All praise and thanks belongs to Allah the Most High. He is the Sustainer, the Provider, the Most Wise, the Supreme in Might, the Magnificent, and the Especially Merciful. He is the One to whom all affairs are referred. Glory be to Allah and thanks as great as the number of His creatures, the extent of his satisfaction, the weight of His throne, and the ink needed to write down His countless signs. May the blessings and peace of Allah the Most Merciful be upon the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (peace be upon him).
In reading Surat Al-Kahf today, by the Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), I was caused to reflect upon the number of times that referring knowledge to Allah is mentioned just in this short narrative. I was also caused to reflect upon how important this concept remains in our lives. This concept is important so that we do not overlook the lessons which Allah (swt) causes us to reflect upon by focusing on the minute details that are irrelevant to getting us closer to Allah the Most High and whose knowledge is reserved solely for Him, who is the Most Wise. Indeed the only reason we have been created is to worship Allah the Most High and that which does not assist us in doing so remains of little consequence to our existence.
First, we find that when the companions of the cave woke up, the following happened:
“Said a speaker from among them, “How long have you remained [here]?” They said, “We have remained a day or part of a day.” They said, “Your Lord is most knowing of how long you remained…” (Qur’an, 18:19)
The youth recognized that in this matter, it was Allah the Most High who knows best regarding the time they had spent sleeping. However, they also considered this fact of little importance to the overall picture of what was going on.
The next incident of referring knowledge to Allah the Most High occurs when Allah describes how some will engage in arbitrary speculation about the number of companions, rather than reflecting upon the true signs from their story. Among the many reminders from the story of the youth of the cave is that ultimately, Allah alone gives life and death and that man will be resurrected to His Lord as Allah the Most High has promised. Such people speculating on this number will focus on the minute details, rather than reflecting on the story, when this matter’s knowledge is best reserved for Allah who is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing. Allah the Most High says: “Say, [O Muhammad], “My Lord is most knowing of their number…” (Qur’an, 18:22).
Finally, Allah tells the Prophet ﷺ in regard to the story of the companions of the cave about those who will also be concerned with how long the youth stayed rather than taking away the reminders from their story. Allah (swt) says:
“Say, “Allah is most knowing of how long they remained. He has [knowledge of] the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. How Seeing is He and how Hearing! They have not besides Him any protector, and He shares not His legislation with anyone.” (Qur’an, 18:26)
There are so many lessons from these short passages, but among them is the reminder to refer the ultimate knowledge of all matters to Allah the Most High, for it is truly He alone who has the complete knowledge of all things. Any knowledge that we have is within limitations, because we only have knowledge of that which Allah has willed for us and we cannot exceed that knowledge and we can certainly never have knowledge of all things; yet Allah the Most High encompasses all knowledge. Another take away is simply that we should not become so lost in the details of things of little consequence to our worship that we completely lose sight of what Allah (swt) is causing us to reflect upon. This can also apply to focusing on the details of the faults of others so much so that we lose sight of the major flaws that may be manifesting within ourselves that we refuse to reflect upon.
With the former closing remarks, I am also reminded of this beautiful ayah (verse) found in Surat Fussilat: “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness? Unquestionably, they are in doubt about the meeting with their Lord. Unquestionably He is, of all things, encompassing.”(Qur’an, 41:53-54)
May Allah make us among those who reflect and who refer all knowledge and matters to Allah the Most High, whose knowledge encompasses all things. May Allah the Most High also make us among those who reflect upon that which is beneficial without becoming lost in the details of matters whose knowledge is best left to Allah the Most High who encompasses all knowledge. Ameen.
And Allah the Most Merciful knows best.
O Allah, You are pure, I praise You and testify that there is none worthy of worship besides You. I seek forgiveness and pardon from You.