THE PEOPLE OF THE CAVE
ALLAH mention the companions of the cave in surah al-kahaf, verses (9 to 12) they name the companions of the cave and the inscription as signs of allah.
In the ancient times, among certain idol- worshippers were some young men whose hearts were filled with the light of faith. They shunned idol-worship and did not associate anything with allah. The idol-worshippers heard of them and harassed them so that they might revert to idol-worship. these young men declared their faith openly and said that no one was allah’s partner whom alone they worshipped. This is as allah says in verses (13 and 14) of surah al-kahaf.
However, when the disbelievers increased their persecution, the young men chose to flee from them. They went away from their town and walked very far away till they came to a cave which they entered. They were very far away from their people. They chose to stay in the cave. A dog had accompanied them. When they were inside, allah caused them to fall into a deep sleep. The dog was sitting on the entrance of this cave with outstretched paws. These youth slept for about 309 years so that they may be a sing for those who did not believe in resurrection after death. Allah preserved them from decay, and the earth did not consume their bodies. In fact, they even changed their sides from right to left (and vice-versa) at the times of sunrise and sunset. (trhis is mentioned in verses 17 and 18 of surah al-kahaf )
Then allah caused them to awaken from sleepthey asked each other how long they had slept. Some said that they had slept for a day or a part of it, but others said that only allah knew about that (verse19). Finally, they were convinced that they had slept fpr a day or less then that.
They sent one of them to buy food for them, instructing to be careful lest the disbelievers recognized him. When he stood to buy food, people stared at him because of his strange appearance and clothing. When he paid the money, the shopkeeper was wonderstruck at the coins and asked him, “what currency is it?” these are very old coins. Have you located an old treasure?” this young man had no answer unless he told he the truth and revealed their secret so, he told him that he and his friends had sought refuge in a cave to protect themselves from idol-worshippers.
Now, these people had heard about them from their fore fathers and had know that the youth had died long ago. So, they were astonished on seeing them alive before their eyas. So, some of them accompanied him to meet the others in the cave and to witnees the miracle. They were conviced thereafter that it was a sign of allh and a great miracle to prove that there will be resurrection after death. Soon thereafter, however, allah caused them to die. He mentions the sign in verse (21) of al-kahaf.
After their death, the people disputed on what should be done with their remains. Some said that the cave must be shut and their case should be entrusted to allah. Others suggested that a mosque should be built over them. This is as in verse (21) of surah al-kahaf.
Indeed, allah says that he is powerful over everything and he will revive the dead in the graves.