The Fifteenth Juz’ opens with Surah Isra’ (The Night Journey) and continues until ayah 74 of Surah Al-Khaf (The Cave).
Surah Isra’ was revealed in Makkah on the occasion of the Prophet’s Miraj (Ascension), peace be upon him. According to hadith this event happened one year before Hijrah, which places this Surah amongst those which were revealed in the last stage of the Prophethood in Makkah. Surah Al-Kahf is also Makkan Surah.
From the Virtues of Surah Isra’ and Surah Al-Kahf
Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, used to fast until we would say, he does not want to beak his fast, then he would not fast until we would say he does not want to fast, and he used to recite Bani Israil (i.e. Surah Isra’) and Az-Zumar every night.” (Recorded in Ahmad 6:189)
Abu Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever memorises ten Ayat from the beginning of Surat Al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal.” (Recorded by Ahmad 5:196)
Abu Sa’id, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever recites Surat Al-Kahf on Friday, it will illuminate him with light from one Friday to the next.” (Recorded by Al-Hakim 2:368)
“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young’.” (Surah Al-Isra’ 17:23-24)
“The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever-Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Isra’ 17:44)
“Verily, We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them is best in deeds.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:7)
“And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such a thing tomorrow.” Except (with the saying), “If Allah wills!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:23-24)
“And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of this world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, and who follows his own lusts, and whose affair (deeds) have been lost.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:28)
“And put forward the example of the life of this world: it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is able to do everything.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:45)
Surah Isra’ opens with mention of the miraculous Night Journey made by the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, from Masjid Al-Haram at Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, then moves to the story of the Children of Israel. It outlines how Allah tested them with both disgrace and victory. Muslims are commanded to treat their parents with respect and mercy, and to give kinsmen their due, and the poor and wayfarer. We should not to be miserly with our wealth, nor to kill our children for fear of poverty, it is Allah who provides and He enlarges the wealth of whom He wills. Unlawful sexual relations and wrongful killing are condemned, as is taking the property of orphans (17:32-34). Muslims should be humble, and not walk on the earth with ‘conceit and arrogance’. Those whom people call on other than Allah, have no power of their own. Nothing prevented people from believing the guidance except that they said “Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?” (17:94). People who deny Allah Signs and make excuses will receive a severe punishment. The story of the Children of Israel is returned to at then end of the Surah when we are told of how Fir’aun (Pharoah) rejected the nine clear signs of Musa (Moses), and was drowned by Allah as a result.
Surah Al-Kahf was revealed in response to three questions posed by the polytheists of Makkah in consultation with the People of the Book, in order to the test the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. These questions were: “Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story [The Sleepers of the Cave]? Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth [Dhul Qarnayn] What was his story? And ask him about the Ruh [soul or spirit] – what is it?” The answer to the first two questions is contained in Surah Al-Kahf and the answer to the question of the Ruh is contained in Surah Isra’ ayah 85.
Those who ascribe partners to Allah are given a stern warning at the outset of this Surah, they utter nothing but a lie (18:5). Then the story of the people of the Cave begins as a wonder among Allah’s Signs. They fled their disbelieving townsfolk and took refuge in the cave, making du’a to Allah to help them. Allah then put them into a deep sleep for some three hundred years, and when he woke them, they were unsure of how long they had slept.
We are given the example of two men, one of who was given two gardens of grapes surrounded by date palms and green crops. One of the owners boasted that he had more wealth and strength than the other, and that he did not think it would ever end. His companion advised him to remember Allah the Creator of these gardens and themselves. Allah brought ruin to the garden of the boastful man and he regretted his actions (18:32-42).
We are warned of the Day of Judgement, when the mountains will pass away and the earth will become a levelled plain. All the people will be gathered together in rows and they will be given their Book or record of their life, in the right hand for the believer and in the left hand for the disbeliever and they will say, ‘Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has it recorded with numbers!” (18:49)
The story of the journey of Musa (Moses), and his boy-servant Yusha’ peace be upon them both, to find Al-Khidr begins. They reach the junction of the two seas, where they forget their fish and it makes its way back into the water. They continue on their journey until Musa (Moses) find out what has happened and realises that this is the Sign that they have been seeking (18:64). They retrace their footsteps until they find Al-Khidr, on whom Allah has bestowed mercy and knowledge. Musa (Moses) peace be upon him, asks Al-Khidr to teach him some of the knowledge that Allah has bestowed on him. Al-Khidr advises him that he will likely not have enough patience but Musa (Moses) insists. They board a ship and Al-Khadir scuttles it in order to drown its people. Then they meet a boy and Al-Khidr kills him. Musa (Moses), peace be upon him accuses Al-Khidr of evil and Al-Khidr advises him to patience with what he does not understand. The story continues in the next Juz’.