Verse 18:11

فَضَرَبۡنَا عَلٰٓى اٰذَانِهِمۡ فِى الۡـكَهۡفِ سِنِيۡنَ عَدَدًا ۙ‏

And thereupon We veiled their ears in the Cave for some years. [They remained isolated, hiding from the soldiers of Emperor Decius during his reign, 249-251 CE]

Verse 18:12

ثُمَّ بَعَثۡنٰهُمۡ لِنَعۡلَمَ اَىُّ الۡحِزۡبَيۡنِ اَحۡصٰى لِمَا لَبِثُوۡۤا اَمَدًا‏

And then We roused them (out of the Cave), in order to test for themselves which of the two parties, (the young men and their friends in town, or their opponents), had made better use of the time. [The Dwellers of the Cave had maintained secret communication with like- minded people in Ephesus]

Verse 18:13

نَحۡنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيۡكَ نَبَاَهُمۡ بِالۡحَـقِّ​ؕ اِنَّهُمۡ فِتۡيَةٌ اٰمَنُوۡا بِرَبِّهِمۡ وَزِدۡنٰهُمۡ هُدًى​ۖ‏

And now (contrary to hearsay) We shall relate to you (O Prophet) their true history. Indeed, they were young men who truly believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.

Verse 18:14

وَّرَبَطۡنَا عَلٰى قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ اِذۡ قَامُوۡا فَقَالُوۡا رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ لَنۡ نَّدۡعُوَا۫ مِنۡ دُوۡنِهٖۤ اِلٰهًـا​ لَّـقَدۡ قُلۡنَاۤ اِذًا شَطَطًا‏ 

We strengthened their hearts as they took a firm stand and said, 'Our only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we call upon any 'authority' other than Him. If we did, we would be in enormous schism.' [Their proclamation was not mere words. They were determined to establish the Divine System in their land]

Verse 18:15

هٰٓؤُلَاۤءِ قَوۡمُنَا اتَّخَذُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِهٖۤ اٰلِهَةً​ ؕ لَوۡ لَا يَاۡتُوۡنَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍۢ بَيِّنٍ​ ؕ فَمَنۡ اَظۡلَمُ مِمَّنِ افۡتَـرٰى عَلَى اللّٰهِ كَذِبًا ؕ‏

Our people have taken gods other than Him. Why do they not bring forward a clear and convincing evidence in support of what they do? And who does a greater wrong than the one who invents a lie against God?' [Taken gods other than Him = Obeyed false authorities contradicting Divine Commands]

Verse 18:16

وَاِذِ اعۡتَزَلۡـتُمُوۡهُمۡ وَمَا يَعۡبُدُوۡنَ اِلَّا اللّٰهَ فَاۡوٗۤا اِلَى الۡـكَهۡفِ يَنۡشُرۡ لَـكُمۡ رَبُّكُمۡ مِّنۡ رَّحۡمَتِهٖ وَيُهَيِّئۡ لَـكُمۡ مِّنۡ اَمۡرِكُمۡ مِّرۡفَقًا‏

(The young men conferred with their friends and among themselves), 'Now that you have withdrawn from them and all that they submit to other than God, then seek refuge in the Cave. Your Lord will shower you with His grace, and set your affairs towards ease.'

Verse 18:17

وَتَرَى الشَّمۡسَ اِذَا طَلَعَتۡ تَّزٰوَرُ عَنۡ كَهۡفِهِمۡ ذَاتَ الۡيَمِيۡنِ وَاِذَا غَرَبَتۡ تَّقۡرِضُهُمۡ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَهُمۡ فِىۡ فَجۡوَةٍ مِّنۡهُ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ مِنۡ اٰيٰتِ اللّٰهِ​ ؕ مَنۡ يَّهۡدِ اللّٰهُ فَهُوَ الۡمُهۡتَدِ ​ۚ وَمَنۡ يُّضۡلِلۡ فَلَنۡ تَجِدَ لَهٗ وَلِيًّا مُّرۡشِدًا‏

And you would have seen the sun rising on the right side of the Cave, and set, aside from them, on the left while they lived on in that spacious chamber. It is a sign of God that (He arranged for them excellent camouflage and) whom God guides is rightly guided, and whom He lets go astray (for violating the laws of guidance) for such, you will find no ally to show the right way. [The Cave lay North South and while it was roomy from inside, its entrance was small]

Verse 18:18

وَ تَحۡسَبُهُمۡ اَيۡقَاظًا وَّهُمۡ رُقُوۡدٌ ​​ۖ وَنُـقَلِّبُهُمۡ ذَاتَ الۡيَمِيۡنِ وَ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ​​ ۖ وَكَلۡبُهُمۡ بَاسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيۡهِ بِالۡوَصِيۡدِ​ ؕ لَوِ اطَّلَعۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ لَوَلَّيۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ فِرَارًا وَّلَمُلِئۡتَ مِنۡهُمۡ رُعۡبًا‏ 

You would have thought that they were awake, even when they slept. (They remained alert round the clock.) We made them change their positions right and left, frequently. They had a faithful dog to guard the entrance, with its four paws outstretched (ready to pounce). The whole environment was aweinspiring. Had you come upon them suddenly, you would have fled away from them in awe.

Verse 18:19

وَكَذٰلِكَ بَعَثۡنٰهُمۡ لِيَتَسَآءَلُوۡا بَيۡنَهُمۡ​ ؕ قَالَ قَآٮِٕلٌ مِّنۡهُمۡ كَمۡ لَبِثۡتُمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡا لَبِثۡنَا يَوۡمًا اَوۡ بَعۡضَ يَوۡمٍ​ ؕ قَالُوۡا رَبُّكُمۡ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثۡتُمۡ ؕ فَابۡعَثُوۡۤا اَحَدَكُمۡ بِوَرِقِكُمۡ هٰذِهٖۤ اِلَى الۡمَدِيۡنَةِ فَلۡيَنۡظُرۡ اَيُّهَاۤ اَزۡكٰى طَعَامًا فَلۡيَاۡتِكُمۡ بِرِزۡقٍ مِّنۡهُ وَلۡيَتَلَطَّفۡ وَلَا يُشۡعِرَنَّ بِكُمۡ اَحَدًا‏

And so, when We caused them to rise (out of the Cave), they began to ask one another (about the next step). One of them asked, 'How long have you been here?' 'We have been here a day or part of a day!' they answered. Finally they said, 'Your Lord knows best how long. (They were so committed to their mission that they hardly noticed how the days and nights went by.) Let one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and look for the best available food, and bring you some provisions. But let him exercise caution, and by no means make anyone aware of you.'

Verse 18:20

اِنَّهُمۡ اِنۡ يَّظۡهَرُوۡا عَلَيۡكُمۡ يَرۡجُمُوۡكُمۡ اَوۡ يُعِيۡدُوۡكُمۡ فِىۡ مِلَّتِهِمۡ وَلَنۡ تُفۡلِحُوۡۤا اِذًا اَبَدًا‏

If they discover you, they will stone you to death or force you to revert to their religion. Then you will never succeed.'

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