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And keep yourself patient along with those who invoke their... (Al-Kahf 18:28)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’l-Kahf (The Cave)

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وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا
And keep yourself patient along with those who invoke their Lord morning and evening seeking His “Face” (His eternal, good pleasure and the meeting with Him in the Hereafter), and do not let your eyes pass from them, desiring the attraction of the life of this world, and pay no heed to him whose heart We have made unmindful of Our remembrance, who follows his lusts and fancies, and whose affair exceeds all bounds (of right and decency). (Al-Kahf 18:28)

Some leading people of the tribe of Quraysh had suggested to Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, that he drive away the poor Companions from his presence and give them the privilege to come together with him. According to the social structure of the time, one may have thought that conversion of the leading people might have led many others to become Muslim. However, even before the Prophet decided what to do, the Divine Revelation came. This revelation, the verse above, emphasized once more that what is more important with respect to Islam and its com-munication is acquiring God’s good pleasure, not the number of those who have converted. It also reminded that those who asked him for privilege were heedless and worldly. Their basic aim was not right guidance.

In fact, Islam has no need for any crutches to stand with or any support or honor or esteem to come from this aristocratic or that rich person. Islam has always existed and will continue to exist with its own dynamics. It gets its unbeatable power from God. For this reason, whoever holds fast to Islam truly and sincerely is destined to be honorable and dignified, while whoever breaks with it is condemned to be despicable. The history of Islam offers plenty of examples of this.

Those who made this proposal to the Prophet were leading people of the Quraysh, who were defeated by their pride, deviation, and error. The ones they wanted the Prophet to drive out of his presence were the poor Muslims, such as Suhayb ar-Rūmi, Bilal al-Habashī, ‘Ammar ibn Yāsir, his father Yāsir, and Habbāb ibn Arat, may God be pleased with them all. The leading people of the Quraysh told the Prophet that if he drove away the poor, they would come to him to listen to him. What an inopportune condition, and what a disrespectful suggestion it was!

The era of despising Muslims goes back as far as the time of Prophet Noah, upon him be peace. They were called “the lowliest of people” (Ash-Shu‘arā’ 26:111), and the leading unbelievers amongst Noah’s people asked him to keep distant from them. Noah responded to them, saying, “It is not expected of me that I should repel the believers” (Ash-Shu‘arā’ 26:114). Therefore, it was inconceivable for Prophet Muhammad, the Pride of Humanity, upon him be peace and blessings, to act any differently. Indeed, he did not, rather he said: “All praise be to God, Who ordered me to ‘remain patient, along with those who invoke their Lord morning and evening, seeking His ‘Face’’ (Al-Kahf 18:28), and has not taken my soul before I carried out this order of Him. I live among you and will die among you.” He emigrated to the Realm of the Highest Friendship with the pleasure of living together with Muslims.