وَ اَمَّا مَنۡ اٰمَنَ وَ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَہٗ جَزَآءَۨ الۡحُسۡنٰی ۚ وَ سَنَقُوۡلُ لَہٗ مِنۡ اَمۡرِنَا یُسۡرًا ﴿ؕ۸۹﴾
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)
ثُمَّ اَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا ﴿۹۰﴾
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغَ مَطۡلِعَ الشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَہَا تَطۡلُعُ عَلٰی قَوۡمٍ لَّمۡ نَجۡعَلۡ لَّہُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِہَا سِتۡرًا ﴿ۙ۹۱﴾
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)
کَذٰلِکَ ؕ وَ قَدۡ اَحَطۡنَا بِمَا لَدَیۡہِ خُبۡرًا ﴿۹۲﴾
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)
حَتّٰۤی اِذَا بَلَغَ بَیۡنَ السَّدَّیۡنِ وَجَدَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِہِمَا قَوۡمًا ۙ لَّا یَکَادُوۡنَ یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ قَوۡلًا ﴿۹۴﴾
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)
قَالُوۡا یٰذَاالۡقَرۡنَیۡنِ اِنَّ یَاۡجُوۡجَ وَ مَاۡجُوۡجَ مُفۡسِدُوۡنَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَہَلۡ نَجۡعَلُ لَکَ خَرۡجًا عَلٰۤی اَنۡ تَجۡعَلَ بَیۡنَنَا وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ سَدًّا ﴿۹۵﴾
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)
قَالَ مَا مَکَّنِّیۡ فِیۡہِ رَبِّیۡ خَیۡرٌ فَاَعِیۡنُوۡنِیۡ بِقُوَّۃٍ اَجۡعَلۡ بَیۡنَکُمۡ وَ بَیۡنَہُمۡ رَدۡمًا ﴿ۙ۹۶﴾
1730. Cyrus told the inhabitants of the place to provide him with human labour, Quwwah meaning physical strength, i.e. human labour. (close)
اٰتُوۡنِیۡ زُبَرَ الۡحَدِیۡدِ ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا سَاوٰی بَیۡنَ الصَّدَفَیۡنِ قَالَ انۡفُخُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا جَعَلَہٗ نَارًا ۙ قَالَ اٰتُوۡنِیۡۤ اُفۡرِغۡ عَلَیۡہِ قِطۡرًا ﴿ؕ۹۷﴾
1731. In addition to human labour Cyrus demanded iron and molten copper from the local people. Copper, unlike iron, does not rust and when it is mixed with iron the mixture becomes harder still and defies rusting and corrosion. The engineering and technical skill were supplied by the technicians of Cyrus. (close)
1731A. The rampart was built between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus range. (close)
فَمَا اسۡطَاعُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّظۡہَرُوۡہُ وَ مَا اسۡتَطَاعُوۡا لَہٗ نَقۡبًا ﴿۹۸﴾
1732. When the building of the wall was completed, the raids of Gog and Magog from the north ceased. The wall was too thick to be broken through and too high to be scaled. It was 29 feet high and 10 feet thick (Enc. Brit.) and had iron gates and watch-towers. It most effectively defended the Persian frontier. (close)