Kahf ar Raqim

Kahf ar Raqim (ar-Raqim Cave) is a historical cave located in the village of Al-Rajib, east of the Jordanian capital, Amman. The history of the cave dates back to the Roman and Byzantine periods, and it is one of the places that some believe was the cave of the seven sleepers. The site includes some tombs and finds from the Byzantine and Islamic periods, and today it is a shrine visited by people.

Some argue that the Cave of Seven Sleepers is the location referred to in Surah al-Kahf of the Qur’an.
The surah is named after the Cave – al-Kahf – in honor of the alleged piety of the seven sleepers.
The site’s connection with Islamic heritage led to the participation of various Islamic leagues in its exploration and excavation.
This cave was identified with Qur’anic record due to the name of nearby village al-Rajib, which is etymologically similar to the word al-Raqīm, mentioned in al-Kahf. Some also argue the site’s correspondence with the Surat al-Kahf based on the finding of a dog’s skull near the cave door.

The English name of this site refers to the seven sleepers who sought refuge in the cave, despite that accounts differ widely concerning the number of sleepers.
The canonical Islamic text refers to seven sleeper and a dog. The site’s Arabic name, Arabic: كهف الرقيم, Kahf ar Raqim, is based on the triliteral root Arabic: ر-ق-م, denoting writing or calligraphy. It may refer to the village or mountain that the cave is located in. It also may refer to the book that recorded the names of the seven sleepers, as is suggested in Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari’s exegetical work Tafsir al-Tabari. The nearby village’s modern name, al-Rajib, could be a corruption of the term al-Raqīm.

In 1951, Jordanian journalist Taysir Thabyan discovered the Cave of Seven Sleepers. He preceded to publish its photo on the journal of the Syrian Military Police and inform the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.
The department assigned Jordanian archaeologist Rafiq al-Dajani the task of research and exploration in the cave. They found eight smaller sealed tombs inside the main cave, with the bones preserved inside.

Kahf ar Raqim Photo Gallery

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