Al-Masih ad-Dajjal

Dajjal (Arabic: المسيح الدجّال‎, romanizedDajjāl, lit. 'the false messiah, liar, the deceiver'; Syriac: ܡܫܝܚܐ ܕܓܠܐ‎, romanizedMšiha Daggala) is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology. He is said to have come from several 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]

NameEdit

Dajjāl (Arabic: دجال‎) is the superlative form of the root word dajl meaning "lie" or "deception".[2] It means "deceiver" and also appears in Classical Syriac: daggala‎ (ܕܓܠܐ).[3] The compound 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.

CharacteristicsEdit

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.[4] He would travel the whole world entering every city except Mecca and Medina.[5] As a false Messiah, it is believed that many will be deceived by him and join his ranks, among them Jews, Bedouins, weavers, magicians. 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 comprising the majority of Dajjals' followers is probably a remnant from Christian Antichrist legends.[6] The Dajjal will be able to perform miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead (although only when supported by his demonic followers it seems), causing the earth to grow vegetation, causing livestock to prosper and to die and stopping the sun's movement.[6] At the end, the Dajjal will be killed by Isa (Jesus). In many versions by Hazrat Isa 'simply looking at him, indicating, he is indeed merely a shadow of Isa without any independent existence.[7] 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.[8]

HadithEdit

According to hadith, Muhammad prophesied that the Masih ad-Dajjal would be the last of a series of thirty Dajjal or "deceivers".[9][10]

  • Al-nawwas b. Sim’an al-Kilabi said:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) mentioned the Dajjal (Antichrist) saying: 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 Lod and kill him.[11]

  • Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal:

The Prophet (ﷺ) 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).[12]

  • Narrated Abu Huraira:[13]

Prophet Muhammad used to invoke (Allah): "Allahumma ini a'udhu bika min 'adhabi-l-Qabr, wa min 'adhabin-nar, wa min fitnati-l-mahya wa-lmamat, wa min fitnati-l-masih ad-dajjal. (O Allah! I seek refuge with you from the punishment in the grave and from the punishment in the Hell fire and from the afflictions of life and death, and the afflictions of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal."[14]

— Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Funerals, no. 130


EschatologyEdit

Sunni eschatologyEdit

 
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. 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 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).

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.[15][16][17] 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 eschatologyEdit

Identification of the DajjalEdit

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). With reference to the Dajjal, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad elaborated on it’s unity as a class and system rather than designating an individual person. In particular, Ahmadis identified 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.[18][19][20][21][22] As with other eschatological themes, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya movement, wrote extensively on this topic. For example:

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; 
The descriptions of the period of the Dajjal's reign as coinciding with the dominance of Christianity.[23][24]

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, is indicative of (the group) being devoid of religious insight and spiritual understanding, but excellent in material and scientific attainment.[25] Similarly, the Dajjal not entering Mecca and Medina is interpreted with reference to the failure of colonial missionaries in reaching these two places.[26]

Defeat of the DajjalEdit

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,[27][28] 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).[29] 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.[30][31][32][33] 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)[34] 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.[35][36]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 94
  2. ^ Wahiduddin Khan (2011). The Alarm of Doomsday. Goodword Books. p. 18.
  3. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 93
  4. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 99
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ a b David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 100
  7. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 104
  8. ^ David Cook Studies in Muslim Apocalyptic The Darwin Press, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey ISBN 0878501428 p. 102
  9. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 7121". sunnah.com. Retrieved 18 July 2020.; In-book reference: Book 92 (Afflictions and the End of the World ), Hadith 68; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 237
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Sunan Abi Dawud 4321". sunnah.com. Retrieved 17 July 2020.; In-book reference: Book 39 (Battles), Hadith 31; English translation: Book 38, Hadith 4307
  12. ^ "Sunan Abi Dawud 4294". sunnah.com. Retrieved 17 July 2020.; In-book reference: Book 39 ( Battles), Hadith 4; English translation: Book 38, Hadith 4281, Hasan
  13. ^ "who is Dajjal? dajjal signs, meaning, facts, FAQ & hadith - muslimgoogle". www.muslimgoogle.com. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 1377". sunnah.com. Retrieved 17 July 2020.; In-book reference: Book 23 (Funerals), Hadith 130; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 2, Book 23, Hadith 459
  15. ^ Sahih Muslim, 41:7023
  16. ^ "Sahih Muslim 2940 a". sunnah.com. Retrieved 17 July 2020.; In-book reference: Book 54 (Tribulations and Portents of the Last Hour), Hadith 144; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Book 41, Hadith 7023
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Glassé, Cyril; Smith, Huston (2003). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. Altamira Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-7591-0190-6.
  19. ^ Jonker, Gerdien (2015). The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress: Missionizing Europe 1900-1965. Brill Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-90-04-30529-8.
  20. ^ Valentine, Simon (2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8.
  21. ^ Malik Ghulam Farid, et al. Al-Kahf, The Holy Quran with English Translation and Commentary Vol. III, p.1479
  22. ^ Muhammad Ali. (1992) The Antichrist and Gog and Magog Archived 1 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Ohio: Ahmadiyya Anjuman-i Ishāʿat-i Islām
  23. ^ Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, (2005), The Essence of Islam, Vol. III Archived 11 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Tilford: Islam International, p.290
  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, pp.12-14
  25. ^ 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
  26. ^ Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, (2005), The Essence of Islam, Vol. III Archived 11 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Tilford: Islam International, p.290
  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.57-60
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ Valentine, Simon (2008). Islam and the Ahmadiyya jamaʻat: history, belief, practice. Columbia University Press. pp. 148–9. ISBN 978-0-231-70094-8.
  30. ^ 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."
  31. ^ 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 "
  32. ^ 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."
  33. ^ 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'."
  34. ^ 'Gate of Lud' Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Qushayri al-Nishapuri. Sahih Muslim. Of the Turmoil & Portents of the Last Hour. No 7015
  35. ^ Geaves, Ron (2017). Islam and Britain: Muslim Mission in an Age of Empire. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-4742-7173-8.
  36. ^ Shahid, Dost Mohammad, Tarikh e Ahmadiyyat vol IV. Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine p446.

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