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 5 (Verses 18:32–18:44): A Parable


وَ اضۡرِبۡ لَہُمۡ مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَیۡنِ جَعَلۡنَا لِاَحَدِہِمَا جَنَّتَیۡنِ مِنۡ اَعۡنَابٍ وَّ حَفَفۡنٰہُمَا بِنَخۡلٍ وَّ جَعَلۡنَا بَیۡنَہُمَا زَرۡعًا ﴿ؕ۳۲﴾

18:32 And set forth to them the parable of two men — for one of them We made two gardens of grape-vines, and We surrounded them with date-palms, and between them We made corn-fields.1

کِلۡتَا الۡجَنَّتَیۡنِ اٰتَتۡ اُکُلَہَا وَ لَمۡ تَظۡلِمۡ مِّنۡہُ شَیۡئًا ۙ وَّ فَجَّرۡنَا خِلٰلَہُمَا نَہَرًا ﴿ۙ۳۳﴾

18:33 Both these gardens yielded their fruits, and did not fail in this at all, and We caused a river to gush forth in their midst,

وَّ کَانَ لَہٗ ثَمَرٌ ۚ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِہٖ وَ ہُوَ یُحَاوِرُہٗۤ اَنَا اَکۡثَرُ مِنۡکَ مَالًا وَّ اَعَزُّ نَفَرًا ﴿۳۴﴾

18:34 and he had fruit. So he said to his companion, while arguing with him: I have more wealth than you, and am greater in followers.

وَ دَخَلَ جَنَّتَہٗ وَ ہُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفۡسِہٖ ۚ قَالَ مَاۤ اَظُنُّ اَنۡ تَبِیۡدَ ہٰذِہٖۤ اَبَدًا ﴿ۙ۳۵﴾

18:35 And he went into his garden, while he was unjust to himself. He said: I do not think that this will ever perish,

وَّ مَاۤ اَظُنُّ السَّاعَۃَ قَآئِمَۃً ۙ وَّ لَئِنۡ رُّدِدۡتُّ اِلٰی رَبِّیۡ لَاَجِدَنَّ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡہَا مُنۡقَلَبًا ﴿۳۶﴾

18:36 and I do not think the Hour will come;2 and even if I am returned to my Lord, I will certainly find a better place of return than this.

قَالَ لَہٗ صَاحِبُہٗ وَ ہُوَ یُحَاوِرُہٗۤ اَکَفَرۡتَ بِالَّذِیۡ خَلَقَکَ مِنۡ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِنۡ نُّطۡفَۃٍ ثُمَّ سَوّٰىکَ رَجُلًا ﴿ؕ۳۷﴾

18:37 His companion said to him, while arguing with him: Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you of dust, then of a small life-germ, then He made you a perfect man?

لٰکِنَّا۠ ہُوَ اللّٰہُ رَبِّیۡ وَ لَاۤ اُشۡرِکُ بِرَبِّیۡۤ اَحَدًا ﴿۳۸﴾

18:38 But as for me, He, Allah, is my Lord, and I set up none as partner with my Lord.

وَ لَوۡ لَاۤ اِذۡ دَخَلۡتَ جَنَّتَکَ قُلۡتَ مَا شَآءَ اللّٰہُ ۙ لَا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللّٰہِ ۚ اِنۡ تَرَنِ اَنَا اَقَلَّ مِنۡکَ مَالًا وَّ وَلَدًا ﴿ۚ۳۹﴾

18:39 And why did you not say, when you entered your garden: It is as Allah has pleased — there is no power except in Allah? If you consider me as less than you in wealth and children —

فَعَسٰی رَبِّیۡۤ اَنۡ یُّؤۡتِیَنِ خَیۡرًا مِّنۡ جَنَّتِکَ وَ یُرۡسِلَ عَلَیۡہَا حُسۡبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فَتُصۡبِحَ صَعِیۡدًا زَلَقًا ﴿ۙ۴۰﴾

18:40 then maybe my Lord will give me better than your garden, and will send on (yours) a reckoning from heaven so that it is dust without plant,

اَوۡ یُصۡبِحَ مَآؤُہَا غَوۡرًا فَلَنۡ تَسۡتَطِیۡعَ لَہٗ طَلَبًا ﴿۴۱﴾

18:41 or its water will sink down into the ground, so that you are unable to find it.

وَ اُحِیۡطَ بِثَمَرِہٖ فَاَصۡبَحَ یُقَلِّبُ کَفَّیۡہِ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَنۡفَقَ فِیۡہَا وَ ہِیَ خَاوِیَۃٌ عَلٰی عُرُوۡشِہَا وَ یَقُوۡلُ یٰلَیۡتَنِیۡ لَمۡ اُشۡرِکۡ بِرَبِّیۡۤ اَحَدًا ﴿۴۲﴾

18:42 And his fruit was destroyed; so he began to wring his hands for what he had spent on it, as it lay waste, its roofs fallen down,3 and he said: Ah me! I wish I had not set up any partner with my Lord!

وَ لَمۡ تَکُنۡ لَّہٗ فِئَۃٌ یَّنۡصُرُوۡنَہٗ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَ مَا کَانَ مُنۡتَصِرًا ﴿ؕ۴۳﴾

18:43 And he had no forces to help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself.

ہُنَالِکَ الۡوَلَایَۃُ لِلّٰہِ الۡحَقِّ ؕ ہُوَ خَیۡرٌ ثَوَابًا وَّ خَیۡرٌ عُقۡبًا ﴿٪۴۴﴾

18:44 Thus protection is only Allah’s, the True One. He is best to (give) reward and best for (determining) the final end.


  1. The parable set forth here is undoubtedly to illustrate the condition of the Christian and the Muslim nations. The former received an abundance of the wealth of this life, as is indicated by the gardens of the parable, while the latter, though poorer in worldly possessions, were richer in the heavenly blessings of Allah. The former reject the message of Truth, of which the latter are the bearers, and their vaunt is the same as that of the wealthy man in the parable: I have more wealth than you, and am greater in followers (v. 34).
  2. By the “Hour” is meant the hour of doom which must overtake every people who reject the Truth.
  3. Here we have an exact description of the havoc that is being wrought in the world before our eyes by modern wars.