The 2007 critical edition of Ahmed Bijan’s cosmography Dürr-i meknûn (DM) has greatly stimulated interest in what must be considered the book’s prequel, Eindtijd en Antichrist (English summary), a detailed analysis of DM’s Chapter 17 about the ‘Signs of the Hour’. To meet demand a revised English edition of Eindtijd en Antichrist is now available.
Originally written in 1997 in the Dutch language, this study was and remains the sole monograph devoted entirely to Ahmed Bijan’s eschatology, and the little researched Islamic Antichrist: the terrible Dajjal. Kaptein offers an extensive, detailed analysis of topoi and themes that make up the figure of Dajjal and the account of the End of the World. It also becomes clear that Bijan was not an ‘apocalyptic’ and that he did not in any way employ End Time imagery to comment on his own times and tribulations. Next the remaining question gets answered: why then did Ahmed Bijan write what he wrote in the way that he did?
There is also a hearty discussion on method: it appears that the field of Middle East Studies needs a thorough revision of its ways of studying the time honoured genre of The End of the World. Only too often is the research guided by one’s personal expectations about a given period rather than its relevant contemporary texts. Then there’s the abundance of plain truisms, rounded Year 1000’s and sweeping statements that obscure more than they clarify. And surely no meaningful results can come from the sort of reasoning that proclaims persons or periods to be apocalyptic because they are either anonymous, silent on the matter or absent altogether… which is then quoted as ‘proof’ that they must be apocalyptic, why else would they try and hide it!
|Title:||Apocalypse and the Antichrist Dajjal in Islam.
Ahmed Bijan’s Eschatology Revisited
|Publisher:||Laban Kaptein, Asch (privately published)|
|Binding:||paperback, 248 (256) pages; 410 gr|
|Price:||approx. € 56|