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Al-Masih ad-Dajjal (Arabic: المسيح الدجّال Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, "the false messiah, liar, the deceiver") is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology. He is to appear, pretending to be al-Masih (i.e. the Messiah), before Yawm al-Qiyamah (the Day of Resurrection). He is an anti-messianic figure, comparable to the Antichrist in Christian eschatology and to Armilus in medieval Jewish eschatology.
Dajjāl (Arabic: دجال) is an adjective of Syriac origin. It is also a common Arabic superlative form of the root word dajl meaning "lie" or "deception". 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.
The name Dajjal also is rooted in an Arabic word dajel, which means "to gold plate" or "to coat in gold". It is derived from word meaning "to mix".
- Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said:
Note: reference does not match the quoted text.
Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape.
Ali was reported to have said:
His right eye will be punctured, and his left eye would be raised to his forehead and will be sparkling like a star. Only the believers will be able to read the word "Kafir" [disbeliever], inscribed in bold letters, on his forehead. There will be big mountains of smoke at both front and backsides of his caravan. People will anticipate food within those mountains, during the severe famine. All rivers, falling in his way, will become dry and he will call upon people in a loud voice, "O my friends come to me! I am your lord who has made your limbs and given you sustenance."
- Prophet 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 Jesus son of Mary 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.
- Prophet 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).
Signs of coming of Al-Masih ad-Dajjal
Hadith attributed to Prophet Muhammad give many signs of the appearance of the Dajjal who would travel the whole world entering every city except Mecca and Medina. Prophet Muhammad exhorted his supporters 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. The following signs are ascribed to Ali in the coming of Dajjal:
- 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
Signs of emergence
The following signs will occur just before emergence and these signs are mandatory condition for Dajjal to appear.
- Drying up of Sea of Galilee.
- When date-palm trees of Baisan stop bearing fruit.
- Worship of Satan becomes common.
- The conquest of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey) by the Islamic Caliphate.
- He will do miracles and yield resources (minerals, food) from land by his power.
- He will lay siege across the world except the Islamic holy cities (Makkah and Medina).
- He will alter the coastal tides and bring chilled winds across the Red Sea.
- He would be recognisable by a true believer of Islam (aka; a mumin).
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Sunni Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus (Isa) will descend on Mount Afeeq, on the white Eastern Minaret of Damascus. He will descend from the heavens with his hands resting on the shoulders of two angels. 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. He will descend during Fajr (sunrise) and the leader of the Muslims will address him thus, "O' Prophet of 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 God was completed after revelation of Qur'an and Muhammad being the last prophet of God.
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. Dajjal will be captured at the gate of Lod. Dajjal shall begin to melt, as salt dissolves in water. The spear of Isa shall plunge into Dajjal’s chest, ending his dreaded reign. 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 Dajjal and save the 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.
Prophecies concerning the emergence of the Dajjal are interpreted in Ahmadiyya teachings as designating a specific group of nations centred upon falsehood instead of an individual, with the reference to the Dajjal as an individual indicating its unity as a class or 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. As with other eschatological themes, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote extensively on this topic. In defining the word dajjal he wrote:
Then understand, my dear ones, that it has been disclosed to me that the reference to the Antichrist as one individual is not designed to indicate his personal individuality, but his unity as a class, meaning thereby that in that class there will be a unity of ideas as is, indeed, indicated by the word dajjāl itself and in this name there are many Signs for those who reflect. The meaning of the word dajjāl is a chain of deceptive ideas, the links of which are so attached to each other as if it was a structure of equal-sized bricks of the same colour, quality and strength, some of them firmly overlapping others and further strengthened by being plastered from outside.
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 the period of the Dajjal’s reign coinciding with the dominance of Christianity. 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 seen as indicative of being devoid of religious insight and spiritual understanding but excellent in material and scientific attainment, with the right eye representing godliness and spirituality, and the left eye representing worldliness. Similarly, the Dajjal not entering Mecca and Medina is interpreted with reference to the failure of colonial missionaries in reaching these two places.
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 coming of the Messiah, rather than by physical warfare; 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. 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. 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) is seen, in this context, as indicating the confutation of Christian proclaimants by way of disputation in light of the Quran ( ), and 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.
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