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18:1  Praise be to God, who sent down the Scripture to His servant and made it unerringly straight
18:2  warning of severe punishment from Him, and [giving] glad news to the believers who do good deeds––an excellent rewar
18:3  that they will always enjoy
18:4  It warns those people who assert, ‘God has offspring.’
18:5  They have no knowledge about this, nor did their forefathers––it is a monstrous assertion that comes out of their mouths: what they say is nothing but lies
18:6  But [Prophet] are you going to worry yourself to death over them if they do not believe in this message
18:7  We have adorned the earth with attractive things so that We may test people to find out which of them do best
18:8  but We shall reduce all this to barren dust
18:9  [Prophet], do you find the Companions in the Cave and al-Raqim so wondrous, among all Our other signs
18:10  When the young men sought refuge in the cave and said, ‘Our Lord, grant us Your mercy, and find us a good way out of our ordeal,’
18:11  We sealed their ears [with sleep] in the cave for years
18:12  Then We woke them so that We could make clear which of the two parties was better able to work out how long they had been there
18:13  [Prophet], We shall tell you their story as it really was. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We gave them more and more guidance
18:14  We gave strength to their hearts when they stood up and said, ‘Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and earth. We shall never call upon any god other than Him, for that would be an outrageous thing to do
18:15  These people of ours have taken gods other than Him. Why do they not produce clear evidence about them? Who could be more unjust than someone who makes up lies about God
18:16  Now that you have left such people, and what they worshipped instead of God, take refuge in the cave. God will shower His mercy on you and make you an easy way out of your ordeal.’
18:17  You could have seen the [light of the] sun as it rose, moving away to the right of their cave, and when it set, moving away to the left of them, while they lay in the wide space inside the cave. (This is one of God’s signs: those people God guides are rightly guided, but you will find no protector to lead to the right path those He leaves to stray.
18:18  You would have thought they were awake, though they lay asleep. We turned them over, to the right and the left, with their dog stretching out its forelegs at the entrance. If you had seen them, you would have turned and run away, filled with fear of them
18:19  In time We woke them, and they began to question one another. One of them asked, ‘How long have you been here?’ and [some] answered, ‘A day or part of a day,’ but then [others] said, ‘Your Lord knows best how long you have been here. One of you go to the city with your silver coins, find out where the best food is there, and bring some back. But be careful not to let anyone know about you
18:20  if they found you out, they would stone you or force you to return to their religion, where you would never come to any good.’
18:21  In this way We brought them to people’s attention so that they might know that God’s promise [of resurrection] is true and that there is no doubt about the Last Hour, [though] people argue among themselves. [Some] said, ‘Construct a building over them: their Lord knows best about them.’ Those who prevailed said, ‘We shall build a place of worship over them.’
18:22  [Some] say, ‘The sleepers were three, and their dog made four,’ others say, ‘They were five, and the dog made six’- guessing in the dark- and some say, ‘They were seven, and their dog made eight.’ Say [Prophet], ‘My Lord knows best how many they were.’ Only a few have real knowledge about them, so do not argue, but stick to what is clear, and do not ask any of these people about them
18:23  do not say of anything, ‘I will do that tomorrow,’
18:24  without adding, ‘God willing,’ and, whenever you forget, remember your Lord and say, ‘May my Lord guide me closer to what is right.’
18:25  [Some say], ‘The sleepers stayed in their cave for three hundred years,’ some added nine more
18:26  Say [Prophet], ‘God knows best how long they stayed.’ His is the knowledge of all that is hidden in the heavens and earth- How well He sees! How well He hears!- and they have no one to protect them other than Him; He does not allow anyone to share His rule
18:27  [Prophet], follow what has been revealed to you of your Lord’s Scripture: there is no changing His words, nor can you find any refuge except with Him
18:28  Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life: do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our Quran, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled
18:29  Say, ‘Now the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so.’ We have prepared a Fire for the wrongdoers that will envelop them from all sides. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten metal, scalding their faces. What a terrible drink! What a painful resting place
18:30  As for those who believe and do good deeds- We do not let the reward of anyone who does a good deed go to waste
18:31  they will have Gardens of lasting bliss graced with flowing streams. There they will be adorned with bracelets of gold. There they will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade. There they will be comfortably seated on soft chairs. What a blessed reward! What a pleasant resting place
18:32  Tell them the parable of two men: for one of them We made two gardens of grape vines, surrounded them with date palms, and put corn fields in between
18:33  both gardens yielded fruit and did not fail in any way; We made a stream flow through them
18:34  and so he had abundant fruit. One day, while talking to his friend, he said, ‘I have more wealth and a larger following than you.’
18:35  He went into his garden and wronged himself by saying, ‘I do not think this will ever perish
18:36  or that the Last Hour will ever come- even if I were to be taken back to my Lord, I would certainly find something even better there.’
18:37  His companion retorted, ‘Have you no faith in Him who created you from dust, from a small drop of fluid, then shaped you into a man
18:38  But, for me, He is God, my Lord, and I will never set up any partner with Him
18:39  If only, when you entered your garden, you had said, “This is God’s will. There is no power not [given] by God.” Although you see I have less wealth and offspring than you
18:40  my Lord may well give me something better than your garden, and send thunderbolts on your garden from the sky, so that it becomes a heap of barren dust
18:41  or its water may sink so deep into the ground that you will never be able to reach it again.’
18:42  And so it was: his fruit was completely destroyed, and there he was, wringing his hands over what he had invested in it, as it drooped on its trellises, and saying, ‘I wish I had not set up any partner to my Lord.’
18:43  He had no forces to help him other than God- he could not even help himself
18:44  In that situation, the only protection is that of God, the True God: He gives the best rewards and the best outcome
18:45  Tell them, too, what the life of this world is like: We send water down from the skies and the earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon the plants turn to dry stubble scattered about by the wind: God has power over everything
18:46  Wealth and children are the attractions of this worldly life, but lasting good works have a better reward with your Lord and give better grounds for hope
18:47  One day We shall make the mountains move, and you will see the earth as an open plain. We shall gather all people together, leaving no one
18:48  They will be lined up before your Lord: ‘Now you have come to Us as We first created you, although you claimed We had not made any such appointment for you.’
18:49  The record of their deeds will be laid open and you will see the guilty, dismayed at what they contain, saying, ‘Woe to us! What a record this is! It does not leave any deed, small or large, unaccounted for!’ They will find everything they ever did laid in front of them: your Lord will not be unjust to anyone
18:50  We said to the angels, ‘Bow down before Adam,’ and they all bowed down, but not Iblis: he was one of the jinn and he disobeyed his Lord’s command. Are you [people] going to take him and his offspring as your masters instead of Me, even though they are your enemies? What a bad bargain for the evildoers
18:51  I did not make them witnesses to the creation of the heavens and earth, nor to their own creation; I do not take as My supporters those who lead others astray
18:52  On the Day God will say, ‘Call on those you claimed were My partners,’ they will call them but they will not answer; We shall set a deadly gulf between them
18:53  The evildoers will see the Fire and they will realize that they are about to fall into it: they will find no escape from it
18:54  In this Quran We have presented every kind of description for people but man is more contentious than any other creature
18:55  Now that guidance has come to them, what stops these people believing and asking forgiveness from their Lord before the fate of earlier peoples annihilates them or their torment confronts them
18:56  We only send messengers to bring good news and to deliver warning, yet the disbelievers seek to refute the truth with false arguments and make fun of My messages and warnings
18:57  Who could be more wrong than the person who is reminded of his Lord’s messages and turns his back on them, ignoring what his hands are storing up for him [in the Hereafter]? We have put covers over their hearts, so they cannot understand the Quran, and We put heaviness in their ears: although you call them to guidance [Prophet] they will never accept it
18:58  Your Lord is the Most Forgiving, and full of mercy: if He took them to task for the wrongs they have done, He would hasten their punishment on. They have an appointed time from which they will have no escape
18:59  [just like] the former communities We destroyed for doing wrong: We set an appointed time for their destruction
18:60  Moses said to his servant, ‘I will not rest until I reach the place where the two seas meet, even if it takes me years!’
18:61  but when they reached the place where the two seas meet, they had forgotten all about their fish, which made its way into the sea and swam away
18:62  They journeyed on, and then Moses said to his servant, ‘Give us our lunch! This journey of ours is very tiring,’
18:63  and [the servant] said, ‘Remember when we were resting by the rock? I forgot the fish- Satan made me forget to pay attention to it- and it [must have] made its way into the sea.’ ‘How strange!’
18:64  Moses said, ‘Then that was the place we were looking for.’ So the two turned back, retraced their footsteps
18:65  and found one of Our servants- a man to whom We had granted Our mercy and whom We had given knowledge of Our own
18:66  Moses said to him, ‘May I follow you so that you can teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?’
18:67  The man said, ‘You will not be able to bear with me patiently
18:68  How could you be patient in matters beyond your knowledge?’
18:69  Moses said, ‘God willing, you will find me patient. I will not disobey you in any way.’
18:70  The man said, ‘If you follow me then, do not query anything I do before I mention it to you myself.’
18:71  They travelled on. Later, when they got into a boat, and the man made a hole in it, Moses said, ‘How could you make a hole in it? Do you want to drown its passengers? What a strange thing to do!’
18:72  He replied, ‘Did I not tell you that you would never be able to bear with me patiently?’
18:73  Moses said, ‘Forgive me for forgetting. Do not make it too hard for me to follow you.’
18:74  And so they travelled on. Then, when they met a young boy and the man killed him, Moses said, ‘How could you kill an innocent person? He has not killed anyone! What a terrible thing to do!’
18:75  He replied, ‘Did I not tell you that you would never be able to bear with me patiently?’
18:76  Moses said, ‘From now on, if I query anything you do, banish me from your company- you have put up with enough from me.’
18:77  And so they travelled on. Then, when they came to a town and asked the inhabitants for food but were refused hospitality, they saw a wall there that was on the point of falling down and the man repaired it. Moses said, ‘But if you had wished you could have taken payment for doing that.’
18:78  He said, ‘This is where you and I part company. I will tell you the meaning of the things you could not bear with patiently
18:79  the boat belonged to some needy people who made their living from the sea and I damaged it because I knew that coming after them was a king who was seizing every [serviceable] boat by force
18:80  The young boy had parents who were people of faith, and so, fearing he would trouble them through wickedness and disbelief
18:81  we wished that their Lord should give them another child- purer and more compassionate- in his place
18:82  The wall belonged to two young orphans in the town and there was buried treasure beneath it belonging to them. Their father had been a righteous man, so your Lord intended them to reach maturity and then dig up their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do [these things] of my own accord: these are the explanations for those things you could not bear with patience.’
18:83  [Prophet], they ask you about Dhu ’l-Qarnayn. Say, ‘I will tell you something about him.’
18:84  We established his power in the land, and gave him the means to achieve everything
18:85  He travelled on a certain road
18:86  then, when he came to the setting of the sun, he found it [seemed to be] setting into a muddy spring. Nearby he found some people and We said, ‘Dhu ’l-Qarnayn, you may choose [which of them] to punish or show kindness to.’
18:87  He answered, ‘We shall punish those who have done evil, and when they are returned to their Lord He will punish them [even more] severely
18:88  while those who believed and did good deeds will have the best of rewards: we shall command them to do what is easy for them.’
18:89  He travelled on
18:90  then, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no shelter from it
18:91  And so it was: We knew all about him
18:92  He travelled on
18:93  then, when he reached a place between two mountain barriers, he found beside them a people who could barely understand him
18:94  They said, ‘Dhu ’l-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are ruining this land. Will you build a barrier between them and us if we pay you a tribute?’
18:95  He answered, ‘The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute, but if you lend me your strength, I will put up a fortification between you and them
18:96  bring me lumps of iron!’ and then, when he had filled the gap between the two mountainsides [he said], ‘Work your bellows!’ and then, when he had made it glow like fire, he said, ‘Bring me molten metal to pour over it!’
18:97  Their enemies could not scale the barrier, nor could they pierce it
18:98  and he said, ‘This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord’s promise is fulfilled, He will raze this barrier to the ground: my Lord’s promise always comes true.’
18:99  On that Day, We shall let them surge against each other like waves and then the Trumpet will be blown and We shall gather them all together
18:100  We shall show Hell to the disbelievers
18:101  those whose eyes were blind to My signs, those who were unable to hear
18:102  Did they think that they could take My servants as masters instead of Me? We have prepared Hell as the disbelievers’ resting place
18:103  Say [Prophet], ‘Shall we tell you who has the most to lose by their actions
18:104  whose efforts in this world are misguided, even when they think they are doing good work
18:105  It is those who disbelieve in their Lord’s messages and deny that they will meet Him.’ Their deeds come to nothing: on the Day of Resurrection We shall give them no weight
18:106  Their recompense for having disbelieved and made fun of My messages and My messengers will be Hell
18:107  But those who believe and do good deeds will be given the Gardens of Paradise
18:108  There they will remain, never wishing to leave
18:109  Say [Prophet], ‘If the whole ocean were ink for writing the words of my Lord, it would run dry before those words were exhausted’- even if We were to add another ocean to it
18:110  Say, ‘I am only a human being, like you, to whom it has been revealed that your God is One. Anyone who fears to meet his Lord should do good deeds and give no one a share in the worship due to his Lord