Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 9.djvu/31

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ⅩⅧ, 14-19.
15
the chapter of the cave.

These people of ours have taken to other gods beside Him. Though they do not bring any manifest authority for them. And who is more unjust than he who forges against God a lie ?

15 ‘ So when ye have gone apart from them and what they serve other than God, then resort ye to the cave. Our Lord will unfold His mercy to you, and will dispose for you your affair advantageously.’

And thou mightst have seen the sun when it rose decline from their cave towards the right hand, and when it set leave them on the left hand, while they were in the spacious part thereof. That is one of the signs of God. Whom God guides he is guided indeed, and whom He leads astray thou shalt surely find for him no patron to guide aright. Thou mightst have reckoned them waking though they were sleeping, as we turned them towards the right and towards the left; and their dog spreading out his fore-paws on the threshold. Hadst thou come suddenly upon them thou wouldst surely have turned and fled away from them, and wouldst surely have been filled by them with dread.

Thus did we raise them up that they might question each other. Spake a speaker amongst them, ‘ How long have ye tarried ?’' They said, ‘ We have tarried a day or part of a day.’ They said, ‘ Your Lord knows best your tarrying ; so send one of you with this coin of yours to the city, and let him look which of them has purest food, and let him bring you provision thereof; and let him be subtle and not let any one perceive you. Verily, they — should they perceive you — would stone you, or would force you back again unto their faith, and ye would never prosper then.’