BAITULMAQDIS UMRAH 2016 CHAPTER 2: Cave of the seven sleepers
7 December 2016
We have safely arrived in Amman. The process of getting through the immigration was unexpectedly fast and smooth. Everyone was pretty tired from the long flight but we were due to go for a city tour before checking into our hotel.
Guess where stopped by for Zohor and Asar prayers? This is the view from the muslimah’s musollah overlooking the city.
The huge modern mosque was surrounded by gardens of palm trees, olive trees, pine trees and many flowers if looked closely. Everything looked so new and grand but we found out that it has been opened since 2006. We were in such a hurry to get our prayers done but all of us lost our way looking for the ablution area and the muslimah prayer area. That was how huge the mosque was.
There were staffs of mosque to direct us to the right direction, I wish we were given more time to explore the mosque. Apparently, the mosque is only open during prayer times which means that no visitors are allowed in at any other time.
We were off to explore the legendary site of the Cave of the Seven Sleepers. I will be writing based on the information in the Quran. There are 2 versions, the roman martyrology version and the Quran version.
The Islamic version is related in Surah (Chapter) Al-Kahf (18, “The Cave”), of the Qur’an. When analysing ayat in the Quran, never take them out of context because it may create unnecessary misunderstanding. If you are unaware of the Surah, you may go here for the full version of Surah Al-Kahf in arabic and english.
A brief summary. The Quran states that the period of time these sleepers spent in the cave was 300 years during which the calendar of their people was changed from solar to lunar and, as a result, the period of their sleep has increased to 309 (lunar) years. When they woke up, they had no idea they slept for centuries and thought they only slept a few hours. When they sent one of them to buy food, the coins he used to buy food were out of circulation and drew the attention of the town’s people. The Qur’an also mentions a dog among the sleepers, in the 18th verse of the 18th chapter, Surah Al Kahf.
The entrance to the cave is rather small; and interestingly points south towards Mecca and the Qibla. Outside the ‘tomb’, there are old ruins of shrines, two mosques and graves.
This photo was taken from the entrance of the cave. I was waiting in line to go in and happened to see 2 people walking above the cave. It was none other than the bestie’s parents. I had no idea how and when they climbed up lol.
These old items and artifacts above, were all excavated within the site. They are on display within the cave.It is amazing that we can still see so much of the remains and ruins now. I think the Jordan authority have been doing a wonderful job in preserving as much as they can, for us to visit, learn and relive the past.
Being inside the cave, one does wonder how can 7 people be kept alive there for 300 years? Any logical mind would have dismissed this as ‘impossible’ or ‘does not make sense’. However, if you are a true believer of Allah swt, know that anything is possible with His will.
This story has however a sad ending. Soon after fulfilling their destiny to testify resurrection, the sleepers fell into an eternal sleep and were buried in the cave where they’ve slept beforehand.
Of course, for me, being present in such a historic site was surreal to me. This site, being mentioned in the Quran and has been in existence for thousands of years, right here beneath my feet. Alhamdulilah for this opportunity.
Stone carvings and graves can be seen outside the cave. There appears to be some kind of watering system within the site as some of the remains looked like water wells.
Now I am curious to read and learn more about Surah Al Kahf. When we were leaving the site and the mosque, we could not help feeling in awe by what we have seen and learn.
The deserted streets of Amman. We headed towards a factory outlet like store where we had our meal and rested for a while.
Perhaps it is because Amman is about 6 hours behind Singapore, it felt like the day was very long. I was sleepy and exhausted and it was only 4 pm.
Nevertheless, I am excited and looking forward to our second day tomorrow inshAllah! Thank you the officials from Halijah Travel for taking such good care of us.