Surah Kahf >> Currently viewing Surah Kahf Ayat 86 (18:86)

Surah Al-Kahf Ayat 86 in Arabic Text

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

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 86

Sahih International
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.”

Yusuf Ali
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.”

Abul Ala Maududi
until when he reached the very limits where the sun sets, he saw it setting in dark turbid waters; and nearby he met a people. We said: “O Dhu al-Qarnayn, you have the power to punish or to treat them with kindness.”

Muhsin Khan
Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of black muddy (or hot) water. And he found near it a people. We (Allah) said (by inspiration): “O Dhul-Qarnain! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness.”

Pickthall
Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu’l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.

Dr. Ghali
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, (The western part of the then known world) he found it setting in a muddy spring, and he found a people at it. We said, “O Thulqarnayn, either you will torment (them) or you will take to yourself towards them a fair (way).”

Abdel Haleem
then, when he came to the setting of the sun, he found it [seemed to be] setting into a muddy spring. Nearby he found some people and We said, ‘Dhu ’l-Qarnayn, you may choose [which of them] to punish or show kindness to.’

Quran 18 Verse 86 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Kahf ayat 86, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(18:86) until when he reached the very limits where the sun sets,[63] he saw it setting in dark turbid waters;[64] and nearby he met a people. We said: “O Dhu al-Qarnayn, you have the power to punish or to treat them with kindness.”[65]


63. “The setting place of the sun” does not mean the place of the setting of the sun. According to Ibn Kathir, it means that he marched to the west conquering one country after the other till he reached the last boundary of the land, beyond which there was ocean.

64. “He found it setting in a muddy spring”: If Zul Qarnain was Cyrus, then that place would be the western limit of Asia Minor and the black waters would be the Aegean Sea. This interpretation is supported by the use of the word ain instead of bahr in the Quran.

65. “We said” does not necessarily mean that Allah directly revealed to him these words, and that Zul-Qarnain was a Prophet or was the one who received inspiration from Allah, and the same is the reasonable conjecture. This concerns the time when Zul-Qarnain had taken possession of the land as a conqueror and the conquered people were utterly at your mercy. Then Allah posed a question before his conscience, as if to say: Now is the time of your trial. These people are utterly at your mercy, and you have the option either to behave unjustly towards them or to treat them generously.

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah Kahf verse 86 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Kahf ayat 85 which provides the complete commentary from verse 85 through 88.

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