Imagine ourselves being caged or imprisoned for lifetime. Though even in jail, one is given the basic amenities yet one gets shriveled before age, one loses his originality of being the person who he is. Even staying in a dark room for a while leaves us terrified ….feeling of claustrophobia.
There’s a strange and a wondrous tale in the Qur’an where Allah blessed some of His believers with a peaceful sleep of death, undisturbed by fear of people and the environment. He kept their bodies unchanged for years together and as they woke up later they found themselves unmodified.
They were unaffected physically and mentally by time or weather; a miracle which Allah can upturn and He has beautifully expressed in Surah Kahf. It comprises of four stories of which the first one is the story of the People of the Cave (Ashab Al-Kahf).
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However it’s all the mercy and guidance of Allah which was showered on the believers who had ultimate faith in Him that intrigues one to know how science would look at it? How could the believers not feel hungry or thirsty? How could they not age? There would be multiple questions coming in our minds though Allah knows the Best.
Biology of Sleeping
Sleeping is an integral part of our life, and as research shows, it is incredibly complex.
A series of highly orchestrated events puts the brain to sleep in stages. There is a progressive decrease in the activation or “firing” rate of most neurons throughout the brain as sleep progresses from wakefulness to non-REM sleep.
A far deeper ‘superconscious’ state is realized in the practice of yoga in which respiration is very shallow and its frequency falls to just about one per minute, heartbeat decreasing correspondingly.
Not merely the subconscious, but the soul itself is claimed to become awake in yogi state. Investigative research is being carried out extensively all over the world on the physiology, psychology and psychosomatic therapeutic value of yoga.
The thought of Cave itself gives a scary feeling Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “so take (your) abode in the cave…” (Quran 18:16). However, the word “abode” indicates that that very cave was a peaceful shelter for the believing youth.
Allah took care of these youth believers when He made them fell into deep sleep. In the Qur’anic verse 18:11 He expresses that “He cast a cover of sleep over their ears.”
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