إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا
“(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge to the Cave. They said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!”
Surah Al-Kafh, 18:10
a place providing privacy or seclusion from others.
Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ tells us of the youth who took to the cave;
نَّحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُم بِالْحَقِّ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ آمَنُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى
وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُوا فَقَالُوا رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَن نَّدْعُوَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَٰهًا ۖ لَّقَدْ قُلْنَا إِذًا شَطَطًا
هَٰؤُلَاءِ قَوْمُنَا اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ آلِهَةً ۖ لَّوْلَا يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِسُلْطَانٍ بَيِّنٍ ۖ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا
وَإِذِ اعْتَزَلْتُمُوهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا اللَّهَ فَأْوُوا إِلَى الْكَهْفِ يَنشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحْمَتِهِ وَيُهَيِّئْ لَكُم مِّنْ أَمْرِكُم مِّرْفَقًا
“We narrate to you (O Muhammad ﷺ) their story with truth: Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance. And We made their hearts firm (with the Light of Faith in Allah and bestowed upon them patience to ear the separation of their kith and kin and dwellings) when they stood up and said; “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any ilah (god) other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.
These our people have taken for worship alihah (gods) other than Him (Allah). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.
(The young men said to one another): “And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair (i.e. will give you what you need of provision and dwelling).”
Surah Al-Kahf, 18:13-16
Truly, Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ is sufficient for those who believe. In various moments in our lives we have opportunities to retreat to our cave. A place where we abandon the world and its evils in order to fear Allah. Sometimes this retreat must be physical (i.e. hijra for Allah’s sake) and sometimes, this retreat must be spiritual like in the story of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام. Heعَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام was commanded to go among the oppressors yet find spiritual repose in Allah alone. Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ said to Musa;
اذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَأَخُوكَ بِآيَاتِي وَلَا تَنِيَا فِي ذِكْرِي
“And I have chosen you, for Myself.”
“Go you and your brother with My Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.), and do not, you both, slacken and become weak in My Remembrance.
Surah Ta-Ha, 20:41-42
There are days when those closest to the believer acts as treacherous enemy. One must retreat to a place of obedience and worship to Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ and Allah alone. Allahسُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَ says in The Qur’an;
ۗ وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا
“And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience? And your Lord is Ever All-Seer (of everything).
Surah Al-Furqan, 25:20