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naḥnu
نَّحْنُ
We
naquṣṣu
نَقُصُّ
narrate
ʿalayka
عَلَيْكَ
to you
naba-ahum
نَبَأَهُم
their story
bil-ḥaqi
بِٱلْحَقِّۚ
in truth.
innahum
إِنَّهُمْ
Indeed, they (were)
fit'yatun
فِتْيَةٌ
youths
āmanū
ءَامَنُوا۟
who believed
birabbihim
بِرَبِّهِمْ
in their Lord,
wazid'nāhum
وَزِدْنَٰهُمْ
and We increased them
hudan
هُدًى
(in) guidance.

Nahnu naqussu 'alaika naba ahum bilhaqq; innahum fityatun aamanoo bi Rabbihim wa zidnaahum hudaa

Sahih International:

It is We who relate to you, [O Muhammad], their story in truth. Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

1 A. J. Arberry

We will relate to thee their tidings truly. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

2 Abdul Haleem

[Prophet], We shall tell you their story as it really was. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We gave them more and more guidance.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

We recount unto thee their tidings With truth. Verily they were certain youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

We relate to thee their story in truth; they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance;

5 Abul Ala Maududi

We narrate to you their true story. They were a party of young men who had faith in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance

6 Ahmed Ali

We narrate their story to you in all truth. They were a few young men who believed in their Lord; so We gave them greater guidance.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

We shall narrate their account to you accurately; they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased the guidance for them.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

We relate to you their account in truth. They were indeed youths who had faith in their Lord, and We had enhanced them in guidance,

9 Ali Ünal

It is We who relate to you their exemplary story with truth. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance (so they adhered to the truth more faithfully).

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

We relate to you their true story. They were a few young men who believed in their Lord and whom We had led from guidance to guidance.

11 English Literal

We narrate/inform on (to) you their information/news with the truth , that they truly are youths/servants , they believed with their Lord, and We increased them guidance.

12 Faridul Haque

We shall narrate their account to you accurately; they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased the guidance for them.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

We narrate to you their story in truth. Verily, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We added to their guidance,

14 Hilali & Khan

We narrate unto you (O Muhammad SAW) their story with truth: Truly! They were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

Then We raised them up that We might know which of the two parties was best able to calculate the time for which they remained.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

We relate to you their story with the truth; surely they were youths who believed in their Lord and We increased them in guidance.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

We narrate unto thee their story with truth. Lo! they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

We tell you this story for a genuine purpose. They were young people who believed in their Lord and We gave them further guidance.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

In truth We tell to you their news. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

We narrate unto you their story with truth: Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

We shall tell you their story as it really was. They were young men who believed in their Lord, and on whom We bestowed further guidance.

22 Talal Itani

We relate to you their story in truth. They were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

We relate, recite, to you their story with truth, that is, truthfully. They were indeed youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Their Belief in Allah and their Retreat from their People

Allah

نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نَبَأَهُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ امَنُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ

We narrate unto you their story with truth;Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah),

From here Allah begins to explain the story in detail.

He states that they were boys or young men, and that they were more accepting of the truth and more guided than the elders who had become stubbornly set in their ways and clung to the religion of falsehood.

For the same reason, most of those who responded to Allah and His Messenger were young people. As for the elders of Quraysh, most of them kept to their religion and only a few of them became Muslims.

So Allah tells us that the people of the cave were young men.

Mujahid said,

"I was informed that some of them wore some kind of earrings, then Allah guided them and inspired them to fear Him, so they recognized His Oneness, and bore witness that there is no god besides Him."

وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى



and We increased them in guidance.

From this and other similar Ayat, several scholars, such as Al-Bukhari and others, understood that faith may increase, that it may vary in degrees, and that it may fluctuate.

Allah says;
وَزِدْنَاهُمْ هُدًى
(and We increased them in guidance), as He said elsewhere;

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْاْ زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَءَاتَـهُمْ تَقُوَاهُمْ

While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa. (47;17)

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice. (9;124)

لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِيمَـناً مَّعَ إِيمَـنِهِمْ
that they may grow more in faith along with their (present) faith. (48;4)

There are other Ayat indicating the same thing.
It has been mentioned that they were followers of the religion of Al-Masih `Isa, `Isa bin Maryam, but Allah knows best.
It seems that they lived before the time of Christianity altogether, because if they had been Christians, the Jewish rabbis would not have cared about preserving because of their differences. We have mentioned above the report from Ibn Abbas that the Quraysh sent a message to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah to ask them for things with which they could test the Messenger of Allah, and they told them to ask him about these young men, and about Dhul-Qarnayn (the man who traveled much) and about the Ruh.

This indicates that this story was something recorded in the books of the People of the Book, and that it came before Christianity. And Allah knows best.