Netflix's 'Messiah': What's the controversy regarding the show's main character 'Al-Masih ad-Dajjal'?

Netflix's 'Messiah': What's the controversy regarding the show's main character 'Al-Masih ad-Dajjal'?
(Source : IMDb)

Season 1 of 'Messiah', an American thriller web series by Michael Petroni is set to drop on Netflix on New Years'. The trailer has sparked a heated debate with Netflix users threatening to unsubscribe -  when the storyline seemed to have reference to the antichrist. The plot you ask? This political thriller series is the following of a man who suddenly appears in Syria claiming to have been sent by his father for a 'mission'. While most recall Jesus having claimed the same thing, the trailer let the controversy surface through social media - people were not happy.

While the tweet for the show's trailer asks: “Who do you think he is? Watch 'Messiah' on Netflix" - Antichrist was the uniformed answer.

Who is Dajjal? What is the connection between 'Al-Masih' and an Anti-Christ?

The trailer clocked in millions of views, with Arabic speakers pointing out the name of the main character Al-Masih or Dajjal (Mehdi Dehbi). So it turns out that 'Al-Masih ad-Dajjal' is an 'evil figure' and is colloquially called 'the deceiving Messiah' - Christians call this the Anti-Christ.  Arabic speakers quickly pointed out that the man, played by actor Mehdi Dehbi, is called Al-Masih. 'Dajjal' is said to appear between Syria and Iran.

With claims of disrespect spewing for the network, it seems as though while Netflix might have revealed its twist - it had more than a little religious controversy tied in. Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, is an evil figure in Islamic eschatology  - Islamic theology involving life after death, the soul and the 'Day of Judgement.' To break down the title that has people claiming lack of religious sensitivity - 'Masih' means 'Messiah' and 'Dajjal' means lie - he is a figure of significance in the belief of Islam in relation to the end of the world.


According to the beliefs, Dajjal will deceive the people of the world - he gains an International following in the show - except Muslims that are' true' and will conquer the world except for Mecca and Medina - the Islamic holy cities. He'll perform miracles until Jesus who Islam refers to as Isa kills him when he returns to earth - most commonly known as 'the coming of the (true) Messiah' The teachings describe Dajjal with a blind right eye and the Arabic word 'kafir' written on his forehead - it means 'unbeliever.' It is said that before his arrival, the world will be sucked into violence then his arrival will be the start of natural disasters and evil worship. The teachings bear resemblance to the Antichrist in Christianity - it's evident.

On 'Messiah', Dajjal is being investigated by a CIA officer who is doubtful of many things but mainly one - they know nothing about him. With the name of the show and the name of the character pushing the boundaries of controversy, people aren't tolerating the disrespect. What do you mean this man is claiming to be the Son of God?

The first 10 episodes of Season 1 of 'Messiah' will be released on Netflix, on January 1, 2020.


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