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Offline Reader Questions

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Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« on: March 16, 2012, 11:16:12 PM »
Assalamu Alaikum Br. Joseph:

I want to know about Yazuz and Mazuz.  Regards.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 11:17:10 PM »
Wa alaikum assalam

The Quran's portrayal of 'Yajuj wa Majuj' (Gog and Magog) remains very succinct which lends to the suggestion that the primary audience of the Quran were familiar with these names and were interested in the wider context dealing with Zul-Qarnayn. Yajuj wa Majuj' seem to have been a community or a people that existed in an ancient slice of history. Please see the Quranic narratives 18:93-98 and 21:96 where they are mentioned. These names are also often linked with references in Jewish and Christian literature.

I personally only restrict myself to any interpretations that can be gleaned from the Quran's narratives and any wisdom that can be extracted from it. There is great wisdom in verse 18:22 that though having been narrated in the context of the People of the Cave, can be applied widely to any narrative, including this one: "...Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear / obvious argument (miraan zahiran)..."

I hope that helps iA.

Regards,
Joseph.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 10:07:22 AM »
As-salam alaykum

For those readers interested, please see below an interesting assessment of the Quranic data pertaining to Zul-Qarnayn’s Journey to the Land of Gog and Magog by Imran Faruqui. In particular, his exegesis of Quranic Verses 18:98-108 and 21:95-100 many may find very interesting. Only the first chapter is shared which deals with the subject matter of this post. Please feel free to share any feedback to this paper with me directly at my email address: josephislam1@gmail.com and I will be happy to share these directly with the author, God willing.

http://quransmessage.com/files/Gog%20&%20Magog%20-%20M.%20Imran%20Faruqui.pdf
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Reader Comments

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 10:53:58 AM »
Asalaam Jospeh,

I don't give much heed to the traditional narratives of the arrival of 'mehdi' or last day or the day of judgement. Somehow the traditional narratives sound like 'housewives tales'. Obviously I could not show such derision openly for fear of repercussions (I live in Pakistan where a person can get killed easily on such stuff). But reading the paper by Imran was different. Somehow, it communicated the sort of un-escapability, the intrinsic-ness of what will happen in a way no other 'reading' on this topic ever could. The reason is that in traditional tales, there are a hundred holes, and un-realistic propositions divorced from reality. But Imran's narrative is logical, cold without any effort to try to scare. It is as if a message is being communicated. And that message is stating facts about and by the Creator. It managed to convey utter powerlessness of me and other humans in a way like no other. it literally made me question my own deeds and question whether I am prepared to meet the Creator. I would like to point out that this has never been the case with any other narrative on this topic or on heaven or hell. The reason I guess is that, those narratives do not resonate. It is like a horror movie plot. Good, but deep down you know it is not real. But this paper, is interpreting and giving life to what the Quran is saying in a way I have never read before.

Now the consequence is that after reading this, I am seriously considering reading the Quran and trying to understand whatever I can with the help of root words dictionary. I want to do this because I want to firsthand understand and realize this Message. Reading translations colored by hadith, traditions and literal mis-translations has never really resonated with me. Instead this has led me to distance my self from religion. I guess for better or worse, I seek depth and consistency to a very high degree. I am a computer science grad btw working in a startup firm and doing practical R&D. I read and try to understand complex physics, medicine, genetics etc as a hobby. Nothing new in this as I have been doing this from early childhood. This  means that my criteria for the Message to hit home is I guess stricter, such that translations will not make do, especially after finding flaws in them (like mis-translation or un-warranted rendering of generic meaning of Quran's translation to a very specific case etc).

Now, having read a sample of what Quran when rendered in a way it should be on an important topic, has perhaps give me impetus to actually stop delaying and try to read the Quran and understand it myself.

As an aside, is there a way to get the entire "Quranic Odyssey" by the author ? Could you help me with that ?

Thanks,

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2016, 10:16:08 PM »
Dear All,

As-salamu alaykum

Please kindly see below the second chapter from brother Imran Faruqui's Book, 'Qur'anic Odyssey'.

http://quransmessage.com/files/Quranic%20Odyssey%20Ch1-2%20v2.37.pdf

Those familiar with his first chapter will no doubt have found his interpretation of the Quranic data pertaining to Gog & Magog fascinating, riveting to read.
As usual, if you would like to leave comments for brother Imran Faruqui, please feel free to share them on this thread or on the dedicated Facebook thread below:

Dedicated Facebook Thread:
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/462554880548311

Regards,
Joseph


RELATED:

[1] Dedicated Facebook Thread:
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/462554880548311
[2] Dedicated Forum Thread
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=313
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 05:45:13 PM »
Salaams,

Thank you Mr. Farqui for the article and Joseph Islam for publishing it in these forums:

I have a query for Mr. Faruqui regarding the identities of Gog and Magog.

A translation of Quran 18:94 is as follows:
They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?

In this verse it appears as though the oppressed community refer to the mischief makers as "Gog and Magog". Other translations seem to render the same, i.e. these words are what may have been literally spoken by the oppressed community.

In the article Mr. Faruqui suggests that Gog and Magog refer to the kingdom of Goguryeo who were united at the time of Zhul Qarnayn and later divided into present day North and South Korea.

This seems to conflict with the Quran wherein it seems to suggest, from the speech of those who were oppressed, that Gog and Magog were already a divided people at the time of oppression.

Can Mr. Faruqui please clarify? I am afraid i do not understand the Arabic and have to rely on the translations.

Offline Imran Faruqui

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2016, 08:19:37 AM »
Dear Shahmatt

Thank you kindly for your enquiry. Let me first apologize for not responding earlier; as I've been rather busy and haven’t checked in on this forum as of late. I also want to thank you for reaching out to me personally through FB messaging to alert me of your comment.

IN REGARDS TO GOG AND MAGOG, YOU WRITE:

Quote
“In the article Mr. Faruqui suggests that Gog and Magog refer to the kingdom of Goguryeo who were united at the time of Zhul Qarnayn and later divided into present day North and South Korea.

This seems to conflict with the Quran wherein it seems to suggest, from the speech of those who were oppressed, that Gog and Magog were already a divided people at the time of oppression.”

This is indeed a perceptive question, which, I believe, I’ve answered on page 25 of my book. I have included the relevant excerpt here:

Quote
“…It is implausible that agrarian highland communities with limited resources could survive repeated raids by not one, but two different military tribes (i.e. Gog and Magog). This was not a war where allies joined forces to mount a combined attack against a common formidable enemy. These were recurrent raids with the intent of resource acquisition through pillage and plunder or the receipt of tribute through the instilment of fear. Continuous forced transfer of wealth was the prize. If two separate aggressive tribes partnered in combined larger raids, or tag teamed in alternate raids, there simply would not be enough booty to go around, nor could the assaulted communities recover from such severe and repeated onslaught. The villages would be raided to extinction and the strategy rendered counter-productive. More to the point, two highly skilled armed tribes would no doubt be at war with each other in competition over potential gains. It is apparent this scenario is not even a remote possibility.

The only credible conclusion that can be reached is Gog and Magog are not two separate tribes, but one single tribe. They are one people of the same ethnic stock. GOD USES THE TERM, ‘GOG AND MAGOG,’ AS A LITERARY DEVICE TO SHOW THEY ARE ONE PEOPLE WHO ARE LATER DIVIDED. That is why both names have ‘Gog’ in common; ‘Gog and Magog’ even sound as if they are ‘from’ and ‘of’ each other.

It does not seem reasonable that God, who is the All Wise, the All Aware, purposefully selected the related names ‘Gog and Magog,’ if they referenced two separate and completely unrelated tribes. It seems more appropriate, given He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, that the term ‘GOG AND MAGOG’ WAS DELIBERATELY CHOSEN AS AN UNDERSTATED MEANS TO HELP MANKIND UNLOCK THEIR IDENTITIES. The one tribe of Gog and Magog refers, therefore, to arguably the world’s most homogeneous ethnic group of people alive today; the divided inhabitants of the Korean Peninsula, or present day North and South Korea (Figure 14).”


PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING POINTS. I ARGUE:

1. Gog and Magog cannot be two distinct and separate tribes, as may first appear by the Qur’anic term “Gog and Magog,” because two separate tribes would undoubtedly pillage the assaulted community to extinction.

2. I then argue, consequently, that since Gog and Magog cannot be two separate tribes, the only reasonable conclusion is that “GOD USES THE TERM, ‘GOG AND MAGOG,’ AS A LITERARY DEVICE TO SHOW THEY ARE ONE PEOPLE WHO ARE LATER DIVIDED.”

Please note the term “LITERARY DEVICE;” implying that “Gog and Magog” were not divided at the time of the raids, but rather were divided at a later date. In a similar vein, I suggest Zul-Qarnayn means “THE TWO-AGED ONE” (p. 69). It seems highly unlikely that his real name was in fact “the two-aged one” (i.e. Zul-Qarnayn). Rather, God uses the name “Zul-Qarnayn” in the Qur’anic narrative to MAGNIFY his importance and to give us a clue – that he is important in two separate ages – the age in which he lived, and the age of the Final Hour.

Analogously, therefore, I am positing that a similar LITERARY DEVICE is employed with the Qur’anic term “Gog and Magog” (‘Ya’juj’ and ‘Ma’juj’ in Arabic) – that they are not two different tribes; rather, they are one tribe, one homogeneous people, of one common stock, who are only later divided.

I hope I have sufficiently clarified your question. If not, please feel free to continue the discussion.

With peace and regards,

Imran

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 12:30:48 AM »
Salaams Mr. Faruqui,

I am afraid that, despite having read what you have published carefully, I did not fully comprehend what you meant by 'Literary Device'.

In retrospect perhaps I should have referred to a dictionary first before asking and wasting your time.

Your explanation of the story of Zul Qarnayn, as another commenter has pointed out, is logical and cold. The conclusions are inescapable. It is as it should be.

I thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for this priceless contribution. I look forward to the future chapters.

Offline Imran Faruqui

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 10:30:18 AM »
No problem at all brother Shahmatt. My pleasure. Thank you for your kind comments. I’m glad I was able to satisfactorily address your question. Any time spent clarifying my work for others is time well spent – especially when an individual has taken the time to consider my evidence/arguments carefully, as you clearly have :))

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 11:44:35 AM »
I have pondered over your article a bit more.

The Quran asserts that it is fully detailed.

Yet you have used considerable extra Quranic material for the detail.

Would it be possible to draw the same article conclusions without this material? I think no. Is this not a problem?

--------------
I must say that I feel increasingly more uncomfortable.

I think it is because your article grinds against my appreciation of a clear and straightforward Quran. It involves a fair amount of detective work and piecing together of a jigsaw puzzle. It is in short, too complex.

I am personally inclined to err on the side of simplicity and conservatism on such matters.

Offline Imran Faruqui

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 08:52:57 PM »
Can you please clarify to what extra-Qur'anic material, precisely, do you refer?

And if you are to "err on the side of simplicity," what do you make of Zul-Qarnayn's journey and the identities of Gog and Magog based on such an approach?

Offline Shahmatt

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 02:20:03 PM »
I am referring to the material used to flesh out the detail.

You have clearly spent much time studying history and geography in determining Zul Qarnayn's background and culture, his travel route, and the identities of Gog and Magog, and you have arrived at compelling conclusions as a result.

But this study is not so easily accessible to the masses. Nor is the material contained within the Quran. And hence nor would the identities of Gog and Magog as you have concluded. Should not the identities of Gog and Magog be apparent to at least believers in order that they can witness a prophecy being fulfilled?

Unfortunately the Korean war has never, to my limited knowledge anyway, been referred to or been witnessed as, a 'surging of God and Magog'. Even though perhaps there is still time for this to happen as, as you have determined, that matter is not yet resolved.

By erring on the side of simplicity I mean that, by some means, the identities of God and Magog would become apparent when God decides it is time.

Regardless of all of the above, the Hour is described to be imminent during the prophet's lifetime, and it is still equally imminent now. The state of imminency has not changed, though by virtue of time having passed, the Hour is now closer. Therefore from a believer point of view does the identification of Gog and Magog even matter?

Offline Duster

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2016, 08:33:21 AM »
Shalom / peace Imran,

I really think your thesis was a great effort ..... however, I have a similar problem to Shahmatt.... You have used the following extra-Quranic material to make your case .... If the Quran is fully detailed for religious guidance ..... where do all these Wikipedia references and other references and links you have mentioned below fit into this??????? >>>>>How is your approach different to the traditionalists then who also use all their extra Quranic material to support their views???????


REFERENCES USED

1. Cumings, Bruce. Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005. 29. Print.
2. Taedon, Noh. Korea’s Ancient Koguryo’s Kingdom: A Socio-Political History. Leiden (The Netherlands):
Koninklijke Brill NV, 2014. 38. Print.
3. Lee, Ki-baik. A New History of Korea. Cambridge ; London: Harvard UP, 1984. 24. Print.
4. "Names of Korea." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Korea>.
5. "Korea Etymology." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korea#Etymology>.
6. "Goryeo." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeo>.
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<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeo#Etymology>.
8. Cumings (2005), p. 23.
9. Cumings (2005), p. 38-40.
10. Lee (1984), p. 101-103.
11. Handbook of Korea. Seoul, Korea: Korean Overseas Information Service, 2003. 56. Print.
12. "Goguryeo." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goguryeo>.
13. Uden, Martin. Times Past in Korea: An Illustrated Collection of Encounters. Events, Customs and Daily Life
recorded by Foreign Visitors. London: Korea Library, 2003. Historical Introduction, XVII. Print.
14. "Dating the Bible." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dating_the_Bible>.
15. "The Amazing Name Gog-Magog: Meaning and Etymology." Abarim Publications. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec.
2014.
16. Cumings (2005), ch. 4.
17. "Division of Korea." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_of_Korea>.
18. "Kim Il-Sung." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 June 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Il-sung>.
19. "Controversy Stirs over Kim Monument at PUST- Daily NK." Daily NK. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.
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of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in North Korea. By David R. Hawk. Cong. Rept. Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 2005. 111. Print:
“The excerpted text is from an unofficial translation of the amended and supplemented Constitution of the
DPRK, which was adopted on September 5, 1998 by the first session of the 10th Supreme People’s
Assembly. See “The People’s Korea” (http://www.korea-np.co.jp/pk), accessed November 10, 2005.”
21. Hawk (2005), p. 114:
“This translation of excerpts from the “Ten Great Principles of the Unitary Ideology System” is taken from
Joanna Hosaniak, Prisoners Of Their Own Country: North Korea in the Eyes of the Witnesses, Citizens'
Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, Seoul, 2005, pages 58-64. As noted in the report, the Ten Great
Principles were published in 1974, co-incident with the announcement that Kim Jong Il would succeed his
father, Kim Il Sung. The 10th Principle establishes dynastic succession for the DPRK.”
22. "Kim Dynasty (North Korea)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 May 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_dynasty_(North_Korea)>.
23. Hawk (2005), p. 1.
24. Hawk (2005), p. 3.
25. Central Intelligence Agency. North Korea, CIA World Factbook, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
26. Hawk (2005), p. 67.
73
27. Hawk (2005), p. 49.
28. Hawk (2005), p. 57.
29. Hawk (2005), p. 69.
30. Hawk (2005), p. 63.
31. Hawk (2005), p. 70.
32. Hawk (2005), p. 72.
33. Hawk (2005), p. 16.
34. Hawk (2005), p. 2.
35. Worden, Robert L. North Korea: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of
Congress, 2008. 136. Print.
36. Halliday, Jon. "The North Korean Enigma." New Left Review 127 (1981): 32. Print
37. Cumings (2005), p. 433.
38. Cumings (2005), p. 431.
39. Cumings (2005), p. 434.
40. Worden (2008), p. 138.
41. "North Korean Economy." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 18 May 2015.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_korean_economy>.
42. Eberstadt, Nick. The North Korean Economy between Crisis and Catastrophe. New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction, 2008. 119-120. Print.
43. Worden (2008), p. 140-141.
44. Cumings (2005), p. 436.
45. Pak, S., D. Schwekendiek, and H. K. Kim. "Height and Living Standards in North Korea, 1930s-1980s."
Economic History Review (2009): n. pag. Print.
46. Woo-Cumings, Meredith. "The Political Ecology of Famine: The North Korean Catastrophe and Its
Lessons." Asian Development Bank Institute 31 (2002): 50-60. Print.
47. Woo-Cumings (2002), p. 50.
48. Noland, Marcus, Sherman Robinson, and Tʻao Wang. Famine in North Korea: Causes and Cures.
Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 1999. 1. Print.
49. Worden (2008), p. 154-155.
50. Woo-Cumings (2002), p. 58.
51. Worden (2008), p. 156.
52. Schwekendiek, Daniel. A socioeconomic history of North Korea. North Carolina: McFarland, 2011. 60.
Print.
53. Worden (2008), p. 64.
54. Woo-Cumings. ibid, p. 6.
55. "A Terrible Truth." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 17 Apr. 1997. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.
56. Noland (1999) p. 3-12.
57. Noland, Marcus. Avoiding the Apocalypse: The Future of the Two Koreas. Washington, DC: Institute for
International Economics, 2000. 171-94. Print.
58. Schwekendiek (2011), p. 137.
59. Schwekendiek (2011), p. 10.
60. Eberstadt (2008), p. 17-52.
61. Schwekendiek (2011), p.112-114.
62. Pak (2009).
63. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/partitive>.
64. Central Intelligence Agency. South Korea, CIA World Factbook, n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015
65. Moon, Chung-in, and Sangkeun Lee. "Military Spending and the Arms Race on the Korean Peninsula."
Asian Perspective, 33.4 (2009): p. 69+.
66. Worden (2008), p. 123.
67. "South Korea's Education Success." BBC News. BBC, 13 Sept. 2005. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
68. Worden (2008), p. 115-119.
74
69. "Constitution of the Republic of Korea". Constitutional Court of Korea. Archived from the original on
March 23, 2008.
70. "World Report 2014: North Korea." Human Rights Watch, n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.
71. Worden (2008), p. 126-130.
72. Schwekendiek, Daniel, and Jun Seong-ho. "From the Poorest to the Tallest in East Asia: The Secular Trend
in Height of South Koreans." Korea Journal 50.3 (n.d.): 151-75. Print.
73. "Korea at Night, Satellite Image." Stock Image C004/4096. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2015.
74. Lane, Edward William. An Arabic-English Lexicon. Vol. 1. London: Willams & Norgate, 1863. 59-60. Print.
75. Edwards, Paul M. Korean War Almanac. New York: Facts On File, 2006. 517. Print.
76. Hosein, Imrān Nazar. An Islamic View of Gog and Magog in the Modern World. San Fernando, Trinidad and
Tobago: Masjid Jāmi'ah, City of San Fernando, 2009. 148. Print.
77. Lane (1863), Vol. 8. p. 241-242
78. Hosein (2009), p. 127.

Offline Imran Faruqui

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 12:39:32 PM »
Dear brother Shahmatt,

Thank you for your considered thoughts. I have pondered your feedback/concerns carefully. I can see that you are coming from a very sincere place. Let me try and address each of your points as best as I can. You mention:

1. THE QUR’AN IS FULLY DETAILED, SO WHY USE-EXTRA QUR’ANIC MATERIAL?

I think it is important, first of all, to differentiate between two distinct categories of extra-Qur’anic materials: theological vs. non-theological. The former, theological extra-Qur’anic material, includes Islamic Secondary Sources (such as Hadith, Traditions, Prophet’s Biography, etc.) which have been adopted, with grave error, as Religious Books/Doctrines and/or Practices. The latter, non-theological extra-Qur’anic materials, includes any type of information (history, sciences, economics, sociology, politics, etc.) which is used to support the Qur’anic data. Qur’anic data, simply put, is a term which refers to the information narrated/revealed in the Qur’an (e.g. descriptions, historical accounts, argumentation, lineage, geography, etc.).

The extensive information which I have researched/referenced (some of which, brother Duster has listed in the post above) is, by and large, non-theological extra-Qur’anic material, which is used to support, and thereby illuminate, the Qur’anic data – in this particular case, the journey of Zul-Qarnayn. To suggest that non-theological extra-Qur’anic material should be eschewed because the Qur’an says “it is fully detailed” is to woefully miss the point and misplace the true understanding of what is meant by “fully detailed.” If I may say so, and with no disrespect intended, it is the equivalent of shunning rational thought, ignoring the world around us, burying one’s head in the sand, and myopically exclaiming, “there is no correlation, whatsoever, between the Qur’an and the world around us.”

To be clear, when the Qur’an says, “it is fully detailed” (7:52, 10:37, 11:1, 17:89, 18:54, 25:33, 39:27), it means that the Qur’an contains all the theological information necessary for mankind’s guidance – i.e. to live a moral life in accordance with the deen/way/system of life, as set-out in the Qur’an. In other words, no other (extra-Qur’anic) theological material is required for such guidance and to establish such a system of life. To reiterate, non-theological extra-Qur’anic material, on the other hand, can be used and should be used, to enhance our understanding of the Qur’anic data; so that mankind continually gains greater insights of the Revealed Word – because, after all, there is obliged to be some relation between the Revealed Word of the Creator, and the Creation of the Creator.

The above explanation, I trust, readily highlights the stark contrast in approach between my work and Traditionalists; who reference theological extra-Qur’anic materials as the source books/doctrines for their exegeses. Consequently, their analyses are invariably flawed because they are based, primarily, upon corrupted theological canons.

2.  THE QUR’AN IS CLEAR/STRAIGHTFORWARD, HENCE THE IDENTITIES OF GOG AND MAGOG SHOULD BE OBVIOUS/READILY APPARENT

Your assertion that the Qur’an is clear/straightforward, and thus Gog and Magog cannot be identified as North and South Korea because it “…involves a fair amount of detective work and piecing together of a jigsaw puzzle…” warrants, perhaps, a revisit.

The Qur’an’s assertion that it is a “clear/clarifying book” (12:1, 12:111, 15:1, 16:89, 24:59, 25:33, 36:69, 54:17, 75:19) is an often misconstrued concept; with many erroneously reaching the conclusion that everything in the Qur’an is required to be straightforward. This is far from the case. Take, for example, something as basic as salat/contact prayer. Amongst Qur’anists, opinions vary widely; with advocates variously supporting 0, 2, 3, 4, or 5 daily prescribed contact prayers, including differences in opinion on the method of prayer. The same holds true for a plethora of other fundamental topics including: permissible number of wives and in what circumstance(s), pilgrimage, fasting, state tax, charity, penalty for theft, definition of Messenger and Prophet, etc. It should be underscored that these diverse range of opinions stem from Qur’an centric practitioners – who reach glaringly different conclusions – all from the very same book, on, to emphasize, rather fundamental topics! What, then, can one expect on something as seemingly cryptic as Zul-Qarnayn’s journey and the identities of Gog and Magog?

As grossly diverse doctrines are being extracted, all from the very same book, what does the Qur’an actually mean when it refers to itself as a “clarifying book?” The Qur’an itself arguably answers the question by imparting a clue in the following verse:

39:17-18
There is good news for those who shun the worship of false gods and turn to God, so give good news to My servants who listen to what is said and follow what is best. These are the ones God has guided; these are the people of understanding.

The implication of “listen to what is said and follow what is best,” is that each individual is obliged to contemplate the Qur’an, and, after careful consideration, reach his/her own conclusion(s) about any given doctrine. However, given the established fact that even amongst Qur’an-centric scholars – who have ostensibly studied the Qur’an well – significant disagreements remain on even basic tenets, then, perhaps, the following conclusion can be drawn:

It was never God’s intent to spoon-feed mankind on every single theological topic, but rather to do justice to the cognitive mind given to a sentient being, by authoring a Divine Book which encourages each individual to rationally contemplate the Revealed Word; and to subsequently reach his/her own, sometimes rather unique conclusions, on any given doctrine.

The above, arguably paradigm shifting perspective, decisively debunks the notion that the ‘identities of Gog and Magog should be readily apparent to the masses in some obvious fashion, without the necessity to seriously contemplate the relevant Qur’anic narrative and the associated Qur’anic data.’ The truth, my dear brother, is that it’s quite the opposite; because the Creator has made us sentient beings with cognitive minds – which, in turn, demands nothing short of considered, rational thought!

Furthermore, it should also be noted that God has long ceased the practice of sending down miraculous signs (17:59). Consequently, all eschatological prophecies, by definition, must be subtle. This includes not only the war of Gog and Magog, but also the splitting of the moon (54:1), and the clouds of smoke (44:10-16). And, it is precisely for this reason – subtlety – that when the Final Hour does suddenly arrive, as it inevitably must, the disbelievers will exclaim, “…Woe to us! We were not aware of this at all. We were wrong” (21:97). If, instead, God manifested the three eschatological prophecies referenced above in any sort of obvious manner, by default, therefore, arguably there would be no disbelievers left – especially considering we now live in a global community with instantaneous, documented, and retrievable communications. Consequently, subtlety is the defining characteristic of the eschatological prophecies, and, in time, God willing, it is the rational, thinking person, who will see/witness/recognize the fulfillment of these very prophecies.
 
3. FROM A BELIEVER’S POINT OF VIEW, WHY DOES THE IDENTIFICATION OF GOG AND MAGOG EVEN MATTER?

Before addressing this final point, the question that must first be answered is “what is a Believer?” Without delving into too much detail, as this is a potentially loaded question, for the sake of expediency, let us define a Believer as someone who holds a Qur’an-centric position and lives his/her life according to Qur’anic guidance. Ergo, by this definition, pretty much the entire world’s population is not a Believer.

The purpose, therefore, of the Qur’an’s inclusion of eschatological prophecies, is to warn, specifically, the last generation of the imminent destruction of the planet (the entire universe in fact). The decoding of the eschatological prophecies – with meticulous, extensive supporting evidence and argumentation – are proofs of the veracity of the Qur’an. These proofs, in turn, serve as one last opportunity for non-believers to recognize the truth of the Qur’an, and thus, in time, to become Believers by adopting a Qur’an-centric perspective, God willing. The disbelievers have up until the arrival of the Final Hour to change and become Believers.

Thus, it can be argued that the decoding of the Qur’anic eschatological prophecies is a Mercy from God for the entire global community – which has effectively, and collectively, deserted the Qur’an en masse.


With peace and regards,

Imran

Offline Duster

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Re: Yajuj wa Majuj (Gog and Magog)
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2016, 10:34:06 PM »
Dear brother Shahmatt,

Thank you for your considered thoughts. I have pondered your feedback/concerns carefully. I can see that you are coming from a very sincere place. Let me try and address each of your points as best as I can. You mention:

1. THE QUR’AN IS FULLY DETAILED, SO WHY USE-EXTRA QUR’ANIC MATERIAL?

I think it is important, first of all, to differentiate between two distinct categories of extra-Qur’anic materials: theological vs. non-theological. The former, theological extra-Qur’anic material, includes Islamic Secondary Sources (such as Hadith, Traditions, Prophet’s Biography, etc.) which have been adopted, with grave error, as Religious Books/Doctrines and/or Practices. The latter, non-theological extra-Qur’anic materials, includes any type of information (history, sciences, economics, sociology, politics, etc.) which is used to support the Qur’anic data. Qur’anic data, simply put, is a term which refers to the information narrated/revealed in the Qur’an (e.g. descriptions, historical accounts, argumentation, lineage, geography, etc.).

The extensive information which I have researched/referenced (some of which, brother Duster has listed in the post above) is, by and large, non-theological extra-Qur’anic material, which is used to support, and thereby illuminate, the Qur’anic data – in this particular case, the journey of Zul-Qarnayn.

Shalom / peace brother Imran .....

If we could just for simplicity keep this simple and refer to all external sources as 'data' or 'information.... I am finding it difficult to understand what the differences are....>>>You are making use of 'data' such as 'Wikipedia' as a reliable source to support the Quran's verses! ... What makes 'Wikipedia' reliable and 'hadith' reports unreliable for the purposes of 'theological' deductions??? ..... both 'external' sources are being used for theological statements ..... some or many would say ....both these sources are polluted !!!! ...

Even a hadith ..... is a report ... Not all these reports are necessarily theological>>>>they could make statements just like Wikipedia or any other source does ... These are then used to make theological deductions ....

Therefore you are still using polluted sources (I'm not sure if Wikipedia claims to be a 100% accurate) to interpret Quranic verses .....