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How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave Print E-mail
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]
(And thus We made their case known,) means, `We caused the people to find them.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا]
(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour.) Several scholars of the Salaf mentioned that the people of that time were skeptical about the Resurrection. `Ikrimah said: "There was a group of them who said that the souls would be resurrected but not the bodies, so Allah resurrected the people of the Cave as a sign and proof of resurrection.'' They mentioned that when they wanted to send one of their members out to the city to buy them something to eat, he disguised himself and set out walking by a different route, until he reached the city, which they said was called Daqsus. He thought that it was not long since he left it, but in fact century after century, generation after generation, nation after nation had passed, and the country and its people had changed. He saw no local landmarks that he recognized, and he did not recognize any of the people, elite or commoners. He began to feel confused and said to himself, "Maybe I am crazy or deluded, maybe I am dreaming.'' Then he said, "By Allah, I am nothing of the sort, what I know I saw last night was different from this.'' Then he said, "I had better get out of here.'' Then he went to one of the men selling food, gave him the money he had and asked him to sell him some food. When the man saw the money he did not recognize it or its imprint, so he passed it to his neighbor and they all began to pass it around, saying, "Maybe this man found some treasure.'' They asked him who he was and where he got this money. Had he found a treasure Who was he He said, "I am from this land, I was living here yesterday and Decianus was the ruler.'' They accused him of being crazy and took him to the governor who questioned him about his circumstances, and he told him. He was confused about his situation. When he told them about it, they -- the king and the people of the city -- went with him to the cave, where he told them, "Let me go in first and let my companions know.'' It was said that the people did not know how he entered it, and that the people did not know about their story. It was also said that they did enter the cave and see them, and the king greeted them and embraced them. Apparently he was a Muslim, and his name was Tedosis. They rejoiced at meeting him and spoke with him, then they bid farewell to him and went back to sleep, then Allah caused them to die. And Allah knows best. A

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]
(And thus We made their case known,) meaning, `just as We caused them to sleep then woke them up physically intact, We made their story known to the people of that time.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا إِذْ يَتَنَـزَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ]
(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, ) meaning, about Resurrection. Some believed in it and some denied it, so Allah made their discovery of the people of the cave evidence either in their favor or against them.

[فَقَالُواْ ابْنُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ بُنْيَـنًا رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ]
(they said: "Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,'') meaning, seal the door of their cave over them, and leave them as they are.

[قَالَ الَّذِينَ غَلَبُواْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مَّسْجِدًا]
(those who won their point said: "We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.'') Those who said this were the people of power and influence, but were they good people or not There is some debate on this point, because the Prophet said:

How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]
(And thus We made their case known,) means, `We caused the people to find them.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا]
(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour.) Several scholars of the Salaf mentioned that the people of that time were skeptical about the Resurrection. `Ikrimah said: "There was a group of them who said that the souls would be resurrected but not the bodies, so Allah resurrected the people of the Cave as a sign and proof of resurrection.'' They mentioned that when they wanted to send one of their members out to the city to buy them something to eat, he disguised himself and set out walking by a different route, until he reached the city, which they said was called Daqsus. He thought that it was not long since he left it, but in fact century after century, generation after generation, nation after nation had passed, and the country and its people had changed. He saw no local landmarks that he recognized, and he did not recognize any of the people, elite or commoners. He began to feel confused and said to himself, "Maybe I am crazy or deluded, maybe I am dreaming.'' Then he said, "By Allah, I am nothing of the sort, what I know I saw last night was different from this.'' Then he said, "I had better get out of here.'' Then he went to one of the men selling food, gave him the money he had and asked him to sell him some food. When the man saw the money he did not recognize it or its imprint, so he passed it to his neighbor and they all began to pass it around, saying, "Maybe this man found some treasure.'' They asked him who he was and where he got this money. Had he found a treasure Who was he He said, "I am from this land, I was living here yesterday and Decianus was the ruler.'' They accused him of being crazy and took him to the governor who questioned him about his circumstances, and he told him. He was confused about his situation. When he told them about it, they -- the king and the people of the city -- went with him to the cave, where he told them, "Let me go in first and let my companions know.'' It was said that the people did not know how he entered it, and that the people did not know about their story. It was also said that they did enter the cave and see them, and the king greeted them and embraced them. Apparently he was a Muslim, and his name was Tedosis. They rejoiced at meeting him and spoke with him, then they bid farewell to him and went back to sleep, then Allah caused them to die. And Allah knows best. A

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]
(And thus We made their case known,) meaning, `just as We caused them to sleep then woke them up physically intact, We made their story known to the people of that time.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا إِذْ يَتَنَـزَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ]
(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, ) meaning, about Resurrection. Some believed in it and some denied it, so Allah made their discovery of the people of the cave evidence either in their favor or against them.

[فَقَالُواْ ابْنُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ بُنْيَـنًا رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ]
(they said: "Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,'') meaning, seal the door of their cave over them, and leave them as they are.

[قَالَ الَّذِينَ غَلَبُواْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مَّسْجِدًا]
(those who won their point said: "We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.'') Those who said this were the people of power and influence, but were they good people or not There is some debate on this point, because the Prophet said:

 
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