←Prev   al-Kahf (The Cave) as rendered by/in [Al-Muntakhab]  Next→ 

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18:1  Praise be to Allah Who sent down to His servant the Book -the Quran- well founded, constant ,resolute and did not allow therein of declension, obliquity or crookedness
18:2  But orthodox, in accordance with what is divinely and authoritatively established as the truth guiding into all truth so that it strongly warns the ungodly and the impious of the torment laid upon the damned. It announces joyful tidings to those whose hearts are impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds with wisdom and piety to expect a distinguished reward
18:3  The reward which merits the blissful abode in the beautitude of heaven wherein they will have passed through nature to Eternity
18:4  And to give a cautionary notice against the ascription to Allah of plurality and to warn those whose hearts work iniquity not to utter grievous error against Him and irreverently say that He has begotten a son
18:5  Neither they nor did their fathers have the true knowledge that is consistent with fact and reality nor do they have the knowledge implying firm belief of what is true on sufficient ground. How enormous, monstrous and atrocious is the word they project and to which they give a speaking tongue! Indeed, what they utter is nothing but falsehood, the product of morbid and deluded minds
18:6  Seemingly, you Muhammad are betaking yourself in pursuit of their train of thought with distress, constant regret and discontent and torturing yourself lest they should refuse credit to this divine discourse
18:7  We have caused the material world on earth to be of the nature of an embellishment and ornamentation in order to test the peoples' reaction to the grace of Allah and distinguish those of them who will imprint their deeds with wisdom and piety
18:8  One day We will render the face of the earth dry and barren - terra firma- destitute of vegetation
18:9  Have you meditated O Muhammad upon the event of the inmates of the Cave and upon Allah's intervention exhibiting His control over the laws of nature and serving as evidence of His Almightiness and Omnipotence, It stood as a wonderous sign as all Our signs do stand imposing upon peoples' thoughts
18:10  A group of young (Christian) men resolved to escape persecution*; they betook themselves to the Cave -in a mountain near by- where they expressed their invocatory prayer: "O Allah, our Creator". they prayed, "extend to us of Your mercy what will help us endure our tribulation, and direct us to a course of action determining what You commend for us of future events"
18:11  We, in response, struck them deaf and induced them to sleep for a number of years
18:12  Then We roused them and provoked them to activity so that We see which of the two arguing parties would come closer to the exact length of time they remained dormant as a marvel of Allah correlative with Resurrection
18:13  We will relate to you O Muhammad in truth the facts, the circumstances and the incidents of their true story. They were a group of young Christian men who conformed their will to Allah's will and We strengthened their purpose by impressing their hearts with the image of religious and spiritual virtues
18:14  We confirmed their purpose and made them have the heart and We roused their spirits that they stood firm and declared themselves and revealed their true belief; they said: "Our Allah is the Ilah and Creator of the Heavens and the earth. Never will We invoke besides Him another god for then We will have uttered grievous error against Him"
18:15  "These are our people", they said, "who have pitifully taken other gods besides Him. If only they would present a divine and authoritative evidence in support of their assumption! In effect they presumed upon Providence and who is more wrongful of actions than he who intentionally asserts what is false and relates it to Allah
18:16  If you should remove yourselves, said one of them, from their society and do not participate in their system of faith and worship but not from the divine system, then go to the Cave where Allah, your Creator, will extend to you of His mercy what abounds in you and help you endure your tribulation and overcome your difficulties
18:17  You could see the sun O Muhammad as it rose turning aside from their Cave to the right and as it set swerving to the left while they occupied a space within in a state of dead sleep; a divine wonderous sign indeed. He whom Allah guides to His path and Providence his guide is indeed guided into all truth, whereas he whom Allah sends astray, never shall you find for him a tutelary guide
18:18  You would have thought they were awake -probably their eyes were open- though they were fast asleep. And We turned them over from one side to the other right and left while on the threshold lay their dog with his forelegs outstretched. If you had seen them you would have run away from them making your escape, filled with horror
18:19  So conditioned, We aroused them and stirred them into activity only to question each other as to the length of time they had laid themselves to rest. "How long do you think you have been in this place to repose your wearied virtues?" asked one of them. "Probably a day or less", they said. "Allah, your Creator, knows best how long. Meantime send one of you with this silver coin to town in quest of the best food and he brings back some of it to satisfy our hunger, but he must be gentle and courteous and not to attract attention or fix directly upon himself nor indirectly upon you the notice of others
18:20  "For, should they discover your identity", he continued, "they will over power you, pelt you with stones or else turn you renegades and your purpose shall be defeated here and Hereafter"
18:21  To serve Our purpose We ordained that their identity be revealed so that they, as well as others, would realize that the promise of Allah is truth personified and that the Day of Judgement is a certainty. The aftermath of the event resolved itself in the manner that was inevitably expected. The people who by then had conformed to Allah's will –Christians- debated the number and the event and its significance, some concluding to construct a memorial on the site, others whose decision prevailed resolved to erect a house of worship thereon
18:22  Tossed with their unballasted wits in fathomless and unquiet deeps of controversies, Ahl AL-Kitab (the People of the Book) were divided in opinion relative to the number of the young men, and in the course of time, some will say: "They numbered three and their dog the fourth". Others will say: "Five, their dog the sixth", an exercise of divination, whereas others will say: "Seven, their dog the eighth". Say to them O Muhammad: "Allah, my Creator, knows best their number; it is only a few who have been given the knowledge of the number and the significance of the even". Therefore, do not involve yourself O Muhammad in the heat of their dispute but treat the subject from an objective standpoint only so as to exhibit the actual facts and never seek counsel from any of them upon the event
18:23  (It is not in mortals to command success). Therefore, do not resolve upon doing something the morrow without appending "Allah willing"
18:24  That is "if it be the will of Allah". And should you forget this divine axiom, then call Allah to mind and invoke Him to guide you to a better choice than that which you had in mind "I pray and beseech You O Allah, my Creator, to guide me to a better choice than that which I had in mind"
18:25  They (Ahl AL- Kitab surmised that they -the young men-) remained dormant in the Cave for three hundred years -solar calendar- with an additional nine years -lunar calendar-
18:26  Say to them O Muhammad: "Allah alone knows how long they stayed in the cave. Knowledge of the mysteries of the heavens and the earth is a divine prerogative attributed only to Allah. How infinite is His vision arid how unlimited is His audition. Besides Him. People have no tutelary guardian. His Authority, Sovereignty and Command are absolute and independent and no one does He permit to go shares with Him in any measure or degree
18:27  And recite O Muhammad what has been inspired to you of the Book -the Quran- of Allah, your Creator, Whose words no one nor any expedient or any power can alter nor will you find besides Him a tutelary protector to afford you shelter
18:28  Be patient O Muhammad and rest content with those who invoke Allah's mercy and conciliation morning and evening in quest of nothing but His acceptance and His countenance speaking good will. And let not your mind's eyes turn aside from them or vacillate between them and the worldly-minded, setting your thoughts upon the ephemeral and fleeting glories of the world. Nor should you obey the one neglecting his duty to Allah and by consequence We closed his heart's ears, the one who counsels deaf and lusts after his vain desires and carries his vanity to excess that he cannot be reclaimed from a life of vice nor will he be reclaimed by Allah's grace
18:29  And say to them: "Allah's truth has come to guide us into all truth and he who wishes to acknowledge it with judgement and choice is free to do so and he who wishes to reject it is free to do so. We have prepared for the wrongful of actions a fire whose scorching and merciless flames beset them on all sides as if it were a bed having an arched canopy and covered sides. As often as they cry for help they are given a draught of boiling water like molten brass or molten lead scalding the faces; evil indeed is the drink and evil is the society
18:30  Indeed those whose hearts are impressed with the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds with wisdom and piety are the recipients of Allah's mercy and divine reward. We never annul, cancel or render unprofitable the due return accruing from a good deed imprinted with wisdom and piety
18:31  Such persons are promised the gardens of Eden beneath which rivers flow. They are adorned therein with golden bracelets and vested in green silken attire and rich brocade and reclining on dignified thrones, How excellent is the reward and how excellent is the society
18:32  Give them O Muhammad an example by which moral and spiritual relations are typically set forth, the example illustrating the two men; on one of them -the rich- We bestowed two orchards enclosing grape vines and surrounded by palm trees with plants in between
18:33  Both orchards yielded their produce in due season and never failed to yield all that both will hold, and in their midst We caused a river to flow with a copious stream
18:34  Abundant was the produce that he -the rich- boasted his wit and said to his fellow -man- the poor: "I have more advantages than you have; I have abundant means at command and my family and my men far exceed yours in numerosity"
18:35  In his wrongful state of mind which was prejudicial to his soul, he -the rich- entered his orchard exclaiming "I cannot imagine", he said, "that this orchard will ever perish in the wreck of time"
18:36  "Nor do I believe that the Final Hour of Judgement will materialize and even if it does and I am sent back to Allah, my Creator, I will surely find a better one in exchange"
18:37  Discoursing him on this point, his fellow the poor man said to him: "Do you not think you have presumed upon Providence and transgressed His authority" "He created you from dust then from a constituent part of fluid emitted, then He fashioned you and imparted to you the shape of a man!"
18:38  "As for me", he continued, "He is Allah my Creator, and I do not incorporate with Him other deities"
18:39  "If only", the poor man added, "when you entered your orchard you had exclaimed:" " Praise be to Allah, whatever He wills shall be; no one can command success but He". "If you do see me in comparison less than you in affluence and in progeny"
18:40  "Perhaps Allah, my Creator, will bestow on me what is better than your orchard and He may send against it from heaven a thunder-bolt reducing it into a smooth and unproductive piece of land"
18:41  "or He may cause its water source sink below a reachable level that by trying to reach what is beyond your reach you reach nothing at all"
18:42  Suddenly were his fruits not reaped but suffered to rot, rotting to nothing. There, he kept striking the palms of his hands reciprocally in token of violent grief caused by the loss of what he spent on it; there stood the orchard so desolate empty but of dilapidated trellises over hills of ruin. There and then he said: "I wish I had not incorporated with Allah, my Creator, other deities"
18:43  Nor did he have a co-operative group to afford him help besides Allah nor could he help himself
18:44  There, it becomes evident that the only indisputable help and the only indisputable protection come only from Allah, the Omnipotent Who is truth personified, and the best Purveyor of divine rewards and the only Power that commands a successful end
18:45  Express to them O Muhammad the likeness of life here, it stands similitude exact of a cycle in which a certain round of events or phenomena is completed, thus: We send down rain water from the floor of the vault of heaven; it mingles with the product of the soil which absorbs it and thrives thereby, then it eventually withers and dries up and gets dispersed with the wind, and Allah has always been Qadirun (Omnipotent) capable of doing all things
18:46  Wealth and progeny feature the attraction and allurement exciting the pleasurable emotion of people in life here below, but what is infinite in future duration considered by Allah to have eternal consequences and hopeful reward are the deeds imprinted with wisdom and piety
18:47  The Day shall come when We put or set the mountains in motion and you see the earth bare of the natural objects it once had, and We will have thronged them -all people- to judgement, leaving not one behind
18:48  They shall be ranked before Allah in rows and be told: "Now you have come back to Us as bare, open to view and unprotected as We created you in the beginning, yet you presumed earlier upon Providence and took for granted that We would not predetermine for you a point of time"
18:49  Now the Book of personal records is laid open to view and you shall see the sinful alarmed at its contents and excited with sudden fear and apprehension of danger. They express their thoughts in words, thus: "Woe betide us. This book", they say, "does not leave out a minor or a major offense unrecorded", and they shall find that every single deed, good or back is being presented and then they shall realize that Allah, your Creator, wrongs no one
18:50  For once We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves to Adam in adoration, and the angels prostrated to Adam in comely order praise and admiration except Iblis, AL-Shaytan-to-be, who was a Jinn juxtaposed* to the angels and by consequence he disobeyed Allah, his Creator. So conditioned, do you people take him and his progeny as tutelary guardians besides Allah when they are your avowed enemy! Evil indeed is the substitute adopted by the wrongful of actions
18:51  Never did I invite them -neither these nor those nor any creature- to be present, to spectate or to be associated with the event of the creation of the heavens and the earth nor of themselves -in reference to Adam- nor did I need help nor is it befitting. It is not Allah Who would use the help of others not to mention the wicked who mislead people
18:52  The Day shall come when Allah says to the infidels: "Call forth My partners whom you presumed to share My divine nature and Omnipotence", and they shall do so, but their gods shall give back no answer, and We established between them - they and their gods- in life below the relationship leading to their final damnation
18:53  And the wicked shall see Hell open to view and realize that they shall have to cast themselves head-long therein and that there is no escape
18:54  And We have expounded and oriented Our revelations in this Quran to circumstances and requirements and We expressed many parables to bring the infidels to their senses but man has always been known to raise captions and frivolous objections about most things and tries to find fault unfairly and without good reason
18:55  What kept people back from acknowledging and accepting the spirit of truth presented to them to guide them into all truth and inspire them to invoke their Creator's mercy and forgiveness but to rest content until they are wedded to the same calamities wedding those of old or to perceive through sense of sight the torment destined to be laid upon the damned
18:56  We do not send the Messengers but to serve as spectacles and warnings, But the infidels try to seek everywhere vain proofs and groundless causes for which they are ready to contend to their life's end to refute the truth. They disdain indignantly to acknowledge My signs, My revelations and My warnings and laugh them to scorn
18:57  And who is more wrongful of actions than he who has been reminded of Allah's evident signs and revelations and shuns them, forgetting what his unclean hands have committed! The fact is We enshrouded their hearts to preclude them from exercising intellectual power or understanding and struck them deaf that nothing that enages the intellect would come to their hearing. These are those whose hearts dare rise defiant against Allah. And if you invite them to accept the spirit of truth guiding into all truth, never shall they acknowledge Providence as their guide
18:58  If Allah, your Creator. the Source of true forgiveness and divine mercy ,were to censure them for their demerits which are far above all praises of man, He would have hastened them to their painful end. But We have determined for them a point of time when they shall be reduced to a useless form and besides Allah they shall find no one to afford them refuge
18:59  Such were the towns of old whose inhabitants We did away with when they proved themselves wrongful of actions and We determined the point of time at which We carried this punishment into effect
18:60  For once did Mussa say to his attendant: "l will not give up journeying until I have reached the concourse of the two seas -said to be he juncture of the Mediterranean and the red sea, or probably the two arms of the red sea- irrespective of how long it takes, be it a year, a decade or longer"
18:61  And when they had reached the junction of the two waters they forgot that they had carried a fish for their meal –Mussa was probably ordered to carry a fish-. The fish in a supernatural way, had stealthily found its way to the sea where it disappeared
18:62  And when they had journeyed beyond that spot, unaware of the incident, Mussa said to his attendant "It is time to eat; bring us our meal, we are exhausted; this journey has drained us of our strength"
18:63  "Do you remember the rock", asked the attendant, "to which we resorted on the way" "I had forgotten all about the fish and this was a lapse of memory effectuated by AL-Shaytan who made me forget to mention it to you. It mysteriously found its way to the sea in a most astonishing manner"
18:64  "This is exactly the place" said Mussa, "We were questing", they went back retracing their footsteps
18:65  There, they found one of Our devotees to whom We extended Our mercy and the initiation in mysteries and to whom We imparted of Our mystic knowledge what is transcending human comprehension
18:66  Mussa asked him: "May I follow you with the provision that you agree to impart to me of the knowledge imparted to you for the good of the wide circle of the all!"
18:67  He -the teacher- said to Mussa: "But you shall not be able to bear with me nor shall you quietly await the course of events"
18:68  "And how could you", he added, "put up with something whose significance, import or intended purpose you do not know nor do you look at it with your inward sight!"
18:69  "But you will find me, Allah willing", said Mussa, "forbearing and will not disobey any of your instructions"
18:70  "Therefore", said the teacher "if you should follow me, then do not look for the how and the why and the wherefore until I have given you an account of it"
18:71  And there, they made their way onward until they went on board ship in the bottom of which he -the teacher bore a hole for the purpose of sinking it-. There, did Mussa exclaim: "Have you scuttled it to drown its passengers!" "You have indeed committed yourself to an evil line of conduct"
18:72  He -the teacher- said to Mussa: "Did I not tell you, you would not be able to bear with me nor show forbearance with my actions!"
18:73  "My apologies", said Mussa, "please do not reproach me for my lapse of memory, nor impose on me an action hard to understand"
18:74  Again they made their way onward until they met a youth whom he killed. There and then Mussa exclaimed: "Have you deprived an innocent soul of life when the youth committed no murder, you have indeed committed an act truly abominable"
18:75  The teacher said: "Did I not tell you, you would not be able to bear with me nor show forbearance with my actions!"
18:76  "Indeed," said Mussa: a walking interrogation -point is never a pleasant companion, "therefore if ever I should question anything you do from now on, then do not associate with me any longer; you have been patient enough to put up with my interrogation"
18:77  Again they made their way onward until they came across a town where they asked the people for food but the people neither offered nor afforded welcome or entertainment to strangers and consequently denied then hospitality. So they made their way onward only to find a wall about to fall and he -the teacher- repaired it and brought it back to its original state, and there Mussa exclaimed: "Had you willed you could have charged a price for it"
18:78  "Now", said the teacher, "is the turning-point; we break off and separate from each other, and now", he added, "I will give you the interpretation of all the events you were unable to forbear"
18:79  "As to the boat", said the teacher, "it belonged to poor people –seamen- making a living, and I intended to make it defective to prevent their king, who pursues boat-owners, from capturing their boat"
18:80  As to the young man, –who was evil personified- his parents are righteous people and they would have, through affection and compassion, admitted of relaxation in Allah's system of faith and worship"
18:81  "We decided", -Allah decrees and I am the instrument- to replace him by another child who would be a symbol of faith and stands manifest of kindness and mercy"
18:82  "As to the wall", the teacher said, "it constitutes a part of the property belonging to two orphan youngsters in the town and it rested directly on a treasure. Their father was a gracious man in whose heart reigned piety, and Allah, your Creator, has decreed that they reach maturity and dig out their treasure, an act of mercy vouchsafed by Allah, your Creator. You must realize that none of these incidents did I do of my own accord; there you have the interpretation of the incidents you could not forbear"
18:83  They ask you O Muhammad about the Bi-horned, Zul-Qarnain! Say to them: "I will give you an account of his actions and the occurrences constituting his history in which he equally excelled"
18:84  Allah says: "We confirmed him on earth and We imparted to him the knowledge of the ways and means serving a purposeful end"
18:85  "And he purposefully lead the way"
18:86  He took the lead in an expedition toward he west until he reached a body of water -said to be the Atlantic Ocean, or more likely a mirky land abounding in swamps– where -he thought when viewing the horizon- the sun sets and where he found a -disorderly and unruly- people over whom We gave him authority. We left to him the manner of dealing with them. Either you punish them, We said or show them kindness
18:87  He set up his constitution -in the occupied territories- and accordingly he stated: "We will punish the wrongful of actions here and he wilt be left to Allah, his Creator, to impose upon him the torment laid upon the damned Hereafter"
18:88  Whereas he whose heart reflects the image of religious and , spiritual virtues and his deeds wisdom and piety will be rewarded with what is best and we will treat him kindly and impose on him what he can bear with ease and what sets his mind at rest
18:89  Again, he purposefully lead the way
18:90  He conducted an expedition eastward where the sun rises until he reached an open territory -probably a desert- where -he thought when viewing the horizon- the sun rises and where the people -who were primitive- had no covering besides the sun
18:91  For thus We knew his thoughts and feelings as well as his mode of action
18:92  Again he purposefully lead the way
18:93  Until he reached a stretch of territory towered by two barriers -probably mountains- beneath which he found a people who could hardly understand a foreign word or language
18:94  They said to him -through interpreters-: "O you Zul- Qarnain, the tribes of Gog and Magog* are people who have both mischief and ill-will in their composition and they spread discord in the land. May we apportion to you a tribute in payment of raising a rampart between us, a rampart that would be invincible against all assaults!"
18:95  He said: "what Allah has bestowed on me of wealth and power far excels your tribute. You just help me with your laborious attempt and strenuous exertion of power and I will erect a barrier between you"
18:96  "Bring me blocks or sheets of iron", he said, "to fill up the space between the two natural barriers", then he said to them "Now you may subject it to fire and use your bellows to make it red hot, and when it softened he asked them for molten brass to pour on the iron to weld in solid mass"
18:97  "In consequence, they -the tribes- could not escalade it nor were they able to make their way through it by digging"
18:98  "At the end", Zul-Qarnain said thankfully: "This is a mercy graciously vouchsafed by Allah, my Creator, and when Allah's predetermined point of time comes to pass, He shall turn it to dust. The promise of Allah, my Creator, has always been the truth personified"
18:99  And on the Day when the promise is fulfilled, we will leave them -the people- in an undulating conformation until the trumpet is sounded and then We assemble them all together in throngs
18:100  There and then We will bring Hell in view near enough as to be clearly seen by the infidels
18:101  Whose bodily eyes and their minds' eyes were veiled. from apprehension, knowledge or perception of My divine nature and My Omnipotence and Authority and from My signs and veritable revelations; they counselled deaf and were unwilling to open their hearts' ears
18:102  Do they -the infidels- think they do better by taking My servants as their tutelary guardians besides Me! Indeed We have prepared Hell and made it ready for the abode of the infidels whom it asserts as its own
18:103  Say to the infidels O Muhammad "shall We tell you who they are whose deeds in life have lost them the most!"
18:104  "They are those who presumed upon Providence and conducted themselves in life according to false concepts and they thought they were doing what is right"
18:105  It is these who have denied the truth of their Creator's signs and counselled deaf to His spirit of truth guiding into all truth and to His promise of Judgment at Resurrection. In consequence their hopes shall be doomed to disappointment and their deeds to worthlessness, and in Day of Judgement We will attach to them no importance nor shall their pleading be of weight
18:106  These are the ill-fated who justly deserve the abode in Hell by reason of their infidelity and disobedience and by consequence of laughing My revelations and signs and My Messengers to scorn
18:107  But those whose hearts reflect the image of religious and spiritual virtues and their deeds wisdom and piety shall be the recipients of Allah's mercy and blessings. We have prepared for them the Paradise which is furnished with trellised vines and fruit trees
18:108  Wherein they would have passed through nature to Eternity admitting of no change
18:109  Say to them –the people- "If the vast body of water on the surface of the globe were ink serving the purpose of committing my Creator's words to writing, sooner would the vast body of water -now ink- be exhausted than would the words of my Creator even if we make this immense expanse twice as much"
18:110  Say to them O Muhammad: "I am only a mortal like you, but I am prompted by Allah to impart to you the knowledge inspired to me. It emphasizes that your Allah is One and only, the Creator of the whole and of all in all". "Therefore, he who acknowledges Resurrection and Judgement and hopes to be welcomed in Allah's heavenly realm and be a recipient of His mercy and blessings will have to imprint his deeds with wisdom and piety and never to incorporate with Him, other deities nor invoke besides Him any"