So we awaked them that they might question one another. Said one of them, “How long have ye tarried here?” They said, “We have tarried a day or part of day.” They said, “Your Lord knoweth best how long ye have tarried: Send now one of you with this your coin into the city, and let him mark who therein hath purest food, and from him let him bring you a supply: and let him be courteous, and not discover you to any one.

For they, if they find you out, will stone you or turn you back to their faith, and in that case it will fare ill with you for ever.”

And thus made we their adventure known to their fellow citizens, that they might learn that the promise of God is true, and that as to “the Hour” there is no doubt of its coming. When they disputed among themselves concerning what had befallen them, some said, “Build a building over them; their Lord knoweth best about them.” Those who prevailed in the matter said, “A place of worship will we surely raise over them.”

Some say, “They were three; their dog the fourth:” others say, “Five; their dog the sixth,” guessing at the secret: others say, “Seven; and their dog the eighth.” SAY: My Lord best knoweth the number: none, save a few, shall know them.

Therefore be clear in they discussions about them,5 and ask not any Christian concerning them.

Say not thou of a thing, “ I will surely do it to-morrow;” without , “If God will.”6 And when thou hast forgotten, call thy Lord to mind; and say, “Haply my Lord will guide me, that I may come near to the truth of this story with correctness.”

And they tarried in their cave 300 years, and 9 years over.7

SAY: God best knoweth how long they tarried: With Him are the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth: Look thou and hearken unto Him alone.8 Man hath no guardian but Him, and none may bear part in his judgments:—

And publish what hath been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord—none may change his words,—and thou shalt find no refuge beside Him.

Be patient with those who call upon their Lord at morn and even, seeking his face: and let not thine eyes be turned away from them in quest of the pomp of this life;9 neither obey him10 whose heart we have made careless of the remembrance of Us, and who followeth his own lusts, and whose ways are unbridled.

And SAY: the truth is from your Lord: let him then who will, believe; and let him who will, be an infidel. But for the offenders we have got ready the fire whose smoke shall enwrap them: and if they implore help, helped shall they be with water like molten brass which shall scald their Wretched the drink! and an unhappy couch!

But as to those who have believed and done the things that are right,—Verily we will not suffer the reward of him whose works were good, to perish!

For them, the gardens of Eden, under whose shades shall rivers flow: decked shall they be therein with bracelets of gold, and green robes of silk and rich brocade shall they wear, reclining them therein on thrones. Blissful the reward! and a pleasant couch!11

And set forth to them as a parable two men; on one of whom we bestowed two gardens of grape vines, and surrounded both with palm trees, and placed corn fields between them: Each of the gardens did yield its fruit, and failed not thereof at all:

And we caused a river to flow in their midst: And this man received his fruit, and said, disputing with him, to his companion, “More have I than thou of wealth, and my family is mightier.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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