By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Desk)
This later part is divided in two periods. The Period before Renaissance and the period after Renaissance. According to the prediction of Hadhrat Muhammad (PBUH), it was in this period that the incident relating to Gog and Magog occurred. It appears that the wall Zulqarnain had constructed was a physical wall that worn out after a specified period of time.
The barrier in which rifts occurred and is mentioned in the hadith is not the same barrier but it is a different barrier. It means a intellectual wall. The breaking up of the former barrier enabled Gog and Magog to spread in the surrounding areas but the breaking up of the other barrier was a bigger incident. This gave Gog and Magog the opportunity to spread on the global level. In the words of hadith, they devour everything they come across and drink every source of water they pass through. (Ibn-e-Maja, Kitabul Fitan).
The incident that will occur after the break-up of the physical barrier is mentioned in the Quran that is, coming out of the geographical confinement, Gog and Magog will mix with people. In other words, it will be the period of their interaction with general people. After that the incident that is mentioned in the hadith is their devouring everything and drinking the water of the entire world. That refers to the latter period when they will have conquered nature and bring about the industrial revolution. As a result of this industrial revolution, they got the opportunity to exploit the world. The verse No. 18 of the Quran mentions the first phase of Gog and Magog and verse No. 21 mentions the second phase of Gog and Magog. Therefore, it could be aptly said that Gog and Magog have three phases--- the period of confinement, period of interaction and the period of scientific and industrial revolution.
Gog and Magog were not a strange nation. They were people like general human beings. In ancient times, there were groups of people who earned their livelihood by plundering due to the scarcity of the source of livelihood. Such groups existed in Arab as well and were called Arabic Qazzaq (Arabic plunderers). The group of Gog and Magog was also initially a group of that kind.
The Barrier of Gog and Magog
According to traditions, a strong wall existed between Gog and Magog and the rest of the world. The wall restricted Gog and Magog to come out of their confinement and enter the human population unleashing violence. A prophetic tradition guides us to what the wall was and when it collapsed.
According to traditions, when the holy Prophet (PBUH) was in Medina, as probably Makkah had been conquered and idolatry had been abolished in Arab, he had a dream. According to tradition, he (PBUH) was sleeping in the house of his wife Zainab bint Hajash (death 641). When he (PBUH) woke up, his face was red. He (PBUH) said, “La ilaha illallah, woe to Arab from the mischief that has come closer. Today, the rift occurred in the wall of Gog and Magog.”(Sahih Muslim, Kitabul Fitan).
While pondering over this hadith and the history that unfolded after that it appears that here radum (wall) does not mean any physical barrier but it points to a intellectual barrier. This intellectual barrier is same as nature worship. The breaking up in this belief is the breaking up of this barrier that opened the door for all the development for the western nations. After this they became able to come out of their confined world and enter the outside world and establish their supremacy.
In fact, all the source of the development was hidden in nature the discovery of which brought about the existence of the modern western civilization. These causes always existed in the nature but nature was given the status of god. This gave birth to the religion of nature worship. Man considered nature his god and so he did not have the courage to research and make an inquiry into its reality. In the first quarter of the 7th century, the revolution based on the unity of God was brought about by Islam and the worship of God instead of worship of nature became the order of the day. This demolished the sanctity of nature. Now nature became a subject to be conquered rather than to be worshipped. This was the beginning of the modern material civilization.