18.98. He said: This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the promise of my Lord cometh to pass, He will lay it low, for the promise of my Lord is true. (Pickthall)
18.98. Er sagte: "Dies ist eine Barmherzigkeit von meinem Herrn, und wenn das Versprechen meines Herrn kommt, macht Er ihn zu Staub, und das Versprechen meines Herrn ist wahr" (Ahmad v. Denffer)
18.98. Er sagte: "Das ist eine Barmherzigkeit von meinem Herrn. Wenn dann das Versprechen meines Herrn eintrifft, läßt Er ihn in sich zusammensinken; und das Versprechen meines Herrn ist wahr." (Bubenheim)
18.98. Das ist ein Beweis für die Barmherzigkeit meines Herrn. Wenn sich Gottes Verheißung erfüllt, wird Er ihn dem Erdboden gleichmachen. Gottes Verheißung ist wahr. (Azhar)
18.98. Er sagte: „Dies ist eine Gnade von meinem HERRN. Und wenn das Versprechen meines HERRN eintrifft, wird ER ihn dem Erdboden gleich machen. Und das Versprechen meines HERRN ist wahr.“ (Zaidan)
18.98. Er sagte: "Das ist (ein Erweis der) Barmherzigkeit von meinem Herrn. Wenn aber (dereinst) das Versprechen meines Herrn in Erfüllung geht, läßt er ihn zu Staub zerfallen (dscha`alahuu dakkaa'a). Und das Versprechen meines Herrn ist wahr." (Paret)
18.98. Er sagte: "Das ist die Gnade meines Herrn; doch wenn die Verheißung meines Herrn in Erfüllung geht, wird Er sie zu Schutt zerfallen lassen; und die Verheißung meines Herrn ist wahr." (Rasul)
Tafsir von Maududi für die Ayaat 92 bis 98
Then he made preparations (for another expedition and marched on) till he reached between two mountains, ( 67 ) where he found a people who could hardly understand any language. ( 68 ) They said, "O Zul-Qarnain, Gog and Magog ( 69 ) spread chaos in this land; should we then pay a tribute to you so that you may build a bulwark between us and them ?" He said, "What my Allah has granted me is more than enough. You should help me only with manual labour and I will build a barrier between you and them. ( 70 ) Come, bring sheets of iron for me. "When he had filled the space between the two mountains, he said to the people, "Now, ply your bellows." They did so till that (iron-wall) became redhot and he said, "Now let me pour molten brass upon it". This was such a barrier that Gog and Magog could not scale over it, nor were they able to dig through it. Zul-Qarnain said, "This is a mercy from my Lord; but when the time of my Lord's promise shall come, He will level it to dust ( 71 ) and the promise of my Lord is true. " ( 72 )
Desc No: 67 The "two mountains" must have been parts of that mountain range which runs between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea (as stated in v. 96). This must be so because beyond them was the territory of Gog and Magog.
Desc No: 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."
Desc No: 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 sort of Noah, and the 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.
Desc No: 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 labour."
Desc No: 71 That is, "Though I have built a very strong iron-wall, as far as it was possible for me, it is not ever-lasting, 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 safe and secure." As regards the time of Allah's promise, it has two meanings: (1) It may mean the time of the destruction of the wall, and (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 Dar'yal, 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 Dar'yal having deep gorges which cannot allow large armies to pass through them. Between Derbent and Dar'yal, 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, the Muslim historians and geographers assign it to ZulQarnain because its remains correspond with the description of it given in the Qur'an. 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, Hadrat `Umar sent Suraqah bin `Amr, in 22 A.H. on an expedition to Derbent, the latter appointed `Abdur Rehman bin Rabi`ah as the chief of his vanguard. When 'Abdur Rehman entered Armenia, the ruler Shehrbraz surrendered without fighting. Then when `Abdur Rehman wanted to advance towards 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. III, pp. 235-239; AI-Bidayah wan-Nihayah, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125, and Mu jam-ul-Buldan, under Bab-ul-Abwab: Derbent). Two hundred years later, the Abbasid Caliph Wathiq (227-233 A.H.) despatched a party of 50 men under Sallam-ul-Tarjuman to study the wall of ZulQarnain, whose observations have been recorded in great detail by Yaqut in Mu jam-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. (AIBidayah Vol. II, p. 111, Vol. VII, pp. 122-125; Mu jam-ul-Buldan: under Bab-ulAbwab). 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 Mu jam-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 ZulQarnain 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 front 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.
Desc No: 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 Qur'an has utilized this story, too, for its own aim and object, as if to say, "ZulQarnain, 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 lifeafter-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." "