The story of the youth of the cave signifies love of the best kind and shows how the youth had a commitment to such love by seeking to earn the pleasure of the beloved, Allah before taking pleasure in His creations.
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!” (Quran 18: 9-10)
. . . Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance. (Quran 18: 13)
Lessons From the Story of the Youth in the Cave
Put Your Trust in Allah
The young men put their trust in Allah when they separated from their disbelieving folk and sought refuge in a cave. They had no idea what would become of them. You should equally learn to trust in Allah at all times and especially in times of uncertainty and trial.
Have Faith and Take Action
The youth did not only believe, they also took the necessary steps to act on their belief. First their thoughts and eventually their limbs took action. Begin the journey in your heart, but do not let it end there; verbalize your thoughts, then walk the talk. Now start moving.
Embrace Islam as Your True Religion
Islam is the true religion and a complete way of life. In Islam you will find guidance, faith, strength, and the will to submit to the true Creator, Allah. If you embrace it wholly as the youth of the cave did, you will be among the rightly guided Muslims. You will have no unnecessary fears or feel overwhelmed with the challenges around you.
Play Your Part
Whatever your station in life, you have an important part to play— in the family, at school or work, and in society— as part of the wider Ummah.
Your role as a Muslim youth comes with responsibilities. These responsibilities will not simply be executed without challenges, choices, and changes.
Not too long ago, I remember looking forward to the teen years and the years beyond as a time of maturity, decision-making, and independence. It seemed like the perfect years were yet to come. But I was wrong. My teen and youthful years brought with them many challenges, from faith issues to other internal conflicts to trying to balance family and friends with career.
Understanding the teachings of Islam, especially the message of the Quran, guided me on a path of self-discovery and focusing on my faith, passion, experience, and skills. The Quran carries lessons for the youth in all situations and with any kind of challenge.
The life of the Muslim youth is not simply about independence and choosing between black and white. It is a period of change, choices, and challenges, with many shades of grey in between. And these challenges are not without a purpose, just as the entire life of a Muslim is not without a higher purpose beyond fulfilling our immediate needs.
Each time you are faced with issues regarding your faith and Islamic identity, remember the advice of Luqman. Reflect on his words to help you build the best of relationships with your parents and others around you. Emulate Yusuf in building a fine character and facing up to daily challenges with patience and trust in Allah.
Follow in his footsteps by repelling evil with good and striving to work hard for your sustenance with excellence. Face up to societal pressure through the example of the youth of the cave. Build a kind of “cave” in your life from time to time so that you can give yourself space away from the noise and busyness around you to reflect on the verses of Allah and nurture the faith within.
Such are the lessons and reminders we find in the Quran. The times may be different but the principles and emotions remain the same. Isn’t it time then to take a closer look into the pages of this special book— to study, reflect, seek answers, and adopt the solutions embedded within it?
Keep reading the Quran and do not simply recite it; ponder over the meanings and practice what you learn in addition to sharing the message with others. Take a simple step each day and make your intention sincere.
Read the Quran daily and take lessons from the stories contained within and you will overcome your challenges without any doubt.