Surah Al Kahf

Quran Chapter 18

In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.

1Praise be to God, who revealed to His servant the Scripture, free from any distortions.

2It is invaluable—to warn of severe punishment from Him, and as good news to the believers who do righteous deeds, that for them is a good reward.

3Remaining in it forever.

4And to warn those who say, “God has begotten a son.”

5They have no knowledge of this, nor did their ancestors. A monstrous utterance comes out of their mouths. They speak nothing but lies.

6Perhaps, you may destroy yourself with grief, chasing after them, if they don’t believe in this narrative.

7We’ve made everything on earth an adornment for it, to test them, and ascertain who performs the best deeds among them.

8But ultimately, We will reduce everything on it into a barren wasteland.

9Do you consider the people of the Cave and the Inscription as among Our extraordinary miracles?

10When they sought sanctuary in the cave, they prayed, “Our Lord, shower us with Your mercy, and arrange our affairs with wisdom.”

11Then We sealed their ears in the cave for some years.

12Then We awakened them, to determine which of the two groups could best estimate the duration of their stay.

13We tell you their story with truth. They were young men who had faith in their Lord, and We augmented them in guidance.

14We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never call upon any deity other than Him, for then we would be uttering a colossal falsehood.”

15“These, our people, have taken gods besides Him, without producing clear evidence for them. Who is more unjust than one who fabricates lies against God?”

16“Now that you have isolated yourself from them and from what they worship other than God, retreat to the cave. Your Lord will extend His mercy upon you and arrange your affairs with ease.”

17You would have seen the sun, as it rose, veering away from their cave to the right, and as it set, bypassing them to the left, while they lay within the spacious area of the cave. This was one of God’s signs. Whomever God guides is guided, and whomever He leaves to stray, you will find no guiding mentor for him.

18You would have thought they were awake, yet they were asleep. We turned them over, to the right and to the left, with their dog stretching its forelegs at the entrance. If you had observed them, you would’ve turned away from them in fear, and terror-filled.

19We then awakened them, prompting them to question each other. One of them asked, “How long did you stay?” They answered, “We stayed a day or part of a day.” They concluded, “Only your Lord knows the duration of your stay.” “Send one of you with your money to the city, and let him find the best sustenance and bring it back to us. He must be discreet and not draw any attention to you.”

20“If they discover you, they may stone you or force you to revert to their religion, and then you will never succeed.”

21We made their story known to mankind, to demonstrate that God’s promise is true, and that there is no doubt about the Hour. When they disputed among themselves their affair, they proposed, “Let us build a structure over them.” Their Lord knows them best. Those who prevailed in the argument said, “We will erect a place of worship over them.”

22Some say, “They were three, their dog being the fourth.” Others will say, “They were five, their dog being the sixth,” guessing at the unseen. Yet, others will say, “They were seven, their dog being the eighth.” Say, “My Lord is more knowledgeable of their number; only a few truly know.” Therefore, don’t argue about them without solid evidence, and don’t seek anyone’s opinion about them.

23And don’t say about anything, “I will do this tomorrow.”

24Without adding, “If God wills.” And remember your Lord when you forget, and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me towards better conduct than this.”

25They remained in their cave for three hundred years, and nine more.

26Say, “God knows best how long they stayed.” His are the mysteries of the heavens and the earth. His sight is perfect, His hearing is perfect. They have no protector against Him, and He shares His rule with no one.

27Communicate what was revealed to you from your Lord’s Scripture. None can alter His words, and you won’t find any refuge besides Him.

28Be content with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance. Don’t turn your eyes away from them, desiring the splendors of this worldly life. And don’t obey him whose heart We made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his desires, and whose affairs are in disarray.

29Say, “The truth is from your Lord; let whoever wishes believe, and whoever wishes disbelieve.” We’ve prepared for the wrongdoers a fire, whose walls will enclose them. When they plead for help, they will be helped with water like molten brass, which scalds the faces. Wretched is the drink, and terrible is the resting place.

30As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds—We never let the reward of any such person, who does good, be wasted.

31They will have gardens of eternal bliss, through which rivers flow. They will be adorned with golden bracelets and wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, reclining on plush couches. Excellent is the reward, and what a splendid resting place.

32Present to them the parable of two men: We blessed one with two vineyards, surrounded by date palms, with crops in the middle.

33Both gardens produced their full yield and never failed, and We caused a river to gush through them.

34And he had fruit. In a conversation with his friend, he boasted, “I have more wealth and have a larger following than you.”

35And he entered his garden, while he wronged himself, saying, “I don’t think this will ever perish.”

36“And I don’t think the Hour will ever come. And even if I’m returned to my Lord, I will surely find something better in place of it.”

37His companion said to him while conversing with him, “Do you deny the One who created you from dust, then from a drop, and then developed you into a man?

38But He, God, is my Lord, and I don’t associate anyone with my Lord.

39Why didn’t you say, when you entered into your garden, Whatever God wills, there is no strength except in God, though you see me lesser than you in wealth and children.’

40Perhaps my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and He may send upon it a calamity from the sky, reducing it to a smooth, slippery plain.

41Or its water might sink so deep into the ground—that you won’t be able to seek it.”

42And his fruits were encircled, and he started wringing his hands in regret over all that he had invested in it, while it lay in ruins on its trellises. He said, “I wish I had not associated anyone with my Lord.”

43There was no party to assist him against God, nor was he capable of helping himself.

44All sovereignty belongs only to God, the Truth. He is the best at rewarding and the best at determining outcomes.

45And give them an example of the life of this world: it’s like water that We send down from the sky, absorbed by the earth’s plants, and it becomes debris that the winds scatter. God has the power over all things.

46Wealth and children are the embellishments of worldly life. But the enduring righteous deeds hold more outstanding merit with your Lord, both in reward and hope.

47On the Day when We set the mountains in motion, and you see the earth laid bare, We will gather them all, not leaving any of them behind.

48They will be presented before your Lord: “You’ve come to Us as We created you the first time. Yet you assumed that We wouldn’t set a date for you.”

49The document will be placed, and you’ll see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will lament, “Woe to us! What kind of document is this that omits nothing, small or large, but takes it into account?” They will find everything they did present. Your Lord doesn’t wrong anyone.

50When We commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam, they all did, except for Iblis. He belonged to jinn and deviated from his Lord’s command. Will you then take him and his offspring as allies, even though they are your enemies? Terrible is the exchange for the wrong-doers!

51I didn’t make them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation. I don’t take misleaders as helpers.

52On that Day, He will say, “Call upon those you claimed were My partners.” They will call upon them, but they won’t answer them. We put a gap between them.

53The wrongdoers will see the Fire, and realize they are about to fall into it. They will find no deliverance from it.

54In this Quran, We present various parables for people, yet man is the most argumentative being.

55What prevents people from believing and seeking their Lord’s forgiveness when the guidance comes to them? Unless the precedent of the ancients comes to them, or the torment comes to them face to face?

56We send messengers only as bearers of good news and as warners. Yet, those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they treat My signs and warnings as a joke.

57Who is more unjust than the one who, when reminded of his Lord’s verses, turns away from them, and forgets what his hands have put forth? We place covers over their hearts, so they don’t understand it, and deafness in their ears. Even if you call them to guidance, they will never be guided at all.

58Your Lord is All-Forgiving, Full of Mercy. If He were to call them to account for what they’ve earned, He would accelerate their punishment. But they have an appointed time from which they will find no escape.

59And those cities—We destroyed them when they wronged, and We set a fixed time for their destruction.

60When Moses said to his young servant, “I won’t give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if it takes me a long time.”

61But when they reached the junction between them, they forgot their fish, which took its course into the sea, slipping away.

62As they journeyed, he told his companion, “Bring us our lunch; we’ve experienced hardship on this journey.”

63He replied, “Do you see when we rested by the rock? I forgot about the fish. Only Satan made me forget to remember it. Amazingly, it made its way into the sea.”

64He said, “That’s what we were seeking!” So they returned following their footsteps.

65Then they came across one of Our servants, to whom We had given mercy from Us and taught knowledge from Us.

66Moses asked him, “May I follow you, so that you may teach me some of the righteousness you were taught?”

67He answered, “You won’t be able to endure with me patiently.

68How could you endure things that you don’t understand?”

69He responded, “If God wills, you’ll find me patient, and I won’t disobey any of your instructions.”

70He said, “If you follow me, then don’t question me about anything until I choose to explain it to you.”

71They set out, until, when they boarded the boat, he made a hole in it. He exclaimed, “Did you make a hole in it to drown its passengers? You did a strange thing!”

72He replied, “Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t be patient with me?”

73He responded, “Don’t reprimand me for forgetting, and don’t be harsh with me.”

74They journeyed on. Upon encountering a boy, he killed him. He questioned, “Did you kill an innocent soul who hadn’t taken another’s life? You did a terrible thing!”

75He replied, “Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t be patient with me?”

76He said, “If I ask you about anything after this, don’t keep me in your company. You’ve already received enough excuses from me.”

77They journeyed on. Upon reaching a town, they asked its residents for food, but they denied them hospitality. There, they found a wall that was about to collapse, and he repaired it. He commented, “If you had wished, you could’ve demanded a wage for it.”

78He said, “This is where we part ways. I am going to make known to you the interpretation of those things over which you couldn’t hold patience.

79As for the boat, it belonged to poor people who worked at sea. I intended to damage it because a king was approaching who was seizing every boat by force.

80As for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared he would overburden them with transgression and disbelief.

81So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange someone better in purity and closer in mercy.

82As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and beneath it was a treasure that was theirs. Their father was righteous, and your Lord intended for them to reach maturity and retrieve their treasure. I didn’t act of my own accord. This is the interpretation of that over which you couldn’t be patient.”

83They ask you about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, “I will narrate a portion of his story to you.”

84We established him on earth, and We provided him with a means to do all things.

85He then continued his journey.

86Upon reaching the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a vast muddy spring, and he found people there. We said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, you can either punish or treat them with kindness.”

87He answered, “As for those who commit wrongdoings, we will punish them. Then, they will be returned to their Lord, subjecting them to an even more severe punishment.

88However, those who believe and perform righteous deeds will receive the finest rewards, we will command them in an easy way.”

89He then continued on his way.

90Upon reaching the rising point of the sun, he found it rising over a people for whom We had not provided any form of protection against it.

91We had full knowledge of what he encountered during his journey.

92Subsequently, he embarked on another expedition.

93Upon reaching a pass between two mountains, he encountered people who could hardly understand any language.

94They implored, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, Gog, and Magog are wreaking havoc in the land; could we possibly compensate you to build a barrier between us and them?’

95He replied, “The strength my Lord has granted me is sufficient. Assist me, and I will erect a fortification between you and them.”

96“Bring me blocks of iron.” Once he had filled the space between the two sides, he said, “Light it up!” Once it was red-hot, he directed, “Bring me molten copper to pour over it.”

97As a result, they were unable to climb it or to tunnel through it.

98He declared, “This is a mercy from my Lord. However, when my Lord’s promise is fulfilled, He will reduce it to rubble. The promise of my Lord is always true.”

99On that Day, We will let them surge like waves into each other. Then the Trumpet will be blown, and We will gather them all together.

100On that Day, We will expose Hell in full view for the unbelievers.

101Those whose eyes were covered from My remembrance, and were unable to hear.

102Do those who disbelieve presume they can take My servants as protectors instead of Me? We prepared Hell as a reception for the unbelievers.

103Say, “Shall we inform you of who will be the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?”

104“Those whose efforts in this worldly life are misguided, while they assume themselves to be doing well in work.”

105These are the ones who denied their Lord’s signs and the meeting with Him. Therefore, their deeds are worthless, and We won’t assign any weight to them on Resurrection Day.

106Their compensation will be Hell, because of their disbelief and mockery of My verses and messengers.

107As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, they will have the Gardens of Paradise as their place of hospitality.

108There, they will reside eternally, with no desire for relocation.

109Say, “If the ocean were ink for my Lord’s words, the ocean would run out, before my Lord’s words run out,” even if we replenished it with another like it.

110Say, “I am only a human like you, revealed to me that your God is One God. Whoever is hopeful for the meeting with his Lord, let him act righteously, and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.”