Lessons from the Cave: Part 5: Verses 22-26

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

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

Prologue    1   2   3   4

Welcome to Lessons from the Cave Part 5.  Today inshaAllah, we will see the reason why everyone says “inshaAllah” before doing something…or say it because they want you to stop asking if they will come to your event or not…. 🙂

Lesson 5 : Surah Al-Kahf (The Cave) Chapter 18: verses 22-26

(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.” (18:22)

(REPEAT)sayaQooloona“, “yaQooloona“, “yaQooloona” = all of these come from “to say,” however, they are all conjugated to mean “they say.”    The extra “sa” in front of “sayaQoolona” conjugates the verb to future tense, for example, “They will say.”  For a brief explanation on future tense in Arabic, click here.

(REPEAT – POSSESSION)kalboohum” = “their dog.”  Refer to past explanations.

(RECOMMENDED)ghayb” = literally, the “unseen.”   The “unknown” refers to the unseen world, since everything about it is unknown to us except that which Allah has taught us about (i.e. Himself, the Angels, Heaven, Hell, etc.)

(CHALLENGE)Qul” “Rabee” ” ‘alamoo” “biidatihim”  “ma ya’lamoohum” “illa Qaleel” Read together as: “Qurrabee ‘alamoo bi’idatihim ma ya’lamoohum illa Qaleel.”

We can recognize “Qul” and “Rabee” as “say” and “Your Master”.   Also: ‘alamoo and “ya’lamoohum” as something to do with knowing.  So far, we have “Say Your Master knows….” “their number” …. “They know about him.”

Eyeing the translation, we see that “They know about him” comes after “bi ‘idatihim” thus we can infer this has a meaning similar to “their number.”

Reading further, all we have left is “Illa Qaleel.”  “illa” literally means “except.”  “Qaleel” means small, few.  So together this phrase means “only few.”

Putting together the whole sentence, we can reasonably get to the translation given above: “Say thou: “My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case).”

Nor say of anything, “I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow”-” (18:23)

(CHALLENGE) – “wa la taQoolanna” = we have here “taQoolanna” which should look familiar as it is coming from the verb “to say.” The only part of this verse thats new is “wa la“.  “Wa” literally means “and” and “La” literally means “no” and usually is used in front of a verb to make the verb its negative.


La + verb = Dont do “the verb”

Here we have:

La + “to say” = “And do not say…”

Additionally, in a “yes” or “no” question, “La” is also used as “no.”

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.” (18:24)

 (CHALLENGE)Illa” “InshaAllah” read as “Illa ayya shaa Allah”

Illa” we learned earlier means “except.”

Insha Allah” is the common phrase we hear meaning “If Allah wills…”

Thus taken together from the last verse, the general meaning is: “Do not say you will do such and such thing tomorrow, except if you also add: “If Allah wills…”

(MUST KNOW)dhikr” Read here as “wadhkur” = “to remember, to call to mind, to remind.”

We all know “dhikr” is that thing people to do with their fingers after Salah, but what does it really mean?  “Dhikr” means “to remember, remind”, etc.  The “thing” people are doing with their fingers are counting the number of times they remind themselves of the glory of Allah, the praise/thanks of Allah, and the greatness of Allah.    There are many forms of “dhikr” and many blessings of “dhikr“, check this post out for more.

The actual verb is made up of the letters: “dhaal” “kaf” and “raa.”

(REPEAT- POSSESSION)Rabbaka ” = Your Master (because kaf appears at the end of the word, review possession) and “Rabbee” = “My Lord” (because yaa appears at the end of the word).

(REPEAT)wa Qul” = “And say”, refer to previous explanations

(REPEAT)Rashada” = in general, “the right way”, refer to previous explanations


“So they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more)” (18:25)

(REPEAT- POSSESSION) fee kahfihim” = “in their Cave”, refer to previous explanations.


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.” (18:26)

 (REPEAT)Qul” “Allah” “‘alamoo” read as “Qulillahualamoo” = “Say: Allah knows…”, refer to previous explanations.

(CHALLENGE) Lahu” “ghayb” “asamawat” “wa” “al ard” read as “Lahu ghaybusamawati wal ard

ghayb” we learned earler as “unseen”

Samawat” and “Ard” we learned in previous lessons as “the sky(heavens)” and “Earth”, respectively.

Eyeing the translation, we see that together this whole phrase (which is repeated many times in Qur’an, so it’s useful to remember it together) means : “With Him is (the knowledge) of the unseen of the heavens and the earth.”

(RECOMMENDED)yushrik” = to share.  The three letters we focus on for this verb are “sheen” “raa” and “kaf“.  Together they form the word “shirk”, which should be familar to most people as the worst sin, which is associating partners with Allah.  Thus, it makes sense that this verb has implications of sharing, partnership, association, etc.  Here it is “yushrik” with “yaa” in the front to conjugate for  the third person “He.”

(REPEAT) wa la yushrik” = adding “wa la” in front of the verb, as mentioned earlier, makes the phrase “nor does He share….” as appears in the translation above.


Week 5 List:



(REPEAT!!!): 8


Words with Possession: 3

(TOTAL – New): 5

If you only have time for 1 verb: “dhikr”

If you only have time for 1 word:ghayb

NOTE: Please correct me if I made a mistake!


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