First of all, we’d like to stress that what we know for certain is that Gog and Magog are descendants of Adam who will appear before the end of the world. All information about them should be taken from the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. We should not crave for tiny details, because it is a matter of unseen or unknown things which are known only to Almighty Allah.
In this context, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states: “Ya’juj and Ma’juj are two disbelieving tribes from among the sons of Adam. They used to spread mischief on earth, so Allah gave Dhul-Qarnayn the power to build a barrier to detain them. They will keep on digging at it until Allah gives them permission to come out at the end of time, after `Isa (peace be upon him) has killed the Dajjal. They will emerge in huge numbers and will drink up the lake of Tiberias (in Palestine). They will spread mischief on earth and no one will be able to resist them. `Isa (peace be upon him) and the believers with him will take refuge in Mount Tur until Allah destroys Ya’juj and Ma’juj by sending worms that will eat their necks. Then Allah will send rain to wash away their bodies into the sea and cleanse the earth of their stench.”
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, adds:
Ya’juj and Ma’juj or Gog and Magog are mentioned in the Qur’an in two places in surat al-Kahf 18:94 and in surat al-Anbiya’ 21:96. There are several ahadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) about them. Gog and Magog are also mentioned in the Bible in the book of Ezekiel chapters 38-39. Some commentators of the Qur’an under the influence of the Bible tried to identify them with the people of Russia and Caucasia, but there is no basis for this neither in the Qur’an nor in the Hadith. We do not need to identify Gog and Magog with any nation or race. It seems that it is a generic name for some wild, unruly, barbaric, uncivilized and un-religious people. They were causing trouble in the past and then again they or some people like them will cause some mischief before the end of the world. It is reported in the ahadith that Imam Mahdi and Jesus (may Allah be pleased with both of them) will destroy them and then peace will prevail on this earth. May Allah protect us from their trials, Ameen.”
Elaborating on this, we’d like to cite for you the following:
“Gog and Magog (two tribes or two peoples) will appear at the time of the second coming of Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him) before the end of the world, soon after the Dajjal (anti-Christ). Almighty Allah will destroy them all in one night, in response to the supplication of Jesus.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Every day, Gog and Magog try to dig a way out through the barrier. When they begin to see sunlight through it, the one who is in charge of them says, ‘Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow,’ and when they come back, the barrier becomes stronger than it was before. This will continue until their time comes and Allah wishes to send them forth. They will dig until they begin to see sunlight, then the one who is in charge of them will say, ‘Go back; you can carry on digging tomorrow, Insha’Allah.’ In this case, he will make an exception by saying Insha’Allah, thus relating the matter to the Will of Allah. They will return on the following day, and find the hole exactly as they left it. They will carry on digging and come out against the people. They will drink all the water, and find the hole exactly as they left it, and the people will entrench themselves in their fortresses. Gog and Magog will fire their arrows into the sky, and they will fall back to earth with something like blood on them. Gog and Magog will say, ‘We have defeated the people of earth, and overcome the people of Heaven.’ Then Allah will send a kind of worm in the napes of their necks, and they will be killed by it… ‘By Him in Whose Hand the soul of Muhammad is, the beasts of the earth will become fat.’” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad)
Gog and Magog were at the time of Dhul-Qarnayn. Dhul-Qarnayn was a good man and a great king. Allah gave him great power, and he ruled the East and West. He held sway over all kings and countries, and traveled far and wide in both East and West. He traveled eastwards until he reached a passage between two hills, through which people were coming out. Those people did not understand anything, because they were so isolated; they were Gog and Magog. They were spreading corruption through the earth, and harming the people, so the people sought help from Dhul-Qarnayn. They asked him to build a barrier between them and Gog and Magog. He sought their help in building it, so together they built a barrier by mixing iron and copper.
Thus Dhul-Qarnayn restrained Gog and Magog behind the barrier. They tried to penetrate the barrier, or to climb over it, but to no avail. They could not succeed because the barrier was so huge and smooth. So they began to dig, and they have been digging for centuries; they will continue to do so until such a time when Allah decrees that they come out. At that time a hole will be made in the barrier, and Gog and Magog will rush out in all directions, spreading corruption, uprooting plants, and killing people. When Jesus (peace be upon him) invoke Allah against them, Allah will send a kind of worm in the napes of their necks, and in the morning they would perish like one single person.”
Based on Ibn Kathir’s Al-Bidayah wa an-Nihayah (The Beginning and the End)
The Qur’an narrates this story saying: “They ask thee concerning Dhul-Qarnayn. Say, I will rehearse to you something of his story.‏ Verily we established his power on earth, and we gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed, until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: near it he found a people: we said: O Dhul-Qarnayn (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness. He said: whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and he will punish him with a punishment unheard of (before). But whoever believes, and works righteousness, he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as we order it by our command. Then followed he (another) way, until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom we had provided no covering protection against the sun. (He left them) as they were: we completely understood what was before him. Then followed he (another) way, until, when he reached (a tract) between two mountains, he found, beneath them, a people who scarcely understood a word. They said: O Dhul-Qarnayn the Gog and Magog (people) do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them? He said: (the power) in which my Lord has established me is better (than tribute): help me therefore with strength (and labor): I will erect a strong barrier between you and them: Bring me bl
ocks of iron. At length, when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountain sides, 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. Thus were they made powerless to scale it or to dig through it.‏ He 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.”
(Al-Kahf: 83-97)
Zaynab bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) once came to her in a state of fear, and said, “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah. Woe unto the Arabs from a danger that has drawn near. An opening has been made in the dam of Gog and Magog like this,” (making a circle with his thumb and index finger.) Zaynab bint Jahsh said, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we be destroyed even though there are pious persons among us?” He said, “Yes, when corruption increases.”