All praise is to Allah Who sent down the Book upon His bondman, and has not kept any deviation in it.
A just Book, to warn of Allah’s severe punishment, and to give glad tidings to the believers who do good deeds, that for them is an excellent reward.
In which they will abide forever.
And to warn those who say, “Allah has chosen a child.”
They do not have any knowledge of it - nor did their forefathers; profound is the word that comes out of their mouths; they only speak a lie.
Possibly you may risk your life by grieving (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) for them if they do not believe in this narration.
We have indeed placed all that is on the earth as its adornment in order that We may test them, who among them has the best deeds.
And indeed We shall one day make all that is on it a barren plain.
Did you know that the People of the Cave and People close to the Woods, were Our exceptional signs?
When the young men took refuge in the Cave - then said, “Our Lord! Give us mercy from Yourself, and arrange guidance for us in our affair.”
We then thumped upon their ears in the Cave for a number of years. (* Put them to sleep.)
We then awakened them to see which of the two groups more accurately tells the period they had stayed.
We shall narrate their account to you accurately; they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased the guidance for them.
And We made their hearts steadfast when they stood up and said, "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth - we shall not worship any other deity except Him - if it were, we have then said something excessive."
"These - the people of ours - have set up Gods besides Allah; why do they not bring a clear proof regarding them? And who is more unjust than one who fabricates a lie against Allah?"
"And when you have disassociated yourself from them and all what they worship besides Allah - so take refuge in the Cave - your Lord will spread His mercy for you and arrange ease for you in your affairs."
And O dear Prophet (Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him) you will see the sun that when it rises it shifts away to the right of their cave, and when it sets it shifts away to their left, and they are in the open ground of that cave; this is from among the signs of Allah; whomever Allah guides - only he is therefore guided; and whomever He sends astray - you will never find for him a friend who guides.
And you may think they are awake, whereas they are asleep; and We turn them over to the right and the left - and their dog is on the threshold of the cave, with its paws outstretched; O listener, were you to look at them closely, you would turn back running away from them, and be filled with their dread.
And similarly We awakened them so that they may enquire about each other; a speaker among them said, "How long have you stayed here?" Some among them said, "We have stayed a day or part of a day"; the others said, "Your Lord well knows how long you have stayed; therefore send one of you to the city with this silver coin - he may then check which food available there is purer, in order to bring some of it for you to eat - and he must be courteous and not inform anyone about you."
"Indeed if they come to know about you, they will stone you or turn you back to their religion - and if so, you will never prosper."
And this is how We made them known for people to know that the promise of Allah is true and that there is no doubt concerning the Last Day; when the people began disputing among themselves regarding them, they said, "Construct a building over their cave"; their Lord well knows them; those who dominated in this matter said, "We promise we will build a mosque over them."
So the people will now say, "They are three, their dog is the fourth"; and some will say, "They are five, their dog is the sixth" - just blind guesses; and some will say, "They are seven, and their dog is the eighth"; proclaim (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him), "My Lord well knows their number - no one knows them except a few"; therefore do not debate concerning them except what has occurred, and do not ask any of the People of the Book(s) anything concerning them.
And never say about anything that, "I will do this tomorrow."
Except "If Allah wills"; and remember your Lord when you forget, and say, "It is likely that my Lord will guide me to a more accurate way of virtue than this."
And they stayed in their Cave for three hundred years * and nine more *. (* 300 according to the Solar calendar and 309 according to the Lunar calendar.)
Say, "Allah well knows how long they stayed; for Him only are the hidden of the heavens and the earth; how well He sees and hears! They do not have any supporter besides Him; and He does not associate anyone in His command."
And recite the Book of your Lord which has been divinely revealed to you; there is none who can change His Words; and you will never find a refuge besides Him.
And restrain yourself along with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure; and may not your sight fall on anything besides them; would you desire the adornment of the life of this world? And do not follow him whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance – the one who has followed his own desires and his matter has crossed the limits.
And proclaim, “The Truth is from your Lord”; so whoever wills may accept faith, and whoever wills may disbelieve - We have indeed prepared for the disbelievers a fire the walls of which will surround them; if they plead for water, their plea will be answered with water like molten metal which shall scald their faces; what an evil drink it is; and what an evil destination is hell!
Indeed those who believed and did good deeds - We do not waste the reward of those whose deeds are good.
For them are everlasting Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow - in it they will be given bracelets of gold to adorn, and shall wear green clothes made of fine silk and gold embroidery, reclining upon thrones in it; what an excellent reward; and what an excellent abode is Paradise!
And relate to them the account of the two men - to one We gave two gardens of grapes, and covered them with date-palms and kept farms between them.
Both the gardens gave yields and gave no shortfall in it - and We made a river to flow between the two.
And he had fruit; he therefore said to his companion - and he used to debate with him - "I exceed you in wealth, and am more powerful in respect of men."
He went into his garden and wronging himself said, "I do not think that this will ever perish."
"I do not think that the Last Day will ever be established - and even if I return to my Lord I will surely find a haven better than this garden."
His companion debating with him answered, "What! You disbelieve in Him Who has created you from dust, then from a drop of liquid, and then created you as a complete man?"
"But I just say that only Allah is my Lord, and I do not ascribe anyone as a partner to my Lord."
“And why was it not that you would have said when you entered your garden, ‘Whatever Allah wills - we do not have any strength except with the help of Allah’ - if you had observed me lesser than you in wealth and children?”
"So it is likely that my Lord will give me a garden better than yours, and send bolts of lightning from the skies on your garden - it therefore turns into a barren plain."
"Or its water may sink into the earth, so you may never be able to find it."
And his fruits were surrounded - he therefore remained helplessly wringing his hands upon all that he had spent on it - and it lay fallen on its canopy - and he says, "If only I had not ascribed any partner to my Lord!"
And he had no group to help him against Allah, nor was he capable of taking revenge.
Here brought to light is that the authority is only for Allah, the True; the reward He bestows is the best, and believing in Him has the best outcome.
And relate to them the example of the life of this world - like water which We sent down from the sky, therefore vegetation of the earth grew forth in abundance with it to become dry hay which the winds scatter; and Allah is the Controller of all things.
Wealth and sons are ornaments of the life of this world; and good deeds that last - their reward is better before your Lord, and are better in respect of hope.
And the Day when We move the hills and you see the earth flattened plain, and We shall raise all of them together - so not leaving out any one of them.
And everyone shall be presented before your Lord in rows; "Indeed you have come to Us exactly as We had created you for the first time - in fact you thought that We shall never appoint a promised time for you!"
And the Book shall be placed - and you will see the guilty dreading what is written in it and saying, "Woe to us - what sort of a Book is this that it has not left out any small sin nor a great one, which it has not included!" And they found all that they did confronting them; and your Lord does not wrong any one.
And recall when We commanded the angels that, "Prostrate before Adam" - so they all prostrated, except Iblis; he was of the jinn, he therefore rebelled against his Lord’s command; "What! You choose him and his offspring as your friends instead of Me, whereas they are your enemies?" And what an evil alternative did the unjust get.
Neither did I make them witness the creations of the heavens and the earth, nor witness their own creation; nor does it befit My Majesty to choose misleaders as aides.
And the Day when He will proclaim, "Call those partners of Mine whom you had assumed" - so they will call out to them - they will not answer them, and We shall create a field of destruction between them.
And when the guilty see hell, they will be certain of falling into it, and will find no place to escape from it.
And We have indeed illustrated all kinds of examples for mankind in this Qur’an; and man is the most quarrelsome of all.
And what prevented men from accepting faith when guidance came to them, and from asking forgiveness from their Lord except that the tradition of the former nations come upon them or that they confront various kinds of punishments?
And We do not send the Noble Messengers except as Heralds of glad tidings and warnings; and the disbelievers debate by means of falsehood to drive away the Truth with it, and they took My signs and warnings they were given, as a mockery!
And who is more unjust than one who, when reminded of the signs of his Lord, turns away from them and forgets what his hands have sent forward? We have put covers on their hearts so as not to understand the Qur’an, and deafness in their ears; and even if you call them to guidance, they will never attain the right path.
And your Lord is the Oft Forgiver, the Merciful; if He seized them for their deeds, He would soon send the punishment upon them; but for them is an appointed time from which they will not find any refuge.
And these towns - We destroyed them when they committed injustice, and We had set an appointed time for their destruction.
And recall when Moosa said to his assistant, “I will not give up until I reach the place where the two seas meet or until I have progressed for ages.”
And when they reached the place where the two seas meet, they forgot about their fish, and it took its way into the sea, making a tunnel. (The dead fish came alive and went into the water.)
So when they had gone beyond that place, Moosa said to his assistant, “Bring our breakfast - we have indeed faced great exertion in this journey of ours.”
He said, “Just imagine - when we had taken shelter near the rock, so indeed I forgot the fish; and none but Satan caused me to forget to mention it; and the fish took its way into the sea - its amazing!”
Said Moosa, "This is exactly what we wanted"; so they came back retracing their steps.
So they found a bondman * from amongst Our (chosen) bondmen, to whom We had given mercy from Us, and had bestowed the inspired knowledge from Ourselves. (* Hazrat Khidr - peace be upon him.)
Moosa said to him, "May I stay with you upon the condition that you will teach me the righteousness that you have been taught?"
He said, "You will never be able to patiently stay with me."
"And how will you bear something which your knowledge does not encompass?"
Said Moosa, "Allah willing, you will soon find me patient and I will not do anything against your instructions."
He said, "Therefore if you stay with me, do not ask me about anything until I myself mention it to you."
So they both set out; until when they had boarded the boat, the chosen bondman ruptured the boat; said Moosa, "Did you make a hole in the boat in order to drown its passengers? You have indeed done an evil thing."
He said, "Did I not say that you will never be able to patiently stay with me?"
Said Moosa, "Do not apprehend me upon my forgetting, and do not impose difficulty on me in my task."
So they set out again; until when they met a boy, the chosen bondman slew him - Moosa said, "Did you slay an innocent soul not in retribution for another? You have indeed done an extremely evil thing."
He said, "Did I not tell you that you will never be able to patiently stay with me?"
Said Moosa, "If I ask you anything after this, do not stay with me; indeed your condition from me is fulfilled."
So they both set out again; until they came to the people of a dwelling – they asked its people for food - they refused to invite them – then in the village they both found a wall about to collapse, and the chosen bondman straightened it; said Moosa, "If you wished, you could have taken some wages for it!"
He said, "This is the parting between you and me; I shall now tell you the interpretation of the matters you could not patiently bear."
"In respect of the boat - it belonged to the poor people who worked on the river, so I wished to flaw it - and behind them was a king who would capture every sound ship."
"And in respect of the boy - his parents were Muslims and we feared that he may incite them to rebellion and disbelief."
"So we wished that their Lord may bestow them a child - better, purer and nearer to mercy."
"And in respect of the wall - it belonged to two orphan boys of the city, and beneath it was their treasure, and their father was a virtuous man; therefore your Lord willed that they should reach their maturity and remove their treasure; by the mercy of your Lord; and I have not done this at my own command; this is the interpretation of the matters you could not patiently bear." (* Hazrat Khidr was given the knowledge of the hidden - as in all three explanations he gave).
And they ask you regarding Zul-Qarnain; say, "I shall recite his story to you."
Indeed We gave him authority in the land and bestowed him the means of everything.
He therefore pursued a purpose.
To the extent that when he reached the setting-place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring, and found a nation there; We said, "O Zul-Qarnain – either punish them or choose kindness for them."
He submitted, "Regarding one who has done injustice, we shall soon punish him – he will then be brought back to his Lord, Who will punish him severely."
"And regarding one who believed and did good deeds – so his reward is goodness; and we shall soon give him an easy command."
He again pursued a purpose.
To the extent that when he reached the rising-place of the sun, he found it rising upon a nation for which We had not kept any shelter from it.
So it is; and Our knowledge encompasses all that he possessed.
He again pursued a purpose.
Until, when he came between two mountains, he found before them a nation that did not appear to understand any speech.
They said, "O Zul-Qarnain - indeed Yajuj and Majuj * are spreading chaos in the land – so shall we assign for you a consideration upon the condition that you set up a wall between us and them?" (* Gog and Magog.)
He said, "That which my Lord has given me control over is better, therefore help me with strength - I shall set up a barrier between you and them."
"Give me sheets of iron"; until when he had raised the wall equal to the edge of the two mountains, he said, "Blow"; to the extent that he made it ablaze - he said, "Bring me molten copper to pour upon it."
Therefore Yajuj and Majuj were neither able to surmount it, nor could they pierce it.
He said, "This is the mercy of my Lord; then when the promise of my Lord arrives, He will blow it to bits; and my Lord’s promise is true."
And on that day We shall release them in groups surging like waves one after another, and the Trumpet will be blown – so We shall gather them all together. (* Gog and Magog will come out during the time of Eisa (Jesus - when he comes back to earth) and cause great destruction in the land.)
And We shall bring hell in front of the disbelievers.
The ones whose eyes were covered from My remembrance, and who could not bear to hear Truth.
Do the disbelievers assume that they will be able to choose My bondmen as supporters other than Me? Indeed We have prepared hell to welcome the disbelievers.
Say (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him), "Shall we inform you whose are the most failed works?"
"Of those whose efforts are lost in (pursuit of) the life of this world, and they think that they are doing good deeds."
The people who disbelieved in the signs of their Lord and in the meeting with Him, therefore all their deeds are in vain –We shall therefore not establish any weighing for them on the Day of Resurrection.
This is their reward – hell - because they disbelieved, and made a mockery of My verses and My Noble Messengers.
Indeed those who believed and did good deeds – their welcome are the Gardens of Paradise.
They will abide in it for ever, never wanting to shift from it.
Proclaim, "If the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, the sea would indeed be used up and the Words of my Lord would never - even if we bring another like it for help."
Proclaim, "Physically I am a human * like you - my Lord sends divine revelations to me - that your God is only One God; so whoever expects to the meet his Lord must perform good deeds and not ascribe anyone as a partner in the worship of his Lord." (* Human but not equal to you, in fact the greatest in spiritual status.)