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Dajjāl and the Antichrist

Dajjāl and the Antichrist
© 2014 Joshua Seraphim Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.

antiThe Dajjāl and Antichrist represent, a sickness in human form, a cosmic possibility which occurs throughout history, gathering momentum as Prophetic restorations are forgotten, until, for a time during the last days.  This malefic figure centers around deceit, religious corruption, and pestilence, Dajjāl and Antichrist are archetypal characters, prophesized to appear when human corruption and moral depravity reach a peak.  The term antichrist denotes an antithesis, an Adversary to the mythical figure of the Christ, the Logos.  The Christian antichrist in Biblical scripture represents moral depravity, a corruption, and fulfillment, of Jesus Christ’s Gospel.  The apocalyptic days of the antichrist are the time of a loss of perspective.  The character is the physical personification of the Adversary, the devil, dressing up virtue as vice, and morality as cruelty and depravity.  Archetype of the antichrist is a psychological mirror for the human condition.

The miscreant at the end of time is, therefore, the exact inversion of the Christian and Islamic ideal of good-natured men and women. The evil of the Dajjāl and Antichrist is worse than the traditional evil, for the character causes a schizophrenic division in human morality.  Depravity becomes celebrated, cruelty sensationalized and encouraged in human behavior.  In a manner of speaking, Antichrist and Christ is representative of a psychological-metaphysical-mystical dualism within the darkest depths of the human psyche.  Antichrist as a human phenomenon forms an interdependent whole with the Self in the subconscious.  All of human mythology, folklore, and religious history have the character of the personification of evil who deceives and subjugates various cultures for a predetermined time.

The conception of imago dei includes the totality of the various aspects of the soul; the gross, animal, and empyrean.  Throughout the religious history of the human race, evil is a phenomenon often attached to a personification in sacred scriptures, yet evil transcends religious perspective and theological speculation.  The phenomenon of evil’s existence as a malevolent deity alongside religion dominates our perception into human consciousness and the human condition.  Evil exists not as the opposite of good, nor as noumenon, avoided through dualism, rather as an aspect of the microcosm, a timeless stain on soul, a reminder of moral and psychological degeneracy to transcend.  If the archetype of antichrist is segregated from the psyche, evil is personified in myth and religion, externalized in the process of enantiodromia, or emergence of unconscious schism that began during the Renaissance, culminating in post-modern American society where anti-religious sentiment prevails in a self-fulfilling prophecy of apocalyptic judgment.

The human condition has not yet fulfilled or defined any sort of limit.  It is an ongoing regeneration and evolution and toward enlightenment into human and technological spirituality, or what mystics testify to as the Mystery.  What are the perceptible limits of Evil?  Evil is a perpetually evolving deficiency of the human condition.  Archetype of the Antichrist, as all personifications of evil, mirrors a materialistic world, and influences the forms of religion growing within it.  The character Dajjāl and Antichrist personify a sickness, a deceit of moral relativism, political oppression, and religious apostasy (Greek apostasia).

As agents of anarchy and misanthropy machinate to make religious traditions corrupt and obsolete relics of human spiritual history, human behavior de-evolves in moral decline with each passing generation.  A world order of apathy and materialism is beginning to glamourize personifications of evil; celebrating diabolical figures and activities.  The last pangs of delusional hatred against religion and the imperfect institutions acting as pillars of religious culture are manifesting in human society with the worship of wealth, and bondage to disparity.

Evil in infinite varieties of diverse models is a projection of fear and insurrection of the soul, the psyche, within the human condition.  Evil is an independent principle, privation in religion, the product of misanthropic Mind seeking to destroy all sanctity of life.  Popular consensus in post-modern society maintains that antichrist, as designated by Daniel and St. Paul, is not a human agent, but possibly an institution or organized power.  The roots of popular culture antichrist obsession originate in apocalyptic and messianic expectations of Second Temple Judaism.  Apocalyptic origins of the antichrist pathos are inseparable from Judaic speculations on the culmination of history and its proximity to persecution.

Judaic culture of the last centuries of the Second Temple Period did not share in Christian fantasies of a human adversary to the expected Messiah.  Nonetheless, it was a common conviction, although ambiguous, that a solitary malevolent angelic power led the human forces of evil throughout history.  The persecution and blasphemies of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Seleucid Emperor from BCE 175 – 164 (Before Common Era) served as historical impetus of such anti-messianic designs.  Noticeable religious literature pertaining to fears of ultimate “evil” manifested as a human agent were the apocalypses produced by the Jews circa BC 250.

This literature is agreed upon by theologians as the catalyst for a paranoid schema of history called apocalyptic eschatology.  Important to notice is that the language of apocalyptic texts is not denotative or descriptive, rather is it elegiacally expressive.  Art and imagery of apocalyptic literature convey a mystical sense and experience about the nature of human spiritual history.  The Qum’ran community of ascetics residing near the Dead Sea circa BCE 150-70 CE collected eschatological literature and held firm convictions that were reflected in later creeds of the Christian Catholic canon.

Popular culture obsession with identifying Antichrist has polluted history with perpetual paranoia and attempts to immanentize the eschaton.  The dogmatic and fundamentalist paranoia of the masses with the identity of antichrist and dajjāl is an increasing metaphysical loathing of religion and the state of the human condition.  Humanity acts out religious obsession with identifying the antichrist in history by projecting onto a daemonic adversary the undesirable traits of the psyche.  The masses recognize this in their temporal identities, in the Jewish nefesh.  Pop culture villains take on the role of fictional antichrists, and more obsessively, the title is often attached to a troupe of “dictators” at the center of international conflicts.

Antichrist, and dajjāl in the Judaic, and Christin adversarial role parallel miscreants of evil and diabolatry personified in ancient religious traditions: Azi Dahaka in Zoroastrian eschatology, Balor the king of giant demons in Celtic folklore who is thought to return during the collapse of civilization and terrorize Ireland (Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 61, No. 240 (Apr. – Jun., 1948), Samyaza of the Apocrypha who will be defeated by Priest Melchizedek, and Armilus of Jewish eschatology mentioned in the Midrash Vayosha and Sefer Zerubbabel, in which he defeats the Messiah ben Joseph.

To commit to serious study of Judaic and Christian apocalyptic literature propels the reader into sensational imagery, cryptic characterizations, misanthropic fantasies, and confounding allegories.  In Judaic eschatology, metaphysical struggle throughout the human epoch of religion is presented as a schism between this “eon” (ha’olam hazzeh), and the “eon to come” (ha’olam habba) The angelic agent of evil presented as antichrist or ‘adversary’ appear in the Old Testament as Shaytan (ShTN), the Hebrew verb meaning to oppose; which, in the form of a noun is applied in the Bible to human and angelic agents.

Another common interaction in apocalyptic literature is the role of angelic prosecutor or trickster, or deceiver, who appears at the end of human history when morality and civilization are in depraved decline, to conduct and carry out divine dirty work and prosecution of creation.  In accounts of religious antiquity, one example of the proto-combat mythos is the Akkadian enuma elish, a tale of struggle between Marduk and Tiamat, female dragon of the waters of Chaos.  Humanity in Akkadian lore is birthed from the corpse of Tiamat and of the blood of her consort, Kingu.  Similar myths of primordial combat are presented in the Canaanite lore from the ancient city of Ugarit between Baal and Yamm (again, the seas of Chaos).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Seleucid Emperor, is arguably one of the first and foremost candidates whom contributed to the apocalyptic fetishes of later Christ-cult apostates.  Antiochus IV captured Jerusalem and plundered the Temple in BCE 169; banning Jewish religious practices altogether, and defiled the Temple by erecting a pagan shrine to Zeus.  The Biblical author Daniel’s portrayal of Antiochus IV as an eschatological adversary to Jehovah surpasses other end time conceptions in Jewish literature, fueling the fires to fantasies of Christian apocalyptic mania.

The first encounter of the term Antichrist is in the New Testament First and Second Epistles of John:  “Children, it is the last hour (Greek, eschaté hóra).  As you have heard that antichrist is to come: so now, many antichrists have made their appearance, and this makes us certain that it is the last hour.  It was from our ranks that they have set forth – not that they truly belonged to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained…who, then, is the Liar?  None other than the man whom denies that Jesus is the Christ.  Such a man is the antichrist (Greek, ho antichristos):  the man whom denies the Father and the Son.”  (I John 2; 18-19, 22).

The term antichristos and its ambivalent preposition anti denotes “in place of Christ,” ”false Christ,” and “opposed to Christ.”  The striking reference in the latter verse of the Epistle of John to the antichrist in the plural designates all dissenting and heretical members of Christian communalism as antichrists.  The ambiguous author of I John likely did not refer to a historical persona, more so it appears the concern related to the early Church.  The identifying of the Antichrist fuels apocalyptic expectations of the early Christian church.  The Epistles of John condemn the spirituality espoused by a fringe community of Christ devotees whom had segregated from the overall nascent faith.

Scholarly exegesis indicates II, III John, and I were writ by at least three primary authors sufficient in the practice of adopting the pseudonym of “John.”  These authors exhibit their early commitment to the interpretation of the message of “Christ” cherished in the Gospel of John.  This devotional sect garnered sympathy for their writings in what is referred to as the Johannine doctrinal tradition.  The authors of the Johannine tradition refer to antichrist as an opponent of Jesus Christ rather than the opponent, using the term in the plural sense.

The Johannine Epistles indicate a schism over proper interpretation of the Christ’s alleged philosophy.  Such dissenting members of the early Johannine community likely segregated themselves from the community around the first century of the vulgar era; perhaps against a movement of proto-Gnostics the Epistles were writ.  The principal concern for antichrist in the Epistle of John is for a collective opponent undermining Johannine theology rather than a final single agent of “evil.”  What is dreaded is not the unleashing of an apocalyptic phase in history, but the fomenting of apostasy.  The identifying of antichrist in the Johannine philosophy completely degenerated during the medieval era of the Christian into apocalyptic fervor.  The denial of Jesus Christ as a denial of the redemption from the Lie of original Sin (the greatest falsehood of the Christian slave religion) is associated with heresy by the early Roman Catholic Ecclesia.  The two ostensible Letters of John indicate dread over theological deception in the persona of the Christ as redeemer and saviour.

The ideal of evil as political and spiritual deception made it possible for medieval clergy to believe in many antichrists as well as in a final personal opponent prophesized in the Books of Daniel and Revelations.  Scholars identify personas of antichrist in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in Medieval Church history.  Therefore, Abimelech, Nebuchadnezzar, and Antiochus IV Epiphanes are antichrist models of the Old Testament; and Herod, Barabbas, the mythic Simon Magus of the New Testament, and Nero Caesar, Diocletian, and Caligula are the most suitable candidates for antichrist in the early Christian history.  In the first centuries of the Christ-cult; diverse designations of antichrist coalesced into a widespread mythical narration where the identities of the “Devil” and antichrist were fearfully intertwined.

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament further incites dread and mystery concerning the archetype of antichrist.  The Greek apokalypsis translates as “unveiling,” an uncovering of what is normally hidden.  The nefarious symbolism of antichrist receives its obsession from what theologians refer to as eschatological or millenarian beliefs.  The Book of Revelations concerns us with metaphysical eschatology, or the expectation of historical “end times” and culmination.  Eschatology is a product of the Greek tongue, a derivative of the term eschaton, which means an “end.”

This apocalyptic style of sensationalism is alien to post-modern religious science.  Apocalyptic literature implies a “revelation,” mediated to the author by the Genius, or praeter-human intelligence.  All events in the material correlate to a cosmic drama orchestrated by beings existing (or non-existing) in pre-eminent time.  Apocalyptic literature challenges the religious scientist to penetrate the mysteries of antichrist and its mark in the world’s religious traditions.

Scholars and theologians debate the context of the apocalypse, assigning the identity of the Antichrist to the Beast of Revelations, then to innumerable historical personages in Christianity.  It is absurd to postulate the literal ending of human history in a Biblical context.  The mystery Christ embodied in the allegory of the Crucifixion indicates an ongoing phenomenon with the presence and distant influence from the date of the reception of the apocalyptic texts.  Revelations divulges the opposition of this political and spiritual influence, whether as mortal archetypes of evil or embodied principles.  Historical evidence has led scholars and theologians in the post-modern age to conclude that the scribe of Revelations as likely not the apostle John, rather a priest of the Johannine sect in early Christian history.

The mythological war waged by the two ‘Beasts’ of the apocalypse likely also correspond to a metaphysical struggle between the church of the Christ-cult of slaves and collective ideals of evil often personified as human intermediaries.  Irenaeus (c. 160-230), the first great theologian of the Orthodox Church in Rome, included an exegesis on the archetype of antichrist, revealing new depths in eschatological manias.  Irenaeus appealed to evidence of the manuscripts, to reason (logos) itself to display a pattern of an insidious renewal of the apostate that occurred incessantly throughout the history of Christian dominion.  Irenaeus knew that “antichrist” must recapitulate (Latin, recapitulatio, Greek, anakephalaiosis) evil in the form of antithesis to Christian philosophy and morality.

Irenaeus repeatedly returns to the immanence of antichrist; the Man of Sin, Son of Perdition whom renews apostasy in himself.  Bishop Irenaeus, the leading patristic author of his time, used apocalyptic mentality to justify the persecution of those heretics such as pagans, gypsies, apostates, idolaters, and prostitutes whom existed outside the orthopraxy of the Church.  Later scholars such as St. Augustine were critical of literal interpretations of the Book of Revelations, not wholly abandoning eschatological hopes of Christendom.  St. Augustine pointed erroneously to heretics, pagans, and Jews as antichrists. Despite St. Augustine’s critique of interpreting Revelation as literal, identifying Antichrist gained popularity with the onset of Islam.

Jesus of Nazareth focused his Revelation on the present immanence rather than a coming immanence of Apocalypse and the divine Kingdom thereafter.  After the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, Judaism and the Christ-cult underwent dramatic theological change; changes that had a profound effect on the divergent roads both religions would take in the institutionalization of their doctrines.  The Beast 616 of the Apocalypse allegedly is identified with Roman Emperor T. Claudius Nero whose name and imperial title transcribed into Hebrew (NRVN KSR) amounts to 616, the infamous number of the name of “Beast.”  Nero Caesar is the zeal for new ideas concerning the antichrist legend, as the persecutor of Christians was a paradigm of megalomania and cruelty according to Roman historians as well as Christians.  Nero committed matricide, and elevated himself to divinity in the Roman Pantheon as only fractured elements of the Roman Empire supported his reign.  Later Roman legends of Nero foretold of an Emperor whom fled yet would return from the unknown lands of the east to conquer Rome.  Such legendary tales of Nero Caesar fostered apocalyptic antichrist eschatology.

The legends of Nero Caesar are also in an apocalyptic context attributed to Book III of the Sibylline Oracles.  Book III of the Sibylline texts is dated to be the eldest, with literature dating an estimated mid-Second Century BCE according to scholars.  In verse 63 to 74, Nero is attributed to Beliar (Belial): “Then Beliar will come up from the Sebastenoi (either, “from the Sebasti“, the line of Augustus or “from Sebaste”, a city in Samaria) and he will raise up the height of the mountains, he will raise up the sea, the great fiery sun and shining moon, and he will raise up the dead, and perform many signs for men.  But they will not be effective in him.  But he will, indeed, also lead men astray, and he will lead astray many faithful, chosen Hebrews, and also other lawless men who have not yet listened to the word of god.  But wherever the threat of the great God draws nigh and a burning power comes through the sea to the land it will also burn Beliar and all overbearing men, as many as have put faith in him.  In Revelations, the “Beast” is a polyvalent emblem, representing a final opponent to Christ and the Church in the form of a human agent of evil – the Pagan Roman Empire.

Essentially NRVN KSR is the Beast arising from the Abyss (Greek, to thérion to anabainon ek tés abyssou), occurring in the first sequence of the Apocalypse.  Revelations Chapter XVII offers a cryptic explanation of the antichrist regime:  “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss, and go to perdition; and dwellers upon the earth whose names have not been writ in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be amazed when they see the Beast who was, and is not, and is to come.”  (Revelation XVIII; 8).  The scribes of the Apocalypse potentially intended to unveil significant information in the text to convey their fears of the Beast 616.  If the scribes of the Apocalypse had desired the name of antichrist to be known in the context of eschatology, cryptic verses would be clearer on identifying his persona and reign.  The end of the world fantasies of Revelations indicate metaphysical struggles between the failures of the Christ-cult slave-morals and evil fought in a meta-historical context.  This metaphysical struggle occurs within the human sphere, in the ambiguous shadows of history, while transcending history in a mythological motif.

Origen of Alexandria (C.E. 185-245) argued the metaphysical necessity of antichrist as the complement of extremities in the human soul.  Origen saw the extremity of goodness in the Christ and the extremity of evil in antichrist.  The exegesis of Origen in his “Commentary on John builds apocalyptic zeal by referring to the final antagonist of Christendom in terms of false wisdom (Greek, to pseudos), indwelt in every soul before reckoning with its Creator.  Since the Middle Ages of the Roman Catholic Church, preconceptions of “antichrist” are sensationalized to persecute rival religious institutions (such as Islam, and the Gnostics), and political opponents.  Such apocalypticism stemmed from obsessive exegetical construal of obscure language and culture.  Nevertheless, apocalyptic fetish is a plague central to the human condition.

Christian apostasy and opposition to modernity produce grand paranoia pertaining to the antichrist.  Religious specters of obsession provide for a theological home for tepid apocalyptic, doomsday worldviews of identifying antichrist.  This religious mentality projects and mythologizes the struggle of good vs. evil.  Middle Age commentators such as Matthew of Janov (1355 – 1393) and Joachim of Fiore (1132 -1202) contributed to radical interpretations of eschatology.  Abbot Joachim contributes noteworthy theses on the seven-headed Dragon found in Revelations XII:  The seven heads of the Dragon signify seven tyrants who began pestilent persecutions of the Church.

Abbot Joachim of Fiore numbers these metaphysical antichrists as Herod and the persecutions of the Jews, Nero and the Roman calamities, Constantius and the oppression of the heretics (so-called) to orthopraxy, Muhammad and the insurgence of Islam into Christianized Europe, Mesemoth and the genocide of the sons of Babylon, Saladin, and the final “seventh head;” who is spoken of by Joachim as magnus antichristus, maximus antichristus, the great antichrist.  Antichrist obsession reached a climax during the Reformation of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Papacy became the political inception of “corpus antichristus mysticus,” the mystical body of the final Adversary.  The Papacy itself often was attributed to the essence of the mystical body of antichrist and the Pope arraigned as a human agent of evil by theologians Martin Luther (1483-1546), William Tyndale (1494-1536), and John Calvin (1509-1564).  The three high profile Reformists collectively saw antichrist as an imminent danger and none other than the veil of the Catholic Papacy.  Luther’s condemnation of the Catholic Lie issued C.E. October 1520 accuses:  “The papacy is indeed nothing but the kingdom of Babylon and of the true Antichrist.”

Many characters represent evil in the Islamic tradition.  Iblïs, Täghüt, Pharaoh, and ad-Dajjäl invert and overturn us, confusing, and deceiving humanity.  The dajjäl is a physical materialization of Iblïs: the Great Deceiver insofar as he dresses virtue up as vices, and vice as virtue and power. The only character in this cast of miscreants with an eschatological significance is ad-Dajjäl. His full name al-Masïh ad-Dajjäl, the pseudo-messiah, or the opposite of al-Masïh ïsa (Jesus the Messiah or the true Messiah).  The term ad-Dajjäl originates from the Syriac language.  The dajjäl occupies an important place in the body of Hadith and manuals of Islamic theology.

Is the ad-Dajjäl truly a historic character set to appear during apocalyptic events foretold by scriptures of the world’s religions, or a more allegorical representation of an institution, a decline in the moral fabric of the Islamic community, or a cabal of secret societies referred to in popular culture as the “illuminati?”  Much of the Islamic Ummah (community) nostalgically longs for a Caliphate, while post-modern lifestyles center on the worship of wealth, and the lower, agitated desires of the human condition.

Every word of every media digital or print now breathes the message of the nafs, the facets of self, and psyche: accumulate more goods.  The result of being deceived by dajjäl and a dictatorship of moral relativism is a society which pursues happiness with great technical brilliance but which confounds the Ummah over spiraling rates of suicide, drug abuse, failed relationships, and ever more aberrant forms of self-destruction.  It is a society in denial, a society deceived by the sickened “dajjäl”.  Younger generations increasingly see the modern world as a naive victim of the oldest of all illusions, which is the belief that balance occurs when the needs of the nafs, the physical human condition, are met, and that inward spirituality is nothing but the vague each of intangible and ‘oppressive religion.’  By rejecting dajjäl, a Muslim rejects imbalance.

The post-modern world therefore presents to old and young generations, in mad abundance, the dajjäl’s aberrations, and deceptions.  There is preoccupation with form, and there are in increasing varieties, a preoccupation with occult spiritualities that require no moral code.  On moral deprivation and the ideology of dajjäl, Sheikh Imran Hosein states:  “Those who see with one eye (the external eye) can never be patient enough to learn from those like Khidr, who see with two eyes, i.e., the external and the internal. Dajjäl’s epistemological attack on mankind renders them internally blind and, hence, easily deceived by ‘external appearance’ while remaining incapable of penetrating ‘internal reality’ in all that pertains to his mysterious mission.  They sometimes lose faith in Allah Most High and become profoundly misguided without being even conscious of such.  Nearly always, however, they lack the capacity to understand either the movement of history or the role that Jerusalem and the Holy Land play in the End of History. The Qur’an declares of such people that they have a status akin to cattle.” [“Surah Kahf And The Modern Age” Sheikh Imran Hosein]

Theologian Bernard McGinn writes, “some Quranic exegetes refer to Chapter 108 in the Quran, which is called Kauthar and claimed that the verse contains the hallmarks of the Antichrist.  The chapter reads: ‘Lo! We have given thee (Muhammad) the abundance; so pray unto your Lord and sacrifice, surely the one who hates you, he is the one who is cut off’ (108.1-3).”McGinn indicates that Muslim scholars understand the term abtar mean “the one who is cut off,” as a reference to the Antichrist.  Islamic scholars typically agree that ad-Dajjäl as a person.  In some, he is even said to resemble a specific person whose name was ’Abd al-Uzza bin Qatan.  ad-Dajjäl is known as ugly, disfigured, having one eye (al-A’war).  Anas, a companion of the Prophet narrates that the Prophet said, “No prophet was sent but he warned his community against the one-eyed (al-A’war) liar – ’Beware, he is A’war, and your Lord is not A’war.  And there will be written between his eyes the word Kafir (disbeliever).’”

Islamic eschatology about the dajjäl falls into three positions; scholars who view the dajjäl as literal – appearing literally in apocalyptic settings performing miracles.  Another position is that the appearance of dajjäl is allegorical, interpreting dajjäl as the rise in corruption and evil on the earth.  The last position questions the authenticity of Hadith on dajjäl, believes that the portrayal of the Antichrist-Dajjäl in Hadith is irreconcilable with Qur’anic teachings because the Qur’an states that the coming of the day of judgment will be unexpected and sudden (6.31-44; 21.40; 22.25; 43.66).  The miracles attributed to the Antichrist in Hadith are stronger than the miracles given to the prophets to prove their cause of spreading the word of Allah (s.w.t.).  Allah will not, according to this position, give the Antichrist-Dajjäl the power of these miracles to deceive the Ummah.  Essentially, the appearance and power of the Antichrist-Dajjäl contradict the teachings of the Qur’an, which states the laws of nature enacted by Allah (s.w.t.) are unchanging (33:62).

Islamic theologian Abu Hanifa believed in the literal interpretation of the signs of al-Qiyāmah (Day of Judgment) indicating that the emergence of the Antichrist-Dajjäl is a reality.  Sunnites, Shi’ites, Kharijites, and Mu’tazilites accept the emergence of the Antichrist-Dajjäl on al-Qiyāmah.  In the Sufi tradition, we find more allegorical interpretations of dajjäl and al-Qiyāmah.  Sufi poet Rumi talks about the metaphorical blindness of dajjäl.  He believes the prophetic traditions on al-A’war (moral blindness) and Antichrist-Dajjäl are metaphorical.  The point of this discussion is whether the Antichrist-Dajjäl is real, a product of superstition, or an allegorical paradigm shift in the human condition.

Some of scholars go further, identifying Western civilization, America, or Israel and its Zionist oppression, with Antichrist-Dajjäl.  This identification in context stems by virtue of the Israeli Apartheid and Palestinian occupation.  Muhammad al-Ghazzali discusses a Jewish prodigy who will claim occult and divine attributes, garnering thousands of other Antichrists will follow.  Al-Ghazzali highlights the struggle between pious Muslims and Jewish dajjäls as a sign of al-Qiyāmah.  According to al-Ghazzali, within this period of spiritual materialism and anarchy, the Christ will descend from heaven, acknowledge Muhammad as a prophet, and slay the Antichrist-Dajjäl (Hadith by An-Nawwas bin Sam’an) defeating the armies of Gog and Magog by virtue of birr (piety).

Dajjäl does not appear in the Qur’an, despite the fact that the scriptures contain extensive commentary about eschatology.  However, there are some references in the Qur’an that contemporary Islamic and even medieval scholars believe refer to Antichrist-Dajjäl.  In the body of Hadithad-Dajjäl is extensively mentioned and has an ontological presence.  There are both religious and socio-political aspects of the portrayal of the Antichrist-Dajjäl in Arabic folklore.  The emergence of the Antichrist-Dajjäl symbolizes corruption and anarchy as well as materialism.

References

Bernard McGinn, Anti-Christ Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil New York Columbia University Press, 2000

Al-Bukharï, Fitan, no. 26

Dr. Mustafa Mahmud, al-Masih al-Dajjäl (The Anti-Christ) (Cairo, 1980), 18-25.

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