Al-Masih ad-Dajjal

Al-Masih ad-Dajjal (Arabic: المسيح الدجّالAl-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, "the false messiah, liar, the deceiver") is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology. He is said to have come from a number of different locations, but generally from the East, usually between Syria and Iran, comparable to Christian understanding of the appearance of the Antichrist in Christian eschatology.[1] Some contemporary views describe him as a system rather than an individual.

Name[edit]

Dajjāl (Arabic: دجال‎) means "deceiver" and comes from Classical Syriac: daggala‎.[2] Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, with the definite article al- ("the"), refers to "the deceiving Messiah", a specific end times deceiver. The Dajjāl is an evil being who will seek to impersonate the true Messiah.

Characteristics[edit]

A number of locations are associated with the emergence of the Dajjal, but usually, he emerges from the East. He is usually described as blind in one eye, however, which eye, is disputed. Possessing a defective eye is often regarded as giving more powers to achieve evil goals.[3] As a false Messiah, it is believed that many will be deceived by him and join his ranks, among the Jews, Bedouin, but also Turks, weavers, magicians, Uzbeks, half-castes and children of prostitutes will follow him. Further he is assisted by an army of demons. Nevertheless, the most reliable supporters will be the Jews, to whom he will be the incarnation of God. The notion of Jews as majority of Dajjals' followers is probably a remnant from Christian Antichrist legends.[4] The Dajjal will be able to perform miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead (although only supported by his demonic followers it seems to happen), causing the earth to grow vegetation, causing livestock to prosper and to die and stopping the sun's movement.[4] His miracles resemble those performed by Jesus. The relation between them is obscure. In one tradition, Muhammad saw Jesus circumambulating the Kaaba, the Dajjal following him, depicting the Dajjal as an evil shadowy Doppelganger of the real Jesus. At the end, the Dajjal will be killed by Jesus. In many versions by Jesus' simply looking at him, indicating, he is indeed merely a shadow of Jesus without any independent existence.[5] Similar to the ambiguous status of Jesus in the Quran, who is not divine, but nevertheless more than a human and it seems more than a usual prophet. Comparably the nature of the Dajjal is ambiguous as well. Although the nature of his birth indicates that the first generations of apocalyptists regarded him as human, he is also identified rather as a demon (shaytan) in human form in Islamic traditions.[6]

Hadith[edit]

According to hadith, Muhammad prophesied that the Masih ad-Dajjal would be the last of a series of thirty Dajjal or "deceivers".[7]

  • Muhammad is reported to have said:

If he comes forth while I am among you I shall be the one who will dispute with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth when I am not among you, a man must dispute on his own behalf, and Allah will take my place in looking after every Muslim. Those of you who live up to his time should recite over him the opening verses of Surat al–Kahf, for they are your protection from his trial. We asked: How long will he remain on the earth? He replied: Forty days, one like a year, one like a month, one like a week, and rest of his days like yours. We asked: Messenger of Allah, will one day's prayer suffice us in this day which will be like a year? He replied: No, you must make an estimate of its extent. Then prophet Isa son of Maryam will descend at the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will then catch him up at the gate of Ludd and kill him.[8]

  • Muhammad is reported to have said:

The flourishing state of Jerusalem will be when Yathrib is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the great war comes, the outbreak of the great war will be at the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when the Dajjal (Antichrist) comes forth. He (the Prophet) struck his thigh or his shoulder with his hand and said: This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting (meaning Mu'adh ibn Jabal).[9]

Signs of coming of Al-Masih ad-Dajjal[edit]

Hadith attributed to Muhammad give many signs of the appearance of the Dajjal who would travel the whole world entering every city except Mecca and Medina.[10][11] Muhammad exhorted his followers to recite the first and last ten verses of Sura Al-Kahf (chapter 18 in the Qur'an), as protection from the trials and mischief of the Dajjal.[12][13] The following signs are ascribed to Ali in the coming of Dajjal:[12]

  • People will stop offering the prayers
  • Dishonesty will be the way of life
  • Falsehood will become a virtue
  • People will mortgage their faith for worldly gain
  • Usury and bribery will become legitimate
  • There will be acute famine at the time
  • There will be no shame amongst people
  • Many people will worship Satan
  • There will be no respect for elderly people
  • People will start killing each other without any reason[14]

Signs of emergence[edit]

The following signs are said to occur just before emergence and these signs are mandatory condition for Dajjal to appear.

Eschatology[edit]

Sunni eschatology[edit]

The Minaret of 'Isa (Jesus) in the Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria

Some Sunni Muslims believe that Jesus (or 'Isa in Arabic) will descend on Mount Afeeq,[citation needed] on the white Eastern Minaret of Damascus [the Minaret of 'Isa in the Umayyad Mosque]. He will descend from the heavens with his hands resting on the shoulders of two angels.[16] His cheeks will be flat and his hair straight. When he lowers his head it will seem as if water is flowing from his hair, when he raises his head, it will appear as though his hair is beaded with silvery pearls.[17] He will descend during Fajr (sunrise prayer) and the leader of the Muslims will address him thus, "O' Prophet of Allah (God), lead the prayer." 'Isa will decline with the words, "The virtue of this nation that follows Islam is that they lead each other." Implying that he will pray behind the imam [the man that leads the prayings (Mahdi)] as the word of Allah (God) was completed after revelation of Qur'an and Muhammad being the last prophet of Allah (God).[17]

After the prayer, 'Isa will prepare himself to do battle and shall take up a sword. An army shall return from a campaign launched before the arrival of 'Isa. 'Isa shall set out in pursuit of Dajjal. All those who embraced the evil of Dajjal shall perish even as the breath of Isa touches them. The breath of 'Isa shall precede him as far as the eye can see and the Dajjal will be captured at the gate of Lod. Then, Dajjal shall begin to melt, as salt dissolves in water. The spear of 'Isa shall plunge into Dajjal's chest, ending his dreaded reign.[18][19] The supporters of Dajjal will be rooted out, for even the trees and rocks will speak out against them. 'Isa will break the cross, kill the swine (pig) (not to be mistaken for an animal but rather a sinful creature be it man or not, the follower of sin) and save humanity. Then all battles shall cease and the world will know an age of peace. The rule of 'Isa will be just and all shall flock to him to enter the folds of the one true religion, Islam.

Ahmadiyya eschatology[edit]

Identification of the Dajjal[edit]

Prophecies concerning the emergence of the Dajjal are interpreted in Ahmadiyya teachings as designating a specific group of nations centred upon a false theology (or Christology) instead of an individual, with reference to the Dajjal in the singular indicating its unity as a system rather than its personal individuality. In particular, Ahmadis identify the Dajjal collectively with the missionary expansion and colonial dominance of European Christianity throughout the world, a development which had begun soon after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople, with the Age of Discovery in the 15th century and accelerated by the Industrial Revolution.[20][21][22][23][24] As with other eschatological themes, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, wrote extensively on this topic.

The identification of the Dajjal, principally with colonial missionaries was drawn by Ghulam Ahmad through linking the hadith traditions about him with certain Quranic passages such as, inter alia, the description in the hadith of the emergence of the Dajjal as the greatest tribulation since the creation of Adam, taken in conjunction with the Quran's description of the deification of Jesus as the greatest abomination; the warning only against the putative lapses of the Jews and Christians in Al-Fatiha—the principal Islamic prayer—and the absence therein of any warning specifically against the Dajjal; a prophetic hadith which prescribed the recitation of the opening and closing ten verses of chapter eighteen of the Quran, (Al-Kahf) as a safeguard against the mischief of the Dajjal, the former of which speak of a people “who assign a son to God” and the latter, of those whose lives are entirely given to the pursuit and manufacture of material goods; and descriptions of the period of the Dajjal's reign as coinciding with the dominance of Christianity.[25][26] The attributes of the Dajjal as described in the hadith literature are thus taken as symbolic representations and interpreted in a way which would make them compatible with Quranic readings and not compromise the inimitable attributes of God in Islam. The Dajjal being blind in his right eye while being sharp and oversized in his left, for example, is indicative of being devoid of religious insight and spiritual understanding, but excellent in material and scientific attainment.[27] Similarly, the Dajjal not entering Mecca and Medina is interpreted with reference to the failure of colonial missionaries in reaching these two places.[28]

Defeat of the Dajjal[edit]

The defeat of the Dajjal in Ahmadi eschatology is to occur by force of argument and by the warding off of its mischief through the very advent of the Messiah rather than through physical warfare,[29][30] with the Dajjal's power and influence gradually disintegrating and ultimately allowing for the recognition and worship of God along Islamic ideals to prevail throughout the world in a period similar to the period of time it took for nascent Christianity to rise through the Roman Empire (see Seven Sleepers).[31] In particular, the teaching that Jesus was a mortal man who survived crucifixion and died a natural death, as propounded by Ghulam Ahmad, has been seen by some scholars as a move to neutralise Christian soteriologies of Jesus and to project the superior rationality of Islam.[32][33][34][35] The 'gate of Lud' (Bāb al-Ludd) spoken of in the hadith literature as the site where the Dajjal is to be slain (or captured)[36] is understood in this context as indicating the confutation of Christian proclaimants by way of disputative engagement in light of the Quran (19:97). The hadith has also been exteriorly linked with Ludgate in London, the westernmost point where Paul of Tarsus—widely believed by Muslims to be the principal corrupter of Jesus’ original teachings—is thought to have preached according to the Sonnini Manuscript of the Acts of the Apostles and other ecclesiastical works predating its discovery. Upon his arrival in London in 1924, Ghulam Ahmad's son and second Successor, Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud proceeded directly to this site and led a lengthy prayer outside the entrance of St Paul's Cathedral before laying the foundation for a mosque in London.[37][38]

Contemporary views[edit]

View of the Sea of Galilee from space, the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake after the Dead Sea.

Certain modern scholars viewed Dajjal as a system and not an individual. Scholars and eschatologists such as Imran N. Hosein and Bangladesh's Mufti Qazi Ibrahim viewed Gog and Magog as the army of Dajjal. The Vikings appeared in the 790s (a century after the dream of the Islamic prophet Muhammad about the wall of Yajuj and Majooj) until the Norman conquest of England in 1066, which is commonly known as the Viking Age.[39] The Normans were descended from Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France—the Duchy of Normandy—in the 10th century. In that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to have large impact in Europe, ultimately creating the Industrial revolution, introducing Darwinism and establishing the world's largest empire, the British Empire, whose conquests, hegemony and revolutions caused the decline of the Islamic Gunpowders and various Muslims sultanates, i.e. Mughal India and the major economic powers of the Nawabs of Bengal and Tipu Sultan.[40][41]

An additional narration related by Bukhari states that the Companions of the Prophet claimed to have come across a flag. The Prophet Muhammad asked him to describe it and he said it resembled a striped colored cloth. He replied, “You saw it so?” In another relation he said, “I saw it as if it were a striped colored cloth of which part of it was black and part of it was red, and the Prophet replied, “You have seen it.” The narration refers to the future British flag according to contemporary scholars.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 94
  2. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 93
  3. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 99
  4. ^ a b David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 100
  5. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 104
  6. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 102
  7. ^ Hughes, Patrick T. (1996). A Dictionary of Islam. Laurier Books. p. 64. ISBN 9788120606722. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  8. ^ Sunan Abi Dawud 4321, In-book reference: Book 39, Hadith 31, English translation: Book 38, Hadith 4307
  9. ^ a b Sunan Abi Dawud 4294, In-book reference: Book 39, Hadith 4, English translation: Book 38, Hadith 4281, Hasan
  10. ^ Hamid, F.A. (2008). 'The Futuristic Thought of Ustaz Ashaari Muhammad of Malaysia', p. 209, in I. Abu-Rabi' (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, pp.195-212
  11. ^ "Book 29, Hadith - Book of Virtues of Madinah - Sahih al-Bukhari - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". sunnah.com. Archived from the original on 5 September 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b Bilgrami, Sayed Tahir (2005). "6". Essence of Life, A translation of Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 104.
  13. ^ Collected by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri Sahih Muslim Sahih Muslim, 41:7007
  14. ^ https://penchalk.com/who-is-dajjal-the-false-messiah/
  15. ^ Sahih Muslim English reference: Book 41, Hadith 7028; Arabic reference: Book 55, Hadith 7573, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Elias, Mufti A.H. "Jesus (Isa) A.S. in Islam, and his Second Coming". Islam.tc. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  17. ^ a b "The descension of Sayyidena Eesa". Muslimaccess.com. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  18. ^ Sahih Muslim, 41:7023
  19. ^ Ali, Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair. "Who is the evil Dajjal (the "anti-Christ")?". Islam.tc. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  20. ^ Glassé, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. Altamira Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-7591-0190-6.
  21. ^ Jonker, Gerdien (2015). The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress: Missionizing Europe 1900-1965. Brill Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-90-04-30529-8.
  22. ^ Valentine, Simon (2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8.
  23. ^ Malik Ghulam Farid, et al. Al-Kahf, The Holy Quran with English Translation and Commentary Vol. III, p.1479
  24. ^ Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog Archived 1 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām
  25. ^ Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, (2005), The Essence of Islam, Vol. III Archived 11 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Tilford: Islam International, p.290
  26. ^ Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog Archived 1 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām, pp.12-14
  27. ^ Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog Archived 1 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām, pp.19-20
  28. ^ Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, (2005), The Essence of Islam, Vol. III Archived 11 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Tilford: Islam International, p.290
  29. ^ Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog Archived 1 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām, pp.57-60
  30. ^ Mirza Masroor Ahmad, (2006). Conditions of Bai'at and Responsibilities of an Ahmadi Archived 28 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Surrey: Islam International, p.184
  31. ^ Valentine, Simon (2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. pp. 148–9. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8.
  32. ^ Francis Robinson.‘The British Empire and the Muslim World' in Judith Brown, Wm Roger Louis (ed) The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume IV: The Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 411. "At their most extreme religious strategies for dealing with the Christian presence might involve attacking Christian revelation at its heart, as did the Punjabi Muslim, Ghulam Ahmad (d. 1908), who founded the Ahmadiyya missionary sect. He claimed that he was the messiah of the Jewish and Muslim tradition; the figure known as Jesus of Nazareth had not died on the cross but survived to die in Kashmir."
  33. ^ Yohanan Friedmann. Prophecy Continuous: Aspects of Ahmadi Religious Thought and its Medieval Background Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 114. "He [Ghulam Ahmad] realized the centrality of the crucifixion and of the doctrine of vicarious atonement in the Christian dogma, and understood that his attack on these two was an attack on the innermost core of Christianity "
  34. ^ Kambiz GhaneaBassiri. A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order Cambridge University Press, 2010, p. 208. "Ghulam Ahmad denied the historicity of Jesus' crucifixion and claimed that Jesus had fled to India where he died a natural death in Kashmir. In this way, he sought to neutralize Christian soteriologies of Christ and to demonstrate the superior rationality of Islam."
  35. ^ Valentine, Simon (2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8. "Proclaiming himself as reformer of Islam, and wanting to undermine the validity of Christianity, Ahmad went for the theological jugular, the foundational teachings of the Christian faith. 'The death of Jesus Christ' explained one of Ahmad's biographers ‘was to be the death-knell of the Christian onslaught against Islam'. As Ahmad argued, the idea of Jesus dying in old age, rather than death on a cross, as taught by the gospel writers, 'invalidates the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of Atonement'."
  36. ^ 'Gate of Lud' Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nishapuri. Sahih Muslim. Of the Turmoil & Portents of the Last Hour. No 7015
  37. ^ Geaves, Ron (2017). Islam and Britain: Muslim Mission in an Age of Empire. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4742-7173-8.
  38. ^ Shahid, Dost Mohammad, Tarikh e Ahmadiyyat vol IV. Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine p446.
  39. ^ Peter Sawyer, The Viking Expansion, The Cambridge History of Scandinavia, Issue 1 (Knut Helle, ed., 2003), p. 105.
  40. ^ Rudolf Simek, "the emergence of the viking age: circumstances and conditions", "The vikings first Europeans VIII–XI century—the new discoveries of archaeology", other, 2005, pp. 24–25
  41. ^ François-Xavier Dillmann, "Viking civilisation and culture. A bibliography of French-language", Caen, Centre for research on the countries of the North and Northwest, University of Caen, 1975, p. 19, and "Les Vikings: the Scandinavian and European 800–1200", 22nd exhibition of art from the Council of Europe, 1992, p. 26

External links[edit]