An Ethiopic variation of the story refers to Alexander as "the two horns". He saw two folding gates cased with iron hung with bells". "Two Horns, Three Religions. His story is recounted in the chapter of the Quran named "The Cave". It covers an area between the Caspian Sea and the mountains of northeastern Iran. When we consider that the Alexander legends were incorporated into the writings and theology of the Jews and Christians in Syria and Arabia, it is easy to see why it should be included as the most likely source of these questions. I have done a report on this so if you are interested, I will send you a copy. These were popular across most of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Persia and even India and China. Muhammad ibn Ishāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār recorded many pre-Islamic Arabic poems in his Sirat Rasul Allah (Biography of Muhammad); This included a poem about Dhul-Qarnayn that he claims was composed by a pre-Islamic king of ancient Yemen. Here he sets up his camp near a mountain pass. [11][12], The Alexander Legend was composed by a Mesopotamian Christian probably in Amid or Edessa. He refers to these invaders as Huns who live near the gate that was built by Alexander. Copyright © Kais The Quranic Arabic Corpus is available under the GNU public license with terms of use. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally “The Two-Horned One”, also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain), mentioned in the Quran, may be a reference to Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great. Another influential Tafsir author who endorsed the identify of Alexander is the Indian scholar Shah Waliullah (1763 CE).[19]. New International Version of the Bible. One of the most prominent modern scholars to defend the fidelity between Dhul-Qarnayn and Alexander the Great is the famous Qur'anic translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Historically, it occupied one of the few passages through the Caucus mountains and it has often been identified with the word 'gate'. [21] Shortly after his visit to the oracle, Alexander began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon and often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father. Not only is there a direct parallel between the stories, but the Syriac legend helps makes sense of the short and cryptic Qur'anic version of the story. This "one word having multiple meanings" problem if you will, exists in English as well. These were apparently revealed in response to three questions asked by the Quraish. Cookies help us deliver our services. Another problem for apologists is the complete lack of physical evidence for the existence of this massive wall of iron and bronze that Dhul-Qarnayn supposedly built at the end of his final journey. The Prophet said, "Yes, if the (number) of evil (persons) increased. In order to determine the answer to those questions, we must look at scholarly works that date both the Qur'anic account, the Syriac legend, and prior Alexander folklore. Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli, Feras Hamza (trans.). St. Jerome, an early church father, writes about rumors of attacks against Jerusalem by invaders from the north. This included information about Alexander as a polytheist, Zeus worshiping pagan and insight into his personal and sexual preferences. The story in the Qur'an says that the wall built by Dhul-Qarnayn holds back a tribe but this wall in northern Iran is not holding back anyone; it is in a state of disrepair. 6, p. 738. Dr. Kiani, who led an archaeological team in 1971, believed that the wall was built during the Parthian Empire (247 BCE–224 CE), and that it was restored during the Sassanid era (3rd to 7th century CE).[37]. How Alexander the Great ended up in the Quran". As regards Gog and Magog, it has been nearly established that they were the wild tribes of Central Asia who were known by different names: Tartars, Mongols, Huns and Scythians, who 'had been making inroads on settled kingdoms and empires from very ancient times. Dhul-Qarnayn - Dhul-Qarnayn, (Arabic: ذو القرنين‎ ḏū'l-qarnayn, IPA: [ðuːlqarˈnajn]), (Lit. The final story in Surah Al Kahf is in relation to Dhul-Qarnayn. These were: (1) Who were "the Sleepers of the Cave"? Dhul-Qarnayn is literally in Arabic for "He of the Two Horns" or "He of the two centuries". Ed. It has been well understood for many centuries that legendary accounts of Alexander's life began shortly after his death in 323 BC. Its purpose was probably to win the separated Syrian Christians back to a union with the church at Constantinople.[14]. rises above the flat earth) must seek cover because the sun is much closer to the ground and its rays burn the people and animals there. As-Sur, as explained in the Hadith, is a horn that is blown into. Zulqarnain / Dhul-Qarnayn Dhul-Qarnayn was a well-known figure in the folklore of the Arabian Peninsula. As these three questions and the stories involved concerned the history of the Christians and the Jews, and were unknown in Hijaz, a choice of these was made to test whether the Holy Prophet possessed any source of the knowledge of the hidden and unseen things. The Syriac apocalypse, "De Fine Munid" composed between 640 CE and 683 CE and the "Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius" composed around 692 CE. In other words, he cannot represent Alexander the Great: "That man was neither godly, nor righteous, nor generous towards subjected nations; moreover, he did not build a wall", Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation: (1880 - 1960), p. 32. The one who will blow into it is (the angel) Israfil, peace be upon him, as has been explained in the Hadith quoted at length above, and there are many Hadiths on this topic. In one of many Arabic and Persian versions of the meeting of Alexander with the Indian sages. He invited his people to Allah, but they hit him on his horn (side It is in this very ancient mythology, that we have the basic outline of the adventure found in the Qur'an and the Alexander legends: a powerful hero, who travels from west to east, the setting and rising of the sun, two mountains and a gate. Subsequent currency depicted Alexander adorned with similar rams horn as a symbol of his divinity. Thus, he was called "Dhul-Qarnain" . Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Tafsir al-Jalalayn, a classical Sunni tafsir of the Qur'an, composed by Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli in 1459 CE identifies Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander. Since the community of Muslims in Mecca were far from well known outside of Arabia, the possibility of their story influencing Christians in Syria is extremely remote. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain) is found in the 18th Surah of the Qur'an, al-Kahf (the Cave). The connection with the destruction of the wall and the end of times is further explained in the classic Qur'anic tafsir by Ibn Kathir. It should be clear that all the major elements of the Alexander story were in place by the 4th century, predating both the Qur'anic and the Syriac account by hundreds of years. Dr. Kevin Van Bladel, professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, states in his comparison of the two stories, that the water at the place where the sun sets is 'fetid' in both texts, a coincidence of two uncommon synonyms (Syriac saryâ, Arabic hami'a). Full text at. Dhul-Qarnayn is regarded by some Muslims as a prophet. While legendary accounts of Alexander's life dominated Europe and the Middle East for almost two thousands years, eventually more historical biographies about his life were unearthed. Dhul-Qarnayn (Arabic: ذو القرنين ḏū al-qarnayn, IPA: [ðuːlqarˈnajn]), literally "He of the Two Horns" [1] [2] is a figure mentioned in the Qur'an, the sacred scripture of Islam, where he is described as a great and righteous ruler who built the wall that keeps Gog and Magog from attacking the people whom he met on his journey to the east (i.e., the rising of the sun). The issue of "Dhu l-Qarnayn" in the Islamic culture originates from the Qur'an. The map below shows the part of the visual ontology for this concept. In particular, the Qur'an parallels a Syriac legend where Alexander is portrayed as a monotheistic king who awaits the second coming of the Messiah and the end of the world.[2]. Ch 18: "The Barrier restrains Them, but It will be breached when the Hour draws nigh". Emeri J. van Donzel, Andrea Barbara Schmidt. Since the ram was considered a symbol of Persia, this is not a unique depiction.[33]. "As to the thing, my lord, which thy majesty (or thy greatness) desires to go and see, namely, upon what the heavens rest, and what surrounds the earth, the terrible seas which surround the world will not give thee a passage'; because there are eleven bright seas, on which the ships of men sail, and beyond these there is about ten miles of dry land, and beyond these ten miles there is the fetid sea, Oceanus (the Ocean), which surrounds all creation. Parallels to the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Gog and Magog can be clearly identified in the story as well. First, it is made of bricks not iron and brass. From the above, we have learned the following: Dhul Qarnayn had travelled to the western and eastern most parts possible He travelled to these place at the times of sunset and sunrise There, or along the way, he witnessed sunset and sunrise which appeared to … This story does not appear anywhere in the Bible; but it does occur, point-by-point and detail-by-detail in the Alexander legend. These alternative theories have major deficiencies and fall short of the strong parallels between the Qur'anic story and legends of Alexander that date to the early 7th century. The Syriac legend tells us that Alexander heads north and likewise arrives at a plain between mountains. Dhu al-Qarnayn the traveller was a favourite subject for later writers. However, in this prophetic vision, the goat defeats the ram and tramples it, which is completely at odds with how Cyrus is portrayed throughout the rest of Jewish scripture. ), Translated by W.H. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. However, some early Muslim scholars believed it to be a reference to a pre-Islamic monarch from Persia or south Arabia, with, according to Maududi, mod… Theories, views and arguments on Dhul Qarnayn Dhul Qarnayn is referred to in verse of chapter (18) sūrat l-kahf (The Cave):. The Syriac legend then states that Alexander meets with people who live near the mountain pass. One of these stories was a legend that detailed the exploits of Alexander, the son of Philip the Macedonian, and how he traveled to the ends of the world, made a gate of iron, and shut behind it the Huns so they might not come forth to spoil the land. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) You can sign in to add a message if this information could be improved or requires discussion. The denial of Alexander's identity as Dhul-Qarnayn is the denial of a common heritage shared by the cultures which shape the modern world--both in the east and the west. The story in the Qur'an parallels a medieval Syriac legend of Alexander; it portrays him as a believing king who traveled the world and built a barrier of iron which holds back the tribes of Gog and Magog until Judgement Day. Once an accurate picture of the historical Alexander emerged, Christians and Jews easily discarded the legends of Alexander as a believing king. He visited the Oracle at Delphi and sought prophecies about his future. 138–140. Take for instance the word "trunk": It could mean the back of your car, and it could also mean the trunk of the Elephant. The old men, the natives of the country, said to the king: "Yea, by your majesty, my lord the king, neither we nor our fathers have been able to march one step in it, and men do not ascend it either on that side or on this, for it is the boundary which God has set between us and the nations within it" Alexander said, "Who are the nations within this mountain upon which we are looking? In his comments on Derbent, Yusuf Ali mentions, that "there is no iron gate there now, but there was one in the seventh century, when the Chinese traveler Hiouen Tsiang saw it on his journey to India. This god, an amalgamation of both the Greek god Zeus and the Egyptian god Ammon was often depicted with ram horns on his head. In the Book of Isaiah, Cyrus is even called God's anointed [35] which is the same word used for Messiah or Savior. Imitation coins were issued by an Arab ruler named Abi'el who ruled in the south-eastern region of the Arabian Peninsula and other minting of these coins occurred throughout Arabia for another thousand years. The Great Wall of Gorgan is sometimes offered as a possible candidate for the wall built by Dhul-Qarnayn. He fathered at least two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon with Roxana and Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine. However, linking Cyrus explicitly to both of the "two horns" is problematic. [4] Similar connections can be found in Islamic poetry contemporary to the time of Muhammad. From "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series", Vol. Bargozideh Tafseer-i Nemuneh, Vol 3, p. 69, A brief defense of Alexander against Cyrus by a Muslim apologist can be viewed. (2) What is the real story of Khidr? Ibn Ishaq recorded many pre-Islamic Arabic poems in the Sira, including a poem about Dhul-Qarnayn that he claims was composed by a pre-Islamic king of ancient Yemen named Tubba': Dhu’l-Qarnayn before me was a Muslim. The strong, point-by-point connection between the story of Dhul-Qarnayn and prior legends is undeniable. <. Both stories record Alexander proclaiming this in a speech. They project a modern understanding of the cannon of scripture back upon the people of that time. Another problem with identifying Cyrus as the ram is that the ram is defeated and disgraced by the goat. Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين) is a figure who was well-known in the lore of the early medieval dwellers of the Arabian Peninsula, and is mentioned in the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam. fatwa and a specialist in the Arabic language and its poetry. It is also known that strong bulwarks had been built in southern regions of Caucasia, though, Tafhim al-Qur'an, Introduction to Chapter 18, Narrated Zainab bint Jahsh: In summary, the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence supports that: From all of this it can be concluded that the story of Dhul-Qarnayn is a myth about Alexander the Great and has no basis in history. The horn on the goat is considered by many to be a reference to Alexander the Great. This would have included Christian Arabs of the Ghassanid. He is actually asked to relate a story about Dhul-Qarnayn. In one of the tablets of his many adventures, Gilgamesh travels far to the east, to the mountain passes at the ends of the earth. He is portrayed as a godly and righteous man, he shows generosity to the people harassed by the Huns, and he builds a wall of iron and brass. Woe to the Arabs from the Great evil that has approached (them). The Jewish historian Josephus (37-100 CE), records in his two books legendary stories of Alexander that were known to the Jews of the first century. Dhul-Qarnayn or Zulqarnayn, (Arabic: ذو القرنين‎ ḏū al-qarnayn), "he of the two horns", appears in Surah 18 verses 83-98 of the Qur'an as a figure empowered by Allah to erect a wall between mankind and Gog and Magog, the representation of chaos. New International Version of the Bible. You can click on other concepts in the map for related information: Concept map for Dhul Qarnayn. This story is not found in the Bible and therefore provides definitive proof that the people questioning Muhammad relied on extra-Biblical material for their questions. 138–140. He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord: But when the promise of my Lord comes to pass. However, the legendary Alexander is a perfect fit. In the subsequent centuries after his death, the historical accounts of Alexander were largely forgotten and legendary accounts of his deeds and adventures replaced them in popular folklore. If this story is historically accurate then they should be able to point to the location of this large wall, between two mountains that is holding back a tribe of people bent on destroying the earth. "The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah". Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Zondervan 1971. Historical and Archaeological evidence has revealed that the real Alexander was a polytheistic pagan who believed he was the literal son of Greek and Egyptian gods. man with two-horns), proponents of this theory have pointed to reliefs found at the tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae, Iran. In order to connect Cyrus to the epithet Dhul-Qarnayn (i.e. American Philological Association, 133. An often overlooked aspect of the story of Dhul-Qarnayn is that it ends with a prophetic prediction of the wall being destroyed and the tribes of Gog and Magog surging and destroying everything in their path. Dhul Qarnayn (ذو القرنين) is righteous ruler mentioned in the Quran who constructed a wall to hold Gog and Magog. Rebecca Edwards in a address to the American Philological Association in 2002 states: While the Qur'an and Hadith never explicitly identify Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander, a number of Islamic scholars and commentators have endorsed this view. While he is never mentioned explicitly by name, the story is clearly based upon a legendary account of Alexander the Great. Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T. & Nokandeh, J. The Prophet made a circle with his index finger and thumb. 6, p. 738. From the Quranic Arabic Corpus - Ontology of Quranic Concepts. (2002) [?-767 AD]. Since these accounts were not present in the Bible, rejecting Alexander as a Greek pagan held no theological consequences for them. Is the Syriac story based on the Qur'an? The parallels between the Syriac Legend and the Qur'an are obvious and striking and both accounts are clearly telling the same story. He slays mountain lions, bears and other wild animals. The old men. (2002). He said to them, " Who are their kings?" Today a hole has been opened in the dam of Gog and Magog like this." In his commentary, Maududi all but admits as much: When we compare this to the legendary version of Alexander, who not only built a wall against Gog and Magog but made it of iron and bronze, we have the final piece of evidence that the Legendary Alexander is the person identified as Dhul-Qarnayn in the Qur'an and not Cyrus. Instead, it is based entirely upon legendary stories of Alexander which bare little resemblance to the Alexander of history. We have no other physical engravings or any other archaeological evidence that connects Cyrus with the epithet "two horns". This page was last edited on 13 November 2020, at 02:25. said: "Gog and Magog...". The map below shows the part of the visual ontology for this concept. The Syriac legend also ends with a similar prophecy that likewise occurs when the nations have been gathered together at the end of times. View Ismaeel Dhul-Qarnayn’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. The story of Dhul-Qarnayn appears in sixteen verses of the Qur'an, specifically verses 18:83-98. The Sirat Rasul Allah of Ibn Ishaq, circa 761 CE, mentions that Dhul-Qarnayn was of Egyptian and Greek origins, a pretty good description of Alexander who came from Macedonia in Greece and conquered Egypt. Made of clay from the local soil, the wall is called the Red Snake due to the color of its bricks. Oxford University Press. Ibn Ishaq; Guillaume, Alfred, ed. Again, apologists are simply ignoring the wide range of stories used by Jews and Christians of the 7th century. However this slowly changed after the Renaissance in the 16th century when proper archaeological and historical methods were first applied to the life of Alexander the Great. Proponents of this theory, however, pre-suppose that the Qur'an is relaying an accurate, historical story and thus never take into consideration the possibility that the story is based on myth and folklore. This has prompted many apologists to create and advance alternative theories that identify Dhul-Qarnayn as other prominent historical kings, most notably Cyrus the Great. We must also consider that Cyrus is mentioned explicitly by name 23 times[36] in the Bible including other parts of the Book of Daniel; yet he is never given the epitaph of "Two Horns". While some Muslims have embraced Alexander and rejected modern scholarship around his historical identify,[30] most apologists have gone the other way and decided to accept that Alexander was a pagan but reject his association with Dhul-Qarnayn. The name Alexander itself is never mentioned in the Qur’an. Zhul-qarnayn is a mysterious figure mentioned in the Qur'an whose identity has been a matter of contention and speculation to this day. Dhul-Qarnayn, (Arabic: ذو القرنين ‎ ḏū al-qarnayn, IPA: [ðuːlqarˈnajn]), or Zulqarnayn, "he of the two horns" (or figuratively “he of the two ages”), appears in Surah 18 verses 83-101 of the Quran as a figure empowered by Allah to erect a wall between mankind and Gog and Magog, the representation of chaos. : "He of the Two Horns"), appears in Quran 18:83-101 as one who travels to east and west and erects a wall between The story of Dhul-Qarnayn (in Arabic ذو القرنين, literally "The Two-Horned One", also transliterated as Zul-Qarnain or Zulqarnain), mentioned in the Quran, may be a reference to Alexander III of Macedon (356–323 BC), popularly known as Alexander the Great. If that were the case, he could have given a one sentence answer such as "he is Alexander" or "he is Cyrus". We are told that they will swarm across the earth and surround the "camp of God's people" who have been gathered together in the "city he loves" (namely Jerusalem). [33] This again provides further evidence that the ram is not Cyrus, as Alexander lived three centuries after Cyrus and the two never fought each other on the battle field. Since the vast majority of people in 7th century Arabia and the Middle East were illiterate, most stories were passed on through word of mouth. Since most early Muslim scholars and commentators believed that Dhul-Qarnayn was Alexander, any defense of the Cyrus theory is first obligated to state why Alexander should be rejected from consideration. He is simply just known as Dhul-Qarnayn. We should expect a massive structure would have left copious amounts of archaeological evidence, instead all we have are rumors and folktales. Again, this clearly shows that the Ram represents Persia as a whole and not Cyrus as an individual. Thus, quite strikingly, almost every element of this short Qur'anic tale finds a more explicit and detailed counterpart in the Syriac Alexander Legend. Oxford University Press. That one day Allah's Apostle entered upon her in a state of fear and said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah! [23] Olympias, his mother, always insisted to him that he was the son of Zeus,[21] a theory apparently confirmed to him by the oracle of Amun at Siwa in Libya. He saw where the sun sinks from view, In a, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasul Allah, And Alexander and his troops encamped, and he sent and called to him the governor who was in the camp, and said to him, "Are there any men here guilty of death?" Dhul-Qarnain invited him again and the tyrant broke the second horn. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. This includes the Talmud, apocryphal books, and other non-canonical writings. I looked up, and there before me was. The Noble Quran's Commentary, appx. Many differing theories were proposed on the identity of Zhul-qarnayn by Islamic scholars throughout the ages. Dukes, 2009-2017. [21] Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy. An Egyptian Islamic cartoon in Fusha with English subtitles Allamah Abu Abd Allah al-Zanjani, Mahliqa Qara'i (trans. Some historians and scholars say that Zulkarnain is an Alexander the Great and some call him Cyrus. His son, Yahya, has listed at least 14 published and about 13 unpublished works by his father. The implication is that Persia is the longer and newer of the two horns, since Persia was more powerful and rose in ascension later than Media. Dhu al-Hijjah translation in English-Arabic dictionary. pp. ), Rebecca Edwards. Showing page 1. It must be clarified that there is a difference of opinion among the historians and commentators whether Dhu’l-Qarnayn was same as Alexander of Rome. Ibn Ishaq; Guillaume, Alfred, ed. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. It is even possible that early Muslim followers heard the story of the Syrian legend during their raids on Mu'ta on the borders of Syria around September 629 CE.[4]. While the Syriac story tells a specific version of the Alexander Romance, many aspects of this legend draw from earlier materials. And they, the Jews, question you concerning. It is through this telling and re-telling of stories that this legend likely came to be known by the author of the Qur'an. The clear explanation given in the text is that the ram represents the Persia-Media empire in general and not Cyrus in particular. This article or section is being renovated. As-Suddi said: "That is when they emerge upon the people." Found 0 sentences matching phrase "Dhu al-Hijjah".Found in 0 ms. And king Alexander bowed himself and did reverence, saying, "0 God, Lord of kings and judges, thou who settest up kings and destroyest their power, I know in my mind that thou hast exalted me above all kings, and thou hast, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 146, The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 145-147, One (such) way he followed, until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of, Conquered kings thronged his court, East and west he ruled, yet he sought Knowledge true from a learned sage. Written in the 2nd century, it gives a detailed history of Alexander's military complains and is based on early sources that are now lost. One of the earliest and most influential stories, the Epic of Gilgamesh was written sometime before 2000 BCE. This is exactly the opposite of Alexander, who first traveled east, then returned west after reaching India. Ogden, Daniel (2009). Similar stories of Alexander pre-date both the Qur'an and Syriac legends by many centuries including folklore found in earlier Christian and Jewish writings. It also does not cover an area between two mountains. The king said, ", The History of Alexander the Great, Being the Syriac Version, p. 153. Almost every major element of the Qur'anic story can be found in Christian and Jewish folklore that dates hundreds of years prior to the time of Prophet Muhammad. By the 1st century BC, silver coins depicting Alexander with ram horns were used as the primary currency in Arabia. It was not until the Renaissance in the 16th century that the first historical accounts of Alexanders life were rediscovered and investigated. After his death, Alexander apparently left instructions in his will for a monumental temple to Athena be built at Troy. Later in the chapter, we are told that the horn is broken (a reference to Alexander's death) and four horns appear in its place (a reference to the four rulers that divided up Alexander's kingdom). Such historical facts about Alexander the Great became well known only after the Renaissance period (1300-1600 CE) when Greek documents from the 2nd century were rediscovered. According to authentic traditions it wasn’t so. This was especially true in the early centuries after the founding of Islam when the legends of Alexander were still widely known and popular. This wall cannot be same as the one described in the story of Dhul-Qarnayn for a number of reasons. Dhul-Qarnayn translation in English-Arabic dictionary. The author then conveys an odd and cryptic detail that the people living there have "no covering protection against the sun"; however, it gives no further explanation as to what that means. E-mail: Dhul Qarnayn can’t be Alexander since Alexander only traveled from Greece to India and then turned back. [25], Recent historical and archaeological evidence clearly points to the real Alexander of Macedon as a polytheistic pagan who fashioned himself after Greek and Egyptian gods. For centuries, most Muslim historians and Qur'anic commentators endorsed the identity of Dhul-Qarnayn as Alexander, though some also proposed alternatives.
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