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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley
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Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
18:1 Praise belongs to Allah Who has sent down the Book to His slave and has put no crookedness in it.
18:2 It is straight, to warn of violent force direct from Him, and to give the good news to the muminun, those who do right actions, that for them there is an excellent reward,
18:3 a place in which they will remain for ever,
18:4 and to warn those who say ´Allah has a son.´
18:5 They have no knowledge of this, neither they nor their fathers. It is a monstrous utterance which has issued from their mouths. What they say is nothing but a lie.
18:6 Perhaps you may destroy yourself with grief, chasing after them, if they do not have iman in these words.
18:7 We made everything on the earth adornment for it so that We could test them to see whose actions are the best.
18:8 We will certainly make everything on it a barren wasteland.
18:9 Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqim were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs?
18:10 When the young men took refuge in the cave and said, ´Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation.´
18:11 So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years.
18:12 Then We woke them up again so that We might see which of the two groups would better calculate the time they had stayed there.
18:13 We will relate their story to you with truth. They were young men who had iman in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.
18:14 We fortified their hearts when they stood up and said, ´Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and We will not call on any god apart from Him. We would in that case have uttered an abomination.
18:15 These people of ours have taken gods apart from Him. Why do they not produce a clear authority concerning them? Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents a lie against Allah?
18:16 When you have separated yourselves from them and everything they worship except Allah, take refuge in the cave and your Lord will unfold His mercy to you and open the way to the best for you in your situation.´
18:17 You would have seen the sun, when it rose, inclining away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, leaving them behind on the left, while they were lying in an open part of it. That was one of Allah´s Signs. Whoever Allah guides is truly guided. But if He misguides someone, you will find no protector for them to guide them rightly.
18:18 You would have supposed them to be awake whereas in fact they were asleep. We turned them to the right and to the left, and, at the entrance, their dog stretched out its paws. If you had looked down and seen them, you would have turned from them and run and have been filled with terror at the sight of them.
18:19 That was the situation when we woke them up so they could question one another. One of them asked, ´How long have you been here?´ They replied, ´We have been here for a day or part of a day.´ They said, ´Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. Send one of your number into the city with this silver you have, so he can see which food is purest and bring you some of it to eat. But he should go about with caution so that no one is aware of you,
18:20 for if they find out about you they will stone you or make you revert to their religion and then you will never have success.´
18:21 Accordingly We made them chance upon them unexpectedly so they might know that Allah´s promise is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour. When they were arguing among themselves about the matter, they said, ´Wall up their cave, their Lord knows best about them.´ But those who got the better of the argument concerning them said, ´We will build a place of worship over them.´
18:22 They will say, ´There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.´ They will say, ´There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,´ guessing at the Unseen. And they will say, ´There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.´ Say: ´My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.´ So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them.
18:23 Never say about anything, ´I will do that tomorrow,´ -
18:24 Without adding ´If Allah wills.´ Remember your Lord when you forget, and say, ´Hopefully my Lord will guide me to something closer to right guidance than this.´
18:25 They stayed in their Cave for three hundred years and added nine.
18:26 Say: ´Allah knows best how long they stayed. The Unseen of the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, how well He hears! They have no protector apart from Him. Nor does He share His rule with anyone.´
18:27 Recite what has been revealed to you of your Lord´s Book. No one can change His Words. You will never find any safe haven apart from Him.
18:28 Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds.
18:29 Say: ´It is the truth from your Lord; so let whoever wishes have iman and whoever wishes be kafir.´ We have prepared for the wrongdoers a Fire whose billowing walls of smoke will hem them in. If they call for help, they will be helped with water like seething molten brass, frying their faces. What a noxious drink! What an evil repose!
18:30 But as for those who have iman and do right actions, We will not let the wage of good-doers go to waste.
18:31 They will have Gardens of Eden with rivers flowing under them. They will be adorned in them with bracelets made of gold and wear green garments made of the finest silk and rich brocade, reclining there on couches under canopies. What an excellent reward! What a wonderful repose!
18:32 Make an example for them of two men. To one of them We gave two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with date-palms, putting between them some cultivated land.
18:33 Both gardens yielded their crops and did not suffer any loss, and We made a river flow right through the middle of them.
18:34 He was a man of wealth and property and he said to his companion, debating with him, ´I have more wealth than you and more people under me.´
18:35 He entered his garden and wronged himself by saying, ´I do not think that this will ever end.
18:36 I do not think the Hour will ever come. But if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return.´
18:37 His companion, with whom he was debating, said to him, ´Do you then disbelieve in Him who created you from dust, then from a drop of sperm, and then formed you as a man?
18:38 He is, however, Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone with my Lord.
18:39 Why, when you entered your garden, did you not say, "It is as Allah wills, there is no strength but in Allah"? Though you see me with less wealth and children than you possess,
18:40 it may well be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden and send down on it a fireball from the sky so that morning finds it a shifting heap of dust,
18:41 or morning finds its water drained into the earth so that you cannot get at it.´
18:42 The fruits of his labour were completely destroyed and he woke up wringing his hands in grief, rueing everything that he had spent on it. It was a ruin with all its trellises fallen in. He said, ´Oh, if only I had not associated anyone with my Lord!´
18:43 There was no group to come to his aid, besides Allah, and he was not given any help.
18:44 In that situation the only protection is from Allah, the Real. He gives the best reward and the best outcome.
18:45 Make a metaphor for them of the life of this world. It is like water which We send down from the sky and the plants of the earth combine with it but then become dry chaff scattered by the winds. Allah has absolute power over everything.
18:46 Wealth and sons are the embellishment of the life of this world. But, in your Lord´s sight, right actions which are lasting bring a better reward and are a better basis for hope.
18:47 On the Day We make the mountains move and you see the earth laid bare and We gather them together, not leaving out a single one of them,
18:48 they will be paraded before your Lord in ranks: ´You have come to Us just as We created you at first. Yes indeed! Even though you claimed that We would not fix a time with you.´
18:49 The Book will be set in place and you will see the evildoers fearful of what is in it. They will say, ´Alas for us! What is this Book which does not pass over any action, small or great, without recording it?´ They will find there everything they did and your Lord will not wrong anyone at all.
18:50 When We said to the angels, ´Prostrate yourselves to Adam,´ they prostrated with the exception of Iblis. He was one of the jinn and wantonly deviated from his Lord´s command. Do you take him and his offspring as protectors apart from Me when they are your enemy? How evil is the exchange the wrongdoers make!
18:51 I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth nor of their own creation. I would not take as assistants those who lead astray!
18:52 On the Day He says, ´Call My partner-gods, those for whom you made such claims,´ they will call on them but they will not respond to them. We will place between them an unbridgeable gulf.
18:53 The evildoers will see the Fire and realise they are going to fall into it and find no way of escaping from it.
18:54 We have variegated throughout this Qur´an all kinds of examples for people, but, more than anything else, man is argumentative!
18:55 When guidance came to the people nothing prevented them from having iman and asking for forgiveness from their Lord but the fact that the pattern of previous peoples did not happen to them or that the punishment did not appear before their eyes.
18:56 We only send the Messengers to bring good news and to give warning. Those who are kafir use fallacious arguments to deny the truth. They make a mockery of My Signs and also of the warning they were given.
18:57 Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided.
18:58 Your Lord is the Ever-Forgiving, the Possessor of Mercy. If He had taken them to task for what they have earned, He would have hastened their punishment. Instead, they have a promised appointment and they will not find any refuge from it.
18:59 Those cities: We destroyed them when they did wrong and fixed a promised time for their destruction.
18:60 Remember when Musa said to his servant, ´I will not give up until I reach the meeting-place of the two seas, even if I must press on for many years.´
18:61 But when they reached their meeting-place, they forgot their fish which quickly burrowed its way into the sea.
18:62 When they had gone a distance further on, he said to his servant, ´Bring us our morning meal. Truly this journey of ours has made us tired.´
18:63 He said, ´Do you see what has happened? When we went to find shelter at the rock, I forgot the fish. No one made me forget to remember it except Shaytan. It found its way into the sea in an amazing way.´
18:64 He said, ´That is the very thing that we were looking for!´ So, following their footsteps, they retraced their route.
18:65 They found a slave of Ours whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had also given knowledge direct from Us.
18:66 Musa said to him, ´May I follow you on condition that you teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?´
18:67 He said, ´You will not be able to bear with me.
18:68 How indeed could you bear with patience something you have not encompassed in your knowledge?´
18:69 Musa said, ´You will find me patient, if Allah wills, and I will not disobey you in any matter.´
18:70 He said, ´Then if you follow me, do not question me about anything until I myself make mention of it to you.´
18:71 They continued until they boarded a boat and he scuppered it. Then Musa said, ´Did you scupper it so that its owners would be drowned? This is truly a dreadful thing that you have done!´
18:72 He said, ´Did I not say that you would not be able to bear with me?´
18:73 Musa said, ´Do not take me to task because I forgot. Do not demand of me something which is too difficult.´
18:74 So they went on until they met a youngster whom he killed. Musa said, ´Have you killed a boy who has done no wrong, without it being in retaliation for someone else? This is truly an appalling thing that you have done!´
18:75 He said, ´Did I not tell you that you would not be able to bear with me?´
18:76 Musa said, ´If I ask you about anything after this, then you should no longer keep me company. I will have given you excuse enough.´
18:77 So they went on until they reached the inhabitants of a town. They asked them for food but they refused them hospitality. They found there a wall about to fall down and he built it up. Musa said, ´If you had wanted, you could have taken a wage for doing that.´
18:78 He said, ´This is where you and I part company. I will let you know the explanation of those things about which you were not able to restrain yourself.
18:79 As for the boat, it belonged to some poor people who worked on the sea. I wanted to damage it because a king was coming behind them, commandeering every boat.
18:80 As for the boy, his parents were muminun and we feared that he would darken their days with excessive insolence and kufr.
18:81 We wanted their Lord to give them in exchange a purer son than him, one more compassionate.
18:82 As for the wall, it belonged to two young orphans in the town and there was a treasure underneath it, belonging to them. Their father was one of the righteous and your Lord wanted them to come of age and then to unearth their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it of my own volition. That is the explanation of the things about which you were not able to restrain yourself.´
18:83 They will ask you about Dhu´l-Qarnayn. Say: ´I will tell you something about him.´
18:84 We gave him power and authority on the earth and granted him a way to everything.
18:85 So he followed a way
18:86 until he reached the setting of the sun and found it setting in a muddy spring and found a people by it. We said, ´Dhu´l-Qarnayn! You can either punish them or else you can treat them with gentleness.´
18:87 He said, ´As for those who do wrong, we will punish them and then they will be returned to their Lord and He will punish them with a dreadful punishment.
18:88 But as for him who has iman and acts rightly, he will receive the best of rewards and we will issue a command, making things easy for him.´
18:89 Then he followed a way
18:90 until he reached the rising of the sun and found it rising on a people to whom We had not given any shelter from it.
18:91 Our knowledge encompasses all that happened to him.
18:92 Then he followed a path
18:93 until he arrived between the two mountains where he found a people scarcely able to understand speech.
18:94 They said, ´Dhu´l-Qarnayn! Yajuj and Majuj are causing corruption in the land. Can we, therefore, pay tribute to you in return for your constructing a barrier between us and them?´
18:95 He said, ´The power my Lord has granted me is better than that. Just give me a strong helping hand and I will build a solid barrier between you and them.
18:96 Bring me ingots of iron!´ Then, when he had made it level between the two high mountain-sides, he said,´Blow!´ and when he had made it a red hot fire, he said, ´Bring me molten brass to pour over it.´
18:97 They were, therefore, unable to climb over it nor were they able to make a breach in it.
18:98 He said, ´This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord´s promise comes about, He will crush it flat. The promise of my Lord is surely true.´
18:99 We will abandon them, that Day, to pound against each other in surging waves and the Trumpet will be blown and We will gather them all together.
18:100 That Day We will display Hell in its totality to the kafirun,
18:101 those whose eyes were blind to My remembrance and whose ears were unable to hear.
18:102 Do those who are kafir imagine that they can take My slaves as protectors instead of Me? We have prepared Hell as hospitality for the kuffar!
18:103 Say: ´Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions?
18:104 People whose efforts in the life of the dunya are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.´
18:105 Those are the people who reject their Lord´s Signs and the meeting with Him. Their actions will come to nothing and, on the Day of Rising, We will not assign them any weight.
18:106 That is their repayment — Hell — because they were kafir and made a mockery of My Signs and of My Messengers.
18:107 Those who have iman and do right actions will have the Gardens of Firdaws as hospitality,
18:108 remaining in them timelessly, for ever, with no desire to move away from them.
18:109 Say: ´If all the sea was ink to write down the Words of my Lord, it would run out long before the Words of my Lord ran out,´ even if We were to bring the same amount of ink again.
18:110 Say: ´I am only a human being like yourselves who has received revelation. Your god is One God. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord act rightly and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.´


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