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{ أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَابَ ٱلْكَهْفِ وَٱلرَّقِيمِ كَانُواْ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا عَجَباً }

or did you think that the Companions of the Cave and the Inscription were a [unique] marvel from among Our signsḍ In other words, if you have witnessed such origination and annihilation, then the state of the Companions of the Cave is not a marvel from among Our signs. Rather this [origination and annihilation] is more marvelous. Know that the Companions of the Cave are the perfect seven, those who always uphold the command of the Truth, the ones through whom the world is sustained and of whom no age is [ever] devoid. [Their number] is the same as and corresponds to the number of the planets, the seven orbiting ones. And just as God, exalted be He, has disposed these to manage the order of the world of form, as alluded to in His words, By those that race forward, and by those that direct the affair [Q. 79:4-5], according to some commentaries, so He delegated [the management of] the order of the world of meaning and the perfecting of the order of [the world of] form to seven souls from among the former [generations], each one of whom is related, in accordance with formal existence, to one of these [planets]. The pole (quṭb) belongs to the sun; the Cave is the inner aspect of the body, while al-Raqīm ('inscription') is its outer aspect, which has been engraved with the forms of the senses and organs - if it is to be explained as [referring to] the [Preserved] Tablet wherein their names have been inscribed (ruqqimat); or [al-Raqīm is] the corporeal world, if [al-Raqīm is] taken to be the name of the valley wherein lies the mountain and [its] cave; or [it represents] the animal soul, if [al-Raqīm is] taken to be the name of the dog; or [it represents] the upper world, if [al-Raqīm is] takent to be the name of the town from which they came, [all of these interpretations] being in accordance with the varying opinions of the commentaries. Among these [seven souls] are the seven well-known prophets that were sent during the [various] generations and eras, even though each of these prophets followed a [separate] Remembrance. They are Adam, Enoch (Idrīs), Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus as well as Muḥammad, blessings and peace be upon them, since he [Muḥammad] is the seventh one, the one designated for the miracle of the splitting of the moon [cf.

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