English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 18: Al-Kahf — The Cave (Revealed at Makkah: 12 sections, 110 verses)

Section 12 (Verses 18:102–18:110): Christian Nations


اَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّتَّخِذُوۡا عِبَادِیۡ مِنۡ دُوۡنِیۡۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ؕ اِنَّـاۤ اَعۡتَدۡنَا جَہَنَّمَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ نُزُلًا ﴿۱۰۲﴾

18:102 Do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants to be protectors besides Me?1 Surely We have prepared hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers.

قُلۡ ہَلۡ نُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِالۡاَخۡسَرِیۡنَ اَعۡمَالًا ﴿۱۰۳﴾ؕ

18:103 Say: Shall We inform you who are the greatest losers in respect of deeds?

اَلَّذِیۡنَ ضَلَّ سَعۡیُہُمۡ فِی الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا وَ ہُمۡ یَحۡسَبُوۡنَ اَنَّہُمۡ یُحۡسِنُوۡنَ صُنۡعًا ﴿۱۰۴﴾

18:104 Those whose effort is lost in this world’s life, and they think that they are making good manufactures.2

اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا بِاٰیٰتِ رَبِّہِمۡ وَ لِقَآئِہٖ فَحَبِطَتۡ اَعۡمَالُہُمۡ فَلَا نُقِیۡمُ لَہُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ وَزۡنًا ﴿۱۰۵﴾

18:105 Those are they who disbelieve in the messages of their Lord and meeting with Him, so their deeds are fruitless. Nor shall We set up a balance for them on the day of Resurrection.3

ذٰلِکَ جَزَآؤُہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ بِمَا کَفَرُوۡا وَ اتَّخَذُوۡۤا اٰیٰتِیۡ وَ رُسُلِیۡ ہُزُوًا ﴿۱۰۶﴾

18:106 That is their reward — hell, because they disbelieved and held My messages and My messengers in mockery.

اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ کَانَتۡ لَہُمۡ جَنّٰتُ الۡفِرۡدَوۡسِ نُزُلًا ﴿۱۰۷﴾ۙ

18:107 As for those who believe and do good deeds, for them are Gardens of Paradise, an entertainment,

خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا لَا یَبۡغُوۡنَ عَنۡہَا حِوَلًا ﴿۱۰۸﴾

18:108 to abide therein; they will not desire removal from there.

قُلۡ لَّوۡ کَانَ الۡبَحۡرُ مِدَادًا لِّکَلِمٰتِ رَبِّیۡ لَنَفِدَ الۡبَحۡرُ قَبۡلَ اَنۡ تَنۡفَدَ کَلِمٰتُ رَبِّیۡ وَ لَوۡ جِئۡنَا بِمِثۡلِہٖ مَدَدًا ﴿۱۰۹﴾

18:109 Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought as much again to add (to it).4

قُلۡ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُکُمۡ یُوۡحٰۤی اِلَیَّ اَنَّمَاۤ اِلٰـہُکُمۡ اِلٰہٌ وَّاحِدٌ ۚ فَمَنۡ کَانَ یَرۡجُوۡا لِقَآءَ رَبِّہٖ فَلۡیَعۡمَلۡ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَّ لَا یُشۡرِکۡ بِعِبَادَۃِ رَبِّہٖۤ اَحَدًا ﴿۱۱۰﴾٪

18:110 Say: I am only a mortal like you — it is revealed to me that your God is one God. So whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and make no one a partner (with God) in the service of his Lord.


  1. The Christians are meant here, because theirs is the most prominent example of having taken a servant of Allah, a prophet, for God. In fact, Jesus Christ is the only person whom the Quran recognizes as a righteous servant of God and who has been taken for God by a large part of the world.
  2. This is a clear description of the present attitude of the civilized nations to their moral and spiritual needs — their effort is entirely wasted in this world’s life, and they cannot give a moment’s consideration to the life after death. The portrait of the material civilization, to which Christianity has led, as drawn in this section, attains to its most vivid clearness in these words. Manufacture is the one speciality and pride of the West. But they are so engrossed in the contest of manufactures that they have no thought of God left in their minds.
  3. Their deeds are fruitless because what they do relates to the vanities of life. They have no vision for the higher values of life, for the ultimate end, which is here spoken of as the meeting with the Lord. Hence we are told that no balance will be set up for them on the day of Resurrection, because all their deeds relate to this life, and end where this life ends.
  4. In these words there is a refutation of the Christian doctrine that “the word was with God”, or that “the word was God” (John 1:1). The words of God are so numerous, we are here told, that the sea would be exhausted, if it were to serve as ink for writing them. In fact, everything created is a word of God accord­ing to the Quran, and things created know no end.