This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.
CHAPTER 4 (Continued)
I192 Since Mohammed and the Koran claimed Jewish roots, the Quraysh decided to send their story teller to the Jews in Medina and ask for help. This was not a causal quest, as it took the better part of a month for the trip and questions. So Al Nadr went to Medina and asked the Rabbis what questions to ask Mohammed. He told the Rabbis about Mohammed, what he did, what he said and that he claimed to be a prophet. Since they had had prophets they must know more about the subject than the Meccans.
I192 The Rabbis said, “Ask him these three questions. If he knows the answer then he is a prophet, if not then he is a fake.” “What happened to the young men who disappeared in ancient days.” “Ask him about the mighty traveler who reached the ends of the East and the West.” “Ask him, What is the spirit?”
I192 Back in Mecca, they went to Mohammed and asked him the three questions. He said he would get back to them tomorrow. Days went by. Finally, fifteen days had passed. Mohammed waited on Gabriel for the answers. The Meccans began to talk. Mohammed did not know what to do. He had no answers. Finally, he had a vision of Gabriel.
19:64 The angels say, “We descend from heaven only by Allah’s command. Everything that is before us and everything that is behind us and whatever is in between belongs to Him. And Your Lord never forgets. Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything in between! Worship Him and remain steadfast in your praise of Him. Do you know any that is worthy of the same name?”
The Koran answered all the questions and statements of the Quraysh. With regards to the question about what happened to the young men in ancient times:
18:9 Do you believe that the Sleepers of the Cave and the Inscription [an unknown reference] were among Our signs? When the youths [the Sleepers] took refuge in the cave, they said, “Lord, give us Your mercy and cause us to act rightly.” We drew a veil over them depriving them of their senses for many years. Then We roused them so that We could know which would best determine the number of years they lived in the cave.
18:13 We tell you their story truthfully. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased their ability to guide others. We gave 47 public teaching strength to their hearts. Recall when they stood up and said, “Our Lord is the Lord of the heaven and the earth. We will worship no other god besides Him. If we did, then we would have certainly said an outrageous thing. Our people have taken other gods to worship besides Allah. Why do they not prove their existence? Who is more wicked than a person who makes up lies about Allah? When will you turn away from them and the things they worship besides Allah? Seek refuge in the cave. Your Lord will extend His mercy to you and cause your affairs to turn out for the best.”
18:17 You may have seen the sun, when it rose, pass to the right of their cave and set to their left while they were in its spacious middle. This is one of the signs of Allah. Whomever Allah guides is rightly guided. Whomever He allows to stray will not find a friend to guide him.
18:18 While they were sleeping, you would have thought that they were awake [they slept with their eyes open]. We turned them on their right side and their left side. Their dog lay in the entrance with its paws stretched out. If you had come upon them, you would have certainly run away filled with terror of them. This was their condition before We awakened them so that they might question one another. One of them asked, “How long have you lingered here?” Some said, “We have been here a day or so.” Others said, “Your Lord knows exactly how long you have lingered. One of you should take your money into the city to find and buy the best food possible. He should be courteous and should not let anyone know about you. If they should come upon you, they would either kill you or force you to return to their religion, in which case you would never prosper.”
18:21 We made their existence known to the city so that they would know that Allah’s promise is true and that there is no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. The people of the city argued amongst themselves about the affair. Some said, “We should construct a building over them. Their Lord knows all about them.” The winners of the debate were those who said, “We will certainly build a temple over them.”
18:22 Some say, “There were three, the dog being the forth.” Others say, “Five, the dog was the sixth.” Still others say, “There were seven, and a dog made eight.” Say: My Lord knows the exact number. Only a few know the truth. So do not become involved in arguments about them except on matters that are clear, and do not consult any of them about the Sleepers.
18:23 And do not say, “I will do it tomorrow,” without adding, “Allah willing.” Remember your Lord when you forget and say, “I hope that Allah will guide me even closer than this to the right path.”
18:25 They remained in their cave for three hundred years, though some say three hundred and nine. Say: Allah knows exactly how long they 48 an abridged koran stayed. He knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth. Man has no guardian besides Him. He does not allow any to share His power.