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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by Musharraf Hussain
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Musharraf Hussain rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
18:1 All praises are for Allah, He who sent down the Book to his servant. It does not bend the truth,
18:2 but is factual, so He gives warning of severe punishment and good news to the believers who do righteous deeds, they will have Paradise,
18:3 where they will stay forever.
18:4 You must warn those who said Allah has taken a child;
18:5 neither they nor their forefathers had any knowledge. It is an outrageous insult they spout with their mouths; they are lying.
18:6 So will you worry yourself to death over their actions, if they don’t believe in this message?
18:7 We’ve made attractive what is on Earth, to test who is best in deeds.
18:8 Eventually, We will turn the Earth into a barren land.
18:9 Messenger, did you know the People of the Cave and Al-Raqim were our amazing signs?
18:10 The young men took refuge in the cave and prayed: “Our Lord be kind to us and guide us during our test.”
18:11 While they were inside the cave for many years We blocked their ears,
18:12 then awakened them, to see which of the two groups was better in assessing the length of their stay.
18:13 We will tell you their story exactly as it happened: they were young men who had faith in their Lord; We increased them in guidance,
18:14 and improved self-confidence. They stood up boldly before their people and proclaimed: “Our Lord is the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. Never will we worship gods beside Him; that would be an outrageous lie.
18:15 Our people have taken gods beside Him, without any clear evidence. Can anyone be more wrong than the one who makes up lies about Allah?”
18:16 It was said, “You have now separated yourselves from those people and what they worship beside Allah, so take refuge in the cave and your Lord will be kind to you, He will prepare suitable arrangements for you.”
18:17 Messenger, while they laid in the clear opening of the cave, you could see the sun rise then move away from them, and turned to their left as it set. This was from the signs of Allah. Anyone guided by Allah is truly guided, and anyone gone astray won’t find a guide or a protector.
18:18 You thought they were awake, but they were asleep. We kept turning them from right to left. At the entrance of the cave lay their dog with its forelegs stretched out. Were you to stumble across them, you would be filled with fear, turn your back on them, and flee.
18:19 Eventually We awakened them, and they questioned each other. One of them asked, “How long did we stay here?” They said, “We stayed a day or a part of a day.” Others said, “Your Lord knows best how long you stayed, now send someone with the silver coin to town to buy pure food so he may bring it for you. They told him, “Be polite and courteous, and don’t let anyone know who you are,
18:20 if they find out who you are, they will torture you, or force you to revert to their religion. Then you will never be successful.”
18:21 In this way We brought them to people’s attention, so they may know that Allah’s promise is true, and there is no doubt about the Final Hour. The townspeople disputed about what to do with them. Some said, “Erect a building over the cave; their Lord knows best about them.” However, those who had an upperhand concerning their matter said, “We’ll build a Mosque over the cave.”
18:22 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.
18:23 When you intend to do something don’t say, “I will do it tomorrow.”
18:24 Instead say, “Allah willing I will do it.” Remember your Lord whenever you forget Him, and say, “I hope my Lord will guide me to the right path closer, and closer.”
18:25 “People say they stayed in the cave for three hundred years, plus nine.”
18:26 Say: “only Allah knows exactly how long they stayed. He has the knowledge of the unseen in the Heavens and the Earth. How wonderful is His Seeing and Hearing. They have no helper beside Him, and He does not allow anyone to share His rule.”
18:27 And recite what is revealed to you from your Lord’s book; none can change His words, nor can you find beside Him a place of refuge.
18:28 Keep yourself with those who worship their Lord morning and evening, longing for His pleasure. Don’t turn your eyes away from them to seek the delights of worldly life. Neither follow him whose mind is forgetful of Our remembrance, and follows his whims; his case is beyond limits.
18:29 Say: “The truth is from Your Lord; so, whoever wants to believe, let him do so, and whoever wishes to deny, let him.” We have prepared for the evil doers a fire; its walls will surround them. When they plead for water, they will be relieved with boiling water hotter than molten brass that will burn their faces – a dreadful drink, and an unbearable place of rest.
18:30 On the other hand, those who believed and did righteous deeds, We will not waste the reward of those who did good work;
18:31 they will have everlasting gardens with streams running beneath them. Here, they will be wearing golden bracelets, green dresses with silk embroidery, and rich patterns. They will be sitting on couches. What a wonderful reward, an amazing resting place.
18:32 Tell them the parable of two men; to one We gave two vineyards, hedged by palm trees, with a cornfield lying in the middle.
18:33 Both vineyards had a stream running between them, so they produced an abundant crop throughout the year,
18:34 he had plenty of agricultural produce. One day he said to his friend, as they were talking among themselves, “I have more wealth and a larger family than you.”
18:35 He walked into his garden with these wrong thoughts and said, “I don’t think that these vineyards will ever perish,
18:36 nor do I think that Judgement Day will come. Even if I was returned to My Lord, I will certainly go to somewhere better than this.”
18:37 His friend said to him as they argued, “How can you deny the One who created you from dust and then from a drop of sperm?
18:38 For me, He is Allah, my Lord, and I do not associate anyone with my Lord.
18:39 When you entered your vineyard why didn’t you say, “There is no power except that of Allah. Even if you saw that I was less than you in wealth and number of children,
18:40 I am hopeful that my Lord will give me better than your vineyards; He could send a thunderbolt from the sky on them and turn the land barren,
18:41 or make its water sink deep into the ground so that you wouldn’t be able to reach it.”
18:42 So his fruits were destroyed. There he was, wringing his hands, regretting what he had spent on it. The trellises had fallen; he sobbed, “I wish I had never associated anyone with my Lord.”
18:43 There was no army that could help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself.
18:44 This shows, all power belongs to Allah, the Truth. The belief in Him produces the best reward and the best outcome.
18:45 Tell them a parable of worldly life; it’s like the rain We send down from the sky, the soil soaks it, plants grow, then turn into dry straw that is scattered by the winds. Allah has power over all things.
18:46 Wealth and children are beautiful decorations of this life. However, the fruit of good deeds will remain with your Lord, an excellent reward and hope.
18:47 The day when We clear away the mountains, you will see the Earth spread out as a vast plain, and We shall gather the dead; no one will be left out.
18:48 They will be presented before your Lord in rows, it will be said, “You have come to Us as We created you the first time; you thought We wouldn’t fulfil Our promise.”
18:49 When the record will be laid out before them, the sinners will be frightened of what they see in it, and they will say, “Woe to us, what kind of record is this that doesn’t leave out anything small or big, it records everything.” They will find everything they had ever done in front of them. And your Lord is not unjust to anyone.
18:50 And remember when We said to the Angels, “Prostrate to Adam,” they prostrated except Satan. He was from the Jinns. He disobeyed his Lord’s order. So, are you going to take him and his followers as your friends beside Me, yet they are your enemies? What a wretched alternative have the wrongdoers chosen!
18:51 I didn’t make them witnesses at the time of creation of the Heavens and Earth, nor in their own creation. I don’t take as helpers those who misguide others.
18:52 On the Day He will say, “Call upon those who you thought were My partners,” they will not answer them. We will place between them an unbridgeable gulf.
18:53 When the sinners see the Fire they will be convinced they are falling into it, and they will find no other place to turn to.
18:54 We have explained all sorts of lessons for people’s benefit in this Quran, but humans are quarrelsome creatures.
18:55 What stops people from believing and seeking the forgiveness of their Lord when the guidance has come to them? Are they waiting for the same fate as the earlier generations? Or for the punishment to be brought right in front of them?
18:56 The messengers were sent to give good news and a warning; the disbelievers disputed using false arguments to weaken the truth, and they mocked My verses and warnings.
18:57 Who is more unjust than the one who is reminded of his Lord’s verses and turns away from them? Forgetting what he is sending ahead of him. We have locked their minds: they cannot understand. We made them hard of hearing, so when you call them to the guidance, they will never be guided.
18:58 Your Lord is Forgiving, Kind. Had He punished them for what they did, then it would have come sooner, but there is a fixed time from which they will find no escape.
18:59 We destroyed these towns because they did wrong; We fixed the time of their destruction.
18:60 Remember when Musa said to his young servant, “I will travel on until I reach the place where the two seas meet, no matter how long it takes.”
18:61 When they reached it, they forgot the fish, which quietly made its way into the sea and swam away.
18:62 After travelling for some time, Musa asked his young servant, “Bring our meal, the journey has worn us out!”
18:63 He replied, “Did you notice, when we rested at the rock I forgot the fish – none but Satan made me forget it – amazingly it made its way into the sea.”
18:64 Musa said, “That’s the place we were looking for.” So they turned back, carefully retracing their footsteps.
18:65 They found a servant of Ours there, Khidr, to whom We were especially kind – We taught him Our special knowledge.
18:66 Musa asked him, “Can I follow you, so you may teach me something of higher guidance which you have been taught?”
18:67 He replied, “You will not be able to have patience with me;
18:68 how could you have patience about things that you don’t fully know?”
18:69 Musa said, “Allah willing, you will find me patient and I will not disobey your orders.”
18:70 The man said, “If you must follow me then don’t ask questions until I speak about it to you.”
18:71 So both set off walking along the beach until they got a boat, but when they got off Khidr damaged it. Musa said, “Did you damage it to drown those on board? You’ve done an awful thing.”
18:72 Khidr said, “Didn’t I say you will never have patience with me?”
18:73 Musa replied, “Don’t be harsh with me for forgetting; please don’t make my task any more difficult.”
18:74 So they travelled on until they met a boy; Khidr killed him, and Musa angrily said, “You’ve killed an innocent person who hasn’t done anything wrong; you‘ve done a dreadful thing.”
18:75 He said, “Didn’t I tell you, you will never have patience with me?”
18:76 Musa said, “If I ask anything after this then tell me to leave you. You will have a valid excuse from me.”
18:77 So, they set off till they reached a village, here they asked the villagers for food, but they refused to take them as guests. They found a wall about to fall down, so Khidr rebuilt it. Musa complained, “You could have asked for a payment, if you wanted.”
18:78 He replied, “We must go our separate ways now! I shall give you an explanation for what you were unable to bear patiently.
18:79 The boat belonged to poor fishermen, I damaged it because a king was coming after them to forcefully seize all seaworthy boats.
18:80 The boy, his parents were believers, but we feared he would distress them by being disobedient and unthankful.
18:81 We hope their Lord will give them a righteous child in exchange, one who will be more caring.
18:82 The falling wall belonged to two orphan boys in the town; buried beneath it was their treasure, their father was a righteous man. Your Lord wanted them to reach maturity, so they could dig up their treasure; this was your Lord’s kindness. What I did wasn’t done by my will; that’s an explanation of those events you couldn’t bear patiently.”
18:83 They ask you about Zul Qarnayn. Say: “I will tell you part of his story.”
18:84 We established and gave him power on Earth, and gave him the resources to achieve great things.
18:85 So he set off on an expedition,
18:86 until he reached the place where the sun sets; he found it setting in a spring of murky water. He found some people there, We said: “Zul Qarnayn, you can reprimand or be kind to them.”
18:87 He said, “Whoever does wrong, we will punish him, but when he returns to his Lord, the punishment will be dreadful.
18:88 However, whoever believes and does good deeds will have a beautiful reward, and We will only ask him to do easy tasks.”
18:89 So he again set off on another expedition,
18:90 until he reached the place of sunrise in the east. He found people there who lived in the open, without any shelter.
18:91 So it was; We knew all about him.
18:92 Then he set off on another expedition,
18:93 till he reached an area lying between two mountains; here he found people who didn’t fully understand him.
18:94 They said, “Zul Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are making trouble in the land; we shall pay you money if you can build a solid wall between us and them.
18:95 He replied, “The power given by My Lord is enough, but you give me manpower so I can make a rampart between them and you.
18:96 Bring me pieces of iron” – when he had filled the gap between the two mountainsides, he said, “Blow the bellows!” And he made it glow like fire; he then said, “Bring me molten brass to pour over it.
18:97 Now they will not be able to cross over it, nor will they be able to pierce it.”
18:98 He told them, “This is my Lord’s kindness, so when My Lord’s promise comes the wall will crumble to dust, and my Lord’s promise is true.”
18:99 That Day, the Trumpet will be blown. We’ll let them surge like waves against each other, and We shall gather them together.
18:100 That Day, We shall introduce Hell to the disbelievers –
18:101 whose eyes were veiled from Our remembrance and they were not able to hear.
18:102 Do the disbelievers think they can take My servants as protectors beside Me? We have prepared Hell as hospitality for the disbelievers.
18:103 Say: “Shall We tell you who are the biggest losers with respect to works?
18:104 Whose efforts were misguided, yet they thought they were doing good work:
18:105 people who disbelieved in the signs and in their meeting with their Lord, so their deeds are worthless. Nor would We give them on the Day of Judgement any weight.
18:106 Hell is their reward, because they mocked My signs and My messengers.”
18:107 Those who believed and did righteous deeds will have the hospitality of the Gardens of Paradise.
18:108 They will stay there forever, never wanting a change.
18:109 Say: “If the seas became ink for writing down the words of My Lord, the seas would quickly run dry before My Lord’s words were finished, even if We added sea upon sea to it.”
18:110 Say: “I am a human being like you. It has been revealed to me: your God is one God. Anyone expecting to meet his Lord, let him do good deeds and not associate anyone with Him from His creation.”


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