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18:1  Praise to Allah the One who has revealed to His servant the Book, and has allowed no uncertainty in it.
18:2  It is explicit to warn of a terrible punishment from Him and to give good news to the believers who perform righteous deeds. They shall have a handsome reward.
18:3  They shall enjoy it forever.
18:4  In addition, He warns those who say that Allah has begotten a son.
18:5  They have no knowledge of such a thing, and neither did their parents. It is nothing more than a scandal spewing from their mouths. It’s simply a lie!
18:6  You would probably worry yourself to death, fretfully pursuing (the rejecters), because they do not accept this message.
18:7  We have caused what is on the earth as adornment for it so that We may test (people) and reveal who are best in conduct.
18:8  Truly, We will make what is on (earth) to become barren dust.
18:9  Will you reflect whether [the story of] the companions of the cave and the inscription [later marking the cave] were wonders among Our signs?
18:10  The [Christian] youths [of Ephesus] settled in a cave. They said, “Our Lord, bestow upon us Your mercy and dispose of our affair [of religious persecution] in the best way.”
18:11  We numbed their ears for a number of years in the cave.
18:12  Later We roused them in order to challenge which one of them was best at figuring how long they had tarried [in the cave].
18:13  We relate to you their story as a matter of truth. These were [Christian] youths who believed in their Lord, and We multiplied guidance to them.
18:14  We gave courage to their hearts. They took a stand and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Never shall we call upon any god other than Him. If we did, we would indeed have uttered a big lie!
18:15  “Some among our people have acknowledged gods other than Him. Why do they not produce convincing evidence [of their gods]? Who sins greater than one who fabricates slander against Allah?
18:16  “When you turn away from (the Roman persecutors) and the things they worship other than Allah, settle yourselves in the cave [to live in seclusion]. Your Lord will shower His mercies on you and accommodate you in your situation.” [Thus began the community.]
18:17  [If you had been there] you could have watched the sun rise and climb from the right and the sun decline and set on the left [without your ever suspecting that the cave was inhabited] while they [the inhabitants] lay in the spacious midst of the cave. Such as this is among the signs of Allah. The one guided by Allah is properly guided, but the one Allah leaves astray will find no guardian to lead him/her to the proper way.
18:18  You would have thought them aware, although they were in a deep sleep, and We turned them right and left on their sides. Their dog lay at the opening of the cave, with his forelegs stretched out. If you had happened upon them, you would have turned around and ran, out of fear.
18:19  Further, we aroused (the cave-dwellers) so they might question one another. One asked, “How long have you stayed?” Some said, “We have stayed a day or so.” They said, “Allah alone knows how long you have stayed.” Another said, “Have one of us go, with this money of yours, into town. Have him find the most suitable food and get some for you to satisfy your hunger. Tell him to behave cautiously and courteously and not to inform anyone about you.
18:20  “If they [the oppressors] discover you, they would stone you or force you to return to their [pagan] cult. In that case, you would never attain prosperity.” [The chosen member went in his old-fashioned clothes and presented coins of the then-fallen Roman Empire.]
18:21  In this way, We made their situation known to the people [the new generation for which monotheistic Christianity was then the state-sponsored religion]. This is so that they might know that the promise of Allah is true and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. They [of the town’s Christian community] discussed among themselves concerning the account of (the cave-dwellers). Some said, “Let’s build a monument to them.” Their Lord knows best concerning them. Those who won the debate said, “Let us build a house of worship in honor of them.”
18:22  Some people say there were three [original youths], and that the dog made a fourth. Others say there were five and the dog made six, but they were only guessing. Still others say there were seven and the dog made eight. Say, “My Lord knows best their number. Only a few people know the whole story. Don’t argue about controversial matters unless there is a definitive end, and don’t bother investigating concerning (the sleepers).” [The details aren’t important; it’s the moral.]
18:23  Don’t say of anything, “I will do such-and-such tomorrow,”…
18:24  …without adding, “if Allah so wills,” and call your Lord to mind if you do forget, and then say, “I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer than this to the correct avenue.”
18:25  They [the subsequent community] inhabited the cave three hundred and nine years.
18:26  Say, “Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him are the secrets of the skies and Earth. How clearly He sees! How perfectly He hears! They have no protector other than Him. He does not share His command with any other.”
18:27  Recite what has been revealed to you from the Book of the Lord. No one can change His words, and you will find no refuge other than Him.
18:28  Let your soul be content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His face. Do not let your eyes stray from (the true worshipers) in order to seek the splendor of this life. Do not obey anyone whose heart We have permitted to neglect Our remembrance and who follows his/her own desires and who has strayed from all boundaries [of righteousness].
18:29  Say, “The truth is from your Lord. May he/she who will believe, do so; and may he/she who will not believe, do so.” Indeed, for the wicked, We have prepared a fire, which will surround them like walls. If they beg for relief, they will be granted water like molten brass that will scald their faces. How dreadful the drink! How prickly a bed on which to recline!
18:30  Truly, as for those who believe and live righteously, We certainly shall not allow the perishing of the reward of any soul who does a good deed.
18:31  For them will be the Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow. Therein, they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear emerald garments of fine silk and elaborate brocade. They will recline therein on fancy couches. How wonderful the reward! How comfortable a bed on which to recline!
18:32  Give them a parable of two men. For one man, We provided two gardens of grape vines and surrounded them with date palms. Between the two, We placed a field of grain.
18:33  Each garden brought forth its produce. They did not fail in the least bit. In their midst, We caused a river to flow.
18:34  So abundant was the produce that (the owner) argued with his companion and said, “I have more wealth than you and more power among men.”
18:35  He went into his garden with an attitude unjust to his soul. He said, “I don’t think this will ever perish.
18:36  “Also, I do not think that the hour [of judgment] will come. Even if I am returned to my Lord, I will certainly find something better than this in exchange.”
18:37  His companion said to him during the argument, “Do you deny He who created you from the dust and then from a sperm, and then formed you into a man?
18:38  “As for me, He is Allah my Lord. I shall associate none with my Lord.
18:39  “Why did you not go into your garden and say, ‘Allah’s will be done; no power is there without Allah’? If you consider me less than you in wealth and children,…
18:40  “…it may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden. He may send upon (your garden) a disaster from the sky and cause it to become slippery dirt.
18:41  “Perhaps the water (of the garden) will run underground so that you will never be able to find it.”
18:42  The man’s fruits were encompassed [with disaster]. He remained, wringing his hands over what he had spent on his property, which crumbled to pieces to its very foundations. He could only say, “Oh, how I wish I had never associated partners with my Lord!”
18:43  He had no forces to help him against Allah, and he was unable to deliver himself.
18:44  The only protection comes from Allah, the True One. He is the best to reward and the best to give success.
18:45  Present them the simile of the life of this world: It is like the rain which We send down from the skies. The earth’s vegetation absorbs it, but soon the plants become dry stubble, which the winds scatter. Allah prevails over all things.
18:46  Wealth and children are fascinations of the life of this world, but the things that endure, good deeds, are best in the sight of your Lord in terms of reward and hope.
18:47  One day, We shall remove the mountains, and you will see the earth barren, and We will assemble them, and We will not leave out a single person.
18:48  They will be marshaled before your Lord in ranks. “Now you have come before Us as We first created you. You thought We would never fulfill this appointment made for you.”
18:49  The Book will be placed, and you will see the sinful in great terror because of what is therein. They will say, “Woe to us! What manner of book this is! It leaves out nothing, small or great, but takes account thereof.” They will find all their deeds presented, and your Lord will not cause injustice to anyone.
18:50  We said to the angels, “Bow to Adam.” They bowed, except Iblis. He was one of the spirit-beings. He broke the command of his Lord. Will you then accept him and his posterity as supporters rather than Me? They are enemies to you. The exchange would be disaster for the sinners.
18:51  I did not call them to witness the creation of the skies and the earth or their own creation. It is not for Me to take such helpers as those who lead astray.
18:52  One day He will say, “Call on those you thought to be My partners.” They will call on them, but they will not hear them because We will have placed between them a separation.
18:53  The sinful will see the fire and realize that they have to fall into it. They will not find a way out.
18:54  We have explained in detail in this Qur’an, for the benefit of people, every kind of simile; however, in most cases, people are contentious.
18:55  What holds people back from believing now that guidance has come to them? What keeps them from praying for forgiveness from their Lord? Maybe what happened before [to evil people] should be repeated with them. Should the wrath be brought before them?
18:56  We only send the messengers to give glad tidings and to give warnings. However, the unbelievers dispute with vain arguments to contradict the truth. They treat My signs and warnings as a joke.
18:57  Who does more wrong than one who is reminded of the signs of his/her Lord, and then turns away from them, forgetting what his/her hands have wrought? Truly, We have set veils over their hearts lest they should understand this. We have put deafness over their ears. If you call them to guidance, even then they would never accept guidance.
18:58  Your Lord, however, is Most Forgiving, Full of Mercy. If He were to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely He would have hastened their punishment. They have their appointed time beyond which they will find no refuge.
18:59  Such were the populations We destroyed when they sinned, but We set an appointed time for their destruction.
18:60  Moses said to his attendant, “I will not despair until I reach the junction of the two seas, even though I may have to travel a long time.”
18:61  When they reached the junction, however, they had forgotten about their fish, which took a course into the sea, slipping away.
18:62  After they had passed [the place where the fish escaped], (Moses) said to his attendant, “Bring us our morning meal. We are certainly tired after all this traveling.”
18:63  He replied, “Did you see what happened while we rested on the rock? I forgot about the fish. Only Satan made me forget to tell you about it. It took its course through the sea in a spectacular way.”
18:64  (Moses) said, “That [place] was what we were seeking.” They traced back their footsteps.
18:65  They found one of Our servants on whom We had bestowed grace from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Our presence.
18:66  Moses said to him, “May I follow you on the assurance that you teach me some of the proper guidance that you have been taught.”
18:67  He said, “Truly, you will not be able to have patience with me.
18:68  “How can you have patience about things of which you have no knowledge?”
18:69  (Moses) said, “You will find me patient if Allah wills, and I will not disobey you in any matter.”
18:70  He said, “If you would follow me, ask me no questions about anything until I speak to you about it.”
18:71  They proceeded together. When they were in a boat, (the instructor) made a hole in it. (Moses) said, “Did you sink the boat in order to drown those in it? Truly, what a strange thing you have done!”
18:72  He answered, “Didn’t I tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me?”
18:73  (Moses) said, “Do not scold me for forgetting, and do not grieve me by making things difficult for me.”
18:74  They proceeded until they met a young man which (the instructor) killed. (Moses) said, “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed no one? You have certainly done a horrible thing!”
18:75  He answered, “Didn’t I tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me?”
18:76  (Moses) said, “If I ask you about anything else, do not keep me in your company. You will be excused from me.”
18:77  They proceeded until they came to the residents of a town. They asked (the residents) for food. (The residents) refused hospitality to them. (Moses and the instructor) discovered a wall that was about to fall down. (The instructor) repaired it. (Moses) said, “If you had wanted, surely you could have gotten paid for doing that.”
18:78  He answered, “This is where you and I will part. Now I will tell you the reasoning behind those things about which you were unable to hold patience.
18:79  “As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working on the sea. I wanted to render (the boat) unusable because after them was a certain king who seized every boat by force.
18:80  “As for the young man, his parents were people of faith. We feared that he would grieve them because of his obstinate rebellion and unbelief.
18:81  We wanted their Lord to give them, in exchange, someone better in purity and closer in affection.
18:82  “As for the wall, it belonged to two young orphans in the town. Beneath it was a buried treasure to which they were entitled. Their father had been a righteous man. Your Lord willed that they should attain an accountable age and receive their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it of my own accord. That is the reasoning behind those things about which you were unable to be patient.”
18:83  They ask you concerning the Two-Horned One. Say, “I will tell you something of his story.”
18:84  Truly, We established his power on earth. We gave him a way to achieve everything.
18:85  He followed one way…
18:86  …until he came to the setting of the sun. It appeared to set in muddy water. Near it, he found a people. We said, “O Two-Horned One, either punish them or treat them with kindness.”
18:87  He said, “We will punish whoever sins so that he shall be returned to his Lord who will punish him with a terrible punishment.
18:88  “Whoever believes and lives righteously, however, will have a handsome reward. We will speak to him with easy orders.”
18:89  (89 He followed a way
18:90  until he came to the rising of the sun. He found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no protection from the sun.
18:91  He left them as they were. We completely understood what information he had.
18:92  He followed a way…
18:93  …until he came between two mountains. Beneath them, he found a people who scarcely understood a word.
18:94  They said, “O Two-Horned One, the Gog and Magog [tribes] commit huge crimes on the earth. Shall we then pay you tribute on the condition that you will erect a barrier between us and them?”
18:95  He said, “That which My Lord has established for me is better, so help me with strength. I will erect a stronger barrier between you and them.
18:96  “Bring me blocks of iron.” Finally, when he had filled the space between the two mountainsides, he said, “Blow [with your bellows].” When (the iron) was as fire, he said, “Bring me molten metal to pour over (the iron).”
18:97  In that way, (the enemies) were made powerless to scale it or 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 raze it. The promise of my Lord is true.”
18:99  On that day, We will leave them to surge like waves on one another. The trumpet will be blown, and We will assemble them all together.
18:100  We will present Hell that day for unbelievers to see on display.
18:101  Their eyes had been veiled from remembrance of Me. They had been unable even to hear.
18:102  Do the unbelievers think that they can take My servants as protectors besides Me? Truly, We have prepared Hell to welcome the unbelievers.
18:103  Say, “Shall we tell you of those who lose most in respect to their deeds?
18:104  “They are those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought they were acquiring good by their works.
18:105  “They are those who deny the signs of their Lord and the fact of their having to meet Him. Their works will be in vain.” On the Day of Resurrection, We won’t give them any value.
18:106  Hell is their reward because they disbelieved. They took My signs and My messengers as jokes.
18:107  Truly, for those who believe and perform righteous deeds, there are Gardens of Paradise for their leisure.
18:108  They shall dwell there forever and will not desire anything different.
18:109  Say, “If the ocean was ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would be exhausted before the words of my Lord would end, even if We added another [such ocean] like it to supplement it.”
18:110  Say, “I [your Prophet] am merely a man like you. Inspiration has come to me, saying that your God is One God. Whoever expects to meet his/her Lord should live righteously, and, in worshiping his/her Lord, allow no partner.”