By Gulled Ali
One of, if not the most powerful Surahs (Chapters) in the Quran which also happens to be one of my favorite is Suratul Kahf.
In addition to this particularly amazing Chapter having a unique flavor of its own, if one was to reflect deep enough onto the contents embodied within, the avid reader will pretty much observe thereon the fact that it also touches on a substantial number of strategic fronts having to do with what could arguably be identified as serving the essence of our living, the most noteworthy of which include the following:
1) Faith: This is reflected in the incident relating to the young boys in the cave.
2) Wealth: The Test of Wealth is covered in the story which occurred between the two farmer friends one of whom, while having been endowed with riches and prosperity, and instead of showing gratitude turned out to be ungrateful and were later, as a result, made to endure the consequences of his kufr (disbelief) by having it all snatched away.
3) Knowledge: This event is mentioned in the episode relating to the encounter between Prophet Musa Caleyhi Salaam and Khidr; where Khidr here is portrayed to be a man blessed with divine insight and Musa (AS) follows to learn from the knowledge he’d been given, and last but by no means least;
4) The Test of Power and Authority discussed in the story of Dul Qarneyn.
While it is very much infeasible – given the space constraint – that I discuss in detail the entire four (4) events, I will focus on an assortment of subordinate issues pertaining to the broader adventure Prophet Musa (AS) and Khidr embarked on and the relevance its aftermath or the interpretations of it rather, bears on our present-day circumstances, be it individually or on a societal basis.
After Musa (AS), who had just been through an exhausting long journey through the seas, and Khidr cross paths, they immediately set out on what’d been more or less a unique adventure during the course of which a number of interesting events happen where in one instance Khidr submerges the very ship that had taken them aboard.
Dismayed by what he’d just witnessed, Musa (AS) asks for an explanation but to no avail.
Continuing on, they come across a kid but Khidr, without reluctance, goes on to kill the poor thing. Outraged yet again by the malignant nature of his actions and the blatant murder of an innocent child, Musa (AS) demands an answer, however gets none.
Going further, they proceed until they have reached a town the people of which refuse to host or offer Musa (AS) and Khidr hospitality. It goes without saying both men are rejected right away.
Khidr, meanwhile, spots a wall that is about to break apart/down and hurries on to put it back in place, fixing it in the process. Musa (AS) after seeing the wall set up straight, retroactively recommends to Khidr that it was indeed legitimate and justified for him to earn a wage for his work should he wished for it.
With too much curiosity and a bagful of questions that were not part of the deal, Khidr reckons that it is high time they parted ways but nevertheless seeks to offer explanations/interpretations for why he did what he’d done.
And so… He does!
As far as the ship is concerned, he explains, it belonged to poor folks working at the sea and I scuttled it to make it look faulty so I could save it from a king behind them who’s made a habit of usurping ships and seizing them by force. As for the kid, his parents were believers and we feared that he will maltreat them with disobedience and kufr so we envisaged that their (the parents’) Lord may replace him (the kid) for one who is better in righteousness and closer to them in mercy.
As for the wall, Khidr reveals, there was a treasure hidden underneath belonging to two underage orphan brothers whose father was a righteous servant. So, your lord, by His mercy, wanted the boys to reach puberty and attain full strength before extracting their fortune at the right time and in their right state of mind.
The story ends there but what sort of lessons, if any, do we learn from these intense turn of events and in what way can they impact or rather relate to our everyday struggles?
You see, many-a-time the human beings we are; characterized somewhat by the inherent lack of patience and, dare I say, trust in our Creator, often means that we tend to overlook or even forget the possibility that maybe, just maybe the struggles we go through and the hardships we endure, sometimes on a daily basis are more or less or better yet nothing more than blessings in disguise.
That perfect job you can’t seem to get your hands on, or that sickness you have just been diagnosed with but can hardly even pronounce because you have never heard of it and how that must feel so unfair, or that one-person beloved to your heart who you may have lost, or perhaps the shadow of stress that comes along with being in your twenties and pretty much broke with probably no way out in sight.
When you find yourselves in the midst of such emotional and spiritual abyss which is inevitably bound to happen in one’s life, at least once, at some point in time. I want you to go back to your Musxaf/Kitaab and start reciting this amazing Chapter in the most beautiful voice you never even knew you had and when you get to the story of Prophet Musa (AS) and Khidr which I have mentioned above:
Take heart in knowing that your Lord; that Allaah will never afflict you with any pain whatsoever, except to save you from an even greater harm. And that He will never take from you something or someone you hold dear, except that He replaces them with something/someone better and brighter. And that He will never keep from you something you’re supposedly in need of, except that He gives it to you at the right time, in the right place and in your right state of mind.
وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى
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