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18:1  Praise be to God, who revealed to His servant the Scripture, free from any distortions.
18:2  It is invaluable—to warn of severe punishment from Him, and as good news to the believers who do righteous deeds, that for them is a good reward.
18:3  Remaining in it forever.
18:4  And to warn those who say, “God has begotten a son.”
18:5  They have no knowledge of this, nor did their ancestors. It’s a monstrous word that comes from their mouths. They speak nothing but lies.
18:6  Perhaps you may kill yourself with grief, chasing after them, if they don’t believe in this narrative.
18:7  We’ve made everything on earth an adornment for it, to test them, and ascertain who performs the best deeds among them.
18:8  But ultimately, We will reduce everything on it into a barren wasteland.
18:9  Do you consider the people of the Cave and the Inscription as among Our extraordinary miracles?
18:10  When they sought sanctuary in the cave, they prayed, “Our Lord, shower us with Your mercy, and arrange our affairs with wisdom.”
18:11  Then We sealed their ears in the cave for some years.
18:12  Then We awakened them, to determine which of the two groups could best estimate the duration of their stay.
18:13  We tell you their story with truth. They were young men who had faith in their Lord, and We augmented them in guidance.
18:14  We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never call upon any deity other than Him, for then we would be uttering a colossal falsehood.”
18:15  “These, our people, have taken gods besides Him, without producing clear evidence for them. Who is more unjust than one who fabricates lies against God?”
18:16  “Now that you have withdrawn from them, and from what they worship other than God, retreat to the cave. Your Lord will extend His mercy upon you and arrange your affairs with ease.”
18:17  You would have seen the sun, as it rose, veering away from their cave to the right, and as it set, bypassing them to the left, while they lay within the spacious area of the cave. This was one of God’s signs. Whomever God guides is guided, and whomever He leaves to stray, you will find no guiding mentor for him.
18:18  You would think them awake, while they were asleep. We turned them over, to the right and to the left, with their dog stretching its forelegs at the entrance. If you had observed them, you would’ve turned away from them in fear, and terror-filled.
18:19  We then awakened them, prompting them to question each other. One of them asked, “How long did you stay?” They answered, “We stayed a day or part of a day.” They concluded, “Only your Lord knows the duration of your stay.” “Send one of you with your money to the city, and let him find the best sustenance and bring it back to us. He must be discreet and not draw any attention to you.”
18:20  “If they discover you, they may stone you or force you to revert to their religion, and then you will never succeed.”
18:21  We made their story known to mankind, to demonstrate that God’s promise is true, and that there is no doubt about the Hour. When they disputed among themselves their affair, they proposed, “Let us build a structure over them.” Their Lord knows them best. Those who prevailed in the argument said, “We will erect a place of worship over them.”
18:22  Some say, “They were three, their dog being the fourth.” Others will say, “They were five, their dog being the sixth,” guessing at the unseen. Yet, others will say, “They were seven, their dog being the eighth.” Say, “My Lord knows their exact number; only a few truly know.” Therefore, don’t argue about them without solid evidence, and don’t seek anyone’s opinion about them.
18:23  Never say about something, “I will do it tomorrow.”
18:24  Without adding, “If God wills.” And remember your Lord if you forget, and say, “Perhaps my Lord will guide me closer than this to right conduct.”
18:25  They remained in their cave for three hundred years, and nine more.
18:26  Say, “God knows best how long they stayed.” His are the mysteries of the heavens and the earth. His sight is perfect, His hearing is perfect. They have no protector against Him, and He shares His rule with no one.
18:27  Communicate what was revealed to you from your Lord’s Scripture. None can alter His words, and you won’t find any refuge besides Him.
18:28  Be content with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His countenance. Don’t turn your eyes away from them, desiring the allurements of worldly life. And don’t obey him whose heart We made heedless of Our remembrance, who follows his desires, and whose affairs are in disarray.
18:29  Say, “The truth is from your Lord; let whoever wishes believe, and whoever wishes disbelieve.” We’ve prepared for the wrongdoers a fire, whose walls will enclose them. When they plead for help, they will be helped with water like molten brass, which scalds the faces. Wretched is the drink, and terrible is the resting place.
18:30  As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds—We never let the reward of any such person, who does good, be wasted.
18:31  They will have gardens of eternal bliss, through which rivers flow. They will be adorned with golden bracelets and wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, reclining on plush couches. Excellent is the reward, and what a splendid resting place.
18:32  Give to them the example of two men: We blessed one with two vineyards, surrounded by date palms, with crops in the middle.
18:33  Both gardens produced their full yield and never failed, and We caused a river to gush through them.
18:34  He had other resources as well. In a conversation with his friend, he boasted, “I have more wealth and have a larger following than you.”
18:35  And he entered his garden while being unjust to himself, saying, “I don’t think this will ever perish.”
18:36  “And I don’t think the Hour will come. And even if I’m returned to my Lord, I will surely find something better in return.”
18:37  His companion said to him while conversing with him, “Do you deny the One who created you from dust, then from a drop, and then formed you into a man?
18:38  But He, God, is my Lord, and I don’t associate anyone with my Lord.
18:39  Why didn’t you, when you entered into your garden, say, ‘As God wills, there is no might and no power except by God, although you see me less than you in wealth and offspring.’
18:40  However, my Lord may give me something better than your garden, and He may send a calamity from the sky upon it, reducing it to a barren, dusty wasteland.
18:41  Or its water might sink so deep into the ground—that you won’t be able to seek it.”
18:42  And his fruits were encircled, and he started wringing his hands in regret over all that he had invested in it, while it lay in ruins on their trellises. He said, “I wish I had not associated anyone with my Lord.”
18:43  There was no party to assist him against God, nor was he capable of helping himself.
18:44  All sovereignty belongs only to God, the Truth. He is the best at rewarding and the best at determining outcomes.
18:45  And give them an example of the life of this world: it’s like water that We send down from the sky, absorbed by the earth’s plants, and it becomes chaff that winds scatter. God has the power over all things.
18:46  Wealth and children are the embellishments of worldly life. But the enduring righteous deeds hold more outstanding merit with your Lord, both in reward and hope.
18:47  On the Day when We set the mountains in motion, and you see the earth laid bare, We will gather them all, not leaving a single one of them behind.
18:48  They will be presented before your Lord: “You’ve come to Us as We first created you. Yet you assumed We wouldn’t set a date for you.”
18:49  The document will be placed, and you’ll see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will lament, “Woe to us! What kind of document is this that omits nothing, small or large, but takes it into account?” They will find everything they did present. Your Lord doesn’t wrong anyone.
18:50  When We commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam, they all did, except for Iblis. He belonged to jinn and deviated from his Lord’s command. Will you then take him and his offspring as allies, even though they are your enemies? What a terrible substitute for the wrongdoers!
18:51  I didn’t make them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation. I don’t take misleaders as helpers.
18:52  On that Day, He will say, “Call upon those you claimed were My partners.” They will call upon them, but they won’t answer them. We put a gap between them.
18:53  The wrongdoers will see the Fire, and realize they are about to fall into it. They will find no deliverance from it.
18:54  In this Quran, We present various parables for people, yet man is the most argumentative being.
18:55  What prevents people from believing and seeking their Lord’s forgiveness when the guidance comes to them? Unless the precedent of the ancients comes to them, or the torment comes to them face to face?
18:56  We send messengers only as bearers of good news and as warners. Yet, those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they treat My signs and warnings as a joke.
18:57  Who is more unjust than the one who, when reminded of his Lord’s verses, turns away from them, and forgets what his hands have put forth? We place covers over their hearts, so they don’t understand it, and deafness in their ears. Even if you call them for guidance, they will never be guided at all.
18:58  Your Lord is the Forgiving, the Possessor of Mercy. If He were to call them to account for what they’ve earned, He would accelerate their punishment. But they have an appointed time from which they will find no escape.
18:59  And those cities—We destroyed them when they wronged, and We set a fixed time for their destruction.
18:60  When Moses said to his young servant, “I won’t give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if it takes me a long time.”
18:61  When they reached their junction, they forgot their fish, which took its course into the sea, slipping away.
18:62  As they journeyed, he told his companion, “Bring us our lunch; we’ve experienced hardship on this journey.”
18:63  He replied, “Do you remember when we rested by the rock? I forgot about the fish. Only Satan made me forget to remember it. Amazingly, it made its way into the sea.”
18:64  He said, “That’s what we were seeking!” So they returned following their footsteps.
18:65  Then they came across one of Our servants, to whom We had given mercy from Us and taught knowledge from Us.
18:66  Moses asked him, “May I follow you, so that you may teach me some of the righteousness you were taught?”
18:67  He answered, “You won’t be able to endure with me patiently.
18:68  How could you endure things that you don’t understand?”
18:69  He responded, “If God wills, you’ll find me patient, and I won’t disobey any of your instructions.”
18:70  He said, “If you are determined to follow me, then don’t question me about anything until I choose to explain it to you.”
18:71  They set out, until, when they embarked on the boat, he made a hole in it. He exclaimed, “Did you make a hole in it to drown its passengers? You did a strange thing!”
18:72  He replied, “Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t bear with me patiently?”
18:73  He responded, “Don’t reprimand me for forgetting, and don’t be harsh with me.”
18:74  They journeyed on. Upon encountering a boy, he killed him. He questioned, “Did you kill an innocent soul who hadn’t taken another’s life? You did a terrible thing!”
18:75  He replied, “Didn’t I tell you that you couldn’t bear with me patiently?”
18:76  He said, “If I question you about anything after this, don’t keep me in your company. You’ve already received enough excuses from me.”
18:77  They journeyed on. Upon reaching a town, they asked its residents for food, but they denied them hospitality. There, they found a wall that was about to collapse, which he repaired. He commented, “If you had wished, you could’ve demanded a fee for it.”
18:78  He said, “This is where we part ways. I am going to make known to you the interpretation of those things over which you couldn’t hold patience.
18:79  As for the boat, it belonged to impoverished people working at sea. I intended to damage it because a king was approaching who was seizing every boat by force.
18:80  As for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared he would overwhelm them with rebellion and disbelief.
18:81  So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange someone better in purity and closer in mercy.
18:82  As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and beneath it was a treasure that was theirs. Their father was righteous, and your Lord intended for them to reach maturity and retrieve their treasure. I didn’t act of my own accord. This is the interpretation of that over which you couldn’t be patient.”
18:83  They ask you about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, “I will narrate a portion of his story to you.”
18:84  We established him on earth, and We gave him from everything a way.
18:85  He then continued his journey.
18:86  Upon reaching the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a vast muddy spring, and he found a people there. We said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, you can either punish or treat them with kindness.”
18:87  He answered, “As for those who commit wrongdoings, we will punish them. Then, they will be returned to their Lord, subjecting them to an even more severe punishment.
18:88  However, those who believe and perform righteous deeds will receive the finest rewards, we will command them in an easy way.”
18:89  He then proceeded with his journey.
18:90  Upon reaching the rising point of the sun, he found it rising over a people for whom We had not provided any form of protection against it.
18:91  We had comprehensive knowledge of all that he encountered during his journey.
18:92  Subsequently, he embarked on another expedition.
18:93  Upon reaching a pass between two mountains, he encountered people who barely understood his language.
18:94  They implored, “O Dhul-Qarnayn, Gog, and Magog are wreaking havoc in the land; could we possibly compensate you to build a barrier between us and them?’
18:95  He replied, “The strength my Lord has granted me is sufficient. Assist me, and I will erect a fortification between you and them.”
18:96  “Bring me blocks of iron.” Until, when he had leveled between the two cliffs, he ordered, “Light it up!” Once it glowed red-hot, he directed, “Bring me molten copper to pour over it.”
18:97  As a result, they were unable to scale it or to tunnel through it.
18:98  He declared, “This is a mercy from my Lord. However, when my Lord’s promise is fulfilled, He will reduce it to rubble. The promise of my Lord is always true.”
18:99  On that Day, We will let them surge like waves into each other. Then the Trumpet will be blown, and We will gather them all together.
18:100  On that Day, We will present Hell to the unbelievers in plain view.
18:101  Those who were blind to My remembrance and couldn’t hear.
18:102  Do those who disbelieve presume they can take My servants as protectors instead of Me? We prepared Hell as a reception for the unbelievers.
18:103  Say, “Shall we inform you of who will be the greatest losers in respect to their deeds?”
18:104  “Those whose efforts in this worldly life are misguided, while they assume themselves to be doing well in work.”
18:105  These are the ones who denied their Lord’s signs and the meeting with Him. Therefore, their deeds are worthless, and We won’t assign any weight to them on Resurrection Day.
18:106  Their compensation will be Hell, because of their disbelief and mockery of My verses and messengers.
18:107  As for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, they will have the Gardens of Paradise as their place of hospitality.
18:108  There, they will reside eternally, with no desire for relocation.
18:109  Say, “If the ocean were ink for my Lord’s words, the ocean would run out, before my Lord’s words run out,” even if we replenished it with another like it.
18:110  Say, “I am only a human like you, revealed to me that your God is One God. Whoever is hopeful for the meeting with his Lord, let him act righteously, and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.”