“Virtues of Surah Kahf” by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh Ul Haq.
The hadith related by Hakim and Bayhaqi, from Abu Sa`id (Allah be pleased with him), “Whoever recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, light shall shine forth for him between the two Fridays”. [Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Habir]
Hazrat Al Baraa said that when a man was reciting Surah Kahf with a horse tied with two ropes at one side. Suddenly a cloud overshadowed him, and as it began to come nearer and nearer, his horse began to take fright. He went and mentioned it to the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallam in the morning and he said, “That was tranquillity which came down by reason of the Qur’aan.”
Hazrat Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam saying, “If anyone memorises ten verses from the beginning of Surah Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Muslim)
Hazrat Abu Darda radiyallahu anhu reported Allah’s Messenger sallallahu alaihe wasallam saying, “Anyone who reads the first three verses of Surah Kahf, he will be protected from the trial of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).” (Tirmizi)
Laylatul Qadr is the crowning glory of the holy month of Ramadhaan. It is associated with the sending down of the Qur’an Majeed, the last Book of Allah on His last Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), for the guidance of mankind. The Qur’an Majeed describes this Night.
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ
وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ
لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ
تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ
سَلاَمٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ “We have indeed revealed this (message) in the Night of Power: And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the Angels and the Spirit (Jibraeel) by Allah’s permission, on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of Morn!” (Surah 97)
The Night of Power is the night of spiritual bliss. Our Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said concerning Ramadhaan:
“Verily this month has come to you; and therein is a night which is better than a thousand Months. Whosoever is deprived of it, is deprived of all good; and none is deprived of its good except a totally unfortunate person”. (Ibn Majah)
“Whosoever stands up (in prayer) at the Night of Power out of faith and hopeful of reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.”(Targhib)
Better than a thousand months
A thousand months are equivalent to 83 years and 4 months. Fortunate is the person who spends this night in prayer. The man or woman, who prays for the whole night during this Night, will deserve blessings and reward for the period as if he or she had been praying for eighty three years and four months consecutively. Since the Night of Power is better than one thousand months no one can actually measure the extent as to how much better it is.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Laylatul Qadr has been bestowed by Allah to my Ummah (People). It was not given to any people before this.” (Dur-Mansoor).
How manifest and replete the special bounties and mercies of Allah Ta’ala are upon this Ummat is quite really beyond imagination. It will therefore be extremely foolish to allow ourselves to be deprived of these great blessings at the expense of sheer laziness and a few hours of extra sleep.
Which Night is it? When is Laylatul Qadr?
Although there are different reports in different traditions regarding the exact night, it is almost unanimous that the blessed night occurs in one of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan and more probably in one of the last ten odd nights i.e. 2lst, 23rd, 25th 27th or 29th night.
The popular opinion is, however, in favour of the 27th Night of Ramadhaan but that is not absolutely certain. The traditions indicate that it is to be sought in one of the last ten nights and preferably in the last three odd nights. It was therefore the practice of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his companions to make I’tikaaf in the Mosque for the whole time offering Divine service during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
Hazrath Aisha (Radhiallaahu Anha) reported that the Apostle of Allah said: “Search for the Blessed Night in the odd (nights) from the last ten (nights) of Ramadhaan”(Bukhari).
What to do on Laylatul Qadr?
Hazrath Aisha has narrated another saying: “I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Tell me if I were to find a Night of Power, what should I recite therein?” Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) advised her to recite:
Al-laa-hum-ma in-na-ka ‘afoow-wan tu-hib-bul-‘af wa fa-fu ‘an-ni.
O Allah! You are Forgiving, You love forgiveness, so forgive me. (Bukhari).
Special attention should therefore be given to the excessive recitation of this dua on the blessed night. Furthermore one may engage in lengthy rakaats of Tahajjud salaat, Tilaawat of the Qur’an, Dua, Zikr, etc.
The worship and the vigil of the Night of Power are a treat to the soul. The heart tends to melt into tears of heartfelt gratitude. The body is in a state of angelic ecstasy The soul strives to reach nearer to Almighty Allah. In this holy month of Ramadhaan let us strive to seek the Night of Power and its bliss. May Allah reward us with His bountiful blessings. Aameen.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, ‘The example of a believer who recites the Qur’an is that of a citron (a citrus fruit) which is good in taste and good in smell. And the believer who does not recite the Qur’an is like a date which has a good taste but no smell. And the example of an impious person who recites the Qur’an is that of Ar-Rihana (an aromatic plant) which smells good but is bitter in taste. And the example of an impious person who does not recite the Qur’an is that of a colocynth which is bitter in taste and has no smell.”
Dhikr or ‘Remembrance’ essentially pertains to the heart, but in so far as the tongue is the interpreter of the heart the oral recitation of a Divine Name or a verse of the Holy Qur’an is also described as Dhikr. In other words, oral Dhikr can be worth the name only when it is accompanied by the ‘remembrance’ of the heart. As the great Sufi poet Rumi points out, the recitation of a Divine name can have no efficacy if one keeps thinking of cows and donkeys while repeating it mechanically with the tongue. One must, however, bear in mind that even a mechanical Dhikr without the heart being engaged in it is not altogether futile. It is related that the great Sufi Abu Uthman, hearing a man complain of such a situation, remarked that one should be grateful to Allah even for this favour of having drawn at least one organ of the body into His service. (Qurtubi)
The merits of Dhikr are, indeed, innumerable. What greater merit could one wish for than the assurance that when a man ‘remembers’ Allah, He too ‘remembers’ him. Abu Uthman once claimed that he knew the time when Allah remembered His servants. The listeners grew curious as to how he could determine this. He replied that, according to the promise made in the Holy Qur’an, when a Muslim remembers Allah, He too remembers him, and thus everyone can know for himself that as soon as he turns to Allah and remembers Him, Allah too remembers him.
Let us add that Verse 152 means to say that if men ‘remember’ Allah by obeying His commandments, He will ‘remember’ them by granting His pardon and His rewards. The commentator Sa’id ibn Jubayr has, in fact, interpreted the Dhikr or ‘remembrance’ of Allah as obedience and submission to Him. He says: “He who has not obeyed Him has not remembered Him, even though he has kept himself externally busy in offering (nafl: supererogatory) prayers and reciting His praises.”
This explanation is fully supported by a hadith cited by Al-Qurtubi on the authority of Ahkam Al-Qur’an by Ibn Khuwayz Mandadh. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said that one who has been obeying Allah – that is, following the injunctions with regards to the Halal and Haram – has truly been remembering Allah, in spite of being deficient in (nafl: supererogatory) prayers and fasting, while one who has been disobeying divine commandments has, in fact, forgotten Allah, in spite of devoting long hours to nafl prayers, fasting and recitation of His praises.
The great Sufi Master Dhu al-Nun al-Misri has said that the man who remembers Allah in the full sense of the term forgets everything else, and that, in reward of such a total absorption, Allah Himself takes care of all his concerns, and grants him something far more valuable for everything he loses. Similarly, the blessed Companion Mu’adh (رضى الله تعالى عنه)has remarked that in so far as winning absolution from the divine wrath is concerned, no good deed on the part of man can compare with Dhikr. And in a hadith reported by the blessed Companion Abu Hurayrah (رضى الله تعالى عنه), Allah Himself says that so long as the servant keeps remembering Him and his lips keep moving in Dhikr, Allah is with him.
Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. Is is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse.
Abu Nu’aim states, in his Tib an-Nabbi, that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that the benefits of listening to recitation are increased when it is understood – that is, when its meaning is understood. Allah Himself says:
…so give good news to My slaves, those who listen to the word and then follow the best of it…(Qur’an: 39.17-18)
Source: As-Suyuti’s Medicine of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)
The story of the birth of Isa (A.S.) as told in the Qur’an demonstrates again the power of Allah who can make happen whatever He wills. Just as Ibrahim (A.S.) and Sara (A.S.) wondered at being able to have a son at their great age, Isa’s mother, Maryam (peace be upon her) also wondered at being able to have a son when no man had touched her.
Maryam was the daughter of Imran (A.S.). When her mother became pregnant with her, she dedicated her baby to Allah for His special service. Maryam grew up pure and beautiful in the special protection of Allah. Whenever her guardian, Zakariah (A.S.), would visit her in her room, he would find that she had been provided with plentiful food and he wondered at it. It was Allah who was caring for her.
When Maryam became a young woman she was visited by a messenger from Allah. He told her that she would bear a son named Isa (A.S.). He would speak to the people as a child and as an adult. Allah would teach him the Book and the Wisdom, and he would be a prophet to his people.
Maryam was amazed at this message. She was a well-behaved young, unmarried woman, so how could she have a baby? Allah’s message was similar to that given to Ibrahim (A.S.). Allah creates whatever he wills. All he has to do is say, “Be,” and it is.
When the time came for Maryam’s baby to be born, she withdrew from her family because she knew they wouldn’t understand. As the pains of birth began, she came to a palm tree and cried out in despair that she wished she were dead. A voice answered her, telling her not to grieve, and telling her to shake the palm tree to obtain dates. Allah also provided her with a small stream to ease her thirst and cool her face during the birth of her son, Isa .
When Isa (A.S.) had been born, Maryam returned home with him. When her family saw him they were shocked, as she knew they would be. But she merely pointed to the baby in explanation and he, the newborn infant, spoke, declaring that he was indeed a servant of Allah, a prophet, blessed by Allah, enjoined to do prayer and charity, and be kind to his mother, humble and not overbearing, and that he would eventually die and be raised to life again.
You can read about Maryam and the birth of Isa (A.S.) in the following suras of the Qur’an: 3:35-37, 3:42-49, 19:16-40.
Prophet Ismail (a.s) was the son of Ibrahim (a.s) and Hajar. One day Ibrahim (a.s) took his baby son and wife (Hajar) to the site where Ka’ba can be found today. He gave them some dates and water and started to leave. As Ibrahim (a.s) walked away, Hajar followed and asked why they were being left in this empty place. She understood from his silence that Allah had commanded him to do this. Finally, she asked if Allah had ordered him to do this and he replied that it was so. Upon hearing this, she accepted Allah’s will and returned to the place where Ibrahim (a.s) had left her.
As soon as Ibrahim (a.s) was out of sight, he turned and prayed to Allah to protect and provide for his family which he had left out in the wilderness:
رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّيۤ أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ ٱلْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلاَةَ فَٱجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ ٱلنَّاسِ تَهْوِيۤ إِلَيْهِمْ وَٱرْزُقْهُمْ مِّنَ ٱلثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; In order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer; So fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits; So that they may give thanks.” (al-Qur’an 14:37)
Ismail (a.s) and his mother lived for some time on the water and dates Ibrahim (a.s) left them, but finally the water ran out, and Ismail’s (a.s) mother could no longer produce enough milk to feed Ismail (a.s). The mother could not bear to see her child suffering, so she ran to the top of nearby Mount Safa to see if she could find someone to help her. When she could see no one, she ran down the mountain and across the valley to Mount Marwa. She ran from one mountain to the other seven times, looking for water or help. After the seventh time she heard a voice and she called out to it for help. When she looked she saw an angel digging the earth with his heel until water flowed forth. That place was the site of Zam-zam. She carefully made a barrier around the place where the water was flowing, and filled her waterbag with her hands. Then she was able to drink water and feed her baby. The angel also told her not to be afraid, that she and her son would be provided for.
Ismail (a.s) and his mother continued to live at this place all by themselves for some time. One day some people of the Jurhum tribe were passing through the valley. They didn’t intend to stop, because they knew that there had never been any water in that valley. But they saw a kind of bird which was known to frequent wet spots, so they followed it to the spring of Zam-zam. There they found Ismail’s (a.s) mother sitting by the water.
Ismail’s mother agreed they could settle there for a while, as long as they did not claim possession to the water. Some of the people of the tribe settled by the water permanently and Ismail grew up amongst them.
Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) said: “Almighty Allah says; “If anybody finds no time for My remembrance and for begging favours of Me, because of his remaining busy with the Holy Qur’an, I shall give him more than what I give to all those who beg favours of Me. The superiority of the Word of Allah over all other words is like the superiority of Allah over the entire creation.”
[Tirmidhi, Darimi, Bayhaqi]
In other words, compared to those who are begging favours of Allah, He will surely confer some better reward on a person who remains so occupied with committing the Qur’an to memory or learning and understanding it that he hardly gets time for du’a (prayer).
It is commonly known that when a man distributes sweets, or something else amongst others, a share is set aside for the person who cannot attend the function because of the task of distribution given to him by the distributor himself.
In another hadith, in the same context, it is mentioned that Allah would give such a person a better reward than what He would give to His ever grateful servants.