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)
اٰتُوۡنِیۡ زُبَرَ الۡحَدِیۡدِ ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا سَاوٰی بَیۡنَ الصَّدَفَیۡنِ قَالَ انۡفُخُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا جَعَلَہٗ نَارًا ۙ قَالَ اٰتُوۡنِیۡۤ اُفۡرِغۡ عَلَیۡہِ قِطۡرًا ﴿ؕ۹۷﴾
ءَاتُونِي زُبَرَ ٱلۡحَدِيدِۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا سَاوَىٰ بَيۡنَ ٱلصَّدَفَيۡنِ قَالَ ٱنفُخُواْۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَعَلَهُۥ نَارٗا قَالَ ءَاتُونِيٓ أُفۡرِغۡ عَلَيۡهِ قِطۡرٗا
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)
In addition to human labour Cyrus demanded iron and molten copper from the inhabitants of the place. Copper, unlike iron, does not rust and when it is mixed with iron the mixture becomes all the more hard and defies rusting and corrosion. In order to keep the pass open for traders and commercial travellers Cyrus wanted to construct gates in the wall and for that purpose he required iron and molten copper. (close)
فَمَا اسۡطَاعُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّظۡہَرُوۡہُ وَ مَا اسۡتَطَاعُوۡا لَہٗ نَقۡبًا ﴿۹۸﴾
فَمَا ٱسۡطَٰعُوٓاْ أَن يَظۡهَرُوهُ وَمَا ٱسۡتَطَٰعُواْ لَهُۥ نَقۡبٗا
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)
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, as already stated, 29 feet high and 10 feet thick and had iron gates and watch-towers. It effectively defended the Persian frontier. (close)
قَالَ ہٰذَا رَحۡمَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّیۡ ۚ فَاِذَا جَآءَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّیۡ جَعَلَہٗ دَکَّآءَ ۚ وَ کَانَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّیۡ حَقًّا ﴿ؕ۹۹﴾
قَالَ هَٰذَا رَحۡمَةٞ مِّن رَّبِّيۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّي جَعَلَهُۥ دَكَّآءَۖ وَكَانَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّي حَقّٗا
1733. Cyrus must have been informed by revelation that sometime in future Gog and Magog would again spread to the south-east and this wall would then fail to retard or check their progress. This may be the significance of the words, 'He will break it.' In 21:97 we are told that Gog and Magog would spread their tentacles all over the world. Metaphorically, the 'breaking of the wall' may mean the decline of the political power of Islam, particularly of the Turks in Europe. With the weakening of the Turkish power the way for Christian nations of Europe to conquer the East was made clear. (close)
a. 19:62; 46:17; 73:19. (close)
The words, This is a mercy from my Lord, throw much light on the humility and piety of Cyrus. Like a righteous servant of God he claimed for himself no credit for his vast conquests but ascribed all that he was able to achieve to the grace and mercy of God. Cyrus thus behaved like the true believer that he was.
The words, But when the promise of my Lord shall come to pass, show that Cyrus had been informed by revelation that sometime in future Gog and Magog would again spread to the South-East and this wall would then fail to retard or check their progress. This is the significance of the words, "He will break it". In 21:97 we are told that Gog and Magog would spread their tentacles all over the world. Metaphorically the "breaking of the wall" may also mean the decline of the political power of Islam, particularly of the Turks in Europe. With the weakening of the Turkish power the path for Christian nations of Europe to conquer the East became quite clear. (close)
وَ تَرَکۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ یَوۡمَئِذٍ یَّمُوۡجُ فِیۡ بَعۡضٍ وَّ نُفِخَ فِی الصُّوۡرِ فَجَمَعۡنٰہُمۡ جَمۡعًا ﴿ۙ۱۰۰﴾
۞وَتَرَكۡنَا بَعۡضَهُمۡ يَوۡمَئِذٖ يَمُوجُ فِي بَعۡضٖۖ وَنُفِخَ فِي ٱلصُّورِ فَجَمَعۡنَٰهُمۡ جَمۡعٗا
a. 23:102; 36:42; 39:69; 50:21; 69:14. (close)
1734. At the time of the rise to power of Gog and Magog all the peoples of the world will come together and the whole world will become united like one country. And according to the Bible, nation shall fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom and malice, hatred and iniquity will abound. The reference seems to be to the present age. A veritable hell was let loose upon the world in the last two World Wars and human imagination shudders at the destruction that the Third World War will cause. According to Ezekiel (chaps. 38 & 39) the U.S.S.R. is Gog and the Western nations are Magog. Even now they are preparing for Armageddon. (close)
a. 23:102; 36:52; 39:69; 50:21; 69:14. (close)
The verse means to say that at the time of the rise to power of Gog and Magog all peoples of the world will come together and the whole world will become like one country. Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom and malice, hatred and iniquity will abound. The reference evidently is to the present age.
The rise of Gog and Magog or the Christian nations of the West to great power is also mentioned in 21:97 where it is stated that, breaking through all barriers and impediments, these nations will occupy every position of power and eminence. They will quickly spread all over the world by means of their sea-power (حدب in 21:97 means a high wave). When they have attained great power and have spread all over the world and the nations of the world have paid homage to them, then will the Divine promise about their destruction be fulfilled. The coming of divine visitation will be so sudden and swift that they will be taken completely by surprise and in utter dismay and bewilderment they will say to themselves that they never expected punishment to come upon them so soon. The present verse and vv. 21:97, 98 point to the fact that Gog and Magog will come not through a breach in any wall but over the waves of the seas, in steamships, and will hold sway over all the oceans of the world. They will scour the seas and their sea-journeys will be very quick, easy and comfortable. This prophecy of the Quran has met with remarkable fulfilment in our own time. The western Christian nations have scaled all the heights of material power. Great has been their rise and greater will be their fall! (close)
وَّ عَرَضۡنَا جَہَنَّمَ یَوۡمَئِذٍ لِّلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَرۡضَا ۣ﴿۱۰۱﴾ۙ
وَعَرَضۡنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوۡمَئِذٖ لِّلۡكَٰفِرِينَ عَرۡضًا
1734A. For the dreadful and devastating Divine punishment that shall descend upon Gog and Magog see Surah Ar-Rahman. (close)
Those will be terrible days. The fire of Hell will be kindled for the sinful. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and man will consign God to oblivion and, sinking in sin and iniquity, he will render himself deserving of Divine punishment. (close)
الَّذِیۡنَ کَانَتۡ اَعۡیُنُہُمۡ فِیۡ غِطَـآءٍ عَنۡ ذِکۡرِیۡ وَ کَانُوۡا لَا یَسۡتَطِیۡعُوۡنَ سَمۡعًا ﴿۱۰۲﴾٪
ٱلَّذِينَ كَانَتۡ أَعۡيُنُهُمۡ فِي غِطَآءٍ عَن ذِكۡرِي وَكَانُواْ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ سَمۡعًا
b. 21:43; 39:46. (close)
1734B. The Qur’an. (close)
a. 21:43; 39:46. (close)
The verse means to say that at that time worship of God will totally disappear from among the Christian peoples and love of Mammon will take the place of love of God in their hearts. They will completely forget their Creator and will attribute all their great achievements to their own skill and effort.
The words, and they could not even hear, mean that their hearts will become so much rusted and corroded that they will lose all attachment for the word of God and will refuse to listen to it.
The foregoing verses refer to the great material progress and widespread conquests of Gog and Magog—western Christian nations—and their utter disregard for God and religion. We have also been told that, elated with their political power and military glory, they will give themselves up to a life of pleasure and sin and as a result will bring the wrath of God upon themselves and their prosperity will give place to decline and degradation. Then in despair and despondency, as hinted at in Moses’ vision, they will turn to God and, having realized the error of their ways, will come back to the "junction of the two Seas" i.e. they will accept the Holy Prophet. The following prophecy of the Bible forms a befitting sequel to the account of Gog and Magog and indicates the time of their rise to power and greatness:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And 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; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:7-8).
By "the thousand years" are meant the thousand years of the Hijrah—Migration of the Holy Prophet to Medina in 622 A.D. The above passage along with chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel makes it quite clear that the rise of Gog and Magog was to have begun in the 17th century A.D. and to have reached its zenith in our own time.
The account of Dhul-Qarnain will remain incomplete unless the reason is given as to why it has been assigned such a prominent place in the Quran, when as a fact of history does not appear directly to concern us nor does its narration benefit us materially or spiritually. In fact, it is more for its spiritual than for its historical importance that the story of Dhul-Qarnain has been given so large a space in the Holy Book. The Quran is not a book of history. The stories of past Prophets and other historical incidents have not been mentioned in it to acquaint us with events which took place in the remote past. They are so many prophecies about future events. Some of these prophecies have already been fulfilled in the person of the Holy Prophet while others await fulfilment in some future time. The account of Dhul-Qarnain, like other similar Quranic accounts, embodies a great prophecy which has been fulfilled in the person of Ahmad, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Ahmed was the Dhul-Qarnain of our age. Whereas the Quranic account of Dhul-Qarnain historically applies to the great Persian monarch Cyrus, spiritually it applies to Ahmad. Thus besides its historical value the story is pregnant with great spiritual import. It implies a great prophecy to the effect that, just as in the 6th century B.C. Cyrus saved Persia from the depredatory raids of Gog and Magog, by erecting a barrier of brick and stone in their way, another Dhul-Qarnain will save the soul and spirit of mankind, from the devastating moral assaults of Christian nations of the West who are the descendants of Gog and Magog. He will accomplish his great and noble task by the help of divine knowledge and the signs that God will show at his hands. The nature of the work entrusted to both these Dhul-Qarnains bears a striking likeness to each other, only the one was in the mundane sphere, the other in the spiritual. The Prophet Ahmad possessed many physical and spiritual resemblances with the great Cyrus. Like Cyrus, he was called the Messiah and like he, was of Persian origin. Cyrus was Dhul-Qarnain in the sense that he was the ruler of the double Medo-Persian Empire and Ahmad (1835--1908) was Dhul-Qarnain in the sense that he saw the beginning of two centuries of several eras (Qarn meaning a century).
For a further study of this most interesting subject the reader is referred to Barahin-e-Ahmadiyyah, Part v, pp. 91-93; also the Review of Religions, Qadian, vol. 17, No. 6. (close)
اَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّتَّخِذُوۡا عِبَادِیۡ مِنۡ دُوۡنِیۡۤ اَوۡلِیَآءَ ؕ اِنَّـاۤ اَعۡتَدۡنَا جَہَنَّمَ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ نُزُلًا ﴿۱۰۳﴾
أَفَحَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ عِبَادِي مِن دُونِيٓ أَوۡلِيَآءَۚ إِنَّآ أَعۡتَدۡنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ نُزُلٗا
a. 29:69; 33:9; 48:14; 76:5. (close)
a. 29:69; 33:9; 48:14; 76:5. (close)
The verse speaks of those people who look upon Jesus as their saviour and as the Son of God and to whom reference has already been made in the beginning of this chapter. This shows that the foregoing verses also deal with the same people—Christian nations of the west. (close)