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AYAH al-Kahf 18:22 

Arabic Source and Roman Transliteration
Arabic سَيَقُولُونَ ثَلَاثَةٌ رَّابِعُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ خَمْسَةٌ سَادِسُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ رَجْمًا بِالْغَيْبِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَبْعَةٌ وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ قُل رَّبِّي أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِم مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ فَلَا تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلَّا مِرَاءً ظَاهِرًا وَلَا تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِم مِّنْهُمْ أَحَدًا zoom
Transliteration Sayaqooloona thalathatun rabiAAuhum kalbuhum wayaqooloona khamsatun sadisuhum kalbuhum rajman bialghaybi wayaqooloona sabAAatun wathaminuhum kalbuhum qul rabbee aAAlamu biAAiddatihim ma yaAAlamuhum illa qaleelun fala tumari feehim illa miraan thahiran wala tastafti feehim minhum ahadan zoom
Transliteration-2 sayaqūlūna thalāthatun rābiʿuhum kalbuhum wayaqūlūna khamsatun sādisuhum kalbuhum rajman bil-ghaybi wayaqūlūna sabʿatun wathāminuhum kalbuhum qul rabbī aʿlamu biʿiddatihim mā yaʿlamuhum illā qalīlun falā tumāri fīhim illā mirāan ẓāhiran walā tastafti fīhim min'hum aḥadan zoom
Literal
(Word by Word)
 They say, (they were) three, the forth of them their dog; and they say (they were) five the sixth of them their dog - guessing about the unseen; and they say, (they were) seven and the eight of them their dog. Say, "My Lord, knows best their number. None knows them except a few. So (do) not argue about them except (with) an argument obvious, and (do) not inquire about them among them (from) anyone." zoom


Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad [And in times to come] some will say, "[They were] three, the fourth of them being their dog," while others will say, "Five, with their dog as the sixth of them" -idly guessing at something of which they can have no knowledge -and [so on, until] some will say, "[They were] seven, the eighth of them being their dog." Say: "My Sustainer knows best how many they were. None but a few have any [real] knowledge of them. Hence, do not argue about them otherwise than by way of an obvious argument, and do not ask any of those [story-tellers] to enlighten thee about them." zoom
M. M. Pickthall (Some) will say: They were three, their dog the fourth, and (some) say: Five, their dog the sixth, guessing at random; and (some) say: Seven, and their dog the eighth. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord is Best Aware of their number. None knoweth them save a few. So contend not concerning them except with an outward contending, and ask not any of them to pronounce concerning them. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985) (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. zoom
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938) (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. zoom
Shakir (Some) say: (They are) three, the fourth of them being their dog; and (others) say: Five, the sixth of them being their dog, making conjectures at what is unknown; and (others yet) say: Seven, and the eighth of them is their dog. Say: My Lord best knows their number, none knows them but a few; therefore contend not in the matter of them but with an outward contention, and do not question concerning them any of them. zoom
Wahiduddin Khan Some will say, They were three, the fourth was their dog, and others will say, They were five, the sixth was their dog, guessing at random. And yet others say, They were seven, the eighth was their dog. Say, My Lord knows best their number. Only a few know anything about them. Therefore, do not enter into controversies over them, nor seek information about them from any of them; zoom
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar They will say: They were three, the fourth of them being their dog. And they will say: They were five, the sixth of them being their dog, guessing at the unseen. And they will say: They were seven, the eighth of them being their dog. Say: My Lord is greater in knowledge of their amount. No one knows them but a few, so altercate not about them but with a manifest argumentation and ask not for advice about them of anyone of them. zoom
T.B.Irving They will say: "[They were] three, the fourth of them being their dog;" while [others] will say: "Five, the sixth of them is their dog," guessing at the Unseen. [Still others] say: "Seven, and the eighth of them is their dog." SAY: "My Lord is quite Aware as to how many they were. Only a few know about them." Do not discuss them except in a discussion that is obvious, nor seek anyone else´s opinion about them. zoom
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab Some will say, “They were three, their dog was the fourth,” while others will say, “They were five, their dog was the sixth,” ˹only˺ guessing blindly. And others will say, “They were seven and their dog was the eighth.” Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “My Lord knows best their ˹exact˺ number. Only a few people know as well.” So do not argue about them except with sure knowledge, nor consult any of those ˹who debate˺ about them. zoom
Safi Kaskas Some will say there were three [sleepers], the fourth one being their dog; while others will say there were five, the sixth one being their dog - Just guessing at the unknown. Still others will say there were seven, and the eighth one was their dog. Say, "My Lord knows their number best. Very few know [the truth] about them, so do not argue about them except in relation to what is clearly known, and do not seek the opinion of any of these people about them." zoom
Abdul Hye  Some say they were 3 and their dog was the 4th of them. Others say they were 5 and their dog was the 6th of them guessing at the unseen. Yet, others say they were 7 and their dog was the 8th of them. Say (O Muhammad): “My Lord knows best their number. None knows them but a few.” So don’t debate about them except with clear proof and don’t consult about them (people of Cave) with anyone. zoom
The Study Quran They say, “[They were] three, and the fourth was their dog.” And they say, “Five, and the sixth was their dog”—guessing at the unseen. And they say, “Seven, and the eighth was their dog.” Say, “My Lord knows best their number; none know them save a few.” So dispute not concerning them, save with clear argument, nor consult any of them about them. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition) They will Say: "Three, the fourth is their dog." And they Say: "Five, the sixth is their dog," guessing at what they do not know. And they Say: "Seven, and the eighth is their dog." Say: "My Lord is fully aware of their number, none know them except for a few." So do not debate in them except with proof, and do not seek information regarding them from anyone. zoom
Abdel Haleem [Some] say, ‘The sleepers were three, and their dog made four,’ others say, ‘They were five, and the dog made six’- guessing in the dark- and some say, ‘They were seven, and their dog made eight.’ Say [Prophet], ‘My Lord knows best how many they were.’ Only a few have real knowledge about them, so do not argue, but stick to what is clear, and do not ask any of these people about them; zoom
Abdul Majid Daryabadi Anon they will say: they were three the fourth of them their dog. And they will say: they were five, the sixth of them their dog- -guessing at the unknown --and they willl say: they were seven, the eighth of them their dog. Say thou: my Lord is the Best Knower of their number; there knew them only a few; so debate thou not regarding them except an cut ward debating, and ask not regarding them anyone of them. zoom
Ahmed Ali Some will say: "They were three, and their dog was the fourth;" and some will also say: "They were five and their dog was the sixth," -- guessing in the dark. And some will even say: "They were seven, and their dog the eighth." Say: "My Lord alone knows best their number; none but only a few know of them." So do not argue about it with them but lightly, and do not enquire about them from any one of them. zoom
Aisha Bewley 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. zoom
Ali Ünal (Instead of reflecting on the lesson to be learnt from the People of the Cave, people concentrate their interest on the details of the event.) Some will say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; and some will say they were five, the dog being the sixth – all guessing at random at (something related to) the Unseen. Still others will say: "They were seven, the dog being the eighth." Say (O Messenger): "My Lord knows their number better; it is but few that know (the truth about) them." So do not argue about them, being content with what is obvious (to you through Revelation), nor ask any of them (who argue even among themselves) to give you an opinion about them. zoom
Ali Quli Qara'i They will say, ‘[They are] three; their dog is the fourth of them. They will say, ‘[They are] five, their dog is the sixth of them,’ taking a shot at the invisible. They will say, ‘[They are] seven, their dog is the eighth of them.’ Say, ‘My Lord knows best their number, and none knows them except a few.’ So do not dispute concerning them, except for a seeming dispute, and do not question about them any of them. zoom
Hamid S. Aziz Some say, "They were three, and the fourth of them was their dog:" and some say, "Five, and the sixth of them was their dog:" guessing at the unseen: and some say, "Seven, and the eighth of them was their dog." Say, "My zoom
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali They will say, "Three, their dog (was) the fourth of them." And (others) will say, "Five, their dog (was) the sixth of them, " guessing at the Unseen. (Some others) will say, "Seven, and their dog (was) the eighth of them." Say, "My Lord knows best their right number; none knows them, except a few." So do not wrangle about them, except in outward wrangling, and do not ask any of them for a pronouncement on them. zoom
Muhammad Sarwar (With regard to the number of the youths) some say, "There were three and the dog was the fourth one," Others say, "There were five and the dog was the sixth one." In reality, they are just feeling around in the dark. Still some of them say, "There were seven and the dog was the eighth one." (Muhammad), say, "My Lord has the best knowledge of their number. You know very little about it." Do not insist on arguing with them, but merely tell them the story as it has been revealed to you and do not ask anyone about them. zoom
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Some will say, .(They were) three, the fourth of them being their dog,. and some will say, .Five, the sixth of them being their dog, just making conjectures. And others will say, .Seven, the eighth of them is their dog. Say, .My Lord knows best about their number. No one knows them except a few, so do not argue about them except an apparent argumentation. And do not ask anyone of these about them. zoom
Shabbir Ahmed Then, some would say they were three, and their dog was the fourth, and some would say five, and their dog the sixth. They only made wild guesses, and some of them said that they were seven and their dog was the eighth. Say, "My Lord is best Aware of their number." There are some who know* their right number but, argue not about them but a passing comment. You need not consult anyone about them (to avoid undue controversies). zoom
Syed Vickar Ahamed (Some) say they were three (youths), the dog being the fourth among them; And (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth— Doubtfully guessing the unknown; And (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. (O Prophet!) You say (to them): "My Lord knows best their number; It is only a few who know their (real number)." Therefore, do not enter into disputes about them, except about a matter that is clear, nor speak to any of them about (the affair of) the people of the Cave. zoom
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International) They will say there were three, the fourth of them being their dog; and they will say there were five, the sixth of them being their dog - guessing at the unseen; and they will say there were seven, and the eighth of them was their dog. Say, [O Muhammad], "My Lord is most knowing of their number. None knows them except a few. So do not argue about them except with an obvious argument and do not inquire about them among [the speculators] from anyone." zoom
Farook Malik Now some will soon say: "They were three and their dog was the fourth." The others will guess: "They were five and their dog was the sixth," and there are still others who will say: "They were seven and their dog was the eighth." Say: "My Lord Alone knows their number. None but a few really know their correct number." Therefore, do not enter into discussion with them about their number except in a cursory way, nor ask anyone about the companions of the cave. zoom
Dr. Munir Munshey They will say, "(That they were) three, the fourth was their dog." Others also conjecture (and put the figure at) five, counting the dog six. Still others say, "Seven! Their dog was the eighth." Say, "My Lord knows their true number! Others know only very little." So, do not discuss that about them except cursorily, nor inquire anyone about them. zoom
Dr. Kamal Omar (Instead of tahead of state inspiration from the Message in this extra-ordinary incident, the people seek the unnecessary historical details which Allah has avoided to mention). Soon they will say: “(These were) three, the fourth of them being their dog;” and they will say: “(They were) five, the sixth of them (being) their dog;” — (it is totally) a guess-work at the unseen. And (yet others) will say: “(They were) seven and the eighth of them (being) their dog.” Say: “My Nourisher-Sustainer knows better about their number. People do not know them, except a small minority.” So discuss them not except a limited view, and do not seek information concerning them from any one of those (who confront you). zoom
Talal A. Itani (new translation) They will say, 'Three, and their fourth being their dog.' And they will say, 'Five, and their sixth being their dog,' guessing at the unknown. And they will say, 'Seven, and their eighth being their dog.' Say, 'My Lord knows best their number.' None knows them except a few. So do not argue concerning them except with an obvious argument, and do not consult any of them about them. zoom
Maududi Some will say concerning them: "They were three and their dog, the fourth"; and some will say: "They were five, and their dog, the sixth" ? all this being merely guesswork; and still others will say: "They were seven, and their dog, the eighth." Say: "My Lord knows their number best. Only a few know their correct number. So do not dispute concerning their number, but stick to what is evident, and do not question anyone about them." zoom
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad (Some) are going to say: three, their fourth being their dog. While (others) say: five, their sixth being their dog. Throwing stone in the dark, and (others) say: seven, their eight being their dog. Say: my Master knows their number better as only a few know them (their number), so do not argue about them except in a superficial argument, and do not ask opinion of any of them about them. zoom
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018) Some will 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, still others say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say, “My Lord knows best their number, it is only a few others who know.” Therefore, do not enter into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about the Sleepers. zoom
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition) They will say: "Three, the fourth is their dog." And they say: "Five, the sixth is their dog," guessing at what they do not know. And they say: "Seven, and the eighth is their dog." Say: "My Lord is fully aware of their number, none know them except for a few." So do not argue regarding them except with proof, and do not seek information regarding them from anyone. zoom
Mohammad Shafi Some of the people would later say, "They (the Men of the Cave) were three, the fourth being their dog." and some others would say, "Five, the sixth being their dog," making conjectures about what is unknown. And still others would say, "Seven, and the eighth was their dog." Say, "My Lord knows their number. None but a few know it. So argue not about them except for what you do know, and make no enquiries concerning them with any of the people." zoom

Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works
Bijan Moeinian Some say they were three men with a dog. The others say they were five men with a dog. The others dare to guess (about what is a part of unknown) and say they were seven men with a dog. Let them know: “Apart a few, only God knows their number. Therefore do not west your time on debating (with the Jews and the Christians) about this subject (as the numbers of them is not irrelevant), unless they come up with an undeniable document.” zoom
Faridul Haque So the people will now say, "They are three, their dog is the fourth"; and some will say, "They are five, their dog is the sixth" - just blind guesses; and some will say, "They are seven, and their dog is the eighth"; proclaim (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him), "My Lord well knows their number - no one knows them except a few"; therefore do not debate concerning them except what has occurred, and do not ask any of the People of the Book(s) anything concerning them. zoom
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah 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. zoom
Maulana Muhammad Ali (Some) say: (They were) three, the fourth of them their dog; and (others) say: Five, the sixth of them their dog, making conjectures about the unseen. And (others) say: Seven, and the eighth of them their dog. Say: My Lord best knows their number -- none knows them but a few. So contend not in their matter but with an outward contention, and question not any of them concerning them. zoom
Muhammad Ahmed - Samira They will say: "Three, their fourth (is) their dog." And they say: "Five, their sixth (is) their dog." An unsubstantiated guess with the unseen/absent , and they say: "Seven and their eighth (is) their dog." Say: "My Lord (is) more knowledgeable with (of) their number, none knows them except few/little , so do not argue/discuss in (about) them, except apparent/visible argument/discussion, and do not take (an) opinion/a clarification (of)anyone from them in (about) them." zoom
Sher Ali Some say, `They were three, the fourth of them was their dog;' and others say, `They were five, the sixth of them was their dog,' guessing at random. And yet others say, `They were seven, the eighth of them was their dog.' Say, `My Lord knows best their correct number. None knows them except a few.' So argue not concerning them except with unanswerable arguments, nor seek information concerning them from anyone of them. zoom
Rashad Khalifa Some would say, "They were three; their dog being the fourth," while others would say, "Five; the sixth being their dog," as they guessed. Others said, "Seven," and the eighth was their dog. Say, "My Lord is the best knower of their number." Only a few knew the correct number. Therefore, do not argue with them; just go along with them. You need not consult anyone about this. zoom
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi) Now they will say, They are three and the fourth one is their dog', and some will say. 'They are five and sixth one is their dog, without seeing guessing atrandom, 'and some will say, they are seven and the eight one is their dog.' Say you, 'My Lord knows well their number, none knows them but a few, so debate not about them, but the discussion to the extent outwardly expressed, and ask not to any man of the Book about them. zoom
Amatul Rahman Omar Guessing at random (- about them) some say, `(They were) three, their dog being the fourth,' while others say, `(They were) five and their dog being the sixth.' Yet there are others who say, `(They were) seven and their dog being the eighth.' Say, `My Lord knows best their real number. None knows them except a few.' So do not argue about them save with arguing on known premise (which is) overpowering and seek no legal order concerning them from anyone of them, (from those who make random guesses). zoom
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (Now) some will say: ‘(The people of the cave) were three and the fourth was their dog,’ and still some will say: ‘(They) were five and the sixth was their dog.’ These are the estimations made without seeing. And others will say: ‘(They) were seven and the eighth was their dog.’ Say: ‘My Lord is the One Who exactly knows their number and none knows their (exact number) except a few.’ So do not discuss about them with anyone except the details that have been revealed. Nor seek any information from any of them (about the People of the Cave). zoom
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few." So debate not (about their number, etc.) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you). And consult not any of them (people of the Scripture, Jews and Christians) about (the affair of) the people of the Cave. zoom

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry (They will say, 'Three; and 'their dog was the fourth of them.' They will say, 'Five; and their dog was the sixth of them, guessing at the Unseen. They will say, 'Seven; and their dog was the eighth of them.' Say: 'My Lord knows very well their number, and none knows them, except a few.' So do not dispute with them, except in outward disputation, and ask not any of them for a pronouncement on them. zoom
Edward Henry Palmer They will say, 'Three, and the fourth of them was their dog:' and they will say, 'Five, and the sixth of them was their dog:' guessing at the unseen: and they will say, 'Seven, and the eighth of them was their dog.' Say, 'My Lord knows best the number of them; none knows them but few.' Dispute not therefore concerning them save with a plain disputation, and ask not any one of them concerning them. zoom
George Sale Some say, the sleepers were three; and their dog was the fourth: And others say, they were five; and their dog was the sixth; guessing at a secret matter: And others say, they were seven; and their dog was the eighth. Say, my Lord best knoweth their number: None shall know them, except a few. Wherefore dispute not concerning them, unless with a clear disputation, according to what hath been revealed unto thee: And ask not any of the Christians concerning them. zoom
John Medows Rodwell Some say, "They were three; their dog the fourth:" others say, "Five; their dog the sixth," guessing at the secret: others say, "Seven; and their dog the eighth." SAY: My Lord best knoweth the number: none, save a few, shall know them. zoom
N J Dawood (2014) 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. zoom

New and/or Partial Translations, and works in progress
Sayyid Qutb Some will say, 'They were three, the fourth of them being their dog,' while others will say, 'Five, with their dog being the sixth of them,' idly guessing at the unknown. Yet others will say, 'They were seven, the eighth of them being their dog.' Say: 'My Lord knows best how many they were. None but a few have any real knowledge of them. Hence, do not enter into argument about them, except on a matter that is clear, nor ask anyone of these people to enlighten you about them.' zoom
Musharraf Hussain Some will say the People of the Cave were three, and their dog was the fourth; others will say they were five and the sixth their dog; these are mere guesses; some will say they were seven and the eighth their dog. Say: “My Lord knows best their number.” Only a few have real knowledge of them. So, don’t argue or ask anyone else about them, say what’s known clearly. zoom
Ahmed Hulusi They will say, “They were three, the fourth was a dog”... “They were five, the sixth was a dog”... This is merely guessing at the unknown (ranting and fabricating about things they do not know)! They will say, “They were seven, the eighth was a dog”... Say, “My Rabb knows better their number... None knows them except a few”... Do not argue about them other than exchanging ideas and do not ask them anything about them! zoom
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli Soon they will say: '(They were) three, the fourth of them was their dog'; and (some) say: 'Five, the sixth of them was their dog', guessing at the unseen, and (yet the others) say: 'Seven, and the eighth of them was their dog'. Say: 'My Lord knows best their number, none knows them but a few'. So do not dispute with them, except in outward disputation, and do not ask any one for a pronouncement about them. zoom
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim Tossed with their unballasted wits in fathomless and unquiet deeps of controversies, Ahl AL-Kitab (the People of the Book) were divided in opinion relative to the number of the young men, and in the course of time, some will say: "They numbered three and their dog the fourth". Others will say: "Five, their dog the sixth", an exercise of divination, whereas others will say: "Seven, their dog the eighth". Say to them O Muhammad: "Allah, my Creator, knows best their number; it is only a few who have been given the knowledge of the number and the significance of the even". Therefore, do not involve yourself O Muhammad in the heat of their dispute but treat the subject from an objective standpoint only so as to exhibit the actual facts and never seek counsel from any of them upon the event. zoom
Mir Aneesuddin (Some) will say, “(They were) three, their dog being the fourth of them,” while (others) will say, “(They were) five, their dog being the sixth of them.” (They were) seven, their dog being eight of them.” Say, “My fosterer knows best, their number, no one knows them except a few.” So do not dispute about them except a with a superfluous disputation and do not ask any of them about the (companions of the cave). zoom

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