The Seven Sleepers in Surah Kahf: Story in Sohbat by Hajjah Amina
In the old days there was a king whose name was Diglianus who ruled over the land of Tarsus. He made all his people worship him like pharaoh. He had seven wazirs who looked after his kingdom. They were very hard working and every night they met to discuss the events of the day.
One night one wazir, looking from the window, saw the beautiful night and stars and thought how could it be that this king created all this beauty. He thought that
tyrant could neither make it nor keep it. He asked the other wazirs to look but they saw only stars. “Could Diglianus have created all this? No, he is
like us, a created being.” They looked and felt relieved that there was a Creator watching over them.
These seven wazirs began to worship Allah, at night in secret. The devil was jealous of them. He went to Diglianus and told him his wazirs were worshipping other than him. The king called them in and asked whom they worshipped. The One Who feeds us, they answered. So Diglianus figured that must be himself and he let them go free.
They went on worshipping Allah. The devil went again to the king and said to him, ask them the name of the one they worship. The eldest, Yamlikha, said, “You
are like us. Who created you and all you eat and all around you, that is Who we worship.”
The king was angry. He imprisoned them and planned to behead them. But the next day was the beginning of a yearly festival where they all went into the wilderness for a month of revelry. So the king planned to keep the wazirs in prison until he returned.
Yamlikha saw in a dream a man with a golden ball which he threw at the lock on the prison door. The lock broke and they escaped.
He began talking with the guards and won their sympathy. He told them that he used to be powerful and he would soon be so again. At that time he would
reward them. He convinced the guards to get a golden all and play with it against the lock until it broke.
The seven wazirs escaped and fled to a secret cave. Inside they found a shepherd who was happy to provide them with his tattered clothing in exchange for
their rich robes. The shepherd was also a believer. He advised them to hide in the cave and his dog followed them. The shepherd loved that dog and didn’t want
to leave him. They threw stones at the dog to try and make it go away. But he stood on his hind legs and made shahada and begged to be allowed to stay and
guard them. So the shepherd left him.
When the king and his people finished the festival, they returned to find the prisoners gone. Allah covered their tracks and they were not found. The seven wazirs fell asleep in the cave. For three hundred years they slept. When they awoke they wondered how long they had been asleep. They thought it had been maybe one day. They were hungry. So they decided one of them should sneak to town and buy food. One of them left the cave and found the nearby lake dry and the old oak broken and dead, so different from the night before he thought.
He went to the market and there everything was really different. He went to the bakery but the coin he used to pay for the bread attracted a lot of attention. It
was an antique and very valuable. The baker thought he must have found buried treasure. He begged the wazir to share it with him. The wazir did not understand.
They began to argue and a crowd gathered. The police came and took him to the king.
On entering the palace the wazir saw written above the throne, La ilaha ila Allah, Isa Rasulullah. The wazir asked if Diglianus had returned from his festival.
Then they began to understand. Diglianus was the king three hundred years ago.
When the wazir heard he was dead he told the people the real story. They could not believe him. So they asked if he could think of any proof. He remembered that he had hidden a treasure beneath the floor of his house, but he could no longer recognize where anything was located. It took an angel to guide him to the spot where his house had used to be. They dug and found the treasure. They remembered an old tale of the seven wazirs who had disappeared, and asked to see the others.
He asked them to let him go first and tell the others the news that they had become an ayat min ayatu Allah – a sign among the signs of God – and that
Diglianus was long dead.
To prevent them from becoming a tourist attraction Allah closed the rock door of the cave enclosing the seven forever. The people never did see the other six.
They ended up building a mosque over the spot. When they woke all seven were alive except the dog who had been turned to stone. While on the Night Journey the Prophet (sas) passed by the cave and gave them salams. The dog is one of the ten animals to go to Paradise along with other e.g. The Hudhud of Sulayman (as), The Camel of Saleh (as), The Fish of Yunus (as), The Sheep of Ismail (as), The Donkey of Uzair (as), The Ant of Sulayman (as), The Yellow cow at the time of Musa (as) etc.
The names of the sleepers were:
And their dog was Qatmir.