A hadith depicts Muhammad saying:
The Last Hour would not come until the Romans would 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 counteract them). When they will arrange themselves in ranks, the Romans would say: Do not stand between us and those (Muslims) who took prisoners from amongst us. Let us fight with them; and the Muslims would say: Nay, by Allah, we would never get aside from you and from our brethren that you may fight them. They will then fight and a third (part) of the army would run away, whom Allah will never forgive. A third (part of the army) which would be constituted of excellent martyrs in Allah’s eye, would be killed and the third who would never be put to trial would win and they would be conquerors of Constantinople. And as they would be busy in distributing the spoils of war (amongst themselves) after hanging their swords by the olive trees, the Satan would cry: The Dajjal has taken your place among your family. They would then come out, but it would be of no avail. And when they would come to Syria, he would come out while they would be still preparing themselves for battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus (peace be upon him) son of Mary would descend and would lead them in prayer. When the enemy of Allah would see him, it would (disappear) just as the salt dissolves itself in water and if he (Jesus) were not to confront them at all, even then it would dissolve completely, but Allah would kill them by his hand and he would show them their blood on his lance (the lance of Jesus Christ). (Sahih Muslim 2897)
The Islamic State hoped to bring about the fulfillment of this “prophecy” within the next ten years, by drawing the United States into a huge battle between the Muslims and the non-Muslims at Dabiq, that would result in the return of Jesus the Muslim prophet to the earth and the beginning of the Islamic vision of the End Times.
This hope was always nonsense, as you can see from reading the actual “prophecy”: in it, Muhammad says that those who fight the “Romans” at Dabiq would come from Medina, which would apparently have required the Islamic State to conquer Saudi Arabia before it could be fulfilled. And then, during the battle, “a third (part of the army) which would be constituted of excellent martyrs in Allah’s eye, would be killed and the third who would never be put to trial would win and they would be conquerors of Constantinople.” So apparently the third of the Muslim army that would defeat the non-Muslims at Dabiq would be “conquerors of Constantinople,” which must mean that they would either be veterans of the conquest of Constantinople or would accompany Jesus the Muslim prophet to the conquest of Constantinople after the victory at Dabiq.
But jihadis conquered Constantinople on May 29, 1453, over 550 years ago. I daresay that few, if any, of those conquerors are alive today to fight at Dabiq.
Nonetheless, this prophecy, this vision of the final battle and the End Times and the final victory of the Muslims, was so important to the Islamic State that it named its glossy online magazine “Dabiq.” Soon they will have to rename it after some other site of more attainable Islamic conquest — say, “Washington In a Hillary Clinton Administration.”
Of course, the Islamic State doesn’t own this hadith. Some of the jihadis among the “Syrian rebels” who took the town may still be hoping to bring about its fulfillment soon. But as with any false prophecy, for it ever to be fulfilled, a lot of moving parts would have to snap into place.
“Isis loses ‘prophesied’ town of Dabiq to Syrian rebels after short battle,” by Adam Withnall, Independent, October 16, 2016:
Isis has lost control of the symbolically important town of Dabiq to a group of Syrian rebels following a short battle.
Syrian opposition fighters backed by Turkey said they took the town after meeting with “minimal” resistance from the jihadists.
According to Isis propaganda, Dabiq was to be the scene of an apocalyptic final battle between Muslims and Christians, heralding the end of days. Isis named its English-language propaganda magazine after the town, and the looming fight had featured prominently in jihadist media outlets.
Located between Aleppo and the Turkish border, Dabiq holds little strategic significance. Isis is nonetheless reported to have stationed some 1,200 troops in the town since it took control in 2014, thanks in no small part to its prophesied importance.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isis withdrew its forces. A commander of the Syrian opposition Hamza Brigade said they captured the town on Sunday morning, and that Isis had retreated towards the much larger town it still holds to the south-east, al-Bab….