For those not familiar with the people of the cave story which is mentioned in Surah Kahf (the literal meaning of this surah is “the cave) here’s a quick summary:
The story of the people of the cave is about a group of youths who hid in a cave outside city of Ephesus to escape religious persecution.
The situation they were living in was terrible, they feared their closeness to Allah was being challenged so they sought refuge in a cave. In the cave they were looking for guidance from Allah and seeking whatever good they could find.
Completely stricken with adversity the youngsters recited this following dua which is given to us in Surah Kahf ayah 10.
Rabbana atina min ladunka rahmatan full dua with meaning
In Arabic, the dua is written:
رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
Rabbana atina min ladunka rahmatan wahayyi lana min amrinarashada
Meaning: Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.
Rabbana atina min ladunka rahmatan – right away the dua begins by asking from you, our rab, we ask for mercy. Seeking the mercy of Allah continually throughout the day and if your genuine your heart will soften and Allah will be forgiving.
wahayyi lana min amrinarashada – the dua continues and Asks Allah to have put their affairs in order and for guidance.
What happened next is documented in the Quran, ayat 11-16:
“So, We sealed up their hearing (putting them to sleep) in the Cave for a number of years. Thereafter We raised them up, so that We know which of the two groups had better calculated the period in which they remained (sleeping). We narrate to you their story with truth. They were young men who believed in their Lord and We gave them more guidance. We made their hearts firm when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We shall never invoke any god other than Him, otherwise we would be saying something far from the truth.”
We can learn from this story, when they youth were troubled they asked Allah for help and Allah responded with mercy by ‘blocking their ears’ and giving them deep sleep. This protected them from their evil environment. We have to be careful of the evil that we hear, it can contaminate your mind and your heart.
It’s very important to learn this lesson early in life, to stand guard at the door of your mind. Do not let evil penetrate. Listen to positive messages, listen to the Quran, listen to words of Allah. By listening to good messages we too will be able to get a good deep sleep like the people of the cave.