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al-Kahf (The Cave)
as rendered by N J Dawood (draft)

N J Dawood (draft) rendition of Surah The Cave(al-Kahf)
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18:1 PRAISE be to God who has revealed the Book to His servant shorn of contradictions
18:2 and unswerving from the truth, so that he may give warning of a dire scourge from Himself, proclaim to the faithful who do good works that a rich
18:3 and everlasting recompense awaits them,
18:4 and admonish those who say that God has begotten a son.
18:5 Surely of this they could have no knowledge, neither they nor their fathers: a monstrous blasphemy is that which they utter. They preach nothing but falsehood.
18:6 Yet, if they deny this revelation, you may destroy yourself with grief, sorrowing over them.
18:7 We have decked the earth with all manner of ornaments to test mankind and to see who would acquit himself best.
18:8 But We will surely reduce all that is on it to barren dust.
18:9 Did you think the Sleepers of the Cave [1] and Al–Raqim [2] a wonder among Our signs?
18:10 When the youths sought refuge in the Cave, they said: 'Lord, have mercy on us and guide us through our ordeal.'
18:11 We made them sleep in the cave for many years,
18:12 and then awakened them to find out who could best tell the length of their stay.
18:13 We shall recount to you their story in all truth. They were young men who had faith in their Lord, and on whom We had lavished Our guidance.
18:14 We put courage in their hearts when they stood up and said: 'Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We call on no other god besides Him: for if we did we should be blaspheming.
18:15 Our people serve other gods besides Him, though they have no convincing proof of their divinity. Who is more wicked than the man who invents a falsehood against God?
18:16 'When you depart from them and from their idols, go to the Cave for shelter. God will extend to you His mercy and prepare for you a means of safety.'
18:17 You might have seen the rising sun decline to the right of their cavern and, as it set, go past them on the left, while they stayed within. That was one of God's signs. He whom God guides is rightly guided; but he whom He confounds shall find no friend to guide him.
18:18 You might have thought them awake, though they were sleeping. We turned them about to right and left, while their dog lay at the cave's entrance with legs outstretched. Had you looked upon them, you would have surely turned your back and fled in terror.
18:19 We roused them that they might question one another. 'How long have you been here?' asked one. 'A day, or but a few hours,' replied another; and yet another: 'Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed here. Let one of you go to the city with this silver coin and bring you back whatever food he finds most wholesome there. Let him conduct himself with caution and not disclose your whereabouts to anyone.
18:20 For if they find you out they will stone you to death, or force you back into their faith. Then you will surely never prosper ever.'
18:21 Thus did We reveal their secret, so that men might know that God's promise was true and that the Hour of Doom was sure to come. The people argued among themselves concerning them. Some said: 'Build a monument over their remains. Only their Lord knows who they were.' Those who were to win said: 'Let us build a place of worship over them.'
18:22 Some will say: 'The sleepers were three: their dog was the fourth.' Others, guessing at the unknown, will say: 'They were five: their dog was the sixth.' And yet others: 'Seven: their dog was the eighth.' Say: 'My Lord best knows their number. Few know them.' Therefore, when you dispute about them, adhere only to that which is manifest and do not ask any of these concerning them.
18:23 Do not say of anything: 'I will do it tomorrow,'
18:24 without adding: 'If God wills.' When you forget, remember your Lord and say: 'May God guide me and bring me nearer to the Truth.'
18:25 Some say they stayed in the cave three hundred years and nine.
18:26 Say: 'None but God knows how long they stayed in it. His are the secrets of the heavens and the earth. Clear is His sight, and keen His hearing. Man has no other guardian besides Him. He allows none to share His sovereignty.'
18:27 Proclaim what has been revealed to you from the Book of your Lord. None can change His words. You shall find no refuge besides Him.
18:28 Restrain yourself, together with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. Do not turn your eyes away from them in quest of the allurements of this life, nor obey him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance; who follows his appetite and gives a loose rein to his desires.
18:29 Say: 'This is the truth from your Lord. Let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.' For the wrongdoers We have prepared a fire which will encompass them like the walls of a pavilion. When they cry out for help they shall be showered with water as hot as molten brass, which will scald their faces. Evil shall be their drink, evil their resting–place.
18:30 As for those that have faith and do good works, We shall not deny them their reward.
18:31 They shall dwell in the gardens of Eden, where rivers will roll at their feet. Reclining there upon soft couches, they shall be decked with bracelets of gold, and arrayed in garments of fine green silk and rich brocade: blissful their reward and happy their resting–place!
18:32 Give them this parable. Once there were two men, to one of whom We gave two vineyards set about with palm–trees and watered by a running stream, with a cornfield lying in between.
18:33 Each of the vineyards yielded an abundant crop,
18:34 and when their owner had gathered in the harvest, he said to his companion while conversing with him: 'I am richer than you, and my clan is mightier than yours.'
18:35 And when, having thus wronged his soul, he entered his vineyard, he said: 'Surely this will never perish!
18:36 Nor do I believe that the Hour of Doom will ever come. Even if I returned to my Lord, I should surely find a better place than this.'
18:37 His companion replied, while still conversing with him: 'Have you no faith in Him who created you from dust, from a little germ, and fashioned you into a man?
18:38 As for myself, God is my Lord. I will associate none with my Lord.
18:39 When You entered your garden, why did you not say: "What God has ordained must surely come to pass: there is no strength except in God"?
18:40 Though you see me poorer than yourself and blessed with fewer children, yet my Lord may give me a garden better than yours, and send down thunderbolts from heaven upon your vineyard, turning it into a barren waste,
18:41 or drain its water deep into the earth so that you will find none of it.'
18:42 His fruits were destroyed, and he wrung his hands with grief at all that he had spent on the garden: for the vines had tumbled down upon their trellises. 'Would that I had served no other gods besides my Lord!' he cried.
18:43 He had none to help him besides God, nor was he able to defend himself.
18:44 In such ordeals protection comes only from God, the true God. His is the best recompense, and His the best requital.
18:45 Coin for them a simile about the life of this world. It is like the vegetation of the earth that thrives when watered by the rain We send down from the sky, soon turning into stubble which the wind scatters abroad. God has power over all things.
18:46 Wealth and children are the ornament of this life. But deeds of lasting merit are better rewarded by your Lord and hold for you a greater hope of salvation.
18:47 Tell of the day when We shall blot out the mountains and make the earth a barren waste; when We shall gather all mankind together, leaving not a soul behind.
18:48 They shall be ranged before your Lord, and He will say to them: 'You have returned to Us as We created you at first. Yet you supposed We had not set for you a predestined time.
18:49 Their book will be laid down, and you shall see the sinners dismayed at the content. They will say: 'Woe betide us! What can this book mean? It omits nothing small or great: all is noted down!' and they shall find their deeds recorded there. Your Lord will wrong none.
18:50 When We said to the angels: 'Prostrate yourselves before Adam,' all prostrated themselves except Satan, who was a jinnee disobedient to his Lord. Would you then serve him and his offspring as your masters rather than Myself, despite their enmity towards you? A sad substitute the wrongdoers have chosen!
18:51 I did not call them to witness at the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor at their own creation; nor was I to seek the aid of those who were to lead mankind astray.
18:52 On that day God will say to them: 'Call on the idols which you supposed divine.' They will invoke them, but they will make no answer; for We shall place a deadly gulf between them.
18:53 And when the sinners behold the Fire they will realize that there they shall be flung. Nor shall they ever escape from it.
18:54 In this Koran We have set forth for men all manner of parables. But man is exceedingly contentious.
18:55 Nothing can prevent men from having faith and seeking forgiveness of their Lord, now that guidance has been revealed to them: unless they are waiting for the fate of the ancients to overtake them or to behold the scourge with their own eyes.
18:56 We send Our apostles only to proclaim good news and to give warning. But with false arguments the unbelievers seek to confute the truth, deriding My revelations and My warnings.
18:57 Who is more wicked than the man who, when reminded of his Lord's revelations, turns away from them and forgets what his own hands have done? We have cast veils over their hearts lest they understand Our words, and made them hard of hearing. Call them as you may to the right path, they shall never be guided.
18:58 Your Lord is forgiving and merciful. Had it been His will to scourge them for their sins, He would have hurried on their punishment; but He has set for them a predestined time they cannot evade.
18:59 And all those nations! We destroyed them for the wrongs they did, and for their destruction We set a predestined time.
18:60 Moses said to his servant: 'I will journey on until I reach the land where the two seas meet, though I may march for ages.'
18:61 But when at last they came to the land where the two seas met, they forgot their fish, which made its way into the water, swimming at will.
18:62 And when they had journeyed farther on, Moses said to his servant: 'Bring us some fodd; we are worn out with travelling.'
18:63 'Know,' he replied, 'that I forgot the fish when we were resting on the rock. It was Satan who made me forget to mention this. The fish made its way miraculously into the sea.
18:64 This is what we have been seeking,' said Moses. They went back the way they came,
18:65 and found one of Our servants to whom We had vouchsafed Our mercy and whom We had endowed with knowledge of Our own.
18:66 Moses said to him: 'May I follow you, so that you may guide me by that which you have been taught?'
18:67 'You will not bear with me,' replied the other.
18:68 For how can you bear with that which is beyond your knowledge?'
18:69 Moses said: 'If God wills, you shall find me patient: I shall in no way cross you.'
18:70 He said: 'If you are bent on following me, you must not question me about anything until I mention it to you myself.'
18:71 The two set forth, but as soon as they embarked, Moses' companion bored a hole in the bottom of the ship. 'Is it to drown her passengers that you have bored a hole in her?' Moses asked. 'A strange thing you have done.'
18:72 'Did I not tell you,' he replied, 'that you would not bear with me?'
18:73 'Pardon my forgetfulness,' said Moses. 'Do not be angry with me on account of this.'
18:74 They journeyed on until they fell in with a certain youth. Moses' companion slew him, and Moses said: 'You have killed an innocent man who has slain no one. Surely you have done a wicked thing.'
18:75 'Did I not tell you,' he replied, 'that you would not bear with me?'
18:76 Moses said: 'If ever I question you again, abandon me; for then I should deserve it.'
18:77 They travelled on until they came to a city. They asked its people for some food, but they declined to receive them as their guests. There they found a wall on the point of falling down. His companion restored it, and Moses said: 'Had you wished, you could have demanded payment for your labours.'
18:78 'Now has the time arrived when we must part,' said the other. 'But first I will explain to you those acts of mine which you could not bear to watch with patience.
18:79 'Know that the ship belonged to some poor fishermen. I damaged it because at their rear there was a king who was taking every ship by force.
18:80 'As for the youth, his parents both are true believers, and we feared lest he should plague them with wickedness and unbelief.
18:81 'It was our wish that their Lord should grant them another in his place, a son more righteous and more filial.
18:82 As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city whose father was an honest man. Beneath it their treasure is buried. Your Lord decreed, as a mercy from your Lord, that they should dig up their treasure when they grew to manhood. What I did was not done by my will. 'That is the meaning of what you could not bear to watch with patience.'
18:83 They will ask you about Dhul–Qarnayn.[1] Say: 'I will give you an account of him.
18:84 'We made him mighty in the land and gave him means to achieve all things.
18:85 He journeyed on a certain road
18:86 until he reached the West and saw the sun setting in a pool of black mud. Hard by he found a certain people. 'Dhul–Qarnayn, We said, "you must either punish them or show them kindness."
18:87 'He replied: "The wicked we shall surely punish. Then shall they return to their Lord and be sternly punished by Him.
18:88 As for those that have faith and do good works, we shall bestow on them a rich reward and deal indulgently with them."
18:89 'He then journeyed along another road
18:90 until he reached the East and saw the sun rising upon a people whom We had exposed to its flaming rays.
18:91 So he did; and We had full knowledge of all the forces at his command.
18:92 Then he followed yet another route
18:93 until he came between the Two Mountains and found a people who could barely understand a word.
18:94 Dhul–Qarnayn, they said, "Gog and Magog are ravaging this land; Build a rampart between us, and we will pay you tribute."
18:95 He replied: "The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute. Lend me a force of men, and I will raise a rampart between you and them.
18:96 Come, bring me blocks of iron." 'He dammed up the valley between the Two Mountains, and said: "Ply your bellows." And when the iron blocks were red with heat, he said: "Bring me molten brass to pour on them."
18:97 Gog and Magog could not scale it, nor could they dig their way through it.
18:98 He said: "This is a blessing from my Lord. But when my Lord's promise has been fulfilled, He will level it to dust. The promise of my Lord is ever true."'
18:99 On that day We will let them come in tumultuous throngs. The Trumpet shall be sounded and We will gather them all together.
18:100 On that day We shall lay Hell bare before the unbelievers,
18:101 who have turned a blind eye to My admonition and a deaf ear to My warning.
18:102 Do the unbelievers think that they can make My servants patrons besides Me? We have prepared Hell for the unbelievers to dwell in.
18:103 Say: 'Shall we tell you who will lose most through their labours?
18:104 Those whose endeavours in this world are misguided and who yet think that what they do is right;
18:105 who disbelieve the revelations of their Lord and deny that they will ever meet Him.' Vain are the works of these. On the Day of Resurrection We shall give them no consequence.
18:106 Hell is their reward: because they had no faith, and because they mocked My apostles and My revelations.
18:107 As for those that have faith and do good works,
18:108 they shall forever dwell in the gardens of Paradise, desiring no change.
18:109 Say: 'If the waters of the sea were ink with which to write the words of my Lord, the sea would surely run dry before the words of my Lord were spent, though we found another sea to replenish it.'
18:110 18:110 Say: 'I am but a mortal like yourselves. It is revealed to me that your God is one God. Let him that hopes to meet his Lord do what is right and worship none besides his Lord.'


   


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