ACCOMPANYING VIDEO (2 PARTS)
Dispelling the Fog from the Identity of Gog and Magog
© Copyright 2012 Rizwan Saleem. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as expressly permitted in writing by the author Rizwan Saleem
Praise be to Allah and peace and mercy upon His final Messenger
The importance of the discipline of Eschatology within Islam is clearly demonstrated by the fact that two of the five questions of the ‘Gabriel Hadith’ concerned the Last Day and its Signs.
Shaykh Imran has suggested that Allamah Muhammad Iqbal may have been the first Muslim scholar to conclude that Gog and Magog have already been released. However, the present author has found that a very prominent scholar of the last century, Imam Anwar Shah Kashmiri, also took the stance that the Barrier of Dhul Qarnayn had been breached during the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him be peace and mercy) and that Gog and Magog have already been released. I have included a translation of the relevant passages from his masterpiece, Faydul Bari, commentary on Saheeh al Bukhari, in Appendix B for the readers’ benefit. The writing of Imam Anwar Shah on this subject adds credibility to the theory of Shaykh Imran, and throws the considerable weight of the Imam’s renowned scholarship behind the interpretations of Quranic verses regarding Gog and Magog that Shaykh Imran has given.
Shaykh Imran has made a strong case in support of his theory. It is not within the scope of this article to elucidate the details of his argument, but as this article builds upon his work, I would respectfully request my learned readers not to dismiss Shaykh Imran’s theory out of hand, and take the time to read his book. However, I will briefly summarise some of the Shaykh’s main ideas, at the risk of not doing justice to them. My aim in this article is to build upon his idea that Gog and Magog were released during the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him be peace), as indicated in the saheeh hadith:
عن زينب بنت جحش رضي الله عنها أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم دخل عليها فزعا يقول لا إله إلا الله ويل للعرب من شر اقترب فتح اليوم من ردم يأجوج ومأجوج مثل هذه . وحلق بإصبعه الإبهام والتي تليها قالت زينب بنت جحش فقلت يا رسول الله أنهلك وفينا الصالحون قال نعم إذا كثر الخبث
This particular hadith is narrated by multiple saheeh chains of transmission. At least four separate chains occur in ‘Saheeh al-Bukhari’ alone from prominent Companions. Thus, this hadith is from the strongest possible category of transmitted reports.
An authentic hadith in ‘Saheeh Muslim’ states that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will send forth the armies of Gog and Magog to fight against Prophet Jesus and his followers. Allah will say, “I have sent forth some of my slaves whom no-one has the ability to fight” [Muslim]. They will spread over the Earth causing destruction everywhere until Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will destroy them with heavenly punishment, and save Prophet Jesus and the Muslims with him. As Imam Anwar Shah Kashmiri and Shaykh Imran have shown, this narration does not mean that Gog and Magog cannot be released prior to this time. Imam Anwar Shah states that they were released during the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him be peace), as the first hadith indicates, and they manifest again and again until their final and most severe manifestation is at the time of Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace). He likens this to the appearance of the deviant sect, the Kharijites, who came forth generation after generation.
Both Imam Anwar Shah and Shaykh Imran show that the hadith of the descent of Jesus does not mean that the Barrier of Gog and Magog has to remain erect until that time. Nor does it mean that Gog and Magog could not have been released prior to the descent of Prophet Jesus.
However, a hadith which appears to contradict this opinion is found in ‘Jami` al-Tirmidhi’, in which Gog and Magog are described as “digging through the Barrier until they almost breach it”, but each time they return to continue their work, they find it blocked up again, and thus it continues until Allah wishes to release them. Regarding this hadith of Tirmidhi, Imam Anwar Shah states:
وحرام على قرية أهلكناها أنهم لا يرجعون. حتى إذا فتحت يأجوج ومأجوج وهم من كل حدب ينسلون
Here, Shaykh Imran has identified the city mentioned in this ayah as the city of Jerusalem, and thus shown that the Jewish people will never return to the Holy City until Gog and Magog are released. That the ‘city’ (qaryah) mentioned in this ayah is Jerusalem is supported by various lines of evidence, expounded by the respected Shaykh, including the fact that the word ‘qaryah’ is used elsewhere in the Quran to refer to Jerusalem as well. Thus, the creation of the state of Israel was an indication that Gog and Magog had already been released. We must say, at this stage: ‘Allah knows best’.
In short, the interpretation of these ayahs would be:
“There is a ban on a town (i.e. Jerusalem) which we destroyed (and whose people were then expelled) that they (i.e. the people of the town) can never return (to reclaim that town as their own) until Gog and Magog are released and they spread out in all directions (thus taking control of the world while establishing the Gog and Magog world-order).”
Both Imam Anwar Shah and Shaykh Imran Husain have suggested that Gog and Magog are from amongst the European (including Russian) people. If we accept both points, the next question is as to the identity of these dangerous tribes that were released during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be mercy and peace), and the location of the Barrier of Dhul Qarnayn. This is where the author will differ from the view of the respected Shaykh, who has tentatively identified the tribes of Gog and Magog with the Khazar people of the Caucasus region in Central Asia. Others, such as Ahmad Thompson, have also implicated the Khazars as the original Gog and Magog people. However, the present author will argue that the case of the Khazar people does not fit in well with the information that we have concerning Gog and Magog in the Quran and Hadith literature, and that there is another people with a history that does fit in an uncanny way with the authentic Islamic sources. These people were the Vikings.
Weaknesses in identifying the Khazars as Gog and Magog.
I will not elaborate this point extensively as it will surely be clear to most people who delve into the history of the Khazar people that they do not fit the profile of Gog and Magog given in the revelatory sources except in some random characteristics.
The idea that the barrier of Dhul Qarnayn was situated in the Caucasus region came into Muslim thought through the influence of Jewish and Christian sources. Long before Islam, Jewish and Christian tradition had built a legend around the figure of Alexander the Great and identified him with the Biblical prophet who had been given dominion over the ends of the Earth and had built the great barrier to contain the tribes of Gog and Magog. The great wall of Alexander was thought to lie somewhere in the Caucasus region according to legend.
It is clear that these ideas were introduced into Muslim eschatological theory, as they have no basis in authentic revelation. Many Muslim scholars were not averse to taking ‘knowledge’ from the ‘Isra’eeliyaat’ or Jewish sources, although other scholars warned against this practice. Consequently, we find many books of tafsir identifying Dhul Qarnayn as Alexander the Great. Modern historical knowledge about Alexander, however, refutes the idea that he was a prophet or righteous man who believed in the One God.
Reasons against the Khazar people being Gog and Magog
1. The Quran describes that Gog and Magog were trapped behind the barrier and could not scale it or breach it. When they would be released, they would overrun the Earth. It is clear that the Khazar people were not trapped behind a barrier from all other people, either before the time of the Prophet (upon him be peace) or after. They were a nation of people whose relations with surrounding people are historically documented from prior to the final Prophecy.
History of the North Men, the Vikings
One of the genuine great mysteries about this period is why the Vikings emerged when they did. What made them suddenly want to raid and ultimately colonise in the way that they did?
Not long after the coming of the Final Prophet (upon him be peace) in Arabia, far away in the Northern depths of the Earth an eruption took place. This was the eruption of the Viking people from their homes in the chilled most northern regions of Europe upon the surrounding lands of Western Europe. This eruption resulted in what is now known as the ‘Viking Age’. I say ‘Northern depths’ of the Earth because, don’t forget, the traditional way of viewing the Earth was always with the North at the bottom. Only as Euro-Viking civilisation gained ascendancy over the Southern world was the map turned upside-down, a clear symbol of Northern hegemony and ascendancy.
About 150 years after the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and mercy) revealed that a breach had occurred in the barrier holding back the tribes of Gog and Magog, the first Viking ships landed off the Northumbrian coast of Britain and laid waste to a monastery nearby. A people previously unknown to history had made their dramatic entry into the story of the European continent. From then on, the outpouring of Viking hordes, from the Scandinavian peninsula, continued for countless generations, terrorizing the people of surrounding lands.
According to Roesdahl (1998):
Historians have been unable to answer this puzzling question. Why did the Vikings pour out from their homeland at this particular juncture in history? Population pressure and the development of their famous longboats are two explanations that have been suggested, but neither is supported by historical evidence [Farrell, 1982]. According to historian, Kendrick, the Viking expansion was a huge outpouring of Northern peoples on such a scale that a “special explanation” is called for. [Farrell, 1982: p.1] In fact, Farrell, in his book ‘The Vikings’, goes so far as to say: “we can never hope to understand that activity or its causes fully”.
Unless of course we knew that, prior to this outpouring, a new people had been released from beyond the Northern mountains of the Scandinavian peninsula, who had previously been cut off from the rest of the population by impassable barriers. Once these new people, characterised by warlike, brutal activity, had established themselves on the peninsula itself, they looked to further lands for domination. From the other inhabitants of the peninsula upon whom they descended with aggressive force, they discovered the technology to build the ships for which they would become famous. Within a few generations, these unruly people were ready to embark on their voyages of plunder and conquest across the icy seas. They spread in all directions. Their motivation was, above all, greed and a lust for wealth.
Following the first attacks against England, the learned Alcuin of York wrote letters to King Ethelred of Northumbria:
By 795, the Vikings had moved around Scotland, via the Isle of Iona, and reached Ireland. Iceland was settled in 870, Greenland in 985, and they had reached the shores of America by 1000. The East coast of the Baltic was settled even before the westward movements: by the 9th century, several parts of Russia and the South coast of the Baltic were settled by Viking invaders. Viking colonisers established the first Russian dynasty in Novgorod and Kiev, which became known as the Rus Empire. In 809, in mainland Europe, Charlemagne was planning an expedition against the Viking chief, Godfred. In 826, a pirate fleet of 13 ships was repulsed trying to attack Flanders. However, they raided the South of France and “seized great booty”. In 844, they were even making inroads into Spain. Seville was initially captured, but the Muslim imperial army soon put them to flight.
The cleric, Dudo, in Normandy [approx. 1020 CE] wrote of the Vikings:
Many Skaldic poems and rune stones claim that ‘honour’ and ‘loot’ were the main driving forces for the Viking expansion. Vikings first sought easy money, and then in time trading bases and land to dominate and inhabit [Roesdahl].
One contemporary observer at the time wrote: “A deed which deserves every abhorrence that people who had brought evil on to Christians were placed in charge of Christian countries and people and of Christ’s church…”
“The number of ships grows. The endless stream of Vikings never ceases to increase. Everywhere Christians are the victims of massacres, burnings, plunderings. The Vikings conquer all in their path and no one resists them. They seize Beardeux, Pergeux, Limoges…Toulouse. Angiers, Tours, and Oreleans are annihilated and an innumerable fleet sails up the Seine and the evil grows in the whole region.”
The sheer numbers of the Vikings was colossal, to the extent that some historians have dismissed reports in documentary sources as exaggerated. For example, the Viking King Horik, in 845, is reported to have sailed at the head of six hundred ships, each ship carrying fifty men. Priest Abbo relates that the Viking army outside Paris was 40,000 while defenders of city were only 200. Even Roesdahl, sceptical of such estimations, has to admit that the “armies that conquered the whole of England at beginning of the eleventh century were obviously huge.”
By the beginning of the tenth century, their invasions of mainland Europe had come to an end as the Franks and Germans finally managed to put up effective resistance against them. However, the Vikings remained firmly entrenched in the powerful region of Normandy in Northern France.
The other region that came firmly under Northmen domination and colonisation during the Viking Age was the archipelago known as the British Isles. In Britain and Ireland, the Northmen established themselves as nowhere else. Successive waves of invaders plundered, looted and often settled these lands. Between 1018 and 1042 (excluding a five year period), England and Denmark were ruled by one Viking King.
Christopher Walker identifies the rise of the Normans as a major factor in the start of the Crusades. He states, in his refreshingly even-handed book, ‘Islam and the West’:
“Within Europe a number of elements changed the prevalent attitude from peaceful pilgrimage to violent conquest of the Holy Land. The first was the coming of the Normans. This people, originally from Scandinavia, had within two generations remodelled itself as a dominant force within the society of Europe. They were assertive, dictatorial, controlling and militant, though sometimes content to act as mercenaries. They liked social hierarchies. If they could not be dominant they were content with submission; with a tendency towards warfare, they seem not to have rated equality highly. … But they were greater agents for change, perhaps as a result of their instincts for violence and hierarchy. They made their militant cause popular by gaining, where necessary the blessing of the pope, but were unafraid of excommunication. They used the papacy as they saw fit and the papacy made use of them. When William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, his army was led by a knight carrying a papal banner emblazoned with a red cross; the invasion of England thus took on the appearance of a crusade before the Crusades. In dating the capture of Jerusalem (‘the event preferable to all events’), Foulcher of Chartres makes a point of indicating that it occurred twelve years after the death of William, King of England.”
Those readers who are familiar with the theory of Shaykh Imran Husain regarding Gog and Magog and the return of the Jews to Jerusalem will understand the implications of this important insight into the role of the Normans (ie. the Northmen) in the emergence of the Crusades.
But just as dramatically as the Vikings burst unto the European stage, they seem to disappear again from the pages of history. The English today refer to themselves as ‘Anglo-Saxon’, for example, not Viking or Norman. The reason for this apparent disappearance of Viking ancestry is simple. Wherever the Vikings settled, finding themselves amongst more ‘civilised’ people, they were keen to assimilate so as to add legitimacy to their claims of lordship and kingship. The word ‘Viking’ from vikingr, literally means ‘pirating’. The Vikings who settled in Normandy, for example, soon rid themselves of their ignoble past, took on French names and styled themselves after the French nobility, initially proclaiming themselves as ‘Counts’, and later as ‘Dukes’. Throughout Europe the term ‘Viking’ had become synonymous with piracy, barbarianism, and evil. It was the very opposite of decency, civilisation and virtue. It is no wonder that the Northern settlers were keen to rid themselves of their criminal history as they entered more civilised societies.
‘Anglo-Saxon’ is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century CE. However, as we have seen, the Anglo-Saxon people were themselves conquered a few centuries later by successive waves of Vikings and their descendants, the Normans. Therefore, the designation of English people today as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is not historically robust as it disregards the heavy genetic mix of the Viking hordes. Following the Norman conquest in 1066, the Anglo-Saxon nobility were either exiled or joined the ranks of the peasantry. It has been estimated that only about 8 per cent of the land was under Anglo-Saxon control by 1087. Until today, the British monarchy and aristocracy descend from Viking bloodlines, but, unsurprisingly, prefer to refer to their ancestry as ‘Anglo-Saxon’. The truth is that all British monarchs since William the Conqueror have been direct descendants of the Vikings.
But the prophecy that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will give Gog and Magog such power that “no-one can fight against” was not destined to be fulfilled during the Viking Age. It was to be the European descendants of the Vikings who would fulfil this prophecy. This power would be given to them many generations later, by Allah ta`ala, through the discoveries of science and military technology in the Modern Age.
The descendants of the Vikings in England continued in their forefathers’ footsteps, sending out ships in all directions to search for lands to exploit and colonise. The so-called ‘Voyages of Discovery’ were no more than a continuation of the Viking excursions of the early Middle Ages. The criminal piracy of the Vikings was sanctioned at the state level in England, and going under the new, glamorised term, ‘privateering’, the descendants of the Norman-Vikings continued their criminal excursions of looting and plundering. Thus the Elizabethan Age in English history is also known as the ‘Age of Privateering’. This despicable, criminal activity continued later into the European colonial period. The ‘gunboat diplomacy’ that colonial Europe became notorious for mirrors the unscrupulous, militant greed of Northman piracy. European colonialism was a natural progression of the Viking project.
The first spark of the flame that would eventually end in a today’s white world order was the release of a barbaric, heathen people from their ancient prison beyond the North-Western mountains of Scandinavia where they had remained cut off from the rest of humanity for untold ages. The great Prophet, Dhul Qarnain, had banished them across the mountains with his invincible armies by the power of Allah, and there they had remained, unable to breach the barrier erected by Dhul Qarnain, and surrounded on all sides by impassable mountains, great ice sheets and unchartered seas. Following their release during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace), they first moved out to invade and colonise the Scandinavian peninsula. Soon after, they began to pour out of Scandinavia and the centuries of terrorization, exploitation and occupation of surrounding European lands that characterised the ‘Viking Age’ commenced. Once firmly established in the power centres of Europe, especially the British Isles, the Viking genes turned in bloody terror towards the Holy Land, leading to the Crusades, which, for generations to come, would loom large in Western European imagination. The rest is history.
It is beyond the scope of this article, but it would be an interesting study to trace the extent of Viking gene dominance in European aristocracy. The royal families of Europe were extensively interrelated, and we have seen that the British monarchy and aristocracy are directly descended from Northmen ancestors. I also suspect that if someone were to trace the roots of the key instigators and executors of the Spanish Inquisition, he or she would find Viking/Norman blood. That’s just a suspicion.
Ancient History of Norway
We know with a high degree of certainty that human beings first inhabited Scandinavia around 10,000 years ago. We know this because prior to that, the area was covered in ice. As the ice sheets receded at the beginning of our current interglacial period, pioneer settlements began to appear.
The Northern-Western region of Norway is separated from the rest of the Scandinavian peninsula by great mountain ranges. It is my suggestion that somewhere along these mountain ranges, Dhul Qarnayn’s armies drove back the troublesome tribes of Gog and Magog and built the great barrier described in the Quran, perhaps of a miraculous nature - we do not know. Gwyn Jones describes Norway as “that long, narrow, sea-and-mountain-boundaried, northward-running, eel-stripe of a country” [Jones: p.34] and “that upturned Keel of mountains running South from Finnmark almost to Staranger…made vast areas of Eastern and Western Scandinavia almost inaccessible to each other throughout the Middle Ages” [Jones: p.59]. The Norwegian mountains constitute a particularly hostile barrier to human settlement due to the fact that, with just a small increase in altitude, the moderating effect of the Gulf Stream is rapidly lost, and the climate reverts to intolerable Siberian levels.
The Quran tells us that when Dhul Qarnayn came to the land of Gog and Magog, he found another people living there who complained to him that they were being terrorized by Gog and Magog, and requested his help. According to archaeological evidence, Scandinavia has been inhabited by two distinct groups of people from earliest times. Archaeologists refer to the group beyond the mountains as the Komsa culture and the people of the southern and eastern areas as the Fosna culture due to differences in the patterns of archaeological remains. Jesch writes:
“The Scandinavian peninsula in early medieval times, as well as today, was ethnically and culturally a dual region, with a Saami minority speaking a language of the Uralian group, and a majority Germanic group. The Saami were the northern group, while the Germanic ethnic group inhabited the Southern regions of modern-day Sweden.” [Jesch: p.9]
Interestingly, latest forms of genetic analysis have revealed that the Saami people, who still inhabit Northern areas of the peninsula, have a large genetic separation from other Europeans:
“analysis of classic chromosomal marker variation have demonstrated that the genetic differences between the Saami and other European peoples are significantly larger than between any other pair of European peoples…
This significant finding indicates that these people have remained separated from the rest of European peoples for an extensive period of time. This also fits with our theory that the Gog and Magog people were contained for hundreds, probably thousands of years, in the land behind the Norwegian mountains.
At the beginning of the medieval period, during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be mercy and peace), the Barrier was broken and they were able to cross the mountains. They descended upon the Germanic peoples who populated along the Swedish coast and uprooted them. Jesch describes the archaeological phenomena that give evidence for this. She states that something significant happened to the Germanic population during the period of late 6th to 7th century [ie around, or soon after, the time of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace)], which she calls ‘the Change’ [Jesch: p.15]. Prior to this ‘change’, the Scandinavian farming societies lived and farmed peacefully with an economic system based on redistribution. But then “the extensive farming system…was abandoned and the cultural landscape slowly changed”. When the previous farming economy collapsed, “a large number of families left their homes. What happened to them and their animals? All we know is that in many regions the farms were never rebuilt and people never returned to their homeland and ancestral graves.” In other words, around about the same time as the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and mercy) informed members of his household in Arabia that a breach had today occurred in the barrier of Gog and Magog, there is evidence of the peaceful agrarian society of southern Scandinavia being uprooted and dispossessed. Upheaval was taking place in the Northernmost region of the Earth. A “different landscape” emerged on the Scandinavian peninsula. According to Jesch [p.18]:
“the landscape that emerged around 700 CE was different. The houses of the settlements were smaller, the byre had room for fewer animals, and only special people were buried under mounds. An intensified agriculture…had taken the place of the former extensive system. Fewer animals were kept and stalled through the winter months…new families came into power…emergence of memorial forms and a stratum of landholders who strived to acquire as much land as possible is characteristic…”
In short, a new economic and political reality had emerged. This is explainable by an invasion from beyond the mountains.
Ifsaad, Corruption and Destruction
However, I would venture to suggest that the information we have regarding the Viking people reveals an exceptionally corrupt, ifsaadi nature. Of course, historical reports, especially by enemies, can be exaggerated for all sorts of reasons. Interestingly, a Muslim traveller and writer by the name of Ibn Fadhlan met a group of Northmen on his travels and wrote about them. He was not impressed:
Ibn Fadhlan also noted: “they all washed themselves in the same tub of water, and they made no attempt to seek privacy when they lay with their female slaves.” Ibn Fadhlan also mentions: “a man will have sexual intercourse with his slave girl while his companion looks on. Sometimes whole groups will come together in this fashion, each in the presence of the others.” [Jones: p. 164]. Several of Ibn Fadhlan’s observations of the Northmen regarding burial practices have been confirmed by archaeological evidence. Ibn Fadhlan’s descriptions, moreover, correlate with European accounts cited above. The cleric Dudo wrote of them, “Once they have grown up, the young quarrel violently with their fathers and grandfathers, or with each other, about property…”
I would suggest that two of the characteristics mentioned here, namely of having public sexual relations and fighting one’s own parents, are such immoral, undignified and dishonourable actions as to be found rarely amongst other peoples, even barbarian types, such as the Mongols or Huns. Most societies have respected their elders, especially one’s own parents; and acts of intimacy, by human nature, are kept private. It seems, in fact, that these people lacked the basic qualities that distinguish the human being from animals, who seek only to satisfy their natural appetites. Have there been other people in history that have descended to this level of depravity?
Is it possible that the ‘Thing’ of the Vikings is the true cultural precursor to modern European democratic systems, rather than the democracy of Ancient Greece as if often imagined? Once again, are we observing the historical, perhaps unconscious, attempt by Europeans, embarrassed by the Viking roots of their democratic systems, to gloss over their true heritage and connect their cultural history to ancient Greco-Roman civilisation instead? It is far more reassuring to trace one’s traditions to the great historic civilisations of Greece and Rome than to the piratical hordes of the Vikings, a people without ancestry, history or civilisation. Surely, it is no coincidence that Britain, the primary colony of the Viking hordes, was the first country to later develop ‘democratic’ institutions.
A core feature of ‘democracy’, and this explains why it appealed to the Viking mentality, is that it is essentially a denial of any higher moral authority. The people themselves decide their own rules and laws. Thus, nothing and nobody can prevent the people from doing what they want to do. It is a system which rejects revealed guidance and Divinely-ordained constraints upon human behaviour. It safeguards the freedom of the human creature to pursue any activity he finds desirable as long as there is approval from the collective. The Viking rejected authority, he felt no inclination to bow to God or king. This inherent rebelliousness, known as baghy in Arabic, is one of his defining characteristics.
“Beyond doubt then, the Skaldic verse is our most valid and genuine literary data on the heathen or Viking age. On the other hand, much of it is so complicated and abstruse that it cannot be understood today, even by experts. Indeed, it is doubtful if some of the verses were completely understood by the poet's contemporaries…Their more formal and elaborate verses could not be composed, appreciated, or understood without an arduous and consciously acquired technical education. A part of their technique involved the extravagant use of the implied simile, the kenning—that is, whenever possible, the Skald refrained from calling a being or thing by its ordinary name and instead invented a name (or used an already established invention) that displayed his intimate knowledge of the mythology”.
Vikings, in popular culture at least, tend to be depicted with the characteristic horned helmets. Is it a coincidence that Gog and Magog were banished behind the barrier by Dhul Qarnayn, which means, literally, ‘the Possessor of Two Horns’? Historians say that there is no real evidence of Vikings wearing bi-horned helmets, but there is some evidence of them using such helmets in some of their pagan rituals. Is it possible that these people, trapped for thousands of years apart from the rest of humanity, incorporated into their mythology the legend of an ancient time when a man, a ‘Possessor of Two Horns’, had banished them into their icy prison where they were destined to remain until the Last Days?
The Time Issue
One may reasonably ask how it is possible that the Vikings could have been Gog and Magog when they emerged over a thousand years ago, and the hadiths mention that Gog and Magog will fight Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace) when he returns to this world near the end of Time. How is it possible that the prophecies regarding Gog and Magog come to be fulfilled over forty generations after they first emerge? Does this make any sense? Is there even any trace of the original Gog and Magog people left after so many centuries of interbreeding and mixing of genes with other peoples?
With regard to the passing of many generations since their first release, the Quran provides us with another example of such a phenomenon and proves that a people may still be considered intimately related to distant forebears. The Prophets Abraham and Ishmael prayed to Allah to make from their progeny “a believing nation”, and to “raise a prophet from amongst them”. This supplication was fulfilled thousands of years later when the Final Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and mercy) was sent to the Arabs and the whole of Mankind. This indicates that the passing of many generations does not preclude a progeny from intimate association with their forefathers, in the Quranic paradigm.
“And there is prohibition upon [the people of] a city which We have destroyed that they will [ever] return
The word used here to describe the movement of Gog and Magog from every elevation [ie every place (think world order)], is ‘yansiloon’, translated as ‘descend’ in the translation above. Others have translated it as ‘swiftly swarm’. The word ‘yansiloon’ is profound in our context, as it is derived from the root, nasl, which means, literally, ‘progeny’. The idea of ‘yansiloon’, ‘to descend’, is derived from the descent of the baby out of the mother’s womb. Here, a clue to support our theory of the coming forth of Gog and Magog as an emergence over many generations lies in the ayah itself, but Allah knows best. To close, we can quote a powerful verse penned by the great Indian Muslim scholar and poet, Muhammad Iqbal, who wrote:
With cleverness/wisdom and prudence this uproar (chaos) cannot be delayed
It is possible that Iqbal had taken this idea from Imam Anwar Shah, and Allah knows best. Could it be that the words, ‘from every elevated place’, predict the use of air travel? The armies of Gog and Magog descending from the skies? And Allah knows best.
We seek refuge with Him from all evil, deviation, misguidance and corruption. And we ask Him to enter us amongst His believing slaves. May peace and mercy be upon the Final Messenger and his family and Companions and all those who follow in their footsteps until the Last Day. And finally, all praise is to Allah the Creator and Lord of the Heavens and the Earth.
In dire need of his Lord the Exalted and Majestic,
Ridhwan ibn Muhammad Saleem
Jones, Gwyn: The Vikings. (1993)
Please note that this is a ‘rough and ready’ translation of the selected passages just to give an idea of the Imam’s thoughts, and readers are advised to refer to the original text for enhanced accuracy. Words within square brackets are inserted by myself for explanatory purposes.
Chapter on the Story of Gog and Magog.
The Barrier of Dhul Qarnayn has already collapsed. The Quran nowhere demands that it must remain [erect] until the 'coming forth', khuruj, of Gog and Magog, or that the Barrier prevents them from 'coming forth'. These are just unwarranted conclusions that are reached [from the Quranic verses]. Allah said, "We leave them, some of them surging upon others, that day" [Kahf: 99], "Until, when Gog and Magog are released..." [Anbiya: 96]. Therefore, they will come forth time after time. They came forth before that as well, and caused corruption and destruction upon the Earth in ways unmentionable. Yes, there is a destined time for them to come forth at the End Times, and that will be the most severe of their manifestations. However, the Quran does not state that this last manifestation will take place immediately after the collapse of the Barrier. The Quran only promises that the Barrier will collapse. And it has collapsed as was promised.
As for their emergence taking place immediately after its collapse, there is no basis for that. Do you not see that the Prophet (upon him be mercy and peace) counted his own demise as being from the signs of the Last Hour, as well as the conquests of Jerusalem and Constantinople? Did they occur immediately, or was there a long gap between them? The same is the case with this text. Yes, the text does state that their coming forth will not be until after the collapse [of the Barrier]. But it does not say that it will not collapse until they come forth.
As for what regards Gog and Magog themselves: know that they are the progeny of Yafuth, by consensus of the historians...and Britons admit that they are from the progeny of Magog. Similarly, Germany is from them. As for Russia, they are from the progeny of Gog. These are all naught other than human beings.
The meaning of 'coming forth', khuruj, is entering into battle, and causing destruction and corruption. There is no doubt that this will take place in its appointed time...the Barrier is [no longer] preventing them from causing corruption and destruction. They will come forth against the rest of mankind at one time when they will be destroyed by the supplication of Jesus (upon him be peace).
Someone may object that [I have contradicted this by saying that] the physical obstacle has been removed from them a long time ago, ie the Barrier has collapsed, and they have already come forth. My reply is that this coming forth [of Gog and Magog] is not the one intended, as Jesus has not yet descended. The affair will continue in this manner until some of them [Gog and Magog] come forth, who have not emerged before, and who will be the ones at the time of Jesus (upon him be peace). In other words, they come forth time after time [until the final ones at the time of Jesus], just like the coming forth of the Khawarij [a deviant sect who emerged time after time in generation after generation]. It is not one single emergence from behind the Barrier.
The Quran does not mention the word, khuruj, from behind this Barrierin the ayah of Surah al Kahf. Only the Barrier is mentioned. As for the verse in Surah Anbiya, "Until, when Gog and Magog are released", there is no mention of the Barrier, hence this ‘release’ is more general. It is as if the ayah, “And We leave some of them, that day, to surge against others”, appears to allude to two distinct groups of them - some of them come forth from behind the Barrier and some from elsewhere. It is as if the collapse of the Barrier is the place where some of them emerge, and the time for others of them to come forth....
So, Gog and Magog are not confined to only those who were trapped behind the Barrier. The Quran mentions both those [who were behind the barrier] and those who were not. That is because the question was about Dhul Qarnayn, not about Gog and Magog alone. So [Allah] mentions first the specific group who were trapped behind the barrier, then generalises when He says, "That day, We leave some of them to surge against others". This, then, refers to a continually repeating process, until finally the last group [of Gog and Magog] will emerge at the time of the descent of Jesus (upon him be peace]. Thus, in this instance the Quran is more general than the Hadith. Similarly, the words of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, "and from every elevated place, they descend" [Anbiya:96], mentions every elevated place [ie not just from behind the Barrier]. This makes sense if it is established that the Europeans are from them [ie Gog and Magog], and that they emerge again and again. And [in the ayah in Surah al Kahf] the Quran mentions specifically those who were trapped behind the Barrier, but it does not state that the Barrier cannot be destroyed or that they cannot emerge time after time, until their final emergence at the time of the descent of Jesus (upon him be peace).
The beginning of the collapse of the Barrier took place during the time of the Prophet (upon him be peace and mercy) when he said, "Woe to the Arabs, from an evil that has drawn close. Today, a breach like this has occurred in the Barrier of Gog and Magog"...
it is mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel that they will emerge against the Children of Israel...and they will come from the furthest North-West, as many nations - none but Allah knows their number - and cause corruption and destruction, and they will seek [to conquer] Jerusalem…
It is mentioned in the prophetic hadiths that they will head for Jerusalem, but this is not directly linked to the collapse of the Barrier...
It is important to know that the saying of Dhul Qarnayn, "When the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it to collapse", is from himself. There is no evidence that it is meant to be from the signs of the Hour. Perhaps, he had no knowledge of that. He meant by 'promise' the promise that it would collapse. In this case, the words of Allah, "And We leave some of them to surge upon others" would signify a continually repeating process [ie. successive emergences of Gog and Magog]. True, the words of Allah, "Until, when Gog and Magog are released, and from every elevated place they descend" refer to a sign of the Last Hour, but there is no mention of the Barrier in this ayah - therefore, understand the difference!
ثم أتبع سببا
حتى إذا بلغ بين السدين وجد من دونهما قوما لا يكادون يفقهون قولا
92. Then followed he (another) way,
“And there is prohibition upon [the people of] a city which We have destroyed that they will [ever] return
EXTENSIVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
#1 Farhan 2012-02-05 11:25 If g&m are the vikings then how do we correlate that to the yahood (Jews) and also the zionists? Who are the khazars and how relevant is their link to the zionists? Also how will the vikings drink from lake tiberias until it is dry?
#2 Ridhwan Saleem 2012-02-05 11:29 According to my theory, the vikings were the original g&m who were trapped behind the barrier of dhul-qarnayn. When they were released, they colonised european countries especially britain, hence why europe becomes the g&m civilisation. The link to the yahood is that the yahood do not return to the holy land "until g&m are released", as sh imran has interpreted the verse of quran in surah anbiya. Therefore, the g&m are supporters of the zionist project. This is why you find britain first setting up the state of israel for the jews, and later america becoming its major defender. This explains why the christian right in america are the most ardent supporters of the zionist state. The khazars were a turkish people who converted to judaism in the middle ages. I personally do not believe their significance is anything more than that. This is the only point where i differ from sh imran. I respect all his work. The only new thing i believe i am bringing to the table is to identify who g&m were. As mentioned in my article, i was never convinced of the theory of the khazars as being g&m because they simply don't fill the profile. Even though sh imran has attempted to show that a barrier could have existed in the daryal gorge through the caucasus mountains, i really feel this is farfetched. Even if such a barrier did exist, then it definitely did not prevent the khazar people from moving into surrounding lands. How could a barrier from one direction prevent these people from moving in the other 3 directions? The khazar people were not trapped and blocked off from all surrounding people until the time of the prophet (upon him be peace). I agree with the theory of sh imran and sh anwar shah that the g&m were released during the lifetime of the prophet (upon him be mercy and peace) as mentioned in the saheeh hadith, "today a breach has occured in the barrier of g&m". The vikings, however, came out of the most northern region beyond the norwegian mountains. We can see that if the mountains were blocked to them, they would be prevented from all other directions by seas [they did not have the technology to build ships at the time], and to the north extreme cold. We say that the descendants of the vikings are g&m within european cilvisation. Sh imran also identifies europe [and its american offspring] as containing g&m. So here i do not differ with him. The only difference is sh imran identifies the khazars as the original g&m who then infiltrated european civilisation, whereas i identify the vikings as the original g&m who were trapped behind the barrier and infiltrated european civilisation. As you know, the lake tiberias is getting shallower and shallower. When the last generation of g&m come to drink from it - this will be at the time of prophet isa (upon him be peace) - it will be dried up. It is just a theory, and i could be wrong. It is up to muslims to evaluate the evidence. And allah knows best.
#3 Khaleel 2012-02-05 11:30 Asalam, Page 6 last paragraph from the bottom, 5th line from the bottom "knownas" and "Rus" may possibly be typos? I am unclear as to what your intention behind this study is? Is it a study of the sheikhs works mentioned? or is it an extension on their works? Subhan'Allah I have studied this subject in a fair depth, and other than the assumption or strong likelihood according to your article, that a strong possibility is that the gog, magog are vikings, the work which i have studied is fairly similar. I can see from your article that you have not completely ruled out another nation capable of such heinous crimes, but one fundamental criticism I have of your article( I am obviously no authority on this matter, please do not be offended) is the lack of islamic evidence used i.e. Quran and Ahadith. I will get you extensive evidence of gog, magog from ahadith (without hopefully sounding like a wahabi). Which mostly consist of their movements, how many waves of them there will be and their physical descriptions. Insha'Allah I am going to try to get a hold of the document which is mostly referencing and Quranic text in relation to the gog, magog! On page 14 you state some very interesting questions, but seem a bit subjective and I think practically impossible to prove. It could seem to the reader that you are directing them to your chain of thought which could easily be seen as subjective. But as a side note I completely understand what you mean. It is a fair assumption, but some form of facts may be required to strengthen those unanswerable questions in the first paragraph! In regards to the 2 horns argument, I am sure that their must be some form of evidence to support that they used to were the 2 horned helmet, even though it could be coincidence. Maybe? In regards to the sub-heading 'The Time Issue' there is a lot of evidence(hadith ) about their emergence. But you go on to speak about lineage and bloodlines etc. Forgive me for my forwardness but have you done any research independently into Islamic evidence pertaining to gog magog, from my experience and study I have found that there is a lot of information out there. Please do not take offense to this question, I ask it of you sincerely, and not to cause insult to you or your academic research. Hopefully the document I get could possibly further supplement your study or even give you a different view point, and Allah knows best. But Mash' Allah very well writ, very easy to understand, very easy to follow. Wallahi my Brother, ALLAH the almighty as my witness I mean to cause no offense by my questioning. Anything good which comes out of this interrogation of your works is from Allah The Majestic anything other than good from my questioning is from the accursed and my stupidy. Look forward to your response.
#4 Ridhwan Saleem 2012-02-05 11:32 Not at all, no offense taken whatsoever, the reason for sending it out to brothers like yourself is precisely to get your feedback, comments etc, which you have done with great sincerity and adab. With regards to the ahadith about G&M, I have also read extensively on the subject. This is where we need to be really careful about taking what is authentic. Surprisingly, the salafis go on about authentic hadiths, but in books on this subject, they include all sorts of spurious narrations. With regard to Signs of the Last Day, especially, one has to be really careful, because many, many narrations came into the old texts on this subject that were very weak or from Jewish sources. This is why in my article, I focus on the information we have about G&M from Quran and very strong hadiths that come through multiple saheeh chains of transmission. You cannot get any hadith report stronger than one which has multiple chains in saheeh al bukhari from different Sahaba. So many things were written in the old books about G&M, such as having huge ears, sharp teeth etc, but it is important to check the authenticity of these narrations. So I think your point is very relevant, but in fact this is exactly what I try to do - to filter the authentic revelation that we have from weak and often spurious sourc material. You also asked in what way my article was adding anything. The first part of my article summarises some of Sh Imran's main ideas, but the big new thing i bring to the table is identifying the G&M as the Vikings and their descendants. Of course it is only a theory, and Allah knows best, but the more I looked into it, the more I became convinced that they were the G&M mentioned in tne Quran, because they fully fit the profile in Quran and authentic hadiths. They came from the furtherst North of the Earth, they came out during the lifetime of the Prophet (upon him be peace), they were spreaders of corruption and fasad, they were the major factor in the rise of the bloody terror that came out of western Europe for 3 centuries, known as the Crusades, and their descendants eventually created the white world order that we live in today. I do not rule out that other people have also been barbarian like the Vikings, and indeed as I point out in the article, just because the Quran says thet the G&M are people who cause fasad, this does not mean other people in history cannot cause fasad - you see what I mean. It like if I say 'a bee can sting', it does not mean no other animal can sting. However, I do suggest that the Vikings were possibly unique in the level of depravity they sank to in living like wild animals, as evidenced by having sexual activity in public, and fighting one's parents. These two activities resemble animals more than humans, and I doubt that even other 'barbarian' people went down to that level. But, to be honest, I dont have the knowledge to say for certain, which is why I merely ask the question rather than assert it for sure. Either way, it does not affect my argument that the Vikings were G&M, but merely strengthens it if true. I welcome your comments and questions, jazak Allah khayr.
#5 Khaleel 2012-02-05 11:43 I believe these hadiths have been verified to all be sahih, but i'll let you be the judge of that, and one other point is that the gog magog are stated in the prophetic hadiths as coming from the east not the west??? ------------------- Sahih Muslim Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah Book 41, No. 6959 Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The Last Hour would not come until the Muslims fight with the turks-a people whose faces would be like hammered shields wearing clothes of hair and walking (with shoes) of hair. -------------------- Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah Book 41, No. 7015 An-Nawwas b. Sam'an reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) made a mention of the Dajjal one day in the morning. He sometimes described him to be insignificant and sometimes described... No. 7016 This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Jabir with the same chain of transmitters but with this addition that Gog and magog would walk until they would reach the mountain of al-Khamar and it is a mountain of Bait-ul-Maqdis and they would say: We have killed those who are upon the earth. Let us now kill those who are In the sky and they would throw their arrows towards the sky and the arrows would return to them besmeared with blood. And in the narration of Ibn Hujr (the words are):" I have sent such persons (Gog and magog) that none would dare fight against them. ------------------- Bukhâry Jihaad, Book 52, No. 179 Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair." -------------------- Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions Book 56, No. 787 Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "The Hour will not be established till you fight a nation wearing hairy shoes, and till you fight the turks, who will have small eyes, red faces and flat noses; and their faces will be like flat shields. And you will find that the best people are those who hate responsibility of ruling most of all till they are chosen to be the rulers. And the people are of different natures: The best in the pre-lslamic period are the best in Islam. A time will come when any of you will love to see me rather than to have his family and property doubled." -------------------- Prophets, Book 55, No. 567 [ Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), 'O adam.' adam will reply, 'Labbaik wa Sa'daik', and all the good is in Your Hand.' Allah will say: 'Bring out the people of the fire.' adam will say: 'O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?' Allah will reply: 'From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.' At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage, and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah." The companions of the Prophet asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is that (excepted) one?" He said, "Rejoice with glad tidings; one person will be from you and one-thousand will be from Gog and Magog." The Prophet further said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is, hope that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He added, "I hope that you will be one-third of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He said, "I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He further said, "You (Muslims) (compared with non Muslims) are like a black hair in the skin of a white ox or like a white hair in the skin of a black ox (i.e. your number is very small as compared with theirs)." ------------------------- Tafseer of the Prophet (pbuh) Book 60, No. 265 Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: The Prophet said, "On the day of Resurrection Allah will say, 'O adam!' adam will reply, 'Labbaik our Lord, and Sa'daik ' Then there will be a loud call (saying), Allah orders you to take from among your offspring a mission for the (Hell) Fire.' adam will say, 'O Lord! Who are the mission for the (Hell) Fire?' Allah will say, 'Out of each thousand, take out 999.' At that time every pregnant female shall drop her load (have a miscarriage) and a child will have grey hair. And you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet not drunk, but severe will be the torment of Allah." (22.2) (When the Prophet mentioned this), the people were so distressed (and afraid) that their faces got changed (in color) whereupon the Prophet said, "From Gog and magog nine-hundred ninety-nine will be taken out and one from you. You Muslims (compared to the large number of other people) will be like a black hair on the side of a white ox, or a white hair on the side of a black ox, and I hope that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise." On that, we said, "Allahu-Akbar!" Then he said, "I hope that you will be) one-third of the people of Paradise." We again said, "Allahu-Akbar!" Then he said, "(I hope that you will be) one-half of the people of Paradise." So we said, Allahu Akbar."
#6 Ridhwan Saleem 2012-02-05 11:45 salam, jazak Allah khayr for that. The hadiths you sent me do not state that the G&M are turks. The hadiths about muslims fighting turks do not mention G&M at all. There was no saheeh hadith that you sent me that mentioned G&M coming from the East.
#7 xtermin8r 2012-02-16 15:28 Salam Dear brother ridhwan I found your article very interesting.i too have been researching gog magog for many years now, and your article confirms some of my own findings. Shukran.
#8 detox 2012-03-11 05:39 I have reached a similar conclusion as yours from my own look at the prophecys. I typed the following elsewhere on a forum: Here's why I think certain aspects of Moulana Imran Hosein's thesis needs to be re-considered:- - To attribute the travels of Dhul Qarnayn to be from one end of caucasian mountain to the other end and then to a gap somewhere in between is quite simplistic. How exactly is that supposed to make him a "great traveller" ? I would expect the travels from east to west to stretch a continent. - The inhabitants of every side of caucasian mountain are essentially one people. Dhul Qarnayn in his travels to west, east and third direction instead meets different people. - The caucasian mountain range is inhabited by muslims and had a muslim presence going back even to the time of Khazars. - The only Khazarian "monsterous evil" attribute was simply that it was a strong defense against muslim incursion into East Europe for sometime. They were defeated later. Not much of a monster to me. - There seems to be absence of evidence of a mass conversion of Khazars to Jews. The evidence also indicates some conversion to Islam and presence of muslims in the khazar empire. The border of volga region of Russia still has muslim presence. West end half of Khazakastan, bordering Russia, were part of Khazar empire. The capital of khazar empire, Atil, is close to Khazakstan even though in Russia . - No evidence of Khazar dispersion into every direction as supposed to be in case of gogmagog. - The black sea is not much of significant indicator since even the baltic sea and caspian sea have brakish water. So the western sea where sun set, can equally be the baltic sea. -------------------- Why I think a Scandinavian/viking link to magog has more evidence than khazar - Gogmagog in the time of Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) were still within the barrier. So if they were released during that time, we are supppsed see a people who dispersed in a barbarian way in different directions after the 7th century. The scandinavian through vikings infact did disperse and settle in possibly every part of Europe after the 7th. - They are the ones who defeated the Khazar empire itself and came to dominate Russia. They weakened the west half of Roman empire. - Their conversion is more dodgy then Khazar conversion. They chose to convert to christianity because christianity unlike Islam allowed eating swine and drinking alchohol. - Those regions today have high rate of atheism. - The scandinavians were a principle force behind crusades. Therefore we see the obsession towards Jerusalem from this. As they settled in other parts of europe, that obsession was carried onto others. - The scandinavians did associate themselves to be descendants of magog. While khazars associate themselves to be descendant of togarmah, who is only a cousin of magog. - Scandinavia makes up most of the iron ore deposits of europe. The iron barrier of dhul qarnayn after all requires iron deposites. End quote I have also made some connection with Israelites, which I then briefed it in a recent blog, which can be read here: http://joelsdeceit.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/are-gog-israelites-20/
#9 Imran 2012-03-18 05:12 Dear Sidi Ridhwan, Assalamu alaikum. I pray you are well. JazakAllah khair for your article on the Gog and Magog. I found it very useful and a light with which I can understand the Euro/American forceful dominance of the Muslim world. I understand the US and Australia (and I think Israel too) to be an extension of the European family. Subsquently, I had been wondering if the forceful Euro dominance, militarily and economically, of other parts of the world had been mentioned in ahadith or in the Quran. I wish more ulema would teach and write about this. JazakAllah khair, sidi. Please do write more. Could I please ask: 1. What are your thoughts on the Sufyani. It appears he is a major precursor to the Mahdi? I have read elsewhere that the hadith mentioning the Sufyani has weakness in it. 2. (i) In your article you mention, the Messenger of God (Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that the barrier had been breached and he made a circle with his finger and thumb. Please forgive me for asking this: was the area he made a figurative size in relation to the whole? If the size was literally taken, one person could not get out of a hole this size! (ii) Also, in relation to the above: the hadith that I always remember reading about Gog and Magog was that a hole this size would be made and they would never say 'inshAllah', and the hole would be covered the next day. But one day they would say 'inshAllah' and the hole would not be covered up again and they would escape. I look forward to hearing from you, wassalamu alaikum. Quote
#10 Ridhwan 2012-03-19 11:33 wa alaikum assalam Br Imran, Jazak Allah khayr and thank you for your feedback. I am not an expert on the subject of the Sufyani, but as far as I understand, I do not believe the reports are authentic. According to (western) historians, after Yazid ibn Muawiya the caliphate passed on to a different branch of the Ummayad family. At that time, a movement arose who were supporters of Muawiya's clan and wished for the 'good old' days of early Ummayad rule. It seems that this group developed the idea that a messianic figure known as the 'Sufyani' would one day appear to restore the caliphate to Muawiya's line. [Don't forget the father of Muawiya was Abu Sufyan). Allah knows best. With regards to the Prophet (upon him be mercy and peace) making the sign of a hole with his thumb and forefinger, I would interpret this as symbolic of the breach, rather than the actual size of the hole. The final hadith you mentioned is the hadith of Tirmidhi, in which it is mentioned that G&M dig through the barrier every day and come close to breaching it but, when they return the following day, they find it sealed up again. As I mentioned in my article, Imam Anwar Shah discusses this hadith in Faydul Bari and dismisses it for two reasons: 1. It contradicts what is in more authentic hadiths, ie that the Prophet said that a breach has occurred today in the Barrier of G&M. Clearly this contradicts the hadith of Tirmidhi. Therefore, we take the more authentic narration. 2. Hadith authorities have criticised the Tirmidhi hadith saying that it may not be from the Prophet (upon him be peace) at all, but rather from Ka`b.
#11 sand 2012-03-30 11:44 Thank you for taking the time to write this excellent piece,have you tried to discuss your views on G&M with sheikh imran hosein?
#19 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 15:49 Yes, I have had extensive correspondence with him by email and Skype, alhamdo lillah.
#12 Faqir Alamm 2012-04-22 11:38 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh , MashahAllah What an Amazing Article ...
#20 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 15:50 Jazak Allah khayr was-salam
#13 Ihsan 2012-08-07 23:57 Assalyamu Aleikum Sheikh. Yajuj ua Majuj are Aryan Germanic and Slavic tribes that were known to Romans as Scythians in the Antiquity. The first mention of Scythians was made by Herodotus himself in 4th century BC. He described them as cruel barbarians plunging whole regions of Roman Empire and Middle East. It is remarkable that Scythians at the time of Herodotus mostly inhabited today's Russia and frequently plundered North Caucasian region using the Daryal Pass in the Caucasus as the gate to enter into Middle East. It was Cyrus the Great, who presumably is Dhul-Qarnayn, who once and for all stopped Scythian terror in the Middle East. Archeological and genetic studies done by German and French institutes indicate that Scythians were blonde haired modern white european type, that is, Scythians were ancestors of today's Germanic tribes (normans, anglo-saxons, franks, goths, alemannians, etc.) and Slavic tribes (rus, polish, czech, serbs, etc). In fact, it is these germanic and slavic tribes who initiated colonization age and competed in getting every strategic inch (hadabin) on land, sea, air and space under their control. They created the world order we live in today and they contributed the most in getting the jews into the Holy Land. Regards, Brother Ihsan
#22 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 16:52 Jazak Allah khayr and thank you for your comment. I have already mentioned in my article the weaknesses in considering the Barrier to have been in the Caucasus region. The Caucasus mountains simply do not constitute a barrier to trap a tribe of people as there are three other directions that are perfectly traversable. The Germanic tribes of Europe were not the original G&M. However, once the G&M were released upon Europe during the Viking Age, the G&M (Vikings) interbred extensively with the Germanic peoples of Europe (eg the Anglo-Saxons) and so assimilated into one people. I think the best way to understand G&M is to realize that they are a civilization, an ummah. Just like the Muslims are one Islamic civilization, one ummah. Hence we realise that the issue of G&M is not a genetic issue, it is not a race issue, which is very important to understand so that we avoid introducing a racist aspect to our understanding of the End Times. As G&M are human beings, they may become Muslim like any other human being. If a descendant of the Vikings becomes Muslim, he enters into the Islamic civilization, or Islamic ummah. Conversely, a person from any racial background may enter the G&M, or Western, civilization and become part of that ummah. Personally, I feel there are only two civilizations in the world today, the Western, or G&M, civilization and the Islamic civilization. Others, such as the Indian and Chinese, have incorporated into the global Western G&M civilization. (I could be wrong about this). I think this would explain the hadith that 999 of every one thousand people will enter the Fire, and most will be from G&M. The key aspect here is the definition of 'civilization', which I take to be synonymous with the Arabic term 'ummah'. The Quran talks about the 'umam' (plural of ummah) that passed before us. And the Prophet (upon him be mercy and peace) described the Christians as an ummah and the Jews as an ummah. The Muslims are also one ummah. There is clearly a historic dimension to these umam, so I feel the term 'civilization' is apt. Similarly, G&M are an ummah. They are the civilization that is destined to eclipse the Islamic civilization towards the end of Time and which will finally be destroyed by the direct punishment of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala from Heaven. May Allah ta`ala make us all from the ummah of Sayyinduna Muhammad (upon him be peace and mercy for all time).
#14 Mohamed 2012-08-09 01:55 Asalaam alaikum, JazakAllah khair for your article on the Gog and Magog. I found it very useful. I just wanted to share with you this interresting hadith, what do you think about it. It correspond with your research about the Viking and the time (middle of 6th century) when Umar died!!! [Afflictions which will move like the waves of the sea (Might be Gog & Magog) Allah knows best. Narrated Shaqiq: I heard Hudhaifa saying, "While we were sitting with 'Umar, he said, 'Who among you remembers the statement of the Prophet about the afflictions?' Hudhaifa said, "The affliction of a man in his family, his property, his children and his neighbors are expiated by his prayers, Zakat (and alms) and enjoining good and forbidding evil." 'Umar said, "I do not ask you about these afflictions, but about those afflictions which will move like the waves of the sea." Hudhaifa said, "Don't worry about it, O chief of the believers, for there is a closed door between you and them." 'Umar said, "Will that door be broken or opened?" I said, "No. it will be broken." 'Umar said, "Then it will never be closed," I said, "Yes." We asked Hudhaifa, "Did 'Umar know what that door meant?" He replied, "Yes, as I know that there will be night before tomorrow morning, that is because I narrated to him a true narration free from errors." We dared not ask Hudhaifa as to whom the door represented so we ordered Masruq to ask him what does the door stand for? He replied, "'Umar." (Bukhari V.9 B.88-216) *The government of Umar was more or less a unitary government, where the sovereign political authority was the Caliph. The empire of Umar was divided into provinces and some autonomous territories like in some regions Azerbaijan, Armenia and caucasus, that had accepted the suzerainty of the Caliphate. The provinces were administered by the provincial governors or Wali. The selection of which was made personally by Umar, who was very fastidious in it.
#15 Fahad 2012-09-01 14:33 Dear Ridhwan, Assalamo Alaikum, MashaAllah, you have presented a well researched theory. I didn't seen any mention about the identity of Dhul Qarnain in your article. While Sheikh Imran Hossein has identified him to be Cyrus of Persia, and his theory fits well with the travels of Cyrus. If we assume Vikings to be G&M, then the identity of Dhul Qarnain and his famous travles remain a question. Please provide your insight on the above subject. Thanks.
#24 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 17:26 Wa alaikum assalam Br Fahad, thank you for your insightful comment. As mentioned briefly in my article and in a recent blog post, I do not find the idea of the Caucasus range being the location of the Barrier to be plausible, and the theory of Cyrus as Dhul-Qarnayn rests on this premise. If the Barrier was in the Caucasus and G&M were trapped behind it, there is no reason why they could not travel around it in three other directions! If Allah has guided me to the correct opinion about the Vikings being the original G&M people, I would consider Dhul Qarnayn to have been a prehistoric figure who may have lived 8-10,000 years ago. This was the earliest time that humans could have lived in Scandinavia as the Ice Age would have prevented habitation prior to this. I agree with Sh Imran Hosein that Dhul Qarnayn was one of the few (if not only) leader in human history who was given global dominion. The reason why I suspect he lived 8-10,000 years ago is because the world at that time was still one huge land mass. The American continent was still accessible via a land bridge. This means Dhul Qarnayn could have literally traveled to the furthest West and furthest East as the Quran seems to indicate. And Allah knows best.
#16 Nabeel Aejaz 2012-09-04 15:19 Salam, Thought you would like to see this (look at the bottom in the map for Yajooj Majooj): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Al-Idrisi%27s_world_map.JPG
#23 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 17:13 Jazak Allah khayr, this is fascinating. Clearly, Idrisi had the idea that G&M were at the furthest North of the Earth.
#17 Detox 2012-11-01 19:54 In your lecture you mentioned that some of Christians during the time of the Viking age did identify the Vikings as Gog-Magog. Could you point me the reference to this ? Jazakallah Khair
#18 Anon 2013-08-04 12:26 So we're in agreement that the cacausians are decendents of gog and Magog. But we do not know who they're decendent from, scythians or Vikings?
#25 Ridhwan 2013-08-04 17:35 Once the Vikings had colonized various parts of Europe, they extensively interbred with the host populations of Europe.
#21 Anon 2013-08-04 16:23 No this is too far fetched. Norway is at the end of the earth and he needed to get by the gates of Alexander and travel thousands of kilometres to get to the Vikings. I think it was the scythians and khazars
#26 Detox 2013-08-04 19:30 There is another connection I would like to mention. There are some narrations like in Musnad of Imam Ahmed, that says the Gog-Magog are descendant of Turks (Yafeth) (not to be equated with modern Turkey). And so the studies that show the Scandinavians to be a descendant of Scythians, is not something that should be a problem and in my view agrees with the narrations that describe GogMagog as Turks. And this connection is also the one in the Bible. The Wikipedia entry does show early Christian writers connecting Magog with Scandinavians: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japhetic
#27 Brother 2013-08-05 05:14 The Caucasus mountains simply do not constitute a barrier to trap a tribe of people as there are three other directions that are perfectly traversable. - Tell me how it's possible for dul qurnian to have travelled ALL the way to Norway on his horse. And if its 10000 years ago there wouldn't be any domesticated horses. And no one would know how to smelt iron This was a long time ago. We don't know the condition of the Caucasus back then. It may have been blocked by some sort or by snow. The scythians and Samaritans are the only plausible explanation. The khazars are the direct gog. But I don't know who Magog is and I dispise people who say its Russia. I'm sorry but shiek imran is the only logical one here How can Magog be Russia??? Quote
#28 Ridhwan 2013-08-06 05:01 You may have a valid point about pre-Iron Age. I would like to stress that the figure of 8-10,000 is pure conjecture at this stage, and may be completely wrong. However, I stated that I believe he is a 'pre-historic' figure. Please check the definition of 'prehistoric'. The point is that we know next to nothing about prehistory. It is estimated that modern humans have been around for about 200,000 years. We don't know anything about those past people. For all we know, some people in the past may have been more scientifically and technologically advanced than today's arrogant fools. The schoolboy textbook version of how humans evolved through hunter-gatherer, farming, domesticating animals, etc until we get to the modern Western man is a 19th century fairy tale invented by the hubris of modern European white man. To understand how much conjecture goes into the writing of history in modern textbooks, we need to go back to the discipline of historiography.
#29 Brother 2013-08-09 23:43 Salam Sorry I meant scythians and sarmatians* I just looked at the Norwegian mountains and let me tell you they're not that hard to scale. Infact many people do it everyday not to mention skiing. The whole mountain range is a collection of snow and barren top. I don't think there's any iron reserves in the whole mountain range. There are also rivers by that are not that hard to swim or boat by. Remember prophet Noah built a boat to escape the flood? The Vikings were pirates right? Couldn't they cross those waters to nearby land? Trust me those range aren't that hard to climb let alone jump past a barrier. Now the caucaus is a whole mountain. The Norwegian area are a collection of land, sea and land. There's no "scandanaivan mountains". The caucaus however is one of the few highest on earth. The mountain pass is known for the name "gate" throughout all cultures. Now if you say that's lie ie. fabrication by the people of the book AND Persians ok. The caucaus mountains are very high impossible to scale climb. There's vast amount of iron and minerals. The pass isn't that big to fill. Remember dul qurnian was traveling. I don't think he had time to fill miles of area. The Scandinavian mountains or area are vast collection of rivers and land. It's very had to jump past those. I think you should take a look at the area through google earth. It's not that hard to climb and the Vikings had boats remember? Quote
#30 Brother 2013-08-10 00:06 Sorry mean there's no true "Scandinavian mountains" Exhibit A: http://www.scandinavianmountains.com/images/hero/generic.jpg
#31 Brother 2013-08-10 00:12 caucasus mountains Georgia http://humanandnatural.com/data/media/38/ushba_caucasus_mountains_georgia.jpg Quote
#32 Brother 2013-08-10 00:30 Exhibit B: remember those things at the bottom are houses. Now all Dul qurnian needed to do is find a "narrow" area and fill it up with iron and molten copper. The Darial Gorge (Darial originates from Dar-e Alān (در الان) meaning Gate of the Alans in Persian. The gorge, alternatively known as the Iberian Gates or the Caucasian Gates, is mentioned in the Georgian annals under the names of Darialani; Strabo calls it Porta Caucasica and Porta Cumana; Ptolemy, Fortes Sarmatica; it was sometimes known as Porta Caucasica and Portae Caspiae (a name bestowed also on the "gate" or pass beside the Caspian Sea at Derbent); and the Tatars call it Darioly.) which lies remains of ancient fortress is the perfect size.
#33 Brother 2013-08-10 00:33 Forget about the prehistoric "For all we know, some people in the past may have been more scientifically and technologically advanced than today's arrogant fools." time
#34 Brother 2013-08-10 01:45 You're forgetting another group of people that plundered, pillaged, raped and occupied 1/3 of the world in less than 100 years. The Mongols "In various times Mongolic peoples have been equated with the Scythians, the Magog and the Tungusic peoples. Based on Chinese historical texts the ancestry of the Mongolic peoples can be traced back to the Donghu, a nomadic confederation occupying eastern Mongolia and Manchuria." Remember Allah swt said 999/1000 will be from hell fire.
#35 Brother 2013-08-10 02:30 Sorry for the long post Let's get this straight. The only people who are not Gog and Magog are the decendents of Noah's sons Ham and Shem. Meaning Africans, Negros, Arabs, Greeks (Socrates was a prophet who was send to the Athenians) and The Aboriginals.
#36 Brother 2013-08-10 02:32 And Allah knows best.