By Abd Al-Daem Kaheel
Translated by Bayan Taleb
Revised by Magdy Abd Al-Shafy
Skeptics had always tried to criticize the Holy Koran and prove for their followers that the Koran is scientifically contradicted with the already discovered facts and full of legends that are far away from the scientific logic; in their attempts, they brought several examples such as the story of the people of the Cave.
They are asking in their skeptical sites: how could they sleep for such long years with their eyes open then wake up? They are saying that is against medicine laws, this phenomenon cannot be medically realized.
Glory is to Allah the Greatest! Whenever you read a criticism of the Koran, you find in the scientists' discoveries what verity the Koran and refute the claims of the opposites. That's because Allah the Exalted said in his glorious book: (and never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers) Al-Nisa'a 141.
Ernest Kretschmer discovered a relatively new phenomenon in the year 1940, and then came the Spanish scientist Bryan Jennett and the American scientist Fred Plum to accurately describe this phenomenon, they called it the vegetative state. In this state, the patient enters a state of lethargy but with the eyes open, he can sometimes smile and feel what is going on around him, he can also swallow his saliva. He is in a partial state of consciousness, he looks as if he is awake but actually he is lethargic. This state happens because of an injury or a disease.
The study indicated, using FMRI(Functional magnetic resonance imaging), that the brain is active during the coma or lethargy the patient suffers which can last for years. This is what confused the scientists: what stimulates this brain? What inspires the patient to stay alive even though he is completely unconscious? And what makes him wake up suddenly and talk as if nothing happened?
In the beginning, scientists thought that this phenomenon is deep sleep, but then it became evident that it is not sleep but a unique unexplained phenomenon. We'd like to indicate that the patient in this state needs nutrition injected with special means.
Scientists say that the brain releases signs indicating its reaction to the surrounding; the patient can move and respond to outer effects but he is unconscious. If you look at him during the lethargy state, he seems awake; when you talk to him, his brain will respond to the orders, but he is lethargic and unconscious.The people of the cave
Allah Almighty tells us about a few young men who believed in their Lord and escaped the unjust king to win their religion and their afterlife. They took refuge in a cave, and Allah honored them with a great miracle so that they would be an example for their people at that time, Allah Almighty said what means : ((Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave, they said: "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!" Therefore We covered up their (sense of) hearing (causing them, to go in deep sleep) in the Cave for a number of years. Then We raised them up (from their sleep), that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period that they had tarried.) Al-Kahf 10-12.
If we meditate on this story, we will find it similar the scientific medical phenomena in the way the people of the cave slept and the way they were turned from the left side to the right side. Scientists that made a brain scan for the patients that are in the vegetative state said that the results of the scan showed that the activity of their brain is similar to that of a normal one. These patients look very normal, and you would think they are awake.
Here we remember Allah the Exalted saying about the people of the cave: (and you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep) Al-Kahf 18. And describing their turning from the right side to the left side which is a normal reaction that the sleeper would respond to, Allah the Exalted says: (and We turn them on their right and on their left sides) Al-Kahf 18.
From here we conclude that the Koran is very logical in describing this story, but the miracle here is that these young men slept for a very long time, 309 years, without food or water; this is a divine miracle that we believers should be sure of . Medically speaking sleeping of long years is something completely normal.
A few days before writing this article, an American patient with the vegetative state who had been six years in this state suddenly woke up and started talking with her family as if nothing had happened; she remained awake for three days talking with the people around her then went back to her first state! Doctors say that she woke up four times during her lethargy. The thing that confuses about this state is that it's neither sleep nor coma. What is wondrous, dear reader, is that Allah the Exalted called a similar state that happened to the people of the cave sleep saying: (and you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep)
Scientists consider the fact that she came back to life a miracle!! This phenomenon confused the American scientists because they couldn’t explain it, they consider such cases miracles. The question is: if the westerner scientists see with their own eyes people sleeping for long years, why aren’t they convinced that the Holy Koran is truthful when talking about the people of the cave?
The second question: how could Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him had he not been a messenger from Allah describe accurately the state of these sleepers and say: (and you would have thought them awake, while they were asleep). The Koran is the creation of Allah, and Allah had put in it evidences proving its truthfulness (and who is truer in statement than Allah?) Al-Nisa'a 87.
1- Major Brain Activity Found in Vegetative Patient, www.foxnews.com, September 08, 2006.
2- Coma and Persistent Vegetative State, www.healthlink.mcw.edu.
01 avril 2007