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Al-Masih ad-Dajjal (Arabic: المسيح الدجّال Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, Arabic for "the false messiah"), is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology.1 He is to appear pretending to be Masih (i.e. the Messiah) at a time in the future, before Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection), directly comparable to the figures of the Antichrist and Armilus in Christian and Jewish eschatology.
Dajjāl is an adjective of Syriac origin.2 It is also a common Arabic word (دجال) with the meaning "deceiving" or "the Placebo" or "impostor" Al-Masīḥ ad-Dajjāl, with the definite article al- ("the"), refers to "the deceiving Messiah", a specific end-of times deceiver. The Dajjāl is a human being, called a living devil or incarnate Iblis. According to hadith, Muhammad said:
... he will issue forth from Isfahan and from a town of Isfahan that is called Rastaqabad.3
According to a tradition, Ali said:
- Muhammad is reported to have said:
... Allah is not one eyed while the false Messiah, Ad-Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a bulging out grape.7
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."8
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."9
- Imam 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 aloud voice, "O my friends come to me! I am your lord who has made your limbs and given you sustenance.10
- 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).11
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, as protection from the trials and mischief of the Dajjal.1011
The following signs are ascribed to Ali in the coming of Dajjal:10
- 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
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The Dajjal will appear somewhere between Iran and Syria12 and will travel the whole world preaching his falsehood, but will be unable to enter Mecca or Medina.7 Isa (Jesus) will return and the Dajjal will gather an army of 70,000 people, of those he has deceived and lead them in a war against Jesus who shall be accompanied by an army of the righteous.
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.13 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.14 He will descend during Fajr (morning prayer) 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) as the word of God was completed after revelation of Qur'an and Muhammad being the last prophet of God.14
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.1516 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.
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. 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.19 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.20
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad writes extensively about dajjal in his book Essence of Islam, therein 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." Essence of Islam Volume 3, page 28321
Thus essentially the, Dajjal is not believed to be a physical person or an individual as mentioned in the hadith 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. The purpose of Jesus coming means that a man from among Muslims shall appear who will establish the truth of Islam to the world as against western scientific and philosophical ideals. Thus Ahmadis believe the founder of the movement Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to have fulfilled this who by representing Islam in its pristine form. As such they believe that the 'Gate of Lud' mentioned in certain Hadith refers to Ludgate where St Paul is thought to have preached the perverted message of Christianity according to the Sonnini Manuscript of the Acts of the Apostles.22
- Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Al-Dajjāl, p. 43.
- 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.
- Majma'a al Zawaa'id 339/7.
- Kanz ul Ammal 14/663
- Al Nahayah 90.
- Hughes, Patrick T. (1996). "A Dictionary of Islam". Laurier Books. p. 64. ISBN 9788120606722. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:30:105
- Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:88:242
- Collected by Muhammad al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari Sahih al-Bukhari, 4:55:553
- Bilgrami, Sayed Tahir (2005). "6". Essence of Life, A translation of Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 104.
- Collected by Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri Sahih Muslim Sahih Muslim, 41:7007
- Hadith narrated by Muslim 2937.
- Elias, Mufti A.H. "Jesus (Isa) A.S. in Islam, and his Second Coming". Islam.tc. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "The descension of Sayyidena Eesa". Muslimaccess.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Sahih Muslim, 41:7023
- Ali, Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair. "Who is the evil Dajjal (the "anti-Christ")?". Islam.tc. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- Bilgrami, Sayed Tahir (2005). "6". Essence of Life, A translation of Ain al-Hayat by Allama Mohammad Baqir Majlisi. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 105.
- al-Qarashi, Allama Baqir Sharif (2006). The Life of Imam al-Mahdi Peace Be Upon Him. Qum: Ansarian Publications. p. 343.
- Islam and Communism
- "Unveiling of the 'Unseen' by the Quran" in "Knowledge Revealation, Rationality and Truth" by Mirza Tahir Ahmad, hosted on Al Islam, the Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
- Ahmad, Hadhrat Mirza Tahir - Khalifatul Masih IV. Friday Sermon 17 January 2003
- Ahadith on the Dajjal (muttaqun.com)
- More Ahadith about Dajjal
- "Seeing with Both Eyes" (Text of a lecture given on the Dajjal by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad [Timothy Winter])
- The Detailed Information on Dajjal (Translation of the book DAJJAL originally written in Urdu by a PhD scholar)