Sunday, 22 January 2017

The year in which Zakah was made obligatory

Bayar  Zakat


In which year was Zakât made obligatory?


Scholars disagree over this issue. The opinion of most scholars is that it was legislated in the second year after the emigration to Madinah (in other words, 2 AH). Other scholars have placed the date even later, while still other scholars, among them Ibn Khuzaymah, have said that it was legislated before the Prophet (peace be upon him) departed from Mecca. 

It can safely be said that the obligation to give charity was imposed in Mecca, in at least a very general sense. Evidence that charitable spending was already obligatory upon the Muslims while they were still in Mecca can be taken from the verse: "And woe to those who join gods with Allah, those who do not pay Zakâh and who even deny the Hereafter.” [Sûrah Fussilat: 6-7] 

This verse was revealed in Mecca, and is evidence that Zakâh was already something obligatory and not merely preferable. Therefore, the obligation of paying "Zakâh" was already in place during the Meccan period. However, there is no evidence that there was a fixed rate for it or that its rulings had been set forth in any detail. Therefore, it was probably simply an obligation for charitable spending in a very general sense. 

Later on, in Madinah, the various legislations regarding Zakâh were revealed. These include the types of wealth which are subject to Zakâh, the percentage that must be levied on each types of wealth, when and how often Zakâh is due, and those who are entitled to receive it. 

Before that, Muslims were simply asked to help the needy, feed the poor, ransom prisoners of war, and assist anyone in trouble. 

The general duty of charitable spending existed in Meccan society even before the advent of Islam. Therefore, when Islam commanded Zakâh in Mecca, there would already have been a general understanding in place of what this entails, allowing the early Muslim community to put the general principle of Zakâh into practice long before the detailed rulings were revealed. 

For example, it is mentioned in Sahîh al-Bukhârî (4) and Sahîh Muslim (160), that Khadijâh, the wife of the Prophet (peace be upon him), reassured him when he received his first revelation: "By Allah, He will never let you down, for you uphold ties of kinship , help people in difficulty, give to the needy, honor the guest, and give assistance in calamities." 

And Allah knows best.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Naming baby ‘Azaan’

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Assalaamu alaykum. I want to ask whether it is good to keep the name of a newborn baby as Aazaan (meaning the call to the prayer); and what is the other meaning of this name?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 
Among the linguistic meanings of the word Azaan are announcing and calling (alternative spellings: Adhaan, Athaan). Therefore, there is no harm in naming a baby Azaan because the basic principle is that all names are allowable unless they involve Sharia violations or denote an ugly or unpleasant meaning or the like, and none of that applies to the word Azaan. (Note that Aazaan, with an extended ‘a’ at the beginning means ‘ears’)
Hence, there is no religious impediment to name your baby Azaan. However, it may be unsuitable to use it as a person's name because it is not commonly used in most Muslim communities, as far as we know. There are many good names available, of which you can choose. This does not mean, though, that the name Azaan is not good. Nevertheless, it is not commonly used, as we mentioned.
Allah knows best.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Ruling on saying “good luck” or “bad luck”

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Is it permissible to say “good luck” or “bad luck”?
Praise be to Allah
“Luck” (hazz) means a share of goodness (or good fortune). al-Azhari (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Layth said: “Luck” means a share of blessings or goodness.
End quote from Tahdheeb al-Lughah (3/273)
Ibn Faaris (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“Luck” means a share of good fortune… One who has a share of provision may be described as lucky.
End quote from Majmal al-Lughah (p. 215).
This is the basic meaning: luck refers to a share of good fortune. The word may also be used to refer to fortune in general, whether it is good or bad. This is how it is used by most people.
Al-Fayroozabaadi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“Luck” refers to one’s share or fortune; or it may be used specifically to refer to one’s share of good fortune.
End quote from al-Qaamoos al-Muheet (p. 695)
Al-Minnaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“Luck” is one’s decreed share.
End quote from at-Tawqeef (p. 142)
Based on that, when people say “good luck” and the like, as a kind of supplication for the person to whom it is said, and wishing him well, there is nothing wrong with that, as is obvious; in fact it is praiseworthy because it is a kind of supplication for good and wishing the Muslims well.
But one should not wish or pray for bad luck for a Muslim, because this involves transgression and enmity towards one’s brother in faith.
Muslim narrated in his Saheeh (2735) from Abu Hurayrah, from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “A person will still be answered so long as his supplication does not involve sin or severing ties of kinship, and so long as he does not become impatient.” It was said: O Messenger of Allah, what does being impatient mean? He said: “Saying, I offered supplication, and I offered supplication, and I did not receive any response, then he becomes frustrated and stops offering supplication.”
Al-Bukhaari (13) and Muslim (45) narrated from Anas ibn Maalik that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “No one of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
If the one who says “good luck” is saying it by way of telling something that happened, so if something good happens to him he says that it was good luck, and if something bad happens to him, he says that it was bad luck, in this case too there does not seem to be anything wrong with it, in sha Allah. In the case of something good happening, then the matter is clear, and it comes under the heading of speaking of the blessings of Allah and thanking Him for what He decreed for him. In the case of something bad happening, then what appears to be the case is that there is also nothing wrong with it, if he is telling of something that actually happened as it appears to be, to the best of the person’s knowledge. It is well-known that things may happen to a person in his life that upset him, and this is bad luck, according to what people customarily think and say; in fact it is something that is also said in the shar ‘i texts. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me”
[al-A‘raaf 7:188]
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations. Is there any ilaah (god) with Allah? Little is that you remember!”
[an-Naml 27:62].
This is also what is meant by hasanah (good, good fortune) and sayyi’ah (evil, bad fortune), which is referred to in verses such as the following (interpretation of the meaning):
“And if some good reaches them, they say, ‘This is from Allah,’ but if some evil befalls them, they say, ‘This is from you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)).’ Say: ‘All things are from Allah,’ so what is wrong with these people that they fail to understand any word?”
[an-Nisa’ 4:78]
“And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allah’s Obedience)”
[al-A‘raaf 7:168].
And there are many similar, well known verses.
But in that case it is stipulated that there should be nothing in his words that reflects discontent with what Allah has willed and decreed for him, or thinking negatively of Allah, or attributing the evil or bad fortune to Him, may He be glorified. Bad things, evil and harm are a reality in Allah’s creation and are something that He has decreed will reach His slave according to what is decreed for that person. As for Allah’s will and decree concerning His slaves, it is all good and nothing evil or bad can be attributed to Him, for Allah is exalted and far above all faults and shortcomings.
For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 105099 and 130685.
Some people may say “good luck” or “bad luck”, thinking that some such thing has happened outside of the decree of Allah, may He be exalted, or because he thinks that it is connected to some things that have nothing to do with events that happen, such as attributing that to the stars, or some numbers, or some days of the week, and the like.
So if someone says that some person’s good luck or bad luck is due to such a reason, then what he says is wrong and is haraam, because coincidence with such things, or otherwise, is not something that Allah has made to be the cause of good or evil.
Something similar was indicated in a fatwa of the Standing Committee, when they were asked:
We often hear that a person has good luck or bad luck (or he is lucky or unlucky). To what extent is it permissible – or not – to believe in luck?
They replied:
We are required to believe in the will and decree of Allah, so we should be patient in bearing misfortune and we should give thanks to Allah and praise Him for good fortune. We should believe that Allah has divided provision among His slaves, and has decreed that their life spans and deeds should vary, when they were still foetuses in their mothers’ wombs. Allah is most wise in all that He wills and decrees, and every Muslim must attribute what befalls people of blessings and abundant provision to Allah, may He be glorified, Who bestows that and enables people to attain it; and he should attribute anything else that befalls him to the will and decree of Allah. This comes under the heading of attaining sound belief in Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah (Oneness of divine Lordship). The Muslim must keep away from anything that may undermine his belief and Tawheed, so he should not attribute good and blessings, or calamities and disasters, to luck or stars, for that is not permissible. And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abdullah Aal ash-Shaykh, Shaykh ‘Abdullah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd
End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (26/328)
The Muslim should always think positively of Allah, may He be exalted, concerning whatever befalls him in all his affairs. He may think that he has bad luck in something that may be entirely good for him. So it is better to avoid the phrase “bad luck” in all circumstances. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know”
[al-Baqarah 2:216].
In Saheeh Muslim (2999) it is narrated that Suhayb (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “How wonderful is the situation of the believer, for all his affairs are good. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for it and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.”
And Allah knows best.

A person must stop doing Bid‘ah for repentance to be accepted

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What is the ruling on Bid‘ah (religious innovation) and the person who does Bid‘ah?.

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.
Innovations in religion are impermissible. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said that every Bid‘ah (religious innovation) leads to going astray. [Muslim]
The repentance of a person who does Bid‘ah is not accepted until he stops doing the Bid‘ah. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said that Allah The Almighty does not accept the repentance of a person who does Bid‘ah until he stops doing the Bid‘ah. [At-Tabaraani in Al-Kabeer] Al-Albaani graded this Hadeeth as Saheeh (Authentic).
The ruling that applies to the person who does Bid‘ah differs according to the type of Bid‘ah he does and whether or not it results in disbelief, in order to know how to deal with such a person and the ruling on the permissibility of praying behind (when he is leading the congregational prayer) and whether or not to abandon this person.
Allah Knows best.

Man leaves behind mother, father & 4 daughters

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A man dies leaving behind his mother, father, and four daughters. He has no sons. His wife and his brothers passed away before him.


This is a case of a man who is survived by no one else but his four daughters and his mother and father. His estate will be divided as follows: 

His mother will be entitled to one sixth of the estate. His four daughters will share collectively in two-thirds of the estate. His father will receive what remains, which will be one-sixth of the estate. 

Since the daughters share equally in their 2/3 portion, and since there are four daughters, each daughter will receive one-sixth of the estate.

And Allah knows best.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

How women should walk in the streets

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Assalaamualaikum wa rahmatullaahi, Shaykh. What is the correct way of walking for women according to the Sunnah? For men, it is to walk briskly (fast), so what about women? May Allaah reward you.


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.
The Sunnah in regard to how women walk in the streets is that they should walk with calmness and composure, not with quick steps, because Ramal (walking quickly) is not prescribed for women in Hajj in places where Ramal is legislated, such as for Tawaaf Al-Qudoom (the Tawaaf upon arriving in Makkah) and the Sa’y (going back and forth) between Mount Safa and Mount Marwah.
Ash-Shaafi’i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said his book Al-Umm, “Women do not have to walk quickly in the Sacred House [i.e. al-Masjid al-Haraam when performing Tawaaf – circumambulation around the Ka’bah) nor between Safa and Marwah; rather, they should walk with their normal pace.
Also, women should not crowd with men, so they should not walk in the middle of the street. It was reported by Abu Daawood from Abu Usyad Al-Ansaari, may Allah be pleased with him, that he heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) while he was coming outside the mosque and men mixed with the women in the street, say to the women, “Draw back, for you (women) must not walk in the middle of the road; keep to the sides of the road.” Then the women walked so close to the walls that their garments rubbed against them.
Moreover, women should not walk in a manner that attracts attention; Allah forbade the believing women from stamping their feet so that they would not attract the attention of men. Allah says (what means): {And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment.} [Quran 24:31]
At-Taahir ibn ‘Aashoor said in At-Tahreer wat-Tanweer, “This requires forbidding anything that could remind men of the distraction of women and arouse them by anything that he hears or sees from their adornment or movement, such as them walking in an attractive, swaying manner or singing…” 
Allah knows best.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Social evils that are destroying Muslim communities - II

Severing ties with kinfolk: The most important of kinfolk are one's parents, and yet we find many people dealing with them in an inappropriate manner or even severing ties with them altogether. As for those who do try to fulfil the needs of their parents, many of them do it begrudgingly, while expressing discontent or complaining that it is a burden upon them. This is in spite of the fact that Allah The Almighty commands us to not say even the least expression of discontent in this regard, saying (what means): {“…Say not to them [so much as] 'Uff,' and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”} [Quran, 17’: 23]
The mother of Huthayl bin Hafsah  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
“He would collect wood during the summer and peel off the outer layer of bark himself. Then, when winter would come, he would come to me whilst I was praying, light a brazier (in my room) and place the peeled wood in it, as this does not give harmful smoke. He would do so just so that I would be warm during prayer. He would do so even though we had a servant who could do the job. Whenever I thought of stopping him and commanding him to return to his family, I would remember why he was doing it, and thus I would allow him to continue."
Why was he doing this himself despite him having a servant who could have done it for him? It was nothing but a reflection of his full dutifulness towards his mother.
This type of nobility is not limited to ones parents; rather, one should be kind to all his relatives and even his fellow Muslims.
Wasting time: The issue of wasting time is a very important one indeed. We must be careful about it and hold ourselves to account regarding it because we spend much of our time uselessly instead of spending it in acts of obedience to Allah, as it should be utilised. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“And it is He who has made the night and the day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude.”}[Quran, 25: 62]
Therefore, time was created so that we would fill it with acts of obedience to Allah, The Almighty but many people do the exact opposite of this. The Salaf (righteous predecessors)  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them were very keen to make use of every second of their time. Al-Hasan  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “I have met some people who were stingier with their time than they were with their wealth.”
People nowadays waste their times in games, late nights, socializing, watching television and in vain talk. They may even go as far as doing so at the expense of their religious obligations, such as their daily prayers, and so on.
Wasting wealth: Many men cave in under pressure from their wives and children and therefore spend extravagantly, but when they are asked to spend in charity, one would find that they are so stingy that if they were to pull out two bills to give in charity, one would invariably return to his pocket. However, if this same person were to go to a restaurant, he would have no problem in spending multiples of this amount.
Allah The Almighty will ask us about our wealth because we were informed as such by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Abu Barzah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported, “The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Man's feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life and how he consumed it, his knowledge and what did he do with it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he disposed of it, and about his body and how he wore it out.”" [At-Tirmithi]
This does not imply that people do not spend generously or that there are no people who do any of the abovementioned matters correctly. The purpose of highlighting these points is to serve as a reminder for Muslims – at both the individual and community level – so that we realize the importance of these matters and hold ourselves to account with respect to them, as there are many of us who are failing to do so.

Social evils that are destroying Muslim communities - I

The role of the individual in Islam is not limited to fulfilling the five pillars. The Muslim in an Islamic community has a greater responsibility than is usually understood. All of a Muslim's activities in life are included as acts of worship depending upon the intention underlying them. Nothing is required from a Muslim beyond service to Allah The Almighty, and nothing is accepted from him, which is not a service. Every individual's responsibilities fall into two parts: his responsibility to adhere to the teachings of Islam and his responsibility to enjoin good and forbid evil – which is social reform. There is a reason why enjoining good and forbidding wrong comes first, even before faith. It emphasizes the Muslim's duty and implies faith can only be realized by certain actions, which maintains a relationship between the individual and society.
Neglecting these duties leads to widespread corruption and an increase in evils that consume the core of the community, such as the following:
Indifference: Muslims are commanded to play a positive role in their community and assist in enjoining matters of virtue and preventing evil by as much as they can. Many Muslims stray away from the right path because they do not find anyone to assist them and rescue them from straying in their communities, as those around them act indifferently. One should not underestimate any input he can give in such cases and consider the story of the imprisonment of Imaam Ahmad  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him to see how effective a person can be if he takes the initiative and does not act indifferently. When Imaam Ahmad  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him was imprisoned, a thief was with him in the same cell. The thief said to him, “O Ahmad! I persevere and tolerate the punishment I receive while I am upon falsehood and being punished for a sin. Would someone like you, who is suffering as a result of being upon the truth, not persevere and endure?" Thus, this thief played an important role in comforting and consoling Imaam Ahmad  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him in a difficult situation.
Underestimating the harms of intermixing and neglecting to lower the gaze: If members of a particular community give free rein to their sight, do not adhere to the Hijaab (Islamic attire for women) and women wear perfume before leaving their homes, the most obvious outcome is the spread of immorality in the community. Immoral films, TV programs, obscene content on the internet and intermixing between the two sexes are other causes that have led to people committing sins and indulging in immorality. People nowadays mix with the opposite sex in universities, schools and workplaces, while Yoonus bin ‘Ubayd  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Never be in seclusion with a woman, even if you wish to teach her the Quran, and even if only you would be the one reciting."
Being ill-mannered: Many people possess three very evil qualities, namely: lying, cowardice and miserliness, and these are the worst three qualities a person can possess. There are also many other evil qualities that we must be mindful of and hold ourselves to account regarding, such as backbiting, badmouthing others and tale-bearing, while replacing them with praiseworthy qualities and morals.
The Salaf (righteous predecessors)  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them would rebuke themselves for every word they uttered, words which would be considered very normal to people nowadays. Maalik bin Dhayghan  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said,
“Rabaah bin Qays once came asking for my father after the ‘Asr prayer, but he happened to be sleeping, so we informed him of this, to which he remarked: `Who would sleep at this time of the day?` Then he left. We sent a man after him to see if he wanted us to wake my father up for him, but this man did not return until it was time to pray Maghrib. When we asked him why he returned so late, he said: `I followed him to ask him, but found that he was headed to the graveyard while rebuking himself, saying: `What business is it of yours to ask this kind of question? Why do you ask what does not concern you? What is it to you when people go to sleep? People are free to sleep any time they desire, why did you indulge in what does not concern you?...`'”
Note how lightly such a question would be taken in our time, and how strongly he rebuked himself for asking it.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Allah & the pronoun 'He'

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Why is Allah always referred as 'He'? I ask this because my teacher in class raised this issue.


Allah says: “He created the pairs, male and female.” [Sûrah al-Najm: 45]

Allah is the Creator of both sexes. We do not attribute being male or being female to Allah. We only describe Allah as He describes himself or as His Prophet (peace be upon him) describes Him.

The primary reason that the pronoun “He” is used to refer to Allah is that He chooses to use the pronoun for Himself.

It is also in conformity with the dictates of the Arabic language in which the Qur’ân was revealed. Indeed, Allah says: “Verily this is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. With it came down the Faithful Spirit to your heart – so that you may be among those who give warning – in a clear Arabic tongue.” [Sûrah al-Shu`arâ’: 192-195]

In the Arabic language, there in no pronoun with a neutral gender equivalent to the English “it”. (Even in English, this neutral gendered pronoun is not to be used for beings possessing the attributes of knowledge, power and will. In English, it would be a sign of disrespect to use the pronoun “it” in such a context.)

In Arabic, when the gender of the subject is unknown or unspecified or when the subject is plural and contains both male and female individuals, the masculine pronoun will be used. In Arabic, the masculine pronoun is the default pronoun. It does not have to imply masculinity. It can be used by a speaker without masculinity being intended

By contrast, female pronouns like “she” in Arabic are used exclusively when the subject is female. Feminine pronouns cannot be used in any other context. Therefore, it is obvious why the pronoun “she” would not be used to refer to Allah, since that would indeed be specifying a gender.

And Allah knows best.

We hope that this answer clarifies the matter for you.



Chapter-18,-Al-Kahf-(The-Cave)-(part-1-of-2).jpgThis 110 verse chapter was revealed in Mecca.  It takes its name from the story of the people who fell asleep in a cave, told in verses 9 to 26.  It contains three stories and a parable while opening, and closes with references to the Quran itself.  It is believed to have been revealed as a comfort because the fledgling Muslims were suffering ongoing torment and persecution at the hands of the ruling classes of Mecca.  It was also sent down to answer three questions that had been put to Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in order to test him.

Verses 1 – 13 A straightforward book

Praise be to God who has revealed an uncomplicated book; a book that does not deviate from the straight path.  It warns of a severe punishment, but also gives good news to those who do good deeds of an excellent and everlasting reward.  It warns those who declare that God has an offspring by telling them that they have no evidence of such a monstrous lie.  Prophet Muhammad is told that he is in danger of worrying himself to death over the people who do not believe in his message.  However the fact of the matter is the earth has been filled with attractive things in order to test people and in the end everything will be reduced to dust.
Do you think that the story about the sleepers in the cave is a wonder?[1]  The young men sort refuge in the cave, praying that God, the most merciful, would guide them to a way out of their predicament.  God put them into a deep sleep and awakened them after a long period of time.  How long they had been sleeping is argued about by believers and nonbelievers alike but now God reveals the truth of the matter.  They were young men with strong faith and God gave them even more guidance.

Verses 14 – 26 The sleepers in the cave

(Before taking refuge in the cave) They declared that God was the Lord of the heavens and the earth and they would never call upon any deity other than Him.  Those who have taken other deities have done so without any clear authority and there is nothing more wicked than a person who lies about God.  They discussed it amongst each other and withdrew to the cave knowing that God would cover them with His mercy and guide them out of the ordeal they found themselves in.
And if you had been there with the sleepers you would have seen that the sun rose on their right and set on their left.  All the while they lay in an open space within the cave.  This is one of God’s signs.  Some are rightly guided while others are left to go astray.  If you looked at the sleepers you might have thought that they were awake, they turned from one side to the other and their dog lay stretched out at the entrance to the cave. 
If you had seen them you would have ran away filled with terror.  In the same way that He put them to sleep God woke them up.  The youths began to question one another, asking, how long have we been sleeping.  It felt like only a day or part of a day and they agreed that only God knew for sure how much time had passed.  One of them went to the town with a silver coin to look for food.  The others warned him to be cautious and not disclose their whereabouts.  If he was caught he would be stoned to death or worse he would be forced to change to their religion.
So God brought them to people’s attention so that everyone may know that His promises of Resurrection and the Last Hour were true.  The people who found them argued and disputed amongst themselves and those who prevailed decided to build a house of worship over them.  The people who heard the story argued about how many sleepers there were, but they guess at the unseen because only a few people have any real knowledge.   
Therefore adhere to what is clear and never say that you will do something without saying God willing.  If you do forget then remember God and hope that He will guide you to even better conduct.  Some say they stayed in the cave for 300 years, others say 309, but Prophet Muhammad is told to say that only God knows exactly how long they were there, because He is the one who knows all the secrets of the heavens and the earth.  There is no protector besides God and He does not let anyone share in His rule.

Verses 27 – 31 Make a choice

Prophet Muhammad is told to recite what has been revealed to him and there is no authorisation to change anything in any way.  Be content to be among those who seek God’s approval and do not let the notable people of Mecca drive away the weak and humble among your followers.  Tell them that now the truth has come; let the people choose whether to believe it or deny it.  The wrongdoers will end up surrounded by Fire with nothing but a wretched drink or and a pain filled resting place.  Good works will never be wasted; they will be rewarded with gardens of bliss with flowing streams.  They will wear garments of silk and golden bracelets and recline on soft couches in a pleasant resting place.

Verses 32 –  44 A moral tale

Tell them, Prophet Muhammad, about the parable of two men both with beautiful gardens and land for cultivation.  Both gardens produced abundantly and there was a river between the two properties.  One man told the other that he was wealthier and had more followers then the other, and he walked into his garden saying that this will never end and the Last Hour will never come and even if it did God would reward him with something even better.  The other man asked, do you disbelieve in the One who created you, for I do not, and you should have said that all is as God willed and no one has power except Him.   Although I have less, God might give me something better and destroy what you have.  And so it was that the first man’s fertile property was destroyed and he wished he had not attributed his prosperity to himself rather than God.  Then he realised that the only real protection comes from God.

[1]The word Ar-Raqeem is also mentioned here and this may refer to the name of their dog, or the tablet on which their names were inscribed or the mountain in which the cave is situated.