Dhul Qarnain (Part-6)



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Then, Allah the Almighty informs us that Dhul-Qarnain gave verdicts pertaining to the people of that region {We (Allah) said (by inspiration): "0 DhulQarnain! Either you punish them, or treat them with kindness." He said: "As for him (a disbeliever , in the Oneness of Allah) who does wrong, we shall ! punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with a terrible torment (Hell)} i.e. he tastes the torment in this present life and in the Hereafter. He began with the torment of the present life for its more difficult in the sight of the disbeliever. {But as for him who believes (in Allah's Oneness) and works righteousness he shall have the best reward, (Paradise), and we (Dhul-Qarnain) shall speak unto him mild words (as instructions)} where he started with the reward of the Hereafter which is most important and he added thereto kindness, i.e. justice, knowledge and faith. Allah the Almighty says {Then he followed another way} , i.e. he followed a way to return back from the west to the east. Some say that it took him twelve years to return to the east. {Until, when he came to the rising place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We (Allah) had provided no shelter against the sun}, i.e. they do not have houses or any shelters to save them from the blazing sun. Some scholars say: they used to resort to trenches dug in the earth to shelter then from the burning rays of the sun. Then, Allah the Almighty says: {So (it was)! And We knew all about him (Dhul-Qarnain)}, i.e. Allah knows all about his affairs; He preserves and keeps him during his travels through the land from the west to the east and vice versa.

It was narrated after' Ubaid Ibn 'Umair, his son 'Abdullah and others that DhulQarnain performed Pilgrimage on foot. Upon hearing that, Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) met him and on their meeting he invoked Allah for his sake, and advised him. It was said also that he was brought a horse to ride, but he said: I do not ride (on the back of horses) in a land wherein Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). Hence, Allah the Almighty subjugated for him the clouds, and Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) gave him the glad tidings pertaining to this. The clouds used to carry him anywhere he wished for. Allah the Almighty says: {then, he followed (another) way. Until, when he reached between two mountains, he found, before (near) them (those two mountains), a people who scarcely understood a word}, i.e. they were ignorant. It was said that they were the Turk,6 cousins of Gog and Magog. However, they told him that Gog and Magog wronged them and practiced mischief in their land. They offered him a tribute for that he builds a barrier (dam) preventing them from raiding over them. He refused to take the tribute they offered him finding sufficiency in that which Allah the Almighty has given him, so {He said: "That (wealth, authority and power) in which my Lord had established me is better (than your tribute)} . Then, he asked them to bring him men and tools to erect the barrier between them. Gog and Magog could only reach them from that place located between two mountain-cliffs. The other paths were either vast seas, or high mountains. Consequently, he erected it using iron and molten copper: he put iron instead of bricks and molten copper instead of clay. Allah the Almighty commented, {So they (Gog and Magog) could not scale it} with escalators, {or dig through it} with axes or picks. {(Dhul-Qarnain) said: "This is a mercy from my Lord} i.e. Allah the Almighty decreed this to be a mercy from Him to His slaves that they no longer assaulted by Gog and Magog. {But when the Promise of my Lord comes} i.e. the time He decided for them (Gog and Magog) to demolish it and get out attacking mankind near the Last Hour, {He shall level it down to the ground} this will inevitably take place. As He says {And the Promise of my Lord is ever true}, and {Until, when Gog and Magog are let loose (from their barrier), and they swoop  down from every mound. And the true promise (Day of Resurrection) shall draw near (of fulfillment). Then (when mankind is resurrected from their graves), you shall see the eyes of the disbelievers fixedly staring in horror. (They will say): Woe to us! We were indeed heedless of this nay, but we were Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers)}. (AlAnbiya', 96, 97) Allah the Almighty says: { We shall leave them to surge like waves"on one another} i.e. on the day Gog and Magog will come out, {and the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together}.

Narrated Abu Dawud At-Tyalisi after Ath-Thawri saying: I have been informed that the first human being to shake hands (with someone else) was Dhul-Qarnain. Moreover, it was narrated on the authority of Ka'b Al-Ahbar that he said to Mu'awiyah: Dhul-Qarnain on his death-bed told his mother, after his death, to prepare food and gather the women of the city and invite them to eat save anyone who lost any of her children (she should not eat thereof). The mother did as she asked, and none of them stretched a hand towards the food. She said: Glory be to Allah! Did you all lost children? They answered: By Allah! Yes we did. And, this was a great condolence for her.

Ishaq mentioned after Bishr Ibn 'Abdullah Ibn Ziyad after some of the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) the will of Dhul-Qarnain, an eloquent and lengthy advice, and that he died at the age of three thousand years. (This is very odd and strange)

Ibn 'Asakir said: I was informed that he lived for about thirty-six years. Others said: he lived for thirty-two years and that he came seven hundred and forty years after Dawud (David) (Peace be upon him). He came after Adam (Peace be upon him) with five thousand and one hundred eighty-one years and that his reign lasted for sixteen years. But, that which he related is true as for the Macedonian Alexander and not our Dhul-Qarnain. He thus mixed the former with the latter and this is perfectly wrong.

Among those who mixed them and declared both to be just one, was Imam 'Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham (Narrator of the Prophet's Biography), which was denied and rejected by Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim AsSuhaili. He severely refuted his sayings and set clear boundaries between the two persons as mentioned earlier. He said: May be some of the former kings called themselves "Dhul-Qarnain" following the example of the first true one; and Allah knows best!

To read the first part of this story,click here.

By: Ibn Katheer Translated by Ali As-Sayed Al-Halawani

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