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Is Your Road Rough? Stay Calm and Be Like People of Cave!

Part 1 | Part 2

Whenever I read the story of the People of Cave (Ashaabul Khaf), my eyes always get filled with tears for many wondrous signs that Allah the Almighty wants to show us through this story, perhaps our hearts will succumb and yield to the light of faith.

It was certainly a story of full dedication and unshakable belief in Allah, the Almighty, in line with the message and wisdom behind many other stories in the Glorious Quran.

No doubt, the story has been narrated and recounted again and again by many writers and researchers, but still its beauty and magnificence keep beaming rays of delight whenever one opens the Book of Allah to read the chapter of Al-khaf (The Cave, Chap 18).

These are some number of young men who lived in a city where idolatry and paganism were rampant, and in resisting against this, as well as against pressure from their people, they made it clear that they would not worship anything besides the mighty God.

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And in fleeing the persecution, they resorted to a cave where they hid and were made to sleep by the divine power of God for many years.

So what these monotheistic youths went through were perfectly revealed in the Quran as they rebelled against the disbelief of the people of their city and their practices which ran in counter to what they saw as the Straight Path.

The moment they declared their position and firmness against bowing down to any other deities except the only One God, it was clear that nothing could be done to make them change their mind, for they had already chosen that one path: completely surrendering to their Lord, and with a very strong belief in His power they cried out: {Oh Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy, and bless our affairs with Your Guidance} (Al-Kahf 18:11)

This is the first message one should learn from this story. It’s a step for a new Muslim to declare shahada (proclamation the oneness of God), or a born Muslim to renew his intention to purify his faith, it’s quite another important step for that intention to get stronger and well-established at heart.

So for the People of Cave, known in the Bible as the Seven Sleepers, the threat of being destroyed and completely annihilated by the king of their land did neither shake their confidence nor alter or weaken their belief. But instead of giving in to this, they chose instead to remain steadfast:

{And We made firm their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.} (Al-Kahf 18:14)

This is another important message to draw from this story: Once you have made up your mind about a certain act of good deeds, or a certain cause in your life, especially when related to strengthening bond with your Creator, never look back.

Of course, you will certainly be tempted and swayed around by dozens of temptations and world allurements, just to prevent you from meeting up with your goals, but do not give in.

The temptation might also be life-threatening, just as it happened to the youths in this story, and definitely just as it happened to Bilal ibn Rabah, and other Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at the peak of their struggle against the Makkan’s polytheists. Always, try to be firm and do not succumb to weakness.

And your only resort for survival, or a tiny rope for you to cling on for safety, may lie in a cave. Yes, your own cave, with less certainty or guarantee that you would make it, but a glimmer of hope may put you through, and provide you with a key to enter the gate of salvation, i.e., the abode of Allah’s mercy and blessing galore.

More about this point, and further lessons, in the next part insha Allah. Stay tuned.