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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by Syed Vickar Ahamed

Syed Vickar Ahamed rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
18:1 All Praises (and thanks) are due to Allah, Who has sent down to His Servant (the Prophet) the Book (the Quran), and has permitted no unevenness (or crookedness) in it:
18:2 (He has made it) Straight (and Clear) so that He may warn (the disbelievers) of the terrible punishment from Him, and that He may give the good news to the believers who do righteous deeds, that they will have a (very) suitable reward,
18:3 Where they will remain (in joy) forever:
18:4 Also, that He may warn those who say, "Allah has begotten (fathered) a son (or a child):"
18:5 They have no knowledge of such a thing, nor did their fathers. It is a serious (and painful) thing that comes from their mouths as a saying. What they say is nothing but lies!
18:6 Perhaps you will only sadden yourself to death, in case (you are) following after them, in grief, if they do not believe in this Message.
18:7 Verily, whatever is on earth, We have made it only as a shining show for the earth. So that We may test them— As to which (ones) of them are best in conduct.
18:8 And surely, whatever is on earth We shall reduce it only to dust and dried soil.
18:9 Do you think that the companions of the Cave (located near the town of Aylah) and of the Writings (on a stone Tablet) were wonders among Our Signs?
18:10 When the young men took themselves (in hiding) to the Cave: They said, "Our Lord! Grant upon us mercy from Yourself, and take care of things (in our lives) for us in the right way!"
18:11 Therefore We drew (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they did not hear):
18:12 Then We woke them, so as to test which of the two groups was better at calculating the number of years they had slept away!
18:13 We let you know their story in (all) truth: Truly, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We forwarded them in guidance:
18:14 And We affirmed (the courage in) their hearts: And they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: We shall never call upon any god other than Him: If we did, we would have truly said extreme wickedness!
18:15 "These (people,) our people, they have taken gods other than Him for worship: Why do they not show an authority which is clear (and convincing) for what they do? And who do more wrong than those who invent a lie against Allah?
18:16 "And when you turn away from them (the people) and the things they worship other than Allah; Come up yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will bless His mercy on you and take care of things (in your lives) towards comfort and ease."
18:17 And you would have seen the sun, when it rose, down below to the right (side) from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left while they lay in the open space in the middle of the Cave (thus keeping them cool). These are from the Signs of Allah: He whom Allah guides is rightly guided; But he whom Allah leaves to wander (aimlessly)— For him will you find no protector (to lead him to the Right Way).
18:18 And you would have thought they were awake, while they were (actually) sleeping, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: And their dog spreading out his two front legs at the entrance: If you had (just accidentally) found them, you would have truly turned back from them to run away (in flight), and (you) would truly have been filled with fear of them.
18:19 * Such (being their condition), We woke them up (from their sleep), that they may question each other. One of them said, "How long have you stayed (here)?” They said, "We (might) have stayed a day, or part of a day." (At the end), they (all) said, "Allah (alone) knows best how long you have stayed here... Now then you send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town: And let him find out which is the best food (to eat) and bring some of that (food) to you, so that (you may) satisfy your hunger with it: And let him act with care and courtesy, and let him not inform anyone about you. [* —Most scholars affirm that Nisf-ul-Quran (i.e., the middle of the Quran) is in this holy verse.]
18:20 "Because if they should find you, they would stone you to death (for believing in your Lord) and force you to return to their (ways of) worship; And then you will never gain prosperity."
18:21 Thus We made their story known to the people, that they might know that the Promise of Allah is true, and that there may be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. (Remember) they argued within about their affair. (Some) said, "Construct a building over them:" Their Lord knows best about them: Then those who were in control over their affair said, "Surely, let us build a place of worship over them."
18:22 (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.
18:23 And do not say about anything, "I shall surely do this and this tomorrow"—
18:24 Without (also saying), "If Allah so wills!" And call your Lord to mind when you forget, and say, "I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road."
18:25 And they (the Sleepers) stayed in their Cave three hundred years, adding nine (more).
18:26 (O Prophet!) say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed: With Him is (the knowledge of) the secrets of the heavens and of the earth: How clearly He sees, how finely He hears! They have no protector other than Him; And He does not share His command and His rule with anyone (whomsoever)."
18:27 And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to you (O Prophet,) from the Book of your Lord: None can change His Words, and you will find none as a protector except Him.
18:28 And keep your soul (O Prophet,) restful with those who call on (pray to) their Lord morning and afternoon, looking for His face; And do not let your eyes go beyond them, looking for the show and shine of this life; And do not listen to any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, and one who follows his own wishes, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.
18:29 And say: "The Truth is from your Lord:" Then let him who will, believe (in it), and let him who will, reject (it): Verily, for the wrongdoers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will close them in: And if they beg for relief they will be given water like molten brass, that will burn their faces. How dreadful is the drink! And how uncomfortable a couch to lie on!
18:30 Surely, for those who believe and work righteousness, certainly, We shall not let the reward die for any who do (even) a (single) righteous deed.
18:31 (For) these! For them will be the Gardens of Eternity; Under which rivers will flow therein: They will be beautified in there with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green clothes of fine silk and heavily decorated cloth; They will lie in there on raised thrones. How good the reward and repayment! How beautiful a couch to lie on!
18:32 And present to them the example of two men: For one of them We gave two gardens of grape-vines and surrounded them with palm trees; In between the two We placed corn-fields.
18:33 Each of the gardens grew its crops, and did not fail even a little in it (the crops) in the middle of them We caused a river to flow.
18:34 The crops were (large enough) that this man had: He said to his companion (the other man), during a mutual argument: "I am more in wealth and sons (men to follow) than you,"
18:35 He went into his garden in a state (of mind) unfair to his soul: He said, "I do not think that this (garden) will ever wither away,
18:36 "And I do not think that the Hour (of Judgment) will (ever) come: Even if I am brought back to my Lord, I shall surely find (there) something better in exchange than this (what I have)."
18:37 His companion said to him, during the argument with him: "Do you reject Him Who created you from dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then made you into a man?
18:38 "But on for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord, and I shall not associate (anyone or anything as a ‘partner’) with my Lord.
18:39 "It was better for you to say, as you went into your garden: ‘Allah’s Will (will be done)! There is no power except with Allah!’ If you do see me less than you in wealth and sons,
18:40 "It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and that He will send thunderbolts onto your garden from the sky, (by the way of warning) from heaven, making it slippery sand!
18:41 "Or the water of the garden will run off underground so that you will never be able to find it."
18:42 So his fruit (and joy) were surrounded (by ruin) and he remained twisting and turning his hands over what he had spent for his property, which had (now) fallen to pieces to its very foundations, and he could only say, "Shame upon me! If I had never given partners to my Lord and Cherisher!"
18:43 And he did not have number (of his men) to help him against Allah, and he was not able to save himself.
18:44 There, the (only) protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the Best to reward, and the Best to give success.
18:45 Present to them the similitude of the life of this world: It is like the rain which We send down from the sky: And the earth's vegetation absorbs it, but soon it becomes fresh and green (but) later it becomes dry and short sticks, which the winds spread about: And it is (only) Allah, Who has the Power and Ability (Muqhtadir) to do all things.
18:46 Wealth and sons are (only) desires and temptations in the life of this world: But the things that last, good deeds with your Lord, are the best as (the basis for all) reward and hopes.
18:47 And (remember), the Day We shall remove the mountains, and you will see the earth as a level field, and We shall gather them, all together, and We shall not leave out even one of them.
18:48 And they will be brought up before your Lord in ranks (Allah will say): "Now you have come to Us as We had created you the first time: Yes, you thought We shall not fulfill the appointment made for you to meet (Us)!"
18:49 And the Book (of deeds) will be placed (before you); And you will see the criminals in great fear because of what is (written) in there; They will say, "Woe (sorrow) to us! What a book this is! It does not leave out anything small or big, but takes account of it (in there)!" And they will find all that they did, present and placed (in writing) before them: And your Lord will not treat even one with injustice.
18:50 And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam:" So they (all) bowed except Iblis (Satan). He was one of the (chief) jinns', and he (willfully) disobeyed the command of his Lord. Will you then take him and his progeny (and his klan) as (your) protectors rather than Me? While they (the klan of Satans) are enemies to you! Evil will be the exchange for the evildoers!
18:51 I did not call them to see the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor (even) their own creation: And it is not for Me to take as helpers those who lead (men) astray!
18:52 And (remember) the Day, when He will say, "Call on those whom you thought to be My 'partners', " and (when) they will call on them, but they will not listen, and We shall make for them a (common) place of endless sorrow.
18:53 And the criminals shall see the Fire and know that they have to fall in there: And they will not find any way to turn away from it.
18:54 And indeed, We have explained in detail in this Quran, for the benefit of mankind, every kind of similarity: But in most things, man is opposing.
18:55 And what is there to keep back men from believing, now that (Allah’s) Guidance has come to them, and from praying for forgiveness from their Lord, except that (they like) the ways of the old be repeated with them, or the punishment (of Allah) be brought to them face to face?
18:56 And We only send the messengers to give good news, and to give warnings: But the disbelievers dispute with useless argument, so as to weaken the truth with it, and treat My Signs as a joke, as also the fact that they are warned!
18:57 And who does more wrong than one who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting the (actions) that his hands have sent forth? Surely, We have put veils over their hearts in case they should understand this, and over their ears, deafness. If you call them to guidance, even then they will never accept guidance.
18:58 And your Lord is Most Forgiving (Ghafoor), Owner of Mercy. If He were to call them (now) to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment: But they have their fixed time, after which they will have no place to hide.
18:59 And such were the peoples, We destroyed when they committed injustices; But We fixed a definite time for their destruction.
18:60 And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his servant-boy: "I will not stop until I reach the Junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travel."
18:61 But when they reached the Junction of two seas, they forgot their Fish, which made its way through the sea (straight) as if (it was) in a tunnel.
18:62 When they had traveled (some more), he (Musa, Moses) said to his attendant: "Bring us our early meal; Truly, we have suffered much fatigue at this (time in) our journey."
18:63 He replied: "Do you remember (what happened) when we took ourselves to the rock? Truly, I did forget the fish: None but Satan made me forget to tell (you) about it: It made its way through the sea in a marvelous way!"
18:64 [Musa (Moses)] said: "That was what we were searching for:" So they went back on their (own) footsteps, following (the way that they had come).
18:65 Then they found one (of the wise men) on whom We had bestowed Mercy from Ourselves and whom We had given knowledge from Our Own Presence.
18:66 Musa (Moses) said to him (the wise man, Khidr): "May I follow you, with the intention that you may teach me something of the (greater) Truth which you have been taught (by Allah)?"
18:67 (The wise one) said: "Surely, you will not be able to have patience with me!
18:68 "And how can you have patience about things about which your understanding is not complete?"
18:69 [Musa (Moses)] said: "You will find me (really) patient: If Allah so wishes, and I will not disobey you even a little."
18:70 The other said: "If then you were to follow me, do not ask me any questions about anything until I, myself speak to you about it."
18:71 So they both proceeded on: Until, when they boarded in the boat, (and) he (Khidr) damaged it.; [Musa (Moses)] said: "Have you damaged it in order to drown those in it? Truly a strange thing have you done!"
18:72 He (Khidr) answered: "Did I not tell you that you will not be able to have patience with me?"
18:73 [Musa (Moses)] said: "Do not be angry with me for forgetting, nor make me sad by causing difficulties on my part."
18:74 Then they proceeded further: Until, when they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: "Have you killed an innocent person who has killed no one? Truly a wicked thing have you done!"
18:75 He answered: "Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?"
18:76 He (Musa) said: "If ever I ask you about anything after this, do not keep me in your company: Then you would have received (full) reason from my side.”
18:77 Then they proceeded further: Until, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to have them as guests. Then they found there a wall almost falling down, but he put it up straight. (Musa) said: "If you wanted, surely you could have asked for some repayment (wages) for it!"
18:78 (Khidr) answered: "This is the separation between me and you: Now I tell you the meanings of (those things) over which you were not able to have patience.
18:79 "As for the boat, it belonged to certain men who were in great need: They used (it) for working the sea: I only wished to make it useless (temporarily), because, after them was a certain king who took over (seized) every boat by force.
18:80 "As for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would dishearten (and offend) them by (bitter and) prolonged revolt and by disbelief (to Allah).
18:81 "So we wanted that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) with more purity (of actions) and closer (to them) in (his) affection.
18:82 "And as for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans in the Town; Beneath it, there is a buried treasure, to which they were entitled; Their father had been a righteous man: So your Lord wanted that they should reach their age of full strength and (then) get out their treasure— As a mercy (and gift) from your Lord. And I did not do it of my own accord. This is the meaning of (the things) over which you were not able to hold patience."
18:83 (O Prophet!) They ask you about Zul-Qarnain, (generally interpreted as Alexander, the great or Sikandhar-e-Aaz’m). Say, "I will recite to you some of his story."
18:84 Surely, We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ability to do everything.
18:85 One (such) way he followed (to do),
18:86 Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it set in a pool of murky water: And near it he found a people: We said: "O Zul-Qarnain! You either punish them or treat them with kindness."
18:87 He said: "As to whoever does wrong, (only) him shall we punish; And then he shall be sent back to his Lord; And He will punish him (the wrong-doer) with severe punishment.
18:88 "But as to whoever believes, and work righteousness— He shall have a good reward, and his task we (Zul-Qarnain) order will be easy by our command."
18:89 Then he followed (another) way,
18:90 Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We (Allah) had provided no protection against the sun.
18:91 (He left them) as they were, (and) We completely understood what was before him.
18:92 Then he followed (yet another) way,
18:93 Until, when he reached (a valley) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a (primitive) people who did not understand a word.
18:94 They said: "O Zul-Qarnain! Verily, the Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog) do great mischief on the earth: Shall we pay you the tribute and honor if you may build a wall between us and them?"
18:95 He said: "(The power) that my Lord has placed in me is better (than honor): So help me with strength (and work): I will build a strong wall between you and them:
18:96 "Bring me blocks of iron;" At length, when he had filled the space between the two steep mountain-sides, he said, "Blow (with your bellows into the fire.)" Then, when he had made them (red) as fire; He said: "Bring me the molten lead, that I may pour over them."
18:97 Thus they (Gog and Magog) were made helpless to climb it (the wall) or to dig through it.
18:98 He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will bring it (the wall) into dust on the ground; And the Promise of my Lord is true."
18:99 And on that Day, We shall leave them (Gog and Magog) to climb like waves one upon another: And the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall bring them (the creatures) all together.
18:100 And on that Day We shall give Hell for disbelievers to see, all spread out (for them)—
18:101 (To the disbelievers) whose eyes were under a cover from remembering Me, and who had been unable even to hear (the divine call).
18:102 Do the disbelievers then think that they can take My servants as protectors besides Me? Surely, We have prepared Hell for the disbelievers for (their) entertainment.
18:103 Say: "Shall We tell you of the greatest losers because of their deeds?
18:104 "Those whose actions were wasted in this life, while they thought that they were acquiring good by their works?"
18:105 They are those who reject the Signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him (in the Hereafter): Useless will be their works, nor shall We, on the Day of Judgment, give them any consideration.
18:106 That is their reward, Hell; Because they rejected Faith, and took My Signs and My messengers as a joke.
18:107 Verily as to those who believe and do righteous deeds, they have, for their pleasure, the Gardens of Paradise,
18:108 Where they shall live (for ever): They will wish for no change from them.
18:109 Say: "If the ocean were ink (to write with), the words of (Praise for) my Lord, sooner would the ocean be dry than would the words of my Lord would be finished, even if We added another ocean like it, for its help."
18:110 Say: "I am only a man like yourselves, (but) the revelation has come to me that, your God is the One God (Allah): So whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and associate not in the worship of his Lord, anyone as a ‘partner’."


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