بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Transcription
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
Edip-Layth
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate.
The Monotheist Group
In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful.
Muhammad Asad
In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
Rashad Khalifa
In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. ,
Shabbir Ahmed
All praise is due to God, the Lord/Cherisher/Sustainer of the Universe and everything therein.
Çeviriyazı
Bismillâhir rahmânir rahîm.
Edip Yüksel
Rahman, Rahim Allah'ın ismiyle
Yaşar Nuri Öztürk
Rahman ve Rahim Allah'ın adıyla...
Muhammed Esed
RAHMÂN, RAHÎM ALLAH ADINA
Ali Bulaç
Rahman ve Rahim olan Allah'ın adıyla

18:1 الحمد لله الذى انزل على عبده الكتب ولم يجعل له عوجا

Transcription (English)
18:1 Alhamdu lillahi allatheeanzala AAala AAabdihi alkitaba walam yajAAal lahuAAiwajan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:1 Praise be to God who sent down the book to His servant, and He did not allow any flaw in it.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:1 Praise be to God who has sent down the Book to His servant, and He has not made in it any crookedness.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:1 ALL PRAISE is due to God, who has bestowed. this divine writ from on high upon His servant, and has not allowed any deviousness to obscure its meaning:1

Note 1
Lit., "and has not given it any deviousness". The term `iwaj signifies "crookedness", "tortuousness" or "deviation" (e.g., from a path), as well as "distortion" or "deviousness" in the abstract sense of these words. The above phrase is meant to establish the direct, unambiguous character of the Qur'an and to stress its freedom from all obscurities and internal contradictions: cf. 4:82-"Had it issued from any but God, they would surely have found in it many an inner contradiction!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:1 Praise GOD, who revealed to His servant this scripture, and made it flawless.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:1 All beauty and balance in the Universe is the living evidence that God is Praiseworthy. All praise is for God Who has revealed this Book to His servant, and made it flawless.1

Note 1


This is the 18th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 110 verses. The Surah derives its name from the Cave in which some young men (probably seven of them) had taken shelter against persecution by the Roman Emperor Decius (who ruled between 249-251 CE).



Decius (Daqianoos) being a pagan was known for his persecution of the Monotheistic Christians. They were true Unitarian followers of Jesus Christ, and they took refuge outside the town of Ephesus (Afsoos) in today’s Turkey. The 19th Century Archaeology has uncovered the ruins of the town just South of Izmir.



Dwellers of the Cave, known as 'The Seven Sleepers' in history, have also been referred in this Surah as the owners of Ar-Raqeem - from Raqammeaning inscribing - Inscription. I understand that they held on to the scripture, the Gospel of Jesus. The dogmas of Trinity, Blood Atonement, Divinity and Sonship of Jesus, all were canonized about 75 years after Decius at the Conference of Nicea under Emperor Constantine in 325 CE. So, the Gospel that these young men held on to, was much closer to the real teachings of Jesus. They were vanguards of truth, and not ascetics withdrawing from the responsibilities of the worldly life.



Al-Kahf is one of the most commonly misinterpreted Surahs of the Qur’an because of contradictory historical accounts, questionable Ahadith and the Biblical influence on the minds of many commentators. The Qur’an, as always, sifts out fabrications and expounds the truth.



Tasreef (and some relevant history) help us understand this Surah.



The Surah also gives us an important lesson that true revolutions begin in the hearts, and violent revolutions create only corruption, disorder and bloodshed in the land.



With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness



18:2 قيما لينذر باسا شديدا من لدنه ويبشر المؤمنين الذين يعملون الصلحت ان لهم اجرا حسنا

Transcription (English)
18:2 Qayyiman liyunthira ba/san shadeedanmin ladunhu wayubashshira almu/mineena allatheenayaAAmaloona alssalihati anna lahum ajran hasanan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:2 Straightforward; giving warning of the severe punishment from Him; and it gives glad tidings to those who acknowledge and promote reforms that they will have a fair reward.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:2 It is valuable, giving warning of the severe punishment from Him; and it gives glad tidings to the believers who do good works, that they will have an excellent reward.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:2 [a divine writ] unerringly straight, meant to warn [the godless] of a severe punishment from Him, and to give unto the believers who do good works the glad tiding that theirs shall be a goodly reward-
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:2 A perfect (scripture) to warn of severe retribution from Him, and to deliver good news to the believers who lead a righteous life, that they have earned a generous recompense.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:2 It is a perfect Book, unerringly straight so that He may warn all of a strict retribution from Him (which is the destructive result of their wrongdoings). And that He may give good news to the believers who benefit the society, that theirs shall be an immensely pleasant reward.

18:3 مكثين فيه ابدا

18:3 mkśyn fyh abda
Transcription (English)
18:3  Makitheena feehi abadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:3 In which they will abide eternally.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:3 In which they will remain eternally.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:3 [a state of bliss] in which they. shall dwell beyond the count of time.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:3 Wherein they abide forever.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:3 (A state of bliss) in which they will dwell indefinitely.

18:4 وينذر الذين قالوا اتخذ الله ولدا

Transcription (English)
18:4  Wayunthira allatheena qalooittakhatha Allahu waladan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:4 To warn those who said, "God has taken a son."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:4 And to warn those who said: "God has taken a son."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:4 Furthermore, [this divine writ is meant] to warn all those who assert, "God has taken unto Himself a son."
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:4 And to warn those who said, "GOD has begotten a son!",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:4 Furthermore, this Divine Writ is meant to warn all those who say, “God has taken to Himself a son.”

18:5 ما لهم به من علم ولا لءابائهم كبرت كلمة تخرج من افوههم ان يقولون الا كذبا

Transcription (English)
18:5 Ma lahum bihi min AAilmin walali-aba-ihim kaburat kalimatan takhruju min afwahihimin yaqooloona illa kathiban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:5 They have no knowledge of this, nor do their fathers. Horrendous indeed is the word coming out of their mouths. They are but saying a lie!
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:5 They have no knowledge of this, nor do their fathers. Tremendous indeed is the word coming out of their mouths. They are but saying a lie!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:5 No knowledge whatever have they of Him,2 and neither had their forefathers: dreadful -is this saying that comes out of their mouths, [and] nothing but falsehood do they utter!

Note 2
Most of the classical commentators (and, as far as I am aware, all the earlier translators of the Qur'an) relate the pronoun in bihi to the assertion that "God has taken unto Himself a son", and hence take the phrase to mean, "They have no knowledge of it", i.e., no knowledge of such a happening. However, this interpretation is weak inasmuch as absence of knowledge does not necessarily imply an objective negation of the fact to which it relates. It is, therefore, obvious that bihi cannot signify "of it": it signifies "of Him", and relates to God. Hence, the phrase must be rendered as above - meaning that they who make such a preposterous claim have no real knowledge of Him, since they attribute to the Supreme Being something that is attributable only to created. imperfect beings. This interpretation is supported, in an unequivocal manner, by Tabari and, as an alternative, by Baydawi.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:5 They possess no knowledge about this, nor did their parents. What a blasphemy coming out of their mouths! What they utter is a gross lie.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:5 No knowledge whatsoever have they of Him, and neither did their forefathers. An outrageous statement it is that comes out of their mouths, and nothing but falsehood do they utter.

18:6 فلعلك بخع نفسك على ءاثرهم ان لم يؤمنوا بهذا الحديث اسفا

Transcription (English)
18:6 FalaAAallaka bakhiAAun nafsaka AAalaatharihim in lam yu/minoo bihatha alhadeethiasafan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:6 Perhaps you will torment yourself in grief over them, because they will not acknowledge this saying at all.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:6 Perhaps you will torment yourself in grief over them, because they will not believe in this narrative at all.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:6 But wouldst thou, perhaps,3 torment thyself to death with grief over them if they are not willing to believe in this message?4

Note 3
Lit., "it may well be that thou wilt. . .", etc. However, the particle la'alla does not, in this context, indicate a possibility but, rather, a rhetorical question implying a reproach for the attitude referred to (Maraghi XIII, 116).

Note 4
This rhetorical question is addressed, in the first instance, to the Prophet, who was deeply distressed by the hostility which his message aroused among the pagan Meccans, and suffered agonies of apprehension regarding their spiritual fate. Beyond that, however, it applies to everyone who, having become convinced of the truth of an ethical proposition, is dismayed at the indifference with which his social environment reacts to it.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:6 You may blame yourself on account of their response to this narration, and their disbelieving in it; you may be saddened.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:6 (O Messenger) should you grieve yourself to death if they are not willing to believe in this Message?

18:7 انا جعلنا ما على الارض زينة لها لنبلوهم ايهم احسن عملا

Transcription (English)
18:7 Inna jaAAalna ma AAalaal-ardi zeenatan laha linabluwahum ayyuhum ahsanuAAamalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
The End of the World18:7 We have made what is on earth an adornment for it, so that We will test them as to who is better in deeds.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:7 We have made what is on the earth an adornment for them, so that We will test them as to which of them is best in works.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:7 Behold, We have willed that all beauty on earth be a means by which We put men to a test,5 [showing] which of them are best in conduct;

Note 5
Lit., "We have made all that exists on earth as its adornment in order that We might put them [i.e., all human beings] to a test": meaning that God lets them reveal their real characters in their respective attitudes - moral or immoral - towards the material goods and benefits which the world offers them. In further analysis, this passage implies that the real motive underlying men's refusal to believe in God's spiritual message (see preceding verse) is almost always their excessive, blind attachment to the good of this world, combined with a false pride in what they regard as their own achievements (cf. 16:22 and the corresponding note 15).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
The End of the World18:7 We have adorned everything on earth, in order to test them, and thus distinguish those among them who work righteousness.*,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:7 We have adorned what is on earth so that We may let them test themselves as to who is best in conduct, and lives a balanced life.2

Note 2
18:30, 18:46, 67:2. Ahsanu ‘amala includes ‘best in conduct’ and ‘balanced life’

18:8 وانا لجعلون ما عليها صعيدا جرزا

Transcription (English)
18:8 Wa-inna lajaAAiloona maAAalayha saAAeedan juruzan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:8 We will then make what is on it a barren wasteland.1

Note 1

The young monotheists, wrongly known as the "seven sleepers," are closely connected to the end of the world, as it is expressed in 18:9.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:8 And We will surely make what is on it completely barren.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:8 and, verily, [in time] We shall reduce all that is on it to barren dust!
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:8 Inevitably, we will wipe out everything on it, leaving it completely barren.,1

Note 1
As it turns out, the history of these Christian believers, the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, is directly connected with the end of the world as stated in 18:9 & 21. The role of these believers in unveiling the end of the world is detailed in Appendix 25.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:8 We shall reduce all that is on earth to barren dust!

18:9 ام حسبت ان اصحب الكهف والرقيم كانوا من ءايتنا عجبا

Transcription (English)
18:9 Am hasibta anna as-habaalkahfi waalrraqeemi kanoo min ayatinaAAajaban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
Prophetic Numerical Signs Hidden in the Cave18:9 Did you reckon that the dwellers of the cave and the numerals were of Our wondrous signs?2

Note 2

These 19 verses contain numerous key words that strongly imply that the story of the cave have double meaning like the verses in chapter 74, and the second meaning is about a prophetic event. I have already observed examples of a hidden mathematical design, and God the most Wise will unveil it when the right time comes. When the secrets contained in the cave is revealed by divine permission, it will prove once again the truth in the assertion at 18:27.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:9 Did you perceive that the dwellers of the cave and the numbers related were of Our wondrous signs?
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:9 [AND SINCE the life of this world is but a test,6 dost thou [really] think that [the parable of] the Men of the Cave and of [their devotion to] the scriptures could be deemed more wondrous than any [other] of Our messages?7

Note 6
This interpolation establishes the elliptically implied connection between the long passage that follows and the preceding two verses.

Note 7
Lit., "that the Men of the Cave ... were more wondrous.. .", etc. -the implication being that the allegory or parable based on this story is entirely in tune with the ethical doctrine propounded in the Qur'an as a whole, and therefore not "more wondrous" than any other of its statements. - As regards the story of the Men of the Cave as such. most of the commentators incline to the view that it relates to a phase in early Christian history - namely, the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Decius in the third century. Legend has it that some young Christians of Ephesus, accompanied by their dog, withdrew into a secluded cave in order to be able to live in accordance with their faith, and remained there, miraculously asleep. for a great length of time (according to some accounts, referred to in verse 25 of this surah. for about three centuries). When they finally awoke - unaware of the long time during which they had lain asleep - they sent one of their company to the town to purchase some food. In the meantime the situation had changed entirely: Christianity was no longer persecuted and had even become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The ancient coin (dating from the reign of Decius) with which the young man wanted to pay for his purchases immediately aroused curiosity; people began to question the stranger, and the story of the Men of the Cave and their miraculous sleep came to light. As already mentioned, the majority of the classical commentators rely on this Christian legend in their endeavour to interpret the Qur'anic reference (in verses 9-26) to the Men of the Cave. It seems, however, that the Christian formulation of this theme is a later development of a much older oral tradition -a tradition which, in fact, goes back to pre-Christian, Jewish sources. This is evident from several well-authenticated ahadith (mentioned by all the classical commentators), according to which it was the Jewish rabbis (ahbar) of Medina who induced the Meccan opponents of Muhammad to "test his veracity" by asking him to explain, among other problems, the story of the Men of the Cave. Referring to these ahadith, Ibn Kathir remarks in his commentary on verse 13 of this surah: "It has been said that they were followers of Jesus the son of Mary, but God knows it better: it is obvious that they lived much earlier than the Christian period-for, had they been Christians, why should the Jewish rabbis have been intent on preserving their story, seeing that the Jews had cut themselves off from all friendly communion with them [i.e., the Christians]?" We may, therefore, safely assume that the legend of the Men of the Cave - stripped of its Christian garb and the superimposed Christian background - is, substantially, of Jewish origin. If we discard the later syncretic additions and reduce the story to its fundamentals-voluntary withdrawal from the world, agelong "sleep" in a secluded cave and a miraculous "awakening" after an indeterminate period of time-we have before us a striking allegory relating to a movement which played an important role in Jewish religious history during the centuries immediately preceding and following the advent of Jesus: namely, the ascetic Essene Brotherhood (to which, as I have pointed out in note 42 on 3:52, Jesus himself may have belonged), and particularly that of its branches which lived in self-imposed solitude in the vicinity of the Dead Sea and has recently, after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, come to be known as the "Qumran community". The expression ar-ragim occurring in the above Qur'an -verse (and rendered by me as "scriptures") lends strong support to this theory. As recorded by Tabari, some of the earliest authorities-and particularly Ibn'Abbas-regarded this expression as synonymous with marqum ("something that is written") and hence with kitab ("a writ" or "a scripture"); and Razi adds that "all rhetoricians and Arabic philologists assert that ar-ragim signifies [the same as] al-kitab". Since it is historically established that the members of the Qumran community-the strictest group among the Essenes-devoted themselves entirely to the study, the copying and the preservation of the sacred scriptures, and since they lived in complete seclusion from the rest of the world and were highly admired for their piety and moral purity, it is more than probable that their mode of life made so strong an impression on the imagination of their more worldly co-religionists that it became gradually allegorized in the story of the Men of the Cave who "slept"-that is, were cut off from the outside world-for countless years, destined to be "awakened" after their spiritual task was done. But whatever the source of this legend, and irrespective of whether it is of Jewish or Christian origin, the fact remains that it is used in the Qur'an in a purely parabolic sense: namely, as an illustration of God's power to bring about death (or "sleep") and resurrection (or "awakening'); and, secondly, as an allegory of the piety that induces men to abandon a wicked or frivolous world in order to keep their faith unsullied, and of God's recognition of that faith by His bestowal of a spiritual awakening which transcends time and death.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
The Dwellers of the Cave18:9 Why else do you think we are telling you about the people of the cave, and the numbers connected with them? They are among our wondrous signs.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:9 Do you think that the Dwellers of the Cave, the Upholders of Raqeem (the Inscribed Gospel) were some supernatural beings, more wondrous than Our other signs?3

Note 3
Nay, strange legends became famous about them

18:10 اذ اوى الفتية الى الكهف فقالوا ربنا ءاتنا من لدنك رحمة وهيئ لنا من امرنا رشدا

Transcription (English)
18:10 Ith awa alfityatu ilaalkahfi faqaloo rabbana atina minladunka rahmatan wahayyi/ lana min amrinarashadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:10 When the youths hid in the cave, and they said, "Our Lord, bring us a mercy from Yourself, and prepare for us a right direction in our affair!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:10 When the youths hid in the cave, and they said: "Our Lord, bring us a mercy from Yourself, and help us in our affair!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:10 When those youths took refuge in the cave, they prayed: "O our Sustainer! Bestow on us grace from Thyself, and endow us, whatever our [outward] condition, with consciousness of what is right!"8

Note 8
Lit., "and provide for us, out of our condition (min amrina), consciousness of what is right" - which latter phrase gives the meaning of the term rushd in this context. This passage is a kind of introduction to the allegory of the Men of the Cave, giving a broad outline of what is expounded more fully in verses 13 ff.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:10 When the youths took refuge in the cave, they said, "Our Lord, shower us with Your mercy, and bless our affairs with Your guidance.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:10 As they fled for refuge to the Cave (outside Ephesus), they prayed, “Our Lord! Bestow on us grace from Your Presence, and help us conduct our affairs in the right way.

18:11 فضربنا على ءاذانهم فى الكهف سنين عددا

Transcription (English)
18:11 Fadarabna AAala athanihimfee alkahfi sineena AAadadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:11 So We sealed upon their ears in the cave for a number of years.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:11 So We sealed their ears in the cave for many years.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:11 And thereupon We veiled their ears in the cave9 for many a year,

Note 9
I.e., God caused them to remain cut off -physically or metaphorically -from the sounds and the bustle of the outside world. The classical commentators take the above phrase to mean that God "veiled their ears with sleep".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:11 We then sealed their ears in the cave for a predetermined number of years.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:11 And thereupon We veiled their ears in the Cave for some years.4

Note 4
They remained isolated, hiding from the soldiers of Emperor Decius during his reign, 249-251 CE

18:12 ثم بعثنهم لنعلم اى الحزبين احصى لما لبثوا امدا

Transcription (English)
18:12 Thumma baAAathnahum linaAAlama ayyualhizbayni ahsa lima labithoo amadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:12 Then We roused them to know which of the two groups would be best at calculating the duration of their stay.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:12 Then We sent them to know which of the two groups had remained for as long as they stayed.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:12 and then We awakened Christianity was no longer persecuted and had even become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The ancient coin (dating from the reign of Decius) with which the young man wanted to pay for his purchases immediately aroused curiosity; people began to question the stranger, and the story of the Men of the Cave and their miraculous sleep came to light. them:10 [and We did all this] so that We might mark out [to the world]11 which of the two points of view showed a better comprehension of the time-span during which they had remained in this state.12

Note 10
Or: "sent them forth"-which may indicate a return to the active life of this world.

Note 11
Lit., "so that We might take cognizance of": but since God embraces all past, present and future with His knowledge, His "taking cognizance" of an event denotes His causing it to come into being and, thus, allowing it to become known by His creatures: hence. "marking it out" to the world.

Note 12
Lit., "which of the two parties" - alluding, metonymically, to the two viewpoints mentioned in verse 19 below - "was better at computing the time-span . . .", etc.: it should, however, be borne in mind that the verb ahsa does not merely signify "he computed" or "reckoned", but also "he understood" or "comprehended" (Taj al-'Arus). Since a "computing" of the time which those seekers after truth had spent in the cave could have no particular bearing on the ethical implications of this parable, ahsa has here obviously the meaning of "better at comprehending" or "showing a better comprehension" - namely, of the spiritual meaning of the time-lapse between their "falling asleep" and their "awakening" (see note 25 below).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:12 Then we resurrected them to see which of the two parties could count the duration of their stay therein.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:12 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.5

Note 5
The Dwellers of the Cave had maintained secret communication with like-minded people in Ephesus

18:13 نحن نقص عليك نباهم بالحق انهم فتية ءامنوا بربهم وزدنهم هدى

Transcription (English)
18:13 Nahnu naqussu AAalaykanabaahum bialhaqqi innahum fityatun amanoobirabbihim wazidnahum hudan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:13 We narrate to you their news with truth. They were youths who acknowledged their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:13 We tell to you their news with the truth. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:13 [And now] We shall truly relate to thee their story:13 Behold, they were young men who had attained to faith in their Sustainer: and [so] We deepened their consciousness of the right way14

Note 13
I.e., without the many legendary embellishments which, in times past, have obscured the purport of this story or parable.

Note 14
Lit., "We increased [or "advanced"] them in guidance".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:13 We narrate to you their history, truthfully. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and we increased their guidance.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:13 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.

18:14 وربطنا على قلوبهم اذ قاموا فقالوا ربنا رب السموت والارض لن ندعوا من دونه الها لقد قلنا اذا شططا

Transcription (English)
18:14 Warabatna AAalaquloobihim ith qamoo faqaloo rabbunarabbu alssamawati waal-ardilan nadAAuwa min doonihi ilahan laqad qulna ithanshatatan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:14 We made firm their hearts when they stood and said, "Our Lord, the Lord of heavens and earth, we will not call besides Him any god. Had We said so then it would be far astray."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:14 And We made firm their hearts when they stood and said: "Our Lord, the Lord of the heavens and the earth, we will not call besides Him any god. If we have done so then it was in error."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:14 and endowed their hearts with strength, so that they stood up15 and said [to one another]: "Our Sustainer is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. Never shall we invoke any deity other than Him: [if we did,] we should indeed have uttered an enormity!

Note 15
Lit., "when they stood up" -i.e., stood up to their misguided fellow-men, or to the rulers who persecuted the believers (see note 7).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:14 We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and proclaimed: "Our only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never worship any other god beside Him. Otherwise, we would be far astray.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:14 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.”6

Note 6
Their proclamation was not mere words. They were determined to establish the Divine System in their land

18:15 هؤلاء قومنا اتخذوا من دونه ءالهة لولا ياتون عليهم بسلطن بين فمن اظلم ممن افترى على الله كذبا

Transcription (English)
18:15 Haola-i qawmuna ittakhathoomin doonihi alihatan lawla ya/toona AAalayhim bisultaninbayyinin faman athlamu mimmani iftara AAalaAllahi kathiban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:15 "Here are our people, they have taken gods besides Him, while they do not come with any clear authority. Who then is more wicked than one who invents lies about God?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:15 "Here are our people, they have taken gods besides Him, while they do not come with any clear authority. Who then is more wicked than he who invents lies about God?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:15 These people of ours have taken to worshipping [other] deities instead of Him, without being able to16 adduce any reasonable evidence in support of their beliefs;17 and who could be more wicked than he who invents a lie about God?18

Note 16
Lit., "Why do they not. ..", etc., in the form of a rhetorical query introducing a new sentence.

Note 17
Lit., "any clear evidence [or "authority"] in their support". The adjective bayyin ("clear", "obvious", "manifest") implies an evidence accessible to reason.

Note 18
Le., invents imaginary deities and thus gives the lie to the truth of His oneness and uniqueness, or even denies His existence altogether.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:15 "Here are our people setting up gods beside Him. If only they could provide any proof to support their stand! Who is more evil than the one who fabricates lies and attributes them to GOD?,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:15 “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?”7

Note 7
Taken gods other than Him = Obeyed false authorities contradicting Divine Commands

18:16 واذ اعتزلتموهم وما يعبدون الا الله فاوا الى الكهف ينشر لكم ربكم من رحمته ويهيئ لكم من امركم مرفقا

Transcription (English)
18:16 Wa-ithi iAAtazaltumoohum wamayaAAbudoona illa Allaha fa/woo ila alkahfiyanshur lakum rabbukum min rahmatihi wayuhayyi/ lakum minamrikum mirfaqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:16 So when you withdraw from them and what they serve besides God, seek refuge in the cave, and your Lord will distribute His mercy upon you and prepare for your problem a solution.3

Note 3

If these youngsters escaped from the persecution of the Church that made the polytheistic doctrine of the Trinity the official doctrine of Christianity through the Nicene conference in 325 AC, then they woke up just after Muhammed and his supporters immigrated to Yathrib.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:16 "So when you withdraw from them and what they serve besides God, seek refuge in the cave, and your Lord will spread His mercy upon you and prepare for your problem a solution."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:16 Hence, now that you have withdrawn from them and from all that they worship instead of God, take refuge in that cave: God will spread His grace over you, and will endow you - whatever your [outward] condition - with all that your souls may need!19

Note 19
The term mirfaq signifies "anything by which one benefits", whether concrete or abstract; in this context it has obviously a spiritual connotation, marking the young men's abandonment of the world and withdrawal into utter seclusion.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus18:16 "Since you wish to avoid them, and their worshipping of other than GOD2 , let us take refuge in the cave. May your Lord shower you with His mercy and direct you to the right decision."*,

Note 2
Ephesus is located about 200 miles south of ancient Nicene, and 30 miles south of today's Izmir in Turkey. The dwellersof the cave were young Christians who wanted to follow the teachings of Jesus,and worship God alone. They were fleeing the persecution of neo-christianswho proclaimed a corrupted Christianity three centuries after Jesus, followingthe Nicene Conferences, when the Trinity doctrine was announced. In 1928,Franz Miltner, an Austrian archeologist discovered the tomb of the sevensleepers of Ephesus. Their history is well documented in severalencyclopedias.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:16 (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.”

18:17 وترى الشمس اذا طلعت تزور عن كهفهم ذات اليمين واذا غربت تقرضهم ذات الشمال وهم فى فجوة منه ذلك من ءايت الله من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا

Transcription (English)
18:17 Watara alshshamsa itha talaAAattazawaru AAan kahfihim thata alyameeni wa-ithagharabat taqriduhum thata alshshimaliwahum fee fajwatin minhu thalika min ayatiAllahi man yahdi Allahu fahuwa almuhtadi waman yudlilfalan tajida lahu waliyyan murshidan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:17 You see the sun when it rises, visiting their cave from the right, and when it sets, it touches them from the left, while they are in its spacious hallow. That is from God's signs. Whomever God guides is the guided one, and whomever He misguides, you will not find for him any guiding friend.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:17 And you see the sun when it rises, it visits their cave from the right, and when it sets, it touches them from the left, while they are in an enclosure from it. That is from the signs of God. Whoever God guides is the guided one, and whoever He misguides, you will not find for him any ally to give direction.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:17 And [for many a year] thou might have seen the sun, on its rising, incline away from their cave on the right, and, on its setting, turn aside from them on the left, while they lived on in that spacious chamber,20 [bearing witness to] this of God's messages: He whom God guides, he alone has found the right way; whereas for him whom He lets go astray thou canst never find any protector who would point out the right way.

Note 20
Lit., "while they were in a broad cleft thereof". The cave evidently opened to the north, so that the heat of the sun never disturbed them: and this, I believe is an echo of the many Qur'anic allusions to the happiness of the righteous in paradise, symbolized by its "everlasting shade" (see, in particular, surah 4, note 74, on the metaphorical use of the term zill in the sense of "happiness").
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
A Guiding Teacher is a Prerequisite18:17 You could see the sun when it rose coming from the right side of their cave, and when it set, it shone on them from the left, as they slept in the hollow thereof. This is one of GOD's portents. Whomever GOD guides is the truly guided one, and whomever He sends astray, you will not find for him a guiding teacher.,3

Note 3
This sign, or hint, tells us that the cave was facing north.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:17 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.8

Note 8
The Cave lay North South and while it was roomy from inside, its entrance was small

18:18 وتحسبهم ايقاظا وهم رقود ونقلبهم ذات اليمين وذات الشمال وكلبهم بسط ذراعيه بالوصيد لو اطلعت عليهم لوليت منهم فرارا ولملئت منهم رعبا

Transcription (English)
18:18 Watahsabuhum ayqathanwahum ruqoodun wanuqallibuhum thata alyameeni wathataalshshimali wakalbuhum basitun thiraAAayhibialwaseedi lawi ittalaAAta AAalayhimlawallayta minhum firaran walamuli/ta minhum ruAAban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:18 You would reckon they are awake while they are asleep. We turn them on the right-side and on the left-side, and their dog has his legs outstretched by the entrance. If you looked upon them you would have run away from them and you would have been filled with fear of them!
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:18 And you would think they are awake while they are asleep. And We turn them on the right-side and on the left-side, and their dog has his arms outstretched at the threshold. If you looked upon them you would have run away from them and you would have been filled with terror from them!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:18 And thou wouldst have thought that they were awake, whereas they lay asleep. And We caused them to turn over repeatedly, now to the right, now to the left; and their dog [lay] on the threshold, its forepaws outstretched. Hadst thou come upon them [unprepared], thou wouldst surely have turned away from them in flight, and wouldst surely have been filled with awe of them.21

Note 21
I.e., an accidental onlooker would immediately have felt the mystic, awe-inspiring aura that surrounded the Men of the Cave, and would have become conscious that he stood before God's elect (Tabari, Razi, Ibn Kathir, Baydawi).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:18 You would think that they were awake, when they were in fact asleep. We turned them to the right side and the left side, while their dog stretched his arms in their midst. Had you looked at them, you would have fled from them, stricken with terror.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:18 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 awe-inspiring. Had you come upon them suddenly, you would have fled away from them in awe.

18:19 وكذلك بعثنهم ليتساءلوا بينهم قال قائل منهم كم لبثتم قالوا لبثنا يوما او بعض يوم قالوا ربكم اعلم بما لبثتم فابعثوا احدكم بورقكم هذه الى المدينة فلينظر ايها ازكى طعاما فلياتكم برزق منه وليتلطف ولا يشعرن بكم احدا

Transcription (English)
18:19 Wakathalika baAAathnahumliyatasaaloo baynahum qala qa-ilun minhumkam labithtum qaloo labithna yawman aw baAAdayawmin qaloo rabbukum aAAlamu bima labithtum faibAAathooahadakum biwariqikum hathihi ila almadeenatifalyanthur ayyuha azka taAAamanfalya/tikum birizqin minhu walyatalattaf walayushAAiranna bikum ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:19 Thus We roused them so they would ask themselves. A speaker from amongst them said, "How long have you stayed?" They said, "We stayed a day or part of a day." He said, "Your Lord is surely aware how long you stayed, so send one of you with these money of yours to the city, and let him see which is the tastiest food, and let him come with a provision of it. Let him be courteous and let no one take notice of you."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:19 And it was thus that We delivered them so they would ask themselves. A speaker from among them said: "How long have you stayed?" They said: "We stayed a day or part of a day." He said: "Your Lord is surely aware how long you stayed, so send one of you with these stamped coins of yours to the city, and let him see which is the tastiest food, and let him come with a provision of it. And let him be careful and let no one notice you."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:19 And so, [in the course of time,] We awakened them;22 and they began to ask one another [as to what had happened to them].23 One of them asked: "How long have you remained thus?" [The others] answered: "We have remained thus a day, or part of a day."24 Said they [who were endowed with deeper insight]: "Your Sustainer knows best how long you have thus remained.25 Let, then, one of you go with these silver coins to the town, and let him find out what food is purest there, and bring you thereof [some] provisions. But let him behave with great care and by no means make anyone aware of you:

Note 22
See note 10 above.

Note 23
It seems to me that the prefix li in li-yatasa'alu (which most commentators take to mean "so that they might ask one another") is not a particle denoting a purpose ("so that") but, rather, a lam al-agibah - that is, a particle indicating no more than a causal sequence - which in this context may be brought out by the phrase "and they began. ..", etc.

Note 24
Cf. 2:259, where exactly the same question is asked and exactly the same wondering answer is given in the parable of the man whom God caused to be dead for a hundred years and thereupon brought back to life. The striking verbal identity of question and answer in the two passages is obviously not accidental: it points, in a deliberately revealing manner, to the identity of the idea underlying these two allegories: namely, God's power to "bring forth the living out of that which is dead, and the dead out of that which is alive" (3:27, 6:95, 10:31, 30:19), i.e.. to create life, to cause it to disappear and then to resurrect it. Beyond this, the above verse alludes to the deceptive, purely earthbound character of the human concept of "time".

Note 25
Le., they understood - in contrast to their companions, who were merely concerned what had "actually" happened to them-that the lapse of time between their "falling asleep" and their "awakening" had no reality of its own and no meaning, just as it has no reality or meaning in connection with a human being's death and subsequent resurrection (cf. 17:52 and the corresponding note 59): and this explains the reference to the "two viewpoints" (lit., "two parties") in verse 12 above.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:19 When we resurrected them, they asked each other, "How long have you been here?" "We have been here one day or part of the day," they answered. "Your Lord knows best how long we stayed here, so let us send one of us with this money to the city. Let him fetch the cleanest food, and buy some for us. Let him keep a low profile, and attract no attention.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:19 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.”

18:20 انهم ان يظهروا عليكم يرجموكم او يعيدوكم فى ملتهم ولن تفلحوا اذا ابدا

Transcription (English)
18:20 Innahum in yathharoo AAalaykumyarjumookum aw yuAAeedookum fee millatihim walan tuflihooithan abadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:20 "If they discover you, they will stone you or return you to their creed. Then you will never be successful."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:20 "If they discover you, they will stone you or return you to their creed. Then you will never be successful."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:20 for, behold, if they should come to know of you, they might stone you to death or force you back to their faith-in which case you would never attain to any good!"26

Note 26
During their "sleep", time had stood still for the Men of the Cave, and so they assumed that the outside world had remained unchanged and was, as before, hostile to them. - At this point, the story as such ends abruptly (for, as we know, the Qur'an is never concerned with narratives for their own sake) and is revealed in the sequence as an allegory of death and resurrection and of the relativity of "time" as manifested in man's consciousness.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:20 "If they discover you, they will stone you, or force you to revert to their religion, then you can never succeed.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:20 “If they discover you, they will stone you to death or force you to revert to their religion. Then you will never succeed.”

18:21 وكذلك اعثرنا عليهم ليعلموا ان وعد الله حق وان الساعة لا ريب فيها اذ يتنزعون بينهم امرهم فقالوا ابنوا عليهم بنينا ربهم اعلم بهم قال الذين غلبوا على امرهم لنتخذن عليهم مسجدا

Transcription (English)
18:21 Wakathalika aAAtharnaAAalayhim liyaAAlamoo anna waAAda Allahi haqqunwaanna alsaAAata la rayba feeha ithyatanazaAAoona baynahum amrahum faqaloo ibnooAAalayhim bunyanan rabbuhum aAAlamu bihim qala allatheenaghalaboo AAala amrihim lanattakhithanna AAalayhimmasjidan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:21 Thus We let them be discovered so that they would know that God's promise is true and that there is no doubt regarding the moment. They argued amongst themselves regarding them, so they said, "Erect a monument for them!" Their Lord is fully aware of them. Those who managed to win the argument said, "We will construct a temple over them."4

Note 4

The numbers related to this event shed light on the question regarding the end of the world. See 18:25.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:21 And as such, We revealed their case so that they would know that the promise of God is true and that there is no doubt regarding the Hour. They argued among themselves regarding them, so they said: "Erect a monument for them!" Their Lord is fully aware of them, those who managed to win the argument said: "We will construct a temple over them."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:21 AND IN THIS way27 have We drawn [people's] attention to their story,28 so that they might know - whenever they debate among themselves as to what happened to those [Men of the Cave]29 that God's promise [of resurrection] is true, and that there can be no doubt as to [the coming of] the Last Hour. And so, some [people] said: "Erect a building in their memory;30 God knows best what happened to them." Said they whose opinion prevailed in the end: "Indeed, we must surely raise a house of worship in their memory!"

Note 27
I.e., by means of the legend which has grown up around the Men of the Cave and, more particularly, by means of the allegoric use which the Qur'an makes of this legend.

Note 28
Lit., "given knowledge about them [to others]".

Note 29
Lit., "debate their case (amrahum) among themselves": an indication of the fact that the legend of the Men of the Cave occupied men's minds for a long time, leading to many discussions and conflicting interpretations. The next sentence explains why God has "drawn [people's] attention" to this story in the context of the Qur'an.

Note 30
This, to my mind, is the meaning of the expression `alayhim (lit., "over them") occurring here as well as in the subsequent reference to the building of a house of worship at the suggestion of those "whose opinion prevailed in the end" (aliadhina ghalabu `ala amrihim).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Connection With the End of the World18:21 We caused them to be discovered, to let everyone know that GOD's promise is true, and to remove all doubt concerning the end of the world. The people then disputed among themselves regarding them. Some said, "Let us build a building around them." Their Lord is the best knower about them. Those who prevailed said, "We will build a place of worship around them."4 ,

Note 4
As detailed in Appendix 25, this story helped pinpoint the end of the world.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:21 And in this way We caused them to be discovered (when their mission had succeeded), and everyone realized that God's promise is always true. There remained no doubt about the success of the Revolution. (The Dwellers of the Cave were revered by their people as the Divine Order was restored. Time went by and they passed on. The reverence of the people took a turn.) Some people said, "Erect a building in the memory of the Dwellers of the Cave since God knows their high stature.” Others, whose opinion prevailed, said, “We must raise a house of worship in their memory in which people would submit to the One True God, a temple of Submission (Masjid).9

Note 9
But later, people converted the building into a monastery and placed huge tombstones with superstitious inscriptions including RAQEEM. The sanctuary became a haven for nuns and monks

18:22 سيقولون ثلثة رابعهم كلبهم ويقولون خمسة سادسهم كلبهم رجما بالغيب ويقولون سبعة وثامنهم كلبهم قل ربى اعلم بعدتهم ما يعلمهم الا قليل فلا تمار فيهم الا مراء ظهرا ولا تستفت فيهم منهم احدا

Transcription (English)
18:22 Sayaqooloona thalathatun rabiAAuhumkalbuhum wayaqooloona khamsatun sadisuhum kalbuhum rajmanbialghaybi wayaqooloona sabAAatun wathaminuhumkalbuhum qul rabbee aAAlamu biAAiddatihim ma yaAAlamuhumilla qaleelun fala tumari feehim illamiraan thahiran wala tastaftifeehim minhum ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:22 They will say, "Three, the fourth is their dog." They say, "Five, the sixth is their dog," guessing at what they do not know. They say, "Seven, and the eighth is their dog." Say, "My Lord is fully aware of their number, none know them except for a few." So, do not debate in them except with proof, and do not seek information regarding them from anyone.5

Note 5

The popular number, seven, is not the correct one. Also note that dog is treated as a member of the group, which contradicts numerous hadith reports that depict dog as animals to be shunned and even killed.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:22 They will say: "Three, the fourth is their dog." And they say: "Five, the sixth is their dog," guessing at what they do not know. And they say: "Seven, and the eighth is their dog." Say: "My Lord is fully aware of their number, none know them except for a few." So do not argue regarding them except with proof, and do not seek information regarding them from anyone.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:22 [And in times to come] some will say,31 "[They were] three, the fourth of them being their dog," while others will say, "Five, with their dog as the sixth of them" -idly guessing at something of which they can have no knowledge -and [so on, until] some will say, "[They were] seven, the eighth of them being their dog." Say: "My Sustainer knows best how many they were. None but a few have any [real] knowledge of them. Hence, do not argue about them otherwise than by way of an obvious argument,32 and do not ask any of those [story-tellers] to enlighten thee about them."

Note 31
The future tense in sayagulun points once again to the legendary character of the story as such, and implies that all speculation about its details is irrelevant to its parabolic, ethical purport.

Note 32
Le., for the sake of the self-evident ethical lesson to be derived from their story: an allusion to the first paragraph of verse 21 above.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:22 Some would say, "They were three; their dog being the fourth," while others would say, "Five; the sixth being their dog," as they guessed. Others said, "Seven," and the eighth was their dog. Say, "My Lord is the best knower of their number." Only a few knew the correct number. Therefore, do not argue with them; just go along with them. You need not consult anyone about this.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:22 Then, some would say they were three, and their dog was the fourth, and some would say five, and their dog the sixth. They only made wild guesses, and some of them said that they were seven and their dog was the eighth. Say, "My Lord is best Aware of their number.” There are some who know10 their right number but, do not argue about them except a passing comment. You need not consult anyone about them (to avoid undue controversies).

Note 10
*The last statement that they were seven and their dog was the eighth, is not denied by the Qur’an. Those who get this point probably know their number

18:23 ولا تقولن لشاىء انى فاعل ذلك غدا

Transcription (English)
18:23 Wala taqoolanna lishay-in innee faAAilunthalika ghadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:23 Do not say of anything: "I will do this tomorrow;"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:23 And do not simply say of something: "I will do this tomorrow."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:23 AND NEVER say about anything, "Behold, I shall do this tomorrow,"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Remembering God Every Chance We Get18:23 You shall not say that you will do anything in the future,,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:23 (This is the news of the Unseen, like the next day is unseen for you.) Never say about a thing, “Certainly, I will do it tomorrow.”11

Note 11
Something may happen beyond your control

18:24 الا ان يشاء الله واذكر ربك اذا نسيت وقل عسى ان يهدين ربى لاقرب من هذا رشدا

Transcription (English)
18:24 Illa an yashaa Allahuwaothkur rabbaka itha naseeta waqul AAasaan yahdiyani rabbee li-aqraba min hatha rashadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:24 "Except if God wills." Remember your Lord if you forget and say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me closer than this to the truth."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:24 "Except if God wills." And remember your Lord if you forget and say: "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this in wisdom."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:24 without (adding], "if God so wills."33 And if thou shouldst forget [thyself at the time, and become aware of it later], call thy Sustainer to mind and say: "I pray that my Sustainer guide me, even closer than this, to a consciousness of what is right!"

Note 33
According to almost all of the commentators, this parenthetic passage (verses 23-24) is primarily addressed to the Prophet, who, on being asked by some of the pagan Quraysh as to what "really" happened to the Men of the Cave, is said to have replied, "I shall give you my answer tomorrow" - whereupon revelation was temporarily withheld from him in token of God's disapproval; in the second instance, this exhortation expresses a general principle addressed to all believers.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:24 without saying, "GOD willing." If you forget to do this, you must immediately remember your Lord and say, "May my Lord guide me to do better next time.",5

Note 5
This important commandment gives us daily opportunities to remember God.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:24 Add to your statement, “If my promise is not contrary to the Divine laws” - And remember your Lord if you forget your promise, and say, "I hope my Lord will guide me even closer to the right course.”

18:25 ولبثوا فى كهفهم ثلث مائة سنين وازدادوا تسعا

Transcription (English)
18:25 Walabithoo fee kahfihim thalathami-atin sineena waizdadoo tisAAan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:25 They remained in their cave for three hundred years, and increased nine.6

Note 6

Through a unique expression, 300+9, God provides us with the period of their stay in the cave in both the solar and lunar calendars. Three hundred solar years corresponds to three hundred and nine lunar years. See 15:87 and 72:27.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:25 And they remained in their cave for three hundred years, and increased by nine.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:25 AND [some people assert], "They remained in their cave three hundred years"; and some have added nine [to that number].34

Note 34
This obviously connects with the "idle guesses" mentioned in the first paragraph of verse 22 above-guesses refuted by the subsequent statements, "My Sustainer knows best how many they were" in verse 22, and "God knows best how long they remained [there]" in verse 26. This was, in particular, the view of `Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud, whose copy of the Qur'an is said to have contained the words, "And they [i.e., some people] said, `They remained.. .'," etc. (which was probably a marginal, explanatory remark added by Ibn Mas'ud), as well as of Qatadah and of Matar al-Warraq (Tabari, Zamakhshari and Ibn Kathir). My interpolation, at the beginning of the verse, of the words "some people asserted" is based on the word galu ("they said") used by Ibn Mas'ud in his marginal note.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
(300 + 9)18:25 They stayed in their cave three hundred years, increased by nine.6 ,

Note 6
The difference between 300 solar years and 300 lunar years is nine years. Thus, discovering the end of the world waspredetermined by the Almighty to take place in 1980 AD (1400 AH), 300 years(309 lunar years) before the end of the world (see 72:27 & Appendix 25).
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:25 And (some people assert that) they lived in the Cave for three hundred years and some have added nine (to that number).12

Note 12
Interestingly, 300 Solar years = 309 lunar years, but God knows best

18:26 قل الله اعلم بما لبثوا له غيب السموت والارض ابصر به واسمع ما لهم من دونه من ولى ولا يشرك فى حكمه احدا

Transcription (English)
18:26 Quli Allahu aAAlamu bimalabithoo lahu ghaybu alssamawati waal-ardiabsir bihi waasmiAA ma lahum min doonihi minwaliyyin wala yushriku fee hukmihi ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:26 Say, "God is fully aware how long they remained, to Him is the unseen of heavens and earth, He sees and hears. They do not have besides Him any ally, nor does He share in His judgment with anyone."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:26 Say: "God is fully aware how long they remained, to Him is the unseen of the heavens and the earth, He sees and hears. They do not have besides Him any ally, and He does not share in His judgment with anyone."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:26 Say: "God knows best how long they remained [there]. His [alone] is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth: how well does He see and hear! No guardian have they apart from Him, since He allots to no one a share in His rule!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:26 Say, "GOD is the best knower of how long they stayed there." He knows all secrets in the heavens and the earth. By His grace you can see; by His grace you can hear. There is none beside Him as Lord and Master, and He never permits any partners to share in His kingship.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:26 Say, “God knows best how long they remained there.” His alone is the knowledge of the hidden reality of the heavens and the earth. How well does He see and hear! They have no guardian apart from Him and He allots no one a share in His Rule!

18:27 واتل ما اوحى اليك من كتاب ربك لا مبدل لكلمته ولن تجد من دونه ملتحدا

Transcription (English)
18:27 Waotlu ma oohiya ilaykamin kitabi rabbika la mubaddila likalimatihiwalan tajida min doonihi multahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:27 Recite what has been inspired to you from your Lord's book, there is no changing His words, and you will not find besides Him any refuge.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:27 And recite what has been inspired to you from the Book of your Lord, there is no changing His words, and you will not find besides Him any refuge.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:27 AND CONVEY [to the world] whatever has been revealed to thee of thy Sustainer's writ. There is nothing that could alter His words;35 and thou canst find no refuge other than with Him.

Note 35
According to Razi, it is on this passage, among others, that the great Qur'an commentator Abu Muslim al-Isfahani based his rejection of the so-called "doctrine of abrogation" discussed in my note 87 on 2:106.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:27 You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:27 (O Messenger) convey to them whatever of this Book is revealed to you from your Lord. None can alter His Words. And you will find no refuge other than Him.13

Note 13
His laws in Theory Kalimaatillah, and His laws in Practice as implemented in the Universe Sunnatillah, never change. 6:19, 6:34, 6:116, 10:64, 17:77, 18:27, 33:38, 33:62, 40:85, 48:23

18:28 واصبر نفسك مع الذين يدعون ربهم بالغدوة والعشى يريدون وجهه ولا تعد عيناك عنهم تريد زينة الحيوة الدنيا ولا تطع من اغفلنا قلبه عن ذكرنا واتبع هوىه وكان امره فرطا

Transcription (English)
18:28 Waisbir nafsaka maAAa allatheenayadAAoona rabbahum bialghadati waalAAashiyyiyureedoona wajhahu wala taAAdu AAaynaka AAanhumtureedu zeenata alhayati alddunya walatutiAA man aghfalna qalbahu AAan thikrinawaittabaAAa hawahu wakana amruhu furutan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
Be in Touch With God-conscious People18:28 Have patience upon yourself regarding those who call on their Lord at dawn and dusk seeking His presence, and let not your eyes overlook them that you seek the attraction of this worldly life. Do not obey the one whom We have made his heart heedless of Our remembrance and he followed his desire, and his case was lost.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:28 And have patience upon yourself regarding those who call on their Lord at dawn and dusk seeking His face, and let not your eyes overlook them that you seek the beauty of this worldly life. And do not obey he whom We have made his heart heedless of Our remembrance and he followed his desire, and his fate was lost.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:28 And contain thyself in patience by the side of all who at morn and at evening invoke their Sustainer, seeking His countenance, and let not thine eyes pass beyond them in quest of the beauties of this world's life;36 and pay no heed to any whose heart We have rendered heedless of all remembrance of Us37 because he had always followed [only] his own desires, abandoning all that is good and true.38

Note 36
For an explanation of this verse, see 6:52 and the corresponding note 41.

Note 37
See surah 2, note 7. Zamakhshari and Razi explain the verb aghfalna -agreeably with Qur'anic doctrine - as meaning "whom We have found to be heedless". (See also my note 4 on the second part of 14:4.)

Note 38
Lit., "and whose case (amr) was one of abandonment of [or "transgression against"] all bounds [of what is right]".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Quranic Study Groups18:28 You shall force yourself to be with those who worship their Lord day and night, seeking Him alone. Do not turn your eyes away from them, seeking the vanities of this world. Nor shall you obey one whose heart we rendered oblivious to our message; one who pursues his own desires, and whose priorities are confused.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:28 (There is a lesson of perseverance in the history of the Dwellers of the Cave.) Keep yourself content with those who remember their Lord morning and evening seeking His approval. And let not your eyes overlook them in quest for the glitter of this world. And do not obey any whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who follows his own desires, and whose case has been closed.14

Note 14
6:52, 8:52, 89:29:30. ‘Case closed’ = The Divine laws have already decreed for him ultimate loss for his relentless misdeeds

18:29 وقل الحق من ربكم فمن شاء فليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر انا اعتدنا للظلمين نارا احاط بهم سرادقها وان يستغيثوا يغاثوا بماء كالمهل يشوى الوجوه بئس الشراب وساءت مرتفقا

Transcription (English)
18:29 Waquli alhaqqu min rabbikum faman shaafalyu/min waman shaa falyakfur inna aAAtadnalilththalimeena naran ahatabihim suradiquha wa-in yastagheethoo yughathoobima-in kaalmuhli yashwee alwujooha bi/sa alshsharabuwasaat murtafaqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
Freedom of Opinion and Expression18:29 Say, "The truth is from your Lord, whoever desires may acknowledge, and whoever desires may reject." We have prepared for the wicked a fire whose walls will be surrounding them. If they cry out, they are given a liquid like boiling oil which burns their faces. What a miserable place!7

Note 7

Islam recognizes the freedom to reject the message of the Quran. This freedom is guaranteed. See 2:193; 10:99; 80:12; 88:21.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:29 And say: "The truth is from your Lord, so let whoever desires believe, and whoever desires reject." We have prepared for the wicked a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they cry out, they are given a water like boiling oil which burns their faces. What a dreadful drink and what a miserable place!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:29 And say: "The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it." Verily, for all who sin against themselves [by rejecting Our truth]39 We have readied a fire whose billowing folds will encompass them from all sides;40 and if they beg for water, they will be given water [hot] like molten lead, which will scald their faces: how dreadful a drink, and how evil a place to rest!

Note 39
Thus Razi explains the expression az-zaiimun (lit., "the evildoers") in the above context.

Note 40
The expression suradiq - rendered by me as "billowing folds" - literally denotes an awning or the outer covering of a tent, and alludes here to the billowing "walls of smoke" that will surround the sinners (Zamakhshari): a symbolism meant to stress the inescapability of their suffering in the hereafter (Razi).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Absolute Freedom of Religion18:29 Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a fire that will completely surround them. When they scream for help, they will be given a liquid like concentrated acid that scalds the faces. What a miserable drink! What a miserable destiny!,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:29 And proclaim, "This is the truth from your Lord. Whoever accepts it let him accept it, and whoever rejects it, let him reject it.” Surely, for all those who wrong their own ‘self’, We have readied billowing folds of fire to surround them. When they beg for water, they will be given their burning hot deeds that backfire on their faces, a drink of distress they gave others. How dreadful a drink! And how terrible a resting place! [9:34-35]

18:30 ان الذين ءامنوا وعملوا الصلحت انا لا نضيع اجر من احسن عملا

Transcription (English)
18:30 Inna allatheena amanoowaAAamiloo alssalihati inna lanudeeAAu ajra man ahsana AAamalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:30 Those who acknowledge and promote reforms, We do not waste the reward of those who have done well.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:30 Those who believe and do good works, We do not waste the reward of those who have done good work.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:30 [But,] behold, as for those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds-verily, We do not fail to requite any who persevere in doing good:
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:30 As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, we never fail to recompense those who work righteousness.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:30 As for those who attain belief and do works that help others, We never fail to reward such benefactors of humanity.

18:31 اولئك لهم جنت عدن تجرى من تحتهم الانهر يحلون فيها من اساور من ذهب ويلبسون ثيابا خضرا من سندس واستبرق متكين فيها على الارائك نعم الثواب وحسنت مرتفقا

Transcription (English)
18:31 Ola-ika lahum jannatu AAadnintajree min tahtihimu al-anharu yuhallawnafeeha min asawira min thahabin wayalbasoonathiyaban khudran min sundusin wa-istabraqinmuttaki-eena feeha AAala al-ara-iki niAAma alththawabuwahasunat murtafaqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:31 They will have the gardens of Eden with rivers flowing beneath them, and they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and they will wear green garments of fine silk. They will sit in it on raised thrones. Beautiful is the reward, and beautiful is the dwelling place.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:31 They will have gardens of delight with rivers flowing beneath them, and they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and they will wear green garments of fine silk. They will sit in it on raised thrones. Beautiful is the reward, and beautiful is the dwelling.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:31 theirs shall be gardens of perpetual bliss - [gardens] through which running waters flow - wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of silk and brocade, [and] wherein upon couches they will recline:"41 how excellent a recompense, and how goodly a place to rest!

Note 41
Like all other Qur'anic descriptions of happenings in the hereafter, the above reference to the "adornment" of the believers with gold and jewels and silk (cf. similar passages in 22:23, 35:33 and 76:21) and their "reclining upon couches (ara'ik)" is obviously an allegory - in this case, an allegory of the splenddour, the ever-fresh life (symbolized by "green garments"), and the restful fulfilment that awaits them in result of the many acts of self-denial which their faith had imposed on them during their earthly life. - Referring to the symbolism of these joys of paradise, - Razi draws our attention to the difference in the construction of the two parts of this clause: the first part is in the passive form ("they will be adorned. ..") and the second, in the active ("they will wear. . ."). In his opinion, the active form alludes to what the righteous will have earned by virtue of their deeds, whereas the passive form denotes all that will be bestowed on them by God above and beyond their deserts.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:31 They have deserved gardens of Eden wherein rivers flow. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and will wear clothes of green silk and velvet, and will rest on comfortable furnishings. What a wonderful reward; what a wonderful abode!,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:31 Theirs shall be the Gardens of Eden with rivers flowing beneath. They will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and wear green robes of finest silk, brocade and velvet, reclining upon thrones of honor. What a wonderful reward, and how goodly a place to rest!

18:32 واضرب لهم مثلا رجلين جعلنا لاحدهما جنتين من اعنب وحففنهما بنخل وجعلنا بينهما زرعا

Transcription (English)
18:32 Waidrib lahum mathalanrajulayni jaAAalna li-ahadihima jannataynimin aAAnabin wahafafnahuma binakhlinwajaAAalna baynahuma zarAAan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
Idolizing One's Wealth18:32 Give them the example of two men. We made for one of them two gardens of grapes, We surrounded them with palm trees, and We made between them a green field.8

Note 8

The Quran gives examples of many false gods, idolized by people; such as children (7:90), religious leaders and scholars (9:31), money and wealth (18:42), dead saints and prophets (16:20; 35:14; 46:5), and wishful thinking (25:43, 45:23). Satan, in order to infect his subject with polytheism, first introduced a deficient and false definition of polytheism (shirk) thereby eliminating any potential self-criticism mechanism. Therefore, polytheists, generally reject the fact that they are polytheists (6:23; 6:148; 16:35). See 19:81.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:32 And give them the example of two men: We made for one of them two gardens of grapes, and We surrounded them with palm trees, and We made crops in their midst.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:32 AND PROPOUND unto them the parable of two men, upon one of whom We had bestowed two vinyards, and surrounded them with date-palms, and placed a field of grain in-between.42

Note 42
This parable connects with verses 7-8 of this surah, and serves„as an illustration of the statement that "all beauty on earth is a means by which God puts men to a test".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Property as an Idol18:32 Cite for them the example of two men: we gave one of them two gardens of grapes, surrounded by date palms, and placed other crops between them.7 ,

Note 7
The Quran cites many examples of the different gods that people worship beside God; they include children (7:190), religious leaders and scholars (9:31), property (18:42), dead saints and prophets (16:20, 35:14, & 46:5), and the ego (25:43:23).
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:32 (The real success belongs to those who work for both lives.) Cite for them the example of two men. To one of them, We had given two vineyards, and surrounded them with date palms and placed a field of grain in between.

18:33 كلتا الجنتين ءاتت اكلها ولم تظلم منه شيا وفجرنا خللهما نهرا

Transcription (English)
18:33 Kilta aljannatayni atat okulahawalam tathlim minhu shay-an wafajjarna khilalahumanaharan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:33 Both gardens brought forth their fruit, and none failed in the least. We caused a river to pass through them.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:33 Each of the two gardens brought forth its produce, and none failed in the least. And We caused a river to gush through them.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:33 Each of the two gardens yielded its produce and never failed therein in any way, for We had caused a stream to gush forth in the midst of each of them.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:33 Both gardens produced their crops on time, and generously, for we caused a river to run through them.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:33 Both gardens produced plenty of fruit on time, as We caused a stream to flow through them.

18:34 وكان له ثمر فقال لصحبه وهو يحاوره انا اكثر منك مالا واعز نفرا

Transcription (English)
18:34 Wakana lahu thamarun faqala lisahibihiwahuwa yuhawiruhu ana aktharu minka malanwaaAAazzu nafaran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:34 He had abundant fruit, so he said to his friend while conversing with him: "I am better off than you financially, and of great influence."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:34 And he had fruit, so he said to his friend while discussing with him: "I am better off than you financially, and of great influence."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:34 And so [the man] had fruit in abundance. And [one day] he said to his friend, bandying words with him, "More wealth have I than thou, and mightier am I as regards [the number and power of my] followers!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:34 Once, after harvesting, he boastfully told his friend: "I am far more prosperous than you, and I command more respect from the people.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:34 Once, after an abundant crop, he boastfully said to his friend, “I am far more prosperous than you, and I command more respect from people.”

18:35 ودخل جنته وهو ظالم لنفسه قال ما اظن ان تبيد هذه ابدا

Transcription (English)
18:35 Wadakhala jannatahu wahuwa thalimunlinafsihi qala ma athunnu an tabeedahathihi abadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:35 He went back into his garden while he had wronged himself. He said, "I do not think that this will ever perish.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:35 And he went back into his garden while he had wronged himself. He said: "I do not think that this will ever perish."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:35 And having [thus] sinned against himself, he entered his garden, saying, "I do not think that this will ever perish!
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:35 When he entered his garden, he wronged his soul by saying, "I do not think that this will ever end.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:35 And having thus wronged himself, he entered his garden saying, “I do not think that this will ever perish!”

18:36 وما اظن الساعة قائمة ولئن رددت الى ربى لاجدن خيرا منها منقلبا

Transcription (English)
18:36 Wama athunnu alssaAAataqa-imatan wala-in rudidtu ila rabbee laajidannakhayran minha munqalaban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:36 I do not also think that the moment is coming. If I am indeed returned to my Lord, then I will surely find even better things for me."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:36 "And I do not think that the Hour is coming. And if I am indeed returned to my Lord, then I will surely find even better things for me."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:36 And neither do I think that the Last Hour will ever come. But even if [it should come, and] I am brought before my Sustainer,43 I will surely find something even better than this as [my last] resort!"

Note 43
Lit., "brought back [or "referred"] to my Sustainer" -i.e., for judgment.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:36 "Moreover, I think this is it; I do not think that the Hour (the Hereafter) will ever come to pass. Even if I am returned to my Lord, I will (be clever enough to) possess an even better one over there.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:36 He said, “I do not think that the Hour will ever come. If I am returned to my Lord, I will find something even better as my resort.”

18:37 قال له صاحبه وهو يحاوره اكفرت بالذى خلقك من تراب ثم من نطفة ثم سوىك رجلا

Transcription (English)
18:37 Qala lahu sahibuhu wahuwa yuhawiruhuakafarta biallathee khalaqaka min turabinthumma min nutfatin thumma sawwaka rajulan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:37 His friend said to him while conversing with him: "Have you rejected the One who created you from dirt, then from a seed, and then He completed you to a man?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:37 His friend said to him while discussing with him: "Have you disbelieved in the One who has created you from dust, then from a seed, then He evolved you into a man?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:37 And his friend answered him in the course of their argument: "Wilt thou blaspheme against Him who has created thee out of dust,44 and then out of a drop of sperm, and in the end has fashioned thee into a [complete] man?

Note 44
See second half of note 47 on 3:59, and note 4 on 23:12.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:37 His friend said to him, as he debated with him, "Have you disbelieved in the One who created you from dust, then from a tiny drop, then perfected you into a man?,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:37 His friend differed with him, “Do you disbelieve in the One Who created you from dust, and then from gametes, and then shaped you into the current human form?”

18:38 لكنا هو الله ربى ولا اشرك بربى احدا

Transcription (English)
18:38 Lakinna huwa Allahu rabbee walaoshriku birabbee ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:38 "But He is God, my Lord, and I do not place any partners at all with my Lord."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:38 "But He is God, my Lord, and I do not set up any partners at all with my Lord."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:38 But as for myself, [I. know that] He is God, my Sustainer; and I cannot attribute divine powers to any but my Sustainer."45

Note 45
Lit., "I shall not for "do not"] associate anyone [or "anything"] with my Sustainer" - i.e., "I cannot associate in my mind wealth or poverty with any power or creative cause other than Him" (Qiffal, as quoted by Razi).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:38 "As for me, GOD is my Lord, and I will never set up any other god besides my Lord.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:38 “As for me, God is my Lord and I will never accept any other god besides my Lord.”

18:39 ولولا اذ دخلت جنتك قلت ما شاء الله لا قوة الا بالله ان ترن انا اقل منك مالا وولدا

Transcription (English)
18:39 Walawla ith dakhalta jannatakaqulta ma shaa Allahu la quwwata illabiAllahi in tarani ana aqalla minka malanwawaladan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:39 "When you entered your garden, you should have said, "This is what God has given, there is no power except by God." You may see me as having less wealth and fewer children than you."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:39 "And if you enter your garden, you should say: 'Thisis what God has given, there is no power except by God.' You see me as being less than you in wealth and in children?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:39 And [he continued:] "Alas,46 if thou hadst but said, on entering thy garden, `Whatever God wills [shall come to pass, for] there is no power save with God!' Although, as thou seest, I have less wealth and offspring than thou,

Note 46
For an explanation of my rendering of law-la as "alas", see note 119 on 10:98.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Important Commandment18:39 "When you entered your garden, you should have said, `This is what GOD has given me (Maa Shaa Allah). No one possesses power except GOD (La Quwwata Ellaa Bellaah).' You may see that I possess less money and less children than you.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:39 And he continued, “Ah, when you entered your garden, you should have said, 'This is what God has given me according to His laws for no one has Power but God.' You see that I have less wealth and fewer children than you.” (Still I associate no one with Him.)

18:40 فعسى ربى ان يؤتين خيرا من جنتك ويرسل عليها حسبانا من السماء فتصبح صعيدا زلقا

Transcription (English)
18:40 FaAAasa rabbee an yu/tiyani khayranmin jannatika wayursila AAalayha husbananmina alssama-i fatusbiha saAAeedanzalaqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:40 "Yet, perhaps my Lord will give me better than your garden, and send upon it a reckoning from the sky, so it becomes completely barren."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:40 "Perhaps my Lord will give me better than your garden, and He will send upon it a tornado from the sky, so it becomes completely barren."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:40 yet it may well be that my Sustainer will give me something better than thy garden -just as He may let loose a calamity out of heaven upon this [thy garden], so that it becomes a heap of barren dust
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:40 "My Lord may grant me better than your garden. He may send a violent storm from the sky that wipes out your garden, leaving it completely barren.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:40 He said, “So my Lord may grant me something better than your garden. (The luxuries of this life are bound to vanish.) He may send a calamity from heaven to wipe out this garden, leaving it a heap of barren dust.”

18:41 او يصبح ماؤها غورا فلن تستطيع له طلبا

Transcription (English)
18:41 Aw yusbiha maohaghawran falan tastateeAAa lahu talaban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:41 "Or that its water becomes deep under-ground, so you will not be able to seek it."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:41 "Or that its water becomes deep under-ground, so you will not be capable of seeking it."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:41 or its water sinks deep into the ground, so that thou wilt never be able to find it again!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:41 "Or, its water may sink deeper, out of your reach.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:41 “Or, it may happen that the water level recedes low, out of your reach.”15

Note 15
Therefore, we must invest for the Eternity as well

18:42 واحيط بثمره فاصبح يقلب كفيه على ما انفق فيها وهى خاوية على عروشها ويقول يليتنى لم اشرك بربى احدا

Transcription (English)
18:42 Waoheeta bithamarihi faasbahayuqallibu kaffayhi AAala ma anfaqa feehawahiya khawiyatun AAala AAurooshihawayaqoolu ya laytanee lam oshrik birabbee ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:42 So his fruits were ruined, and he began turning his hands for what was destroyed upon its foundations though he has spent on it. He said, "I wish I did not make any partner with my Lord!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:42 So his fruits were ruined, and he began turning his hands at that which he had spent on it while it remained destroyed upon its branches. And he said: "I wish I had not set up any partner with my Lord!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:42 And [thus it happened:] his fruitful gardens were encompassed [by ruin], and there he was, wringing his hands over all that he had spent on that which now lay waste, with its trellises caved in; and he could but say, "Oh, would that I had not attributed divine powers to any but my Sustainer!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:42 Indeed, his crops were wiped out, and he ended up sorrowful, lamenting what he had spent on it in vain, as his property lay barren. He finally said, "I wish I never set up my property as a god beside my Lord.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:42 And thus it happened. One day, the arrogant man’s fruitful gardens were wiped out. And there he was, twisting and turning his hands in sorrow. He lost his property which was now tumbled to pieces in complete ruin. And he could only say, "Oh, I wish I never worshiped anyone (even my property) other than my Lord!”

18:43 ولم تكن له فئة ينصرونه من دون الله وما كان منتصرا

Transcription (English)
18:43 Walam takun lahu fi-atun yansuroonahumin dooni Allahi wama kana muntasiran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:43 He had no group which could help against God, and he would not have had victory.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:43 And he had no group which could help against God, and he would not have had victory.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:43 -for now he had nought47 to succour him in God's stead, nor could he succour himself.

Note 47
Lit., "he had no host whatever".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:43 No force on earth could have helped him against GOD, nor was it possible for him to receive any help.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:43 He had none to help him against the Divine laws, nor could he help himself.

18:44 هنالك الولية لله الحق هو خير ثوابا وخير عقبا

Transcription (English)
18:44 Hunalika alwalayatu lillahialhaqqi huwa khayrun thawaban wakhayrun AAuqban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:44 Such is the true authority of God. He is best to reward, and best to punish.9

Note 9

In opposition to this verse, Shiite teachings require people to accept the authority of mullahs under the term "walayat-I faqih," that is "the authority of religious scholars."

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:44 Such is the true authority of God. He is best to reward, and best to end.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:44 For thus it is: all protective power belongs to God alone, the True One. He is the best to grant recompense, and the best to determine what is to be.48

Note 48
Lit., "the best as regards the consequence".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:44 That is because the only true Lord and master is GOD; He provides the best recompense, and with Him is the best destiny.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:44 Thus it is. The only invincible protection comes from God alone. He is the Best to grant recompense, and the Best to determine what must be.

18:45 واضرب لهم مثل الحيوة الدنيا كماء انزلنه من السماء فاختلط به نبات الارض فاصبح هشيما تذروه الريح وكان الله على كل شىء مقتدرا

Transcription (English)
18:45 Waidrib lahum mathala alhayatialddunya kama-in anzalnahu mina alssama-ifaikhtalata bihi nabatu al-ardi faasbahahasheeman tathroohu alrriyahu wakanaAllahu AAala kulli shay-in muqtadiran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:45 Give them the parable of this worldly life, like water which We have sent down from the sky, so that the plants of the earth mix with it and it turns dry twigs scattered by the wind. God is capable of all things.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:45 And give them the example of this worldly life is like a water which We have sent down from the sky, so that the plants of the earth mix with it and it becomes murky being moved by the wind. And God is capable of all things.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:45 AND PROPOUND unto them the parable of the life of this world: [it is] like the water which We send down from the skies, and which is absorbed by the plants of the earth: but [in time] they turn into dry . stubble which the winds blow freely about. And it is God [alone] who determines all things.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:45 Cite for them the example of this life as water that we send down from the sky to produce plants of the earth, then they turn into hay that is blown away by the wind. GOD is able to do all things.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:45 Cite for them the example of the materialistic life of this world. It is like the water We send down from the sky, and which is absorbed by plants of the earth. But in time they turn into dry stubble or hay which the winds blow freely about. God is Sovereign over all things and events.16

Note 16
87:5. Total preoccupation with the material delights of life deprives people from growing in humanity

18:46 المال والبنون زينة الحيوة الدنيا والبقيت الصلحت خير عند ربك ثوابا وخير املا

Transcription (English)
18:46 Almalu waalbanoona zeenatu alhayatialddunya waalbaqiyatu alssalihatukhayrun AAinda rabbika thawaban wakhayrun amalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:46 Wealth and buildings are the attraction of this life. But the good deeds that remain behind are better at your Lord for a reward, and better for hope.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:46 Wealth and sons are a beauty of this worldly life. But the good deeds that remain behind are better with your Lord for a reward, and better for hope.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:46 Wealth and children are an 4dornment of this, world's life: but good deeds, the fruit whereof endures forever, are of far greater merit in thy Sustainer's sight, and a far better source of hope.49

Note 49
Lit., "are better in thy Sustainer's sight-as regards merit, and better as regards hope". The expression albagiyat as-salihat ("good deeds, the fruit whereof endures forever") occurs in the Qur'an twice -in the above verse as well as in 19:76.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Rearranging Our Priorities18:46 Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:46 (Divine bounties and blessings are for you to enjoy, but they are a means to a higher end 7:32.) Wealth and children are the joys of the life of this world. But good deeds that fulfill the needs of others, their fruit endures forever. Such actions are of far greater merit in the Sight of your Lord, and the best foundation of hope. [19:76]

18:47 ويوم نسير الجبال وترى الارض بارزة وحشرنهم فلم نغادر منهم احدا

Transcription (English)
18:47 Wayawma nusayyiru aljibala wataraal-arda barizatan wahasharnahum falamnughadir minhum ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:47 The day We move the mountains, and you see the earth barren, and We gather them, not leaving out anyone of them.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:47 And the Day We move the mountains, and you see the earth level, and We gather them; so We will not leave out anyone of them.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:47 Hence, [bear in mind] the Day, on which We shall cause the mountains to disappear and thou shalt behold the earth void and bare: for [on that Day] We will [resurrect the dead and] gather them all together, leaving out none of them.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:47 The day will come when we wipe out the mountains, and you will see the earth barren. We will summon them all, not leaving out a single one of them.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:47 So, know the Day when the tycoons of wealth and power will be shaken by Our law, and the poor downtrodden will come at par with them. All humanity will stand equal. No person will lag behind in his or her birth right of dignity. [20:105]

18:48 وعرضوا على ربك صفا لقد جئتمونا كما خلقنكم اول مرة بل زعمتم الن نجعل لكم موعدا

Transcription (English)
18:48 WaAAuridoo AAala rabbika saffanlaqad ji/tumoona kama khalaqnakum awwalamarratin bal zaAAamtum allan najAAala lakum mawAAidan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:48 They are displayed before your Lord as a column: "You have come to Us as We had created you the first time. No, you claimed We would not make an appointment for you!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:48 And they are displayed before your Lord as a column: "You have come to Us as We had created you the first time. No, you claimed We would not makefor you an appointed time!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:48 And they will be lined up before thy Sustainer, [and He will say:50 ] "Now, indeed, you have come unto Us [in a lonely state], even as We created you in the first instances51 - although you were wont to assert that We would never 'appoint for you a meeting [with Us]!"

Note 50
I.e., to those who in their lifetime denied the truth of resurrection.

Note 51
Cf. 6:94.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:48 They will be presented before your Lord in a row. You have come to us as individuals, just as we created you initially. Indeed, this is what you claimed will never happen.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:48 And they will be marshaled before your Lord in ranks. (It will be said to them), “Now, you have come to Us as We created you at the first creation. But you thought that We had set no plan for this (Day).”17

Note 17
Also, in this world, mankind will become one single community, as they were in the beginning. 2:213, 10:19

18:49 ووضع الكتب فترى المجرمين مشفقين مما فيه ويقولون يويلتنا مال هذا الكتب لا يغادر صغيرة ولا كبيرة الا احصىها ووجدوا ما عملوا حاضرا ولا يظلم ربك احدا

Transcription (English)
18:49 WawudiAAa alkitabu fataraalmujrimeena mushfiqeena mimma feehi wayaqooloona yawaylatana ma lihatha alkitabi layughadiru sagheeratan wala kabeeratan illaahsaha wawajadoo ma AAamiloo hadiranwala yathlimu rabbuka ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:49 The book was displayed, so you see the criminals fearful of what is in it. They say, "Woe to us!, what is wrong with this book that it does not leave out anything small or large except that it has counted it." They found what they had done present. Your Lord does not wrong anyone.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:49 And the record was displayed, so you see the criminals fearful of what is in it. And they say: "Woe to us! What is with this record that it does not leave out anything small or large but has counted it." And they found what they had done present. And your Lord does not wrong anyone.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:49 And the record [of everyone's deeds] will be laid open; and thou wilt behold the guilty filled with dread at what [they see] therein; and they will exclaim: "Oh, woe unto us! What a record is this! It leaves out nothing, be it small or great, but takes everything into account!" For they will find all that they ever wrought [now] facing them, and [will know that] thy Sustainer does not wrong anyone.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:49 The record will be shown, and you will see the guilty fearful of its contents. They will say, "Woe to us. How come this book leaves nothing, small or large, without counting it?" They will find everything they had done brought forth. Your Lord is never unjust towards anyone.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:49 The Book will be laid open and you will see the guilty fearful of what they see therein. Those who used to steal the fruit of others' labor will say, “Oh, woe to us! What kind of a Book is this that leaves out nothing, be it small or large, but takes everything into account.” And they will find all that they did confronting them, for your Lord wrongs no one.18

Note 18
This verse probably applies to the Qur’an and to the Divine Database, just as Hell and Paradise are frequently mentioned in the Qur’an applying to both lives. 9:31, 13:31:48, 18:48, 41:53, 48:28, 51:20, 53:39, 61:9

18:50 واذ قلنا للملئكة اسجدوا لءادم فسجدوا الا ابليس كان من الجن ففسق عن امر ربه افتتخذونه وذريته اولياء من دونى وهم لكم عدو بئس للظلمين بدلا

Transcription (English)
18:50 Wa-ith qulna lilmala-ikatiosjudoo li-adama fasajadoo illa ibleesa kanamina aljinni fafasaqa AAan amri rabbihi afatattakhithoonahuwathurriyyatahu awliyaa min doonee wahum lakumAAaduwwun bi/sa lilththalimeena badalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
Do not Follow Your Ardent Enemy18:50 When We said to the controllers: "Submit to Adam." They all submitted except for Satan, he was of the Jinn, so he disobeyed the order of his Lord. "Will you take him and his progeny as allies besides Me, while they are your enemy?" Miserable for the wicked is the substitute!10

Note 10

Perhaps the events that tested God's creation in paradise (38:69), resulted in their classification as controllers, jinns and humans. See 2:34.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:50 And We said to the angels: "Yield to Adam." So they all yielded except for Satan. He was of the Jinn, he disobeyed the order of his Lord. Will you take him and his progeny as allies besides Me, while they are your enemy? Miserable for the transgressors is the substitute!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:50 AND [remember that] when We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves before Adam,"52 they all prostrated themselves, save Iblis: he [too] was one of those invisible beings,53 but then he turned away from his Sustainer's command. Will you, then, take him and his cohorts54 for (your], masters instead of Me, although they are your foe? How vile an exchange on the evildoers' part!55

Note 52
This short reference to the oft-repeated allegory of God's command to the angels to "prostrate themselves before Adam" is meant, in the above context, to stress man's inborn faculty of conceptual thinking (see 2:31 and the corresponding notes) and, thus, his ability and ,obligation to discern between right and wrong. Since man's deliberate choice of a morally wrong course - of which the preceding passages speak - is almost invariably due to his exaggerated attachment to the allurements of worldly life, attention is drawn here to the fact that this attachment is the means by which Satan (or Iblis) induces man to forgo all moral considerations and thus brings about his spiritual ruin.

Note 53
Denoting, in this instance, the angels (see Appendix III).

Note 54
Lit., "his offspring" - a metonym for all who follow him.

Note 55
Lit., "for the evildoers". As regards Satan's symbolic "rebellion" against God, see note 26 on 2:34 and note 31 on 15:41.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Classification of God's Creatures18:50 We said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Satan. He became a jinn, for he disobeyed the order of his Lord. Will you choose him and his descendants as lords instead of Me, even though they are your enemies? What a miserable substitute!,8

Note 8
When the great feud in the heavenly society took place ( 38:69), all creatures became classifiedinto angels, jinns, and humans (Appendix 7).
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:50 Recall when We said to the angels, “Humble yourselves to Adam!” They all humbled themselves except Iblees. He was of the hidden selfish desires that drifted away from his Lord's command. Will you still befriend him and his comrades rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Miserable is the exchange the wrongdoers make.19

Note 19
2:30, 18:48. Zurriyyah = Progeny = Children = Party = Comrades

18:51 ما اشهدتهم خلق السموت والارض ولا خلق انفسهم وما كنت متخذ المضلين عضدا

Transcription (English)
18:51 Ma ashhadtuhum khalqa alssamawatiwaal-ardi wala khalqa anfusihim wamakuntu muttakhitha almudilleena AAadudan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:51 I did not make them witness the creation of heavens and earth, nor the creation of themselves. Nor do I take the misleaders as helpers.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:51 I did not make them witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor the creation of themselves. Nor do I take the misleaders as helpers.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:51 I did not make them witnesses of the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor of the creation of their own selves;56 and neither do I [have any need to] take as My helpers those [beings] that lead [men] astray.57

Note 56
I.e., "since they are but created beings, and not co-existent with Me, how can you take them for your masters?"-an allusion to the beings, real or imaginary, to which men ascribe divine qualities, either consciously or (as in the case of one's submission to the "whisperings of Satan") by subconscious implication.

Note 57
Since God is almighty, all-knowing and self-sufficient, the belief that any being or power could have a "helping" share in His divinity, or could "mediate" between Him and man, causes the latter to go utterly astray.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:51 I never permitted them to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor the creation of themselves. Nor do I permit the wicked to work in My kingdom.,9

Note 9
God knew that Satan and his supporters (jinns and humans) were going to make the wrong decision. Hence their exclusionfrom witnessing the creation process.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:51 I never permitted any creatures to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation. And neither do I need to take as My helpers those beings (religious leaders) who lead people astray.

18:52 ويوم يقول نادوا شركاءى الذين زعمتم فدعوهم فلم يستجيبوا لهم وجعلنا بينهم موبقا

Transcription (English)
18:52 Wayawma yaqoolu nadoo shuraka-iyaallatheena zaAAamtum fadaAAawhum falam yastajeeboo lahumwajaAAalna baynahum mawbiqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:52 The day when He says: "Call on your partners that you had claimed." So they called them, but they did not respond to them. We made between them a place of destruction.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:52 The Day when He says: "Call on your partners that you had claimed." So they called them, but they did not respond to them. And We made between them a barrier.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:52 Hence, [bear in mind] the Day on which He will say, "Call [now] unto those beings whom you imagined to have a share in My divinity!"58 - whereupon they will invoke them, but those [beings] will not respond to them: for We shall have placed between them an unbridgeable gulf.59

Note 58
Lit., "those partners of Mine whom you supposed [to exist]": see note 15 on 6:22.

Note 59
Or: "a gulf [or "a barrier"] of perdition": an allusion to the wide gulf of unreality that separates those sinners from the blasphemous figments of their imagination or, more probably, the gulf that separates them from the saintly persons whom they were wont to worship despite the fact that the latter had never made any claim to divine status (Zamakhshari and Razi in one of their alternative interpretations, with specific mention of Jesus and Mary).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:52 The day will come when He says, "Call upon My partners, whom you claimed to be gods beside Me," they will call on them, but they will not respond to them. An insurmountable barrier will separate them from each other.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:52 Be mindful of the Day when He will say, “Call those whom you assigned as My partners.” Then they will call upon them, but they will not answer. We shall set a gulf of doom between them.

18:53 ورءا المجرمون النار فظنوا انهم مواقعوها ولم يجدوا عنها مصرفا

Transcription (English)
18:53 Waraa almujrimoona alnnarafathannoo annahum muwaqiAAooha walamyajidoo AAanha masrifan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:53 The criminals saw the fire; realizing that they would be placed in it. They did not find any way to avert it.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:53 And the criminals saw the Fire, and they realized they will be placed in it, and they did not find any way to avert it.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:53 And those who were lost in sin will behold the fire, and will know that they are bound to fall into it, and will find no way of escape therefrom.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:53 The guilty will see Hell, and will realize that they will fall into it. They will have no escape therefrom.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:53 Those who thrived on the fruit of others’ toil will gaze at the fire, and will realize that they are bound to fall into it, and will find no way to escape.

18:54 ولقد صرفنا فى هذا القرءان للناس من كل مثل وكان الانسن اكثر شىء جدلا

Transcription (English)
18:54 Walaqad sarrafna fee hathaalqur-ani lilnnasi min kulli mathalin wakanaal-insanu akthara shay-in jadalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
The Quran Contains Every Example for Our Salvation18:54 We have cited in this Quran every example for the people. But the human being is always most argumentative.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:54 And We have dispatched in this Qur'an for the people from every example; but man has always been most argumentative.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:54 THUS, INDEED, have We given in this Qur'an many facets to every kind of lesson [designed] for [the benefit of] mankind.60 However, man is, above all else, always given to contention:

Note 60
Cf. note 104 on 17:89, explaining my translation of mathal, in this context, as "lesson".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Disbelievers Refuse to Accept the Completeness of the Quran18:54 We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:54 Indeed, for the benefit of mankind We use Tasreef to explain the Qur’an from various vantage points. However, man, above all other imperfections, is given to contention.

18:55 وما منع الناس ان يؤمنوا اذ جاءهم الهدى ويستغفروا ربهم الا ان تاتيهم سنة الاولين او ياتيهم العذاب قبلا

Transcription (English)
18:55 Wama manaAAa alnnasa anyu/minoo ith jaahumu alhuda wayastaghfiroorabbahum illa an ta/tiyahum sunnatu al-awwaleena awya/tiyahumu alAAathabu qubulan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:55 When the guidance came to them nothing prevented the people from acknowledging, and seeking forgiveness from their Lord, except they sought to receive the ways of the previous people, or receive the retribution face to face.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:55 And what prevented the people from believing when the guidance came to them, and to seek forgiveness from their Lord? Are they waiting for what happened to the people of old to come to them, or that the retribution be brought to them face to face?
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:55 for, what is there to keep people from attaining to faith now that guidance has come unto them, and from asking their Sustainer to forgive them their sins - unless it be [their wish] that the fate of the [sinful] people of ancient times should befall them [as well], or that the [ultimate] suffering should befall them in the hereafter?61

Note 61
Lit., "face to face" or "in the future" (Zamakhshari)-both these meanings of qubulan being comprised in the concept of "the hereafter" or "the life to come".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:55 Nothing prevented the people from believing, when the guidance came to them, and from seeking the forgiveness of their Lord, except that they demanded to see the same (kind of miracles) as the previous generations, or challenged to see the retribution beforehand.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:55 For, what is there to keep people from attaining belief now that guidance has come to them, and from asking the protecting forgiveness of their Lord? - Unless they choose the fate of the ancient people to befall them and hasten the doom upon them.

18:56 وما نرسل المرسلين الا مبشرين ومنذرين ويجدل الذين كفروا بالبطل ليدحضوا به الحق واتخذوا ءايتى وما انذروا هزوا

Transcription (English)
18:56 Wama nursilu almursaleena illamubashshireena wamunthireena wayujadilu allatheenakafaroo bialbatili liyudhidoo bihi alhaqqawaittakhathoo ayatee wama onthiroohuzuwan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:56 We do not send the messengers except as bearers of good news and warners. But those who reject will argue using falsehood to overshadow the truth with it. They took My signs and what they have been warned by as a joke!
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:56 And We do not send the messengers except as bearers of good news and warners. But those who reject will argue using falsehood to overshadow the truth with it. And they took My revelations and what they have been warned by for mockery!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:56 But We send [Our] message-bearers only as heralds of glad tidings and as warners - whereas those who are bent on denying the truth contend [against them] with fallacious arguments, so as to render void the truth thereby, and to make My messages and warnings a target of their mockery.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:56 We only send the messengers as simply deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who disbelieve argue with falsehood to defeat the truth, and they take My proofs and warnings in vain.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:56 We send the Messengers only to give glad tidings and to give warnings. But the deniers dispute with false arguments, trying to refute the truth, and to make My messages and warnings a target of their mockery.

18:57 ومن اظلم ممن ذكر بايت ربه فاعرض عنها ونسى ما قدمت يداه انا جعلنا على قلوبهم اكنة ان يفقهوه وفى ءاذانهم وقرا وان تدعهم الى الهدى فلن يهتدوا اذا ابدا

Transcription (English)
18:57 Waman athlamu mimman thukkirabi-ayati rabbihi faaAArada AAanhawanasiya ma qaddamat yadahu inna jaAAalnaAAala quloobihim akinnatan an yafqahoohu wafee athanihimwaqran wa-in tadAAuhum ila alhuda falan yahtadoo ithanabadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:57 Who is more wicked than one who is reminded of his Lord's signs but he turned away from them, and he forgot what his hands had done. We have made veils upon their hearts from understanding them, and deafness in their ears. If you invite them to the guidance, they will never be guided.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:57 And who is more wicked than he who was reminded of the revelations of his Lord but he turned away from them, and he forgot what his hands had done. We have made veils upon their hearts from understanding it, and a deafness in their ears. And if you invite them to the guidance, they will never be guided.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:57 And who could be more wicked than he to whom his Sustainer's messages are conveyed and who thereupon turns away from them, forgetting all [the evil] that his hands may have wrought?62 Behold, over their hearts have We laid veils which prevent them from grasping the truth, and into their ears, deafness; and though thou call them onto the right path,63 they will never allow themselves to be guided.

Note 62
I.e., persevering in his unrighteous behaviour (Razi).

Note 63
Lit., "to guidance".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Divine Intervention18:57 Who are more evil than those who are reminded of their Lord's proofs, then disregard them, without realizing what they are doing. Consequently, we place shields on their hearts to prevent them from understanding it (the Quran), and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what you do to guide them, they can never ever be guided.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:57 And who does greater harm to himself than the one to whom his Lord’s messages are conveyed and he turns away from them, forgetting what he is doing and what wrong he has done before? Our law makes their hearts and ears impermeable to reason and advice. No matter what you do to guide them, they will not allow themselves to be shown the right way.

18:58 وربك الغفور ذو الرحمة لو يؤاخذهم بما كسبوا لعجل لهم العذاب بل لهم موعد لن يجدوا من دونه موئلا

Transcription (English)
18:58 Warabbuka alghafooru thoo alrrahmatilaw yu-akhithuhum bima kasaboo laAAajjalalahumu alAAathaba bal lahum mawAAidun lan yajidoo mindoonihi maw-ilan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:58 Your Lord is forgiving, with mercy. If He were to judge the people for what they had already earned, He would hasten for them the retribution. No, they have an appointment, beyond which they will find no escape.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:58 And your Lord is forgiving, with mercy. If He were to evaluate the people for what they had already earned, He would hasten for them the retribution. No, they have an appointment, beyond which they will find no escape.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:58 Yet, [withal,] thy Sustainer is the Truly-Forgiving One, limitless in His grace. Were He to take them [at once] to task for whatever [wrong] they commit, He would indeed bring about their speedy punishment [then and there]:64 but nay, they have a time-limit beyond which they shall find no redemption65

Note 64

Note 65
Cf. somewhat similar passages in 16:61 and 35:45. The "time-limit" (maw'id) signifies, in this context, the end of the sinners' life on earth or - as in the next verse - the "point of no return" beyond which God does not allow them to sin with impunity.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:58 Yet, your Lord is the Forgiver, full of mercy. If He called them to account for their deeds, He would annihilate them right there and then. Instead, He gives them a respite until a specific, predetermined time; then they can never escape.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:58 Yet, your Lord is the Truly-Forgiving One, full of grace. He could take them to task right away for whatever wrong they commit, and punish them then and there. But He gives them a period of respite beyond which they shall find no refuge.

18:59 وتلك القرى اهلكنهم لما ظلموا وجعلنا لمهلكهم موعدا

Transcription (English)
18:59 Watilka alqura ahlaknahum lammathalamoo wajaAAalna limahlikihim mawAAidan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:59 Such are the towns which We had destroyed when they transgressed. We made for their destruction an appointed time.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:59 And those towns, We destroyed them when they transgressed. And We made for their destruction an appointed time.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:59 as [was the case with all] those communities that We destroyed when they went on and on doing wrong:66 for We had set a time-limit for their destruction.

Note 66
Lit., "when [or "after"] they had been doing wrong" - i.e., persistently and for a long time.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:59 Many a community we annihilated because of their transgressions; we designated a specific time for their annihilation.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:59 Our Law of Requital annihilated many communities when they went on and on with their unjust systems. They were all given a due period of respite (in order to make amends) and We set up a time-limit for their annihilation.

18:60 واذ قال موسى لفتىه لا ابرح حتى ابلغ مجمع البحرين او امضى حقبا

Transcription (English)
18:60 Wa-ith qala moosa lifatahula abrahu hatta ablugha majmaAAa albahrayniaw amdiya huquban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
An Controller Teaches Lessons to Moses18:60 Moses said to his youth: "I will not stop until I reach the junction of the two seas, or I spend a lifetime trying."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:60 And Moses said to his youth: "I will not stop until I reach the junction of the two seas, or I spend a lifetime trying."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:60 AND LO! [In the course of his wanderings,] Moses said to his servant:67 "I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I [have to] spend untold years [in my quest]!"68

Note 67
The particle idh (which usually signifies "when", but is, I believe, properly rendered here as "lo!") often serves in the Qur'an to draw attention to a sudden turn in the discourse, without, however, involving a break in the continuity of thought. In this instance, it evidently marks a connection with verse 54 above ("many facets have We given in this Qur'an to every kind of lesson [designed] for [the benefit of] mankind"), and introduces an allegory meant to illustrate the fact that knowledge, and particularly spiritual knowledge, is inexhaustible, so that no human being - not even a prophet - can ever claim to possess answers to all the questions that perplex man throughout his life. (This idea is brought out fully in the last two verses of this surah.) The subsequent parable of Moses and his quest for knowledge (verses 60-82) has become, in the course of time, the nucleus of innumerable legends with which we are not concerned here. We have, however, a Tradition on the authority of Ubayy ibn Ka'b (recorded in several versions by Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi), according to which Moses was rebuked by God for having once asserted that he was the wisest of all men, and was subsequently told through revelation that a "servant of God" who lived at the "junction of the two seas" was far superior to him in wisdom. When Moses expressed his eagerness to find that man, God commanded him to "take a fish in a basket" and to go on and on until the fish would disappear: and its disappearance was to be a sign' that the goal had been reached. -There is no doubt that this Tradition is a kind of allegorical introduction to our Qur'anic parable. The "fish" mentioned in the latter as well as in the above-mentioned hadith is an ancient religious symbol, possibly signifying divine knowledge or life eternal. As for the "junction of the two seas", which many of the early commentators endeavoured to "identify" in geographical terms (ranging from the meeting of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean at the Bab al-Mandab to that of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean at the Straits of Gibraltar), Baydawi offers, in his commentary on verse 60, a purely allegorical explanation: the "two seas" represent the two sources or streams of knowledge - the one obtainable through the observation and intellectual coordination of outward phenomena (`ilm az-zahir), and the other through intuitive, mystic insight (`ilm al-batin) -the meeting of which is the real goal of Moses' quest.

Note 68
Lit., "young man" (fata)-a term applied, in early Arabic usage, to one's servant (irrespective of his age). According to tradition, it was Joshua, who was to become the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Valuable Lessons from Moses and His Teacher18:60 Moses said to his servant, "I will not rest until I reach the point where the two rivers meet, no matter how long it takes.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:60 And so, in the course of his quest for knowledge, Moses said to his young friend, “I shall not give up until I reach the junction of the two streams, though I march on for ages in my quest.”20

Note 20
The Divine revelation shows the way and the outcome with conviction. When Moses was a young man, not yet commissioned as a Prophet, he was constantly in search of truth 93:7. God chose His Prophets and assigned them their mission at the appropriate time. The young Moses knew that the human intellect was the source of conceptual knowledge whereas the Divine revelation is the extrinsic knowledge from beyond human faculties. Intellect and revelation: The Two Streams of knowledge

18:61 فلما بلغا مجمع بينهما نسيا حوتهما فاتخذ سبيله فى البحر سربا

Transcription (English)
18:61 Falamma balagha majmaAAabaynihima nasiya hootahuma faittakhathasabeelahu fee albahri saraban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:61 But when they did reach the junction between, they forgot their fish, and it was able to make its way back to the sea in a stream.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:61 But when they reached the junction that was in-between, they forgot their fish, and it was able to make its way back to the sea in a stream.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:61 But when they reached the junction between the two [seas], they forgot all about their fish, and it took its way into the sea and disappeared from sight.69

Note 69
Lit., "burrowing [into it]". Their forgetting the symbolic "fish" (see last third of note 67) is perhaps an allusion to man's frequently forgetting that God is the ultimate source of all knowledge and life.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:61 When they reached the point where they met, they forgot their fish, and it found its way back to the river, sneakily.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:61 But when Moses with his young friend reached the junction of the two streams, they forgot all about the fish. And it disappeared into the sea.21

Note 21
Moses became more concerned about his people in bondage. Interestingly, fish is an ancient symbol of worldly life with all its glitter and indulgence

18:62 فلما جاوزا قال لفتىه ءاتنا غداءنا لقد لقينا من سفرنا هذا نصبا

Transcription (English)
18:62 Falamma jawaza qalalifatahu atina ghadaana laqadlaqeena min safarina hatha nasaban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:62 When they had passed further on, he said to his youth: "Bring us our lunch; we have found much fatigue in this journey of ours."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:62 And when they passed further on, he said to his youth: "Bring us our lunch; we have found much fatigue in this journey of ours."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:62 And after the two had walked some distance, [Moses] said to his servant: "Bring us our mid-day meal; we have indeed suffered hardship on this [day of] our journey!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:62 After they passed that point, he said to his servant, "Let us have lunch. All this traveling has thoroughly exhausted us.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:62 And after the two had walked some distance, Moses said to his young friend, “Bring us our lunch, the journey has been tiring.”

18:63 قال ارءيت اذ اوينا الى الصخرة فانى نسيت الحوت وما انسىنيه الا الشيطن ان اذكره واتخذ سبيله فى البحر عجبا

Transcription (English)
18:63 Qala araayta ith awaynaila alssakhrati fa-innee naseetu alhootawama ansaneehu illa alshshaytanuan athkurahu waittakhatha sabeelahu fee albahriAAajaban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:63 He said, "Do you remember when we rested upon the rock? I forgot the fish, and it was the devil that made me forget to remember it. It made its way back to the sea amazingly!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:63 He said: "Do you remember when we rested upon the rock? I forgot the fish, and it was the devil who made me forget to remember it. It made its way back to the sea amazingly!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:63 Said [the servant]: "Wouldst thou believe it?70 When we betook ourselves to that rock for a rest, behold, I forgot about the fish-and none but Satan made me thus forget it71 - and it took its way into the sea! How strange!"

Note 70
Lit., "Didst thou see?" Although formulated as a question, this idiomatic phrase often expresses - as does its modern equivalent, "Would you believe it?" - no more than a sudden remembrance of, or surprise at, an unusual or absurd happening.

Note 71
Lit., "made me forget it lest I remember it".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:63 He said, "Remember when we sat by the rock back there? I paid no attention to the fish. It was the devil who made me forget it, and it found its way back to the river, strangely.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:63 Said his friend, “Would you believe it? When we rested at the rock, I forgot about the fish and none but Satan, my wandering thoughts, made me forget it. And it took its way into the sea. How strange!

18:64 قال ذلك ما كنا نبغ فارتدا على ءاثارهما قصصا

Transcription (English)
18:64 Qala thalika ma kunnanabghi fairtadda AAala atharihimaqasasan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:64 He said, "That is what we have been seeking!" So they went back retracing their steps.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:64 He said: "That is what we have been seeking!" So they went back retracing their steps.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:64 [Moses] exclaimed: "That [was the place] which we were seeking!,72 And the two turned back, retracing their footsetps,

Note 72
Le., the disappearance of the fish indicated the point at which their quest was to end (see note 67).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:64 (Moses) said, "That was the place we were looking for." They traced their steps back.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:64 Moses said, “That is what we were seeking!” And the two turned back retracing their footsteps. (Moses retired to rest in deep thought.)

18:65 فوجدا عبدا من عبادنا ءاتينه رحمة من عندنا وعلمنه من لدنا علما

Transcription (English)
18:65 Fawajada AAabdan min AAibadinaataynahu rahmatan min AAindinawaAAallamnahu min ladunna AAilman
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:65 So they came upon a servant of Ours whom We had given him compassion from Us and We taught him knowledge from Us.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:65 So they came upon a servant of Ours whom We had given him mercy from Us and We had taught him knowledge from Us.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:65 and found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed grace from Ourselves and unto whom We had imparted knowledge [issuing] from Ourselves.73

Note 73
In the Tradition on the authority of Ubayy ibn Ka'b (referred to in note 67) this mysterious sage is spoken of as Al-Khadir or Al-Khidr, meaning "the Green One". Apparently this is an epithet rather than a name, implying (according to popular legend) that his wisdom was ever-fresh ("green") and imperishable: a notion which bears out the assumption that we have here an allegaric figure symbolizing the utmost depth of mystic insight accessible to man.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:65 They found one of our servants, whom we blessed with mercy, and bestowed upon him from our own knowledge.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:65 (Moses wondered how exciting the merging of the two streams would be! And he imagined that) he found a servant of Ours, upon whom We had bestowed grace from Our Presence and to whom We had imparted knowledge from Ourselves.22

Note 22
A close examination of verses 60-65 is quite revealing. From this point on the young friend suddenly disappears. Also consider the way the fish disappeared, and how then, Moses remarks, "That is what we were seeking". I agree with Muhammad Asad that the 'fish' here is only figurative. I also understand that the young friend of Moses is none else but his own youthful enthusiasm taking him to a great quest. Then in 18:64 Moses goes back retracing his footsteps. So, what happens next is most probably his deep contemplation at rest. The mystical story is worth pondering. The enlightened man who meets Moses at this juncture, and later his weird actions, grant him an allegorical and not a tangible presence. For these reasons I think that in 18:60, the Qur’an is relating the intellectual search of Moses rather than his physical experience

18:66 قال له موسى هل اتبعك على ان تعلمن مما علمت رشدا

Transcription (English)
18:66 Qala lahu moosa halattabiAAuka AAala an tuAAallimani mimma AAullimtarushdan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:66 Moses said to him: "Can I follow you so that you will teach me from the guidance you have been taught?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:66 Moses said to him: "Can I follow you so that you will teach me from the guidance you have been taught?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:66 Moses said unto him: "May I follow thee on the understanding that thou wilt impart to me something of that consciousness of what is right which has been imparted to thee?"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:66 Moses said to him, "Can I follow you, that you may teach me some of the knowledge and the guidance bestowed upon you?",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:66 Moses (deep in his contemplation) said to the man, “May I follow you that you may teach me some of the knowledge and guidance which you have been taught?”

18:67 قال انك لن تستطيع معى صبرا

Transcription (English)
18:67 Qala innaka lan tastateeAAamaAAiya sabran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:67 He said, "You will not be able to have patience with me."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:67 He said: "You will not be able to have patience with me."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:67 [The other] answered: "Behold, thou wilt never be able to have patience with me –
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:67 He said, "You cannot stand to be with me.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:67 He said, "Surely, you would not be able to have patience with me.

18:68 وكيف تصبر على ما لم تحط به خبرا

Transcription (English)
18:68 Wakayfa tasbiru AAala malam tuhit bihi khubran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:68 "How can you be patient about what you have not been given any news?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:68 "And how can you be patient about that which you have not been given any news?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:68 for how couldst thou be patient about something that thou canst not comprehend within the compass of (thy] experience?"74

Note 74
Lit., "that, thou dost not encompass with [thy] experience (khubran)": according to Razi, an allusion to the fact that even a prophet like Moses did not fully comprehend the inner reality of things (haga'iq at-ashya' kama hiya); and, more generally, to man's lack of equanimity whenever he is faced with something that he has never yet experienced or cannot immediately comprehend. In the last analysis. the above verse implies -as is brought out fully in Moses' subsequent experiences - that appearance and reality do not always coincide; beyond that, it touches in a subtle manner upon the profound truth that man cannot really comprehend or even visualize anything that has no counterpart - at least in its component elements - in his own intellectual experience: and this is the reason for the Qur'anic use of metaphor and allegory with regard to "all that is beyond the reach of a created being's perception" (al-ghayb).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:68 "How can you stand that which you do not comprehend?",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:68 And how can you bear with what you cannot comprehend?"

18:69 قال ستجدنى ان شاء الله صابرا ولا اعصى لك امرا

Transcription (English)
18:69 Qala satajidunee in shaa Allahusabiran wala aAAsee laka amran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:69 He said, "You will find me, God willing, to be patient. I will not disobey any command of yours."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:69 He said: "You will find me, God willing, to be patient. And I will not disobey any command of yours."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:69 Replied [Moses]: "Thou wilt find me patient, if God so wills; and I shall not disobey thee in anything!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:69 He said, "You will find me, GOD willing, patient. I will not disobey any command you give me.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:69 Moses said, "God willing, you will find me patient and I will not disobey you."

18:70 قال فان اتبعتنى فلا تسلنى عن شىء حتى احدث لك منه ذكرا

Transcription (English)
18:70 Qala fa-ini ittabaAAtanee falatas-alnee AAan shay-in hatta ohditha lakaminhu thikran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:70 He said, "If you follow me, then do not ask about anything until I relate it to you."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:70 He said: "If you follow me, then do not ask about anything until I relate it to you."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:70 Said [the sage]: "Well, then, if thou art to follow me, do not question me about aught [that I may do] until I myself give thee an account thereof."
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:70 He said, "If you follow me, then you shall not ask me about anything, unless I choose to tell you about it.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:70 The man said, "Well, if you go with me, do not ask me any questions unless I choose to tell you about it."

18:71 فانطلقا حتى اذا ركبا فى السفينة خرقها قال اخرقتها لتغرق اهلها لقد جئت شيا امرا

Transcription (English)
18:71 Faintalaqa hattaitha rakiba fee alssafeenati kharaqahaqala akharaqtaha litughriqa ahlaha laqadji/ta shay-an imran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:71 So they ventured forth until they rode in a boat and he made a hole in it. He said, "Did you make a hole in it to drown its people? You have done something dreadful!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:71 So they ventured forth until they rode in a boat and he made a hole in it. He said: "Have you made a hole in it to drown its people? You have done something dreadful!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:71 And so the two went on their way, till (they reached the seashore; and] when they disembarked from the boat [that had ferried them across], the sage75 made a hole in it-[whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou made a hole in it in order to drown the people who may be [travelling] in it? Indeed, thou hast done a grievous thing!"

Note 75
Lit., "he".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:71 So they went. When they boarded a ship, he bore a hole in it. He said, "Did you bore a hole in it to drown its people? You have committed something terrible.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:71 So they went on until they were in a boat and he made a hole in it. Moses said, "Did you make a hole to drown its people? You have done something terrible!"

18:72 قال الم اقل انك لن تستطيع معى صبرا

Transcription (English)
18:72 Qala alam aqul innaka lan tastateeAAamaAAiya sabran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:72 He said, "Did I not tell you that you will not be able to have patience with me?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:72 He said: "Did I not tell you that you will not be able to have patience with me?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:72 He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:72 He said, "Did I not say that you cannot stand to be with me?",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:72 The man said, "Did I not tell you that you could not bear with me?"

18:73 قال لا تؤاخذنى بما نسيت ولا ترهقنى من امرى عسرا

Transcription (English)
18:73 Qala la tu-akhithneebima naseetu wala turhiqnee min amree AAusran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:73 He said, "Forgive me for what I forgot, and do not be hard upon my request with you."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:73 He said: "Forgive me for what I forgot, and do not be hard upon my request with you."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:73 Said [Moses]: "Take-me not to task for my having forgotten [myself], and be not hard on me on account of what I have done!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:73 He said, "I am sorry. Do not punish me for my forgetfulness; do not be too harsh with me.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:73 Said Moses, “Do not rebuke me for forgetting. And be not hard on me for my fault.”

18:74 فانطلقا حتى اذا لقيا غلما فقتله قال اقتلت نفسا زكية بغير نفس لقد جئت شيا نكرا

Transcription (English)
18:74 Faintalaqa hattaitha laqiya ghulaman faqatalahu qalaaqatalta nafsan zakiyyatan bighayri nafsin laqad ji/ta shay-annukran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:74 So they ventured forth until they came upon a youth, and he killed him. He said, "Have you killed an innocent person without justice? You have truly come with something awful!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:74 So they ventured forth until they came upon a youth, and he killed him. He said: "Have you killed an innocent person without justice? You have done something awful!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:74 And so the two went on, till, when they met a young man, [the sage] slew him -(whereupon Moses] exclaimed: "Hast thou slain an innocent human being without [his having taken] another man's life? Indeed, thou hast done a terrible thing!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:74 So they went. When they met a young boy, he killed him. He said, "Why did you kill such an innocent person, who did not kill another person? You have committed something horrendous.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:74 So they went on until when they met a lad, he slew him. Moses said, "What! Have you slain an innocent person who had slain none? Surely, you have done a horrible thing."

18:75 قال الم اقل لك انك لن تستطيع معى صبرا

Transcription (English)
18:75 Qala alam aqul laka innaka lan tastateeAAamaAAiya sabran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:75 He said, "Did I not tell you that you will not be able to have patience with me?"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:75 He said: "Did I not tell you that you will not be able to have patience with me?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:75 He replied: "Did I not tell thee that thou wilt never be able to have patience with me?"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:75 He said, "Did I not tell you that you cannot stand to be with me?",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:75 The man said, “Didn’t I tell you that you could not bear with me?”

18:76 قال ان سالتك عن شىء بعدها فلا تصحبنى قد بلغت من لدنى عذرا

Transcription (English)
18:76 Qala in saaltuka AAan shay-in baAAdahafala tusahibnee qad balaghta min ladunnee AAuthran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:76 He said, "If I ask you about anything after this, then do not keep me in your company. You will then have a reason over me."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:76 He said: "If I ask you about anything after this, then do not keep me in your company. You will then have a reason over me."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:76 Said [Moses]: "If, after this, I should ever question thee, keep me not in thy company: [for by] now thou hast heard enough excuses from me."
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:76 He said, "If I ask you about anything else, then do not keep me with you. You have seen enough apologies from me.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:76 Moses said, “If I ask you after this about anything, then do not keep me with you. By then you shall have received enough excuses from me.”

18:77 فانطلقا حتى اذا اتيا اهل قرية استطعما اهلها فابوا ان يضيفوهما فوجدا فيها جدارا يريد ان ينقض فاقامه قال لو شئت لتخذت عليه اجرا

Transcription (English)
18:77 Faintalaqa hattaitha ataya ahla qaryatin istatAAamaahlaha faabaw an yudayyifoohuma fawajadafeeha jidaran yureedu an yanqadda faaqamahuqala law shi/ta laittakhathta AAalayhi ajran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:77 So they ventured forth until they came to the people of a town. They requested food from its people but they refused to host them. Then they found a wall which was close to collapsing, so he built it. He said, "If you wished, you could have asked a wage for it!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:77 So they ventured forth until they came to the people of a town. They requested food from its people but they refused to host them. Then they found a wall which was close to collapsing, so he built it. He said: "If you had wished, you could have asked a wage for it!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:77 And so the two went on, till, when they came upon some village people, they asked them76 for food; but those [people] refused them all hospitality. And they saw in that (village] a wall which was on the point of tumbling down, and [the sage] rebuilt it[whereupon Moses] said: "Hadst thou so wished, surely thou couldst [at least] have obtained some payment for it?"

Note 76
Lit., "asked its people". din
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:77 So they went. When they reached a certain community, they asked the people for food, but they refused to host them. Soon, they found a wall about to collapse, and he fixed it. He said, "You could have demanded a wage for that!",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:77 So they proceeded. When they reached a township, they asked its people for food, but they refused them hospitality. Soon they saw a wall that was about to collapse, and he fixed it. Moses said, "If you had wished, you could have taken a wage for that."

18:78 قال هذا فراق بينى وبينك سانبئك بتاويل ما لم تستطع عليه صبرا

Transcription (English)
18:78 Qala hatha firaqubaynee wabaynika saonabbi-oka bita/weeli ma lam tastatiAAAAalayhi sabran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:78 He said, "For this, we will now part ways. I will inform you of the meanings of those things that you could not have patience over."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:78 He said: "For this, we will now part ways. I will inform you of the meanings of those things that you could not have patience over."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:78 [The sage] replied: "This is the parting of ways between me and thee. [And now] I shall let thee know the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience:,
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
There is a Good Reason for Everything18:78 He said, "Now we have to part company. But I will explain to you everything you could not stand.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:78 He replied, “This is the parting between you and me! But I will explain to you the real meaning of things you could not bear with patience."

18:79 اما السفينة فكانت لمسكين يعملون فى البحر فاردت ان اعيبها وكان وراءهم ملك ياخذ كل سفينة غصبا

Transcription (English)
18:79 Amma alssafeenatu fakanatlimasakeena yaAAmaloona fee albahri faaradtu anaAAeebaha wakana waraahum malikun ya/khuthukulla safeenatin ghasban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:79 "As for the boat, it belonged to some poor people who were working the sea, so I wanted to damage it as there was a king coming who takes every boat by force."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:79 "As for the boat, it belonged to some poor people who were working the sea, so I wanted to damage it as there was a king coming who takes every boat by force."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:79 "As for that boat, it belonged to some needy people who toiled upon the sea -and I desired to damage it77 because (I knew that] behind them was a king who is wont to seize every boat by brute force.

Note 77
Lit., "to cause a fault in it" -i.e., to make it temporarily unserviceable.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:79 "As for the ship, it belonged to poor fishermen, and I wanted to render it defective. There was a king coming after them, who was confiscating every ship, forcibly.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:79 "As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I wished to make it defective. For, behind them was a king who was taking every (good) boat by force.

18:80 واما الغلم فكان ابواه مؤمنين فخشينا ان يرهقهما طغينا وكفرا

Transcription (English)
18:80 Waamma alghulamu fakanaabawahu mu/minayni fakhasheena an yurhiqahumatughyanan wakufran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:80 "As for the youth, his parents were those who acknowledge, so we feared that he would oppress them by his transgression and denial."11

Note 11

The lesson we are taught is that we should not be hasty in making judgment of certain events based on limited information. We cannot make a right judgment of characters of an action movie just by looking at a clip of a few seconds.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:80 "And as for the youth, his parents were believers, so we were concerned that he would oppress them by his transgression and disbelief."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:80 "And as for that young man, his parents were [true] believers - whereas we had every reason to fear78 that he would bring bitter grief upon them by [his] overweening wickedness and denial of all truth:

Note 78
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:80 "As for the boy, his parents were good believers, and we saw that he was going to burden them with his transgression and disbelief.,10

Note 10
Adolf Hitler was a cute and seemingly innocent child. Had he died as a child, many would have grieved, and many would haveeven questioned God's wisdom. We learn from these profound lessons that thereis a good reason behind everything.
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:80 And as for the lad, his parents were true believers whereas we had every reason to fear that he would bring bitter grief upon them by rebellion and disbelief.

18:81 فاردنا ان يبدلهما ربهما خيرا منه زكوة واقرب رحما

Transcription (English)
18:81 Faaradna an yubdilahumarabbuhuma khayran minhu zakatan waaqraba ruhman
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:81 "So we wanted their Lord to replace for them with one who is better than him in purity and closer to mercy."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:81 "So we wanted their Lord to replace for them with one who is better than him in purity and closer to mercy."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:81 and so we desired that their Sustainer grant them in his stead [a child] of greater purity than him, and closer [to them] in loving tenderness.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:81 "We willed that your Lord substitute in his place another son; one who is better in righteousness and kindness.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:81 And so we desired that their Lord grant them, instead of him, a child better in purity of conduct and affection.

18:82 واما الجدار فكان لغلمين يتيمين فى المدينة وكان تحته كنز لهما وكان ابوهما صلحا فاراد ربك ان يبلغا اشدهما ويستخرجا كنزهما رحمة من ربك وما فعلته عن امرى ذلك تاويل ما لم تسطع عليه صبرا

Transcription (English)
18:82 Waamma aljidaru fakanalighulamayni yateemayni fee almadeenati wakana tahtahukanzun lahuma wakana aboohuma salihanfaarada rabbuka an yablugha ashuddahumawayastakhrija kanzahuma rahmatan min rabbikawama faAAaltuhu AAan amree thalika ta/weelu malam tastiAA AAalayhi sabran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:82 "As for the wall, it belonged to two orphaned boys in the city, and underneath it was a treasure for them, and their father was a good man, so your Lord wanted that they would reach their maturity and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. None of what I did was of my own accord. That is the meaning of what you could not have patience for."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:82 "And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphaned boys in the city, and underneath it was a treasure for them, and their father was a good man, so your Lord wanted that they reach their independence and bring out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And none of what I have done was of my own accord. That is the meaning of what you could not have patience for."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:82 "And as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys [living] in the town, and beneath it was [buried] a treasure belonging to them [by right].79 Now their father had been a righteous man, and so thy Sustainer willed it that when they come of age they should bring forth their treasure by thy Sustainer's grace. "And I did not do (any of] this of my own accord:80 this is the real meaning of all [those events] that thou wert unable to bear with patience."

Note 79
I.e., left to them as an inheritance. Presumably that treasure would have been exposed to view if the wall had been allowed to tumble down, and would have been stolen by the avaricious village folk, who had shown their true character by refusing all hospitality to weary travellers.

Note 80
Implying that whatever he had done was done under the impulsion of a higher truth-the mystic insight which revealed to him the reality behind the outward appearance of things and made him a conscious particle in God's unfathomable plan: and this explains the use of the plural "we" in verses 80-81, as well as the direct attribution, in the first paragraph of verse 82, of a concrete human action to God's will (Razi).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:82 "As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city. Under it, there was a treasure that belonged to them. Because their father was a righteous man, your Lord wanted them to grow up and attain full strength, then extract their treasure. Such is mercy from your Lord. I did none of that of my own volition. This is the explanation of the things you could not stand."  Zul-Qarnain: The One With the Two Horns or Two Generations,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:82 As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town. And there was a treasure for them, beneath the wall. Their late father was a righteous man, and your Lord wanted them to grow up to full maturity and then extract their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it of my own accord (but by Divine Command). This is the explanation of things you could not stand.”23

Note 23
As the pondering was over, Moses understood that revelation is to the intellect what the sunlight is to the eye. Thus, was completed his intellectual journey. Later on Moses was commissioned to Prophethood and experienced the Divine revelation first hand

18:83 ويسلونك عن ذى القرنين قل ساتلوا عليكم منه ذكرا

Transcription (English)
18:83 Wayas-aloonaka AAan thee alqarnayniqul saatloo AAalaykum minhu thikran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
The Leader of Two Generations18:83 They ask you about the one who is from Two Eras, say, "I will recite to you a memory from him."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:83 And they ask you about the Two Horned One, say: "I will recite to you a remembrance of him."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:83 AND THEY will ask thee about the Two-Horned One. Say: "I will convey unto you something by which he ought to be remembered."81

Note 81
Lit., "I will convey unto you a remembrance [or "mention"] of him" - i.e., something that is worthy of remembrance and mention: which, I believe, is an allusion to the parabolic character of the subsequent story and the fact that is is confined, like the preceding parable of Moses and the unknown sage, to a few fundamental, spiritual truths.-The epithet Dhu 'l-Qarnayn signifies "the Two-Horned One" or "He of the Two Epochs", since the noun qarn has the meaning of "horn" as well as of "generation" or "epoch" qr "age" or "century". The classical commentators incline to the first of these meanings ("the Two-Horned"); and in this they appear to have been influenced by the ancient Middle-Eastern imagery of "horns" as symbols of power and greatness, although the Qur'an itself does not offer any warrant for this interpretation. In fact, the term qarn (and its plural qurun) occurs in the Qur'an -apart from the combination Dhu 'l-Qarnayn appearing in verses 83, 86 and 94 of this surah - twenty times: and each time it has the meaning of "generation" in the sense of people belonging to one particular epoch or civilization. However, since the allegory of Dhu 'l-Qarnayn is meant to illustrate the qualities of a powerful and just ruler, it is possible to assume that this designation is an echo of the above-mentioned ancient symbolism, which - being familiar to the Arabs from very early times - had acquired idiomatic currency in their language long before the advent of Islam. Within the context of our Qur'anic allegory, the "two horns" may be taken to denote the two sources of power with which Dhu 'l-Qarnayn is said to have been endowed: namely, the worldly might and prestige of kingship as well as the spiritual strength resulting from his faith in God. This last point is extremely important-for it is precisely the Qur'anic stress on his faith in God that makes it impossible to identify Dhu 'l-Qarnayn, as most of the commentators do, with Alexander the Great (who is represented on some of his coins with two horns on his head) or with one or another of the pre-Islamic, Himyaritic kings of Yemen. All those historic personages were pagans and worshipped a plurality of deities as a matter of course, whereas our Dhu 'l-Qarnayn is depicted as a firm believer in the One God: indeed, it is this aspect of his personality that provides the innermost reason of the Qur'anic allegory. We must, therefore, conclude that the latter has nothing to do with history or even legend, and that its sole purport is a parabolic discourse on faith and ethics, with specific reference to the problem of worldly power (see the concluding passage in the introductory note to this surah).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:83 They ask you about Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will narrate to you some of his history.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:83 (O Messenger) they ask you about Zul-Qarnain. Say, "I will convey to you something by which he is worth remembering."

18:84 انا مكنا له فى الارض وءاتينه من كل شىء سببا

Transcription (English)
18:84 Inna makkanna lahu fee al-ardiwaataynahu min kulli shay-in sababan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:84 We had facilitated for him in the land, and We had given him the means of everything.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:84 We had facilitated for him in the land, and We had given him the means to all things.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:84 Behold, We established him securely on earth, and endowed him with [the knowledge of] the right means to achieve anything82 [that he might set out to achieve];

Note 82
According to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak (all of them quoted by Ibn Kathir), the term sabab - lit., "a means to achieve [anything]" - denotes, in this context, the knowledge of the right means for the achievement of a particular end.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:84 We granted him authority on earth, and provided him with all kinds of means.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:84 We established him in power on earth and granted him the ways and means to accomplish his objectives.

18:85 فاتبع سببا

18:85 fatbA sbba
Transcription (English)
18:85 FaatbaAAa sababan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:85 So he followed the means.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:85 So he followed the means.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:85 and so he chose the right means [in whatever he did].83

Note 83
Lit., "he followed [the right] means": i.e., he never employed wrong means to achieve even a righteous goal.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:85 Then, he pursued one way.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:85 He set out for an expedition choosing the right means to the right end.

18:86 حتى اذا بلغ مغرب الشمس وجدها تغرب فى عين حمئة ووجد عندها قوما قلنا يذا القرنين اما ان تعذب واما ان تتخذ فيهم حسنا

Transcription (English)
18:86 Hatta itha balaghamaghriba alshshamsi wajadaha taghrubu fee AAaynin hami-atinwawajada AAindaha qawman qulna ya thaalqarnayni imma an tuAAaththiba wa-imma antattakhitha feehim husnan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:86 Until he reached the setting of the sun, and he found it setting at a black water, and he found near it a people. We said, "O Two Eras, either you are to punish, or you are to do them good."12

Note 12

This verse is among the handful verses cited by careless critics of the Quran as an example of scientific inaccuracies in the Quran. However, they ignore the obvious fact that the Quran describes the setting of the sun through the eyes of Zul-qarnain. In other words, it is not used within the context of an objective scientific description but merely a perception of a person. A little search of the Internet will bring millions of occurrences of expressions such as "sun set" or "sun will set" or "sun sets". Of course, none accuses the author of those expressions of believing that the sun is rotating around the earth. Besides, the Arabic word for "sank" is "gharaqa" not "gharaba" (set) as is used in the verse. See 4:82.

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:86 Until he reached the setting of the sun; he found it setting at a hot spring, and he found a people near it. We said: "O Two Horned One, either you shall punish, or you shall do them good."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:86 [And he marched westwards] till, when he came to the setting of the sun,84 it appeared to him that it was setting in a dark, turbid sea;85 and nearby he found a people [given to every kind of wrongdoing]. We said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Thou mayest either cause [them] to suffer or treat them with kindness!"86

Note 84
I.e., the westernmost point of his expedition (Razi).

Note 85
Or: "abundance of water" - which, according to many philologists (cf. Taj al-'Arus), is one of the meanings of `ayn (primarily denoting a "spring"). As for my rendering of the phrase "he found it (wajadaha) setting...", etc., as "it appeared to him that it was setting", see Razi and Ibn Kathir, both of whom point out that we have here a metaphor based on the common optical illusion of the sun's "disappearing into the sea"; and Razi explains this, correctly, by the fact that the earth is spherical. (It is interesting to note that, according to him, this explanation was already advanced in the - now lost - Qur'an -commentary of Abu `Ali al-Jubba'i, the famous Mu'tazili scholar who died in 303 H., which corresponds to 915 or 916 of the Christian era.)

Note 86
This divine permission to choose between two possible courses of action is not only a metonymic statement of the freedom of will accorded by God to man, but establishes also the important legal principle of istihsan (social or moral preference) open to a ruler or government in deciding as to what might be conducive to the greatest good (maslahah) of the community as a whole: and this is the first "lesson" of the parable of Dhu 'l-Qarnayn.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:86 When he reached the far west, he found the sun setting in a vast ocean, and found people there. We said, "O Zul-Qarnain, you can rule as you wish; either punish, or be kind to them.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:86 (Conquering land to the west toward Lydia, he reached as far as the Black Sea.) The sun was setting and it appeared to him as if it was setting in the dark waters. (The local people, given to wrongdoing, fought against him and lost.) We said, "O Zul-Qarnain! Either punish or be kind to them."24

Note 24
Zul-Qarnain = King Cyrus the Great of Persia, 590-529 BC

18:87 قال اما من ظلم فسوف نعذبه ثم يرد الى ربه فيعذبه عذابا نكرا

Transcription (English)
18:87 Qala amma man thalamafasawfa nuAAaththibuhu thumma yuraddu ila rabbihifayuAAaththibuhu AAathaban nukran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:87 He said, "As for he who has transgressed, we will punish him then he will be returned to his Lord and He will punish him an awful punishment."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:87 He said: "As for he who has done wrong, we will punish him then he will be returned to his Lord and He will punish him an awful punishment."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:87 He answered: "As for him who does wrong [unto others87 ] - him shall we, in time, cause to suffer; and thereupon he shall be referred to his Sustainer, and He will cause him to suffer with unnameable suffering.88

Note 87
Cf. 11:117 and the corresponding note 149.

Note 88
I.e., in the hereafter-implying that nothing that pertains to the life to come could ever be imagined or defined in terms of human experience.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:87 He said, "As for those who transgress, we will punish them; then, when they return to their Lord, He will commit them to more retribution.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:87 Cyrus said to them, “As for him who does wrong from now on, we shall punish him. And then he will be brought back before his Lord Who will commit him to greater retribution.25

Note 25
Note King Cyrus talking in the royal manner, “We” and reflect on the King of kings, God, using “I” or “We” for Himself

18:88 واما من ءامن وعمل صلحا فله جزاء الحسنى وسنقول له من امرنا يسرا

Transcription (English)
18:88 Waamma man amana waAAamila salihanfalahu jazaan alhusna wasanaqoolu lahu minamrina yusran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:88 "As for he who acknowledges and does good, then he will have the reward of goodness, and we will speak to him simply of our plan."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:88 "And as for he who believes and does good, then he will have the reward of goodness, and we will speak to him simply of our plan."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:88 But as for him who believes and does righteous deeds - he will have the ultimate good [of the life to come] as his reward; and [as for us,] we shall make binding on him [only] that which is easy to fulfill."89

Note 89
Since righteous behaviour is the norm expected of man, the laws relating thereto must not be too demanding-which is another lesson to be drawn from this parable.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:88 "As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they receive a good reward; we will treat them kindly.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:88 But whoever chooses to believe and helps others, he will have a goodly reward and we will make his task easy by our command.”26

Note 26
‘Amal Saaleh = Act of social welfare = Helping others = Increasing the societal potential = Fulfilling needs

18:89 ثم اتبع سببا

18:89 śm atbA sbba
Transcription (English)
18:89 Thumma atbaAAa sababan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:89 Then he followed the means.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:89 Then he followed the means.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:89 And once again90 he chose the right means [to achieve a right end].

Note 90
For this rendering of the particle thumma, see surah 6, note 31.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:89 Then he pursued another way.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:89 (After establishing peace in the West) he once again chose the right means to achieve the right end.27

Note 27
He set forth to an expedition towards the East

18:90 حتى اذا بلغ مطلع الشمس وجدها تطلع على قوم لم نجعل لهم من دونها سترا

Transcription (English)
18:90 Hatta itha balagha matliAAaalshshamsi wajadaha tatluAAu AAalaqawmin lam najAAal lahum min dooniha sitran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:90 So when he reached the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people whom We did not provide them with coverings against it.13

Note 13

Is it a description of a desert?

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:90 So when he reached the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We did not make any cover except it.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:90 [And then he marched eastwards] till, when he came to the rising of the sun91 he found that it was rising on a people for whom We had provided no coverings against it:

Note 91
Le., the easternmost point of his expedition (similar to the expression "the setting of the sun" in verse 86).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:90 When he reached the far east, he found the sun rising on people who had nothing to shelter them from it.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:90 Then he reached (Balkh in Afghanistan) at the rising of the sun, the easternmost point of his expedition. He found it rising on a people for whom We had appointed no shelter from it.28

Note 28
The nomads there built no houses or tents

18:91 كذلك وقد احطنا بما لديه خبرا

Transcription (English)
18:91 Kathalika waqad ahatnabima ladayhi khubran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:91 So it was, and We knew ahead of time about what he intended.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:91 So it was, and We knew ahead of time about what he intended.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:91 thus [We had made them, and thus he left them92 ; and We did encompass with Our knowledge all that he had in mind93

Note 92
This is Razi 's interpretation of the isolated expression kadhalika ("thus" or "thus it was") occurring here. It obviously relates to the primitive, natural state of those people who needed no clothes to protect them from the sun, and to the (implied) fact that Dhu 'l-Qarnayn left them as he had found them, being mindful not to upset their mode of life and thus to cause them misery.

Note 93
Lit., "all that was with him" - i.e., his resolve not to "corrupt [or "change"] God's creation" (cf. the second half of my note 141 on 4:119) -which, I believe, is a further ethical lesson to be derived from this parable.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:91 Naturally, we were fully aware of everything he found out.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:91 So it was, and We knew all about him and his resources.29

Note 29
He helped those people with his abundant resources that God had given him

18:92 ثم اتبع سببا

18:92 śm atbA sbba
Transcription (English)
18:92 Thumma atbaAAa sababan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:92 Then he followed the means.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:92 Then he followed the means.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:92 And once again he chose the right means (to achieve a right end].
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:92 He then pursued another way.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:92 And once again he chose the right means to achieve a right end.30

Note 30
North towards Caucasus

18:93 حتى اذا بلغ بين السدين وجد من دونهما قوما لا يكادون يفقهون قولا

Transcription (English)
18:93 Hatta itha balaghabayna alssaddayni wajada min doonihima qawman layakadoona yafqahoona qawlan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:93 Until he reached the area between the two barriers, he found no one beside it except a people who could barely understand anything said.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:93 Until he reached the area between the two barriers, he found no one besides them except a people who could barely understand anything said.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:93 [And he marched on] till, when he reached [a place] between the two mountain-barriers,94 he found beneath them a people who could scarcely understand a word [of his language].

Note 94
This is generally assumed to be the Caucasus. However, since neither the Qur'an nor any authentic Tradition says anything about the location of these "two mountain-barriers" or the people who lived there, we can safely dismiss all the speculations advanced by the commentators on this score as irrelevant, the more so as the story of Dhu 'l-Qarnayn aims at no more than the illustration of certain ethical principles in a parabolic manner.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:93 When he reached the valley between two palisades, he found people whose language was barely understandable.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:93 When he reached the valley between two mountain ranges, he found people whose language was barely understandable to him.

18:94 قالوا يذا القرنين ان ياجوج وماجوج مفسدون فى الارض فهل نجعل لك خرجا على ان تجعل بيننا وبينهم سدا

Transcription (English)
18:94 Qaloo ya tha alqarnayniinna ya/jooja wama/jooja mufsidoona fee al-ardi fahalnajAAalu laka kharjan AAala an tajAAala baynanawabaynahum saddan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
The Aggression of Gog and Magog18:94 They said, "O Two Eras, Gog and Magog are destroyers of the land, and so shall we make a tribute for you that you will make between us and them a barrier?"14

Note 14

Because of the link with the end of the world, the verses can be understood as prophetic narratives of future events, rather than historical information. The Quran occasionally uses the past tense as a style of telling future events, to emphasize their inevitability. Can we understand this passage as an international civilization led by a just and peaceful leader that lasted for two generations, and just before the end of the world the two hostile nations will regain their power and attack that civilization?

The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:94 They said: "O Two Horned One, Gog and Magog are destroyers of the land, so shall we make a tribute for you that you will make between us and them a barrier?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:94 They said: "O thou Two-Horned One! Behold, Gog and Magog"95 are spoiling this land. May we, then, pay unto thee a tribute on the understanding that thou wilt erect a barrier between us and them?"

Note 95
This is-the form in which these names (in Arabic, Yajuj and Majuj) have achieved currency in all European languages on the basis of certain vague references to them in the Bible (Genesis x,2, I Chronicles i, 5, Ezekiel xxxviii, 2 and xxxix, 6, Revelation of St. John xx, 8). Most of the post-classical commentators identify these tribes with the Mongols and Tatars (see note 100 below).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Gog and Magog18:94 They said, "O Zul-Qarnain, Gog and Magog are corruptors of the earth. Can we pay you to create a barrier between us and them?"11 ,

Note 11
One of my duties as God's Messenger of the Covenant is to state that Gog and Magog, the final sign before the endof the world, will reappear in 2270 AD (1700 AH), just 10 years before theend. Note that Gog and Magog occur in Suras 18 and 21, precisely 17 versesbefore the end of each sura, representing 17 lunar centuries (72:27).
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:94 They presented a grievance, "O Zul-Qarnain! Gog and Magog keep ravaging this land with great mischief. May we, then, pay you a regular tribute that you might erect a barrier between us and them?"31

Note 31
Tribute = Kharaj, not Jizyah of 9:29 which means War Reparations

18:95 قال ما مكنى فيه ربى خير فاعينونى بقوة اجعل بينكم وبينهم ردما

Transcription (English)
18:95 Qala ma makkannee feehi rabbeekhayrun faaAAeenoonee biquwwatin ajAAal baynakum wabaynahum radman
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:95 He said, "What my Lord has given me is far better. So help me with strength and I will make between you and them a barrier."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:95 He said: "What my Lord has given me is far better. So help me with strength and I will make between you and them a barrier."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:95 He answered: "That wherein my Sustainer has so securely established me is better [than anything that you could give me];96 hence, do but help me with [your labour's] strength, [and] I shall erect a rampart between you and them!

Note 96
It is generally assumed that the phrase "that wherein my Sustainer has so securely established me (makkanni)" refers to the power and wealth bestowed on him; but it is much more probable-and certainly more consistent with the ethical tenor of the whole parable of Dhu 'l-Qarnayn-that it refers to God's guidance rather than to worldly possessions.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:95 He said, "My Lord has given me great bounties. If you cooperate with me, I will build a dam between you and them.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:95 He responded, "The power in which My Lord has established me is better than tribute. Help me then with manpower and I will erect a strong barrier between you and them."

18:96 ءاتونى زبر الحديد حتى اذا ساوى بين الصدفين قال انفخوا حتى اذا جعله نارا قال ءاتونى افرغ عليه قطرا

Transcription (English)
18:96 Atoonee zubara alhadeedi hattaitha sawa bayna alsadafayni qalaonfukhoo hatta itha jaAAalahu naran qalaatoonee ofrigh AAalayhi qitran
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:96 "Bring me iron ore." Until he leveled between the two walls, he said, "Blow," until he made it a furnace, he said, "Bring me tar so I can pour it over."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:96 "Bring me iron ore." Until he leveled between the two walls, he said: "Blow," until he made it a furnace, he said: "Bring me tar so I can pour it over."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:96 Bring me ingots of iron!" Then, after he had [piled up the iron and] filled the gap between the two mountain-sides, he said: "[Light a fire and] ply your bellows!"97 At length, when he had made it [glow like] fire, he commanded: "Bring me molten copper which I may pour upon it."

Note 97
Lit., "Blow!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:96 "Bring to me masses of iron." Once he filled the gap between the two palisades, he said, "Blow." Once it was red hot, he said, "Help me pour tar on top of it.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:96 “Bring me pieces of iron.” (His engineers worked their skills using dirt and molten iron and filled the gap between the mountains.) When he had filled up the space between the two steep mountainsides, he said, “(Light a fire and) blow with your bellows!” When it was red hot, he said, “Bring me molten copper and tar to pour over it.”

18:97 فما اسطعوا ان يظهروه وما استطعوا له نقبا

Transcription (English)
18:97 Fama istaAAoo an yathharoohuwama istataAAoo lahu naqban
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:97 So they could not come over it, and they could not make a hole in it.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:97 So they could not come over it, and they could not make a hole in it.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:97 And thus [the rampart was built, and] their enemies98 were unable to scale it, and neither were they able to pierce it.

Note 98
Lit., "they".
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:97 Thus, they could not climb it, nor could they bore holes in it.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:97 Thus they (Gog and Magog) could not climb it, nor could they bore holes in it.

18:98 قال هذا رحمة من ربى فاذا جاء وعد ربى جعله دكاء وكان وعد ربى حقا

Transcription (English)
18:98 Qala hatha rahmatun minrabbee fa-itha jaa waAAdu rabbee jaAAalahu dakkaawakana waAAdu rabbee haqqan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:98 He said, "This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it rubble. The promise of my Lord is truth."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:98 He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord comes, He will make it rubble. And thepromise of my Lord is truth."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:98 Said [the King]: "This is a mercy from my Sustainer! Yet when the time appointed by my Sustainer99 shall come, He will make this [rampart] level with the ground: and my Sustainer's promise always comes true!"100

Note 99
Lit., "my Sustainer's promise".

Note 100
Some of the classical commentators (e.g., Tabari) regard this as a prediction of a definite, historic event: namely, the future break-through of the savage tribes of "Gog and Magog", who are conceived of as identical with the Mongols and Tatars (see note 95 above). This "identification" is mainly based on a well-authenticated Tradition-recorded by Ibn Hanbal, Bukhari and Muslim -which tells us that the Apostle of God had a prophetic dream to which he referred, on awakening, with an exclamation of distress: "There is no deity save God! Woe unto the Arabs from a misfortune that is approaching: a little gap has been opened today in the rampart of Gog and Magog!" Ever since the late Middle Ages, Muslims have been inclined to discern in this dream a prediction of the great Mongol invasion in the thirteenth century, which destroyed the Abbasid Empire and, thus, the political power of the Arabs. However, the mention, in verses 99-101 of this surah, of "the Day" - i.e., the Day of Judgment - in connection with "Gog and Magog" shows that "the time appointed by my Sustainer" relates to the coming of the Last Hour, when all works of man will be destroyed. But since none of the Qur'anic references to the "approach" or the "nearness" of the Last Hour has anything to do with the human concept of time, it is possible to accept both of the above interpretations as equally valid in the sense that the "coming of the Last Hour" comprises an indefinite - and, in human terms, perhaps even immensely long- span of time, and that the break-through of the godless forces of "Gog and Magog" was to be one of the signs of its approach. And, finally, it is most logical to assume (especially on the basis of 21:96) that the terms Yajuj and Majuj are purely allegorical, applying not to any specific tribes or beings but to a series of social catastrophes which would cause a complete destruction of man's civilization before the coming of the Last Hour.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:98 He said, "This is mercy from my Lord. When the prophecy of my Lord comes to pass, He will cause the dam to crumble. The prophecy of my Lord is truth.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:98 Said the King, "This is a grace from my Lord. Yet when the time appointed by my Lord comes, He will make this barrier level with the ground. And my Lord’s promise always comes true.32

Note 32
The barrier will stay in place and crumble according to Divine laws

18:99 وتركنا بعضهم يومئذ يموج فى بعض ونفخ فى الصور فجمعنهم جمعا

Transcription (English)
18:99 Watarakna baAAdahum yawma-ithinyamooju fee baAAdin wanufikha fee alssoorifajamaAAnahum jamAAan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:99 We left them till that day to surge like waves on one another. The horn was blown so We gathered them together.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:99 And We left them until that day to surge like waves on one another. And the horn was blown, so We gathered them together.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:99 AND ON that Day"101 We shall [call forth all mankind and] leave them to surge like waves [that dash] against one another; and the trumpet [of judgment] will be blown, and We shall gather them all together.

Note 101
Le., on the Day of Judgment alluded to in the preceding verse.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:99 At that time, we will let them invade with one another, then the horn will be blown, and we will summon them all together.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:99 (Zul-Qarnain was right that such obstructions would become immaterial with time.) We will let some nations invade others on a day when the trumpets of war are blown. Then We will gather them together in battle-fields.33

Note 33
Gog and Magog, the powerful imperialist nations, will attack one another and the weaker nations, and great wars will take place

18:100 وعرضنا جهنم يومئذ للكفرين عرضا

Transcription (English)
18:100 WaAAaradna jahannama yawma-ithinlilkafireena AAardan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:100 We displayed hell openly on that day to those who do not appreciate.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:100 And We displayed Hell on that Day to the rejecters openly.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:100 And on that Day We shall place hell, for all to see, before those who denied the truth-
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:100 We will present Hell, on that day, to the disbelievers.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:100 And on that day, We will place hell right before the ungrateful.

18:101 الذين كانت اعينهم فى غطاء عن ذكرى وكانوا لا يستطيعون سمعا

Transcription (English)
18:101 Allatheena kanat aAAyunuhumfee ghita-in AAan thikree wakanoo layastateeAAoona samAAan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:101 Those whose eyes were closed from My remembrance, and they were unable to hear.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:101 Those whose eyes were covered against My remembrance, and they were unable to hear.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:101 those whose eyes had been veiled against any remembrance of Me because they could not bear to listen [to the voice of truth]!
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:101 They are the ones whose eyes were too veiled to see My message. Nor could they hear.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:101 Those whose eyes were veiled to see My Reminder, and who could not bear to hear.

18:102 افحسب الذين كفروا ان يتخذوا عبادى من دونى اولياء انا اعتدنا جهنم للكفرين نزلا

Transcription (English)
18:102 Afahasiba allatheena kafarooan yattakhithoo AAibadee min doonee awliyaainna aAAtadna jahannama lilkafireena nuzulan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:102 Did those who reject think that they can take My servants as allies besides Me? We have prepared hell for the ingrates as a dwelling place.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:102 Did those who reject think that they could take My servants as allies besides Me? We have prepared Hell for the rejecters as a dwelling.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:102 Do they who are bent on denying the truth think, perchance, that they could take [any of] My creatures for protectors against Me?102 Verily, We have readied hell to welcome all who [thus] deny the truth!103

Note 102
This is an allusion not only to the worship of created beings or forces of nature, but also to the popular belief that saints, whether alive or dead, could effectively "intercede" with God in behalf of anyone whom He has rejected.

Note 103
I.e., of God's oneness and uniqueness, and hence of the fact that no created being can have any "influence" on God's judgment.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:102 Do those who disbelieve think that they can get away with setting up My servants as gods beside Me? We have prepared for the disbelievers Hell as an eternal abode.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:102 Do the disbelievers in My Reminder think that they can choose My servants as allies besides Me? We have readied Hell as a welcome for the disbelievers.34

Note 34
No matter what coalitions they make, if they befriend systems other than the Divine Order, they will end up in Hell

18:103 قل هل ننبئكم بالاخسرين اعملا

Transcription (English)
18:103 Qul hal nunabbi-okum bial-akhsareenaaAAmalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:103 Say, "Shall we inform you of the greatest losers?
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:103 Say: "Shall we inform you of the greatest losers?"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:103 Say: "Shall we tell you who are the greatest losers in whatever they may do?
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
Examine Yourself18:103 Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:103 Say, "Shall We inform you who the worst losers are in respect of their deeds?"

18:104 الذين ضل سعيهم فى الحيوة الدنيا وهم يحسبون انهم يحسنون صنعا

Transcription (English)
18:104 Allatheena dalla saAAyuhumfee alhayati alddunya wahum yahsaboonaannahum yuhsinoona sunAAan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:104 Those whose efforts in the worldly life were wasted while they thought they were doing good!"
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:104 "Those whose efforts in the worldly life were wasted while they thought they were doing good!"
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:104 "[It is] they whose labour has gone astray in [the pursuit of no more than] this world's life, and who none the less think that they are doing good works:
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:104 "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:104 They are the ones whose effort in the life of the world remains misdirected. And yet they think that they are doing good work.35

Note 35
They work in the wrong cause, contrary to the Divine Reminder

18:105 اولئك الذين كفروا بايت ربهم ولقائه فحبطت اعملهم فلا نقيم لهم يوم القيمة وزنا

Transcription (English)
18:105 Ola-ika allatheena kafaroobi-ayati rabbihim waliqa-ihi fahabitataAAmaluhum fala nuqeemu lahum yawma alqiyamatiwaznan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:105 These are the ones who rejected the signs of their Lord and His meeting. So their works were in vain, and We will not give them any value on the day of Resurrection.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:105 These are the ones who rejected the revelations of their Lord and His meeting. So their works were in vain, and We will not give them any value on the Day of Resurrection.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:105 it is they who have chosen to deny their Sustainer's messages and the truth; that they are deseined to meet Him." Hence, all their [good] deeds come to nought, and no weight shall We assign to them on Resurrection Day.104

Note 104
Although each of their good actions will be taken into account on Judgment Day in accordance with the Qur'anic statement that "he who shall have done an atom's weight of good, shall behold it" (99:7), the above verse implies that whatever good such sinners may do is far outweighed by their godlessness (Al-Qadi `Iyad, as quoted by Razi).
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:105 Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:105 It is those who have chosen to deny their Lord’s messages and the fact that they are destined to meet Him. Their works are in vain. And on the Day of Resurrection We will give them no weight.

18:106 ذلك جزاؤهم جهنم بما كفروا واتخذوا ءايتى ورسلى هزوا

Transcription (English)
18:106 Thalika jazaohum jahannamubima kafaroo waittakhathoo ayateewarusulee huzuwan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:106 That is their recompense, hell; for what they rejected and for taking My signs and My messengers for mockery!
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:106 That is their recompense, Hell; for what they rejected and for taking My revelations and My messengers for mockery!
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:106 That will be their recompense - [their] hell -for having denied the truth and made My messages and My apostles a target of their mockery.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:106 Their just requital is Hell, in return for their disbelief, and for mocking My revelations and My messengers.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:106 That is their reward, Hell! For, they rejected the truth and ridiculed My messages and My Messengers.

18:107 ان الذين ءامنوا وعملوا الصلحت كانت لهم جنت الفردوس نزلا

Transcription (English)
18:107 Inna allatheena amanoowaAAamiloo alssalihati kanat lahumjannatu alfirdawsi nuzulan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:107 Those who acknowledge and promote reforms, they will have gardens of paradise as a dwelling place.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:107 Those who believe and do good works, they will have the gardens of Paradise as a dwelling.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:107 [But,] verily, as for those who attain to faith and do righteous deeds - the gardens of paradise will be there to welcome them;
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:107 As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, they have deserved a blissful Paradise as their abode.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:107 As for those who attain belief and fulfill the needs of others, there will be gardens of Paradise to welcome them.

18:108 خلدين فيها لا يبغون عنها حولا

Transcription (English)
18:108 Khalideena feeha layabghoona AAanha hiwalan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:108 Abiding therein. They will not want to be moved from it.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:108 Abiding therein. They will not want to be moved from it.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:108 therein will they abide, [and] never will they desire any change therefrom.
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:108 Forever they abide therein; they will never want any other substitute.,
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:108 Therein shall they abide. They will not even desire a change!

18:109 قل لو كان البحر مدادا لكلمت ربى لنفد البحر قبل ان تنفد كلمت ربى ولو جئنا بمثله مددا

Transcription (English)
18:109 Qul law kana albahru midadanlikalimati rabbee lanafida albahru qabla an tanfadakalimatu rabbee walaw ji/na bimithlihi madadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
The Quran Has All We Need18:109 Say, "If the sea were an inkwell for the words of my Lord, then the sea would run out before the words of my Lord run out;" even if We were to bring another like it for its aid.
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:109 Say: "If the sea were an inkwell for the words of my Lord, then the sea would run out before the words of my Lord run out;" even if We were to bring another like it as an extension.
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:109 SAY: "If all the sea were ink for my Sustainer's words, the sea would indeed be exhausted ere my Sustainer's words are exhausted! And [thus it would be] if we were to add to it sea upon sea."105

Note 105
Lit., "if We were to produce the like of it (i.e., of the sea] in addition". It is to be noted that, as pointed out by Zamakhshari, the term al-bahr ("the sea") is used here in a generic sense, comprising all the seas that exist: hence, the expression "the like of it" has been rendered by me as "sea upon sea". (See also 31:27.)
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
The Quran: Everything We Need18:109 Say, "If the ocean were ink for the words of my Lord, the ocean would run out, before the words of my Lord run out, even if we double the ink supply.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:109 Say, "If all the sea were ink for my Lord’s words, the sea would be exhausted before my Lord’s attributes and laws are exhausted! And thus it would be if We were to add to it sea upon sea.”36

Note 36
31:27. ‘Kalimaat’ = Words, attributes, laws

18:110 قل انما انا بشر مثلكم يوحى الى انما الهكم اله وحد فمن كان يرجوا لقاء ربه فليعمل عملا صلحا ولا يشرك بعبادة ربه احدا

Transcription (English)
18:110 Qul innama ana basharunmithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahunwahidun faman kana yarjoo liqaa rabbihifalyaAAmal AAamalan salihan wala yushrikbiAAibadati rabbihi ahadan
Edip-Layth (Quran: A Reformist Translation)
18:110 Say, "I am but a human being like you, being inspired that your god is One god. So whoever looks forward to meeting his Lord, then let him promote reforms and not set up any partner in the service of his Lord."
The Monotheist Group (The Quran: A Monotheist Translation)
18:110 Say: "I am but a human being like you, being inspired that your god is One god. So whoever looks forward to meeting his Lord, then let him do good works, and not serve anyone besides his Lord."
Muhammad Asad (The Message Of Quran)
18:110 Say [O Prophet]: "I am but a mortal man like all of you. It has been revealed unto me that your God is the One and Only God. Hence, whoever looks forward [with hope and awe] to meeting his Sustainer [on Judgment Day], let him do righteous deeds, and let him not ascribe unto anyone or anything a share in the worship due to his Sustainer!"
Rashad Khalifa (The Final Testament)
18:110 Say, "I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord.",
Shabbir Ahmed (Quran As It Explains Itself)
18:110 Say (O Prophet), "I am only a human like you. It is revealed to me that your God is only One God. So, whoever looks forward to meeting with His Lord, let him do works that help others and ascribe no partners in the service of his Lord.”