Gog and Magog (Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj)


Gog and Magog are mentioned in two chapters of the Qur’an one in chapter khaf [Qur’an surah khaf 18:92-99] in the story of the Righteous King Dhul-Qarnain and another in chapter Anbiya [Surah al-Anbiyaa 96]. It seems that it is a generic name for some wild, unruly, barbaric, uncivilized creature or might be different species or descendants of humam species yet it is not defined.

Gog and Magog have been put behind a strong barrier. None of the members of this tribe have been successful to date in climbing this wall, nor have they been able to pierce or break it down. They are banned from a large portion of the world, just like a person is imprisoned in a cell to limit his movement. Now that we know about their punishment, let us dig into the crime that led to their imprisonment.

Gog and Magog were two groups that used to oppress the inhabitants of a valley.They used to invade their territory and trouble them in various ways. But like all the evil and corrupt figures in the history, these attackers too were overpowered and defeated. Except that these strong tribes met their defeat not in the form of death, but in the form of exile from the valley for a great period of time. Devastated at the hands of Gog and Magog, the innocent people of the area had complained about their problem to a King by the name of Dul- Qarnayn. They pleaded with him to rescue them from the terrifying tribes.

They said, ‘O Dhul-Qarnayn, undoubtedly, Yajuj (Gog) and Majuj (Magog) create mischief in the earth, should we then fix some tribute for you on the condition that you may set up a wall between us and them.’ [Verse 18 : 94]

So Allah gave Dhul-Qarnayn the power to build a barrier to detain them. Dul Qarnayn was being a strong believer and a powerful king, decided that the only way these people could be protected from the barbaric tribe was through the construction of a huge barrier between the people and the savages.

“He said: ‘That (wealth, authority and power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than your tribute). So help me with strength (of men), I will erect between you and them a barrier. (Verse 18 : 95)

To meet this end, Dul Qarnayn ordered the people to bring sheets of iron and laid it one upon another. In order to provide firmness to this pile, he asked people to burn some iron so that this molten copper could be used to cement the building.

‘Bring to me the pieces of iron’, Till when he levelled the wall upto the sides of the two mountains, he said, ‘blow’, till when he made it a fire, said he, ‘Bring me, that I may pour molten copper on it’. [Verse 18 : 96]

The two tribes could not ever scale this wall due to it being slippery (use of copper made it slippery). Secondly, it was made up of iron which was difficult to pierce for these creatures.

Then Yajuj and Majuj could neither climb over it, and nor could make a hole in it. [Verse 18 : 97]

But the Quran says that these creatures will be released just before the last days.

He said, ‘This is a mercy from my Lord, ‘then when the promise of my Lord (Judgement Day) will come, He will break it into pieces, and the promise of my Lord is ever true.’ [Verse 18 : 98]

Gog and Magog will keep on digging at it until Allah gives them permission to come out at the end of time. This wall is somewhere in this world but its exact location isn’t known to anyone for now, except Allah.

“Until when [the dam of] Gog and Magog has been opened and they, from every elevation, descend; And the true promise (Day of Resurrection) shall draw near (to fulfillment)…” [Qur’an 21 : 96-97]

“And on that day We will leave a part of them in conflict with another part, and the trumpet will be blown, so We will gather them all together”; [Qur’an 18 : 99]

And Allah knows best.

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