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The people of the cave: Perfectly Preserved and Guarded

By: Madiyah Rana

“That was from the signs of Allah…”  [18: 17, 18]

Allah says regarding the People of the cave: “And [had you been present], you would see the sun when it rose, inclining away from their cave on the right, and when it set, passing away from them on the left, while they were [laying] within an open space thereof. That was from the signs of Allah…”

If you reflect upon this verse you will notice the precise placement of the people of al-kahf. Allah perfectly positioned the people in the cave whilst they slept for many years. He put them in a place where the sun would bend around them when it rose and when it set.

Allah did this because He wanted to preserve the people of the cave. He wanted them to live on and tell their story as a sign and reminder for us.

Allah then says:

“And you would think them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror”

Whilst the men were sleeping in the cave, Allah caused their eyes to stay open as they slept. He did this so that any passerby’s who wanted to harm or take away the bodies of the men would be terrified when they saw their facial expressions. Wide-eyed and staring right at them. Allah says “If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror.”

He also placed a dog at the entrance of the cave so that it would scare the people away. Some scholars have used this as evidence that it is permissible to keep a dog only for the purpose of guarding ones property.

However, the gem from this ayah that left me most amazed was the where Allah says: “And We turned them to the right and to the left…” If you ask those who care for people in coma, they will tell you that every so often they have to turn their patients in order to exercise their muscles so they don’t become stiff or paralysed. Similarly, the people of the cave were in a similar situation. They were to stay asleep for so many years! So in order for them to remain flexible and not become paralysed, Allah would turn them to their left and right as to exercise their muscles and preserve their bodies.

SubhanAllah, such perfection and percision.

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