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SIGNS OF THE END TIMES IN SURAT AL-KAHF - Harun Yahya

SIGNS OF
THE END TIMES
IN SURAT AL-KAHF

   

 


As the verse reveals, now that the time for parting company has come, Khidhr (as) explains his actions. In the first event, he made a hole in the boat for several good reasons.

Before revealing the reasons for Khidhr’s (as) actions, it is appropriate to reflect upon his compassionate character. Khidhr (as) aided the destitute, for he wanted to prevent further hardship for them and their suffering from the oppressors’ actions. This shows his sympathy for the poor and needy, as well as his compassionate and loving character. Allah’s attributes of grace and mercy are focused on him. This is a distinguishing factor between the believers and the unbelievers, for Allah says:

What will convey to you what the steep ascent is? It is freeing a slave or feeding on a day of hunger an orphaned relative or a poor man in the dust; then to be one of those who believe and urge each other to steadfastness and compassion. Those are the Companions of the Right. (Surat al-Balad, 2-8)

Compassion, sympathy for the believers, and love are the most defining characteristics of Allah’s Prophets and Messengers. Khidhr (as), a Messenger graced by Allah, is compassionate and loving, just like all Messengers, and has received, by Allah’s will, superior knowledge. For this reason, he wanted to help the needy people by making a hole in the boat so that it would appear useless and not be confiscated by the oppressors.

Khidhr's (as) reason, foresight, wisdom, and sensibility is noticeable immediately, for he damaged it in a way that it could be repaired easily and then used again. Thus the people seeking to confiscate it will see the damage and change their mind about taking it. Once this danger has passed, the boat can be repaired easily and put back into service.

Another noticeable matter is the existence of an oppressive regime ruling over a poor people. It could have been a dictatorship. The leaders of this despotic regime could be confiscating the believers’ property without justification, for which reason the believers might have been facing hardship and finding it difficult to escape the situation.

Confiscating the people’s property without a just reason was common in despotic feudal and monarchical regimes of the past, and in the fascist and communist regimes of today. These totalitarian regimes took the property of defenseless people and left them destitute and hungry. Thus, this example shows that oppressive regimes have plagued humanity since the beginning of human history.


Children condemned to starve under Stalin's rule.

"As for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared that he would darken their days with excessive insolence and unbelief." (Surat al-Kahf, 80)

The verse reveals that the boy’s parents were believers. In other words, in those days true religion existed. When Khidhr (as) took the child’s life, it was Allah’s will, for He had written the child’s time and place of death in his destiny. Allah reminds people of this reality, as follows: "He created you from clay and then decreed a fixed term, and another fixed term is specified with Him…" (Surat al-An`am, 2). As the Qur’an also says, angels take the life of every human being:

If only you could see when the angels take back those who were unbelievers at their death, beating their faces and their backs [saying]: "Taste the punishment of the Burning!" (Surat al-Anfal, 50)

However, the angles are just a means, for in reality only Allah takes lives. Ibrahim’s (as) wholehearted prayer is given as an example:

He Who created me and guides me; He Who gives me food and gives me drink; and when I am ill, it is He Who heals me; He Who will cause my death, then give me life; He Who I sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the Day of Reckoning. My Lord, give me right judgment and unite me with the righteous. (Surat ash-Shu‘ara’, 78-83)

Allah willed for Khidhr (as) to take this child’s life, but He could have done it through somebody else. The boy could have been killed in an accident, by a heart attack, or by falling and sustaining a deadly head injury. As Allah makes clear: "… When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour, nor can they bring it forward" (Surat an-Nahl, 6). In this case, Allah determined that the angels would be the invisible agents and that Khidhr (as) would be the visible agent of this death, whereby Khidhr (as) appeared to be taking the child’s life. In reality, Khidhr (as) acts by the revelation he receives from Allah, and certainly does not act against His orders. Also, he cannot act by his own will unless Allah wills so. Allah chose him to be the means for this task.

The same is true for the life that Musa (as) took, as related below:

He entered the city at a time when its inhabitants were unaware, and found two men fighting there—one from his party and the other from his enemy. The one from his party asked for his support against the other from his enemy. So Musa hit him, dealing him a fatal blow. He said: "This is part of Satan’s handiwork. He truly is an outright and misleading enemy." He said: "My Lord, I have wronged myself. Forgive me." So He forgave him. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Qasas, 5-6)


Musa (as) intervened in a fight to help someone, but unintentionally killed the other person. Here again, he was only the means. Although that man died at Musa’s (as) hands, Musa (as) was no more than the visible cause, and the angels were the invisible agents. Allah states in the Qur'an that it is the angels’ duty to take lives, although ultimately it is only Allah Who does so.
No matter how much people resist, wherever they look for refuge or wherever they flee, everyone is always proceeding toward his or her death. Allah reminds us that no one can escape death: " Say, 'Even if you had been inside your homes, those people for whom killing was decreed would have gone out to their place of death.' So that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. Allah knows the contents of your hearts." (Surah Al ‘Imran, 54).

No person is given a choice in this matter, and there is no way to escape it. When the appointed time for death comes, they cannot avoid the angels of death. As the Qur’an states clearly, each person will die at his or her destined time and place:

Say: "Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, and He will inform you about what you did." (Surat al-Jumu`a, 8)


Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses… (Surat an-Nisa’, 78)


Khidhr (as) kills a child, about whom he has certain knowledge that his destiny is to become an unbeliever. He means to prevent the child from making his family and environment miserable, and drowning in a sea of sin, and thus takes preventive action.

Many people find it hard to see the reason and goodness behind a family member’s death, and death in general. However, as with everything else, there is much wisdom and goodness in this. One of these is stated to be "… giving them in exchange a purer son than him, one more compassionate." In this verse, Allah warns those who renounce their faith that He will replace them with more sincere believers:

O you who believe. If any of you renounce your religion, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the unbelievers, who strive in the Way of Allah and do not fear the blame of any censurer. That is the unbounded favor of Allah, which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah is Boundless, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 54)

Your Lord is the Rich Beyond Need, the Possessor of Mercy. If He willed, He could remove you and replace you with anything else He willed, just as He produced you from the descendants of another people. (Surat al-An`am, 33)

KHIDHR'S (AS) GOOD MORALS

Pondering this account of Khidhr (as) and Musa (as) enables us to realize that every verse contains messages about Khidhr's (as) character, which were explored in detail in the previous pages. Here, we list and summarize them in one place, along with supporting evidence, in order to consider his character traits.

Khidhr (as) instantly obeys all of Allah's orders


His most noticeable characteristic in Surat al-Kahf is his diligence in obeying Allah's order, for he does it immediately upon receiving revelation.

Khidhr's (as) compassion and mercy

His aiding the poor, the orphans, and the vulnerable is the clearest evidence of this.

Khidhr's (as) dedication to the believers and his helpfulness


He helps a believer mother and father because of his dedication to the believers.

Khidhr's (as) intellect, insight, and foresight


His preventive actions and the traps he set for the unbelievers prove his intelligence and foresight.

Khidhr's (as) trust in Allah

He is not affected by any hardship he faces, for he knows that whatever happens does so according to the destiny determined in Allah's presence.

Khidhr's (as) character traits are revealed to us through the verses of the Qur'an. Allah has bestowed His grace upon him, as well as given him wisdom, superior knowledge, and immaculate character. Throughout his time with Musa (as), Khidhr (as) educated him in the best way and advised him through words and deeds. Khidhr (as) set an example for him by displaying his patience, determination, helpfulness and maturity, and taught him to seek the inherent wisdom in all that is experienced.

The last wisdom behind his action, as explained by Khidhr (as), has to do with the orphans’ wall. The verse discusses caring for the orphans of faithful parents. As we read elsewhere:

… They will ask you about the property of orphans. Say: "Managing it in their best interests is best." If you mix your property with theirs, they are your brothers. Allah knows one who plunders from one who improves. If Allah had wanted, He could have been hard on you. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat al-Baqara, 220)


The believers, as pointed out here, take the utmost care to protect the orphans’ rights and ensure their moral education, because of their good character and strict adherence to Allah’s commands and recommendations. Muslims are generous to orphans: "Any wealth you give away should go to your parents and relatives, to orphans and the very poor, and travellers. Whatever good you do, Allah knows it" (Surat al-Baqara, 25). Even if the Muslims are in need, they give priority to these other people: "They give food, despite their love for it, to the poor, orphans, and captives" (Surat al-Insan, 8). Allah warns those who wrong orphans, as follows:

People who consume the orphan’s property wrongfully consume nothing in their bellies except fire. They will roast in a Searing Blaze. (Surat an-Nisa’, 0)


As the morals of Islam recommend, Khidhr (as) considers the orphans’ welfare and invests in their future. If he had not restored the wall, it would have collapsed and revealed the treasure belonging to their father. As a result, they would have lost their treasure to the wrongdoers. Khidhr (as) repairs the wall so that it will last until the children grow up, thus keeping the treasure concealed so that they might benefit from it in the future, as their father had intended.

As we mentioned earlier, Khidhr’s (as) compassion and devotion to orphans and the poor reflects Allah’s attribute of compassion. By repairing the wall, Khidhr (as) points out the importance of taking precautions to protect the property of children. Khidhr (as) trusts Allah and builds a solid wall that will remain for as long as Allah wills.

Furthermore, the wall’s collapse could have caused great injury or damage to passers-by, the surrounding plant and animal life, or be the apparent cause of someone’s death. In addition, this verse could be indicating the importance of doing a professional job when restoring damaged walls.

In the verse, Khidhr (as) says: "I did not do it by my own volition." In other words, he is aware that Allah does everything within its predetermined destiny, and makes clear thereby, and in the best possible way, that none of his actions are the result of his own decision.

They will ask you about Dhu'l-Qarnayn. Say: "I will tell you something about him that is worthy of remembrance and mention." (Surat al-Kahf, 83)

Throughout history, many scholars have interpreted the narrative of Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) in many ways. The verse says that it was revealed as a reminder to believers and is connected with the revelations of hidden meanings and reasons.

The Qur’an uses the narrative of Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) to give more examples of Islamic values for the benefit of the believers, and relates events from which they can learn lessons. Their meanings are so clear and easily understandable that they can be taken literally and reflected upon in order to comprehend and learn. As Allah says:

Alif Lam Ra. A Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from One Who is All-Wise, All-Aware. (Surah Hud, )

Believers need to read the Qur’an with a pure heart and the intention to learn, for Allah states in Surat al-Hajj 6 that the verses are "Clear Signs." Other verses on this subject are the following:

The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur’an was sent down as guidance for mankind, with Clear Signs containing guidance and discrimination… (Surat al-Baqara, 85)


… A Light has come to you from Allah, and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5-6)

We gave him power and authority on Earth, and granted him a way to everything. So he followed a way. (Surat al-Kahf, 84-85)

This verse mentions power and authority. A nation’s government must be powerful in politics, economics, and defense. If the government is weak, the country might come face-to-face with critical situations, especially via foreign powers who try to weaken it further as well as its internal opponents who accelerate their efforts toward the same goal. As a consequence, economic problems, rebellion, and revolts will occur and force the country into chaos. But Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) nation is far from this situation, for its government’s rule is solid, rational, and strong.

"We granted him a way to everything"
suggests that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) has been given the ability to solve every problem, which means that he is a very intelligent, sagacious, and perceptive believer. With these Allah-given faculties, he solves all complex issues quickly and removes the obstacles. Allah clears his path and supports him with superior knowledge. As will be seen later on, his qualities are well known and, because of this, his opinion, advice, and help are sought by others.

Until he reached the setting of the Sun, and found it setting in a muddy spring and found a people by it. We said: "Dhu'l-Qarnayn, you can either punish them or else you can treat them with gentleness." (Surat al-Kahf, 86)

We understand from the verse that first Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) heads west, for where the sun sets could be the westernmost place on Earth. If the intended meaning is Europe, this could be Portugal, Spain or the Strait of Gibraltar. If the verse refers to Africa, its westernmost countries are Senegal and Mauritania. (Allah knows best.)

The verse also mentions that this western place is a "muddy spring." In Arabic, this phrase is `aynin hami’ah. `Ayn means "eye, spring, fountain, and source"; hami’ah means "black mud, smudged, and muddy."

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) could have been heading for Africa, as Bediuzzaman Said Nursi indicated. According to him:

Firstly, by explaining that Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s journey to the west coincided with the intense heat of summer, the area of a swamp, the time of the setting of the sun, and the time of a volcanic eruption, it alludes to many instructive matters, like the complete conquest of Africa… Also the spring is a metaphor. From the distance a large sea appears like a small pool. The likening of a sea appearing beyond swamps, and mists and vapours rising from it due to the heat, to a muddy spring, together with word `ayn, which in Arabic means both spring, and sun, and eye, is most meaningful and apt according to the mysteries of eloquence…

Terming the Atlantic Ocean a muddy spring indicates that Dhu’l-Qarnayn saw that huge ocean as a spring due to the distance. But because the Qur’an sees everything from close to, it did not see what Dhu’l-Qarnayn saw, which was a sort of illusion. Indeed, since the Qur’an comes from the heavens and looks to them, it sees the earth sometimes as an arena, sometimes as a palace, sometimes as a cradle, and sometimes as a page. Thus, its calling the vast misty, vaporous Atlantic Ocean a spring shows its great elevatedness.1

Someone watching, from a great distance, the sunset on the horizon, will see this as the Sun dipping into the sea or as descending into the mountain depending behind what it sets. This obviously depends on the person’s standpoint and the angle from which this event is being viewed.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as), upon reaching this land, meets its inhabitants. Allah tells him how to react to them: If they swear allegiance to him and lead a Muslim way of life, he is to treat them well; if they revolt against Allah’s law, do not accept Islam, and do evil, he is to act accordingly.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) response will be according to the law. Those who do good and behave well will receive the same good treatment; those who choose evil, wickedness, and revolt will be treated appropriately. As only a judge has the authority to determine the appropriate response, we can deduce that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as), besides being his nation’s leader, was also empowered to judge. According to the law of that time, he could choose among imprisonment, arrest, and other forms of punishment.

The expressions in this verse can be interpreted to mean that Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) nation has a ruler who serves as the head of state, sole authority, and judge of the legal system. At this point in time, he is that person.

If the wrongdoing person or people revolt, resist, and attack, the nation will defend itself with all its might. The expression "you can punish them" could suggest that the nation can defend itself. While we are considering these means of punishment, Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) security and military forces must be mentioned too.

Scholars interpret "spring" in different ways. According to one, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as), by means of a "cause," made a journey through space and saw the Sun fall into a black hole.2 Dying suns collapse within and form black holes. This type of star condenses, and the density of their matter increases dramatically. Stars three times the size of our Sun shrink to a diameter of a few kilometers, and their gravitational force increases so much that they swallow up light, sound, and even time. Their gravity pulls in other stars, and each star they swallow increases the gravitational force proportionately.3

Since they swallow up anything that comes within their gravitational pull, they are thought of as "black swamps." And, because they do not reflect light, they are called "black holes."

From the expressions used in the verse, we understand that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) was a Muslim leader who ruled a Muslim nation. When he spoke, he reminded his people of Allah and the Hereafter. He spoke in a Muslim manner.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) makes it clear that the wrongdoers will be punished according to the law of that time. Allah ordained that he would punish the unbelievers in this life; however, this is only the part of their punishment, for as our Lord states: "… And the punishment of the Hereafter is much greater, if they only knew" (Surat al-Qalam, 33).

Everyone who denies Allah’s existence and the Hereafter, and who rejects the precepts of the Qur’an, will receive exactly what they deserve in this life as well as in the Hereafter. Many nations throughout history were punished severely in this life, for they rejected the Messengers' invitation to believe. The verses, which reveal the destruction of these nations, also reveal that the punishment of the Hereafter is far worse and should be more feared by people. As Allah says:

So We sent a howling wind against them on disastrous ill-fated days to make them taste the punishment of degradation in this world. The punishment of the Hereafter is even more degrading. They will not be helped. (Surah Fussilat, 6)


That is how We repay anyone who is profligate and does not believe in the Signs of his Lord. The punishment of the Hereafter is much harsher and longer lasting. (Surah Ta Ha, 27)

The punishment awaiting the unbelievers in Hell is described as "dreadful." Various descriptions in the Qur'an inform us that such suffering is far more painful than what we experience in this world. For this reason, people should ponder and fear the punishment in the Hereafter before they worry about their suffering here, for that fear could lead them to repent, turn away from denial, and submit to Allah.

"But as for him who believes and acts rightly, he will receive the best of rewards, and We will issue a command, making things easy for him." (Surat al-Kahf, 88)

We understand from this verse that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) is not just his nation’s leader and judge, but also a preaching Muslim calling to faith. It is clear that he educates and rules his people according to Allah’s good pleasure.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) immediately calls the people he meets to believe in Allah, devotion, the good deeds prescribed by the Qur’an, and to perform the prayers and acts of worship. He draws their attention, in order to encourage them, to the rewards that they are promised in this world and the next. Every Messenger makes this call to his nation. The Prophets incessantly called the people to guidance, and developed various strategies to stir their consciences.

In addition, the verse indicates that whatever the people’s responses may be, the believers are to act with determination and to obey Allah’s order to "command the right and forbid the wrong." This is an important responsibility for sincere believers, just as it was for the Prophets, as the following verse points out:

Let there be a community among you who call to the good, enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success. (Surah Al `Imran, 04)

Another important piece of information here is to make things easy for the Muslims and not to complicate matters for them. Things should be made easy, comfortable, and pleasant for good people in their actions, decisions, and everyday affairs. Our Lord reminds the believers of this by saying: "… Allah desires ease for you; He does not desire difficulty for you…" (Surat al-Baqara, 85) and: "We have made the Qur’an easy to remember. But is there any rememberer there?" (Surat al-Qamar, 7). Therefore, the believers must know that choosing the easier path is a requirement of the Qur’an. In addition, they must not let Allah’s promise, "We will ease you to the Easy Way" (Surat al-A`la, 8), slip their mind. As Allah says:

Strive for Allah with the striving due to Him. He has selected you and not placed any constraint upon you in the religion—the religion of your forefather Ibrahim. He named you Muslims before and also in this, so that the Messenger could be a witness over you and so you could be witnesses over all mankind. So establish prayer, pay the alms, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protector—the Best Protector, the Best Helper. (Surat al-Hajj, 78)

Then he followed a way until he reached the rising of the Sun, and found it rising on a people to whom We had not given any shelter from it. We had encompassed that he had "knowledge comprising essence" near him [or all that he had in knowledge]. (Surat al-Kahf, 89-9)

The second time Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) sets off, he goes east. Applying the verse to a map, he could have gone to Korea, China, or Manchuria (northern China).

The verse mentions "a people to whom We had not given any shelter from the Sun." The Arabic word for shelter is "sitr" (to cover, to hide). It is derived from the root "satara." Thus, in the context of this verse, it means "a cover in the form of cloths or a building."

Therefore, it can be assumed that these people did not live in houses but rather in the open, wide land. They had no forms of shelter or devices like umbrellas. They may have been nomadic, or a people who worked at night and spent the days in underground shelters. Or, they might have been a people who had no clothes or civilization. Omer Nasuhi Bilmen interprets the verse in this way:

"Dhu’l-Qarnayn, in this journey, came to the land of the rising sun (where the sun is born). For these people there was no protection from the rays of the sun like a piece of cloth, a building, or a mountain. These people were either entering the sea or an underground cavity when the sun rose and came out to do their work when the sun set."4

Surat al-Kahf 9 speaks of Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) knowledge of the essence of things. The Arabic word for "knowledge comprising the essence" is "khubr," which means "to know thoroughly, to be fully acquainted with the truth."

This knowledge is a special knowledge that Allah gives only to His chosen few. As Surat al-Kahf 68 indicates above, Khidhr (as) also was graced with this special knowledge.

Then he followed a path until he arrived between the two mountains, where he found a people scarcely able to understand speech. (Surat al-Kahf, 92-93)

The third time Dhu’l-Qarnayn sets off on his journey, he reaches an area between the East and the West. This could be an area in the Himalayas. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi indicates these areas too, and reminds us that "… The Great Wall of China covers a distance of several days’ journeying and was built to halt the incursions against the oppressed peoples of India and China of the savage tribes… These tribes several times threw the world of humanity into chaos, and pouring out from behind the Himalayas wrought destruction from East to West. A long wall was built between two mountains close to the Himalayan mountains which for a long time prevented the frequent assaults of those savage peoples…"5 As Bediuzzaman says, the two mountains could be mountain chains.

The verse also indicates that the people he encountered were scarcely able to understand what was said to them. Perhaps the expression "scarcely able to understand speech" indicates that they spoke a very different or unusual language.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as), however, is able to communicate with them, either through being able to speak their language because of his special knowledge or because a member of his party knows that particular language.This verse could be indicating that he had a special group of people with him who were trained in such matters.

We also can understand from the verses that wherever Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) goes, he comes across people who are destitute and miserable, needy and weak. Those in the East cannot even protect themselves from the Sun. The people between the mountains are ignorant and primitive in terms of culture and technology, and also cannot defend themselves from external enemies. Thus, they face the threat of anarchy. The most important reason for them to seek Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) help could be their existing poverty, ignorance, and state of chaos. These are important factors for our understanding of the situation at that time.

Through the words "Yajuj" and "Majuj," thought to have been introduced into Arabic from another language, we learn of a people who are causing corruption in the land. Interpretations by scholars indicate that these people are one or more nations who were oppressing, abusing, and ill-treating the people of that area.

Due to this corruption, the people in trouble seek Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) help and offer to pay him a tax in return. From this, we understand that he does not represent a single person; rather, he rules a nation and commands an army, just like Prophet Sulayman (as).

From the previous verses, we understand that he had a team of linguists with him. However, this verse also indicates that he must have had teams of construction experts and civil engineers as well. From the people’s request, we can deduce that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) is interested in, and knowledgeable about, construction and civil engineering. He might even have been renowned for his expertise in these fields and helping other nations when they ask for it. All of these factors demonstrate the size and power of his nation.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) is also known as someone who prevents corruption and wickedness. For this reason, nations that are in trouble, experiencing difficulties or internal chaos, or facing external pressure ask for his help. It could be that he brings law and order to the region, that neighboring nations ask for his help because they trust his military power and his ability to end corruption, and because he heads a very powerful nation. The fact that one nation requests the help of another, and even offers to pay a fee in return, shows that it cannot resolve the troubling situation on its own and that the nation from which help is sought can. In other words, the helping nation is powerful and well established.

That Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) is well respected and effective in the East and the West could indicate that he rules a nation possessing extensive power. Therefore, he is a leader, aware of his responsibility to bring peace, justice, and security not only to his own nation, but also to every part of the region. With this verse, Allah indicates that it is every Muslim's responsibility to work for justice, peace, and security. Every country should take an interest, within its means, in the problems facing the world and help those nations that are in financial and other need.

The narrative of Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) indicates that in the End Times, just as it was during his own time, the values of Islam will rule the world.

Allah reveals this good news to the believers, as follows:

Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased, and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)


We can deduce from this narrative that Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was a Muslim ruler who controlled many lands.

He said: "The power my Lord has granted me is better than that. Just give me a strong helping hand, and I will build a solid barrier between you and them." (Surat al-Kahf, 95)

This verse again indicates the solidity of Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) power. His nation is not so weak as to collapse easily. On the contrary, it is exceedingly strong, assures its own people as well as other needy nations, and does not cause anxiety in people with its methods of rule and practices. It appears to be invulnerable, with Allah's will, for this verse indicates that no internal or external opposition, pressure, or force could ever affect it, and that his rule is so solid that no conflict, outbreak of dissent, or revolt could rock it.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) does not accept any recompense in return for his help. The Qur’an gives other examples about this character of the Prophets. For instance, Prophet Sulayman (as) rejected the gifts sent to him:

"I [the queen of Saba] will send them a gift, and then wait and see what the messengers bring back." When it reached Sulayman, he said: "Would you give me wealth when what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you? No, rather it is you who delight in your gift." (Surat an-Naml, 35-36)


There could be several reasons why Sulayman (as) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) rejected offers of material returns. Perhaps accepting such a reward would have had a negative result, such as causing those who gave it to lose some of their respect, obedience, and submission to the one to whom they had given it. This is a psychological frame of mind in people. The verse indicates that in these cases, it is better to avoid such a situation by not accepting any reward or fee. No doubt, such an attitude will increase the love and allegiance of those who have been helped. Besides, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as), just like Sulayman (as), is the leader of a rich nation that does not need to expect a return for its assistance.

Nevertheless, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) requests the people’s support in terms of labor. Thus, he seems to have preferred to give jobs and a degree of responsibility to the local population. In this way, he teaches them art and science and helps them to advance in culture and technology. He also makes use of unemployed people, saves his own nation’s wealth, and makes his new employees useful by giving them roles in their nation’s defense. No doubt, such a relationship based on justice, respect, and fairness will strengthen mutual trust and win the people’s support.

Such a practice has many positive aspects, among them the people’s education and the increase in skilled labor, an escape from laziness and stagnation, and the chance to experience the high spirits of achieving success by their own efforts. This practice also increases the nation’s self-confidence, for those who work to improve their own nation will hardly cause trouble or be inclined to revolt and rebel. As a result, the people will easily be ruled during this period of assistance. Besides, people work better and more efficiently with their own people and enjoy serving their nation. Of course, in things done for Allah’s good pleasure, this is unimportant. However, we cannot expect everybody to be diligent in this matter or that they all seek Allah’s good pleasure. With this in mind, everyone’s rights must be guaranteed, regardless of the level or lack of devotion to Allah. Here we see how clever Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s policy is.

According to this verse, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) builds a solid barrier, which prevents crossing and is an example of solid architecture and high technology. It is crucially important that every building, especially bridges, be constructed solidly so that they can withstand such natural disasters as earthquakes, floods, and rain, as well as military attacks.

"Bring me ingots of iron." Then, when he had made it level between the two high mountainsides, he said: "Blow." And when he had made it a red-hot fire, he said: "Bring me molten copper [or tar] to pour over it." (Surat al-Kahf, 96)

Based upon this verse, this barrier might have been a concrete structure. This type of construction is used today in almost all types of buildings and huge dams.

The verse also states that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) used iron and molten copper—or tar according to some interpreters—in this structure. Iron, the strongest building material, is an essential component of bridges and dams, for it increases the structure’s rigidity. In its absence, the slightest damage or tremor would cause it to collapse.


It is possible that the wall built by Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) was constructed by employing similar techniques that are used today to construct dams. As the pictures show, iron-concrete structures are so solid that they cannot be destroyed or overcome unless special technology is used against them. In the pictures above, we see the wall's internal iron structure that prevents its collapse.

It is possible that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) used blocks of iron and mortar to build a huge barrier. It is possible that he may have joined the blocks of iron end to end by pouring mortar over them and built a strong concrete structure. (Allah knows best).

The Arabic word qitr translated as "molten copper" also means tar.6 Tar, which is used to protect iron from moisture and seawater, is a protective coating obtained by the destructive distillation of pine wood or coal. Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) could have poured tar over this structure to prevent the iron from being subjected to oxidation and rust. Similar insulation materials are usually found in modern concrete structures.

Dhu’l-Qarnayn could have combined the tar-coated iron with a mortar mixed of gravel, chalk, sand, and water in order to increase its strength. Normally, mortar mixed with sand and chalk can be perforated quite easily. However, it becomes indestructible when supported by iron. Such a structure would be a preventive measure, and no force applied to it could destroy or damage it, let alone break through it, under the conditions existing at that time, unless Allah willed it.

The first verse reveals that this barrier is impregnable. This suggests that it was a quite high structure, and the fact that it could not be breached proves that it is structurally sound. All of these facts could be indicating that it was built by using a concrete-iron construction method similar to what we see all around us today.

According to verse 98, the first thing that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) remembers after completing this project is Allah’s attributes of mercy and grace. Knowing that no one could build such a barrier unless Allah wills it, he remembers immediately that our Lord was the real builder and seeks to prevent the people from considering it to be their own achievement.

Surat al-Kahf 98 also reveals that this wall will remain until the Day of Judgment. The word "promise" stands for that day, as will be seen in the subsequent verse. In other words, it will be protected until then.

The wall’s exact location may or may not be found within time, for this knowledge rests with Allah. The important thing is that it will not be destroyed until the Day of Judgment, for on that day everything will be destroyed. Many verses reveal that mountains will move and nothing will remain on Earth’s surface. Some of these are given below:

On the Day We make the mountains move and you see Earth laid bare… (Surat al-Kahf, 47)

When Earth is flattened out, disgorges what is inside it, and empties out, harkening to its Lord as it is bound to do! (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 3-5)

They will ask you about the mountains. Say: "My Lord will scatter them as dust. He will leave them as a barren, level plain upon which you will see no dip or gradient." (Surah Ta Ha, 05-07)


ANOTHER POSSIBILITY ABOUT THE DHU’L-QARNAYN NARRATIVE


Another possibility is that this narrative conveys events that will happen in the future.

In Allah’s presence, all time is one. Future, past, and present are experienced all at once. In some verses, the events of the Day of Judgment, Hell and Paradise are related as if they have already taken place. The following verses are an example of this:

The Trumpet is blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are on Earth swoon away, save him whom Allah wills. Then it is blown a second time, and behold them standing waiting! And Earth shone with the light of her Lord, the Book is set up, the Prophets and the witnesses are brought, and it is judged between them with truth. They are not wronged. (Surat az-Zumar: 68-69)

The events related in this verse are told as if they have already taken place, even though to us they will happen in the future. Therefore it is possible that the Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) narrative is from the future, related to us in the past tense. Surat al-Kahf 84 says: that "[We] granted him a way to everything." This might indicate that Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) will rule the world in the future.

In today’s world, a powerful leader or nation must have both communication technology and conventional power. As the leader cannot inspect all of them personally, we can assume that he will stay in a central capital city and control the other areas through satellites and other means of communication. As verse 95 proclaims: He said: "The power my Lord has granted me is better than that," Dhu’l-Qarnayn’s (as) power is probably well-established. If we look at the narrative from this perspective, we realize that each verse could be conveying a different message. For example, Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) went first to the West, then to the East, and then back again. These verses might be implying that he communicates with different areas by changing channels broadcasting from satellites. The verses speak constantly of "finding." Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) "found" a people by the "spring" and a people in the East who did not understand. These acts of "finding" happen by searching, and thus could be a finding based upon looking up satellite channels.

The verses say that the people of the East had no shelter from the sun. If we consider this information in the light of communication technology, there are two possible messages here. Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) could be watching or gathering intelligence via satellites about these areas (Allah knows best). Or they could be implying infrared technology, which is used in many different areas today. For example, infrared cameras are used in medicine, criminal pathology, meteorology, criminology, intelligence, industry, and other fields. Such cameras also can observe the human body in great detail.

If Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) is addressing a nation, he could be doing so via satellite and TV broadcasts. This would enable him to learn of the people’s needs and complaints, regardless of where they lived, and then rule the areas under his control accordingly.

The Yajuj and Majuj corruption could be a classic act of terror or anarchy, or even be committed by means of broadcasting. For example, they could be disrupting other broadcasts in order to broadcast their corrupted ideas. Dhu’l-Qarnayn (as) could have prevented this broadcast and thus the corruption For instance, he could have used the copper and iron mentioned in the verse to create an electromagnetic field and disrupt the radio and TV broadcasts. Transformers, which are made by winding copper wire around an iron core, are one of the sources of electromagnetic fields. A powerful electromagnetic field can disrupt radio and TV broadcasts.

Satellite technology allows us to take detailed pictures of the ground. Spy satellites, in particular, can "watch" every country closely. Here are two pictures taken by the Ikonos satellite. On the left is the Washington Monument, and on the right is Venice.

Another possibility is that a huge communal satellite dish is implied. The reason for it being so big could have been to overcome Yajuj and Majuj’s global disruptive system. The surfaces of these dishes are usually made of the cheaper and lighter aluminum, which is not the ideal material for performance. Copper is a much better conductor, and might have been preferred for this reason. However, covering such a huge dish with copper sheets is not rational. On the other hand, copper-plating the dish with molten copper would give it the smoothest surface and deliver the highest possible performance.

The wall or barrier created by counter-broadcasts or by creating a magnetic field could be termed an "invisible barrier." Some scholars read the word saddayn in verse 93 as suddayn, and sadd in the following verse as sudd. In the first case, the meaning would be a "visible barrier"; in the second, it means an "invisible barrier" (Allah knows best).

"They were, therefore, unable to climb over it, nor were they able to make a breach in it," as stated in verse 97, might be referring to this, because Yajuj and Majuj attempt to overcome or breach the transmitter’s broadcast. Significantly, the current expression used for pirate stations that broadcast by interfering with another broadcast is "breaching transmission."

Considering the expression "scarcely able to understand speech" in this light might mean that this satellite broadcast is sometimes not understood by some people. When the broadcast is disrupted, the people cannot understand; but when the normal broadcast is restored, they begin to understand (Allah knows best).

The expression "a muddy spring" (verse 86) is also interesting, because seeing the sunset on the TV screen is just like the sun setting in a spring. The colors on the screen change as the sun sets in the distance over the sea, and this appears grayer on the screen. Thus, for someone viewing this, it will appear as if setting in a muddy spring. The `aynin hami’ah expression, made up of `ayn (spring) and hami'ah (muddy) could be implying this unclear view.

Also, his contact with the East and the West could indicate that he is in touch with the various parts of the globe. While the sun rises over one part, it sets on the other.

The Qur’an reveals that the entire universe, including humanity, animals, plants, stars—in short, everything that has been created—will die. In the Qur’an, this day is described as "the Day mankind will stand before the Lord of all the worlds" (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 6).

The Hour is a day of terror. Those who did not believe before will, for the first time, feel Allah’s sheer power and might … and very strongly at that. For the unbelievers, this is a day of great suffering, terror, remorse, pain, and surprise. Everyone witnessing this day will experience an indescribable fear that is far worse than all of the fears experienced in this world.

The Hour begins with the sounding of the trumpet, which is the sign for the beginning of Earth’s and the universe’s end. There is no way back anymore, for this is the sound of the end of everyone’s worldly life and the beginning of the real life, the life of the Hereafter. This is the sound that starts the unbelievers’ fear, terror, misery, and panic, which will be everlasting. The Qur’an reveals what kind of day this will be for the unbelievers, as follows:

For when the Trumpet is blown, that Day will be a difficult day, not easy for the unbelivers. (Surat al-Muddaththir, 8-0)


Surat al-Kahf states that these people will surge against one another like great waves on the Day of Judgment. They will be as if drunk on fear, and will go back and forth like surging waves. Their fear will cause them to lose all control and awareness of what they do or where they go.

The greater the people’s insensitivity and ignorance of this day, the greater will be their terror on that day. This sense of fear and terror will remain with them from the moment they die and last throughout eternity. The Qur’an reveals that this fear will cause children’s hair to turn gray, as follows:

How will you safeguard yourselves, if you do not believe, against a Day that will turn children grey, by which Heaven will be split apart? His promise will be fulfilled. (Surat al-Muzammil, 7-8)


Those who thought that Allah was unaware of their actions will realize that they were His helpless servants and that He had given them time until the Day of Judgment. He did so because this is Allah’s promise, as revealed in: "… He is merely deferring them to a Day on which their sight will be transfixed" (Surah Ibrahim, 42). Other verses also describe this day:

The Crashing Blow! What is the Crashing Blow? What will convey to you what the Crashing Blow is? It is the Day when mankind will be like scattered moths, and the mountains like tufts of colored wool. (Surat al-Qari`a, -5)

The verses of Surat al-Hajj reveal that people will be like those who have lost their minds:

Mankind, heed your Lord! The quaking of the Hour is a terrible thing. On the day that they see it, every nursing woman will be oblivious of the baby at her breast, every pregnant woman will abort the contents of her womb, and you will think that people are drunk when they are not drunk; it is just that the punishment of Allah is so severe. (Surat al-Hajj, -2)

Some verses which relate the helplessness of the people on that day are the following:

And the Moon is eclipsed, and the Sun and Moon are fused together. On that Day, man will say: "Where can I run?" No indeed! There will be no safe place. That Day, the only resting place will be your Lord. (Surat al-Qiyama, 8-2)

Those who have turned a blind eye to My remembrance and a deaf ear to My warning. (Surat al-Kahf, 0)

This verse emphasizes the unbelievers' heedlessness about Allah's remembrance. In another verse, He states: "… Yet they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord" (Surat al-Anbiya’, 42). They deny Allah’s verses, ignore the signs of creation in every detail of the universe, and refuse to listen to the Qur’an, which Allah revealed as guidance to faith. Many verses clearly state the importance of remembering Allah and that the alternative is heedlessness:

Remember your Lord in yourself humbly and fearfully, without loudness of voice, morning and evening. Do not be one of the unaware. (Surat al-A`raf, 205)


People are responsible for seeking Allah’s good pleasure in everything they do, and for abiding by His commands and recommendations. The importance of remembrance is mentioned in the following verse:

Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book, and establish prayer. Prayer precludes indecency and wrongdoing. And remembrance of Allah is greater still. Allah knows what you do. (Surat al-`Ankabut, 45)

About the believers, Allah says: "O you who believe, do not let your wealth or children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whoever does that is lost" (Surat al-Munafiqun, 9). In other words, remembrance is more important than anything else. He also says: "Remember the Name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him completely" (Surat al-Muzammil, 8). The Muslims’ determination in remembrance is revealed in the following verse:

[The believers are] not distracted by trade or commerce from the remembrance of Allah, establishing prayer, and giving alms; fearing a day when all hearts and eyes will be in turmoil. (Surat an-Nur, 37)

Surat al-Kahf 0 also maintains that the unbelievers cannot bear to hear the Qur’an being recited. They would like to see everyone else turn their backs on the Qur’an, because someone who listens to it might follow the voice of his or her conscience, side with the righteous, and begin to practice truth and advise others to do same. For this reason, the unbelievers develop various means of rejecting the calls to faith, one of which is related in: "Those who do not belive say: 'Do not listen to this Qur’an. Drown it out, so that hopefully you will gain the upper hand'' (Surah Fussilat, 26).

As the above verse reveals, the unbelievers try to drown out the Qur’an’s voice, change the subject, or prevent its recitation. If all of this fails, they resort to violence and intimidation, and apply all kinds of pressure to silence the believers. The only reason for them to do so is their fear of being influenced by the truth, that their consciences might be touched and cause them to realize how mistaken they are. Their fear is visible in their facial expressions, behavior, and panic when they hear the Qur’an being recited or the truth of creation being told. Surah Ya Sin reveals that the unbelievers will not listen to the voice of truth, although adhering to the Qur’an’s values is their only route to salvation:

They are told: "Heed what is before you and behind you, so that hopefully you will have mercy shown to you." Not one of your Lord’s Signs comes to them without their turning away from it. (Surah Ya Sin, 45-46)

However, those who shut their ears to the Qur'an must know that they will feel great remorse on the Day of Judgment, a day on which they will seek only for death to finish them off. The Qur’an says:

But as for him who is given his Book in his left hand, he will say: "If only I had not been given my Book and had not known about my Reckoning! If only death had really been the end! My wealth has been of no use to me. My power has vanished." (Surat al-Haqqa, 25-29)

In other words, some people forget Allah and take others instead of Him as friends and protectors. They believe, mistakenly, that when they need some help, their protectors will help them and take care of their troubles. It is a great mistake to hope for salvation and assistance from people, because no one can help anyone else unless Allah wills it, for everything that exists is part of His creation. They came into being only because Allah wills it, and continue to exist only by His will. Only Allah clears away hardship and brings about ease, provides health and nourishment, and causes laughter as well as tears. In short, every other being is infinitely helpless, poor, and dependent. They have no power or means, and even lack the power to help themselves. Therefore, people should have faith in, expect help from, and seek any other thing only from Allah, for there is no other deity or being who can do anything for them.

This being so, to seek help from others or taking them as protectors; forgetting about Allah and not trusting in Him but in causes, means, and people; and considering Allah’s creations as independent powers, forces, or influences constitutes a blatant association (shirk). The Qur’an reveals this serious mistake in the following terms:

They have taken deities besides Allah, so that perhaps they may be helped. They cannot help them, even though they are an army mobilized in their support. (Surah Ya Sin, 74-75)

In Hell, the ultimate place of punishment, Allah’s attributes of Al-Qahhar (the Crusher, the Subduer), Al-Jabbar (the Irresistible), and Al-Muntaqim (the Avenger) will be reflected in eternity. Surat al-Kahf 02 indicates that this eternal suffering is prepared as hospitality for the unbelievers.

After accounting for their deeds in Allah’s presence, the unbelievers will receive their books from the left. At this moment, these people will truly realize that they will be driven to eternal suffering in Hell. There is no way out for them. Each of the companions of Hell will be accompanied by two angels: a driver and a witness. The following verses provide more information on this subject:

The Trumpet will be blown. That is the Day of the Threat. Every self will come together with a driver and a witness. [It will be said]: "You were heedless of this, so We have stripped you of your covering and today your sight is sharp." His inseparable comrade [the angel] will say: "This is what I have ready for you." [Allah will say:] "Hurl into Hell every obdurate unbeliever, impeder of good, and doubt-causing aggressor who set up another deity together with Allah. Hurl him into the terrible punishment." (Surah Qaf, 20-26)

This is how the unbelievers will be taken to that scary place. They will be flung into Hell group by group and will hear the terrifying gasping sound of Hell’s fire from afar (Surat al-Mulk, 7-8).

The verses reveal that from the very moment of their resurrection, they will be feeling what is expecting them. Their heads will be bowed from degradation and shame. In abject disgrace, friendless, and helpless, they will lose their conceit. Due to their shame, they will watch from the corner of their eyes without looking up. Our Lord says in one verse:

You will see them as they are exposed to it, abject in their abasement, glancing around them furtively. Those who believe will say: "Truly the losers are those who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Rising." The wrongdoers are in an everlasting punishment. (Surat ash-Shura, 45)

In addition, the deniers will be received at Hell’s gates in the following manner:

Those who do not believe will be driven to Hell in companies. When they arrive there and its gates are opened, its custodians will say to them: "Did Messengers from yourselves not come to you, reciting your Lord’s Signs to you and warning you of the meeting on this Day of yours?" They will say: "Indeed they did, but the decree of punishment is justly carried out against the unbelievers." They will be told: "Enter the gates of Hell and stay there timelessly, forever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!" (Surat az-Zumar, 7-72)

The gates of Hell will be closed behind them. The suffering they face is described as a "severe punishment" (Surah Al `Imran, 4), a "painful punishment" (Surah Al `Imran, 2), and a "terrible punishment" (Surah Al `Imran, 76). Nothing on Earth can compare with it, as the following veses reveal:

That Day no one will punish as He punishes, and no one will shackle as He shackles. (Surat al-Fajr, 25-26)


The people destined for Hell will be cast into its fire, which is a "raging blaze" (Surat al-Ma`arij, 5), "a raging fire" (Surat al-Layl, 4), and "a searing blaze" (Surat al-Furqan, ) Another verse says:

But as for him whose balance is light, his motherland is Hawiya. And what will convey to you what that is? A raging fire! (Surat al-Qari`a, 8-)


The fire is only one of the physical and psychological sufferings waiting for the unbelievers in Hell. Suffering comes from every side, as the Qur’an says. In addition, they are not given the chance to defend themselves and are engulfed by all of this suffering. They cannot find a way to deflect the pain coming to them, and it will continue to come to them forever.

Say: "Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions? People whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided, while they suppose that they are doing good." Those are the people who reject their Lord's Signs and the meeting with Him. Their actions will come to nothing and, on the Day of Rising, We will not assign them any weight. (Surat al-Kahf, 03-05)

These verses speak of people who worked hard in their worldly lives, achieved financial success, had a career, and made works of art or scientific discoveries. But all this is wasted in the Hereafter, because they denied Allah’s existence and revelation.

Irrespective of how great their achievements or how important their inventions, if they deny the Qur’an’s revelations they will be at a loss in the Hereafter. Their situation is explained in the following verses:

But as for anyone who rejects faith, his actions will come to nothing and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5)

As for those who denied Our Signs and the encounter of the Hereafter, their actions will come to nothing. Will they be repaid except for what they did? (Surat al-A`raf, 47)


Like those before you who had greater strength than you and more wealth and children. They enjoyed their portion; so enjoy your portion as those before you enjoyed theirs. You have plunged into defamation as they plunged into it. The actions of such people come to nothing in this world or the Hereafter. They are the lost. (Surat at-Tawba, 69)

The verses reveal that while the unbelievers’s efforts are being wasted, the believers will be rewarded in the most pleasant way for every good deed that they do. As the following verse states, none of their efforts will be wasted:

Their Lord responds to them: "I will not let the deeds of anyone among you go to waste, male or female—you are both the same in that respect. Those who emigrated, were driven from their homes, suffered harm in My Way, and fought and were killed, I will erase their bad actions and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing under them, as a reward from Allah. The best of all rewards is with Allah." (Surah Al `Imran, 95)

Those who repent, those who worship, those who praise, those who fast, those who bow, those who prostrate, those who command the right, those who forbid the wrong, those who preserve the limits of Allah: give good news to the believers. (Surat at-Tawba, 2)

This verse reveals that the unbelievers will suffer in Hell because they mocked Allah's Signs and His Messengers. Mockery is an often-used method to prevent the Qur’an from being heard. This character deficiency,which the unbelievers recommend to each other, is revealed by the following verses:

Not one of their Lord’s Signs comes to them without their turning away from it. They deny the truth each time it comes to them, but news of what they were mocking will certainly reach them. (Surat al-An`am, 4-5)

In addition, another verse says:

But when he [Musa] came to them with Our Signs, they merely laughed at them. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 47)

The main reason for this mockery is that these people do not want to hear what is being said, because they fear that their consciences might stir, that they might begin to consider the Hereafter’s existence or their responsibilities related to this life and death. Intending to mock Allah’s religion, sent to us through His Messengers, they draw caricatures, write sarcastic articles, and hope to have fun by doing so. Through such means, they try to forget about the realities revealed by the Qur’an.

Mockery is the ignorant strategy of weak people who are trying to cover up their inferiority complexes, for they have no evidence to support their arguments against the truth. Those people who mock what is right will be able to do only for a while, as revealed in: "But Allah is mocking them, and drawing them on, as they wander blindly in their excessive insolence" (Surat al-Baqara, 5). They will meet with what they mocked, and "… what they used to mock at will engulf them" (Surat az-Zumar, 48). Allah also clarifies what will happen to those who mock the Qur’an in the face of Hell’s fire:

No wonder you are surprised as they laugh with scorn! When they are reminded, they do not pay heed. When they see a Sign, they only laugh with scorn. They say: "This is just downright magic. When we are dead and turned to dust and bones, will we then be raised up again alive? And our earlier ancestors as well?" Say: "Yes, and you will be in a despicable state." There will be but one Great Blast, and then their eyes will open. They will exclaim: "Alas for us! This is the Day of Reckoning!" This is the Day of Decision that you used to deny. (Surat as-Saffat, 2-2)

Those who believe and do right actions will have the Gardens of Paradise as hospitality, remaining in them timelessly, forever, with no desire to move away from them. (Surat al-Kahf, 07-08)

On the Day of Judgment, sincere believers will receive their accounts, which contain all of their actions in life, from the right side. The Qur’an uses this expression for those people, destined for Paradise, who will have an easy trial. Other verses say this as well, among them:

As for him who is given his Book in his right hand, he will be given an easy reckoning and return to his family joyfully. (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 7-9)


Once their trial is over, the believers experience great joy, for they have found salvation. As the following verse says:

Enter them [Gardens and Springs] in peace, in complete security! (Surat al-Hijr, 46)

A believer who is told to enter Paradise will say:

If my people only knew how my Lord has forgiven me and placed me among the honored ones! (Surah Ya Sin, 26-27)

In another verse, the believers are told:

…This is the Day when the sincerity of the sincere will benefit them. They will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them… (Surat al-Ma’ida, 9)


Countless gifts are awaiting the believers in Paradise, for:

They will enter Gardens of Eden in which they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk. They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful: He Who has lodged us, out of His favor, in the Abode of Permanence, where no weariness or fatigue affects us." (Surah Fatir, 33-35)

The blessings of Paradise are indescribable. As the verses reveal, in Paradise our five senses will experience the greatest pleasures and joys. But the greatest gift of all in Paradise is Allah’s good pleasure. Real happiness is the peace and happiness of having won Allah’s good pleasure, of being pleased with everything that He has given, and of being grateful for it all. Allah says of the people in Paradise:

… Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. That is the Great Victory. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 9)

In this verse, Allah’s infinite wisdom is described through an example. Allah has the knowledge of the heavens and Earth, of every being in between, of every law of nature and science, and of anything happening at anytime and anywhere, because He created it all.

Allah’s knowledge has no boundaries. He knows simultaneously the identity of every person who lives and who has ever lived, when every single leaf falls from each tree, the state of every star among billions of stars in billions of galaxies, and of all the things that we could never finish writing about in these pages. He knows everything that happens on Earth, as well as everything happening in the universe and in the genetic code of every one of the billions of people, animals, and plants, simultaneously and regardless of when they lived. Allah, Who controls every point in space, also controls everything within and without of every human being. Allah has revealed this infinite knowledge in many verses, among them the following:

Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and Earth glorifies Allah, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. Allah knows what they do. (Surat an-Nur, 4)

See how they wrap themselves around, trying to conceal their feelings from Him! No, indeed! When they wrap their garments around themselves, He knows what they keep secret and what they make public. He knows what their hearts contain. (Surah Hud, 5)

… He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and Earth, and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara, 255)

He is Allah in the heavens and in Earth. He knows what you keep secret and what you make public, and He knows what you earn. (Surat al-An`am, 3)

Say: "I am only a human being like yourselves. It is revealed to me that your god is One God. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord act rightly and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord." (Surat al-Kahf, 0)

Messengers have been sent to every nation, past and present, to call them to Allah’s righteous path. Messengers are blessed people who explain Allah’s existence and unity to their people, invite them to His religion, inform them of what Allah expects of them and what they should and should not do, and warn them about the punishment of Hell and, at the same time, give them the good news of Paradise.

The Messengers’ lives are full of valuable lessons for those believers who understand and remember. Believers should not distinguish between the Messengers, whose noble attitude, behavior, and superior character are examples to emulate, and should take their advice and warnings seriously.

The calls to faith made by Allah’s Messengers are, as revealed in the Qur’an, alike. Each of them invited people to believe in Allah and to abide by true revelation, not to transgress, and not to disobey His commands. For this reason, the believers should not prefer one Messenger over the other, should believe in what has been sent down to each Messenger, and answer their calls conscientiously. The verse proclaims:

Say: "We believe in Allah and what has been sent down to us; what was sent down to Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq, Ya`qub, and the Tribes; what Musa and `Isa were given; and what all the Prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims submitted to Him." (Surat al-Baqara, 36)


All Prophets called people to the true faith and the right path. Their calls were valid for both their own nations and for us. The basic concepts of faith and morals to which they called, as well as their superior characters, are a source of guidance for every generation, including ours. The Qur’an reveals, from many perspectives, the truths to which they called and their exemplary moral qualities. Allah commands the believers to follow the Prophets’ righteous path.

They are the ones to whom We gave the Book, Judgment, and Prophethood. If these people reject it, We have already entrusted it to a people who did not. They are the ones Allah has guided, so be guided by their guidance. Say: "I do not ask you for any wage for it. It is simply a reminder to all beings." (Surat al-An`am, 89-90)


For this reason, believers must read the accounts about the Messengers in the Qur’an carefully, accept their advice, and follow the righteous path diligently.

THE SIGNS IN SURAT AL-KAHF FOR THE END TIMES

Throughout this book on Surat al-Kahf, we have pointed out many of its signs addressing the End Times. The numerical (abjad) values of some of the verses fall close to our own era, such as:

We fortified their hearts... (Surat al-Kahf, 4)


Islamic era: 400; Christian era: 979

He said: "The power my Lord has granted me is better than that..." (Surat al-Kahf, 95)


Islamic era: 409; Christian era: 988 (without shaddah)

We gave him power and authority on Earth... (Surat al-Kahf, 84)

Islamic era: 440; Christian era: 209 (with shaddah)

A sign pointing at the beginning of the fifteenth Islamic century and the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first Christian century is the number 980, which is obtained by multiplying Surat al-Kahf’s number of verses with its numerical order in the Qur’an.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also often indicated that this time was the beginning of the End Times. He says, for example:

Thus, unfair people who do not know this truth say: "Why did the Companions of the Prophet with their vigilant hearts and keen sight, who had been taught all the details of the hereafter, suppose a fact that would occur one thousand four hundred years later to be close to their century, as though their ideas had deviated a thousand years from the truth?"7

Bediuzzaman, by saying "400 years after" the Prophet’s Companions, indicated the years around 980 as the End Times. Here it is important to note that he said 400, not 373, 378, and not 398. In other words, the fifteenth Islamic century.

 
   
    

1. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Sixteenth Flashes; Dhu’l-Qarnayn “Saw the sun setting in a spring of murky water.”
2. Iskender Ture, Zulkarneyn (Dhu'l-Qarnayn), (Istanbul:Karizma Yayinlari, 2000), pp. 33-68
3. Carl Sagan, Cosmos, Random House, New York, 980, p. 99.
4.Omer Nasuhi Bilmen, Kuran-i Kerim’in Turkce Meali Alisi ve Tefsiri (Commentary of the Qur’an), Bilmen Publications, vol. 4, p. 989.
5.Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Sixteenth Flashes; “Where is the barrier of Dhu’l-Qarnayn? Who were Gog and Magog?”
6.Ibn Kathir and Zamakhshari tafseers. 3
7Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Twenty-Fourth Word, Third Branch.