Regarding the Atlantean giants in the Tenth Stanza, H.P. Blavatsky stated, "The Giants of old are all buried under the Oceans, and hundreds of thousands of years of constant friction by water would reduce to dust and pulverize a brazen, far more a human skeleton." Further, "Of Giants who were 'in the earth in those days' of old, the Bible alone had spoken to the wise men of the West." But it is not only the Bible; the Surahs in the Quran also speak of the "Giants of old." It is surprising that so little attention has been given to the Atlantis story in Islam. When one thinks of Atlantis, one usually turns to Plato in The Laws or the Critias. In The Laws 4.677, the "human race has been repeatedly annihilated by floods, and plagues and many other causes, so that only a small fraction of it survived [ed.the four main cataclysms over the last 4-5 million years]." In the Critias 4b, Atlantis is settled by Poseidon's children "born to him by a mortal woman in a particular district of it [ed. the district being in the northern Atlantic Ocean and the children being the Fourth Root-Race]." But the Islamic legends are just as fascinating as the Greek legends. There was a major civilization preceding the current one built by races of giants who were destroyed by environmental cataclysms as punishment for their wrong doings.
In the Quran, Surah 89.6-13 outlines the destruction of portions of Atlantis, "Hast thou not considered how thy Lord dealt with 'Ad, (Of) Iram, having lofty buildings, the like of which were not created in the land; and (with) Thamud, who hewed out rocks in the valley; and Pharaoh, the lord of hosts, who exceeded limits in the cities, and made great mischief? So thy Lord poured on them a portion of chastisement." So, the 'Ad, the Thamud, and the ancient Egyptians are all Atlanteans. It is their descendants who establish the dynastic rule of the Pharaohs. As Thomas Patrick Hughes wrote under the sub-heading of "Genii" in the Dictionary of Islam, "It is commonly believed that the preadamite Jinn were governed by forty (or according to some, seventy-two) kings, to each of whom the Arab writers give the name Sulaiman (Solomon); and that they derive their appellation from the last of these, who was called Jann bin Jann, and who, some say, built the Pyramids of Egypt." With Egypt being tied to one of the last bastions of Atlantean power, Islam is a treasure-trove that must not be overlooked.
In the Quran, these ancient tribes of giants are wiped out through environmental calamities. The 'Ad and the Thamud are destroyed first and the Egyptians affected later. Surah 69.4-9 warns, "Thamud and 'Ad called the calamity a lie. Then as for the Thamud, they were destroyed by the severe punishment. And as for the 'Ad, they were destroyed by a roaring, violent wind, which He made to prevail against them for seven nights and eight days continuously, so that thou mightiest have seen the people therein prostrate as it they are trunks of hollow palm trees. So canst thou see a remnant of them? And Pharaoh and those before him and the overthrown cities wrought evil." In The History 2:42, the Thamud are the people to whom Allah granted "long life in this world" and made "their lives invulnerable." They used their skills "to make houses out of the mountains" and "they lived in comfort therein." But even in their mountain abodes they cannot survive the cataclysm. The 'Ad perish as well. In The History 2:39-40, "When 'Ad were unbelievers, they were smitten with a drought so terrible that they became extremely exhausted. For Hud prayed for their misfortune and God sent them the barren wind, that is, the wind that does not pollinate trees . . . The wind went on punishing them for 'seven long nights and eight grueling days.' It wiped out everything in its path . . . Whoever was not in a house was blown by the wind until it split the mountains with him, and thus all of them were destroyed." Some of the 'Ad survive. Their descendants are the Nabateans.
The Atlantean folklore maneuvered its way into The Arabian Nights. The Mahdi edition is the definitive Arabic edition of the 14th century AD Syrian manuscipt, which is the oldest surviving collection of the tales. It is the record of human history when Atlantean giants and modern humans share the globe. The tale begins with an homage to the destruction of the 'Ad, the Thamud, and the Pharaoh. Subsequently, Shahrazad embarks on her successive nights of storytelling. During the twentieth night on page 63 when she resumes her never-ending web of tales to save the kingdom and her own neck from the tyrannical king, Shahrazad gives a description of the Atlanteans, "They saw a black slave who stood like a towering mountain as a giant descendant of the tribe of 'Ad. He was as tall as a reed, as wide as a stone bench." According to her, his language is unpleasant and entirely different. In The Secret Doctrine 2:198-199, language is "monosyllabic" at the close of the Third Root-Race and a combination of monosyllabic and "agglutinative" in the Fourth Root Race. Perhaps Shahrazad found the combination vexatious.
The Jews, as captives in Egypt, carried down stories of these giants through their oral and written traditions. In Mecca and Eden on page 62, Brannon Wheeler referenced the story of Titus Flavius Josephus (1st century AD) who mentioned a place "near Hebron where the Israelites are said to have destroyed a race of giants" who "by reason of their huge frames and figures were in no way like the rest of humanity." The subject of giants appears in Deuteronomy 2.20-21, "That was also regarded as a land of giants . . . the Ammonites call them Zamzummim. A people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim But the Lord destroyed them." In The History 2:20, Syria had been called "the land of the Canaanites"--the home of a giant people--but the children of Israel "came and slew them there and drove them off." With these stories, the metaphorical connotations for the Jewish captivity in Egypt becomes evident. The Jewish captivity in Egypt is a metaphor for the close of that period in human history when giants dominated the Earth and modern-sized humans were second-class. While Moses overthrew the ruler of the Pharaonic Egyptians, he himself was a giant who could not live to see the Promised Land brought on by the future, more spiritually enlightened, Sub-Races of the Fourth and Fifth Root-Races.
Finally, there is no better fable than al-Tabari's account of Lot and his wife in Sodom at the time of the Atlantean destruction. In The History 2:119-125, "When the appointed hour of destruction came, Gabriel picked up their land with his wing and turned it over. He lifted it so high that the inhabitants of heaven heard the crowing of the roosters and the barking of the dogs. 'He turned them upside down and rained upon them stones of clay.'" The stones of clay continued to rain down on the survivors scattered across the globe even after the deceased were "under the earth."
Maulana Muhammad Ali, trans., The Holy Quran (Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam Lahore Inc., 2002).
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).
William Brinner, trans., The History of al-Tabari, Vol. 2 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987).
Husain Haddawy, trans., The Arabian Nights (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1990).
Thomas Patrick Hughes, Dictionary of Islam (Chicago: KAZI Publications, Inc., 1994).
Plato, The Laws, trans. Trevor J. Saunders (London: Penguin Books, 2004).
Plato, Timaeus and Critias, trans. Desmond Lee (London: Penguin Books, 1977).
Brannon Wheeler, Mecca and Eden: Ritual, Relics, and Territory in Islam (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2006).
(Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)