Netflix Messiah Series – Dajjāl’s ‘Plan in Motion’ Television
Netflix Messiah Series – Dajjāl’s ‘Plan in Motion’ Television
Social media has been buzzing with chatter of excitement as well as controversy surrounding the soon to be released Netflix series titled ‘Messiah’, and by no ‘coincidence’, twitter has been trending the series with hashtag #Dajjāl (the False Messiah). As a result of the bombardment of broadcast messages on social media regarding this series, many Muslims are forwarding messages stating that the series is about ‘Dajjāl’, thus giving rise to the idea that the series focuses solely on the Islāmic perspective on the matter. Hence, this essay aims to shed light on the matter whilst further clarifying the message perpetuated by the series in question and the implications for Muslims. Alternatively, one may listen to / download the podcast from a week earlier on my show, “The Wake Up Project – An Analysis of the Signs of the End-Times”. (podcast 18 – https://shaykhfaheem.com/radio-al-ansaar-recordings/)
The ‘Messiah’ Series
Coming to Netflix on the 1st of January 2020, the series is centred on the mysterious emergence of a miracle man who‘amasses’ a large following via the impact of social media. According to Netflix News on December 11th 2019,
“The story unfolds from the points of view of multiple narrators, including Eva Geller the CIA officer, an Israeli Shin Bet officer, a Palestinian refugee, and finally, a Latino preacher and his Texan daughter.”
This is where the plan of the puppeteers ‘behind the scenes’ begins to unfold as the characters represent the vast majority of the viewers whose religious inclinations on the matter will be undoubtedly ‘questioned’ throughout the characters in the series. The CIA officer will most likely represent the ‘Atheistic’ view, which is constantly questioning the idea of miracles from religious belief, whilst the Israeli officer will clearly represent the Zionist viewpoint. The Palestinian refugee will undoubtedly represent the Muslim standpoint and the Texan daughter will form the view of the Christian belief, -well this is what I understand will occur anyway- which is yet to be seen. In this manner, all viewpoints that have an intertwined belief regarding Jerusalem will be covered. However, it must be noted that Muslims are not to consider the Islāmic views purported by the show as well as the role played by the Muslim cast to be authentic under any circumstance, lest we cast ourselves into an abyss of ignorance.
What is a Messiah?
Whilst the three Abrahamic Faiths viz. Judaism, Christianity and Islām all preach some tradition discussing a messianic concept, -albeit differing immensely in each viewpoint-, the Jews are awaiting their Messiah and saviour and who will restore the Jewish people back to the Golden Age they once experienced in the era of the kingdom Solomon (peace be upon him) aforetime.
According to Islām though, that Messiah was already sent in the form of Jesus (peace be upon him) who was rejected by the hierarchy of the Jews at the time based on external observation. Jesus (peace be upon him) was not crucified and was saved from the traitors who plotted against him and was raised by God to the heavens where he remains awaiting the orders of God Almighty to return to earth and once more restore balance after the ‘false messiah’ wreaks global havoc via his deceptive methodology to ensnare the world in a ‘web’ of materialism.
Is the Series about ImāmAl-Mahdī?
Not with standing the fact that certain minorities harbour the belief that the Messiah and the Mahdi are one and the same, suffice to say that that the notion is fallacious in the least and does not conform to the majority view held by Sunnī Muslims. Nonetheless, even those who do not believe in such erroneous ideologies found themselves in a quagmire of confusion regarding the show and have been asking whether the series was about the Mahdī? It was only upon scrutiny of the cast that I had deduced the possible origin of this confusion as the main character of the show, who embodies the role of the ‘Messiah’ is played by the actor Mehdi Dehbi. Again, this I believe was done to ‘cast’ that very doubt within the Muslim community in order to create the very confusion which we have witnessed on Twitter and social media.
The answer to the subheading though, is a resounding “No!” but the added twist and dimension of that possibility would undoubtedly bring about the relevant media attention that the show wishes to achieve.
Jesus the True Messiah and Dajjāl the False Messiah
According to the numerous authentic Islāmic traditions, towards the End-Times, a man of Jewish descent will ‘emerge’ claiming to be the ‘Messiah’ and will eventually claim divinity. This man, -we are warned-, will be the ‘false messiah’ known in the prophetic traditions as ‘Al-Masīh Ad-Dajjāl’.
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) identified the Dajjāl as a false messiah, inferring that he will try to ‘impersonate’ the true messiah. This conforms with numerous other traditions as a cursory study of the hadīth corpus reveals that the Dajjāl’s modus operandi will be forged in the foundations of deception and who will con the world into believing in his ‘messianic’ claim. Of course, those who are not duped by his one-eyed epistemology will indeed possess the ability to identify the deception via ‘insight’ acquired by the prophetic direction located in the Qur’ān and Hadīth.
A simple, yet intellectual means of understanding Dajjāl’s approach can be understood from the following example,
Here in South Africa, there exists a variety of colors in our paper currency. The reserve bank has issued different colors for each of the denominations so as to alleviate the problem of counterfeiting and to further ensure ease of identification for each note. Hypothetically, if someone was to attempt to counterfeit the R10 note (which is green in color) and whose forgery possesses all the necessary markings for it to pass as counterfeit, would it be sensible for the counterfeiter to create all the markings to perfection, but forge the note in the color yellow? This would be absolutely illogical on his behalf, and he would not be able to fool even a child, let alone an educated adult. In order for his forgery to pass as the real deal, he will need to counterfeit the note to the closest possible resemblance, in both look and feel. Failure to do so will render his forgery worthless.
Similarly, it seems as though the prophetic emphasis on addressing Dajjāl with the exact title that Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon him) is known by, was yet again a stroke of genius on his part as it causes us to study the True Messiah, thus revealing the deceit of the False Messiah. This theory is strengthened by the following narration located in the Islamic Lifestyle Solutions publications, “The Beginning of the End – An Eschatological Endeavour to Unravel the Mysteries of the Modern Age”. The narration, if viewed from our perspective, presents a perfect model to explore that hypothesis,
“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) mentioned the Masīh Ad-Dajjāl amidst the people saying, “Allāh is not one-eyed while Masīh Ad-Dajjāl is blind in the right eye, and his eye looks like a protruding grape. Whilst sleeping near Al-Ka’bah last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color, the best one can see amongst brown color, and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men whilst circumambulating the Ka’bah. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’ Behind him I saw a man who had very curly hair and was blind in the right eye, resembling Ibn Qatān (i.e. an infidel) in appearance. He was placing his hands on the shoulders of a person while performing Tawāf around the Ka’bah. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, “Al-Masīh Ad-Dajjāl ”
The narration clarifies that the Dajjāl will be so desperate in his attempt to impersonate the true messiah, that he may even ‘pose’ to perform acts of worship in order to dupe the ignoble into believing his claim. However, contemplation on the narrative shows the subtle clues left by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) detailing the defectiveness of his impersonation. From the subtle descriptive differences in the color of skin, the length of hair, to his failure to place his hands according to the method of the true messiah, has been detailed for the discerning hearts. The message of the narration is quite clear! Do not be duped by every person’s claim to superiority. Rather, allow the Qur’ān and Sunnah to stand in judgment of these claims as these are the guidelines set forth for us during those testing times.
Implications for Muslims
Until and unless one is equipped with the requisite Islāmic knowledge and perspective on the subject of Dajjāl the False Messiah and Jesus the True Messiah, Muslims are urged to refrain from delving into further confusion by watching a series which undoubtedly has its central theme focused on the perspective of religion. If television shows of this nature are viewed without the relevant knowledge from one’s own tradition, then the viewer may be duped by the viewpoint presented by Hollywood, and thus find themselves accepting that ‘apparent’ view to be ‘reality’, and in doing so, the objectives of the Dajjālī order will be one more step away from fulfillment.
May God Almighty protect us from the fitnah (trials) of Dajjāl
For in depth analysis on the topic, the Islamic Lifestyle Solutions publications, “The Beginning of the End – An Eschatological Endeavour to Unravel the Mysteries of the Modern Age, pages 323-402.
The Beginning of the End, with reference to Sahīh Al-Bukhārī – Book on Prophets, Chapter regarding the statement of Allāh Y “And mention in the Book, the story of Maryam…” (19:16)