Sleepers in the Cave

Stories for kids from the Quran - Sleepers in the Cave

It was about A.D. 250, during the rule of the Roman King Decius (Daqyanus) that seven young men of a noble family accepted the teachings of the Prophet Isa (Jesus). But King Decius took up arms against them. When they realized that the king’s soldiers were about to capture them, these young believers ran away from the town to take refuge in a dark cave. There they prayed to Allah: “Qur Lord! Bestow Your Mercy on us and save our lives.” Allah heard their prayers and, when they lay down to rest, He made them fall into a deep sleep lasting 300 years.

Not once during this time did they awaken. They neither ate nor drank nor made any sound. They only turned from side to side in their sleep. Even their dog Qitmir joined them in their long slumber with his legs stretched out across the entrance to the cave. It was one of the wonders of Allah. With the passage of time the town they left had changed altogether. The cruel king had died and the present king became a believer a follower of the message of the Prophet Isa. During this period, Allah woke up the sleeping men. As they arose up from their long slumber and stretched their arms and legs. one of them wondered, “How long have we been here?” They thought about it, they said. “We have been here for a day or part of a day.” They did realize that they had been sleeping there for more than three not centuries! They felt very hungry, so one of them crept out of the cave to fetch something to eat. He reached the town and went to a shop to buy some food.
He paid the shopkeeper with a silver coin. The shopkeeper was amazed to see such an old coin and suspected that this man might have found some old hidden treasure. When the new king came to know about them, he himself came on foot to see them and seek their blessings. When these young men died, a shrine was built at their cave as a memorial.

The story tells us that those who put their entire trust in Allah will be helped by Him from unknown sources.


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