: Gog and Magog

Emad Fadel
03-06-2010, 06:45 AM
The Truth about Gog and Magog
Now who were Gog and Magog? Where are they now? What did they do and what will happen to them? Such questions are very difficult to answer with any degree of accuracy. Our knowledge of them is limited to what is mentioned specifically in the Qurān and in authentic aĥādīth. The Qurān includes here a quotation of what Dhul-Qarnayn says: Yet when the time appointed by my Lord shall come, He will make this [rampart] level with the ground. My Lords promise always comes true. (Verse 98) This statement does not specify a time. Gods promise to destroy the rampart may already have occurred when the Tatars swept across huge areas, destroying whole kingdoms.
Another mention of them is found in Sūrah 21, The Prophets, where it is stated:
When Gog and Magog are let loose and swarm down from every corner, when the true promise draws close [to its fulfilment], staring in horror shall be the eyes of the unbelievers. (21: 96-97) Again this statement does not specify a time for the promised appearance of Gog and Magog. That Gods promise has come near to fulfilment, in the sense that the Last Hour or the Day of Judgement is soon to come, is an accomplished fact ever since the time of the Prophet. In the Qurān we read: The Hour has drawn near, and the moon was cleft asunder. (54: 1) In Gods reckoning, time has a totally different perspective from that of human reckoning. The time gap between the moment when the Hour becomes near and its actual occurrence may stretch to millions of years or centuries. Thus human beings may see this as a very long period of time, while, by Gods standards, it may signify nothing more than a blink of an eye. This means that the rampart built by Dhul-Qarnayn might have been penetrated in the period that has lapsed between the revelation of the verse stating, the Hour has drawn near, and our present day. This suggests that the conquests of the Tatars in the eastern provinces might have represented a sort of fulfilment of the warning which tells of Gog and Magog forging ahead and sweeping across the earth. An authentic ĥadīth related by Imām Aĥmad ibn Ĥanbal on the authority of Zainab bint Jaĥsh, the Prophets wife, mentions that the Prophet woke up once, red in the face, saying:
Woe to the Arabs! A calamitous event is drawing near. The rampart of Gog and Magog has been breached today by as much as this, [rounding his thumb with his first finger]. I said, Messenger of God! Would we be destroyed when righteous people are living among us? He said: Yes, if evil becomes widespread.
The Prophets dream occurred more than thirteen and a half centuries ago. The conquests of the Tatars took place subsequently, destroying the `Abbāsid Caliphate.
It was Hleg who destroyed it, ending the reign of al-Musta`şim, the last `Abbāsid Caliph. This might have been the realization of the Prophets dream. But true knowledge belongs to God. All that we say in this respect is by way of probability, not certainty.

Deaf and Blind
The sūrah follows the reference by Dhul-Qarnayn to Gods true promise with a scene from the Day of Judgement:
On that day We shall leave them to surge like waves dashing against one another. The trumpet will be blown, and We shall gather them all together. And We shall, on that day, present hell, all spread out, for the unbelievers, who have turned a blind eye to
My admonition and a deaf ear to My warning. (Verses 99-101)
This is a scene showing the movement of huge masses of people of all colours, races and geographical areas, belonging to all generations and times, after they have been resurrected and brought back to life. They move across in a chaotic way, unaware of what is around them. They push each other like waves in the sea and mix like the surf raised by the waves. Then suddenly a trumpet is blown and they are gathered according to a specific order: The trumpet will be blown, and We shall gather them all together. (Verse 99)
We see also the unbelievers who turned away from remembrance of God as though their eyes were covered and their ears deaf. Now we see them with hell brought before them and they cannot turn away from it as they used to turn away from Gods guidance. On that day, the option of turning away is not within their power. The cover over their eyes has been drawn, and they now see clearly the consequence of their deliberate turning away. This is a fair recompense.
The sūrah provides symmetry between their turning away and their vision of hell as it is brought before them. The two actions are shown in contrast both in scene and movement.
This contrast is followed by a comment full of derision: Do the unbelievers think that they could take My creatures for patrons against Me? We have indeed readied hell as a dwelling place for the unbelievers. (Verse 102) Do these unbelievers think that they can choose from among Gods creatures which fully submit to Him some who could support them against God? Can these give them help or grant them protection against Gods might? If such thoughts are entertained by them, then let them experience the results of such self-delusion: We have indeed readied hell as a dwelling place for the unbelievers. (Verse 102) This is an evil abode already prepared to receive them. There is no need for waiting. It is all ready to receive its unbelieving dwellers.