ad-Dajjal sometimes spelled Dajal, (Arabic: الدّجّال, ad-dajjāl) ("The Deceiver/impostor"), also known as the false Messiah (see also: Antichrist) is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology. He is to appear at a time in the future, before Yawm al-Qiyamah (The Day of Resurrection, Judgment Day).
"Dajjal" (compare to "Devil") is a common Arabic word, used in the sense of "false prophet," but "Ad-Dajjal," with the definite article, refers to "The Impostor," a specific end-of times deceiver. The term Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (Arabic for "The False Messiah") is a literal translation of the Syriac term "Meshiha Deghala," which had been in the common vocabulary of the Middle East and adapted into the Arabic language 400 years prior to the Qur'an via the Peshitta (which uses that term instead of the Greek "antichristos").
Muslims believe that prior to the Day of Judgment around about the time that Jesus will return to earth, ad-Dajjal shall gather an army of those he has deceived and lead them in a war against Jesus and the Mahdi (the guide), accompanied by an army of the righteous. Traditions attributed to Muhammad describe the appearance of Jesus and of the Dajjal, least the one be mistaken for the other. The idea of a final clash between the forces of good and of evil with the former vanquishing the latter recurs in religious thought. While for some, what follows involves the end of history as presently experienced, and the start of a spiritual reality, for others what follows is an era of peace and justice on a restored planet earth. This may be a fundamental expression of the human conviction that given cooperation and good will, evil need not triumph. For some, such figures as the Anti-Christ, ad-Dajjal and their righteous opponents are real, for others this is a symbolic scenario representing the very real possibility that humanity might rise above greed, selfishness, ignorance and hatred and build a world in which all people have due regard for the welfare of the whole of humanity, as well as for the health of the planet itself.
The Dajjal is not referred to in the Qur’an but belongs to the more extensive material on the End found in the collections of the sayings of Muhammad, which Muslims believe to be inspired, like the Hadith. The following of among hadith describing the Dajjal:
The Mahdi is also not a Qur’anic figure. Among Twlever Shi’a, the Mahdi is associated with the twelfth Imam, who went into heavenly “occultation” around about 874 C.E. and who will return one day to establish everlasting peace and justice. This concept is similar to the idea within Christianity that when Jesus returns, there will be 1,000 years of peace on earth. Among Sunnis, belief in the Mahdi also evolved as an End-time figure that will assist Jesus in defeating the agents of Satan before the Day of Judgment.
It is said that the Dajjal will be unable to enter the sanctuaries of Mecca or Medina but that he will make his final stand in Jerusalem, the third sanctuary. He will appear during a troubled time in human affairs, a time of crises perhaps consisting of wars and other crises. He will reign for either 40 days or 40 years, declaring his own divinity. By appearing to work miracles, he will succeed in deceiving many people, hence his name. Then, on the eve of the Day of Judgment, the best and most faithful of believers will gather there to support Jesus and the Mahdi, whose return or coming corresponds with ad-Dajjal’s false claim to divinity. The Rock itself, on which the Dome of the Rock stands, will provide a refuge for the righteous. Several historical figures have been acclaimed as the Mahdi, such as Shah Ismail I the foiunder of the Safavid Empire among Shi’a and the Mahdi of Sudan (1848-55) among Sunni. The idea of Jesus’ return is not explicitly Qur’anic although it is implied in several verses, such 3:55 which refers to Jesus in the context of the Day of Judgment, and 4:159 which says that Jesus will be a witness “against them on the Day of Judgment.”
All links retrieved July 25, 2013.
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