Surah Kahf >> Currently viewing Surah Kahf Ayat 18 (18:18)

Surah Al-Kahf Ayat 18 in Arabic Text

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

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 18

Sahih International
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.

Yusuf Ali
Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou wouldst have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them.

Abul Ala Maududi
On seeing them you would fancy them to be awake though they were asleep; and We caused them to turn their sides to their right and to their left, and their dog sat stretching out its forelegs on the threshold of the Cave. Had you looked upon them you would have certainly fled away from them, their sight filling you with terror.

Muhsin Khan
And you would have thought them awake, while 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 entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.

Pickthall
And thou wouldst have deemed them waking though they were asleep, and We caused them to turn over to the right and the left, and their dog stretching out his paws on the threshold. If thou hadst observed them closely thou hadst assuredly turned away from them in flight, and hadst been filled with awe of them.

Dr. Ghali
And you would have reckoned that they were awake (as) they were lying down, and We turned them about towards the right and towards the left, and their dog stretching out his two fore-legs (Literally: his two arms) on the threshold. If you had viewed them, indeed you would have turned away from them in flight and indeed been filled with horror of them.

Abdel Haleem
You would have thought they were awake, though they lay asleep. We turned them over, to the right and the left, with their dog stretching out its forelegs at the entrance. If you had seen them, you would have turned and run away, filled with fear of them.

Quran 18 Verse 18 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Kahf ayat 18, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(18:18) On seeing them you would fancy them to be awake though they were asleep; and We caused them to turn their sides to their right and to their left,[14] and their dog sat stretching out its forelegs on the threshold of the Cave. Had you looked upon them you would have certainly fled away from them, their sight filling you with terror.[15]


14. That is, if someone could have looked at the seven persons from outside and seen them turning from one side to the other at intervals, he would have thought that they were not asleep but were relaxing themselves.

15. Allah had so arranged their refuge that none dared go inside the cave and know about them for it was pitch dark in the cave and the dog was keeping watch at the entrance. If someone ever looked into the cave and saw the sleepers, he took them for some robbers and at once turned on his heels. This was the reason why their refuge remained a secret to the outer world for such a long period.

Ibn-Kathir

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:

﴿وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ﴾

(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.

﴿وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ اليَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ﴾

(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.”

﴿وَكَلْبُهُمْ بَـسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِالوَصِيدِ﴾

(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.

﴿إِنَّهَا عَلَيْهِم مُّؤْصَدَةٌ ﴾

(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:

﴿لَوِ اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَارًا وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْبًا﴾

(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.

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