To Believe or not to Believe

Apr 11 - To believe or not to believe

Handling Information about the Dajjal

By Hafsa Ahsan

Go to any bookstore and there is a very good chance that you will find an assortment of books regarding the Dajjal. There are books exploring whether Dajjal is an individual or a system; there are booklets of Ahadeeth foretelling the coming of Dajjal, Imam Mahdi and Prophet Isa (as); there are volumes addressing the current world order and how conducive it is to the aims of Dajjal, and the list goes on. Being an avid collector and reader of most of these books, my sister and I have discovered that there are some books which are well-worth a read, while others contain theories which are too far-fetched to be authentic. So how do you, as an average reader, sift through this extensive information? How do you differentiate between what is fact and what has been fabricated? How do you ensure that you are not misled? Here are some pointers:

Make Dua

Before reading any book, sincerely supplicate to Allah (swt) that He would open your heart to what is authentic in that book and turn you away from all that is fabricated. Insha’Allah, Allah (swt) will guide you.

Reference

While reading any book, booklet or article, it is imperative to look at the references. Whom has the author quoted? Is this a reference from a Hadeeth? If so, what is the grade of this Hadeeth (reliable, authentic, weak, etc.)? Are all the references leading to other books and not a single Hadeeth? Answers to these vital questions will authenticate most of the information for you.

Generalizations

There are some books that contain nothing but sweeping statements and conspiracy theories, which are not supported by a single authentic reference. Such generalizations should alert you to their dubious nature.

Relevance

Some books clearly point out the relationship between the information that was foretold by the Prophet (saw) and the current world events, as they are unfolding. Even though they are the opinions of the authors concerned, it is refreshing to read them. This ensures that one does not treat the coming of Dajjal as a mere story and something too distant to consider. However, such books are scarce.

Concern

The coming of Dajjal is a definite event. We need to know how to protect ourselves and how he will affect us. However, some books digress to the point that they start debating issues which do not really affect us as common people. For instance, does it really matter if certain countries are “Dajjal”? How does it affect us whether or not the armies of certain countries are part of the Dajjal army? Reading books on these topics may be of interest to the more scholarly among us; however, for the vast majority of others, the basic questions are: how will we recognize him and how will we protect ourselves? Useless debates are just a waste of time.

Alright, so we have some idea as to how to sift the information that we read. What next? It is of great concern that a lot of people refuse to believe most of the authentic information given to them. Such people choose to remain in a state of denial, refuting the facts which are right in front of them. Try telling anyone that the money of the future is electronic money, for instance, and they will give you a blank look. On one hand, there is a lot of disinformation, and on the other hand, there is a complete denial of authentic information. It all boils down to the fact that most of us treat the coming of Dajjal as a mere story – something, which will not affect us.

A major step towards correcting our attitude regarding the information is to accept the fact that Dajjal will come, if not during our time then definitely during the time of our descendents. We have to equip ourselves with the right information and then pass it down through our children. Once we see this as our ultimate mission, it will become clear that we must have the correct information about Dajjal from authentic sources. And we must know how to handle this information.

An Important Hadith

Recorded by Imam Muslim: Amir Ibn Sharahil Shabi Shab Hamdan reported that he asked Fatimah Bint Qais: “Narrate to me a hadith which you had heard directly from Allah’s Messenger (sa) and there is no extra link in between them.” She said: “Very well, if you like, I am prepared to do that…when my period of waiting was over…I set out towards the mosque and observed prayer along with Allah’s Messenger (sa)…When Allah’s Messenger (sa) had finished his prayer, he sat on the pulpit smiling and said: ‘Every worshipper should keep sitting at his place.’ He then said: ‘Do you know why I had asked you to assemble?’ They said: ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said: By Allah. I have not made you assemble for exhortation or for a warning. I have detained you here for Tamim ad-Dari, a Christian, who came and accepted Islam, told me something which agrees with what I was telling you about the Dajjal. He narrated to me that he had sailed in a ship along with thirty men of Bani Lakhm and Bani Judham and had been tossed by waves in the ocean for a month. Then these (waves) took them (near) the land within the ocean (island) at the time of sunset. They sat in a small side-boat and entered that Island. There was a beast with long thick hair (and because of these) they could not distinguish his face from his back. They said: ‘Woe to you, who can you be?’ Thereupon it said: ‘I am Al-Jassasa.’ They said: ‘What is Al-Jassasa?’ And it said: ‘O people, go to this person in the monastery as he is very much eager to know about you.’ He (the narrator) said: ‘When it named a person for us, we were afraid of it lest it should be a Devil. Then we hurriedly went on till we came to that monastery and found a well-built person there with his hands tied to his neck and having iron shackles between his two legs up to the ankles.’ We said: ‘Woe be upon you, who are you?’ And he said: ‘You would soon come to know about me, but tell me who are you?’ We said: ‘We are people from Arabia and we embarked upon a boat but the sea-waves had been driving us for one month and they brought as near this island. We got into the side-boats and entered this island; here a beast met us…And it said: ‘You go to this very person in the monastery for he is eagerly waiting for you to know about you. So we came to you in hot haste fearing that you might be the devil.’ He (that chained person) said: ‘Tell me about the date-palm trees of Baisan.’ We said: ‘About what aspect of theirs do you seek information?’ He said: ‘I ask you whether these trees bear fruit or not.’ We said: ‘Yes.’ Thereupon, he said: ‘I think these would not bear fruits.’ He said: ‘Inform me about the lake of Tabariyya?’ We said: ‘Which aspect of it do you want to know?’ He said: ‘Is there water in it?’ They said: ‘There is abundance of water in it.’ Thereupon, he said: ‘I think it would soon become dry.’ He again said: ‘Inform me about the spring of Zughar.’ They said: ‘Which aspect of it you want to know?’ He (the chained person) said: ‘Is there water in it and does it irrigate (the land)?’ We said to him: ‘Yes, there is abundance of water in it and the inhabitants (of Madina) irrigate (land) with the help of it.’ He said: ‘Inform me about the unlettered Prophet; what has he done?’ We said: ‘He has come out from Makkah and has settled In Yathrib (Madina).’ He said: ‘Do the Arabs fight against him?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘How did he deal with him?’ We informed him that he had overcome those in his neighbourhood and they had submitted themselves before him. Thereupon, he said to us: ‘Had it actually happened?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ Thereupon, he said: ‘If it is so, that is better for them that they should show obedience to him. I am going to tell you about myself. I am the Dajjal and would be soon permitted to get out. I shall get out and travel in the land, and will not spare any town where I would not stay for forty nights except Makkah and Madina as these two (places) are prohibited (areas) for me and I would not make an attempt to enter any one of these two. An angel with a sword in his hand would confront me and would bar my way and there would be angels to guard every passage leading to it; then, Allah’s Messenger (saw) striking the pulpit with the help of the end of his staff said: ‘This implies Taiba meaning Madina. Have I not told you an account (of the Dajjal) like this?’ The people said: ‘Yes’. He said: ‘This account narrated by Tamim Dari was liked by me for it corroborates the account which I gave to you in regard to him (Dajjal) at Madina and Makkah. Behold, he (Dajjal) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemen Sea (Arabian sea). Nay, on the contrary, he is in the east, he is in the east, he is in the east, and he pointed with his hand towards the east.’”

The Coming of Dajjal

Apr 11- Coming of DajjalThe words ‘Dajjal’ (Antichrist) and ‘Dajjali Fitnah’ – a trial or an evil like that of the Antichrist – are commonly and frequently used today. Many books have been written on it in different languages; however, we will take an analytical look at it in the light of the Quran and Ahadeeth. There is no such word as “Dajjal” in the Quran, and there is no word of the root Daal, Jeem, Laam in the Quran. There are, however, synonyms of this word that mean ‘to cover’ or, ‘to deceive’.

Prophetic narrations, or Ahadeeth, mention ‘Dajjal’ in the following three ways:

Individuals claiming to be false prophets

Allah’s Messenger (sa) prophesized that the Dajjal would be the last of a series of thirty dajjals or ‘deceivers’ (false prophets), after whose appearance, the Day of Judgement will be close. Liars will come to the forefront and claim that they are prophets. Allah’s Apostle (sa) said, “The Hour will not be established till about thirty dajjals (liars) appear, and each one of them will claim that he is Allah’s Apostle.” (Bukhari)

False prophets had started to appear during the time of the Prophet (sa) and continued to do so after his demise. There are a few individuals, even in the current time, who have claimed prophethood.

An individual claiming divinity

The Dajjal Al-Akbar, or the greatest of Dajjals, will claim divinity. Sheikh Salih Al-Munajjid (Islam-qa.com) has defined Dajjal Al-Akbar as follows:

“…a young man with a ruddy complexion, short, with thick curly hair, a wide forehead, and broad upper chest, blind or defective in the right eye. This eye will look like a floating grape. His left eye will be covered with a thick piece of flesh growing at the edge of his eye. Written between his eyes will be “Kaaf faa’ raa’ (K-F-R)”, in separate (Arabic) letters, or “kaafir”, with the letters joined. He will be sterile, with no children.”

A hadeeth mentions that he will have unlimited power and resources. People will be ready to prostrate to him and listen to him. He will be blind and on his forehead the three Arabic letters Kaa Faa Raa will be written. Every true believer will be able to see and read these letters, whether they can read or not. The Dajjal Al-Akbar will demonstrate miracles even greater than Isa (as). This will be the greatest test and trial for the believers. The Prophet e said that those who will prostrate to him will be spared (by him), but those who will not (prostrate to him) will be killed (Bukhari).

A civilization based on the qualities of Dajjal

From some Ahadeeth, we can surmise that one form of “dajjal” or deception is this world because it makes us forget the Hereafter and Allah (swt). We strive for gain and success only in this world. Allah (swt) says: “Verily! We have made that which is on earth as an adornment for it, in order that We may test them (mankind) as to which of them are best in deeds. And verily! We shall make all that is on it (the earth) a bare dry soil (without any vegetation or trees, etc.)”. (Al-Kahf 18:7-8)

Just as this verse exhorts, this world is becoming more beautiful and appealing as time goes on due to technological advances, luxurious lifestyles, numerous comforts, etc. It keeps on deluding us that we are better off than before. The question, though, is whether we are leaning towards the world or Allah (swt)? Who do we love more: this world or Allah (swt)?

Allah (swt) says: “Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children, as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw. But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers, evil-doers), and (there is) Forgiveness from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers, good-doers), whereas the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.” (Al-Hadid 57:20)

In the past three decades, the world has acquired immense luxuries. Consider Saudi Arabia or UAE. There was nothing but sand there. Now, they have the tallest buildings, the most lavish food, the best entertainment etc. These are all signs of the Day of Judgement.

The end is near

The signs that the Day of Judgement is close are several. There will be false claims to prophethood. There will also be a huge war. If a man has 100 sons, 99 will be killed. A bird will not find a place to land because there will be dead bodies everywhere. Then, the bird will fall down, exhausted, on a pile of dead bodies. This time is not far.

Gerald Flurry has written in “The Trumpet”: “Most people think the crusades are a thing of the past—over forever. But they are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all!”

20th century philosopher Arnold Toynbee, says in his book ‘Civilization on Trial’: “…real will be the battle between Christianity and Islam not between capitalism as communism and communism will not be able to sustain itself…”

Qualities of Dajjal present in the world and in us

There are certain qualities which we believe to belong only to the Dajjal, however, they are present within us as individuals. In the past, the Pharaoh and Nimrod had claimed Divinity. Today, each of us believes that we are the true rulers; we confine religion to the mosques and certain rituals. We do not let it enter our homes or workplaces. Our desires (Nafs) rule us as well. We declare that we are the masters of our actions and no one can dictate what we can or cannot do.

The qualities of Dajjal are also present in the economic system of the world. The system of interest is universal – there is no bigger sin in the eyes of Allah (swt). In the social world, we have the “women’s liberation movement” which translates into the eradication of modesty and the erosion of family life.

More about the Dajjal Al-Akbar

Some Ahadeeth describe the Dajjal Al-Akbar as follows:

He will go into every town for 40 days, there will be a distance of 80 yards between his ears and a day and a night’s travel will be the distance of one step of his donkey. He will speak in such a way that everyone in the east and the west will be able to hear him. (Muslim) We can imagine that the travel system and media technology will be so advanced that they will help Dajjal achieve the aforementioned feats.

Seventy thousand scholars wearing turbans, from my community, will follow the Dajjal. (Musnad Ahmad)

Two angels, resembling Prophets, one on either side, will accompany him. This will be a test for mankind. Dajjal will ask: “Am I not your lord? Do I not give life and death?” One of the angels will reply, “You are a liar.” However, nobody will be able to hear this reply except for the other angel. The second angel, addressing the first angel will say: “You are speaking the truth.” Everybody will hear what this second angel said, and will think that an angel is testifying that the Dajjal is Allah (swt). In reality, this second angel was addressing the first one and agreeing with his reply about the Dajjal certainly being a liar by saying, “You are speaking the truth”. (Ahmad)

He will come to a bedouin whose parents will have passed away and will say to him: “Will you believe that I am your Lord if I bring your parents back to life?” He will reply: “Yes.” The devils accompanying him will take the form of his parents and will say to him: “Oh child, believe in him and follow him, he is your Lord.” The bedouin will be deceived into believing him. (Ibn Majah)

He will have water and fire with him. As for that which the people will see as water, in reality it will be fire, which will burn. As for that which people will see as fire, in reality will be cold, sweet water. The Prophet’s (saw) Advice is: “Whoever meets the Dajjal and sees the water and the fire, should fall in the fire and not the water, as the fire is, in reality, water, and the water is, in reality, fire.’” (Mishkat)

Passing by a place in ruins, he will order it to take out its hidden treasure. The earth will immediately take out its treasure, and the treasure will literally follow him wherever he goes, like bees following the queen bee. (Muslim)

I think that Dajjal is a Jinn, not a human; a soldier of Satan, chained in shackles. During mankind’s last hour on the earth, he will be released for humankind’s last and final test. After 40 years of rule, Prophet Isa (as) will kill him. But before that, such a mighty wind of Kufr will spread that, after Prophet Isa’s (as) death, Allah (swt) will send a special wind directed at those believers with Islamic faith in their hearts. They will have their souls taken out without any pain. Only the disbelievers will then remain on the earth, and the Judgement will be passed on them.

Love Allah (swt) and not the world; worry about the Hereafter, not the here and now; nurture your soul, but take care of your body as well. Be steadfast in your faith (iman) so that you can face the Dajjal.

Transcribed and compiled by Tasneem Vali and Sadaf Farooqi