Friday, November 13, 2009



The Qur’an says “the People of the Cave and the raqeem” (18:9), and there has been great controversy among the Quranic commentators on what the word raqeem means. Most said it refers to a book or inscription on which their story was written down after their death and placed in the cave, but it is all guessing. However, it seems that the area where the Cave exists is called Raqeem, and if this name was really there since before the revelation of the Qur’an, then the mystery is solved! Raqeem is the name of the area of the cave! This possibility is mentioned in the famous commentary of shaykh as-Sawi who said that it is said that it is either the valley, mountain, or town in which the cave is found.

"The name of Petra itself is Greek for 'rock'. Judging from their own inscriptions, the Nabateans themselves called their capital Reqem, meaning 'of varied colours' - apparently in reference to the varied colours and shades of the sandstone cliffs which formed the narrow confines of the city."

- Salibi, Kamal. The Modern History of Jordan.

Perhaps they were inhabitants of Petra and escaped from it? Maybe the Raqeem is Reqem. Petra.