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. 182.
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8 Or, before thy glance can be withdrawn from an object.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 wondrous signs?
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 believed in their Lord, and in guidance had we increased them;