THE HOLY QUR'AAN


SURAH 18

Al-Kahf  (The Cave)


INTRODUCTION:

This Surah consists of 111 verses, 1577 sentences, 6360 letters and 12 Ruku's.

Name

It takes its name from v. 9 in which the word (al-kahf) occurs.

Period of Revelation

This is the first of those Surahs which were sent down in the third stage of Prophethood at Makkah. We have already divided the life of the Holy Prophet at Makkah into four stages in the Introduction to Chapter 6. According to that division the third stage lasted from the fifth to the tenth year of Prophethood. What distinguishes this stage from the second and the fourth stages is this. During the second stage the Quraish mainly resorted to ridiculing, scoffing, threatening, tempting, raising objections and making false propaganda against the Holy Prophet and his followers in order to suppress the Islamic Movement. But during the third stage they employed the weapons of persecution, manhandling and economic pressure for the same purpose. So much so that a large number of the Muslims had to emigrate from Arabia to Habash, and those who remained behind were besieged in Shi'ib Abi Talib along with the Holy Prophet and his family. To add to their misery, a complete social and economic boycott was applied against them. The only redeeming feature was that there were two personalities, Abu Talib and Hadrat Khadijah, whose personal influence had been conducive to the support of two great families of the Quraish.

 

However, when in the tenth year of Prophethood these two persons died, the fourth stage began with such revere persecutions as forced the Holy Prophet and all his Companions to emigrate from Makkah.

 

It appears from the theme of the Surah that it was revealed at the beginning of the third stage when in spite of persecutions and opposition, migration to Habash had not yet taken place. That is why the story of "Ashab-i-Kahf" (the Sleepers of the Cave) has been related to comfort and encourage the persecuted Muslims and to show them how the righteous people have been saving their Faith in the past.

Subject and Topics

This Surah was sent down in answer to the three questions which the mushriks of Makkah, in consultation with the people of the Book, had put to the Holy Prophet in order to test him. These were:

1.       Who were "the Sleepers of the Cave"?

2.       What is the real story of Khidr?

3.       What do you know about Zul- Qarnain?

As these three questions and the stories involved concerned the history of the Christians and the Jews, and were unknown in Hijaz, a choice of these was made to test whether the Holy Prophet possessed any source of the knowledge of the hidden and unseen things. Allah, however, not only gave a complete answer to their questions but also employed the three stories to the disadvantage of the opponents of Islam in the conflict that was going on at that time at Makkah between Islam and unbelief.

The questioners were told that "the Sleepers of the Cave" believed in the same doctrine of Tauhid which was being put forward in the Quran and that their condition was similar to the condition of the persecuted Muslims of Makkah. On the other hand, the persecutors of the Sleepers of the Cave had behaved in the same way towards them as the disbelievers of the Quraish were behaving towards the Muslims. Besides this, the Muslims have been taught that even if a Believer is persecuted by a cruel society, he should not bow down before falsehood but emigrate from the place all alone, if need be, with trust in God.

 

Incidentally the disbelievers of Makkah were told that the story of the Sleepers of the Cave was a clear proof of the creed of the Hereafter, for this showed that Allah has the power to resurrect anyone He wills even after a long sleep of death as He did in case of the Sleepers of the Cave.

 

The story of the Sleepers of the Cave has also been used to warn the chiefs of Makkah who were persecuting the small newly formed Muslim Community. At the same time, the Holy Prophet has been instructed that he should in no case make a compromise with their persecutors nor should he consider them to be more important than his poor followers. On the other hand, those chiefs have been admonished that they should not be puffed up with the transitory life of pleasure they were then enjoying but should seek after those excellences which are permanent and eternal.

 

The story of Khidr and Moses has been related in such a way as to supply the answer to the question of the disbelievers and to give comfort to the Believers as well. The lesson contained in this story is this: You should have full faith in the wisdom of what is happening in the Divine Factory in accordance with the will of Allah. As the reality is hidden from you, you are at a loss to understand the wisdom of what is happening, and sometimes if it appears that things are going against you, you cry out, "How and why has this happened?". The fact is that if the curtain be removed from the "unseen", you would yourselves come to know that what is happening here is for the best. Even if sometimes it appears that something is going against you, you will see that in the end it also produces some good results for you.

 

The same is true of the story of zul-Qarnain for it also admonishes the questioners, as if to say, "O you vain chiefs of Makkah you should learn a lesson from zul-Qarnain. Though he was a great ruler, a great conqueror and the owner of great resources, yet he always surrendered to his Creator, whereas you are rebelling against Him even though you are insignificant chieftains in comparison with him. Besides this, though zul-Qarnain built one of the strongest walls for protection, yet his real trust was in Allah and not in the 'wall'. He believed that the wall could protect him against his enemies as long as it was the will of Allah and that there would be cracks and holes in it, when it would be His will; whereas you who possess only insignificant fortified abodes and dwellings in comparison with him, consider yourselves to be permanently safe and secure against all sorts of calamities."

 

While the Quran turned the tables on the questioners who had tried to "expose" the Holy Prophet, in the end of the Surah the same things have been reiterated that were stated at its beginning: "Tauhid and the Hereafter are absolutely true and real and for your own good you should accept these doctrines, mend your ways in accordance with them and live in this world with this conviction that you are accountable to Allah: otherwise you shall ruin your life and all your doings shall be set at naught."

 

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that the Digest is based upon these outstanding translations and they have been reproduced here for the benefit of serious readers of the Quraan; the copyrights of these works are held by their respective authors/publishers from whom they can be purchased by anyone interested in acquiring them and we ardently hope that no offence will be taken by their inclusion.

 

 

THE HOLY QUR'AAN


SURAH 18
AL-KAHF (THE CAVE)

 

 

Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

 

 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

 

Section 1.   

18 : 1

1. Alhamdu lillahi allathee anzala AAala AAabdihi alkitaba walam yajAAal lahu AAiwajan

Praise be to Allah who has revealed the Scripture to His slave and not included in it anything tortuous!

18 : 2

2. Qayyiman liyunthira ba/san shadeedan min ladunhu wayubashshira almu/mineena allatheena yaAAmaloona alssalihati anna lahum ajran hasanan

But has made it an equipoised tractate, giving those who do not believe the warning of grim consequences and those who believe and perform righteous deeds the tidings of a generous reward -

18 : 3

3. Makitheena feehi abadan

Both lasting forever!

18 : 4

4. Wayunthira allatheena qaloo ittakhatha Allahu waladan

And especially to warn those who impute that Allah has taken for Himself a son -

18 : 5

5. Ma lahum bihi min AAilmin wala li-aba-ihim kaburat kalimatan takhruju min afwahihim in yaqooloona illa kathiban

About which they have no veritable knowledge, nor did their forefathers have any. What an abominable profanity that flows from their mouths and they utter but lies!

18 : 6

6. FalaAAallaka bakhiAAun nafsaka AAala atharihim in lam yu/minoo bihatha alhadeethi asafan

So do not put your own life in peril on account of them (O Mohammed) nor distress yourself over the fact that they do not believe in Our message!

18 : 7

7. Inna jaAAalna ma AAala al-ardi zeenatan laha linabluwahum ayyuhum ahsanu AAamalan

We have arrayed the earth with beautiful things so that We might test them as to who excels whom in the performance of righteous deeds.

18 : 8

8. Wa-inna lajaAAiloona ma AAalayha saAAeedan juruzan

Yet one Day We shall also strip it of all its assets and flatten it into a wasteland!
 

(Verse 7 and 8 contain a stark reminder that although Allah has created countless marvels in the heavens and on the earth, everything to flawless perfection, Himself being the greatest Perfectionist of all, nothing on earth lasts forever; the rainbow will fade and the roses will die; the Everest will melt and the Alps will collapse; the sun will douse and the moon will catapult; the stars will turn into dust and sprinkle on earth; the mountains will rise like puffs of cotton wool and fly away into the distance; the earth will surrender to cataclysms and evict her bowels; disarray will replace array and chaos will replace cosmos! And hence we are admonished never to sell ourselves to the transient at the expense of the Everlasting and to treat life on earth only as a key with which to unlock the doors of Eternity, or as a flame with which to ignite the Shielded lamp in the Hereafter!)

18 : 9

9. Am hasibta anna as-haba alkahfi waalrraqeemi kanoo min ayatina AAajaban

Have you been made aware that the Companions of the Cave and the Bearers of the Inscription were a most wondrous of Our portents?

(As mentioned in 17 : 85, when the idolaters of Mecca approached the Jewish rabbis to advise them on how to deal with the threat the Prophet was posing them and to halt his progress by publicly humiliating him, it was suggested that they asked him to answer three of their questions regarding (I) the human spirit (ii) about the sleepers of the Cave and (iii) about Dhu'l-Qarnayn.

How the Prophet dealt with the issue of the human spirit has already been explained in the preceding Surah. This Surah deals with the other two : the Sleepers of the Cave and Dhu'l-Qarnayn.

It should be borne in mind that, although some commentators do identify the sleepers mentioned here with the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus contained in Christian chronicles, there is no real consensus of opinion regarding this matter.

According to Islamic researchers, after the ascension of Jesus to heaven, the Romans continued to oppress the Christians and committed all sorts of atrocities on anyone who even remotely associated himself either with 'Jesus' or with the 'Gospel' he preached.

During the reign of terror of a particularly malicious Centurion, a group of young men who believed in Allah and in the Day of Resurrection escaped into a valley identified in the Qur'aan as 'Raqim' and took shelter inside a secluded Cave along with their dog to escape persecution, so that they could pray to Allah and seek His mercy without fear of reprisals.

When the Centurion came to know about this, he dispatched a regiment of his soldiers to hunt them down and slay them. But the captain who commanded the regiment being sympathetic towards the Christians, did not carry out the order 'verbatim', but instead, after tracking them down to the Cave, got a wall built around the access and left them to die rather than have the blood of a few defenceless men upon his hand and upon his conscience.

However, since it was Allah's will to prove to mankind through this episode that He did have the power to raise the dead after they lay buried in their graves for any number of years, a deep slumber was induced upon them and on their dog and grave like conditions were created inside the Cave in which they lay for several centuries, as described in the following verses).

18 : 10

10. Ith awa alfityatu ila alkahfi faqaloo rabbana atina min ladunka rahmatan wahayyi/ lana min amrina rashadan  

When the youths took shelter in the Cave to escape persecution, they said : 'Lord! Bless us with Your mercy and give us guidance so that we succeed in our mission!'

18 : 11

11. Fadarabna AAala athanihim fee alkahfi sineena AAadadan

So We blocked their ears inside the Cave for a certain number of years,

18 : 12

12. Thumma baAAathnahum linaAAlama ayyu alhizbayni ahsa lima labithoo amadan

Then We woke them up so that We know which one of the two groups guessed the duration of their repose in it more accurately than the other. (R)



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

1. All the praises and thanks be to Allh, Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad SAW) the Book (the Qur'n), and has not placed therein any crookedness.

2. (He has made it) Straight to give warning (to the disbelievers) of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allh Islmic Monotheism), who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward (i.e. Paradise).

3. They shall abide therein forever.

4. And to warn those (Jews, Christians, and pagans) who say, "Allh has begotten a son (or offspring or children)."

5. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths [i.e. He begot (took) sons and daughters]. They utter nothing but a lie.

6. Perhaps, you, would kill yourself (O Muhammad SAW) in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration (the Qur'n).

7. Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. [i.e.those who do good deeds in the most perfect manner, that means to do them (deeds) totally for Allh's sake and in accordance to the legal ways of the Prophet SAW ].

8. And verily! We shall make all that is on it (the earth) a bare dry soil (without any vegetation or trees, etc.).

9. Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs?

10. (Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave, they said: "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!"

11. Therefore We covered up their (sense of) hearing (causing them, to go in deep sleep) in the Cave for a number of years.

12. Then We raised them up (from their sleep), that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period that they had tarried.


018.001
YUSUFALI: Praise be to Allah, Who hath sent to His Servant the Book, and hath allowed therein no Crookedness:
PICKTHAL: Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave, and hath not placed therein any crookedness,
SHAKIR: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who revealed the Book to His servant and did not make in it any crookedness.

018.002
YUSUFALI: (He hath made it) Straight (and Clear) in order that He may warn (the godless) of a terrible Punishment from Him, and that He may give Glad Tidings to the Believers who work righteous deeds, that they shall have a goodly Reward,
PICKTHAL: (But hath made it) straight, to give warning of stern punishment from Him, and to bring unto the believers who do good works the news that theirs will be a fair reward,
SHAKIR: Rightly directing, that he might give warning of severe punishment from Him and give good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a goodly reward,

018.003
YUSUFALI: Wherein they shall remain for ever:
PICKTHAL: Wherein they will abide for ever;
SHAKIR: Staying in it for ever;

018.004
YUSUFALI: Further, that He may warn those (also) who say, "Allah hath begotten a son":
PICKTHAL: And to warn those who say: Allah hath chosen a son,
SHAKIR: And warn those who say: Allah has taken a son.

018.005
YUSUFALI: No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. It is a grievous thing that issues from their mouths as a saying what they say is nothing but falsehood!
PICKTHAL: (A thing) whereof they have no knowledge, nor (had) their fathers, Dreadful is the word that cometh out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie.
SHAKIR: They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers; a grievous word it is that comes out of their mouths; they speak nothing but a lie.

018.006
YUSUFALI: Thou wouldst only, perchance, fret thyself to death, following after them, in grief, if they believe not in this Message.
PICKTHAL: Yet it may be, if they believe not in this statement, that thou (Muhammad) wilt torment thy soul with grief over their footsteps.
SHAKIR: Then maybe you will kill yourself with grief, sorrowing after them, if they do not believe in this announcement.

018.007
YUSUFALI: That which is on earth we have made but as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them - as to which of them are best in conduct.
PICKTHAL: Lo! We have placed all that is on the earth as an ornament thereof that We may try them: which of them is best in conduct.
SHAKIR: Surely We have made whatever is on the earth an embellishment for it, so that We may try them (as to) which of them is best in works.

018.008
YUSUFALI: Verily what is on earth we shall make but as dust and dry soil (without growth or herbage).
PICKTHAL: And lo! We shall make all that is thereon a barren mound.
SHAKIR: And most surely We will make what is on it bare ground without herbage.

018.009
YUSUFALI: Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Sign?
PICKTHAL: Or deemest thou that the People of the Cave and the Inscription are a wonder among Our portents?
SHAKIR: Or, do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and the Inscription were of Our wonderful signs?

018.010
YUSUFALI: Behold, the youths betook themselves to the Cave: they said, "Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!"
PICKTHAL: When the young men fled for refuge to the Cave and said: Our Lord! Give us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight.
SHAKIR: When the youths sought refuge in the cave, they said: Our Lord! grant us mercy from Thee, and provide for us a right course in our affair.

018.011
YUSUFALI: Then We draw (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they heard not):
PICKTHAL: Then We sealed up their hearing in the Cave for a number of years.
SHAKIR: So We prevented them from hearing in the cave for a number of years.

018.012
YUSUFALI: Then We roused them, in order to test which of the two parties was best at calculating the term of years they had tarried!
PICKTHAL: And afterward We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties would best calculate the time that they had tarried.
SHAKIR: Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties was best able to compute the time for which they remained.

Section 2.

18 : 13

13. Nahnu naqussu AAalayka nabaahum bialhaqqi innahum fityatun amanoo birabbihim wazidnahum hudan

Now We narrate to you their story with truth : they were young men who believed in their Lord and hence We intensified their guidance.

18 : 14

14. Warabatna AAala quloobihim ith qamoo faqaloo rabbuna rabbu alssamawati waal-ardi lan nadAAuwa min doonihi ilahan laqad qulna ithan shatatan

We strengthened their hearts when they stood and said : 'Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and earth. We will not bow in worship to any other deity except Him, for if we do, we would then be committing a serious violation!

18 : 15

 

15. Haola-i qawmuna ittakhathoo min doonihi alihatan lawla ya/toona AAalayhim bisultanin bayyinin faman athlamu mimmani iftara AAala Allahi kathiban

'These people to whom we belong, they have set up gods other than Him though they have no warrant to authenticate their deities. Who commits a greater sin than him who utters a falsehood concerning Allah!'

(This is where and how the Islamic tradition departs from the Christian version. The direct speech quoted in verses 14 and 15 refers to what the young men told the Roman Centurion when they were questioned by him. Their blunt refusal to bow to any other deity save the Lord of the heavens and the earth, - and not Jesus - and their distancing themselves from their folks 'who have set up gods other than Him without a warrant' is taken to mean that they were renouncing their fellow Christians for setting up Jesus as the Son of God without any warrant and offering him worship in the place of Allah).

 

18 : 16

16. Wa-ithi iAAtazaltumoohum wama yaAAbudoona illa Allaha fa/woo ila alkahfi yanshur lakum rabbukum min rahmatihi wayuhayyi/ lakum min amrikum mirfaqan

 (And it was said to them) : 'When you have severed your links with them and with those whom they worship instead of Allah, take shelter in this Cave and your Lord will permeate His mercy upon you and facilitate the conclusion of your task!'

(A piece of reassurance given to them by Allah that, when they severed their links with the offending fellow Christians as well as the Pagan Romans and taken shelter in the Cave, the Lord Himself would take care of them).

18 : 17

17. Watara alshshamsa itha talaAAat tazawaru AAan kahfihim thata alyameeni wa-itha gharabat taqriduhum thata alshshimali wahum fee fajwatin minhu thalika min ayati Allahi man yahdi Allahu fahuwa almuhtadi waman yudlil falan tajida lahu waliyyan murshidan

And you might have noticed how the sun, when it rose, slipped away from their Cave to their right; and when it set, slided past the Cave to their left while they lay asleep in its fissure! That in itself was one of the portents of Allah! He whom Allah guides, he finds the right path; and he whom He sets adrift shall find no friend to guide him! (R)
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

13. We narrate unto you (O Muhammad SAW) their story with truth: Truly! They were young men who believed in their Lord (Allh), and We increased them in guidance.

14. And We made their hearts firm and strong (with the light of Faith in Allh and bestowed upon them patience to bear the separation of their kith and kin and dwellings, etc.) when they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any ilh (god) other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.

15. "These our people have taken for worship liha (gods) other than Him (Allh). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority? And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allh.

16. (The young men said to one another): "And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allh, then seek refuge in the Cave, your Lord will open a way for you from His Mercy and will make easy for you your affair (i.e. will give you what you will need of provision, dwelling, etc.)."

17. And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the Cave. That is (one) of the Ayt (proofs, evidences, signs) of Allh. He whom Allh guides, is rightly guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wal (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right Path).


018.013
YUSUFALI: We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance:
PICKTHAL: We narrate unto thee their story with truth. Lo! they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
SHAKIR: We relate to you their story with the truth; surely they were youths who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.

018.014
YUSUFALI: We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!
PICKTHAL: And We made firm their hearts when they stood forth and said: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We cry unto no Allah beside Him, for then should we utter an enormity.
SHAKIR: And We strengthened their hearts with patience, when they stood up and said: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth; we will by no means call upon any god besides Him, for then indeed we should have said an extravagant thing.

018.015
YUSUFALI: "These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him: why do they not bring forward an authority clear (and convincing) for what they do? Who doth more wrong than such as invent a falsehood against Allah?
PICKTHAL: These, our people, have chosen (other) gods beside Him though they bring no clear warrant (vouchsafed) to them. And who doth greater wrong than he who inventeth a lie concerning Allah?
SHAKIR: These our people have taken gods besides Him; why do they not produce any clear authority in their support? Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah?

018.016
YUSUFALI: "When ye turn away from them and the things they worship other than Allah, betake yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will shower His mercies on you and disposes of your affair towards comfort and ease."
PICKTHAL: And when ye withdraw from them and that which they worship except Allah, then seek refuge in the Cave; your Lord will spread for you of His mercy and will prepare for you a pillow in your plight.
SHAKIR: And when you forsake them and what they worship save Allah, betake yourselves for refuge to the cave; your Lord will extend to you largely of His mercy and provide for you a profitable course in your affair.

018.017
YUSUFALI: Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the open space in the midst of the Cave. Such are among the Signs of Allah: He whom Allah, guides is rightly guided; but he whom Allah leaves to stray,- for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to the Right Way.
PICKTHAL: And thou mightest have seen the sun when it rose move away from their cave to the right, and when it set go past them on the left, and they were in the cleft thereof. That was (one) of the portents of Allah. He whom Allah guideth, he indeed is led aright, and he whom He sendeth astray, for him thou wilt not find a guiding friend.
SHAKIR: And you might see the sun when it rose, decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set, leave them behind on the left while they were in a wide space thereof. This is of the signs of Allah; whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright.

Section 3

18 : 18

18. Watahsabuhum ayqathan wahum ruqoodun wanuqallibuhum thata alyameeni wathata alshshimali wakalbuhum basitun thiraAAayhi bialwaseedi lawi ittalaAAta AAalayhim lawallayta minhum firaran walamuli/ta minhum ruAAban

You might have thought they were awake though they were asleep. We turned them around from right to left while their dog lay asleep by the threshold of the Cave with legs outstretched. Had you ventured a closer look at them, you would surely have fled from there filled with awe at the sight of them!

(A clear cut description of the grave like conditions which were made to prevail inside the Cave by Allah : even though the sun rose at dawn and set at dusk everyday, no sun rays were ever cast upon the Cave, which kept it plunged in a hauntingly crepuscular state of anonymity day after day. Those who ventured to take a peek inside might have thought they were dead because of the manner in which they lay sprawled on the floor, their dog near the entrance with his legs outstretched, no sign of breathing nor of any movement of any sort, but they were very much alive and shifting their position from time to time.

18 : 19

19. Wakathalika baAAathnahum liyatasaaloo baynahum qala qa-ilun minhum kam labithtum qaloo labithna yawman aw baAAda yawmin qaloo rabbukum aAAlamu bima labithtum faibAAathoo ahadakum biwariqikum hathihi ila almadeenati falyanthur ayyuha azka taAAaman falya/tikum birizqin minhu walyatalattaf wala yushAAiranna bikum ahadan

And thus they lay when We woke them up so that they asked after each other; and the one who was the first to speak said : 'For how long have you tarried here?' Some said : 'A day or perhaps even less!' while the others said : 'Your Lord knows best for how long you have been here! Send one of you into town with this silver coin to look around for food which is the purest, and bring some for you to eat; and let him be courteous but disclose nothing to anyone about you -

18 : 20

20. Innahum in yathharoo AAalaykum yarjumookum aw yuAAeedookum fee millatihim walan tuflihoo ithan abadan

'For, if they should come to know who you really are, they would either stone you to death or force you back into their religion and you would never attain redemption!'

(Since this parable is not about religious persecution, nor about assigning partners to Allah, but about His ability to resurrect mankind after their demise, it should be placed in the right context and read.

According to the graphic details given in the Qur'aan about the state of affairs on the Day of Resurrection, when we wake up from our graves to the sound of the 'Trumpet', we carry no recollections whatsoever of how long we lay buried; it could be ten years or ten billion years, but it would seem to us as if we went to sleep in the night and woke up in the morning because by then time would cease to have any meaning.

In the same way, when the Sleepers of the Cave were woken up, and one of them asked the others for how long they had slept in it, they had no idea; their best guess was 'one day, or perhaps even less!' whilst in actual fact they had lain there for over three centuries. They did not know that the Centurion who used to persecute them was dead; the new king on the throne was a god fearing man; there was a new generation of people thriving in their land; the laws had changed; the views and beliefs of people had changed; the currency had changed and reprisals against religious beliefs had also become a thing of the past! So, they give their friend whom they ask to go into town to fetch some food a currency coin which is no longer in circulation, with strict instructions not to give away to the people the whereabouts of their secret hide-out lest they were caught and either stoned to death or forced back into apostasy).

18 : 21

21. Wakathalika aAAtharna AAalayhim liyaAAlamoo anna waAAda Allahi haqqun waanna alsaAAata la rayba feeha ith yatanazaAAoona baynahum amrahum faqaloo ibnoo AAalayhim bunyanan rabbuhum aAAlamu bihim qala allatheena ghalaboo AAala amrihim lanattakhithanna AAalayhim masjidan

And thus they were when We disclosed them to their folks so that they know that the promise of Allah was true and that there was no doubt about the Hour! And as (their folk) argued among themselves about who they really were, some said : 'Let us build over them a monument; their Lord knows best the truth about them!' But those who won the argument said : 'We verily shall build a place of worship in their honour!'

(However, the story goes that, when their friend arrived in town and found it to have changed beyond recognition, he could not believe his eyes; and after purchasing the food, when he paid for it with a three hundred year old coin, neither could they! When they questioned him and he told them the entire story, they took him back to the Cave where they found the rest of his companions just as he had said. Thus it dawned upon them that Allah is, indeed, able to bring the dead back to life and there could be no question of doubt about the culmination of the Hour!)

18 : 22

22. Sayaqooloona thalathatun rabiAAuhum kalbuhum wayaqooloona khamsatun sadisuhum kalbuhum rajman bialghaybi wayaqooloona sabAAatun wathaminuhum kalbuhum qul rabbee aAAlamu biAAiddatihim ma yaAAlamuhum illa qaleelun fala tumari feehim illa miraan thahiran wala tastafti feehim minhum ahadan

Some will say : 'They were three and their dog the fourth!' and some will say : 'They were five and their dog the sixth!' - all wild guesses - and some will say : 'They were seven and their dog the eighth!' Say to them (O Mohammed) : 'My Lord knows best their numbers!' No one is aware of them save a few; so do not enter into arguments over them beyond that which has already been expressed, nor ask anyone else for their opinions! (R)

(The Companions or the Sleepers of the Cave, - whichever name we give them - was a great portent of Allah, as emphasized in verse 9 and 17. Yet, people overlook the real magnitude of the sign and altercate over trivialities, such as whether to build a place of worship or a shrine on the spot where they breathed their last; or how many were they or for how long had they lain there, none of which is of any significance. The Prophet is, therefore, admonished not to enter into arguments with anyone over it, nor to seek their opinions but to simply say that Allah is best aware of these matters and leave the argument to rest).
 


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

18. And you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.

19. Likewise, We awakened them (from their long deep sleep) that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: "How long have you stayed (here)?" They said: "We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day." They said: "Your Lord (Alone) knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town, and let him find out which is the good lawful food, and bring some of that to you. And let him be careful and let no man know of you.

20. "For if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion, and in that case you will never be successful."

21. And thus We made their case known to the people, that they might know that the Promise of Allh is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people of the city) disputed among themselves about their case, they said: "Construct a building over them, their Lord knows best about them," (then) those who won their point said (most probably the disbelievers): "We verily shall build a place of worship over them."

22. (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few." So debate not (about their number, etc.) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you). And consult not any of them (people of the Scripture, Jews and Christians) about (the affair of) the people of the Cave.


018.018
YUSUFALI: Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou wouldst have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them.
PICKTHAL: And thou wouldst have deemed them waking though they were asleep, and We caused them to turn over to the right and the left, and their dog stretching out his paws on the threshold. If thou hadst observed them closely thou hadst assuredly turned away from them in flight, and hadst been filled with awe of them.
SHAKIR: And you might think them awake while they were asleep and We turned them about to the right and to the left, while their dog (lay) outstretching its paws at the entrance; if you looked at them you would certainly turn back from them in flight, and you would certainly be filled with awe because of them.

018.019
YUSUFALI: Such (being their state), we raised them up (from sleep), that they might question each other. Said one of them, "How long have ye stayed (here)?" They said, "We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day." (At length) they (all) said, "Allah (alone) knows best how long ye have stayed here.... Now send ye then one of you with this money of yours to the town: let him find out which is the best food (to be had) and bring some to you, that (ye may) satisfy your hunger therewith: And let him behave with care and courtesy, and let him not inform any one about you.
PICKTHAL: And in like manner We awakened them that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: How long have ye tarried? They said: We have tarried a day or some part of a day, (Others) said: Your Lord best knoweth what ye have tarried. Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city, and let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof. Let him be courteous and let no man know of you.
SHAKIR: And thus did We rouse them that they might question each other. A speaker among them said: How long have you tarried? They said: We have tarried for a day or a part of a day. (Others) said: Your Lord knows best how long you have tarried. Now send one of you with this silver (coin) of yours to the city, then let him see which of them has purest food, so let him bring you provision from it, and let him behave with gentleness, and by no means make your case known to any one:

018.020
YUSUFALI: "For if they should come upon you, they would stone you or force you to return to their cult, and in that case ye would never attain prosperity."
PICKTHAL: For they, if they should come to know of you, will stone you or turn you back to their religion; then ye will never prosper.
SHAKIR: For surely if they prevail against you they would stone you to death or force you back to their religion, and then you will never succeed.

018.021
YUSUFALI: Thus did We make their case known to the people, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, "Construct a building over them": Their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said, "Let us surely build a place of worship over them."
PICKTHAL: And in like manner We disclosed them (to the people of the city) that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that, as for the Hour, there is no doubt concerning it. When (the people of the city) disputed of their case among themselves, they said: Build over them a building; their Lord knoweth best concerning them. Those who won their point said: We verily shall build a place of worship over them.
SHAKIR: And thus did We make (men) to get knowledge of them that they might know that Allah's promise is true and that as for the hour there is no doubt about it. When they disputed among themselves about their affair and said: Erect an edifice over them-- their Lord best knows them. Those who prevailed in their affair said: We will certainly raise a masjid over them.

018.022
YUSUFALI: (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.
PICKTHAL: (Some) will say: They were three, their dog the fourth, and (some) say: Five, their dog the sixth, guessing at random; and (some) say: Seven, and their dog the eighth. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord is Best Aware of their number. None knoweth them save a few. So contend not concerning them except with an outward contending, and ask not any of them to pronounce concerning them.
SHAKIR: (Some) say: (They are) three, the fourth of them being their dog; and (others) say: Five, the sixth of them being their dog, making conjectures at what is unknown; and (others yet) say: Seven, and the eighth of them is their dog. Say: My Lord best knows their number, none knows them but a few; therefore contend not in the matter of them but with an outward contention, and do not question concerning them any of them.

 

Section 4 

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when the Meccan idolaters pressed the Prophet to answer their three questions, the second of them being the story of the People of the Cave, he had said : 'I will tell you tomorrow!' mistakenly omitting the words 'Allah willing' which resulted in delaying of the Revelation for several days, to accentuate the importance of saying 'Inshallah!' when we make a promise.

18 : 23

23. Wala taqoolanna lishay-in innee faAAilun thalika ghadan

Do not say about anything : 'I will do it tomorrow!

18 : 24

24. Illa an yashaa Allahu waothkur rabbaka itha naseeta waqul AAasa an yahdiyani rabbee li-aqraba min hatha rashadan

Not without adding :'if Allah wills!' And remember your Lord (at once) if you forgot Him and say : 'May Allah guide me and bring me closer to the truth!'

18 : 25

25. Walabithoo fee kahfihim thalatha mi-atin sineena waizdadoo tisAAan

And as for their sojourn in the Cave, it lasted for three hundred years, plus nine!

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verse was revealed when the Christians accepted the period of three hundred years as conforming to the Legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, but differed over the addition of the nine years.

18 : 26

26. Quli Allahu aAAlamu bima labithoo lahu ghaybu alssamawati waal-ardi absir bihi waasmiAA ma lahum min doonihi min waliyyin wala yushriku fee hukmihi ahadan

You say to them : 'Allah knows best for how long their sojourn (in the Cave) lasted, for to Him belong the esoteric matters of the heavens and the earth! How sharp is His vision and how clear His hearing! They have no stalwarts besides Him, nor does He share His power with arbiters!

18 : 27

27. Waotlu ma oohiya ilayka min kitabi rabbika la mubaddila likalimatihi walan tajida min doonihi multahadan

And recite the Scripture of your Lord that has been inspired in you; there is none who can dare alter His words and you will find no protection except with Him.

(Since the Christians follow the solar calendar, they wrote it was three hundred years; but since the Muslims follow lunar months, it can only be calculated as three hundred and nine years).

* * *

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when the disbelievers told the Prophet that they and their fraternity might consider embracing Islam, if he got rid of the poverty stricken people from his assemblies because they did not like to be seen rubbing shoulders with them, however devoted they might be to him!

18 : 28

28. Waisbir nafsaka maAAa allatheena yadAAoona rabbahum bialghadati waalAAashiyyi yureedoona wajhahu wala taAAdu AAaynaka AAanhum tureedu zeenata alhayati alddunya wala tutiAA man aghfalna qalbahu AAan thikrina waittabaAAa hawahu wakana amruhu furutan

Keep your soul in communion with those who seek their Lord, morning and evening, in quest of His accord; and let not your eyes bypass them, desiring the show of the life of this world; and do not pay any attention to him whose heart We have rendered impervious to Our recollection; who follows his own desires and whose actions have exceeded the limits of exculpation!

18 : 29

29. Waquli alhaqqu min rabbikum faman shaa falyu/min waman shaa falyakfur inna aAAtadna lilththalimeena naran ahata bihim suradiquha wa-in yastagheethoo yughathoo bima-in kaalmuhli yashwee alwujooha bi/sa alshsharabu wasaat murtafaqan

Say to them : 'Truth has come from your Lord!' Those who will, let them believe in it; and those who will, let them disbelieve in it! We have kept prepared for the disbelievers such a fierce fire that its flames will envelop them from all sides like the walls of a tent! And if they beg for water, their entreaties would be responded with a spray of molten lead which would singe their faces! How awful a drink; how awful a resting place!

(It has always been the case that Prophets in the past attracted initial following from the under-privileged, the infirm, the destitutes and those who were ostracized by society for one reason or another and only then progressed to challenge the better off. Moses championed the cause of the Children of Israel against the mighty Pharaoh and his warlords; Jesus attracted a strong following from the downtrodden people who were ostracized by the affluent and corrupt Jewish clergy either because they did not have any financial or social status, or because they were afflicted with diseases, or they had been driven to sin in order to make a living, such as prostitutes who consorted with Roman soldiers.

Our Prophet was no exception. He too attracted an instant following among the lower level of the social ladder; people who flocked to him in the beginning came from insignificant Arab tribes who were thrown at the mercy of the idolaters, the Jews and the Christians and were being exploited them; some lent them money at exorbitant interests and drove them into penury; some sided with their enemies in their mutual conflicts and thus fished in troubled waters; some took advantage of their ignorance and deliberately sent them astray in spiritual matters; they deprived orphans of what was rightfully theirs; they treated women with contempt and conceded them no social status nor gave them any rights! The Blessed Prophet stood up for them against the combined might of the idolaters as well as the disbelievers amongst the Peoples of the Scriptures; gave them a sense of identity; made them feel at home in his presence; showed them the righteous path; set up realistic goal for them to pursue. There was no question of his succumbing to the unacceptable stipulations of the rich idolaters and distance those who came to him for guidance merely because they were poor and in rags and hence unfit to stand in the same line as their other compatriots, - even if it meant making a break through. He did desperately need a break though, but not on those lines).

* * *

18 : 30

 

A30. Inna allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati inna la nudeeAAu ajra man ahsana AAamalan

s for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, We shall never render futile the piety of those who perform righteous deeds!

18 : 31

31. Ola-ika lahum jannatu AAadnin tajree min tahtihimu al-anharu yuhallawna feeha min asawira min thahabin wayalbasoona thiyaban khudran min sundusin wa-istabraqin muttaki-eena feeha AAala al-ara-iki niAAma alththawabu wahasunat murtafaqan

For them there are Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow where they shall be given bracelets of gold and they shall wear green robes made from the finest of silks and glittering embroidery, reclining on cushioned couches! How excellent their reward and how enviable their resting place! (R)

(The sharp contrast between punishment for those who deserve to be punished and reward for those who deserve to be rewarded is reiterated in consecutive verses for maximum effect.

In the case of those who repudiated the revelations of Allah, declined to surrender to Him, disregarded His messengers, denied the Hour, perpetrated evil deeds on earth without ever repenting over their errors or making an effort to ameliorate their spiritual well being, what await them are the sordid flames of hell-fire from whence there is no escape for them; they would burn and burn; its flames would never be put out; its heat would never be reduced; if they beg for death, they would not get it; if they beg for lenity, they would never receive it; if they beg for forgiveness, it would become too late for them; if they beg for a mouthful of water to slake their thirst, they would be given a bellyful of molten brass!

On the other hand, for those who obeyed the messenger, surrendered to the hegemony of Allah, feared the outcome of the Hour, cherished a lasting place in the Abode of the Hereafter and performed seemly deeds throughout their lives to earn it, their reward would be the Garden bedecked with cool and comforting springs from whence they would never be asked to leave; they would be looked after by celestial maidens and youthful attendants; their food in it would come to them according to their choice and to their heart's content; they would be given bangles of gold to wear; they would be clad in clothes made out of the finest silk; they would recline on cushioned couches in sheer luxury and they would be the guests of the most Generous of hosts!)
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

23. And never say of anything, "I shall do such and such thing tomorrow."

24. Except (with the saying), "If Allh will!" And remember your Lord when you forget and say: "It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this."

25. And they stayed in their Cave three hundred (solar) years, and add nine (for lunar years).

26. Say: "Allh knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the unseen of the heavens and the earth. How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no Wal (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule."

27. And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Book (the Qur'n) of your Lord (i.e. recite it, understand and follow its teachings and act on its orders and preach it to men). None can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.

28. And keep yourself (O Muhammad SAW) patiently with those who call on their Lord (i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, etc., and other righteous deeds, etc.) morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.

29. And say: "The truth is from your Lord." Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the Zlimn (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them (disbelievers in the Oneness of Allh). And if they ask for help (relief, water, etc.) they will be granted water like boiling oil, that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil Murtafaq (dwelling, resting place, etc.)!

30. Verily! As for those who believe and do righteous deeds, certainly! We shall not suffer to be lost the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner.

31. These! For them will be 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens); wherein rivers flow underneath them, therein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine and thick silk. They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good is the reward, and what an excellent Murtafaq (dwelling, resting place, etc.)!


018.023
YUSUFALI: Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow"-
PICKTHAL: And say not of anything: Lo! I shall do that tomorrow,
SHAKIR: And do not say of anything: Surely I will do it tomorrow,

018.024
YUSUFALI: Without adding, "So please Allah!" and call thy Lord to mind when thou forgettest, and say, "I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road."
PICKTHAL: Except if Allah will. And remember thy Lord when thou forgettest, and say: It may be that my Lord guideth me unto a nearer way of truth than this.
SHAKIR: Unless Allah pleases; and remember your Lord when you forget and say: Maybe my Lord will guide me to a nearer course to the right than this.

018.025
YUSUFALI: So they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more)
PICKTHAL: And (it is said) they tarried in their Cave three hundred years and add nine.
SHAKIR: And they remained in their cave three hundred years and (some) add (another) nine.

018.026
YUSUFALI: Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed: with Him is (the knowledge of) the secrets of the heavens and the earth: how clearly He sees, how finely He hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him; nor does He share His Command with any person whatsoever.
PICKTHAL: Say: Allah is Best Aware how long they tarried. His is the Invisible of the heavens and the earth. How clear of sight is He and keen of hearing! They have no protecting friend beside Him, and He maketh none to share in His government.
SHAKIR: Say: Allah knows best how long they remained; to Him are (known) the unseen things of the heavens and the earth; how clear His sight and how clear His hearing! There is none to be a guardian for them besides Him, and He does not make any one His associate in His Judgment.

018.027
YUSUFALI: And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.
PICKTHAL: And recite that which hath been revealed unto thee of the Scripture of thy Lord. There is none who can change His words, and thou wilt find no refuge beside Him.
SHAKIR: And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, there is none who can alter His words; and you shall not find any refuge besides Him.

018.028
YUSUFALI: And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.
PICKTHAL: Restrain thyself along with those who cry unto their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Countenance; and let not thine eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who followeth his own lust and whose case hath been abandoned.
SHAKIR: And withhold yourself with those who call on their Lord morning and evening desiring His goodwill, and let not your eyes pass from them, desiring the beauties of this world's life; and do not follow him whose heart We have made unmindful to Our remembrance, and he follows his low desires and his case is one in which due bounds are exceeded.

018.029
YUSUFALI: Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
PICKTHAL: Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!
SHAKIR: And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about; and if they cry for water, they shall be given water like molten brass which will scald their faces; evil the drink and ill the resting-place.

018.030
YUSUFALI: As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed.
PICKTHAL: Lo! as for those who believe and do good works - Lo! We suffer not the reward of one whose work is goodly to be lost.
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who believe and do good, We do not waste the reward of him who does a good work.

018.031
YUSUFALI: For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch to recline on!
PICKTHAL: As for such, theirs will be Gardens of Eden, wherein rivers flow beneath them; therein they will be given armlets of gold and will wear green robes of finest silk and gold embroidery, reclining upon throne therein. Blest the reward, and fair the resting-place!
SHAKIR: These it is for whom are gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, ornaments shall be given to them therein of bracelets of gold, and they shall wear green robes of fine silk and thick silk brocade interwoven with gold, reclining therein on raised couches; excellent the recompense and goodly the resting place.

 

Section 5.

18 : 32

32. Waidrib lahum mathalan rajulayni jaAAalna li-ahadihima jannatayni min aAAnabin wahafafnahuma binakhlin wajaAAalna baynahuma zarAAan

And narrate to them the parable of two men, to one of whom We gave two gardens of grapes surrounded by palm groves and placed in between them corn-fields.

(After having drawn a clear picture of how things would transpire for believers and disbelievers in the life beyond, attention is focused on this life by drawing a caricature of their situation here; the characters cast in this parable are on one hand a disbeliever who has been given everything, and on the other a believer whose best asset is his faith in Allah, the former akin to the typical Meccan idolaters and the latter to the Muslims.

Plagued by avarice, borne down by pride and given to ingratitude, the disbeliever fails to appreciate the good things with which he has been blessed and thank Allah for His generosity : not one but tow gardens; the enclosure of date palms; a water spring to irrigate them; the corn-field and the rich harvests he reaps help only to exacerbate his conceit; he becomes greedy and begins to boast of his assets to his neighbour; he thinks his gardens would last forever; and even if they did not, he is convinced that he would be given better gardens in the Hereafter; he boasts of his large extended family, his offspring and his servants; and he boasts of his relative affluence compared to his neighbour.

On the other hand there is his neighbour, portraying the typical features of the average Muslim, neither avaricious nor conceited but full of gratitude to Allah for whatever he has been given, good or bad, small or large; who remonstrates him for his greed and pride; warns him that He Who gave him all that could also take everything away from him; that it was always possible that his water spring could suddenly dry up, leaving his gardens in ruins; or they could be struck down by thunderbolts from heaven; his family and his servants of whom he was so full of pride might let him down when the chips begin to tumble.

In due course it does happen that both his gardens get afflicted by pests and fall into ruins, leaving him to regret over the loss of the investment which he had made on the two gardens, his livelihood wiped out, his life-time of toils gone, his entire future hanging in the balance, and the backing of his family and servants of which he was so proud no longer available to him against the Might of Allah!)

18 : 33

33. Kilta aljannatayni atat okulaha walam tathlim minhu shay-an wafajjarna khilalahuma naharan

Both his gardens bore their yield in abundance with no shortfalls and We also caused a stream to gush forth in them.

18 : 34

34. Wakana lahu thamarun faqala lisahibihi wahuwa yuhawiruhu ana aktharu minka malan waaAAazzu nafaran

He reaped his rich harvest and then said to his neighbour in course of conversation : 'I am richer than you in wealth and I am also stronger than you in man-power!'

18 : 35

35. Wadakhala jannatahu wahuwa thalimun linafsihi qala ma athunnu an tabeeda hathihi abadan

Then he went into the garden and wronged his soul saying : 'I do not think that this garden would ever perish!

18 : 36

36. Wama athunnu alssaAAata qa-imatan wala-in rudidtu ila rabbee laajidanna khayran minha munqalaban

'And I do not think that the Hour (of reckoning) would ever arrive! And even if am brought back to my Lord I would surely find a better garden than this for my final repose!'

18 : 37

37. Qala lahu sahibuhu wahuwa yuhawiruhu akafarta biallathee khalaqaka min turabin thumma min nutfatin thumma sawwaka rajulan

His neighbour, debating with him, said : 'Are you being conceited towards Him who created you out of dust, and then from a drop of seed, and then evolved you into a man?

18 : 38

38. Lakinna huwa Allahu rabbee wala oshriku birabbee ahadan

'As for me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not assign partners to Him!'

18 : 39

39. Walawla ith dakhalta jannataka qulta ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illa biAllahi in tarani ana aqalla minka malan wawaladan

'When you entered your garden, if only you had said : 'That which Allah wants will come to pass!' We have no strength save that which comes from Allah's help! Although you look down upon me as inferior to you in wealth and manpower, -

18 : 40

40. FaAAasa rabbee an yu/tiyani khayran min jannatika wayursila AAalayha husbanan mina alssama-i fatusbiha saAAeedan zalaqan

'It could happen that my Lord would bless me with a garden much better than yours and hurtle on your garden a bolt from the blue, turning it into a flattened into field!

18 : 41

41. Aw yusbiha maoha ghawran falan tastateeAAa lahu talaban

'Or drain its source of water underneath the soil so that you are never again able to retrieve it!'

18 : 42

42. Waoheeta bithamarihi faasbaha yuqallibu kaffayhi AAala ma anfaqa feeha wahiya khawiyatun AAala AAurooshiha wayaqoolu ya laytanee lam oshrik birabbee ahadan

And then it did happen that his fruits were plagued from all around, leaving him to wring his hands with regret over the investment which he had made on the garden and crying on bended knees : 'How I wish I had not assigned partners to my Lord!

18 : 43

43. Walam takun lahu fi-atun yansuroonahu min dooni Allahi wama kana muntasiran

And he neither had the backing of his man-power against Allah nor did he have the prowess to protect himself on his own!

18 : 44

 

44. Hunalika alwalayatu lillahi alhaqqi huwa khayrun thawaban wakhayrun AAuqban

Thus it becomes evident that discretion belongs to Allah alone and that His reward is the most propitious and the outcome of obeying Him the most copious! (R)
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

32. And put forward to them the example of two men; unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields etc.).

33. Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them.

34. And he had property (or fruit) and he said to his companion, in the course of mutual talk: I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men." [See Tafsir Qurtub, Vol. 10, Page 403].

35. And he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief) unjust to himself. He said: "I think not that this will ever perish.

36. "And I think not the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him."

37. His companion said to him, during the talk with him: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust (i.e. your father Adam), then out of Nutfah (mixed semen drops of male and female discharge), then fashioned you into a man?

38. "But as for my part (I believe) that He is Allh, my Lord and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord.

39. It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: 'That which Allh wills (will come to pass)! There is no power but with Allh[] '. If you see me less than you in wealth, and children.

40. "It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and will send on it Husbn (torment, bolt, etc.) from the sky, then it will be a slippery earth.

41. "Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it."

42. So his fruits were encircled (with ruin). And he remained clapping his hands with sorrow over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, he could only say: "Would I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!" [Tafsir Ibn Kathr]

43. And he had no group of men to help him against Allh, nor could he defend or save himself.

44. There (on the Day of Resurrection), Al-Walyah (the protection, power, authority and kingdom) will be for Allh (Alone), the True God. He (Allh) is the Best for reward and the Best for the final end. (L ilha ill-Allh none has the right to be worshipped but Allh).


018.032
YUSUFALI: Set forth to them the parable of two men: for one of them We provided two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date palms; in between the two We placed corn-fields.
PICKTHAL: Coin for them a similitude: Two men, unto one of whom We had assigned two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date-palms and had put between them tillage.
SHAKIR: And set forth to them a parable of two men; for one of them We made two gardens of grape vines, and We surrounded them both with palms, and in the midst of them We made cornfields.

018.033
YUSUFALI: Each of those gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein: in the midst of them We caused a river to flow.
PICKTHAL: Each of the gardens gave its fruit and withheld naught thereof. And We caused a river to gush forth therein.
SHAKIR: Both these gardens yielded their fruits, and failed not aught thereof, and We caused a river to gush forth in their midst,

018.034
YUSUFALI: (Abundant) was the produce this man had : he said to his companion, in the course of a mutual argument: "more wealth have I than you, and more honour and power in (my following of) men."
PICKTHAL: And he had fruit. And he said unto his comrade, when he spake with him: I am more than thee in wealth, and stronger in respect of men.
SHAKIR: And he possessed much wealth; so he said to his companion, while he disputed with him: I have greater wealth than you, and am mightier in followers.

018.035
YUSUFALI: He went into his garden in a state (of mind) unjust to his soul: He said, "I deem not that this will ever perish,
PICKTHAL: And he went into his garden, while he (thus) wronged himself. He said: I think not that all this will ever perish.
SHAKIR: And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said: I do not think that this will ever perish

018.036
YUSUFALI: "Nor do I deem that the Hour (of Judgment) will (ever) come: Even if I am brought back to my Lord, I shall surely find (there) something better in exchange."
PICKTHAL: I think not that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back unto my Lord I surely shall find better than this as a resort.
SHAKIR: And I do not think the hour will come, and even if I am returned to my Lord I will most certainly find a returning place better than this.

018.037
YUSUFALI: His companion said to him, in the course of the argument with him: "Dost thou deny Him Who created thee out of dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned thee into a man?
PICKTHAL: His comrade, when he (thus) spake with him, exclaimed: Disbelievest thou in Him Who created thee of dust, then of a drop (of seed), and then fashioned thee a man?
SHAKIR: His companion said to him while disputing with him: Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then from a small seed, then He made you a perfect man?

018.038
YUSUFALI: "But (I think) for my part that He is Allah, My Lord, and none shall I associate with my Lord.
PICKTHAL: But He is Allah, my Lord, and I ascribe unto my Lord no partner.
SHAKIR: But as for me, He, Allah, is my Lord, and I do not associate anyone with my Lord.

018.039
YUSUFALI: "Why didst thou not, as thou wentest into thy garden, say: 'Allah's will (be done)! There is no power but with Allah!' If thou dost see me less than thee in wealth and sons,
PICKTHAL: If only, when thou enteredst thy garden, thou hadst said: That which Allah willeth (will come to pass)! There is no strength save in Allah! Though thou seest me as less than thee in wealth and children,
SHAKIR: And wherefore did you not say when you entered your garden: It is as Allah has pleased, there is no power save in Allah? If you consider me to be inferior to you in wealth and children,

018.040
YUSUFALI: "It may be that my Lord will give me something better than thy garden, and that He will send on thy garden thunderbolts (by way of reckoning) from heaven, making it (but) slippery sand!-
PICKTHAL: Yet it may be that my Lord will give me better than thy garden, and will send on it a bolt from heaven, and some morning it will be a smooth hillside,
SHAKIR: Then maybe my Lord will give me what is better than your garden, and send on it a thunderbolt from heaven so that it shall become even ground without plant,

018.041
YUSUFALI: "Or the water of the garden will run off underground so that thou wilt never be able to find it."
PICKTHAL: Or some morning the water thereof will be lost in the earth so that thou canst not make search for it.
SHAKIR: Or its waters should sink down into the ground so that you are unable to find it.

018.042
YUSUFALI: So his fruits (and enjoyment) were encompassed (with ruin), and he remained twisting and turning his hands over what he had spent on his property, which had (now) tumbled to pieces to its very foundations, and he could only say, "Woe is me! Would I had never ascribed partners to my Lord and Cherisher!"
PICKTHAL: And his fruit was beset (with destruction). Then began he to wring his hands for all that he had spent upon it, when (now) it was all ruined on its trellises, and to say: Would that I had ascribed no partner to my Lord!
SHAKIR: And his wealth was destroyed; so he began to wring his hands for what he had spent on it, while it lay, having fallen down upon its roofs, and he said: Ah me! would that I had not associated anyone with my Lord.

018.043
YUSUFALI: Nor had he numbers to help him against Allah, nor was he able to deliver himself.
PICKTHAL: And he had no troop of men to help him as against Allah, nor could he save himself.
SHAKIR: And he had no host to help him besides Allah nor could he defend himself.

018.044
YUSUFALI: There, the (only) protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the Best to reward, and the Best to give success.
PICKTHAL: In this case is protection only from Allah, the True, He is Best for reward, and best for consequence.
SHAKIR: Here is protection only Allah's, the True One; He is best in (the giving of) reward and best in requiting.

 

Section 6.   

18 : 45

 

45. Waidrib lahum mathala alhayati alddunya kama-in anzalnahu mina alssama-i faikhtalata bihi nabatu al-ardi faasbaha hasheeman tathroohu alrriyahu wakana Allahu AAala kulli shay-in muqtadiran

Coin for them the similitude about the life of this world : when We send down water from the sky, it brings forth dense vegetation on the land; (but once the water stops), it turns into dry twigs and gets blown around in the wind! Allah is Omnipotent over all things!

(In the above verse the life of this world, together with all its comforts; the luxuries we cherish and the windfalls we covet; the houses we acquire and the bank balances we build up; the careers we seek and the triumphs we accomplish; the families we flourish and the children we bring up are all likened to greenery that grows as a result of rain from above and is strictly dependent upon it. Once those showers stop, the foliage dries up and then disappears from the face of this earth!)'

18 : 46

46. Almalu waalbanoona zeenatu alhayati alddunya waalbaqiyatu alssalihatu khayrun AAinda rabbika thawaban wakhayrun amalan

Your wealth and your children are merely ornaments of the living world! More enduring than them are the righteous deeds that fetch a greater reward for you from your Lord and are well worth looking forward to!

18 : 47

47. Wayawma nusayyiru aljibala watara al-arda barizatan wahasharnahum falam nughadir minhum ahadan

On the day when We evaporate the mountains and you find the earth stripped of its ornaments, then shall We gather them all together so that no one is left behind!

18 : 48

48. WaAAuridoo AAala rabbika saffan laqad ji/tumoona kama khalaqnakum awwala marratin bal zaAAamtum allan najAAala lakum mawAAidan

And all will be brought to the presence of your Lord rank upon rank (and it will be said to them) : 'Verily you stand before Us this day in the same state in which you were when We first created you, though you contended that We had not stipulated for you a tryst with Us!'

18 : 49

49. WawudiAAa alkitabu fatara almujrimeena mushfiqeena mimma feehi wayaqooloona ya waylatana ma lihatha alkitabi la yughadiru sagheeratan wala kabeeratan illa ahsaha wawajadoo ma AAamiloo hadiran wala yathlimu rabbuka ahadan

And the transcripts are placed; and you will notice the offenders scared about what they might come across therein and they say : 'Woe to us! What kind of a book is this that it omits nothing, great or small, but has noted down everything!' They will find whatever they did confronting them and your Lord wrongs no one! (R)



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

45. And put forward to them the example of the life of this world, it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allh is Able to do everything.

46. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds (five compulsory prayers, deeds of Allh's obedience, good and nice talk, remembrance of Allh with glorification, praises and thanks, etc.), that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope.

47. And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away (like clouds of dust), and you will see the earth as a levelled plain, and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.

48. And they will be set before your Lord in (lines as) rows, (and Allh will say): "Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time. Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us)."

49. And the Book (one's Record) will be placed (in the right hand for a believer in the Oneness of Allh, and in the left hand for a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allh), and you will see the Mujrimn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!" And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.


018.045
YUSUFALI: Set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: It is like the rain which we send down from the skies: the earth's vegetation absorbs it, but soon it becomes dry stubble, which the winds do scatter: it is (only) Allah who prevails over all things.
PICKTHAL: And coin for them the similitude of the life of the world as water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingleth with it and then becometh dry twigs that the winds scatter. Allah is able to do all things.
SHAKIR: And set forth to them parable of the life of this world: like water which We send down from the cloud so the herbage of the earth becomes tangled on account of it, then it becomes dry broken into pieces which the winds scatter; and Allah is the holder of power over all things.

018.046
YUSUFALI: Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: But the things that endure, good deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.
PICKTHAL: Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of the world. But the good deeds which endure are better in thy Lord's sight for reward, and better in respect of hope.
SHAKIR: Wealth and children are an adornment of the life of this world; and the ever-abiding, the good works, are better with your Lord in reward and better in expectation.

018.047
YUSUFALI: One Day We shall remove the mountains, and thou wilt see the earth as a level stretch, and We shall gather them, all together, nor shall We leave out any one of them.
PICKTHAL: And (bethink you of) the Day when we remove the hills and ye see the earth emerging, and We gather them together so as to leave not one of them behind.
SHAKIR: And the day on which We will cause the mountains to pass away and you will see the earth a levelled plain and We will gather them and leave not any one of them behind.

018.048
YUSUFALI: And they will be marshalled before thy Lord in ranks, (with the announcement), "Now have ye come to Us (bare) as We created you first: aye, ye thought We shall not fulfil the appointment made to you to meet (Us)!":
PICKTHAL: And they are set before thy Lord in ranks (and it is said unto them): Now verily have ye come unto Us as We created you at the first. But ye thought that We had set no tryst for you.
SHAKIR: And they shall be brought before your Lord, standing in ranks: Now certainly you have come to Us as We created you at first. Nay, you thought that We had not appointed to you a time of the fulfillment of the promise.

018.049
YUSUFALI: And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say, "Ah! woe to us! what a Book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!" They will find all that they did, placed before them: And not one will thy Lord treat with injustice.
PICKTHAL: And the Book is placed, and thou seest the guilty fearful of that which is therein, and they say: What kind of a Book is this that leaveth not a small thing nor a great thing but hath counted it! And they find all that they did confronting them, and thy Lord wrongeth no-one.
SHAKIR: And the Book shall be placed, then you will see the guilty fearing from what is in it, and they will say: Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! it does not omit a small one nor a great one, but numbers them (all); and what they had done they shall find present (there); and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone.

 

Section 7.

18 : 50

50. Wa-ith qulna lilmala-ikati osjudoo li-adama fasajadoo illa ibleesa kana mina aljinni fafasaqa AAan amri rabbihi afatattakhithoonahu wathurriyyatahu awliyaa min doonee wahum lakum AAaduwwun bi/sa lilththalimeena badalan

And (remember) when We said to the angels : 'Fall prostrate before Adam!' which they did, except Iblis. He was of the Jinn and therefore he rebelled against his Lord's command. Is it him and his offspring that you choose as your friends instead of Me, although they are your foes? Evil is the exchange for the evil folk which they have negotiated for themselves!

18 : 51

51. Ma ashhadtuhum khalqa alssamawati waal-ardi wala khalqa anfusihim wama kuntu muttakhitha almudilleena AAadudan

I did not call them to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth nor their own creation! It is below My dignity to solicit the help of those who mislead?

18 : 52

52. Wayawma yaqoolu nadoo shuraka-iya allatheena zaAAamtum fadaAAawhum falam yastajeeboo lahum wajaAAalna baynahum mawbiqan

One Day He will say: 'Call My partners whom you believed to be My equals!' They would call them but their call would not be heard, for We would have caused a great chasm of damnation to prevail between them and their fake deities!

18 : 53

53. Waraa almujrimoona alnnara fathannoo annahum muwaqiAAooha walam yajidoo AAanha masrifan

And as the sinful confront the Fire, the realization will come home to them that they are about to be tossed into it and that there is no place for them to escape to! (R)



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

50. And (remember) when We said to the angels; "Prostrate to Adam." So they prostrated except Ibls (Satan). He was one of the jinns; he disobeyed the Command of his Lord. Will you then take him (Ibls) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you? What an evil is the exchange for the Zlimn (polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc).

51. I (Allh) made them (Ibls and his offspring) not to witness (nor took their help in) the creation of the heavens and the earth and not (even) their own creation, nor was I (Allh) to take the misleaders as helpers.

52. And (remember) the Day He will say:"Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you pretended." Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put Maubiqa (a barrier, or enmity, or destruction, or a valley in Hell) between them.

53. And the Mujrimn (criminals, polytheists, sinners), shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from there.


018.050
YUSUFALI: Behold! We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam": They bowed down except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers!
PICKTHAL: And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord's command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers.
SHAKIR: And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam; they made obeisance but Iblis (did it not). He was of the jinn, so he transgressed the commandment of his Lord. What! would you then take him and his offspring for friends rather than Me, and they are your enemies? Evil is (this) change for the unjust.

018.051
YUSUFALI: I called them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor (even) their own creation: nor is it for helpers such as Me to take as lead (men) astray!
PICKTHAL: I made them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation; nor choose I misleaders for (My) helpers.
SHAKIR: I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own souls; nor could I take those who lead (others) astray for aiders.

018.052
YUSUFALI: One Day He will say, "Call on those whom ye thought to be My partners," and they will call on them, but they will not listen to them; and We shall make for them a place of common perdition.
PICKTHAL: And (be mindful of) the Day when He will say: Call those partners of Mine whom ye pretended. Then they will cry unto them, but they will not hear their prayer, and We shall set a gulf of doom between them.
SHAKIR: And on the day when He shall say: Call on those whom you considered to be My associates. So they shall call on them, but they shall not answer them, and We will cause a separation between them.

018.053
YUSUFALI: And the Sinful shall see the fire and apprehend that they have to fall therein: no means will they find to turn away therefrom.
PICKTHAL: And the guilty behold the Fire and know that they are about to fall therein, and they find no way of escape thence.
SHAKIR: And the guilty shall see the fire, then they shall know that they are going to fall into it, and they shall not find a place to which to turn away from it.

Section 8. 

18 : 54

54. Walaqad sarrafna fee hatha alqur-ani lilnnasi min kulli mathalin wakana al-insanu akthara shay-in jadalan

And We have annotated for mankind in this Qur'aan every kind of parity in so many different ways, yet man remains to be the most contentious of all!

18 : 55

55. Wama manaAAa alnnasa an yu/minoo ith jaahumu alhuda wayastaghfiroo rabbahum illa an ta/tiyahum sunnatu al-awwaleena aw ya/tiyahumu alAAathabu qubulan

Nothing prevents mankind from believing it when guidance comes to them, nor from seeking forgiveness of their Lord, except that they await the recurrence of what had befallen the others before them, or until they come face to face with their own doom!

18 : 56

56. Wama nursilu almursaleena illa mubashshireena wamunthireena wayujadilu allatheena kafaroo bialbatili liyudhidoo bihi alhaqqa waittakhathoo ayatee wama onthiroo huzuwan

Never do We send our messengers except as bearers of good news and of warnings. But those who disbelieve resort to falsehood in order to repudiate the truth, treating My revelations and My warnings as a joke!

18 : 57

57. Waman athlamu mimman thukkira bi-ayati rabbihi faaAArada AAanha wanasiya ma qaddamat yadahu inna jaAAalna AAala quloobihim akinnatan an yafqahoohu wafee athanihim waqran wa-in tadAAuhum ila alhuda falan yahtadoo ithan abadan

Who does greater wrong than him who is reminded of the revelations of his Lord and yet turns away and forgets that which his own hands have sent ahead of him! We have wrapped up their hearts with covers so that they do not understand this and We have put in their ears a deafness! Even if you urge them towards guidance, they would not find their way!

18 : 58

58. Warabbuka alghafooru thoo alrrahmati law yu-akhithuhum bima kasaboo laAAajjala lahumu alAAathaba bal lahum mawAAidun lan yajidoo min doonihi maw-ilan

Magnanimous and Merciful is your Lord! Had it been His intention to seize them for their sins now itself, He would have hastened the doom upon them at once. But there is a term appointed for them from which they cannot escape!

18 : 59

59. Watilka alqura ahlaknahum lamma thalamoo wajaAAalna limahlikihim mawAAidan


And every township We annihilated while their folks were engaged in acts of solecism, they too had their appointed term before their annihilation! (R)
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

54. And indeed We have put forth every kind of example in this Qur'n, for mankind. But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.

55. And nothing prevents men from believing, now when the guidance (the Qur'n) has come to them, and from asking Forgiveness of their Lord, except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them (i.e. their destruction decreed by Allh), or the torment be brought to them face to face?

56. And We send not the Messengers except as giver of glad tidings and warners. But those who disbelieve, dispute with false argument, in order to refute the truth thereby. And they treat My Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and that with which they are warned, as jest and mockery!

57. And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord, but turns away from them forgetting what (deeds) his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this (the Qur'n), and in their ears, deafness. And if you (O Muhammad SAW) call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.

58. And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.

59. And these towns (population, 'Ad, Thamd, etc.) We destroyed when they did wrong. And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.


018.054
YUSUFALI: We have explained in detail in this Qur'an, for the benefit of mankind, every kind of similitude: but man is, in most things, contentious.
PICKTHAL: And verily We have displayed for mankind in this Qur'an all manner of similitudes, but man is more than anything contentious.
SHAKIR: And certainly We have explained in this Quran every kind of example, and man is most of all given to contention.

018.055
YUSUFALI: And what is there to keep back men from believing, now that Guidance has come to them, nor from praying for forgiveness from their Lord, but that (they ask that) the ways of the ancients be repeated with them, or the Wrath be brought to them face to face?
PICKTHAL: And naught hindereth mankind from believing when the guidance cometh unto them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord unless (it be that they wish) that the judgment of the men of old should come upon them or (that) they should be confronted with the Doom.
SHAKIR: And nothing prevents men from believing when the guidance comes to them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that what happened to the ancients should overtake them, or that the chastisement should come face to face with them.

018.056
YUSUFALI: We only send the messengers to give Glad Tidings and to give warnings: But the unbelievers dispute with vain argument, in order therewith to weaken the truth, and they treat My Signs as a jest, as also the fact that they are warned!
PICKTHAL: We send not the messengers save as bearers of good news and warners. Those who disbelieve contend with falsehood in order to refute the Truth thereby. And they take Our revelations and that wherewith they are threatened as a jest.
SHAKIR: And We do not send messengers but as givers of good news and warning, and those who disbelieve make a false contention that they may render null thereby the truth, and they take My communications and that with which they are warned for a mockery.

018.057
YUSUFALI: And who doth more wrong than one who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting the (deeds) which his hands have sent forth? Verily We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this, and over their ears, deafness, if thou callest them to guidance, even then will they never accept guidance.
PICKTHAL: And who doth greater wrong than he who hath been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turneth away from them and forgetteth what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright.
SHAKIR: And who is more unjust than he who is reminded of the communications of his Lord, then he turns away from them and forgets what his two hands have sent before? Surely We have placed veils over their hearts lest they should understand it and a heaviness in their ears; and if you call them to the guidance, they will not ever follow the right course in that case.

018.058
YUSUFALI: But your Lord is Most forgiving, full of Mercy. If He were to call them (at once) to account for what they have earned, then surely He would have hastened their punishment: but they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no refuge.
PICKTHAL: Thy Lord is the Forgiver, Full of Mercy. If He took them to task (now) for what they earn, He would hasten on the doom for them; but theirs is an appointed term from which they will find no escape.
SHAKIR: And your Lord is Forgiving, the Lord of Mercy; were He to punish them for what they earn, He would certainly have hastened the chastisement for them; but for them there is an appointed time from which they shall not find a refuge.

018.059
YUSUFALI: Such were the populations we destroyed when they committed iniquities; but we fixed an appointed time for their destruction.
PICKTHAL: And (all) those townships! We destroyed them when they did wrong, and We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.
SHAKIR: And (as for) these towns, We destroyed them when they acted unjustly, and We have appointed a time for their destruction.

 

Section 9.   

18 : 60

60. Wa-ith qala moosa lifatahu la abrahu hatta ablugha majmaAAa albahrayni aw amdiya huquban

And (remember) when Moses said to his servant : 'I will not give up until I reach the spot where the two waters merge, even if I have to keep going infinitely!'

(This fascinating episode deals with knowledge of the corporeal, the solid; the visible; the tangible; the evident and the comprehensible as opposed to the esoteric; the intangible; the invisible; the inherent and the incomprehensible,-  the former imbibed in Moses and the latter in Khidr with whom an encounter is promised to him by Allah on the spot where the two waters merge, some commentators taking it to mean the place where the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea espouse, or the Blue Nile and the White Nile mingle, while others taking it to mean where the knowledge of the outward comes into contact or conflict with the knowledge of the inward; where the real' is not as real as it would seem; where trivial is far from trivial; where truth is stranger than fiction and where things are seldom what they pretend to be.

The servant' mentioned in the verse is Joshua who served Moses throughout his tough campaign against Pharaoh, acquired much of his knowledge from him, and later on, after his death, carried his pennon and led the Children of Israel into the future).

 

18 : 61

 

61. Falamma balagha majmaAAa baynihima nasiya hootahuma faittakhatha sabeelahu fee albahri saraban

And when they finally reached the spot where the waters merged, they forgot their fish and it found its way to the water, (as if) through a tunnel.

(The eternal conflict between good and evil, and therefore between Allah and Satan begins as soon their journey commences. Determined to meet Khidr and acquire the knowledge of the unseen, no matter how far he has to go and how harsh the journey, Moses and Joshua set out, carrying no more than some dried and salted fish for their sustenance. When the spot where the tryst with Khidr is to take place arrives, they find a hill and rest their feet. While Moses falls asleep, Joshua is awake. Suddenly, the dead fish springs to life, escapes into the water by itself and begins to swim, as if boring a tunnel through waves. This amazing phenomenon is witnessed by Joshua, but he is made to forget all about it by the ruse of the devil and he fails to mention it to Moses. So they get up and resume their journey!

This incident illustrates how knowledge could so easily be missed as a result of simple negligence; if he who seeks new knowledge is not alert to its dawning, it could be lost to him forever. But in this instance, since Joshua's forgetfulness is a deliberate act of interference by Satan, his remembering it is assigned to Allah who did promise Moses that he would surely be taught the new knowledge he sought).

18 : 62

62. Falamma jawaza qala lifatahu atina ghadaana laqad laqeena min safarina hatha nasaban

Then as they proceeded farther, Moses said to his attendant : 'Serve breakfast! Verily we have been through a strenuous time in course of this journey.'
 

(But Allah wants Moses to keep his tryst, so they are overcome by hunger and fatigue and forced to stop for yet another respite. Moses, who is not aware that they had lost the fish, asks Joshua to serve it to him for breakfast so that hunger built up by the strenuous journey could be placated)
 

18 : 63

63. Qala araayta ith awayna ila alssakhrati fa-innee naseetu alhoota wama ansaneehu illa alshshaytanu an athkurahu waittakhatha sabeelahu fee albahri AAajaban

He said : 'Did you notice how, when we paused by that hill and I forgot all about the fish - and it was none but Satan who made me forget - how amazing that it found its way to the river on its own?'


(Moses asking for breakfast reminds Joshua of the mysterious manner in which the dried fish sprang to life and escaped into the water, and he tells him about it).

18 : 64

64. Qala thalika ma kunna nabghi fairtadda AAala atharihima qasasan

Moses said : 'That was the sign which we were searching!' and they returned, following their own footprints.'

(The spot where they lose the fish being the spot where Moses was expected to run into Khidr, they return to the hill and meet up with him.

It should be noted how, the loss of a fish which he had brought with him to satisfy his earthly needs is made the source through which he would find the place where he was going to satisfy his spiritual craving!)

18 : 65

65. Fawajada AAabdan min AAibadina ataynahu rahmatan min AAindina waAAallamnahu min ladunna AAilman

Then they came across one of Our slaves whom We had blessed with mercy from Us and had edified with oracular knowledge from Our presence.

(They find him resting, clad in a spotless white sheet. The oracular knowledge taught to him by Allah refers to the knowledge of the unseen, or knowledge of the esoteric, described in the verse as 'al-'ilm al ladunni'.

18 : 66

66. Qala lahu moosa hal attabiAAuka AAala an tuAAallimani mimma AAullimta rushdan

Moses said to him : 'May I follow you so that you may teach me the right knowledge which you have been taught?'

(After an exchange of greetings, Moses introduces himself to be the Prophet of the Children of Israel and seeks permission to accompany him in his wanderings).

18 : 67

67. Qala innaka lan tastateeAAa maAAiya sabran

He said : 'Verily you will never be able to bear with me!

(Khidr is aware of who Moses is, and also that, however profound his knowledge of the terrestrial be, his knowledge of the supernal is very limited. So he advises him not to do it because he might not be able to put up with some of the things he does because of his limitations. But Moses insists on coming along).

18 : 68

68. Wakayfa tasbiru AAala ma lam tuhit bihi khubran

'How can you bear with that which is beyond the scope of your knowledge?'

(This does not mean Khidr is casting aspersions on the knowledge Allah bestowed upon Moses. He was a Prophet of Allah, and the prime quality of every Prophet being an in-built resentment towards perpetration of evil, Khidr could foresee that he would not be able to tolerate some of the things he would do based upon his inward knowledge, because they would not conform to the outward knowledge which Moses possessed.

According to a Hadith, Khidr said to Moses : 'some of the things which Allah taught you, He did not teach them to me, and some of the things which Allah taught me, He did not teach them to you' thereby drawing a clear distinction between the mundane and the mystical).

18 : 69

69. Qala satajidunee in shaa Allahu sabiran wala aAAsee laka amran

He said : 'Allah willing you will find me to be patient and I will not interfere with your tasks in the slightest.'

18 : 70

70. Qala fa-ini ittabaAAtanee fala tas-alnee AAan shay-in hatta ohditha laka minhu thikran

He (Khidr) said : 'If you are going to accompany me, then do not question me about anything I do unless I mention it to you myself.' (R)

(Khidr agrees, but strictly on the condition that he would not question or criticize him for the things he does, unless he volunteers an explanation of his own accord. Moses gives him his word and the two men set out.

The stipulation is in conformity with a well established principle that, for as long as the relationship of 'teacher and taught' exists between two individuals, the pupil must refrain from questioning the wisdom or actions of the master, but patiently wait until an explanation is volunteered).
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

60. And (remember) when Msa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: "I will not give up (travelling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travelling."[]

61. But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.

62. So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place), Msa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey."

63. He said:"Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock? I indeed forgot the fish, none but Shaitn (Satan) made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!"

64. [Msa (Moses)] said: "That is what we have been seeking." So they went back retracing their footsteps.

65. Then they found one of Our slaves, unto whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.

66. Msa (Moses) said to him (Khidr) "May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allh)?"

67. He (Khidr) said: "Verily! You will not be able to have patience with me!

68. "And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?"

69. Msa (Moses) said: "If Allh will, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught."

70. He (Khidr) said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you."


018.060
YUSUFALI: Behold, Moses said to his attendant, "I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travel."
PICKTHAL: And when Moses said unto his servant: I will not give up until I reach the point where the two rivers meet, though I march on for ages.
SHAKIR: And when Musa said to his servant: I will not cease until I reach the junction of the two rivers or I will go on for years.

018.061
YUSUFALI: But when they reached the Junction, they forgot (about) their Fish, which took its course through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel.
PICKTHAL: And when they reached the point where the two met, they forgot their fish, and it took its way into the waters, being free.
SHAKIR: So when they had reached the junction of the two (rivers) they forgot their fish, and it took its way into the sea, going away.

018.062
YUSUFALI: When they had passed on (some distance), Moses said to his attendant: "Bring us our early meal; truly we have suffered much fatigue at this (stage of) our journey."
PICKTHAL: And when they had gone further, he said unto his servant: Bring us our breakfast. Verily we have found fatigue in this our journey.
SHAKIR: But when they had gone farther, he said to his servant: Bring to us our morning meal, certainly we have met with fatigue from this our journey.

018.063
YUSUFALI: He replied: "Sawest thou (what happened) when we betook ourselves to the rock? I did indeed forget (about) the Fish: none but Satan made me forget to tell (you) about it: it took its course through the sea in a marvellous way!"
PICKTHAL: He said: Didst thou see, when we took refuge on the rock, and I forgot the fish - and none but Satan caused me to forget to mention it - it took its way into the waters by a marvel.
SHAKIR: He said: Did you see when we took refuge on the rock then I forgot the fish, and nothing made me forget to speak of it but the Shaitan, and it took its way into the river; what a wonder!

018.064
YUSUFALI: Moses said: "That was what we were seeking after:" So they went back on their footsteps, following (the path they had come).
PICKTHAL: He said: This is that which we have been seeking. So they retraced their steps again.
SHAKIR: He said: This is what we sought for; so they returned retracing their footsteps.

018.065
YUSUFALI: So they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had taught knowledge from Our own Presence.
PICKTHAL: Then found they one of Our slaves, unto whom We had given mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our presence.
SHAKIR: Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves.

018.066
YUSUFALI: Moses said to him: "May I follow thee, on the footing that thou teach me something of the (Higher) Truth which thou hast been taught?"
PICKTHAL: Moses said unto him: May I follow thee, to the end that thou mayst teach me right conduct of that which thou hast been taught?
SHAKIR: Musa said to him: Shall I follow you on condition that you should teach me right knowledge of what you have been taught?

018.067
YUSUFALI: (The other) said: "Verily thou wilt not be able to have patience with me!"
PICKTHAL: He said: Lo! thou canst not bear with me.
SHAKIR: He said: Surely you cannot have patience with me

018.068
YUSUFALI: "And how canst thou have patience about things about which thy understanding is not complete?"
PICKTHAL: How canst thou bear with that whereof thou canst not compass any knowledge?
SHAKIR: And how can you have patience in that of which you have not got a comprehensive knowledge?

018.069
YUSUFALI: Moses said: "Thou wilt find me, if Allah so will, (truly) patient: nor shall I disobey thee in aught."
PICKTHAL: He said: Allah willing, thou shalt find me patient and I shall not in aught gainsay thee.
SHAKIR: He said: If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.

018.070
YUSUFALI: The other said: "If then thou wouldst follow me, ask me no questions about anything until I myself speak to thee concerning it."
PICKTHAL: He said: Well, if thou go with me, ask me not concerning aught till I myself make mention of it unto thee.
SHAKIR: He said: If you would follow me, then do not question me about any thing until I myself speak to you about it  

 


Section 10.   

18 : 71

71. Faintalaqa hatta itha rakiba fee alssafeenati kharaqaha qala akharaqtaha litughriqa ahlaha laqad ji/ta shay-an imran

So the two of them set out until they crossed a stream in a ferry when the man made a hole in it! Moses said : 'Have you made a hole in it so that its passengers drown? Verily you have done a wicked thing!'
 

(Soon they come up against the first of three tests, which is a ferry belonging to a group of hardworking fishermen, who recognize Khidr and let them cross the stream without charging them anything. But upon reaching the other side, Khidr repays the favour by damaging two planks in the vessel's hull.

To Moses, the Prophet, taught by Allah never to repay a favour with wickedness, Khidr's action is of the utmost ingratitude; but to Khidr, the Oracle, taught by Allah to go beyond the present and look into the future, it is a matter of sheer expedience.

Repulsed by what he has seen, Moses looses no time in remonstrating his companion for what he did)

18 : 72

72. Qala alam aqul innaka lan tastateeAAa maAAiya sabran

He said : 'Did I not warn you that you would not be able to bear with me?'

18 : 73

73. Qala la tu-akhithnee bima naseetu wala turhiqnee min amree AAusran

Moses said : 'Do not be cross with me for my oversight and do not be hard on me because of my error!'


18 : 74

74. Faintalaqa hatta itha laqiya ghulaman faqatalahu qala aqatalta nafsan zakiyyatan bighayri nafsin laqad ji/ta shay-an nukran

So they carried on walking until they came across a young boy and the man slew him! Moses said : 'What! Have you slain a guiltless soul who has slain no man? Verily what you have done is an horrendous thing!'

(After travelling for a further distance on the other side of the stream, they come across children playing in the field and minding their own business. Without any provocation or reason, Khidr picks the youngest of them and slays him with his knife.

Moses, the Prophet, taught to proscribe the perpetration of suck wicked deeds, especially the slaying of the young and the defenceless, is appalled by the heinous crime and once again protests to Khidr).

 

18 : 75

 

75. Qala alam aqul laka innaka lan tastateeAAa maAAiya sabran

He said : 'Did I not warn you that you would not be able to bear with me?'

(And once again Khidr reminds him of the promise he had made not to interfere with or to question his actions).

18: 76

76. Qala in saaltuka AAan shay-in baAAdaha fala tusahibnee qad balaghta min ladunnee AAuthran

(Moses) said : 'If I ask you one more question, do not suffer my company anymore. Verily your objection to me would then be justified!'

18 : 77

77. Faintalaqa hatta itha ataya ahla qaryatin istatAAama ahlaha faabaw an yudayyifoohuma fawajada feeha jidaran yureedu an yanqadda faaqamahu qala law shi/ta laittakhathta AAalayhi ajran

So the two of them carried on until they came across a group of villagers and asked them for food some but they did not extend to them their hospitality. However, they found a wall there which seemed on the verge of collapsing, yet the man took the trouble of restoring it. Moses said : 'If you wanted to, you could have sought compensation for it from them.'

(Finally, they arrive in a village where they ask the people to give them some food. But the folks are so depraved that they refuse to extend to them any hospitality whatsoever. Yet, Khidr finds a wall there on the verge of collapsing and takes the trouble of restoring it, without seeking compensation, not even food of which they were in desperate need.

Moses runs out of patient at once again with his seemingly whimsical companion and breaks the word for the last time. It brings them to the point where their paths must part and both agree to go their separate ways, - but not without explanations).

18 : 78

78. Qala hatha firaqu baynee wabaynika saonabbi-oka bita/weeli ma lam tastatiAA AAalayhi sabran

He said : 'Since this is the parting of ways between you and me, I will offer you an explanation behind the things over which you could not get to grips with me!

18 : 79

79. Amma alssafeenatu fakanat limasakeena yaAAmaloona fee albahri faaradtu an aAAeebaha wakana waraahum malikun ya/khuthu kulla safeenatin ghasban

As for the ferry, it belonged to a group of destitutes who made a living from it on the river. I decided to damage it because there was a king behind them who was seizing all the boats that are serviceable!

(Although, on the basis of the known, it is perverse to repay a favour with an act of vandalism, - or good with bad, - on the basis of the unknown, the act of vandalism was not an evil deed but in itself a favour because it prevented the warlord from confiscating the only source of livelihood that the poverty stricken fishermen had. The damage inflicted on the vessel was such that it could easily be repaired, but if their boat had fallen into the hands of the tyrant, they would never have been able to recover it from him)

18 : 80

80. Waamma alghulamu fakana abawahu mu/minayni fakhasheena an yurhiqahuma tughyanan wakufran

'And as for the lad, his parents had become believers but we feared he might force them back into insubordination and agnosticism;

18 : 81

81. Faaradna an yubdilahuma rabbuhuma khayran minhu zakatan waaqraba ruhman

'Hence we desired that they deserved to be blessed by their Lord with another son in his place who would be purer in nature and nearer to compassion.

(Once again, on the strength of the known, it is an act of extreme wickedness to deprive an innocent and defenceless child of his life who had done no apparent wrong, but on the strength of the unknown, he was not as innocent and defenceless as he had seemed to be; the only child of two ageing believers who loved and cherished him, he was destined to grow into a vicious and disbelieving man and would soon force his parents to renounce their faith. By putting that child to death before he grew into a menace and destroyed the spiritual well-being of his parents, Khidr was not committing an atrocity but sparing his parents their redemption, which was a favour to them because he knew Allah would surely fill their lap with worthier offspring in order to replenish their loss.

It so happened that Allah did bless them with worthier offspring, - a daughter instead of a son, - who later became the wife of a Prophet from whose seed sprang many other Prophets!

It should be noted that not everyone is allowed to slay a potential miscreant; it was an exception granted to Khidr by Allah).

18 : 82

82. Waamma aljidaru fakana lighulamayni yateemayni fee almadeenati wakana tahtahu kanzun lahuma wakana aboohuma salihan faarada rabbuka an yablugha ashuddahuma wayastakhrija kanzahuma rahmatan min rabbika wama faAAaltuhu AAan amree thalika ta/weelu ma lam tastiAA AAalayhi sabran

'As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in town. Their treasure was buried underneath it and their father was a righteous person. So your Lord intended to make sure that, when they came of age, they should retrieve their treasure by the grace of their Lord, - none of which have I prosecuted at my own instance! Such is the explanation of the things with which you could not come to terms.' (R)

(Finally, the wall. Based on knowledge of the known, no village where its residents refuse to extend the hospitality of providing food to weary travellers is worth setting foot upon, much less taking the trouble of restoring a derelict wall which belongs to it; but on the basis of the unknown, it is not foolish to protect an extremely important landmark from disappearing, especially if it happens to be the only one pointing towards a buried treasure which belongs to two young orphans still growing up in the village.

Fearing dishonesty and aggression by villagers, their father had got his valuables buried in a secret place and a wall built to mark its location. If the wall had collapsed, no one would have ever known where their inheritance was hidden and it would have been lost to the orphans for no fault of theirs. That was the real reason why Khidr took the trouble of restoring it.

The main purpose of these three lessons is to point out the limitations of the corporeal Laws we all obey and assert how esoteric wisdom could sometimes see beyond it.

It should, however, be pointed out here that Prophets are superior to Oracles in every respect because the Oracles too, like everybody else, believe in their Prophets. Since in the episode narrated above, Moses, the Prophet, has been taught the new knowledge by Khidr, the Oracle, some commentators insist that Moses mentioned here is not Moses of the Children of Israel but someone altogether different).
 



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:


MUHSIN:

71. So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Msa (Moses) said: "Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing "Imra" (a Munkar - evil, bad, dreadful thing)."

72. He (Khidr) said: "Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?"

73. [Msa (Moses)] said: "Call me not to account for what I forgot[], and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you)."

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Msa (Moses) said: "Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing "Nukra" (a great Munkar - prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!"

75. (Khidr) said: "Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?"

76. [Msa (Moses)] said: "If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me."

77. Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Msa (Moses)] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!"

78. (Khidr) said: "This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.

79. "As for the ship, it belonged to Maskn (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.

80. "And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

81. "So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.

82. "And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience."


018.071
YUSUFALI: So they both proceeded: until, when they were in the boat, he scuttled it. Said Moses: "Hast thou scuttled it in order to drown those in it? Truly a strange thing hast thou done!"
PICKTHAL: So they twain set out till, when they were in the ship, he made a hole therein. (Moses) said: Hast thou made a hole therein to drown the folk thereof? Thou verily hast done a dreadful thing.
SHAKIR: So they went (their way) until when they embarked in the boat he made a hole in it. (Musa) said: Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing.

018.072
YUSUFALI: He answered: "Did I not tell thee that thou canst have no patience with me?"
PICKTHAL: He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me?
SHAKIR: He said: Did I not say that you will not be able to have patience with me?

018.073
YUSUFALI: Moses said: "Rebuke me not for forgetting, nor grieve me by raising difficulties in my case."
PICKTHAL: (Moses) said: Be not wroth with me that I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my fault.
SHAKIR: He said: Blame me not for what I forgot, and do not constrain me to a difficult thing in my affair.

018.074
YUSUFALI: Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: "Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!"
PICKTHAL: So they twain journeyed on till, when they met a lad, he slew him. (Moses) said: What! Hast thou slain an innocent soul who hath slain no man? Verily thou hast done a horrid thing.
SHAKIR: So they went on until, when they met a boy, he slew him. (Musa) said: Have you slain an innocent person otherwise than for manslaughter? Certainly you have done an evil thing.

018.075
YUSUFALI: He answered: "Did I not tell thee that thou canst have no patience with me?"
PICKTHAL: He said: Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not bear with me?
SHAKIR: He said: Did I not say to you that you will not be able to have patience with me?

018.076
YUSUFALI: (Moses) said: "If ever I ask thee about anything after this, keep me not in thy company: then wouldst thou have received (full) excuse from my side."
PICKTHAL: (Moses) said: If I ask thee after this concerning aught, keep not company with me. Thou hast received an excuse from me.
SHAKIR: He said: If I ask you about anything after this, keep me not in your company; indeed you shall have (then) found an excuse in my case.

018.077
YUSUFALI: Then they proceeded: until, when they came to the inhabitants of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused them hospitality. They found there a wall on the point of falling down, but he set it up straight. (Moses) said: "If thou hadst wished, surely thou couldst have exacted some recompense for it!"
PICKTHAL: So they twain journeyed on till, when they came unto the folk of a certain township, they asked its folk for food, but they refused to make them guests. And they found therein a wall upon the point of falling into ruin, and he repaired it. (Moses) said: If thou hadst wished, thou couldst have taken payment for it.
SHAKIR: So they went on until when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they found in it a wall which was on the point of falling, so he put it into a right state. (Musa) said: If you had pleased, you might certainly have taken a recompense for it.

018.078
YUSUFALI: He answered: "This is the parting between me and thee: now will I tell thee the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.
PICKTHAL: He said: This is the parting between thee and me! I will announce unto thee the interpretation of that thou couldst not bear with patience.
SHAKIR: He said: This shall be separation between me and you; now I will inform you of the significance of that with which you could not have patience.

018.079
YUSUFALI: "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men in dire want: they plied on the water: I but wished to render it unserviceable, for there was after them a certain king who seized on every boat by force.
PICKTHAL: As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to mar it, for there was a king behind them who is taking every ship by force.
SHAKIR: As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river and I wished that I should damage it, and there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force.

018.080
YUSUFALI: "As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man).
PICKTHAL: And as for the lad, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.
SHAKIR: And as for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should make disobedience and ingratitude to come upon them:

018.081
YUSUFALI: "So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection.
PICKTHAL: And we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in purity and nearer to mercy.
SHAKIR: So we desired that their Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity and nearer to having compassion.

018.082
YUSUFALI: "As for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans, in the Town; there was, beneath it, a buried treasure, to which they were entitled: their father had been a righteous man: So thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of full strength and get out their treasure - a mercy (and favour) from thy Lord. I did it not of my own accord. Such is the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience."
PICKTHAL: And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father had been righteous, and thy Lord intended that they should come to their full strength and should bring forth their treasure as a mercy from their Lord; and I did it not upon my own command. Such is the interpretation of that wherewith thou couldst not bear.
SHAKIR: And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.

 

 

Section 11.   

18 : 83

83. Wayas-aloonaka AAan thee alqarnayni qul saatloo AAalaykum minhu thikran

And they will ask you (O Mohammed) about Du'l-Qarnayn. Say : 'I shall recite to you the account revealed about him.'

(Dhu'l-Qarnayn is often identified in many Islamic chronicles as Alexander the Great who conquered the entire world from one corner to the other and became historically the first Emperor to have extended the frontiers of his country beyond their geographic boundaries.

However, since commentators are divided regarding his identify, some prefer to state that he was neither a Prophet nor an angel but a man dedicated to his Lord and cherished nothing else in life except His love and His accord).

18 : 84

84. Inna makkanna lahu fee al-ardi waataynahu min kulli shay-in sababan

Verily We made him strong in the land and gave him access to everything he wished.

18 : 85

85. FaatbaAAa sababan

So he set out on one such access.

(The first of his expeditions took him to the western borders of his realm).

18 : 86

86. Hatta itha balagha maghriba alshshamsi wajadaha taghrubu fee AAaynin hami-atin wawajada AAindaha qawman qulna ya tha alqarnayni imma an tuAAaththiba wa-imma an tattakhitha feehim husnan

When he reached the sunset region, he found the sun to be setting in a black and muddy pool of water. And there he came across a heathen folk. We said : 'O Du'l-Qarnayn! Either punish them or show them mercy!'

(Presumably Lake Ohrid which lies on the western borders of Macedonia, described as a muddy pool because it draws its water from springs which pass through lime-stone formations and are therefore murky in colour.

The people he came across in this region were primitive and clad themselves in animal hides, of which they had an abundant supply, because their main source of livelihood came from hunting.

He was commanded to guide them on to the righteous path, punishing those who refused to follow his guidance and showing mercy to those who followed it.

Although he was a mighty king, given the power to do anything he pleased, he looked upon himself as a humble servant of Allah and ruled the kingdom in His name, doing only that which he was commanded to do by his Lord).

18 : 87

87. Qala amma man thalama fasawfa nuAAaththibuhu thumma yuraddu ila rabbihi fayuAAaththibuhu AAathaban nukran

He said to them : 'He who commits atrocities among you, verily we will punish him!' Then he will be brought back to His Lord who will punish him (again) with an even worse punishment;

18 : 88

88. Waamma man amana waAAamila salihan falahu jazaan alhusna wasanaqoolu lahu min amrina yusran

'But he who becomes a believer and performs righteous deeds, his will be a seemly reward and We shall be considerate towards him in Our commands.'
 

(The same message as delivered to mankind by every messenger over the centuries, of punishment in the Hereafter over and above the punishment in the life of this world for atrocities committed here, and a generous reward for believing in Allah's promise and for performing righteous deeds, together with a relaxation in His Ordinances, making them easier to obey in this world).

18 : 89

89. Thumma atbaAAa sababan

Then he set out on another such access.

(The second of his expeditions took him to the eastern borders of his realm).

18 : 90

90. Hatta itha balagha matliAAa alshshamsi wajadaha tatluAAu AAala qawmin lam najAAal lahum min dooniha sitran

When he reached the sunrise region, he found the sun rising on a people whom We had given no protection whatsoever against the sun.

(The people he came across here were also equally ill-informed and given to solecism.

Their plight was so bad that they had no protection against the blistering heat of the sun; there were no trees for shade nor did they know how to innovate even the most primitive of shelters above their heads, taking refuge inside caves on the mountains during the day soon after the sun rose and coming out only after it set).

18 : 91

91. Kathalika waqad ahatna bima ladayhi khubran

Thus it was, - and We were aware of everything which he possessed!

(The phrase :'Thus it was', or 'Kazalik' used in this context is taken by commentators in general to mean that he did the same with these people as he did with the others, - delivered the message of Allah, warning those who disobeyed and commending those who obeyed, although other commentators take the view that he let them get on with their lives, in keeping with the status of a mighty emperor.

Allah's comprehensive knowledge about the prowess of this priest king who ruled his realm in the name of Allah and as His vice-regent on earth included full details about the militia he commanded, the principles of courage and lenity he taught his warriors to implement in course of their duties, the weaponry he used, the laws he promulgated, the wealth he amassed and the ways in which he disbursed it.

The verse exhorts those who are bestowed with kingdoms that they must rule their realms in the name of Allah, implementing all Divine Laws through the framework of statutes which they promulgate in their governance and bear in mind at all times that Allah is well aware of their power as well as the manner in which they exercised it).

18 : 92

92. Thumma atbaAAa sababan

Then he set out on another such access.


(The third of his expeditions took him to the northern borders of his realm).

18 : 93

93. Hatta itha balagha bayna alssaddayni wajada min doonihima qawman la yakadoona yafqahoona qawlan

When he reached the track in the middle of two cliffs, he came across on this side of the hills a folk who scarcely seemed to understand his speech.

(The people he came across here spoke to him in a language with which he was not conversant, so the communication between him and them took place by signs).

18 : 94

94. Qaloo ya tha alqarnayni inna ya/jooja wama/jooja mufsidoona fee al-ardi fahal najAAalu laka kharjan AAala an tajAAala baynana wabaynahum saddan

They said to him : 'O Dhu'l-Qarnayn! Gog and Magog are shattering the peace in our land. If we agreed to pay you tribute, would you build a barrier between us and them?

(Gog and Magog were chiefs of a ferocious tribe of barbarians who raged havoc upon others by pillaging defenceless villages, consuming whatever they could eat on the spot and taking away whatever they could transport, including resorting to the horrific practice of cannibalism.

Despite the problems of communication, they conveyed to the king the nightmare they were enduring at the hands of their ruthless enemy and offered to pay him tribute if he blocked the access the barbarians were using in order to infiltrate their territory)

18 : 95

95. Qala ma makkannee feehi rabbee khayrun faaAAeenoonee biquwwatin ajAAal baynakum wabaynahum radman

He said : 'All that over which my Lord has given me dominion is enough for me! So, if you put your muscle power at my disposal, I would surely build a powerful bastion between you and them!

18 : 96

96. Atoonee zubara alhadeedi hatta itha sawa bayna alsadafayni qala onfukhoo hatta itha jaAAalahu naran qala atoonee ofrigh AAalayhi qitran

'Just bring me some blocks of iron!' - and when the gap between the two cliffs was filled (with the blocks), he said : 'Pump the bellows!' and when the furnace caught fire he said : 'Bring the molten copper to me so that I can pour it over (the bulge)!'

(Blessed with a flourishing empire and a formidable army to defend it, there was no need for him to accept tribute from a repressed people for protecting them against their marauding enemy so he turned down the offer of tribute but asked them to share the work-load in its place.

The powerful bastion of boulders, strengthened with molten metals, which was built in order to stop the barbarians once and for all is often taken by most commentators as a reference to the Iron Gates near Bukhara).

18 : 97

97. Fama istaAAoo an yathharoohu wama istataAAoo lahu naqban

Since then Gog and Magog were no longer able to scale the cliffs, nor dig any tunnels through the bastion!

18 : 98

98. Qala hatha rahmatun min rabbee fa-itha jaa waAAdu rabbee jaAAalahu dakkaa wakana waAAdu rabbee haqqan

He said : 'This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will destroy all this, - and the promise of my Lord is irreversible!

(The verse contains a stark reminder to all mankind that, however strong the bastions we build; however tall the buildings we raise; however deep the tunnels we dig; how many 'Star Wars' programs we develop; how many eyes we put in the skies; there will come the Day when the order of things would change; the power of man would fade and give way to the power of God; the bastions would come tumbling down; the towers would collapse; satellites set afloat in Space would drop back on the earth and explode into pieces; Allah would take over and fulfil His word; the Judgement would be held as promised, the guilty punished and the righteous rewarded as stated!

This verse, included towards the end in this Surah, takes us back to verse 8 at the start of the Surah in which it is announced that the earth would be stripped of its ornaments and reduced to barren dust).

18 : 99

99. Watarakna baAAdahum yawma-ithin yamooju fee baAAdin wanufikha fee alssoori fajamaAAnahum jamAAan

And on that Day We will cause them to surge against one another like waves; the Trumpet will be blown and We will assemble them together in a single congregation.

18 : 100

100. WaAAaradna jahannama yawma-ithin lilkafireena AAardan

 

On that Day We shall expose hell to the naked eye of the disbelievers -

18 : 101

101. Allatheena kanat aAAyunuhum fee ghita-in AAan thikree wakanoo la yastateeAAoona samAAan

Those whose eyes were obscured from My recollection by a blindfold and who could not bear to hear the truth! (R)



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

83. And they ask you about Dhul-Qarnain. Say: "I shall recite to you something of his story."

84. Verily, We established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything.

85. So he followed a way.

86. Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of black muddy (or hot) water. And he found near it a people. We (Allh) said (by inspiration): "O Dhul-Qarnain! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness."

87. He said: "As for him (a disbeliever in the Oneness of Allh) who does wrong, we shall punish him; and then he will be brought back unto his Lord; Who will punish him with a terrible torment (Hell).

88. "But as for him who believes (in Allh's Oneness) and works righteousness, he shall have the best reward, (Paradise), and we (Dhul-Qarnain) shall speak unto him mild words (as instructions)."

89. Then he followed another way,

90. Until, when he came to the rising place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We (Allh) had provided no shelter against the sun.

91. So (it was)! And We knew all about him (Dhul-Qarnain).

92. Then he followed (another) way,

93. Until, when he reached between two mountains, he found, before (near) them (those two mountains), a people who scarcely understood a word.

94. They said: "O Dhul-Qarnain! Verily! Ya'jj and Ma'jj (Gog and Magog)[] are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between us and them?"

95. He said: "That (wealth, authority and power) in which my Lord had established me is better (than your tribute). So help me with strength (of men), I will erect between you and them a barrier.

96. "Give me pieces (blocks) of iron," then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said: "Blow," till when he had made it (red as) fire, he said: "Bring me molten copper to pour over it."

97. So they [Ya'jj and Ma'jj (Gog and Magog)] were made powerless to scale it or dig through it.

98. Dhul-Qarnain) said: "This is a mercy from my Lord, but when the Promise of my Lord comes, He shall level it down to the ground. And the Promise of my Lord is ever true."

99. And on that Day [i.e. the Day Ya'jj and Ma'jj (Gog and Magog) will come out], We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another, and the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together.

100. And on that Day We shall present Hell to the disbelievers, plain to view,

101. (To) Those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder (this Qur'n), and who could not bear to hear (it).


018.083
YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story."
PICKTHAL: They will ask thee of Dhu'l-Qarneyn. Say: I shall recite unto you a remembrance of him.
SHAKIR: And they ask you about Zulqarnain. Say: I will recite to you an account of him.

018.084
YUSUFALI: Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends.
PICKTHAL: Lo! We made him strong in the land and gave him unto every thing a road.
SHAKIR: Surely We established him in the land and granted him means of access to every thing.

018.085
YUSUFALI: One (such) way he followed,
PICKTHAL: And he followed a road
SHAKIR: So he followed a course.

018.086
YUSUFALI: Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."
PICKTHAL: Till, when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a people thereabout. We said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Either punish or show them kindness.
SHAKIR: Until when he reached the place where the sun set, he found it going down into a black sea, and found by it a people. We said: O Zulqarnain! either give them a chastisement or do them a benefit.

018.087
YUSUFALI: He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before).
PICKTHAL: He said: As for him who doeth wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with awful punishment!
SHAKIR: He said: As to him who is injust, we will chastise him, then shall he be returned to his Lord, and He will chastise him with an exemplary chastisement:

018.088
YUSUFALI: "But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command."
PICKTHAL: But as for him who believeth and doeth right, good will be his reward, and We shall speak unto him a mild command.
SHAKIR: And as for him who believes and does good, he shall have goodly reward, and We will speak to him an easy word of Our command.

018.089
YUSUFALI: Then followed he (another) way,
PICKTHAL: Then he followed a road
SHAKIR: Then he followed (another) course.

018.090
YUSUFALI: Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun.
PICKTHAL: Till, when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter therefrom.
SHAKIR: Until when he reached the land of the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people to whom We had given no shelter from It;

018.091
YUSUFALI: (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him.
PICKTHAL: So (it was). And We knew all concerning him.
SHAKIR: Even so! and We had a full knowledge of what he had.

018.092
YUSUFALI: Then followed he (another) way,
PICKTHAL: Then he followed a road
SHAKIR: Then he followed (another) course.

018.093
YUSUFALI: Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word.
PICKTHAL: Till, when he came between the two mountains, he found upon their hither side a folk that scarce could understand a saying.
SHAKIR: Until when he reached (a place) between the two mountains, he found on that side of them a people who could hardly understand a word.

018.094
YUSUFALI: They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?
PICKTHAL: They said: O Dhu'l-Qarneyn! Lo! Gog and Magog are spoiling the land. So may we pay thee tribute on condition that thou set a barrier between us and them?
SHAKIR: They said: O Zulqarnain! surely Gog and Magog make mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute on condition that you should raise a barrier between us and them

018.095
YUSUFALI: He said: "(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them:
PICKTHAL: He said: That wherein my Lord hath established me is better (than your tribute). Do but help me with strength (of men), I will set between you and them a bank.
SHAKIR: He said: That in which my Lord has established me is better, therefore you only help me with workers, I will make a fortified barrier between you and them;

018.096
YUSUFALI: "Bring me blocks of iron." At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, "Blow (with your bellows)" Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: "Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead."
PICKTHAL: Give me pieces of iron - till, when he had levelled up (the gap) between the cliffs, he said: Blow! - till, when he had made it a fire, he said: Bring me molten copper to pour thereon.
SHAKIR: Bring me blocks of iron; until when he had filled up the space between the two mountain sides, he said: Blow, until when he had made it (as) fire, he said: Bring me molten brass which I may pour over it.

018.097
YUSUFALI: Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it.
PICKTHAL: And (Gog and Magog) were not able to surmount, nor could they pierce (it).
SHAKIR: So they were not able to scale it nor could they make a hole in it.

018.098
YUSUFALI: He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true."
PICKTHAL: He said: This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord cometh to pass, He will lay it low, for the promise of my Lord is true.
SHAKIR: He said: This is a mercy from my Lord, but when the promise of my Lord comes to pass He will make it level with the ground, and the promise of my Lord is ever true.

018.099
YUSUFALI: On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another: the trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them all together.
PICKTHAL: And on that day we shall let some of them surge against others, and the Trumpet will be blown. Then We shall gather them together in one gathering.
SHAKIR: And on that day We will leave a part of them in conflict with another part, and the trumpet will be blown, so We will gather them all together;

018.100
YUSUFALI: And We shall present Hell that day for Unbelievers to see, all spread out,-
PICKTHAL: On that day we shall present hell to the disbelievers, plain to view,
SHAKIR: And We will bring forth hell, exposed to view, on that day before the unbelievers.

018.101
YUSUFALI: (Unbelievers) whose eyes had been under a veil from remembrance of Me, and who had been unable even to hear.
PICKTHAL: Those whose eyes were hoodwinked from My reminder, and who could not bear to hear.
SHAKIR: They whose eyes were under a cover from My reminder and they could not even hear.

Section 12.

18 : 102

102. Afahasiba allatheena kafaroo an yattakhithoo AAibadee min doonee awliyaa inna aAAtadna jahannama lilkafireena nuzulan

Do the disbelievers think that they could make My servants their guardians instead of Me? We have kept hell ablaze to welcome the disbelievers into it!

(Such as the Christians who consider Jesus to be their God; Jews who once elevated Uzair to the status of a deity and offered him worship; and the idolaters who cast the angels in the role of gods)
 

18: 103

103. Qul hal nunabbi-okum bial-akhsareena aAAmalan

Say to them : 'Shall We tell you whose deeds are the most unavailing of all?

18 : 104

104. Allatheena dalla saAAyuhum fee alhayati alddunya wahum yahsaboona annahum yuhsinoona sunAAan

Those whose life-long toils in the life of this world go futile and yet they think they are engaged in performing fruitful deeds!

(No matter how many righteous deeds they perform; how many hours of meditation they spend inside their chapels, their tabernacles and their temples; how much good they do for their fellow humans and how much they spend in charity, in alleviating pain and in sharing the suffering of others; none of it is going to benefit in the least, though they might think that they had discharged their dues and earned redemption!)

18 : 105

105. Ola-ika allatheena kafaroo bi-ayati rabbihim waliqa-ihi fahabitat aAAmaluhum fala nuqeemu lahum yawma alqiyamati waznan

These are they who disbelieve in the revelations of their Lord and in an encounter with Him. Hence their toils will go a waste and on the Day of Resurrection they will carry no substance!

18 : 106

106. Thalika jazaohum jahannamu bima kafaroo waittakhathoo ayatee warusulee huzuwan

This is their reward : 'Hell!' This is because they rejected faith and made a mockery out of My revelations and My messengers!

18 : 107

107. Inna allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati kanat lahum jannatu alfirdawsi nuzulan

But as for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, their welcome is in the Gardens of Paradise!

('Paradise' is the name of the middle heaven which, the blessed Prophet is quoted to have said, is the most auspicious of all because it is nearest to the uppermost heaven in which the Lord dwells; every spring that waters the seven heavens takes its birth here, and only those who enjoin good and forbid evil are entitled to take their place in it).

18 : 108

108. Khalideena feeha la yabghoona AAanha hiwalan

In them would they abide forever and from whence they would never want to trade places!

(Unlike upon the earth where, even if we are enjoying a good life, we never cease to aim for a better life and are prepared to trade one in exchange for the other, there is no longer a reason for us to trade away our place in heaven for anything better because what we get there is the best!)

18 : 109

109. Qul law kana albahru midadan likalimati rabbee lanafida albahru qabla an tanfada kalimatu rabbee walaw ji/na bimithlihi madadan

Say : 'If the oceans became ink to transcribe the words of my Lord, then verily the oceans would dry up before the words of my Lord are exhausted, even if We were to create more oceans to subsidize them!'

(This verse which deals with the profundity of Allah's Knowledge and wisdom is often said to have been revealed in response to the Jewish contention that, since the Qur'aan itself establishes the Torah to be the embodiment of all knowledge and wisdom, what is left there for Allah to include in the Qur'aan by way of erudition?

We are told in no uncertain terms that, such is the profundity of Allah's knowledge and wisdom, if all the oceans in the world - and twice as many - were to become ink and the entire creation sat down to write them, the words of Allah containing His erudition and wisdom would never be exhausted, notwithstanding all that which is in the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Qur'aan put together)
 

18 : 110

110. Qul innama ana basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahun wahidun faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihi falyaAAmal AAamalan salihan wala yushrik biAAibadati rabbihi ahadan

Say to them : 'I am but a mortal like you! My Lord inspires me to declare that your Lord is One God, and whoever aspires for a meeting with his Lord, let him perform righteous deeds and let him not include anyone else in his worship, which is for Him and Him alone!' (R)

(A declaration which the Prophet is admonished to make on more than one occasion in the Qur'aan lest his followers, out of reverence and deference to him, get carried away and turn him into a deity in the same was as the Jews and the Christians had done with their Prophets).



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN: 

102. Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves [i.e., the angels, Allh's Messengers, 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), etc.] as Auliy' (lords, gods, protectors, etc.) besides Me? Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allh Islmic Monotheism)[].

103. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds?

104. "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds![]

105. "They are those who deny the Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him (in the Hereafter). So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give them any weight.

106. "That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and My Messengers by way of jest and mockery.

107. "Verily! Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allh Islmic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaus (the Paradise) for their entertainment.

108. "Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have to be removed therefrom."

109. Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind). "If the sea were ink for (writing) the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid."

110. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "I am only a man like you. It has been inspired to me that your Ilh (God) is One Ilh (God i.e. Allh). So whoever hopes for the Meeting[] with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord."


018.102
YUSUFALI: Do the Unbelievers think that they can take My servants as protectors besides Me? Verily We have prepared Hell for the Unbelievers for (their) entertainment.
PICKTHAL: Do the disbelievers reckon that they can choose My bondmen as protecting friends beside Me? Lo! We have prepared hell as a welcome for the disbelievers.
SHAKIR: What! do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants to be guardians besides Me? Surely We have prepared hell for the entertainment of the unbelievers.

018.103
YUSUFALI: Say: "Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect of their deeds?-
PICKTHAL: Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works?
SHAKIR: Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds?

018.104
YUSUFALI: "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?"
PICKTHAL: Those whose effort goeth astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work.
SHAKIR: (These are) they whose labor is lost in this world's life and they think that they are well versed in skill of the work of hands.

018.105
YUSUFALI: They are those who deny the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): vain will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any weight.
PICKTHAL: Those are they who disbelieve in the revelations of their Lord and in the meeting with Him. Therefor their works are vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We assign no weight to them.
SHAKIR: These are they who disbelieve in the communications of their Lord and His meeting, so their deeds become null, and therefore We will not set up a balance for them on the day of resurrection.

018.106
YUSUFALI: That is their reward, Hell, because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My Messengers by way of jest.
PICKTHAL: That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our revelations and Our messengers.
SHAKIR: Thus it is that their recompense is hell, because they disbelieved and held My communications and My messengers in mockery.

018.107
YUSUFALI: As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Paradise,
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who believe and do good works, theirs are the Gardens of Paradise for welcome,
SHAKIR: Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of paradise,

018.108
YUSUFALI: Wherein they shall dwell (for aye): no change will they wish for from them.
PICKTHAL: Wherein they will abide, with no desire to be removed from thence.
SHAKIR: Abiding therein; they shall not desire removal from them.

018.109
YUSUFALI: Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid."
PICKTHAL: Say: Though the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, verily the sea would be used up before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof to help.
SHAKIR: Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of my Lord are exhausted, though We were to bring the like of that (sea) to add

018.110
YUSUFALI: Say: "I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your Allah is one Allah: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.
PICKTHAL: Say: I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspireth in me that your Allah is only One Allah. And whoever hopeth for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work, and make none sharer of the worship due unto his Lord.
SHAKIR: Say: I am only a mortal like you; it is revealed to me that your god is one Allah, therefore whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join any one in the service of his Lord.

 Index

 SURAH 19