18. Sūrat al-Kahf

١٨۔ سُورَةُ الكهْف

18.2 Story of the Companions of the Cave.

١٨۔٢ مقطع في سُورَةُ الكهْف


Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them ˹as to˺ which of them is best in deed.  

Truly We have made all that is on the earth, in the way of animals, plants, trees, rivers and so on, as an adornment for it, that We may try them, that We may test mankind observing thereby, which of them is best in conduct, therein, that is, ˹to see which of them˺ is the most abstemious of it.

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا  

{إنا جعلنا ما على الأرض} من الحيوان والنبات والشجر والأنهار وغير ذلك {زينة لها لنبلوهم} لنختبر الناس ناظرين إلى ذلك {أيهم أحسن عملاً} فيه أي أزهد له.

And indeed, We will make that which is upon it ˹into˺ a barren ground.  

And indeed We shall turn all that is therein into barren shreds, that produce no plants.

وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًا جُرُزًا  

{وإنا لجاعلون ما عليها صعيدا} فتاتا {جرزا} يابسا لا ينبت.

Or have you thought that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among Our signs, a wonder?  

Or did you think, did you suppose, that the Companions of the Cave, the cavern in the mountain, and the Inscription, the tablet wherein their names and lineages had been inscribed — the Prophet (s) had been asked about their tale — were, with regard to their tale, a ˹unique˺ marvel from among, the entirety ˹of˺, Our signs? (‘ajaban, ‘a marvel’ is the predicate of ˹the defective verb˺ kāna ˹sc. kānū˺, the preceding ˹min āyātinā, ‘from among Our signs’˺ being a circumstantial qualifier). In other words, ˹did you suppose˺ that they were a marvel exclusively from among all ˹Our˺ other signs, or that they were the most marvellous among them? Not so.

أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُوا مِنْ آيَاتِنَا عَجَبًا  

{أم حسبت} أي ظننت {أن أصحاب الكهف} الغار في الجبل {والرقيم} اللوح المكتوب فيه أسماؤهم وأنسابهم وقد سئل ﷺ عن قصتهم {كانوا} في قصتهم {من} جملة {آياتنا عجبا} خبر كان وما قبله حال، أي كانوا عجبا دون باقي الآيات أو أعجبها ليس الأمر كذلك.

˹Mention˺ when the youths retreated to the cave and said, "Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance."  

Mention, when the youths took refuge in the Cave (fitya, ‘youths’, is the plural of fatā, and denotes a mature young man) fearing for their faith from their disbelieving people, they said, ‘Our Lord! Give us mercy from Yourself and remedy for us our affair through rectitude’, ˹through Your˺ guidance.

إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا  

اذكر {إذ أوى الفتية إلى الكهف} جمع فتى وهو الشاب الكامل، خائفين على إيمانهم من قومهم الكفار {فقالوا ربنا آتنا من لدنك} من قبلك {رحمة وهيئ} أصلح {لنا من أمرنا رشدا} هداية.

So We cast ˹a cover of sleep˺ over their ears within the cave for a number of years.  

So We smote their ears, that is, We made them sleep, in the Cave for several years, for a ˹fixed˺ number of years.

فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَىٰ آذَانِهِمْ فِي الْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًا  

{فضربنا على آذانهم} أي أنمناهم {في الكهف سنين عددا} معدودة.

Then We awakened them that We might show which of the two factions was most precise in calculating what ˹extent˺ they had remained in time.  

Then We aroused them, We awakened them, that We might know, a knowledge of direct vision, which of the two parties, the two groups in disagreement over the length of their stay ˹in the cave˺, was better in calculating (ahsā is ˹of the pattern˺ of af‘al, meaning ‘more precise’˺) what they had tarried (li-mā labithū is semantically connected to the following) in ˹terms of the˺ length of time (amadan, ˹in the accusative˺ denotes purpose).

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَاهُمْ لِنَعْلَمَ أَيُّ الْحِزْبَيْنِ أَحْصَىٰ لِمَا لَبِثُوا أَمَدًا  

{ثم بعثناهم} أيقظناهم {لنعلم} علم مشاهدة {أي الحزبين} الفريقين المختلفين في مدة لبثهم {أحصى} أفعل بمعنى أضبط {لما لبثوا} لبثهم متعلق بما بعده {أمدا} غاية.