18.21. Wakadhalika aAAtharnaAAalayhim liyaAAlamuu anna waAAda Allahi haqqunwaanna alsaAAata la rayba fiiha idhyatanazaAAuuna baynahum amrahum faqaluu ibnuuAAalayhim bunyanan rabbuhum aAAlamu bihim qala alladhiinaghalabuu AAala amrihim lanattakhidhanna AAalayhimmasdschidan
18.21. And in like manner We disclosed them (to the people of the city) that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that, as for the Hour, there is no doubt concerning it. When (the people of the city) disputed of their case among themselves, they said: Build over them a building; their Lord knoweth best concerning them. Those who won their point said: We verity shall build a place of worship over them. (Pickthall)
18.21. (Ahmad v. Denffer)
18.21. So ließen Wir (die Menschen) sie doch entdecken, damit sie wissen, daß Allahs Versprechen wahr ist und daß es an der Stunde keinen Zweifel gibt. Als sie untereinander über ihre Angelegenheit stritten, da sagten sie: "Errichtet über ihnen einen Bau. Ihr Herr weiß am besten über sie Bescheid." Diejenigen, die in ihrer Angelegenheit siegten, sagten: "Wir werden uns über ihnen ganz gewiß eine Gebetsstätte einrichten." (Bubenheim)
18.21. Wir ließen die Stadtbewohner sie alsdann entdecken, damit sie erfuhren, dass Gottes Verheißung wahr ist und dass der Jüngste Tag ohne Zweifel kommen wird. Sie stritten dann miteinander, was sie mit ihnen machen sollten. Einige sprachen: "Errichtet über ihnen ein Gebäude!" Gott weiss am besten über sie Bescheid. Die Maßgebenden unter ihnen sprachen: "Wir werden hier eine Gebetsstätte bauen. " (Azhar)
18.21. Und solcherart ließen WIR sie entdecken, damit sie wissen, dass das Versprechen ALLAHs wahr ist, und dass es über die Stunde (den Jüngsten Tag) keinerlei Zweifel gibt, als sie untereinander in ihrer Angelegenheit stritten. Dann sagten sie: „Errichtet über ihnen ein Gebäude, denn ihr HERR weiss besser Bescheid über sie.“ Diejenigen, die in ihrer Angelegenheit obsiegten, sagten: „Wir errichten doch über ihnen eineMoschee .“ (Zaidan)
18.21. (Sie wurden aber dabei doch entdeckt.) Und so haben wir (den damaligen Zeitgenossen) von ihnen Kenntnis gegeben, damit sie wüßten, daß das Versprechen Allahs wahr, und daß an der Stunde (des Gerichts) nicht zu zweifeln ist. (Damals) als sie untereinander über ihre Angelegenheit stritten! Sie sagten: "Errichtet über ihnen einen Bau!" Ihr Herr weiß am besten über sie Bescheid. Diejenigen, die dabei den Ausschlag gaben, sagten: "Wir wollen uns über ihnen eine Kultstätte machen." (Paret)
18.21. Und so ließen Wir sie (die Leute) sie finden, damit sie erkennen mögen, daß Allahs Verheißung wahr ist und daß über die Stunde kein Zweifel herrscht. Und da stritten sie (die Leute) untereinander über sie und sagten: "Errichtet über ihnen einen Bau." Ihr Herr kennt sie am besten. Jene, deren Ansicht siegte, sagten: "Wir wollen unbedingt eine Moschee über ihnen errichten." (Rasul)
Tafsir von Maududi für die Ayaat 19 bis 21
And in the same miraculous way We raised them up again ( 16 ) so that they may ask one another (about their wonderful experience). One of them asked, "Well, how long have you remained in this condition?" The others answered, "May-be, we have remained so for a day or a part of a day." Then they declared, "Your Lord knows best how long we have remained in this condition. So let us send one of us with this silver coin to the city, and he should look for a place wherein he can get the best food so that he may bring something to eat. He should, however, conduct himself with caution lest anyone should discover our whereabouts; for if they succeed in over-powering us, they will surely stone us to death or force us back into their Faith, and in that case we will never be able to obtain true success. "-In this way We revealed their secret to the people of the city ( 17 ) so that they should know that Allah's promise is true and that there is no doubt about (the coming of) the Hour of Resurrection. ( 18 ) (But it is a pity that instead of considering this aspect of the matter) they were at that time disputing among themselves with regard to them (the Sleepers of the Cave). Some of them said, "Let us build a wall against them, for then Lord alone knows best about them" ( 19 ) But those people who prevailed in their matter, ( 20 ) said, "We will build a place of worship as a memorial for them" ( 21 )
Desc No: 16 They were roused from their sleep in the same miraculous way that was employed in sending them to sleep and keeping them hidden from the outer world.
Desc No: 17 The secret of their sleep was revealed when one of them went to Ephesus to buy food for them and offered a coin of the period of Emperor Decius. As it was a changed world, he naturally attracted attention for he was wearing a costume of 300-year old fashion and spoke a language different from that in vogue. This was because during those two centuries the language, culture, dress etc., had undergone a marked change. So the shopkeeper looked askance at him and, according to a Syriac tradition, suspected that he had dug up some ancient treasure. Accordingly, he gathered some people of his neighbourhood and they took him before the ruler. On questioning, it was discovered that he was one of those followers of Christ, who had fled the city 300 years ago to save their Faith. As most of the population had embraced Christianity, the news immediately spread throughout the city and a big crowd of the people along with the Christian Roman Ruler, arrived at the Cave. It was then that the Sleepers of the Cave came to know that they had slept for about three hundred years. So after making salutations to their Christian brothers they lay down and their souls left their bodies.
Desc No: 18 According to the Syriac tradition, at the time of this occurrence, hot discussions were going on in Ephesus about Resurrection and the Hereafter. Though the people had embraced Christianity under the influence of the Roman Empire, yet traces of shirk and idolatry of the Romans and the effects of the Greek philosophy were still very powerful. So in spite of the Christian creed of the Hereafter, many people denied this, or at least were sceptical about this. To add to this the Sadducee sect of the Jews, who formed a great part of the population of the city, openly denied the Hereafter and professed to base this on the Torah. The Christian scholars, however, could not put forward any strong arguments to refute them: so much so that the reports of the polemical discussion given in Matthew, Mark and Luke, attributed to Prophet Christ, are admittedly very weak even according to the Christian scholars. (Please refer to Matthew 22: 23-33, Mark 12: 18-27, Luke 20: 27-40). That is why the disbelievers in the Hereafter were having the upper hand and even the believers were being involved in doubts about it. It was at that time that the Sleepers of the Cave were raised up and furnished an absolute proof of the life-after-death and turned the scales in favour of the believers in this dispute.
Desc No: 19 It appears from the context that this was the saying of the riglfteous people from among the Christians. They were of the opinion that a wall should be raised at the entrance of the Cave in order to let the Sleepers remain in the same condition in which they were, for they argued that their Lord alone knew best about their rank and position and the reward they deserved.
Desc No: 20 The people "who prevailed in their matter" were the Roman rulers and the priests of the Christian Church, who did not let the righteous Christians have their way. This was because by the middle of the fifth century, the common people, especially the orthodox among the Christians, had become fully involved in shirk and the worship of saints and tombs. They used to visit the tombs of the saints to worship them and kept the statues of Jesus, Mary and the apostles in their churches: so much so that a few years before the rising up of the Sleepers of the Cave, in 431 A.D., a great council of the representatives of the Christian World had been held in Ephesus itself, in which it was resolved that the creed of the divinity of Christ and of Mary as the mother of God, should be included in the articles of the Christian Church. If we keep in view the year 431, it becomes clear that by "those who prevailed in their matter" are meant the leaders of the Church and the officers of the government, who had the reins of the religious and political powers in their hands. In fact these were the people who were the upholders of shirk and who decided that a mausoleum should be built over the Cave of the Sleepers to make it a place of worship.
Desc No: 21 It is an irony that some people among the Muslims have misconstrued this verse of the Qur'an so as to make it lawful for themselves to build mausoleums, monuments and mosques over the tombs of the righteous persons and saints. The Qur'an has, in fact, pointed out the deviation of the workers of iniquity who prevailed upon others and built a place of worship over the Cave of the Sleepers, who were indeed a Sign of Resurrection and of the life-after-death. But they abused this good opportunity and produced another means of practising shirk. One fails to understand how anyone can deduce from this verse an argument for the legality of building mosques over the tombs of the righteous people, when the Holy Prophet has categorically prohibited this: (1) "Allah has cursed those women who visit tombs and those people who build mosques over them and burn lights over them" (Ahmad, Tirmizi, Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah). (2) "Beware that the people, who have passed before you, made the tombs of their Prophets the places of their worship. I forbid you to do that." (Muslim) (3) "Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians, for they made the tombs of their Prophets the places of their worship." (Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa'i). (4) "The behaviour of those people was strange: if a righteous person from among them, died they would build a mosque over his grave and draw his pictures. They will be treated as worst criminals on the Day on Resurrection." (Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Nasa'i). Thus, it is clear from the above Sayings of the Holy Prophet that building of the places of worship over the tombs is utterly unlawful; the Qur'an has merely stated as a historical fact the sinful act of the Christian priests and the Roman rulers and has not sanctioned such a thing. Therefore no God-fearing person can turn this into an argument for building mosques over the tombs. Incidentally, it will be worth while to cite a statement of Rev. T. Arundell who published his Discoveries in Asia Minor in 1834. He says that he had seen the remains of the Mausoleums of Mary and the Seven Sleepers on a hillock near the remains of the ancient city of Ephesus. "