JERUSALEM – The Islamic State may want Western and moderate Arab countries to send ground troops to Syria, because it believes an apocalyptic battle is necessary to fulfill an end-of-days prophecy of total Muslim conquest.
This belief is expressed in an ISIS propaganda video released last week titled “Meeting at Dabiq,” which references the future location of an epic final clash between Muslims and “crusaders.”
The video, replete with Islamic chants, depicts ISIS fighters – some in tanks and trucks – advancing toward the Colosseum in Rome. This is followed by images of the ISIS flag raised across the Middle East and North Africa. It then predicts the downfall of the West.
The Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo, is central to ISIS ideology. The terrorist group named a magazine after the city, and routinely refers to a future battle at Dabiq in their propaganda. They believe a massive confrontation with Western forces must take place there in order to usher in the Islamic apocalypse and ultimate conquest.
Dabiq is mentioned in the hadith – the Islamic oral tradition that claims to quote the prophet Muhammad verbatim on numerous matters.
Abu Hureyrah, a companion of Muhammad who is perhaps the most important narrator of the hadith, stated:
The Last Hour will not come until the Romans land at al-A’maq or in Dabiq. An army consisting of the best [soldiers] of the people of the earth at that time will come from Medina [to oppose them].
This hadith is constantly referenced by the Islamic State as “evidence” that the insurgency and resulting international intervention in Syria were predicted by Muhammad.
The hadith continues:
They will then fight and a third of the army will run away, which Allah will never forgive. A third [of the army], which will be constituted of excellent martyrs in Allah’s eye, will be killed, and the third who will never be put to trial will win and they will be conquerors of Constantinople.
After the battle, Jesus, who is depicted as Muslim, will “descend and lead them in prayer.
When the enemies of Allah see him, they will [disappear] just as the salt dissolves itself in water, and if [Jesus] were not to confront them at all, even then [the enemy] would dissolve completely.
Allah will kill them by his hand and he will show them their blood on [Jesus’] lance.”
According to interpretations of the hadith, “80 flags,” meaning 80 foreign countries, will come to Syria to fight against the Muslims during the final battle in Dabiq.
Breitbart Jerusalem asked Dr. Abdullah Mukat, an Islamic fundamentalist and former lecturer at the Hamas-linked Islamic University in Gaza, to explain the significance of this hadith in Islamic State ideology.
Mukat said the hadith claims that many Romans – meaning many Christians – will become Muslims and live in Syrian territory, with some fighting alongside their Muslim brethren during the final confrontation with the West.
“Dabiq is the border between the Muslim East and the crusading Christian West, and it is the place of the final confrontation, the clash of the judgement day,” Mukat said.
According to Mukat:
Among the signs attesting to the hadith being accurate and true is that of non-Arab and non-Muslim fighters joining the ranks of the Islamic State. This is just like what happened when some of the Romans joined Islam. Moreover, the preparations for as well as the participation of many countries in the fight against the Islamic State testify that the scripture is nearing fulfillment.
Turkey’s recent participation in the coalition and the war against the Islamic State explains why the Islamic State’s army will have to conquer Istanbul – Constantinople – on its way to the West.
Mukat stated that “the hadith says that in face of the gathering of foreign armies in Syria, an army assembled from Islam’s finest sons will set out for Syria to fight in the Dabiq region against the infidels. There, the Muslims will win, according to the hadith.”
Adnani Alsham, a fighter for the Islamic State in Syria, provided Breitbart Jerusalem with a statement via a Gazan ISIS supporter on Telegram, an encrypted message forum.
Alsham commented on ISIS’ enthusiasm for the fighting in Syria and a future battle in Dabiq:
Our belief in Allah and in the prophet causes us to believe in everything that is said in the Quran and in the prophet’s hadiths. We have a great desire to meet Allah as liberators … and as conquerors.
This is a war against tyrants and infidels, and America is leading the infidel countries. Our religion tells us that the infidel armies will reach Syria and here the renewed age of Islamic victories will begin, since it is here that the Mujahidin forces of the Islamic State have assembled awaiting war against the infidels.
According to Alsham, ISIS is “preparing and hoping for the American forces to land so that we can fight its soldiers. For just as we were not affected by its airplanes, so its soldiers cannot handle facing us. We will humiliate the infidel soldier