By Dr. Fatima Arafa

In Surat al-Kahf Allah tells us of a miraculous incident that involved a group of youth that lived in a Middle Eastern village called Al-Raqeem. The area at the time was ruled by a dictator, one who forced people into idol worship through torture and imprisonment. This special group of youth was dedicated to worshipping Allah (swt) alone, and was not persuaded by the dictator’s tactics. They were threatened by torture and persecution.

They had strong faith in Allah (swt) and decided to run away before the next sunrise. They headed north to escape the village, and after walking for some time they became exhausted and stopped in a nearby cave for rest and protection. In the meanwhile, their guard dog stood near the entrance while the youth went to sleep.

Allah teaches us many valuable lessons for us to reflect upon. The following lessons should be noted regarding this event:

* People should be faithful to Allah (swt) alone.

* One should not fear the people at the cost of disobeying Allah (swt)

* Life and death are in the Hands of Allah (swt) alone.

* Faithfull youth of the past are great role models for the youth of present.

We ask that Allah makes us stronger Muslims, dedicated towards Him alone, strong in the face of temptation and oppression, and that we continue to help nurture our youth into becoming great role models like those from Surat al-Kahf.