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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by N J Dawood 2014
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N J Dawood (2014) rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
18:1 PRAISE BE to God who has revealed the Book to His servant and made it flawless
18:2 unswerving from the Truth, that he may give warning of a dire scourge from Himself; proclaim to the faithful who do good works that a rich
18:3 and everlasting recompense awaits them
18:4 and admonish those who say that God has begotten a son.¹
18:5 Surely of this they could have no knowledge, neither they nor their forefathers: a monstrous blasphemy is that which their mouths utter; they speak nothing but falsehood
18:6 Yet, if they deny this revelation, you may destroy yourself with grief, sorrowing over them
18:7 We have decked the earth with all manner of ornaments to test them as to who would acquit himself best
18:8 But We will surely reduce all that is on it to barren dust
18:9 Did you think the Sleepers of the Cave¹ and Al-Raqīm² a wonder among Our signs
18:10 When the youths sought refuge in the cave, they said: ‘Lord, have mercy on us and guide us through our ordeal.&lsquo
18:11 We made them³ sleep in the cave for many years
18:12 and then awakened them to find out who could best tell the length of their stay
18:13 We recount to you their story in all truth. They were young men who had faith in their Lord, and on whom We had lavished Our guidance.
18:14 We put courage in their hearts when they stood up and said: ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We call on no other god besides Him: for if we did we should be blaspheming
18:15 Our people serve other gods besides Him, though they have no convincing proof of their divinity. Who is more wicked than he who invents a falsehood against God
18:16 And when you forsake them and those they worship besides God, go to the cave for shelter. Your Lord will extend to you His mercy and prepare for you a means of safety.&lsquo
18:17 You might have seen the rising sun decline to the right of their cavern and, as it set, go past them on the left, while they stayed within. That was one of God‘s signs. He whom God guides is rightly guided; but he whom He confounds shall find no friend to guide him
18:18 And you might have thought them awake, though they were sleeping. We turned them about to right and left, while their dog lay at the cave‘s entrance with legs outstretched. Had you looked upon them, you would have surely turned your back and fled in terror
18:19 Thus did We rouse them that they might question one another. One of them asked: ‘How long have you stayed here?‘ They said: ‘We have stayed one day, or part of a day.‘ They said: ‘Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed here. Let one of you go to the city with this silver coin and bring you back whatever food he finds most wholesome there. Let him conduct himself with caution and not disclose your whereabouts to anyone
18:20 For if they find you out they will stone you to death, or force you back into their faith; then will you surely never succeed, ever.&lsquo
18:21 Thus did We reveal their secret, so that they might know that God‘s promise was true and that the Hour was not to be doubted. People argued among themselves concerning them. Some said: ‘Build a monument over their remains. Their Lord knows best who they were.‘ Those who were to win said: ‘Let us build a place of worship over them.&lsquo
18:22 Some will say: ‘They were three: their dog was the fourth.‘ Others, guessing at the unknown, will say: ‘They were five: their dog was the sixth.‘ And yet others: ‘Seven: their dog was the eighth.‘ Say: ‘My Lord best knows their number. Only a few know them.‘ Therefore, when you dispute about them, adhere only to that which is manifest and do not ask any of these concerning them.
18:23 Never say of anything: ‘I will do it tomorrow,&lsquo
18:24 without adding: ‘If God wills.‘ When you forget, remember your Lord and say: ‘May God guide me and bring me nearer to the Truth.&lsquo
18:25 Some say they stayed in the cave three hundred years and nine
18:26 Say: ‘God knows best how long they stayed. His are the secrets of the heavens and the earth. Clear is His sight, and keen His hearing. They have no other guardian besides Him. He allows none to share His sovereignty.&lsquo
18:27 Proclaim what has been revealed to you from the Book of your Lord. None can change His Words. And you shall find no refuge besides Him
18:28 And restrain yourself, you and those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. Do not turn your eyes away from them in quest of the allurements of this life, nor obey him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance; who follows his appetite and gives a loose rein to his desires
18:29 Say: ‘This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.‘ For the wrongdoers We have prepared a fire which will encompass them like the walls of a pavilion. When they cry out for help they shall be showered with water as hot as molten brass, which will scald their faces; evil the drink, and evil the resting-place
18:30 As for those that believe and do good works, We shall not deny the recompense of those whose deeds were good
18:31 The Gardens of Eden shall be theirs, wherein brooks will roll at their feet. Reclining there upon soft couches, they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold, and arrayed in garments of fine green silk and rich brocade: blissful the reward and happy the resting-place
18:32 Coin for them a parable: Two men, to one of whom We gave two vineyards set about with palm-trees and watered by a running brook, with a cornfield lying in between
18:33 Each of the vineyards yielded an abundant crop
18:34 and when their owner had gathered in the harvest, he said to his companion while conversing with him: ‘I am richer than you, and my clan is mightier than yours.&lsquo
18:35 And when, having thus wronged his soul, he entered his vineyard, he said: ‘I cannot think this will ever perish
18:36 Nor do I believe that the Hour will ever come. Even if I returned to my Lord, I should surely find a better place than this to go back to.&lsquo
18:37 His companion replied, while still conversing with him: ‘Have you no faith in Him who created you from dust, then from a little germ, and then fashioned you into a man
18:38 As for myself, God is my Lord, and I will associate none with my Lord
18:39 When You entered your garden, why did you not say: "What God has ordained must surely come to pass: there is no strength except in God"
18:40 Though you see me poorer than yourself and blessed with fewer children, yet my Lord may give me a garden better than yours, and send down thunderbolts from heaven upon your vineyard, turning it into a barren waste
18:41 or drain its water deep into the earth so that you will find none of it.&lsquo
18:42 And his fruits were destroyed, and he wrung his hands with grief at all that he had spent on the garden: for the vines had tumbled down upon their trellises. ‘Would that I had served no other gods besides my Lord!‘ he said
18:43 He had none to help him besides God, nor was he able to defend himself
18:44 In such ordeals protection comes only from God, the true God. His is the best recompense, and His the best requital
18:45 And coin for them a simile about the life of this world. It is like the vegetation of the earth that thrives when watered by the rain We send down from the sky, soon turning into stubble which the wind scatters abroad. God has power over all things
18:46 Wealth and children are the ornament of this life. But deeds of lasting merit are better rewarded by your Lord and hold for you a greater hope of salvation
18:47 Tell of the day when We shall blot out the mountains and make the earth a barren waste; when We shall herd them all together, leaving not a soul behind
18:48 They shall be ranged before your Lord: ‘You have returned to Us as We created you at first. Yet you supposed We had not set for you a predestined time
18:49 The book will be laid down, and you shall see the sinners dismayed at the content. They will say: ‘Woe betide us! What can this Book mean? It omits nothing small or great: all is noted down!‘ and they shall find their deeds recorded there. Your Lord will wrong none
18:50 And when We said to the angels: ‘Prostrate yourselves before Adam,‘ all prostrated themselves except Satan, who was a jinnee disobedient to his Lord. Would you then serve him and his offspring as your masters rather than Myself, despite their enmity towards you? A sad substitute the wrongdoers have chosen
18:51 I did not call them to witness at the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor at their own creation; nor was I to seek the aid of those who were to lead mankind astray
18:52 On that day He will say: ‘Call on those you claimed to be My partners.‘ They will invoke them, but they will make no answer; for We shall place a deadly gulf between them.
18:53 And when the sinners behold the Fire they will realize that therein they shall be flung. Nor shall they ever escape from it
18:54 In this Koran We have coined for mankind all manner of parables. But man is exceedingly contentious
18:55 Nothing prevents people from having faith when guidance has been revealed to them, and from seeking their Lord‘s forgiveness: unless they are waiting for the fate of the ancients to overtake them or to behold the scourge with their own eyes
18:56 We send the apostles only to proclaim joyful tidings and to give warning. But with false arguments the unbelievers seek to confute the Truth, deriding My revelations and My warnings
18:57 Who is more wicked than he that, when reminded of his Lord‘s revelations, turns away from them and forgets what his own hands have done? We have cast veils over their hearts so that they cannot understand it,¹ and made them hard of hearing. Call them as you may to the right path, they shall never be guided
18:58 And your Lord is the Forgiving One, the Merciful. Had it been His will to scourge them for what they did, He would have hurried on their punishment; but He has set for them a predestined time they cannot evade
18:59 And all those cities! We destroyed them for the wrongs they did, and for their destruction We set a predestined time
18:60 Moses said to his servant: ‘I will journey on until I reach the land where the two seas meet, though I may march for ages.&lsquo
18:61 But when they came to the land where the two seas met, they forgot their fish, which made its way into the water, swimming at will
18:62 And when they had journeyed farther on, he said to his servant: ‘Bring us some food; we are worn out with travelling.&lsquo
18:63 Know,‘ he replied, ‘that I forgot the fish when we were resting on the rock. It was only Satan who made me forget to mention this. It made its way miraculously into the sea
18:64 This is what we have been seeking,‘ he said. They went back the way they came
18:65 and found one of Our servants to whom We had vouchsafed Our mercy and whom We had endowed with knowledge of Our own
18:66 Moses said to him: ‘May I follow you, so that you may guide me by that which you have been taught?&lsquo
18:67 You will not bear with me,‘ said he
18:68 For how can you bear with that which is beyond your knowledge?&lsquo
18:69 Moses said: ‘If God wills, you shall find me patient: I shall in no way cross you.&lsquo
18:70 He said: ‘If you are bent on following me, you must not question me about anything until I mention it to you myself.&lsquo
18:71 The two set forth, but as soon as they embarked, he bored a hole in the bottom of the ship. ‘Is it to drown her passengers that you have bored a hole in her?‘ he said. ‘A strange thing you have done.&lsquo
18:72 Did I not tell you,‘ he said, ‘that you would not bear with me?&lsquo
18:73 ‘Pardon my forgetfulness,‘ said Moses. ‘Do not be angry with me on account of this.&lsquo
18:74 They journeyed on until they fell in with a certain youth. He slew him, and Moses said: ‘You have slain an innocent man who has slain no one. Surely you have done a heinous thing.&lsquo
18:75 Did I not tell you,‘ he said, ‘that you would not bear with me?&lsquo
18:76 He said: ‘If ever I question you again, abandon me; for then I should deserve it.&lsquo
18:77 They travelled on until they came to a city. They asked its people for some food, but they declined to receive them as their guests. There they found a wall on the point of falling down. He re-erected it, and Moses said: ‘Had you wished, you could have demanded payment.&lsquo
18:78 Now has the time arrived when we must part,‘ he said. ‘But first I will explain to you those acts of mine which you could not bear to watch with patience
18:79 As for the ship, it belonged to some poor fellows who had laboured at sea. I wanted to damage it because at their rear there was a king who was taking every ship by force
18:80 As for the youth, his parents both were true believers, and we feared lest he should plague them with wickedness and unbelief
18:81 ‘It was our wish that their Lord should grant them another in his place, a son more righteous and more filial
18:82 As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city; beneath it a treasure of theirs was buried. Their father was an honest man. Your Lord decreed, as a mercy from your Lord, that they should dig up their treasure when they grew to manhood. What I did was not done by my will. ‘That explains what you could not bear to watch with patience.&lsquo
18:83 They will ask you about Dhūl-Qarnayn.¹ Say: ‘I will give you an account of him
18:84 ‘We made him mighty in the land and gave him means to achieve all things
18:85 He journeyed on a certain roa
18:86 until he reached the West and saw the sun setting in a pool of black mud. Hard by he found a certain people. ‘"Dhūl-Qarnayn," We said, "you must either punish them or show them kindness.
18:87 He replied: "The wicked we shall surely punish. Then shall they return to their Lord, who will torment them with grievous torment
18:88 As for those that have faith and do good works, we shall bestow on them a rich reward and deal indulgently with them.
18:89 ‘He then journeyed along another roa
18:90 until he reached the East and saw the sun rising upon a people whom We had exposed to its flaming rays.²
18:91 So he did; and We had full knowledge of all the forces at his command
18:92 Then he journeyed along another roa
18:93 until he came between the Two Mountains and found a people who could barely understand a word
18:94 "Dhūl-Qarnayn," they said, "Gog and Magog are ravaging this land. Build a rampart between us, and we will pay you tribute.
18:95 He replied: "The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute. Lend me a force of men, and I will raise a rampart between you and them
18:96 Bring me blocks of iron." ‘He dammed up the valley between the Two Mountains, and said: "Ply your bellows." And when the iron blocks were red with heat, he said: "Bring me molten brass to pour on them.
18:97 Gog and Magog could not scale it, nor could they dig their way through it
18:98 He said: "This is a blessing from my Lord. But when my Lord‘s promise has been fulfilled, He will level it to dust, the promise of my Lord is ever true."&lsquo
18:99 And on that day We will let them come in tumultuous throngs. The Trumpet shall be blown and We will gather them all together
18:100 On that day We shall lay Hell bare before the unbelievers
18:101 who have turned a blind eye to My Admonition and a deaf ear to My warning
18:102 Do the unbelievers think that they can make My servants patrons besides Me? We have prepared Hell for the unbelievers to dwell in
18:103 Say: ‘Shall we tell you who will lose most through their labours
18:104 Those whose endeavours in this world are misguided and who yet think that what they do is right
18:105 who disbelieve the revelations of their Lord and deny that they will ever meet Him.‘ Vain are the works of these. On the Day of Resurrection We shall give them no consequence
18:106 Hell is their reward: because they disbelieved, and because they mocked My apostles and My revelations
18:107 As for those that have faith and do good works
18:108 they shall forever dwell in the Gardens of Paradise, desiring no change
18:109 Say: ‘If the sea were ink with which to write the words of my Lord, the sea would surely run dry before the words of my Lord were finished, though we found another sea to replenish it.&lsquo
18:110 Say: ‘I am but a mortal like yourselves. It is revealed to me that your God is one God. Let him that hopes to meet his Lord do what is right and worship none besides his Lord.&lsquo


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