Was it a dog or lion with the People of the Cave

Fatwa ID: 02366

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Imad Ali

Question:

Kindly let me know had any Muffaser of Quran mentioned that it was Lion (not dog) that was present with Ashaab i Kahf in Surah Kahf of Al-Quran.

Answer

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Allah mentioned in the Qur’aan; “some people said, ‘They (the men in the cave) were three, their dog being the fourth.” Others said, “They were five, their dog being the sixth.” They are merely guessing. Others say, “They were seven and their dog was the eight.” Say, “My Rabb knows best what their number was and (besides Allah) only a few people know them (only a few know precisely how many people they were. Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbaas has mentioned that he is of those few who know the correct number. He then said that they were seven and their dog was the eight). So do not fall into debate regarding them (because it makes no difference to your imaan), except for superficial discussion (if someone asks about them, merely tell them what the Qur’aan says without involving yourself in deep discussion that may cause disputes to arise). And do not even ask anyone about them (because the lesson drown from the incident is clear. You need not know more because this will distract you from the lesson and dilute your energies).”

(Surah Kahaf (The Cave), Ayah; 22)

Regarding your question I personally haven’t come across any tafseer or any mufassir of surah kahaf where they mentioned lions as being amongst the people of the cave and not dogs.

Only Allah knows best.

Written by Moulana Muhammad Imad Ali

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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