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Where is the wall of Gog Mgog?

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  • Where is the wall of Gog Mgog?

    Several expeditions were sent to find Dhu’l Qarnayn’s wall/barrier/gate, beginning with one sent by Caliph ‘Umar (r.a.) in the 7th century CE, as recorded by al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir. And they witnessed it. Why nobody has seen it recently with the advent of tenchonlogy? No hadith or verse implies that it is kept hidden.

    Imam Al-Bukhari transmitted in his Sahih the following Hadith: A man told the Prophet (S.A.W.S) that he had seen the dam of Gog and Magog. The Prophet (S.A.W.S) asked: “How did you find it?” The man said: “I found it like Al-Burd Al-Muhabbar (striped garments).” The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “You have seen it.”

    In Ibn Jarir’s exegesis of the Qur’an, it was reported by Qatadah that when the man told the Prophet (S.A.W.S) that he had seen the dam of Gog and Magog and was asked to describe it, he said: ‘It looked like striped garments, with red and black stripes.’ The Prophet (S.A.W.S) said: “You have seen it.”


    Some people have entertained the misunderstanding that the wall attributed here to Zul-Qarnain refers to the famous Wall of China, whereas this wall was built between Derbent and Dar'yal, two cities of Daghestan in the Caucasus, the land that lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian. There are high mountains between the Black Sea and Dar'yal having deep gorges which cannot allow large armies to pass through them. Between Derbent and Dar'yal, however, there are no such mountains and the passes also are wide and passable. In ancient times savage hordes from the north invaded and ravaged southern lands through these passes and the Persian rulers who were scared of them had to build a strong wall, 50 miles long, 29 feet high and 10 feet wide, for fortification purposes, ruins of which can still be seen. Though it has not yet been established historically who built this wall in the beginning, the Muslim historians and geographers assign it to ZulQarnain because its remains correspond with the description of it given in the Qur'an. Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Kathir have recorded the event, and Yaqut has mentioned it in his Mu jam-ul-Buldan that when after the conquest of Azerbaijan, Hadrat `Umar sent Suraqah bin `Amr, in 22 A.H. on an expedition to Derbent, the latter appointed `Abdur Rehman bin Rabi`ah as the chief of his vanguard. When 'Abdur Rehman entered Armenia, the ruler Shehrbraz surrendered without fighting. Then when `Abdur Rehman wanted to advance towards Derbent, Shehrbraz informed him that he had already gathered full information about the wall built by Zul-Qarnain, through a man, who could supply all the necessary details and then the man was actually presented before `Abdur Rehman. (Tabari, Vol. III, pp. 235-239; AI-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125, and Mu jam-ul-Buldan, under Bab-ul-Abwab: Derbent).

    Two hundred years later, the Abbasid Caliph Wathiq (227-233 A.H.) despatched a party of 50 men under Sallam-ul-Tarjuman to study the wall of Zul Qarnain, whose observations have been recorded in great detail by Yaqut in Mu jam-ul-Buldan and by Ibn Kathir in AI-Bidayah. They write that this expedition reached Samarrah from where they reached Tiflis (the present Tbilisi) and then through As-Sarir and Al-Lan, they reached Filanshah, from where they entered the Caspian territory. From there they arrived at Derbent and saw the wall. (AIBidayah Vol. II, p. 111, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125; Mu jam-ul-Buldan: under Bab-ulAbwab). This clearly shows that even up till the third century of Hijrah the Muslim scholars regarded this wall of the Caucasus as the wall of Zul-Qarnain.

    Yaqut in his Mu jam-ul-Buldan has further confirmed the same view at a number of places. For instance, under Khazar (Caspian) he writes:

    "This territory belongs to the Turks, which adjoins the Wall of Zul Qarnain just behind Bab-ul-Abwab, which is also called Derbent." In the same connection, he records a report by Ahmad bin Fadlan, the ambassador of Caliph Al-Muqtadar-billah, who has given a full description of the Caspian land, saying that Caspian is the name of a country whose capital is Itil (near the present Astrakhan) right through which flows River Itil, which joins the Caspian front Russia and Bulghar.

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