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Synopsis

The Seven Sleepers (Arabic: اصحاب الکھف aṣḥab al kahf, "companions of the cave") of Ephesus is a story of a group of youths who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape a persecution. The king forced all his kingdom to worship idols and whoever did not would be killed. These men escaped as their faith in God (Tawhid/Pure Monotheist) was strong and refused to worship idols. The story is one of the many examples of the legend about a man who falls asleep and years after wakes up to find the world changed.

Another version is that Decius ordered them imprisoned in a closed cave to die there as punishment for being Christians. Having fallen asleep inside the cave, they purportedly awoke approximately 180 years later during the reign of Theodosius II, following which they were reportedly seen by the people of the now-Christian city before dying.

The earliest version of this story comes from the Syrian bishop Jacob of Sarug (c. 450–521), which is itself derived from an earlier Greek source, now lost. An outline of this tale appears in Gregory of Tours (b. 538, d. 594), and in Paul the Deacon's (b. 720, d. 799) History of the Lombards. The best-known Western version of the story appears in Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend.

The story has its highest prominence, however, in the Muslim world; it is told in the Qur'an (Surah 18, verse 9–26). The Quranic rendering of this story does not state exactly the number of sleepers Surah 18, verse 22. It also gives the number of years that they slept as 300 solar years (equivalent to 309 lunar years). Unlike the Christian story, the Islamic version includes mention of a dog who accompanied the youths into the cave, and was also asleep, but when people passed by the cave it looked as if the dog was just keeping watch at the entrance, making them afraid of seeing what is in the cave once they saw the dog. In Islam, these youths are referred to as "The People of the Cave" or Ashab Al-Kahf.

{And you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]. Had you looked at them, you would certainly have returned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.(Al-Kahf: 18)

 I am a very loyal creature and it takes very little to satisfy me. Yes, I am the loyal of loyalty! I am content with the minimum of loyalty if offered to me. I am Qitmir, the dog of the people of the cave that slept for three hundred and nine years and after that woke up as if he had slept for only half an hour. I thank Allah for making that happen, for I was on the verge of losing my faith that justice exists on the earth. Many people imagine that dogs are animals interested only in food and barking but this is only an illusion. Many people also think that a dog is something impure; a curse or an insult or something of the sort, to the extent that the human (whom Allah has created and honored) says to his fellow brother, "You son of ...!" with the intention of despising and insulting him. We dogs do not consider this as an insult, because if a creature is a dog, this does not mean that he has committed an act of disbelief.

It is a matter of destiny for Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) chooses to create us dogs while choosing others to be humans. If the Almighty wants, He could turn a dog into a human being and vice versa and no one could, in that case, question His Wisdom and Choice. Why then do people treat us  badly and mention our name in insults?......

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