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Maseeh Al-Dajjal: A Cyberpunk Theory of the Coming False Messiah
Fake Resurrections, Portals into False Hell, and the likely Mad Max era
Both Muslims and Christians believe firmly in the coming of the Dajjal, known to the Christians as the Antichrist. This is the false messiah, the liar who will come in the end times and proclaim himself to be the Anointed One first, then one who God directly inspires, and eventually call himself a god. Just about everyone in religious schooling learns this story in their upbringing, the coming of the Mahdi (the real Guided One), and alongside him the second coming of Jesus Christ (AS). It will be a perilous time, filled with unimaginable hardships where the divine and unseen are revealed before our eyes. Many will stray, some will believe; but God always wins, as is always the case.
I present here a technical theory. I expect this stuff to be mostly news to my non-Muslim readers who don’t know just how much our traditions coincide in eschatology. As always, I ask for Allah’s guidance and am open to conflicting views, and I hope that if I make any theological errors those qualified will correct me.
Who is the Dajjal/Antichrist?
The Prophet ﷺ described him as being a young, crippled man, from around the area that is modern-day Isfahan, Iran. He will come from a couple that is righteous, who have been barren and prayed for many years for a child, and are eventually granted this one son. He will have curly hair, and be deformed in a distinguishing manner; one of his eyes (there are differences in the narration whether it’s his left or right) will be bloated like a rotten grape, unable to see from it. Our Prophet ﷺ also said that any human being with an ounce of faith in Allah in his heart will recognize the word ‘DISBELIEVER’ written on his forehead.
This last sign is probably not a physical sign. This is a spiritual gift to the believers, as those who follow the Dajjal will not be able to see a thing. Think of it like a belief-based invisible ink.
The Dajjal will visit every city on earth in a period of 40 days. Some interpret this literally and think every crevice where humans settle will be touched, thus giving doubts to the hyper-rational of us, but that’s not necessarily the case. In Quranic Arabic, “كلّ” generally means “all”, but can also mean “most”. So it’s safe to assume every sizable population center on earth will be subject to being visited by the Antichrist.
The issue of Dajjal, where he comes from, at what time, and so on has caused confusion and conflict for generations, from within the Prophet’s ﷺ lifetime to this day. Some of the logistics about him don’t make sense. There’s an authentic hadith that is popular with many called the hadith of Tameem al-Daari, which though is very interesting and technically authentic, contradicts pretty much all the rest of what we know about the Dajjal. Many scholars took issue with this hadith despite its authentic chain of narration, and agreed that it’s worth suspecting because of its lack of consistency with the rest of the hadiths about the Dajjal, so this isn’t a big part of my theory.
We know that the times we’re living in now are worsening quite a bit. Food shortages seem on the horizon for many, inflation, soaring prices of goods and fuel — and greater than all of that which is just a demo of what the “powers that be” have planned, is their two-layered society not all that dissimilar to something like Elysium or Altered Carbon, where the highest elites live in the luxurious comfort of their own making as the masses suffer a cyberpunk shithole existence, where basic necessities are scarce in spite of massive technological advancement. You all know the meme. Live in the pod, eat the bugs, drink the soy. A spiritual Haiti made possible by multiple cycles of manufactured famine, population swapping, and advancement of mind-numbing entertainment that controls any with the potential to rebel. The ideologies that motivate their plans for these things — climate “control”, social justice/equality, open-borders immigration, all of it is window dressing for these things. They don’t care about the advancement of specific races or a “civilization”, they just want that technocratic heaven of theirs (and hell for others) that they’ll get to enjoy for the last twenty years of them gracelessly wasting away.
Another hadith about the Dajjal is as follows:
"There will be three hard years before the Dajjal (appears). During them, people will be stricken by a great famine. In the first year, Allah will command the sky to withhold a third of its rain, and the earth to withhold a third a third of its produce. In the second year, Allah will command the sky to withhold two thirds of its rain, and the earth to withhold two thirds of its produce. In the third year, Allah will command the sky to withhold all of its rain, and it will not rain a single drop of rain. He will command the earth to withhold all of its produce, and no plant will grow. All hoofed animals will perish, except that which Allah wills."1
What we know for a fact is that for a period before the time of the Dajjal, a worldwide crisis of shortages for food, water, and other necessities will overtake the earth. Many hundreds of millions can be expected to perish as a result, this much we can expect. But afterwards, in humanity’s darkest moment, this Antichrist will appear with a sudden plentifulness of all these things for his followers. This is where the crux of my theory begins: he will be in that upper class, from those elites who are scrounging up whatever miniscule amount of resources are left for themselves, while the rest of humanity is fighting Mad Max style over a few liters of water.
The Islamic prophecy is that this man will be struck by something in his personal life that drives him to a great rage, at which point he goes on his quest to becoming the Dajjal. Perhaps this young man born in this elite class is a little different from them. More sinister, depraved, out of it, despite the righteousness of his parents. It could be that he tries to imitate them — maybe they are benefactors who try to help the poor around them with their wealth in this post-apocalyptic world — but one day his veneer of outward virtue is exposed, and that’s when he loses it and decides to start his cult. He will be a celebrity, but without any outward beauty or aesthetic fascination. He’s an oligarch who can only sway with his riches and the false miracles he will use to bring those into his massive, ever-growing cult.
Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The False Messiah will come upon this marsh of Marriqanat. Most of those who go out to him will be women, until a man goes back to his wife, his mother, his daughter, his sister, and his aunt to shackle them tightly, fearing they would go out to him.”2
It is said also that of those who follow him, most will be women. In times of great crisis when most men are dead or abdicate responsibility, women will as a survival instinct naturally gravitate to whoever is providing the most resources, for their safety and their children’s. It is also the case, and we see this today, that most who are enraptured by celebrities, mythological stories, tricks, and cults are estranged women without a strong father or husband around. So just like in every cult we know from history, this guy will have a depraved harem of his own.
Next come the “miracles” of the Dajjal. The main ones that will sway the masses will be these:
The Prophet ﷺ said: the Dajjal will say to a Bedouin Arab, “what will you think if I bring your father and mother back to life for you? Will you bear witness that I am your lord? The Bedouin will say, “Yes.” So two devils will assume the appearance of his father and mother, and say, “O my son, follow him for he is your lord…”3
We know the technological advancements of our age have reached a point where now we try and explore the impossible. A few years ago there was a Black Mirror episode called “Be Right Back” where a young woman loses her husband to a car crash. Immediately after she’s referred to a tech startup that offers a “way to still contact them” — the way being that when she purchases their service, she also hands over all the personal data and social media info of her late husband to an AI. This AI then uses everything about this man’s online life — his likes, dislikes, style of talking, the way he poses in selfies, favorite foods and allergies, etc. to form a chat bot that talks just like him.
This is creepy at first, but it’s no longer enough for the poor widow after a while. Later on she upgrades this service where she’s sent a synthetically made body with the same AI implanted. Literally her late husband in robot form, using nothing but his digital social media footprint as his base.
You’re definitely wondering, “well Abdullah, this is just dystopian fiction”. Well, not really:
This is real. It’s been attempted before, and most likely they haven’t entirely given up on this. Maybe it’s not for this exact time, but it’s something that won’t exactly be unknown in fifty years or less. And if Americans don’t do it, some other foreign power will. My guess it will be the Chinese.
So it really makes you think about that hadith in today’s context. We put outrageous amounts of our personal lives online, far more than what’s shown in that Black Mirror episode. The focal point of the episode is that yes, indeed, it’s not truly real because it’s not a living being, it doesn’t have a living soul, but in a time of crisis like that of the Dajjal? That would play out quite differently. It’s possible that something similar to this is what is meant as the Dajjal “bringing back” someone’s parents in such a deceitful manner, tricking them using these technological horrors. And it’s not uncommon that we refer to these horrors as devilish and satanic, do we not?
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
May I not inform you about the Dajjal what no Apostle of Allah narrated to his people? He would be blind and he would bring along with him an Image of Paradise and Hell-Fire and what he would call as Paradise that would be Hell-Fire and I warn you as Noah warned his people.4
A Heaven and a Hell, but as “images”. What does this mean?
If we are to continue with our technological horror theory this elite, technologically advantaged Dajjal will use these methods to enact his false miracles, then the same applies here. We’re all familiar with virtual reality, since at the time of writing this it’s now pretty usable for video games and flight simulations. However as it advances, many companies are looking into not only improving the quality of the visuals, but using sensory attachments to make your sense of touch and pain accessible by the VR as well. The main objective is for use in video games, as usual, but once again I’m reminded of something in the vein of Altered Carbon or Westworld, the latter of which uses AI skin suits and a built world seperate from real life. Westworld was a show about a fantasy world built for the rich and powerful, who could live out their sick, depraved criminal and sexual fantasies with zero consequences. Could something like this, or closer to VR be what is meant by the “images” of heaven and hell? Will the obedient of his cult be given a “heaven” world where they live free of consequences, and thus earning Allah’s hell, while an opposite creation is used to torture the true believers in God who deny the False Messiah?
We said: 'O Messenger of Allah, how long will he stay on earth?' He said: 'Forty days, one day like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the rest of his days like your days.' 5
The Prophet ﷺ advised us by saying that if we are among those who are tested with this tribulation, to know that it is not a real hell, and that the reward for enduring its pain will be heaven, so it’s best to just jump into it. Just another aspect to think about. This also relates to what was mentioned at the beginning, that his reign will last forty days, but that first day will feel like a year, the following day will feel like a month, the rest will be in real time. Could it be that it feels that way because of a mass mind-control event that puts many with a certain CONNECTION in their brains to these things into a VR hell?
Another hadith describes those who will remain steadfast:
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The False Messiah will come and he will be forbidden from entering the boundary of Medina. He will descend upon some of the salty barren areas around Medina. On that day, a man among the best of the people will say come out and say: I testify that you are the same impostor whom the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, told us about. The False Messiah will say: Do you all think if I killed you and brought you back to life, would you have any doubt in the matter? The man will say no. Then, he will kill the man and bring him back to life and the man will say when he is alive again: By Allah, I have never seen so clearly as I do today! The False Messiah will intend to kill him, for he has not authority over him.”6
This could be literal, but the method very well could be that he puts such a person through a VR “death” that due to his strength of faith doesn’t break from when he awakens. As with everything I’m theorizing with here, Allah knows best.
I think that even if you disagree with some of these details, you should catch on to my main thesis here. Most, if not all of what will be brought forth by the Dajjal will be with the assistance of technological horrors beyond our comprehension, in a world that the global elites are vying for daily. The good side, however, is that this is nothing compared to those who remain vigorous and steadfast with their faith at such a perilous time. All of this is just speculation, but you tell me what you think as well. It’s all very interesting, is it not?
[Sahih al-Jami' as-Saghir, no. 7875]
Source: Musnad Aḥmad 5353
Sunan Ibn Majah #4067, related by Abu Umamam Al-Bahili, quoted in Kabbani, p. 225
Sahih Muslim 2936
Sunan Ibn Majah 4075
Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6713