Below you can read Surah Kahf with transliteration, translation, and Arabic text. Now, you will be able to understand meaning and benefit of every ayat as you read Quran.

Surah Kahf (“The Cave”) is a Meccan surah and the 18th chapter of the Qur’an. It is consists of a total 110 ayat or verses.  

In this Surah it mentions the story of the People of the Cave, the man who had two gardens and was very proud of himself, Prophet Moses (pbuh), story of Dhulqarnain, a pious ruler. 

These stories teach Muslims the value of faith, knowledge, patience, the relativity of time, and the variety in this world.

Notable Quote:

“Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.”
 Surah Kahf Ayat 46 

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Read Surah Kahf with Translation and Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُۥ عِوَجَا ۜ

Alhamdu lillaahil lazeee anzala ‘alaa ‘abdihil kitaaba wa lam yaj’al lahoo ‘iwajaa
1. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance.

قَيِّمًۭا لِّيُنذِرَ بَأْسًۭا شَدِيدًۭا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًۭا

Qaiyimal liyunzira baasan shadeedam mil ladunhu wa yubashshiral mu’mineenal lazeena ya’maloonas saalihaati anna lahum ajran hasanaa
2. [He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward

مَّـٰكِثِينَ فِيهِ أَبَدًۭا

Maakiseena feehi abadaa
3. In which they will remain forever

وَيُنذِرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوا۟ ٱتَّخَذَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَدًۭا

Wa yunziral lazeena qaalut takhazal laahu waladaa
4. And to warn those who say, ” Allah has taken a son.”

مَّا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنْ عِلْمٍۢ وَلَا لِءَابَآئِهِمْ ۚ كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةًۭ تَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَفْوَ‌ٰهِهِمْ ۚ إِن يَقُولُونَ إِلَّا كَذِبًۭا

Maa lahum bihee min ‘ilminw wa laa li aabaaa’ihim; kaburat kalimatan takhruju min afwaahihim; iny yaqooloona illaa kazibaa
5. They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie.

فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـٰخِعٌۭ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَـٰرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِهَـٰذَا ٱلْحَدِيثِ أَسَفًا

Fala’allaka baakhi’un nafsaka ‘alaaa aasaarihim illam yu;minoo bihaazal hadeesi asafaa
6. Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow.

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ زِينَةًۭ لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًۭا

Innaa ja’alnaa ma ‘alal ardi zeenatal lahaa linabluwahum ayyuhum ahsanu ‘amalaa
7. Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deed.

وَإِنَّا لَجَـٰعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًۭا جُرُزًا

Wa innaa lajaa ‘iloona maa ‘alaihaa sa’aeedan juruzaa
8. And indeed, We will make that which is upon it [into] a barren ground.

أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلْكَهْفِ وَٱلرَّقِيمِ كَانُوا۟ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا عَجَبًا

Am hasibta anna Ashaabal Kahfi war Raqeemi kaanoo min Aayaatinaa ‘ajabaa
9. Or have you thought that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among Our signs, a wonder?

إِذْ أَوَى ٱلْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى ٱلْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةًۭ وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًۭا

Iz awal fityatu ilal Kahfi faqaaloo Rabbanaaa aatinaa mil ladunka rahmatanw wa haiyi’ lanaa min amrinaa rashadaa
10. [Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.”

فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاذَانِهِمْ فِى ٱلْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًۭا

Fadarabnaa ‘alaaa aazaanihim fil Kahfi seneena ‘adadaa
11. So We cast [a cover of sleep] over their ears within the cave for a number of years.

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـٰهُمْ لِنَعْلَمَ أَىُّ ٱلْحِزْبَيْنِ أَحْصَىٰ لِمَا لَبِثُوٓا۟ أَمَدًۭا

Summa ba’asnaahum lina’lama ayyul hizbaini ahsaa limaa labisooo amadaa (section 1)
12. Then We awakened them that We might show which of the two factions was most precise in calculating what [extent] they had remained in time.

نَّحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُم بِٱلْحَقِّ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَـٰهُمْ هُدًۭى

Nahnu naqussu ‘alaika naba ahum bilhaqq; innahum fityatun aamanoo bi Rabbihim wa zidnaahum hudaa
13. It is We who relate to you, [O Muhammad], their story in truth. Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُوا۟ فَقَالُوا۟ رَبُّنَا رَبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ لَن نَّدْعُوَا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ إِلَـٰهًۭا ۖ لَّقَدْ قُلْنَآ إِذًۭا شَطَطًا

Wa rabatnaa ‘alaa quloo bihim iz qaamoo faqaaloo Rabbunaa Rabbus samaawaati wal ardi lan nad’uwa min dooniheee ilaahal laqad qulnaaa izan shatataam
14. And We made firm their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke besides Him any deity. We would have certainly spoken, then, an excessive transgression.

هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ قَوْمُنَا ٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ ءَالِهَةًۭ ۖ لَّوْلَا يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِسُلْطَـٰنٍۭ بَيِّنٍۢ ۖ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ ٱفْتَرَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ كَذِبًۭا

Haaa’ulaaa’i qawmunat takhazoo min dooniheee aalihatal law laa yaatoona ‘alaihim bisultaanim baiyin; faman azlamu mimmaniftaraa ‘alal laahi kazibaa
15. These, our people, have taken besides Him deities. Why do they not bring for [worship of] them a clear authority? And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie?”

وَإِذِ ٱعْتَزَلْتُمُوهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ فَأْوُۥٓا۟ إِلَى ٱلْكَهْفِ يَنشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحْمَتِهِۦ وَيُهَيِّئْ لَكُم مِّنْ أَمْرِكُم مِّرْفَقًۭا

Wa izi’tazal tumoohum wa maa ya’budoona illal laaha faawooo ilal kahfi yanshur lakum Rabbukum mir rahmatihee wa yuhaiyi’ lakum min amrikum mirfaqa
16. [The youths said to one another], “And when you have withdrawn from them and that which they worship other than Allah, retreat to the cave. Your Lord will spread out for you of His mercy and will prepare for you from your affair facility.”

۞ وَتَرَى ٱلشَّمْسَ إِذَا طَلَعَت تَّزَ‌ٰوَرُ عَن كَهْفِهِمْ ذَاتَ ٱلْيَمِينِ وَإِذَا غَرَبَت تَّقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ ٱلشِّمَالِ وَهُمْ فِى فَجْوَةٍۢ مِّنْهُ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ مِنْ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ۗ مَن يَهْدِ ٱللَّهُ فَهُوَ ٱلْمُهْتَدِ ۖ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُۥ وَلِيًّۭا مُّرْشِدًۭا

Wa tarash shamsa izaa tala’at tazaawaru ‘an kahfihim zaatal yameeni wa izaa gharabat taqriduhum zaatash shimaali wa hum fee fajwatim minh; zaalika min Aayaatillaah; mai yahdil laahu fahuwal muhtad, wa mai yudlil falan tajida lahoo waliyyam murshidaa (section 2)
17. And [had you been present], you would see the sun when it rose, inclining away from their cave on the right, and when it set, passing away from them on the left, while they were [laying] within an open space thereof. That was from the signs of Allah . He whom Allah guides is the [rightly] guided, but he whom He leaves astray – never will you find for him a protecting guide.

وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًۭا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌۭ ۚ وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ ٱلْيَمِينِ وَذَاتَ ٱلشِّمَالِ ۖ وَكَلْبُهُم بَـٰسِطٌۭ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِٱلْوَصِيدِ ۚ لَوِ ٱطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوَلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَارًۭا وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْبًۭا

Wa tahsabuhum ayqaazanw wa hum ruqood; wa nuqallibuhum zaatal yameeni wa zaatash shimaali wa kalbuhum baasitun ziraa’ayhi bilwaseed; lawit tala’ta ‘alaihim la wallaita minhum firaaranw wa lamuli’ta minhum rubaa
18. And you would think them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror.

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ بَعَثْنَـٰهُمْ لِيَتَسَآءَلُوا۟ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ قَالَ قَآئِلٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا۟ لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍۢ ۚ قَالُوا۟ رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ فَٱبْعَثُوٓا۟ أَحَدَكُم بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَـٰذِهِۦٓ إِلَى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ فَلْيَنظُرْ أَيُّهَآ أَزْكَىٰ طَعَامًۭا فَلْيَأْتِكُم بِرِزْقٍۢ مِّنْهُ وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ وَلَا يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًا

Wa kazaalika ba’asnaahum liyatasaaa’aloo bainahum; qaala qaaa’ilum minhum kam labistum qaaloo labisnaa yawman aw ba’da yawm; qaaloo Rabbukum a’lamu bimaa labistum fab’asooo ahadakum biwariqikum haazihee ilal madeenati falyanzur ayyuhaaa azkaa ta’aaman falyaatikum birizqim minhu walyatalattaf wa laa yush’iranna bikum ahadaa
19. And similarly, We awakened them that they might question one another. Said a speaker from among them, “How long have you remained [here]?” They said, “We have remained a day or part of a day.” They said, “Your Lord is most knowing of how long you remained. So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the city and let him look to which is the best of food and bring you provision from it and let him be cautious. And let no one be aware of you.

إِنَّهُمْ إِن يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَيْكُمْ يَرْجُمُوكُمْ أَوْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِى مِلَّتِهِمْ وَلَن تُفْلِحُوٓا۟ إِذًا أَبَدًۭا

Innahum iny yazharoo ‘alaikum yarjumookum aw yu’eedookum fee millatihim wa lan tuflihooo izan abadaa
20. Indeed, if they come to know of you, they will stone you or return you to their religion. And never would you succeed, then – ever.”

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ وَعْدَ ٱللَّهِ حَقٌّۭ وَأَنَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهَآ إِذْ يَتَنَـٰزَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ ۖ فَقَالُوا۟ ٱبْنُوا۟ عَلَيْهِم بُنْيَـٰنًۭا ۖ رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ ۚ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ غَلَبُوا۟ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِم مَّسْجِدًۭا

Wa kazaalika a’sarnaa ‘alaihim liya’lamooo anna wa’dal laahi haqqunw wa annas Saa’ata laa raiba feehaa iz yatanaaza’oona bainahum amrahum faqaalub noo ‘alaihim bunyaanaa; Rabbuhum a’lamu bihim; qaalal lazeena ghalaboo ‘alaaa amrihim lanat takhizanna ‘alaihim masjidaa
21. And similarly, We caused them to be found that they [who found them] would know that the promise of Allah is truth and that of the Hour there is no doubt. [That was] when they disputed among themselves about their affair and [then] said, “Construct over them a structure. Their Lord is most knowing about them.” Said those who prevailed in the matter, “We will surely take [for ourselves] over them a masjid.”

سَيَقُولُونَ ثَلَـٰثَةٌۭ رَّابِعُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ خَمْسَةٌۭ سَادِسُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ رَجْمًۢا بِٱلْغَيْبِ ۖ وَيَقُولُونَ سَبْعَةٌۭ وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ ۚ قُل رَّبِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِم مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌۭ ۗ فَلَا تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلَّا مِرَآءًۭ ظَـٰهِرًۭا وَلَا تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِم مِّنْهُمْ أَحَدًۭا

Sa yaqooloona salaasatur raabi’uhum kalbuhum wa yaqooloona khamsatun saadisuhum kalbuhum rajmam bilghaib; wa yaqooloona sab’atunw wa saaminuhum kalbuhum; qur Rabbeee a’lamu bi’iddatihim maa ya’lamuhum illaa qaleel; falaa tumaari feehim illaa miraaa’an zaahiranw wa laa tastafti feehim minhum ahadaa (section 3)
22. They will say there were three, the fourth of them being their dog; and they will say there were five, the sixth of them being their dog – guessing at the unseen; and they will say there were seven, and the eighth of them was their dog. Say, [O Muhammad], “My Lord is most knowing of their number. None knows them except a few. So do not argue about them except with an obvious argument and do not inquire about them among [the speculators] from anyone.”

وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَا۟ىْءٍ إِنِّى فَاعِلٌۭ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ غَدًا

Wa laa taqoolanna lishai’in innee faa’ilun zaalika ghadaa
23. And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,”

إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ وَٱذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّى لِأَقْرَبَ مِنْ هَـٰذَا رَشَدًۭا

Illaaa any yashaaa’al laah; wazkur Rabbaka izaa naseeta wa qul ‘asaaa any yahdiyani Rabbee li aqraba min haazaa rashadaa
24. Except [when adding], “If Allah wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct.”

وَلَبِثُوا۟ فِى كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلَـٰثَ مِا۟ئَةٍۢ سِنِينَ وَٱزْدَادُوا۟ تِسْعًۭا

Wa labisoo fee kahfihim salaasa mi’atin sineena wazdaadoo tis’aa
25. And they remained in their cave for three hundred years and exceeded by nine.

قُلِ ٱللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوا۟ ۖ لَهُۥ غَيْبُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ أَبْصِرْ بِهِۦ وَأَسْمِعْ ۚ مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَلِىٍّۢ وَلَا يُشْرِكُ فِى حُكْمِهِۦٓ أَحَدًۭا

Qulil laahu a’lamu bimaa labisoo lahoo ghaibus samaawaati wal ardi absir bihee wa asmi’; maa lahum min doonihee minw waliyyinw wa laa yushriku fee hukmihee ahadaa
26. Say, ” Allah is most knowing of how long they remained. He has [knowledge of] the unseen [aspects] of the heavens and the earth. How Seeing is He and how Hearing! They have not besides Him any protector, and He shares not His legislation with anyone.”

وَٱتْلُ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ ۖ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِۦ مُلْتَحَدًۭا

Watlu maaa oohiya ilaika min Kitaabi Rabbika laa mubaddila li Kalimaatihee wa lan tajida min doonihee multahadaa
27. And recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. There is no changer of His words, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.

وَٱصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلْغَدَوٰةِ وَٱلْعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُۥ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُۥ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَىٰهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُۥ فُرُطًۭا

Wasbir nafsaka ma’al lazeena yad’oona Rabbahum bilghadaati wal’ashiyyi yureedoona Wajhahoo wa laa ta’du ‘aynaaka ‘anhum tureedu zeenatal hayaatid dunyaa wa laa tuti’ man aghfalnaa qalbahoo ‘an zikrinaa wattaba’a hawaahu wa kaana amruhoo furutaa
28. And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.

وَقُلِ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ ۚ إِنَّآ أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا ۚ وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا۟ يُغَاثُوا۟ بِمَآءٍۢ كَٱلْمُهْلِ يَشْوِى ٱلْوُجُوهَ ۚ بِئْسَ ٱلشَّرَابُ وَسَآءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا

Wa qulil haqqu mir Rabbikum faman shaaa’a falyu minw wa man shaaa’a falyakfur; innaaa a’tadnaa lizzaalimeena Naaran ahaata bihim suraadiquhaa; wa iny yastagheesoo yaghaasoo bimaaa’in kalmuhli yashwil wujooh’ bi’sash-sharaab; wa saaa’at murtafaqaa
29. And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا

Innal lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati innaa laa nudee’u ajra man ahsana ‘amalaam
30. Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.

أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتُ عَدْنٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍۢ وَيَلْبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضْرًۭا مِّن سُندُسٍۢ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍۢ مُّتَّكِـِٔينَ فِيهَا عَلَى ٱلْأَرَآئِكِ ۚ نِعْمَ ٱلثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتْ مُرْتَفَقًۭا

Ulaaa’ika lahum Jannaatu ‘Adnin tajree min tahtihimul anhaaru yuhallawna feehaa min asaawira min zahabinw wa yalbasoona siyaaban khudram min sundusinw wa istabraqim muttaki’eena feehaa ‘alal araaa’ik; ni’mas sawaab; wa hasunat murtafaqaa (section 4)
31. Those will have gardens of perpetual residence; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place.

۞ وَٱضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًۭا رَّجُلَيْنِ جَعَلْنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيْنِ مِنْ أَعْنَـٰبٍۢ وَحَفَفْنَـٰهُمَا بِنَخْلٍۢ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمَا زَرْعًۭا

Wadrib lahum masalar rajulaini ja’alnaa li ahadihimaa jannataini min a’naabinw wa hafafnaahumaa binakhilinw wa ja’alnaa bainahumaa zar’aa
32. And present to them an example of two men: We granted to one of them two gardens of grapevines, and We bordered them with palm trees and placed between them [fields of] crops.

كِلْتَا ٱلْجَنَّتَيْنِ ءَاتَتْ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمْ تَظْلِم مِّنْهُ شَيْـًۭٔا ۚ وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَـٰلَهُمَا نَهَرًۭا

Kiltal jannataini aatat ukulahaa wa lam tazlim minhu shai’anw wa fajjarnaa khi laalahumaa naharaa
33. Each of the two gardens produced its fruit and did not fall short thereof in anything. And We caused to gush forth within them a river.

وَكَانَ لَهُۥ ثَمَرٌۭ فَقَالَ لِصَـٰحِبِهِۦ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُۥٓ أَنَا۠ أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًۭا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًۭا

Wa kaana lahoo samarun faqaala lisaahibihee wa huwa yuhaawiruhoo ana aksaru minka maalanw wa a’azzu nafaraa
34. And he had fruit, so he said to his companion while he was conversing with him, “I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men.”

وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُۥ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌۭ لِّنَفْسِهِۦ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـٰذِهِۦٓ أَبَدًۭا

Wa dakhala jannatahoo wa huwa zaalimul linafsihee qaala maaa azunnu an tabeeda haaziheee abadaa
35. And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will perish – ever.

وَمَآ أَظُنُّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ قَآئِمَةًۭ وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّى لَأَجِدَنَّ خَيْرًۭا مِّنْهَا مُنقَلَبًۭا

Wa maaa azunnus Saa’ata qaaa’imatanw wa la’ir rudittu ilaa Rabbee la ajidanna khairam minhaa munqalabaa
36. And I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.”

قَالَ لَهُۥ صَاحِبُهُۥ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُۥٓ أَكَفَرْتَ بِٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍۢ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍۢ ثُمَّ سَوَّىٰكَ رَجُلًۭا

Qaala lahoo saahibuhoo wa huwa yuhaawiruhooo akafarta billazee khalaqaka min turaabin summa min nutfatin summa sawwaaka rajulaa
37. His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man?

لَّـٰكِنَّا۠ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ رَبِّى وَلَآ أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّىٓ أَحَدًۭا

Laakinaa Huwal laahu Rabbee wa laa ushriku bi Rabbeee ahadaa
38. But as for me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not associate with my Lord anyone.

وَلَوْلَآ إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِ ۚ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا۠ أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالًۭا وَوَلَدًۭا

Wa law laaa iz dakhalta jannataka qulta maa shaaa’al laahu laa quwwata illaa billaah; in tarani ana aqalla minka maalanw wa waladaa
39. And why did you, when you entered your garden, not say, ‘What Allah willed [has occurred]; there is no power except in Allah ‘? Although you see me less than you in wealth and children,

فَعَسَىٰ رَبِّىٓ أَن يُؤْتِيَنِ خَيْرًۭا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ وَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهَا حُسْبَانًۭا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَتُصْبِحَ صَعِيدًۭا زَلَقًا

Fa’asaa Rabeee any yu’tiyani khairam min jannatika wa yursila ‘alaihaa husbaanam minas samaaa’i fatusbiha sa’eedan zalaqaa
40. It may be that my Lord will give me [something] better than your garden and will send upon it a calamity from the sky, and it will become a smooth, dusty ground,

أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَآؤُهَا غَوْرًۭا فَلَن تَسْتَطِيعَ لَهُۥ طَلَبًۭا

Aw yusbiha maaa’uhaaa ghawran falan tastatee’a lahoo talabaa
41. Or its water will become sunken [into the earth], so you would never be able to seek it.”

وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِۦ فَأَصْبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيْهِ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَنفَقَ فِيهَا وَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا وَيَقُولُ يَـٰلَيْتَنِى لَمْ أُشْرِكْ بِرَبِّىٓ أَحَدًۭا

Wa uheeta bisamarihee faasbaha yuqallibu kaffaihi ‘alaa maaa anfaqa feehaa wa hiya khaawiyatun ‘alaa ‘urooshihaa wa yaqoolu yaalaitanee lam ushrik bi Rabbeee ahadaa
42. And his fruits were encompassed [by ruin], so he began to turn his hands about [in dismay] over what he had spent on it, while it had collapsed upon its trellises, and said, “Oh, I wish I had not associated with my Lord anyone.”

وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُۥ فِئَةٌۭ يَنصُرُونَهُۥ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا

Wa lam takul lahoo fi’atuny yansuroonahoo min doonil laahi wa maa kaana muntasiraa
43. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor could he defend himself.

هُنَالِكَ ٱلْوَلَـٰيَةُ لِلَّهِ ٱلْحَقِّ ۚ هُوَ خَيْرٌۭ ثَوَابًۭا وَخَيْرٌ عُقْبًۭا

Hunaalikal walaayatu lillaahil haqq; huwa khairun sawaabanw wa khairun ‘uqbaa (section 5)
44. There the authority is [completely] for Allah, the Truth. He is best in reward and best in outcome.

وَٱضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخْتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلْأَرْضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًۭا تَذْرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ مُّقْتَدِرًا

Wadrib lahum masalal hayaatid dunyaa kamaaa’in anzalnaahu minas samaaa’i fakhtalata bihee nabaatul ardi fa asbaha hasheeman tazroo hur riyaah; wa kaanal laahu ‘alaa kulli shai’im muqtadiraa
45. And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.

ٱلْمَالُ وَٱلْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا ۖ وَٱلْبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًۭا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًۭا

Almaalu walbanoona zeenatul hayaatid dunya wal baaqiyaatus saalihaatu khairun ‘inda Rabbika sawaabanw wa khairun amalaa
46. Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.

وَيَوْمَ نُسَيِّرُ ٱلْجِبَالَ وَتَرَى ٱلْأَرْضَ بَارِزَةًۭ وَحَشَرْنَـٰهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًۭا

Wa yawma nusaiyirul jibaala wa taral arda baariza tanw wa hasharnaahum falam nughaadir minhum ahadaa
47. And [warn of] the Day when We will remove the mountains and you will see the earth prominent, and We will gather them and not leave behind from them anyone.

وَعُرِضُوا۟ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ صَفًّۭا لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا كَمَا خَلَقْنَـٰكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍۭ ۚ بَلْ زَعَمْتُمْ أَلَّن نَّجْعَلَ لَكُم مَّوْعِدًۭا

Wa ‘uridoo ‘alaa Rabbika saffaa, laqad ji’tumoonaa kamaa khalaqnaakum awala marrah; bal za’amtum allannaj’ala lakum maw’idaa
48. And they will be presented before your Lord in rows, [and He will say], “You have certainly come to Us just as We created you the first time. But you claimed that We would never make for you an appointment.”

وَوُضِعَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبُ فَتَرَى ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَـٰوَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَـٰذَا ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةًۭ وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّآ أَحْصَىٰهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا۟ مَا عَمِلُوا۟ حَاضِرًۭا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًۭا

Wa wudi’al kitaabu fataral mujrimeena mushfiqeena mimmaa feehi wa yaqooloona yaa wailatanaa maa lihaazal kitaabi laa yughaadiru saghee ratanw wa laa kabeeratan illaaa ahsaahaa; wa wajadoo maa ‘amiloo haadiraa; wa laa yazlimu Rabbuka ahadaa (Section 6)
49. And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ ٱسْجُدُوا۟ لِءَادَمَ فَسَجَدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِۦٓ ۗ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُۥ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُۥٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّۢ ۚ بِئْسَ لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ بَدَلًۭا

Wa iz qulnaa lilma laaa’ikatis judoo li Aadama fasajadooo illaaa Ibleesa kaana minal jinni fafasaqa ‘an amri Rabbih; afatattakhizoonahoo wa zurriyatahooo awliyaaa’a min doonee wa hum lakum ‘aduww; bi’sa lizzaalimeena badalaa
50. And [mention] when We said to the angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.

۞ مَّآ أَشْهَدتُّهُمْ خَلْقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَ‌ٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا خَلْقَ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ ٱلْمُضِلِّينَ عَضُدًۭا

Maaa ash hattuhum khalqas samaawaati wal ardi wa laa khalqa anfusihim wa maa kuntu muttakizal mudilleena ‘adudaa
51. I did not make them witness to the creation of the heavens and the earth or to the creation of themselves, and I would not have taken the misguiders as assistants.

وَيَوْمَ يَقُولُ نَادُوا۟ شُرَكَآءِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لَهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّوْبِقًۭا

Wa Yawma yaqoolu naadoo shurakaaa’i yal lazeena za’amtum fada’awhum falam yastajeeboo lahum wa ja’alnaa bainahum maw biqaa
52. And [warn of] the Day when He will say, “Call ‘My partners’ whom you claimed,” and they will invoke them, but they will not respond to them. And We will put between them [a valley of] destruction.

وَرَءَا ٱلْمُجْرِمُونَ ٱلنَّارَ فَظَنُّوٓا۟ أَنَّهُم مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُوا۟ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًۭا

Wa ra al mujrimoonan Naara fazannooo annahum muwaaqi’oohaa wa lam yajidoo ‘anhaa masrifaa (section 7)
53. And the criminals will see the Fire and will be certain that they are to fall therein. And they will not find from it a way elsewhere.

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِى هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانِ لِلنَّاسِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍۢ ۚ وَكَانَ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ أَكْثَرَ شَىْءٍۢ جَدَلًۭا

Wa laqad sarrafnaa fee haazal quraani linnaasi min kulli masal; wa kaanal insaanu aksara shai’in jadalaa
54. And We have certainly diversified in this Qur’an for the people from every [kind of] example; but man has ever been, most of anything, [prone to] dispute.

وَمَا مَنَعَ ٱلنَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُوٓا۟ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّهُمْ إِلَّآ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ سُنَّةُ ٱلْأَوَّلِينَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱلْعَذَابُ قُبُلًۭا

Wa maa mana’an naasa any yu’minooo iz jaaa’ahumul hudaa wa yastaghfiroo Rabbahum illaaa an taatiyahum sunnatul awwaleena aw yaatiyahumul ‘azaabu qubulaa
55. And nothing has prevented the people from believing when guidance came to them and from asking forgiveness of their Lord except that there [must] befall them the [accustomed] precedent of the former peoples or that the punishment should come [directly] before them.

وَمَا نُرْسِلُ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ ۚ وَيُجَـٰدِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ بِٱلْبَـٰطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُوا۟ بِهِ ٱلْحَقَّ ۖ وَٱتَّخَذُوٓا۟ ءَايَـٰتِى وَمَآ أُنذِرُوا۟ هُزُوًۭا

Wa maa nursilul mursaleena illaa mubashshireena wa munzireen; wa yujaadilul lazeena kafaroo bilbaatili liyudhidoo bihil haqqa wattakhazooo Aayaatee wa maaa unziroo huzuwaa
56. And We send not the messengers except as bringers of good tidings and warners. And those who disbelieve dispute by [using] falsehood to [attempt to] invalidate thereby the truth and have taken My verses, and that of which they are warned, in ridicule.

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِۦ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ ۚ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِىٓ ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًۭا ۖ وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى ٱلْهُدَىٰ فَلَن يَهْتَدُوٓا۟ إِذًا أَبَدًۭا

Wa man azlamu mimman zukkira bi ayaati Rabbihee fa-a’rada ‘anhaa wa nasiya maa qaddamat yadaah; innaa ja’alnaa ‘alaa quloobihim akinnatan any yafqahoohu wa feee aazaanihim waqraa; wa in tad’uhum ilal hudaa falany yahtadooo izan abadaa
57. And who is more unjust than one who is reminded of the verses of his Lord but turns away from them and forgets what his hands have put forth? Indeed, We have placed over their hearts coverings, lest they understand it, and in their ears deafness. And if you invite them to guidance – they will never be guided, then – ever.

وَرَبُّكَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ذُو ٱلرَّحْمَةِ ۖ لَوْ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا كَسَبُوا۟ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ ٱلْعَذَابَ ۚ بَل لَّهُم مَّوْعِدٌۭ لَّن يَجِدُوا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَوْئِلًۭا

Wa Rabbukal Ghafooru zur rahmati law yu’aakhi zuhum bimaa kasaboo la’ajala lahumul ‘azaab; bal lahum maw’idul lany yajidoo min doonihee maw’ilaa
58. And your Lord is the Forgiving, full of mercy. If He were to impose blame upon them for what they earned, He would have hastened for them the punishment. Rather, for them is an appointment from which they will never find an escape.

وَتِلْكَ ٱلْقُرَىٰٓ أَهْلَكْنَـٰهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا۟ وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِم مَّوْعِدًۭا

Wa tikal quraaa ahlak nahum lammaa zulamoo wa ja’alnaa limahlikihim maw’idaa (section 8)
59. And those cities – We destroyed them when they wronged, and We made for their destruction an appointed time.

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَىٰهُ لَآ أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰٓ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ ٱلْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِىَ حُقُبًۭا

Wa iz qaalaa Moosaa lifataahu laaa abrahu hattaaa ablugha majma’al bahrayni aw amdiya huqubaa
60. And [mention] when Moses said to his servant, “I will not cease [traveling] until I reach the junction of the two seas or continue for a long period.”

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُۥ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ سَرَبًۭا

Falammaa balaghaa majma’a bainihimaa nasiyaa hootahumaa fattakhaza sabeelahoo fil bahri sarabaa
61. But when they reached the junction between them, they forgot their fish, and it took its course into the sea, slipping away.

فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَىٰهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبًۭا

Falammaa jaawazaa qaala lifataahu aatinaa ghadaaa’anaa laqad laqeena min safarinaa haazaa nasabaa
62. So when they had passed beyond it, [Moses] said to his boy, “Bring us our morning meal. We have certainly suffered in this, our journey, [much] fatigue.”

قَالَ أَرَءَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلْحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنسَىٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُۥ ۚ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُۥ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ عَجَبًۭا

Qaala ara’ayta iz awainaaa ilas sakhrati fa innee naseetul hoota wa maaa ansaaneehu illash Shaitaanu an azkurah; wattakhaza sabeelahoo fil bahri’ajabaa
63. He said, “Did you see when we retired to the rock? Indeed, I forgot [there] the fish. And none made me forget it except Satan – that I should mention it. And it took its course into the sea amazingly”.

قَالَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ ۚ فَٱرْتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصًۭ

Qaala zaalika maa kunnaa nabghi; fartaddaa ‘alaa aasaari him maa qasasaa
64. [Moses] said, “That is what we were seeking.” So they returned, following their footprints.

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًۭا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ رَحْمَةًۭ مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًۭ

Fa wajadaa ‘abdam min ‘ibaadinaaa aatainaahu Rahmatam min ‘indinaa wa ‘allamnaahu mil ladunnaa ‘ilmaam
65. And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a [certain] knowledge.

قَالَ لَهُۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًۭ

Qaala lahoo Moosaa hal attabi’uka ‘alaaa an tu’allimani mimmaa ‘ullimta rushdaa
66. Moses said to him, “May I follow you on [the condition] that you teach me from what you have been taught of sound judgement?”

قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًۭا

Qaalaa innaka lan tastatee’a ma’iya sabraa
67. He said, “Indeed, with me you will never be able to have patience.

وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِۦ خُبْرًۭا

Wa kaifa tasbiru ‘alaa maa lam tuhit bihee khubraa
68. And how can you have patience for what you do not encompass in knowledge?”

قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرًۭا وَلَآ أَعْصِى لَكَ أَمْرًۭا

Qaala satajiduneee in shaa ‘al laahu saabiranw wa laaa a’see laka amraa
69. [Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.”

قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلَا تَسْـَٔلْنِى عَن شَىْءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًۭا

Qaala fa init taba’tanee falaa tas’alnee ‘an shai’in hattaaa uhdisa laka minhu zikraa (section 9)
70. He said, “Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I make to you about it mention.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِى ٱلسَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْـًٔا إِمْرًۭا

Fantalaqaa hattaaa izaa rakibaa fis safeenati kharaqahaa qaala akharaqtahaa litughriqa ahlahaa laqad ji’ta shai’an imraa
71. So they set out, until when they had embarked on the ship, al-Khidh r tore it open. [Moses] said, “Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.”

قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًۭا

Qaala alam aqul innaka lan tastatee’a ma’iya sabraam
72. [Al-Khidh r] said, “Did I not say that with me you would never be able to have patience?”

قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِى مِنْ أَمْرِى عُسْرًۭا

Qaala laa tu’aakhiznee bimaa naseetu wa laa turhiqnee min amree ‘usraa
73. [Moses] said, “Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَـٰمًۭا فَقَتَلَهُۥ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًۭا زَكِيَّةًۢ بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍۢ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْـًۭٔا نُّكْرًۭا

Fantalaqaa hattaa izaa laqiyaa ghulaaman faqatalahoo qaala aqatalta nafsan zakiy yatam bighairi nafs; laqad ji’ta shai’an nukraa (End Juz 15)
74. So they set out, until when they met a boy, al-Khidh r killed him. [Moses] said, “Have you killed a pure soul for other than [having killed] a soul? You have certainly done a deplorable thing.”

۞ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًۭا

Qaala alam aqul laka innaka lan tastatee’a ma’iya sabraa
75. [Al-Khidh r] said, “Did I not tell you that with me you would never be able to have patience?”

قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍۭ بَعْدَهَا فَلَا تُصَـٰحِبْنِى ۖ قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْرًۭا

Qaala in sa altuka ‘an shai’im ba’dahaa falaa tusaahibnee qad balaghta mil ladunnee ‘uzraa
76. [Moses] said, “If I should ask you about anything after this, then do not keep me as a companion. You have obtained from me an excuse.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ ٱسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا۟ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًۭا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُۥ ۖ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًۭا

Fantalaqaa hattaaa izaaa atayaaa ahla qaryatinis tat’amaaa ahlahaa fa abaw any yudaiyifoohumaa fawajadaa feehaa jidaarany yureedu any yanqadda fa aqaamah; qaala law shi’ta lattakhazta ‘alaihi ajraa
77. So they set out, until when they came to the people of a town, they asked its people for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. And they found therein a wall about to collapse, so al-Khidh r restored it. [Moses] said, “If you wished, you could have taken for it a payment.”

قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنِكَ ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا

Qaala haazaa firaaqu bainee wa bainik; sa unabi ‘uka bitaaweeli maa lam tastati’ ‘alaihi sabraa
78. [Al-Khidh r] said, “This is parting between me and you. I will inform you of the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.

أَمَّا ٱلسَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَـٰكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌۭ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًۭا

Ammas safeenatu fakaanat limasaakeena ya’maloona fil bahri fa arattu an a’eebahaa wa kaana waraaa’ ahum malikuny yaakhuzu kulla safeenatin ghasbaa
79. As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at sea. So I intended to cause defect in it as there was after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force.

وَأَمَّا ٱلْغُلَـٰمُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَـٰنًۭا وَكُفْرًۭا

Wa aammal ghulaamu fakaana abawaahu mu’minaini fakhasheenaaa any yurhiqa humaa tughyaananw wa kufraa
80. And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief.

فَأَرَدْنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًۭا مِّنْهُ زَكَوٰةًۭ وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًۭا

Faradnaa any yubdila humaa Rabbuhumaa khairam minhu zakaatanw wa aqraba ruhmaa
81. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.

وَأَمَّا ٱلْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُۥ كَنزٌۭ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحًۭا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةًۭ مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُۥ عَنْ أَمْرِى ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًۭا

Wa ammal jidaaru fakaana lighulaamaini yateemaini fil madeenati wa kaana tahtahoo kanzul lahumaa wa kaana aboohumaa saalihan fa araada Rabbuka any yablughaaa ashuddahumaa wa yastakhrijaa kanzahumaa rahmatam mir Rabbik; wa maa fa’altuhoo ‘an amree; zaalika taaweelu maa lam tasti’ ‘alaihi sabra (Section 10)
82. And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.”

وَيَسْـَٔلُونَكَ عَن ذِى ٱلْقَرْنَيْنِ ۖ قُلْ سَأَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْهُ ذِكْرًا

Wa yas’aloonaka ‘an Zil Qarnaini qul sa atloo ‘alaikum minhu zikraa
83. And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, “I will recite to you about him a report.”

إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُۥ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ سَبَبًۭا

Innaa makkannaa lahoo fil ardi wa aatainaahu min kulli shai’in sababaa
84. Indeed We established him upon the earth, and We gave him to everything a way.

فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا

Fa atba’a sababaa
85. So he followed a way

حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ ٱلشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِى عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍۢ وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوْمًۭا ۗ قُلْنَا يَـٰذَا ٱلْقَرْنَيْنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمْ حُسْنًۭا

Hattaaa izaa balagha maghribash shamsi wajadahaaa taghrubu fee ‘aynin hami’a tinw wa wajada ‘indahaa qawmaa; qulnaa yaa Zal Qarnaini immaaa an tu’az ziba wa immaaa an tattakhiza feehim husnaa
86. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people. Allah said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of] goodness.”

قَالَ أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ فَسَوْفَ نُعَذِّبُهُۥ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِۦ فَيُعَذِّبُهُۥ عَذَابًۭا نُّكْرًۭا

Qaala amaa man zalama fasawfa nu’azzibuhoo summa yuraddu ilaa Rabbihee fa yu ‘azzibuhoo azaaban nukraa
87. He said, “As for one who wrongs, we will punish him. Then he will be returned to his Lord, and He will punish him with a terrible punishment.

وَأَمَّا مَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحًۭا فَلَهُۥ جَزَآءً ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُۥ مِنْ أَمْرِنَا يُسْرًۭا

Wa ammaa man aamana wa ‘amila saalihan falahoo jazaaa’anil husnaa wa sanaqoolu lahoo min amrinaa yusraa
88. But as for one who believes and does righteousness, he will have a reward of Paradise, and we will speak to him from our command with ease.”

ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا

Summa atba’a sababaa
89. Then he followed a way

حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطْلِعَ ٱلشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطْلُعُ عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍۢ لَّمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُم مِّن دُونِهَا سِتْرًۭا

Hattaaa izaa balagha matli’ash shamsi wajdahaa tatlu’u alaa qawmil lam naj’al lahum min doonihaa sitraa
90. Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had not made against it any shield.

كَذَ‌ٰلِكَ وَقَدْ أَحَطْنَا بِمَا لَدَيْهِ خُبْرًۭا

Kazaalika wa qad ahatnaa bimaa ladaihi khubraa
91. Thus. And We had encompassed [all] that he had in knowledge.

ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا

Summa atba’a sababaam
92. Then he followed a way

حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيْنَ ٱلسَّدَّيْنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوْمًۭا لَّا يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلًۭا

Hattaaa izaa balagha bainas saddaini wajada min doonihimaa qawmal laa yakaa doona yafqahoona qawlaa
93. Until, when he reached [a pass] between two mountains, he found beside them a people who could hardly understand [his] speech.

قَالُوا۟ يَـٰذَا ٱلْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجًا عَلَىٰٓ أَن تَجْعَلَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمْ سَدًّۭا

Qaaloo yaa Zal qarnaini inna Yaajooja wa Maajooja mufsidoona fil ardi fahal naj’alu laka kharjan ‘alaaa an taj’ala bainanaa wa bainahum saddas
94. They said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are [great] corrupters in the land. So may we assign for you an expenditure that you might make between us and them a barrier?”

قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّى فِيهِ رَبِّى خَيْرٌۭ فَأَعِينُونِى بِقُوَّةٍ أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا

Qaala maa makkannee feehi Rabbee khairun fa-a’eenoonee biquwwatin aj’al bainakum wa bainahum radmaa
95. He said, “That in which my Lord has established me is better [than what you offer], but assist me with strength; I will make between you and them a dam.

ءَاتُونِى زُبَرَ ٱلْحَدِيدِ ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا سَاوَىٰ بَيْنَ ٱلصَّدَفَيْنِ قَالَ ٱنفُخُوا۟ ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَعَلَهُۥ نَارًۭا قَالَ ءَاتُونِىٓ أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْرًۭا

Aatoonee zubaral hadeed, hattaaa izaa saawaa bainas sadafaini qaalan fukhoo hattaaa izaa ja’alahoo naaran qaala aatooneee ufrigh ‘alaihi qitraa
96. Bring me sheets of iron” – until, when he had leveled [them] between the two mountain walls, he said, “Blow [with bellows],” until when he had made it [like] fire, he said, “Bring me, that I may pour over it molten copper.”

فَمَا ٱسْطَـٰعُوٓا۟ أَن يَظْهَرُوهُ وَمَا ٱسْتَطَـٰعُوا۟ لَهُۥ نَقْبًۭا

Famas taa’ooo any yazharoohu wa mastataa’oo lahoo naqbaam
97. So Gog and Magog were unable to pass over it, nor were they able [to effect] in it any penetration.

قَالَ هَـٰذَا رَحْمَةٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّى ۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى جَعَلَهُۥ دَكَّآءَ ۖ وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى حَقًّۭا

Qaala haaza rahmatummir Rabbee fa izaa jaaa’a wa’du Rabbee ja’alahoo dakkaaa’a; wa kaana; wa du Rabbee haqqaa
98. [Dhul-Qarnayn] said, “This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it level, and ever is the promise of my Lord true.”

۞ وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ يَمُوجُ فِى بَعْضٍۢ ۖ وَنُفِخَ فِى ٱلصُّورِ فَجَمَعْنَـٰهُمْ جَمْعًۭا

Wa taraknaa ba’dahum Yawma’iziny yamooju fee ba’dinw wa nufikha fis Soori fajama’naahum jam’aam
99. And We will leave them that day surging over each other, and [then] the Horn will be blown, and We will assemble them in [one] assembly.

وَعَرَضْنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ لِّلْكَـٰفِرِينَ عَرْضًا

Wa ‘aradnaa jahannama Yawma’izil lilkaafireena ‘ardaam
100. And We will present Hell that Day to the Disbelievers, on display –

ٱلَّذِينَ كَانَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِى غِطَآءٍ عَن ذِكْرِى وَكَانُوا۟ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَمْعًا

Allazeena kaanat a’yunuhum fee ghitaaa’in ‘an zikree wa kaanoo la yastatee’oona sam’aa (section 11)
101. Those whose eyes had been within a cover [removed] from My remembrance, and they were not able to hear.

أَفَحَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ أَن يَتَّخِذُوا۟ عِبَادِى مِن دُونِىٓ أَوْلِيَآءَ ۚ إِنَّآ أَعْتَدْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَـٰفِرِينَ نُزُلًۭا

Afahasibal lazeena kafarooo any yattakhizoo ‘ibaadee min dooneee awliyaaa’; innaaa a’tadnaa jahannama lilkaafi reena nuzulaa
102. Then do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants instead of Me as allies? Indeed, We have prepared Hell for the disbelievers as a lodging.

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِٱلْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَـٰلًا

Qul hal nunabbi’ukum bilakhsareena a’maalaa
103. Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?

ٱلَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا

Allazeena dalla sa’yuhum fil hayaatid dunyaa wa hum yahsaboona annahum yuhsinoona sun’aa
104. [They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.”

أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَآئِهِۦ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـٰلُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ وَزْنًۭا

Ulaaa’ikal lazeena kafaroo bi aayaati Rabbihim wa liqaaa’ihee fahabitat a’maaluhum falaa nuqeemu lahum Yawmal Qiyaamati waznaa
105. Those are the ones who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord and in [their] meeting Him, so their deeds have become worthless; and We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.

ذَ‌ٰلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُوا۟ وَٱتَّخَذُوٓا۟ ءَايَـٰتِى وَرُسُلِى هُزُوًا

Zaalika jazaaa’uhum jahannamu bimaa kafaroo wattakhazooo Aayaatee wa Rusulee huzuwaa
106. That is their recompense – Hell – for what they denied and [because] they took My signs and My messengers in ridicule.

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتُ ٱلْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا

Innal lazeena aamanoo wa ‘amilus saalihaati kaanat lahum Jannaatul Firdawsi nuzulaa
107. Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – they will have the Gardens of Paradise as a lodging,

خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا لَا يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلًۭا

Khaalideena feeha la yabghoona ‘anhaa hiwalaa
108. Wherein they abide eternally. They will not desire from it any transfer.

قُل لَّوْ كَانَ ٱلْبَحْرُ مِدَادًۭا لِّكَلِمَـٰتِ رَبِّى لَنَفِدَ ٱلْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَـٰتُ رَبِّى وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِۦ مَدَدًۭا

Qul law kaanal bahru midaadal lik Kalimaati Rabbee lanafidal bahru qabla an tanfada Kalimaatu Rabbee wa law ji’naa bimislihee madadaa
109. Say, “If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement.”

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ بَشَرٌۭ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌۭ وَ‌ٰحِدٌۭ ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُوا۟ لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًۭا صَـٰلِحًۭا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ أَحَدًۢا

Qul innamaaa ana basharum mislukum yoohaaa ilaiya annamaa ilaahukum Ilaahunw Waahid; faman kaana yarjoo liqaaa’a Rabbihee falya’mal ‘amalan saalihanw wa laa yushrik bi’ibaadati Rabbiheee ahadaa (section 12)
110. Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”

The Tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf

Chapter – 18
Which was revealed in Makkah

What has been mentioned about the Virtues of this Surah and the first and last ten Ayat, which provide protection from the Dajjal

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Bara’ said: “A man recited Al-Kahf and there was an animal in the house which began acting in a nervous manner. He looked, and saw a fog or cloud overhead. He mentioned this to the Prophet , who said:

(Keep on reciting so and so, for this is the tranquillity which descends when one reads Qur’an or because of reading Qur’an;) This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. This man who recited it was Usayd bin Al-Hudayr, as we have previously mentioned in our Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Ad-Darda’ that the Prophet said:

(Whoever memorizes ten Ayat from the beginning of Surat Al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal.) This was also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and At-Tirmidhi. According to the version recorded by At-Tirmidhi,

(Whoever memorizes three Ayat from the beginning of Al-Kahf.) He said, it is “Hasan Sahih. ” In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded from Abu Sa`id that the Prophet said:

(Whoever recites Surat Al-Kahf on Friday, it will illuminate him with light from one Friday to the next.) Then he said: “This Hadith has a Sahih chain, but they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.” Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi also recorded it in his Sunan from Al-Hakim, then he narrated with his own chain that the Prophet said:

(Whoever recites Surat Al-Kahf as it was revealed, it will be a light for him on the Day of Resurrection.)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

(1. All praise is due to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness.) (2. (He has made it) straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward.) (3. They shall abide therein forever.) (4. And to warn those who say, “Allah has begotten a child.”) (5. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths. They utter nothing but a lie.)

The Revelation of the Qur’an brings both Good News and a Warning

In the beginning of this Tafsir, we mentioned that Allah, praises His Holy Self at the beginning and end of matters, for He is the One to be praised in all circumstances, all praise and thanks be to Him, in the beginning and in the end. He praises Himself for revealing His Mighty Book to His Noble Messenger Muhammad , which is the greatest blessing that Allah has granted the people of this earth. Through the Qur’an, He brings them out of the darkness into light. He has made it a Book that is straight, neither distorted nor confusion therein. It clearly guides to a straight path, plain and manifest, giving a warning to the disbelievers and good news to the believers. This is why Allah says:

(and has not placed therein any crookedness.) meaning, there is nothing twisted or confusing about it. But He has made it balanced and straightforward as He said;

((He has made it) straight), meaning straightforward,

(to give warning of a severe punishment from Him,) meaning, to those who oppose His Prophet and disbelieve in His Book, He issues a warning of severe punishment hastened in this world and postponed to the world Hereafter.

(from Him) means, from Allah. For none can punish as He punishes and none is stronger or more reliable than Him.

(and to give good news to the believers,) means, those who believe in this Qur’an and confirm their faith by righteous actions.

(that they shall have a fair reward.) means, a beautiful reward from Allah.

(They shall abide therein) means, in what Allah rewards them with, and that is Paradise, where they will live forever.

(forever.) means, for always, never ending or ceasing to be.

(And to warn those who say, “Allah has begotten a child.”) Ibn Ishaq said: “These are the pagan Arabs, who said, `We worship the angels who are the daughters of Allah.”’

(No knowledge have they of such a thing, ) meaning, this thing that they have fabricated and made up.

(nor had their fathers.) meaning, their predecessors.

(Mighty is the word) This highlights the seriousness and enormity of the lie they have made up. Allah says:

(Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths.) meaning, it has no basis apart from what they say, and they have no evidence for it apart from their own lies and fabrications. Hence Allah says:

(They utter nothing but a lie.)

Reason why this Surah was revealed

Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned the reason why this Surah was revealed. He said that an old man from among the people of Egypt who came to them some forty-odd years ago told him, from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas said: “The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: `Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.’ So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah . They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.’ They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) — what is it If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.’ So An-Nadr and `Uqbah left and came back to the Quraysh, and said: `O people of Quraysh, we have come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem between you and Muhammad. The Jewish rabbis told us to ask him about some matters,’ and they told the Quraysh what they were. Then they came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,’ and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allah said,

(I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me.) but he did not say `If Allah wills.’ So they went away, and the Messenger of Allah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either. The people of Makkah started to doubt him, and said, `Muhammad promised to tell us the next day, and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.’ The Messenger of Allah felt sad because of the delay in revelation, and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying about him. Then Jibril came to him from Allah with the Surah about the companions of Al-Kahf, which also contained a rebuke for feeling sad about the idolators. The Surah also told him about the things they had asked him about, the young men and the traveler. The question about the Ruh was answered in the Ayah;

(And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit); say: “The Ruh…”) ﴿17:85﴾.

(6. Perhaps, you would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps, because they believe not in this narration.) (7. Verily, we have made that which is on earth an adornment for it, in order that We may test which of them are best in deeds.) (8. And verily, We shall make all that is on it bare, dry soil.)

Do not feel sorry because the Idolators do not believe Allah consoles His Messenger for his sorrow over the idolators because they would not believe and keep away from him. He also said:

(So destroy not yourself in sorrow for them.) ﴿35:8﴾

(And grieve not over them.) ﴿16:127﴾

(It may be that you are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers.) ﴿26:3﴾ meaning, maybe you will destroy yourself with your grief over them. Allah says:

(Perhaps, you would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps, because they believe not in this narration.) meaning the Qur’an.

(in grief) Allah is saying, `do not destroy yourself with regret.’ Qatadah said: “killing yourself with anger and grief over them.” Mujahid said: “with anxiety.” These are synonymous, so the meaning is: `Do not feel sorry for them, just convey the Message of Allah to them. Whoever goes the right way, then he goes the right way only for the benefit of himself. And whoever goes astray, then he strays at his own loss, so do not destroy yourself in sorrow for them.’

This World is the Place of Trial Then Allah tells us that He has made this world a temporary abode, adorned with transient beauty, and He made it a place of trial, not a place of settlement. So He says:

(Verily, we have made that which is on earth an adornment for it, in order that We may test which of them are best in deeds.) Abu Maslamah narrated from Abu Nadrah from Abu Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said:

(This world is sweet and green, and Allah makes you generations succeeding one another, so He is watching what you will do. Beware of (the beguilements of) this world and beware of women, for the first affliction that Children of Israel suffered from was that of women.) Then Allah tells us that this world will pass away and come to an end, as He says:

(And verily, We shall make all that is on it bare, dry soil.) means, `after having adorned it, We will destroy it and make everything on it bare and dry, with no vegetation or any other benefit.’ Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means everything on it would be wiped out and destroyed. Mujahid said: “a dry and barren plain.” Qatadah said, “A plain on which there are no trees or vegetation.”

(9. Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) (10. When the young men fled for refuge to Al-Kahf. They said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!”) (11. Therefore, We covered up their hearing in Al-Kahf for a number of years.) (12. Then We raised them up, that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period they tarried.)

The Story of the People of Al-Kahf Here Allah tells us about the story of the people of Al-Kahf in brief and general terms, then He explains it in more detail. He says:

(Do you think) — O Muhammad —

(that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) meaning, their case was not something amazing compared to Our power and ability, for the creation of the heavens and earth, the alternation of night and day and the subjugation of the sun, moon and heavenly bodies, and other mighty signs indicate the great power of Allah and show that He is able to do whatever He wills. He is not incapable of doing more amazing things than the story of the people of the Cave. Similarly, Ibn Jurayj reported Mujahid saying about,

(Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) “Among Our signs are things that are more amazing than this.” Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

(Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) “What I have given to you of knowledge, the Sunnah and the Book is far better than the story of the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim.” Muhammad bin Ishaq said: “(It means) I have not shown My creatures a proof more amazing than the story of the people of the Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim.” iAl-Kahf refers to a cave in a mountain, which is where the young men sought refuge. With regard to the word Ar-Raqim, Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that it is a valley near Aylah. This was also said ﴿in another narration﴾ by `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and Qatadah. Ad-Dahhak said: “As for Al-Kahf, it is a cave in the valley, and Ar-Raqim is the name of the valley.” Mujahid said, “Ar-Raqim refers to their buildings.” Others said it refers to the valley in which their cave was. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Ar-Raqim: “Ka`b used to say that it was the town.” Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “Ar-Raqim is the mountain in which the cave was.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “Ar-Raqim is a tablet of stone on which they wrote the story of the people of the Cave, then they placed it at the entrance to the Cave.”

((Remember) when the young men fled for refuge to Al-Kahf. They said: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!”) Here Allah tells us about those young men who fled from their people for the sake of their religion, fearing persecution. So they fled taking refuge in the cave of a mountain, where they hid from their people. When they entered the cave, they asked Allah to show mercy and kindness towards them,

(Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself,) meaning, `give us Your mercy and conceal us from our people.’

(and facilitate for us our affair in the right way.) means, direct our matter well, i.e., grant us a good end. As was reported in the Hadith:

(Whatever You have decreed for us, make its consequences good).

(Therefore, We covered up their hearing in the cave for a number of years.) meaning, `We caused them to sleep when they entered the cave, and they slept for many years.’

(Then We raised them up) from that slumber, and one of them went out with his Dirhams (silver coins) to buy them some food, as it will be discussed in more detail below. Allah says:

(Then We raised them up, that We might test which of the two parties) meaning, the two parties who disputed about them,

(was best at calculating the time period that they tarried.) It was said that this refers to how long they stayed in the cave.

(13. We narrate unto you their story with truth: Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.) (14. And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any god other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.) (15. These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him. Why do they not bring for them a clear authority And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.) (16. (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.”)

Their Belief in Allah and their Retreat from their People

From here Allah begins to explain the story in detail. He states that they were boys or young men, and that they were more accepting of the truth and more guided than the elders who had become stubbornly set in their ways and clung to the religion of falsehood. For the same reason, most of those who responded to Allah and His Messenger were young people. As for the elders of Quraysh, most of them kept to their religion and only a few of them became Muslims. So Allah tells us that the people of the cave were young men. Mujahid said, “I was informed that some of them wore some kind of earrings, then Allah guided them and inspired them to fear Him, so they recognized His Oneness, and bore witness that there is no god besides Him.”

(and We increased them in guidance.) From this and other similar Ayat, several scholars, such as Al-Bukhari and others, understood that faith may increase, that it may vary in degrees, and that it may fluctuate. Allah says:

(and We increased them in guidance.) as He said elsewhere:

(While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa.) ﴿47:17﴾

(As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice.) ﴿9:124﴾,

(…that they may grow more in faith along with their (present) faith.) ﴿48:4﴾ There are other Ayat indicating the same thing. It has been mentioned that they were followers of the religion of Al-Masih `Isa, `Isa bin Maryam, but Allah knows best. It seems that they lived before the time of Christianity altogether, because if they had been Christians, the Jewish rabbis would not have cared about preserving because of their differences. We have mentioned above the report from Ibn `Abbas that the Quraysh sent a message to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah to ask them for things with which they could test the Messenger of Allah , and they told them to ask him about these young men, and about Dhul-Qarnayn (the man who traveled much) and about the Ruh. This indicates that this story was something recorded in the books of the People of the Book, and that it came before Christianity. And Allah knows best.

(And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth,) Here Allah is saying: `We gave them the patience to go against their people and their city, and to leave behind the life of luxury and ease that they had been living.’ Several of the earlier and later Tafsir scholars have mentioned that they were sons of the kings and leaders of Byzantium, and that they went out one day to one of the festivals of their people. They used to gather once a year outside the city, and they would worship idols and offer sacrifices to them. They had an arrogant, tyrannical king who was called Decianus, who commanded and encouraged the people to do that. When the people went out to attend this gathering, these young men went out with their fathers and their people, and when they saw their people’s actions with clear insight, they realized that the prostrations and sacrifices the people were offering to their idols should only be dedicated to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth. Each of them started to withdraw from his people and keep aloof from them. The first one of them to move away on his own went and sat in the shade of a tree, then another came and sat with him, then another came and sat with them, then four more followed suit one by one. None of them knew the others, but they were brought together by the One Who instilled faith in their hearts. As it says in the Hadith recorded by Al-Bukhari with an incomplete chain of narrators from `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah said:

(Souls are like recruited soldiers. Those that recognize one another will come together, and those that do not recognize one another will turn away from each another). Muslim also recorded this in his Sahih from the Hadith of Suhayl from his father from Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allah . People say that similar qualities or characteristics are what bring people together. So each of the young men was trying to conceal what he really believed from the others, out of fear of them, not knowing that they were like him. Then one of them said, “O people, you know by Allah that only one thing is making you leave your people and isolate yourselves from them, so let each one of you say what it is in his case.” Another said, “As for me, by Allah I saw what my people are doing and I realized that it was false, and that the only One Who deserves to be worshipped Alone with out partner or associate is Allah Who created everything, the heavens, the earth and everything in between.” Another said, “By Allah, the same thing happened to me.” The others said the same, and they all agreed and became brothers in faith. They adopted a particular location as a place of worship and began worshipping Allah there, but their people found out about them and told their king about them. The king ordered them to appear before him, and asked them about their beliefs. They told him the truth and called him to Allah, as Allah says about them:

(And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any god other than Him…”) “Never” (Lan) implies an absolute and eternal negation, meaning, `this will never happen, and if we were to do that it would be false.’ So Allah says about them:

(…if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.) meaning, untruth and utter falsehood.

(These, our people, have taken for worship gods other than Him (Allah). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority) meaning, why do they not produce some clear evidence and genuine proof for their behavior

(And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.) They said: `but by saying that they are lying transgressors.’ It was said that when they called their king to believe in Allah, he refused, and warned and threatened them. He commanded them to be stripped of their clothing bearing the adornments of their people, then he gave them some time to think about the situation, hoping that they would return to their former religion. This was a way that Allah showed kindness for them, because during that time they managed to escape from him and flee from persecution for the sake of their religion. This is what is prescribed in the Shari`ah during times of trial and persecution — a person who fears for his religion should flee from his persecutors, as was reported in the Hadith:

(Soon there will come a time when the best wealth any of you can have will be sheep, which he can follow to the tops of the mountains and places where rain falls, (fleeing) for the sake of his religion from persecution. ) In such cases, it is allowed to seclude oneself from people, but this is not prescribed in any other case, because by such seclusion one loses the benefits of congregational and Friday prayers. These young men were determined to flee from their people, and Allah decreed that for them, as He says about them,

(And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah,) meaning, when you depart from them and follow a different religion, opposing their worship of others besides Allah, then separate from them in a physical sense too,

(then seek refuge in the cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His mercy) meaning, He will bestow His mercy upon you, by which He will conceal you from your people.

(and will make easy for you your affair.) means, He will give you what you need. So they left and fled to the cave where they sought refuge. Then their people noticed they were missing, and the king looked for them, and it was said when he could not find them that Allah concealed them from him so that he could not find any trace of them or any information about them, as Allah concealed His Prophet Muhammad and his Companion ﴿Abu Bakr﴾ As-Siddiq, when they sought refuge in the cave of Thawr. The Quraysh idolators came in pursuit, but they did not find him even though they passed right by him. When the Messenger of Allah noticed that As-Siddiq was anxious and said, “O Messenger of Allah, if one of them looks down at the place of his feet, he will see us,” he told him:

(O Abu Bakr, what do you think of two who have Allah as their third) And Allah said:

(If you help him not, for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of the two; when they were in the cave, he said to his companion: “Do not grieve, surely, Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lower, while the Word of Allah became the higher; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) ﴿9:40﴾ -The story of this cave (Thawr) is far greater and more wondrous than that of the people of the Cave.

(17. And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the cave. That is from the Ayat of Allah. He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no guardian to lead him.)

The Location of the Cave This indicates that the entrance to the cave faced north, because Allah tells us that when the sun was rising, sunlight entered the cave

(the right), meaning that the shade decreased towards the right, as Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said:

(declining) means leaning. Every time the sun rises on the horizon, its rays decline until there is nothing left in such a place when it reaches its zenith. So Allah said,

(and when it set, turning away from them to the left,) meaning, it entered their cave from the left of its entrance, which means from the west. This proves what we say, and it is clear to anyone who thinks about the matter and has some knowledge of astronomy and the paths of the sun, moon and stars. If the entrance of the cave faced east, nothing would have entered it when the sun set, and if it faced the direction of the Qiblah (in this case, south), nothing would have entered it at the time of sunrise or sunset, and the shadows would have leaned neither to the right nor the left. If it had faced west, nothing would have entered it at the time of sunrise, until after the sun had passed its zenith, and would have stayed until sunset. This supports what we have said, and to Allah is the praise. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that “turning away from them” means that it would shine on them and then leave them. Allah has told us this, and He wants us to understand it and ponder its meaning, but He did not tell us the location of this cave, i.e., in which country on earth it is, because there is no benefit for us in knowing that, and no legislative objective behind it. If there was any spiritual or religious interest that could be served by our knowing that, Allah and His Messenger would have taught us about it, as the Prophet said:

(I have not left anything that will bring you closer to Paradise and keep you further away from Hell but I have certainly taught you about it.) So Allah has told us about the features of the cave, but He did not tell us where it is, and He said,

(And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining from their cave.) Malik narrated from Zayd bin Aslam, “Leaning.”

(the right, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the cave.) meaning, the sun entered the cave without touching them, because if it had touched them, it would have burnt their bodies and clothes. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas.

(That is from the Ayat of Allah), how He guided them to this cave where He kept them alive, and the sun and wind entered the cave preserving their bodies. Allah says,

(That is from the Ayat of Allah.) Then He says:

(He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided;) meaning that He is the One Who guided these young men to true guidance among their people, for the one whom Allah guides is truly guided, and the one whom Allah leaves astray will find no one to guide him.

(18. And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the Wasid. Had you happened upon them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.)

Their Sleep in the Cave

Some of the scholars mentioned that when Allah caused them to sleep, their eyelids did not close, lest disintegration took hold of them. If their eyes remained open to the air, this would be better for the sake of preservation. Allah says:

(And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep.) It was mentioned that when the wolf sleeps, it closes one eye and keeps one eye open, then it switches eyes while asleep.

(And We turned them on their right and on their left sides,) Ibn `Abbas said: “If they did not turn over, the earth would have consumed them.”

(and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the Wasid) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said: “The Wasid means the threshold.” Ibn `Abbas said: “By the door.” It was said: “On the ground.” The correct view is that it means on the threshold, i.e., at the door.

(Verily, it shall be closed upon them) ﴿104:8﴾ Their dog lay down at the door, as is the habit of dogs. Ibn Jurayj said, “He was guarding the door for them.” It was his nature and habit to lie down at their door as if guarding them. He was sitting outside the door, because the angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog, as was reported in As-Sahih, nor do they enter a house in which there is an image, a person in a state of ritual impurity or a disbeliever, as was narrated in the Hasan Hadith. The blessing they enjoyed extended to their dog, so the sleep that overtook them overtook him too. This is the benefit of accompanying good people, and so this dog attained fame and stature. It was said that he was the hunting dog of one of the people which is the more appropriate view, or that he was the dog of the king’s cook, who shared their religious views, and brought his dog with him. And Allah knows best. Allah says:

(Had you happened upon them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.) meaning that Allah made them appear dreadful, so that no one could look at them without being filled with terror, because of the frightening appearance they had been given. This was so that no one would come near them or touch them until the appointed time when their sleep would come to an end as Allah willed, because of the wisdom, clear proof and great mercy involved in that.

(19. Likewise, We woke them that they might question one another. A speaker among them said: “How long have you stayed (here)” They said: “We have stayed a day or part of a day.” They said: “Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town, and let him find out which is the Azka food, and bring some of that to you. And let him be careful and let no man know of you.”) (20. “For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you or turn you back to their religion; and in that case you will never be successful.”)

Their awakening and sending One of Themselves to buy Food Allah says: `just as We caused them to sleep, We resurrected them with their bodies, hair and skin intact, and nothing lacking in their form and appearance.’ This was after three hundred and nine years. This is why they asked each other,

(How long have you stayed (here)) meaning, `how long have you slept’

(They said: “We have stayed a day or part of a day.”) because they entered the cave at the beginning of the day, and they woke up at the end of the day, which is why they then said,

(“…or a part of a day.” They said: “Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed…”) meaning, `Allah knows best about your situation.’ It seems that they were not sure about how long they had slept, and Allah knows best. Then they turned their attention to more pressing matters, like their need for food and drink, so they said:

(So send one of you with this silver coin of yours) They had brought with them some Dirhams (silver coins) from their homes, to buy whatever they might need, and they had given some in charity and kept some, so they said:

(So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town,) meaning to their city, which they had left. The definite article indicates that they were referring to a known city.

(and let him find out which is the Azka food.) Azka means “purest”, as Allah says elsewhere,

(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure ﴿Zaka﴾ from sins) ﴿24:21﴾ and

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself ﴿Tazakka﴾ shall achieve success.) ﴿87:14﴾ From the same root also comes the word Zakah, which makes one’s wealth good and purifies it.

(And let him be careful) meaning when he goes out buying food and coming back. They were telling him to conceal himself as much as he could,

(and let no man know of you. For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you) means, `if they find out where you are,’

(they will stone you or turn you back to their religion;) They were referring to the followers of Decianus, who they were afraid might find out where they were, and punish them with all kinds of torture until they made them go back to their former religion, or until they died, for if they agreed to go back to their (old) religion, they would never attain success in this world or the Hereafter. So they said:

(and in that case you will never be successful.)

(21. And thus We made their case known, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, they said: “Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,” (then) those who won their point said: “We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.”)

How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave

(And thus We made their case known,) means, `We caused the people to find them.’

(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour.) Several scholars of the Salaf mentioned that the people of that time were skeptical about the Resurrection. `Ikrimah said: “There was a group of them who said that the souls would be resurrected but not the bodies, so Allah resurrected the people of the Cave as a sign and proof of resurrection.” They mentioned that when they wanted to send one of their members out to the city to buy them something to eat, he disguised himself and set out walking by a different route, until he reached the city, which they said was called Daqsus. He thought that it was not long since he left it, but in fact century after century, generation after generation, nation after nation had passed, and the country and its people had changed. He saw no local landmarks that he recognized, and he did not recognize any of the people, elite or commoners. He began to feel confused and said to himself, “Maybe I am crazy or deluded, maybe I am dreaming.” Then he said, “By Allah, I am nothing of the sort, what I know I saw last night was different from this.” Then he said, “I had better get out of here.” Then he went to one of the men selling food, gave him the money he had and asked him to sell him some food. When the man saw the money he did not recognize it or its imprint, so he passed it to his neighbor and they all began to pass it around, saying, “Maybe this man found some treasure.” They asked him who he was and where he got this money. Had he found a treasure Who was he He said, “I am from this land, I was living here yesterday and Decianus was the ruler.” They accused him of being crazy and took him to the governor who questioned him about his circumstances, and he told him. He was confused about his situation. When he told them about it, they — the king and the people of the city — went with him to the cave, where he told them, “Let me go in first and let my companions know.” It was said that the people did not know how he entered it, and that the people did not know about their story. It was also said that they did enter the cave and see them, and the king greeted them and embraced them. Apparently he was a Muslim, and his name was Tedosis. They rejoiced at meeting him and spoke with him, then they bid farewell to him and went back to sleep, then Allah caused them to die. And Allah knows best. A

(And thus We made their case known,) meaning, `just as We caused them to sleep then woke them up physically intact, We made their story known to the people of that time.’

(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, ) meaning, about Resurrection. Some believed in it and some denied it, so Allah made their discovery of the people of the cave evidence either in their favor or against them.

(they said: “Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,”) meaning, seal the door of their cave over them, and leave them as they are.

(those who won their point said: “We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.”) Those who said this were the people of power and influence, but were they good people or not There is some debate on this point, because the Prophet said:

(Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians who took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship) Warning against what they did. We have reported about the Commander of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab that when he found the grave of Danyal (Daniel) in Iraq during his period of rule, he gave orders that news of this grave should be withheld from the people, and that the inscription containing mention of battles etc., that they found there should be buried.

(22. They say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; and they say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; and they say they were seven, and the dog being the eighth. Say: “My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few.” So debate not except with the clear proof. And consult not any of them (about the people of the Cave).)

Their Number

Allah tells us that people disputed over the number of the people of the Cave. The Ayah mentions three views, proving that there was no fourth suggestion. Allah indicates that the first two opinions are invalid, by saying,

(guessing at the unseen), meaning that they spoke without knowledge, like a person who aims at an unknown target — he is hardly likely to hit it, and if he does, it was not on purpose. Then Allah mentions the third opinion, and does not comment on it, or He affirms it by saying,

(and the dog being the eighth.) indicating that this is correct and this is what happened.

(Say: “My Lord knows best their number…”) indicating that the best thing to do in matters like this is to refer knowledge to Allah, because there is no need to indulge in discussing such matters without knowledge. If we are given knowledge of a matter, then we may talk about it, otherwise we should refrain.

(none knows them but a few.) of mankind. Qatadah said that Ibn `Abbas said: “I am one of the few mentioned in this Ayah; they were seven. ” Ibn Jurayj also narrated that `Ata’ Al-Khurasani narrated from him, “I am one of those referred to in this Ayah,” and he would say: “Their number was seven.” Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said:

(none knows them but a few.) “I am one of the few, and they were seven.” The chains of these reports narrated from Ibn `Abbas, which say that they were seven, are Sahih, and this is in accordance with what we have stated above.

(So debate not except with the clear proof.) meaning, gently and politely, for there is not a great deal to be gained from knowing about that.

(And consult not any of them (about the people of the Cave).) meaning, `They do not have any knowledge about it except what they make up, guessing at the unseen; they have no evidence from an infallible source. But Allah has sent you, O Muhammad, with the truth in which there is no doubt or confusion, which is to be given priority over all previous books and sayings.’

(23. And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.”) (24. Except (with the saying), “If Allah wills!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me to a nearer way of truth than this.”)

Saying “If Allah wills” when determining to do Something in the Future

Here Allah, may He be glorified, shows His Messenger the correct etiquette when determining to do something in the future; this should always be referred to the will of Allah, the Knower of the Unseen, Who knows what was and what is yet to be and what is not to be, and how it will be if it is to be. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:

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(Sulayman bin Dawud (peace be upon them both) said: “Tonight I will go around to seventy women ﴿according to some reports, it was ninety or one hundred women﴾ so that each one of them will give birth to a son who will fight for the sake of Allah.” It was said to him, ﴿according to one report, the angel said to him﴾ “Say: `If Allah wills'”, but he did not say it. He went around to the women but none of them gave birth except for one who gave birth to a half-formed child.) The Messenger of Allah said, (By the One in Whose hand is my soul, had he said, “If Allah wills,” he would not have broken his oath, and that would have helped him to attain what he wanted. ) According to another report, (They would all have fought as horsemen in the cause of Allah.) At the beginning of this Surah we discussed the reason why this Ayah was revealed: when the Prophet was asked about the story of the people of the Cave, he said, “I will tell you tomorrow.” Then the revelation was delayed for fifteen days. Since we discussed this at length at the beginning of the Surah, there is no need to repeat it here.

(And remember your Lord when you forget) It was said that this means, if you forget to say “If Allah wills”, then say it when you remember. This was the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Hushaym reported from Al-A`mash from Mujahid that concerning a man who swears an oath, Ibn `Abbas said “He may say `If Allah wills’ even if it is a year later.” Ibn `Abbas used to interpret this Ayah:

(And remember your Lord when you forget) in this way. Al-A`mash was asked, “Did you hear this from Mujahid” He said, “Layth bin Abi Salim told it to me.” The meaning of Ibn `Abbas’ view, that a person may say “If Allah wills”, even if it is a year later, is that if he forgets to say it when he makes the oath or when he speaks, and he remembers it later, even a year later, the Sunnah is that he should say it, so that he will still be following the Sunnah of saying “If Allah wills”, even if that is after breaking his oath. This was also the view of Ibn Jarir, but he stated that this does not make up for breaking the oath or mean that one is no longer obliged to offer expiation. What Ibn Jarir said is correct, and it is more appropriate to understand the words of Ibn Abbas in this way. And Allah knows best.

(And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.” Except (with the saying), “If Allah wills!” And remember your Lord when you forget) At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that this meant saying, “If Allah wills.”

(and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me to a nearer way of truth than this.”) meaning, `if you (O Prophet) are asked about something you know nothing about, ask Allah about it, and turn to Him so that He may guide you to what is right.’ And Allah knows best.

(25. And they stayed in their cave three hundred years, adding nine.) (26. Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is the unseen of the heavens and the earth.” How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him, and He makes none to share in His decision and His rule.)

The Length of their Stay in the Cave

Here Allah tells His Messenger the length of time the people of the Cave spent in their cave, from the time when He caused them to sleep until the time when He resurrected them and caused the people of that era to find them. The length of time was three hundred plus nine years in lunar years, which is three hundred years in solar years. The difference between one hundred lunar years and one hundred solar years is three years, which is why after mentioning three hundred, Allah says, `adding nine.’

(Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed…”) `If you are asked about how long they stayed, and you have no knowledge of that and no revelation from Allah about it, then do not say anything. Rather say something like this:

(Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the Unseen of the heavens and the earth.)” meaning, no one knows about that except Him, and whoever among His creatures He chooses to tell. What we have said here is the view of more than one of the scholars of Tafsir, such as Mujahid and others among the earlier and later generations.

(And they stayed in their cave three hundred years,) Qatadah said, this was the view of the People of the Book, and Allah refuted it by saying:

(Say: “Allah knows best how long they stayed…”) meaning, that Allah knows better than what the people say. This was also the view of Mutarraf bin `Abdullah. However, this view is open to debate, because when the People of the Book said that they stayed in the cave for three hundred years, without the extra nine, they were referring to solar years, and if Allah was merely narrating what they had said, He would not have said,

(adding nine.) The apparent meaning of the Ayah is that Allah is stating the facts, not narrating what was said. This is the view of Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him). And Allah knows best.

(How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)!) He sees them and hears them. Ibn Jarir said, “The language used is an eloquent expression of praise.” The phrase may be understood to mean, how much Allah sees of everything that exists and how much He hears of everything that is to be heard, for nothing is hidden from Him! It was narrated that Qatadah commented on this Ayah:

(How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)!) “No one hears or sees more than Allah.”

(They have no protector other than Him, and He makes none to share in His decision and His rule.) meaning, He, may He be glorified, is the One Who has the power to create and to command, the One Whose ruling cannot be overturned; He has no adviser, supporter or partner, may He be exalted and hallowed.

(27. And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad) of your Lord’s Book. None can change His Words, and none will you find as refuge other than Him.) (28. And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, and who follows his own lusts, and whose affair has been lost.)

The Command to recite the Qur’an and to patiently keep Company with the Believers

Commanding His Messenger to recite His Holy Book and convey it to mankind, Allah says,

(None can change His Words,) meaning, no one can alter them, distort them or misinterpret them.

(and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.) It was reported that Mujahid said, “A shelter,” and that Qatadah said, “A helper or supporter.” Ibn Jarir said: “Allah is saying, `if you O Muhammad, do not recite what is revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, then you will have no refuge from Allah.”’ As Allah says:

(O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind.)﴿5:67﴾

(Verily, He Who has given you the Qur’an, will surely bring you back to the place of return.) ﴿28:85﴾ meaning, `He will call you to account for the duty of conveying the Message which He entrusted you with. ‘

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face;) meaning, sit with those who remember Allah, who say “La Ilaha Illallah”, who praise Him, glorify Him, declare His greatness and call on Him, morning and evening, all the servants of Allah, whether rich or poor, strong or weak. It was said that this was revealed about the nobles of Quraysh when they asked the Prophet to sit with them on his own, and not to bring his weak Companions with him, such as Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab and Ibn Mas`ud. They wanted him to sit with them on his own, but Allah forbade him from doing that, and said,

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Allah commanded him to patiently content himself with sitting with those people (the weak believers), and said:

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon…) Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas who said: “There was a group of six of us with the Prophet . The idolators said, `Tell these people to leave so they will not offend us.’ There was myself, Ibn Mas`ud, a man from Hudayl, Bilal and two other men whose names I have forgotten. Allah’s Messenger thought to himself about whatever Allah willed he should think about, then Allah revealed:

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Only Muslim reported this; excluding Al-Bukhari.

(and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world;) Ibn `Abbas said, `(this means) do not favor others over them, meaning do not seek the people of nobility and wealth instead of them.’

(and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance) means, those who are distracted by this world from being committed to the religion and from worshipping their Lord.

(and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.) means, his actions and deeds are a foolish waste of time. Do not obey him or admire his way or envy what he has. As Allah says elsewhere:

(And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.) ﴿20:131﴾

(29. And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the wrongdoers, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil Murtafaq!)

The Truth is from Allah, and the Punishment of Those Who do not believe in it

Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad : “Say to the people, `What I have brought to you from your Lord is the truth, in which there is no confusion or doubt.”’

(Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.) This is a type of threat and stern warning, after which Allah says,

(Verily, We have prepared), meaning made ready,

(for the wrongdoers,) meaning those who disbelieve in Allah, His Messenger and His Book,

(a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.) Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn `Abbas said,

(a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.) “A wall of fire.”

(And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces.) Ibn `Abbas said; “Al-Muhl is thick water which is similar to the sediment in oil.” Mujahid said, “It is like blood and pus.” `Ikrimah said, “It is the thing that is heated to the ultimate temperature.” Others said: “It is everything that is melted.” Qatadah said, “Ibn Mas`ud melted some gold in a grove, and when it became liquid and foam rose to the top, he said, this is the thing that is most like Al-Muhl.” Ad-Dahhak said: “The water of Hell is black, and it itself is black and its people are black.” There is nothing contradictory in these comments, for Al-Muhl includes all of these unpleasant characteristics, it is black, evil-smelling, thick and hot, as Allah said,

(﴿it﴾ will scald their faces.) meaning because of its heat. When the disbeliever wants to drink it and brings it close to his face, it will scald it so that the skin of his face falls off into it. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “When the people of Hell get hungry, they will ask for relief from it, and they will be given the tree of Zaqqum from which they will eat. The tree will tear off the skin of their faces, and if anyone who knew them were to pass by, he would recognize the skin of their faces in the tree. Then they will feel thirsty, so they will ask for drink, and they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that is what has been heated to the ultimate temperature. When it is brought near their mouths, the flesh of their faces from which the skin has been torn off will be baked.” After describing this drink in these horrifying qualities, Allah says:

(Terrible is the drink,) meaning, how awful this drink is. Similarly, He says in another Ayah:

(and be given to drink boiling water so that it cuts up their bowels.) ﴿47:15﴾

(They will be given to drink from a boiling spring.) ﴿88:5﴾

(They will go between it (Hell) and the fierce boiling water.) ﴿55:44﴾

(and an evil Murtafaq!) means, how evil a place is the Fire to dwell and rest and gather. As Allah says elsewhere:

(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.) ﴿25:66﴾

(30. Verily, as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone to be lost who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner.) (31. These! For them will be Jannatu `Adn; wherein rivers flow beneath them; therein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of Sundus and Istabraq. They will be Muttaki’in therein on Ara’ik. How good is the reward, and what an excellent Murtafaq!)

The Reward of those Who believe and do Righteous Deeds

When Allah mentions the state of those who are doomed, He follows that by mentioning the blessed who believed in Allah and believed what His Messengers brought, those who did the righteous deeds that they commanded them to do. They will have Jannatu `Adn. `Adn means lasting.

(wherein rivers flow beneath them,) means, from beneath its rooms and dwellings. Fir`awn said:

(and these rivers flowing beneath me…) ﴿43:51﴾

(they will be adorned) means, with jewelry.

(with bracelets of gold,) Allah says elsewhere:

(and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk) ﴿22:23﴾. This is explained in more detail here, where Allah says:

(and they will wear green garments of Sundus and Istabraq.) Sundus refers to a fine garment, like a shirt and the like, and Istabraq is thick and shiny velvet.

(They will be Muttaki’in therein on Ara’ik.) The word Muttaki’in implies lying down, or it was said that it means sitting with one’s legs crossed, which is closer to the meaning here. In a Sahih Hadith, the Prophet said:

(As for me, I do not eat sitting with legs crossed (Muttaki’an)). Ara’ik is the plural of Arikah, which is a bed under a canopy. And Allah knows best.

(How good is the reward, and what an excellent place of rest (Murtafaq)!) means, how blessed is Paradise as a reward for their good deeds. And what an excellent Murtafaq means, and how good a place to dwell and rest and stay. Previously, Allah had said of Hell,

(Terrible is the drink, and an evil place of rest (Murtafaq)!) ﴿18:29﴾. In a similar way, He contrasts the two (Paradise and Hell) in Surat Al-Furqan, where He says:

(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) ﴿25:66﴾. Then He mentions the qualities of the believers, then says:

(Those will be rewarded with the highest place because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. Abiding therein excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) ﴿25:75-76﴾

(32. And put forward to them the example of two men: unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields).) (33. Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of both.) (34. And he had Thamar, and he said to his companion in the course of discussion: “I am greater than you in wealth and have a mightier entourage.”) (35. And he went into his garden while having been unjust to himself. He said: “I do not think that this will ever perish.”) (36. “And I do not think the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I surely, shall find better than this when I return to Him.”)

The Example of the Rich Idolators and the Poor Muslims

After mentioning the idolators who were too arrogant to sit with the poor and weak among Muslims, showing off before them with their wealth and noble lineage, Allah then gives a parable for them of two men, one of whom Allah gave two gardens of grapes, surrounded with palm trees and cultivated with crops throughout. All of the trees and plants were abundantly fruitful, providing readily accessible, good quality produce. Allah says:

(Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce,) meaning, produced its fruits,

(and failed not in the least therein,) meaning, nothing at all was diminishing.

(and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of both.) means, rivers were flowing through them here and there.

(And he had Thamar,) It was said that what was meant here was wealth, and it was said that what was meant were fruits, which is the more apparent meaning here. This is also supported by the alternative recitation, Thumr, which is the plural of Thamrah (fruit) just as Khushb is the plural of Khashab (wood). Others recite it as Thamar.

(and he said) the owner of the two gardens

(to his companion in the course of discussion) means, while he was disputing with him and boasting to him and showing off,

(I am greater than you in wealth and have a mightier entourage.) meaning, `I have more servants, attendants and children.’ Qatadah said, “This, by Allah, is the wish of the immoral to have a lot of wealth and a large entourage. R

(And he went into his garden having been unjust to himself.) meaning, in his disbelief, rebellion, arrogance and denial of the Hereafter.

(He said: “I do not think this will ever perish.”) Thus he was allowing himself to be deceived because of the plants, fruits and trees that he saw, and the rivers flowing through the different parts of his gardens. He thought that it could never come to an end or cease or be destroyed. This was because of his lack of understanding and the weakness of his faith in Allah, and because he was enamored with this world and its adornments, and because he disbelieved in the Hereafter. So he said:

(“And I do not think the Hour will ever come…”) meaning, will ever happen

(and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him.) meaning, `if there is a Hereafter and a return to Allah, then I will have a better share than this with my Lord, for if it were not that I am dear to Him, He would not have given me all this.’ As Allah says elsewhere:

(But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him.) ﴿41:50﴾

(Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: “I shall certainly be given wealth and children ﴿if I will be alive again).”)﴿19:77﴾ He took it for granted that Allah would give him this, without any sound evidence for that. The reason why this Ayah was revea- led was because of Al-`As bin Wa’il, as we will explain in the appropriate place, if Allah wills. In Allah we put our trust.

(37. His companion said to him during his discussion: “Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust, then out of Nutfah, then fashioned you into a man”) (38. “But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord, and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord.”) (39. “It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!’ If you see me less than you in wealth, and children,”) (40. “It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and will send on it Husban from the sky, then it will be as a barren slippery earth.”) (41. “Or the water thereof becomes Ghawran so that you will never be able to seek it.”)

The Response of the Poor Believer

Allah tells us how the rich man’s believing companion replied to him, warning and rebuking him for his disbelief in Allah and allowing himself to be deceived.

(Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust…) This is a denunciation, pointing out the seriousness of his rejection of his Lord Who created and formed man out of dust — that is, refering to Adam — then made his offspring from despised liquid, as Allah says:

(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life) ﴿2:28﴾ meaning, how can you reject your Lord and His clear signs to you, which every one recognizes in himself, for there is no one among His creatures who does not know that he was nothing, then he came to be, and his existence is not due to himself or any other creature. He knows that his existence is due to his Creator, beside Whom there is no other god, the Creator of all things. So the believer said:

(But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord,) meaning, `I do not say what you say; rather I acknowledge the Oneness and Lordship of Allah,’

(and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord. ) meaning, He is Allah, the One Who is to be worshipped Alone, with no partner or associate. Then he said:

(It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!’ If you see me less than you in wealth, and children.) Here he was urging and encouraging him to say that, as if he was saying, “When you entered your garden and looked at it and liked it, why would’nt you praise Allah for the blessings He gave you and the wealth and children that He has given to you and not to others Why did you not say `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!”’ One of the Salaf said, “Whoever is delighted with something in his circumstances or his wealth or his children, let him say, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!”’ This is based on this Ayah. It was reported in the Sahih from Abu Musa that the Messenger of Allah said:

(Shall I not tell you about some of the treasure of Paradise La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no power or might but with Allah).)

(It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, ) in the Hereafter

(and will send on it) on your garden in this world, which you think will never come to an end or cease to be,

(Husban from the sky,) Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said — and Malik narrated that Az-Zuhri said — a punishment from heaven. The apparent meaning is that it is a mighty rain which would disrupt his garden and uproot its plants and trees. As he said:

(then it will be as a barren slippery earth.) meaning, smooth mud in which one cannot get a foothold. Ibn `Abbas said, “Like land without vegetation, where nothing grows.”

(Or the water thereof becomes Ghawran) means, it disappears into the earth, which is the opposite of flowing water that seeks the surface of the earth. So Gha’ir is to go lower. as Allah says:

(Say: “Tell me! If your water were Ghawran, who then can supply you with flowing water”) ﴿67: 30﴾ meaning, water that flows in all directions. And here Allah says:

(Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it.) Ghawr is from the same root as Gha’ir and has a similar meaning, but is more intensive.

(42. So his fruits were encircled (with ruin). And began Yuqallibu his hands over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, and he could only say: “Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!”) (43. And he had no group of men to help him against Allah, nor could he defend (or save) himself.) (44. There (on the Day of Resurrection), Al-Walayah will be for Allah (Alone), the True God. He (Allah) is the best for reward and the best for the final end.)

The Evil Results of Kufr

Allah says:

(So his fruits were encircled), meaning his wealth, or according to the other opinion, his crops. What is meant is that what this disbeliever was afraid of and what the believer had terrified him actually had happened. A storm struck his garden, a garden which he had erroneously thought would last forever, distracting him from thoughts of Allah, may He be glorified.

(And he began Yuqallibu his hands over what he had spent upon it,) Qatadah said: “He was clasping his hands together in a gesture of regret and grief for the wealth he had lost.”

(and he could only say: “Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!” And he had no group of men) meaning a clan or children, as he had vainly boasted,

(to help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself. There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) Here there are differences in recitation. Some of the reciters pause at the word there,

(nor could he defend himself there. ), i.e., at that time, when Allah sends the punishment upon him, there will be no one to save him. Then they start the next phrase with Al-Walayah;

(Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) Some of them pause at the phrase

(nor could he defend himself) and start the next phrase;

(There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) There is a further difference in the recitation of the word Al-Walayah. Some read it as Al-Walayah, which gives the meaning that all allegiance will be to Allah, i.e., on that Day everyone, believer or disbeliever, will return to Allah, for allegiance and submission to Him when the punishment comes to pass. This is like the Ayah:

(So when they saw Our punishment, they said: “We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as partners.”) ﴿40:84﴾ and Allah says concerning the Fir`awn;

(Till when drowning overtook him, he said: “I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims.” Now! While you refused to believe before and you were one of the mischief-makers.) ﴿10:90-91﴾ Some others read it as Al-Wilayah, meaning that on that Day the rule will belong to Allah, the True God. Some read Haqqu (True) refering to Al-Wilayah, as in the Ayah;

(The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty), belonging to the Most Gracious (Allah), and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers) ﴿25:26﴾. Others it read Haqqi referring to Allah, may He be glorified, as in the Ayah:

(Then they are returned to Allah, their True Protector.) ﴿6:62﴾ So Allah says:

(He (Allah) is the best to reward and the best for the final end.) for deeds that were done for the sake of Allah, their reward is good and their consequences are all good.

(45. And mention the parable of the worldly life: it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is able to do everything.) (46. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for reward and better for hope.)

The Parable of the Worldly Life

Allah says:

(And mention) O Muhammad, to the people,

(the parable of the worldly life), its transient nature and how it will eventually cease and come to an end.

(it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it,) It mingles with the seeds that are in the earth, so they grow and become good, producing bright, fresh flowers, then after that,

(it becomes dry and broken pieces,) withered up,

(which the winds scatter.) tossing them about right and left.

(And Allah is able to do everything) He has the power to do this and that. In the Qur’an Allah often gives parables like this of the life of this world, as He says in Surah Yunus,

(The parable of the worldly life is but that of water which We send down from the sky so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat. ..) ﴿10:24﴾ and in Surat Az-Zumar:

s(See you not that Allah sends down water from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, then out from it comes crops of different colors.) ﴿39:21﴾ and in Surat Al-Hadid:

(Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) like the parable of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller…) ﴿57:20﴾ and in the Sahih Hadith:

(This world is sweet and green.)

Between Wealth and Good Deeds

(Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.) This is like the Ayah:

(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, vaulted hoards of gold…) ﴿3:14﴾. Allah says:

(Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).) ﴿64:15﴾ turning towards Allah and worshipping Him is better for you than keeping busy with them, and accumulating wealth for them and going to extremes in feeling pity and compassion for them. Allah says:

(But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for reward and better for hope.) Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others among the Salaf said that the good righteous deeds that last are the five daily prayers. `Ata’ bin Abi Rabah and Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas, “The good righteous deeds that last are `Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah)’, `Al-Hamdu Lillah (praise be to Allah)’, `La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah)’, and `Allahu Akbar (Allah is Most Great).'” The Commander of the faithful, `Uthman bin `Affan was questioned, “Which are the good righteous deeds that last” He replied, “They are: `La ilaha illallah, Subhan Allah, Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allahu Akbar and La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah hil-`Aliyil-`Azim (there is no strength and no power except with Allah the Exalted, the Almighty).”’ This was recorded by Imam Ahmad. Imam Ahmad also recorded from a freed slave of the Messenger of Allah that he said:

(Well done! Well done for five things! (How heavy they will weigh in the balance! “La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, and Al-Hamdu Lillah,” and a righteous son who dies and his parents seek the reward of Allah.) And he said: (Well done! Well done for five things! Whoever meets Allah believing in them, he will enter Paradise; if he believes in Allah, the Last Day, Paradise and Hell, resurrection after death, and the Reckoning).

(the good righteous deeds that last, ) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, “This is the celebration of the remembrance of Allah, saying `La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, Al-Hamdu Lillah, Tabarak Allah, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah, Astaghfirallah, Sallallahu `ala Rasul-Allah’, and fasting, prayer, Hajj, Sadaqah (charity), freeing slaves, Jihad, maintaining ties of kinship, and all other good deeds. These are the righteous good deeds that last, which will remain in Paradise for those who do them for as long as heaven and earth remain.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas: “They are good words.” `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, “They are all righteous deeds.” This was also the view chosen by Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him.

(47. And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away, and you will see the earth as a levelled plain, and We shall gather them so that We will leave not one of them behind. ) (48. And they will be set before your Lord, aligned. (He will say:) “Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time. Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us).”) (49. And the Book will be produced, and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is therein. They will say: “Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a large thing, but has recorded it with numbers!” And they will find all that they did, present, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.)

The Major Terrors of the Hour

Allah tells us of the terrors of the Day of Resurrection, and the awesome things that will come to pass, as He says elsewhere:

(On the Day when the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking, And the mountains pass moving away.) ﴿52:9-10﴾ meaning, they will move from their places and will vanish. As Allah says:

(And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds.) ﴿27:88﴾

(And the mountains will be like carded wool.) ﴿101:5﴾

(And they ask you about the mountains, say: “My Lord will pulverize them scattering ﴿their dust﴾. To leave them as a barren plain. You will not see in it crookness or curve.) ﴿20:105-107﴾ Allah tells us that He will cause the mountains to vanish and be levelled, and the earth will be left as a smooth plain, a level surface with nothing crooked or curved therein, no valleys or mountains. So Allah says:

(and you will see the earth as a levelled plain, ) meaning clear and open, with no features that anyone may recognize and nothing for anyone to hide behind. All creatures will be visible to their Lord, and not one of them will be hidden from Him. Mujahid and Qatadah said,

(and you will see the earth as a levelled plain,) “No one will be hidden or absent.” Qatadah said, “There will be no buildings and no trees.”

(and we shall gather them, so that We will not leave one of them behind.) means, `We shall gather them all, the first of them and the last of them, and We shall not leave anyone behind, young or old.’ As Allah says:

(Say: “(yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed meeting of a known Day.) ﴿56:49,50﴾

(That is a Day whereon mankind will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all will be present) ﴿11:103﴾.

(And they will be set before your Lord, aligned.) This may mean that all of creation will stand before Allah in one row, as Allah says:

(The Day that Ar-Ruh (Jibril) and the angels will stand aligned, they will not speak except him whom the Most Gracious (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right) ﴿78:38﴾; or it may mean that they will stand in rows, as Allah says:

(And your Lord comes with the angels in rows.) ﴿89:22﴾

(Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time.) This is a rebuke to those who denied the Hereafter, a reprimand before all creation. This is why Allah says to them:

(Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us).), meaning, you did not think that this would happen to you or that it would come to pass.

(And the Book will be produced,) the Book of deeds, which contains a record of everything, major or minor, significant or insignificant, great or small.

(and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is therein.) of their evil deeds and reprehensible actions.

(They will say, “Woe to us!”) expressing words of regret for having wasted their lives.

(What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a large thing, but has recorded it with numbers!) it has left no sin, major or minor, and no action, no matter how small, but it has recorded it with the utmost precision and accuracy.

(And they will find all that they did, present,) everything, both good and evil, as Allah says,

(On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done) ﴿3:30﴾. Allah says:

(On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind.) ﴿75:13﴾ And Allah says:

(The Day when all the secrets will be exposed. ) ﴿86:9﴾ meaning, everything that is hidden in people’s hearts will become known. Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas that the Prophet said,

(Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection, by which he will be known.) It was also narrated in the Two Sahihs, where one narration says,

(On the Day of Resurrection, for every traitor a banner will be erected by his backside, and it will be said, “This is the betrayer of so-and-so the son of so-and-so.”)

(and your Lord treats no one with injustice.) means, He will judge between His creatures for all of their deeds, and He will not treat any of His creatures with injustice. He will overlook and forgive and have mercy, and He will punish whomever He wills by His power, wisdom and justice. He will fill Hell with the disbelievers and those who have been disobedient. Then He will rescue the disobedient, and leave the disbelievers there for eternity. He is the Judge Who never wrongs or oppresses. Allah says:

(Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it.) ﴿4:40﴾

(And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything.) Until His saying;

(to take account) ﴿21:47﴾ And there are many similar Ayat. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin `Aqil heard Jabir bin `Abdullah say, “I was told about a Hadith which a man heard from the Prophet , so I bought a camel and put my saddle on it, then I traveled on it for a month until I came to Ash-Sham, where `Abdullah bin Unays was. I said to the doorkeeper, `Tell him that Jabir is at the door.’ He said, `Jabir bin `Abdullah’ I said, `Yes.’ So he came out, still putting his garment on, and embraced me, and I embraced him, and said: `I heard a Hadith narrated by you, that you heard from the Messenger of Allah about reciprocal punishments. I was afraid that you or I would die before I could hear it.’ He said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

(Allah will gather the people — or His servants — on the Day of Resurrection, naked, uncircumcised and Buhman.) I asked, `What is Buhman’ He said,

(They will have nothing with them. Then a voice will call out to them that will be heard by those far away just as easily as it will be heard by those near: “I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. None of the people of Hell should enter Hell if he is owed something by one of the people of Paradise, until I have settled the matter, and none of the people of Paradise should enter Paradise if he is owed something by one of the people of Hell, until I settle the matter — even if it is only the case of a slap.”) We said, `How will that be, when we have come before Allah barefooted, naked, uncircumcised and having nothing with us’ He said,

(By ﴿merit for﴾ good deeds, and ﴿recompense﴾ for evil deeds.) Shu`bah narrated from Al-`Awwam bin Muzahim from Abu `Uthman from `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said:

(The animal who lost a horn will settle the score with the one that has horns on the Day of Resurrection.) It was recorded by `Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad, and there are corroborating narrations through other routes.

(50. And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.” So they prostrated themselves, except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn; he disobeyed the command of his Lord. Will you then take him and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers.)

The Story of Adam and Iblis

Allah points out to the Children of Adam the enmity of Iblis towards them and their father before them, and rebukes those who follow him and go against their Creator and Master. It is He who created them from nothing and sustains and nourishes them by His kindness, yet they still took Iblis as their friend and declared their enmity towards Allah. So Allah says:

(And (remember) when We said to the angels), meaning all the angels, as was mentioned in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah.

(Prostrate yourselves unto Adam) a prostration of respect and honour, as Allah says:

(And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.) ﴿15:28-29﴾

(So they prostrated themselves except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn;) meaning, his original nature betrayed him. He had been created from smokeless fire, whereas the angels had been created from light, as is stated in Sahih Muslim where it is reported that `A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

(The angels were created from light, Iblis was created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.) When matters are crucial, every vessel leaks that which it contains and is betrayed by its true nature. Iblis used to do what the angels did and resembled them in their devotion and worship, so he was included when they were addressed, but he disobeyed and went against what he was told to do. So Allah points out here that he was one of the Jinn, i.e., he was created from fire, as He says elsewhere:

(I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.)﴿38:76﴾ Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Iblis was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of the Jinn just as Adam, upon him be peace, was the origin of mankind.” This was narrated by Ibn Jarir with a Sahih chain.

(he disobeyed the command of his Lord. ) meaning by stepping beyond the bounds of obedience to Allah. Fisq (disobeying) implies going out or stepping beyond. When the date emerges from its flower, the verb used in Arabic is Fasaqat; the same verb is used to describe a mouse coming out of its hole when it comes out to do damage. Then Allah says, rebuking those who follow and obey Iblis:

(Will you then take him and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me) meaning, instead of Me. This is why Allah says:

(What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers.) This is like the Ayah in Surah Ya Sin where, after mentioning the Resurrection and its terrors, and the ultimate end of the blessed and the doomed, Allah then says:

((It will be said): “And O you the criminals! Get you apart this Day (from the believers).) until;

(Did you not then understand) 36:59-62

(51. They did not witness the creation of the heavens and the earth nor their own creation, nor did I take those who mislead as `Adudan.)

The gods of the Idolators did not witness the Creation of anything, not even Themselves

Allah says: `These whom you take as helpers instead of Me are creatures just like you. They do not possess anything and did not witness the creation of heaven and earth, because they did not exist at that time.’ Allah says, `I am the One Who independently and exclusively creates and controls all things, and I have no partner, associate or advisor in that.’ As Allah says:

(Say: “Call upon those you claim besides Allah, they possess not even a speck of dust in the heavens or on the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor is there for Him any assistant among them. Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits.) ﴿34:22-23﴾ Similarly Allah says here:

(nor did I take those who mislead as `Adudan.) Malik said: “Assistants.”

(52. And (remember) the Day He will say: “Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you claimed.” Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put Mawbiq between them.) (53. And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from it.)

Their Partners are not able to respond and the Criminals are brought to the Fire

Allah tells us how He will address the idolators on the Day of Resurrection before all of creation, rebuking and scolding them,

(Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you claimed.) meaning, in the world. Call them today to save you from the situation you are in! Allah says:

(And truly, you have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time. You have left what you were given behind your backs and We do see not with you your intercessors whom you claimed were your partners. Now all relations between you and them have been cut off, and all that you used to claim has vanished from you.) ﴿6:94﴾

(Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them.) As Allah says:

(And it will be said (to them): “Call upon those partners of yours,” then they will call upon them, but they will not answer them.) ﴿28: 64﴾ And the Ayah:

(And who is more astray than one who calls others besides Allah, such as will not answer him) ﴿46:5﴾ Until the end of the two Ayat;

(And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they may grant them honor. Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.) ﴿19:81-82﴾

(and We shall put Mawbiq between them.) Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and others said: “Destruction.” The meaning is that Allah is stating that these idolators will have no way of reaching the gods they claimed in this world. He will separate them in the Hereafter and neither party will have any means of reaching the other. There will be devastation, great horrors and other terrible things in between them. `Abdullah bin `Amr understood the pronoun in the phrase “between them” to refer to the believers and the disbelievers, meaning that the people of guidance and the people of misguidance will be separated. This then is like the Ayat:

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established — that Day shall (all men) be separated. ) ﴿30:14﴾

(On that Day men shall be divided.) ﴿30:43﴾,

((It will be said), “And O you the criminals! Get you apart this Day (from the believers).) ﴿36:59﴾

(And on the Day when We shall gather them all together, then We shall say to those who joined partners, “Stop in your place! You and your partners.” Then We shall separate between them…) until,

(And what they invented will vanish from them.) ﴿10:28-30﴾

(And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from it.) meaning when they see Hell with their own eyes, since it is being dragged forth by seventy thousand reins, each pulled by seventy thousand angels. When,

(the criminals shall see the Fire), they will realize that they cannot escape being thrown into it, and that will only intesify their anxiety and distress, because the anticipation and fear of punishment is in itself a real punishment.

(And they will find no way of escape from it.) means, they will have no way of fleeing, it will be inevitable.

(54. And indeed We have given every kind of example in this Qur’an for mankind. But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.)

Examples put forth in the Qur’an

Allah says, `In this Qur’an, We have explained to mankind and given clear details of matters so that they will not stray from the truth or be misled from the path of guidance. Despite this explanation, man is very quarrelsome and opposes truth with falsehood,’ except for those whom Allah guides to the path of salvation. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said that the Messenger of Allah came to visit him and Fatimah, the daughter of Allah’s Messenger at night, and said,

(Are you not going to pray) I said, “O Messenger of Allah, our souls are in the Hand of Allah. If He wills to wake us, He will wake us.” When I said that, he went away without returning. Then I heard him as he was walking away, slapping his thigh and saying,

(But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.)” It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

(55. And nothing prevents men from believing, while the guidance has come to them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them, or the torment be brought to them face to face.) (56. And We send not the Messengers except as bearers of good news and warners. But those who disbelieve, argue with falsehood, in order to refute the truth thereby. And they take My Ayat and that which they are warned for jest!)

The Rebellion of the Disbelievers

Allah tells us about the rebellion of the disbelievers in ancient times and in more recent times, and how they rejected the obvious truth even when they witnessed clear signs and proofs. Nothing stopped them from following the truth except their demand to witness with their own eyes the punishment which they were being warned about. As some of them said to their Prophet:

(So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!) ﴿26:187﴾, Others said:

(Bring Allah’s torment upon us if you are one of the truthful.) ﴿29:29﴾ The Quraysh said:

(O Allah! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring upon us a painful torment.) ﴿8:32﴾

(And they say: “O you to whom the Reminder has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man! Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful”) ﴿15:6-7﴾. There are other Ayat refering to the same thing. Then Allah says:

(except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them,) meaning, their overwhelming punishment, destroying every last one of them.

(or the torment be brought to them face to face.) they see it with their own eyes, being directly confronted with it. Then Allah says:

(And We send not the Messengers except as bearers of good news and warners.) before the punishment they give good news to those who believe in them and follow them, and warnings to those who reject them and oppose them. Then Allah tells us about the disbelievers who argue:

(with falsehood, in order to refute the truth thereby.) they try to weaken the truth that the Messengers brought, but they cannot achieve that.

(And they take My Ayat and that which they are warned for jest!) they take the proof, evidence and miracles sent with the Messengers to warn them, and make them fear the punishment;

(as a jest and mockery) and they make fun of them, which is the worst type of disbelief.

(57. And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (signs) of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting what his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set over their hearts Akinnah, lest they should understand this (the Qur’an), and in their ears, deafness. And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.) (58. And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.) (59. And these towns, We destroyed them when they did wrong. And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.)

The Worst People are Those Who turn away after being reminded

Allah says, `Who among My creatures does more wrong than one who is reminded of the signs of Allah then turns away from them,’ i.e., ignores them and does not listen or pay attention to them.

(forgetting what his hands have sent forth.) means, bad deeds and evil actions.

(Truly, We have set over their hearts) means, the hearts of these people,

(Akinnah) means, coverings.

(lest they should understand this,) means, so that they will not understand this Qur’an and its clear Message

(and in their ears, deafness.) means that they will be deaf in an abstract way, to guidance.

(And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.)

(And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of mercy.) means, `your Lord, O Muhammad, is forgiving and has great mercy.’

(Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment.) This is like the Ayah:

(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth.) ﴿35:45﴾

(But verily, your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind in spite of their wrongdoing. And verily, your Lord is (also) severe in punishment) ﴿13:6﴾. And there are many Ayat which say the same thing. Then Allah tells us that He is patient, He conceals faults and forgives sins. He may guide some of them from wrongdoing to true guidance, and whoever continues in his evil ways, then there will come to him a Day when infants will turn grey and every pregnant female will shed her load. He says:

(But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.) meaning, they will find no way out.

(And these towns, We destroyed them when they did wrong.) This refers to earlier nations in times past; `We destroyed them because of their stubborn disbelief.’

(And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.) `We appointed for them a set time limit, not to be increased or decreased. The same applies to you, O ido- lators, so beware or what happened to them will happen to you too, for you have rejected the noblest Messenger and greatest Prophet, and you are not dearer to Us than them, so fear My punishment and wrath.’

(60. And (remember) when Musa said to his boy-servant: “I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or a Huqub passes.”) (61. But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) (62. So when they passed further on, Musa said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered Nasaban in this, our journey.”) (63. He said: “Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!”) (64. ﴿Musa﴾ said: “That is what we have been seeking.” So they went back retracing their footsteps.) (65. Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.)

The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr

The reason for Musa’s conversation with the boy-servant, Yusha` bin Nun, was that he had been told about one of the servants of Allah at the junction of the two seas, who had knowledge which Musa had not been granted, so he wanted to travel to meet him. So he said to that boy-servant of his:

(I will not give up) meaning, I will keep on traveling,

(until I reach the junction of the two seas) meaning, the place where the two seas met.

(or a Huqub passes.) meaning, even if I have to travel for a very long time. Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “Some of the scholars of the Arabic language said that Huqub means a year in the dialect of ﴿the tribe of﴾ Qays,” then he narrated that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, “Huqub means eighty years.” Mujahid said, “Seventy years.” `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that it means a lifetime. Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said likewise.

(But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish,) He had been commanded to carry a salted fish with him, and it had been said to him, when you lose the fish, that will be a sign that you have reached the right place. So they set out and traveled until they reached the junction of the two seas, where there was a spring called `Ayn Al-Hayat (the Spring of Life). They went to sleep there, and the fish felt the drops of that water, so it came back to life. It was in a vessel with Yusha`, upon him be peace, and it jumped out of the vessel towards the sea. Yusha` woke up and the fish fell into the water and started to swim through the water, leaving a track or channel behind it. Allah said:

(and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) meaning, like going through a tunnel on land. Ibn Jurayj said, “Ibn `Abbas said, `It left a trace as if it were a rock.'”

(So when they had passed further on,) means, past the place where they had forgotten the fish. Forgetfulness is attributed to them both even though it was actually Yusha` who forgot. This is like the Ayah:

(Out of them both come out pearl and coral.) ﴿55:22﴾, although they come from the salt water, according to one of the two opinions. When they had passed one stage beyond the place where they had forgotten the fish,

(﴿Musa﴾ said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered in this, our journey) meaning, their journey beyond the place where they should have stopped.

(Nasaban) means, exhaustion.

(He said: “Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it…”) Then he said,

(It took its course), meaning its path,

(“…into the sea in a strange (way)!” ﴿Musa﴾ said: “That is what we have been seeking.”) meaning, this is what we have been looking for.

(So they went back )

(their footsteps.)

(Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.) This was Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, as is indicated by the authentic Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah . Al-Bukhari recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “I said to Ibn `Abbas: `Nawf Al-Bikali claims that Musa, the companion of Al-Khidr was not the Musa of the Children of Israel.’ Ibn `Abbas said, `The enemy of Allah has told a lie.’ Ubayy bin Ka`b narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

(Musa got up to deliver a speech before the Children of Israel and he was asked, “Who is the most learned person among the people” Musa replied, “I am.” Allah rebuked him because he did not refer the knowledge to Allah. So Allah revealed to him: “At the junction of the two seas there is a servant of Ours who is more learned than you.” Musa asked, “O my Lord, how can I meet him” Allah said, “Take a fish and put it in a vessel and then set out, and where you lose the fish, you will find him.” So Musa took a fish, put it in a vessel and set out, along with his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, peace be upon him, till they reached a rock (on which) they both lay down their heads and slept. The fish moved vigorously in the vessel and got out of it and fell into the sea and there it took its way through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water on both sides of the way created by the fish, and so that way was like a tunnel. When Musa got up, his companion forgot to tell him about the fish, and so they carried on their journey during the rest of the day and the whole night. The next morning Musa said to his boy-servant, (“Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.”)

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Musa did not get tired till he had passed the place that Allah had ordered him to look for. His boy-servant then said to him, (“Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange way.”) There was a tunnel for the fish and Musa and his boy-servant were amazed. Musa said, (“That is what we have been seeking.” So they went back retracing their footsteps.”) So they went back retracing their steps until they reached the rock. There they found a man covered with a garment. Musa greeted him. Al-Khidr said, “Is there such a greeting in your land” Musa said, “I am Musa.” He said, “Are you the Musa of the Children of Israel” Musa said, “Yes,” and added, “I have come to you so that you may teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught.” Al-Khidr said, (“You will not be able to have patience with me.) O Musa! I have some of Allah’s knowledge which He has bestowed upon me but you do not know it; and you too, have some of Allah’s knowledge which He has bestowed upon you, but I do not know it.

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Musa said, (“If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.”) Al-Khidr said to him, (“Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.”) So they set out walking along the shore, until a boat passed by and they asked the crew to let them go on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr and allowed them to go on board free of charge. When they went on board, suddenly Musa saw that Al-Khidr had pulled out one of the planks of the ship with an adz. Musa said to him, “These people gave us a free ride, yet you have broken their boat so that its people will drown! Verily, you have done a terrible thing! (“Al-Khidr said, “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me”) (Musa said, “Call me not to account for what I forgot and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you). ”)) The Messenger of Allah said,

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(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise. Then a bird came and sat on the edge of the boat, dipping its beak once or twice in the sea. Al-Khidr said to Musa, “My knowledge and your knowledge, in comparison to Allah’s knowledge, is like what this bird has taken out of the sea.” Then they both disembarked from the boat, and while they were walking on the shore, Al-Khidr saw a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy’s head and pulled it off with his hands, killing him. Musa said to him, (“Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none! Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!” He said, “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me”)

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﴿The narrator﴾ said, “The second blame was stronger than the first one”. (Musa said, “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company; you have received an excuse from me.” Then they both proceeded until they came to the people of a town. They asked them for food but they refused to entertain them. (Then) they found there a wall on the point of falling down.) (Al-Khidr) set it up straight with his own hands. Musa said, “We came to these people, but they neither fed us nor received us as guests. (If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!” (Al-Khidr) said: “This is the parting between you and I. I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to be patient.”) The Messenger of Allah said:

(We wish that Musa was patient so that Allah would have told us more about both of them.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said: “Ibn `Abbas used to recite Ayah no. 79 (???????) (There was a king before them who seized every good-conditioned ship by force) and ﴿Ayah no 80﴾ (???????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ??????? ????????? ????????????) (As for the boy, he was a disbeliever and his parents were believers.) Then (in another narration) Al-Bukhari recorded a similar account which says:

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(…then Musa set out and with him was his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, and they had the fish with them. When they reached the rock, they camped there, and Musa lay down his head and slept. At the base of the rock there was a spring called Al-Hayat; its water never touched a thing but it brought it to life. Some of its water touched the fish, so it began to move and jumped out of the vessel and into the sea. When he woke up, Musa said to his boy-servant: (Bring us our morning meal.)) Then he quoted the rest of the Hadith. Then a bird came and perched on the edge of the ship, and dipped its beak in the sea, and Al-Khidr said to Musa, “My knowledge and your knowledge and the knowledge of all of creation, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is like what this bird has taken from the sea.” Then he mentioned the rest of the report.

(66. Musa said to him: “May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught (by Allah)”) (67. He said: “Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!”) (68. “And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not”) (69. Musa said: “If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.”) (70. He said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention of it to you.”)

Musa meeting with Al-Khidr and accompanying Him

Allah tells us what Musa said to that learned man, who was Al-Khidr. He was one to whom Allah had given knowledge that He had not given to Musa, just as He had given Musa knowledge that He had not given to Al-Khidr.

(Musa said to him: “May I follow you…”) This is a question phrased in gentle terms, with no sense of force or coercion. This is the manner in which the seeker of knowledge should address the scholar.

(I follow you) means, I accompany you and spend time with you.

(so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught) meaning, teach me something from that which Allah has taught you so that I may be guided by it and learn something beneficial and do righteous deeds. At this point,

(He said) meaning, Al-Khidr said to Musa,

(Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!) meaning, `You will not be able to accompany with me when you see me doing things that go against your law, because I have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught you, and you have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught me. Each of us has responsibilities before Allah that the other does not share, and you will not be able to stay with me,’

(And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not) `For I know that you will denounce me justifiably, but I have knowledge of Allah’s wisdom and the hidden interests which I can see but you cannot.’

(He said) meaning, Musa said:

(If Allah wills, you will find me patient,) with whatever I see of your affairs,

(and I will not disobey you in aught.) means, `I will not go against you in anything.’ At that point, Al-Khidr, upon him be peace, set a condition:

(Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything) do not initiate any discussion of the matter,

(till I myself mention of it to you. ) meaning, `until I initiate the discussion, before you ask me about it.’

(71. So they both proceeded, till, when they boarded the boat, he (Khidr) damaged it. Musa said: “Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.”) (72. He said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me”) (73. He said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”)

Damaging the Boat

Allah tells us that Musa and his companion Al-Khidr set out having come to an agreement and reached an understanding. Al-Khidr had made the condition that Musa should not ask him about anything he found distasteful until he himself initiated the discussion and offered an explanation. So they went on board the ship, as described in the Hadith quoted above — the crew recognized Al-Khidr and let them ride on board free of charge, as an honor to Al-Khidr. When the boat took them out to sea and they were far from the shore, Al-Khidr got up and damaged the boat, pulling out one of its planks and then patching it up again. Musa, peace be upon him, could not restrain himself from denouncing him, so he said:

(Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown) The grammatical structure of the sentence in Arabic implies that this was the consequence, not the purpose, of his action.

(Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.) About `Imr’, Mujahid said: “An evil thing.” Qatadah said, “An astounding thing.” At this point, reminding him of the previously-agreed condition, Al-Khidr said:

(Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me) meaning, `this thing that I did deliberately is one of the things I told you not to denounce me for, because you do not know the full story, and there is a reason and purpose for it that you do not know about.’

(He said), meaning, Musa said:

(Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).) meaning, `do not be harsh with me.’ Hence it says in the Hadith quoted above from the Messenger of Allah :

(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise.)

(74. Then they both proceeded till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him. Musa said: “Have you killed an innocent person without Nafs Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!”) (75. He said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me”) (76. He said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”)

The Story of killing the Boy

(Then they both proceeded,) means, after the first incident,

(till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him.) It has been stated previously that this boy was playing with other boys in one of the towns, and that Al-Khidr deliberately singled him out. He was the finest and most handsome of them all, and Al-Khidr killed him. When Musa, peace be upon him, saw that he denounced him even more fervently than in the first case, and said hastily:

(Have you killed an innocent person) meaning, a young person who had not yet committed any sin or done anything wrong, yet you killed him

(without Nafs) with no reason for killing him.

(Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!) meaning, something that is clearly evil.

(He said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me”) Once again, Al-Khidr reiterates the condition set in the first place, so Musa says to him:

(If I ask you anything after this,) meaning, `if I object to anything else you do after this,’

(keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.) `you have accepted my apology twice.’ Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn `Abbas that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: “Whenever the Prophet mentioned anyone, he would pray for himself first. One day he said:

(May the mercy of Allah be upon us and upon Musa. If he had stayed with his companion he would have seen wonders, but he said, (`If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.’))”

(77. Then they both proceeded till when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he set it up straight. (Musa) said: “If you had wished, surely you could have taken wages for it!”) (78. He said: “This is the parting between you and I, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were not able to be patient.”)

The Story of repairing the Wall Allah tells us that

(they both proceeded) after the first two instances,

(till when they came to the people of a town,) Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn Sirin that this was Al-Aylah. According to the Hadith;

(When they came there, the people of the town were mean.) i.e., miserly

(they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight.) means, he fixed it so it was standing upright properly. We have already seen in the Hadith quoted above that he set it up with his own hands, supporting it until it was standing straight again, which is something extraordinary. At this point Musa said to him:

(If you had wished, surely you could have taken wages for it!) meaning, because they did not entertain us as guests, you should not have worked for them for free.

(He said: “This is the parting between you and I) meaning, because you said after the boy was killed that if you asked me anything after that, you would not accompany me any further. So this is the parting of the ways between me and you.

(I will tell you the interpretation) meaning explanation,

(of (those) things over which you were not able to be patient.)

(79. “As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king behind them who seized every boat by force.”)

Interpretations of why the Ship was damaged

This is an explanation of what Musa found so hard to understand, and the appearence of which he condemed. Allah showed Al-Khidr the hidden reasons, so he said, “I damaged the ship to make it faulty, because they used to pass by a king who was one of the oppressors, who

(seized every boat), i.e., every good, sound boat

(by force.) `So I wanted to prevent him from taking this boat by making it appear faulty, so that its poor owners who had nothing else could benefit from it.’ It was also said that they were orphans.

(80. “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared he would oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.”) (81. “So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy.”)

Interpretation of why the Boy was killed

Ibn `Abbas narrated from Ubayy bin Ka`b that the Prophet said:

(The boy Al-Khidr killed was destined to be a disbeliever from the day he was created.) It was recorded by Ibn Jarir from Ibn `Abbas. He said:

(his parents were believers, and we feared he would oppress them by rebellion and disbelief) Their love for him might make them follow him in disbelief. Qatadah said, “His parents rejoiced when he was born and grieved for him when he was killed. If he had stayed alive, he would have been the cause of their doom. So let a man be content with the decree of Allah, for the decree of Allah for the believer, if he dislikes it, is better for him than if He were to decree something that he likes for him.” An authentic Hadith says;

(Allah does not decree anything for the believer except it is good for him.) And Allah says:

(and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you.) ﴿2:216﴾.

(So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy. ) A child who was better than this one, a child for whom they would feel more compassion. This was the view of Ibn Jurayj.

(82. “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not be patient.)

Interpretation of why the Wall was repaired for no Charge

In this Ayah there is a proof that the word Qaryah (village) may be used to refer to a city (Madinah), because Allah first says,

(till when they came to the people of a town (Qaryah)) ﴿18:77﴾, but here He says:

(it belonged to two orphan boys in the town (Al-Madinah);) This is like the Ayat:

(And many a town (Qaryah), stronger than your town which has driven you out We have destroyed) ﴿47:13﴾ and;

(And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Al-Qaryatayn)”)﴿43:31﴾ meaning Makkah and At-Ta’if. The meaning of the Ayah ﴿18:82﴾ is: “I repaired this wall because it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and underneath it was some treasure belonging to them.” `Ikrimah, Qatadah and others said, “Underneath it there was some wealth that was buried for them.” This meaning is apparent from the context of the Ayah, and is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him).

(their father was a righteous man,) indicates that a righteous person’s offspring will be taken care of, and that the blessing of his worship will extend to them in this world and in the Hereafter. This will occur through his intercession for them, as well as their status being raised to the highest levels of Paradise, so that he may find joy in them. This was stated in the Qur’an and reported in the Sunnah. Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas: “They were taken care of because their father was a righteous man, although it is not stated that they themselves were righteous.”

(your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure) Here will is attributed to Allah, the Exalted, because no one else is able to bring them to the age of full strength and puberty except Allah. In contrast, He said about the boy:

(So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness) and concerning the ship:

(So I wished to make a defective damage in it,) And Allah knows best.

Was Al-Khidr a Prophet

(as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord.) Meaning, `These three things that I did, come from the mercy of Allah for those we have mentioned, the crew of the ship, the parents of the boy and the two sons of the righteous man; I was only commanded to do these things that were enjoined upon me.’ This is proof and evidence in support of those who say that Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, was a Prophet, along with the Ayah which we have already quoted:

(Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.) ﴿18:65﴾

Why he was called Al-Khidr

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet said concerning Al-Khidr?

(He was called Al-Khidr because he sat on a barren Farwah that turned white, then it turned green (Khadra’) beneath him.) Imam Ahmad also recorded this from `Abdur-Razzaq. It was also recorded in Sahih Al-Bukhari from Hammam from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

(He was called Al-Khidr because he sat on a barren Farwah and it turned green (Khadra’) beneath him.) The meaning of Farwah here is a patch of withered vegetation. This was the view of `Abdur-Razzaq. It was also said that it means the face of the earth.

(That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not be patient.) meaning, `this is the explanation of the things which you could not put up with or be patient with until I took the initiative of explaining them to you.’ When he explained them and made them clear and solved the confusion, he used a milder form of the verb,

(you could) When the matter was still confusing and very difficult, a more intensive form was used,

(I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to be patient with) ﴿18:78﴾. The intensity of the verbal form used reflects the intensity of the confusion felt. This is like the Ayah:

(So they (Ya`juj and Ma`juj) were not able to scale it) ﴿18:97﴾ which means ascending to its highest point,

(nor are they able to dig through it) ﴿18:97﴾ which is more difficult than the former. The intensity of the verbal form used reflects the difficulty of the action, which has to do with the subtleties of meaning. And Allah knows best. If one were to ask, what happened to the boy-servant of Musa who appears at the beginning of the story but then is not mentioned The answer is that the objective of the story is what happened between Musa and Al-Khidr. Musa’s boy-servant was with him, following him. It is clearly mentioned in the Sahih Hadiths referred to above that he was Yusha` bin Nun, who was the one who became the leader of the Children of Israel after Musa, peace be upon him.

(83. And they ask you about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say: “I shall recite to you something of his story.”) (84. Verily, We established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything.)

The Story of Dhul-Qarnayn Allah says to His Prophet ,

(And they ask you) O Muhammad ,

(about Dhul-Qarnayn.) i.e., about his story. We have already mentioned how the disbelievers of Makkah sent word to the People of the Book and asked them for some information with which they could test the Prophet . They (the People of the Book) said, `Ask him about a man who traveled extensively throughout the earth, and about some young men who nobody knows what they did, and about the Ruh (the soul),’ then Surat Al-Kahf was revealed. Dhul-Qarnayn had great Power

(Verily, We established him in the earth,) means, `We have given him great power, so that he had all that kings could have of might, armies, war equipment and siege machinery.’ So he had dominion over the east and the west, all countries and their kings submitted to him, and all the nations, Arab and non-Arab, served him. Some of them said he was called Dhul-Qarnayn (the one with two horns) because he reached the two “Horns” of the sun, east and west, where it rises and where it sets.

(and We gave him the means of everything.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others said, “This means knowledge.” Qatadah also said,

(and We gave him the means of everything.) “The different parts and features of the earth.” Concerning Bilqis, Allah said,

(she has been given all things) ﴿27:23﴾, meaning all things that monarchs like her are given. Thus too was Dhul-Qarnayn: Allah gave him the means of all things, meaning the means and power to conquer all areas, regions and countries, to defeat enemies, suppress the kings of the earth and humiliate the people of Shirk. He was given all that a man like him would need. And Allah knows best.

(85. So he followed a way.) (86. Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of Hami’ah. And he found near it a people. We said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Either you punish them or treat them with kindness.”) (87. He said: “As for him who does wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with a terrible torment (Hell).”) (88. “But as for him who believes and works righteousness, he shall have the best reward, and we shall speak unto him mild words.”)

His traveling and reaching the Place where the Sun sets (the West)

(So he followed a way.) Ibn `Abbas said that he followed different routes to achieve what he wanted.

(So he followed a way.) Mujahid said that he followed different routes, east and west. According to one report narrated from Mujahid, he said:

(a way) means, “A route through the land.” Qatadah said, “It means he followed the routes and landmarks of the earth.”

(Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun,) means, he followed a route until he reached the furthest point that could be reached in the direction of the sun’s setting, which is the west of the earth. As for the idea of his reaching the place in the sky where the sun sets, this is something impossible, and the tales told by storytellers that he traveled so far to the west that the sun set behind him are not true at all. Most of these stories come from the myths of the People of the Book and the fabrications and lies of their heretics.

(he found it setting in a spring of Hami’ah) meaning, he saw the sun as if it were setting in the ocean. This is something which everyone who goes to the coast can see: it looks as if the sun is setting into the sea but in fact it never leaves its path in which it is fixed. Hami’ah is, according to one of the two views, derived from the word Hama’ah, which means mud. This is like the Ayah:

(“I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried clay of altered Hama’h (mud)) ﴿15:28﴾, which means smooth mud, as we have discussed above.

(And he found near it a people.) meaning a nation. They mentioned that they were a great nation from among the sons of Adam.

(We (Allah) said (by inspiration): “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Either you punish them or treat them with kindness”) means, Allah gave him power over them and gave him the choice: if he wanted to, he could kill the men and take the women and children captive, or if he wanted to, he could set them free, with or without a ransom. His justice and faith became apparent in the ruling he pronounced:

(As for him who does wrong,) meaning who persists in his Kufr and in associating others in worship with his Lord,

(we shall punish him,) Qatadah said, i.e., by killing him.

(and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with a terrible torment.) meaning a severe, far-reaching and painful punishment. This implies a confirmation of the Hereafter and the reward and punishment.

(But as for him who believes), meaning `who follows us in our call to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate,’

(he shall have the best reward,) meaning in the Hereafter, with Allah.

(and we (Dhul-Qarnayn) shall speak unto him mild words.) Mujahid said, `(words of) kindness.’

(89. Then he followed (another) way,) (90. Until, when he came to the rising place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We (Allah) had provided no shelter against the sun.) (91. So (it was)! And We knew all about him (Dhul-Qarnayn).)

His Journey East

Allah tells us that Dhul-Qarnayn then traveled from the west of the earth towards the east. Every time he passed a nation, he subjugated the people and called them to Allah. If they obeyed him, all well and good, otherwise he would humiliate them and take their wealth and possessions. From every nation he took what his armies needed to fight the next nation. When he reached the place where the sun rises, as Allah says,

(he found it rising on a people) meaning a nation,

(for whom We (Allah) had provided no shelter against the sun.) meaning, they had no buildings or trees to cover them and shade them from the heat of the sun. Qatadah said, “It was mentioned to us that they were in a land where nothing grew, so when the sun rose they would go into tunnels until it had passed its zenith, then they would come out to go about their daily lives and earn themselves a living.”

(So (it was)! And We knew all about him.) Mujahid and As-Suddi said, “This means that Allah knew everything about him and his army, and nothing was hidden from Him, even though they came from so many different nations and lands. For,

(Truly, nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heaven.)﴿3:5﴾”

(92. Then he followed (another) way,) (93. Until, when he reached between two mountains, he found before them a people who scarcely understood a word.) (94. They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Verily, Ya’juj and Ma’juj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between us and them”) (95. He said: “That in which my Lord had established me is better. So help me with strength, I will erect between you and them a barrier.”) (96. “Give me Zubar of iron;” then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said: “Blow;” then when he had made them (red as) fire, he said: “Bring me Qitran to pour over them.”)

His Journey to the Land of Ya’juj and Ma’juj, and building the Barrier

Allah says of Dhul-Qarnayn:

(Then he followed (another) way) meaning, he traveled from the east of the earth until he reached a place between the two mountains which were next to one another with a valley in between, from which Ya’juj and Ma’juj (God and Magog) will emerge into the land of the Turks and spread mischief there, destroying crops and people. Ya’juj and Ma’juj are among the progeny of Adam, peace be upon him, as was recorded in the Two Sahihs;

“Allah said: “O Adam.” Adam said, “Here I am at Your service.” Allah said, “Send forth the group of Hellfire.” Adam said, “What is the group of Hellfire” Allah said: “Out of every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine will go to Hell and one will go to Paradise.” At that time young men will turn grey and every pregnant female will drop her load. Among you are two nations who never come to anything but they overwhelm it with their huge numbers. (They are) Ya’juj and Ma’juj.”

(he found before them a people who scarcely understood a word. ) he could not understand their speech, because they were so isolated from other people.

(They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Verily, Ya’juj and Ma’juj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute”) Ibn Jurayj reported from `Ata’ from Ibn `Abbas that this meant a great reward, i.e., they wanted to collect money among themselves to give to him so that he would create a barrier between them and Ya’juj and Ma’juj. Dhul-Qarnayn said with kindness, righteousness and good intentions,

(That in which my Lord had established me is better (than your tribute).) meaning, the power and authority that Allah has given me is better for me than what you have collected. This is like when Sulayman (Solomon), peace be upon him, said:

(Will you help me in wealth What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you!) ﴿27:36﴾ Similarly, Dhul-Qarnayn said: `What I have is better than what you want to give me, but help me with strength,’ i.e., with your labor and construction equipment,

(I will erect between you and them a barrier. Give me Zubar of iron,) Zubar is the plural of Zubrah, which means pieces or chunks of something. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah. These pieces were like bricks or blocks, and it was said that each block weighed one Damascene Qintar or more.

(then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs,) means, he put the blocks on top of one another, starting at the bottom, until he reached the tops of the mountains, filling the width and height of the gap. The scholars differed about the precise width and height.

(he said: “Blow;”) means, he lit a fire until the whole thing was burning hot.

(he said: “Bring me Qitran to pour over them.”) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and As-Suddi said it was copper. Some of them added that it was molten. This is similar to the Ayah:

(And We caused a fount of Qitran to flow for him) ﴿34:12﴾. So it resembled a striped cloak. Then Allah said:

e(97. So they could not scale it or dig through it.) (98. He said: “This is a mercy from my Lord, but when the promise of my Lord comes, He shall Dakka’ it down to the ground. And the promise of my Lord is ever true.) (99. And on that Day, We shall leave some of them to surge like waves on one another; and the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together.)

The Barrier restrains Them, but It will be breached when the Hour draws nigh

Allah tells us that Ya’juj and Ma’juj could not climb over the barrier or penetrate its lower portion. Varying forms of the verb are used here in the Arabic text to reflect the difficulty of the action referred to.

(So they (Ya’juj and Ma’juj) could not scale it or dig through it.) This indicates that they could not penetrate it or dig through it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Zaynab bint Jahsh, the wife of the Prophet said, “The Prophet woke from sleep, and he was red in the face. He said,

(La ilaha illallah! Woe to the Arabs from the evil that has approached (them). Today a hole has been opened in the barrier of Ya’juj and Ma’juj like this.) and he made a circle with his index finger and thumb. I ﴿Zaynab﴾ said, `O Messenger of Allah, will we be destroyed even though there will be righteous people among us’ He said:

(Yes, if evil increases.)” This is a Sahih Hadith, both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded it.

((Dhul-Qarnayn) said: “This is a mercy from my Lord…”) meaning, after it was built by Dhul-Qarnayn.

(He said: This is a mercy from my Lord) for the people, when he placed a barrier between them and Ya’juj and Ma’juj, to stop them from spreading evil and corruption on earth.

(but when the promise of my Lord comes) means, when the true promise comes

(He shall Dakka’ it down to the ground.) means, will make it flat. The Arabs use Dakka’ to describe a female camel whose back is flat and has no hump. And Allah says:

(So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it Dakkan) ﴿7:143﴾ meaning, level to the ground.

(And the promise of my Lord is ever true.) means, it will come to pass without a doubt.

(We shall leave some of them) meaning mankind, on that day, the day when the barrier will be breached and these people (Ya’juj and Ma’juj) will come out surging over mankind to destroy their wealth and property.

(We shall leave some of them to surge like waves on one another;) As-Suddi said: “That is when they emerge upon the people.” All of this will happen before the Day of Resurrection and after the Dajjal, as we will explain when discussing the Ayat:

(Until, when Ya’juj and Ma’juj are let loose, and they swoop down from every Hadab. And the true promise shall draw near…) ﴿21:96-97﴾

(and As-Sur will be blown.) As-Sur, as explained in the Hadith, is a horn that is blown into. The one who will blow into it is (the angel) Israfil, peace be upon him, as has been explained in the Hadith quoted at length above, and there are many Hadiths on this topic. According to a Hadith narrated from `Atiyah from Ibn `Abbas and Abu Sa`id, and attributed to the Prophet ,

(How can I relax when the one with the Horn has put the Horn in his mouth and has knelt down, listening out for the command to be given to him) They said, “What should we say” He said:

(Say: “Allah is Sufficient for us and the best Disposer of affairs, in Allah have we put our trust.”)

(and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together.) means, `We shall bring them all together for Reckoning.’

(Say: “(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for appointed meeting of a known Day.) ﴿56:49-50﴾

(and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.) ﴿18:47﴾

(100. And on that Day We shall present Hell to the disbelievers, plain to view.) (101. (To) those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder, and they could not bear to hear (it).) (102. Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My servants as Awliya’ ﴿protectors﴾ besides Me Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers.)

Hell will be displayed before the Disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us what He will do to the disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection. He will show Hell to them, meaning He will bring it forth for them to see its punishment and torment before they enter it. This will intensify their distress and grief. In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, “The Messenger of Allah said,

(Hell will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection, pulled by means of seventy thousand reins, each of which will be held by seventy thousand angels.) Then Allah says of them:

((To) those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder,) meaning, they neglected it, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to it, refusing to accept guidance and follow the truth. As Allah says:

(And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him.) ﴿43:36﴾ And here Allah says:

(and they could not bear to hear (it). ) meaning, they did not understand the commands and prohibitions of Allah. Then He says:

(Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My servants as Awliya’ ﴿protectors﴾ besides Me) meaning, do they think that this is right for them and that it is going to benefit them

(Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them) ﴿19:82﴾. Allah says that He has prepared Hell as their abode on the Day of Resurrection.

(103. Say: “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds”) (104. “Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.”) (105. “They are those who deny the Ayat of their Lord and the meeting with Him. So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them.”) (106. “That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayat and My Messengers for jest.”)

The Greatest Losers in respect of (Their) Deeds

Al-Bukhari recorded from `Amr that Mus`ab who said: “I asked my father — meaning Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas — about Allah’s saying,

(Say: “Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds”) `Are they the Haruriyyah’ He said, `No, they are the Jews and Christians. As for the Jews, they disbelieved in Muhammad , and as for the Christians, they disbelieved in Paradise and said that there is no food or drink there, and the Haruriyyah are those who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it.’ Sa`d used to call them Al-Fasiqin (the corrupt). `Ali bin Abi Talib, Ad-Dahhak and others said: “They are the Haruriyyah,” so this means, that according to `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, this Ayah includes the Haruriyyah just as it includes the Jews, the Christians and others. This does not mean that the Ayah was revealed concerning any of these groups in particular; it is more general than that, because the Ayah was revealed in Makkah, before the Qur’an addressed the Jews and Christians, and before the Khawarij existed at all. So the Ayah is general and refers to everyone who worships Allah in a way that is not acceptable, thinking that he is right in doing that and that his deeds will be accepted, but he is mistaken and his deeds will be rejected, as Allah says:

(Some faces, that Day will be humiliated. Laboring, weary. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire.) ﴿88:2-4﴾

(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) ﴿25:23﴾

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing) ﴿24:39﴾ And in this Ayah Allah says:

(Say: “Shall We tell you…”) meaning, `Shall We inform you;’

(the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds) Then Allah explains who they are, and says:

(Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life) meaning, they did deeds that do not count, deeds that are not in accordance with the prescribed way that is acceptable to Allah.

(while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.) means, they thought that there was some basis for their deeds and that they were accepted and loved.

(They are those who deny the Ayat of their Lord and the meeting with Him.) they denied the signs of Allah in this world, the proofs that He has established of His Oneness and of the truth of His Messengers, and they denied the Hereafter.

(and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them.) means, `We will not make their Balance heavy because it is empty of any goodness.’ Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:

(A huge fat man will come forward on the Day of Resurrection and he will weigh no more than the wing of a gnat to Allah. Recite, if you wish:) (and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them) It was also recorded by Muslim.

(That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved) means, `We will punish them with that because of their disbelief and because they took the signs and Messengers of Allah as a joke, mocking them and disbelieving them in the worst way.’

(107. “Verily, those who believe and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws for their entertainment.”) (108. “Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have for removal therefrom.”)

The Reward of the Righteous Believers

Allah tells us about His blessed servants, those who believed in Allah and His Messengers and accepted as truth what the Messengers brought. He tells us that they will have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws (Paradise). Abu Umamah said, “Al-Firdaws is the center of Paradise.” Qatadah said, “Al-Firdaws is a hill in Paradise, at its center, the best of it.” This was also narrated from Samurah and attributed to the Prophet ,

(Al-Firdaws is a hill in Paradise, at its center, the best of it.) A similar report was narrated from Qatadah from Anas bin Malik, and attributed to the Prophet . All of the preceding reports were narrated by Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him. The following is in the Sahih,

(If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask Him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise.)

(entertainment) means offered to them as hospitality.

(Wherein they shall dwell (forever).) means, they will stay there and never leave.

(No desire will they have for removal therefrom. ) means, they will never choose or want anything else. This Ayah tells us how much they love and desire it, even though one might imagine that a person who is to stay in one place forever would get tired and bored of it. But Allah tells us that despite this eternal stay, they will never choose to change or move from where they are.

(109. Say: “If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if We brought like it for its aid.”)

The Words of the Lord can never be finished

Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, if the water of the sea were ink for a pen to write down the words, wisdom and signs of Allah, the sea would run dry before it all could be written down.

(even if We brought like it) means, another sea, then another, and so on, additional seas to be used for writing. The Words of Allah would still never run out. As Allah says:

(And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink), with seven seas behind it to increase it, yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) ﴿31:27﴾ Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, “The parable of the knowledge of all of mankind, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is that of a drop of water in comparison to all of the oceans.” Allah revealed that:

(Say: “If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished,) Allah says that even if those oceans were ink for the Words of Allah, and all the trees were pens, the pens would be broken and the water of the sea would run dry, and the Words of Allah would remain, for nothing can outlast them. For no one can comprehend the greatness of Allah or praise Him as He deserves to be praised, except the One Who praises Himself. Our Lord is as He says He is and He is beyond what we can say. The blessings of this world, the beginning and end of it, in comparison to the blessings of the Hereafter, are like a mustard seed compared to the entire world.

(110. Say: “I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.”)

Muhammad is a Human Being and a Messenger, and the God is One

Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad ,

(Say) to these idolators who reject your message to them,

(`I am only a man like you.) Whoever claims that I am lying, let him bring something like this that I have brought. For I did not know the Unseen, the matters of the past which you asked me about and I told you about, the story of the people of the Cave and of Dhul-Qarnayn, stories which are true — I did not know any of this except for what Allah made known to me. And I tell you,

(that your God), Who calls you to worship Him,

(is One God), with no partner or associate.’

(So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord,) i.e., hopes for a good reward and recompense,

(let him work righteousness) meaning, in accordance with the prescribed laws of Allah,

(and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.) This is what is meant by seeking the pleasure of Allah alone with no associate or partner. These are the two basic features of acceptable deeds: their intent is for the sake of Allah alone, and are done in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allah . Imam Ahmad recorded that Mahmud bin Labid said that the Messenger of Allah said:

(What I fear the most for you is the small Shirk.) “They said: What is the small Shirk, O Messenger of Allah” He said,

(Showing off (Ar-Riya’). Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, when the people are rewarded or punished for their deeds, “Go to the one for whom you were showing off in the world and see if you will find any reward with him.”) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id bin Abi Fadalah Al-Ansari, who was one of the Companions, said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

(Allah will gather the first and the last on the Day of Resurrection, the Day concerning which there is no doubt. A voice will call out, “Whoever used to associate anyone with Allah in the deeds which he did, let him seek his reward from someone other than Allah, for Allah is the least in need of any partner or associate.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Kahf. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.