إِنَّهُمْ إِن يَظْهَرُوا۟ عَلَيْكُمْ يَرْجُمُوكُمْ أَوْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِى مِلَّتِهِمْ وَلَن تُفْلِحُوٓا۟ إِذًا أَبَدًا
Asad Quran Translation
for, behold, if they should come to know of you, they might stone you to death or force you back to their faith - in which case you would never attain to any good!"26
During their "sleep", time had stood still for the Men of the Cave, and so they assumed that the outside world had remained unchanged and was, as before, hostile to them. - At this point, the story as such ends abruptly (for, as we know, the Qur'an is never concerned with narratives for their own sake) and is revealed in the sequence as an allegory of death and resurrection and of the relativity of "time" as manifested in man's consciousness.
Malik Quran Translation
For if they find you out, they will stone you to death, or force you back into their faith and in that case you will never attain felicity."
Yusuf Ali Quran Translation
"For if thy should come upon you they would stone you or force you to return to their cult and in that case ye would never attain prosperity." 2355 2356
They think that the world had not changed, and that the fierce persecution they knew. was still raging, under which a man had to pay by his life for his religious faith, if he could not conform to Pagan worship.
That is, never succeed in keeping your religion. To become a renegade, to give up the Truth which you have won, simply on account of the fear of men, is the most despicable form of cowardice, and would rightly close the door of salvation if strict justice were to be done. But even then Allah's Mercy comes to the coward's aid so long as the door of repentance is open.
Mustafa Khattab Quran Translation
For, indeed, if they find out about you, they will stone you ˹to death˺, or force you back into their faith, and then you will never succeed.”
Piktal Quran Translation
For they, if they should come to know of you, will stone you or turn you back to their religion; then ye will never prosper.
Innahum in yathharoo AAalaykum yarjumookum aw yuAAeedookum fee millatihim walan tuflihoo ithan abadan