Allah’s promise of goodness and mercy to those who have complete faith in Him and who serve Him truly is exemplified in the story of the companions of the cave . In A.D. seven young men of the city of Ephesus (near the western coast of Turkey) accepted the teachings of the Prophet Isa (A.S). But at that time the king Daqyanus (Decius), the ruler of Roman Empire, was an unbeliever and killed those who believed in the message of the Prophet Isa (A.S), to worship Allah. Very courageously these men continued to preach the message of the one and only God. When the king’s soldier were about to capture them, they were guided by Allah to take refuge in a dark cave in the mountains outside the town. Once in the safety of the, they prayed, “Lord, have mercy on us and guide us through our ordeal.”(18:10)


Allah made them sleep in the cave for many years. All the while their faithful dog too lay in slumber with its legs stretched across the entrance of the cave, in the same pose he might have assumed when guarding them from harm. Allah is All-Powerful. Even time works in accordance with His will. The world around them change as about 300 years passed, but they stayed the same, as Allah desired them to, The cruel king Daqyanus had died, and most of his empire had by now accepted the message of the Prophet Isa (A.S) and believed in one God. The present king, Theodosius II, was also a believer. Life changes, nothing remains the same forever.

When the appointed hour came, they rose from their sleep. They looked around, feeling a little lost, and began questioning each other in astonishment. “How long have you been her” asked one. “A day, or maybe just few hours.” replied another. “Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed here,: said the third. “Let one of you go to the city with silver coin and bring back any wholesome food he finds there. But be cautious, and don’t tell anybody about this cave or us. If they capture you, they will stone you to death, or make you renounce your faith.” The young men did not know that they had passed more than 300 years in the cave in deep sleep and world had completely changed.

old Town

But when the young man gave coin to the shopkeeper, he stared at him in amazement: the coin was ancient and no longer in use. He thought that the young man must have found a hidden treasure. The news of a young man with an ancient coin spread like wildfire in the market, then all over town, and finally reached the king. The young man realized that centuries must have passed since the time he and his companions escaped from this town. The people thought it a miracle that Allah had saved then in such a stranger way. They would not let him go till he led them to the cave and his companions. The king, too, arrived to seek blessings. When the young men died, a shrine was built at the cave as a memorial to them.

Allah can change the situation before we are aware, and our hope in His is no futile, and even when we are on the brink of despair, a change is surely working in the world before the world itself realizes it.


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