[18:9] Or, do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and the Inscription were of Our wonderful signs?
[18:10] When the youths sought refuge in the cave, they said: Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Thee, and provide for us a right course in our affair.
[18:11] So We prevented them from hearing in the cave for a number of years.
[18:12] Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties was best able to compute the time for which they remained.
[18:13] We relate to you their story with the truth; surely they were youths who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.
[18:14] And We strengthened their hearts with patience, when they stood up and said: Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth; we will by no means call upon any god besides Him, for then indeed we should have said an extravagant thing.
[18:15] These our people have taken gods besides Him; why do they not produce any clear authority in their support? Who is then more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah?
[18:16] And when you forsake them and what they worship save Allah, betake yourselves for refuge to the cave; your Lord will extend to you largely of His mercy and provide for you a profitable course in your affair.
[18:17] And you might see the sun when it rose, decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set, leave them behind on the left while they were in a wide space thereof. This is of the signs of Allah; whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright.
[18:18] And you might think them awake while they were asleep and We turned them about to the right and to the left, while their dog (lay) outstretching its paws at the entrance; if you looked at them you would certainly turn back from them in flight, and you would certainly be filled with awe because of them.
[18:19] And thus did We rouse them that they might question each other. A speaker among them said: How long have you tarried? They said: We have tarried for a day or a part of a day. (Others) said: Your Lord knows best how long you have tarried. Now send one of you with this silver (coin) of yours to the city, then let him see which of them has purest food, so let him bring you provision from it, and let him behave with gentleness, and by no means make your case known to any one:
[18:20] For surely if they prevail against you they would stone you to death or force you back to their religion, and then you will never succeed.
[18:21] And thus did We make (men) to get knowledge of them that they might know that Allah's promise is true and that as for the hour there is no doubt about it. When they disputed among themselves about their affair and said: Erect an edifice over them, their Lord best knows them. Those who prevailed in their affair said: We will certainly raise a masjid over them.
[18:22] (Some) say: (They are) three, the fourth of them being their dog; and (others) say: Five, the sixth of them being their dog, making conjectures at what is unknown; and (others yet) say: Seven, and the eighth of them is their dog. Say: My Lord best knows their number, none knows them but a few; therefore contend not in the matter of them but with an outward contention, and do not question concerning them any of them.
[18:23] And do not say of anything: Surely I will do it tomorrow,
[18:24] Unless Allah pleases; and remember your Lord when you forget and say: Maybe my Lord will guide me to a nearer course to the right than this.
[18:25] And they remained in their cave three hundred years and (some) add (another) nine.
[18:26] Say: Allah knows best how long they remained; to Him are (known) the unseen things of the heavens and the earth; how clear His sight and how clear His hearing! There is none to be a guardian for them besides Him, and He does not make any one His associate in His Judgment.