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You might have thought them awake, though they were sleeping. We turned them about to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched its paws at the entrance. Had you seen them you would surely have become filled with terror and turned your back on them in flight. (18) And in like manner We awakened them that they might question one another. A speaker from among them said: How long have ye tarried? They said: We have tarried a day or some part of a day, (Others) said: Your Lord best knoweth what ye have tarried. Now send one of you with this your silver coin unto the city, and let him see what food is purest there and bring you a supply thereof. Let him be courteous and let no man know of you. (19) "For if they come to know of you, they will stone you (to death or abuse and harm you) or turn you back to their religion, and in that case you will never be successful." (20) And so We made them (the unbelievers) stumble upon them, so that they might know that the promise of Allah is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour. They argued among themselves over their affair, then (the unbelievers) said: 'Build a building over them (their remains). Their Lord knows best who they were. 'But those who prevailed over the matter said; 'We will build around them a Mosque' (21) Anon they will say: they were three the fourth of them their dog. And they will say: they were five, the sixth of them their dog - guessing at the unknown - and they will say: they were seven, the eighth of them their dog. Say thou: my Lord is the Best Knower of their number; there knew them only a few; so debate thou not regarding them except an outward debating, and ask not regarding them anyone of them. (22)
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