Surah Al-Kahf Ayat 9 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 9
Or have you thought that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among Our signs, a wonder?
Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Sign?
Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription were one of Our wondrous signs?
Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs?
Or deemest thou that the People of the Cave and the Inscription are a wonder among Our portents?
Or even do you reckon that the Companions of the Cave and ⊃ Ar-Raqîm (It is the name of a leaden plate, on which were written the names of the seven sleepers) were among Our signs a wonder?
[Prophet], do you find the Companions in the Cave and al-Raqim so wondrous, among all Our other signs?
Quran 18 Verse 9 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Kahf ayat 9, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(18:9) Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription were one of Our wondrous signs?
6. The Arabic word Kahf literally means a vast cave.
7. There is a difference of opinion about the meaning of arraqim. Some companions and their followers opined that it was the name of that habitation where this event took place and that it was situated somewhere between Aylah and Palestine. There are other commentators who take it to mean the inscription that had been set up at the cave as a memorial to the sleepers of the cave. Abul Kalam Azad, in his commentary, Tarjmanul-Quran, has preferred the first meaning and opined that it is the same place which has been called Rekem in the Bible (Joshua, 18: 27). Then he identifies it with the ancient historical city of Petra. But he has not considered the fact that Rekem, as mentioned in the Bible, belonged to the children of Benjamin and according to the Book of Joshua, the territory of this clan was situated to the west of river Jordan and the Dead Sea and that the ruins of Petra are situated to the south of Jordan. That is why the modern archaeologists do not believe that Petra and Rekem are one and the same place. (Please refer to Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946, Vol XVII, page 658). We are also of the opinion that by Arraqim is meant the inscription.
8. This question has been posed to expose the skeptical attitude of the disbelievers towards the “Sleepers of the Cave,” as if to say: Do you think that Allah, Who has created the heavens and the earth, does not have the power to keep a few persons in a state of sleep for a couple of hundred years and then to raise them up same as they were at the time of going to sleep. If you ever had pondered over the wonderful creation of the sun and the moon and the earth, you would never have expressed any doubt that such a thing was anything difficult for Allah.
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.
(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.
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