Every Friday, as a family, we try to read Surah Al-Kahf together. This Surah contains four main stories that each have their morals and are different and interesting in their own respect. However, the story of the People of the Cave (which is the title of the Surah, Kahf means Cave) might be the most apropos in our days, especially in middle-eastern countries. Here is their story in a nutshell.
There was a small group of young men who were Muslim; meaning they believed in Allah as the One Unique Creator, Divinity, Lord… and believed in the teachings of the latest messenger (don’t forget, this happened before the time of Muhammad (ﷺ)). Anyways, they were summoned before the ruler since they did not abide by the religion of the state: idolatry. At one point, they were asked to testify, and this is how it went down:
And We made firm their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.
These, our people, have taken besides Him deities. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?”
Surah Al-Kahf (18 – 14-15)
Now, this is when the good gets great. But, to do so, one must not just read with his eyes or listen with his ears; but with his mind, an open mind. The word of Allah is so concise that skipping a word (or not giving it its importance in meaning) trivializes its whole significance. One must extrapolate meaning without pretending to insinuation.
For instance, when they “stood up and said”, it wasn’t in a bar or in a schoolyard, they were summoned in front of their ruler, and instead of reverting to idolatry, they stood steadfast and spoke the truth unapologetically. They could have begged for mercy or blamed each other, or played the ”I didn’t know card” or whatever to get them out of their predicament; but, that was never their objective. Instead, they pled their case of belief so everyone could get a chance to hear what Islam is about.
Following this, they took refuge in a cave, where Allah guarded them in a slumber for 300 years. As to the who the where and the when, it is believed that they lived in the Roman Empire (in the East), sometime between Jesus (ﷺ) and Muhammad (ﷺ) (and Allah knows best). But this is exactly not the point, these are details. Some might argue that they are important, but people tend to take effigies and mausoleums of places and people like the People of the Cave.
In sum, this group of young men is a testimony of endurance and perseverance in faith. And those who go against these truths, disappear with time, even if it takes 300 years. Injustice does not last and cannot last.
You hear that MBS, Sisi, bin Zayed, Bashar, any prince, king, president, or general that fits under this category. Killing, imprisoning, torturing anyone who speaks the truth is sacrilege in this life and warrants punishment in the hereafter.