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 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 13
  • Siparah/ Volume 15 & 16


وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَيْنِ جَعَلْنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيْنِ مِنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَحَفَفْنَاهُمَا بِنَخْلٍ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمَا زَرْعًا

Wa(i)drib lahum mathalan rajulayni jaAAalna liahadihima jannatayni min aAAnabin wahafafnahuma binakhlin wajaAAalna baynahuma zarAAa(n)

Proclaim you to them the similitude of two men. We-SWT made for one of them two gardens of vines and hedged both with palms, and We-SWT placed tillage in between.


كِلْتَا الْجَنَّتَيْنِ آتَتْ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمْ تَظْلِمْ مِنْهُ شَيْئًا وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَالَهُمَا نَهَرًا

Kilta aljannatayni atat okulaha walam tathlim minhu shayan wafajjarna khilalahuma nahara(n)

Each of the two gardens brought forth the produce, and stinted not anything thereof, and We-SWT made stream to gush forth in the midst of the two.


وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًا

Wakana lahu thamarun faqala lisahibihi wahuwa yuhawiruhu ana aktharu minka malan waaAAazzu nafara(n)

And he had property. Then he said to his companion as he spoke to him: I am better than you in substance and mightier in respect of retinue.


وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَا أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَذِهِ أَبَدًا

Wadakhala jannatahu wahuwa thalimun linafsihi qala ma athunnu an tabeeda hathihi abada(n)

And he entered his garden, while he was a wrong doer in respect of his own soul. And he said: I do not consider that it will ever perish.


وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّي لَأَجِدَنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهَا مُنقَلَبًا

Wama athunnu a(l)ssaAAata qaimatan walain rudidtu ila rabbee laajidanna khayran minha munqalaba(n)

Nor I consider that the Hour is going to happen; and if I am brought back to my Rabb-SWT , surely I shall find something better than this as a retreat.


قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلًا

Qala lahu sahibuhu wahuwa yuhawiruhu akafarta bi(a)llathee khalaqaka min turabin thumma min nutfatin thumma sawwaka rajula(n)

His companion said to him; as he spoke to him: are you a disbeliever in Him-SWT Who-SWT created you of dust; then of a sperm, and formed you a man?


لَّكِنَّا هُوَ اللَّهُ رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا

Lakinna huwa Allahu rabbee wala oshriku birabbee ahada(n)

But, He-SWT is Allah-SWT, my Rabb-SWT , and with my Rabb-SWT I do not join anyone.


وَلَوْلَا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَاء اللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالًا وَوَلَدًا

Walawla ith dakhalta jannataka qulta ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illa bi(A)llahi in tarani ana aqalla minka malan wawalada(n)

Why then you said not when you entered your garden: whatever Allaah-SWT may will, there is no power save in Allah-SWT; if you see then I am inferior to you in substance and offspring.


فَعَسَى رَبِّي أَن يُؤْتِيَنِ خَيْرًا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ وَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهَا حُسْبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء فَتُصْبِحَ صَعِيدًا زَلَقًا

FaAAasa rabbee an yutiyani khayran min jannatika wayursila AAalayha husbanan mina a(l)ssamai fatusbiha saAAeedan zalaqa(n)

Then perchance my Rabb-SWT will give me something better than your garden and send on it a bolt from the heaven so that it become a slippery plane.


أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَاؤُهَا غَوْرًا فَلَن تَسْتَطِيعَ لَهُ طَلَبًا

Aw yusbiha maoha ghawran falan tastateeAAa lahu talaba(n)

Or the water thereof becomes deep sunken, so that you-can make a search therefore


وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِ فَأَصْبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى مَا أَنفَقَ فِيهَا وَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُشْرِكْ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا

Waoheeta bithamarihi faasbaha yuqallibu kaffayhi AAala ma anfaqa feeha wahiya khawiyatun AAala AAurooshiha wayaqoolu ya laytanee lam oshrik birabbee ahada(n)

And his property was encompassed, and lo! He was wringing the palms of his hands over what he had spent on it, so it lay fallen down on its trellises, saying: oh! Would that I had not joined anyone with my Rabb-SWT !


وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُ فِئَةٌ يَنصُرُونَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا

Walam takun lahu fiatun yansuroonahu min dooni Allahi wama kana muntasira(n)

And there could be no party helping him as against Allah-SWT, nor he could be an avenger himself.


هُنَالِكَ الْوَلَايَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ هُوَ خَيْرٌ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ عُقْبًا

Hunalika alwalayatu lillahi alhaqqi huwa khayrun thawaban wakhayrun AAuqba(n)

Herein is all protection from Allaah-SWT the True; Excellent is He-SWT as to the reward and Excellent to the final end!


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

Many similitudes can be presented of what is often witnessed at communal and individual levels. So O Prophet-SW! Present before these infidels the similitude of the two friends. One of them was blessed with affluence. He owned vineyards surrounded by date palms with a fertile piece of land in the middle. His land yielded bounties like grapes, dates and grain simultaneously, in sufficient quantities throughout the year. Right through his gardens a river was flowing, which kept them ever green and laden with seasonal fruits. While the owner of these gardens was affluent, the other friend was not so well off.


One day the rich friend gave vent to his inner thoughts and said to his friend: "Compared to you, I am very affluent and influential. There are many people who obey me, but you, my friend, consider my beliefs and practices to be ungodly. You believe in Allaah-SWT and are hopeful of reward from Him-SWT . But what I see is just the opposite. Had you been right, all these favours I enjoy would have been with you." He entered his garden in conceit and, blinded by his prosperity, commented: "Can such flourishing gardens with a river flowing through ever perish? Certainly not! And what people say about the Day of Judgment is, in my opinion, a hoax concocted as a consolation by the poor.


However, if it is true and I do have to return to Allah-SWT, I will be given even better gardens than these. Because according to you, Jannah is better than this world and will be awarded to His-SWT chosen people and my affluence is an evidence to the fact that I am Allah-SWT's chosen person".


Just as today it is often said of a rich person that Allaah-SWT has favoured him amply. The level of morality and beliefs is often over looked while making such remarks. It must be remembered, that worldly affluence is a blessing only when complimented by faith; otherwise its a misfortune. However, his believing friend said rather emphatically: "You are denying such a Magnificent Creator Who created you out of a handful of dust." In His-SWT grand system, this dust produces food, which becomes part of human bodies. Then it turns into a droplet of semen and is planted into the mother's womb and Allaah-SWT fashions it into a perfect human being.


"If you insist on denial," he said, "I will not be influenced by your wealth so as to follow you. My belief is that Allaah-SWT is my Rabb-SWT Who-SWT fulfils my needs and I do not ascribe any partners in His-SWT Being and in His-SWT Attributes. It would have been much better for you if upon entering your garden, you had said. ‘Allaah-SWT be praised. There is no power save Him. Everything occurs by His-SWT Command.' You should have been thankful to Allaah-SWT seeing me lesser in wealth, power or kin than yourself rather than resorting to denial. Allaah-SWT is all Powerful, He-SWT may bless me with superior gardens than yours if He-SWT pleases. He-SWT can also decree a calamity upon your gardens reducing these to waste. And you may be left wistfully dumbfounded upon seeing a barren field in front of you. He-SWT is all Powerful to command the river to dry up, on which the gardens thrive, which would then be ruined and you can by no means bring the water back."


And this was exactly what happened; His gardens were uprooted because of his arrogance and defiance. One morning when he entered his gardens, he found them totally ruined. He was thunderstruck to behold the devastation, and began lamenting: "Had I not ascribed partners to Allah-SWT, such a calamity would not have struck. Or even if this worldly loss was to be incurred at least my reward in the Akhirah would have stayed. Now I have destroyed both!" but his wealth and servants could not help him in the least and it became evident that all powers rest with Allaah-SWT and only His-SWT Rule and Authority truly prevails. Only His-SWT Favour can benefit people both here and in the Hereafter. Otherwise nothing can be of any avail in this life and the next.