Dr. Kevin Van Bladel, professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, states in his comparison of the two stories, that the water at the place where the sun sets is 'fetid' in both texts, a coincidence of two uncommon synonyms (Syriac saryâ, Arabic hami'a). 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. 138–140. Not only is there a direct parallel between the stories, but the Syriac legend helps makes sense of the short and cryptic Qur'anic version of the story. Ed. View Ismaeel Dhul-Qarnayn’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. The final story in Surah Al Kahf is in relation to Dhul-Qarnayn. Is the Qur'anic story based on the Syriac story? "The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah". [27] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, one of the first to advance the theory of Cyrus, gives a typical justification for his rejection of Alexander by appealing to the historical man as an unrighteous polytheist: The apologist insists that the only possible connection to Alexander must be to the historical man. I looked up, and there before me was. This would have included Christian Arabs of the Ghassanid. Zulqarnain / Dhul-Qarnayn Dhul-Qarnayn was a well-known figure in the folklore of the Arabian Peninsula. Today a hole has been opened in the dam of Gog and Magog like this." 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. Here we see a very clear connection of Alexander to an iron gate and the tribes of Magog being prevented from plundering the land. The walls near Derbent were built with the Caspian sea as one border. Here he sets up his camp near a mountain pass. ), Rebecca Edwards. This included information about Alexander as a polytheist, Zeus worshiping pagan and insight into his personal and sexual preferences. He is actually asked to relate a story about Dhul-Qarnayn. One of the earliest and most influential stories, the Epic of Gilgamesh was written sometime before 2000 BCE. This naturally has caused/been causing somewhat of … I have done a report on this so if you are interested, I will send you a copy. An Egyptian Islamic cartoon in Fusha with English subtitles The historical Caspian Gates were not built until the reign of Khosrau I in the 6th century, long after Alexander, but they likely were attributed to him in the following centuries. Alexander may have been bisexual, and while no ancient sources state that Alexander had homosexual relationships, many historians have speculated that Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion, his life long friend and companion, was of a romantic nature. The wall is 195 km (121 mi) long and interspersed with forts. Thus, he was called "Dhul-Qarnain" . 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. All of this will happen before the Day of Resurrection and after the Dajjal, as we will explain when discussing the Ayat: (and As-Sur [the trumpet] will be blown.) [3] This connection of Alexander with two-horns was widely known across the region at the time. [4] Similar connections can be found in Islamic poetry contemporary to the time of Muhammad. [4] Since the work was composed as a piece of propaganda, its intentional dissemination makes sense of its rapid adoption and popularity in the region. He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass. From the above, we have learned the following: Dhul Qarnayn had travelled to the western and eastern most parts possible He travelled to these place at the times of sunset and sunrise There, or along the way, he witnessed sunset and sunrise which appeared to … He refers to these invaders as Huns who live near the gate that was built by Alexander. Dr. Kiani, who led an archaeological team in 1971, believed that the wall was built during the Parthian Empire (247 BCE–224 CE), and that it was restored during the Sassanid era (3rd to 7th century CE).[37]. The above Arabic text is found in Von Kremer's 'Altarabische Gedichie ueber die Volgssage von Yemen' p.15 ... (Ishaq p12, quoting from Tabari 906), the term Dhul Qarnayn appears in a pre Islamic poem by al Tubba. [33] This again provides further evidence that the ram is not Cyrus, as Alexander lived three centuries after Cyrus and the two never fought each other on the battle field. After seeing the numerous and explicit connections between the Qur'an and the Syriac Legend, it is easy to agree with Van Bladel who summaries the parallels between the two stories. The issue of "Dhu l-Qarnayn" in the Islamic culture originates from the Qur'an. Instead, it is based entirely upon legendary stories of Alexander which bare little resemblance to the Alexander of history. Since the ram was considered a symbol of Persia, this is not a unique depiction.[33]. fatwa and a specialist in the Arabic language and its poetry. In his commentary, Maududi all but admits as much: When we compare this to the legendary version of Alexander, who not only built a wall against Gog and Magog but made it of iron and bronze, we have the final piece of evidence that the Legendary Alexander is the person identified as Dhul-Qarnayn in the Qur'an and not Cyrus. And king Alexander bowed himself and did reverence, saying, "0 God, Lord of kings and judges, thou who settest up kings and destroyest their power, I know in my mind that thou hast exalted me above all kings, and thou hast, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 146, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 145-147, One (such) way he followed, until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of, Conquered kings thronged his court, East and west he ruled, yet he sought Knowledge true from a learned sage. 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. How Alexander the Great ended up in the Quran". Another attempt to connect Cyrus to Dhul-Qarnayn comes from an analysis of the events that prompted the revelation of the Qur'anic story in the first place. In this context, it is assumed that everyone at the time is familiar with this person, but they are asking Muhammad for details of Dhul-Qarnayn's deeds. Another problem with identifying Cyrus as the ram is that the ram is defeated and disgraced by the goat. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. 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. Theories, views and arguments on Dhul Qarnayn The horn is called "the king of Greece" that comes form the west and charges to the east destroying everything in its path; a basic summary of Alexander's conquest of the Persians. Similar stories of Alexander pre-date both the Qur'an and Syriac legends by many centuries including folklore found in earlier Christian and Jewish writings. However, no justification is ever given as to why only the Bible is considered and not other literature used by Jews and Christians of the 7th century. His son, Yahya, has listed at least 14 published and about 13 unpublished works by his father. Dhul-Qarnayn or Zulqarnayn (Arabic: ذو القرنين‎ ḏū al-qarnayn, "he of the two horns"), was righteous ruler who journeyed to the east and constructed a wall to hold Yajuj and Majuj from attacking the people he met on his campaign. While legendary accounts of Alexander's life dominated Europe and the Middle East for almost two thousands years, eventually more historical biographies about his life were unearthed. First, it is made of bricks not iron and brass. That one day Allah's Apostle entered upon her in a state of fear and said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah! 6. The story in the Qur'an says that the wall built by Dhul-Qarnayn holds back a tribe but this wall in northern Iran is not holding back anyone; it is in a state of disrepair. The legend identifies the first two kings of this tribe as Gog and Magog, the exact same names used in the Qur'anic account. Another detail about this account that is completely ignored by Islamic scholars, is that Muhammad is not asked to simply identify Dhul-Qarnayn. The apologist simply ignores these facts and never presents the option that these verses are about a legendary figure. Narrated Ath-Thawri that 'Ali Ibn Abu Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) was once asked about Dhul-Qarnain. This is exactly the opposite of Alexander, who first traveled east, then returned west after reaching India. "Dhul-qarnain" could literally mean in Arabic: "The man of two horns" or "The man of two centuries". Thus, quite strikingly, almost every element of this short Qur'anic tale finds a more explicit and detailed counterpart in the Syriac Alexander Legend. This god, an amalgamation of both the Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Ammon was often depicted with ram horns on his head. In more recent years, some prominent scholars have also supported the connection between Alexander and Dhul-Qarnayn of the Qur'an. "As to the thing, my lord, which thy majesty (or thy greatness) desires to go and see, namely, upon what the heavens rest, and what surrounds the earth, the terrible seas which surround the world will not give thee a passage'; because there are eleven bright seas, on which the ships of men sail, and beyond these there is about ten miles of dry land, and beyond these ten miles there is the fetid sea, Oceanus (the Ocean), which surrounds all creation. [21] Shortly after his visit to the oracle, Alexander began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon and often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father. This article or section is being renovated. (2008), Last edited on 13 November 2020, at 02:25, "The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version of the Pseudo-Callisthenes, Volume 1", http://books.google.com/books/about/The_History_of_Alexander_the_Great_Being.html?id=_14LmFqhc8QC, http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab9.htm, "The Antiquities of the Jews: Book I, Ch6, v1", http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2848/2848-h/2848-h.htm#link2HCH0006, "The Wars Of The Jews: Book VII, Ch7, v4", http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/war-7.htm, http://www.amazon.com/Before-Jerusalem-Fell-Dating-Revelation/dp/0930464206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385273746&sr=8-1, http://books.google.com/books?id=6FAookts4MUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false, "Gog and Magog in Early Eastern Chrisitan and Islamic Sources", http://books.google.com/books?id=PtxOXRlPMA0C, http://tanzil.net/pub/ebooks/History-of-Quran.pdf, http://altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=74&tSoraNo=18&tAyahNo=83&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageID=2, http://books.google.com/books?id=jbVWRp56XxsC, http://books.google.com/books?id=lkYFVJ3U-BIC, "Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age", http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Great-Hellenistic-Peter-Green/dp/0753824132/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385374702&sr=8-1, "The Legend of Alexander the Great on Greek and Roman Coins", http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Alexander-Great-Greek-Roman/dp/0415394511/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385374897&sr=8-1, "Tafsir Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an", http://www.islamicstudies.info/result.php?sura=18&verse=83, "Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation: (1880 - 1960)", http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/maududi/introductions/mau-18.php, "The enigma of the red snake: revealing one of the world’s greatest frontier walls", http://www.shca.ed.ac.uk/staff/academic/esauer/pubs/iranian_walls.pdf, http://wikiislam.net/index.php?title=Dhul-Qarnayn_and_the_Alexander_Romance&oldid=125481, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0), Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0. 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