Bukhaari and Muslim Sharif both report from Hadhrat Zaynab bint Jahash رضي الله عنه that Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم woke up one day in a state of emotion, with his face red. He exclaimed, “Laa Ilaaha Illallaah! Evil is the portent for the Arabs because of that which has happened! Today there has appeared a hole this large in the wall of the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj.”
Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم then formed a ring with his index finger and thumb. Hadhrat Zaynab رضي الله عنه then asked, “O Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم Will we be destroyed even when there are righteous people amongst us?”
Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم replied, “Yes, you can be destroyed when evil predominates.
This hole in the wall can be interpreted as a literal hole as well as a metaphorical reference to the weakening of the wall
The Musnad of Ahmed, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah report from a narration of Hadhrat Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم said, “Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj keep digging through the wall of Dhul Qarnayn. They do this every day until they reach the farthest part of the Wall and get so close (to the end) that light starts to filter through from the other side. At this point, they say that they would continue digging all the way through the following day. When they then leave, Allaah makes the wall as strong as it was previously. When the next day arrived, they start anew to dig through it.
This cycle of their digging and Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى fortifying it again will continue for as long as Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى intends keeping them restrained. When Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى intends to release them, they will dig to the farthest limit and say, ‘If Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى wills, we shall get across tomorrow.’ (By making their effort dependent on the name and will of Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, they will be granted the ability to succeed) When they return the next day as usual, they will find the remaining portion of the wall as they had left it. They will then demolish this and escape.
Tirmidhi has reported this narration and then classified it as Ghareeb (Unfamiliar, making it a weak narration). Allaama Ibn Katheer رحمه الله has also reported this narration in his Tafseer and then said that while its chain of narrators is good and strong, it is inappropriate to state that the text is quoted directly from Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم.
This is probably due to the fact that the Qur’aan states, “They (the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj) were not able to climb over it, neither were they able to make a hole in it”. Therefore, while the Qur’aan denies that a hole can be made, the Hadith states that there is one.
Commenting on this Hadith in his Al Bidaayah wan Nihaayah, Allaama Ibn Katheer رحمة الله states that if it is held to be correct that this Hadith is not Marfu (not the direct words if Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم), then it would be the words of Hadhrat Ka’b Ahbaar رحمة الله. In this case, nothing conclusive can be deduced from it. However, if it is indeed the words if Rasulullaah r, then it would mean that the digging by the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj will start at the time when the hour of their emergence draws close. In this case the statement of the Qur’aan that no hole can be made in this wall will refer to the time when Dhul Qarnayn built it. This answers the apparent contradiction. Moreover, it could also be said that breaking a hole into the wall means a hole which goes all the way through it, which is unlike the hole mentioned in this Hadith.
In his Fat’hul Baari, Haafidh Ibn Hajar رحمة الله has reported this Hadith from Abd bin Humayd and Ibn Hibbaan, who narrate from Hadhrat Qataadah رضي الله عنه . Some of the narrators of these narrations are sanctioned Imaam Bukhaari رحمة الله. Furthermore, he has not entertained any doubt about the Hadith being Marfoo (the words of Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم). He then proceeds to quote from Ibnul Arabi رحمة الله that this Hadith contains the following three Divine signs (miracles):
1) That Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى did not allow the minds of the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj to consider digging by night as well. For a nation with so many people, there would be no difficulty at all to allocate shifts to work through the night
2) That Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى did not allow the minds to think of scaling over the wall with the use of any artifices or devices. A narration from Wahab bin Munabbih رحمة الله makes it clear that these people tilled the land to yield produce and used instruments of many kinds in this process. It should therefore not have been difficult for them to assemble some means of scaling the wall
3) That for such a long time it never occurred to them to say ‘Inshaa Allaah’. This would occur to them only when the time of their emergence draws close
Ibnul Arabi رحمة الله has also stated that this Hadith tells us that there are people among the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj who believe in the existence of Allaah and in His will. However, it is also possible that Allaah would cause them to make this statement without having any belief. What is certain, is that there certainly came to them the message of the Ambiyaa عليه السلام . Otherwise, according to the Qur’aan, they would not be subjected to the punishment of Jahannam. Allaah states, “We shall never punish (anyone) until We send a messenger (who informs him about the consequences of his actions)”.345 This verse tells us that the invitation to believe has reached them, but they chose to reject it. And Allaah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى knows best.
Amongst the facts that have been established from the Ahadeeth about the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are:
1) The Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are from the progeny of Hadhrat Nooh عليه السلام like the rest of human beings. The majority of Hadith experts and historians identify them as the progeny of Yaafith, the son of Nooh عليه السلام. The progeny of Yaafith bin Nooh عليه السلام had spread out far and wide among different tribes and had populated many areas between the period of Hadhrat Nooh عليه السلام and Dhul Qarnayn. It was the savage killers and marauders among them who were restrained by the wall of Dhul Qarnayn, and these were the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj
2) The Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj outnumber all the human beings of the whole world by at least ten to one
3) The Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj will remain trapped behind of the wall of Dhul Qarnayn until just before the Day of Qiyaamah. The time destined for their emergence will be after the appearance of Hadhrat Mahdi عليه السلام and Dajjaal and after Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام descends and kills Dajjaal
4) When the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are to be released, the wall of Dhul Qarnayn will completely collapse and be levelled to the ground. When they scurry down the mountain slopes, it will appear as if they are sliding down to the ground. These countless hordes of savages will attack the entire population on earth and none would be able to combat them. Allaah will command Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام to take refuge on Mount Toor with the Mu’mineen, while people in other parts of the world will seek shelter in fortresses and other places of safety. As their supplies run out, the necessities of life will become very expensive. The rest of the human population will be annihilated by these savages, who will even drink their rivers dry
5) It will be through the prayer of Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام and his companions that the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj will be destroyed all at once. The earth will be covered with their corpses and the stench from their decay will make life on earth very difficult
6) Again, it will be by the prayers of Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام and his companions that the corpses would be disposed of into the sea or made to disappear altogether. The whole earth will then be washed clean through by rains that would cover the earth
7) After that, there shall come a reign of peace lasting for nearly forty years. The earth will open the gates of its blessings and no one will remain poor and needy. No one will hurt or harass anyone and peace shall prevail throughout the world
8) During this period of peace, Hajj and Umrah will continue. Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام will travel to Baytullaah and to Madinah, where he will pass away. He will then be buried in the room where Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم is buried in a grave that is vacant at present
9) During the later period of his life, Rasulullaah صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم
was shown a dream that a hole had opened up in the wall of Dhul Qarnayn, which he declared to be a sign of impending evil for Arabia
10) After his descent, Hadhrat Isa عليه السلام will live for forty years. Hadhrat Mahdi t will also have lived for forty years before him, with some part of this time being spent together.