Lessons We Learn From Prophet Dhul Qarnain's Life

Abou Wael reported from Wahab that he said: "I read in some books that after Dhul Qarnain finished working on the dam he started his journey. As he was marching with his army he saw an old man praying. He stopped his soldiers till the man finished his prayer. Dhul Qarnain said to the man: "Why weren't you frightened of the soldiers that you saw?"

He said: "I was invocating my lord and he has more soldiers than you. He has a greater glory and power. If I had turned towards you, I wouldn't have earned what I sought from Him."

Dhul Qarnain said: "Can you go with me? I will treat you as equal to me and I would seek your aid with some matters of mine."

He said: "I accept if you guarantee four things for me: Eternal bliss; Health with no sickness; Youth with no aging; life without

t death."

Dhul Qarnain said: "What creature can provide you with this?"

He said: "I'm with the one who can give it to me and who owns it and owns you."


Then Dhul Qarnain passed by a knowledgeable man who asked him: "Tell me about two things that are standing still since Allah created them, two that are flowing, and two that detest each other."

He said: "The land and the sky are standing still since Allah created them. The two that are flowing are the sun and the moon. The two that are different are the day and night. The two that detest each other are death and life."

The man said: "Go. You are knowledgeable."


As Dhul Qarnain was traveling across lands he passed by an old man who was turning skulls of dead people left and right. He stopped by him with his soldiers and said to him: "O old man, why are you turning these skulls left and right?"

He said: "I'm trying to distinguish between the honored and the servile, the rich and the poor. Yet I couldn't even though I've been trying for twenty years." Dhul Qarnain completed the journey and left man and said: "You only meant me by that."


During the travel he passed by the just and knowledgeable nation of Moussa (pbuh) who guide by truth and by which they are just.

When he saw them he said to them:

"You people, tell me about you. I passed by all the areas of earth, the east and the west, the lands and the seas, the mountains and the valleys, the light and the darkness and yet I haven't seen people like you. Tell me. Why the graves of your dead are by your doors?"

They said: "So that we don't forget death."

He said: "Why your homes have no doors?"

They said: "There is no thief among us. All of us are trustful."

He said: "Why there are no princes among you?"

They said: "We don't oppress each other."

He said: "Why there are no judges among you?"

They said: "We never have disputes."

He said: "Why you have no kings?"

They said: "We don't gather in different groups."

He said: "Why you don't have different levels and ranks?"

They said: "Since the beginning we treat each other equally and with mercy."

He said: "Why you don't fight or argue?"

They said: "Since the beginning we have intimacy and love among each other."

He said: "Why there is no killing or kidnapping among you?"

They said: "Since the beginning we overcame our aggressive instincts with will and trained our souls on forbearance."

He said: "Your words are one and your way is straight?"

They said: "We don't lie, don't deceive and don't gossip on each other."

He said: "Why there are no poor or needy people among you?"

They said: "We split our shares equally since the beginning."

He said: "Why there are no rude people among you?"

They said: "We trained our souls on humbleness and humility since the beginning."

He said: "Why Allah allowed you to have such long ages?"

They said: "Since the beginning we only work with truth and justice."

He said: "Why you suffer no drought?"

They said: "Since the beginning we never forget to ask forgiveness."

He said: "Why you never suffer illness?"

They said: "Since the beginning we depend on and trust only Allah. We never seek any other means like stars and others."

He said: "Tell me what you saw your fathers doing?"

They said: "Our fathers were merciful to the poor among them. They used to solace the needy. They forgave who oppressed them. They were righteous to the ones who were evil to them. They asked forgiveness for the sinners among them. They visited their relatives. They saved their trusts. They were honest and they never lied. Thus Allah made good all their matters."

Thus Dhul Qarnain lived among them till he died in the age of five hundred. (1)


Dhul Qarnain said: "Don't think of the livelihood of tomorrow and don't delay the work of today till tomorrow. don't be saddened because of a matter you missed and be always kind, never a tyrant or arrogant." (2)


It was narrated that when Dhul Qarnain met Ibrahim Al-Khaleel, Ibrahim (pbuh) asked Dhul Qarnain: "How did you cross time?" He said: "By eleven words: Exalted is He who is eternal and never to perish;  Exalted is He who is knowledgeable who never forgets;  Exalted is He who is a conserver who never falls;  Exalted is He who is full of sight and never doubtful;  Exalted is He who is self-subsistent who never sleeps;  Exalted is He who is a king who can't be harmed;  Exalted is He who is glorious and never defeated;  Exalted is He who is veiled away from sight;  Exalted is He who is wide and never wearies;  Exalted is He who is straight never playing;  Exalted is He who is ever-persistent and never unaware."


(1) Bihar Al-Anwar Book 12/177

(2) Bihar Al-Anwar Book 12/188