Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Number of the Beast!

Peace, one and all...
As you're no doubt aware, today's date is June 6th 2006. In other words, it's 6/6/06. 666 is widely supposed to be the number of the Beast (Shaytan) in the Christian tradition. As such, the papers are full of 'devilish' articles today. This is all based on the Book of Revelations (the final book of the New Testament canon according to most Christian churches).
Actually the passage in question is as follows:
'Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six'
This passage (in a heavily symbolic and allegorical book) has given rise to a truly astounding number of interpretations. Some have identified this character with Nero, President Reagan and so on. Our own beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) was also believed to have been this figure (the Anti-Christ).
On the popular level, this is the stuff of superstition. However, Islam has its own traditions about the coming Imposter (al-Masih al-Dajjal, may Allah protect us all from him). Interestingly, he is said to be one-eyed (lacking the depth of bi-ocular vision perhaps?) As I understand 666, it is drawn from Jewish/Early Christian thought which understood 777 to be the perfect number. 666 is thus less than that.
At the end of the day, God knows best (Allahu alim).
Ma'as salama,
Abdur Rahman

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