The Cave – Al-KahfApril 13, 2012
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful
[18.1] Praise belongs to Allah who has sent down the Book to His worshiper (Prophet Muhammad) and has not made any crookedness in it,
[18.2] unswerving. To warn of great violence from Him, and to give good tidings to the believers who do good deeds that theirs shall be a goodly wage
[18.3] and they will live for ever therein.
[18.4] And it (the Koran) warns those who say: ‘Allah has taken a son.’
[18.5] . Surely, of this they have no knowledge, neither they nor their fathers; it is a monstrous word that comes from their mouths, they say nothing but a lie.
[18.6] Yet perchance, if they do not believe in this tiding, you will consume yourself with grief and follow after them.
[18.7] We have appointed all that is on the earth an adornment for it, in order that We try which of them is finest in works.
[18.8] We will surely reduce all that is on it to barren dust.
[18.9] Or, do you think the companions of the Cave and the tomb stone were a wonder among Our signs?
[18.10] When the youths sought refuge in the Cave, they said: ‘Lord give us from Your Mercy and furnish us with rectitude in our affair.’
[18.11] For many years We sealed up their hearing in the Cave,
[18.12] and thereafter We revived them to find out which of the two parties could best calculate the length of their stay.
[18.13] In truth We tell to you their news. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
[18.14] We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and said: ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will call on no other god except Him; (for if we did), we would have spoken outrageously (in disbelief),
[18.15] These, our nation have taken to themselves gods, other than Allah. Why do they not bring some clear authority regarding them! Who does greater evil than he who forges a lie against Allah?’
[18.16] When you depart from them and from what they worship, other than Allah, seek refuge in the Cave. Allah will extend His Mercy to you and will furnish you with a gentle issue of your affair.
[18.17] You might have seen the rising sun incline towards the right of their Cave, and, as it set go past them on the left, while they stayed within an open space in the Cave. That was one of the signs of Allah. He whom Allah guides is rightly guided; but he whom He leads astray you shall not find for him a guardian to guide him.
[18.18] You might have thought them awake, though they were sleeping. We turned them about to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched its paws at the entrance. Had you seen them you would surely have become filled with terror and turned your back on them in flight.
[18.19] As such We revived them so that they might question one another. ‘How long have you stayed here?’ asked one of them. ‘We have been here a day, or part of it,’ they replied. They said: ‘Your Lord knows best how long we have stayed here. Let one of you go to the city with this silver (coin) and let him search for one who has the purest food and bring provision from it. Let him be courteous, but let no one sense it is you.
[18.20] For, if they appear in front of you, they will stone you to death or restore you to their religion. Then you will never prosper.’
[18.21] And so We made them (the unbelievers) stumble upon them, so that they might know that the promise of Allah is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour. They argued among themselves over their affair, then (the unbelievers) said: ‘Build a building over them (their remains). Their Lord knows best who they were.’ But those who prevailed over the matter said; ‘We will build around them a Mosque.’
[18.22] Some will say: ‘They were three; their dog was the fourth.’ Others, guessing at the Unseen, will say: ‘They were five and their dog was the sixth.’ And yet others: ‘Seven; their dog was the eighth.’ Say: ‘My Lord knows best their number. Except for a few none know their number.’ Therefore, do not dispute with them except in outward disputation, and do not ask any of them concerning them.
[18.23] Do not say of anything: ‘I will do it tomorrow,’
[18.24] unless (you add) ‘if Allah wills.’ And remember your Lord when you forget and say: ‘It may be that my Lord will guide me to something nearer to rectitude than this.’
[18.25] And they stayed in the Cave three hundred years and to that they added nine more.
[18.26] Say: ‘None but Allah knows how long they stayed. To Him belong the Unseen in the heavens and the earth. How well He sees, and how well He hears! They have no other guardian, other than Him, and He allows no one (to share) His rule.’
[18.27] Recite what is revealed to you in the Book of your Lord. No one can change His Words. You shall find no refuge other than Him.
[18.28] And be patient with those who call to their Lord in the morning and evening, desiring His Face. And do not turn your eyes away from them desiring the good things of this life, nor obey he whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance; so that he follows his own lust, and his affair has become excessive.
[18.29] Say: ‘This is the truth from your Lord. Let whosoever will, believe, and whosoever will, disbelieve it.’ For the harmdoers, We have prepared a Fire, the pavilion of which encompasses them. When they cry out for relief, they shall be showered with water as hot as molten copper, which will scald their faces; how evil a drink, and how evil a resting-place!
[18.30] As for those who believe and do good works – We do not waste the wage of whosoever does good works.
[18.31] Those, they shall live in the Gardens of Eden, underneath which rivers flow. They shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and arrayed in green garments of silk, and brocade, reclining therein on couches; how excellent is their reward and how fine is their resting place!
[18.32] Give them the parable of two men. To one we gave two gardens of vines and surrounded them with palm trees and in between the two we placed a sown field.
[18.33] Each of the two gardens yielded its produce and did not fail in the least and We made a river to gush through them,
[18.34] so he had fruit. As he spoke with his companion, as he was conversing with him, ‘My wealth is more abundant than yours and men have a greater respect for me.’
[18.35] And when, having wronged himself, he entered his garden, he said: ‘I do not think that this will ever perish!
[18.36] Nor do I think that the Hour will come. Even if I returned to my Lord, I should surely find a better place than this.’
[18.37] His companion said, during his conversation with him: ‘What, do you disbelieve in Him who created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop, and then fashioned you into a man!
[18.38] He is Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone with My Lord.
[18.39] When you entered your garden why did you not say: “If Allah wills; there is no power except by Allah.” Though you see me lesser than yourself in wealth and children,
[18.40] maybe my Lord will give me a garden better than yours, and send down a thunderbolt from heaven, so that in the morning it will be a slope of dust,
[18.41] or, in the morning its water will be drained into the earth so that you will not have a means to reach it.’
[18.42] And all his fruit were destroyed, and in the morning he wrung his hands with grief at all he had spent on it, for it had collapsed upon its trellises, and he said: ‘Would that I had not associated anyone with my Lord!’
[18.43] He had no host to help him besides Allah, and he was helpless
[18.44] that Day. Supremacy belongs only to Allah, the True. He is the best to reward and the best ending.
[18.45] Give to them a parable about this present life. It is like water We have sent down from the sky with which the plants of the earth mingle, and in the morning it is straw the wind scatters. Allah is Powerful over all things.
[18.46] Wealth and children are the ornament of this present life. But the things that last and good deeds, are better with your Lord in reward and hope.
[18.47] And on the Day when We shall set the mountains in motion and you shall see the earth a leveled plain; when We gather them together, and would not leave even one behind,
[18.48] and they shall be presented in ranks before your Lord (who will say to them:) ‘You have returned to Us as We created you the first time. No, you claimed We would not appoint a meeting for you!
[18.49] And the Book shall be set in place, and you will see the sinners fearful of what is in it.’ They shall say: ‘Woe to us! How is it, this book omits nothing small or great, all are counted!’ And they shall find what they did is present, and Your Lord will wrong no one.
[18.50] When We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,’ all prostrated themselves except iblis, who was one of the jinn, disobedient to the command of his Lord. Would you then take him and his descendants to be your guardians, other than Me, when they are your clear enemy? How evil is the exchange for the harmdoers!
[18.51] Neither did I make them witnesses at the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor at their own creation. I would never take those who lead others astray to be My supporters.
[18.52] And the Day He will say: ‘Call on those whom you claimed to be My associates.’ They will invoke them, but they will receive no answer, for We shall place a gulf between them.
[18.53] And when the evildoers see the Fire of Hell they will reckon it is there they shall fall. They shall find no escape from it.
[18.54] We have set forth for people in this Koran all manner of parables; the human is the most disputatious of things.
[18.55] Nothing prevented people from believing and seeking the forgiveness of their Lord when guidance came to them, unless they are waiting for the fate of the ancients to overtake them, or that the punishment should come upon them face to face.
[18.56] We send Our Messengers only to proclaim glad tidings and to give warning. But the unbelievers dispute with false arguments so that they may belie the truth. They have taken My verses and warnings in mockery.
[18.57] Who is greater in evil than he who, when reminded of the verses of his Lord, turns away from them and forgets what his hands have sent before him? We have placed veils over their hearts lest they should understand it, and there is heaviness in their ears. Even if you call them to guidance, they will never be guided.
[18.58] Your Lord is Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Had it been His will to take them to task for what they earned, He would have hastened their punishment; but they have an appointed hour from which they will never escape.
[18.59] And those villages! When they became evil We destroyed them and appointed a meeting for their destruction.
[18.60] When Moses said to his (assisting) youth: ‘I will not give up until I reach the point where the two seas meet even though I should go on for many years.’
[18.61] But when they came to the point where the two met, they forgot their fish, which made its way burrowing into the sea.
[18.62] And when they had gone further, he said to his assisting youth; ‘Bring us our breakfast; we are worn out from our journey.’
[18.63] He replied: ‘What do you think, I forgot the fish when we were resting on the rock. None but satan made me forget to mention this – it made its way into the sea in a marvelous fashion.’
[18.64] ‘This is what we have been seeking!’ said he, and they retraced their footsteps
[18.65] and found one of Our worshipers to whom We had given from Our Mercy, and to whom We had taught knowledge of Ours.
[18.66] Moses said to him: ‘May I follow you so that you can teach me of that you have learned of righteousness?’
[18.67] ‘You will not bear patiently with me,’ He replied.
[18.68] ‘For how can you bear patiently with that which you have never encompassed in your knowledge?’
[18.69] He (Moses) said: ‘If Allah wills, you shall find me patient, I shall not disobey your order.’
[18.70] He said: ‘If you follow me, you must not question me about anything till I myself speak to you concerning it.’
[18.71] So they departed. When they boarded a ship, he bored a hole in it. ‘What, have you made a hole in it,’ he said, ‘is it to drown its passengers? You have done a dreadful thing.’
[18.72] ‘Did I not I tell you,’ he replied, ‘that you would not bear patiently with me?’
[18.73] Moses said: ‘Do not blame me for what I forgot, nor press me to do something which is too difficult,’
[18.74] and so they departed. Thereafter they met a boy and he killed him. He (Moses) exclaimed: ‘What, have you killed a pure soul and it was not done (in retaliation) for a soul – you have done a terrible thing.’
[18.75] ‘Did I not tell you,’ he replied, ‘that you would not be able to bear patiently with me?’
[18.76] He (Moses) said: ‘If I question you again do not let me be your companion; you already have enough excuse.’
[18.77] So they departed and thereafter they came to the inhabitants of a village. They asked its inhabitants for some food, but they declined to host them. There, they found a wall about to fall down whereupon his companion restored it. He (Moses) said: ‘Had you wished, you could have taken payment for that.’
[18.78] He said: ‘This is the parting between me and you. But now I will tell you the interpretation of that which you could not patiently bear.
[18.79] As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working on the sea. I rendered it imperfect because behind them there was a king who was taking every ship by brutal force.
[18.80] As for the boy, his parents are believers, and we were afraid lest he should impose on them with his insolence and disbelief.
[18.81] It was our wish that their Lord should grant them another in exchange, another better in purity and tenderness.
[18.82] As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city. Beneath it was (buried) a treasure which belonged to them. Their father had been a righteous person and your Lord willed that when they reach manhood to bring out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. What I did was not done by my own command. That is the interpretation of what you could not bear with patience.’
[18.83] They will ask you about Thul-Karnain (the pious and chosen). Say: ‘I will recite to you something of his story.
[18.84] We established him in the land and gave him means to all things.
[18.85] He journeyed on a way
[18.86] until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and nearby he found a nation. ‘Thul-Karnain,’ We said, ‘you must either punish them or show them kindness.’
[18.87] He replied: ‘The evil-doer we shall punish. Then he shall return to his Lord and He will punish him with a stern punishment.
[18.88] As for he who believes and does good works he shall receive a fine reward in recompense and we shall speak to him with a mild command.’
[18.89] Then he followed the road,
[18.90] until he reached the rising of the sun, he found it rising upon a nation for whom We provided no veil against it to shade them.
[18.91] So, We encompassed in knowledge what was with him.
[18.92] Then he followed the road,
[18.93] when he reached between the two barriers he found on one side of them a nation who could barely understand speech.
[18.94] ‘Thul-Karnain,’ they said, ‘Look, Gog and Magog are corrupting the earth. Build for us a barrier between us and them, and we will pay you a tribute.’
[18.95] He replied: ‘That which my Lord has given me is better, therefore help me with all your power, and I will build a barrier between you and between them.
[18.96] Bring me ingots of iron.’ After he had leveled between the two cliffs, he said: ‘Blow.’ And when he made it a fire, he said: ‘Bring me molten copper so that I may pour over it.’
[18.97] Thereafter they could neither scale it, nor could they pierce it.
[18.98] He said: ‘This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord’s promise is come, He will make it dust. The promise of my Lord is true.’
[18.99] On that day, We will let them surge on one another, and the Horn shall be blown, and We will gather them all together.
[18.100] On that Day We shall present Gehenna (Hell) to the unbelievers,
[18.101] whose eyes were blinded to My remembrance and they were not able to hear.
[18.102] Do the unbelievers think that they can take My worshipers as guides other than Me? We have prepared Gehenna to be the hospitality of the unbelievers.
[18.103] Say: ‘Shall we tell you of those who are the greatest losers in deeds?’
[18.104] (They are) those whose striving in this world go astray, while they think that what they are doing are good deeds.
[18.105] Those are they who disbelieve the verses of their Lord and deny that they will ever meet Him – their deeds have failed. On the Day of Resurrection, We shall not give any weight to them.
[18.106] Gehenna is their recompense; because they disbelieved and mocked My verses, and My Messengers.
[18.107] The hospitality of those who believe and do good works shall be the Gardens of Paradise
[18.108] where they will live for ever and never wish that they should be removed from it.
[18.109] Say: ‘If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, the sea would surely be spent before the Words of my Lord are spent, even if We brought its like for replenishment.’
[18.110] Say: ‘I am only a human like you, revealed to me is that your God is One God. Let him who hopes for the encounter with his Lord do good work, and not associate anyone with the worship of his Lord.’