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One would think them (the youths) awake while, in fact, they were sleeping. We turned their bodies from right to left and their dog stretched its front legs on the ground. Had one looked them over, he would have run away from them in terror. 18 And likewise we raised them up that they might question among themselves; there spake a speaker from amongst them: how long have ye tarried? They said we have tarried a day or part of a day. They said, your Lord knoweth best how long ye have tarried; now send one of you with this your money unto the city and let him see which food is purest there, and let him bring you a provision thereof, and let him be circumspect, and let him by no means discover you to anyone. 19 “Indeed if they come to know about you, they will stone you or turn you back to their religion and if so, you will never prosper.” 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 (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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