ALLAH SWT has narrated certain stories in the Holy Qur’an. The purpose of such stories is the guidance of mankind. The stories serve to teach different lessons to humanity.
This write-up elaborates the story of Hazrat Zulqarnain (AS) and Yajooj Majooj (also called Gog and Magog) as narrated in the Qur’an and Hadees.
Who was Hazrat Zulqarnain?
Hazrat Zulqarnain, whose real name was Sikandar, was the Muslim ruler who almost ruled the entire world. The story of Hazrat Zulqarnain is mentioned in Surah Al-Kahaf in connection to Yajooj and Majooj.
Once, Quresh-e-Makkah asked three questions from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Those three questions were about; i) the reality of the human spirit, ii) Ashaab e Kahf, and iii) Hazrat Zulqarnain (AS).
Allah (SWT) revealed the answers to Prophet PBUH in Surah Kahf. Meanwhile, Allah (SWT) has also narrated an incident of Hazrat Zulqarnain R.A related to Yajooj and Majooj (Gog Magog) in the same Surah.
The Story of ‘Yajooj Majooj’ or ‘Gog Magog’
Allah has narrated one incident of the reign of Hazrat Zulqarnain (AS).
Yajooj Majooj (also Gog Magog) were wild tribes living in some areas. They were very battle-hardened and savage warriors.
This nation caused great distress and trouble to the local people residing there. Yajooj Majooj destroyed their crops, killed their children, and made their lives miserable.
Yajooj Majooj used to come from a mountain that had a rift in it. This barbaric tribe used to make their way through that passage or rift in the mountain.
Thus, Gog and Magog greatly troubled the residents of the area with their attacks.
How Hazrat Zulqarnain ‘Sikandar’ rescued those People from Yajooj Majooj
Hazrat Zulqarnain (AS) traveled across the world during his reign of the entire world.
One day he was traveling north when he came across that mountain. The residents of the area pleaded with him to help them get rid of Yajooj Majooj.
King Zulqarnain helped them by sealing the rift in the mountain with the help of an iron and molten copper.
“Give me pieces (blocks) of iron;” then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said: “Blow;” then when he had made them (red as) fire, he said: “Bring me molten copper to pour over them.” – Al-Kahf: 96
Thus, Hazrat Zulqarnain has imprisoned Yajooj and Majooj behind the wall. Nobody has ever reached or knew about that specific mountain even in today’s era of technology.
According to Qur’an and Hadith, the wall built by king Zulqarnain will cease to exist near the day of judgment.
“This is a mercy from my Lord. Then, when the promise of my Lord will come, He will make it leveled to the ground. The promise of my Lord is true.” – Al-Kahf: 98
According to a hadith, Yajooj and Majooj dig under the wall every night trying to escape, only to find each morning that the wall has been restored by Allah. Only at the appointed time, one among them would say “In Shaa Allah, tomorrow we will destroy this wall”. Then, Allāh will allow the wall to collapse, freeing Yājūj and Mājūj.
After the demolition of the wall, Yajooj and Majooj will come out and cause great destruction in the world. The world would become chaotic. They will kill millions of people and animals, destroy trees, and cause a shortage of food and water. However, Yajooj Majooj would not be able to enter Mecca, Madina, and Bayt al-Maqdis.
Hazrat Essa’s Prayer and the Destruction of Yajooj Majooj
With the prayer of Hazrat Essa (AS), Allah will create a certain kind of insect in their throats. The insects will ultimately kill Gog and Magog. The whole earth would be covered with dead bodies that will generate an unbearable smell.
Then again with the prayer of Essa (AS), Allah (SWT) will send birds. Those birds will carry the dead bodies and throw them somewhere.
After that, Allah (SWT) will send rain that will clean out the whole earth. That rain will revive the life and greenery of the earth.
Dispute on the name of Hazrat Zulqarnain
There is also a dispute on the name of Hazrat Zulqarnain (A.S).
Some scholars argue that ‘Zulqarnain’ was his title, while others say that ‘Zulqarnain’ was his name.
According to many ancient scholars and thinkers, the real name of Hazrat Zulqarnain is ‘Sikandar’ (Alexander) and Hazrat Khizar (A.S) is his cousin.
A Popular Misconception
Many people relate Hazrat Zulqarnain ‘Sikandar’ to Sikandar-e-Azam (Alexander the Great).
In this regard, Hafiz Amadud din narrates in ‘Ibn Kathir’ that the Sikandar e Azam (Alexander the Great) was the famous Greek King, who was born around 2000 years after Hazrat Zulqarnain (AS).
Moreover, Alexander the Great was a non-Muslim and idol worshiper, while Hazrat Zulqarnain ‘Sikandar’ was a Muslim. Hazrat Sikandar ‘Zulqarnain’ accepted Islam at the hands of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S.
Hence, relating ‘Hazrat Zulqarnain’ (A.S) to ‘Alexander the Great’ is a great misconception.
Why was ‘Hazrat Sikandar A.S’ called ‘Zulqarnain’?
According to a few narrations, he was called Zulqarnain due to his two tresses. While some narrations claim that he was called ‘Zulqarnain’ because of his kingdom in the east and the west.
The literal meaning of ‘Zulqarnain’ is ‘possessor of two horns’.
According to some authentic sources, Hazrat Zulqarnain (A.S) was born in 539 B.C. and he was the ruler of Iran.
Allah SWT has granted Hazrat Zulqarnain the kingdom of the entire world.
In the entire history of mankind, Allah has given the kingdom of the whole world to only four men. Among them, the two were Muslims and the remaining two were non-muslims.
Hazrat Salman (A.S) and Hazrat Zulqarnain (A.S) were the rulers among Muslims. While Namrood and Bakht Nasar were non-muslim rulers.
Was Hazrat Zulqarnain a Prophet?
We do not find the answer in Qur’an. However, as per studies, Hazrat Umru Bin Aas (RA) believed that Hazrat Zulqarnain was the prophet. While, Hazrat Ali (RA), Hazrat Ibn-e-Abbas (RA), Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA), Imam Razi (RA), Ibn-e-Kaseer, and many others agreed that Hazrat Zulqarnain was not the prophet. Rather, he was a just and pious ruler.
Note: We have written this article after in-depth research. Still, if the readers find any discrepancy in the information provided, we request them to mention it in the comment section.