Friday, August 4, 2023

Movie: "Men of Anjolos" (1997) - An Islamic Movie on the Life of the Seven Youths of Ephesus

The Men of Anjolos (Persian: مردان آنجلس Mardān-e Ānjelos), also known as The Companions of the Cave (Persian: اصحاب کهف Ashāb-e Kahf), is a 1997 Iranian television series directed by Farajollah Salahshoor. It depicts the Islamic version of the story of the Seven Sleepers (mentioned in Surah al-Kahf of the Koran), which according to Islamic tradition took place in Jordan, not Ephesus as in the Christian version of the story.


It is the 137th year after the birth of the prophet Isa (Jesus), 890 years after the rise of Rome. Philadelphia was one of the regions of Eastern Rome, in our time it is the city of Amman, the capital of present-day Jordan. Messengers from Rome arrived in Philadelphia to inform Dacianus, the ruler of that city, of Roman Emperor Hadrian's next visit to Philadelphia. On this occasion, a great festival is organized, overflowing with various types of manifestations of paganism. Dacianus summoned the people of the cave to find out the name of their religion. They categorically refused to worship fictitious deities and called on other people to worship the One Allah. Thus, they were imprisoned. Dacianus gave them one night to revise their religion and abandon it. Pursued by Roman soldiers, they were forced to hide in a cave on Mount Angelos (Anjolos), which was located outside the city. Near this mountain, a shepherd named Anthony was tending his sheep. They expressed their religion to the shepherd and asked him for help. The shepherd adopted their religion, left his sheep and hid with them in that cave in a crevice in one of the mountains, which was far from the eyes of passers-by. This shepherd had a dog named Kitmir, no matter how much he beat her to get away from them, Kitmir did not leave them and remained inside the cave with them. After they fell asleep, Kitmir opened his arms like the other dogs in the dream, put his mouth to his arms, and fell asleep. They woke up after 309 years. Maximilian, who was one of them, took a coin with him and went to the city market for food. The shape of the houses and shops in the city seemed strange to him. He got to the bakery and gave the baker a coin from the time of Dacianus to get bread in return. The baker asked where did you get those coins? Maximilian replied that he received it in the city yesterday and brought it back today. Can't you see the seal of Dacianus? The baker, who was among the common people and did not know the seal of Dacianus, did not give Maximilian bread. The baker and Maximilian started talking to each other, and at the same time one of the colonels of the city approached and took Maximilian with him to the governor. Seeing a coin from the time of Dacianus, the ruler said that Maximilian was one of the associates who were at the time of Dacianus and read his story. He then invited the clergy to hear the real story from Maximilian. The ruler told him that 309 years have passed since then and their history is written in a biblical book, and that they are Christians and follow the religion of the prophet Isa.