Masih ad-Dajjal

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Al-Masih ad-Dajjal (Arabic: المسيح الدجّالAl-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, "the false messiah"), is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology.[1] He is to appear pretending to be the Masih (i.e. the Messiah) at a time in the future, before Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection), and is comparable to the Antichrist and Armilus in Christian and medieval Jewish eschatology, respectively.

Name[edit]

Dajjāl is an adjective of Syriac origin.[2] It is also a common Arabic word (دجال) whose root is dajl meaning "lie" or "deception". Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, with the definite article al- ("the"), refers to "the deceiving Messiah", a specific end-of 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 coat in gold.

Hadith[edit]

According to hadith, Muhammad is said to have prophesied that the Masih ad-Dajjal would be the last of a series of thirty Dajjal or "deceivers" .[3]

  • Muhammad is reported to have said:

...Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape.[4]

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said. "While I was sleeping, I saw myself (in a dream) performing Tawaf around the Ka'ba. Behold, I saw a reddish-white man with lank hair, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, "Who is this?' They replied, 'The son of Mary.' Then I turned my face to see another man with a huge body, red complexion and curly hair and blind in one eye. His eye looked like a protruding out grape. They said (to me), he is Ad-Dajjal." The Prophet added, "The man he resembled most is Ibn Qatan, a man from the tribe of Khuza'a."[5]

Narrated Ibn Umar: Once Allah's Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved. Then, mentioning Dajjal, he said, "I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed."[6]

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.[7]

  • Anas b. Malik reported that Allah's Messenger said: There is never a prophet who has not warned the Ummah of that one-eyed liar; behold he is one-eyed and your Lord is not one-eyed. On his forehead are the letters k. f. r. (Kafir).[8]

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

Hadith attributed to Muhammad give many signs of the appearance of the Dajjal, and 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.[7][8]

The following signs are ascribed to Ali in the coming of Dajjal:[7]

  • 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 would worship Satan
  • There would be no respect for elderly people

Other Traits of Dajjal[edit]

  • He will be a man with powerful built, curly hair and only a true believer can recognize him.
  • He (Dajjal) will be followed by seventy thousand Jews wearing black shawls from Isfahan.
  • He will claim to be Creator/God and will challenge major religious institutions of the world.
  • He will traverse all the cities of the world, except Mecca and Medina (as they are guarded by angels).
  • He shall not have any children.
  • He shall be a Jew.
  • He would possibly be considered as Jesus (with powers of God) by Christians, Mahdi by Shia's, and Messiah by Jews.[9][unreliable source?]

Signs of emergence[edit]

  • Drying up of Sea of Galilee.
  • When date-palm trees of Baisan stop bearing fruit (Sahih Muslim English reference : Book 41, Hadith 7028; Arabic reference : Book 55, Hadith 7573)[10]
  • Worship of satan becomes common.

Eschatology[edit]

It was narrated that Abu Bakr Siddiq said: "The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) told us: 'Dajjal will emerge in a land in the east called Khorasan, and will be followed by people with faces like hammered shields.'"[11] and will travel the whole world preaching his falsehood, but will be unable to enter Mecca or Medina.[4] Isa (Jesus) will return and the Dajjal will gather an army of 70,000 Jews from Isfahan, of those he has deceived and lead them in a war against Jesus who shall be accompanied by an army of the righteous, along with Imam Mahdi.

Differing views[edit]

Sunni beliefs[edit]

Sunni Muslims believe that Isa (Latinized as Jesus) 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[13]

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 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.[14][15] The followers of Dajjal will be rooted out, for even the trees and rocks will speak out against them. Isa will break the cross and kill the pig (the animal). 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.

Shīa beliefs[edit]

Some Shias believe that Dajjal will be killed by Muhammad al-Mahdi.[16][17]

Ahmadiyya beliefs[edit]

The Ahmadiyya teachings interpret the prophecies regarding the appearance of the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and Gog and Magog in Islamic eschatology as foretelling the emergence of two branches or aspects of the same turmoil and trial that was to be faced by Islam in the latter days and that both emerged from Christianity or Christian nations. Its Dajjal aspect relates to deception and perversion of religious belief while its aspect to do with disturbance in the realm of politics and the shattering of world peace has been called Gog and Magog. Thus Ahmadis consider the widespread Christian missionary activity that was 'aggressively' active in the 18th and 19th centuries as being part of the prophesied Dajjal (Antichrist) and Gog and Magog emerging in modern times out of Christian nations. Accordingly, the emergence of the Soviet Union and the USA as superpowers and the conflict between the two nations (i.e., the rivalry between communism and capitalism) are seen as having occurred in accordance with certain prophecies regarding Gog and Magog.[18] Thus, Ahmadis believe that prophecies and sayings about the Antichrist are not to be interpreted literally. They have deeper meanings. Masih ad-Dajjal is then a name given to latter day Christianity and the west.[19]

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement writes extensively about dajjal in his books, in Shahādat-ul-Qurān, which is briefly mentioned in a topic-based, five-volume collection of his writings titled "Essence of Islam", he states:

"The Holy Qur’an then specifies that in the latter days the Christians will dominate the earth, and they shall be the cause of all kinds of mischief running rampant. Waves of calamities will rise on all sides and will race down from every height….They will possess great material strength and dominion, against which all other powers and states will seem powerless. They will also enjoy supremacy in all kinds of knowledge and sciences and establish new and wonderful industries. They will also be dominant in their policies, projects, and good administration, and will show great resolve in their worldly enterprises and will also excel in their endeavour to spread their faith. They will leave behind all other nations in their social, agricultural and commercial policies, as indeed in everything else." Shahādat-ul-Qurān , page 361-362[20]

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad gives a more direct definition of the meaning of Dajjal:

"As to the Antichrist, now listen, I will explain to you the reality on the basis of the clear and pure revelation that I have received. 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 Dajjal itself and in this name there are many Signs for those who reflect. The meaning of the word Dajjal 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."[21]

Thus essentially the Dajjal is not believed to be a physical person or an individual but as representing a collectivity of people who would pose a great challenge to Islam; it is, essentially, a name given to the European nations of the latter days. In contrast to mainstream Muslims who believe Jesus to be still alive and one who would return himself towards the end of time, Ahmadis believe that Jesus is not alive but survived crucifixion and died a natural death.[22][23] The prophecies concerning the second coming of Jesus are thus interpreted as the coming of one from within Islam in the likeness of Jesus, who will correct the doctrines of Christianity which from the perspective of Islam are deemed erroneous and establish the truth of Islam to the world especially as against western scientific and philosophical ideals. Ahmadis believe their founder Ghulam Ahmad to have fulfilled in his person the prophecies of the second advent of Jesus by representing Islam in its pristine form and having revived the high morals it inculcates. Moreover, Ahmadi Muslims also believe the "Promised Messiah" and the " Mahdi" are the same person, and that it is through his teachings, influence and prayers and those of his followers that Islam will overcome the Anti-Christ or Dajjal in a period similar to the period of time it took for nascent Christianity to rise (see also: Ahmadiyya relationship with Christianity); and that the Dajjal's power will slowly fade away, heralding the prophecised final victory of Islam and the age of peace. They also believe that the 'Gate of Lud' mentioned in certain hadith refers to Ludgate where St Paul is thought to have preached the message of Christianity according to the Sonnini Manuscript of the Acts of the Apostles.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Al-Dajjāl, p. 43.
  2. ^ The Continuum History of Apocalypticism, edited by Bernard McGinn et al, The Continuum International publishing group Inc., 15 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010, Published 2003, ISBN 0-8264-1520-2, 677 pages, page 387.
  3. ^ Hughes, Patrick T. (1996). A Dictionary of Islam. Laurier Books. p. 64. ISBN 9788120606722. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  4. ^ a b Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:30:105
  5. ^ Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:88:242
  6. ^ Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:55:553
  7. ^ a b c Bilgrami, Sayed Tahir (2005). "6". Essence of Life, A translation of Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 104. 
  8. ^ a b Collected by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri Sahih Muslim Sahih Muslim, 41:7007
  9. ^ http://www.discoveringislam.org/anti-christ.htm
  10. ^ http://www.hadithcollection.com/sahihmuslim/169-Sahih%20Muslim%20Book%2041.%20Turmoil%20And%20Portents%20Of%20The%20Last%20Hour/15268-sahih-muslim-book-041-hadith-number-7028.html
  11. ^ http://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/36/147
  12. ^ Elias, Mufti A.H. "Jesus (Isa) A.S. in Islam, and his Second Coming". Islam.tc. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  13. ^ a b "The descension of Sayyidena Eesa". Muslimaccess.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  14. ^ Sahih Muslim, 41:7023
  15. ^ Ali, Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair. "Who is the evil Dajjal (the "anti-Christ")?". Islam.tc. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  16. ^ Bilgrami, Sayed Tahir (2005). "6". Essence of Life, A translation of Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 105. 
  17. ^ al-Qarashi, Allama Baqir Sharif (2006). The Life of Imam al-Mahdi Peace Be Upon Him. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 343. 
  18. ^ Islam and Communism
  19. ^ "Unveiling of the 'Unseen' by the Quran" in "Knowledge Revelation, Rationality and Truth" by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, hosted on Al Islam, the official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
  20. ^ http://www.alislam.org/library/browse/book/The_Essence_of_Islam/?p=3#page/283/mode/1up
  21. ^ Tadhkirah, Translated by Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, Islam International Publications, "Islamabad" Sheephatch Lane, Tilford, Surrey GU10 2AQ UK, 1976, ISBN 978-1-84880-051-9, 1366 pages, p. 288
  22. ^ "Jesus, a Humble Prophet of God". Al Islam. 
  23. ^ "Death of Jesus", by Shahid Aziz, Bulletin October 2001, Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat Islam Lahore (UK)
    The Promised Mehdi and Messiah, p. 50, "Jesus Migrated to India", by Aziz Ahmad Chaudhry, Islam International Publications Limited
  24. ^ Ahmad, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir - Khalifatul Masih IV Friday Sermon 17 January 2003

External links[edit]