Fitna (also transliterated fitnah or in the genitive case fitnat ; Arabic: فتنة, "sedition") is an Arabic word with connotations of secession, upheaval, and chaos. It is widely used in Arabic daily language as an adjective which refers to "causing problems between people" or attempting to create a chaotic situation that tests one's faith. The exact translation of this word is often ambiguous for non-Arabic speakers. The word fitna also has several similarities with the idea of tribulation in Christian belief.
The term originally referred to the refining of metal to remove dross but became common in apocalyptic writings and is often used to refer to the First Islamic civil war, in 656–661 AD, a prolonged struggle for the caliphate after the 656 assassination of the caliph Uthman ibn Affan. The Second Fitna, or Second Islamic civil war, is usually identified as the 683–685 AD conflict among the Umayyads for control of the caliphate. The third one refers to the taifas in the end of the Caliph of Córdoba's rule. The meaning of the term is illustrated in the apocalyptic literature by people under extreme moral and psychological stress to compromise an element of their faith in return for worldly gain, and sometimes in return for their lives. They are made to choose, often not knowing exactly what is good and what is evil.
Comparison of translation in Qur'an
The word fitna has also been translated to English in various ways by famous Qur'an translators. The verse 39 of surah 8 in Qur'an وَقَـٰتِلُوهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ وَيَڪُونَ ٱلدِّينُ ڪُلُّهُ ۥ لِلَّهِۚ فَإِنِ ٱنتَهَوۡاْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِمَا يَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ۬ (٣٩ contains the word fitna, typically translated as "persecution" (M.M. Pickthall), "tumult" (Yusuf Ali), or "temptation" (Abul Daryabi).
The Fitnah of Dajjal
The fitnah of the Dajjal according to the Hadith will be the greatest fitnah ever convincing in the world. It said that the Dajjal will come to earth and become king, savior, and messiah for those who are blinded by the world's dirtiness and not seeking protection from God. Dajjal would bring to them hell and heaven, in which hell looks like heaven for them, and heaven looks like hell. According to Muslim scholars, this meant that in the end of the world, sins would be as pleasure as heaven, and walking in the true path of God would be like hell.
And the Prophet said “Like the clouds when they are driven by the wind. He will come to some people and call them, and they will believe in him and respond to him. Then he will command the sky to rain, and the earth to bring forth vegetation, and their cattle will come back to them in the evening, with their humps very high, and their udders full of milk, and their flanks stretched. Then he will come to another people and will call them, but they will reject him. So he will leave them and they will be stricken with famine, with none of their wealth in their hands. He will pass by ruins and will say, ‘Bring forth your treasure!’ – and the treasure will follow him like a swarm of bees. Then he will call a man who is brimming with youth, and will strike him with a sword and cut him in two, then (he will put the pieces apart from one another) the distance of an archer from his target. Then he will call him, and the young man will come forward smiling, with his face shining.” (Shahih Muslim, 7015)
Al-Bukhaari narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, that this man whom the Dajjal kill will be one of the best people, who will go out to the Dajjal from the city of the Messenger of God, and will say to the Dajjal, “I bear witness that you are the Dajjaal of whom the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us.”The Dajjal will say (to the people): “What do you think – if I kill this man then bring him back to life, will you have any doubts?” They will say, “No.” So he will kill him, then bring him back to life. Then he (the believer) will say, “By Allah, I have never been more sure about you than I am today.” The Dajjal would kill him but will not be permitted to. (Shahih Bukhari 6599)
Islam preaches their believers to always fear Allah and not follow the Dajjal's way. Narrated that Dajjal would come to earth to spread lies, slander, hatred, lack of intelligence, laziness and other bad deeds in order to convince the world to the way of Satan and bring all human beings as much as he can to hell.
Many sources of Islamic scholars belief that the followers of Dajjal are already spreading their preachings and are preparing for the arrival of their Messiah to the world.
|Look up fitna or sedition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Arab-English Lexicon, Lane, E.: a burning of fire, a melting of (metals) in order to distinguish the bad from the good, a means whereby the condition of aman is evinced in respect of good or evil, punishment, chastisement, conflict among people, faction and sedition, discord, dissension, difference of opinions, a misleading, causing to err, seduction, temptation.
- David Cook. Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic. Darwin Press, March 1, 2003 (ISBN 0-87850-142-8)
- Shahih Muslim. Book 41. Number 7015. http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/muslim/041.smt.html#041.7015
- Shahih Bukhari. Vol. 3. Book 30. Number 106 http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/030.sbt.html#003.030.106