top of page

Quran Chapter 18 [part 2] - The Cave - Reminders, Moses and Khidr

45 Tell them, too, what the life of this world is like: We send water down from the skies and the earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon the plants turn to dry stubble scattered about by the wind: God has power over everything. 46 Wealth and children are the attractions of this worldly life, but lasting good works have a better reward with your Lord and give better grounds for hope. 47 One day We shall make the mountains move, and you will see the earth as an open plain. We shall gather all people together, leaving no one. 48 They will be lined up before your Lord: ‘Now you have come to Us as We first created you, although you claimed We had not made any such appointment for you.’ 49 The record of their deeds will be laid open and you will see the guilty, dismayed at what they contain, saying, ‘Woe to us! What a record this is! It does not leave any deed, small or large, unaccounted for!’ They will find everything they ever did laid in front of them: your Lord will not be unjust to anyone.

50 We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ and they all bowed down, but not Iblis: he was one of the jinn and he disobeyed his Lord’s command. Are you [people] going to take him and his offspring as your masters instead of Me, even though they are your enemies? What a bad bargain for the evildoers! 51 I did not make them witnesses to the creation of the heavens and earth, nor to their own creation; I do not take as My supporters those who lead others astray. 52 On the Day God will say, ‘Call on those you claimed were My partners,’ they will call them but they will not answer; We shall set a deadly gulf between them. 53 The evildoers will see the Fire and they will realize that they are about to fall into it: they will find no escape from it.

54 In this Quran We have presented every kind of description for people but man is more contentious than any other creature. 55 Now that guidance has come to them, what stops these people believing and asking forgiveness from their Lord before the fate of earlier peoples annihilates them or their torment confronts them? 56 We only send messengers to bring good news and to deliver warning, yet the disbelievers seek to refute the truth with false arguments and make fun of My messages and warnings. 57 Who could be more wrong than the person who is reminded of his Lord’s messages and turns his back on them, ignoring what his hands are storing up for him [in the Hereafter]? We have put covers over their hearts, so they cannot understand the Quran, and We put heaviness in their ears: although you call them to guidance [Prophet] they will never accept it. 58 Your Lord is the Most Forgiving, and full of mercy: if He took them to task for the wrongs they have done, He would hasten their punishment on. They have an appointed time from which they will have no escape, 59 [just like] the former communities We destroyed for doing wrong: We set an appointed time for their destruction.

Moses and Khidr

60 Moses said to his servant, ‘I will not rest until I reach the place where the two seas meet, even if it takes me years!’ 61 but when they reached the place where the two seas meet, they had forgotten all about their fish, which made its way into the sea and swam away. 62 They journeyed on, and then Moses said to his servant, ‘Give us our lunch! This journey of ours is very tiring,’ 63 and [the servant] said, ‘Remember when we were resting by the rock? I forgot the fish– Satan made me forget to pay attention to it– and it [must have] made its way into the sea.’ ‘How strange!’ 64 Moses said, ‘Then that was the place we were looking for.’ So the two turned back, retraced their footsteps, 65 and found one of Our servants– a man to whom We had granted Our mercy and whom We had given knowledge of Our own. 66 Moses said to him, ‘May I follow you so that you can teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?’ 67 The man said, ‘You will not be able to bear with me patiently. 68 How could you be patient in matters beyond your knowledge?’ 69 Moses said, ‘God willing, you will find me patient. I will not disobey you in any way.’ 70 The man said, ‘If you follow me then, do not query anything I do before I mention it to you myself.’

71 They travelled on. Later, when they got into a boat, and the man made a hole in it, Moses said, ‘How could you make a hole in it? Do you want to drown its passengers? What a strange thing to do!’ 72 He replied, ‘Did I not tell you that you would never be able to bear with me patiently?’ 73 Moses said, ‘Forgive me for forgetting. Do not make it too hard for me to follow you.’ 74 And so they travelled on. Then, when they met a young boy and the man killed him, Moses said, ‘How could you kill an innocent person? He has not killed anyone! What a terrible thing to do!’ 75 He replied, ‘Did I not tell you that you would never be able to bear with me patiently?’ 76 Moses said, ‘From now on, if I query anything you do, banish me from your company– you have put up with enough from me.’ 77 And so they travelled on. Then, when they came to a town and asked the inhabitants for food but were refused hospitality, they saw a wall there that was on the point of falling down and the man repaired it. Moses said, ‘But if you had wished you could have taken payment for doing that.’ 78 He said, ‘This is where you and I part company. I will tell you the meaning of the things you could not bear with patiently: 79 the boat belonged to some needy people who made their living from the sea and I damaged it because I knew that coming after them was a king who was seizing every [serviceable] boat by force. 80 The young boy had parents who were people of faith, and so, fearing he would trouble them through wickedness and disbelief, 81 we wished that their Lord should give them another child– purer and more compassionate– in his place. 82 The wall belonged to two young orphans in the town and there was buried treasure beneath it belonging to them. Their father had been a righteous man, so your Lord intended them to reach maturity and then dig up their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do [these things] of my own accord: these are the explanations for those things you could not bear with patience.’

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

bottom of page