The Theme of Surah Al Kahf – Trials and Tribulations (Fitnah)

This article discusses the theme of Surah Al Kahf. Al-Kahf is the 18th Surah of the Quran and it mentions 4 stories:

  1. The People of Cave
  2. The Companion of Two Gardens
  3. Musa and Khidr
  4. Dhul Qurnayn

It may seem that none of these stories are related to one another, but we see that the maqsad (purpose/theme) of all these stories are one: Fitnah.

This surah explains Fitnah in different aspects of life.

  1. Fitnah of Religion (Story of the People of the Cave)
  2. Fitnah of Wealth (Story of the Man with Two Gardens)
  3. Fitnah of Knowledge (Story of Musa and Khidr)
  4. Fitnah of Power (Dhul Qarnain)

Each of these stories outline how each of these 4 things can bring us fitnah. It also outlines how the believer should approach these trials and tribulations.

  1. Fitnah of Religion: The way to deal with this is mentioned in an ayaah after the story:
  2. “And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.” (Surah Kahf: 28)

    So if you are faced with fitnah because of your religion, the solution is to be patient and to be in the company of the righteous. This will give you strength to persevere.

  3. Fitnah of Wealth: The way to deal with this is mentioned here:
  4. “Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope.” (Surah Kahf: 46)

    So the way to deal with this fitnah is to realize the reality of this wordly life. It is temporary, while the hereafter is everlasting.

  5. Fitnah of Knowledge:
  6. Musa A.S. thought he was the most knowledgeable person on the earth and so Allah revealed to him that there is someone who knows more. After traveling with this man (Khidr), He could not be patient of the things he would do, and did not see the wisdom. The way to deal with this fitnah is to remain humble and not to let your knowledge delude you.

    “If Allah will, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.” (Surah Kahf: 64)

  7. Fitnah of Power:
  8. Dhul Qarnayn was given a vast kingdom stretching from the east to the west. But yet he was still sincere to Allah and did not let this power delude him, and he helped the people of the city which were fearful of Ya’juj and ma’juj. So the way to deal with the Fitnah of power is to have sincerity in your deeds to Allah, as it was mentioned in this ayaah:

    “Say: ‘Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds!’” (Surah Kahf: 103-14)

Ending of the Surah:

This Surah ends with the most perfect way to deal with all types of fitnah, and that is to remember the hereafter.

“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (Surah Kahf: 110)

Something to definitely reflect when we read it every Friday. As well, it is mentioned that one of the wisdoms behind reading this surah on jumu’ah is because we are asked to leave the fitnah of this worldly life and join the congregation. How appropriate!

Extra Knowledge:

Hadith about the first 10 verses of Surah Kahf:

Abu Darda’ reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal. (Muslim :: Book 4 : Hadith 1766)

Source: http://www.macmsa.com/themirror/?p=1130


  1. sidy Ali Bamba
  2. naz

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