The third primary character that dominates Islamic eschatology is a man whose full title is Al-Maseeh (The Messiah) Ad-Dajjal, (The Liar/Deceiver). Usually just referred to as the Dajjal, he is a bizarre character whose description and story seem far more fantastic than either the Mahdi or the Muslim Jesus. There are numerous hadith that contain descriptions of the Dajjal. Here we will just touch on the most common of these traditions to give an overview of just who this mysterious and strange person is.
The Dajjal is described as being a deceiver who will have miraculous powers and who will temporarily hold power over the whole earth:
The Prophet was warning us that in the last days there would be someone who would deceive all of humanity. The Dajjal will possess power over this world. Thus, Muslims must be careful not to have the love of the world in their hearts so they won’t leave their religion and follow him. He will be able to heal the sick by wiping his hand on them, like Jesus did, but with this deceit the Dajjal will lead people down the path to hell. Thus the Dajjal is the false Messiah, or Anti-Christ (Massih ad-Dajjal). He will pretend to be the Messiah, and deceive people by showing them amazing powers. 1
Possibly the most frequently quoted reference to the Dajjal is that he is blind in one eye. The Hadith however, are contradictory regarding which eye is blind:
Allah's Messenger made a mention of Dajjal in the presence of the people and said: Allah is not one-eyed and behold that Dajjal is blind of the right eye and his eye would be like a floating grape. 2
Allah's Messenger said: Dajjal is blind of left eye with thick hair and there would be a garden and fire with him and his fire would be a garden and his garden would be fire. 3
The Dajjal is sometimes said to have the word “Infidel” (Kaafir) written in-between his eyes, possibly on his forehead. But this word will only be perceptible to true Muslims, and no one else:
Allah's Messenger said: Dajjal is blind of one eye and there is written between his eyes the word "kaafir" (unbeliever/infidel). He then spelled the word as k. f. r., which every Muslim would be able to read. 4
Very Important is that; this word “Kafir” will be readable only by the believer, literate or illiterate. Non-believer: let him be educated from “Oxford” or “Harvard” will not be able to read it. 5
Sheikh Kabbani describes some of the Dajjal’s miraculous powers:
The Dajjal will have powers of the devil. He will terrorize the Muslims into following him, converting them into unbelief. He will conceal the truth and bring forth falsehood. The prophet said that the Dajjal will have the power to show the image of one’s dead ancestors on his hand, like a television screen. The relative will say, “Oh my son! This man is correct. I am in Paradise because I was good and I believed in him.” In reality that relative is in hell. If the relative says, “Believe in this man, I am in hell because I didn’t believe,” one must say to the Dajjal, “No, he is in Paradise. This is false.” 6
The Prophet said: the Dajjal will say to a Bedouin Arab, “what will you think if I bring your father and mother back to life for you? Will you bear witness that I am your lord? The Bedouin will say, “Yes.” So two devils will assume the appearance of his father and mother, and say, “O my son, follow him for he is your lord…” 7
The above tradition shows that the Dajjal’s deceptive signs will be for the purpose of leading people into believing that the Dajjal is actually their “lord”. Muslim scholars universally have concluded that the Dajjal will claim to be divine. According to the very well known Muslim scholar, Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips, the Dajjal, “will claim to be God”. 8
While there are no specific traditions that state such directly, as a result of the fact that the Dajjal is, according to Islamic tradition, the false Jewish Messiah who claims to be God, most Muslims have deduced that the Dajjal will thus claim to be Jesus Christ by name.
Muslim Scholar Muhammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali says of the Dajjal, “ He will travel at great speeds and his means of conveyance will be a giant mule… He will travel the entire world.” 9 As strange as this is, it also bears a faint resemblance to Jesus the Messiah who also rode a donkey as he entered Jerusalem during the final week of his ministry.
It is said that there are three cities that the Dajjal may not enter; Mecca, Medina and Damascus. Muslims are encouraged to seek refuge from the Dajjal in one of these three cities:
The Prophet said, "Ad-Dajjal will come to Medina and find the angels guarding it. So Allah willing, neither Ad-Dajjal, nor plague will be able to come near it." 10
The coming of the Anti-Christ (Dajjal) must occur in the Last Days. This dreadful event is approaching, and in that time only three cities will be safe: Makka, Madina, and Sham (Damascus). If anyone wants safety in that time he will have to run to one of these three cities. 11
Apart from these three cities, it is said that the Dajjal will enter every single city, town and village in the world to test and possibly deceive every human alive. 12
A Surah Of Protection
Muslims believe that if they memorize a particular portion of the Quran that they will be protected from the Dajjal. It is somewhat like a verbal amulet that protects one from the powers of evil:
If the Dajjal comes upon someone who has memorized the first ten verses of Surat al Kahf (Chapter of the Cave) he cannot harm him. And whoever memorizes the last verses of Surat al-Kahf will have light on the day of Judgement. 13
Based on various Islamic traditions, Muslims believe that the Dajjal will be Jewish. The title of a book by Muslim author Matloob Ahmed Qasmi, Emergence of the Dajjal, the Jewish King couldn’t make this point more clearly. Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi of the Palestinian Authority articulated the Islamic perspective regarding the expectation of the Jewish people quite well in one of his sermons:
The Jews await the false Jewish messiah, while we await, with Allah's help… the Mahdi and Jesus, peace be upon him. Jesus's pure hands will murder the false Jewish messiah. Where? In the city of Lod, in Palestine. Palestine will be, as it was in the past, a graveyard for the invaders 14
Samuel Shahid, a Christian Arab scholar in his scholarly study of Islamic eschatology says of the Dajjal that he will be, “the embodiment of the Jewish hope and longing. The bulk of his army is recruited from the Jews.”15
As mentioned in the last chapter, the followers of the Dajjal will primarily consist of Jews and women. It is mentioned that women are very ignorant and as such are easily misled. Veliankode states, “Meanwhile, women will also fall to the deviant line of the Antichrist because of their unawareness and ignorance of Islam.” 16
Slain By The Muslim Jesus
As mentioned in the last chapter, it will be the Muslim Jesus who will kill the Dajjal and his followers:
Allah's Messenger said: …the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus son of Mary would descend and would lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah (Dajjal) would see him… Allah would kill them by his (Jesus’) hand and he would show them their blood on his lance (the lance of Jesus Christ). 17
The third amazing parallel between biblical eschatology and Islamic eschatology is the person of the Dajjal, the Islamic Antichrist figure. Despite all of the wild and fantastic descriptions of the Dajjal, if we boil down the Muslim belief regarding the Dajjal to its simplest and most important terms, we basically have a man who will claim to be divine and will claim to be Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah. He will defend Israel against the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus and he will deceive many people into leaving Islam.
While I certainly do not believe that there will ever come a figure into the world as described in the Islamic traditions - a great deceiver who is blind in one eye, flying around the earth on some form of giant mule - there will however come Jesus (the real one), who will in many very crucial ways, fulfill the Muslim expectations of the Dajjal.
The Return Of Jesus Christ
The real Jesus however, will indeed come as a divine defender of Israel and her people as well as Israel’s spiritual children, the Christians. If the Islamic prophecies are indeed intertwined with the unfolding of biblical prophecy, then we can see that part of Satan’s strategy is that when the real Jesus returns, there will already be a worldwide religious leader who will also be claiming to be Jesus, namely the False Prophet. If this were the case, then Muslims worldwide would accuse the real Jesus of being the Dajjal, the Muslim Antichrist/Great Deceiver. Muslims would be particularly convinced of this in light of the fact that the surviving Jews of the earth will acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah. At least six hundred years before Islam ever existed, the Jewish Prophets and the Jewish Apostles described the event of Jesus returning to Israel, defeating her enemies and finally gaining full acceptance among the Jewish people:
On that day I (The Lord) will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Zechariah 12:10
A day of the Lord is coming... the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. Zechariah 14:1,3,4
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.” Romans 11:26
Put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God… Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel… Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb (Jesus the Messiah), standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had His name and His Father's name written on their foreheads… And they sang a new song… Revelation 7:3-4; 14:1,3
We see that when Jesus returns to “to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem,” “His feet will (literally) stand on the Mount of Olives.” Jesus will be physically present in Israel. At this time, it is said that those Jews who are alive in Israel will see him and realize that He is “the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him.” Thus the acknowledgement of Jesus as the genuine Jewish Messiah and divine Savior will fill their hearts and, “so all Israel will be saved.”
Of course, based on the Islamic traditions, Muslims are expecting Jews to acknowledge the Dajjal as the divine Jewish Messiah, thus in the Islamic mind, the Jesus of biblical tradition will fulfill the three most primary Islamic expectations of the Dajjal. Clearly, these traditions will be used by Satan, not only to pre-empt the Muslims of the earth from receiving the real Jesus when He comes, but literally to empower them to attack Him. The plot never seems to stop thickening. Consider the following statement by the well-known Muslim apologist, Osamah Abdallah. The question posited to him was, “What do Muslims believe about the end of the World and Jesus' part in it?” His answer is astonishing as it relates to this discussion:
Briefly, Christians believe that Jesus will come down to earth and fight for the state of Israel… What seems to be quite ironic to me is that those Jews that Jesus is supposedly going to fight for don't even believe in Jesus as GOD himself nor as a Messenger of GOD… Jesus never liked the Jews... Now without being biased, we Muslims have a story that makes a lot more sense and is empty of contradictions! We believe that Jesus will come down to earth toward the end of the world time to fight the army of Satan which will be mostly from the "bad" Jews or "Zionist Jews" as we call them today, and the deceived from the Polytheist Christians or the Trinitarian Christians and the Pagan Polytheists such as Hindus, Buddhists, etc.... Some Jews and many Christians will be among the good and blessed who will fight with Jesus' side. The army of Satan will be led by a person who will claim to be Jesus Christ himself. The Muslims will call him the Dajjal or the Deceiver. The real Jesus' army will fight the Dajjal's army and defeat him. The empire of Israel will fall, and the religion of Islam will prevail. 1
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