And as to him who erreth, SAY, I truly am a warner only.And SAY, Praise be to
God! He will shew you His signs, and ye shall acknowledge them: and of what
ye do, thy Lord is not regardless.
1 See Sura lxviii., p. 32, n.
2 Not really leprous.
3 Lit. when our visible signs came to them.
4 This tradition may be derived from 1 Kings iv. 33. Comp. Geiger, p. 185.
The legend of Solomon's power over the Genii originates in a mistranslation
of Eccl. ii. 8. Comp. also for other points in this story Prov. vi. 6; 1
Kings x. 1-10.
5 "Demons obeyed him (Solomon) . . . and evil spirits were subjected to him."
Targ. 2. on Esther 1, 2. From the same source Muhammad has adopted, with
slight variations, the whole story of Solomon's intercourse with the Queen of
Saba. Comp. also Tr. Gittin, fol. 68, and Midr. Jalkut on 1 Kings vi. ch.
6 Lit. unless ye bear me witness.
7 That is, malignant. "The efreets are generally believed to differ from the
other djinn in being very powerful and always malicious; but to be in other
respects of a similar nature" (Lane's Modern Egyptians, i. 285). "The ghosts
of dead persons are also called by this name" (ib. 289).
8 Or, before thy glance can be withdrawn from an object.
9 Lit. we have consulted the flight of birds: hence presage.
10 Lit. your bird, augury.
11 Comp. Sura [lxvi.] xxv. 55.
12 Lit. their knowledge attaineth to the next life.
13 Lit. art on clear truth.
14 Al Jassaca, the Spy.
15 Or, shall derive advantage from them.
SURA XVIII.�THE CAVE [LXIX.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
PRAISE be to God, who hath sent down the Book to his servant, and hath not
made it tortuous1
But direct; that it may warn of a grievous woe from him, and announce to the
faithful who do the things that are right, that a goodly reward, wherein they
shall abide for ever, awaiteth them;
And that it may warn those who say, "God hath begotten a Son."
No knowledge of this have either they or their fathers! A grievous saying to
come out of their mouths! They speak no other than a lie!
And haply, if they believe not in this new revelation, thou wilt slay
thyself, on their very footsteps, out of vexation.
Verily, we have made all that is on earth as its adornment, that we might
make trial who among mankind would excel in works:
But we are surely about to reduce all that is thereon to dust!
Hast thou reflected that the Inmates of THE CAVE and of Al Rakim2 were on our
When the youths betook them to the cave they said, "O our Lord! grant us
mercy from before thee, and order for us our affair aright."
Then struck we upon their ears with deafness in the cave for many a year:
Then we awaked them that we might know which of the two parties could best
reckon the space of their abiding.
We will relate to thee their tale with truth. They were youths who had
with vain words in order to refute the truth; and they treat my signs and
their own warnings with scorn.
But who is worse than he who when told of the signs of his Lord turneth him
away and forgetteth what in time past his hands have wrought? Truly we have
thrown veils over their hearts lest they should understand this Koran, and
into their ears a heaviness:
And if thou bid them to "the guidance" yet will they not even then be guided
The gracious one, full of compassion, is thy Lord! if he would have chastised
them for their demerits he would have hastened their chastisement. But they
have a time fixed for the accomplishment of our menaces: and beside God they
shall find no refuge.
And those cities did we destroy when they became impious; and of their coming
destruction we gave them warning.
Remember when Moses said to his servant, "I will not stop till I reach the
confluence of the two seas,15 or for years will I journey on."
But when they reached their confluence, they forgot their fish, and it took
its way in the sea at will.
And when they had passed on, said Moses to his servant, "Bring us our morning
meal; for now have we incurred weariness from this journey."
He said, "What thinkest thou? When we repaired to the rock for rest I forgot
the fish; and none but Satan made me forget it, so as not to mention it; and
it hath taken its way in the sea in a wondrous sort."
He said, "It is this we were in quest of."16 And they both went back
retracing their footsteps.
Then found they one of our servants to whom we had vouchsafed our mercy, and
whom we had instructed with our knowledge.
And Moses said to him, "Shall I follow thee that thou teach me, for guidance,
of that which thou too hast been taught?"
He said, "Verily, thou canst not have patience with me;
How canst thou be patient in matters whose meaning thou comprehendest not?"
He said, "Thou shalt find me patient if God please, nor will I disobey thy
He said, "Then, if thou follow me, ask me not of aught until I have given
thee an account thereof."
So they both went on, till they embarked in a ship, and he�the unknown�staved
crew? a strange thing now hast thou done!"
He said, "Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?"
He said, "Chide me not that I forgat, nor lay on me a hard command."
Then went they on till they met a youth, and he slew him. Said Moses, "Hast
thou slain him who is free from guilt of blood? Now hast thou wrought a
He said, "Did I not tell thee that thou couldst not have patience with me?"
Moses said, "If after this I ask thee aught, then let me be thy comrade no
longer; but now hast thou my excuse."
They went on till they came to the people of a city. Of this people they
asked food, but they refused them for guests. And they found in it a wall
that was about to fall, and he set it upright. Said Moses, "If thou hadst
wished, for this thou mightest have obtained pay."
He said, "This is the parting point between me and thee. But I will first
tell thee the meaning of that which thou couldst not await with patience.
"As to the vessel, it belonged to poor men who toiled upon the sea, and I was
minded to damage it, for in their rear was a king who seized every ship by
As to the youth his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should
trouble them by error and infidelity.
And we desired that their Lord might give them in his place a child, better
than he in virtue, and nearer to filial piety.
And as to the wall, it belonged to two orphan youths in the city, and beneath
it was their treasure: and their father was a righteous man: and thy Lord
desired that they should reach the age of strength, and take forth their
treasure through the mercy of thy Lord. And not of mine own will have I done
this. This is the interpretation of that which thou couldst not bear with
They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnain [the two-horned17]. SAY: I will recite to
you an account of him.
We stablished his power upon the earth, and made for him a way to everything.
And a route he followed,
Until when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it to set in a miry
fount; and hard by he found a people.
We said, "O Dhoulkarnain! either chastise or treat them generously."
"The impious," said he, "will we surely chastise;" then shall he be taken
back to his Lord, and he will chastise him with a grievous chastisement.
But as to him who believeth and doeth that which is right, he shall have a
generous recompense, and we will lay on them our easy behests.
Then followed he a route,
Until when he reached the rising of the sun he found it to rise on a people
to whom we had given no shelter from it.
Thus it was. And we had full knowledge of the forces that were with him.
Then followed he a route
Until he came between the two mountains, beneath which he found a people who
scarce understood a language.
They said, "O Dhoulkarnain! verily, Gog and Magog18 waste this land; shall we
then pay thee tribute, so thou build a rampart19 between us and them?"
He said, "Better than your tribute is the might wherewith my Lord hath
strengthened me; but help me strenuously, and I will set a barrier between
you and them.
Bring me blocks of iron,"�until when it filled the space between the mountain
sides�"Ply," said he, "your bellows,"�until when he had made it red with heat
(fire), he said,�"Bring me molten brass that I may pour upon it."
And Gog and Magog were not able to scale it, neither were they able to dig
"This," said he, "is a mercy from my Lord:
But when the promise of my Lord shall come to pass, he will turn it to dust;
and the promise of my Lord is true."
On that day we will let them dash like billows one over another; and there
shall be a blast on the trumpet, and we will gather them together in a body.
And we will set Hell on that day close before the infidels,
Whose eyes were veiled from my warning, and who had no power to hear.
What! do the infidels think that they can take my servants as their patrons,
beside Me? Verily, we have got Hell ready as the abode of the infidels.
SAY: Shall we tell you who they are that have lost their labour most?
Whose aim in the present life hath been mistaken, and who deem that what they
do is right?
They are those who believe not in the signs of the Lord, or that they shall
ever meet him. Vain, therefore, are their works; and no weight will we allow
them on the day of resurrection.
This shall be their reward�Hell.20 Because they were unbelievers, and treated
my signs and my Apostles with scorn.
But as for those who believe and do the things that are right, they shall
have the gardens of Paradise21 for their abode:
They shall remain therein for ever: they shall wish for no change from it.
SAY: Should the sea become ink, to write the words of my Lord, the sea would