Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Aṣḥāb al- Kahf
(1,075 words)

, “those of the cave”. This is the name given in the Ḳurʾān, and further in Arabic literature, to the youths who in the Christian Occident are usually called the “Seven Sleepers of Ephesus”. According to a legend, in the time of the Christian persecution under the Emperor Decius (249-51), seven Christian youths fled into a cave near Ephesus and there sank into a miraculous sleep for centuries, awoke under the Christian Emperor Theodosius, were discovered and then went to sleep for ever. Their re…

Cite this page
Paret, R., “Aṣḥāb al-Kahf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 11 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0773>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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