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In the Name of God بسم الله

Who Is Zulqarnain?

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He could be Cyrus or Alexander the Great or someone else entirely

Alexander was not just at all. He slaughtered and burned Athens and he called himself the Son of Zeus. Why would God praise Alexander and call him just if he calls himself the son of Zeus? So Alexander can't be Zulqarnain.

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Alexander was not just at all. He slaughtered and burned Athens and he called himself the Son of Zeus. Why would God praise Alexander and call him just if he calls himself the son of Zeus? So Alexander can't be Zulqarnain.

 

Alexander the Great was greatly respected as a historical figure by medieval Christians, Jews and Muslims. According to Jewish legend, when he entered the land of the Israelites, he did not force them to worship pagan gods and made a sacrifice to the God of Israel, claiming to have seen the symbol of that God in a dream before his conquests. The reason people liked Alexander as a ruler was precisely because as long as people paid tribute, he left them to essentially govern themselves, a policy his successors didn't necessarily observe. He was also responsible for uniting most of the civilized world under the Greek language, which contributed to the later rise of Christianity since most of the New Testament was written in Greek. People liked Alexander because they saw him as generally a just warrior fighting against the Persians (whom no one at that time really liked very much) and most of the areas he conquered joined his empire peacefully. He was also a student of Aristotle and so that connection alone earned him respect in the eyes of Aristotelian philosophers in the Muslim world. Some of the quotes attributed to him in the oldest sources on his life include:

 

For my part, I assure you, I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion.

Are you still to learn that the end and perfection of our victories is to avoid the vices and infirmities of those whom we subdue?

Know ye not that the end and object of conquest is to avoid doing the same thing as the conquered?

Holy shadows of the dead, I’m not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people, to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine (in Athens). On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions.

Now you fear punishment and beg for your lives, so I will let you free, if not for any other reason so that you can see the difference between a Greek king and a barbarian tyrant, so do not expect to suffer any harm from me. A king does not kill messengers.

 
So it was always recognized he had a more profound soul than just being a conqueror.
 
Also, one has to consider the romantic literature of the ancient and medieval era. For one, Alexander was always referred to as the "horned one" even in the Persian speaking worlds due to the image of him having horns on the coins minted with his visage. Plus, the story of Gog and Magog that appears in the Holy Qur'an mirrors the story of Gog and Magog that appears the romance literature of Alexander's life.
 
 
 
"Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews mentions that Alexander visited Jerusalem and saluted the high priest, saying that he has seen him in his dreams back in Macedonia."
 
"The Syriac, Persian, Arabic, Ethiopic and Bulgar versions of the Alexander romance are all closely related Christian and Muslim variants. Philologists, studying ancient Christian legends about Alexander the Great, have come to conclude that the Qur'an's stories about Dhul-Qarnayn closely parallel certain legends about Alexander the Great found in ancient Hellenistic and Christian writings. There is some numismatic evidence, in the form of ancient coins, to identify the Arabic epithet "Dhul-Qarnayn" with Alexander the Great. There is also a long history of monotheistic religions co-opting the historical Alexander. Finally, ancient Christian Syriac and Ethiopic manuscripts of the Alexander romance from the Middle East have been found which closely resemble the story in the Qur'an. This leads to the theologically controversial conclusion that Qur'an refers to Alexander in the mention of Dhul-Qarnayn. Two later Persian varieties are the Iskandarnameh and the A’ina-yi Sikanderi of Amir Khusrow"
 
 
Much of what we know of Alexander the Great's life comes from sources written centuries after his death, and that includes the oldest pagan histories as well and nearly every civilization and religion has attempted to claim his heritage for themselves.  There really is very little we can verify about the man in truth. I'm not saying Dhul Qarnayn IS Alexander as I've decided to withhold my judgment on this issue for the most part until I'm more learned about it, but the evidence that it is referring to Alexander is pretty decent, at least about as good as anyone else we might say it is referring to.
 
I do think it also depends on whether we're saying Dhul Qarnayn is a prophet or simply a king loved by God. If the latter is the case, then we don't have to expect Dhul Qarnayn to be an infallible human being.
Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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the persian praise for alexander (which happened in some periods in Iran's history) is an example of what can happen to a nation that had lost its historical identity. and lost the grasp on who's friend and who's enemy.

 

and it serves as an example of: history is written by the victors

 

some people in Delhi still hold sessions in which they curse Nader Shah, why? because they don't want to forget what he did with them. first you forget then your children might say well he was a mighty king and later generations will say, maybe not infallible but he was loved by God!

 

when you lose your cultural/historical identity, everyone, I mean everyone, can and will subjugate you and your children.

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Cite the hadith, please.

There is no case to dismiss anyone.

Rhetorically, could it be Luqman?

This ḥadīth is narrated in `Alī b. al-Ḥussayn b. Bābuwayh al-Qummī’s (al-Ṣadūq’s father) book al-Imāmah wa al-Tabṣirah, al-Ṣadūq’s Kamāl (or, Ikmāl) al-Dīn and al-Rawāndī’s Qasas al-Anbiyā’, with the same chain of narrators. This same ḥadīth is also narrated in al-`Ayyāshī’s Tafsīr, with a truncated chain from Abī Baṣīr.

____________________

Sa`ad b. `Abd Allāh narrated from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. `Īsa from `Alī b. al-Nu`mān from Hārūn b. Khārijah from Abī Baṣīr from Abī Ja`far (عليه السلام) said, “Dhu’l Qarnayn was not a prophet, but he was a righteous slave, he loved Allāh, and Allāh loved him. He was an adviser of Allāh, and Allāh advised him. He commanded his people to taqwa of Allāh, and they hit him on the (side) of his head, and he disappeared from them for a time, then he returned to them and they hit him on his other (side) of his head, and there is among you who is upon his sunnah (tradition)”

____________________

`Āṣif al-Muḥsinī has said this ḥadīth is Ṣaḥīḥ (Authentic) in his Mashra`ah Bihār al-Anwār, he also says that there is a ḥadīth that alludes to Dhu’l Qarnayn being a prophet of Allāh, but it is da`īf (weak).

http://www.revivingalislam.com/2012/05/dhul-qarnayn.html

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the persian praise for alexander (which happened in some periods in Iran's history) is an example of what can happen to a nation that had lost its historical identity. and lost the grasp on who's friend and who's enemy.

 

 

it seems you are more Persian than me!

I know Persian land's history. I have never heard about praising him, in history we call Alexander with cheap names like  eskandar kasif (Dirty Alexander )

even Aristotle as Alexandr's teacher, had understood that Alexander is having a wild nature , Alexander burnt many books in Iran, ruined Personalise and behaved to Persian people as Slaves... Now you don't tell me we praise for him in anyway!!!

reference:

 https://books.google.com/books?id=iQZ6Xk9VdtAC&pg=PA161&lpg=PA161&dq=aristotle+and+alexander+bertrand+russell+I+cannot+imagine+his&source=bl&ots=cxpV6gYciI&sig=YRSTINKck4578tKJN6j8673VG20&hl=en&sa=X&ei=16SqVJKJO4KlNvHWguAN&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=aristotle%20and%20alexander%20bertrand%20russell%20I%20cannot%20imagine%20his&f=false

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it seems you are more Persian than me!

Dast balay dast besyar ast!

And for persians who praised alexander, please read some persian literature:

Nezami:

سکندر جهانجوی فرخ سریر

نشسته چو بر چرخ بدر منیر

سخن را نگارنده ی چربدست

بنام سکندر چنین نقش بست

که صاحب دوقرنش بدان بود نام

که بر مشرق و مغرب آورد گام

Interesting? Nezami believed alexander was dhulqarnayn

And also 'Attar:

رسید اسکندر رومی بجایی

طلب میکرد از آنجا آشنایی

ره علمست اگر شاه جهانی

تو ذوالقرنین گردی گر بدانی

Ferdowsi:

سکندر به تخت نیا برنشست

بهی جست و دست بدی را ببست

نوشتند پس نامه ای بخردان

به نزد سکندر سر موبدان

(یعنی سرور موبدها)

سکندر چو کرد اندر ایران نگاه

بدانست کو را شد آن تاجگاه

ز اسکندر آن راد پیروزگر

خداوند شمشیر و تاج و کمر

Jami:

سکندر که صیتش جهان را گرفت

بسیطش زمین و زمان را گرفت

Khaqani:

مصطفی در شصت و سه، اسکندر اندر سی و دو

دشمنان را مسخ کردند و مسخر ساختند

Iqbal lahuri:

سکندر رفت و شمشیر و علم رفت

خراج شهر و گنج کان و یم رفت

And a lot more

Now sister it seems you also have lost your historical/cultural identity, thanks to the history which is written by the victors (Russell is one of them)

Edited by mesbah
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Dast balay dast besyar ast!

And for persians who praised alexander, please read some persian literature:

Nezami:

سکندر جهانجوی فرخ سریر

نشسته چو بر چرخ بدر منیر

سخن را نگارنده ی چربدست

بنام سکندر چنین نقش بست

که صاحب دوقرنش بدان بود نام

که بر مشرق و مغرب آورد گام

Interesting? Nezami believed alexander was dhulqarnayn

And also 'Attar:

رسید اسکندر رومی بجایی

طلب میکرد از آنجا آشنایی

ره علمست اگر شاه جهانی

تو ذوالقرنین گردی گر بدانی

Ferdowsi:

سکندر به تخت نیا برنشست

بهی جست و دست بدی را ببست

نوشتند پس نامه ای بخردان

به نزد سکندر سر موبدان

(یعنی سرور موبدها)

سکندر چو کرد اندر ایران نگاه

بدانست کو را شد آن تاجگاه

ز اسکندر آن راد پیروزگر

خداوند شمشیر و تاج و کمر

Jami:

سکندر که صیتش جهان را گرفت

بسیطش زمین و زمان را گرفت

Khaqani:

مصطفی در شصت و سه، اسکندر اندر سی و دو

دشمنان را مسخ کردند و مسخر ساختند

Iqbal lahuri:

سکندر رفت و شمشیر و علم رفت

خراج شهر و گنج کان و یم رفت

And a lot more

Now sister it seems you also have lost your historical/cultural identity, thanks to the history which is written by the victors (Russell is one of them)

 

 

ضایع شدم

ولی

خدایی

اینهایی که گفتی همه  تقییه کردن! 

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the persian praise for alexander (which happened in some periods in Iran's history) is an example of what can happen to a nation that had lost its historical identity. and lost the grasp on who's friend and who's enemy.

 

it seems you are more Persian than me!

I know Persian land's history. I have never heard about praising him, in history we call Alexander with cheap names like  eskandar kasif (Dirty Alexander )

even Aristotle as Alexandr's teacher, had understood that Alexander is having a wild nature , Alexander burnt many books in Iran, ruined Personalise and behaved to Persian people as Slaves... Now you don't tell me we praise for him in anyway!!!

 

I'm sorry, but from what I've noticed a good number of you Persians allow your nationalism to cause you to white wash your own history to make it seem like your people were always the bastions of civilization and everybody else around them was stupid before they people came along or before they took what others had and made it better with your own personalized touch. Or if you admit your ancestors did something wrong, it wasn't consequential.

 

Putting aside any judgements on Alexander's character, not supporting him or denouncing him, there are very good reasons why people in the past liked him and why many people submitted to his rule peacefully and without a fight. One of the main reasons was because he was fighting the Persians. Most ancient people saw Alexander's own conquest of Persia as a just war against a common foe which itself was a conquering force who had a habit of trying to lay waste to anyone who resisted it. A lot of people hated the order of the Persian Empire for having attacked them and those who acquiesced to Persian rule were often ambivalent towards the Persians and didn't care who ruled since whoever was the strongest of the conquerors was he who deserved to be submitted to and weak people can only humbly beg conquerors to have mercy on them. In Arrian's history of Alexander, which is one of the earliest surviving written histories on the Macedonians' war against the Persians, Alexander is quoted as having replied to Persian Emperor Darius III's offer for truce:

 

"Your ancestors came to Macedonia and the rest of Hellas [Greece] and did us great harm, though we had done them no prior injury. I have been appointed leader of the Greeks, and wanting to punish the Persians I have come to Asia, which I took from you."

 

and in Pseudo-Kallisthenes :

 

"Youths of the Pellaians and of the Macedonians and of the Greek Amphictiony and of the Lakedaimonians and of the Corinthians… and of all the Greek peoples, join your fellow-soldiers and entrust yourselves to me, so that we can move against the barbarians and liberate ourselves from the Persian bondage, for as Greeks we should not be slaves to barbarians."

 

And again in Arrian:

 

Alexander sacrificed to the gods to whom it was his custom to sacrifice, and gave a public banquet, seated all the Persians, and then any persons from the other peoples who took precedence for rank or any other high quality, and he himself and those around him drank from the same bowl and poured the same libations, with the Greek soothsayers and Magi initiating the ceremony. Alexander prayed for various blessings and especially that the Macedonians and Persians should enjoy harmony as partners in government. The story prevails that those who shared the banquet were nine thousand and that they all poured the same libation and gave the one victory cry as they did.

 

Alexander is recorded in the Greek histories as well as the histories of other cultures to have had immense respect for other cultures, including the Persians, his main beef having been with the dynasty of Darius which had conquered many Greek areas of Asia Minor and had attacked Macedonia, Sparta and Athens decades prior. The Emperor Xerxes I, after breaking through the forces at Thermoplyae, where the famous 300 soldiers who were actually more than 300 attempted to stall their advance, burned Athens to the ground in retaliation for the Greeks having defeated the forces of his father Darius the First at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., which was retaliation for Athenian instigation of the Ionian Revolt against Persian rule. While the Persians could be tolerant themselves of other religions and cultures in their Empire and certainly were a great and admirable civilization (Alexander himself in Arrian's history is said to have been captivated by the majesty and learning of the Persians), those that didn't submit to their rule or even refused participation in the army of the Emperor were sometimes violently punished and in a world ruled by the might of conquerors who seize territories through force and compulsion regardless of whether the conquered had previously done anything wrong by them, it's only natural to have to sooner or later face another conquering force who is only following the same tradition as yourself.

 

And according to Arrian's history, even the Magi of Persia ordained Alexander as the new Emperor. And Plutarch and Justin mention Alexander's relationship with Barsine, a Persian princess and Memnon's widow.

 

We see a similar thing with the Arab conquests shortly after the Holy Prophet's death. Many Persians who had converted to Islam, whether Sunni or Shi'a, as well as some Zoroastrians saw Umar's conquest of Persia as a kind of punishments for their sins during the times of the Sassanid dynasty, who wasted many Persian and non-Persian's lives and wealth in their petty wars with the Romans. And we see this in the Persians' histories in addition to the opposite position that the Muslim Arabs were just a bunch of greedy barbarians who attacked the peaceful, God fearing Persian empire without just cause. Now, I'm not saying Umar himself was a just leader or that his intentions were just, but the fact is that many people weren't weeping for the Sassanids' downfall. According to Imam Ali:

 

You should take a lesson from the fate of the progeny of Ismael, the children of Isaac and the children of Israel. How similar are their affairs and how akin are their examples. In connection with the details of their division and disunity, think of the days when Kisras of Persia and the Caesars of Rome had become their masters. They turned them out from the pastures of their lands the rivers of Iraq and the fertility of the world, towards thorny forests, the passages of (hot) winds and hardships in livelihood. In this way they turned them into just herders of camels. Their houses were the worst in the world and their places of stay were the most drought-stricken. There was not one voice towards which they could turn for protection, nor any shade of affection on whose strength they could repose trust. --Sermon 191, Nahjul Balagha

 

His delivery now lies in the hands of One Who throws the bodies of kings into dust and overthrows their empires, Who ends the lives of despots and Who has brought to an end the dominions of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and Himyars, kings of Yemen, Who had destroyed the wealth, power and glory of all those individuals who had amassed wealth, gathered property, built very strong and durable houses, furnished them with the choicest and most costly furniture and surrounded them with beautiful gardens. Those people were imagining that they and their descendants will enjoy the fruits of their labours, though in reality everyone of the house so built or the article so collected will have to be accounted for on the Day of Judgement, the day when people will be rewarded or punished according to their deeds, the day on which evil doers will suffer for their vicious and wicked ways. Your mind will corroborate and confirm this if it is kept free from intemperate ambitions, from lust for alluring things, from sensuality and from vicious affections and attachments. --Letter 3, Nahjul Balagha

 

And of course we know that Ali (as) had no hatred for the Persians, the Zoroastrians or those elements of their culture which came from the love they had of the one true God.

 

My point is, I suppose that the histories that portray Alexander negatively are written from the perspective of people writing later, reflecting back on Alexander. The Book of Arda Wiraz, in which one finds the pro-Zoroastrian and anti-Alexandrian tales of Alexander's evils against the Persian people, has never been accurately dated, but is likely from a much later period when the Persians were at war with the Eastern Roman Empire, which was Greek speaking. While it may reflect an older social memory of Alexander in Persia, this is not the only social memory, as much older histories which we are able to date, written by Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Jews speak of him with praise and mention his respect for the warriors of Persia, the Magi and the Persian culture in general and that some Persians had no trouble accepting his reign. And before one calls such Persians traitors, it's important to remember that your conceptions of national identity would not have been shared by your Persian ancestors in the slightest, who lived in an age before the nation-state of Iran and for whom Persian usually referred to a language and culture that originated in, but was not limited to the city of Fars. Persian as an ethnicity is far different from the racial conception of Persian developed during the growth of nationalism in the 19th century. Most of the proud Persians posting on these boards probably have plenty of Greek, Turk and Arab and follow the greatest religion brought to mankind by an Arab with passionate devotion.

 

Many Persians of the past had no trouble accepting Alexander because they weren't motivated by illusions of nationalist dogma but by a love of what is just and noble and they felt that they had found these qualities in Alexander the Great for whatever reasons. Even Shah Ismail, the founder of the Safavid dynasty wrote:

 

My name is Shah Ismail. I am God's mystery. I am the leader of all these ghazis.

My mother is Fatima, my father is Ali; and eke I am the Pir of the Twelve Imams.

I have recovered my father's bloof from Yazid, Be sure that I am of Haydarian essence.

I am the living Khider and Jesus, son of Mary. I am the Alexander of my contemporaries.

Look you, Yazid, polytheist and the adept of the Accursed one, I am free from the Ka'ba of hypocrites.

 

Shah Ismail was of Greek, Tajik and Azerbaijani descent (he also claimed to be descended from the Imams through the line of Husayn a.s. and Bibi Shahr Banu, which would give him Sassanid blood) and it is thanks to his conquests that Persians even have an independent nation called Iran today, although he was a depressed drunkard who probably killed his liver with how much wine he consumed.

 

Also in the Shahnameh, written in 1000 A.D., one of the greatest works of Persian literature ever created, Alexander is mentioned as being descended from the Persian kings, much like how Greeks believed he was the son of Zeus.

 

Alexander is a complex historical figure, of whose life and character we are still trying to assemble a historically accurate portrayal because his image is so steeped in legends of him being descended from gods, working miracles, wandering the bottom of the seas, traveling to Mecca and having inspirations from the "Exalted Deity." His image should be not constructed based on Iranian nationalist sympathies that most Persians throughout history never even had or based on the religious biases of one group of Zoroastrians anymore than it should be constructed according to the various Christian legends or later Greek histories indiscriminately. This is not to suggest that the Persians have not contributed greatly to history in anyway, nor even that their contributions were the least significant, nor is it to suggest that there weren't just or respectable Persian rulers in history (Cyrus the Great should come to one's mind). But if Alexander was Dhul Qarynayn and al-Khidr his companion as many have suggested throughout the centuries, then this would mean that the most accurate portrayal of Alexander comes from the Qur'an's own illumination of history through the murkiness of legends and ignorance. And God knows best.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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More than persian blind nationalism, I think one should be concerned about pervasive Eurocentrism.

In fact, modern trend in persian nationalism is used and promoted by more westernized persians to fight Islam.

Simply there's no reason to identify Quranic positive figure, Dhulqarnayn, with a legendary, fallible, possibly cruel land conqueror. And feel the need to compose a long post like the one above to justify it.

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There is no way DhulQarnayn is Alexander the killer. That is simply irrational and doesnt make sense.

 

Alexander of Macedonia: Some call him Alexander Dhul-Qarnayn. He lived no longer than 36 years and his body was buried in Alexandria.[8]

Yet, this theory isn't correct, because Alexander was a polytheist and idol worshipper and claimed to be deity after defeating the Achaemenians, which are all in complete contradiction with Quranic facts.[9]

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Simply there's no reason to identify Quranic positive figure, Dhulqarnayn, with a legendary, fallible, possibly cruel land conqueror. And feel the need to compose a long post like the one above to justify it.

 

Absolutely nowhere did I identify Alexander as Dhul Qarnayn, but rather I was pointing out that Persian objections to Alexander being Dhul Qarnayn tend to be based on logical fallacies informed by their rigid nationalism.

 

If we reject Alexander as Dhul Qarnayn, it should be based on sound proof and evidence, not based on sentimental attachments to one's motherland and a reluctance to admit that someone like Alexander's conquests may have been seen as justified by most people. Notice my post focused most specifically on the Persian accusations against Alexander's character and the fact that the attitude towards Persians who respected Alexander whether as Dhul Qarnayn or otherwise did not make them traitors to homeland anymore than Persians who accepted Islam in either its Sunni or Shi'a forms after the Arab conquests and adopted Arabic script and liturgy. I did not argue that Dhul Qarnayn WAS Alexander. Only in my last paragraph did I address this issue by merely pointing out that there's little we know of Alexander beyond him being Macedonian, having conquered the Persians and uniting most of the civilized world under the Greek language, and people admiring him as a leader or warrior even right down to our own time, often characterizing him as a member of their faith. Everything else about the man is quite legendary and this vacuum pretty much allows one to project almost whatever one wants onto the man. There's very little we can establish about his life, his character or his skills as an administrator through the more secular historical critical method alone with much certainty and this is true for many ancient figures like Caesar, Gilgamesh, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Zoroaster, Confucius, Lao Tzu etc. Many things that are accepted as fact about Alexander are accepted on faith in certain later historians ability to have related the events of his life, sayings and deeds with enough accuracy, although these authors are mostly acting on oral tales that have been passed down or on lost histories which we don't have and thus can't verify.

 

The Persian opposition to Alexander however, operates on a biased view found in only a few records and doesn't reflect the majority view among most people throughout history and probably doesn't even represent the majority view of Persians during the time of Alexander himself. In that case, we can't reject Alexander as Dhul Qarnayn on that basis because that basis isn't sound enough itself to warrant such rejection.

 

 

There is no way DhulQarnayn is Alexander the killer. That is simply irrational and doesnt make sense.

 

Alexander of Macedonia: Some call him Alexander Dhul-Qarnayn. He lived no longer than 36 years and his body was buried in Alexandria.[8]

Yet, this theory isn't correct, because Alexander was a polytheist and idol worshipper and claimed to be deity after defeating the Achaemenians, which are all in complete contradiction with Quranic facts.[9]

 

 

Let me put it this way, if I said Noah (as) got drunk of the wine made from his vineyards or that David (as) committed adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba, as the Old Testament says because the Old Testament is older than the Qur'an and the hadith and therefore any Islamic opinions that contradicted the Old Testament on this matter were false because the Old Testament has antiquity, would you accept that argument? Certainly not. Antiquity is important when examining the sources of history, but to rely on antiquity alone is fallacious. What we can glean of Alexander from the histories of Plutarch and Arrian may reflect the social memory of the man, but if we applied the science by which we authenticate history through the use of hadith and examination of the chain of narrators when it comes to Alexander as we do when it comes to the Prophet (pbuh) or Ahlul Bayt, we would find there is very little we can verify even from a secular historical approach.

 

Again, my point here is not to say that Alexander is Dhul Qarnayn, but if Alexander was proven to be Dhul Qarnayn, this wouldn't be much different from how the Qur'an and hadith contradict already much of what others accept as the undeniable truth based on other sources like the New Testament or Old Testament, which in their own forms aren't different from many other ancient biographies of the Romans and Greeks in which we find the legends of prophets and kings. The question is who has the authority to speak on the historical person's life, who is in the best position to relate the facts accurately, and when it comes to Alexander, this is still up for debate, although we tend to give precedence to antiquity. So we should withhold our judgement on Alexander's character, be he Dhul Qarnayn or not, lest we speak unjustly of him.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Let me put it this way, if I said Noah (as) got drunk of the wine made from his vineyards or that David (as) committed adultery with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba, as the Old Testament says because the Old Testament is older than the Qur'an and the hadith and therefore any Islamic opinions that contradicted the Old Testament on this matter were false because the Old Testament has antiquity, would you accept that argument? Certainly not. Antiquity is important when examining the sources of history, but to rely on antiquity alone is fallacious. What we can glean of Alexander from the histories of Plutarch and Arrian may reflect the social memory of the man, but if we applied the science by which we authenticate history through the use of hadith and examination of the chain of narrators when it comes to Alexander as we do when it comes to the Prophet (pbuh) or Ahlul Bayt, we would find there is very little we can verify even from a secular historical approach.

 

Again, my point here is not to say that Alexander is Dhul Qarnayn, but if Alexander was proven to be Dhul Qarnayn, this wouldn't be much different from how the Qur'an and hadith contradict already much of what others accept as the undeniable truth based on other sources like the New Testament or Old Testament, which in their own forms aren't different from many other ancient biographies of the Romans and Greeks in which we find the legends of prophets and kings. The question is who has the authority to speak on the historical person's life, who is in the best position to relate the facts accurately, and when it comes to Alexander, this is still up for debate. So we should withhold our judgement on Alexander's character, be he Dhul Qarnayn or not, lest we speak unjustly of him.

 

Huh? What history have you been reading? This man was a mass murder who roamed unjustly and conquered people.

 

However, does a man deserve to be called ‘The Great’ who was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of his own men and for the unnecessary wholesale slaughter of native peoples? How ‘great’ is a king who prefers constant warfare over consolidating conquered territories and long-term administration? Or who, through his own recklessness, often endangered his own life andthe lives of his men? Or whose violent temper on occasion led him to murder his friends and who towards the end of his life was an alcoholic, paranoid, megalomaniac, who believed in his own divinity?These are questions posed by our standards of today of course, but nevertheless they are legitimate questions given the influence which Alexander has exerted throughout history -an influence which will no doubt continue.[4]

 

http://www.utexas.edu/courses/citylife/readings/great2.html

 

But the ruler who is arguably the most famous secular figure in history was little admired in his own lifetime. Although we lack sufficient details about his character, there was no doubt that he was an inspiring leader and personally a very brave soldier. He was ruthless toward those who opposed him—even from within his own ranks—but fair and honest toward those who exhibited courage and skill. He probably suffered from an overwhelming ambition and an uncontrollable temper that often arose from drinking excessive amounts of wine. He was widely despised by many of the subject Greeks, whose attitude might best be summed up by the comment attributed to one Athenian orator who, when informed of Alexander’s death, replied, “What? Alexander dead? Impossible! The world would reek of his corpse!” In the end, his achievement appears to have been a grand adventure tied to his own personal ambitions—conquest for its own sake.

 

http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/alexander-the-great

Edited by PureEthics
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Huh? What history have you been reading? This man was a mass murder who roamed unjustly and conquered people.

 

According to whose history?

 

And as I pointed out in one my other posts, many people throughout the course of history saw his war against the Persians as justified for the Persians having conquered their lands and Alexander is related as having said he had no problem with the Persians, but only with Darius III and his ancestors for having attacked and conquered the Greeks. So on whose authority and according to which history do you say he was totally "unjust" and not just or unjust some of the time but not all?

 

The reason Alexander was admired by many people, including the Muslim Arabs and Persians was because he was seen as a just and wise ruler. So if you object, you should have good reason.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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In Arabic ancient literature , dhulqarnain is said to be the earlier Alexander not the later imperial one.

 

Indeed, he's also been associated with some Yemeni or ancient Arab kings. Again, my endeavor wasn't to prove that Alexander is Dhul Qarnayn. What I was trying to show is that there's a problem with some of the rational basis for the rejection. I also feel like some Muslims are giving concessions to Western scholarship and their critical methods of examining history rather than relying enough on their own.

 

My meaning here is that there are many Muslims who would say Alexander the Great isn't Dhul Qarnayn not because they have any logical or rational proof that he couldn't be or have studied the matter in depth but because the idea of affirming what many other scholars of the past believed to have been the truth of Dhul Qarnayn's identity is "embarrassing". Which is understandable, no one wants Western scholars who are often so sure that they know everything about the past or can derive the truth in due time using their own methods alone to laugh at Muslims for believing in their "fairytales," but if intent of the Qur'an was, hypothetically speaking, to say that God anointed Alexander the Great, should we not be willing to stick to our guns on that issue?

 

And also, we shouldn't judge any historical figure as just or unjust without examining good evidence through a proper method, whether he's mentioned in the Qur'an or not.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23
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Indeed, he's also been associated with some Yemeni or ancient Arab kings. Again, my endeavor wasn't to prove that Alexander is Dhul Qarnayn. What I was trying to show is that there's a problem with some of the rational basis for the rejection. I also feel like some Muslims are giving concessions to Western scholarship and their critical methods of examining history rather than relying enough on their own.

My meaning here is that there are many Muslims who would say Alexander the Great isn't Dhul Qarnayn not because they have any logical or rational proof that he couldn't be or have studied the matter in depth but because the idea of affirming what many other scholars of the past believed to have been the truth of Dhul Qarnayn's identity is "embarrassing". Which is understandable, no one wants Western scholars who are often so sure that they know everything about the past or can derive the truth in due time using their own methods alone to laugh at Muslims for believing in their "fairytales," but if intent of the Qur'an was, hypothetically speaking, to say that God anointed Alexander the Great, should we not be willing to stick to our guns on that issue?

And also, we shouldn't judge any historical figure as just or unjust without examining good evidence through a proper method, whether he's mentioned in the Qur'an or not.

I belive that thul qarnain lived in early Jewish history .

Arabic literature gave many ancient possibilities including some indo Persian tales like Feredyon son of Athphian.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fereydun

Edited by Chaotic Muslem
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In the past I use to say on this forum that it is most likely referring to persian king cyrus.

I'm probably wrong and it may not be the truth. 

 

From the story of the prophets you learn that

 

Dhul Qarnayn in the story is most likely referring to a figure from very ancient times - probably called Alexander -- but not alexander the macedonean.

Allah granted him certain abilities or 'technologies' - to travel long distances-- even reach special places like mount Qaf.

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