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People of The Cave and The Inscription (Seven Sleepers of Ephesus)
God said: Or deemest thou that the People of the Cave and the Inscription are a wonder among Our portents? When the young men fled for refuge to the Cave and said: Our Lord! Give us mercy from Thy presence, and shape for us right conduct in our plight(Al-Kahf:90-10), and then: And (it is said) they tarried in their Cave three hundred years and add nine(Al-Kahf:25). The most famous narration is that the people of the cave were seven and the eighth was there dog and they are from a roman city that was called Aqsus (Ephesus) and they had a good king but he died and they got weak and differ among themselves after that, and then a king from Persia that was called Daqyânus [Decius, Dacius] arrived with one hundred thousand soldiers and invaded Ephesus and made it as a capital for him and built a castle that got an area of a league by league and built in that castle a court that was one thousand cubit by one thousand cubit of area and all made of glass. The talk about that is long and no need to mention it here for no use of it but to take what is required for this matter, and some of what they said is that in the castle there were four thousand golden cylinders and one thousand lamps made of gold and connected with chains made of silver, and he made for himself a golden bed with its legs made of silver and spotted with jewels and to his left and right he made chairs made of gold and silver for the scholars and the priests and the rulers and workers and also he had servants and made them wear the silky clothes and made crowns for them and made them stand over his head with golden columns whenever he wanted to sit in his court, and he chose six servants as ministers for himself and made three of them to his right and three of them to his left and the names of them were: Tamlikhâ (Malcus), Mixelmina (Maximian), Martoolus (Martinian), Ninonus (John?), Sârinus (Saraphim) and Daryunus (Dionysius?), and he used to ask for their advice in most of his matters and they were so close to him, and he made them above all for certain characteristics that they had and no one did, and then there is a long story about the conditions of this king with amazing and weird matters showing how tyrant he was and how arrogant. It is told by the prince of believers (PUH) by the way of the prophet (PUH) as been told by the Archangel (Gabriel) (PUH) as said by God, and this narration was told by the way of Ibn `Abbâs and it was at the time of the first caliphate [first caliphate was Abu-Bakr] when a group of jewish rabbis came to him and asked him about the keys of heaven and what are they, and who warned his people and it wasn't of people nor djinn, and five things that walked upon the face of earth and weren't created in the wombs, and some other stuff. The narrator said: the principle knocked down his head and appointed the prince of believers, `Ali ben Abi-Tâlib (PUH) to answer the questions and he did answer them according to what was mentioned in their Torah, and after each answer he did ask them: isn't that mentioned in your Torah? and they said: yes it is as you mentioned exactly, and one of the questions was about the people of the cave and the inscription and about their king and their land and their names and what were their jobs and what was their end and how it was with them when they left their jobs and got out of their land, and the prince of believers (PUH) answered all of that with details until they got amazed for it was exactly as it was mentioned in their Torah, and some of it was: and when the king looked at what God gave him, he turned to be a tyrant and called himself a god instead of the true God, and called for that all of his nobles so whoever obeyed him he would give him gifts and whoever denied so he would kill him.
He made for them in each year a festival, and while it was their festival and the priests were on his right and the rulers to his left, they told him that the persians are invading and the sadness got him badly that the crown fell down from his head, and then Tamlikhâ (Malcus) looked at him and he was one of the three men to his right and then he said to himself: if Dacius was a god as he claims then he shouldn't be sad and wouldn't be afraid and wouldn't eat or drink and wouldn't sleep even, and those things are not deeds of a god, and those six ministers used to gather everyday in a place that belongs to one of them whenever Dacius didn't need them and at that time they were in Malcus's place having something to eat, and he said to them: O brothers, there is something in my heart that kept me away from drinking and eating, and they said to him then: and what is that? he then said to them: I've looked for long time into the sky and I asked who did build it and lift it up high without pillars and without something to hang it with, and who made a sun and moon to run in it and who did ornament it with stars, and then I looked to earth and thought about it for long time and I asked who did make it plane over the waters and who kept it with mountains and I thought for long time about myself and asked who did made me out of my mother's womb as a child and who did feed me and who did make me grow, those things have another maker other than the king Dacius. After he spoke these words, they fell down over his legs kissing them and said: by you God had guided us so then tell us what to do? Then Malcus got up and sell some fruit from his own garden by three thousand coins and he put them into a bag and they went up their horses and got out of the city, and when they were away for three miles, Malcus said to them: O brothers, the after-life came and the ornaments of life are gone, get off your horses and walk by your legs may God give you a relief, so then they got off and walked for seven leagues until a shepherd met them and they said to him: would you give us some milk or water, and then the shepherd said to them: I have what you like, but I see that your faces like those of kings and I think you are running away from Dacius, and he asked many times until they made him to promise, and they told him their story and he fell down on their legs kissing them and he told them that he felt in his heart what they felt in his heart, and then he got the sheeps back to their owners and he came back with a dog following him. Then the one asking the prince of believers (PUH) asked: O `Ali what was the name of the dog and what was his color? Then said the prince of believers (PUH): the dog was white with some black spots and his name was Qatmeer, and then the men feared that the dog would make them obvious for others by his barking and they threw stones on him and then God made the dog speak and he said to them: let me guard you against your enemies. Then they went along until they reached a cave that was called Al-Waseed, and inside the cave there were some trees and springs, so they ate from the fruit and drank some of the water and night came over and they remained in the cave and the dog at the cave's entry, and God then commanded the angel of death to take out their souls and commanded some angels to flip them to the left and right, and it is a long story and Quran mentioned in brief the main points of it.
In general, Dacius then checked them out and asked about them and he had been told that they escaped away, so he went after their traces until he reached the cave and he saw them lying like dead he built the door of the cave and blocked it and said: if I wanted to punish them more I would be able to punish them more than what they had punished themselves. Then they remained like that for three hundred and nine years as it was told by Quran, and then God resurrected them and they found the spring dry as well as the trees and they were amazed for that and hunger overtook them, and Malcus went then to bring some food for them and they were afraid that anyone else would be captured, so he wore the clothes of the shepherd so that no one would identify him, and when he reached the city he saw many things changed and saw many roads that he didn't see before and he saw a flag that was written on it "La Ilaha Illa Allah, 'Eesâ Rasool Allah" (No god but God, Jesus is the prophet of God). Then he went into the city and went to a baker and asked him about the city's name and he answered: Aqsus (Ephesus), then he asked about the king and he answered: his name is `Abdul-Rahmân, and then he paid for him one coin for the bread and the man was amazed for its weight and shape. Then they took Malcus and got him into the king's court and he told the king about his story and that his friends are in the cave and the people got amazed and started to kiss his hands and feet, and then they went to the cave and before reaching it, Malcus went into the front so that his folks won't get scared and think that their enemies reached them, and when he told them the story they said: O Malcus, want to make us an argument for the worlds? Then they chose that God would take their souls and so they prayed for that and He answered their prayers and He knocked down the entry of the cave against people, and then the faithful king came with group of people and built a mosque (temple, church) over that place.
Then said the prince of believers (PUH) to the rabbi that asked: does it coincide with what was mentioned in your Torah? and he answered: you didn't add a letter nor neglected a letter and I testify that no other god but God and that Muhammad is His servant and His prophet. That was the end of the narration as it was mentioned exactly for sometimes and by the general meaning for other times. Also, the prince of believers (PUH) did visit them with a group of people and a group of the prophet's folks and he did so by a command from the prophet (PUH) and he spoke to them and they spoke to him and he asked them and they did ask him and he told them the greets of the prophet (PUH) as it was told in some narrations that were told by trusted scholars, and Al-Þa`labi mentioned that in his interpretations and he mentioned as well miracles of the prophet (PUH) and of the prince of believers (PUH). And as attirbuted to Al-Sâdiq (PUH) that he said that the people of the cave kept their faith a secret and showed their disbelieving so their reward for showing the disbelieving was greater than keeping the faith as a secret.
As for the inscription, as attributed to `Ali ben Ibrahim that they were two boards of copper that was written on them the story of the men and what Dacius wanted from them and how was their end. Some said that Al-Raqeem (The Inscription) was the name of the valley that had that cave. Some said that it was the name of the village that they went out from. Some said that the people of Al-Raqeem (The Inscription) are those three people  that went into a cave and it was blocked by a stone and they were saved by saying the best of their deeds and those three are different from the men of Dacius with the shepherd that joined them. Quran didn't mention them but history and the narrations told by the Household pointed out for their existance. As attributed to Al-Sâdiq (PUH) that he said: three people went out wandering on the lands and while they were worshipping God in a cave in a mountain, suddenly there showed up a rock that fell down and blocked the cave, so some of them said: O servants of God, by God nothing will save you from this unless you mention what you did purely for the sake of God, and then everyone of them started to mention what they did purely for the sake of God, and when all of them said what they have, God then made a relief for them and the rock was removed from the cave's entry by the power of their faith, and it was another story, and thanks be to God the One who brings success.

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