فَأَرَدْنَا أَنْ يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا (الكهف: 81).
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلاَمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِعْ عَلَيْهِ صَبْرًا (الكهف: 82).
وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنْ ذِي الْقَرْنَيْنِ قُلْ سَأَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا (الكهف: 83).
إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُ فِي الأَرْضِ وَآتَيْنَاهُ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ سَبَبًا (الكهف: 84).
فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا (الكهف: 85).
حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِي عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ وَوَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا قَوْمًا قُلْنَا يَاذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِمَّا أَنْ تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّا أَنْ تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمْ حُسْنًا (الكهف: 86).
قَالَ أَمَّا مَنْ ظَلَمَ فَسَوْفَ نُعَذِّبُهُ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَى رَبِّهِ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَابًا نُكْرًا (الكهف: 87).
وَأَمَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُ جَزَاءً الْحُسْنَى وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِنَا يُسْرًا (الكهف: 88).
ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا (الكهف: 89).
حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطْلِعَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطْلُعُ عَلَى قَوْمٍ لَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَهُمْ مِنْ دُونِهَا سِتْرًا (الكهف: 90).
كَذَلِكَ وَقَدْ أَحَطْنَا بِمَا لَدَيْهِ خُبْرًا (الكهف: 91).
ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَبًا (الكهف: 92).
حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيْنَ السَّدَّيْنِ وَجَدَ مِنْ دُونِهِمَا قَوْمًا لاَ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلاً (الكهف: 93).
قَالُوا يَاذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجًا عَلَى أَنْ تَجْعَلَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمْ سَدًّا (الكهف: 94).
قَالَ مَا مَكَّنَنِي فِيهِ رَبِّي خَيْرٌ فَأَعِينُونِي بِقُوَّةٍ أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا (الكهف: 95).
آتُونِي زُبَرَ الْحَدِيدِ حَتَّى إِذَا سَاوَى بَيْنَ الصَّدَفَيْنِ قَالَ انفُخُوا حَتَّى إِذَا جَعَلَهُ نَارًا قَالَ آتُونِي أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْرًا (الكهف: 96).
فَمَا اسْطَاعُوا أَنْ يَظْهَرُوهُ وَمَا اسْتَطَاعُوا لَهُ نَقْبًا (الكهف: 97).
قَالَ هَذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّي فَإِذَا جَاءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي جَعَلَهُ دَكَّاءَ وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّي حَقًّا (الكهف: 98).
وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَمُوجُ فِي بَعْضٍ وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَجَمَعْنَاهُمْ جَمْعًا (الكهف: 99).
وَعَرَضْنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَرْضًا (الكهف: 100).
الَّذِينَ كَانَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِي غِطَاءٍ عَنْ ذِكْرِي وَكَانُوا لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَمْعًا (الكهف: 101).
أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنْ يَتَّخِذُوا عِبَادِي مِنْ دُونِي أَوْلِيَاءَ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ نُزُلاً (الكهف: 102).
قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالاً (الكهف: 103).
الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا (الكهف: 104).
أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا (الكهف: 105).
ذَلِكَ جَزَاؤُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُوا وَاتَّخَذُوا آيَاتِي وَرُسُلِي هُزُوًا (الكهف: 106).
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلاً (الكهف: 107).
خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلاً (الكهف: 108).
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا (الكهف: 109).
قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُوا لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا (الكهف: 110).
QURAN’s SURAH ALKEHF AYAH NO 81 TO 110
(18:81) and we desired that their Lord should grant them another in his place, a son more upright and more tender-hearted.
(18:82) As for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and under it, there was a treasure that belonged to them. Their father was a righteous man and your Lord intended that they should come of age and then bring forth their treasure as a mercy from your Lord; I did not do this of my own bidding. This is the true meaning of things with which you could not keep your patience.”
60. In connection with this story, a very hard problem arises to which an answer must be found. Two of the three things done by Khidr are obviously against those commandments of the law which have always been in force since the creation of man. No law allows anyone the right to damage the property of another and kill an innocent person. So much so that if a man was to know by inspiration that some usurper would illegally seize a certain boat and that a certain boy would be involved in a rebellion and unbelief, even then no law, sent down by Allah, makes it lawful that one should bore a hole in the boat and kill the innocent boy by virtue of his inspiration. If in answer to this, one were to say that Khidr committed these two acts by the commands of Allah, this does not solve the problem, for the question is not this: “By whose command did Khidr commit these acts”, but it is this: “What was the nature of these commands”? This is important because Khidr did these acts in accordance with the divine command, for he himself says that these acts of his were not done by his own authority but were moved by the mercy of Allah, and Allah Himself has testified this by
saying: “We gave him a special knowledge from Ourselves”. Thus it is beyond any doubt that these acts were done by the command of Allah, but the question about the nature of the command remains there, for it is obvious that these commands were not legal because it is not allowed by any divine law, and the fundamental principles of the Quran also do not allow that a person should kill another person without any proof of his guilt. Therefore we shall have to admit that these commands belonged to one of those decrees of Allah in accordance with which one sick person recovers, while another dies: one becomes prosperous and the other is ruined. If the commands given to Khidr were of this nature, then one must come to the conclusion that Khidr was an angel (or some other kind of Allah’s creation) who is not bound by the divine law prescribed for human beings, for such commands as having no legal aspect, can be addressed to angels only. This is because the question of the lawful or the unlawful cannot arise about them: they obey the commands of
Allah without having any personal power. In contrast to them, a man shall be guilty of sin whether he does any such thing inadvertently by intuition or by some inspiration if his act goes against some divine commandment. This is because a man is bound to abide by divine
commandments as a man, and there is no room whatsoever in the divine law that an act may become lawful for a man merely because he had received instruction by inspiration and had been informed in a secret way of the wisdom of that unlawful act.
The above-mentioned principle has been unanimously accepted by scholars of the divine law and the leaders of Sufism, Allamah Alusi has cited in detail the sayings of Abdul Wahhab Shiirani, Muhy-ud-Din ibn-Arabi, Mujaddid Alf Thani, Shaikh Abdul-Qadir Jilani, Junaid Baghdadi, Sirri Saqti, Abul-Hussain An-nuri, Abu Said-al- Kharraz, Ahmad ud-
Dainauri and Imam Ghazzali to this effect that it is not lawful even for a sufi to act in accordance with that inspiration of his own which goes against a fundamental of law. (Ruh- ul-Maani, Vol. XVI, pp. 16-18). That is why we have come to the conclusion that Khidr must be an angel, or some other kind of Allah’s creation, exempted from human law, for he could not be the only exception to the above-mentioned formula. Therefore we inevitably come to the conclusion that he was one of those servants of Allah who act in accordance with the will of Allah and not in accordance with the divine law prescribed for human beings.
We would have accepted the theory that Khidr was a human being, if the Quran had plainly asserted that the servant to whom Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was sent for training, was a man. But the Quran does not specifically say that he was a human being but says that he was one of Our servants which does not show that he was necessarily a human being. Besides this, there is no tradition that specifically says that Khidr was a human being. In the authentic traditions related by Said bin Jubair, Ibn Abbas, and Ubayy bin Kaab from the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Arabic word rajul has been used for Khidr, which though generally used for human beings, is not exclusively used for human beings. In the Quran itself, this word has been used for Jinns also (Surah Al-Jin, Ayat 6). It is also obvious that
when a jinn or an angel or an invisible being will come before a human being, he will surely come in human shape and, in that form; he will be called a Bashar (man), just like the angel who came before Mary in the shape of a human being (Surah Maryam, Ayat 17). Thus the
word rajul, used for Khidr in the above mentioned tradition by the Prophet (peace be upon him), does not necessarily mean that he was a human being. Therefore we are quite justified in the light of the above discussion to believe that Khidr was one of the angels or some other
kind of Allah’s creation who is not bound by the divine law prescribed for human beings.
Some of the former scholars of the Quran have also expressed the same opinion which has been cited by Ibn Kathir in his commentary on the authority of Mawardi.
(18:83) (OQ Muhammad), they ask you about Dhu al-Qarnayn.# Say: “I will give you an account of him.61
61. It is quite obvious that the conjunction who joins this story with the previous story of Khidr. Thus it is a self-evident proof that the previous two stories of the sleepers of the cave and Moses and Khidr were also related in answer to the queries of the disbelievers of Makkah who, in consultation with the people of the Book, had put these questions to
Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a test of his Prophethood.
62. The identification of Zul-Qarnain has been a controversial matter from the earliest times. In general, the commentators have been of the opinion that he was Alexander the Great but the characteristics of Zul-Qarnain described in the Quran are not applicable to him.
However, now the commentators are inclined to believe that Zul- Qarnain was Cyrus, an ancient king of Iran. We are also of the opinion that probably Zul-Qarnain was Cyrus, but the historical facts, which have come to light up to this time, are not sufficient to make any
Now let us consider the characteristics of Zul-Qarnain in the light of his story as given in the Quran.
(1) The title Zul-Qarnain (the two-horned) should have been quite familiar to the Jews, for it was at their instigation that the disbelievers of Makkah put this question to the Prophet (peace be upon him). Therefore we must turn to Jewish literature in order to learn who
was the person known as the two-horned or which was the kingdom known as the two-horned.
(2) Zul-Qarnain must have been a great ruler and a great conqueror whose conquests might have spread from the east to the west and on the third side to the north or to the south.
Before the revelation of the Quran, there had been several persons who were such great conquerors. So we must confine our research for the other characteristics of Zul-Qarnain to one of these persons.
(3) This title should be applicable to such a ruler who might have constructed a strong wall across a mountain pass to protect his kingdom from the incursions of Gog and Magog. In order to investigate this thing, we will have to determine who were Gog and Magog. We will also have to find out when such a wall was built and by whom and to which territory it was adjacent.
(4) Besides possessing the above-mentioned characteristics, he should also be a God-worshiper and a just ruler, for the Quran, has brought into prominence these characteristics more than anything else.
The first of these characteristics is easily applicable to Cyrus, for according to the Bible, Prophet Daniel saw in his vision that the united kingdom of Media and Persia was like a two-horned ram before the rise of the Greeks. (Dan. 8: 3, 20). The Jews had a very high opinion of the two-horned one, because it was his invasion that brought about the downfall of the kingdom of Babylon and the liberation of the Israelites Please also refer to (E.N. 8 of Surah Al-Isra).
The second characteristic is applicable to him to a great extent but not completely. Though his conquests spread to Syria and Asia Minor in the West and to Bakhtar (Balkh) in the East, there is no trace of any of his great expeditions to the North or to the South, whereas the Quran makes an explicit mention of his third expedition. Nevertheless, this third expedition is not wholly out of question for history tells us that his kingdom extended to Caucasia in the North. As regards Gog and Magog, it has been nearly established that they were the wild tribes of Central Asia who were known by different names: Tartars, Mongols, Huns and Scythians, who had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires from very ancient times. It is also known that strong bulwarks had been built in southern regions of Caucasia, though it has not been as yet historically established that these were built by Cyrus.
As regards the last characteristic, Cyrus is the only known conqueror among the ancient rulers, to whom this may be applicable, for even his enemies have been full of praise for him for his justice, and, Ezra, a book of the Bible, asserts that he was a God worshiper and a God
fearing king who set free the Israelites because of his God worship, and ordered that the Temple of Solomon should be rebuilt for the worship of Allah, Who has no partner.
In the light of the above, we admit that of all the conquerors, who had passed away before the revelation of the Quran, Cyrus alone is the one to whom the characteristics of Zul- Qarnain is most applicable, but we need more evidence to determine specifically that Cyrus is definitely Zul-Qarnain. Anyhow, there is no other conqueror to whom the
characteristics stated in the Quran are as much applicable as to Cyrus.
Historically, it is enough to say that Cyrus was a Persian ruler, whose rise began about 549 B.C. In a few years, he conquered the kingdom of Media and Lydia and afterward conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. After this, no powerful kingdom was left to oppose him. His conquests extended to Sind and the territory known as Turkistan on one side, to Egypt and Libya and to Thrace and Macedonia, and to Caucasia and Khawarzam on the North. In fact, the whole civilized world was under his sway.
(18:34) We granted him to power in the land and endowed him with all kinds of resources.
(18:85) He set out (westwards) on an expedition,
(18:86) until when he reached the very limits where the sun sets,63 he saw it setting in dark turbid waters;64 and nearby he met a people. We said: “O Dhu al-Qarnayn, you have the power to punish or to treat them with kindness.”65
63. “The setting place of the sun” does not mean the place of the setting of the sun. According to Ibn Kathir, it means that he marched to the west conquering one country after the other till he reached the last boundary of the land, beyond which there was the ocean.
64. “He found it setting in a muddy spring”: If Zul Qarnain was Cyrus, then that place would be the western limit of Asia Minor and the black waters would be the Aegean Sea. This interpretation is supported by the use of the word in instead of Bahr in the Quran.
65. “We said” does not necessarily mean that Allah directly revealed to him these words and that Zul-Qarnain was a Prophet or was the one who received inspiration from Allah, and the same is the reasonable conjecture. This concerns the time when Zul-Qarnain had taken possession of the land as a conqueror and the conquered people were utterly at your mercy. Then Allah posed a question before his conscience as if to say: Now is the time of your trial. These people are utterly at your mercy, and you have the option either to behave
unjustly towards them or to treat them generously.
(18:87) He said: “We will chastise him who does wrong, whereafter he will be returned to his Lord and He will chastise him grievously.
(18:88) But as for him who believes and acts righteously, his will be a goodly reward and we shall enjoin upon him only mild commands.90
90 bin tassge ah Jad sl of le llitsies abi tesla fe
(18:90) until he reached the limit where the sun rises and he found it rising on a people whom We had provided no shelter from it.66
66. That is, when he advanced towards the east, conquering one country after the other, he reached a territory where the limits of the civilized world had come to an end and beyond which was the territory of barbaric people, who had no shelter at all of tents or buildings.”
(18:91) Thus was the state of those people, and We encompassed in knowledge all concerning Dhu al- Qarnayn.
(18:92) Then he set out on another expedition
(18:93) until when he reached a place between the two mountains,” he found beside the mountains a people who scarcely understood anything.
67. The “two mountains” must have been parts of that mountain range that runs between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea as stated in (Ayat 96). This must be so because beyond them was the territory of Gog and Magog.
68. That is, it was difficult to communicate with them: their language was almost foreign to Zul-Qarnain and his companions, and, as they were quite barbaric, none could understand their language, nor were they acquainted with any foreign language.
(18:94) They said: “O Dhu al-Qarnayn, Gog and Magog 69 are spreading corruption in this land. So shall we pay you taxes on the understanding that you will set up a barrier between us and them?”
69. As has already been pointed out in (E.N. 62), Gog and Magog were the wild tribes of North Eastern Asia which, from the very early times had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires in Asia and Europe and ravaging them. According to Genesis (Chapter 10), they were the descendants of Japheth, the son of Noah, and Muslim
historians have also accepted this. And according to the book of Ezekiel (Chapters 38, 39), they inhabited the territories of Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tubalsek). According to the Israelite historian Josephus, they were the Scythians and their territory spread to the north and the east of the Black Sea. According to Jerome, Magog inhabited the territory to the north of Caucasia near the Caspian Sea.
(18:95) He answered: “Whatever my Lord has granted me is good eenough But help me with your labor and I will erect a rampart between you and them.70
70. That is, as a ruler, it is my duty to protect you from the ravages of your enemies:
therefore it is not lawful for me to levy any extra taxes on you for this purpose. The treasury that Allah has placed in my custody suffices for this purpose. You shall, however, have to help me with your manual labor.
(18:96) Bring me ingots of iron.” Then after he had filled up the space between the two mountain-sides, he said: “(Light a fire) and ply bellows.” When he had made it (red like) fire, he said: “Bring me molten copper which I may pour on it.”
(18:97) Such was the rampart that Gog and Magog could not scale, nor could they pierce it.
(18:98) Dhu al-Qarnayn said: “This is a mercy from my Lord: but when the time of my Lord’s promise shall come, He will level the rampart with the ground.71 My Lord’s promise always comes true.”72
71. That is, though I have built a very strong iron wall, as far as it was possible for me, it is not everlasting, for it will last only as long as Allah wills, and will fall down to pieces when the time of my Lord’s promise shall come. Then no power in the world shall be able to keep
it is safe and secure.
As regards to the time of Allah’s promise, it has two meanings. (1) It may mean the time of the destruction of the wall. (2) It may also mean the time of the death and destruction of everything destined by Allah at the end of the world i.e. the Hour of Resurrection.
Some people have entertained the misunderstanding that the wall attributed here to Zul- Qarnain refers to the famous wall of China, whereas this wall was built between Derbent and Daryal, two cities of Daghestan in the Caucasus, the land that lies between the Black Sea
and the Caspian. There are high mountains between the Black Sea and Daryal having deep gorges which cannot allow large armies to pass through them. Between Derbent and Daryal, however, there are no such mountains and the passes also are wide and passable. In ancient times savage hordes from the north invaded and ravaged southern lands through these passes and the Persian rulers who were scared of them had to build a strong wall, 50 miles long, 29 feet high and 10 feet wide, for fortification purposes, ruins of which can still be seen.
Though it has not yet been established historically who built this wall in the beginning, Muslim historians and geographers assign it to Zul-Qarnain because its remains correspond with the description of it given in the Quran. Ibn Jarir Tabari and Ibn Kathir have recorded
the event, and Yaqut has mentioned it in his Mu jam-ul-Buldan that when after the conquest
of Azerbaijan, Umar sent Suraqah bin Amr, in 22 A.H. on an expedition to Derbent, and the latter appointed Abdur Rehman bin Rabiah as the chief of his vanguard. When Abdur Rehman entered Armenia, the ruler Shehrbraz surrendered without fighting. Then when Abdur Rehman wanted to advance toward Derbent, Shehrbraz informed him that he had already gathered full information about the wall built by Zul-Qarnain, through a man, who could supply all the necessary details, and then the man was actually presented before Abdur Rehman. (Tabari, Vol. IL, pp. 235-239; AIBidayah wan-Nihayah, Vol. VIL, pp. 122-125, and Mujamul- Buldan, under Bab-ul-Abwab: Derbent).
Two hundred years later, the Abbasid Caliph Wathig (227- 233 A.H.) dispatched a party of 50 men under Sallam-ul- Tarjuman to study the wall of Zul-Qarnain, whose observations have been recorded in great detail by Yaqut in Mujam-ul-Buldan and by Ibn Kathir in AI- Bidayah. They write that this expedition reached Samarrah from where they reached Tiflis (the present Tbilisi) and then through As-Sarir and Al-Lan, they reached Filanshah, from where they entered the Caspian territory. From there they arrived at Derbent and saw the wall. (AlIBidayah Vol. I, p. 111, Vol. VU, pp. 122-125; Mujam-ul-Buldan: under
BabulAbwab). This clearly shows that even up till the third century of Hijrah the Muslim scholars regarded this wall of the Caucasus as the wall of Zul-Qarnain.
Yaqut in his Mujam-ul-Buldan has further confirmed the same view at a number of places. For instance, under Khazar (Caspian) he writes:
This territory belongs to the Turks, which adjoins the wall of Zul Qarnain just behind Bab- ul-Abwab, which is also called Derbent. In the same connection, he records a report by Ahmad bin Fadlan, the ambassador of Caliph Al- Muqtadar-billah, who has given a full
description of the Caspian land, saying that Caspian is the name of a country whose capital is Itil (near the present Astrakhan) right through which flows River Itil, which joins the Caspian from Russia and Bulghar.
Regarding Bab-ul-Abwab he says that this city is called both Al-Bab and Derbent, which is a highly difficult passage for the people coming from the northern lands towards the south.
Once this territory was a part of the kingdom of Nausherwan, and the Persian rulers paid particular attention to strengthening their frontiers on that side.
72. Here the story of Zul-Qarnain comes to an end. Though this story has been related in answer to the questions put by the disbelievers of Makkah as a test along with the stories of the sleepers of the cave and Moses and Khidr, the Quran has utilized this story, too, for its own aim and object, as if to say: Zul Qarnain, about whose glory you have heard from the people of the Book was not merely a conqueror, but also a believer of the doctrines of Tauhid and the life after death and acted upon the principles of justice and generosity. He was not a mean person like you who have been puffed up by the possession of petty estates, and give yourselves airs of superiority.
(18:99) And on that Day73 We shall let some of them surge like waves against others, and the Trumpet shall be blown. Then We shall gather them all together.
73. “That Day”: “The Day of Resurrection”. As if to continue the theme of life after death to which Zul-Qarnain referred as the time of my Lord’s promise, the Quran has added (verses 99-101) to it.
(18:100) That will be the Day We shall place Hell before the unbelievers
(18:101) whose eyes had become blind against My admonition and who were utterly disinclined to hear it.
(18:102) Do the unbelievers, then, believe that they can take any of My creatures as their guardians besides Me?74Verily We have prepared Hell to welcome the unbelievers.75
74. This is the conclusion of the whole Surah and is not connected with the story of Zul- Qarnain only but with the subject matter of this Surah as a whole. That theme was enunciated at the beginning of the (Surah Ayats 1-8): The Prophet (peace be upon him) invited his people. (1) To give up shirk and adopt the doctrine of Tauhid instead. (2) To give
up the worship of the world and to believe in the life of the Hereafter. But the chiefs of his people, who were puffed up with their wealth and grandeur, not only rejected his invitation but also persecuted and insulted those righteous people who had accepted his invitation.
The discourse deals with the same themes and utilizes in an excellent manner the three stories that were related in answer to the questions put by the opponents of Islam as a test of his Prophethood.
75. That is, do they still stick to their presumption even after hearing all this and believe that their attitude will be for them?
(18:103) Say, (O Muhammad): “Shall We tell you who will be the greatest losers in respect of their works?
(18:104) It will be those whose efforts went astray in the life of the world and who believe nevertheless that they are doing good.76
76. This verse has two meanings. The one is the same that we have adopted in the translation. The other meaning is this: Those who confined all their endeavors to worldly life. That is, whatever they did, they did for this world without paying any regard to God and the Hereafter. As they considered worldly life to be real life, they made
success and prosperity in this world their sole aim and object. Even if they professed the existence of Allah, they never paid any heed to the two implications of this profession: to lead their lives in a way to please Allah and to come out successful on the Day they shall have to render an account of what they did in this world. This was because they considered themselves to be mere rational animals who were absolutely independent and free from every kind of responsibility and had nothing else to do but enjoy the good things of the
world like animals in a meadow.
(18:105) Those are the ones who refused to believe in the revelations of their Lord and that they are bound to meet Him. Hence, all their deeds have come to naught, and We shall assign no weight to them on the Day of Resurrection.77
77. “So worthless will be their deeds” in the sense that they will be of no avail to them in the life after death, even though they might have considered them as their great achievements but the fact is that they will lose all their value as soon as the world shall come to an end.
When they will go before their Lord, and all their deeds shall be placed in the scales, they will have no weight at all whether they had built great palaces, established great universities and libraries, set up great factories and laboratories, constructed highways and railways, in
short, all their inventions, industries, sciences and arts and other things of which they were very proud in this world, will lose their weights in the scales. The only thing which will have weight there will be that which had been done in accordance with the divine instructions and with the intention to please Allah. It is, therefore, obvious that if all of one’s endeavors were confined to the worldly things and the achievement of worldly desires whose results one would see in this world, one should not reasonably expect to see their results in the Hereafter, for they would have gone waste with the end of this world. It is equally obvious, that only the deeds of the one, who performed them strictly in accordance with His instructions to win His approval with a view to avail of their results in the Hereafter, will find that his deeds had weight in the scales. On the contrary, such a one will
find that all his endeavors in the world had gone waste.
(18:106) Hell is their recompense for disbelieving and they’re taking My revelations and My Messengers as objects of jest.
(18:107) As for those who believe and do good works, the Gardens of Paradise shall be there to welcome them;
(18:108) there they will abide forever, with no desire to be removed from there.”78
78. “No desire will they have to be removed therefrom” because they will find no place and no condition better than those in Paradise.
(18:109) Say: “If the sea were to become ink to record the Words 79 of my Lord, indeed the sea would be all used up before the Words of my Lord are exhausted, and it would be the same even if We were to bring an equal amount of ink.”
79. By “words” are meant the marvelous works, the excellences and the wonders of His Power and Wisdom.
(18:110) Say (O Muhammad): “I am no more than a human being like you; one to whom revelation is made: ‘Your Lord is the One and Only God.’ Hence, whoever looks forward to meeting his Lord, let him do righteous works, and let him associate none with the worship of his Lord.”