Download PDF: An inspirational Quranic Speech about Ashaab al-Kahf
Due to the preaching of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him, the so called priests of the Jews and the rich among them became ardent enemies of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him. They also started to oppress him and his small band of supporters and presented false evidence against him with the Roman Governor Pilot. They also mentioned to the Roman Governor that if he did not do anything about it, they would start a rebellion. In this regard, the majority of Jews were against Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – and they waited for him to be nailed to a cross. However, Allah Almighty completely destroyed the evil plots and plans of these people and He mentions this in Surah Ale Imran, verse 54:
وَمَکَرُوۡا وَمَکَرَ اللہُؕ وَاللہُ خَیۡرُ الْمٰکِرِیۡنَ﴿۵۴﴾٪
“And the disbelievers conspired (to kill ‘Isa), and Allah covertly planned to destroy them; and Allah is the best of secret planners.”
At the same time, the false propaganda of what actually happened to Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – and his so-called crucifixion is clearly mentioned in Surah Nisa. The Qur’an declares in the same Surah from verses 157 to 159:
وَّقَوْلِہِمْ اِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِیۡحَ عِیۡسَی ابْنَ مَرْیَمَ رَسُوۡلَ اللہِ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوۡہُ وَمَا صَلَبُوۡہُ وَلٰکِنۡ شُبِّہَ لَہُمْ ؕ وَ اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اخْتَلَفُوۡا فِیۡہِ لَفِیۡ شَکٍّ مِّنْہُ ؕ مَا لَہُمۡ بِہٖ مِنْ عِلْمٍ اِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوۡہُ یَقِیۡنًۢا﴿۱۵۷﴾ۙ
And for their saying, We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’, Whereas they slew him not, and neither crucified him, but one was made like him for them. And those who are differing about him, certainly, they are in doubt regarding’ him. They have not the least knowledge about it, but merely following a conjecture, and undoubtedly, they slew him not.
بَلۡ رَّفَعَہُ اللہُ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ وَکَانَ اللہُ عَزِیۡزًا حَکِیۡمًا ﴿۱۵۸﴾
But Allah raised him up towards Himself, and Allah is Dominant, Wise.
وَ اِنۡ مِّنْ اَہۡلِ الْکِتٰبِ اِلَّا لَیُؤْمِنَنَّ بِہٖ قَبْلَ مَوْتِہٖ ۚ وَیَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَۃِ یَکُوۡنُ عَلَیۡہِمْ شَہِیۡدًا ﴿۱۵۹﴾ۚ
There is not any one of the people of the Book, who will not believe in him before his (jesus christ’s) death, and he will be a witness against them on the Day of judgement.
In the Hadith Shareef, the following have been presented in this regard.
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “O my followers, what will be your state (of happiness) when Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – will be sent down to you and Imam Mehdi – may Allah be pleased with him – will be from among you.” (Bukhari Shareef).
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “I swear by the Divine Being in Whose Power is my life, very soon, Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – will be revealed to you bringing justice. He will break the cross and kill the pigs. He will stop the Jizyah and wealth will increase to such a state that there will be no one ready to accept it (in charity). (Such will be this time that) a single Sajdah will be more valuable than the entire world and everything within it.”
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “Without doubt, Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – will descend to earth and pass decisions (based on) justice. As a person of justice, he will walk on the road to Mecca for Hajj and Umrah. He will then approach my grave and convey his Salaam to me and I will reply to his Salaam.” After saying this much, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – mentions, “O my nephews, if you meet Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him, then convey my Salaams to him.”
- Hadrat Sayyiduna Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has stated that, “There will always be one group in my Ummah who will always be established in fighting for the truth.” (Muslim Shareef).
When Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – descends from the (heavens), then the Muslim leader will say to him to go forward and read the Salaah. However, in reply to this, he will declare, “You are leaders and Imams among yourselves and this is that excellence which the Allah Almighty had given to you (people).”
From all of these facts, we clearly come to realise that the beliefs which the Jews and Christians possess in this regard are beliefs which are merely fabricated and nothing else. At the same time, with this background, there was no possibility that this religion could spread. However, there still existed a few dedicated followers of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – who went forward and spread his true message and beliefs.
They were also people who suffered terrible persecution. Yet, the small light which they had lit could not be extinguished. With the enthusiasm displayed by these original followers of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him, this religion began to spread. A certain group of people were also established finally and these people began to spread the belief in One Allah Almighty, etc. However, at the same time, the majority of people in this country like their Roman masters were idol worshippers. In the year 248, when Pontius Pilot became Emperor of Rome, he placed a complete ban on the true beliefs which we spread by these early followers of Christianity. He also had many of these early converts killed or banished.
As far as the Ashaabe Kahaf is concerned it is mentioned that these were a few young men who had left their homes to protect their religion. It is said that they were from the city of Tartus or later known by the Muslim as Afsus. When they were forced by authorities to accept idol worship as their religion and because they were not prepared to accept this corrupt religion, they decided to retire to a remote area to save themselves.
The actual background to this story
This event took place many years before the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. However, when one reads this story, it seems like it only occurred yesterday. In fact, it seems that this place is so remote that not even people like ibn Batuta, who travelled most of the known world, even mentioned that he had visited the cave of the Ashaabe Kahaf. Even Hadrat Sa’adi – may Allah be pleased with him – who travelled quiet extensively did not mention its exact locality.
Today, we find that rich and powerful people travel all over the world yet, very few people actually mention that they have visited the Ashaabe Kahaf. According to the Qur’an, this cave is situated in such a place where the actual cave is opened on both sides. In fact, when the sun rises, the area inside the cave is in constant shade. This is considered as one of the most amazing and strange incidents to have occurred in the history of religion. The Qur’an declares that this was indeed an exceptional sign of Allah Almighty. In Surah Kahaf, verse 9, the Qur’an declares:
اَمْ حَسِبْتَ اَنَّ اَصْحٰبَ الْکَہۡفِ وَ الرَّقِیۡمِ کَانُوۡا مِنْ اٰیٰتِنَا عَجَبًا ﴿۹﴾
“Did you know that the People of the Cave and People close to the Woods,
were Our exceptional signs?”
The word “Kahaf” refers to a cave which is expansive or wide. As for the word “Ar Raqeem” there is a difference of opinion in this regard. Hadrat Sayyiduna Ka’ab – may Allah be pleased with him – believes that this refers to the city in which these young men lived. Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with him – explains that “Raqeem” would refer to that area in which this cave is to be found. The majority of the Mufassireen say that the word “Reqeem” is actually used in the sense of “Marqum”. This signifies a copper plate on which the actual names of the Ashaabe Kahaf were recorded and this was then placed in a special box. It also explained the life of these young men so that people coming later would also remember them.
In fact, when one of the young men whose name was Yamleekhan was captured and taken to the King, the account which was found in this box verified his story. In other words, only then did the world come to know that these were those young men who struggled to achieve the Divine Pleasure of Allah Almighty even though everyone around them became angry with them. In fact, these were people who had closed all the pleasures of the world behind them to achieve this important mission.
Introduction to Ashaabe Kahaf
The Qur’an explains who these young men were. In Surah Kahaf, verse 13 to 18:
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَیۡکَ نَبَاَہُمۡ بِالْحَقِّ ؕ اِنَّہُمْ فِتْیَۃٌ اٰمَنُوۡا بِرَبِّہِمْ وَزِدْنٰہُمْ ہُدًی ﴿٭ۖ۱۳﴾ وَّ رَبَطْنَا عَلٰی قُلُوۡبِہِمْ اِذْ قَامُوۡا فَقَالُوۡا رَبُّـنَا رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ لَنۡ نَّدْعُوَا۠ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اِلٰـہًا لَّقَدْ قُلْنَاۤ اِذًا شَطَطًا ﴿۱۴﴾ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ قَوْمُنَا اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اٰلِہَۃً ؕ لَوْ لَا یَاۡتُوۡنَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِسُلْطٰنٍۭ بَیِّنٍ ؕ فَمَنْ اَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرٰی عَلَی اللہِ کَذِبًا ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾
وَ اِذِ اعْتَزَلْتُمُوۡہُمْ وَمَا یَعْبُدُوۡنَ اِلَّا اللہَ فَاۡ وٗۤا اِلَی الْکَہۡفِ یَنۡشُرْ لَکُمْ رَبُّکُمۡ مِّنۡ رَّحۡمَتِہٖ و یُہَیِّئْ لَکُمۡ مِّنْ اَمْرِکُمۡ مِّرْفَقًا ﴿۱۶﴾ وَتَرَی الشَّمْسَ اِذَا طَلَعَتۡ تَّزٰوَرُ عَنۡ کَہۡفِہِمْ ذَاتَ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ اِذَا غَرَبَتۡ تَّقْرِضُہُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَ ہُمْ فِیۡ فَجْوَۃٍ مِّنْہُ ؕ ذٰلِکَ مِنْ اٰیٰتِ اللہِ ؕ مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللہُ فَہُوَ الْمُہۡتَدِ ۚ وَمَنۡ یُّضْلِلْ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَہٗ وَلِیًّا مُّرْشِدًا ﴿٪۱۷﴾ وَ تَحْسَبُہُمْ اَیۡقَاظًا وَّ ہُمْ رُقُوۡدٌ ٭ۖ وَّ نُقَلِّبُہُمْ ذَاتَ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ ٭ۖ وَکَلْبُہُمۡ بٰسِطٌ ذِرَاعَیۡہِ بِالْوَصِیۡدِ ؕ لَوِاطَّلَعْتَ عَلَیۡہِمْ لَوَلَّیۡتَ مِنْہُمْ فِرَارًا وَّ لَمُلِئْتَ مِنْہُمْ رُعْبًا ﴿۱۸﴾
“We shall narrate their account to you accurately; they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased the guidance for them. And We made their hearts steadfast when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth – we shall not worship any other deity except Him – if it were, we have then said something excessive.” “These – the people of ours – have set up gods besides Allah; why do they not bring a clear proof regarding them? And who is more unjust than one who fabricates a lie against Allah?” “And when you have disassociated yourself from them and all what they worship besides Allah – so take refuge in the Cave – your Lord will spread His mercy for you and arrange ease for you in your affairs.” And (O Muhammad) you will see the sun that when it rises it shifts away to the right of their cave, and when it sets it shifts away to their left, and they are in the open ground of that cave; this is from among the signs of Allah; whomever Allah guides – only he is therefore guided; and whomever He sends astray – you will never find for him a friend who guides. And you may think they are awake, whereas they are asleep; and We turn them over to the right and the left – and their dog is on the threshold of the cave, with its paws outstretched; O listener, were you to look at them closely, you would turn back running away from them, and be filled with dread.”
It is mentioned that when these people stood in front of the tyrant King, they continued to spread the message of Tauheed.
In fact, when they retired to this cave to protect the true message of faith, this cave became a beloved symbol of Allah Almighty. In fact, so pleased was Allah Almighty with this dedication of theirs that He revealed an entire Surah in the Qur’an explaining the story of these dedicated young men. If this is the case of people who remained alive for so many years in a cave without food or water, how is it impossible for the friends of Allah Almighty to exist in their blessed graves without food or water?
The length of their stay in the cave
The Qur’an explains in Surah Kahaf, 25,26:
وَ لَبِثُوۡا فِیۡ کَہۡفِہِمْ ثَلٰثَ مِائَۃٍ سِنِیۡنَ وَازْدَادُوۡا تِسْعًا ﴿۲۵﴾ قُلِ اللہُ اَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوۡا ۚ لَہٗ غَیۡبُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ ؕ اَبْصِرْ بِہٖ وَ اَسْمِعْ ؕ مَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ ۫ وَّلَا یُشْرِکُ فِیۡ حُکْمِہٖۤ اَحَدًا ﴿۲۶﴾
“And they stayed in their Cave for three hundred years and nine more. Say, “Allah well knows how long they stayed; for Him only are the hidden of the heavens and the earth; how well He sees and hears! They do not have any supporter besides Him; and He does not associate anyone in His command.”
What is even more strange is that when we sleep for a few minutes, we twist and turn a hundred times. Yet, these people continued to sleep in this state without need for food or drink. In fact, even their bodies were regulated through Divine Command.
In the same Surah, in verse 18, it is mentioned:
وَ تَحْسَبُہُمْ اَیۡقَاظًا وَّ ہُمْ رُقُوۡدٌ ٭ۖ وَّ نُقَلِّبُہُمْ ذَاتَ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ ٭ۖ
“And you may think they are awake, whereas they are asleep; and We turn them over to the right and the left –“
In fact, everything about their continued existence in this state of hibernation was commanded by Allah Almighty. Physically, they suffered no ill effects. The blood in their body did not become solid, their clothes remained the same, etc. At the same time, when the sun arose and set, it did so in such a manner which did not affect them in the least bit. The rising and setting of the sun itself on this cave was a miracle.
In fact, Allama Abdul Ghafur Hazarwi – may Allah be pleased with him – explains that Allah Almighty seemed to have destined it in such a manner that the sun arose while greeting them and then set also greeting them.
In the Qur’an, it is explained that the sun runs its set course. Yet, such is the Divine Mercy of Allah Almighty upon His special servants that even the sun becomes subservient to them. There is a Hadith Shareef which explains that when someone becomes for Allah Almighty, everything else becomes for him. This also proves another important principle which is upheld in Islam and that is that the sun runs its own course and is not stagnant or stationed in one spot. As for the theory of the orbit of the earth, this is something which man has merely invented. As a matter of fact, from the 590 until 1727, this opinion on the orbit of the earth has changed six times. In fact, the Muslim believes that the sun orbits while the earth is stationery.
This fact is presented in verse 17 of this Surah. The Qur’an declares:
وَتَرَی الشَّمْسَ اِذَا طَلَعَتۡ تَّزٰوَرُ عَنۡ کَہۡفِہِمْ ذَاتَ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ اِذَا غَرَبَتۡ تَّقْرِضُہُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ
“You will see the sun that when it rises it shifts away to the right of their cave, and when it sets it shifts away to their left,”
In fact, the Qur’an is clearly telling us that the sun moved from the right to the left and yet the majority of Muslims believe in the view of the West that the earth rotates around the sun. Allah Almighty is saying that it moved from one side of the cave to the other and you say no, it is stationery. Look at it in a logical fashion. If the earth rotated around the sun, how would it be possible for the sun to appear exactly at the same spot every day for nearly three hundred years?
The Qur’an says that it appeared on their right when it rose and when it set, it set on their left. Nothing which has been explained in the West makes any scientific sense. Whether it be Aristotle, Darwin or Sigmund Freud, all of them have given mankind no status at all. They have all maintained that man is nothing but something which originated from apes. The communist leaders considered man to be nothing but an animal which needs to work and contribute to the social upkeep of others. Even idiots like Sir Sayed Ahmed believed that man originated from apes. Yet, the Qur’an has given man a supreme status in creation. It has referred to him as the children of Adam – peace be upon him – and he had been created in the best of moulds.
The opinion of the blessed Ashaab
In fact, such is the status of these blessed young men who gave up everything so that they could maintain their belief in the existence of One Supreme Creator that the Qur’an actually describes their mode of sleeping as well. This proves that these were no ordinary creation. These were the Awliya from the Ummah of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him-. This is explained in verse 18 of this Surah:
وَ تَحْسَبُہُمْ اَیۡقَاظًا وَّ ہُمْ رُقُوۡدٌ ٭ۖ وَّ نُقَلِّبُہُمْ ذَاتَ الْیَمِیۡنِ وَ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ
“And you may think they are awake, whereas they are asleep; and We turn them over to the right and the left.”
This also proves that when Allah Almighty has shown so much of regard for these Awliya, imagine the status of the Awliya from the Ummah of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty?
We also know that every companion of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is also a Jannati or someone who will enter Jannah, now imagine the state of those people who say that some of these blessed companions will enter Jannah and some will not! What will be the scale of punishment which is in store for these people?
In the Tirmidi Shareef, it is recorded from Hadrat Sayyiduna Jabir – may Allah be pleased with him – that the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has declared that, “The Fire of hell will never touch that person who has seen me or has seen those who have seen me.” If this is the status of those who have seen those who have seen the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, imagine for a second the status of those who have actually seen the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him?
Allama Alusi Baghdadi – may Allah be pleased with him – also explains a very interesting point. He says that since the dog belonging to the Ashaab Kahaf will enter Jannah, therefore this is the reason that the Shia keep the names of their children “Kalb Ali”. They believe that if the dog of the Ashaab Kahaf will not enter the Fire of hell, how can the dog of Ali enter the Fire of Hell?
Allama Alusi then explains, “Yes, there is no doubt that a sincere dog of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him – will enter Jannah. However, there is also no doubt that a dog of Ali which bites and barks at the blessed Ashaab, who are the true friends of Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him, will certainly never be accepted by Hadrat Sayyiduna Ali – may Allah be pleased with him.” How tragic that these ignoramuses will believe that a dog of Ali will enter Jannah and yet they bark at the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and still believe that they will enter Jannah? One can safely say that one has met such ignorant and illiterate people before. In fact, they have no shame at all.
The dog of the Ashaabe Kahaf
This dog has been mentioned a few times in the Qur’an. In fact, it is said that when the Ashaab Kahaf used to change sides while sleeping, even the dog used to also change sides. In fact, in the Tafseer Jalalain, it is mentioned that if one writes this verse and keeps it with him, he will be protected against any harm which would appear from a dog.
In verse 22 of this Surah, this dog is mentioned three times in one verse:
سَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ثَلٰثَۃٌ رَّابِعُہُمْ کَلْبُہُمْ ۚ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ خَمْسَۃٌ سَادِسُہُمْ کَلْبُہُمْ رَجْمًۢا بِالْغَیۡبِ ۚ وَ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ سَبْعَۃٌ وَّ ثَامِنُہُمْ کَلْبُہُمْ ؕ
“So the people will now say, “They are three, their dog is the fourth”; and some will say, “They are five, their dog is the sixth” – just blind guesses; and some will say, “They are seven, and their dog is the eighth”;
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – has stated that, “There are very people who know the exact number of the Ashaab Kahaf and I am one of those (who know the actual) number.” He has mentioned that they were eight in number.
In Tafseer Khaazin, the names of these people are:
- Makas la meenah,
- Yam lee khan,
- Mar tu nas,
- Bi wan na nas,
- Saari nu nas,
- Zu nawaa nas,
- Kash fee tu,
- Ta nu nas and
- their dog Qitmeer.
In fact the benefit of these names have also been mentioned. Some of these are:
- Through the Barakah of these names, one’s shop will remain safe from fire.
- One’s property will remain safe from theft.
- A ship will be protected from sinking.
- A person who has run away will return.
- A small child will be protected against crying.
- During a journey, one’s life and property will remain safe.
- One will be protected from fever, headache, etc.
- One’s intellect will improve.
- A prisoner will be freed through the Barakah of these names.
- If there is a fire and these names are placed into a fire, the fire will be extinguished.
Hadrat Mujaddid Alif Thani, Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi Farouqi – may Allah be pleased with him – states that, “The Ashaab Kahaf will awake in the time of Imam Mehdi – may Allah be pleased with him – and will also join him in Jihad.”
Imam Ismail Haqqi – may Allah be pleased with him – in the Tafseer Ruhul Bayaan has also explained the various people who will enter the Fire of Hell for their enmity against the blessed Awliya and yet, the dog of the Ashaabe Kahaf will enter Jannah. Besides this dog, there are also other animals which will enter Jannah. These are those special animals who are also connected with the special servants of Allah Almighty. These would include the camel of Nabi Saleh – peace be upon him, the calf of Nabi Ebrahim – peace be upon him, which he roasted and presented to the Angels that came to visit him in human form, the cow which is mentioned in Surah Baqarah will also enter Jannah and also the camel on which the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – sat and delivered his final sermon on the occasion of Hujjatul Wida. Also the ant which smiled at the words of Nabi Sulaiman – peace be upon him – and which is mentioned in Surah Naml.
The dog in Jannah
In Tafseer Ruhul Bayaan, it is mentioned that the dog of the Ashaab Kahaf will also enter Jannah with them. Since Allah Almighty has mentioned this dog wherever He has mentioned these people, hence they will not be separated from their dog when they enter Jannah.
In Taseer Ruhul Ma’ani it is mentioned that one of the great qualities of this dog is that on the Day of Judgement, it will enter Jannah.
In the Tafseer Ruhul Bayaan, it is mentioned that, “This dog will enter Jannah in the shape of a goat.”
In some books, it is mentioned that this dog would be given the human appearance of one of the Kaafirs in the Bani Isra’eel and be allowed to enter Jannah. At the same time, this person will be given the appearance of this dog and sent into the Fire of hell. This is the result of good company.
And this is the result which the dog has achieved by being in the company of the Ashaabe Kahaf. Someone once asked Hadrat Sayyiduna Bayazid Bustami – may Allah be pleased with him – a question, “Whatever you have achieved, how did you achieve this?” He replied, “Whatever I have achieved, I have achieved through (being) in good company.”
In the Hadith Shareef, it is mentioned that the Angels do not enter a house in which there is dog, so how come this dog has also become a centre of Divine Mercy and is also entering Jannah?
Again, this is the result of being in good and noble company. When a mere dog is not robbed of this immense benefit of sitting in the blessed company of the Awliya, imagine the benefit which would be received by those humans who sit sincerely in the blessed company of the Awliya. Perhaps, it was through the miraculous status of this dog that Moulana Jami – may Allah be pleased with him – had mentioned the words, “O Prophet of Allah, if only there was a dog in front of your blessed presence whose name was Jami, in this manner, perchance one day, you would have also called out to this dog with this name.”
When Moulana Qamarudeen Silyalwi – may Allah be pleased with him – arrived in Madina Shareef, he used to also place his shawl on the floor so that a dog from Madina Shareef would walk over it. His intention was to make this shawl a part of his kafan. However, no dog was prepared to walk over this shawl. He continued to plead that at least one dog walks over this shawl and finally his request was accepted and a dog walked over this shawl. When he saw this, he was in a state of immense joy and realised that at least now, the dogs of Madina Shareef had accepted him.
Some idiots make the claim that when Nabi Nuh – peace be upon him – could not save his son, how come ordinary followers of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him – could save a dog and give it such a high status?
In fact, Allah Almighty is merely teaching us that when a person leaves the Wasila of a pious person even if this person is the son, then he would certainly be destroyed. This dog actually sought the Wasila of these people and through them, it has achieved such a lofty status.
The dog in the company of the Awliya
Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – reports that when the Ashaab Kahaf were walking on the road, they also walked past a shepherd. This person also had a dog with him. However, instead of the usual behaviour of what a dog would do when he sees strangers, this dog began to walk with the Ashaab Kahaf. From this we come to know that when people show respect to the Awliya, they remain sincere religious people and when they begin to disrespect a Wali of Allah Almighty, no matter how much of Ibadah they perform, they would remain irreligious. They also began to chase this dog away mentioning that they were actually on a mission to save their true belief and they felt that this dog would reveal their whereabouts because by nature the job of a dog is to bark.
However, the dog replied that even though it is a dog and the work of a dog is to bark, but it was not among those dogs which bark at the friends of Allah Almighty. It also said, “If you, the friends of Allah Almighty, have left everything for the sake of Allah Almighty then I too, will never leave your side. I may bark at the entire world, but I will never bark at you people.”
The Awliya have also stated that no matter how dangerous a dog might be, if you feel danger to yourself when you see this dog, then you must take the name of this dog which is “Qitmeer,” through the Barakah of this name, no dog will bite you. In other words, this proves that all the dogs in the universe display respect for a dog in the company of the Awliya who belong to the Ummah of Nabi ‘Isa – peace be upon him.
However, the tragedy in the present age is that there are such strange dogs in the universe who display no respect for the Awliya in the Ummah of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him!
In the Tafseer Qurtabi, it is mentioned that when this dog saw these people, it stood up on its hind legs in happiness and joy. And through the power given to it by Allah Almighty, it began to speak. It said the Ashaab Kahaf, “Do not have fear that I will bark. The reason is that I am someone who loves the Awliya. (Therefore, you people may sleep without concern).”
We can see that when a person’s destiny is about to change, then this change can take place at the blessed door of a Wali. However, when can this occur? It can only occur at that time when one stops barking at the friends of Allah Almighty! At the same time, the amount of existence is given to this dog as the humans it is guarding.
In other words, such is the Divine Mercy of Allah Almighty that through the Barakah of these people, death itself was not allowed to overtake this dog. If someone asks this dog how come it has achieved such a high status, it would simply say that all of this was achieved through being in the company of the Awliya. And this can only be understood by those who do not carry their bedding around but by those who carry love and reverence wherever they go. If you have no idea how to sit in the company of the Awliya, at least use the dog of the Ashaab Kahaf as an example on how to do so.
This dog also sits with its paws outspread. Another important point to remember is that even though this was once an ordinary cave, yet, with its connection with the Ashaab Kahaf, it has become “their cave” and even though it once used to be an ordinary dog, yet, through its connection with them, it has become “their dog”. In like manner, we maybe ordinary Muslims, yet when we become people who respect and revere the Awliya, then we become “their people”.
The reward for this dog
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Almighty clearly states that He will reward those who make Sabr in such a manner that they will not have to even account for their deeds and actions. This dog of the Ashaab Kahaf continued to display Sabr in front of these Awliya and because of this, it had gained such a great status that Allah Almighty even describes the manner in which it sits in the Qur’an. There are millions of dogs on earth which are the creation of Allah Almighty, yet, this is that dog which has become connected to the Awliya.
As for those people who question the status of a dog which is found in the blessed neighbourhood of Hadrat Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him, they should learn a lesson from this story. In fact, the most amazing fact is that even a famous Peer or scholar reads the Qur’an in Salaah and reads these verses of the Qur’an and if he or she does not mention this dog in their Salaah, their Salaah will not accepted. In fact, even if you read these verses in the middle of the Ka’ba and leave out the dog in this verse, your Salaah will never be accepted. The question which will be asked of you is that when the Allah Almighty mentions this dog in these verses, who are you to leave out mentioning this dog in your Salaah when you read these verses.
If fact, someone once this question. This is a dog, its mother is a dog and its father is also a dog, yet, how come this dog has become so special? The answer is that it displayed respect for the friends of Allah Almighty. In fact, hundreds of years later when the Qur’an was revealed, even though the stories of the Prophets also appear in this Qur’an, yet Allah Almighty also made sure that He mentions the story of this dog as well. Allah Almighty is clearly educating us about the status and greatness of His special friends – the Awliya. This is the reason that there is a Hadith Shareef in which the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – has reported that Allah Almighty had declared, “He who becomes an enemy of My Wali, I give him declaration of war.”
Another strange thing is that when we see someone insulting another person, we say he is speaking. When we see a dog pointing out a thief, we say that the dog is barking. However, the dog of the Ashaab Kahaf changed all of this and showed us that only those people bark who are enemies of the Awliya. In other words, there are people in this world who bark at the Awliya and there are dogs who say to the Awliya, “Fear not, I am among those who love the Awliya.”
A lesson for Peers
We have seen that this dog sat at the door of the Ashaab Kahaf with immense patience for nearly three hundred years. This also shows the immense Sabr which should be displayed by the Mureeds who wish to attain anything from their Peers. Some of these Mureeds complain that they have sat so long in the company of their Peer and seemed to have achieved nothing.
Learn a lesson from this dog who displayed no impatience and continued to serve these Awliya. At the same time, an advice to those Peer who have nothing to give. Please do not waste the time of those people who sit at your door thinking they will get something. There is also a possibility that a person is increasing in spiritual eminence, yet he is unaware of it. It is like the person who is travelling while asleep. He is moving forward in this journey but is unaware of this.
Look at the story of Nabi Moosa – peace be upon him – and Hadrat Khidr – peace be upon him. The latter rectified the wall of an orphan while the orphan slept unaware of the improvement which was happening around him. In like manner, a Mureed is sometimes like a sleeping person. He is unaware of what is happening while his Peer is making improvements to him all the time. At times, if this is suddenly displayed to the Mureed he may not be able to handle this and may even become guilty of pride and arrogance. In this way, his entire spiritual journey would become wasted.
The real Awliya are able to give life to that object which seems dead. We see the example of Sayyidah Maryam – may Allah be pleased with her – who just by touching a dry stem made it green once again and dates appeared on this stem. When a dog does not become physically dead by sitting in the blessed company of the Awliya, how can a person become spiritually dead in the company of the great Awliya?
Haji Imdaadullah Muhaajir Makki – may Allah be pleased with him – narrates that once a dog entered the blessed company of a Wali and sat there for a short while. The Wali also noticed this dog. A few days later, it was seen that this same dog was sitting on a high platform and all the other dogs in the area was sitting around it in great respect. If a dog does not become robbed of the spiritual benefit given by a Wali, how can man become robbed of this reward and gift?
The Ashaab Kahaf awake from their sleep
Even though whatever Allah Almighty has mentioned in the Qur’an is the absolute truth, yet, He Himself mentions that the incident of the Ashaab Kafah is based on the truth. In other words, when they slept, it was the truth, right now, it is the truth and when they will appear later, this is also the truth. In fact, it is mentioned that if people were able to see them, they would become terrified and over awed. The hearts of people will become frightened.
If this is their state while they are asleep, imagine their awe when they awake! Who would be able to see them directly? It is mentioned that once in the era of Hadrat Ameer Mu’awiyah – may Allah be pleased with him – when he was in battle against the Romans, he did pass by this cave and wanted to enter this cave. However, Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – read this verse of the Qur’an and prohibited him from entering this cave. Another group also decided to enter this cave and they were later burnt to ashes. (Khazaa’inul Irfaan)
The Qur’an then describes that they were awakened to see who among them would remember how many days they had been asleep. In verse 19 of Surah Kahaf, this fact is mentioned:
وَکَذٰلِکَ بَعَثْنٰہُمْ لِیَتَسَآءَلُوۡا بَیۡنَہُمْ ؕ قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنْہُمْ کَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ ؕ قَالُوۡا لَبِثْنَا یَوْمًا اَوْ بَعْضَ یَوْمٍ ؕ قَالُوۡا رَبُّکُمْ اَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ
“And similarly We awakened them so that they may enquire about each other; a speaker among them said, “How long have you stayed here?” Some among them said,
“We have stayed a day or part of a day”; the others said, “Your Lord well knows
how long you have stayed;”
Their journey is also explained further in verse 19,20:
فَابْعَثُوۡۤا اَحَدَکُمۡ بِوَرِقِکُمْ ہٰذِہٖۤ اِلَی الْمَدِیۡنَۃِ فَلْیَنۡظُرْ اَیُّہَاۤ اَزْکٰی طَعَامًا فَلْیَاۡتِکُمۡ بِرِزْقٍ مِّنْہُ وَلۡـیَؔؔتَلَطَّفۡ وَلَا یُشْعِرَنَّ بِکُمْ اَحَدًا ﴿۱۹﴾ اِنَّہُمْ اِنۡ یَّظْہَرُوۡا عَلَیۡکُمْ یَرْجُمُوۡکُمْ اَوْ یُعِیۡدُوۡکُمْ فِیۡ مِلَّتِہِمْ وَلَنۡ تُفْلِحُوۡۤا اِذًا اَبَدًا ﴿۲۰﴾
“Therefore send one of you to the city with this silver coin – he may then check which food available there is purer, in order to bring some of it for you to eat – and he must be courteous and not inform anyone about you.” “Indeed if they come to know about you, they will stone you or turn you back to their religion – and if so, you will never prosper.”
It is reported in various Tafaasir that in that period, people did not believe in life after death and they also rejected belief in the Hereafter. At the same time, the King of that period was also a very pious person and used to always make Du’a to Allah Almighty to be shown a special sign so that his Imaan also becomes more firm. Such was the lesson taught to these people about life after death. In the same Surah, verse 21, the Qur’an declares:
وَکَذٰلِکَ اَعْثَرْنَا عَلَیۡہِمْ لِیَعْلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ وَعْدَ اللہِ حَقٌّ وَّ اَنَّ السَّاعَۃَ لَا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہَا ۚ٭
“And this is how We made them known for people to know that the promise of Allah is true and that there is no doubt concerning the Last Day;”
The people in that era saw with their own eyes what transpired in front of them that these people had come alive after being asleep for nearly three hundred years. After they went back into the cave, the same King had their bodies encased in a special casket and also decided to close the mouth of the cave. They also built a Masjid on the same spot. People also gather at this spot every year. In other words, we can say that the ‘Urs Shareef of the Ashaab Kahaf continues on a yearly basis. (Khazaainul Irfaan)
What was the belief of the people in that period pertaining to the Ashaab Kahaf? People had different opinions. When it came to the issue of remembering these blessed people, that was also a point of contention. It was finally decided that a Masjid would be built nearby.
People began to dispute on how these people should be remembered. It was also decided that a building be built over them because their Lord knows them well. In other words, they decided finally to build a Masjid so that they can achieve the Barakah of the Ashaab Kahaf when they worship the Allah Almighty. (Tafseer Madaarik)
In fact, there is also a latest craze among people which is that they want to capture these Mazaars and also try and ride on the band wagon of any famous Wali so that they can become famous. As a matter of fact, recently the people of Hell, namely the Ghair Muqallids, even tried to prove that they followed Hadrat Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him. In other words, they are using issues such as Raf’a Yadain and reading Faaiha behind an Imam to say that they are also like him in his Hambali Madhab. This is nothing but a smoke screen through which they hope to deceive the innocent Sunnis. They fail to remember that this has nothing to do with Aqeedah. In fact, the beliefs of these idiots are not even the same as Hadrat Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him. Bear in mind that the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah are the same whether the person is a Hambali, a Maaliki, a Shaafi or a Hanafi. If someone is condemned by a Maaliki scholar in the issue of a certain Aqeedah, this would be accepted by all the other schools as well and collectively they will support this Maaliki scholar and also condemn the person whom he has condemned.
In fact, even one single belief of these people of Hell, namely the Ghair Muqallid, does not match the belief of Hadrat Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him. He has stated that he is able to see the creation of Allah Almighty as he sees a seed on the palm of his hand.
Yet, these people of hell, believe that, Ma’azzallah, the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – is not even aware of what is behind a wall. How can they have the same belief as Hadrat Ghous Paak – may Allah be pleased with him?