Ml Muhammed Vanker
Meaning of the Word Maseeh (Messiah)
There are over fifty scholarly comments on the meaning of the word Maseeh (Messiah). They said that this word is applied both to the Truthful One [True Messiah, i.e., ‘Eesa (Jesus)] and to the misleading liar [the “antichrist” or Dajjaal]. The Messiah is the Truthful One, ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary), the Messiah of guidance, who healed those who were born blind and lepers, and brought the dead to life by Allah’s Leave. The false messiah (al-maseeh al-dajjaal) is the liar who leads people astray, the messiah of misguidance who will tempt people by means of the signs that he is given, such as bringing down rain, reviving the earth to bring forth vegetation, and other “miracles.”
So Allah has created two messiahs, who are opposites of one another. The scholars said that the reason why the Dajjaal is called maseeh (a “messiah”) is because one of his eyes is mamsooh (lit. “wiped”; smooth or abraded, i.e., he will be blind or defective in one eye). Or it was said that it is because he will survey or travel throughout the earth (yamsah) in forty days… The former view is more correct, because of what was said in the hadeeth narrated by Muslim (no. 5221) from Anas ibn Maalik, who said: “The Messenger of Allah (r) said: ‘The Dajjaal will be blind ( mamsooh) in one eye, and between his eyes will be written ‘kaafir’…’”.
Meaning of the Word Dajjaal
The word Dajjaal is taken from the expression “Dajala al-ba’eer (he smeared the camel)”, referring to when they covered it with tar. The root dajala means to mix. The word dajala is used to mean deliberately confusing matters and being vague and ambiguous, The Dajjaal is the one who speaks in vagaries, who tells many lies and deceives many people. The word “Dajjaal” became a title given to the lying, one-eyed, false messiah. The Dajjaal is so called because he will conceal his kufr from the people by lying to them, deceiving them and confusing them.
Description of the Dajjaal, and the Ahaadeeth Narrated Concerning Him
The Dajjaal will be a man from among the sons of Adam. He will have many attributes which were described in the ahaadeeth to acquaint people with him and to warn them of his evil. So when he comes, the believers will know him and will not be misled by him. They will know his features which the Truthful One (the Prophet) (r) has told us about. These features will distinguish him from other people, so that no one will be deceived by him except those who are ignorant and whose doom has already been decreed. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.
Among these attributes are: He will be a young man with a ruddy complexion, short, with thick curly hair, a wide forehead, and broad upper chest, blind or defective (mamsooh) in the right eye. This eye will be neither prominent nor sunken, and will look like a floating grape. His left eye will be covered with a thick piece of flesh growing at the edge of his eye. Written between his eyes will be “Kaaf faa’ raa’ (K-F-R)”, in separate (Arabic) letters, or “kaafir” letters joined. This will be read by every Muslim, literate or illiterate. Another of his characteristics will be that he will be sterile, with no children born to him. The following are some of the saheeh ahaadeeth in which the above attributes are mentioned. These ahaadeeth form part of the evidence (daleel) concerning the emergence of the Dajjaal: From ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (t), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (r) 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).
It was also narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (t) that the Messenger of Allah (r) mentioned the Dajjaal to the people and said:
“Allah is not one-eyed, but the false messiah (al-maseeh al-dajjaal) is one-eyed, blind or defective in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape…” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3184).
In the lengthy hadeeth narrated by al-Nawwaas ibn Sam’aan (t) it says:
“The Messenger of Allah (r) mentioned the Dajjaal one morning. Sometimes he described him as insignificant and sometimes he described him as so significant that we thought that he was in the cluster of date-palm trees…”
One of the features of the Dajjaal that he described was:
“He will be a young man with very curly hair, with his eye floating. It is as if he looks like ‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn Qatan.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5228)
It was narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (t) that the Messenger of Allah (r) said:
“I have told you so much about the Dajjaal that I fear you will not understand. The Dajjaal will be a short man, pigeon-toed, with curly hair. He will be one-eyed, with his eye neither prominent nor sunken. If you become confused about him, then remember that your Lord is not one-eyed.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, no. 3763. This hadeeth is saheeh – Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, no. 2455).