Lessons from the Cave Part 2: Verses 9-13

In the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

With the Name of Allah, the extremely Merciful at this very moment, and the extremely Merciful at all times.

Prologue  Part 1

Welcome to Lessons from the Cave: Part 2.  For the next 4 weeks inshaAllah we will be reading the story of the youth that took refuge in the cave away from their people.

If you followed along from last time, the 1 verb we wanted to commit to memory was “to say”, and we will see why today.  It would also be a good idea to quickly review the words we went over last time to refresh your memory so that we can build our vocabulary.

Lesson 2 : Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave) Chapter 18: verses 9-13

“Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Signs?” (18:9)

(MUST KNOW)asHab” = “companions.”  This is a very important word as it is repeated many times in the Qur’an.  From this word we derive “SaHaba” which is used for the COMPANIONS of the Prophet (saw).  The words are similar in ROOT so they share common meaning.

“Al-Kahf” = “the cave.”  “Kahf” means “cave.”  In the context that we are reading, paired with “Al-Kahf” it’s like saying “THE cave.” This is the same word that the chapter is named after.

(MUST KNOW)ayah (read here as “ayatina”) = “sign” – in this context specifically “Our Signs” referring to Allah’s signs.  This is also the same word used for the individual verses in the Qur’an, thus, every verse of the Qur’an is a “sign.”  

The extra “na” at the end of the word “ayah” makes the noun a possessive noun for “Our.”  It is useful to learn how possession works in the Arabic language, since it is a relatively simple concept that will broaden our scope considerably.  (Side Note: “Our” is the “majestic plural” a form of “first person plural” – it does not contradict the fact that Allah is One.)


In Arabic, when a specific letter is added to the end of a noun, it denotes ownership over that object.  In English, we don’t conjugate the word, and the pronoun is enough, for example:

My book….Your book…..His book…..Our Book….etc

In Arabic, the actual noun must be conjugated.  We know from the last lesson the Arabic word for “book” is “kitab”.  Using this noun,the following summarizes conjugation to denote possession:

Table 1: Possesion

Pronoun (Arabic)

Letter to add to

end of word


*“My” (Ana)

ي    “yaa”

كتابي      “Kitabee”

“You” (m) – (Anta)

ك    “Kaf”

كتابك      “Kitabuka”

“You” (f)

ك    “Kaf”

كتابك      “Kitabuki”


ه       “ha”

كتابه       “Kitabuhu”


ها     “ha”

كتابها      “Kitabuha”

*“Our” (Nahnu)

ن      “nun”

كتابنا       “Kitabuna”

“You all” (m) (Kum)

كم    “kaf” and “meem” = “kum”

كتابكم      “Kitabukum”

“You all” (f)

كن   “kaf” and “nun” = “kun”

كتابكن     “Kitabukuna”

“Their” (m) (Hum)

هم    “ha” and “meem” =  “hum”

كتابهم      “Kitabuhum”

“Their” (f)

هن   “ha” and “nun” = “hun”

كتابهن     “Kitabuhuna”

Note: Arabic has differences with masculine (m) and feminine (f).  For now, it is useful to know the *starred conjugations.   We will see these rules pop up many times in this chapter so inshaAllah by the end we will learn all of them.

3ajaba = “wonder.”  It is very difficult to translate a word from Arabic to exactly one word in English, and this is an example.  It has meanings like “wonder”, “amazing” and “strange,” but for ease, we will stick with “wonder.”

“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!” (18:10)

(REPEAT!!!) Al-Kahf = “the cave”

(REPEAT FROM LESSON 1!!!) FaQaloo = “they said.”

(MUST KNOW) Rabana = “Our Lord!”, which comes from “Rab” which means “Lord” or more specifically, “Master”.  Again, Nouman Ali Khan gives a great tafsir of this word in this same lecture referenced in Lesson 1.

Remember the lesson on possesion above.  “Na” refers to “Our.” Since “Rab” means Master (a noun) and has a “na” at the end, we can see that the phrase means “Our Master (Lord)!”  Coupled with knowing the verb “to say” from lesson 1 (Qaloo), we can see that Allah is saying that the youths are SAYING Our Master(Lord)!” in a form of dua’ (invocation).  With a few words and 1 lesson of grammar, we’re able to piece a small part of the translation already!

(REPEAT FROM LESSON 1!!!) RaHma (read here as RaHmatan) = mercy, extreme Mercy.

Rashada = “the right way, or rightly guided.”

“Then We drew (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they heard not):” (18:11)

(RECOMMENDED) Fee = in general, it means “in”, for example, “inside something.”  If a person said “fi Al-Masjid (read as “Fil Masjid”) it means, “inside the Masjid.”  Here, we have “fi Al-Kahf (read as “Fil Kahf“).  Can you figure out the meaning? 😉

(REPEAT!!!) “Al-Kahf” = the cave

“Then We roused them, in order to test which of the two parties was best at calculating the term of years they had tarried!” (18:12)

“Thumma” = “then” or “after some time.”  It is a word in Arabic denoting a long period of time elapsing before something else happens.

(REPEAT FROM LESSON 1!!!)lina3alama = literally, “in order to know”.  Lets try to figure this one out.  In Lesson 1, we learned the word ‘ilm in verse 5, the root is “3ain”, “lam” and “meem” in that order and means “knowledge.”  What letters make up the current word? “Laam”, “Nun”, “3ain”, “Lam”, “meem”.  The last 3 letters make the root we know for knoweledge.  The only thing left is to figure out what the “Laam” and “Nun” are for in the beginning….but we will leave that for another time inshaAllah.  It’s enough to recognize that this word has something to do with “knowing” something right now.

However, the above translation doesn’t reflect the word construction we just walked through.  This is a consequence of the difficulty of translating the Qur’an from Arabic to English exactly. The meaning would hold in both cases, and there are other translations that translate this verse as “…in order to know which of the two parties…”

“We relate to thee their story in truth: (indeed) they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance:” (18:13)

“Nahnu” = we  (see Table 1)

(RECOMMENDED) haqq (read here as “bilHaqq“) = truth

(REPEAT FROM LESSON 1!!!)Inna hum = “indeed, verily, for sure” and “they“.  We learned “Inna” in Lesson 1 verse 7.  “Hum” is the pronoun we learned in table 1.  Taken together, it means “Indeed, they…”

(CHALLENGE) “Aamanoo bi rabbihim” Let’s try to figure this out. We know the meaning of “Rabb” from this lesson (verse 10).  We also know that “rabbihim” means “their Master” based on Table 1 pronouns.  All that’s left is “aamanoo“.   Look at the root, does it look familair?  We have “hamza” “alif”  “meem” and “nun”.   We saw this root in Lesson 1 verse 6!  This root means “to have faith.”  So piecing this phrase together “aamanoo bi rabbihim” we have :  “To have faith” “their Master (Lord).”  Putting them in logical sequence, we have “they believed in their Master (Lord).”  InshaAllah it will become clear why there are extra letters surrounding the root for the verb later.

Now here’s something really cool that will become evident as we learn more words.  Look at the two words we just did: “Inna Hum” and “aamanoo bi rabbihim.”  What is the only word left in between? That word is “fityatun.”  Now look at the translation, what’s between green and purple? “Youths.”  So we can infer that the word “fityatun” means youths (or something similar)!  

To confirm that “fityatun” means “youths”, we look at where the word was repeated and check the translation.  Look at verse 10. Find the word “fityatun“.  Whats the translation? 🙂 

(MUST KNOW) “Huda” = guidance.  A root with similar letters would connote “to guide.”  This root also forms the Arabic word for “gift” (See this lecture).

And indeed, guidance is a gift we ask Allah to bestow us and to increase us.

Week 2 List:



(REPEAT!!!): 2


(TOTAL – New): 10

Total for Week 1 + 2

(MUST KNOW) : 13


(TOTAL – New): 30

NOTE: Please correct me if I made a mistake!


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