Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Abu Isa the Antichrist of Isfahan


سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ وَالرُّوحِ
Holy, Holy, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit

Before the emergence of the false messiah, al-masih al-Dajjal, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him & his family) warned us that there shall appear some thirty minor “dajjals” who pave the way for him. These will be great liars, false prophets and deceivers that emerge from the Umma itself but seek to misguide the Muslims from the Straight Path. Some of them, such as Ibn Sayyad, were so protypical of the one-eyed Dajjal, that some of the Prophet’s companions, the likes of Umar b. al-KhattabRA his son Ibn UmarRA, and Jabir b. Abd AllahRA, really believed that he was the one-eyed Dajjal, making solemn oaths to that effect. Like the one-eyed Dajjal prophesied to come in the latter days, Ibn Sayyad was of Jewish origin. Although he outwardly acknowledged the Risala of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him & his family), it is reported that he claimed apostolic authority for himself, that he was a soothsayer, and even stated that if he were offered the position of being the Dajjal he would not be displeased with it:
وَقِيلَ لَهُ أَيَسُرُّكَ أَنَّكَ ذَاكَ الرَّجُلُ قَالَ فَقَالَ لَوْ عُرِضَ عَلَىَّ مَا كَرِهْتُ
It was said to him (Ibn Sayyad): “Won’t you be pleased if you were that man (Dajjal)?” He said: “If this offer is made to me I would not be displeased with it.” (Sahih Muslim)
Another prototypical figure of the Dajjal was the false prophet and false messiah Abu Isa al-Isfahani, an 8th century Jewish figure who led a failed revolt against the Abbasids. That latter defeated them under the leadership of al-Mansur. Abu Isa’s followers and those who believed in him were known as the Isawiya. According to Abu Isa and the Isawiya sect, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them both) were genuine prophets, but only to their own communities (Wasserstrom, Steven M. The Isawiyya Revisited), i.e., they were not sent to the Jewish people. Being based in Isfahan was no coincidence, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him & his family) stated:
يَتْبَعُ الدَّجَّالَ مِنْ يَهُودِ أَصْبَهَانَ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا عَلَيْهِمُ الطَّيَالِسَةُ
“The Dajjal will be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isbahan wearing tayalisa (tallit, shawls)” (Sahih Muslim)

Interestingly, regarding Abu Isa, the Karaite scholar Qirqisani wrote: “among his adherents there were people who maintained that he had not been killed, but had merely entered a ridge in the mountains, so that nothing further was heard of him.” (Friedlaender, Israel. Shiitic Elements in Jewish Sectarianism) Furthermore, it is written in Encyclopedia Iranica: “Abū ʿĪsā allegedly gathered 10,000 partisans whom he commanded in battle as the forerunner of the Messiah. He was ultimately killed along with his men by the caliph Manṣūr near Ray. His followers believed that his death was an illusion and that in reality he had miraculously disappeared, an escape characteristic of other messianic pretenders whose return was eagerly awaited.”

1 comment:

  1. I tend to believe that the prophecy of the Dajjal being followed by 70 thousand Jews of Isbahan was fulfilled in the movement of Abu Isa al-Isfahani. In Arabic expression, 70 thousand would simply mean a large number and doesn't have to literally be 70 thousand. Abu Isa al-Isfahani was a Dajjal, although not the major Dajjal, known as the One-Eyed الاعور who is yet to emerge.

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