Gog and Magog
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Who are Yā’jūj and Mā’jūj (Gog and Magog) in the context of Qur’ān? Are they a sign of the Day of Judgement?


According to the Bible, the prophet Noah (sws) had three children. Shem, Ham and Japheth. Gog and Magog (Yā’jūj and Mā’jūj) are the children of Japheth:

Noah’s sons who came out of the ark were Sham, Ham and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth. (Gn 9:18)

The sons of Japheth are Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. (Gn 10:2)

Central Asia and Russia was the homeland of Gog and Magog:

The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Rush, Meshech and Tubal. (Ez 38:1)

Rush, Meshech and Tubal are present day Russia, Moscow and Tubalsac. From Central Asia the tribes of Gog and Magog in ancient times migrated to Europe and later on to Australia and America. Almost all the people of the contemporary Christian world of today are the descendants of Gog and Magog.

In the background of these historical facts, let us view the two verses in which Gog and Magog are mentioned in the Qur’ān.

The first of these occurs in Sūrah Kahaf:

Then he [Zu’l-Qarnayn] prepared for a campaign until he reached the tract between two mountains. He found beneath them a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: O Zu’l-Qarnayn! the Gog and Magog [people] do spread mischief on earth. Shall we then render you tribute in order that you may erect a barrier between us and them. (18:94)

This verse points out a great feat of king Zu’l-Qarnayn who lived somewhere in 6th century BC. The tribes of Gog and Magog used to attack Iran through Turkey as well as the through the tracts of Caucasia. King Zu’l-Qarnayn in order to check the subversive activities of Gog and Magog built a huge iron barrier which survives to this day. The Qur’ān says that in spite of this outstanding feat, the king remained a humble servant of Allah and was never overcome with pride and vanity.

The second verse occurs in Sūrah Ambiyā:

Until when the Gog and Magog [people] are let loose and they swiftly swarm from every hill. (21:97)

The context of this verse shows that near the Day of Judgement, the Gog and Magog people will launch a great offensive upon mankind and it will continue till the advent of that great day. Consequently, their rise can be construed to mean that the Day of Judgement will emerge out of the great upheaval created by them.

The Bible tells us that the rise of the Gog and Magog people will begin one thousand years after the Prophet (sws):

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations -- Gog and Magog -- in the four corners of the earth to gather them for battle. In number they will be like the sand on the seashore. They will march across the breadth of the earth and surround the beloved city of Allah (Rev 20:7-9)

If this statement is true, then a thousand years have already passed since the Prophet (sws) left us. The Gog and Magog of today (the Christian civilization) are now passing through their zenith. Their offensive, it seems, has already started. When this offensive reaches its pinnacle is something only Allah knows. For with Him only lies the knowledge of ‘the hour’.

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