salam. Last friday, I had a meaningful journey with kak umi, kak syida, irisyah fadhilah and azwa to Amman. We went to Cave Of Seven Sleepers which is told in surah Al-Kahf. There is a story about ashabul kahfi in that surah:)
The Qur'an states that the period of time these sleepers spent in the cave was three hundred 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. After the story was widely known, the sleepers died. The Qur'an also mentions a dog among the sleepers, in the 18th verse of the 18th chapter, Surah Al Kahf.
Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou wouldst have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them. .(Surah Al Kahf, Qur'an: 18)
The ninth verse of Surah Al Kahf touch upon this group's extraordinary situation. As the narrative unfolds, it is seen that their experiences are of an unusual and metaphysical nature. Their entire life is full of miraculous developments. The tenth verse tells us that those young people sought refuge in the cave from the existing oppressive system, which did not allow them to express their views, tell the truth, and call to Allah's religion. Thus, they distanced themselves from their society.
Do you consider that the Companions of the Cave and Ar-Raqim were one of the most remarkable of Our Signs? When the young men took refuge in the cave and said: 'Our Lord, give us mercy directly from You and open the way for us to right guidance in our situation.(Surah Al Kahf, Qur'an: 9-10)
So We sealed their ears with sleep in the cave for a number of years. Then We woke them up again so that we might see which of the two groups would better calculate the time they had stayed there.(Surah Al Kahf, Qur'an: 11-12)
The reason for this state of sleep was their surrender to fate and peace, because Allah, arranges everything for the benefit of the believers.
The Qur'an also states that the number of sleepers will be known to God, and only a handful of people. It has not been mentioned that there were seven sleepers.
They will say: 'There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.' They will say: 'There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,' guessing at the Unseen. And they will say: 'There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.' Say: 'My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.' So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them.(Surat Al Kahf, Qur'an: 22)"
p/s: advantages of reading al-kahf in every Friday is to prevent us from "fitnah dajjal" during the Day Of Resurrection.Allahwualam.