Biological Miracles for Ahl Al-Kahf
However, during sleep our sense of hearing doesn’t stop functioning (we tend to wake up at our alarms) and the 8th cranial nerve which passes in the inner part of the ears has two divisions: one for hearing and the other for equilibrium (position and movement of the head). But in the case of the Cave sleepers, these functions did stop.
When we sleep or even lie down, we tend to change our positions constantly. Even in comatose patient, airbeds are advised to avoid decubitus ulcers. Such is our brain monitored for utmost care.
In case of the Cave Sleepers Allah took care of them by constantly changing their positions which was unknown to them and He clearly states this in the Qur’anic verse 18:18 “And We turned them to the right and to the left……….
“You would have thought them awake, as they lay sleeping”. (18:18) and did not say, “You would have thought them dead, as they lay sleeping”, this is to draw our attention to the sign of awakening, i.e. ‘eye wink’.
Allah preserved their eyes from blindness through blinking, as the eye if kept closed for a long period of time will be blind, because the optic nerve will shrink and die, and if it is kept open, the cornea will be affected with corneo-xerosis and blindness.
Therefore, this rare status of theirs would have aroused terror, if seen, as they weren’t alive or dead. They were asleep, yet their eyes were blinking.
What about the body temperature?
The temperature of our body is controlled through thermoregulation. During sleep, our central set temperature is reduced by 1 to 2° degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, we use less energy maintaining our body temperature.
It has been hypothesized that one of the primary functions of sleep is to conserve energy in this way. So coolness in this gap in the Cave, away from the heat of the sun that didn’t touch them, was sufficient to inhibit bodily metabolism for the preservation of their bodies all this long period.
Had they been only asleep, they would have needed water and food to survive, and would have been awaken by the need to urinate after some hours. But Allah inhibited all their biological functions and preserved their bodies in a living shape.
Exposure to excessive sunlight leads to photoaging but Allah kept the beams of sunlight away from the Sleepers as the Qur’anic verse 18:17 mentions: “And [had you been present], you would see the sun when it rose, inclining away from their cave on the right, and when it set, passing away from them on the left, while they were [laying] within an open space thereof. That was from the signs of Allah. He whom Allah guides is the [rightly] guided, but he whom He leaves astray – never will you find for him a protecting guide.”
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