Surah Al-Kahf Series: Introduction

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمDay 1

bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm

“In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu, 

I am starting this series for the sole purpose of reminding others about the importance of Surah Al-Kahf. I had heard many times, and known that one should recite Surah Al-Kahf on a Friday. But I really did not understand the virtues of the surah, or the simple meaning of the surah. During my studies at Islamic Online University, I came across Tafseer of Surah Al-Kahf and wanted to share lessons I have learned. I will be referring to Tafseer Ibn Katheer and the Tafseer provided by Dr. Bilal Philips. Basically, summarizing their Tafseer for the benefit of a reminder. 

If you find any errors or have any feedback please email me at 



Name of the Surah: 

Most commonly known as Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave), derived from verse 9 of the surah:

أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُوا مِنْ آيَاتِنَا عَجَبًا – 18:9

Or have you thought that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among Our signs, a wonder?


One must also remember that not all titles of the Surahs were provided by the Prophet. Some were given by the Sahabah for the convenience of denoting the Surah. At the same time, number of verses were not given by the Prophet either. In general, the basmallah was used to denote the beginning and end of a Surah.

Dr. Bilal Philips says in his book:

It was not until the third century after the hijrah (ninth century C.E.) that people began the practice of writing chapter names in the Qur’aan, numbering the verses and adding symbols in the margin indicating the divisions of the Qur’aan.1 There were also symbols indicating the ends of the verses and places for recitational pauses (such as ط and لا ). Most scholars of that time were opposed to these additions fearing that their widespread acceptance might lead to these symbols being considered a part of the Qur’aan in later times.

Place of Revelation: 

Most of the Tafseers and scholars have concluded that the Surah is Makkan. It is important to add here that Makkan and Madinan do not indicate place or location but the time period when the Surah was revealed. There is a clear difference because the matter addressed differs and the ones being addressed were different. The Makkan Surahs were before Hijrah – that is a time when Islam was new and there were not many Muslims dealing with faith. However, Madinan Surahs are about rules, regulations and legislation of Islam as an Islamic community had established in Madinah.

Some scholars have mentioned, when discussing the difference between Makkan and Madinan soorahs, that the words “O mankind” appear in the Makkan soorahs and “O you who believe” appear in the Madinan soorahs. This is what is usually the case. In Madinan soorahs such as al-Baqarah and al-Nisa’, it says “O mankind” and in some of the Makkan soorahs such as al-Hajj, it says “O you who believe.”

Merits of the Surah:

  • The Descent of Tranquillity: day 1 reminder4
    • When the Qur’an is recited tranquillity or peacefulness descends on the reciter.
    • Al-Baraa was quoted as saying that a man recited al-Kahf when an animal was in his house and it became agitated. When he looked around, he found a cloud hovering over him. When he informed Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), he said, القْحرَأْافُلانُافَ إنح بََّْال سَّْ يَنَةُانحزَََْتْا لْقُرْآ ناأَوْاتَحنَحزََّْتْا لْقُرْآ نا   “O so and so, continue to recite, for it was tranquility(sakeenah) which descends when the Qur’aan is read or because the Qur’aan is read.”

    • One must make a point that what is recited should be understood and applied in our life.
  • Protection from Dajjal:
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    • Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) warned his followers about the Anti-Christ who would come at the end of this world. He informed them that it would be the greatest trial that his nation would face. He further advised that the memorization and recitation of the first and the last ten verses of Soorah al-Kahf would protect the reciter from the Anti-Christ. Abud-Dardaa related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

      مَنْاحَ فظَاعَشْرَاآيَبتٍا منْاأَوَّ لاسُورَة ال اعُ صمَا منْال دَّْجَّب لا“Anyone who memorizes the first ten verses of Soorah al-Kahf will be protected from Dajjaal.” (Source:Sahih Mulsim)

      On another occasion, Abud-Dardaa quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,

      امَنْاقَحرَأَاعَشْرَاآيَبتٍا منْاآ خ رال اعُ صمَا منْاف تْحنَ ةال دَّْجَّب لاا.“Anyone who recites the last ten verses of al-Kahf will be protected from trials of the Dajjal.” (Source: Sahih Muslim)

  • Source of Light (Noor):
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    • On another occasion, Abud-Dardaa quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

      . امَنْاقَحرَأَاسُورَةَال افيايحوَْ ماللُْْمُعَ ة،اأَضَبءَا هَُْا منْال نُّْو رامبابحيَْحنَهُاوَبحيََْْاجُُُعَتَح يْا“Whoever recites Soorah al-Kahf on Friday will be illuminated by its light from one Friday to the next.” (Source:Mustadrak al-Hakim)

    • On yet another occasion Abud-Dardaa quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,

      امَنْاقَحرَأَاسُورَةَال ااكَمَباأُنْ زَْتْاكَبنَتْا هَُْانُورًلايحوَْمَال قيَبمَ ةاا“Whoever recites Soorah al-Kahf as it was revealed will have it as light for himself on the Day of Resurrection.” (Source: Mustadrak al-Hakim)

  • Source of Forgiveness:
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    • Ibn ‘Umar is reported to have quoted Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying, “Whoever recites Soorah al-Kahf on Friday, light will shine from beneath his feet to the heavens, it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgement, and he would be forgiven for his sins between the two Fridays.” (Classified as Saheeh in Sunan at-Tirmithi)



That’s it for today. Inn sha Allah, will be posting the Tafseer for first verse next week.

JazakAllahu Khairan.