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And you would think them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror. 18 And even so We raised them up again that they might question one another. One of them said, 'How long have you tarried?' They said, 'We have tarried a day, or part of a day.' They said, 'Your Lord knows very well how long you have tarried. Now send one of you forth with this silver to the city, and let him look for which of them has purest food, and bring you provision thereof; let him be courteous, and apprise no man of you. 19 "For if they should come upon you, they would stone you or force you to return to their cult, and in that case ye would never attain prosperity." 20 And likewise We caused their affair to be lit upon that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that the Hour - there is no doubt thereof, Recall what time they were disputing among themselves regarding their affair, and then they said: build over them a building - their Lord is the Best Knower about them - then those who prevailed in their affair said: surely we will raise over them a place of worship. 21 (Some) will say: They were three, their dog the fourth, and (some) say: Five, their dog the sixth, guessing at random; and (some) say: Seven, and their dog the eighth. Say (O Muhammad): My Lord is Best Aware of their number. None knoweth them save a few. So contend not concerning them except with an outward contending, and ask not any of them to pronounce concerning them. 22
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