Dhul-Suwayqatayn (Arabic: ذو السويقتين, lit.'the man with two thin legs',[1] Amharic: ዱል-ሱወይቃታይን) is a figure mentioned in the hadith of the Islamic prophet Muhammad,[1] according to which a group of Abyssinian (Ethiopian) men are destined to permanently destroy the Ka‘aba at the end of times and remove its treasure. It will be dismantled brick-by-brick, therefore in a peaceful manner. At this time faith in God will have disappeared, so the destruction will go unnoticed.[1] Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn al-As and Ibn Kathir interpreted that this will occur after the second coming of Isa (Jesus Christ).[2]

References to this are recorded in all six traditional Sunni compilations of hadith, the Kutub al-Sitta, including the earliest and the most revered ones, namely Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.[3] The tradition is likely related to the Year of the Elephant, when the Axumite general Abraha is said to have attacked Mecca.[4]

Following the Fifth Crusade (1217–1221), this tradition was transferred to Europe when Bishop Oliver of Paderborn's Historia Damiatina described a Nubian king as an omen indicating the end of Islam.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Al Bukhari, Abu Abdullah (2022). Encyclopedia of Sahih Al-Bukhari. Arabic Virtual Translation Centre. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  2. ^ Madelung, Wilferd (2016) [1992]. Religious and Ethnic Movements in Medieval Islam. New York: Routledge. pp. 177–178. ISBN 9780860783107. OCLC 1229166290.
  3. ^ Erlich, Haggai (30 April 2009). Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Ethiopia: The Messages of Religions (PDF) (Speech). The Fifth Annual Levtzion Lecture. Hebrew University (published 2013).
  4. ^ Walter W. Müller (1987) "Outline of the History of Ancient Southern Arabia," Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine in Werner Daum (ed.), Yemen: 3000 Years of Art and Civilisation in Arabia Felix. Pinguin-Verlag. ISBN 9068322133
  5. ^ Danilenko, Nadja (2019-07-03). "Der apokalyptische Abessinier und die Kreuzzüge: Wandel eines frühislamischen Motivs in der Literatur und Kartografie des Mittelalters, by Mordechay Lewy (Review)". Imago Mundi. 71 (2): 210. doi:10.1080/03085694.2019.1607069. ISSN 0308-5694. S2CID 195580621.

Further reading