The issue of "Dhu l-Qarnayn" in the Islamic culture originates from the Qur'an. The connection with the destruction of the wall and the end of times is further explained in the classic Qur'anic tafsir by Ibn Kathir. It is also known that strong bulwarks had been built in southern regions of Caucasia, though, Tafhim al-Qur'an, Introduction to Chapter 18, Narrated Zainab bint Jahsh: It is well known that Cyrus was responsible for freeing the Jews from slavery in Babylon and he is always portrayed favorably in the Bible. Historically, it occupied one of the few passages through the Caucus mountains and it has often been identified with the word 'gate'. 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. The Prophet made a circle with his index finger and thumb. Parallels to the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Gog and Magog can be clearly identified in the story as well. Zhul-qarnayn is a mysterious figure mentioned in the Qur'an whose identity has been a matter of contention and speculation to this day. However this slowly changed after the Renaissance in the 16th century when proper archaeological and historical methods were first applied to the life of Alexander the Great. By the 1st century BC, silver coins depicting Alexander with ram horns were used as the primary currency in Arabia. The old men, the natives of the country, said to the king: "Yea, by your majesty, my lord the king, neither we nor our fathers have been able to march one step in it, and men do not ascend it either on that side or on this, for it is the boundary which God has set between us and the nations within it" Alexander said, "Who are the nations within this mountain upon which we are looking? Ed. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. This includes the Talmud, apocryphal books, and other non-canonical writings. Furthermore, whereas Dhul-Qarnayn was a pious man, indeed, a prophet, Alexander was not even Muslim. It is even possible that early Muslim followers heard the story of the Syrian legend during their raids on Mu'ta on the borders of Syria around September 629 CE.. 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 walls near Derbent were built with the Caspian sea as one border. After leaving the muddy sea, The Qur'an tells us that Dhul-Qarnayn travels to the east where the sun rises. pp. The parallels between the Syriac Legend and the Qur'an are obvious and striking and both accounts are clearly telling the same story. However, in this prophetic vision, the goat defeats the ram and tramples it, which is completely at odds with how Cyrus is portrayed throughout the rest of Jewish scripture. The horn on the goat is considered by many to be a reference to Alexander the Great. Dhul-Qarnayn is regarded by some Muslims as a prophet. E-mail: email@example.com. One of these stories was a legend that detailed the exploits of Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, and how he traveled to the ends of the world, made a gate of iron, and shut behind it the Huns so they might not come forth to spoil the land. He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. We are told that the people who live near the location where the sun "enters the window of heaven" (i.e. 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).. The "Song of Alexander", composed a few years later but before the Arab conquest of Syria sometime between 630 CE and 636 CE. 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. It was not until the Renaissance in the 16th century that the first historical accounts of Alexanders life were rediscovered and investigated. Eventually he comes to the twin peaks of Mount Mashu at the end of the earth, from where the sun rises. Tafsir al-Mizan Vol 26, Naser Makarem Shirazi. Ibn Ishaq; Guillaume, Alfred, ed. pp. Most early Muslim commentators and scholars identified Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander the Great, and some modern ones do too. Here he sets up his camp near a mountain pass. 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. 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.  Based on this information, we can date the story of Dhul-Qarnayn, contained in verses 83-101, sometime after the Hijra in June 622 CE and before Muhammed's death in June 632 CE; a more specific date is difficult to ascertain with any certainty. The name appears three... Prophethood.  Again, if this gate is the same as the one in the Qur'anic story then the apologist must admit that the revelation of the gate holding back Gog and Magog must have failed since they did not rampage over the nations nor bring about judgement day. While he is never mentioned explicitly by name, the story is clearly based upon a legendary account of Alexander the Great. 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. Made of clay from the local soil, the wall is called the Red Snake due to the color of its bricks. Bargozideh Tafseer-i Nemuneh, Vol 3, p. 69, A brief defense of Alexander against Cyrus by a Muslim apologist can be viewed. Dhul Qarnayn is referred to in verse of chapter (18) sūrat l-kahf (The Cave):. 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. This is exactly the opposite of Alexander, who first traveled east, then returned west after reaching India. 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. 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.  Coins depicting Alexander with ram horns on his head were first minted shortly after his death. They said to him, "As thy majesty commands we will do." Thul Qarnain (one who impacts on two ages (qarn = epoch or age) ) was a political figure whose poltical power rested on foudnations of faith and used power to punish the oppressor and to assist the oppressed.
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