Saturday, September 11, 2010

Suspended Animation and The People of Cave

This post may be considered as an extension to the post 'Are Miracles 'Religious' ?' Here we try to correlate the recent scientific discovery of 'Suspended Animation' and the story of 'The People of Cave' in Quran.

Here are two original materials one below another, which is self explanatory. The first one is a talk given by Mark Roth in TED regarding Suspended Animation. Suspended animation is the slowing of life processes by external means without termination. Imagine you can preserve your friend for as many years as you wish, and boom you can make him/her alive again! That sounds outrageous, but scientists are getting closer to that. 




When we think about it, there is a striking similarity between the story of the people of cave and the recent discovery of suspended animation. As illustrated by Mark Roth, Hydrogen Sulfide which is abundant in many 'caves' are one of the most important factors of for suspended animation. In Quran it is said that a bunch of youths retreated to a 'cave', where they were put into deep slumber. And when they woke up, lo! Years have passed along, while they were still youths. Till recently, there were no explanation to this miraculous incident, but now it seems to have. Would that have caused by the Hydrogen Sulfide usually found in caves?

The story is best described in Quran itself.
18:9 Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Sign?
18:10 Behold, the youths betook themselves to the Cave: they said, "Our Lord! bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!"
18:11 Then We draw (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years, in the Cave, (so that they heard not):
18:12 Then We roused them, in order to test which of the two parties was best at calculating the term of years they had tarried!
18:13 We relate to thee their story in truth: they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance:
18:14 We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity!
18:15 "These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him: why do they not bring forward an authority clear (and convincing) for what they do? Who doth more wrong than such as invent a falsehood against God?
18:16 "When ye turn away from them and the things they worship other than God, betake yourselves to the Cave: Your Lord will shower His mercies on you and disposes of your affair towards comfort and ease."
18:17 Thou wouldst have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their Cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the open space in the midst of the Cave. Such are among the Signs of God: He whom God, guides is rightly guided; but he whom God leaves to stray,- for him wilt thou find no protector to lead him to the Right Way.
18:18 Thou wouldst have deemed them awake, whilst they were asleep, and We turned them on their right and on their left sides: their dog stretching forth his two fore-legs on the threshold: if thou hadst come up on to them, thou wouldst have certainly turned back from them in flight, and wouldst certainly have been filled with terror of them.
18:19 Such (being their state), we raised them up (from sleep), that they might question each other. Said one of them, "How long have ye stayed (here)?" They said, "We have stayed (perhaps) a day, or part of a day." (At length) they (all) said, "God (alone) knows best how long ye have stayed here.... Now send ye then one of you with this money of yours to the town: let him find out which is the best food (to be had) and bring some to you, that (ye may) satisfy your hunger therewith: And let him behave with care and courtesy, and let him not inform any one about you.
18:20 "For if they should come upon you, they would stone you or force you to return to their cult, and in that case ye would never attain prosperity."
18:21 Thus did We make their case known to the people, that they might know that the promise of God is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour of Judgment. Behold, they dispute among themselves as to their affair. (Some) said, "Construct a building over them": Their Lord knows best about them: those who prevailed over their affair said, "Let us surely build a place of worship over them."
18:22 (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)." Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.
18:23 Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow"-
18:24 Without adding, "So please God!" and call thy Lord to mind when thou forgettest, and say, "I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road."
18:25 So they stayed in their Cave three hundred years, and (some) add nine (more)
18:26 Say: "God knows best how long they stayed: with Him is (the knowledge of) the secrets of the heavens and the earth: how clearly He sees, how finely He hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him; nor does He share His Command with any person whatsoever.
18:27 And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.
18:28 And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; no obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds.
18:29 Say, "The truth is from your Lord": Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it): for the wrong-doers We have prepared a Fire whose (smoke and flames), like the walls and roof of a tent, will hem them in: if they implore relief they will be granted water like melted brass, that will scald their faces, how dreadful the drink! How uncomfortable a couch to recline on!
18:30 As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed.

'When it can live throughout their life,
And it splits up to form a new life,
And it sleeps millions of their age,
A life without life span,
Is it a life?'

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