Signs of the End Times
in Surat al-Kahf

The sura's first verse indicates the importance of being grateful to Allah, Who gave humanity everything: a perfectly functioning body, an environment suitable for life on Earth, the order in the universe, food, water, and much more. Allah's generosity is infinite, for He gave us so much that we cannot list His blessings even in general terms. We are reminded of this reality in the following verse:

If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nahl, 18)

One of the believers' foremost characteristics is to be in a state of gratefulness for all that Allah has given them and to remember that His gifts are a trial for humanity. As Surat an-Nisa' 147 states, Allah "is always responsive to gratitude." However, in spite of this, most people are ungrateful for what they are given. Prophet Sulayman's (as) words are reported in Surat an-Naml:

"This is part of my Lord's favor to test me, to see if I will give thanks or show ingratitude. Whoever gives thanks only does so to his own gain. Whoever is ungrateful, my Lord is Rich Beyond Need, Generous." (Surat an-Naml, 40)

In the End Times, people are totally removed from gratefulness. Having forgotten that Allah gives all that they have, they are completely absorbed in their worldly lives and consider all of their wealth and possessions to be the result of their own effort and mind. Such people have to know that they are being ungrateful to Allah, because only He gives everything. This reality is revealed in the following verses:

He has given you everything for which you have asked Him. If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them. Man is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful. (Surah Ibrahim, 34)

Any blessing you have is from Allah. Then when harm touches you, it is to Him that you cry for help. But when He removes the harm from you, a group of you associate others with their Lord, ungrateful for what We have given them. Enjoy yourselves. You will soon know! (Surat an-Nahl, 53-55)

As these verses state, people do not realize that Allah gives them everything and they deny this truth by associating others with Him. Satan, who follows this strategy, seeks to push people away from thankfulness and toward ungratefulness for Allah's gifts so that they will begin to deny this truth and then go astray. The Qur'an exposes Satan's wicked strategy and real purpose, as follows:

[Satan said:] "Then I will come at them from in front of them and behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful." He [Allah] said: "Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those who follow you, I will fill up Hell with every one of you." (Surat al-A`raf, 17-18)

Naturally, there are consequences in this world for people's ungratefulness. The fact of people's forgetfulness and ungratefulness is at the bottom of all the poverty, destitution, decadence, deprivation, spiritual decline and similar problems that we see all around us. While being grateful opens up blessings, well-being, and peace, ungratefulness brings great sorrow. Allah says:

And when your Lord announced: "If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe." (Surah Ibrahim, 7)

As this verse reveals, people who do not thank Allah for what He gives earn a severe punishment: sorrow in this world and in the Hereafter.

Past events can teach us many valuable lessons. In the twentieth century, the world was ruled by anti-religious people, such as those who followed communism and fascism, who distanced the people from true religion's goodness by portraying denial as an attractive substitute. Their followers denied Allah, and so forgot about thankfulness and encountered great tragedies over many long years. In return for their ungratefulness, Allah withheld some of His gifts. The Qur'an reveals that the "reward" for ungratefulness is the following:

Allah makes an example of a city that was safe and at peace, its provision coming to it plentifully from every side. Then it showed ingratitude for Allah's blessings, so He made it wear the robes of hunger and fear for what it did. (Surat an-Nahl, 112)

The cause for the famine, poverty, fear, and suffering that we saw during the twentieth century is the people's ungratefulness. The Qur'an reveals that such people will be punished:

[By] that We repaid them, because they did not believe. And [thus] do We repay except the ungrateful? (Surah Saba', 17)

It is straight, to warn of violent force direct from Him and to give the good news to the believers, those who do right actions, that for them there is an excellent reward.(Surat al-Kahf, 2)

This verse points out the Qur'an's importance and that it is the true book. The Qur'an guides humanity, reminds people of their eternal life, and shows them the righteous path. It is a revelation and the only path that shows us how to win Allah's good pleasure and mercy, and Paradise. It is the absolute measure for right and wrong. As Surat al-Baqara 120 states, "Allah's guidance is the true guidance." Our Lord reveals that the believers must hold on tightly to the Qur'an's guidance, as follows:

So hold fast to what has been revealed to you. You are on a straight path. It is certainly a reminder to you and to your people, and you will be questioned. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 43-44)

Surat al-Kahf 2 indicates the importance of abiding by Allah's revelation. All believers have the life-long responsibility of obeying His injunctions, orders, and recommendations, and no difficulty, pressure, or hardship can cause them to be distracted or careless in this matter. Regardless of the circumstances, they are meticulous, diligent, and determined.

The verse also draws our attention to the obligation of warning others. Allah frequently reminds the faithful of this important obligation and indicates the necessity of commanding the right and forbidding the wrong. He instructs us to do this as an act of worship, and gives the good news of salvation to those who do so:

Those who repent, those who worship, those who praise, those who fast, those who bow, those who prostrate, those who command the right, those who forbid the wrong, those who preserve the limits of Allah: give good news to the believers. (Surat at-Tawba, 112)

As with everything else, the best examples of this are the Prophets. The Messengers whom Allah willed to fulfill this honorable obligation warned their people in a variety of ways, invited them to the true faith, reminded them of Hell, and warned them about eternal suffering. Allah reveals this reality, as follows:

I have warned you of a Fire that rages, in which only the most wretched will roast. (Surat al-Layl, 14-15)

Surat al-Kahf 2 also points out the importance of right action, defined as good deeds done with a true heart in order to win Allah's good pleasure, and grace, and Paradise. Another verse with the same message is the following:

If anyone seeks glory, let him know that glory is Allah's alone. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it. But people who plot evil deeds will suffer a harsh punishment. The plotting of such people is profitless. (Surah Fatir, 10)

In many other verses, our Lord points out the importance of doing right actions and the rewards that He will give in return. Some of them are given below, as follows:

Give the good news to those who believe and do right actions, that they will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them. When they are given fruit there as provision, they will say: "This is what we were given before." But they were only given a simulation of it. They will have there spouses of perfect purity, and will remain there timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 25)

Those who believe, those who are Jews, and the Christians and Sabaeans, all who believe in Allah and the Last Day and act rightly, will have their reward with their Lord. They will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. (Surat al-Baqara, 62)

As for those who believe and do right actions and humble themselves before their Lord, they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surah Hud, 23)

Surat al-Kahf 2 touches upon another important issue: giving the believers the good news of Paradise. Many verses order the Messengers to do this, for the believers draw great comfort from being told that all of their troubles, difficulties and shortcomings in this life are only temporary, and that Allah's help, grace, and mercy are always with them. The nearness of the Hereafter's blessings increases the believers' motivation, zeal, and effort. As one verse says:

We have made it easy on your tongue so that you can give good news to those who guard against evil and warn stubbornly hostile people by it. (Surah Maryam, 97)

All of the issues touched upon in Surat al-Kahf 2 are subjects upon which Muslims living near to or in the End Times need to reflect carefully. As this verse indicates, holding fast to the Qur'an will protect people from the evil flowing from evil and anti-religious ideologies, as well as the trials and tribulations of the End Times. Conscientious Muslims of the End Times must do right actions under the guidance of the Qur'an, urge people to do right, give them the good news of the blessings of Paradise, and warn them of the punishment of Hell and not to make compromises with Allah's law.

Some people deny Allah's existence and the nearness of the eternal life of Paradise or Hell. For them, death means entering nothingness, for there is no Day of Judgment. Others believe in Hell, but think that its suffering will last only a number of days. According to this view, people will remain there for a short period of time to pay for their sins, and then will leave it behind for the blessings of Paradise. However, the Qur'an does not mention any such temporary punishment, and Allah reveals the following truth:

That is because they say: "The Fire will only touch us for a number of days." Their inventions have deluded them in their religion. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 24)

Surat al-Kahf 3 points out people's incorrect understanding of Hell and reveals that it is an eternal resting place for those who persist in unbelief. People who get so absorbed in their worldly lives that they forget about Allah's existence, who do not follow the righteous path of Allah's Messenger (saas), and who do not obey the Qur'an will be in Hell forever, unless Allah wills otherwise, for such is His justice. The Qur'an also reveals that those who persist in unbelief will continue their insolence in Hell:

The evildoers will remain timelessly, forever, in the punishment of Hell. It will not be eased for them. They will be crushed there by despair. We have not wronged them; it was they who were wrongdoers. They will call out [addressing the keeper of Hell]: "Malik, let your Lord put an end to us!" He will say: "You will stay the way you are." (Surat az-Zukhruf, 74-77)

As seen in the above verses, not even in Hell will the unbelievers comprehend the fact that they are dependent on Allah; rather, they will continue in their conceit by not turning to Him but, instead, calling out to an angel to "let your Lord put an end to us." By doing so, they prove that they are still transgressors. Allah reveals that the unbelievers who ask: "Can we be sent back so that we can do something other than what we did?" (Surat al-A`raf, 53) are liars:

If only you could see when they are standing before the Fire and saying: "Oh! If only we could be sent back again, we would not deny the Signs of our Lord, and we would be among the believers." No, it is simply that what they were concealing before has been shown to them. If they were sent back, they would merely return to what they were forbidden to do. Truly, they are liars. (Surat al-An`am, 27-28)

Other verses state that people are given enough time on Earth, but that they do not abandon their conceit:

Or lest he should say, when he sees the punishment: "If only I could have another chance so that I could be a good-doer!" "No, the fact is that My Signs came to you, but you denied them and were arrogant and one of the unbelievers." (Surat az-Zumar, 58-59)

From all of this, we understand that such people will not mend their ways. Since Allah is most merciful with the believers, He does not let such evil people enter Paradise and be with the believers. Paradise, with all that it contains and its inhabitants, is a place of goodness, and nothing that Allah disapproves of can be found there. This is one of the consequences of His mercy and justice to His devout servants.

The eternal blessings of Paradise are only for the believers. Allah says:

Their recompense is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. How excellent is the reward of those who act! (Surah Al ‘Imran, 136)

As for those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and overstep His limits, We will admit them into a Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. They will have a humiliating punishment. (Surat an-Nisa', 14)

Do they not know that whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger will have the Fire of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, forever? That is the great disgrace. (Surat at-Tawba, 63)

[The Qur'an is] to warn those who say:

These two verses deal with the Christians' seriously mistaken understanding of Allah. By devising the doctrine of the Trinity, the Christians deviated from their true religion. The following verses explain how they did this:

O People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about Allah. The Messiah, `Isa son of Maryam, was only the Messenger of Allah and His word, which He cast into Maryam, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say: "Three." It is better that you stop. Allah is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in Earth belongs to Him. Allah suffices as a Guardian. (Surat an-Nisa', 171)

They say: "Allah has a son." Glory be to Him! He is the Rich Beyond Need. Everything in the heavens and on Earth belongs to Him. Have you authority to say this, or are you saying about Allah that which you do not know? (Surah Yunus, 68)

That is `Isa son of Maryam, the word of truth about which they are in doubt. It is not fitting for Allah to have a son. Glory be to Him! When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surah Maryam, 34-35)

There can be no doubt that this mentality is the faith of those who associate others with Allah. As the Qur'an reveals, Allah has no partners, equals, or children. He is the sole Governor of all that exists, as well as the Lord of the heavens and Earth. Those Muslims living in the End Times are obliged to explain such mistaken beliefs to all who hold them.

This verse deals with those who do not respond to the calls to faith made by the Prophet (saas) and the believers. Devout believers abide by Allah's order to command right and forbid evil, invite people to believe in Allah, and inform them of the truth contained in the Qur'an. However, most people turn away from the Messengers' calls and persist in denial, as revealed by: "The Hour is coming—there is no doubt about it. But most of mankind do not believe" (Surah Ghafir, 59).

The unbelievers respond to such calls in many ways. Some demand miracles from the Messengers, as in: "We will not believe you until you make a spring gush out from the earth for us" (Surat al-Isra', 90), while others simply mock the believers. An an example of the latter is given below:

When they are told: "Believe in the way that the people believe," they exclaim: "What! Are we to believe in the way that fools believe?" No indeed! They are the fools, but they do not know it. (Surat al-Baqara, 13)

Every Prophet was greeted by his nation with similar mockery and often was subjected to various forms of oppression. For instance, Prophet Nuh (as) used all methods to call his people to faith, but they responded negatively, as follows:

He said: "My Lord, I have called my people night and day, but my calling has only made them more evasive. Indeed, every time I called them to Your forgiveness, they put their fingers in their ears, wrapped themselves up in their clothes, and were overweeningly arrogant. Then I called them openly. Then I addressed them publicly and privately." I said: "Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Truly He is Endlessly Forgiving." (Surah Nuh, 5-10)

As we can understand from these verses, most people, regardless of time or place, respond negatively to the calls to true religion. However, it must not be forgotten that such reactions never demoralize the believers, for they know that only Allah can bestow faith. No matter how well they speak, how moving and wise their words are, the believers cannot put faith into someone's heart unless Allah wills it. Other verses also reveal this truth:

We sent a Messenger among every people saying: "Worship Allah and keep clear of all false deities." Among them were some whom Allah guided, but others received the misguidance they deserved. Travel about the land and see the final fate of the unbelievers. However eager you are for them to be guided, Allah will not guide those whom He misguides. They will have no helpers. (Surat an-Nahl, 36-37)

As these verses reveal, no one can make anyone else believe. Therefore, the believers are responsible only for calling to faith. After they have fulfilled this obligation, they must leave it to Allah to give faith. Trusting Allah, being patient, and inviting to His religion in the most pleasant manner will have a great effect upon people's hearts. Allah says:

So remind them. You are only a reminder. You cannot compel them [to believe]. But as for anyone who turns away and is an unbeliever, Allah will punish him with the greatest punishment. Certainly it is to Us that they will return. Then their reckoning is Our concern. (Surat al-Ghashiya, 21-26)

Only Allah can bestow faith and make someone a believer. Many other verses, some of which are listed below, state this fact:

If your Lord had willed, all people on Earth would have believed. Do you think that you can force people to be believers? No one can believe except with Allah's permission. (Surah Yunus, 99-100)

You cannot guide those whom you would like to guide, but Allah guides those whom He wills to guide. He knows best those who are guided. (Surat al-Qasas, 56)

Surah Yusuf also discusses this subject. Irrespective of how genuine the call to faith is, people who have not been guided cannot believe. The Muslims are responsibile for calling and advising, and after doing this are to leave the person's status as a believer or an unbeliever to Allah. All of their efforts in this respect will be recorded and rewarded by Allah's will, while those who persist in their opposition to the truth will be punished. Allah reveals this truth in Surah Yusuf:

But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers. You do not ask them for any wage for it. It is only a reminder to all beings. How many Signs there are in the heavens and Earth! Yet they pass them by, turning away from them. Most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others with Him. Do they feel so secure that the all-enveloping punishment of Allah will not come upon them, or that the Last Hour will not come upon them all of a sudden, when they least expect it? Say: "This is my way. I call to Allah with inner sight, I and all who follow me. Glory be to Allah! I am not one of the idolaters!" (Surah Yusuf, 103-108)

Most people either do not know that their present life in this world is a trial to determine their true value in Allah's sight, or else they know this truth but choose to ignore it. This is why they are so dedicated to the worldly life and do not want to think about death and an eternal life in the Hereafter. But Allah reveals that people are tried while on Earth: "We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast" (Surat al-Baqara, 155). He also reveals the purpose of life on Earth and death, as follows:

He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk, 2)

Just saying "I believe" is never enough to win Allah's good pleasure and grace, and Paradise; people have to prove the soundness of their faith and dedication to His revelation throughout their lives and in every situation. One must always turn to Allah and adhere strictly to His commands, whether in hardship, illness, suffering, and hunger or in wealth, power, and influence, for:

Do people imagine that they will be left to say: "We believe," and will not be tested? We tested those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful and and He will surely make evident the liars. (Surat al-`Ankabut, 2-3)

But most people prefer the pleasures of this life over the life of the Hereafter. To own the latest sports car, a luxurious villa, jewels, or designer cloths are thought, mistakenly, to be the purpose of life. They race to become richer, more beautiful, or more famous, and spend their lives chasing these goals. However, nothing will benefit them unless they use it appropriately, as the following verses reveal:

To mankind, the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah. Say: "Shall I tell you of something better than that?" Those who do their duty will have Gardens with their Lord, with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever, and purified wives, and Allah's good pleasure. Allah sees His servants. (Surah Al `Imran, 14-15)

As these verses make clear, this life is temporary and its pleasures are misleading. In the End Times, as it has always been throughout history, all that exists (e.g., palaces, huge factories, bridges, gold and jewelry, money piled up in the bank, stock shares, cars, speed boats, and planes) is created to test people. While owning or not owning such things has specific connotations in human societies, in the eyes of Allah they mean nothing.

What really matters is one's faith in Allah, sincerity, and good character. Every person will die and realize that the eternal life of the Hereafter is true. Therefore, it is very unwise to be misled by the pleasures of this life. The believers, who realize this truth, exchange their lives and property for the eternal life in the Hereafter and enjoy this deal. Allah says to the believers:

Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth in return for Paradise. They fight in the Way of Allah, and they kill and are killed. It is a promise binding upon Him in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qur'an, and who is truer to his contract than Allah? Rejoice, then, in the bargain you have made. That is the great victory. (Surat at-Tawba, 111)

All beauty and wealth are created to test humanity, as mentioned earlier. In this verse, our Lord reminds us that no matter how beautiful, grand, or valuable our possessions, eventually all of them will become dust.

If Allah wills, He can unexpectedly remove those cherished things that make people forget His existence, thereby leaving them destitute. Allah is All-powerful; He gives wealth and poverty and, as the owner of everything, gives it to whomsoever He wills. The Qur'an mentions this in many verses, several of which are given below:

The Keys of the heavens and Earth belong to Him. He expands the provision of anyone He wills or restricts it. He has knowledge of all things. (Surat ash-Shura, 12)

Do they not see that Allah expands provision for whoever He wills and also restricts it? There are certainly Signs in that for people who believe. (Surah Rum, 37)

Allah expands the provision of any of His servants He wills and restricts it. Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Ankabut, 62)

These verses touch upon this group's extraordinary situation. As the narrative unfolds, we see that their experiences are of an unusual and metaphysical nature. Their entire life is full of miraculous developments. Some of our Prophet's (as) hadiths make a connection between them and the End Times. This indicates that people living in the End Times may have supernatural experiences.

The continuation of the verse might be suggesting that the youth of the End Times will take on great responsibilities, for they will play an important role in the ideological struggle against anti-religious philosophies, presenting true religion, and ending oppression. Other verses state the importance of youth in informing people about religion. For example, in Surat al-Kahf, we are told of Musa's (as) "young servant," and another verse says that only some young people of Musa's (as) nation believed in him:

No one believed in Musa except some children of his people, out of fear that Pharaoh and the elders would persecute them… (Surah Yunus, 83)

Surat al-Kahf 10 tells us that those young people sought refuge in the cave from the existing oppressive system, which did not allow them to express their views, tell the truth, and call to Allah's religion. Thus, they distanced themselves from their people.

This verse might be signaling the creation of similar totalitarian regimes in the End Times, for regimes founded upon communism, fascism, or other ideologies seek to curb people's freedoms and oppress those who want to lead a religious life. The Companions of the Cave left their people and sought refuge because of similar oppression. Muslims living in the End Times probably will have to remain out of sight and hidden in order to escape the oppression of communist and fascist systems. Those who do this successfully will distance themselves from society and will be seen only rarely.

However, this should not be understood as an idle period, for they took refuge there while asking for Allah's grace and help. They also sought to improve and develop themselves. Muslims of the End Times who live under oppressive regimes will conceal themselves and hope for Allah to increase His grace upon them, and also to make their lives and struggle against anti-religious movements easier.

The Companions of the Cave's prayer to Allah (verse 10) also draws our attention to the fact that the believers must never forget that only Allah wills something to happen. All people are forever needy, helpless, and dependent upon Him, and cannot achieve anything through their own intellect, effort, and power unless Allah wills it. How can they see anything through to its conclusion when they cannot even lift a hand, walk, or breathe, except by His will? Many verses remind people that they must always depend upon Allah's help, support, and grace due to their incapacity and the fact that only Allah can will something to happen. For example:

You did not kill them; it was Allah Who killed them. And you did not throw, when you threw; it was Allah Who threw, so that He might test the believers with this excellent trial from Him. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Anfal, 17)

Allah creates and does all things; humanity, on the other hand, is tested in the areas of sincerity and submission. The Companions of the Cave, aware of this reality, immediately turned to Allah after finding refuge and expressed their submission by praying to Him. Knowing that Allah would increase their wisdom and make things easier for them in every respect, the first thing that they did was to seek His help. As this situation shows, what matters most is for people to be genuine Muslims who pray to our Lord and ask Him for everything.

Just as the Companions of the Cave sought refuge from the oppression of the prevailing godless system, the believers in the End Times will choose to conceal themselves, for their own protection, from such oppressive systems as communism, fascism, and other enemies of religion and moral values. Their existence will resemble that of the Companions of the Cave: they will be oppressed, will not have freedom of thought, and will not be able to speak their minds.

However, this period of concealment is not about worrying and suffering. Quite the contrary; it is a waiting period in peace and contentment. The expression "We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years" suggests that the believers' time of concealment will pass in inner peace, as if they were asleep.

For the Muslims, this is a period of personal development, education, acquiring knowledge, and growing stronger in faith. They will not be affected by the violence, oppression, injustice, and cruelty unleashed upon society by those who do not believe and are enemies of moral values. The believers will be away from all of this hardship, as if they were in a cave, and, by Allah's grace, this situation will protect them.

These people are still living under the oppression of anti-religious systems. This chaos and injustice is a sign of the End Times. However, the Muslims know that, Allah willing, this difficult period is about to end. This realization gives them great joy.


As this verse indicates, the Companions of the Cave's concealment lasted for a certain period, after which they awoke at a time of Allah's willing and by His will. The people of faith's concealment in the End Times will continue until the destined time by Allah comes. Then, all secrecy will be abandoned, and the believers will mix with the people freely and tell them the truth about faith, Allah's existence, and the Qur'an's morality.

Only Allah knows how long this period will last, for as this verse indicates, the number of years, days, and hours of this period is within His knowledge. Surat al-Jinn reveals Allah's attribute of Al-Muhsi (The Reckoner, The One Who knows the number of everything even though infinite):

So that He may know that they have indeed transmitted the Messages of their Lord. He encompasses what is in their hands, and has counted the exact number of everything. (Surat al-Jinn, 28)

This verse underlines the importance of a strong faith and guidance, because in Allah's presence the great job that one has done might count for nothing if one did not comply strictly with the Qur'an and follow the Prophet's (saas) path. One's financial success, career, or fame here is of no help in the Hereafter, because what truly matters is faith and obedience to Allah, Who describes His guided devotees in the following terms:

That is the Book, without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who guard against evil: those who believe in the Unseen, establish prayers , and spend from what We have provided for them; those who believe in what has been sent down to you and what was sent down before you, and are certain about the Hereafter. They are the people guided by their Lord. They are the ones who have success. (Surat al-Baqara, 2-5)

In another verse, our Lord gives the good tidings to His guided devotees that they will not experience any fear or sorrow:

We said: "Go down from it, every one of you! Then when guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will feel no fear and will know no sorrow." (Surat al-Baqara, 38)

These verses reveal that Allah eases the way of Muslims to success in their actions. If they are experiencing hardship, Allah helps them out of it. This truth is stated in the following verse:
Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light. But those who do not believe have false deities as protectors. They take them from the light into the darkness. Those are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 257)

This verse states the importance of patience, determination, and willpower for believers. Only people who trust in Allah have these qualities. The expression "We put courage" indicates that Allah decrees everything and gives the believers the strength to meet all hardships and difficulties with determination and patience.

No one can exceed the destiny that Allah has written for him or her, either in word or in deed. Therefore, those who are aware that only Allah does everything within destiny and know that they have no power to do anything will be naturally patient. Their knowledge that Allah creates everything in the best and most beneficial way for His steadfast servants gives them peace and comfort. Allah gives the news of salvation and a great reward for His servants who adopt this fine morality and are patient in the following verses:

What is with you runs out, but what is with Allah goes on forever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did. Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 96-97)

Obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not quarrel among yourselves lest you lose heart and your momentum disappear. And be steadfast. Allah is with the steadfast. (Surat al-Anfal, 46)
… If there are twenty of you who are steadfast, they will overcome two hundred; and if there are a hundred of you, they will overcome a thousand of those who do not believe, because they are people who do not understand. (Surat al-Anfal, 65)

Palestinian Muslims worshipping under the oppression of Israeli soldiers.
Among the believers' attributes are determination and willpower, along with faith and awareness of, and trust in, Allah. Those who believe in destiny and trust Allah will not lose heart or inspiration when faced with hardship and difficulty, because they know that, ultimately, it is Allah Who does everything. Therefore, they welcome every opportunity as a chance to earn a reward and do good deeds with joy and excitement.

The verse also states that the Companions of the Cave entered the king's presence after their time of concealment ended. At this time, idolatry and the denial of Allah were still widespread, the people were still far from religion's morality, and the Muslims were still being oppressed. In spite of all of this, the Companions of the Cave told the king that they would never abandon their belief in, and worship of, Allah as the only Being worthy of their worship, and that it would be a crime against Allah to say anything to the contrary, even if only for the sake of protocol.

Such courage and determination in the presence of an authoritarian and tyrannical king proves that they were sincere Muslims. Allah creates everything in destiny to bring the best benefits to believers. Thus, unless He wills it, nothing can harm anyone. Since the Companions of the Cave knew this fact, they were able to display this exemplary trust in Him and determination.

In the End Times, people will adopt idols and spread their mistaken ideas and fantasies. This verse indicates that sincere Muslims must preserve their belief with the same degree of courage and determination when faced with oppressive and totalitarian regimes.

"Our people have taken deities apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?" (Surat al-Kahf, 15)

As this verse states, the Companions of the Cave called their idolatrous people to faith, invited them to Allah's religion, asked them to stop associating others with Allah, and demanded that they bring forth the evidence upon which they based their denial. When they could not do this, they exposed their idolatrous people as liars and slanderers.

Today, Muslims also demand proof from those who take idols besides Allah. In the End Times, there exists an idolatrous belief that idolizes matter and chance: Darwinism.

Charles Darwin
Darwinism claims that the universe has no purpose, was formed by random occurrences, and that only the fittest members of nature survive. This anti-religious system is based upon conflict and violence. In reality, these claims of random occurrences being responsible for everything are no more than acts of slander by the Darwinists against Allah, Who is All-Powerful and has created everything that exists.To support their slanderous claims, they cheat, lie, and offer faked evidence. The history of Darwinism is full of such frauds as the Piltdown man, the Nebraska man, the recapitulation theory, which maintains that the stages in an organism's embryonic development correspond to the stages of the species' characteristic evolutionary development, and Archaeoraptor (the faked dinosaur-bird). Darwinism manipulates and fabricates evidence, and produces imaginary drawings and scenarios to persuade people that humanity is the product of past evolutionary processes. To this end, it misconstrues scientific evidence without the slightest hesitation.




One of the best-known evolutionist hoaxes is this so-called Piltdown man skull and its subsequent portrayal as one of man's ancestors. This hoax was eventually exposed as a fabrication made by fusing an orangutan's jaw bones to a man's skull.

As a result, Darwinism is one of the largest and most anti-religion systems of thought facing the Muslims of the End Times. Today's Muslims, like the Companions of the Cave, are demanding evidence from the Darwinists, who deny Allah but idolize chance, to prove their case. In response, the Darwinists present yet more lies and frauds, but never any clear-cut evidence, by all sorts of demagogy because they have no evidence to support their claims. (For detailed information, see Harun Yahya, The Evolution Deceit, London:Ta-Ha Publishers, 2003, 8th ed.)

Darwinism's claim that everything is the product of chance is a clear slander directed against Allah. The expression "Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?" (Surat al-Kahf, 15) indicates this wrongdoing.

This verse states that the Companions of the Cave distanced themselves completely from the unbelievers' system of thought. This created an ideological conflict between the believers and the unbelievers, who were oppressing them.

Due to the unbelievers' oppression, the Companions of the Cave felt the need for total segregation. Thus, they severed all links with the unbelievers by seeking refuge in the cave. During this period, Allah's grace descended upon them, and He made things easier for them in many respects. The most important aspect of His help and support was sparing them from the negative impact of the unbelievers.

Irreligious societies habitually attack Muslims' sacred values and mock and insult their beliefs and practices. For these reasons, it is a great comfort and ease for the believers to keep apart from such people, because this allows them to find more opportunities to serve religion instead of always meeting with hostility. This also means more time for personal development, acquiring deeper knowledge, and engaging in cultural and social activities. Thanks to this opportunity, which Allah gives them, they can work harder to help their people have a better life and inform them of the only path to salvation: adopting the values of the Qur'an.

This verse might be suggesting that the Muslims' homes should receive sunlight. A house, as far as possible, should receive sunlight at dusk as well as dawn, so that its inhabitants can derive the positive effects of sunlight, which creates a healthier atmosphere. Or, it might be suggesting that homes should be spacious and cozy, so that it will be a pleasure to live in them. Muslims should make their homes, as far as they can, spacious, airy, calming, and full of light.

As mentioned earlier, this verse proclaims the importance of guidance by Allah. It states that only those to whom Allah gives guidance will find salvation, and that those to whom He does not give it will find only eternal suffering.

Surat al-Kahf 17 emphasizes that those who call others to faith must do so with serenity, patience, calmness, and in a non-confrontational manner. They must not forget that only Allah gives faith, as He states in: "There is no compulsion where religion is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing" (Surat al-Baqara, 256). If those who are invited to belief choose to reject the invitation, those who made the call must trust in Allah and not pressure the other party.

Today, some Muslims are enveloped in a similar type of slumber, and thus are not affected by the evil flowing from materialist ideologies, all of which seek to distance people from religion. They continue to live a life of Qur'anic morality without being influenced by the moral degeneration, chaos, and oppression engendered by materialism.

Perhaps the Companions of the Cave's state of sleep was the result of the inner peace and trust they experienced by submitting to destiny, because Allah creates everything according to a preordained decree and directs all events to the believers' advantage. Our Lord states that "… Allah will not give the unbelievers any way against the believers" (Surat an-Nisa', 141). This is surely good news and a cause for serenity for all believers, for it is a sign that everything is positive and beneficial for the Muslims.

Another cause for the Muslims' sense of safety and inner peace is Allah's promise that He will lead His sincere servants to success. The following verse delivers this good news to the believers:

Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased, and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)

In other words, Allah will lead His committed servants to security regardless of the difficulties they are facing. This is one reason for today's Muslims, like the Companions of the Cave, to continue their work in peace.

The Muslims also know and draw comfort from the fact that only Allah can will something to happen to them. Allah draws our attention to the determination of those believers who submit to Him, believe in destiny, and trust Him completely with the following verse:

Say: "Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust." (Surat at-Tawba, 51)

All over the world, we see conflict, people struggling against hunger and poverty, and dramatic increases in moral degeneration. The only way out of this negative situation is to tell people, with patience and compassion, about how adhering to the values of the Qur'an will bring about goodness and well-being.

Surat al-Kahf 18 also mentions the love of animals and that, possibly, Muslims can keep a dog in their garden for safety reasons. Dogs are friendly and dependable animals, loyal to their owner, and sensitive enough to recognize and respond to danger immediately. Therefore, Muslims can acquire a guard dog as a precaution, but first must put their trust in Allah.

The verse also might be suggesting that believers can keep animals because of love and care for them. Prophet Sulayman (as) is given as an example, as seen in the following verse:

When swift horses, champing at the bit, were displayed before him [Prophet Sulayman] in the afternoon, he said: "Truly do Ilove the love of good with a view to the glory of my Lord"—[repeating these words as the steeds raced away,] until the they were hidden by the veil [of distance—whereupon he would command], "Return them to me." And he set about stroking their shanks and necks. (Surah Sad, 31-33)


That was the situation when we raised them up so that they could question one another. One of them asked: "How long have you been here?" They replied: "We have been here for a day or part of a day." They said: "Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. Let him behave with gentleness so that no one is aware of you." (Surat al-Kahf, 19)

In this verse, the Muslims discuss their current situation before reaching a decision. The verse also relates their discussion as to how long they had been in the cave. They said: "Your Lord knows best how long you have been here." This indicates that when there is no agreement or final decision, believers say "Allah knows best" and leave the outcome to Him, for only He knows the unknown. For this reason, it is not a sign of trust in Him to argue about something that cannot be known, for this only causes disturbance among the people. What is important in such a case is to submit to Allah and remember destiny.

This verse also contains other messages for the believers. First, the Companions of the Cave ask the believer they send to town to get only the purest food for them. The believers' sensitivity in matters of cleanness is related in many verses, such as when Allah's Messenger made: "… good things lawful for them and bad things forbidden for them" (Surat al-A`raf, 157) and Allah commanded believers: "Purify your clothes" (Surat al-Muddaththir, 4).

The following two verses also mention good and clean foods:

So eat from what Allah has provided for you, lawful and good, and be thankful for His blessing, if it is Him you worship. (Surat an-Nahl, 114)

Eat of the good things We have provided for you, but do not go to excess in it, or My anger will be unleashed on you. Anyone who has My anger unleashed on him has plunged to his ruin. (Surah Ta Ha, 81)

Surat al-Kahf 19 also points out that believers prefer to buy their food in cities. Perhaps this is because they can find a greater variety of foods there. Cities also have another benefit for believers, for the call to faith begins in the cities:

This is a Book We have sent down and blessed, confirming what came before it, so that you can warn the Mother of Cities [Makka] and the people around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in it and safeguard their prayer. (Surat al-An`am, 92)

Surat al-Kahf 19 also reminds believers to be gentle and courteous at all times, for this is a requirement of the Qur'an's morals.

Another possible understanding of this account of the Companions of the Cave is that the Muslims of the End Times generally will stay at home to avoid attracting attention to themselves at a time of great wickedness and rule by such anti-religious ideologies as fascism or communism. Or, it might be suggesting that believers, when required, will be at home for long periods of time in order to develop in science and knowledge. It is related that the Prophet (saas) advised those who sought his views on the End Times to "stay at home." (Abu Dawud)

The expression "They will stone you" describes a form of terror. This character trait is clearly recognizable today in people who are under the influence of godless ideologies. For example, terrorists who subscribe to communism are led by their hostility to the state to throw stones and attack its officials, as well as at the police forces. These attacks aim to weaken and demoralize them so that the communists can realize their anti-religious ideals and establish their rule by dragging the country into chaos and conflict.

Once they succeed, they seek to indoctrinate people loyal to faith with their system of thought, which considers recurring conflict between people inevitable. They want to see all of the people rebel against the state, take to the streets and fight one another. But such anarchist movements will lead to nothing, and their followers will not succeed, for Allah says:

But as for those who break Allah's contract after it has been agreed upon, and sever what Allah has commanded to be joined, and cause corruption in the land, the curse will be upon them. They will have the Evil Abode. (Surat ar-Ra`d, 25)

Given this, it is vital for the people of the End Times to stay clear of the bloodstained ideologies that have brought nothing but evil to the world, not to side with those who corrupt others, and not to be influenced by the provocations of anti-religious ideologies or their agitations.

People influenced by godless ideologies see the solution in violence, hostility, and rebellion. This terrorist characteristic leads society into chaos. The only way to prevent this is to explain to the people why they should fear Allah and how they can avert His punishment.

This verse contains clear signs of the End Times and the Hour. The discovery of the Companions of the Cave could be a sign for the good, that even if they exist far apart from one another, one day they will definitely meet each other. Allah reveals this truth with "so race each other to the good. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together. Truly Allah has power over all things" (Surat al-Baqara, 148).

The verse also mentions the decision to build a place of worship on the site where the Companions of the Cave were found, which means that such places of worship can be built where good and righteous devotees of Allah have spent their lives so that they will be remembered. Also, such places can serve as centers of learning and worship, which will help to spread beneficial ideas and good character. These places will then become meeting points for the believers who come together to remember Allah's name.

Many verses underline the importance of places of worship in which only Allah is remembered. Some of them are as follows:

Those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying: "Our Lord is Allah." If Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries and churches, synagogues and mosques, where Allah's name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him—Allah is All-Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Hajj, 40)

All mosques belong to Allah, so do not call on anyone else besides Allah. (Surat al-Jinn, 18)

As this verse states, some people speculated about how many Companions of the Cave there actually were. However, the verse states that their actual number is known only to our Lord, for only He knows the Unseen and can reveal part of it to His chosen few.

The continuation of the verse stipulates that such speculation is wrong. Such disputes are termed "guessing at the Unseen" and are referred to in other verses as well:

They will say: "We believe in it," but how can they reach out for it from a distant place, when beforehand they had rejected it, shooting forth about the Unseen from a distant place? A barrier will be set up between them and the thing that they desire, just as was done with their kind before. They too were in a state of crippling doubt. (Surah Saba', 52-54)

All Muslims ought to refrain from such useless arguments and just say: "Allah knows best." They should respond in the following terms: "You know what is in my self but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things" (Surat al-Ma'ida, 116), because many verses state that only Allah knows the Unseen. One such verse is as follows:

The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No one knows them but Him. He knows everything in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it. There is no seed in the darkness of the ground, and nothing moist or dry, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surat al-An`am, 59)

In these types of arguments, people's views usually are based upon hearsay. Obviously, there is no point in listening to arguments based solely upon conjecture and ignorance. As "Do not pursue what you have no knowledge of. Hearing, sight and hearts will all be questioned" (Surat al-Isra', 36) makes clear, people should avoid any talk based upon hearsay.

"Those who know about them are very few" also indicates that a few people could have this knowledge. For instance, one such person could be Khidhr (as), whose miraculous circumstances we will explore shortly. It is also possible that Khidhr's disciples might have this knowledge, with Allah's will and revelation. The Qur'an reveals that Allah reveals some of the Unseen to His Messengers.

He is the Knower of the Unseen, and does not divulge His Unseen to anyone—except a Messenger with whom He is well pleased, and then He posts sentinels before him and behind him. (Surat al-Jinn, 26-27)

Allah revealed some knowledge of the Unseen to our Prophet (saas) and then told him that:

This is news of the Unseen that We reveal to you [OMuhammad]. You were not with them when they decided what to do and devised their scheme. (Surah Yusuf, 102)

Allah informed Prophet Nuh (as) about some of the future events that he would experience:

It was said: "Nuh, descend with peace from Us and with blessings on you and on the nations that will issue from those who are with you. But there are nations to whom we will give enjoyment, and then a painful punishment from Us will afflict them." That is some of the news of the Unseen that We reveal to you. Neither you nor your people knew it before this time. So be steadfast. The best end-result is for those who do their duty. (Surah Hud, 48-49)

Surat al-Kahf 22 reveals the appropriate methods of argument: "… do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known." When arguing with others, believers must provide evidence that is compatible with the Qur'an, whereas those who reject religion do the contrary, for they seek to create disputes in order to display their hostility to the believers and their religion. Allah states in "just for argument's sake…" (Surat az-Zukhruf, 58), that the deniers use blasphemous arguments because they are "a disputatious people" who have an argumentative and hostile nature. This is why people living the Qur'an's morality must distance themselves from all of this and behave in the way that earns Allah's good pleasure. Allah provides an example as to how they should speak with the unbelievers:

So call and go straight, as you have been ordered to. Do not follow their whims and desires, but say: "I believe in a Book sent down by Allah and am ordered to be just between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. We have our actions and you have your actions. There is no debate between us and you. Allah will gather us all together. He is our final destination." (Surat ash-Shura, 15)

The phrase "do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them" at the end of Surat al-Kahf 22 advises all believers to refrain from seeking views other than that of Revelation, because only Allah knows the Unseen. Thus, believers believe that arguments based only upon people's faulty speculation, knowledge, presumptions, and interpretations are worthless. Therefore, giving any credence to such "information" is forbidden.

The lives of people who have forgotten destiny's reality pass in planning for tomorrow, next month, next year, and after retirement. Some people plan their career at the workplace, what they will do after their children get married, or how they will acquire wealth and property. However, this verse reminds all people that they do not know what will happen to them tomorrow.

People who map out their lives have forgotten destiny, for only Allah determines each person's destiny. Therefore, whatever Allah has "written" for one's tomorrow, whether or not the person in question has "planned" it, will occur. This fact is stated in the following verse:

You do not engage in any matter, recite any portion of the Qur'an, or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus, 61)

Destiny is Allah's knowledge of everything that has happened in the past and will happen in future. Many people ask how Allah can know what will happen to us. The answer is as follows: Allah is not subject to time and space, both of which He created, and so what we call the past, present, and future are all the same to Him. Just as we see the beginning, middle, and end of a ruler and all of its units in between, Allah sees and knows the "time" of our existence as one whole, from its beginning to its end. However, we only experience a particular event, all of which He already knows, when its time has come and thus witness the destiny that Allah has created for us.

Saying that something definitely will happen is, in fact, growing arrogant toward Allah, something that will result in ultimate loss, as the following verse proclaims:

As for those who believe and do right actions, He will pay them their wages in full and will give them increase from His favor. As for those who show disdain and grow arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment. They will not find any protector or helper for themselves besides Allah. (Surat an-Nisa', 173)

When the believers forget something, they should remember Allah's name, for there is a positive aspect to remembering, if Allah has willed it to be in that person's best interests to be so. Remembering His name can be a healing in a situation of forgetfulness, but one can remember only if Allah wills it because some benefit will result.

Then, the verse orders the Prophet (saas) to pray to Allah for a victory close at hand. Success in our worldly lives is sometimes achieved in the long-term, while at other times it is a short-term thing. Sometimes one works really hard and puts much effort into a project without seeing any short-term success. Thus, it is necessary to remain determined and patient for a long time. Such perseverance contains a multitude of good and much educational value. However, believers also can ask Allah for success in the short term. The important thing is to turn to Allah with a true heart, as did Prophet Shu`ayb (as), who said: "My success is with Allah alone. I have put my trust in Him, and I turn to Him" (Surah Hud, 88). Those who trust Allah, knowing that He has created all things, can expect His support at all times. Allah reminds the Prophet (saas) that only He can lead someone to an easy success: "We will ease you to the Easy Way." (Surat al-A`la, 8)

These verses reveal that the Companions of the Cave's state of sleep lasted for 300 years, and that a further 9 years were added toward the end of this period. Thus, their state of sleep lasted for 309 years.

Surat al-Kahf 26 states that Allah's rule and control of the Unseen is total, because He creates all things in the heavens and Earth. This attribute of our Lord is described in the following verses:

The Unseen of the heavens and Earth belongs to Allah, and the whole affair will be returned to Him. So worship Him and put your trust in Him. Your Lord is not unaware of what you do. (Surah Hud, 123)

Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except for what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and Earth, and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara, 255)

As the Creator cannot be bound by His creation, Allah is independent of what we consider to be time. A million or even a billion years of human time means nothing to Him, for everything exists in His presence as if it were only one moment. Allah sees and hears everything, regardless of how far in the past or in the future it is, and He sees it all perfectly, from every aspect, and with or without direction. He also perceives sound with all of its aspects, known to us or else in the best way, as the following verse states: My Lord knows what is said in Heaven and on Earth. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surat al-Anbiya', 4)

As all people are subject to time and space, they cannot know anything of the Unseen unless Allah reveals it to them. Only our Lord, the Creator of time and space, sees and hears the past, present, and future in their entirety. He governs absolutely the infinitely past and future of time, history, events, matter, destiny, and everything, whether living or non-living, for:

Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 115)

He is the only protector and helper of all living beings, for there is none other. Humanity is truly helpless and therefore exposed to hardship at all times. And, the only way to escape material as well as spiritual suffering is to seek refuge with Allah, our only friend and helper, by acknowledging Him as our sole protector. The following verses reveal this truth:

… Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? Do you not know that to Allah belong the kingdom of the heavens and Earth, and that, besides Him, you have no protector and no helper? (Surat al-Baqara, 106-107)

To Allah belong the kingdom of the heavens and Earth. He gives life and causes to die. You have no protector or helper besides Him. (Surat at-Tawba, 116)

My Protector is Allah, Who sent down the Book. He takes care of the righteous. (Surat al-A`raf, 196)

The concluding part of verse 26 states that our Lord has no partners. Allah has power over everything and is the only governor of time, space, and all dimensions, whether they are known to us or not. He has no associates, and such a thought is not even conceivable, as the following verse makes clear:

Say: "He is Allah, Absolute Oneness, Allah, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born. And no one is comparable to Him." (Surat al-Ikhlas, 1-4)

The most reliable resource from which we can learn about true religion is the Qur'an, because it is the Creator's word, and naturally the Creator knows the ultimate truth of everything. In the Qur'an, Allah reveals everything that humanity needs to know. Furthermore, in this verse He orders the Prophet (saas) to recite the revelations contained in the Qur'an.

A little further on, the verse states that these revelations are immune to change. The Qur'an informs us that the earlier holy books were all falsified, added to, or deleted from, but this is not the case with the Qur'an. As Allah reveals in Surat al-Hijr 9, the Qur'an is under His protection: "We have sent down the Reminder, and We will preserve it." This fact is elaborated upon in the following verses:

The words of your Lord are perfect in truthfulness and justice. No one can change His words. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surat al-An`am, 115)

Falsehood cannot reach it from before it or behind it—it is a revelation from One Who is All-Wise, Praiseworthy. (Surah Fussilat, 42)

The expression: "No one can change His words. You will never find any safe haven apart from Him" points to a great error by those people who do not appreciate Allah's infinite might. They acquire protectors and friends other than Allah in the belief that they will be of some help and support in times of hardship.But, we should never forget that those with whom they seek refuge are themselves only creations and helpless servants of Allah. All beings whom they exalt are no more than manifestations of Allah and receive their power, if they have any, from Him, for every being and thing moves only because of His will.

Those you call on besides Allah are servants just like yourselves. Call on them and let them respond to you, if you are telling the truth. Do they have legs with which they can walk? Do they have hands with which they can grasp? Do they have eyes with which they can see? Do they have ears with which they can hear? Say: "Call on your partner-deities, try all your wiles against me, and grant me no reprieve. My Protector is Allah, Who sent down the Book. He takes care of the righteous." Those you call on besides Him cannot help you. They cannot even help themselves. (Surat al-A`raf, 194-97)

As these verses make clear, those people chosen to be guardians and protectors are themselves helpless beings who have a degree of power only if Allah wills it. They cannot save anyone from hardship, suffering, or catastrophe. Another verse expresses this reality:

They worship, instead of Allah, what can neither harm them nor help them, saying: "These are our intercessors with Allah." Say: "Would you inform Allah of something about which He does not know, either in the heavens or on Earth?" May He be glorified and exalted above what they associate with Him! (Surah Yunus, 18)

Restrain yourself patiently with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance, who follows his own whims and desires, and whose life has transgressed all bounds.
(Surat al-Kahf, 28)

This verse points out the importance of always calling upon Allah, every morning and evening, seeking only His good pleasure. Prayer is a great gift, for it is a way to draw closer to Allah. People can pray at any time of day and wherever they are. Allah reveals the value of prayer in: Say: "What has My Lord to do with you if you do not call upon Him?" (Surat al-Furqan, 77). In another verse, He informs people that:

If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls upon Me. Therefore, they should respond to Me and believe in Me, so that hopefully they will be rightly guided. (Surat al-Baqara, 186)

The verse then reminds people once more that this world's temporary possessions should not affect them, because life in this world is no more than a trial. Surat al-Kahf reveals why this world's desirable commodities (e.g., houses, cars, yachts, mansions, gold, silver, and fashionable clothes) were created:

We made everything on Earth adornment for it so that We could test them to see whose actions are the best. (Surat al-Kahf, 7)

After a specific number of years, each person will find himself or herself suddenly appearing before Allah on the Day of Judgment, for life passes rather quickly. Allah reminds us of this reality: "These people love this fleeting world and have put the thought of a Momentous Day behind their backs" (Surat al-Insan, 27). The life of the Hereafter, which many people neglect while living in this world, is an eternal reality that no one can escape. This is why being led astray by this world's temporary attractions and thus forgetting the eternal life in the Hereafter is such a serious mistake. Allah reveals that:

The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion. The Hereafter is better for those who guard against evil. So will you not use your intellect? (Surat al-An`am, 32)

Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion, an ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves, and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children, like the plant-growth after rain that delights the cultivators, but then withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter, there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)

Further on in the same verse, the importance of the believers being together is stated. Remembering Allah, praying to Him, and doing everything for His good pleasure is the behavior of all devout believers. The vital need of being together with them, with people who remember Allah at all times, is obvious. Believers derive many benefits from spending time with one another, for they remind each other of the Qur'an's verses and remember Allah, and are less likely to miss prayers or be led astray, which has a greater chance of happening when people are alone or during times when such meetings are rare. They recite Allah's name together, advise people to do good and avoid evil, and benefit from one another in terms of knowledge and culture. Engaging in such activities will enable them to live in an atmosphere of joy, contentment, purity, trust, and safety. The believers' relationship with each other is described in the following verse:

The believing men and women are friends of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong, establish prayer and give alms, and obey Allah and His Messenger. They are the people upon whom Allah will have mercy. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba, 71)

On the other hand, staying with unbelievers has many negative aspects. For example, such people are always slandering and displaying aggression toward Allah and the believers' sacred values, voicing their animosity, and mocking the believers. Allah forbids the believers to be in such an environment:

It has been sent down to you in the Book that when you hear Allah's Signs being rejected and mocked by people, you must not sit with them until they start talking of other things. If you do, you are just the same as them. Allah will gather all the hypocrites and unbelievers into Hell. (Surat an-Nisa', 140)

Another negative aspect of being together with unbelievers, who chase after their base instincts and keep away from Allah's word, is the probability that those with weak faith will be influenced in a negative way. Devout Muslims who have strong faith, Allah willing, cannot be influenced by unbelievers; however, those believers who are new Muslims or who do not yet completely live the Qur'an's morality, can be influenced by the unbelievers' misleading conversation and display of knowledge, and even end up following their example. If this happens, they are the losers in both this world and the next.

Once the believers have explained Allah's religion and the Qur'an's verses to the unbelievers, they must not pressure them to embrace it. As we explained earlier, only Allah can give faith. The attitude of the believers toward unbelievers is described, as follows:

I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship. Nor will I worship what you worship, nor will you worship what I worship. You have your religion, and I have my religion. (Surat al-Kafirun, 2-6)

The believers' only responsibility is to warn the unbelievers of the sufferings in Hell following death and the great danger that this poses for them if they continue to reject belief. This verse describes the eternal suffering in Hell that awaits all unbelievers. On that day, they will have no helpers or intercessors.

Allah reveals in "the Day they are shoved roughly into the Fire of Hell" (Surat at-Tur: 13), how those who have earned Hell will be degraded. Those who were arrogant because of their wealth, status, and their ability to oppress other people will realize their sorry state and helplessness in Hell. They will be "flung into a narrow place in it, shackled together in chains" (Surat al-Furqan, 13), and rest in the murk of its thick black smoke. They will hear the incessant seething and gasping of the Fire and hear continuous sounds of moaning and groaning. They will be led from one suffering to another and, despite their pleading, their pain will not be eased, because Hell is "a sealed vault of Fire" (Surat al-Balad, 20) from which no one can escape.

But as for those who believe and do right actions, We will not let the wage of good-doers go to waste. (Surat al-Kahf, 30)

We have already explained the importance of right actions. In this verse, Allah draws our attention to the importance of doing truly good deeds. The best deed, the one that pleases Him the most, is the one done in complete compliance with the Qur'an's morality and out of genuine devotion. Allah points out the importance of good behavior in the following verse:

Everything in the heavens and everything in Earth belongs to Allah, so that He can repay those who do evil for what they did, and repay those who do good with the Very Best. (Surat an-Najm, 31)

These verses proclaim the importance of doing good deeds that are pleasing to Allah. Our Lord informs us that those who do good can look forward to an even better reward, and that they must expect their reward only from Him.

Allah encompasses everything that humanity does. It is enough for Him to be aware of our good deeds, for He knows what our hearts contain and rewards those deeds. Allah states that He gives a just reward for those good deeds that comply with the Qur'an's morality and gives the righteous the good tidings of Paradise, as follows:

Yes, the friends of Allah will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. Those who believe and guard against evil, there is good news for them in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory! (Surah Yunus, 62-64)