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[All] praise is [due] to God, who has sent down the Book to His servant and allowed no crookedness in it,
but unerringly straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good news to the believers who do righteous deeds, that they will have excellent reward
where they will remain forever.
And to warn those who say, "God has taken a son."
They have no knowledge of this, nor had their forefathers. The word that comes out of their mouths is grievous; they say nothing but a lie.
Then perhaps you are going to worry yourself to death chasing after them, if they do not believe in this message.
We have adorned the earth with attractive things so that We may test people [as to) who will do best
but We will [later] reduce all of it into a wasteland.
Or did you think that the fellows of the cave and [their devotion to] the scriptures were among our amazing signs?
The young men retreated to a cave and said, "Our Lord, grant us Your mercy and help us see our way clear out of this ordeal."
So, We sealed their ears in the cave for a number of years.
Then We awakened them to know which of the two groups was better able to calculate the time they had stayed there.
We now relate to you their story in Truth. They were young people who believed in their Lord, and We deepened their understanding.
We emboldened them when they stood up [to their people] and said, "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never will we invoke any deity other than Him, for that would be a deplorable thing to do.
Our people have taken gods besides Him. Why, can they not produce any clear evidence for their beliefs? Who, then, could be more unjust than someone who makes up lies about God"?
"Now that you have withdrawn from them and that which they worship instead of God, take refuge in that cave. Your Lord will spread out His mercy for you and will help you find the best way out of your predicament."
And [had you been present], you would have seen the sun, when it rose, veering away from their cave towards the right, and, when it set, passing away from them to the left, while they lay within an opening of that cave. This is one of God's signs. He whom God guides is the rightly guided, but he whom God leaves to stray, you will not find for him a guiding protector.
And you would have thought that they were awake, whereas they were really asleep. And We turned them to the right side and to the left side, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned and run away and been very afraid of them.
In time We awakened them, so they may ask one another. One of them said: "How long have you remained here?" They said, "We have been here a day or part of a day." They said, "Your Lord knows best how long You have been here. So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town and let him find the best food, and bring some back to you, but let him be cautious. And let no one be aware of you.
If they come to know, about you, they will stone you or force you to return to their religion. And then you would never succeed, ever."
It is in this way that we caused them to be found, so that people would know that the promise of God is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour [of Resurrection]. As they were arguing among themselves about them, some said, "Build a structure over them. Their Lord knows best about them." But those who prevailed in the matter said: "We will build a place of worship over them."
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."
Never say of anything, "I will do that tomorrow,"
without adding, "God willing." And whenever you forget, remember your Lord and say, "I pray that my Lord will guide me closer to what is right."
And they remained in their cave for three hundred years plus an additional nine.
Say, "God knows best how long they remained. All that is beyond our senses, in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Him. How perfectly He sees, and how perfectly He Hears! They have no protector besides Him, and He does not share His rule with anyone."
Recite what has been revealed to you from your Lord's Book. No one can change His words, and you will never find any refuge except with Him.
And patiently stay with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval. And let not your eyes turn away from them, desiring worldly attractions. Do not obey anyone whose heart We have made oblivious of Our remembrance, who follows his own whims and desires, and who abandons all that is good.
And say, "The Truth is from your Lord. Whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him deny the truth." We have prepared a fire for the unjust whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten brass, which scalds their faces. Terrible is that drink, and evil is that resting place.
As for those who have believed and done righteous deeds - We do not let the reward - of anyone who does a good deed go to waste.
They will have Gardens of Eden; beneath them rivers will flow. They will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, and recline on couches. What an excellent reward, and what a wonderful resting place!
And present to them the parable of two men. To one of them, We gave two gardens of grapevines, and surrounded them with palm trees, and placed fields of crops between them.
Each of the two gardens produced its fruit and did not fall short in anything. And We made a gushing river flow right through them.
And he had plenty of fruit, so he said to his neighbor while conversing with him, "I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men."
He entered his garden and did himself harm by saying: "I do not think that this will ever perish.
And neither do I think that the Hour will come. But even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely get something better in return."
His neighbor said to him in the course of the conversation: "Have you no faith in Him who created you from dust, and then from a fertilized ovum and then shaped you into a man?
As for me, He is my Lord, and I don't associate anyone with my Lord.
if only, you had said, when you entered your garden, 'It is all God's will; there is no power except in God'? Although you see me possessing less than you in wealth and children,
it may well be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden and send down on it thunderbolts from the sky so that it becomes a heap of barren dust,
or its water sinks deep into the ground, so that you will never be able to attain it."
And [thus it happened]: his fruitful garden was surrounded [by ruin], and there he was, wringing his hands in grief over what he had spent on it, while it had collapsed upon its trellises. He said, "Oh, I wish I had not associated anyone with my Lord,"
for now there was no one other than God to help him, nor could he help himself.
Thus it is, all protection there belongs to God, the Truth. He gives the best reward and the best outcome.
Cite for them the parable of the life of this world, it is like water that We send down from the sky and is absorbed by the plants of the earth. But in time it becomes dry chaff, scattered by the winds. And it is God who has absolute power over all things.
Wealth and children are adornments of this worldly life, but the enduring good deeds produce a greater reward from your Lord and a better hope.
On the Day We will set the mountains in motion, and you see the earth emerging, and We will gather them all, leaving not a single one behind.
They will be lined up before your Lord, [and He will say] "You have come to Us just as We created you in the first instance. Even though you claimed that We will not make such an appointment for you."
And the Book [of deeds] will be laid [open], and you will see those who forced others to reject God's messages filled with dread at what is in it, and they will say, "Alas for us! What a record is this! It leaves out no deeds, small or great, but accounts for it!" They will find everything they ever did present [before them]. Your Lord will not be unjust to anyone.
And [mention] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam," and they all prostrated themselves, except for Iblis. He was of the jinn, but he disobeyed his Lord's command. Do you [seriously consider] choosing him and his descendants as allies instead of Me, when they are your enemies? How despicable a bargain this is for the unjust?
I did not make them witness to the creation of the heavens and earth, nor to their own creation, and neither do I have any need to take those who lead others astray as my helpers.
And [warn of] the Day when He will say, "Call 'My partners' whom you claimed," and they [the unjust] will call on them, but they [the partners] will not respond to them, for we shall place an unbridgeable divide between them.
And those who forced others to reject Our messages will see the Fire, and they will know that they are bound to fall into it, and they will not find any escape from it.
We have mentioned in this Qur'an all kind of examples for the benefit of people, but, more than anything else, man is argumentative!
Now that guidance has come to them, What could it be that is preventing people from believing or from asking their Lord for forgiveness, other than that the fate of earlier generations has not yet befallen them, or the punishment has not yet come upon them.
We sent Our message-bearers only to bring good news and to give warning, yet the unbelievers seek to refute the Truth with false arguments and mock My signs and warnings.
And who is more unjust than one who is reminded of his Lord's messages but turns away from them, forgetting what he has done? We have placed veils over their hearts, lest they understand, and deafness in their ears. If you ask them to be guided, they will never be guided.
Yet your Lord is the Most-Forgiving and full of mercy. Were He to take them to task for what they deserved, He would have hastened their punishment. Rather, they have an appointed time from which they will never find an escape,
as [was the case with] those communities that We destroyed when they did wrong: We made an appointed time for their destruction.
Recall when Moses said to his servant, "I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I must press on for years."
But when they reached the junction where the two seas meet, they forgot their fish, which made its way into the sea and swam away.
So when they had moved on, [Moses] said to his servant, "Bring us our lunch. We have certainly suffered hardship on this journey."
He [the servant] said, "Remember when we rested by the rock? I forgot the fish there. And it was Satan who made me forget to pay attention to it. And amazingly, it found its way into the sea."
[Moses] said, "That is what we were seeking." So they returned, following their own footprints.
There, they found one of Our servants, whom We had blessed with mercy from Us, and unto whom We had imparted knowledge of our Own
Moses said to him, "May I follow you, so that you will teach me some of the right guidance You have been taught?"
He said, "You will not be able to wait patiently with me,
for how can you have patience for what you do not understand?"
[Moses] said, "You will find me, God willing, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] way."
He said, "Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I mention it to you."
So they set out, until, when they had embarked on the ship, the man made a hole in it. [Moses] said "Did you knock a hole in it to drown its passengers? You have certainly done a dreadful thing."
The man said, "Didn't I tell you that you would not be able to wait patiently with me?"
[Moses] said, "Forgive me for forgetting, and don't be too harsh with me."
So they set out, until they met a boy, whom the man killed. [Moses] said, "You killed an innocent soul who never killed anyone. You have certainly done a deplorable thing."
The man said, "Didn't I tell you that you would not be able to wait patiently with me?"
[Moses] said, "If I should ask you about anything after this, then you should no longer let me accompany you. You have a good excuse not to put up with me."
So they set out, until they reached the inhabitants of a town and they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they found a wall about to collapse, so the man restored it. [Moses] said, "If you wished, you could have been paid for [fixing] it."
He said, "This is where you and I will part company. I will tell you the interpretation of what you could not wait for patiently.
As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at sea. I damaged it because there was a king after them who seized every [good] ship by force.
And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we had reasons to fear that he would cause them extreme distress by transgression and unbelief.
So, we wished that their Lord would give them a son better in purity and closer to mercy.
As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in town, and there was a treasure beneath it belonging to them. Their father was a righteous man. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and then to unearth their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did not do [any of this] of my own accord. This is the interpretation of what you were not able to wait for patiently."
And they ask you, about the Zul-Qarnayn [Two-Horned One]. Say: "I will tell you something about him."
We gave him power and authority on earth, and We gave him a way to achieve anything.
until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a dark, muddy spring, and nearby he found some people. We said, "O Zul-Qarnayn, either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness."
He said, "We will punish the unjust. Then he will return to his Lord, and He will punish him with unspeakable suffering.
But as for the one who believes and does righteousness, he will have the best of rewards. We shall require him to do only easy things."
Then he followed a path
until he came to the rising of the sun. He found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no shade.
And so it was, Our knowledge encompassed all that happened to him.
Then he followed a path
until he reached a pass between two mountains, where he found a people who could hardly understand a word he was saying.
They said, "O Zul-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are corrupting this land. Can we pay you to erect a barrier between us and them?
He said, "What my Lord has given me is better [than any compensation]. Just give me a strong helping hand and I will build a solid barrier between you and them.
Bring me chunks of iron." When he had filled in [the gap] between the two mountain-sides, he said, "Blow!" When he had made [the iron] as red hot as fire, he said, "Bring me molten copper to pour over it."
So [Gog and Magog] were able neither to scale the barrier, nor were they able to pierce it.
He said, "This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes, He will crush it [the barrier]. The promise of my Lord is surely true."
And on that Day We will let them surge like waves over each other, and [then] the Horn will be blown, and We will gather them all together.
On that Day We shall display Hell plainly to the unbelievers,
those whose eyes had been veiled from My message, and who could not hear it.
Do those who have denied the truth think that they can take My servants as protectors instead of Me? We have prepared Hell for the unbelievers as their lodging place.
Say, "Shall we tell you who are the most failing in whatever they do?
They are those whose efforts are lost in worldly pursuits, while they think that they are doing good work."
Those are the ones who deny the signs of their Lord and deny that they will meet Him. Their actions will come to nothing and on the Day of Resurrection they will be of no consequence.
Hell is their recompense for having denied the truth, and ridiculed My signs and My Messengers.
Those who have believed and done righteous deeds will have Paradise for their lodging,
where they will abide eternally, never wishing to leave.
Say, "If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would run out long before the words of my Lord ran out, even if We were to add another sea to it."
Say, "I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So, whoever looks forward with hope to meet his Lord, let him do righteous deeds and in the worship of his Lord not associate anyone with Him."
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