the ya'jooj and ma'jooj:
during the reign of hadhrat isa (a.s.) people will live an extremely peaceful life filled with prosperity and abundance. then the wall which imprisons ya'jooj and ma'jooj will break and they will surge forth in large numbers.
"but when ya'jooj and ma'jooj are let loose and they rush headlong down every hill" (quran 21:97)
who are the ya'jooj and majooj?
zul qarnain (a.s.) who was a pious and just ruler travelled to many lands and conquered them, establishing justice and the law of allah therein. allah ta'ala provided him with all forms and material strength through which he was able to carry out his conquests and missions.
he once carried out a mission in three directions, the far west, the far east, and then in a northerly direction. it was here that he came across a tribe of people who complained to him about the tribes of ya'jooj and majooj which inhabited the land behind two huge mountains and often emerged from behind these mountains to perpetrate acts of anarchy and plunder among them. they requested zul qarnain (a.s.) to erect a barrier between themselves and the tribes of ya'jooj and ma'jooj so that they could be saved from their atrocities. with the material strength at his disposal, zul qarnain (a.s.) enlisted their physical labor and set about erecting a high wall between the two mountains. the height of the wall or its exact length is unknown. what is known is that the height of this wall reaches that of the summit of both mountains. it is made with blocks or sheets of iron, which is further strengthened by molten lead. in this manner ya'jooj and majooj are unable to scale the wall, or cross it, except when it is the will of allah.
"and when the promise of my rabb approaces, he will level it to dust" (quran 18:98)
they are situated in a land of ice which is hidden from our gazes and the exact location of which is unknown. though many interpretations do exist in this respect, none of these can be said to absolute.
ya'jooj and majooj are human beings and according to a narration they are from the progeny of yafith ibn nooh (a.s.).
in a lengthy hadith by hadhrat nawwas ibn sam'aan (r.a.) rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is reported to have said:
"...allah will send revelation upon eesa (a.s.) 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 toor.' then ya'jooj and majooj 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 tiberias (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.' so saying they will fire their arrows towards the sky. when the arrows return to the ground they will be blood stained.
in the meantime, eesa (a.s.) will be on the mount of toor with his followers. at that time the head of and ox will be as valuable as is a hundred dinars to you in this day. [this indicates the scarcity of provisions]. faced with these hardships, eesa (a.s.) and his followers will make dua unto allah (to remove this calamity). as a result, allah will cause sores to appear on the necks of each and every individual of these people which will cause their death suddenly. when eesa (a.s.) and his followers descend from the mount of toor there will not be a single space on the land where the dead rotting bodies of these people is not littered, giving off a horrendous odour. eesa (a.s.) and his followers will once more supplicate unto allah as a result of which allah will send down huge birds whose necks will be as thick as that of the necks of camels, and they will dump these bodies in a place where allah wills. (according to a narration by tirmidhi, they will be dumped at a place called nahbal).
allah ta'ala 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'jooj and ma'jooj for a period of seven years.
allah will order the earth to yield forth its crops in abundance and there will be such blessing and prosperity that one pomegranate will be sufficient for a whole group while the peel thereof will suffice to cast a shadow over them. the milk of one camel will be sufficient for many groups while one milk giving cow will be sufficient for a whole tribe. one milk giving goat will be sufficent for a whole family..."
hadhrat abu saeed khudri (r.a.) narrates that rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"on the day of qiyamah allah will say to adam (a.s.) to pick out the jahannamis from his entire progeny. adam (a.s.) will ask: 'o rabb, who are they?'
allah will say: 'nine hundred and ninety nine of a thousand are jahannami while the one is a jannati.'
on hearing this the sahaba were overtaken by fear and they asked "o rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), who will that one janniti be?'
rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: 'do not grieve, the nine hundred and ninety nine will be ya'jooj and ma'jooj while you will be the jannati."' (i.e. your numbers in relation to them will be one in a thousand).
(bukhari and muslim)
hadhrat abdullah ibn umar (r.a.) says that rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"allah ta'ala divided mankind into ten parts. nine tenths constitute ya'jooj and ma'jooj while the remaining tenths constitutues the rest of mankind."
hadhrat zainab bint jahsh (r.a.) says: "...once rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) 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'jooj and ma'jooj.' ..and rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) indicated the size of the hole forming a ring with his index finger and thumb."
(bukhari and muslim)
hadhrat abu hurairah (r.a.) narrates that every day ya'jooj and ma'jooj break (dig) through the wall erected by zul qarnain (a.s.) 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 ta'ala 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 continues 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 (i.e. it will not have returned to its orginal state) and after breaking the remaining part of it they will emerge."
(ahmad, tirmidhi, ibn majah)
commenting on the above hadith, allamah ibn arabi says, three miracles are evident in this hadith:
1. it never occurs to these tribes that they must continue work during the night. after all, they are in such large numbers that they can easily delegate the work among themselves and work in shifts. but allah does not allow this thought to occur to them.
2. it never occurs to them that they can merely cross the mountains or scale the wall, which they can do through the aid of equipment and implements wich they possess in large numbers. according to a narration by wahab ibn munabbah it is known that these tribes are agriculturists and artisians possessing various types of equipment.
3. the thought of saying "if allah wills" never enters their minds and it will only occur to them to say it when allah wills that they be released.