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Thursday, June 26, 2008
GOG AND MAGOG: WHEN AND WHERE?
GOG AND MAGOG: WHEN AND WHERE?
Gog and Magog Will Appear in the End Times
Hundreds of portents revealing when and in what manner the End Times will begin are to be found in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas). The fact that the portents described by our Prophet (saas) 1,400 years ago are now coming to pass, one after the other, reveals that glad tidings awaited by believers for centuries are now finally close at hand.
These glad tidings of the End Times tell of the return to Earth of Prophet ‘Isa (as), the holy emissary of Allah, and the way that he, together with the Mahdi, mujaddid (the great renovator) of the 21st century, will put an end to the strife of the Dajjal and cause Qur’anic moral values to prevail all over the world.
In this article we shall be concentrating on Gog and Magog, which our Prophet (saas) has revealed as another portent of the End Times. Who Gog and Magog may be, when they will appear and how they will be eliminated have been subjects of concern for hundreds of years, and a great many books and articles have been written about them. However, we can obtain the most accurate information about Gog and Magog, who also appear in the Bible, the Christians’ holy scripture, and in the Torah of the Jews, from the verses of the Qur’an, the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) as well as the works of eminent Islamic scholars.
The Barrier Built by the Prophet Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) Prevented the Corruption of Gog and Magog in the Past
In Surat al-Kahf, Allah refers to Gog and Magog as follows:
They said, “Dhu’l-Qarnayn! Gog and Magog are causing corruption in the land. Can we, therefore, pay tribute to you in return for your constructing a barrier between us and them?’ (Surat al-Kahf: 94)
In these verses, Gog and Magog are described as a people who will cause corruption on Earth. Indeed, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi said of them that: “Gog and Magog are two communities created by Allah that plunder and sow disharmony, and whom it is impossible for the civilised and civilisation to escape.” (1)
He said, “The power my Lord has granted me is better than that. Just give me a strong helping hand and I will build a solid barrier between you and them. Bring me ingots of iron!” Then, when he had made it level between the two high mountainsides, he said, “Blow!” and when he had made it a red-hot fire, he said, “Bring me molten brass to pour over it.” They were, therefore, unable to climb over it nor were they able to make a breach in it. (Surat al-Kahf: 95-97)
As we are told in these verses, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) assisted those who asked for his help by building a strong barrier between two mountains. Bediuzzaman describes this barrier in these words: “It was a large wall, enclosed on all sides, to keep out the evil of those who bring forth wickedness.” (2)
The great wall built by Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) to keep out the peoples of Gog and Magog, halted the oppression of these wicked wreakers of evil.
The collapse of the Prophet Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s wall is a portent of Doomsday
Gog and Magog are also referred to in Surat al-Anbiya’. The verse in question refers to the period after that in Surat al-Kahf, and describes Gog and Magog as “a sign of Doomsday.” In the period before Doomsday, the barrier reported in Surat al-Kahf will be demolished, as is revealed as follows:
He said, “This is a mercy from my Lord. But when my Lord’s promise comes about, He will crush it flat. The promise of my Lord is surely true.” (Surat al-Kahf: 98)
There are several accounts concerning the demolition of the wall of Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as). According to Bediuzzaman, the common feature of all these accounts is that the demolition of the wall is regarded as a portent of Doomsday.
In his work Muhakamat, Bediuzzaman states that “The wall will be demolished when the time appointed by Allah comes…” (3) and “the destruction of the wall will be a portent of Doomsday.” (4)
The Qur’an tells us that when the wall is torn down, Gog and Magog will pour down from every peak:
When Gog and Magog are let loose and rush down from every slope, and the True Promise is very close, the eyes of those who disbelieved will be transfixed: “Alas for us! We were unmindful of this! No, rather we were definitely wrongdoers.” (Surat al-Anbiya’: 96-97)
The reference in the verses to “the True Promise is very close” means that the hour of Doomsday is approaching. In one of the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), we are told that: “Doomsday will not take place until ten signs appear: the Sun rising in the west, Smoke, the Beast (Dabba), Gog and Magog, the descent of ‘Isa (as) son of Maryam, three (great) earthquakes. . . .” (5)
Gog and Magog Consist of Such Peoples as the Mongols, Tatars and Manchus
Bediuzzaman has provided clear information as to the identities of Gog and Magog. He interprets the region where Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) built his wall as an area in the Himalayas: “A long wall was built between two mountains close to the Himalayan mountains, which for a long time prevented the frequent assaults of those savage peoples; and barriers were also built through the efforts of the kings of ancient Persia, who resembled Dhu’l-Qarnayn, in the mountains of Caucasia, in the region of Darband, to halt the inroads of the plundering and pillaging Tatar peoples.” (6)
Elsewhere, he states that Gog and Magog are Mongol and Manchu in origin, both Asiatic peoples:
It is an allusion and indication that just as the Manchurian and Mongol tribes, which in the heavenly tongue of the Qur’an are called “Gog and Magog,” together with some other tribes, several times overturned Asia and Europe; so will they again cause chaos in the world in the future.”(7)
The Mongols, who founded a great empire in the 13th century, wielded one of the most savage and barbaric armies in history.
Led first by Genghis Khan and later by his grandson Hulagu, this plundering horde of Mongols and Tatars perpetrated terrible slaughter. According to historical sources, they plundered everything in sight, destroyed, and murdered everyone, including women and children. When they reached Anatolia, they killed hundreds of thousands of people in Sivas, Kayseri and Tokat. They destroyed all mosques, libraries and madrassas in the regions they conquered. According to historical sources, they killed millions in some cities, right down even to dogs and cats. (8)
Like the Mongols, the Manchus were a barbaric, warlike and nomadic race that conquered many countries and perpetrated terrible massacres. In his works, Bediuzzaman reports that the Mongols and the Manchus are also the ancestors of Gog and Magog, who will appear in the End Times. One quotation from Bediuzzaman on this subject reads:
The most famous barrier on Earth, the Great Wall of China, covers a distance of several days’ journeying and was built to halt the incursions against the oppressed peoples of India and China of the savage tribes known in the Qur’an as Gog and Magog, and otherwise known as the Mongols and Manchurians. These tribes several times threw the world of humanity into chaos, and pouring out from behind the Himalayas wrought destruction from East to West.
According to this statement by Bediuzzaman, Gog and Magog:
* Are from the Manchu and Mongol races.
* First conquered Europe and Asia and devastated everywhere from East to West, and will again devastate the world in the End Times.
* Will emerge from behind the Himalayas.
* Are an aggressive and plundering society.
* Had their attacks halted by the barrier Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) erected to protect innocent peoples.
The Dajjal will Prepare the Way for Gog and Magog
In those hadiths regarding the End Times, it is related that the appearance of the Dajjal, who will orchestrate evil on Earth, turn people away from religious moral values and cause chaos and corruption, is one of the portents of Doomsday. The chaos, conflict and anarchy now being experienced in many parts of the globe, especially in the Islamic world, are one of the signs that the appearance of the Dajjal is approaching. In one hadith, this period is described as one in which “there will be great strife, chaos and rebellions and people will kill one another. People will take their own lives and disasters will enfold the world.” (10)
The information provided in the hadiths shows that the Dajjal will encourage, and even orchestrate, chaos and oppression on Earth. Constant bloodshed, killing, the slaughter of the innocent in wars, the destruction of order and the fear and restlessness that give rise to terror are spread with the Dajjal’s encouragement.
Hadiths report that the severity of these phenomena will increase when the Dajjal appears. Bediuzzaman has stated that by spreading corruption on Earth, the Dajjal will prepare the way for Gog and Magog:
“The Dajjal will prepare the way for anarchy and Gog and Magog by damaging the unifying elements that manage the social lives of Christians through the indoctrination of Satan and eliminating the stipulations of Christianity ”
According to this quotation from Bediuzzaman,
- The Dajjal will act in the light of Satan’s suggestions and rules.
- He will do away with the provisions of Christianity.
- He will impair those elements that bind Christians together.
- These actions will lead to anarchy, chaos and corruption in Christian societies.
- In the light of all this, he will establish a highly suitable environment for Gog and Magog, and these, anarchical and wicked, will benefit from this atmosphere of chaos.
Gog and Magog are a Society of Humans
From the verses of the Qur’an and the hadiths, it is clear that Gog and Magog are human. Some of the evidence on this subject is included in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas):
- According to the hadiths, “They will be descended from the line of Adam (as).” (11)
- Our Prophet (saas) has indicated, “They are one or two spans in size, the largest is three spans. . . .” (12) The term “one or two spans in size” is a generalization implying shortness of stature.
- They are a people with distinctive features: “You will constantly wage war against the foe; you will even wage war against Gog and Magog, who have wide faces, small eyes and chestnut hair . . . .. ” (13)
- As revealed in hadiths, “They are a community who spread wickedness." (14)
Gog and Magog will be an Anarchical, Aggressive and Oppressive Society
In his works, Bediuzzaman offers a very wise account of the ideology of Gog and Magog, saying that anarchism makes people “savage and cruel beings,” and goes on to describe the anarchic character of Gog and Magog:
Just the place for the idea of anarchy will be those oppressed, numerous raiding tribes, which are backward in respect of both civilization and government. The people who fit those conditions are the Manchurian, Mongol, and some of the Kirghiz tribes, who caused the building of the Great Wall of China, which is forty days’ distance in length and is one of the seven wonders of the world. (16)
And Gog and Magog are Manchus, Kirghiz and Manchus and Mongols present in China; and the anarchists who are found everywhere; and communists, who take socialism to excess.” (17)
Anarchy recognizes no rights, but views the human character as that of wild animals. The Qur’an indicates that the organization of Gog and Magog that will come in the End Times consists of anarchists. (18)
The following conclusions can be drawn from Bediuzzaman’s accounts:
- Gog and Magog will adopt an anarchistic mindset. As Bediuzzaman has emphasised "Even now, the important anarchic individuals within communism come from there” (19) Gog and Magog who impose communist thinking on Asian racism, will adopt a policy of savagery and hared towards other races.
- In addition to the Mongols and Manchus, it’s also likely that certain ignorant Asian communities will join Gog and Magog and act alongside them within a racist mentality.
- Bediuzzaman’s statement that "as Doomsday approaches, they will again devastate civilization with such ideas as anarchism” (20) also shows that this society will be delighting in mass killings and shows of strength.
Gog and Magog are Disbelievers
From the hadiths, it can be seen that Gog and Magog are societies that do not believe in God. In one hadith our Prophet (saas) has stated,
“On the night of the Ascension [the Miraj], Allah sent me to Gog and Magog; I called them to the religion, but they refused . . . For that reason, they will go to Hell together with those of the line of Adam and Satan who rebelled against Allah.” (21)
- As reported in the hadith, Gog and Magog will be disbelievers.
- It can also be seen from the hadiths and the information provided by Bediuzzaman that they will engage in savagery, plundering, and other barbaric practices and have no conception of the lawful versus the unlawful.
The Dajjal (AntiChrist) and Gog and Magog will be Eliminated in the Time of Prophet ‘Isa
In the hadiths, there are several statements to the effect that Prophet ‘Isa (as) will defeat the Dajjal intellectually. Some of the hadiths on this subject read:
At that point, the Dajjal, the enemy of Allah, will dissolve like salt in water when he sees Prophet Isa. (22)
As the Dajjal spreads corruption, God will send the Messiah, ‘Isa son of Maryam ... every believer who feels his healing breath will disappear. ‘Isa will meet the Dajjal at the gate of Ludd [near Jerusalem] and will destroy him. . . . (23)
From Bediuzzaman’s accounts, it also appears that the deceptive influence of the Dajjal will be lifted by means of Prophet ‘Isa (as):
It could only be a wondrous person with the power of miracles who could kill and change the way of the awesome Dajjal, who will preserve himself through wonders, bestowed on him by God in order to lead him astray, such as magic, hypnotic powers, and spiritualism, and will spellbind everyone. And that person will be Jesus (Peace be upon him), who is the prophet of the majority of humanity, and whom most people follow. (24)
As stated by Bediuzzaman, the Dajjal will deceive people through various false miracles, act with the support of Satan and perform various extraordinary actions. His destruction will be possible only by means of holy Prophet ‘Isa (as), several of whose miracles have been mentioned by our Lord. By the will of Allah, Prophet ‘Isa (as) will eradicate the strife of the Dajjal both easily and quickly.
The hadiths also describe how Prophet ‘Isa (as) will eradicate all the foundations of the ideology of the Dajjal. In the environment established by the Dajjal at that time, Gog and Magog will work evil and oppress various societies.
Prophet Muhammad (saas) states in the hadiths that the prayers of Prophet ‘Isa (as) will be a means whereby Gog and Magog are destroyed. In one hadith, it is reported that Prophet ‘Isa (as) said this to our Prophet (saas) during his Ascension:
Gog and Magog will begin to attack from every peak. And they will drink and consume all water they come across, and destroy everything they encounter, at which the people will rebel and seek help from Allah. And I ?Prophet ‘Isa] will pray to Allah that He kill Gog and Magog. My prayer will be heeded, and the earth will stink of their corpses. I shall pray to Allah again. Allah will send water, and the water will bear them away to the sea. (25)
As the hadith informs us, our infinitely merciful Lord will heed the prayer of Prophet ‘Isa (as) and eliminate the line of Gog and Magog.
This eradication is described in these terms in hadiths:
Then Allah will send Gog and Magog . . . Then Prophet ‘ISA (as), the prophet of Allah, and his companions will pray to Allah, and
Allah will send a worm in the necks of the camels and goats in the enemy army and will destroy them all, as if it were the death of a single person . . . (26)
Prophet ‘Isa (as) and his companions will pray for them to be freed from their evil. Allah will send worms from the sky to drink the blood from their necks, and they will all die . . . there will be no noise or sound at all. (27)
Several hadiths contain reports about the sickness to be inflicted on Gog and Magog as retribution:
Allah will send worms from the sky to drink the blood from their necks, and they will all die . . . .” (28)
Then, Allah will afflict them with worms in the nose parts of camels and sheep on their necks and heads, and these worms will kill them all [at once]. (29)
Then, Allah will rain down on them microbes and animals known as nasal worms belonging to camels and sheep, and these microbes will cling to their necks and kill them all. . . . (30)
It can be seen from these hadiths that the people of Gog and Magog will be punished with a sickness and that in this way, their strife will be brought to an end.
In one hadith, our Prophet (saas) says, “The armies of Gog and Magog will die like locusts, one on top of the other.” (31) The deaths of Gog and Magog are likened to those of locusts. In normal times, locusts are generally few in numbers but suddenly multiply and ravage crops. Their deaths are also sudden and en masse. It is very likely that the deaths of Gog and Magog will be like this.
Allah may Inflict the “Dabbat Al-Ard [Beast of the Earth]” on Gog and Magog as a Punishment
Dabba is an Arabic word meaning “animal” or “beast,” which derives from debbe, which means a light walking or to struggle, it is used for animals and insects. In Risale-i Nur Collection, Bediuzzaman interprets the sickness that will be inflicted on Gog and Magog as the Dabbat al-Ard. In one extract, the Master describes the Dabbat al-Ard in these terms:
God knows best, that beast is a species. For even if huge, a single creature could not be everywhere. That means there will be a truly terrible species of animal. Perhaps, as indicated by the verse, “Except a little worm of the earth, which kept [slowly] gnawing away at his staff,” (Qur’an, 34:14) that creature will be a sort of termite, called “Dabbat al-Ard,” which will gnaw away at the bones of men as though they were wooden, establishing themselves in every part of their bodies, from their teeth to their finger-nails. (32)
In this extract, Bediuzzaman notes that if the Dabba were a single creature, it could not reach everywhere, for which reason it must be a group of animals, not a single one.
. . . .“Except a little worm of the earth, which kept [slowly] gnawing away at his staff,” (Qur’an, 34:14) that creature will be a sort of termite, called “Dabbat al-Ard,” which will gnaw away at the bones of men as though they were wooden, establishing themselves in every part of their bodies, from their teeth to their finger-nails.
By referring to the “worm of earth” that appears in the Surah Saba’ and that gnawed the sceptre of Prophet Sulayman (as),
Bediuzzaman is stating that the Dabbat al-Ard to be inflicted on Gog and Magog as a punishment is a communal animal similar to the termite. According to Bediuzzaman, this Dabba will settle in people’s bodies and spread to every part of them, from their teeth to their finger-nails. According to this interpretation, it is possible that Bediuzzaman is referring to the Dabbat al-Ard as a kind of virus or microbe.
Bediuzzaman also makes a significant evaluation of the worm that will be a means whereby the strife of Gog and Magog comes to an end. The Master evaluates a worm in their heads, necks and the backs of their necks as a retribution:
. . . for the purpose of bringing to their senses those people who knowingly and willingly rebel due to the dissension of the Sufyan and
Dajjals, and through the anarchy of Gog and Magog embark on corruption and savagery, and fall into irreligion, disbelief, and denial, a beast will emerge from the earth and beset and rout them. (33)
In this quotation Bediuzzaman is referring to a human society that needs to be brought to reason. This is a society that :
1. Knowingly and willingly rebels, due to the dissension of the Sufyan and Dajjals,
2. Through the anarchy of Gog and Magog, embarks on corruption and savagery
3. Falls into irreligion, disbelief, and denial.
“ . . . for the purpose of bringing to their senses those people who knowingly and willingly rebel due to the dissension of the Sufyan and Dajjals, and through the anarchy of Gog and Magog embark on corruption and savagery, and fall into irreligion, disbelief, and denial . . . . .”
The Dajjal and Gog and Magog are hostile to all sacred values, and are aggressive deniers. They will seek to lead people into strife.
They will rebel against Allah and encourage all forms of excess. Through their anarchistic methods, Gog and Magog will lead people into evil and corruption and towards atheism and denial. To summarize, under the effect of the strife of the End Times, people will knowingly and willingly turn to denial and rebellion.
“ . . . . a beast will emerge from the earth and beset and rout them.”
Our Lord will punish these individuals of the End Times with a Dabba. It can be seen from this quotation that the Dabbat al-Ard will appear in a period when the strife of the Dajjal has not been completely eliminated, when the corruption of Gog and Magog persists, and when people fall into denial and perversion. In all probability, it will be the Dabbat al-Ard or some similar animal that will be the vehicles whereby Gog and Magog die en masse.
The fact that the strife of the Dajjal and that of Gog and Magog will be eliminated by Prophet ‘Isa (as) is splendid news for all believers.
As our Prophet (saas) has stated in one hadith, “Prophet ‘Isa (as) and the believers will live many years after Gog and Magog.”(34) This will be an age ruled by peace, proper moral values and security.
Today, the strife of the Dajjal is everywhere. Atheist ideologies, materialism, Darwinism, moral degeneration and wars threaten all humanity. Widespread propaganda is being disseminated to turn people away from religious moral values, and corruption is increasing every day. Some people are knowingly and willingly taken in by the strife of the Dajjal, and others unknowingly.
The only way people can protect themselves against these disasters is by clinging tightly to religious moral values and engaging in an intellectual struggle against atheist ideologies. At this period in the End Times, no believer will want to be insensitive to the question of living by religion--because being so could well mean knowingly and willingly, as Bediuzzaman puts it, supporting the strife of Gog and Magog.
Therefore, Muslims need to cling joyously and excitedly to religious moral values in order not to fall prey to the Dajjal. It will be possible to establish the finest support for Prophet ‘Isa (as) and the Mahdi--who will fight against the Messiah Dajjal in the End Times, defeat him in the intellectual arena, and eliminate the strife of Gog and Magog--only by making the necessary preparations beforehand. For that reason, we are living in the time when all true believers, who for centuries have been awaiting the coming of these two holy individuals, must do all in their power to live by religious moral values--and to have others do the same.