In both text the related events are given in precisely the same order. It also does not cover an area between two mountains. In the subsequent centuries after his death, the historical accounts of Alexander were largely forgotten and legendary accounts of his deeds and adventures replaced them in popular folklore. and (3) What do you know about Dhul-Qarnayn? It is important to note that these rejections of Alexander as Dhul-Qarnayn are primarily motivated by theological concerns and are not based on any convincing evidence. As regards Gog and Magog, it has been nearly established that they were the wild tribes of Central Asia who were known by different names: Tartars, Mongols, Huns and Scythians, who 'had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires from very ancient times. Dr. Reinink, a Near East philogist and scholar, highlights the political agenda of the legend which is clearly written as a piece of pro-Byzantine propaganda. These Huns spoil and ravage the land and then return back to their lands on the other side of the mountain. Parallels to the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Gog and Magog can be clearly identified in the story as well. New International Version of the Bible. While these legendary stories were popular in the 7th century, they are virtually unknown outside of academic circles today. Zainab bint Jahsh added: I said, "O Alllah's Apostle! The old men, the natives of the country, said to the king: "Yea, by your majesty, my lord the king, neither we nor our fathers have been able to march one step in it, and men do not ascend it either on that side or on this, for it is the boundary which God has set between us and the nations within it" Alexander said, "Who are the nations within this mountain upon which we are looking? These were: (1) Who were "the Sleepers of the Cave"? This has prompted many apologists to create and advance alternative theories that identify Dhul-Qarnayn as other prominent historical kings, most notably Cyrus the Great. Thus, he was called "Dhul-Qarnain" .  Based on this information, we can date the story of Dhul-Qarnayn, contained in verses 83-101, sometime after the Hijra in June 622 CE and before Muhammed's death in June 632 CE; a more specific date is difficult to ascertain with any certainty. The strong, point-by-point connection between the story of Dhul-Qarnayn and prior legends is undeniable. The Qur’an relates the story of Dhul-Qarnayn ("he of the two horns") in Sura' al-Kahf. Both stories record Alexander proclaiming this in a speech. Here we see a very clear connection of Alexander to an iron gate and the tribes of Magog being prevented from plundering the land. Dhul-Qarnayn - Dhul-Qarnayn, (Arabic: ذو القرنين ḏū'l-qarnayn, IPA: [ðuːlqarˈnajn]), (Lit. It is even possible that early Muslim followers heard the story of the Syrian legend during their raids on Mu'ta on the borders of Syria around September 629 CE.. Since the vast majority of people in 7th century Arabia and the Middle East were illiterate, most stories were passed on through word of mouth. Oxford University Press. The name appears three... Prophethood. This article or section is being renovated. The historical nature of the story is affirmed by the following Sahih Hadith by Bukhari which relates that Muhammad viewed this wall (here called a dam) holding back Gog and Magog as a real structure that was facing immanent demise. I have done a report on this so if you are interested, I will send you a copy. Alexander's association with two horns and with the building of the gate against Gog and Magog occurs much earlier than the Quran and persists in the beliefs of all three of these religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. He said: "(The power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): Help me therefore with strength (and labour): And Alexander commanded and fetched three thousand smiths, workers in iron, and three thousand men, workers in brass And, He fixed the gate and the bolts, and he placed nails of iron and beat them down one by the other, so that, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 154. After establishing this fact, we must now determine the dependency between the two stories. However, the legendary Alexander is a perfect fit. He refers to these invaders as Huns who live near the gate that was built by Alexander. After constructing the barrier, the Syriac legend says that it is very difficult to penetrate and the Huns will not be able to dig under it. We are told that they will swarm across the earth and surround the "camp of God's people" who have been gathered together in the "city he loves" (namely Jerusalem). This included information about Alexander as a polytheist, Zeus worshiping pagan and insight into his personal and sexual preferences. Dhul Qarnayn can’t be Alexander since Alexander only traveled from Greece to India and then turned back. Not only is there a direct parallel between the stories, but the Syriac legend helps makes sense of the short and cryptic Qur'anic version of the story. The Prophet said, "Yes, if the (number) of evil (persons) increased. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle.  Shortly after his visit to the oracle, Alexander began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon and often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father. It must be clarified that there is a difference of opinion among the historians and commentators whether Dhu’l-Qarnayn was same as Alexander of Rome. Almost every major element of the Qur'anic story can be found in Christian and Jewish folklore that dates hundreds of years prior to the time of Prophet Muhammad. Yusuf Ali gives a detailed defense of the Alexander theory in the Appendix of his commentary on the Qur'an, including assertions that the Qur'an accurately depicts an historical account of Alexander and not a legendary one.  Coins depicting Alexander with ram horns on his head were first minted shortly after his death. Zondervan 1971. As-Suddi said: "That is when they emerge upon the people." Alexander in the Syriac legend is described as having horns on his head. One of these stories was a legend that detailed the exploits of Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, and how he traveled to the ends of the world, made a gate of iron, and shut behind it the Huns so they might not come forth to spoil the land. They said to him, "We have thirty and seven, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 147-148, So the whole camp mounted, and Alexander and his troops went up between the fetid sea and the bright sea, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 148, Then followed he (another) way, Until, when, And Alexander said, " Let us go forth by the way to the north "; and they came to the confines of the north, and entered Armenia and Adarbaijan and Inner Armenia And they crossed over the country of TurnAgios, and BethPardia, and Beth-Tekil, and Beth-Drubil, and Beth-Katarmen, and Beth-Gebul, and Beth-Zamrat Alexander passed through nil these places; and, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 149, Then followed he (another) way, Till, when, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, pp. Dhul-Qarnayn is literally in Arabic for "He of the Two Horns" or "He of the two centuries". Here the Qur'anic translators use different words for the second metal: "lead" (Yusif Ali), "copper" (Pickthall), "brass" (Shakir) but the connection with the Syriac legend is apparent. Another detail about this account that is completely ignored by Islamic scholars, is that Muhammad is not asked to simply identify Dhul-Qarnayn. It was not until the Renaissance in the 16th century that the first historical accounts of Alexanders life were rediscovered and investigated. He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. You can sign in to add a message if this information could be improved or requires discussion. The only king whose actions come closer to Dhul Qarnayn is the Persian king Cyrus who in fact traveled in all the three directions that Dhul Qarnayn traveled in. The denial of Alexander's identity as Dhul-Qarnayn is the denial of a common heritage shared by the cultures which shape the modern world--both in the east and the west. However, some early Muslim scholars believed it to be a reference to a pre-Islamic monarch from Persia or south Arabia, with, according to Maududi, mod… ), Translated by W.H. This wall cannot be same as the one described in the story of Dhul-Qarnayn for a number of reasons. Alexander said, "This mountain is higher and more terrible than all the mountains which I have seen." The Qur'anic story next gives the reader a cryptic speech by Dhul-Qarnayn where he says that "whoever does wrong" will be sent back to the Lord (i.e. From "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series", Vol. After his death, Alexander apparently left instructions in his will for a monumental temple to Athena be built at Troy. The Syriac legend tells us that Alexander heads north and likewise arrives at a plain between mountains. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. The Syriac legend also ends with a similar prophecy that likewise occurs when the nations have been gathered together at the end of times. The clear explanation given in the text is that the ram represents the Persia-Media empire in general and not Cyrus in particular. When we consider that the Alexander legends were incorporated into the writings and theology of the Jews and Christians in Syria and Arabia, it is easy to see why it should be included as the most likely source of these questions. Dhul-Qarnayn is regarded by some Muslims as a prophet. He is actually asked to relate a story about Dhul-Qarnayn.  While the timelines are tight, it is clear that the composition of the Syriac legend fits into the timeline of the Qur'anic revelation and likely pre-dates it. fatwa and a specialist in the Arabic language and its poetry. He saw where the sun sinks from view, In a, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, And Alexander and his troops encamped, and he sent and called to him the governor who was in the camp, and said to him, "Are there any men here guilty of death?" The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain) is found in the 18 th Surah of the Qur'an, al-Kahf (the Cave). As these three questions and the stories involved concerned the history of the Christians and the Jews, and were unknown in Hijaz, a choice of these was made to test whether the Holy Prophet possessed any source of the knowledge of the hidden and unseen things. In Holy Texts. In effect, the story of Dhul-Qarnayn in the Qur'an is simply another example of the widespread inclusion of Alexander folklore into the stories and traditions of the religious groups in the Middle East. In other words, he cannot represent Alexander the Great: "That man was neither godly, nor righteous, nor generous towards subjected nations; moreover, he did not build a wall", Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation: (1880 - 1960), p. 32. Zulqarnain / Dhul-Qarnayn Dhul-Qarnayn was a well-known figure in the folklore of the Arabian Peninsula. In the first few centuries after the founding of Islam, there was little controversy in identifying Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander. Ismaeel has 2 jobs listed on their profile. (We shall leave some of them to surge like waves) meaning mankind, on that day, the day when the barrier will be breached and these people (Ya'juj and Ma'juj) will come out surging over mankind to destroy their wealth and property. Dhul-Qarnain invited him again and the tyrant broke the second horn. 6, p. 738. Found 0 sentences matching phrase "Dhu al-Hijjah".Found in 0 ms. ), Rebecca Edwards. Another problem with identifying Cyrus as the ram is that the ram is defeated and disgraced by the goat. The Prophet made a circle with his index finger and thumb.  This again provides further evidence that the ram is not Cyrus, as Alexander lived three centuries after Cyrus and the two never fought each other on the battle field. In the Book of Isaiah, Cyrus is even called God's anointed  which is the same word used for Messiah or Savior. It is generally considered the most important source on Alexander the Great. The walls near Derbent were built with the Caspian sea as one border. How Alexander the Great ended up in the Quran". // Predicate logic relations for the ontology concept dhul-qarnayn. This naturally has caused/been causing somewhat of … 138–140. Shall we be destroyed though there will be righteous people among us?" However, the horns are extremely small and difficult to identify. Allamah Abu Abd Allah al-Zanjani, Mahliqa Qara'i (trans. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally “The Two-Horned One”, also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain), mentioned in the Quran, may be a reference to Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great. From the above, we have learned the following: Dhul Qarnayn had travelled to the western and eastern most parts possible He travelled to these place at the times of sunset and sunrise There, or along the way, he witnessed sunset and sunrise which appeared to … Here he finds a large gate, guarded by scorpion-people who protect the sun and forbidden anyone to enter through the gate without their permission.. pp. The king said, ", The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 153. E-mail: email@example.com. Flavius Josephus, William Whiston (trans. This "one word having multiple meanings" problem if you will, exists in English as well. man with two-horns), proponents of this theory have pointed to reliefs found at the tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae, Iran. Chron 36:22-33, Ezra 1:1-8, Ezra 3:7, Ezra 4:3-5, Ezra 5:13-17, Ezra 6:3,14, Isaiah 44:28, Isaiah 45:1,13, Daniel 1:21, Daniel 6:28, Daniel 10:1. In his commentary, Maududi all but admits as much: When we compare this to the legendary version of Alexander, who not only built a wall against Gog and Magog but made it of iron and bronze, we have the final piece of evidence that the Legendary Alexander is the person identified as Dhul-Qarnayn in the Qur'an and not Cyrus. Dhu al-Hijjah translation in English-Arabic dictionary. Another similarity between the two stories is that the wall will be made of both iron and brass. Alexander's deeds and exploits were almost universally admired. Is the Qur'anic story based on the Syriac story? However, no justification is ever given as to why only the Bible is considered and not other literature used by Jews and Christians of the 7th century. Ghazali's version later made its wa… The popularity of the Syriac legend of Alexander is evidenced by its inclusion in other works soon after its composition. Finally, even its earliest dating of 247 BC puts it almost three centuries after the reign of Cyrus the Great (576–530 BC) and almost a century after Alexander the Great (356–323 BC). These were popular across most of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Persia and even India and China. By the 1st century BC, silver coins depicting Alexander with ram horns were used as the primary currency in Arabia. The first destination for the hero in both the Syriac and Qur'anic stories is a place near the setting of the sun. After speaking with the people about Gog and Magog, Alexander says he will build a barrier (a wall or dam) between the people and the tribes that harass them. In this legend, Josephus relates that Alexander allows the tribes of Magog to come out from behind the wall and create havoc in the land. In his second book, "The Wars of the Jews", he further details that these people are held behind a wall of iron that has been built by Alexander the Great. The Syriac work also contains no references to the Arabic phrases used in the Qur'anic account, which would be expected if the Syrian story was using that as its source. killed). This work detailed much of Alexander's personal life, desires, motivations, and other personal insights. Zondervan 1971. pp. The map below shows the part of the visual ontology for this concept. His son, Yahya, has listed at least 14 published and about 13 unpublished works by his father. The horn was a common metaphor for rulers or kings in the Middle East, so this imagery is not unique to Persian kings or Cyrus the Great. Thus, quite strikingly, almost every element of this short Qur'anic tale finds a more explicit and detailed counterpart in the Syriac Alexander Legend. Dhu al-Qarnayn the traveller was a favourite subject for later writers. This includes the Talmud, apocryphal books, and other non-canonical writings. It is these legendary depictions of Alexander that would have been known in the 7th century and not the historically accurate accounts of his life. Such historical facts about Alexander the Great became well known only after the Renaissance period (1300-1600 CE) when Greek documents from the 2nd century were rediscovered. ISBN 978-0-19-636033-1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. This would have included Christian Arabs of the Ghassanid. While he is never mentioned explicitly by name, the story is clearly based upon a legendary account of Alexander the Great. The immense wall had a height of up to twenty meters and a thickness of about 3 meters when it was in use. One such published work is the book that we are reviewing and which is a rather detailed work on Dhul Qarnayn and the Wall. Again, this clearly shows that the Ram represents Persia as a whole and not Cyrus as an individual. The final story in Surah Al Kahf is in relation to Dhul-Qarnayn. This theory has been advanced by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Allameh Tabatabaei, and Naser Makarem Shirazi.. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. ", Travel to the Valley between Two Mountains, Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander in Islamic Sources, Turning-point of Alexander as Dhul-Qarnayn, "The impact of Alexander the Great’s coinage in E Arabia" at, Van Bladel, Kevin, “The Alexander legend in the Qur‘an 18:83-102″, in. An often overlooked aspect of the story of Dhul-Qarnayn is that it ends with a prophetic prediction of the wall being destroyed and the tribes of Gog and Magog surging and destroying everything in their path. Based on this information, some apologists have constructed alternative theories to the identity of Dhul-Qarnayn. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) Dhul Qarnayn (ذو القرنين) is righteous ruler mentioned in the Quran who constructed a wall to hold Gog and Magog. Ogden, Daniel (2009). Today, there is no giant wall of iron and brass between two mountains that is holding back a tribe of people; it likely never existed. Then, he must have been a righteous (see verse 86/87) and godly (see verses 87/88, 94/95 and 97/98) sovereign. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain), mentioned in the Quran, may be a reference to Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great. (2002) [?-767 AD]. The other is the "Life of Alexander" and two orations "On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander the Great" , by the Greek historian and biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea. We are told that the people who live near the location where the sun "enters the window of heaven" (i.e. Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Ali, "The Noble Quran's Commentary", appx. Some Western and traditional Muslim scholars identify Alexander the Great as Dhul-Qarnayn (Quran 18:83–94). said: "Gog and Magog...". On his final journey, the Qur'an tells us that Dhul-Qarnayn traveled to a valley between two mountains.