The Prophet Muhammad (saas) highlighted this sura

Many prophetic hadith connect Surat al-Kahf with the End Times. Some of these are given below:

Related by An-Nawwas ibn Sam'an:

'He who among you will survive to see him (the Dajjal) should recite over him the opening verses of Surah al-Kahf.' (Muslim)

Related by Abu Umamah al-Bahili:

Whoever enters his (the Dajjal's) Hell, let him seek refuge with Allah and recite the opening verse of Surat al-Kahf, and it will become cool and peaceful for him, as the fire became cool and peaceful for Ibrahim. (Ibn Kathir)


Signs and secrets about the End Times

One reason why the Prophet (as) recommends that believers read Surat al-Kahf is that it contains very important signs about the End Times, such as those that are required to defend and fight against the Dajjal and the irreligious movements that bring so much evil to humanity, and which he wants to spread around the world. It also contains many lessons for Muslims. Our Prophet's (as) recommendation to memorize and to read this surah attentively is a clear indication of this. As we will see throughout this chapter, the experiences of the Companions of the Cave (Ahl al-Kahf), who lived in an unbelieving society, the lessons that Musa (as) learned from Khidr, and the rule over the world that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) established in order to disseminate the values of Islam, are matters upon which believers need to reflect.


The extraordinary situation of the People of the Cave

Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqim were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs? When the young men took refuge in the cave and said: 'Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation.' (Surat al-Kahf: 9-10)

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. Their situation is subject to our Prophet's (as) hadith, which make the connection between them and the End Times. This indicates that people living in the End Times may have supernatural experiences.

You would have supposed them to be awake whereas in fact they were asleep. We moved them to be right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run and have been filled with terror at the sight of them. (Surat al_Kahf:18)

The tenth verse 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 society.

However, this should not be understood as an idle period away from society, 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 living 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.


Their secrecy continued for some time

So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years. Then We woke them up again so that we might see which of the two groups would better calculate the time they had stayed there. (Surat al-Kahf: 11-12)

The reason for this state of sleep was their surrender to fate and peace, because Allah, Who created the universe out of nothing, arranges everything for the benefit of Muslims. In our own time, some Muslims have adopted a similar spiritual detachment. This way, they remain uncorrupted by the materialist ideologies that seek to distance people from their faith, and also are untouched by the violence to which these ideologies lead. Thus, they can continue to live according to the Qur'an without being affected by the surrounding moral degeneration, cruelty, and chaos. TheCompanions of the Cave remained hidden for some time, and Allah roused them at a time of His choosing.


They proclaimed Allah's religion to their people

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, this group of people 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, the Companions of the Cave 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.

Darwinism claims that the universe has no purpose, was formed by accidental coincidences, and that only the fittest members of nature survive. This anti-religious system is based on conflict and violence. In reality, these claims of accidental coincidences 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.

They distanced themselves utterly from the surrounding idolatrous worldview

When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave, and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and open the way to the best for you in your situation. (Surat al-Kahf: 16)

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 on 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.


They hid themselves

For if they find out about you, they will stone you or make you revert to their religion, and then you will never have success. (Surat al-Kahf: 20)

'They will stone you' describes a form of terror. This character trait is clearly recognizable today in people who are under the influence of irreligious 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.

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 conspirators, and not to be influenced by the provocations of anti-religious ideologies or their agitations.

Only Allah and a handful of people knew their number

They will say: 'There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.' They will say: 'There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,' guessing at the Unseen. And they will say: 'There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.' Say: 'My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.' So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them. (Surat al-Kahf: 22)

'Those who know about them are very few' indicates also that a few people could have this knowledge. For instance, one such person could be Khidr, whose miraculous circumstances we will explore shortly. It is also possible that his 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.


The journey of Prophet Musa (as) and his young servant to the 'meeting-place of the two seas'

Remember when Musa said to his young servant: 'I will not give up until I reach the meeting-place of the two seas, even if I must press on for many years.' (Surat al-Kahf, 60)

Here, 'young' suggests that when doing something, one should seek the assistance of young people and work with them.

Young people should be motivated to use their energy, dynamism, strength, ambition, and excitement for right action for Allah's pleasure. Some of the verses speak of youth, and the following verse states that only some young people of his nation believed in Musa (as):

No one believed in Musa, except (some) offspring (i.e., youths) among his people, out of fear that Pharaoh and the elders, would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was one of the profligate. (Surah Yunus, 83)

The sixtieth verse of Surat al-Kahf refers to the meeting point toward which Musa (as) is traveling. Musa (as) knows that he will meet with someone, and he knows that this will take place at the 'meeting-place of the two seas.' This place could be any place on Earth that fits this description.


Prophet Musa (as) meets with the blessed and merciful Khidr (as)

They found a servant of Ours whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had also given knowledge direct from Us. (Surat al-Kahf, 65)

Allah is most compassionate, graceful, and merciful toward His servants. Musa (as) set out to meet Khidr (as), someone to whom Allah has given mercy. Therefore, Allah's attributes of grace and mercy are reflected on him, which has caused him to receive a superior knowledge from Allah and to become one of His distinguished servants.


Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as)

They will ask you about Dhu'l-Qarnayn. Say: 'I will tell you something about him that is worthy of remembrance and mention.' (Surat al-Kahf, 83)

Throughout history, many scholars have interpreted the narrative of Dhu'l-Qarnayn in many ways. The verse says that it was revealed to remind Muslims and is connected with the revelations of hidden meanings and reasons.


Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) had power and was enlightened

We gave him power and authority on Earth, and granted him a way to everything. So he followed a way. (Surat al-Kahf, 84-85)

From these verses, we understand that Dhu'l-Qarnayn's country is away from problems. In other words, his rule is solid, rational, and strong.

'We granted him a way to everything' suggests that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was given the ability to solve every problem, which means that he was a very intelligent, sagacious, and perceptive Muslim. With these Allah-given faculties, he solved all complex issues quickly and removed the obstacles.


Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was also a spiritual guide

He (Dhu'l-Qarnayn) said: 'As for those who do wrong, we will punish them. Then they will be returned to their Lord, and He will punish them with a dreadful punishment. But as for him who believes and acts rightly, he will receive the best of rewards, and we will issue a command, making things easy for him." (Surat al-Kahf: 87-88)

When Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) spoke, he reminded his people of Allah and the Hereafter. He spoke in a Muslim manner. From the expressions used in the verse, we understand that he was a Muslim leader who ruled a Muslim nation.

Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) proceeded straight away to call the people he met to believe in Allah, devotion, the good deeds prescribed by the Qur'an, and to perform the prayers and acts of worship. He drew their attention, in order to encourage them, to the rewards that they are promised in this world and the next, and thus called them to faith.

Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) helped people

We can deduce from the narrative in Surat al-Kahf that Dhu'l-Qarnayn was a Muslim ruler controlling many lands in the world.

They said: 'Dhu'l-Qarnayn! Yajuj and Majuj are causing corruption in the land. Can we, therefore, pay tribute to you in return for your constructing a barrier between us and them?' (Surat al-Kahf: 94)

For the corruption of Yajuj and Majuj, the people in trouble sought Dhu'l-Qarnayn's (as) help and offered to reward him in return. From this, we understand that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) did not represent a single person; rather, he ruled a nation. Just like Sulayman (as), He commanded a nation and an army.

This verse indicates that he must have had teams of construction experts and civil engineers with him. From the people's request, we can deduce that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was interested in, and was knowledgeable about, construction and civil engineering. He might even have been renowned for his expertise in these fields. Accordingly, other nations requested his assistance. All of these factors demonstrate the size and power of his nation.

That Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was well respected and effective in the East and the West could indicate that he was ruling a nation whose power was extensive. Therefore, he was a leader, aware of his responsibility to bring peace, justice, and security not only to his own nation, but also to every part of the world.

The narrative of Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) indicates that in the End Times, just as it was during his own time, the values of Islam will rule the world.


A different interpretation

Another possibility is that this narrative conveys events that will happen in the future.

In Allah's presence, all time is one. Future, past, and present are experienced all at once. In some verses, the events of the Day of Judgment in Hell and Paradise are related as if they have already taken place. The following verse is an example of this technique.

Thanks to satellite technology, it is possible to take detailed pictures of the earth and especially intelligence satellites are capable of "watching" every country closely.

The Trumpet is blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth swoon away, save him who Allah wills. Then it is blown a second time, and behold them standing waiting! And the earth shone with the light of her Lord, and the Book is set up, and the prophets and the witnesses are brought, and it is judged between them with truth, and they are not wronged. (Surat az-Zumar: 68-69)

The events related in this verse are told as if they have already taking place, even though to us, they are future events yet to happen. Therefore it is possible that the Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) narrative is from the future, related to us in the past tense.

The eighty-fourth verse says:'... (we) granted him a way to everything.' This might indicate that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) will rule the world in the future.


Thanks to infrared technology, all kinds of criminal tools can be detected easily and crimes committed in the dark can be seen in detail as the pictures show. Important advancements have been made in the diagnosis of illnesses.

In today's world, a leader or a nation that has dominion over the world must have both communication technology and conventional power. As the leader cannot inspect all of them personally, we can assume that he will stay in a central capital city and control the other areas through satellites and other means of communication. As the ninety-fifth verse expresses, 'He said: 'The power my Lord has granted me is better than that,'' it is probable that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) had an established power. If we look at the narrative from this perspective, we realize that each verse could be conveying a different message. For example, Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) went first to the West, then to the East, and then back again. These verses might be implying that he communicates with different areas by changing channels broadcasting from satellites. The verses speak constantly of 'finding.' Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) 'found' a people by the 'spring,' that he 'found' a people in the East, who did not understand. These acts of 'finding' happen by searching, and this could be a finding based on looking up satellite channels.

The verses say that the people of the East had no shelter from the sun. If we consider this information in the light of communication technology, there are two possible messages here. Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) could be watching or gathering intelligence via satellite from these areas (Allah knows best), or infrared technology, used in many different areas in the latter days, could be implied. Infrared cameras are used in medicine, criminal pathology, meteorology, criminology, intelligence, industry, and other fields. Such cameras also can observe the human body in great detail.

If Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was addressing a nation, he could do so via satellite and TV broadcasts. This would enable him to learn of the people's needs and complaints, regardless of where they lived, and then rule the areas under his control accordingly.

The Yajuj and Majuj conspiracy could be a classic act of terror or anarchy or even be committed by means of broadcasting. For example, they could be disrupting other broadcasts in order to broadcast their conspiracy. Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) could have prevented this broadcast and thus the conspiracy. For instance, he could have used the copper and steel mentioned in the verse to create an electromagnetic field and disrupt the radio and TV broadcasts. Transformers, which are made by winding copper wire around a steel core, are one of the sources of electromagnetic fields. A powerful electromagnetic field can disrupt radio and TV broadcasts.

Another possibility is that a huge communal satellite dish is implied. The reason for it being so big could have been to overcome Yajuj and Majuj's global disruptive system. The surfaces of these dishes are usually made of the cheaper and lighter aluminum, which is not the ideal material for performance. Copper is a much better conductor, and might have been preferred for this reason. However, covering such a huge dish with copper sheets is not rational. On the other hand, copper-plating the dish with molten copper would give it the smoothest surface and deliver the highest possible performance.

The wall or barrier created by the competing broadcasts or by creating a magnetic field could be termed an 'invisible barrier.' Some scholars read the word 'saddayn' in the ninety-third verse as 'suddayn,' and 'sadd' in the following verse as 'sudd.' In the first case, the meaning would be a 'visible barrier'; in the second, it means an 'invisible barrier' (Allah knows best).

'They were, therefore, unable to climb over it, nor were they able to make a breach in it,' as stated in the ninety-seventh verse, might be referring to this, because Yajuj and Majuj attempt to overcome or breach the transmitter's broadcast. Significantly, the current expression used for pirate stations that broadcast by interfering with another broadcast is 'breaching transmission.'

Considering the expression 'scarcely able to understand speech' in this light might mean that this satellite broadcast is sometimes not understood by some people. When the broadcast is disrupted, the people cannot understand; but when the normal broadcast is restored, they begin to understand (Allah knows best).

The expression 'a muddy spring' in the eighty-sixth verse is also interesting, because seeing the sunset on the TV screen is just like the sun setting in a spring. The colors on the screen change as the sun sets in the distance over the sea, and this appears grayer on the screen. Thus, for someone viewing this, it will appear as if setting in a muddy spring. The 'aynin hami'e' expression, made up of 'ayn' (spring) and 'hami' (muddy) could be implying this unclear view.

Also, his contact with the East and the West could indicate that he is in touch with the various parts of the globe. While the sun rises over one part, it sets on the other.




We fortified their hearts... (Surat al-Kahf: 14)

1400 A.H. (Anno Hegirae, the Islamic calendar) or 1979 A.D. (Anno Domini, 'In the year of our Lord,' the Christians' Gregorian calendar)


He said: 'The power my Lord has granted me is better than that...' (Surat al-Kahf: 95)

1409 A.H., or 1988 A.D. (Without shaddah)


We gave him power and authority on Earth, and granted him a way to everything... (Surat al-Kahf: 84)

1440 A.H., or 2019 A.D. (With shaddah)

A sign pointing at the beginning of the fourteenth Islamic century and the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first Christian century is the number 1980, which is obtained by multiplying Surat al-Kahf's number of verses with its order number.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also often indicated that this time was the beginning of the End Times. He says, for example:

Thus, unfair people who do not know this truth say: 'Why did the Companions of the Prophet with their vigilant hearts and keen sight, who had been taught all the details of the hereafter, suppose a fact that would occur one thousand four hundred years later to be close to their century, as though their ideas had deviated a thousand years from the truth?'9

Sura 18: Surat al-Kahf (contains 110 verses) 18 x 110 = 1980

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, by saying '1400 years after' the Companions of the Prophet indicated the years around 1980 as the end times. Here it is important to note that he said 1400, not 1373, 1378, and not 1398. In other words, the fourteenth Islamic century.

Surat al-Kahf contains very good news for the Muslims. This news, as our Prophet (saas) revealed, is the approaching blessed period of the End Times. If Surat al-Kahf is viewed from this perspective, it is pointing at the different phases, beginning, development, and conclusion of Islam in the End Times, culminating in the rule of Islam and concluding with the arrival of 'Isa (as).



9. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Words, 'The Twenty-fourth Word: Third Branch