I’ve collected together a few hadith from the Sunnah books, primarily Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Bukhari to highlight what I think is an interesting point. Of course, it’s all conjecture like all religion but it’s fun for me and also a learning experience. People will say I’ve cherry-picked and I have, to an extent but that’s exactly what the Islamic State do, ignoring the earlier teachings in favour of the Book of Jihad and Expedition, among others. I concerned myself mainly with the concept of the ”false prophet’, ‘the Antichrist’ or in this case ‘the Anti-Muhammad’. In Islamic lore, the Antichrist is called Al-Massi ad-Dajjal and his coming is foretold by Muhammad in the hadith of the Sunnah:
Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Yasar:
“…That they visited Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and asked him about Al-Harauriyya, a special unorthodox religious sect, “Did you hear the Prophet (ﷺ) saying anything about them?” Abu Sa`id said, “I do not know what Al-Harauriyya is, but I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “There will appear in this nation—- he did not say: From this nation —- a group of people so pious apparently that you will consider your prayers inferior to their prayers, but they will recite the Qur’an, the teachings of which will not go beyond their throats and will go out of their religion as an arrow darts through the game, whereupon the archer may look at his arrow, its Nasl at its Risaf and its Fuqa to see whether it is blood-stained or not (i.e. they will have not even a trace of Islam in them)….”
Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 84, Hadith 65
In this hadith, the prophet foretells of an Islamic tribe that will claim to know the intricate workings of the Qu’ran better than others but their messages will be false as they will have no true faith in them. I think the Islamic State should consider this particular hadith and see whether it relates to them. If they want another perspective, try this one from Yusir bin Amr:
Narrated Yusair bin `Amr:
I asked Sahl bin Hunaif, “Did you hear the Prophet (ﷺ) saying anything about Al-Khawarij?” He said, “I heard him saying while pointing his hand towards Iraq. “There will appear in it (i.e, Iraq) some people who will recite the Qur’an but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will go out from (leave) Islam as an arrow darts through the game’s body.’ “
Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 84, Hadith 68
The Islamic State originate from Iraq, it is their spiritual birthplace and that of their leader, al-Bhagdadi. If anything, this hadith should encourage Muslims to think about the possibility of the Islamic State being the false bearers of Islam.
So in summary, the prophet said ” From this nation ……There will appear in it (i.e, Iraq)……some people so pious apparently that you will consider your prayers inferior to their prayers, but they will recite the Qur’an, the teachings of which will not go beyond their throats…..So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.”
A portent of the approaching Ad-Dajjal is found in Sahih al-Bukhari:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Ad-Dajjal will come and encamp at a place close to Medina and then Medina will shake thrice whereupon every Kafir (disbeliever) and hypocrite will go out (of Medina) towards him.”
Bhukari Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 239
When we say ‘near’ in terms of the sixth-century, we can count bordering countries as nearby. Iraq borders Saudi Arabia at just under 1,000 miles from Medina to Mosul (as the crow flies)
Saudi Arabia is no stranger to the ground shaking but here’s a list of the most recent earthquakes in the region since 2012:
In addition, al-Bhukari goes on to say:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
“The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “There will be no town which Ad-Dajjal will not enter except Mecca and Medina, and there will be no entrance (road) (of both Mecca and Medina) but the angels will be standing in rows guarding it against him, and then Medina will shake with its inhabitants thrice (i.e. three earthquakes will take place) and Allah will expel all the non-believers and the hypocrites from it.”
Bukhari Vol. 3, Book 30, Hadith 105
There was a blast in Medina, one of four suicide bombings in three locations in Saudi Arabia in 2016, including the holy city. As of yet they have not been solved. The Islamic State has not claimed responsibility but they are the likeliest suspects. However, we can never know for sure.
A description of the Ad-Dajjal is given in the books of Sahih Muslim:
Abdullah b. Umar reported:
“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stood up amongst the people and lauded Allah as He deserved, then he made a mention of the Dajjal and said: … You must know that he (the Dajjal) is one-eyed and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, is not one-eyed…..There would be written between his two eyes (the word) Kafir (infidel).”
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7000
Here we see the contradiction; Ad-Dajjal is ‘one-eyed’ yet his name is written between his ‘two eyes’. I think that the reference to ‘two eyes’ may be metaphorical. Look at the name below. Can you see something written between two eyes?
Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai
In between the first ‘i’ and the second ‘i’ we can see many letters, including an anagram of the word ‘iblis’, Arabic for ‘devil’
You might know this man better as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.
First suggested hadith
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7005
Second suggested hadith
“Hudhaifa reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7010
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7011
“Behind him I saw a man who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatan (i.e. an infidel) in appearance. He was placing his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing Tawaf around the Ka`ba. I asked, ‘Who is this? ‘They replied, ‘The Masih, Ad-Dajjal.’ “
Bukhari Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith 649
This old photograph is alleged (and I use the term in the broadest sense) to show a young al-Baghdadi, looking remarkably like Cat Stevens with a crop of curled bushy hair. All we need now is the injury to the right eye and for the caliph to let his hair grow naturally rather than shave it to the skin (for obvious reasons). I don’t know about this picture, it seems spurious but I’d sure like to see what he looks like without a shaved head and I’d love to get my hands on his ophthalmology reports.
In Jami at-Tirmidhi, we find more revelation about Ad-Dajjal’s progress through Asia:
“Al-Masih – that is Ad-Dajjal- will come, and when he reaches behind Uhud, the angels will turn his face to the direction of Ash-Sham, and is there that he will be destroyed.” (Sahih)”
Tirmidhi Vol. 4, Book 7, Hadith 2243
When the false prophet reaches the region behind the Uhud mountain range, angels will turn his face towards Ash-Sham, otherwise known as Syria. We could take ‘behind Uhud’ to mean the region of Iraq whose borders lay behind the range.
More geographic detail about the rise of the Ad-Dajjal is found in the next hadith:
“This hadith has been transmitted on the authority of Anas that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said this but with this addition that (the Dajjal would come) and pitch his tent in the waste-land of Juruf and thus there would come out of (the city) every hypocrite, man and woman.”
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7033
If we look at maps of the Juruf region as it is today compared with the map of Islamic State controlled territory we can see that the Juruf region was initially overtaken by the Islamic State and has now been liberated due to its proximity to Aleppo
Muslim gives us more information about the likely whereabouts of the Ad-Dajjal:
“Behold he (Dajjal) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemen sea (Arabian sea). Nay, on the contrary, he is in the east, he is in the east, he is in the east, and he pointed with his hand towards the east.”
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7028
This seems confusing, the Ad-Dajjal in three locations at once. I thought I might place a thumb tack on the three places mentioned. I placed one point in the Syrian Sea and another in the Sea of Yemen. The third point, ‘the east’ was marginalised to an approximate area depending on which degrees east of Mecca Muhammad was pointing.
You will see that most of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Oman and half of Iran is included in this area. The key areas here are Iraq and Syria which are almost completely encompassed by the area. No areas west of Saudi Arabia are considered as likely sources for the Ad-Dajjal, his manifest is strictly in the Eastern continent.
Mulsim elaborates further:
“He (Dajjal) would be a young man with twisted, contracted hair, and a blind eye. I compare him to `Abd-ul-`Uzza b. Qatan. He who amongst you would survive to see him should recite over him the opening verses of Sura Kahf (xviii). He would appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left…..Like cloud driven by the wind. He would come to the people and invite them (to a wrong religion) and they would affirm their faith in him and respond to him.”
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7015
Can we take the meaning of the missing eye to be literal, as in the case of Mullah Omar? I don’t think so. The fact that Ad-Dajjal has one eye and Allah has two is a reference to the blinkered view of the Ad-Dajjal, being only able to see Islam in two dimensions.
Ad-Dajjal will bring with this cooling water and burning fire:
“Hudhaifa reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7012
“‘Uqba b. ‘Amr Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported:
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 7012
Muslim Book 41, Hadith 6924
Narrated Abu Huraira:
“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The Hour will not be established (1) till two big groups fight each other whereupon there will be a great number of casualties on both sides and they will be following one and the same religious doctrine, (2) till about thirty Dajjals (liars) appear, and each one of them will claim that he is Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), (3) till the religious knowledge is taken away (by the death of Religious scholars) (4) earthquakes will increase in number (5) time will pass quickly, (6) afflictions will appear, (7) Al-Harj, (i.e., killing) will increase, (8) till wealth will be in abundance —- so abundant that a wealthy person will worry lest nobody should accept his Zakat, and whenever he will present it to someone, that person (to whom it will be offered) will say, ‘I am not in need of it, (9) till the people compete with one another in constructing high buildings, (10) till a man when passing by a grave of someone will say, ‘Would that I were in his place (11) and till the sun rises from the West…”
Bukhari Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 237
One theological point I would make before I finish is that the manifest of the Islamic State contravenes the prophecies of Muhammad which in turn, were the word of Allah.
Narrated Abu Hurairah:
Tirmidhi Vol. 5, Book 38, Hadith 2640
It was narrated from ‘Awf bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said:
Ibn Majah Vol. 5, Book 36, Hadith 3992
If these hadith are true, then the seventy-three sects of Islam are already defined as per this handy list:
This puts al-Baghdadi in a difficult position, considering he is number seventy-four and not even in the running for Paradise. This theological anomaly should not be overlooked and applies to the sects of Boko Harem and Al-Shabaab, too although they both pledge allegiance to the caliphate of al-Baghdadi and could be considered an ‘extension’.
Either way, the prophet said it, not me. Food for spiritual thought.