Monday, November 9, 2009

Dionysius as one of the Seven Sleepers

Some refer to individuals with a wide range of interests as 'Renaissance men' (or women?) but others liken us to magpies who collect anything that glitters or shines. I have found my intellectual curiosity to be both a blessing and a curse. It means that I never am bored and always am excited about something new, but in reality it has prevented me from having a single unswerving path that leads to any successful lifelong goal.

Two days from the release of Sunshine Islands means two days basically for me to put my Guides for the game into a coherent and somewhat completed form... and yet, here I am, looking for a verse from the Qur'an in support of my own conviction that human beings are nothing more than 'guardians' of this Earth, having supported my thesis previously with a well-known Latin maxim.

Instead of finding a copy of the Qur'an, I did what many of us do nowadays and searched online for the verse. In the process, I found one of the many sites that publishes 'magic' verses for every conceivable purpose under the Sun, whether it is liberty from false imprisonment or a restoration of spousal affection.

Always fascinated by magic, I began to read through the various spells and found the following:

'It is written in Biharul Anwar that in order to create love between man and wife, write the names of ashab al kahf (the people of the cave) and then the name of your spouse with his or her mother’s or father’s name, then wear it as a ta’wid on the right arm. The names of seven sleepers (followers of Prophet Isa) in Christian books are given as:


According to Hafiz Farman Ali Sahib the Sleepers were six and the seventh was a dog. Their names are given as:


This spell is intriguing for many reasons, only one of which is the way names are altered or garbled when converted to other languages. To me, however, the most interesting part of this spell and the sole reason that I publish it here is the addition of 'Dionysius' to the list. Admittedly, it could refer to a man named Dionysius, of which there were many in ancient times, but I think it refers to the old pagan God.

The concept of the 'Sleepers' is found in many different myths throughout the world. There are 'Sleepers' in England and in Germany... and I believe there are tales of Sleepers in a Cave in India and China as well. These 'Sleepers', like Sleeping Beauty when pricked by the spindle only appear to be dead but await a fateful moment when they are roused from their long slumbers. Whether by the call of a special horn or other method, their promised future awakening usually is linked to a particularly dire emergency in the land. I don't think any of them have awakened yet, despite historical pestilences, genocides and the unleashing of atomic destruction in this world... Nonetheless, Dionysius somehow was added to the list of 'Sleepers' in the Cave not too far from Makkah or Mecca by some one at some point in the early history of Islam.

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