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Gog And Magog And Alexander 'The Two-Horned' In The Koran

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Chapter Summary

It is worth noting that Sallams journey starting in Samarra to find Alexanders wall, took place in the same milieu at the very end of this literary period when the Syriac motif of Alexanders barrier had become imbedded in Islam. It is but logical to follow the theme in the upcoming literature of a new culture which was going to make its entry in the Near East at this point, namely the Koran, the Early Islamic literature and the Arab poets. Gog and Magog and the two-horned one are mentioned by name in Koran XVIII:83-98 and XXI:95-96. One might have expected to find here a commentary on the justquoted Koran verses by a widely recognized Muslim authority, such as Muhammad b. Isma'il al-Bukhari (9th c.). However, for a Western reader his commentary would request a super-commentary. It therefore seems more appropriate to follow Rudi Parets translation and explanations.

Keywords: the two-horned one; Alexander; Arab poets; early Islamic literature; Gog and Magog; Muslim authority; Rudi Parets translation; Sallams journey; Syriac motif; The Koran



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