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 Khidhrâ€™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 oppressorsâ€™ actions. This shows his sympathy for the poor
and needy, as well as his compassionate and loving character. Allahâ€™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 Allahâ€™s Prophets and Messengers. Khidhr (as),
a Messenger graced by Allah, is compassionate and loving, just like all
Messengers, and has received, by Allahâ€™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
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 believersâ€™ property
without justification, for which reason the believers might have been
facing hardship and finding it difficult to escape the situation.
Confiscating the peopleâ€™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
"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 boyâ€™s parents were believers. In other
words, in those days true religion existed. When Khidhr (as) took the
childâ€™s life, it was Allahâ€™s will, for He had written the
childâ€™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 Qurâ€™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. Ibrahimâ€™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‘araâ€™, 78-83)
Allah willed for Khidhr (as) to take this childâ€™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 childâ€™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 Satanâ€™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
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 Musaâ€™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 angelsâ€™ 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 Qurâ€™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,
Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable
fortresses… (Surat an-Nisaâ€™, 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
memberâ€™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-Maâ€™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,
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
Khidhr's (as) dedication to the believers and his helpfulness
He helps a believer mother and father because of his dedication to the
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 orphansâ€™ 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
orphansâ€™ rights and ensure their moral education, because of their
good character and strict adherence to Allahâ€™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 orphanâ€™s property wrongfully consume nothing
in their bellies except fire. They will roast in a Searing Blaze. (Surat
As the morals of Islam recommend, Khidhr (as) considers the orphansâ€™
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, Khidhrâ€™s (as) compassion and devotion to
orphans and the poor reflects Allahâ€™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 wallâ€™s collapse could have caused great injury
or damage to passers-by, the surrounding plant and animal life, or be
the apparent cause of someoneâ€™s death. In addition, this verse could
be indicating the importance of doing a professional job when restoring
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
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 Dhuâ€™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 Qurâ€™an uses the narrative of Dhuâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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-Maâ€™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,
This verse mentions power and authority. A nationâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™s
(as) nation is far from this situation, for its governmentâ€™s rule
is solid, rational, and strong.
"We granted him a way to everything" suggests that
Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 hamiâ€™ah. `Ayn means "eye,
spring, fountain, and source"; hamiâ€™ah means "black mud,
smudged, and muddy."
Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) could have been heading for Africa, as Bediuzzaman
Said Nursi indicated. According to him:
Firstly, by explaining that Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn saw that huge ocean as a spring due to the distance.
But because the Qurâ€™an sees everything from close to, it did not
see what Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn saw, which was a sort of illusion. Indeed,
since the Qurâ€™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 personâ€™s
standpoint and the angle from which this event is being viewed.
Dhuâ€™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 Allahâ€™s law, do not accept Islam, and do evil, he is to
Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as), besides being his nationâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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, Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™s (as)
security and military forces must be mentioned too.
Scholars interpret "spring"
in different ways. According to one, Dhuâ€™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
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 Dhuâ€™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.
Dhuâ€™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
Everyone who denies Allahâ€™s existence and the Hereafter, and who
rejects the precepts of the Qurâ€™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
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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) is not just
his nationâ€™s leader and judge, but also a preaching Muslim calling
to faith. It is clear that he educates and rules his people according
to Allahâ€™s good pleasure.
Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) immediately calls the people he meets to believe
in Allah, devotion, the good deeds prescribed by the Qurâ€™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 peopleâ€™s responses
may be, the believers are to act with determination and to obey Allahâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an.
In addition, they must not let Allahâ€™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,
The second time Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) sets off, he goes east. Applying
the verse to a map, he could have gone to Korea, China, or Manchuria (northern
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:
"Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 daysâ€™ 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.
Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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 peopleâ€™s
request, we can deduce that Dhuâ€™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.
Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) indicates that in the End Times,
just as it was during his own time, the values of Islam will rule the
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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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.
Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) does not accept any recompense in return for
his help. The Qurâ€™an gives other examples about this character of
the Prophets. For instance, Prophet Sulayman (as) rejected the gifts sent
"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 Dhuâ€™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, Dhuâ€™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, Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) requests the peopleâ€™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 nationâ€™s wealth,
and makes his new employees useful by giving them roles in their nationâ€™s
defense. No doubt, such a relationship based on justice, respect, and
fairness will strengthen mutual trust and win the peopleâ€™s support.
Such a practice has many positive aspects, among them the peopleâ€™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 nationâ€™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 Allahâ€™s good pleasure,
this is unimportant. However, we cannot expect everybody to be diligent
in this matter or that they all seek Allahâ€™s good pleasure. With
this in mind, everyoneâ€™s rights must be guaranteed, regardless of
the level or lack of devotion to Allah. Here we see how clever Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™s
According to this verse, Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 structureâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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. Dhuâ€™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.
Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) remembers
after completing this project is Allahâ€™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
The wallâ€™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 Earthâ€™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 DHUâ€™L-QARNAYN NARRATIVE
Another possibility is that this narrative conveys events that will happen
in the future.
In Allahâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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
Dhuâ€™l-Qarnayn (as) will rule the world in the future.
In todayâ€™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," Dhuâ€™l-Qarnaynâ€™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, Dhuâ€™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." Dhuâ€™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
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. Dhuâ€™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 Dhuâ€™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 peopleâ€™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.
Dhuâ€™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 Majujâ€™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 transmitterâ€™s
broadcast. Significantly, the current expression used for pirate stations
that broadcast by interfering with another broadcast is "breaching
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
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
hamiâ€™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 Qurâ€™an reveals that the entire universe, including
humanity, animals, plants, stars—in short, everything that has been
created—will die. In the Qurâ€™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 Allahâ€™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 Earthâ€™s and the universeâ€™s
end. There is no way back anymore, for this is the sound of the end of
everyoneâ€™s worldly life and the beginning of the real life, the
life of the Hereafter. This is the sound that starts the unbelieversâ€™
fear, terror, misery, and panic, which will be everlasting. The Qurâ€™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 peopleâ€™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 Qurâ€™an reveals that this fear will cause childrenâ€™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 Allahâ€™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
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,
Some verses which relate the helplessness of the people on that day are
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-Anbiyaâ€™,
42). They deny Allahâ€™s verses, ignore the signs of creation in every
detail of the universe, and refuse to listen to the Qurâ€™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,
People are responsible for seeking Allahâ€™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
Muslimsâ€™ determination in remembrance is revealed in the following
[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 Qurâ€™an being recited. They would like to see everyone else turn
their backs on the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™anâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™anâ€™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
Lordâ€™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 Qurâ€™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
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 Allahâ€™s creations as independent powers,
forces, or influences constitutes a blatant association (shirk). The Qurâ€™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, Allahâ€™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
After accounting for their deeds in Allahâ€™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 Hellâ€™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
In addition, the deniers will be received at Hellâ€™s gates in the
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 Lordâ€™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,
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,
The fire is only one of the physical and psychological sufferings waiting
for the unbelievers in Hell. Suffering comes from every side, as the Qurâ€™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 Allahâ€™s existence and revelation.
Irrespective of how great their achievements or how important their inventions,
if they deny the Qurâ€™anâ€™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-Maâ€™ida,
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 unbelieversâ€™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,
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 Qurâ€™an from being heard. This
character deficiency,which the unbelievers recommend to each other, is
revealed by the following verses:
Not one of their Lordâ€™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,
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 Hereafterâ€™s existence or their
responsibilities related to this life and death. Intending to mock Allahâ€™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 Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an in the face of Hellâ€™s
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 Qurâ€™an uses this expression for those people, destined
for Paradise, who will have an easy trial. Other verses say this as well,
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,
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
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 Allahâ€™s good pleasure.
Real happiness is the peace and happiness of having won Allahâ€™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-Maâ€™ida, 9)
In this verse, Allahâ€™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.
Allahâ€™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
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,
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 Allahâ€™s righteous path. Messengers are blessed people
who explain Allahâ€™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 Messengersâ€™ 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 Allahâ€™s Messengers are, as revealed in
the Qurâ€™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 Qurâ€™an
reveals, from many perspectives, the truths to which they called and their
exemplary moral qualities. Allah commands the believers to follow the
Prophetsâ€™ 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 Qurâ€™an carefully, accept their advice, and follow the righteous
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-Kahfâ€™s number of verses with its numerical order in the
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 Prophetâ€™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.