“The Companions of the Cave” Revelation

Allah, the creator of the heavens and earth, revealed “The companions of the cave” revelation to Prophet Muhammad. It is a story mentioned in Surat [3] and talks of a number of youths who fled from their king who endorsed idol worshipping. Indeed, King Decianus authorized and encouraged his people to gather once every year to offer sacrifices and worship idols. Through a clear insight, the young men realized that the sacrifices should have been dedicated to Allah alone, and not the idols (Roxburgh 176). When the king found out about them, he was infuriated. He sent a directive informing them to either abandon their new faith or be killed. The young men had only three options, to abandon their faith, collaborate with the king, or be killed. One by one, they withdrew from the crowd and went to the cave, which was meant to symbolize fear, suspense, darkness, and all manner of scary things. Having not bid their families and relatives goodbye, with no food, and water, they vowed not to offer sacrifices to idols or worship them and entered into the cave. They prayed to Allah, their creator to bring mercy upon them and find righteousness in their actions. Allah did not forsake them. He made them sleep, with their eyes open for a period of 309 years (Reynolds 194).

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This story was revealed to Muhammad in Makkah during a period when the Quraysh people were attempting to falsify the prophecy of the Prophet. Two individuals were sent to question the Prophet on the issues he would not have answered. They were to question on a story that occurred soon after the revelation of the Tawrah and Injil, which was something no other person would have known. In fact, only a true prophet would know. He was supposed to tell a story of a group of young people who lived a long time ago, and he promised to narrate it the following day. It was not until the 15th day that Prophet Mohammad received the Quranic revelation of the story (Neuwirth et al. 110). The story teaches us that when we put our trust in Allah, everything else is a passing cloud and insignificant, for He will always take care of us.

The background information or occasion for revelation has been very helpful in understanding this passage. In fact, it has played a significant role in enhancing comprehension with the story. The background information has greatly helped in creating a framework structure, which, on the other hand, had helped in thinking and understanding of the “Companion of the Cave” passage. In most cases, readers who do not have prior knowledge concerning a particular topic of interest will have difficulties in comprehending to what they have read as well as communicating in writing about the topic. The Schema theory offers an excellent explanation of how contextual information and occasional knowledge enhances the processes of comprehension, understanding, and language (Carrell et al. 73). According to his theory, the background knowledge, also referred to as schemata, symbolizes the theoretical model for situations, objects and events, such as the contextual scenario of Prophet Mohammad during the time when he was receiving the revelation. Therefore, any reader with the intentions of understanding and communicating a topic well ought to have prior knowledge of the same.

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