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Some Muslims believe that Dhul-qarnain or Zul-qarnain is the Persian King Cyrus:
Please be advised that I disagree with the author for claiming that Alexander was a Pagan. According to the historical references in the Gog and Magog and the Iron Gates article, Alexander was considered a great person to the Jews and is considered like a Saint for the Christians, even though he existed before Jesus peace be upon him. His importance to both Jews and Christians eliminates the (perhaps false) fact that he was an idol worshiper.
Let us continue with the article:
The following article was sent to me by brother Mark; may Allah Almighty always be pleased with him.
Gog and Magog:
Hello, and God's blessings upon you. With all due respect to your beliefs, you are mistaken 'Zhulkarnein' of the holy Koran is NOT Alexander the Great. It is Cyrus the Great, the famous Persian king of the Achamenid Dynasty (600?-541 B.C). Consider the following:
1- Alexander was not a monotheistic man. He was a blasphemer who worshipped the many gods of Ancient Greece. The Biography of Alexander, written by a famous Greek historian (Herodotus?) states that Alexander believed that he was the son of Zeus! This contradicts the Koran, which states that Zhulkarnein was a man of Godly faith. Also, Alexander was a lecherous womanizer of the worst kind, and was far from what you would call a gentleman (inspite of his military genius). He killed one of his generals in a drunken frenzy.
My personal objection to this point: As I mentioned above, Alexander is considered as a great person to the Jews and is like a Saint to the Christians. There is no proof that he was a Pagan. Also, regarding the "Womanizer" point, well, according to Islam, we believe in the Prophets of the Bible peace be upon all of them. They too were "Womanizers" if you wish to use this term, for many of them had literally hundreds of wives from all ages.
2- The Koranic verses in the 'AL KAHF' sura, which talk about Zhulkarnein, begin with the words: "And they ask you about Zhulkarnein..". Meaning that the Jews are asking the Prophet Muhammad about him. This means that this king was KNOWN TO THE JEWS, AND IS MENTIONED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. Alexander the Great is not mentioned in the Old Testament, nor did he have any close relation with the Jews.
3-The word "qarn" in the Koran has one meaning and one meaning only: It means: People or Nation. Thus, he was called Zhulkarnein because he was a king of two peoples or two nations. Historically, Cyrus was of the Achamenid Dynasty, a dynasty of double throne. He was King of both the Medians and the Persians! He was the one who overthrew the Babylonian empire and permitted the captive Jews to return to their homeland and to rebuild their Temple. Thus, the Jews greatly revere and respect him.
My personal objection to this point: With all due respect dear brother Mark, but "qarn" in Arabic doesn't mean people or nation, and "Zhulkarnein" or "Dhul-qarnain" or "Zul-qarnain" doesn't mean the king of two peoples or two nations either. "qarn" in Arabic has two meanings: "horn" and "century". "Dhul-qarnain" could literally mean in Arabic: "The man of two horns" or "The man of two centuries". This "one word having multiple meanings" problem if you will, exists in English as well. Take for instance the word "trunk": It could mean the back of your car, and it could also mean the trunk of the Elephant.
4- It is Known that Cyrus' empire stretched for the western shores of Turkey in the west, to the flat and barren deserts near Northern India in the east (you may check any Encyclopedia to verify this). Also, the Northernmost boundaries of his empire are the Caucasus mountains, in present day Georgia. The region is full of Ancient Persian ruins of military fortifications and strongholds.
5- Geographically, the Caucasus mountains form a natural and almost impassable barrier that stood between the civilized kingdoms of central Asia, and the northern plain lands were the savage barbarian and nomadic tribes once roamed. Among the only natural passes through these formidable mountains is a stretch of open ground known today as "Daryal Pass". It is located north of Tiblisi, the capital of Georgia. The area is called: "doorway of Ghurash" (Ghurash is Armenian for Cyrus). The remains of a metallic rampart STILL STAND TODAY, as part of ancient Persian fortifications.
6- The technique used by Cyrus in building this 'wall' was not known to the people of the region way back then. (He received this technique from God himself!). Also, the great Greek historian Herodotus states, in his chronicles, that the Georgians were the first people in the world to have learned how to 'smelt iron'.....(strange coincidence, eh?).
All this evidence is overwhelming, and cannot be ignored.
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