People Of The CaveThe People of the Cave
The story of the people of the cave was mentioned in the honourable Quran, in suratul-kahf. The story includes lessons, signs, and evidences that all testify to the great Power of Allah, ta3ala, and his wisdom in managing His Creations. As narrated, the details of the story proceed as follows:
A kind named “Duqyanus” ordered the people in his territory “Afsus” (nowadays Turquey) to worship the idols. One day one of the disciples of 3Isa, 3alayhis-salam, visited that city. This man was a muslim calling to the religion of Islam.
He worked in a public bath where people used to bathe. When the bath owner sensed the blessings of that worker, he put him in charge of all the work to be done.
Later on, this disciple became acquainted with some youngsters in the city. He taught them the knowledge of the Oneness of Allah and about deeming Him clear of having a child, possessing a form, or being designated with a place. He invited them to Islam. They believed in Allah and converted to Islam. They practiced the Religion and followed the rules.
The story of those youngsters, who became devoted to the Religion of Islam and to the worship of Allah alone, became well known. The king was informed about them and was told, “Those people left your religion, and mocked and defied the idols.” The king called them to his court and ordered them to leave Islam. He threatened them with killing if they declined.
He claimed that they were young and they did not have the mature mind. Hence, he did not want to kill them immediately. Instead he wanted to give them enough time to think before he would carry out his threat. Then he sent them back home.
In the meantime, Kind Duqyanus traveled. Those young men took the advantage of his departure and consulted with each other about running away to rescue their fait in their religion.
One of them said, “I know a cave in the mountain. My father used to secure the sheep in it. Let us go there and hide until Allah grants us victory.” They all agreed to that idea.
They went outside playing and rolling the ball in front of them so that nobody would notice them. Then they fled. There were seven of them: “Maksalamin”, “Amlikha”, “Maratonis”, “Yanyunis”, “Sazamunis”, “Dawanawanis”, and “Kashfitit”.
A barking dog named “Qitmir” followed them. Worried that the non-believers might hear this barking and know of their place, they threw stones at the dog and pushed it away more then once. Every time the dog returned. At the end the dog raised its front paws up to the sky as if making a supplication. With the help of Allah, it said: “O people! Why are you driving me away, why are you hitting me? Do not be scared of me. I do not disbelieve in Allah.”
As a result, the young men were certain that Allah, by his Mercy, would protect them form harm. They sought refuge with Allah, tabaraka wa ta3ala, and started making supplications to Him and said: “O Allah, grant us Mercy from You, and prepare (create) good matters for us.”
They continued walking until they reached the cave. There, they found fruits and water. They ate and drank. Then they lay down to rest.
A few moments later, they felt sleepy. Their heads dropped down and the slept heavily on the floor with their eyes open.
Night after day, years passed one after the other and the young men were slumber; sound asleep. They were prevented from hearing anything.
The gust of the wind would not annoy them and the rumble of the thunder would not awaken them. When the sun rose it did not hit them with the high heat, as a sign of their rank. When rising, it moved to the right of the cave; and when setting, it passed by its left. They did not get much of its heat or of its sunbeams, neither at the beginning of the day nor at its end. As a result, their color did not change and their bodies clothes did not wear out.
Because their eyes were wide open, if one were to look at them, one would think they were awake. In reality, they were heavy with sleep. Their eyes were left open, because it was better for their eyes to be exposed to the air so that they would not get impaired with lengthy closure.
It was also narrated that an honourable angle was in charge of turning them around. They were turned on their left and right sides twice a year, so their bodies would not decay. If one were to look at them, one would be frightened by them and run away. People could not see them and could not approach them.
After three hundred nine years of sleep, Allah woke them up. They could not stand the hunger they had. They asked one another about the length of stay. One of them said, “We stayed one day or less than a day.”
Another one said, “We went to sleep this morning and now the sun is getting ready to set” The fourth on said, “Let us stop wondering. Allah knows best how long we stayed. Anyhow, let us send one of us with some of our money to bring us some food. That person must be alert and smart. No one should recognize him, or else he would be followed. The king Duqyanus and his followers would be told. They would know of our place and would inflict various types of torture on us until they deviate us from our religion.”
After the hundreds of years that had passed Kind Duqyanus passed away. A pious Muslim kind replaced him. The people of the city at that time were in disagreement regarding the gathering and the resurrection of the bodies. Some people had doubts about it, and thought that is very unlikely. They said that only souls would be gathered. However, the bodies will be decayed in the soil. Some of them said, “Both body and soul will be equally resurrected.”
The kind became distressed and a quarrel was about to happen. So he made a supplication to ask Allah to make showing the proof of the truth easy.
At that time, Amlikha, one of the men in the cave who was sent in search of food, reached the city of “Afsus”. He was fearful and watchful. The changes in the landmarks and the structure of the buildings surprised him. That area used to an open land for the sheep to graze; now there were high castles. Others castles had collapsed. There were scenes he was not familiar with and faces he did not recognize. His eyes glance became unstable; he looked confused and hesitant. Nervousness and agitation appeared in his glances and footsteps. Someone turned around and asked him, “Are you a stranger to this city, and what are you looking for?”
He said, “I am not a stranger and I am looking for food to buy. I did not find the place where I used to buy food.”
The man held his hand and took him to the owner of the restaurant. Amlikha took his money out and gave it to the seller. The seller wondered, because the money has the picture of Kind Duqyanus on it. That kind died three hundred or more years before. He thought Amlikha discovered a treasure and that he had a wealth of money in his possession. People gather around Amlikha and took him to the righteous king.
The news of Amlikha reached the kind before his own arrival. The king was in fact waiting for hi eagerly, because he had heard the story of the youngsters from his grandfather. When Amlikha cam, the kind asked him about his story. So Amlikha told him what had happened to him and his friends.
The king was please with that and said to his people, “Certainly, Allah sent you a sign to show the truth about what you differ.”
The king, along with the people of the city walked with Amlikha. When they approached the cave, Amlikha said, “I will do inside first so that my friends do not get scared.” He went inside and informed his friends of what happened. He told them that Kind Duqyanus passed away and that the present kind is a pious muslim. They were happy with the news.
And went outside, greeted the king, then they went back in to their cave. When the people, who doubted resurrection saw them, they gave up their conviction is that the gathering of the people on the Day of Judgement happens by both body and soul.
After that, Allah concealed the cave and its traces from the sight of the people. Some of the believers said, Build a structure that would stand as a landmark and memorial of their location.” Others said, “A mosque for one to seek blessing at their place.”
The story of the people of the cave went as describes Allah made it for the people a reminder, a lesson, and a proof of His Great Power. Allah has Power over every thing.