GOG AND MAGOG: What Does Islam Say About the Day of Judgment?


Like with the story of Dajjal (the Anti-Christ), there is also two distinct versions about the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj (Gog and Magog) between Christianity and Islam. However, the two versions have the same common denominator; that the emergence of these people shall precede the Day of Judgment. It is amongst one of the major and very close signs of the Day of Reckoning. According to Muslims, Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj will appear after Isa (Jesus the Son of Mary) had already descended on earth.


The story of Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj (Gog and Magog) is told in the Holy Quran chapters 18 (Al Kahf) and 21 (Al Anbiya’). As commented by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Ya’juj-wa-Ma’ju jare “lawless and wild tribes who will break their barriers and swarm the earth.”

The purpose of this presentation is not to narrate historical accounts about the Who and the whereabouts of Zul-qurnain rather to emphasis the spiritual significance of these people as the Last Day approaches.

The story of these lawless tribes revolves around Zul-qurnain, a pious, just and powerful leader of that time who made vast conquests in Asia. When he carried an expedition in the northerly direction with his army, he came across a tribe who complained to him about the barbaric behaviour of Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj. The Holy Quran tells us that:

(92)“Then he (Zul-qurnain) followed another way, (93)Until he reached a tract between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. (94)They said: ‘O Zul-quranain! The Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj (Gog and Magog) do great mischief on earth; shall we then render you a tribute (a fee) in order that you must erect a barrier between us and them?’ (95)He said: ‘The power in which my Lord had established me is better (than the tribute). Help me therefore with strength (and labour). I will erect a stronger barrier between you and them: (96)“Bring me blocks of iron.’ At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountainsides, he said, ‘Blow (with your bellows)’ then, when he had made it (red) as fire, he said, ‘Bring me, that I may pour over it, molten lead. (97)Thus were they made powerless to scale it or dig through it. (98)He (Zul-qurnain) said, ‘This is a mercy from my lord; but when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; And the promise of my Lord is true.” (Holy Quran, Chapter 18).

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) explained about these tribes in detail. In one of the hadeeth he said, “Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj are the children of Adam (AS) and one will not die until a thousand are born to him.” (Abdullah ibnAmr/Fateh-ul-Bari).

In another hadeeth, he is reported to have said, “Allah divided mankind into ten parts. Nine tenth constitute Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj while the remaining one tenth constitutes the rest of mankind.” (Abdullah ibnAmr/Fateh-ul-Bari).

The wall of Zul-qurnain has confined the Gog and Magog to their territories such that they are not able to wander on earth. However, Allah will one day cause the barrier to break free which will bring chaos on earth.

“…but when the promise of my Lord comes to pass, He will make it into dust; And the promise of my Lord is true.” (Holy Quran 18:98).

Abu Hurairah narrates that every day Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj dig through the wall created by Zul-qurnain until they reach the end of it to that extent that they can actually see the light on the other side. They then return home saying that “We will break through tomorrow.” But Allah causes the wall to revert to its original thickness and the next day they start digging through the wall all over again, and this process is continued each day until as long as Allah wills them to remain imprisoned. When Allah wishes them to be released, then at the end of the day they will say, “If Allah wills, tomorrow we will break through.” The following day they will find the wall as they had left it the previous day (without reverting to its original state) and after breaking the remaining part of it, they will emerge. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maaja).

With their great numbers, they will stroll to each and every part of the earth causing widespread mischief and destruction.

“Until the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj (Gog and Magog) are let through (their barrier), and they will swiftly swarm from every hill.” (Holy Quran 21:96). “On that day, We shall leave them to surge like waves on one another….” (Holy Quran 18:98)

Zainab bint Jahshi (RA) says: “Once Rasulullah (SAW) awoke from such a sleep that his face was red and these words were on his tongue: ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Destruction is upon the Arabs on account of the evil which has come close to them. Today a hole as big as this has opened up in the wall of Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj.’ And Rasulullah (SAW) indicated the size of the hole forming a ring with his index finger and thumb.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Sometime after the execution of Dajjal, Isa (Jesus) the Son of Mary will be informed that these barbaric tribes have now broken free and upon the command of Allah, Jesus (AS) will lead the Muslims to Mount Tur. There is a long hadeeth collected by Muslim that was narrated by Nawwas ibn am’aan(RA) about the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj and it is worth repeating here in verbatim. He is reported to have said that Rasulullah (SAW) said:

“…Allah will send revelation upon Isa (RA) that ‘Such a creation of mine is now going to emerge that no power will be able to stop them, Therefore , take my servants and ascend the Mount of Tur.’ Then Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj will emerge and surge forth in all their fury. When those from among them who constitute the former part of their army pass the lake of Tiberians (which is in northern Palestine), they will drink up all the water of that lake and by the time those that constitute the latter part of that same army pass the lake, they will say, ‘There used to be water here (long ago).’ When they reach the mount of Khamr in Jerusalem, they will arrogantly proclaim: ‘We have conquered the people of the earth, now we will annihilate those in the sky,’ then they will fire their arrows towards the sky. When the arrows return to the ground they will be blood stained. (Allah will fool them as such).

At that time, Isa (AS) will be on the mount of Tur with his followers. At that time, the head of an ox will be as valuable as is a hundred dinars to you in this day (Scarcity of [provisions). Faced with these hardships, Isa (AS) and his followers will supplicate to Allah to remove the calamity. As a result, Allah will cause sores to appear on the necks of each and every individual (of theYa’juj-wa-Ma’juj) which will cause them to die suddenly. When Isa (AS) will descend from Mount Tur there will not be a single space on land where the dead rotting bodies of these people is not littered giving off a horrendous odour. Isa (AS) and his followers will once more supplicate to Allah and Allah will send down huge birds whose necks will be as thick as necks of camels, and they will dump the carcasses in a place where Allah wills.

Allah will then send down a heavy rain, the waters of which will flow in every part of the earth cleansing it thoroughly. It will rain for a period of forty days.

The Muslims will then burn the bows and arrows of the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj for a period of seven years…”

From the stories of Dajjal, Imam Mahdi one can conclusively say that the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj (Gog and Magog) will never leave any provision or any living soul in their sight on earth without destroying it. The only people who will survive will be those who shall join Imam Mahdi’s Army which, upon his death, shall in turn be led by Isa (AS). It is therefore important to keep the Prophet’s instruction:

“There will be many armies after me. You must join that army which will come from Khurasaan.”

In a period where powerful countries are forming military alliances in destroying Muslim countries at will, it is essential that we critically scrutinize on which side (of the armies) that we are following. What if the collapse of the twin towers in New York which ignited the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and are yet to extend to Syria, Pakistan and Iran was a symbolic representation of the Gog and Magog’s destruction of their barrier? What if these alliances are the Ya’juj-wa-Ma’juj fore-runners and that the real “many armies” as foretold by Rasulullah (SAW) are yet to come?