February 8, 2009

The False Dajjāl

Filed under: Muslim Urban Legends — abuaisha @ 6:58 am
So another e-mail finds its way into my inbox. What could it be this time? Orders to boycott McDonald’s for the 1,000th time? Claims that Barack Obama is a secret alien bent on destryoing the Earth? Or perhaps something more mundane like an assurance that if I pass on this e-mail to another 100 people I will meet the love of my life in 1 week’s time.
None of the above. Rather I find a truly absurd e-mail titled ‘Is Dajjal has Born in Israel???(sic)
The e-mail states –
Alert Ummah, there is a 90% chance that we will see the Jewish Dajjal in our lifetime !!
One of the prominent events preceding the Day of Judgement is the appearance of Dajjal. We have been apprised of many aspects of Dajjal both in the Qur’an and the Ahadis. In fact, the Muslims have been more informed about the Dajjal by the Holy Prophet than previous nations by their respective prophets.   Dajjal will appear somewhere between Iraq and Syria , after the Battle of Istanbul takes place. The name in the Ahadis is Constantinople, which is the former name of Istanbul . Dajjal will be a Jew. His distinguishing feature is that he will be one-eyed and the word “Kafir” or “unbeliever” will be written on his forehead.  That he is a Jew is confirmed from another hadis, which says that his followers will be mainly of Jewish religion. …
Shock horror! A 90% chance of seeing the Dajjāl in our lifetime?! I wonder how they figured those odds out.. Only a 10% chance remains that we will not see this Jewish Dajjāl in our lives!
Ok, time to be serious.
This latest e-mail suggests that just recently, the Dajjāl was born in Israel. The Dajjāl of course is what we would refer to in English as the Antichrist. We have been informed by our Prophet Muhammad that this man would come towards the end of times and cause havoc on Earth and would be a time full of trials and great calamaties.
So is it true? Has the Dajjāl been born recently?
Of course not.. What rubbish. Any learned Muslim will tell you straight out after hearing this that the Dajjāl has already been born and is waiting to be unleashed, as is attested to in many statements of the Prophet and his companions.
So what evidence does this e-mail offer us? Primarily it shows a picture of the supposed Dajjal baby –
Any observant person will be able to see that this is no ordinary baby, primarily due to the fact that it seems to have one eye planted in the centre of its forehead. This is a birth defect known as cyclopiasynophthalmia or  synophthalmia, whereby the child is born with 1 undivided eye. It is very rare  but is documented and does occur in humans.
The assertation is that this 1 eyed baby must be the Dajjāl, based solely upon this fact. I fear for those who claim such things, for if it were true then we sure would have a lot of Dajjāls running around as 6 in 10,000 births are subject to this birth defect! Surely just having one eye is no qualifier to being the Dajjal not just due to its common occurance, but also due to the very clear fact that no Islamic text even claims that the Dajjāl will have 1 eye..!
This stems from a misunderstanding of the description given to us of the Dajjāl –
Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘… as for the false messiah, he will be one-eyed, with a wide forehead and broad upper chest, and he will be hunchbacked…’” (Narrated by Ahmad, no. 7564). 
By itself, this Hadeeth seems to suggest the ‘cyclops’ notion, however many others Hadeeths such as the one below demonstrate the exact understanding of ‘one-eyed’ showing that it refers to blindness in one eye and not cyclopia.
 From ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whilst I was sleeping, I saw myself performing Tawaaf around the Ka’bah, when I saw a dark man with straight hair, standing between two other men, with water dripping from his head. I asked, “Who is this?” They said, “The son of Maryam.” Then I turned and saw a ruddy-complexioned man, well built, with curly hair, blind in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape. I asked, “Who is this?” They said, “This is the Dajjaal.” The person who looks most like him is Ibnu Qatan.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6508; Ibn Qatan was a man from Banu Mustalaq from Khuzaa’ah).
So the Dajjāl will be blind in one eye, but not single eyed, and surely not a cyclops-like creature!
Further to this, the e-mail incorrectly asserts that the Dajjāl will be Jewish, claiming that the Sunnah has established this. Whilst there are suggestions that it may be so from those who have read into the texts, there is no clear hadeeth ever stating this so we cannot accept this claim to be true without an evidence. If there were such a Hadeeth we would need to read it ourselves, not just be told that one exists.
So who then is this baby in the photo?
It was a young girl born not in Israel, but rather in Chennai, India. She lived shortly then death came to her and she died as a young girl, as can be seen in this link. Her story was reported widely and it should be easy to uncover that this baby is in fact her due to its prominence in the global media (another link).
So we can rest assured, the Dajjāl is not a baby sitting in a hospital, nor is this little baby girl a malevolent tyrant waiting to strike her terror upon the world. This was a little girl born in Chennai who has since died. End of story.. Until the next unverified, absurd e-mail is concocted by somebody with nothing better to do than waste our times spreading lies and deceit over the internet.

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