Over the last thousand and four hundred years, the coming of the one-eyed giant, the Dajjal, has remained the topic of numerous discussions and debates in Muslim households all over the world. However, the actual understanding of this enigmatic phenomenon remains as elusive to us as it was to the Companions of the Messenger of Allah so many centuries ago. It all began when Mohammad (s.a.s), the final and the greatest Messenger of Allah, told about the arrival of a giant on earth during the later time (Akheri Zamana), an event he has referred to as the greatest ever in the life of mankind. To give his people, his 'Ummah', both of his time and of the future, a better idea and understanding of this fearsome entity, he has described in great detail what it, the Dajjal would look like, its activities in this world, what tremendous power it would yield over the world and the destiny of Man and he talked of its demand to be accepted as the lord or 'rub' of mankind. He has called this character the 'Dajjal ', an Arabic word used to describe something or someone deceptive, something very attractive to look at, but is actually despicable a dazzling impostor. The Messenger of Allah has also said that this giant would have sight in one eye only, the other would be blind. Common sense tells us, it can be no living being, for its vehicle is to having passed its the east and the other in the west, see and hear what is said in a whisper on the other side of the world, and so forth. Among the thousands of 'Hadith' or Hadith s attributed to the Messenger of Allah, those concerning the Dajjal occupy a position of great import and significance, deemed as it has been as the gravest danger to ever face mankind. The Hadith regarding the Dajjal are as thought provoking as they are frightening since they speak of a giant that will see with only one eye yet have the power to bring the whole world under its control and in so doing lead a great number of people astray. In one such Hadith, the Messenger of Allah has stated 'From the Creation of Adam to the Judgment Day, there is no other event as grave and alarming the as the Dajjal.1 He goes on to state that- 'There has been no Messenger from the time of Noah (a.s.) who has not warned his followers about the Dajjal.' 2 And to further stress on its importance, and as an after thought the Messenger of Allah himself sought refuge with Allah from the malaise of the Dajjal.3

So how concerned are we about the colossal import of a situation the Messenger has deemed as the gravest occurrence from the beginning to the end of time, about something all Messengers from the time of Noah (a.s.) have warned their followers about, regarding a matter our Messenger himself sought refuge from?

It goes without saying that far from being concerned about it, we are yet to realize that the Dajjal's birth took place 472 years ago, and having passed its infancy and childhood it is now an adult that has the entire world including its 'Muslim' population laying prostrate at its feet!

The reason for this ignorance remains the fact that during the last few centuries we were colonized by the European Christian forces, the method of education they imposed on us has been one that has taken us far away from the true faith of Islam. The result of which has been that this nation can accurately recall how long it took Hannibal to cross the Alps with his army or recite without mistake from Shakespeare, but is totally in the dark as regards to what the Messenger of Allah has stressed to be the most important event in the history of this world. The small portion of this populace which is actively involved in the study of the Qur'an and the Hadith too have neglected it to oblivion. With their shortsighted and narrow vision, these people are waiting for the literal transformation of the Messenger's prophecy where he informs of the emergence of a huge one-eyed giant astride a colossal mount and of its tyrannical rule. They have accepted these Hadith in their literal aspect only, neither spending their time nor their effort in trying to see beyond the mere words, to try and gauge why this should be the single most grave, influential and frightening event throughout the world's history. These people devote far more time on details regarding wadu (ablution), meswak (cleaning teeth), kuluk (using sponge) and other trivial issues than they think about the Dajjal or its significance!

Like others, I too was waiting for a huge one-eyed giant and to hear its proclamation to be the lord and ruler of mankind!

However, the first time I realized that it would not be the case was when I read Muhammad Assad's book "Road to Mecca". Muhammad Assad was born as Leopold Weiss into an Austrian Jewish family and converted to Din-ul-Islam in his youth. It is in this beautiful writing that he first hinted at the idea of the Western civilization being the Dajjal prophesied fourteen centuries ago by the last Messenger of Allah. However he has not elaborated on this issue. It was in the late 50's or early 60's that I read this book and from then onwards, the more I thought about it, the clearer it has become to me that his idea is indeed correct. For the Messenger of Allah to give the mostly illiterate Arabs of fourteen hundred years ago a correct and comprehensive picture of a civilization based on today's technological advancement was next to impossible. Therefore, he did so through a series of allegorical references which exactly match the description of the western civilization of our time.

Everything we know about the Dajjal is derived from the Messenger's 'Hadith' or tradition i.e. words or actions of the Messenger himself, also action of others, he approved or disapproved of. As we all know, Hadith are classified into several groups, among which three are prominent, namely the 'sahih' or correct; 'hassan' which are also true but not as accurately related as the former and thirdly 'daif' or weak, poor Hadith s, some of which are nevertheless accepted when corroborated. Besides these, there are also 'gharib', 'munkar', 'maruf' etc. divisions. During the rigorous process of collecting and verifying true Hadith, many false statements earlier deemed as correct Hadith have been rejected, while some of the true ones have also been omitted due to the fact that they could not be unbrokenly traced back to the Messenger of Allah himself. In order to get a complete and comprehensive idea about any subject broached in the Hadith, it is necessary to study all Hadith regarding it, notwithstanding the fact whether they are accepted without any doubt or rejected outright. Similar has been my method in collecting all relevant data about the Dajjal; however the ones quoted here are almost all Sahih or correct Hadith and those remained the basic platform of this research.

I have categorized all Hadith regarding the Dajjal into two groups. One part containing predictions related to its importance and gravity, the other concerning its identification. From the first group of the Hadith we are able to derive why the emergence of Dajjal occupies a more important stance than the deluge of Nooh's (a.s.) (Noah) time and why it is graver than the world wars. In the second group of Hadith the Messenger of Allah has related to us some definite signs through which we should be able to correctly identify the Dajjal as what it is and thus resist and reject the influence of the Dajjal. The almost complete lack of education and the total absence of technology could have prevented the people of the then Arabia in understanding the concept of the Dajjal, however, today, when almost every one of the allegories used to describe the Dajjal by the Messenger have been reflected in the mirror of the western society, how close are we in correctly interpreting and identifying it as the self-same "Masih-al-kazzab," the Dajjal? Unfortunately far from resisting or rejecting it, we, the so- called Muslims of this world, have it in front of our very eyes and yet are not only unable to Dajjal? The Judeo-Christian ‘Civilization’! recognize it for its true self, but have accepted it as our lord, master and have submitted to it.

Let us start with the name, with which the Messenger has introduced us to it, the Dajjal- which is not actually a name, in the sense that it is more of a description than a proper name; like that of Imam Mahdi (a.s) who will have a separate personal name but is known to us as Al-Mahdi or 'the rightly guided one' who will appear in the later times to guide mankind to true Guidance, the right path. Similarly, the Dajjal is not a name in the proper sense as an adjective. The literal meaning of the word "Dajjal" is that of an attractive impostor, beautiful outside but dark and ugly inside, a cheat a deceiver and a liar. Is not this statement true of the technologically advanced western civilization which dazzles the beholder with fantastic achievements on the one hand yet due to its absolute detachment from God in their collective lives, society is rife with injustices, crimes and sins of every kind? This 'civilization' has been responsible for the deaths of 14 million human lives in course of the two world wars and another 20 million people in different wars and skirmishes ever since. The number of people disabled from these would be at least double of the dead; countless more have been displaced and rendered homeless. It does not end there- injustices and cruelty on a personal and collective level, murders, thefts, rapes, kidnappings go on unabated and it is for these that the western civilization is the dazzling, attractive impostor.

THE DAJJAL IN THE BIBLE THE New Testament tells us that the Anti-Christ is to appear in the Last Hour. The literal meaning of the Anti-Christ is someone who defies or opposes Jesus; although the Biblical references do not as faultlessly and completely define the Judeo-Christian materialistic civilization as the Dajjal like the Hadith do, further explanations will prove that the same has been referred to here.

The literal meaning of the word Dajjal, as discussed earlier, denotes a dazzling impostor: a description to the letter of the Judeo-Christian materialistic civilization: replete with inventions of mind-boggling and dazzling proportions on one hand, while on the other, with complete detachment from the soul and spirituality, turns its followers into subhuman creatures.

The four instances of reference to the Anti- Christ in the Bible bear such obvious similarity to the Dajjal described by the Messenger of Allah, that they are hard to ignore. The following excerpts are from the New Testament of the Holy Scriptures. Except a few words that are different there is practically no difference between this and the Authorized or King James Version.

‘Young children, it is the Last Hour, and just as you have heard the Anti-Christ is coming, even now there have come to be many Anti-Christ's; from which we gain the knowledge that it is the Last Hour.60

Two important similarities emerge between this quote and the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah. Both name the Last Hour or the Akheri Zamana as the Dajjal's era of appearance. Secondly the Messenger of Allah's expression of the word 'Dajjal' to describe other smaller tyrants, liars or cheats has similarly been employed.

TWO ‘Who is the liar if is not the one that denies Jesus is the Christ? This is the anti-Christ, the one that denies the Father and the Son.61

The Bible refers to the Dajjal in the same word the Messenger of Allah has used for it, the liar.

It should be borne in mind that in the Christian faith, God is thought to be the Father, Jesus, His Son and they are deemed as a single entity. To deny either the Father or the Son, in Biblical analogy, is an act of denial of both, since they are mutually conclusive. This is exactly what the Dajjal bids us: to deny Allah and His Ordinance. The Messenger of Allah has informed us of this very thing of the Dajjal's claim to be lord and make us deny Allah in the matter of conducting our collective lives, in politics, economy, law, penal matters, judicial, social etc. except only in personal spiritual matters.

THREE ‘Every inspired expression that confesses Jesus Christ as having come in the flesh originates with God: but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, that is the Anti-Christ's (inspired expression) which you have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world.62

These lines echo the same thought as those expressed by the Messenger of Allah, that the Anti-Christ, the Dajjal is coming soon in the future and its subsequent denial of Jesus.

FOUR ‘For many deceivers have gone forth in the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver, and the Anti-Christ.63

While we read these excerpts, we need to bear in mind that this Bible we refer to has not remained the same as revealed to Jesus; just as the Aramaic spoken by him is no longer in use. Just as the Aramaic spoken by the Messenger Isa (as) is lost to mankind, similarly no Bible in that language exists in the world today either.64 With the passage of time, the Bible was first translated into Greek, later on into Latin and many other different languages. The monotheist religion of Jesus has been transformed into the Trinity just as the monotheist 'Ummah' or people of Ebrahim (a.s.) transfigured into the idol-worshippers of Arabia. The different words used to relate to the Anti-Christ or the Dajjal must have similarly undergone various changes. It is remarkable that after so many translations, alterations, versions and reversions that the Anti-Christ features at all in the Bible, a wonder still that they should be identical to the very words used by the Messenger of Allah. Comparative descriptions of the Dajjal in the Hadith and the Bible:

a. The Dajjal will appear in the Akheri Zamana or the Final Period (Hadith). According to the Bible, the Anti-Christ is destined to appear in the Last Hour.65

b. The Messenger of Allah has stated that the Dajjal will deny Allah and claim to be lord or 'rub', itself. In the Bible, the Anti-Christ is referred to as the one that denies the Father (God), and the Son (Jesus).66

c. The Messenger of Allah has described the Dajjal as the 'Deceiver', identical to the Biblical reference. The Bible described the Anti-Christ as 'Deceiver'67

d. The Messenger of Allah calls the Dajjal 'Liar': it is called the liar in the Bible as well.68 The Bible declares Anti-Christ as liar.69

It seems a atypical and cruel irony that the Christian faith that predicted the arrival of the Anti-Christ, the Dajjal in the Bible and warned others of it should be the herald of it itself, for it was the misguided efforts of its followers that gave birth to the Anti-Christ system and today, their ascendants are among the first grade followers of that very Anti-Christ.

60 New Testament, The First Letter from John 2 : 18.

61 New Testament, The First Letter from John 2 : 22.

62 New Testament, The First Letter from John 4 : 2-3.

63 New Testament, The Second Letter from John 1 : 7.

64 During the last century, a Gospel was uncovered from the tomb of Barnabas, a close disciple of Isa (a.s); however the Christian clergy does not accept it as a book of merit because the teachings of Isa (a.s.) have remained untampered in that Gospel, and are directly contradictory regarding fundamental issues to the Bibles in circulation today.

65 New Testament, The First Letter from John 2 : 18.
66 New Testament, The First Letter from John 2 : 22.
67 New Testament, The First Letter from John 4 : 2-3.
68 New Testament, The Second Letter from John 1: 7.
69 New Testament, The First Letter from John 2 : 22.