of all lets pay attention to the emergence of sure “Kahf”:
Gureyshies sent Nadir Ibn Haris and Utba Ibn Muayati to the
Jewish scientist in Medina to ask them the face of Mohammed
and tell his words. And they were the ancient and educated
readers. They had got knowledge about the prophet that we
hadn’t got. After it both of them came to Medina. The Jewish
scientist told them to ask three things from him:
Who were those fityas- (young heroes)? What are their
features? Their story is very interesting.
is the traveler reaching the east and west of the Earth? What
is the story about?
What is spirit?
Ask all these three matters. If he gives you information
about, he is nabi (prophet), believe him. Namely backing
against this thought we can tell that, this event happened
long before Christianity. There are information about it on
Jewish’s book. And the first matter is namely about
“Ashabi-Kahf”. The second matter is about “Zulgeriney”.
Aristotle, Abu Ali Ibn Sina wrote that the events that were
connected with a group of people believing in God were looking
alike as shown in “Ashabi-Kahf”. That meant that “Ashabi-Kahf”
event happened much more before. Although
the names of the people escaping from tyranny are shown in the
legend, “Gurani Karim” doesn’t speak about it. At the same
time it is not shown a location of event. And this is a matter
that the God kept secret from the people and for that reason
there merged different legends in various parts of the world.
Generally some researchers look for this cave in Spain, in
Asia Minor, in Egypt and in some other places. Fahreddin Razi
says: “Really speaking there is not any possibility to imagine
the time and location of “Ashabi-Kahf””.
you can find
information about historicity and location of this place in
French Encyclopedia’s “Grand” section, which is called “Sert
Dormans”- “Seven Fallen Asleep”. Speaking
about the confusions around this cave Abu Hayyan says: “This
cave was not in Rum, in Sham, in Spain, there was a cave on
the side of Grantha by name Lozea inside which were dead
people and nearby them the remaining from the dog. From the
most of the dead people there was only remaining flesh, and
some faces had a dense surface on it. There had passed a lot
of centuries and we do not know what these are. But people
counted that those were “Ashabi-Kahfs”.The fact that people’s
flesh had not turned into remaining for Abdul Rashid Al Bakuvi
also mentions a long time. But we should pay attention that in
Nakhchivan version of the legend we were not speaking about
the remaining of the corpse but about the people who found
refuge on the cave and then disappeared. According to the
collected information sources we can say that while speaking
about “Ashabi-Kahf” the main attention is paid to Turkey and
to the other countries. The translated from the Persian into
Azeri Greek Roman origin book of Sadraddin Balaghi’s “Guran
Gissalari” has the section of “Ashabi-Kahf” which repeats the
legend of his predecessors. The sign put for further
explanation on page 191 reads like this: “Gurani Karim, Kahf
sure, tenth aye and the next ayes”. This is wrong, because the
ninth aye says: “may
be you call Ashabi-Kahf and Rakim something ugly out of our
ayes?” At the same time it comes out from 10th and
further ayes it is continued till 110th aye. But
the ayes 9-26 speak about it. While speaking about Ephesus
city and its geographical position, and as well as about the
legend of “Ashabi-Kahf” the author denotes that the events
related to this happened namely in this city approximately in
the years of 249-251. From the
above-mentioned resources it becomes clear that connecting
“Ashabi-Kahf” directly with Christianity especially its
reference to Indian-ari (Rome, Greece, Spain) origin is
one-sided approach. In connection with it,
while paying attention to the interpretation of the 9th
aye of “Gurani Karim”s Kahf sure it becomes clear that the
translation is given differently from various sources.
be you calling Kahf and Rakim that something we confuse in our
“Hey Mohammed, may be you call Kahf and Rakim owners something
we mix in our ayes?” “May
be Hey Mohammed,… you thought the Cave and inscription
something we confuse in our ayes?”
be you called only (simply) Kahf and Rakim owners not liable
from our ayes?”
“Maybe you called Kahf and Rakim not liable for our evidence
“Maybe Kahf and Rakim’s fate seemed you strange and you
thought that as if these are the only strange in our ayes?”
In this aye Kahf owners (“Ashabi-Kahf”) is already a known
notion. In the next ayes of “Gurani Karim” (10-26) there is
given broad information about them, and who are Rakim owners
and what is thought under the expression Rakim? There are
different approaches to this by the authors.
Abdulbakir Golpinarli writes: “Cubeyr oglu Saidden retold that
Rakim was a stone later brought to the entrance (inside).
There was engraved all events happened to “Ashabi-Kahf”. You
can also find the authors that still think it is a book
written about “Ashabi-Kahf”. In
reference to this Elmalli M. Hamdi writes: “Kahf is a title
given to the large caves on the mountains.
its small one
is called “Ghar” in Turkish it is “In””.
Rakim is the one that we call as an inscription engraved
stone, metal or etc. According
to the descriptions Kahf is a large cave on the mountains.
There is not found a final solution in reference to “Rakim”.
But one out of all these meanings is more relevant: Mountain
or valley wherever a cave is located, the inscription to
wherever are engraved the names of “Asabi Kahf”.
In European sources Rakim is called a cuprous board where is
written all events happened to “Ashabi-Kahf” and kept in the
cave. According to the written sources
we can come to the following conclusion.
The Cave’s area was large
Here was put a signage
Nakhchivan “Ashabi-Kahf” is large and there are some signages.
The signage researcher Haci Fahraddin’s analysis makes it
clear that in Gurani Karim Al-Kahf sure’s 9, 10, 11, 12, 17
and 18 ayes which were engraved on marble board (inscription)
were undergone the erosion by the natural processes. For
getting rid of the threat caused by the erosion the ruler of
Nakhchivan Shukrulla Khan took a decision to make copies of
these stones on the other stones and replace the old one. It
happened on Hhicri 1190 and
Milady 1776. In reference to
this, the works by Russian researchers also attracts the
attention. They try to connect the history of this legend and
the cave itself with Christianity.
Even they call Dagh Yunis in this legend to be the ruler of
Rome Ditsey. In these works they speak only about the cave
situated in Efes. The main attention is given not to the cave,
but to the formation of cave’s history. Abu Reyhan Biruni’s
thoughts also lay in this direction. Its reason lies on an
alleged fact that he has collected the information only from
Christianity. In 1881 K. Nikitin
collected the legend about Nakhchivan “Ashabi-Kahf” and
published it. Excluding the minor changes, the legend
collected by him is the same as we have given here. In the
legend presented by Nikitin the following expression is worth
for attention: “When Tamlikha comes to the city he gets
information that there are two rulers: muslim and christian.
The following was written on the flag, which was hung over the
gate of the city: “There is not any other God except the God”.
This thinking is peculiar for all general spatial religions.
As it is evident from the folk’s literature and from the
collected ethnographic materials, in Nakhchivan, generally in
the Islamic world instead of that expression we use
“La-Ilaha-Illallah”. By our point of view, when the author
gave this expression he wanted to create the prerequisites for
opening the way to the Christianity. From other side, the
author doesn’t give any information that from whom he has
collected the source materials. Generally, no version of this
legend contains this information. It is because the author
wanted to deliberately give the power to the Christians
(Armenians) who were moved from Iran to Nakhchivan in 1828.
The main arguments of the authors had always been that as if
this legend happened before Islam, and when the people who
were fallen asleep there were Monotheists.
The collected materials show that, this legend is also known
among the Middle Asian Turks. We can get the first scientific
information about this from A.Kalmikov. But, as he explained,
because of bad translation the author had not been able to
collect the entire legend.
Finally, in 1978 Q.P. Snesarev, who was very famous with his
works referring the Middle Asian Turks’ ethnography, published
an article about it and only after it we became able to say
the new words. Q.P.Snesarev wrote that the scientists should
look for the key to the legend not in the Middle Asia, but in
Asia Minor. Although the ruler’s name was shown as Dagh Yunis
in two legends collected by him, the author was still trying
to prove that person to be the Rome Ruler Kai Messiy Kivint
Troyan Ditsiy (201-251 years). According to the author’s
viewpoint this legend was connected only with pressure and
massacre over Christians carried out by the totemic ruler of
Rome. Continuing his thoughts, Q.P.Snesarev goes against the
idea that Islam spreads this legend through Middle Asia, by
the holy book”Gurani-Karim”; he counts that Guran was not the
main source in transmission of legend to Kharazm. After some
contemplation he tries to prove that Christianity brings the
legend to this zone. Namely in that place he writes that
there is a few information about Kharazm Christians. There are
two versions of the legend spread in Kharazm in Q.P.Snesarev’s
work. In one version King’s son heads the escapers. The boy
and his five friends escape from tyranny. On their way they
meet the shepherd. Further events are the same as in
Nakhchivan. The boys’ names were Temrikho, Maksalmino,
Kachputt, Kashofat, Tab-Yunus, Ozurpat-Yunus and the dog’s
name was Katmir.
In this legend the boys sleep one thousand year. The plot of
the second legend is completely different. As if one king
wanted to marry his daughter. Being resented from this King’s
vezirs goes and find refuge in the cave. Dagh Yunis send army
after them. When they come to the cave they witness that the
pigeon has bred in front of the cave. They think they have not
entered into the cave yet. They return back. The rest subject
is the same.
Although the author collected the legend,
in terms of legend’s dissemination, he gave preference to the
Christian theory existed before him. Tending to support the
Rome-Greece theory, the author backs up against A.Krimsky and
thinks that the legend has not got its history. And this is
contradicting the thoughts given in”Gurani-Karim”.
In”Gurani-Karim” it is given as a real happening. The author
underlines the dissemination of Christianity more, than the
legend. However, there is information about dissemination of
the legend. By our viewpoint, this
retells about Monotheist period existed before Christianity.
Turks, much more before Islam and Christianity have been
Monotheist, they especially believed in Goy Tanri.
But a part of Turks, for a short period forgot Monotheism and
became Kafirs (like atheists- Transl.). It was more aggravated
during Gara khan’s period. But after his son Oguz khan grew up
he killed his father and restored a Monotheist reign in the
country again. By information of Abdulgazi Bahadur Khan, it
became clear that Oguz khan existed approximately four
thousand years before us. The famous Turkish
scientist Fahrettin Kirzioglu also, by counting the Oguz’s
history to be more than three thousand five hundred years,
thinks that Gipchags’ community for the first time appeared in
Caucasus in the VIII century before our era. That means
sometimes at that period of the history they got completely
separated from Oguz. Naturally, Oguzs have spread and observed
Monotheism in Caucasus. It is possible to
decisively show that the legend was formed among the Turkish
people. While analyzing the above-mentioned facts it appears
that this event has in reality happened in Nakhchivan. Let’s
focus on the following facts to prove it.
Today, in Nakhchivan a lot of things are related to Dagh
Yunus’s personality; it is said that he had set up a big city
on the left side of Araz River; in the place named “Dagh
Yunus’s water-wheel” there is a big irrigation installment and
close to that place not far from “Ashabi-Kahf” in Nehram
village there is also a place called by his name. So, the Dagh
Yunus matter doesn’t end with the known legend. There is
another interesting point, as well. How it could be possible
not depending on the place of residence and although in all
legends the ruler’s name is called as Dagh Yunus, the authors
changed this name for connecting it with Rome-Greece origin.
In Turkish sources there are a lot of names starting with
“Dagh”. Oguz khan’s one little son’s name (out of there little
ones) is Tagh (Dagh) khan. It
becomes clear from the legend that vezir’s name is Temirkhan.
In all versions Turkish Temir should be taken as the main
part. In nowadays in Turkey, there are widely spread the names
Timur, Teymur, Khantemir, Temirtash and etc. Let’s also note
that the place where the dog is buried is called “Gitmir”.
One of the interesting points is the direction and form of the
legend’s dissemination. The facts of legends less popularity
in the Middle Asia and less quantity information disseminated
about these caves prove that it started to be spread from the
west. In the legends of Middle Asia
version the description related to the caves shows the events
of how Hazrati Peygambar found a refuge in Sevr cave during
his pilgrimage. The people seeking refuge from tyranny enter
the cave, but while their followers come, the spiders make net
and the pigeons breed at the entrance. In another version the
cave is described to be very small: “Having entered into the
cave they closed the entrance with stones”.
To our mind, in Middle Asia the legend could be spread by two
means: firstly, through the regular relations of western and
eastern Turks, and the second through”Gurani-Karim” after they
have accepted Islam. And the existence of various versions in
the legend can make a testimony to the possibility of both
ways. And the reason of legend’s
belonging to the periods of Christianity and pre Christianity
are also connected with the Turkish Gipchag population resided
in Nakhchivan. In this connection, let’s pay attention to “Kitabi-Dede-Gorgud”: By
getting the army from Gazan khan Sakrak starts his way to
invasion beginning from Shirokaz up to Goycha Sea. His way
meets with Alinja Fortress, which was in the Kafir’s hand.
Gara Takur’s people captured him. But after his brother was
grown he came from the Southern direction (Darishun water) to
Alinja and freed his brother. It comes out that Alinca was in
the hand of non- Monotheist Gipchags. Let’s note that
“Ashabi-Kahf” is nearby to Alinja Fortress. The distance
between them is up to 10 km.
Kafir is a person in “Dada Gorgud” who doesn’t obey any God.
He has a mad religion. He prepares Govurma (Fried
Meat-Transl.) from man’s meat. This means that there is no
mercy over the Monotheist persons in his country.
In relation to this, let’s look at
Abdulgazi Bahadir Khan’s information: “Turkish people were
Muslims (Monotheists) starting from the period of Yafas up
Alinja Khan. After Alinja khan became a Padishah the people’s
goods and their number were increased and during Gara khan’s
period they were so hard Kafirs that if the son heard that his
father was Muslim (Monotheist) he definitely would kill him,
the same was with his son. The historical sources show that there have some battles
between Christians and Atashparast (fire worshippers-Transl.)
sasani clan in the southern part of Araz River, near the
neighboring areas of Nakhchivan. In those battles
christian-gipchags, bulgar-vanand Turks were fighting together
with Romanians. In 451, near Maku, in the Avarar battle out of
4 branches of the Romanian army Gipchag knight Vanand tatul
headed the third one.
We can also find the relics of belief related to the holy
figure 7, the disappeared 7 people, in old shumer
wall is firmly built head to head from the
bricks” “Leaving under its foundation of
seven wise men”
Here in the word “seven wise men” “seven” is used as a
holy word. In dastan we can encounter the subject of long time
sleeping. After Bilgamis leaves to Utnapishti for eternal
life, he falls asleep. He sleeps for 7 days.
In “Kitabi-Dede-Gorgud” the fighters sleep for seven days
and they call it a “small death”. It should be noted that in Turkish literature we also meet
the case when “seven slept men” is mixed with “seven slept
wise men” in “Bilgamis”.
One existing legend related to the figure seven among Anadolu
Bektashis’ attracts our attention. While speaking about this
question Prof. Dr. Hikmat Tanyu writes: “Seven and sevens
according to them were Hz Ali supporters. They have escaped
from yezit’s tyranny and while hiding themselves here in the
cave fell asleep. The sevens were those who slept in the cave
for three thousand years. These were: Yemiliha, Makselina,
Bemush, Debebush, Kefete Tayyush, Saznush, and their dog
Kitmir. There are some different pictures in this legend.
It is the less known version of the legend. Naturally,
this version was prepared later. In Nakhchivan and generally
in Azerbaijan this version of legend is unknown. But we should
note one question that when Ahli Beyt’s relatives were
oppressed most of them found support in Azerbaijan, as well as
in Nakhchivan. In nowadays, there are three imamzadas (holy
places-Trans.) in Nakhchivan, which are related to them.
One of the
confirming facts about the legend’s Turkish origin is
connected with the existing beliefs in “Ashabi-Kahf”. The
researches prove that these beliefs belong to Turkic origin
and are archaic. We can put them by rows as in the following
order: Mountain-stone-cave cult, water cult, cult of tree…