If this story is historically accurate then they should be able to point to the location of this large wall, between two mountains that is holding back a tribe of people bent on destroying the earth. Martley. Many differing theories were proposed on the identity of Zhul-qarnayn by Islamic scholars throughout the ages. The Qur’an relates the story of Dhul-Qarnayn ("he of the two horns") in Sura' al-Kahf. The story begins in verse 83 by stating that someone has asked Muhammad about the story of Dhul-Qarnayn: The "they" in question is often identified as Jews, or sometimes generally as the People of the Book, living near Mecca who use the question as a test of Muhammad's prophet-hood. The Meaning of the Qur'an, Introduction to Chapter 18, In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, "The Barrier restrains Them, but It will be breached when the Hour draws nigh", The Alexander legend in the Qur‘an 18:83-102, p. 182, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Ch6, v1, Now there was a nation of the Alans, which we have formerly mentioned some where as being, For news came that the hordes of the Huns had poured forth all the way from Mæotis (they had their haunts between the icy Tanais and the rude Massagetæ; where. Fortresses and walls have been built at this location probably dating back thousands of years. // Predicate logic relations for the ontology concept dhul-qarnayn. Zondervan 1971. Finally, even its earliest dating of 247 BC puts it almost three centuries after the reign of Cyrus the Great (576–530 BC) and almost a century after Alexander the Great (356–323 BC). Al-Qutb al-Rawandi mentions that his name was Ayaash, and that after Nuh he was the first ruler whose kingdom included (all) the countries of the east and west. (2) What is the real story of Khidr? Bargozideh Tafseer-i Nemuneh, Vol 3, p. 69, A brief defense of Alexander against Cyrus by a Muslim apologist can be viewed. In the subsequent centuries after his death, the historical accounts of Alexander were largely forgotten and legendary accounts of his deeds and adventures replaced them in popular folklore. [3] This connection of Alexander with two-horns was widely known across the region at the time. The most prominent alternative theory among modern apologists is that Dhul-Qarnayn was Cyrus the Great of Persia. Chron 36:22-33, Ezra 1:1-8, Ezra 3:7, Ezra 4:3-5, Ezra 5:13-17, Ezra 6:3,14, Isaiah 44:28, Isaiah 45:1,13, Daniel 1:21, Daniel 6:28, Daniel 10:1. In his first book, "The Antiquities of the Jews", he mentions that the tribes of Magog are called the Scythians by the Greeks. Tafsir al-Jalalayn, a classical Sunni tafsir of the Qur'an, composed by Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli in 1459 CE identifies Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander. [23] Olympias, his mother, always insisted to him that he was the son of Zeus,[21] a theory apparently confirmed to him by the oracle of Amun at Siwa in Libya. Since the vast majority of people in 7th century Arabia and the Middle East were illiterate, most stories were passed on through word of mouth. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain) is found in the 18 th Surah of the Qur'an, al-Kahf (the Cave). "Two Horns, Three Religions. Then, he must have been a righteous (see verse 86/87) and godly (see verses 87/88, 94/95 and 97/98) sovereign. Here we can see that the sun sets into a pool of water that is described as being both muddy and fetid, a perfect linking of the two adjectives in both the Qur'anic and Syriac stories. Ibn Ishaq; Guillaume, Alfred, ed. The clear explanation given in the text is that the ram represents the Persia-Media empire in general and not Cyrus in particular. In this legend, Josephus relates that Alexander allows the tribes of Magog to come out from behind the wall and create havoc in the land. ), Translated by W.H. After constructing the barrier, the Syriac legend says that it is very difficult to penetrate and the Huns will not be able to dig under it. If the Jews knew Cyrus by this epitaph then we should expect to see it mentioned in at least one of these verses. It was not until the Renaissance in the 16th century that the first historical accounts of Alexanders life were rediscovered and investigated. In his comments on Derbent, Yusuf Ali mentions, that "there is no iron gate there now, but there was one in the seventh century, when the Chinese traveler Hiouen Tsiang saw it on his journey to India. (2002). One of the most prominent modern scholars to defend the fidelity between Dhul-Qarnayn and Alexander the Great is the famous Qur'anic translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali. In recent years, this identification of Dhul-Qarnayn has become particularly problematic and controversial for Muslim scholars, as historians have gradually discovered that the historical Alexander was a Greek pagan who fashioned himself as a god. Derbent, a city on the other side of the Caspian Sea from the Great Wall of Gorgon is located just north of the Azerbaijani border. The story of Gog and Magog being let loose at the end of the world, on Judgement Day, can be found in the Book of Revelation. Dhul Qarnayn can’t be Alexander since Alexander only traveled from Greece to India and then turned back. Today, there is no giant wall of iron and brass between two mountains that is holding back a tribe of people; it likely never existed. Another similarity between the two stories is that the wall will be made of both iron and brass. Alexander's deeds and exploits were almost universally admired. The Noble Quran's Commentary, appx. In this account, he also reiterates that the wall's destruction will bring about death and destruction of the land when the tribes held behind it are let loose. A man who used to purvey stories of the foreigners, which were handed down among them, told me that Dhul-Qarnayn was an Egyptian whose name was Marzuban bin Mardhaba, the Greek. Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T. & Nokandeh, J. While these legendary stories were popular in the 7th century, they are virtually unknown outside of academic circles today. Since the community of Muslims in Mecca were far from well known outside of Arabia, the possibility of their story influencing Christians in Syria is extremely remote. Is the Syriac story based on the Qur'an? Narrated Ath-Thawri that 'Ali Ibn Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) was once asked about Dhul-Qarnain. Apologists then argue that the identity of Dhul-Qarnayn must have been well known to the Jews and should therefore be found in the Bible. The Prophet made a circle with his index finger and thumb. However, the legendary Alexander is a perfect fit. The map below shows the part of the visual ontology for this concept. Alexander's association with two horns and with the building of the gate against Gog and Magog occurs much earlier than the Quran and persists in the beliefs of all three of these religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The immense wall had a height of up to twenty meters and a thickness of about 3 meters when it was in use. First, it is made of bricks not iron and brass. The final story in Surah Al Kahf is in relation to Dhul-Qarnayn. Again, apologists are simply ignoring the wide range of stories used by Jews and Christians of the 7th century. Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين) is a figure who was well-known in the lore of the early medieval dwellers of the Arabian Peninsula, and is mentioned in the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam. "Dhul-qarnain" could literally mean in Arabic: "The man of two horns" or "The man of two centuries". I looked up, and there before me was. He fathered at least two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon with Roxana and Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine. Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār recorded many pre-Islamic Arabic poems in his Sirat Rasul Allah (Biography of Muhammad); This included a poem about Dhul-Qarnayn that he claims was composed by a pre-Islamic king of ancient Yemen. <. For centuries, most Muslim historians and Qur'anic commentators endorsed the identity of Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander, though some also proposed alternatives. Dukes, 2009-2017. Showing page 1. In one of many Arabic and Persian versions of the meeting of Alexander with the Indian sages. These were popular across most of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Persia and even India and China. St. Jerome, an early church father, writes about rumors of attacks against Jerusalem by invaders from the north. The author then conveys an odd and cryptic detail that the people living there have "no covering protection against the sun"; however, it gives no further explanation as to what that means. When his army first invaded Asia, Alexander dedicated the lands of his conquests to the gods. The name appears three... Prophethood. killed). Zondervan 1971. An often overlooked aspect of the story of Dhul-Qarnayn is that it ends with a prophetic prediction of the wall being destroyed and the tribes of Gog and Magog surging and destroying everything in their path. [21] Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy. The Syriac legend tells us that Alexander heads north and likewise arrives at a plain between mountains. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. He invited his people to Allah, but they hit him on his horn (side This story is not found in the Bible and therefore provides definitive proof that the people questioning Muhammad relied on extra-Biblical material for their questions. The wall is 195 km (121 mi) long and interspersed with forts. The Sirat Rasul Allah of Ibn Ishaq, circa 761 CE, mentions that Dhul-Qarnayn was of Egyptian and Greek origins, a pretty good description of Alexander who came from Macedonia in Greece and conquered Egypt. Since the ram was considered a symbol of Persia, this is not a unique depiction.[33]. Instead, it is based entirely upon legendary stories of Alexander which bare little resemblance to the Alexander of history. ISBN 978-0-19-636033-1. According to authentic traditions it wasn’t so. You can click on other concepts in the map for related information: Concept map for Dhul Qarnayn. 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