حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغَ مَغۡرِبَ الشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَہَا تَغۡرُبُ فِیۡ عَیۡنٍ حَمِئَۃٍ وَّ وَجَدَ عِنۡدَہَا قَوۡمًا ۬ؕ قُلۡنَا یٰذَا الۡقَرۡنَیۡنِ اِمَّاۤ اَنۡ تُعَذِّبَ وَ اِمَّاۤ اَنۡ تَتَّخِذَ فِیۡہِمۡ حُسۡنًا ﴿۸۷﴾
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغۡرِبَ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغۡرُبُ فِي عَيۡنٍ حَمِئَةٖ وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوۡمٗاۖ قُلۡنَا يَٰذَا ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمۡ حُسۡنٗا
1721. The words, the setting-place of the sun, signify the westernmost parts of Cyrus’s Empire or the north-western boundary of Asia Minor and refer to the Black Sea, because it formed the north-western boundary of his Empire. The verse refers to the expedition which Cyrus undertook against his enemies in the West (Enc. Brit. & Historians’ History of the World, under "Cyrus"). (close)
2124. Important Words:
عین حمئة (pool of murky water) حمئة is derived from حما. They say حما البئر i.e. he cleansed the well of its black, fetid mud. حمئت البئر means, the well had in it black mud in abundance. حمئی العین means, a man of evil eye who injures with his eye him whom he sees and admires. The words عین حمئة mean, a well or a spring or pool foul with black, fetid mud (Lane). See also 15:29.
The words مغرب الشمس i.e. the place where the sun set; signify the westernmost parts of Cyrus’ Empire or the north-western boundary of Asia Minor and refer to the Black Sea because it formed the north-western boundary of the Empire of Cyrus. The verse refers to the expedition which Cyrus undertook against his enemies in the west. "Soon after the conquest of the Median empire Cyrus was attacked by a coalition of the other powers of the East-Babylon, Egypt and Lydia, joined by Sparta, the greatest military power of Greece. In the spring of 546 Croesus of Lydia began the attack and advanced into Cappadocia, while the other powers were still gathering their troops. But Cyrus anticipated them; he defeated Croesus and followed him to his capital. In the autumn of 546 Sardis was taken and the Lydian kingdom became a province of the Persians… During the next few years the Persian army suppressed a rebellion of the Lydian. The King of Cilicia voluntarily acknowledged the Persian supremacy "(Enc. Brit., & Historians’ History of the World, under Cyrus).
The words, "he found it (the sun) setting in a spring of murky water," signify that it is not a small pool to which they refer. The waters referred to are so extensive that if one were to take his stand on the shore at the time of sunset, the sun would appear to be setting in the sea. (close)
قَالَ اَمَّا مَنۡ ظَلَمَ فَسَوۡفَ نُعَذِّبُہٗ ثُمَّ یُرَدُّ اِلٰی رَبِّہٖ فَیُعَذِّبُہٗ عَذَابًا نُّکۡرًا ﴿۸۸﴾
قَالَ أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ فَسَوۡفَ نُعَذِّبُهُۥ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِۦ فَيُعَذِّبُهُۥ عَذَابٗا نُّكۡرٗا
b. 7:166. (close)
1722. Cyrus believed in Life after death. He was a follower of Zoroaster and of all religions, second only to Islam, Zoroastrianism has laid the greatest stress on Life after death. 'There can be no doubt that Cyrus and his Persian followers were faithful believers in the pure doctrine of Zoroaster, and disdainfully regarded foreign cults' (Jew. Enc., vol. 4, p. 404). (close)
a. 7:166. (close)
The words, then shall he be brought back to his Lord, indicate that Cyrus believed in life after death. He was a follower of Zoroaster and of all religions, second only to Islam, Zoroastrianism has laid the greatest stress on life after death. "There can be no doubt that Cyrus and his Persians, like Darius at a later period, were faithful believers in the pure doctrine of Zoroaster, and disdainfully regarded foreign cults" (Jew. Enc., vol. 4, p. 404). (close)
وَ اَمَّا مَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَہٗ جَزَآءَۨ الۡحُسۡنٰی ۚ وَ سَنَقُوۡلُ لَہٗ مِنۡ اَمۡرِنَا یُسۡرًا ﴿ؕ۸۹﴾
وَأَمَّا مَنۡ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَٰلِحٗا فَلَهُۥ جَزَآءً ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰۖ وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِنَا يُسۡرٗا
a. 2:26; 3:58; 6:49; 19:61; 25:71; 34:38. (close)
1723. See Isa., 45:1-3 & 2 Chron. 36:22, 23. (close)
b. 2:26; 3:58; 6:49; 19:61; 25:71; 34:38. (close)
This verse sheds some light on the humanity of Cyrus and on his kind and benevolent treatment of the races he conquered. See also 18:84. (close)
ثُمَّ اَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا ﴿۹۰﴾
ثُمَّ أَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغَ مَطۡلِعَ الشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَہَا تَطۡلُعُ عَلٰی قَوۡمٍ لَّمۡ نَجۡعَلۡ لَّہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِہَا سِتۡرًا ﴿ۙ۹۱﴾
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطۡلِعَ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطۡلُعُ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمٖ لَّمۡ نَجۡعَل لَّهُم مِّن دُونِهَا سِتۡرٗا
1724. This verse refers to Cyrus’s expedition to the East—to Afghanistan and Baluchistan which were treeless barren tracts on which the sun beat down fiercely. It may also apply to the people who lived in the plains which extended for hundreds of miles to the east of Seistan and Herat and to the north of Duzdab up to Mashhad. (close)
This verse refers to Cyrus’ expedition to the East—to Afghanistan and even Baluchistan. The words, on a people for whom We had made no shelter against it, signify that at that time the Afghans were an uncivilized people. They did not live in houses made of brick and stone but in huts and tents. The words may also apply to Baluchistan. But very sketchy references about Cyrus’ expeditions to Afghanistan and Baluchistan are found in books of history. Contemporary historians, most of them being Greek, have given detailed accounts of the conquests of Cyrus in the West but have very little to say about his conquests in the East. They do not go beyond remarking that in the East Cyrus attacked regions in the neighbourhood of Afghanistan. But as Sistan then formed a part of the Persian Empire we are inclined to the view that the verse can apply to Baluchistan also because the words, for whom We had made no shelter against it, give an apt description of this barren and arid country, full of deserts and rocks. The verse may also apply to the people who lived in the plains which have extended for hundreds of miles to the east of Sistan and Herat and to the north of Duzdab up to Meshed. (close)
کَذٰلِکَ ؕ وَ قَدۡ اَحَطۡنَا بِمَا لَدَیۡہِ خُبۡرًا ﴿۹۲﴾
كَذَٰلِكَۖ وَقَدۡ أَحَطۡنَا بِمَا لَدَيۡهِ خُبۡرٗا
The words, We encompassed with Our knowledge all that was with him, mean that Cyrus in his expeditions was under Divine protection. These words agree with the Biblical statement viz. "I will go before thee and make the crooked places straight" (Isaiah 45:2). (close)
ثُمَّ اَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا ﴿۹۳﴾
1725. The verse refers to Cyrus’s third expedition to the north of Persia—to the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian mountains. (close)
The verse refers to Cyrus’ third expedition to the north of Persia—to the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian mountains. (close)
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغَ بَیۡنَ السَّدَّیۡنِ وَجَدَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہِمَا قَوۡمًا ۙ لَّا یَکَادُوۡنَ یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ قَوۡلًا ﴿۹۴﴾
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيۡنَ ٱلسَّدَّيۡنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوۡمٗا لَّا يَكَادُونَ يَفۡقَهُونَ قَوۡلٗا
1726. "The two mountains" signify two barriers. The pass of Derbent in which the Wall was built was bounded on one side by the Caspian Sea and on the other by the Caucasian mountains. These two served as two barriers for it. (close)
1727. The people of these regions spoke a language different from that of Cyrus but living in the immediate neighbourhood of Persia and, having constant contact with the Persians and the Medians, they had learnt to understand and speak their language, though very imperfectly and with very great difficulty. The region in which the Wall was built was adjacent to Persia and later formed a part of it. Now, however, it is included in the Russian territories. For a fuller note on Dhul-Qarnain see "The Larger Edition of the Commentary," pp. 1531-1540. (close)
The verse means to say that the people of these regions spoke a different language from that of Cyrus but living in the immediate neighbourhood of Persia and, having constant contact with the Persians and the Medians, they had learnt to understand and speak their language, though very imperfectly and with very great difficulty. The region in which the wall was built was adjacent to Persia and later formed a part of it. Now, however, it is included in the Russian territories.
The word سدین (mountains) signifies two barriers. The pass of Derbent in which the wall was built was bounded on one side by the Caspian Sea and on the other by the Caucasian mountains. These two served as two barriers for it. (close)
قَالُوۡا یٰذَاالۡقَرۡنَیۡنِ اِنَّ یَاۡجُوۡجَ وَ مَاۡجُوۡجَ مُفۡسِدُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَہَلۡ نَجۡعَلُ لَکَ خَرۡجًا عَلٰۤی اَنۡ تَجۡعَلَ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ سَدًّا ﴿۹۵﴾
قَالُواْ يَٰذَا ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ إِنَّ يَأۡجُوجَ وَمَأۡجُوجَ مُفۡسِدُونَ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَهَلۡ نَجۡعَلُ لَكَ خَرۡجًا عَلَىٰٓ أَن تَجۡعَلَ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَهُمۡ سَدّٗا
1728. The words, Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog), are both derived from the root-word Ajja which means, he was quick in his pace; he or it became the flaming fire (Lane), and refer to the Scythians of the farthest East. Or, as some say, all nations inhabiting the north of Asia and Europe (Enc. Brit. & Jewish Enc. under "Gog" and "Magog," and Historians’ History of the World, vol. 2, p. 582 & Ezekiel, 38:2-6 & 39:6). The words may also apply to Christian nations of the West as they have made much use of burning fire and boiling water and because all their material progress and great discoveries and inventions are due to the right and very extensive use of these things. Or, the words may imply the restless behaviour of these nations as they are always on the lookout restlessly and impatiently to make new conquests.
The description of Gog and Magog as given in the Bible leaves no doubt that it applies to some Christian Powers of the West: First, because they are represented as very numerous, powerful and mighty: 'Thou shalt ascend, and come like a storm, Thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, Thou and all thy bands and many people with thee' (Ezekiel, 38:9). 'Gog and Magog... the number of whom is as the sand of the sea' (Rev. 20:8). 'Every feathered fowl, and every beast of the field is thus addressed, ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth' (Ezekiel 39:18, 19). Secondly, they are shown coming forth from the northern parts of the earth, and from the isles:—'And thou (O Gog) shalt come from thy place out of the north, thou and many people with thee' (Ezekiel 38:15). Thirdly, they will spread all over the world:—'They went up on the breadth of the earth' (Rev. 20:9). Fourthly, from their home in the north, they will migrate to other lands and settle in all the four corners of the earth and in time of war they will gather together from their distant colonies: 'satan... shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle' (Rev. 20:8). The Book of Ezekiel mentions Gog as 'Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,' evidently Rosh standing for Russia, Meshech for Moscow and Tubal for Tobolsk. Gog is also spoken of as 'of the land of Magog' (Ezekiel, 38:2), and Magog, according to the commentators of the Bible, represents the regions which of old went by the name of Scythia (including Russia and Tartary), from which in the past issued many hordes of barbarians. As Russia was included in the land of Magog; Rosh, Meshech and Tubal may be taken as standing for Russia, Moscow and Tobolsk. Magog has also been spoken of as the name of a people in Ezekiel, 39:6 and in Rev. 20:8. In the former, Magog has been mentioned along with those 'that dwell carelessly in the isles.' According to these passages Gog and Magog represent some of the great Powers of Europe, including Russia. In the Qur’an (18:95) they have been spoken of as making raids into territories on the northern border of Iran, which signifies that they were the tribes generally known as Scythians. It is a known historical fact that in olden times the Scythians continued to move in large bodies from Asia into Europe, their route lying north of the Caucasus (Enc. Brit. vol. 12, p. 263, 14th Edit.). As one horde settled down in Europe, new hordes came forth from the East, pushing their predecessors further and further West. Thus the nations of Europe have been legitimately called Gog and Magog in the biblical prophecy. It is curious that the memory of two heroes named Gog and Magog is preserved to this day in Guild Hall (London) in the form of two statues. Again from Ezekiel and Revelation it appears that Gog and Magog were to make their appearance in the Latter Days, i.e. in the time just before the Second Coming of the Messiah: 'After many years thou shalt be visited in the latter years, thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword' (Ezekiel, 38:16. See also Rev., 20:7-10). These verses show that this prophecy refers to a people who were to appear in the distant future. The age in which Gog and Magog were to make their appearance was to be marked by wars, earthquakes, pestilences and terrible catastrophes. (See also "The Larger Edition of the Commentary," pp. 1718-1720). (close)
1729. The Scythians or Gog and Magog occupied territories to the north and northeast of the Black Sea and they came from these regions through the pass of Darband and invaded and conquered and ruled over the Persians. Cyrus defeated them and delivered the Persians from their clutches (Historians’ History of the World). Exactly, at the place which, according to Herodotus, was the pass through which the Scythians made raids upon Persia stood a wall, the famous Wall of Derbent.
Derbent or Darband, a town of Persia, Caucasia, in the province of Daghestan, on the western shore of the Caspian... And to the south lies the seaward extremity of the Caucasian wall, 50 miles long otherwise known as Alexander’s Wall, blocking the narrow pass of the Iron Gate or the Caspian Gate. This, when entire, had a height of 29 feet and a thickness of about 10 feet, and with its iron gates and numerous watch- towers formed a veritable defence of the Persian Frontier (Enc. Brit. under "Derbent").
Against established historical data it is popularly believed that the Wall was built by Alexander the Great. But Alexander’s military expeditions were like a whirlwind amidst which he could not attend to any vast project as the building of such a huge wall, nor did his death at a very early age leave him time for such a grand undertaking. The popular notion seems to have arisen from the fact that Muslim Commentators of the Qur’an mistook Dhul-Qarnain for Alexander. The following circumstantial evidence shows that Cyrus built it;
(a) In order to break the power of the Scythians, Darius, who ascended the throne after the death of the son of Cyrus, passed through Greece and attacked them from across Europe. It is inconceivable that he should have undertaken such a long, arduous and roundabout journey to attack these people from across south-east Europe when they lived very near him in the north. The inevitable conclusion is that the existence of a huge wall which only Cyrus could have built before him had made it impossible for him to cross over to the other side with a large force, leaving his own country exposed to their attacks from across north, if there was no wall to bar their way.
(b) The fact, that before the time of Cyrus the Scythians made constant and uninterrupted raids upon Persia but after his conquests these raids completely ceased, leads to the very probable conclusion that he must have set up a barrier which effectively checked these attacks and that the barrier must be the famous wall at Derbent, mistakenly known as Alexander’s Wall. (close)
The people who lived on the route of the depredatory incursions of Gog and Magog into Persia asked Cyrus to build a wall across the pass through which they made their raids. (close)
قَالَ مَا مَکَّنِّیۡ فِیۡہِ رَبِّیۡ خَیۡرٌ فَاَعِیۡنُوۡنِیۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ اَجۡعَلۡ بَیۡنَکُمۡ وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ رَدۡمًا ﴿ۙ۹۶﴾
قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّي فِيهِ رَبِّي خَيۡرٞ فَأَعِينُونِي بِقُوَّةٍ أَجۡعَلۡ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُمۡ رَدۡمًا
1730. Cyrus told the inhabitants of the place to provide him with human labour, Quwwah meaning physical strength, i.e. human labour. (close)
Cyrus said to the inhabitants of the place that he had the plan of the wall and other necessary material ready with him but they must provide human labour. The word قوة means physical strength i.e. human labour. (close)