Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Qur'anic Exegesis

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of God, the Most-Gracious, the Ever-Merciful.

اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ عَلٰی عَبۡدِ ہِالۡکِتٰبَ وَ لَمۡ یَجۡعَلۡ لَّہٗ عِوَجًاؕ﴿ٜ۱﴾ قَیِّمًا لِّیُنۡذِرَ بَاۡسًا شَدِیۡدًا مِّنۡ لَّدُنۡہُ وَیُبَشِّرَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ الصّٰلِحٰتِ اَنَّ لَہُمۡ اَجۡرًا حَسَنًاۙ﴿۲﴾ مَّاکِثِیۡنَ فِیۡہِ اَبَدًاۙ﴿۳﴾ وَّ یُنۡذِرَ الَّذِیۡنَ قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللّٰہُ وَلَدًا٭﴿۴﴾ مَا لَہُمۡبِہٖمِنۡ عِلۡمٍ وَّلَا لِاٰبَآئِہِمۡؕ کَبُرَتۡ کَلِمَۃً تَخۡرُجُ مِنۡ اَفۡوَاہِہِمۡؕ اِنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡنَ اِلَّا کَذِبًا﴿۵﴾

Gratitude is for God alone[1] Who has revealed this Book to His servant and did not leave any complexity in it.[2] Correct in every way and clear so that it can inform the rejecters[3] of a stern torment from Him and give glad tidings to those who have accepted faith and done righteous deeds that for them is a very nice reward wherein[4] they will abide in it forever. Inform those people who say: "God has children."[5] They do not have any knowledge of this. Their forefathers too had none. This is a very grave thing that they utter from their mouths. In reality, they are just telling lies. (1-5)

فَلَعَلَّکَ بَاخِعٌ نَّفۡسَکَ عَلٰۤی اٰثَارِہِمۡ اِنۡلَّمۡ یُؤۡمِنُوۡا بِہٰذَا الۡحَدِیۡثِ اَسَفًا﴿۶﴾ اِنَّا جَعَلۡنَا مَا عَلَی الۡاَرۡضِ زِیۡنَۃً لَّہَا لِنَبۡلُوَہُمۡ اَیُّہُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا﴿۷﴾ وَاِنَّا لَجٰعِلُوۡنَ مَا عَلَیۡہَا صَعِیۡدًا جُرُزًا ؕ﴿۸﴾

Then if they do not profess faith in this word, you may well take your life because of sorrow while venturing after them.[6] Whatever is on the earth, We have made it its adornment so that We test people that who among them does good deeds. [They have been lured by this adornment,[7] even though one day] We [will totally destroy] all the things on earth, making [it] a barren field. (6-8)

اَمۡ حَسِبۡتَ اَنَّ اَصۡحٰبَ الۡکَہۡفِ وَالرَّقِیۡمِ ۙکَانُوۡا مِنۡ اٰیٰتِنَا عَجَبًا﴿۹﴾ اِذۡ اَوَی الۡفِتۡیَۃُ اِلَی الۡکَہۡفِ فَقَالُوۡا رَبَّنَاۤ اٰتِنَا مِنۡ لَّدُنۡکَ رَحۡمَۃً وَّ ہَیِّیٔۡ لَنَا مِنۡ اَمۡرِنَا رَشَدًا ﴿۱۰﴾ فَضَرَبۡنَا عَلٰۤی اٰذَانِہِمۡ فِی الۡکَہۡفِ سِنِیۡنَ عَدَدًا﴿ۙ۱۱﴾ ثُمَّ بَعَثۡنٰہُمۡ لِنَعۡلَمَ اَیُّ الۡحِزۡبَیۡنِ اَحۡصٰی لِمَا لَبِثُوۡۤا اَمَدًا﴿ ۱۲﴾

Do you think that the people of the cave and raqim[8] were among a very strange sign from among Our signs.[9] The time when those youth took refuge in the cave; then prayed [to their Lord:] "Our Lord! Bless us with mercy from Yourself specially and in this matter of Ours provide us with guidance."[10] At this, We lulled them to sleep for many years in the cave.[11] Then We woke them up to see[12] which of the two groups has correctly counted the period of their stay.[13] (9-12)

نَحۡنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَیۡکَ نَبَاَہُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّؕ اِنَّہُمۡ فِتۡیَۃٌ اٰمَنُوۡا بِرَبِّہِمۡ وَ زِدۡنٰہُمۡ ہُدًی ﴿٭ۖ۱۳﴾ وَّ رَبَطۡنَا عَلٰی قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ اِذۡ قَامُوۡا فَقَالُوۡا رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ لَنۡنَّدۡعُوَا۠ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اِلٰـہًا لَّقَدۡ قُلۡنَاۤ اِذًا شَطَطًا﴿۱۴﴾ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ قَوۡمُنَا اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اٰلِہَۃً ؕ لَوۡلَا یَاۡتُوۡنَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍۭ بَیِّنٍؕ فَمَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا﴿ؕ۱۵﴾

Let Us relate to you their anecdote in truth.[14] They were a few youngsters who professed faith in their Lord[15] and We increased them in their guidance[16] and strengthened their hearts at that time when they [launched a campaign in favour of monotheism] and declared: "Our Lord is He Who is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We shall not call upon anyone except Him as God and if we do this, we would say what is totally against the truth. These are the people of our nation who have made some others besides Him as deities. Why do they not present clear evidence in their favour? Then who be will more unjust than them who invent falsehood against God?"[17] (13-15)

وَاِذِ اعۡتَزَلۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ وَمَا یَعۡبُدُوۡنَ اِلَّا اللّٰہَ فَاۡ وٗۤا اِلَی الۡکَہۡفِ یَنۡشُرۡ لَکُمۡ رَبُّکُمۡ مِّنۡ رَّحۡمَتِہٖ وَیُہَیِّیٔۡ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَمۡرِکُمۡ مِّرۡفَقًا﴿۱۶﴾

[They continued to invite people to this call until people sought to kill them. Then they were given glad tidings that] when you have separated yourselves from them and from those who they worship, go and seek refuge in a certain cave. Your God will spread His mercy for you and will provide you in this matter of yours whatever youneed.[18] (16)

وَ تَرَی الشَّمۡسَ اِذَا طَلَعَتۡ تَّزٰوَرُ عَنۡ کَہۡفِہِمۡ ذَاتَ الۡیَمِیۡنِ وَاِذَا غَرَبَتۡتَّ قۡرِضُہُمۡ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَہُمۡ فِیۡ فَجۡوَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ ؕذٰلِکَ مِنۡ اٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِؕ مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَلَنۡتَجِدَ لَہٗ وَلِیًّا مُّرۡشِدًا﴿ ۱۷﴾

You should have seen the sun when it rises, it declines from the right of their cave and when it sets, it moves away to the left side and they lie in its open space.[19] This is from among the signs of God. He who is guided by God, is the one guided and he whom God leads astray [according to His law,[20]] you will not find for him any helping guide. (17)

وَتَحۡسَبُہُمۡ اَیۡقَاظًا وَّ ہُمۡ رُقُوۡدٌ٭ۖوَّ نُقَلِّبُہُمۡ ذَاتَ الۡیَمِیۡنِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ٭ۖوَ کَلۡبُہُمۡ بَاسِطٌ ذِرَاعَیۡہِ بِالۡوَصِیۡدِؕ لَوِ اطَّلَعۡتَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لَوَلَّیۡتَ مِنۡہُمۡ فِرَارًا وَّ لَمُلِئۡتَ مِنۡہُمۡ رُعۡبًا﴿۱۸﴾

You would have thought that they are awake [had you seen them] even though they were asleep. We would keep turning them on their right and left and their dog sat at the cave entrance with hands outstretched. Had you caught their glimpse, you would have turned and fled and you would have been awe-struck by them.[21] (18)

وَ کَذٰلِکَ بَعَثۡنٰہُمۡ لِیَتَسَآءَلُوۡا بَیۡنَہُمۡؕ قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنۡہُمۡ کَمۡ لَبِثۡتُمۡؕ قَالُوۡا لَبِثۡنَا یَوۡمًا اَوۡ بَعۡضَ یَوۡمٍؕ قَالُوۡا رَبُّکُمۡ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثۡتُمۡؕ فَابۡعَثُوۡۤا اَحَدَکُمۡ بِوَرِقِکُمۡ ہٰذِہٖۤ اِلَی الۡمَدِیۡنَۃِ فَلۡیَنۡظُرۡ اَیُّہَاۤ اَزۡکٰی طَعَامًا فَلۡیَاۡتِکُمۡ بِرِزۡقٍ مِّنۡہُ وَ لۡـیَؔ‍‍‍تَلَطَّفۡ وَ لَا یُشۡعِرَنَّ بِکُمۡ اَحَدًا﴿۱۹﴾ اِنَّہُمۡ اِنۡ یَّظۡہَرُوۡا عَلَیۡکُمۡ یَرۡجُمُوۡکُمۡ اَوۡ یُعِیۡدُوۡکُمۡ فِیۡمِلَّتِہِمۡ وَ لَنۡتُفۡلِحُوۡۤا اِذًا اَبَدًا﴿۲۰﴾

[The way We had made them sleep with Our power] in a similar way, We woke them that they may mutually question one another as a result.[22] One of them asked: "How much time would you have stayed here?" They replied: "We must have stayed for a day or even less." They said: "Only your Lord knows best the period you stayed.[23] Well, send anyone among you to the city with this currency;[24] then he should fully scrutinize in which part of the city pure food is found[25] and should bring from it some edibles. He should go there in secrecy and not let anyone know about you. For if they are informed about you, they will stone you to death or will force you to their religion and if this happens, you will never succeed."[26] (19-20)

وَ کَذٰلِکَ اَعۡثَرۡنَا عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّوَعۡدَ اللّٰہِحَقٌّ وَّ اَنَّالسَّاعَۃَ لَا رَیۡبَ فِیۡہَاۚ٭اِذۡ یَتَنَازَعُوۡنَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ اَمۡرَہُمۡ فَقَالُوا ابۡنُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ بُنۡیَانًاؕ رَبُّہُمۡ اَعۡلَمُ بِہِمۡؕ قَالَ الَّذِیۡنَ غَلَبُوۡا عَلٰۤی اَمۡرِہِمۡ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ مَّسۡجِدًا﴿۲۱﴾

In a similar way, We informed people about them[27] [through Our power] so that they know that the promise of God is true and there is no doubt in the advent of the Hereafter.[28] Just think when people were disputing among themselves about them.[29] So, some people said: "Build a monument on their cave [and do not investigate further]. Their Lord knows their circumstances better."[30] On the contrary, those who held the dominant opinion in their matter, said: "We will build a mosque on their cave."[31] (21)

سَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ثَلٰثَۃٌ رَّابِعُہُمۡ کَلۡبُہُمۡۚ وَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ خَمۡسَۃٌ سَادِسُہُمۡ کَلۡبُہُمۡ رَجۡمًۢا بِالۡغَیۡبِۚ وَیَقُوۡلُوۡنَ سَبۡعَۃٌ وَّ ثَامِنُہُمۡ کَلۡبُہُمۡؕ قُلۡ رَّبِّیۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ بِعِدَّتِہِمۡ مَّا یَعۡلَمُہُمۡ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلٌ۬۟ فَلَا تُمَارِ فِیۡہِمۡ اِلَّا مِرَآءً ظَاہِرًا۪ وَّ لَا تَسۡتَفۡتِ فِیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡہُمۡ اَحَدًا﴿ ۲۲﴾ وَ لَا تَقُوۡلَنَّ لِشَایۡءٍ اِنِّیۡ فَاعِلٌ ذٰلِکَ غَدًا﴿ۙ۲۳﴾ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّشَآءَ اللّٰہُ۫ وَ اذۡکُرۡ رَّبَّکَ اِذَا نَسِیۡتَ وَ قُلۡ عَسٰۤی اَنۡ یَّہۡدِیَنِ رَبِّیۡ لِاَقۡرَبَ مِنۡ ہٰذَا رَشَدًا﴿۲۴﴾

Now these people will say: "They were three and the fourth was their dog," and [some among them] will say: "five and the sixth was their dog." Mere conjecture and some will say: "seven and the eighth was their dog." Say: "My Lord knows better their number. Few people know them." Thus [O Prophet!] Do not debate about them except if you have to say something to divert them and you should also not ask about them from any of them[32] – and [listen] do not say about any matter: "I will do it tomorrow." [You cannot do anything] except if God intends."[33] And when you forget, immediately remember your Lord and say: "Hopefully, my Lord will guide me to the truth in even lesser time than this."[34] (22-24)

وَلَبِثُوۡا فِیۡ کَہۡفِہِمۡ ثَلٰثَ مِائَۃٍ سِنِیۡنَ وَ ازۡدَادُوۡا تِسۡعًا﴿۲۵﴾ قُلِ اللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوۡاۚ لَہٗ غَیۡبُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِؕ اَبۡصِرۡ بِہٖ وَ اَسۡمِعۡؕمَا لَہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِہٖمِ نۡوَّلِیٍّ ۫وَّ لَا یُشۡرِکُ فِیۡ حُکۡمِہٖۤ اَحَدًا﴿۲۶﴾

[Similarly, they will say:] "They remained in their cave for three hundred years and a further nine as well."[35] Say: "God best knows the time of their stay. It is He Who knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth."[36] How amazing is He in seeing and hearing! No one except Him is their guardian and He does not allow anyone share to His authority.[37] (25-26)

وَ اتۡلُ مَاۤ اُوۡحِیَ اِلَیۡکَ مِنۡ کِتَابِ رَبِّکَۚؕ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِکَلِمٰتِہٖ ۚ۟وَ لَنۡ تَجِدَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖ مُلۡتَحَدًا﴿۲۷﴾ وَ اصۡبِرۡ نَفۡسَکَ مَعَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ بِالۡغَدٰوۃِ وَ الۡعَشِیِّ یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ وَجۡہَہٗ وَلَا تَعۡدُ عَیۡنٰکَ عَنۡہُمۡۚ تُرِیۡدُ زِیۡنَۃَ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَاۚوَلَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ اَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَہٗ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِنَا وَ اتَّبَعَ ہَوٰىہُ وَ کَانَ اَمۡرُہٗ فُرُطًا﴿۲۸﴾ وَ قُلِ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکُمۡ۟ فَمَنۡ شَآءَ فَلۡیُؤۡمِنۡ وَّ مَنۡ شَآءَ فَلۡیَکۡفُرۡۙ اِنَّاۤ اَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلظّٰلِمِیۡنَ نَارًاۙ اَحَاطَ بِہِمۡ سُرَادِقُہَاؕ وَاِنۡ یَّسۡتَغِیۡثُوۡا یُغَاثُوۡا بِمَآءٍ کَالۡمُہۡلِ یَشۡوِی الۡوُجُوۡہَ ؕبِئۡسَ الشَّرَابُؕ وَ سَآءَتۡ مُرۡتَفَقًا﴿۲۹﴾

[Do not give them any importance O Prophet!] and recite to people the Book of God that is being revealed to you. None can change the laws of God. [If] you [want something contrary to these laws,] you will find no one except Him as a refuge.[38] Attach yourself deeply to people who call God morning and evening to please Him. Your eyes must not turn away from them because of the allurements of worldly life and do not pay heed to what they say who We have made heedless to Our remembrance and who are engrossed in their desires and whose matter has exceeded the limits.[39] Tell them: "This only is the truth from your Lord.[40] So, whoever wants can profess faith and whoever wants can reject." [However, bear in mind that] We have prepared for the unjust a fire whose tall tents embrace them. If they call out for water, their pleadings will be answered by water which will be like molten brass. It will roast faces. What nasty water and what an evil abode. (27-29)

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ اِنَّا لَا نُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ مَنۡ اَحۡسَنَ عَمَلًا﴿ۚ۳۰﴾ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ جَنّٰتُ عَدۡنٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہِمُ الۡاَنۡہٰرُ یُحَلَّوۡنَ فِیۡہَا مِنۡ اَسَاوِرَ مِنۡذَہَبٍ وَّ یَلۡبَسُوۡنَ ثِیَابًا خُضۡرًا مِّنۡ سُنۡدُسٍ وَّ اِسۡتَبۡرَقٍ مُّتَّکِئِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا عَلَی الۡاَرَآئِکِؕ نِعۡمَ الثَّوَابُؕوَ حَسُنَتۡ مُرۡتَفَقًا﴿ ۳۱﴾

As for those who accepted faith and did righteous deeds, We shall certainly not lay waste the reward of the deeds of those who did befitting deeds. For them shall be orchards of eternal residence such that rivers will be flowing beneath them. There they shall be made to wear gold bracelets. They will adorn green attires of sundus and istabraq, sitting in it reclining on couches. What a wonderful reward and what a blissful abode.[41] (30-31)

وَ اضۡرِبۡ لَہُمۡ مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَیۡنِ جَعَلۡنَا لِاَحَدِہِمَا جَنَّتَیۡنِ مِنۡ اَعۡنَابٍ وَّ حَفَفۡنٰہُمَا بِنَخۡلٍ وَّ جَعَلۡنَا بَیۡنَہُمَا زَرۡعًا﴿ؕ۳۲﴾ کِلۡتَا الۡجَنَّتَیۡنِ اٰتَتۡ اُکُلَہَا وَ لَمۡ تَظۡلِمۡ مِّنۡہُ شَیۡئًاۙ وَّ فَجَّرۡنَا خِلٰلَہُمَا نَہَرًا﴿ۙ۳۳﴾ وَّ کَانَ لَہٗ ثَمَرٌۚ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِہٖ وَہُوَ یُحَاوِرُہٗۤ اَنَا اَکۡثَرُ مِنۡکَ مَالًا وَّ اَعَزُّ نَفَرًا﴿۳۴﴾ وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَہٗ وَہُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفۡسِہٖ ۚقَالَ مَاۤ اَظُنُّ اَنۡ تَبِیۡدَ ہٰذِہٖۤ اَبَدًا﴿ۙ۳۵﴾ وَّ مَاۤ اَظُنُّ السَّاعَۃَ قَآئِمَۃً ۙوَّ لَئِنۡ رُّدِدۡتُّ اِلٰی رَبِّیۡ لَاَجِدَنَّ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡہَا مُنۡقَلَبًا﴿۳۶﴾

Mention before them an example.[42] There were two people.[43] To one of them, We gave two orchards[44] of grapes and had surrounded it from all sides with date-palms and placed between them pieces of cultivatable land. Both orchards would bear a lot of fruit; they would not diminish it. And in their centre We had made a stream to flow. When its time to bear fruit arrived, he argued with his companion: "I have more wealth than you and my group is also powerful."[45] He entered his orchard [saying these words] while he was being unjust to his soul. He said: "I do not think that this will ever perish and I do not suppose that the Day of Judgement will ever come. However, even if I am returned to my Lord, I will find a better place to where I return." (32-36)

قَالَ لَہٗ صَاحِبُہٗ وَہُوَ یُحَاوِرُہٗۤ اَکَفَرۡتَ بِالَّذِیۡ خَلَقَکَ مِنۡ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنۡ نُّطۡفَۃٍ ثُمَّ سَوّٰىکَ رَجُلًا﴿ؕ۳۷﴾ لٰکِنَّا۠ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ رَبِّیۡ وَلَاۤ اُشۡرِکُ بِرَبِّیۡۤ اَحَدًا﴿۳۸﴾ وَ لَوۡ لَاۤ اِذۡ دَخَلۡتَ جَنَّتَکَ قُلۡتَ مَا شَآءَ اللّٰہُۙ لَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰہِۚ اِنۡ تَرَنِ اَنَا اَقَلَّ مِنۡکَ مَالًا وَّ وَلَدًا﴿ۚ۳۹﴾ فَعَسٰی رَبِّیۡۤ اَنۡ یُّؤۡتِیَنِ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡ جَنَّتِکَ وَیُرۡسِلَ عَلَیۡہَا حُسۡبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فَتُصۡبِحَ صَعِیۡدًا زَلَقًا﴿ۙ۴۰﴾ اَوۡ یُصۡبِحَ مَآؤُہَا غَوۡرًا فَلَنۡتَسۡتَطِیۡعَ لَہٗ طَلَبًا﴿۴۱﴾

His companion, while conversing with him, replied: "Are you denying the Being Who created you from clay, then with a drop of fluid, then made you a complete human being.[46] [Say whatever you may] but [I think that] my Lord is precisely that God and I do not associate any partners with my Lord.[47] When you were entering your orchard, why did you not say: 'Whatever God has willed;[48] no one has any power without God.' If you see me as having lesser wealth and children than you,[49] then it may well be that my Lord gives me a better orchard than yours and send a calamity on your orchard from the heavens so that it becomes a barren land or its water goes into the earth; then you are not able to find it in any way." (37-41)

وَ اُحِیۡطَ بِثَمَرِہٖ فَاَصۡبَحَ یُقَلِّبُ کَفَّیۡہِ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡفَقَ فِیۡہَا وَ ہِیَ خَاوِیَۃٌ عَلٰی عُرُوۡشِہَا وَ یَقُوۡلُ یٰلَیۡتَنِیۡ لَمۡ اُشۡرِکۡ بِرَبِّیۡۤ اَحَدًا﴿۴۲﴾ وَ لَمۡ تَکُنۡ لَّہٗ فِئَۃٌ یَّنۡصُرُوۡنَہٗ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَ مَا کَانَ مُنۡتَصِرًا ﴿ؕ۴۳﴾ ہُنَالِکَ الۡوَلَایَۃُ لِلّٰہِ الۡحَقِّؕ ہُوَ خَیۡرٌ ثَوَابًا وَّ خَیۡرٌ عُقۡبًا﴿۴۴﴾

[Thus, this is what happened] and its fruit was ruined [by torment]. So, whatever he had spent on the orchard, he ended up wringing his hand on it in grief. His orchard had fallen down on its fences and he was saying: "Alas! Would that I had not associated any partner with God!"[50] He did not have any group which could have helped him against God[51] and neither could he himself take [its] revenge. At that time,[52] all authority was with God, the true God. [In reality,] only His reward is better and best is the fate He ordains. (42-44)

[1]. Ie., solely for Him. This style is meant to express a mandatory right of someone as a confession and an acknowledgement. This style has been adopted at several instances in the Qur'an.

[2]. The implication is that there is nothing in it with regard to its words and meanings which is incomprehensible nor is there any slightest deviation in its guidance from the straight path so that an upright person may not end up rejecting it.

[3]. These words are suppressed because the word مُؤْمِنِيْنَ ahead indicates their presence.

[4]. The pronoun in فِيْهِ points to the consequence of reward ie. a grand paradise which will be the consequence of good reward.

[5]. This is a mention of the specific after the general and both the Idolaters of Arabia and the Christians are included in it. This is because the former regarded the angels to be daughters of God and the latter regarded Jesus (sws) to be his son.

[6]. This is an assurance sounded to the Prophet (sws) in a very fond and affectionate way: if people do not accept faith, it is not because there is something amiss in discharging his duty; the fact is that he has gone overboard in taking pains and bearing agony in this task whereas his sole obligation was only to give them glad tidings and warn them; he should rest assured that he has done the needful; he has no responsibility beyond this. It is evident from this how sensitive and conscientous the Prophet (sws) was in discharging his duty.

[7]. The reason for not accepting faith is brought to the surface here. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

… This world is a place of trial and test. In it, God is testing who using his intellect and brains seeks the Hereafter, and who following his desires ends up seeking this world. For the purpose of the test, God has adorned the face of this earth with make-up that is deceptively pleasing to the eye. There is great lure and attraction in wealth and children, in orchards and gardens, in fields and crops, in cars and villas, in buildings and castles, in positions of high social and political status of this world. All its pleasures are at hand and easy to attain while its pains are hidden. On the other hand, all the successes of the Hereafter are as yet concealed from the eyes, and those who seek them are immediately faced with a lot of hardships in this world. Indeed this is a severe trial. Not every slave to his passions can come through it. Only those will sail through it who are perspicacious enough not to be misled by these worldly lures which may attempt to deceive them in one guise or another and are never prepared to lose the favours of the Hereafter by getting caught in the lures and attractions of this world. As for those who have who have blinded their eyes of intellect and heart and have become slaves of their desires, they are not ready to lose the immediate gains to acquire the deferred gains of the Hereafter even though every speck of this universe bears witness to them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 558)

[8]. If this refers to the same group known as "The Seven Sleepers" in Christian history, then this incident took place in the city of Ephesus which was a famous city of the ancient world located on the western coast of Turkey. Its great ruins can be seen even today. This city was a centre of idol worship and Diana, the moon goddess, was worshipped here. It was her temple which was regarded among the ancient wonders of the world. At that time, Desius ruled the area. He was the head of the Roman empire from 249 to 251 AD. It was around this time that the followers of Jesus (sws) reached there with his message. The emperor himself was an idol worshipper. He could not tolerate the promotion of the religion of monotheism. Those who accepted it were generally persecuted. The youth in this incident belonged to noble families and after accepting it probably became the advocates of this religion around 250 AD. They presented its message openly with such force that the whole society became their enemies and the danger arose that they would be stoned to death. At this, these youth went out of the city and took refuge in a cave. In Arabic, the word kahf refers to a wide cave. For this reason, they are called the Companions of the Cave (ashab al-kahf).

The People of the Book of Arabia called them ashab al-raqim. Some scholars think that the word raqim means marqum (what is written) and from here they extrapolate that it refers to the name-plate of the cave of these companions of the cave. Some others regard it to be a tablet of iron on which their names and circumstances were written at the order of the king and placed in the royal treasure. However, this word is not conventionally used for a name-plate or a tablet in Arabic. For this reason, in my opinion, the correct view in this regard is of those scholars who opine that raqim is the name of the building which was constructed on the cave as a memorial for them and which is mentioned ahead in the Qur'an.

[9]. This address is general in nature. This style of singular address is used when each person among the addressees is meant to be addressed. It is evident from the verse that the Quraysh were wonder-struck after hearing about this incident from the People of the Book. It is quite probable that it was at their suggestion that they posed it as a test question to the Prophet (sws). It is indicated in verses 22-24 ahead that this incident was narrated to them as a consequence of their question. However, the Qur'an has narrated it in truth while cleansing it from the myths that surrounded it in such a way that it is in full consonance with the subject of the surah, thereby becoming a very strong means of warning. The implication is that people regard the story of the Seven Sleepers to be very eerie. The fact is that it is a sign among the signs God has provided for the protection of the advocates of His religion. Such signs have manifested themselves earlier also and God willing will manifest at that time too in favour of the truthful they are persecuting.

[10]. Ie., as soon as they entered the cave, they supplicated to God to provide them with guidance and perseverance. This is because besides a sense of honour, they were also blessed with the radiance of wisdom and knew full well what believers should do in such circumstances.

[11]. The actual words are: فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَي آذَانِهِمْ. This is an idiom of the Arabic language and means to affectionately lull someone to sleep. It has probably originated because while putting children to sleep they are patted on their ears.

[12]. The actual word is: لِنَعْلَمَ. In it, the letter لis to express the consequence. Ie., so that the matter ultimately reaches the consequence stated ahead and this incident becomes a sign of life after death for people.

[13].Ie., they themselves or the people of that city from which they had come out and taken refuge in the cave.

[14]. Earlier, the Qur'an had summarized this incident so that the real purpose was highlighted right at the beginning. Now, details are being provided. It is stated that it is being narrated with full truth (بِالْحَقِّ) and with full deference to its purpose.

[15]. Ie., professed faith in God alone because professing faith in God while associating partners with Him is in fact disbelief. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The word فِتْيَةٌ must be taken note of. By pointing to the fact that these people were the youth, the Qur'an has directed the attention of the youth who had professedfaithin the Prophet (sws) to seek a lesson from this account. Moreover, they should follow their footsteps in the cause of delivering their message while disregading the enmity of their nation. God will help them at every stage. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 569)

[16]. How did this increase take place? The words رَبَطْنَا عَلَی قُلُوْبِهِمْ ahead explain it: they nurtured their faith and as its reward the Almighty strengthened their hearts and in this way increased the guidance they had.

[17]. The way the word هؤُلآءِ is used in the verse and the use of the indirect address is an expression of disgust from these youngsters for the beliefs of their nation. This disgust shows their extra-ordinary attachment to and their immense satisfaction for monotheism.

[18]. This is an expression of the guidance they received from their Lord at that stage and they were intuitively guided to leave their nation as there was no other option left for them. This guidance is generally given on such precarious occasions to the believers. The incidents of Mary (sws) and the mother of Moses (sws) are two such examples. Before the termination of the institution of prophethood, this was given in a somewhat perceptible way. Also evident from this is that when enemies of faith seek to kill a prophet, then this is the time of migration for the believers. Thus when they decide to migrate the provision for this journey is provided by the Almighty Himself.

[19]. Ie., such was the cave provided to them by the Almighty that air, light and warmth continued to enter it but the heat of the sun could not make its way in it. It is stated ahead that this is a sign from among the signs of God. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Through His planning, the Almighty provided for His servants a cave where all needs of life were available without any effort. It looked that even the sun would pass by it with respect and regard so that it may not intrude in their rest but at the same time serve their needs. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 569)

[20]. Ie., according to His law that only they are led astray who because of their misdeeds deserve to be led astray.

[21]. These are the details of the arrangement made by the Almighty to protect them: they were put to sleep and to safeguard their bodies angels continued to turn them on their sides; morever, such an ambience was created around them that onlookers would think that they were strange people; perhaps thiefs, robbers, monks, soothsayers or belonging to jinnkind; they may seem to them that they are not sleeping; only resting for a while and the way their dog is sitting at the entrance of the cave, it may well be because he is protecting them.

[22]. The followers of Jesus (sws) mentioned earlier left the city of Ephesus and took refuge in a cave sometime in 250 AD. It has also be alluded to that at that time the pagan king Desius ruled Rome. These people slept for around 196 years and woke up in the 48th year of the era of king Theodosius in 446 or 447 AD. During this time, the Roman king Constantine (272-337 AD) had converted to Christianity because of the efforts of Christian preachers. As a result, the religion of Jesus (sws) spread in the whole of the Roman empire. Thus when they woke up, Christianity was the dominant religion everywhere.

[23]. Ie., the same situation arose which will arise when people will be given a new life after waking up from Barzakh.

[24]. The actual word is وَرِق. It means "silver." Since at that time it was used for sale and purchase both in the form of a coin and and as a metal, it has been translated as "currency."

[25]. The actual word is أَيُّهَا. Ie., أي أطراف المدينة or أي نواحي المدينة and pure food refers to halal food. They said this because the society they had left did not care for food that was allowed and not allowed. Thus such food could only have been found in an area where people had this sensitivity in them.

[26]. It can be estimated from these words what forced these youth to leave their city and take refuge in the cave. What further can be known is the extent of oppression and persecution they were facing. For this very reason, I have indicated in the translation of verse 16 that they were asked to migrate once people sought to kill them.

[27]. Ie., created such circumstances that the attention of people was drawn to them and after investigation they were fully convinced that those people did not belong to their times. The way this incident is recorded in Christian history referred to earlier is as follows: when the person who was sent to buy food presented a coin of the times of king Theodosius, the shop owner thought that he had brought the coin to him from some old treasure. At this, both started to argue with one another. People started to gather until the matter reached the authorities. Questions were asked there and when the person heard that a long time had passed since the death of king Theodosius, he was bewildered. For some time he remained wonder-struck and then narrated his story. The authorities also were amazed to hear his account and were taken by him to the cave where his companions were hiding. A big contingent of people was with them. When they reached there it became fully evident that they were in fact people of the times of Theodosius. The then Roman Emperor Constantine then came to them on foot and sought blessings from them. It is said that after this all the seven youngsters went and lay down in the cave and suddenly died.

[28]. If this incident belongs to the same time period as the one mentioned in historical narratives, then the need for this palpable argument probably arose because at that time Christianity was engaged in debate with Greek philosophy and Roman idol worship. Thus the Almighty showed this sign so that besides intellectual arguments a visual argument was also presented in favour of life after death. The purpose was that this basic tenet and article of faith should not be reduced to a topic of philosophical hair-splitting for the thousands who had converted to Christianity. It is evident from the Bible and the Qur'an that such visual proofs have been presented before this period also at various times.

[29]. Ie., they were disputing among themselves which group is more worthy of being ascribed to them, what should be done with them and who should take this decision. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This oppressive world has always dealt with the advocates of truth in such a manner. During their lives they were pelted with stones but after death their statues were worshipped. A similar thing happened with these people as well: various groups claimed their nearness with them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 575)

[30]. They said these words to end the dispute: the views and ideology of the cave dwellers as well as their status should not be made a subject of debate and dispute and in fact their matter should be consigned to God; a memorial monument should be constructed for them which will preserve that place. There is a governing noun (mudaf) suppressed in the verse رَبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ ie., ربهم أعلم بأحوالهم.

[31]. Ie., construct a place for worshipping God because these people believed in Him solely, took refuge in the cave only because of Him and it was He Who showed this great sign through them. The actual words used for this are: عَلَيْهِمْ مَّسْجِدًا. Here also a governing noun (mudaf) is suppressed ie. علی كهفهم. Same is the case with ابْنُوْا عَلَيْهِمْ بُنْيَانًا. It has been a tradition among the righteous that whenever a memorial is to be built, it is built in the form of a mosque so that people who come here remember God and prostrate before Him alone.

[32]. The implication is that the instead of receiving conviction about the Hereafter – the aspect because of which the incident of the dwellers of the cave has been narrated – these people will engage in such questions about them as their number and period of sleep in the cave. They will try to involve the Prophet (sws) also in these debates. However, he should not the slightest incline himself to these and just pass by them by giving a brief answer. His Lord has also ignored such things so that their useless interest in such things does not receive any impetus and the real lesson of the incident always remains before the eyes.

[33]. Ie., when they test the Prophet (sws) by asking him such questions as who the dwellers of the caves were and what was their story, he should not promise them from his ownself. It is possible that about a certain question the wisdom of God entails that an answer not be given or given later. For this reason, he should not make an unconditional promise by relying on divine revelation. In fact, all promises should be made conditional to the will of God.

[34]. Ie., if he utters something without realizing it, he should immediately get hold of himself and also inform those who he has promised that the decision rests with God. He can defer this matter and if He intends He can guide them in even lesser time than the Prophet (sws) has promised them. All this is in His authority. He will do as He wants in accordance with His wisdom. As for the Prophet (sws), he neither has the knowledge of the unseen nor does he have absolute authority that he may do whatever he wants for the expedience of his preaching.

[35]. The presence of a conjunction at the beginning of this sentence and after this the sentence قُلِ اللهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُوْا clearly indicates that this was one opinion of the people mentioned earlier. What is implied is that just as these people will speculate about their number, in the same way they will claim about their stay in the cave that they slept for 309 years.

[36]. It is evident from this that God did not verify their claim; in fact, regarded it to be baseless. Researchers of the current times have also reached the conclusion that the dwellers of the cave mentioned in Chrisitan traditions stayed in the cave for about 196 years and not 309. The Qur'an is the word of God. Had it been a word of a human being, there was no reason to reject something that had become famous among people.

[37]. In the previous sentence, the extent of God's knowledge was touched upon. Here the Qur'an has taken a step ahead and negated all polytheistic beliefs.

[38]. Ie., people will receive guidance from the laws instituted by God for providing guidance and in accordance with them will be led astray. No one can guide anyone against these laws and no one should even desire it.

[39]. Here by addressing the Prophet (sws), the affluent and arrogant of the Quraysh are warned that God's messenger does not need their pampering. His cherished companions are the ones and should be the ones who call out to their Lord morning and evening. Thus, the Prophet (sws) too is urged that his responsibility is to convey God's message faithfully and not the slightest give importance to the wealth, authority and social status of his addressees.

[40]. The inchoative (mubtada') is suppressed in this sentence. Ie., هذا هو الحق.

[41]. Earlier the afflictions of the dwellers of Hell have been mentioned. Now, the picture of Paradise is depicted. The Qur'an has cited all these things in the forms of parables and similes giving due consideration to the taste and knowledge of the addressees. Thus regarding the reward of the believers only those things are highlighted which the affluent of those times cherished and relished.

[42]. Ie., before the arrogant Quraysh so that they can see their own inner and outer selves in its reflection and also the fate of the clash that existed at that time.

[43]. One, to whom the Almighty had given two orchards and the second who was his companion and is mentioned ahead.

[44]. Ie., not one but two. This is an expression of completion of favours.

[45]. This sentence shows that his companion counselled him to be grateful to God on all that he has been blessed with by Him, otherwise it was likely that he would have to face God's wrath. However, in response he began to argue with his companion asking him to look at his wealth in contrast to his own. He further contended that his companion had nothing and in spite of that he was trying to scare him and that whatever he had was a clear testimony to the fact that his own attitude was more correct than his.

[46]. This is the counter argument on his rejection of the Hereafter put forth by his believing companion. The companion had full cognizance of and true faith in God. He thus asked him why the God Who had all those manifestations of power would not raise him to life after death. This only meant that he was in reality denying God Himself.

[47]. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... This is an expression of the faith of the believer. It is evident from it that faith in God does not merely mean to believe in Himbut it is essential that God be regarded as one's Lord and Master. If a person believes in God but regards someone else to be his Lord, then he is a polytheist and such polytheism is also disbelief. If a person shows conceit on his wealth and status and regards them to be a consequence of his abilities and of his personal entitlement and also arrogantly thinks that no one can take away these things from him, then this also is polytheism because such a person regards himself to have a share in God's kingdom. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 586)

[48]. Ie., whatever he has is God's blessing and acquired by God's will.

[49]. The actual words are: اِنۡتَرَنِ اَنَا اَقَلَّ مِنۡکَ مَالًا وَّ وَلَدًا. Here the word اَنَاdistances the two objects. Examples of this usage can be seen in classical Arabic literature and in our language as well.

[50]. Ie., he realized all this when he had lost everything. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The wrecked orchard was before him like a corpse and he was sorrowfully rubbing his hands on its carcass: whatever he had spent on maintaining it had gone down the drain, let alone earning any benefit from it. At that time, he remembered the advice of his friend and longingly expressed he wished that he had not associated anyone with God. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 588)

This last sentence means that he wished that he had not worshipped his wealth, power and splendour as deities and in had in fact regarded all these things to be a blessing from His Lord and been grateful to Him.

[51]. This is a reference to the group which has been mentioned earlier by the words أَعَزُّ نَفَرًا.

[52]. Ie., the time of the torment arrived.


Articles by this author

Sūrah Shūrā

Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah

Surah al-Mu’min

Surah al-Zumar

Surah Saffat

Surah Yasin

Surah Saba

Surah al-Qasas

Ghamidi on Farahi

Surah Luqman

Surah Ahzab

Sūrah al-Rūm

Surah al-‘Ankabut

Surah al-Naml (2/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (2/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (1/2)

Surah al-Furqan

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

Indications of Islam, Faith, Virtue and the Day of Judgement

Surah al-Nur (2/2)

Surah al-Nur (1/2)

Surah Mu’minun (2/2)

Surah Mu’minun (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (2/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (1/2)

Surah Taha (3/3)

Surah Taha (2/3)

Surah Taha (1/3)

Surah Maryam (2/2)

Surah Maryam (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (2/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah Bani Isra’il (1/3)

Surah al-Nahl (2/2)

Surah al-Nahl (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (2/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Yusuf (3/3)

Surah Yusuf (2/3)

Surah Yusuf (1/3)

Surah Hud (3/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Yunus (2/2)

Surah Yunus (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (38-60)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat


Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)

Sūrah Nisā’ (153-176)