
“Fruits”, “spent”, “twisting of the hands”, should all be understood in a wide metaphorical sense, as well as the literal sense. He had great income and satisfaction, which were all gone. What resources he had lavished on his property! His thoughts had been engrossed on it; his hopes had been built on it; it had become the absorbing passion of his life. If he had only looked to Allah, instead of to the ephemeral goods of this world!
In this case, in his mind, there was his own self and his Mammon as rivals to Allah!
وَلَمۡ تَكُن لَّهُ ۥ فِئَةٌ۬ يَنصُرُونَهُ ۥ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا
Al Kahfi: 43
He had built up connections and obliged dependants, and was proud of having his “quiver full”. But where were all things when the reckoning came? He could not help himself; how could others be expected to help him!
هُنَالِكَ ٱلۡوَلَـٰيَةُ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡحَقِّۚ هُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ عُقۡبً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 44
All else is vanity, uncertainty, the sport of Time. The only hope or truth is from Allah. Other rewards and other successes are illusory: the best Reward and the best Success come from Allah.
وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصۡبَحَ هَشِيمً۬ا تَذۡرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقۡتَدِرًا
Al Kahfi: 45
Rain-water is a good thing in itself, but it does not last and you can build no solid foundations on it. It is soon absorbed in the earth and produces the flourishing appearance of grass and vegetation-for a time. Soon this decay and become as dry stubble, which the least wind from any quarter will blow about like a thing of no importance. The water is gone and so is the vegetation to which it lent a brave show of luxuriance temporarily. Such is the life of this world, contrasted with the inner and real Life, which looks to the Hereafter. Allah is the only enduring Power we can look to, Supreme over all.
ٱلۡمَالُ وَٱلۡبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۖ وَٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ أَمَلاً۬
Al Kahfi: 46
Other things are fleeting: but Good Deeds have a lasting value in the sight of Allah. They are best as (or for) rewards in two ways:
(1) they flow from us by the Grace of Allah and are themselves rewards for our Faith;
(2) they become the foundations of our hopes for the highest rewards in the Hereafter.
وَيَوۡمَ نُسَيِّرُ ٱلۡجِبَالَ وَتَرَى ٱلۡأَرۡضَ بَارِزَةً۬ وَحَشَرۡنَـٰهُمۡ فَلَمۡ نُغَادِرۡ مِنۡہُمۡ أَحَدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 47
On the Day of Judgement none of our present landmarks will remain
وَعُرِضُواْ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ صَفًّ۬ا لَّقَدۡ جِئۡتُمُونَا كَمَا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُمۡ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةِۭۚ بَلۡ زَعَمۡتُمۡ أَلَّن نَّجۡعَلَ لَكُم مَّوۡعِدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 48
We shall stand as we were created, with none of the adventitious possessions that we collected in this life, which will all have vanished.
وَوُضِعَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبُ فَتَرَى ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ مُشۡفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَـٰوَيۡلَتَنَا مَالِ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً۬ وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّآ أَحۡصَٮٰهَاۚ وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرً۬اۗ وَلَا يَظۡلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدً۬ا
Al Kahfi: 49
Personal responsibility, for all deeds in this life will then be enforced. But it will be done with perfect justice. Expressed in the forms of this world, it will amount to a clear statement of all we did in this life; the record will be put before us to convince us. As it will be a perfect record, with no omissions and no wrong entries, it will be perfectly convincing. Where there is punishment, it has been earned by wrong-doer’s own deeds, not imposed on him unjustly.