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 2 (Verses 18:13–18:17): The Dwellers in the Cave


نَحۡنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَیۡکَ نَبَاَہُمۡ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ فِتۡیَۃٌ اٰمَنُوۡا بِرَبِّہِمۡ وَ زِدۡنٰہُمۡ ہُدًی ﴿٭ۖ۱۳﴾

18:13 We relate to you their story with truth. Surely they were youths who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.

وَّ رَبَطۡنَا عَلٰی قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ اِذۡ قَامُوۡا فَقَالُوۡا رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ لَنۡ نَّدۡعُوَا۠ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اِلٰـہًا لَّقَدۡ قُلۡنَاۤ اِذًا شَطَطًا ﴿۱۴﴾

18:14 And We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and said: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth; we call upon no god beside Him, for then indeed we should utter an enormity.1

ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ قَوۡمُنَا اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِہٖۤ اٰلِہَۃً ؕ لَوۡ لَا یَاۡتُوۡنَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍۭ بَیِّنٍ ؕ فَمَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَرٰی عَلَی اللّٰہِ کَذِبًا ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾

18:15 These our people have taken gods beside Him. Why do they not bring clear authority for them? Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah?

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

18:16 And when you withdraw from them and what they worship except Allah, take refuge in the Cave; your Lord will spread forth for you some of His mercy, and provide for you a profitable course in your affair.

وَ تَرَی الشَّمۡسَ اِذَا طَلَعَتۡ تَّزٰوَرُ عَنۡ کَہۡفِہِمۡ ذَاتَ الۡیَمِیۡنِ وَ اِذَا غَرَبَتۡ تَّقۡرِضُہُمۡ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَ ہُمۡ فِیۡ فَجۡوَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ ؕ ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ اٰیٰتِ اللّٰہِ ؕ مَنۡ یَّہۡدِ اللّٰہُ فَہُوَ الۡمُہۡتَدِ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّضۡلِلۡ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَہٗ وَلِیًّا مُّرۡشِدًا ﴿٪۱۷﴾

18:17 And you might see the sun, when it rose, decline from their Cave to the right, and when it set leave them behind on the left, while they were in a wide space of it.2 This is from among the signs of Allah. He whom Allah guides, he is on the right way; and whom He leaves in error, you will not find for him a friend to guide aright.


  1. This is to show that the early followers of Christianity were Unitarians — believers in one God only.
  2. This describes the position of the cave, which was so situated that it did not admit sunshine. This could easily happen in a cave with its mouth to the north, situated in the northern hemisphere and above the tropic of cancer. With reference to the history of Christianity it may indicate its coming to Europe.