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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by Bijan Moeinian

Bijan Moeinian rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
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18:1 Mankind should be thankful to God Who sent this Qur’an through His servant Mohammad and made His points in it sound and clear.
18:2 Qur’an is a straight forward book revealed to warn the disbeliever of a terrible punishment waiting for them as well as a generous reward for those believers who have chosen a God pleasing way of life and do good deeds.
18:3 The latter will live in Paradise forever.
18:4 Qur’an is revealed to warn a terrible punishment for those who believe God has begotten a son.
18:5 Those who believe that God has begotten a son, nor they fathers who taught them such a none sense, do not know what they are talking about. They are simply putting a few words together to make a sentence. God hereby declares that: “Saying God has begotten a son is nothing but a lie.”
18:6 O’ Mohammad I (God) understand your frustration that makes you so depressed when you see these people turn down God’s own word (Qur’an).
18:7 I (God) created the world as a place to test mankind and to reward those who are not enchanted by the glitter of the worldly life.
18:8 One day, I will turn this glittering world (that the materialistic people are in love with so much) into a lifeless desert like planet.
18:9 Whey then do you think I am reading the story of the “People of the Cave and people of Inscription” to you? They were among My greatest miracles.
18:10 When those youth took refuge in the cave (probably fleeing a persecution), they implored: “Lord, please have mercy on us and relieve us from our troubles.”
18:11 I answered their prayer and put them to a comma for several years.
18:12 Then I brought them back to life and let them guess how long they have been sleeping.
18:13 This is the true story of some youth who put their faith in the hand of their Lord.
18:14 I gave them the strength so that they stand up (against the pagans of Ephesus in Asia Minor, who were worshipping goddess Diana) and say: “We bear witness that God is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never adopt another lord beside Him; It will be very indecent of us to do so.”
18:15 Then they consulted among themselves and said: “What a shame that our people worship others beside God. If only they could come up with any proof to justify their behavior. After all, who is more wicked than the one who fabricates lies and pretends that they are revealed by God?”
18:16 “Now that we have denounced them (and have decided to worship none but the Lord,) let us hide ourselves in a cave. My our Lord have mercy on us (protect us from our persecutors) and make it easy for us.”
18:17 While they fell asleep in the cave, you could not have seen them in the cave as the sun declined to the right from their cave in sunrise and to the left in the sunset. This was definitely a miracle of your Lord [which was meant to assist them in their hiding. This is mentioned so that you] Know that whoever the Lord guides, is truly guided, and whoever is deprived of His guidance, will never find a guiding teacher.
18:18 If you had seen them, it would have appeared to you as if they were awake, when they were in fact asleep. I was making them to turn to their right sides and to their left sides. As to their dog, he was stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance of the cave. If you (or anybody else) had seen them, you would have been frightened and run away.
18:19 When I woke them up, one of them asked: “How long have we been sleeping?” The others replied: “Who knows, perhaps a day or so …
18:20 only God knows. Now someone should volunteer to go to the town and get a good food for this silver coin, while taking all precautionary measures so that none know about our hide-out place. If our persecutors find us, they will either stone us or force us to join them in disbelief, which, in that case, we will loose our chance to succeed.”
18:21 Thus (when the man went to the city) I revealed their secret (which they, themselves, had not discovered yet) to every one in town (who had embraced Christianity while they were sleeping for some two hundred years) so that they know that the Lord’s promise (about the Resurrection) is nothing but the truth. Then people started to dispute about what they should do with their bodies (when they died shortly after.) Some (the true believers) said: “Let us construct a building over them (and leave them in peace) as this is the Lord’s business. The others (who succeeded in imposing their opinion) said: “Let us build a place of worship over them.”
18:22 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.”
18:23 Never say that you will do such and such thing without mentioning: “God willing.” If you forget to do this, you must immediately apologize to your Lord and …
18:24 say: “May my Lord help me not to forget to mention “God willing” next time.”
18:25 Some say, The Refugees in the Cave spend (solar) years ([lunar] year and 9 months) in the cave.
18:26 Say: “Only God knows exactly how many years they were in the cave. He knows every secret of the unseen, the heavens and the earth. He has the perfect sight and hearing capability. As a matter of fact, there is no guardian for the disbelievers besides Him as He does not let anyone to intervene in His passing the judgment.
18:27 You shall recite the words of God knowing that God has decreed that none can falsify Qur’an. Keep in mind that God is your only source of refuge.
18:28 Stay with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking His closeness. Do not turn your eyes away from the worshippers, looking at those who seek the vanities of this world (as you may be attracted towards those vanities.) Do not follow those whom I have made neglecting My remembrance. After all, the one who follows his desires and is heavily involved with his own affairs is lost.
18:29 Say: “The truth is revealed to you by your Lord; let those who believe in Him follow it and those who disbelieve, disregard it. The disbelievers will be surrounded by the Fire that God has prepared for them. If these unjust people beg for relief, they will receive none but a boiling oil thrown at their faces. What a terrible thing to drink; what a terrible place to end up in.”
18:30 As for those who believe and do nothing but good, I will not let go waste their reward.
18:31 They will have their shares of the gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow underneath. They will be given the bracelets of gold and the garments made of thick fine silk. They will recline on comfortable furniture. What a wonderful reward and a wonderful place to live in.
18:32 Tell them the story of two friends that I had blessed one with two gardens of grapes (and all kind of crops) surrounded by date palms.
18:33 A river was passing through his gardens which would insure the highest level of production.
18:34 Being so proud of his “accomplishment”, he said to his friend: “See how much more respectful and wealthier I am compared to you.”
18:35 While entering his gardens, being so unjust, he continued: “I have made it forever.”
18:36 Then he continued: “To be honest with you, I do not think there is any Hereafter. But if, for the sake of argument, I ever return to my Lord, I will get even better than this.”
18:37 His friend replied: “Shame on you; Do you disbelieve in Him Who originally created you from the earth, then raised you from a tiny embryo into a grown up man?”
18:38 “I bear witness that God is my Lord and that I will never set up any other god beside Him.”
18:39 “When you entered your garden (instead of saying those words of pride), you should have said: “What a blessing from the Lord. Indeed there is no power beside the power of the Lord.” You are right; I do not have as much wealth and as many children as you have. But my Lord may shower me with better than your gardens. …
18:40 Do not forget that He may send a storm to destroy your gardens, turning them into a useless land.”
18:41 “He may also order your water to sink deep, out of your reach.”
18:42 Eventually, when he saw the result of his efforts being turned into a useless land, he was overwhelmed with sadness and sorrow and said: “I wish I had never worshipped another god (referring to himself) beside the Lord.”
18:43 There was none to help him against the Lord, nor could he save himself.
18:44 Know that the only protection comes from God, the True One. His reward is the best and the best destiny is He Himself.
18:45 Let them know that the man’s life in this world is similar to the (short) life of the plants. When I send the rain, the plants grow up. After a while, however, they dry up and are blown away by the wind. See how God is capable of doing everything (meaning: God can take what He has blessed you with, the same way that He turns the plants into hay.)
18:46 Your wealth and children are nothing but the vanities of this world. What really counts is your good deeds which raises you expectations for the Lord’s reward.
18:47 The Day will come that I will wipe out the mountains flatten the earth. Then I will summon them (disbelievers as well as the believers) without any exception.
18:48 They will stand in front of your lords in a row. Then I will say: “Now back to when I created you. This is what you claimed will never take place.
18:49 When their recorded life is presented, you will see how the criminals dread its content. They will say: “Pity on us. What kind of recording device is this that does not leave even the least deeds of ours left out? When they face their deeds in person, they will realize that your Lord wrongs no one the least.
18:50 Recall when I asked the angels to prostrate to Adam. They all obeyed. Satan, however, who was a Jinn (not a human nor an angel) disregarded his Lord’s Command. Do you then take him and his off springs as your lords rather than Me while knowing that they are your enemies? How unjust of you to treat yourselves like this.
18:51 They (Satan and his companions) were not present when I created the heavens and the earth; they were not present when I created themselves either. I do not take those who mislead the others as My helper.
18:52 On the Day of Judgment, I will ask the disbelievers to call upon those whom they assumed to be My partners . They will do so but there will be no response. They will find a thick barrier separating them from each other.
18:53 The guilty ones will see the Fire and understand that soon they will fall into it, yet they cannot escape the inescapable.
18:54 In this Qur’an, I have used so many examples to warn the human beings, yet man is such an argumentative creature.
18:55 The only thing that prevented man from believing and asking for forgiveness (when the guidance was presented to them) was their insistence upon the miracles (which did not change the disbelievers’ attitude in the past) or seeing the Lord’s punishment beforehand (which naturally would have been the end.)
18:56 I sent the messengers to simply deliver the good news (about the existence of Paradise) and to warn the people (about the Hell.) The disbelievers, in response have recourse to the most irrational arguments in order to reject the truth and to treat My Revelations as a joke.
18:57 Who is more unjust to his own soul than the one who turns away when to him the Revelations of the Lord is being presented? Such person forgets the evil end to which he has prepared the way with his own hands (deeds.) Such an attitude creates a shield around such a person’s heart preventing him from further understanding the truth. Therefore, no matter how much you try to guide them, they can never be guided.
18:58 How Forgiving and Merciful of your Lord not to destroy them on the spot. He allows them to finish their pre-destined life span and, then, subjects them to their inescapable punishment.
18:59 Thus I destroyed many towns (Sodom, Gomorrah, etc.) after having given ample time to its unjust people.
18:60 Now let us talk about Moses when he said to his young follower (who he was does not have any importance in this story): “I am determined to reach the junction of the two river (the place has no importance either), even though I have to travel for several years [to meet the man whom God has assigned to teach me a few lessons.)
18:61 When they reached the point [where they were supposed to meet the wise man,] they totally forgot about the fish that they were carrying. The fish, thus jumped into the water and disappeared.
18:62 When they passed the appointed point, Moses said to his company: “Let us take a lunch break as this trip has exhausted us.”
18:63 The young man replied: “Something strange happened when we took a break back there by the rock. The Satan made me to forget looking after the fish and it should have strangely jumped into the water.
18:64 Moses said: “That was [the sign revealed by God to indicate] the place we were looking for. Therefore, they retraced their footsteps back.
18:65 There they found one of My servants (probably Prophet Khizr) whom I had blessed with knowledge.
18:66 Muses said to the man: “May I follow you so that you may teach me some of the wisdom that God has blessed you with?”
18:67 The man replied: “You will not patient enough to bear with me….
18:68 After all, how can you be patient about something that you do not know anything about it?” (try to attend a lecture that you do not know nothing about the subject matter and see how patient you are.)
18:69 Moses replied: “ Please indulge me. God willing I will be patient and will not disobey you.”
18:70 The wise man said: “You may follow me on one condition: Do not ask the wisdom behind my behavior. I will tell you myself later!”
18:71 So they went. When they boarded a boat, the man made a hole in it. Moses said: “Why do you want to drawn the people? What a terrible thing to do.”
18:72 The wise man replied: “Did I not tell you that you are not patient enough to bear with me?”
18:73 Moses said: “Forgive me having forgotten it. Please do not be hard upon me.”
18:74 Then they continued their journey until they met a young man. Suddenly, the wise man killed him! Moses said: “Why did you kill an innocent man who had not done no harm to anyone? What a horrible thing to do.”
18:75 The wise man replied: “Did I not tell you that you are not patient enough to bear with me?”
18:76 Moses said: “ I apologize again. If I reproach you again, then get rid of me.”
18:77 They went on till they reached a village. They ask the people for food but they found them not so hospitable. Soon they found a wall about to collapse. The wise man took upon himself to fix the wall. Moses said: “You should have asked a wage for what you did (so that we could buy some food.)”
18:78 The wise man said: “Enough is enough. We have to separate our ways here. But let me explain to you why I did what I did.”
18:79 “The ship [that I made defective] belonged to a bunch of poor fishermen. There was a king passing by his army who was confiscating every boat [for the use in his army.]”
18:80 “As for the boy, I knew that he will become a big burden for his good believing parents by being rebellious and choosing the disbelief. …
18:81 It was the will of the Lord to replace him with a better, more righteous, and kinder son.”
18:82 “As for the wall, that property belonged to two orphan boys. Under that wall there was a treasure hidden by their father. As the father was a good man, your Lord, out of His mercy, wanted them to discover it, when they would grow up and being capable of managing it. I did not do nothing on my own. Now you understand the wisdom behind the happening of the events that you did not have patience to stand.”
18:83 They will ask you about Zulgharnain (Double honored man; most probably Cyrus, king of Persia who freed the Jews from the Babylonian tyranny. It may as well be a Prophet sent to a lost American civilization!) Say: “Here is a short story of him.”
18:84 I (God) gave him all kind of means and tools to establish his authority on the earth.
18:85 Then He (started to expand his kingdom and) moved to the far west and saw the sun setting in a vast ocean. He found a nation there. I revealed to him: “You may rule as you wish. …
18:86 If you want, punish them (for their wrongdoings and style of life) or (forgive their past behavior and) rule them with kindness.”
18:87 He declared: “Those who continue wrongdoings, will be punished and sent to the Lord (Who, in turn, will punish them severely.”
18:88 “As for those who choose to believe and lead a righteous life, theirs will be a good reward and I will treat them kindly.”
18:89 Then he made preparation for another expedition and traveled till he came to a place when sun rises (from the ocean) and saw a people for whom….
18:90 I had not prepared any [natural] protection (such as a hill or the trees, etc., i.e. a barren desert) against the sun.
18:91 I (God) know well what he was doing (therefore, this is a true story.)
18:92 Then he took another way and marched on till he reached a valley ….
18:93 whose inhabitants barely understood a word.
18:94 They somehow explained their concern about “Gog” and “Magog” and said: “They are hurting us a lot; will you accept money form us for building a wall between them and us?”
18:95 He replied: “What God has given me is much better than the money you are offering me. Just help me with your labor and I will build a barrier between you and them.”
18:96 “Now bring me masses of iron, blow heat on it till it turns red and then pour melted copper on top of it.”
18:97 ….Thus he built a dam (as a barrier between the two parties involved) that they could neither climb it nor make a hole in it.
18:98 Then he worshipped the Lord saying: “See how merciful is my lord. This wall will be leveled on the Day of Resurrection which will surely happen as promised by the Lord.”
18:99 Yes; on that Day (Gog and Magog will come out and) I will let loose the people to come close together (like the waves;) then the horn will be blown, and I will summon them all together.
18:100 Then I will present Hell to the disbelievers…
18:101 those who were blind to see My Message and deaf to hear It.
18:102 Do the disbelievers really believe that they can get away with worshipping My servants (the king, the boss, the woman, etc) instead of Me? I have prepared Hell to welcome them.
18:103 Say: “Do you want to know who the worst losers are?“
18:104 “They are the ones who think what they are doing is good and that all their good deeds are nullified.”
18:105 The works of those who deny the Revelations of the Lord and meeting Him, are in vain. On the Day of Judgment, I will not take into consideration their good works at all.
18:106 Their reward for disregarding My Revelations and mocking at My Prophets will be the same Hell that they used to deny its existence.
18:107 As for those who choose to believe and do good deeds, they will be entertained in the Gardens of Paradise.
18:108 They will live in the Heaven forever and will never have any desire to leave it.
18:109 Say: “If the oceans were ink for [writing] the Words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord would be finished. Even doubling the ocean would not be enough.”
18:110 Say: “I am only a man like you to whom God has revealed that: There is only One God. Whoever wishes to meet Him, must do good deeds and worship none but his Lord.”


   


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