Topic: 8:"GOG AND MAGOG"=MONGOLS
ABOUT ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND "GOG AND MAGOG": (Allah knows best)
To make it clear in the beginning, it is only interpretation that other nations but Jews did not have prophets from times of Moses to times of Jesus. When in Quran Allah state that He favoured the Bani Isra'il over other peoples (of that time), it can mean also that only among Jews monotheistic religion (that were not astray over acceptable limits and compared to demands of that time) gained power over other religions. About claims that Alexander was pagan and not upright as described by Islam: History have errors, but Islam gives permission to even pretend to leave/forsake Islam, if forced, to ?hide deen?. Sin goes to one who has forced. If one WANT'S to do good thing (to be Muslim), it is counted as so (hadith). So Alexander had to pretend he was pagan because otherwise he would not have got to power (to foreshadow Islam, like Jesus, even as warning example what can happen when people go astray, but in case of Alexander without certain knowledge of prophet-position, for judgment of destined to be pagans it had no affect anyway), and he would have not accomplished his mission (to unite Hellenistic and Asian cultures, to make road for Christianity/Islam). Jesus had to go along with "son of God" thing, because in Jews scriptures (Old Testament) almost all prophets are called (even by God) as so, and Jews expected that from all who claimed to be prophets. But "son of God" was FIGURE OF SPEECH in Hebrew, it means very important person for God (usually prophet). Jesus also wanted by ?father? to make distinction to Jewish God, as he knew God is Allah, so that people would not fight because of His name. Interpretations from hadith's tell us that ?Gog and Magog? should come around time of Jesus, but what if Jesus in second coming will tell who they really were, bringing them so back from forgotten people, into ?same time? to public debate, revealing even biggest mystery in Quran?
83. They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain [or Dhul-qarnain]. Say, 'I will rehearse to you something of his story.'
84. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. 85. One (such) way he followed, 86. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: 'O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.'
87. He said: 'Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before).
88. But whoever believes, and works righteousness,- he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as We order it by our Command.' 89. Then followed he (another) way, 90. Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun.
91. (He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him. 92. Then followed he (another) way,
93. Until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. 94. They said: 'O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog (People) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?'
95. He said: '(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them:
96. Bring me blocks of iron.' At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain-sides, He said, 'Blow (with your bellows)' Then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said: 'Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead.' 97. Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it. 98. He said: 'This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; and the promise of my Lord is true.'
18:86 Is not description to take literally (as Koran has those in other places too), as sun can not even in anyone?s wildest dreams go from place were there is no hole in the ground (as all water in lake would go from it), and it is not said to pounce back to east from west. According to Islam, hadiths, sun goes from west to east only on Judgment Day, and it is sign from that Day (what even may have began, as sun goes from west to east in northest part of the world in summer time at night, and there is even Muslims now to prove it even though there is no Muslim-state in north, that is why signs are given so that as Muslims realize those, it is sign. Another way to see this sign is connected to part of Koran that says about two west and two east, Islam and Muslims have reached also Hawaii and sun there rises from western coast of America and will set on eastern coast of China).
To the west of the town of Lychnis is a lake 170 square miles in area, fed by underground springs that issue through limestone rocks and give out murky water. Both town and lake are now called Ochrida, about 50 miles west of Monastir. The water is so dark that the river which forms the outlet of the lake to the north is called the Black Drin. Looking at the sunset from the town, the observer would see the sun set a pool of murky water (18:86).
So these are (in one direction) borders of kingdom of Alexander. It was a question before the boy Alexander -- the dreamy, impulsive, fearless rider -- whether he would put the barbarous Illyrians to the sword or show them mercy. He showed true discrimination and statesmanship. He punished the guilty but showed kindness to the innocent, and thus consolidated his power in the west.
There is another reason too for Alexander of Macedonia to be Dhu-l-qarnain. In Arabian tradition Kings with vast empire were commonly known as Dhu-l-qarnain, in Yemen and Persia some kings were known to be Dhu-l-qarnain. Dhu-l-qarnain literately means ''Two horn one'' but in Arabic literature it also means time and era. If there was a king with vast empire spreading from east to west ruling long time, he will too be known as Dhu-l-qarnain.
18:90 Mentions people who Allah had not "offered protection from the sun", meaning people of Central-Asia where they live on plains and desert, where Alexander visited Bukhara and Samarkand. He did not went to conquest Central-Asia, but "left them as they were". So these are (in one direction) borders of kingdom of Alexander.
Then he arrived area 230 kilometers south-east from Bukhara, where he build Iron Gate to protect people who did not speak his language (Turkish) as protection against "Gog and Magog"-people (Mongols), between Transoxiana and Mongolia of that day. As Allah had promised, this gate was later destroyed in this narrow canyon. Yet on 7th century Chinese traveler and 985-986 Arabian traveler reported and wrote about this gate made of iron blocks. So these are (in one direction) borders of kingdom of Alexander, showing that ?Gog and Magog? are Mongols and person here Alexander.
Another but less probably possibility could be Tiemen Pass (also called Iron Pass or Iron Gate Pass), only 8 kilometers north of Korla, lies at the mouth of a 14 kilometer (9 mile) long valley. It was of strategic importance in history in ancient China and is listed as one of the 26 famous Passes. Tiemen was at the throat of the Silk Road and the traffic junction between northern Xinjiang and southern Xinjiang. Nearby, there are still traces of an ancient barracks and military activities. But this is maybe only in case that there really has been (destroyed) iron gate and that Alexander visited so north in plains of Xinjiang or if Zul-qarnain is not Alexander the Great.
21:96-97 "Until the Gog and Magog (people) are let through (their barrier), and they swiftly swarm from every hill. Then will the true promise draw nigh (of fulfillment): then behold! the eyes of the Unbelievers will fixedly stare in horror: "Ah! Woe to us! we were indeed heedless of this; nay, we truly did wrong!"
Section 21:96-97 is from my view of point telling "Gog ja Magog" nations (as described in 18:93-96, Mongols) new destructive wave of attack, it does not describe future but is already happened prophecy from 1200- and 1300-centuries about everything destroying, killing all (Muslims) in the way from east to west coming Mongol invasion. All cities (including Baghdad) were destroyed completely, and from their (Muslim) inhabitants skulls were made towers and hills. This wave reached from Himalaya-mountains trough Centre-Asia, Afghanistan an Iran?s "all hills" (that area has A LOT because of differences in altitude) reaching all the way to Damascus (were before they were finally stopped) destroying Baghdad on the way, destroying completely Caliphate, symbol of Muslim prosperity and unity, even getting many (non-Muslims mostly) to believe that end of Islam is at hands. Mongols attacked also over hills of Ural (to Muslim-areas of Volga, who accepted Islam at 10th century before Mongol-invasion), until they finally after advancing long inside modern Russia- and Ukraine- areas accepted Islam as Koran informed and predicted. Just like Allah promised (/?prophesied?) in 96-97 (?Promise?: "Ah! Woe to us! we were indeed heedless of this; nay, we truly did wrong!"), they were terrified and on horror about destruction they had made (to Islam, their own and only right religion, its another wing in form of bird/angel were severely injured back then), and they spend long time and big efforts in trying to repair damage they had done, with for example prospering arts and other kind of cultural activities of Timurid-Empire, trying also to reach Islam for Russians by Golden Horde-state beyond Ural and Volga and unite Caliphate again. ?Promise? in 96-97 might not be hell, as it is mentioned in 21:98 only, after these, it might not have any connection to ?Gog and Magog? as in some other ayats it has no connection passages around it. Also connection might be that only some/many of them went to hell (by black plaque).
According to hadiths there is going to be more people in Gog and Magog than Muslims (now only followers of prophet Adam) put together: Mongols conquered China and most from Asia, before they attacked Islam, accepted Islam and stop attacks against Muslims. Perhaps Magog was Mongols and Gog rest of Asia they conquered (like China), or other way around. That was around 1200/1300, so there were only some tens of millions of Muslims, but in China alone (in Mongol rule) was hundreds of millions of people at that time. And remember that hadiths can contain errors, if there was hadith that "Gog and Magog" will have more people than offspring of (/or rightful followers [like Jews/Christians/Muslims] of prophets like) Adam all together (those could be only aliens), as some hadiths say they are from offspring of Adam. There is also hadith that Allah will cause them (Gog and Magog) to die to terrible disease, and then birds will carry their bodies (after eating them) out to the sea. In fact black-death plaque began in area of Mongolia at 14th century, at time when their power was in peak. It came through their territory in modern Russia/Kazakhstan (and other Central Asia) to shores of Black Sea, from where it arrived to Europe. It brought fast and certain death. And bodies eaten by scavengers might end to seas (in pieces), and all land will anyway someday be on sea, if remains end from birds to land and not at sea (and it could be about SOME bodies, not all of them). And hadith about arrows reaching sky (high enough=not to be seen) landing blooded (after hit) and idea of ?winning heavens? (=Muslims/Allah, as they did not know that even they are doing will of Allah) fit. That was ?last from them? as were said in hadith, no attacks on Muslims after that (?LAST we hear about? because Mongols also invaded Christian Europe in period of 400-500 AC). And remember that Mongols ruled (in Islamic world) from beginning of 1200-century (13th century) to end of 1400-century (15th century), and only little over last hundred years they were Muslims, so black death-plague in early half of 14th century killed many of them before they redempted and accepted Islam, bringing judgment for many.
"...The name (i.e., Gog and Magog) stands for wild and lawless tribes who will break their barriers and swarm through the earth. This will be one of the prognostications of the approaching Judgment."
Mohammed (puh) said that Mongols will come again (after times of Alexander and invasion in Europe on 400-500 AC), and that they will "swarm through the earth" as waves, as they did conquering most of biggest continent in the Earth, Asia (even China was conquered). In another hadith is said that it will be last from them, and (pagan) Mongols have not invaded anything after last time. Breaking through barrier can be coming (from view of Muslims, or Mecca/Medina) behind Great Wall of China (in west passage called ?Iron gate?), or behind Iron Gate Alexander build (Transoxiana/Mongolia). Remember that "approaching Judgment" is not far away for Allah even in hundreds or thousands of years, Christians waited Jesus back in their life-time, and Muhammed told that distance from him to Judgment is short.
"Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: "The Prophet said 'The people will continue performing the Hajj and 'Umra to the Ka'ba even after the appearance of Gog and Magog.' Narrated Shu'ba extra: The Hour (Day of Judgment) will not be established till the Hajj (pilgrimage to the Mecca) is abandoned. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Pilgrimage (Hajj), Volume 2, Book 26, Number 663)"
Mongols did not advance to Mecca, that is why pilgrimages continued normally, in east people had even more reasons to get there from way of Mongols.
"Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "The Last Hour would not come until you fight with a people wearing shoes of hair and the Last Hour would not come until you fight with a people having small eyes and broad snub noses. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book Pertaining to the Turmoil and Portents of the Last Hour (Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah), Book 041, Number 6958)"
Beginning of this prophecy has at least finally now come true, as soldiers "wearing shoes of hair" are now in Iraq, meaning shoe-lazes of their army boots (also Mongols had lot of hair in their boots). This does not mean that war should be continued or spread, peace should be made when offered as Islam requested. And it does not mean that "Hour" (Different time-section than) is yet any much closer than in times of Mongols, just "close".
"Abu Sa'id reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: "Allah, the High and Glorious, would say: O Adam I and he would say: At Thy service, at thy beck and call, O Lord, and the good is in Thy Hand. Allah would say: Bring forth the group of (the denizens of) Fire. He (Adam) would say: Who are the denizens of Hell? It would be said: They are out of every thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine. He (the Holy Prophet) said: It is at this juncture that every child would become white-haired and every pregnant woman would abort and you would see people in a state of intoxication, and they would not be in fact intoxicated but grievous will be the torment of Allah. He (the narrator) said: This had a very depressing effect upon them (upon the companions of the Holy Prophet) and they said: Messenger of Allah, who amongst us would be (that unfortunate) person (who would be doomed to Hell)? He said: Good tidings for you, Yajuj and Majuj (i.e., Gog and Magog in English) would be those thousands (who would be the denizens of Hell) and a person (selected for Paradise) would be amongst you. He (the narrator) further reported that he (the Messenger of Allah) again said: By Him in Whose Hand is thy life, I hope that you would constitute one-fourth of the inhabitants of Paradise. We extolled Allah and we glorified (Him). He (the Holy Prophet) again said: BY Him in Whose Hand is my life, I wish you would constitute one-third of the inhabitants of Paradise. We extolled Allah and Glorified (Him). He (the Holy Prophet) again said: By Him in Whose Hand is my life, I hope that you would constitute half of the inhabitants of Paradise. Your likeness among the people is the likeness of a white hair on the skin of a black ox or a strip on the foreleg of an donkey. (Translation of Sahih Muslim, The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman), Book 001, Number 0430)"
According to this prophecy, only one out of thousand Mongol-invaders got to paradise (at least without going to hell first). Every (Mongol conquered area) child came "white-haired", because also their skulls were put into these (white) towers/hills to be burned by sun and sand. Pregnancies of woman?s were aborted understandably, as they all were killed. People were "in state of intoxication" either from fear or shock (Muslim-civilians), or either from hatred and lust for murdering (Mongols). Increasingly rising numbers of Muslims proportion in paradise means that it is open (in principle, even as determined, but not informed by declaration), hopefully high as possible. In any case Muslim is in this world (among of thousands of gods come to earth etc. worshipping religions) as easy to spot like "white hair in black donkey".
"Narrated Thauban: "The Prophet peace be upon him said: 'The nations shall gather and team up against you (i.e., Muslims) as the predators gather and team up against their preys. A questioner asked: 'Is it because of us being low in numbers at that day?' The Prophet replied: 'No, you that day shall be in great numbers, but you will be as powerless as the foam of the water on the surface of the river, and Allah shall remove any fear from your enemies toward you, and He shall put in your hearts a corruption.' A questioner asked: 'O Apostle of Allah, what is the corruption?' The Prophet replied: 'The love of life's amusements and the fear of death.' (Translation of Sunan Abu Dawud, The Book of Fierce Battles - The Gathering of all Nations against Islam, Book 37, Number 4297)"
In times of Mongol-invasions Muslims were suffering in all directions, enemy really came from all directions, "nations together". Half of Asia were attacking Muslims from east, Indians and Mongols (who controlled China also), from west there came enthuastic Christian-missionaries to "crusade" towards Jerusalem, Spain was pushing (all ready for centuries in "reconquista") like as in last days towards south, Granada, to get their hands on Muslim-maps of America (Granada surrendered on January 1492, Columbus found America in 12th of October 1492), just born in sub-Sahara huge Muslim-states of Mali and Songhai were neither so thrilled with southern pagan-states of Africans (which were surprisingly strong and big also), Russia started to wake up from Mongol-invasion. That means that almost all of Asia and Europe were (as crusades were hobby of whole continent as football now) and half of Africa non-Muslim areas (it was not much easier either on African east coast for Muslims) were attacking together against Muslims, "without fear".