A miracle or a simple hoax? Parents of a nine-month-old child claim their son has been marked by God, while doctors say the extracts from the Koran on his skin have nothing to do with divine intervention.
Soon after Ali was born to an ordinary and not very religious family, strange writings began appearing on his skin. The Arabic characters turned out to be extracts from the Muslim Holy book, the Koran. At first, Ali’s parents concealed this fact, but when yet another writing reading “Show these signs to people” appeared, the news spread all around Ali’s native Dagestan, Russia’s Muslim republic.
The child’s mother, Madina Yakubova, says the writings appear every Monday and Friday, with Ali having a major fever on these days. “[Ali] can’t sleep at night when the signs appear. He tortures himself,” says Madina.
The writings are always different – new characters replace the old ones every time.
Local religious officials believe these are the signs of Almighty Allah. The head of the North Caucasus Muslims coordinating centre Ismail Berdyev insists the epistles are mainly addressed to unreligious people.
“Let them see that these signs are not accidental. These are God’s signs. We, Muslims, realize it. Let skeptics and nonbelievers realize it as well,” he insists.
Russia’s Mufti Council sees the message of the miracle otherwise.
“Signs of Allah” on Ali's skin
Meanwhile, doctors think otherwise. They are almost sure the signs have been written by Ali’s parents.
Lyudmila Luss from Russia’s institute of immunology says the writings have been most likely made physically or chemically.
“Substances like pepper or salt can produce such a reaction on the skin,” she says. It can also be a result of urticarious dermographism, she added, which is a skin disorder seen in 4–5% of the population. The skin then becomes raised and inflamed when stroked or rubbed with a dull object.
So far, Ali’s family has refused to make any meticulous dermatologic examination. In the meantime, Russian media report that Ali was initially diagnosed with coronary heart disease and cerebral spastic infantile paralysis, but when his abnormalities began he miraculously recovered.
Ali’s native village has already become a top destination for over 2000 Muslim pilgrims from all over Dagestan and neighboring republics. People have shot videos and taken photos of Ali. They have taken all his clothes, Madina Yakubova says. In return they present him with new ones.
“It’s hard to predict the future of this child,” one of the many pilgrims told RT.
“He needs to be guarded though, because enemies of Islam may kill him. This place may become sacred, and people should pilgrimage here,” he added.