Russian Babay Miracle or Skin Disease?
Allegedly, the words appear on the child’s arms, legs and stomach of the nine month old Ali – before fading away and being replaced with new verses.
The local doctors deny that the marks are from someone writing on the child’s skin.
Ali’s parents say that they were not religious until the writings started appearing on his skin, which is verified by their doctor and the imam in their village of Red October, a strongly Muslim region.
Now the boy has become a focus of Muslim homage in his troubled home province of Dagestan, close to war-ravaged Chechnya in the south of Russia. Thousands of people came to visit the miracle brining wealth to the impoverished village.
Politicians tried to score points from this story. Local MP Akhmedpasha Amiralaev said: ‘This boy is a pure sign of God. Allah sent him to Dagestan in order to stop revolts and tension in our republic.’
The boy’s mother claims, ‘Normally those signs appear twice a week – on Mondays and on the nights between Thursdays and Fridays.’
‘Ali always feels bad when it is happening. He cries and his temperature goes up. It’s impossible to hold him when it’s happening, his body is actively moving, so we put him into his cradle. It’s so hard to watch him suffering. The phrases regularly replace each other on the baby’s skin,‘ she said.
He said that one sign read: ‘Don’t hide these signs from the people.’
The story has attracted considerable attention from not just the Muslim media, but it has been reported even by Ruiters India and ABC News.
According to one report (Kizlyar, Russia) – “Up to two-thousand Muslims from the northern region of Russia are daily making the pilgrimage to the small Russian town of Kizlyar to see nine-month-old Ali Yakubov.”
However, this “miracle” happens to be a skin disease called Dermatographic urticaria (also known as dermographism, dermatographism or “skin writing”). It is a skin disorder seen in 4–5% of the population and is one of the most common types of urticaria, in which the skin becomes inflamed and sometimes raised when stroked or rubbed with a dull object.
Urticara is caused by mast cells in the surface of the skin releasing histamines without the presence of antigens, due to the presence of a weak membrane surrounding the mast cells. The histamines released cause the skin to swell in the affected areas.
This weak membrane easily and rapidly breaks down under physical pressure causing an allergic-like reaction, generally a red wheal (welt) to appear on the skin. It can often be confused with an allergic reaction to the object causing a scratch, when in fact it is the act of being scratched that causes a wheal to appear. These wheals are a subset of urticaria (hives) that appear within minutes, accompanied by a sensation of burning, and itchiness. In a normal case the swelling will reduce itself with no treatment within 15–30 minutes, but in extreme cases, itchy red wheals may last anywhere from a few hours to days.
As it turns out this alleged miracle that has caused so much uproar is a skin disease. The writings are made by a selfish mother who tortures her child to garner attention. In a civilized society this woman would be charged with child abuse and her baby taken away from her. But in an Islamic world, hungry for miracles she receives homage.