April 30th, 2008
Speaker: Br. Tarif
Topic: Further Explanation of Surat Al-Kahf (The Cave), Part II
(Surat Al-Kahf, Chapter 18, Holy Quran)
1. What we Learn from Surat Al-Kahf About Knowledge
2. The 3rd Story about Musa (aka Moses) (pbuh) and Khidr
1. Surat Al-Kahf and About Knowledge
– From the story of ‘the youth’ we learn that life is full of mysteries. We wonder why certain things happen to us or why certain things are the way they are. If we look deeper and strive to gain understanding by getting closer to Allah (swt), inshallah, he will make the truth apparent if he so wills and he will give us knowledge and wisdom.
– Don’t ever think knowledge is limited and you know everything – knowledge has no limits. We keep learning until we die.
-Knowledge is Hard to get
- you need to seek it
- In the 3rd story in this Surat we learn that Musa (pbuh) was sent on a journey to attain knowledge
– There are two types of knowledge:
- Wisdom – it can only be found in ones heart and only Allah (swt) can give it to a person
- Observation – what we learn from seeing things in our lives (ex. this knowledge we can easily pick up in school)
2. The 3rd Story about Musa and Khidr
Allah(swt) sends Musa (pbuh) on a journey to seek knowledge. He tells him that he will meet a man at the junction of the two seas.
– Musa’s (pbuh) journey to find Khidr
- Allah (swt) tells Musa (pbuh) before they go on the journey to take a fish and put it in a basket. When it comes alive and jumps into the water, that will be the place where he will meet Khidr.
- Musa (pbuh) comes to a place, with his servant, to rest.
- The fish jumps out of the basket into the sea.
- The Servant forgets to tell Musa (pbuh) about this sign and they continue on their journey.
- Musa (pbuh) asks for food and then the Servant opens the basket and remembers.
- They travel back to the same spot that they had left.
- Allah (swt) froze both sides of the sea where the fish jumped in and it created a tunnel. That is where they meet Khidr.
– What Musa (pbuh) learns from Khidr
- First, who is Khidr? – He is a humble servant of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) taught him of his own knowledge. Explanation in Quran:
Then found they one of Our slaves, unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our presence. (18:65)
Moses said unto him: May I follow thee, to the end that thou mayst teach me right conduct of that which thou hast been taught? (18:66)
Realize that Musa (pbuh) is a Prophet whereas Khidr is not. Musa (pbuh) displays good character by being humble and not boasting.
Lo! thou canst not bear with me. (18:67) How canst thou bear with that whereof thou canst not compass any knowledge? (18:68 )
Khidr knows that Musa (pbuh) will not be patient with him. He had previous insight to make this judgment.
ASIDE: Some critical thinking questions that we can ask ourselves while we read this story in this Surat : What is Patience? When do people lose patience? – when they are frustrated by that which they don’t understand.
– Three Actions that Khidr takes
- Sinks the Ship
- Kills the young boy
- Fix the Wall
After the last one, Musa (pbuh) loses his patience, again, because he doesn’t understand. Khidr explains the reasoning behind each of his actions:
He said: This is the parting between thee and me! I will announce unto thee the interpretation of that thou couldst not bear with patience. (18:78 ) As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to mar it, for there was a king behind them who is taking every ship by force. (18:79) And as for the lad, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. (18:80) And we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in purity and nearer to mercy. (18:81) And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father had been righteous, and thy Lord intended that they should come to their full strength and should bring forth their treasure as a mercy from their Lord; and I did it not upon my own command. Such is the interpretation of that wherewith thou couldst not bear. (18:82)
This story of Musa (pbuh) and Khidr is in this Surat under the title Al-Kahf (The Cave) because it also deals with knowledge and looking beyond what one sees on the surface. From this Story we learn that it is important not to judge others. And there is wisdom behind every action. Khidr was blessed with knowledge from Allah (swt), that no one else during his time had.