YasSarNal QuR'aN

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Why Ya’juuj and Ma’juuj are Still a Mystery?

The story of Ya’juuj and Ma’juuj (Gog and Magog) in Surah al Kahf is not only interesting but it also has many lessons for us.

Many Muslims read Surah al Kahf on Fridays, and blessed are those who try to understand and ponder over its teachings.

I came across an interesting Question and Answer on Gog and Magog, and would like to re-post here for the benefit of all readers. 

Question:

In the Quran, Surah al Kahf, there is the story of Dhul Qarnayn, and how he constructed a barrier to confine the Gog and Magog. The Qur’an is quite clear in the materials used to construct this barrier, i.e. iron and copper, which leaves no doubt that this is a physical barrier that can be touched and seen, not something that is simply metaphorical. As such why has no one discovered and why is it not visible via satellite imagery whilst we can pick up things like the great wall of china as well as other geo-spatial substrata of the earth?

This wall constructed by Dhul-Qarnayn has clearly been constructed on the surface of the earth because the Qur’an clearly mentions it being constructed between two mountain cliffs. So why has no one discovered it as yet? The Gog and Magog are supposedly very large in number so it must be a vast area in which they have been confined. Since the earth isn’t very big and most of its surface has been mapped, why hasn’t this wall ever been discovered?

I acknowledge there are parts of the earth that remain to be discovered but these are mostly areas that are beneath the seas and we clearly know from the Qur’an that this wall is not beneath any sea. Please provide a detailed answer.

Answer: 

Let’s agree first that we have the right to ask the questions we do not have answers for. But what is more important is to ask questions that benefit us in our relation with Allah.

The stories mentioned in the Qur’an are meant to take lesson from them and ponder on their purposes.

There are two references to Gog and Magog in the Qur’an. The first reference is cited in Surat al-Kahf which is connected with the story of Dhul-Qarnayn.

The exact verses read, what means:

{He (Dhul-Qarnayn) travelled on; then, when he reached a place between two mountain barriers, he found beside them a people who could barely understand him. They said, ‘Dhul-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog are ruining this land. Will you build a barrier between them and us if we pay you a tribute?’ He answered, ‘The power my Lord has given me is better than any tribute, but if you lend me your strength, I will put up a fortification between you and them: bring me lumps of iron!’ and then, when he had filled the gap between the two mountainsides [he said], ‘Work your bellows!’ and then, when he had made it glow like fire, he said, ‘Bring me molten metal to pour over it!’ Their enemies could not scale the barrier, nor could they pierce it, and he said, ‘This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord’s promise is fulfilled, He will raise this barrier to the ground: my Lord’s promise always comes true.’ On that Day, We shall let them surge against each other like waves and then the Trumpet will be blown and We shall gather them all together. We shall show Hell to the disbelievers, those whose eyes were blind to My signs, those who were unable to hear. Did they think that they could take My servants as masters instead of Me? We have prepared Hell as the disbelievers’ resting place.} (Surah al Kahf 18: 92-102)

After reading these verses, the following has to be confirmed. There is no doubt that Gog and Magog are two huge nations of the sons of Adam. There is no doubt about the existence of Gog and Magog. The barrier built by Dhul-Qarnayn is a real one, not metaphorical or imaginary. It is built with iron and melted copper. Gog and Magog used to spread mischief on earth; therefore Allah gave Dhul-Qarnayn the power to build a barrier to detain them.

This is what is well-documented in the Qur’an. What goes beyond this is subject to different interpretations and personal reasoning.

From the Prophetic hadeeths we are told that Gog and Magog still exist and they try their best to destroy the barrier built by Dhul-Qarnayn:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Ya’juj and Ma’juj are digging every day until they can almost see sunlight, then the one who is in charge of them says, “Go back, we will dig again tomorrow.” Then Allah restores (the barrier) and makes it stronger than it was. (This will continue) until the appointed time. When Allah wishes to send them against the people, they will dig until they can almost see sunlight, then the one who is in charge of them will say, “Go back, we will dig again tomorrow, insha’Allah.” This time he will say “insha’Allah”, so when they come back (the next day), they will find it as they left it, so they will dig their way out and emerge to attack the people. They will dry up water (by drinking it, because of their great numbers), and the people will seek to protect themselves from them in their fortresses. They will fire their arrows into the sky, and the arrows will come back down covered in blood (as a test for them), and they will say, “We have defeated the people of the earth and have gained the upper hand over the people of heaven.” Then Allah will send worms on the napes of their necks, which will kill them. The Prophet said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the beasts of the earth will grow fat from their flesh.” (Ibn Majah)

From the story of Dhul-Qarnayn we learn:

* that he shouldered the responsibility of rulership,

* that helped the weak and protected them.

* that he used the intellect that was given to him by Allah to reach a solution.

* that Dhul-Qarnayn made use of the gifts that were given to him by Allah.

The Quran says what means:

{We established his power in the land, and gave him the means to achieve everything. He travelled on a certain road} (Al-Kahf 18:84-85)

The second reference to Gog and Magog is cited in connection with the signs that will precede the Hour (the Day of Resurrection)) and will come at the end of time just before the Day of Resurrection. We read in the Quran what means:

{And when the peoples of Gog and Magog are let loose and swarm swiftly from every highland, when the True Promise draws near, the disbelievers’ eyes will stare in terror, and they will say, ‘Woe to us! We were not aware of this at all. We were wrong.’} (Al-Anbiya’ 21:96-97)

As for the location of Gog and Magog, let’s agree that there is nothing wrong with exerting some efforts by experts to locate Gog and Magog by all possible technological means. We do not have any problem with any opinion that determines the geographical location of Gog and Magog as long as it is based on scientific evidence that does not contradict the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah.

In the Qur’an, it is stated that when Dhul-Qarnayn came to the rising of the sun he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no shelter from it. (Al-Kahf 18:90)

There is a divine wisdom in not revealing the exact location of Gog and Magog. We have to acknowledge that Gog and Magog were actual humans that existed and therefore their existence is not one of the unknown things that we have to believe in. The discovery of the location of Gog and Magog is subject to research and studies.

Some scholars maintain that Gog and Magog are to be found in Siberia. Others maintain that they are in the Himalayas. Some historians view that Gog and Magog live in the northern area of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.

On the other hand, some modern scholars say that the two barrier-mountains are the eastern and western sections of the Caucasus mountain range, separated by a narrow pass called the Daryal Gorge. The Caucasus mountain range stretches from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east.

To sum up, all these are human interpretations and the truth is only known to Allah the Almighty. What we should do is to focus on what will get us closer to Allah before the appearance of Gog and Magog at the end times.

Brother Maan Khalife, a member of AAI staff, added:

So to simply answer your question why nowadays no one discovered the location of Gog and Magog because first, God does not wish to reveal their place until the appointed time set by Him, and second, Gog and Magog are buried since Dhul-Qarnayn built not only a dam between the mountains but also an enclosure from the top; creating a huge hallow cave like structure without an exit. This is based on the world radma (all around enclosure including the top), which differs from sadda, which is only a dam like structure, from the sides but not the top.

In summary, the people who requested Dhul-Qarnayn to protect them from Gog and Magog asked for sadda but Dhul-Qarnayn decided to build something better, radma. 

Brother Waleed Najmeddine, AAI Consultant, added:

Thank you for your question. The story of Gog and Magog and Dhul Qarnain is part of the revelation from God to Muhammad (peace be upon him) and is found in the Quran in Suras (chapters) 18:94-99 (Al-Kahf – The Cave), which is shown above, and in 21:96 (Al-Anbiya – The Prophets):

{Until, when Gog and Magog are let loose, and they hasten out of every hill.}

There are also Hadeeth from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), describing what events will occur involving the Gog and Magog and Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, after his return to this worldly life during the last days before the Day of Judgment.

The Qur’an describes a warrior/king/wise-man/prophet (God knows best) named “Dhul Qarnain” (literally, “The One of Two Horns” or “The One of Two Ages”), whose identity is the subject of much speculation and debate among Muslim scholars. As far as I know, there is no consensus of opinion on his identity, and I will not add to the speculation here.

The Gog and Magog as described by Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, are one of the 10 major signs to appear before the Last Day, and would reappear at the time after Jesus’ return:

“Then a people whom God had protected would come to Jesus, son of Mary, and he would wipe their faces and would inform them of their ranks in Paradise and it would be under such conditions that God would reveal to Jesus these words: I have brought forth from amongst My servants such people against whom none would be able to fight; you take these people safely to (Mount) Tur, and then God would send Gog and Magog and they would swarm down from every slope. The first of them would pass the lake of Tiberius (Sea of Galilee) and drink out of it. And when the last of them would pass, he would say: “There was once water there.” Jesus and his companions would then be besieged here (at Tur, and they would be so much hard pressed) that the head of the ox would be dearer to them than one hundred dinars and God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would supplicate God, Who would send to them insects (which would attack their necks) and in the morning they would perish like one single person. God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then come down to the earth and they would not find in the earth as much space as a single span which is not filled with their putrefaction and stench. God’s Apostle, Jesus, and his companions would then again beseech God, Who would send birds whose necks would be like those of Bactrian camels and they would carry them and throw them where God would will. Then God would send rain which no house of clay or (the tent of) camels’ hairs would keep out and it would wash away the earth until it could appear to be a mirror.” (Sahih Muslim: Book #41, Hadith #7015)

Muslims trust that God and His Prophet, peace be upon him, only reveal the truth, and have left no mercy or benefit to mankind except directed us to it, and left no harm to mankind except warned us about it in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We have no doubt that these are facts, but exact details regarding time, location, etc. have been left for us to explore and discover. Neither the Qur’an nor the Sunnah can include every fact and detail of every truth, event, or person, past or future. The best teachers do not simply inform their students of everything they need to know, but rather guide them to exploration and discovery so that knowledge can be made personal and meaningful.

Having said that, in the same Chapter Al Kahf – The Cave, God relates the story of a group of youths who were caused to sleep in a cave with a dog standing guard at its entrance for over 300 years, only to be reawakened and returned to their people as a sign of what God is capable.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time where we think miracles no longer happen. As a matter of fact, they continue to happen on a regular basis, but we are asleep to these things. Jesus’ birth (peace be upon him) was not the only miraculous birth; the creation of every newborn baby is a miracle, creations from basically nothing, every minute of every day. New plants, animals, organisms, stars, planets, galaxies, are discovered all the time.

There is even debate recently around whether we should revive previously extinct animals, whether prehistoric (dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, etc.) or recent losses such as the Carrier Pigeon. The science to do it is available, but the ethics around it has placed a barrier to proceeding. New technologies allow us to see and understand new phenomenon almost daily. Archaeological expeditions continue to reveal lost civilizations, structures, and proofs/refutations of current theories around almost every subject. Yet we still, with all our knowledge and power, are unfazed and accept all this as scientific knowledge or discovery.

{The likeness of the life of this world is as the rain which We send down from the skies: by its mingling arises the produce of the earth – which provides food for men and animals: (it grows) till the earth is clad with its golden ornaments and is decked out (in beauty): the people to whom it belongs think they have all powers of disposal over it: there reaches it Our command by night or by day, and We make it like a harvest clean-mown, as if it had not flourished only the day before! Thus do We explain the Signs in detail for those who reflect.} (Surah Yunus 10: 24)

As believers, we have lost our sense of awe and wonder regarding the universe around us. It is only a lack of faith and wonder in God that has caused us to suffer from this frame of mind and heart. Even if we have the knowledge to peer into the universe around us, and the universe (microscopic world) within us, even to manipulate it, the Power behind the universe and everything in it, is truly miraculous.

So to sum up, how the Gog and Magog exist now, who they are, or how they will be released at the time of Jesus’ return, peace be upon him, is not known, and will remain a topic of debate and speculation until it is witnessed by us or our descendants.

{Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth/universe), and in their own souls until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord is a Witness to all things?} (Surah Fussilat 41: 53)

Courtesy: OnIslam.Net

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September 3, 2013 - Posted by | Surah al Kahf, Yajuuj and Majuuj - Gog and Magog | , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. Jazaka Allahu Khayran for sharing.

    Comment by Salaam | September 4, 2013 | Reply

    • Wa iyyaaka, dear brother.
      Akhee, please look into your profile and include your blog address whenever you comment.

      Comment by MuQeet | September 4, 2013 | Reply

      • I will, thank you very much for your kind advice

        Comment by Salaam | September 4, 2013

      • Jazakallah Khayra.

        Comment by MuQeet | September 4, 2013

  2. Assalamualaikum MuQeet Brother
    Wonderful share and full of information point by point and held a great explanation
    lesson to analyze and retaining as well

    Ma’assalam

    Comment by Mukhtar From France | September 4, 2013 | Reply

    • wa alaikumus salam, dear Br. Mukhtar
      Thank you so much and Jazakallahu Khayra.
      Vassalam.

      Comment by MuQeet | September 4, 2013 | Reply

  3. Salammualaykum, thank you for putting so much effort mashallah. May Allah bless your efforts.

    Comment by Mrs B | September 7, 2013 | Reply

    • Wa alaikumus salam wa Rahmatullah.
      aameen to your du’aa.
      Jazakallaahu Khayra.

      Comment by MuQeet | September 7, 2013 | Reply


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