Surah Kahf >> Currently viewing Surah Kahf Ayat 55 (18:55)

Surah Al-Kahf Ayat 55 in Arabic Text

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

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 55

Sahih International
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.

Yusuf Ali
And what is there to keep back men from believing, now that Guidance has come to them, nor from praying for forgiveness from their Lord, but that (they ask that) the ways of the ancients be repeated with them, or the Wrath be brought to them face to face?

Abul Ala Maududi
What is it that prevented mankind from believing when the guidance came to them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that they would like to be treated as the nations of yore, or that they would like to see the scourge come upon them face to face?

Muhsin Khan
And nothing prevents men from believing, now when the guidance (the Quran) has come to them, and from asking Forgiveness of their Lord, except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them (i.e. their destruction decreed by Allah), or the torment be brought to them face to face?

Pickthall
And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom.

Dr. Ghali
And in no way did anything prevent mankind from believing (Literally: made them not to believe) as the guidance came to them and asking their Lord to forgive them, except that the enactment (for) the earliest (people) should come up to them, or that the torment should come up to them face to face.

Abdel Haleem
Now that guidance has come to them, what stops these people believing and asking forgiveness from their Lord before the fate of earlier peoples annihilates them or their torment confronts them?

Quran 18 Verse 55 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Kahf ayat 55, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(18:55) What is it that prevented mankind from believing when the guidance came to them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that they would like to be treated as the nations of yore, or that they would like to see the scourge come upon them face to face?[52]


52. This is to warn the people that the Quran has left no stone unturned in making the truth plain. It has employed all kinds of arguments, parables, similitude and used all the possible effective ways to appeal to the heart and the mind of man, and adopted the best possible style. If, in spite of this, they do not accept the truth, it is obvious that they are waiting for God’s scourge like the one that visited the former communities to make them realize their error.

Ibn-Kathir

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:

﴿فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفاً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ ﴾

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

﴿ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ﴾

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

﴿اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ﴾

(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﴾

﴿وَقَالُواْ يأَيُّهَا الَّذِى نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ إِنَّكَ لَمَجْنُونٌ – لَّوْ مَا تَأْتِينَا بِالْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ ﴾

(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:

﴿إِلاَّ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ سُنَّةُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ﴾

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

﴿أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ قُبُلاً﴾

(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:

﴿وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ﴾

(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:

﴿بِالْبَـطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُواْ بِهِ الْحَقَّ﴾

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

﴿وَاتَّخَذُواْ ءايَاتِى وَمَا أُنْذِرُواْ هُزُواً﴾

(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;

﴿هُزُواً﴾

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

﴿وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَايِـتِ رَبِّهِ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْراً وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَى فَلَنْ يَهْتَدُواْ إِذاً أَبَداً – وَرَبُّكَ الْغَفُورُ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ لَوْ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا كَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ الْعَذَابَ بَل لَّهُم مَّوْعِدٌ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِ مَوْئِلاً ﴾

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