سورة الكهف   

Surah Name: Al-Kahf Meaning: The Cave

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Surah Kahf, answers two of the three questions put to the Holy Prophet-SW by the non believers of Makkah under the direction of the Jews of Madinah. The third question pertaining to Ruh was answered in Surah Bani IsraiI rather briefly. The other two questions are answered here in detail. However, these details do not cover the exact chronological occurrence of the events or the exact geographical locations where they took place. They also do not give out the exact number of people involved. This is because the Quran does not focus on history or geography but on its objective of inviting mankind to Allah-SWT and its reformation. If the recounting of any event supports this cause, it is revealed accordingly. At times segments of a particular incident are mentioned at different occasions as examples to facilitate understanding. Often a single event has also been repeatedly mentioned to serve the same purpose.

    The learned Commentators have rated this Surah as highly meritorious and blessed and its recitation as a shield against various evils. It may be recited daily or on Fridays, or its opening and last Ayat may be memorized and repeated as a protection against evil.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 12
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 110
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 18
  • Rukū / Section 10 contains Āyāt / Parts 12
  • Siparah/ Volume 15 & 16


فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا

Faintalaqa hatta itha rakiba fee a(l)ssafeenati kharaqaha qala akharaqtaha litughriqa ahlaha laqad jita shayan imra(n)

Then the two journeyed together until when they embarked in a boat, he scuttled it. Musa-AS said: have you scuttled it that you may drown the people thereof? Assuredly you have committed a thing grievous.


قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا

Qala alam aqul innaka lan tastateeAAa maAAiya sabra(n)

He said: did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me?


قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِي مِنْ أَمْرِي عُسْرًا

Qala la tuakhithnee bima naseetu wala turhiqnee min amree AAusra(n)

Musa-AS said: do not take me to task for what I forgot and do not impose hardship in my affair.


فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَامًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا نُّكْرًا

Fa(i)ntalaqa hatta itha laqiya ghulaman faqatalahu qala aqatalta nafsan zakiyyatan bighayri nafsin laqad jita shayan nukra(n)

Then the two journeyed till when they met a boy, and he killed him, Musa-AS said: have you killed an innocent person not in return for a person? Assuredly you have committed a thing formidable.


قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِي صَبْرًا

Qala alam aqul laka innaka lan tastateeAAa maAAiya sabra(n)

He-AS said: did I not tell you; you would not be able to have patience with me?


قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَيْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلَا تُصَاحِبْنِي قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّي عُذْرًا

Qala in saaltuka AAan shayin baAAdaha fala tusahibnee qad balaghta min ladunnee AAuthra(n)

Musa-AS said: if I question you-AS, regarding anything after this, abandon me; surely there has reached you an excuse from my side.


فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَيَا أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَا أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَاتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا

Faintalaqa hatta itha ataya ahla qaryatin istatAAama ahlaha faabaw an yudayyifoohuma fawajada feeha jidaran yureedu an yanqadda faaqamahu qala law shita laittakhathta AAalayhi ajra(n)

Then the two moved on, until when they came to the people of a city. They begged food from the citizens, but they refused to entertain the two. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he-AS set it upright. Musa-AS said: had you wished you could have taken a wage therefore.


قَالَ هَذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنِكَ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا

Qala hatha firaqu baynee wabaynika saonabbioka bitaweeli ma lam tastatiAA AAalayhi sabra(n)

He-AS said: this shall be the parting between me and you. Now I shall declare to you interpretation of that over which you could have no patience.


أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَاءهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا

Amma a(l)ssafeenatu fakanat limasakeena yaAAmaloona fee albahri faaradtu an aAAeebaha wakana waraahum malikun yakhuthu kulla safeenatin ghasba(n)

As for the boat, it belonged to poor men working in the sea. I wanted to damage it, as there; was before them a prince confiscating every boat.


وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا

Waamma alghulamu fakana abawahu muminayni fakhasheena an yurhiqahuma tughyanan wakufra(n)

And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we apprehended that he might impose upon them exorbitance and infidelity.


فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا

Faaradna an yubdilahuma rabbuhuma khayran minhu zakatan waaqraba ruhma(n)

So we intended that their Rabb-SWT should change for them one better than he in piety and closer in affection.


وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا

Waamma aljidaru fakana lighulamayni yateemayni fee almadeenati wakana tahtahu kanzun lahuma wakana aboohuma salihan faarada rabbuka an yablugha ashuddahuma wayastakhrija kanzahuma rahmatan min rabbika wama faAAaltuhu AAan amree thalika taweelu ma lam tastiAA AAalayhi sabra(n)

And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town and underneath it was a treasure belonging to them, and their father was righteous. So your Rabb-SWT intended that the twain should attain their maturity and bring forth for themselves their treasure as a Mercy from their Rabb-SWT : and I did it not of my own bidding. That is the interpretation of what you could not bear patiently.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

So the twain set forth, until they had to board a boat. The people already on the boat welcomed them with great honour seeing their noble disposition. According to Hadlth they were not even charged the fare out of respect. But Hadhrat Khidhar-AS put his hand on the plank of the boat and cleaved it, while Prophet Musa-AS witnessed the gesture and couldn't resist speaking out. He-AS said sarcastically if this was an act of his Karamah, whereby he-AS did not even, spare the people who had been so courteous to them and had let them on board with such respect. Now if the plank fell apart all those aboard were sure to drown. It was an extremely wrong act to which Prophet Musa-AS protested.


Hadhrat Khidhar-AS said that he-AS had already made it clear that Prophet Musa-AS would not be able to tolerate what he witnessed while accompanying him-AS. So Prophet Musa-AS asked forgiveness that he-AS had forgotten about his-AS promise, and that he-AS be pardoned and allowed to continue the journey. They moved on until they came across a little boy who was playing. Hadhrat Khidhar-AS killed the boy in a super natural manner; as distinct from conventional, lest there is an uproar. This was too much for Prophet Musa-AS to digest. He-AS said that the promise besides, it was not possible to remain quiet over such glaring violation of Shari'ah.


The Conduct Of Scholars

It is obligatory for the religious scholars to check any violation of Shari'ah without any compromise. Prophet Musa-AS protested how he could kill an innocent child without any reason, for the child was not a murderer liable to be killed according to Shari'ah. This was preposterous and extremely intolerable. Hadhrat Khidhar-AS said that he had predicted earlier that Prophet Musa-AS would not be able to be patient over what he-AS would witness for he-AS was the custodian of Shari'ah while the former was not under any such obligation.


So Prophet Musa-AS again requested him-AS to overlook his-AS intrusion and allow him-AS to continue. If he-AS repeated it again, Hadhrat Khidhar-AS would be free to part with him-AS as it was no longer appropriate to be apologetic every time.


Aulia' Are Bound To Follow Shari'ah

The wrong doings of anyone cannot be assumed as being based on Kashf. The Aulia’ are bound to follow Shari'ah as long as they are alive. What they do after they pass away is not known to common man


Prophet Musa-AS and Hadhrat Khidhar-AS once again set out and passed by a town. They felt hungry, but none of the residents was hospitable to offer food. There they spotted a wall of a house about to collapse. Hadhrat Khidhar-AS miraculously repaired it. Prophet Musa-AS again intervened saying why he-AS had to manifest his-AS Karamah by mending the wall without any wages while they were so much in need of provisions. Hadhrat Khidhar-AS said that it was the time for them to part their ways, but he would not let the Prophet-AS go without letting him-AS know the reality of what he had witnessed and found so strange.


“First of all about the boat: it belonged to some very poor people and was their sole source of livelihood. But the direction they were heading towards that day was a place ruled by a tyrant who had ordered all boats to be confiscated. So I damaged it lest the officials of the king confiscate it, sparing them a greater loss. As for the child, he was the son of an extremely noble and God-fearing couple, but was of evil disposition. It may be the result of any sin committed by the parents, or the intake of forbidden food etc. But Allaah-SWT spared them the trouble for if the boy had grown older, he would have not only progressed in his evil temperament but also would have been a source of spreading disbelief and evil. So Allaah-SWT decided to bless them with a pious and loving progeny in his place. As for the wall, it was the property of two orphans. Beneath it lay buried an heritage from their father, who was a very noble man. So Allaah-SWT intended to safeguard the treasure until the children grow up and discover it themselves. All these were Divine plans and there was nothing I did on my own”.  This is a world of cause and effect. It is Allah-SWT's way that behind every effect there is a cause. Allaah-SWT made him the cause behind all these affairs, he added.


Pious People Benefit Others

Children benefit from the nobility of their parents, both in the worldly, as well as eternal sense, and it is purely from Allaah-SWT . Therefore, the children of learned scholars, accomplished saints and noble persons must be respected and accommodated. These were the circumstances attending the three events to which Prophet Musa-AS could not reconcile and display patience.