The Dajjal

The Dajjāl

The actual title given to the Dajjāl is al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl. Al-Masīḥ meaning Messiah; there will be two Messiahs, one of guidance (ʿĪsa (AS)) and one of misguidance (the Dajjāl).[1] Al-Dajjāl meaning the Great Deceiver.[2]

The Prophet (SAW) told us that, “No tribulation on the face of the earth since Allāh created Adam’s progeny will be greater than the trial of the Dajjāl. Every Prophet Allāh sent warned his people against the Dajjāl.”[3]

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And he (SAW) said, “Between the creation of Ādam and the coming of the Last Hour, there will arise no creation that is more dangerous than the Dajjāl.”[4]

There are a number of events that will happen leading up to the appearance of the Dajjāl:

  1. The Conquest of Constantinople.[5]

Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) also said, “The flourishing of Jerusalem will mark the (beginnings of the) desertion of Yathrib (Medinah). The desertion of Yathrib will mark the start of the Great War.[6] The start of the Great War will mark the conquest of Constantinople. The conquest of Constantinople will mark the appearance of the Dajjāl.”[7]

The Prophet (SAW) said, “The Great Battle, the conquest of Constantinople, and the appearance of the Dajjal will occur within (a period of) seven months.”[8]

  1. The Lake of Tiberius (Sea of Galilee) will dry up.[9]
  2. The Arab population will have decreased.[10]
  3. Religion itself will be questioned, its adherents will be few and there will be a loss of knowledge.[11]
  4. “The Dajjāl will not come until a time when people have forgotten about him and the Imāms no longer mention him on the minbars.”[12]
  5. Thirty false dajjāls will already have made a claim to Prophethood. The Prophet (SAW) said, “The Hour will not come until thirty dajjāls have appeared, all of the claiming to be a Prophet of Allāh,”[13] another narration has, “all of them lying against Allāh and His Messenger.”[14]
  6. Trials that will afflict mankind such that during them a man will awake a believer but become a disbeliever by the evening. People will eventually end up in one of two camps: the camp of faith which will contain no hypocrisy, and the camp of hypocrisy which will contain no faith. “When that happens,” the Prophet (SAW) said, “expect the Dajjāl that day or the next.”[15]
  7. Before his coming there will be drought and famine for three years. In the first year, one third of rain will be withheld and the earth will not produce one third of its produce. In the second year, two-thirds of rain will be withheld and two-thirds of the earths produce. In the third year all rain will be withheld and earth will grow no produce. During these times, in place of food and drink, takbīr, taḥmīd and tasbīḥ will suffice the believers.[16]

Description:

In order to fully caution us against him, the Prophet (SAW) described the Dajjāl in some detail so that his ummah may recognise him by his appearance when he arrives.

Ibn ʿUmar said, ‘The Prophet (SAW) stood up to address the people. He praised Allāh as He deserved to be praised, then he spoke about the Dajjāl saying, “I warn you against him; there is no Prophet who has not warned his people against him, even Nūḥ did so. But I will tell you something which no other Prophet has told his people. You must know that the Dajjāl is one-eyed, and Allāh is not one-eyed.”[17]

So the Dajjāl is one eyed.[18] He will be blind in the right eye which will be like a floating grape,[19] neither protruding nor sunken.[20] The left eye will also be impaired, partially covered with a piece of flesh protruding from the inner part of the eye.[21] One of his eyes will have a greenish tinge, as if a piece of glass.[22]

He will have the word kāfir (kāf fa ra) written on his forehead[23] which only the believers will be able to read,[24] be they literate or illiterate.[25]

This writing will be real, and the fact that some will see it while others will not, and that illiterate people will be able to read it is not problematic. “This is because Allāh causes people to understand something when looking at it, as He wills and when He wills. So the believer will see with his insight, even if he is illiterate, and the non-Muslim will not be able to see it, even if he is literate. By the same token, the believer will see with his insight evidence that the non-Muslim will not see. Allāh will enable the believer to understand without him being literate, because at that time, extraordinary things will be happening.”[26]

He will be stocky and short,[27] fleshy and light skinned,[28] with coarse and curly hair[29] that is platted[30] and resembles branches of trees.[31] He will be relatively young,[32] with a broad upper chest,[33] a hairy body,[34] and a shiny and wide forehead.[35] He will be slightly hunched,[36] pigeon-toed[37] and sterile with no children.[38] Amongst the people who resembled him most was ibn Qaṭan, a man from the tribe of Khuzāʿa who had passed away in the Days of Jāhiliyyah.[39]

By all accounts, the Dajjāl will not be pleasant to behold, but he will do seemingly miraculous deeds that will fool people into believing in him, and he will, perhaps, play on people’s sympathies.

He will come from the lands of the east,[40] from Khurasān,[41] at a time when the Muslims are split in groups and differing with each other.[42] To be more precise, he will come from a place called Yahūdiyyah in Asbahān,[43] a province of Khurasān, and with him will be seventy thousand Jews.[44] Also accompanying him are devils who will speak to people. [45]

He will first claim to be a Prophet, and then later claim to be Allāh,[46] asking, “Am I not your Lord? Do I not give life and death?”[47] He will kill some people and it will seem to others that he brings them back to life and he will ask, “Who but your Lord can do this?”[48] But the Prophet (SAW) remarked, “You must know that no one will be able to see his Lord until he dies.”[49] He (SAW) further said, “Whoever responds to him by saying, ‘You are not our Lord! Our Lord is Allāh, and it is upon Him that we trust and to Him we turn in penitence. We take refuge in Him from shirk!’ Then he will have no authority over such as person.”[50]

He will bring with him something which will resemble Paradise and Hell; but what he calls Paradise will in fact be Hell, and what he calls Hell will in fact be Paradise.[51] “He will have two flowing rivers: one will appear to be pure water, and the other will appear to be flaming fire. Whosoever lives to see that, let him choose the river which seems to be fire, then let him close his eyes, lower his head and drink from it, for it will be cool, sweet water.”[52] This is the essence of his fitna: making falsehood look like truth and truth like falsehood, putting people to trial in their very faith.

Upon his order, the sky will bring down rain, and the earth will produce crops for those who believe in him. Their animals will graze on the land and return to them in the evening with large udders full of milk and their flanks stretched and full. He will leave those who refuse to believe in him alone without coercing them, but when they wake up in the morning they will find that they are penniless, and all their properties have been destroyed.[53] All those who do not follow him will be put to trial and endure great difficulty.[54]

He will pass by wasteland and say, ‘Bring forth your treasures,’ and its treasures will follow him like swarms of bees.[55] He will have mountains of bread and meat and water, and those who follow him will eat freely of it.[56] He will call a young man, strike him with a sword and cut him in two, then place the two pieces apart the distance of an archer from his target. Then he will call out to him, and the young man will come forward smiling, with his face shining.[57]

One time, he will approach a Bedouin whose parents have passed away and will ask him, ‘Will you believe that I am your Lord if I bring your parents back to life?’ The Bedouin will reply, ‘Yes.’ The devils that accompany the Dajjāl will assume the appearance of his parents and say to the Bedouin, ‘Son! Believe in him and follow him, he is your Lord.’ The Bedouin will thus be deceived into believing in the Dajjāl.[58]

Other narrations mention him curing the blind and healing the leper.[59]

As a result, he will attract a large, dedicated following.[60] He will be followed by seventy thousand Jews from Aṣbahān wearing heavy striped garments or turbans.[61] He will go down to Khūz (lands east of Iran) and Kerman (a region in Iran) with seventy thousand (soldiers) whose faces look like flat beaten iron (like shields).[62] And he will lure women to him.[63] The Prophet (SAW) told us that the Dajjāl will make a stop at a place called Marriqanāh (near Taif, Saudi Arabia). On hearing about his arrival, most of those who go to him will be women, to the point that the men will be forced to tie their mothers, daughters and sisters down to prevent them going to him.[64]

He will travel all over the world, spreading mischief left and right, like a cloud driven by wind[65] but will be unable to enter Mecca and Medina because it is protected by Angels surrounding them.[66] Medinah, in particular, will have seven gates at that time, each one protected by two Angels and the fear of him will not enter it,[67] unlike all other places.[68] He will attempt to enter Medinah but will be unable to do so, and will instead camp at a swamp nearby,[69] behind Uḥud.[70] Medinah will be shaken by three earthquakes, and after each one there will be an exodus of disbelievers and hypocrites to the Dajjāl.[71] In this way will Medinah become purified from filth.[72]

While camped there, one of the believers will go out to him, described by the Prophet (SAW) as “the best of people.”[73] The Prophet (SAW) said, “On hearing about the Dajjāl, a true believer will head towards him. However, on the way, he will be stopped by Dajjāl’s soldiers and asked where he is intending to go. Replying that he is going to meet the person who claims that he is Allāh, the soldiers doubtingly ask, ‘Do you not believe in our Lord?’ He will reply, ‘There is nothing hidden about our Lord, Allāh, so how can I take Dajjāl as my Lord?’ Angry at his reply, they decide to kill him. But all of a sudden, one of them will say, ‘Hasn’t our Lord prohibited us from killing anyone without his permission’ Thus, they will take him to the Dajjāl. On seeing the Dajjāl, the believer will shout, ‘People! This is the Dajjāl that the Prophet (SAW) mentioned and warned the believers against!’ The Dajjāl will give an order for him to be killed. He will be placed on his belly and tortured, then he will be asked, ‘Do you still not believe in him’ ‘No! You are the lying Dajjāl!’ he will reply. The believer will then be cut into two pieces and the Dajjāl will walk in between the two pieces and address him, ‘Stand up.’ The believer will come back to life and stand up in one piece. Yet again, he will be asked, ‘Do you now believe in me?’ He will reply, ‘This has only added to my certainty concerning you that you are really the Dajjāl.’ The believer will then proclaim, ‘People, he will not be able to do anything to any man after me.’ The Dajjāl, angry at his refusal, will grab hold of him and place a knife on his throat to slaughter him, but he will be unable to because Allāh will have put copper in that area which the knife will not be able to penetrate. The Dajjāl will grab hold of his hands and legs and throw him into the fire. However, the fire will turn into a pleasant garden for him. This person will be the greatest martyr in the eyes of Allāh and achieve the highest position due to his first death, which was caused by severance of the body in two pieces.”[74]

Eventually the Angels (protecting Madinah) will direct his attention to Syria and he will march there, and there will he perish.[75]

In addition, although his dominion will reach everywhere, he will also be unable to enter Masjid al-Ṭūr and Masjid al-Aqṣā.[76]

He will remain on earth for forty days: one day like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the remaining days like normal days.[77] The Companions asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, for the day which is like a year, will one day’s prayers be sufficient?’ He replied, “No, you must estimate the time and observe the (regular daily) prayers.”[78]

He, with his forces, will fight the Muslims and the Muslims will not be able to defeat him. Instead they themselves will be facing defeat. Those who will fight him most ferociously will be the Banū Tamīm of the Arabs.[79]

By then, some people will have fled to the mountains.[80] Some Muslims will have fled to Jabal al-Dukhān in Syria and the Dajjāl will go there and lay siege to them, forcing them to endure extreme difficulty.[81]

Then, at one such battle, while the Muslim armies, at that time in Syria, are preparing to face him, ʿIsā (AS) will return to earth just before Fajr time.[82]

He will ask those besieged, “Why aren’t you fighting this filthy liar?” They will reply, ‘This person is no less than a jinn!’[83]

After they have prayed Fajr, the Muslims will go out to face him;[84] this will be the final battle fought between them and the armies of the Dajjāl. The very fragrance of the breath of ʿĪsā will kill any disbeliever it reaches, and it will extend out for as far as the eye can see.[85] The battle will be so fierce that forces of the Dajjāl will flee and hide behind boulders and trees, but those boulders and trees themselves will cry out, ‘Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come kill him!’[86] except for the Gharqad tree because that is a tree of the Jews.[87]

As soon as the Dajjāl sees ʿĪsa (AS), he will start to dissolve just like salt dissolves in water and run away. ʿĪsā (AS) will pursue him and kill the Dajjāl with his lance at the gate of a place called Ludd (near Tel Aviv, in today’s Israel).[88] He will show the blood on his lance to those around him,[89] proving conclusively that he was just a human being and in no way divine.

The appearance of the Dajjāl is one of a group of signs which, once they occur, a person’s accepting true faith will no longer be of any benefit. Allāh’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Once three signs occur, the soul will not benefit from believing if it did not believe before: the Dajjāl, the Dābba (the Beast), and the sun rising from the West.”[90]

Protection against Dajjāl

The Prophet (SAW) also taught us how to protect ourselves against the Dajjāl. A summary follows:

  1. Sticking firmly to Islām, learning the correct creed, and thereby seeing through his falsehood just as the best of martyrs did.
  2. Seeking refuge with Allāh against the fitna of the Dajjāl, especially in the prayer.
  3. Memorising the first ten verses of Sūrah al-Kahf, “he will be saved from the fitna of the Dajjāl,”[91] and some narrations mention last ten verses.[92]
  4. Fleeing from him, and best of all: residing in Mecca and Medina. “Whoever hears about the Dajjāl should stay well clear. By Allāh a person can come to him thinking he is a believer, then be so confused by the doubts he brings that he will end up following him.”[93]

Ḥadīth of Tamīm al-Dārī

One time the Messenger of Allāh (SAW) asked the people to gather, after leading them in prayer, he turned to them and asked, ‘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, but I have detained you here, for Tamim 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 thee, 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 and here a beast met us with profusely thick hair and because of the thickness of his hair his face could not be distinguished from his back. We said: Woe be to thee, who are you? It said: I am al- Jassasa. We said: What is al-Jassasa? 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 that 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 Medina) 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 Mecca and has settled In Yathrib (Medina). He said: Do the Arabs fight against him? We said: Yes. He said: How did he deal with them? We informed him that he had overcome those in his neighbourhood and they had submitted themselves before him. Thereupon he said to us: Has 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 and I am Dajjal and would be soon permitted to get out and so I shall get out and travel in the land, and will not spare any town where I would not stay for forty nights except Mecca and Medina 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 (ﷺ) striking the pulpit with the help of the end of his staff said: This implies Taiba meaning Medina. Have I not, told you an account (of the Dajjal) like this? ‘The people said: Yes, and 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 Medina and Mecca. 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.[94]

ENDNOTES

[1] Aḥmad #7905, Ibn Ḥibbān #6812, Bazzār #3396 where the Prophet (SAW) called him, masīḥ al-ḍalālah

[2] The wazn of faʿʿāl is a ṣīgha of mubālagha.

[3] Ibn Mājah #4077

[4] Muslim #2946

[5] Muslim #2898

[6] ar: al-Malḥamah referring to the war that will start between the Romans and the Muslim forces before the Muslims conquer Constantinople for the second time

[7] Abū Dāwūd #4294, Aḥmad #22023.

[8] Abū Dāwūd #4295, Tirmidhī #2388, Ibn Mājah #4092 with a ḍaʿīf isnād

[9] Muslim #2942

[10] Muslim #2945

[11] Aḥmad #14954

[12] Aḥmad #16667. Haythamī 7:335 said it was ṣaḥīḥ

[13] Bukhārī #3609-7121, Muslim #157, Abū Dāwūd #4333

[14] Abū Dāwūd #4334

[15] Abū Dāwūd #4242

[16] Ibn Mājah #4077, Aḥmad #27568-27579 with a ḍaʿīf isnād

[17] Bukhārī #3057-3337-6175-7127, Muslim #169

[18] Bukhārī #3440-6999, Muslim #273-274-277

[19] Bukhārī #3440-3441-5902-6999-7123-7407, Muslim #169

[20] Abū Dāwūd #4320

[21] Muslim #2934, Aḥmad #12145-13081

Some authentic narrations mention that it is his left eye that is blind. Ibn Ḥajr states that the narrations which state that it is his right are more authentic. Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ said that the word aʿwar used in the ḥadīth means defective, and not necessarily blind. He said that the ḥadīths show that both his eyes are defective, one more so than the other. Nawawī said that this was an excellent reconciliation.

[22] Ibn Ḥibbān #6795, Aḥmad #21145

[23] Bukhārī #7131-7408, Muslim #169-2933

[24] Bukhārī #, Muslim #169-2933

[25] Muslim #2934, Aḥmad #27580-13145-13149-13385-13394-13621-23279-23439

[26] Ibn Ḥajr 13:100

[27] Aḥmad #3546, Abū Dāwūd #4320

[28] Bukhārī #3441-7128, Muslim #275-277

The ḥadīth actually mentions having a reddish complexion, but this term was used to refer to light skinned people.

[29] Bukhārī #3440-3441-5902-6999-7128, Muslim #273-274-277-2934

[30] Aḥmad #23159-23487

[31] Aḥmad #3546

[32] Muslim #2937

[33] Aḥmad #7905

[34] Muslim #2934

[35] Aḥmad #7905

[36] Aḥmad #7905

[37] Abū Dāwūd #3763

[38] Muslim #2937

[39] Bukhārī #3440-3441-7026-7128, Muslim #274-275-277

[40] Muslim #, ibn Ḥibbān #6792

[41] Tirmidhī #2237, ibn Mājah #4072. cf. Mubārakpūri 6:495

Khurasān then was bigger than Khurasān now, and encompassed Naisapur, Harra, Marwa, and Balkh, i.e. it covers northeast Persia (Iran) and parts of central Asia and Afghanistan.

[42] Ibn Ḥibbān #6812, Bazzār #3396

[43] Aḥmad #13344-24467

[44] Muslim #2944

[45] Aḥmad #14954

[46] Muslim #, Ibn Mājah #4077, Aḥmad #23159

[47] Aḥmad #21929

[48] Aḥmad #14954

[49] Muslim #169

[50] Aḥmad #23159-23487

[51] Bukhārī #, Muslim #2934

[52] Bukhārī #3450-7130, Muslim #2934-2935

[53] Muslim #2937

[54] Aḥmad #14954

[55] Muslim #2937

[56] Bukhārī #7122, Muslim #2152-2939, Aḥmad #23090-23683

[57] Muslim #2937

[58] Ibn Mājah #4077

[59] Aḥmad #20151

[60] Muslim

[61] Muslim #2944, Aḥmad #13344

[62] Tirmidhī #2237, ibn Mājah #4072

[63] Aḥmad #5353-14112

[64] Aḥmad #5353

[65] Muslim #2937

[66] Bukhārī #1880-1881, Muslim #2943, Aḥmad #10265-26047

[67] Bukhārī #1879-7125-7126

[68] Aḥmad #20428-20464, ibn Ḥibbān #6652

[69] Bukhārī #1882-7132, Muslim #2943

[70] Muslim #1380

[71] Bukhārī #1881-7124, Muslim #2943

[72] Aḥmad #14112, Muslim #1381

[73] Bukhārī #1882-7132, Muslim #2938

[74] Muslim #2938

[75] Muslim #1380

[76] Aḥmad #23090-23683-23685

[77] Muslim #2937, Abū Dāwūd #4321

[78] Muslim #2937

[79] Bukhārī #2543-4366, Muslim #2525

The majority of the people of the Arabian peninsula are from the Banū Tamīm

[80] Muslim #2945

[81] Aḥmad #14954

[82] Aḥmad #14954

[83] Aḥmad #14954

[84] Aḥmad #14954

[85] Aḥmad #14954

[86] Bukhārī #2925-3593, Muslim #2921, Aḥmad #5099

[87] Muslim#292

[88] Musim #2937, Abū Dāwūd #4321, Tirmidhī #2244

[89] Ḥākim 4:482

[90] Muslim #158

[91] Muslim #809

[92] Muslim #809, Abū Dāwūd #4323, Aḥmad #27516

[93] Abū Dāwūd #4319

[94] Muslim #2942

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3 Comments

  1. Women will be clothed yet dressed naked. I’ve seen this with my son’s Grade One teacher. Her top was see through and her skirt was short that I could see her thong.

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