In it shall they remain for a long time.*
Or [art thou, O man, of the same mind] as he* who passed by a town deserted by its people, with its roofs caved in, [and] said, "How could God bring all this back to life after its death?"* Thereupon God caused him to be dead for a hundred years; where after He brought him back to life [and] said: "How long hast thou remained thus?" He answered: "I have remained thus a day, or part of a day." Said [God]: "Nay, but thou hast remained thus for a hundred years! But look at thy food and thy drink-untouched is it by the passing of years - and look at thine ass!* And [We did all this so that We might make thee a symbol unto men. And look at the bones [of animals and men] - how We put them together and then clothe them with flesh!"* And when [all this] became clear to him, he said: "I know [now] that God has the power to will anything!"
Say: "Had God willed it [otherwise], I would not have conveyed this [divine writ] unto you, nor would He have brought it to your knowledge. Indeed. a whole lifetime have I dwelt among you ere this [revelation came unto me]: will you not, then, use your reason ?"*
And on the Day when He shall gather them [unto Himself, it will seem to them] as if they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour of a day, knowing one another;* [and] lost indeed will be they who [in their lifetime] considered it a lie that they were destined to meet God, and [thus] failed to find the right' way.
AND, INDEED, there came unto Abraham Our [heavenly] messengers, bearing a glad tiding.* They bade him peace; [and] he answered, "[And upon you be] peace!"-and made haste to place before them* a roasted calf.
And [thereupon Joseph] said unto the one of the two whom he considered saved: "Mention me unto thy lord [when thou art free]!" But Satan caused him to forget to mention [Joseph] to his lord, and so he remained in prison a few [more] years.
on a Day when He will call you, and you will answer by praising Him, thinking all the while that you have tarried [on earth] but a little while."*
And [since they see that they cannot persuade thee,] they endeavour to estrange thee from the land [of thy birth]* with a view to driving thee away from ,it-but, then, after thou wilt have left,* they themselves will not remain [in it] for more than a little while:*
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:* [and We did all this] so that We might mark out [to the world]* which of the two points of view showed a better comprehension of the time-span during which they had remained in this state.*
And so, [in the course of time,] We awakened them;* and they began to ask one another [as to what had happened to them].* One of them asked: "How long have you remained thus?" [The others] answered: "We have remained thus a day, or part of a day."* Said they [who were endowed with deeper insight]: "Your Sustainer knows best how long you have thus remained.* 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:
AND [some people assert], "They remained in their cave three hundred years"; and some have added nine [to that number].*
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!"
"[And thou wert under Mine eye] when thy sister went forth and said [to Pharaoh's people], 'Shall I guide you unto [a woman] who might take charge of him?''* And so We returned thee unto thy mother, so that her eye be gladdened, and that she might not sorrow [any longer].* "And [when thou camest of age,* thou didst slay a man: but We did save thee from all grief, although We tried thee with various trials.* "And then thou didst sojourn for years among the people of Madyan;* and now thou hast come [here] as ordained [by Me], O Moses:
whispering unto one another, "You have spent but ten [days on earth]*
[But] We know best* what they will be saying when the most perceptive of them shall say, "You have spent [there] but one day!"
[And] He will ask [the doomed]: What number of years have you spent on earth?"
They will answer: 'We have spent there a day, or part of a day; but ask those who [are able to] count [time]
[Whereupon] He will say: You have spent there but a short while: had you but known [how short it was to be]!
[But when Moses had delivered his message, Pharaoh] said: Did we not bring thee up among us when thou wert a child? And didst thou not spend among us years of thy [later] life?
And, indeed, [in times long past] We sent forth Noah unto his people,* and he dwelt among them a thousand years bar fifty;* and then the floods overwhelmed them while they were still lost in evildoing:
[He it is who will cause you to die, and in time will resurrect you.]* And when the Last Hour dawns, those who had been lost in sin will swear that they had not tarried [on earth] longer than an hour: thus were they wont to delude themselves [all their lives]!*
But those who [in their lifetime] were endowed with knowledge* and faith will say: Indeed, you have been tardy in [accepting as true] what God has revealed,* [and you have waited] until the Day of Resurrection: this, then, is the Day of Resurrection: but you - you were determined not to know it!*
Now if their town had been stormed,* and they had been asked [by the enemy] to commit apostasy, [the hypocrites] would have done so without much delay*
Yet [even Solomon had to die; but] when We decreed that he should die, nothing showed them that he was dead except an earthworm that gnawed away his staff.* And when he fell to the ground, those invisible beings [subservient to him] saw clearly that, had they but understood the reality which was beyond the reach of their perception,* they would not have continued [to toil] in the shameful suffering [of servitude]*
he would indeed have remained in its belly till the Day when all shall be raised from the dead:
REMAIN, then, [O believer,] patient in adversity, just as all of the apostles, endowed with firmness of heart, bore themselves with patience. And do not ask for a speedy doom of those [who still deny the truth]: on the Day when they see [the fulfillment of] what they were promised,* [it will seem to them] as though they had dwelt [on earth] no longer than one hour of [an earthly] day!* [This is Our] message. Will, then, any be [really] destroyed save iniquitous folk?"*
On the Day when they behold it, [it will seem to them] as if they had tarried [in this world] no longer than one evening or [one night, ending with] its morn!*