Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid
Meaning Of the Al-Masih (Messiah).
There are numerous interpretation on the meaning of the word Masih (Messiah). The word is applied both to the Truthful One [True Messiah, i.e., ‘Isa (Jesus)] and to the misleading one [the “antichrist” or Dajjal]. The True Messiah ‘Isa Ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary), the Messiah of guidance, who healed those who were born blind and lepers, and brought the dead to life by Allah’s Leave.
The false messiah (Al-Masih ad-Dajjal) is the liar who leads people astray, the messiah of misguidance who will tempt people by means of the signs that he is given, such as bringing down rain, reviving the earth to bring forth vegetation, and other “miracles.”
Allah would create two messiahs,one is the opposites of one another.
The scholars said that the reason why the Dajjal is called masih (a “messiah”) is because one of his eyes is mamsuh (lit. “wiped”; smooth or abraded, i.e., he will be blind or defective in one eye). Or it was said that it is because he will survey or travel throughout the earth (yamsah) in forty days. The former view is more correct, because a sahih hadith from Anas Ibn Malik, who said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘The Dajjal will be blind (mamsuh) in one eye and between his eyes will be written ‘kafir’…’”. [Muslim].
Meaning Of Dajjal.
The word Dajjal is taken from the expression “Dajjal al-Ba’ier (he smeared the camel)”, referring to when they covered it with tar.
The root dajala means to mix. The word dajala is used to mean deliberately confusing matters and being vague and ambiguous, The Dajjal is the one who speaks in vagaries, who tells many lies and deceives many people.
The word “Dajjal” became a title given to the lying, one-eyed, false messiah. The Dajjal is so called because he will conceal his kufur from the people by lying to them, deceiving them and confusing them.
Description Of The Dajjal.
The Dajjal will be a man from among the sons of Adam. He will have many attributes which were described in the hadith to acquaint people with him and to warn them of his evil. So when he comes, the believers will know him and will not be misled by him; they will know his features which the Truthful One (the Prophet-Pace and Bessings of Allah Be Upon him) has told us about. These features will distinguish him from other people, so that no one will be deceived by him except those who are ignorant and whose doom has already been decreed. We seek Allah’s mercy and blessing to protect keep us.
He will be a young man with a ruddy complexion, short, with thick curly hair, a wide forehead, and broad upper chest, blind or defective (mamsuh) in the right eye. The eye will be neither prominent nor sunken, and 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 “Kaf- fa’- ra’ (K-F-R)”, in separate (Arabic) letters, or “kafir”, with the letters joined. This will be read by every Muslim, literate or illiterate.
He would be sterile, with no children born to him.
‘Abd-Allah Ibn ‘Umar RA who said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘Whilst I was sleeping, I saw myself performing Tawaf around the Ka’abah, when I saw a dark man with straight hair, standing between two other men, with water dripping from his head. I asked, “Who is this?” They said, “The son of Maryam.” Then I turned and saw a ruddy-complexioned man, well built, with curly hair, blind in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape. I asked, “Who is this?” They said, “This is the Dajjal.” The person who looks most like him is Ibnu Qatan.’” [Al-Bukhari].
Ibn ‘Umar RA said that the Messenger of Allah SAW mentioned the Dajjal to the people and said: “Allah is not one-eyed, but the false messiah (Al-masih al-Dajjal) is one-eyed, blind or defective in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape…” [Al-Bukhari].
Al-Nawwaas Ibn Sam ‘an RA it said that the Messenger of Allah SAW mentioned the Dajjal one morning. Sometimes he described him as insignificant and sometimes he described him as so significant that we thought that he was in the cluster of date-palm trees…” One of the features of the Dajjal that he described was: “He will be a young man with very curly hair, with his eye floating. It is as if he looks like ‘Abd al-‘Uzza Ibn Qatan.” [Muslim].
‘Ubadah Ibn al-Samit RA narrated that the Messenger of Allah SAW said: “I have told you so much about the Dajjal that I fear you will not understand. The Dajjal will be a short man, pigeon-toed, with curly hair. He will be one-eyed, with his eye neither prominent nor sunken. If you become confused about him, then remember that your Lord is not one-eyed.” [Abu Dawud].
Abu Hurairah RA said that The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘… as for the false messiah, he will be one-eyed, with a wide forehead and broad upper chest, and he will be hunchbacked…’” [Ahmad].
Hudzaifah RA said that “The Messenger of Allah SAW said:’ The Dajjal will be one-eyed, blind or defective in his left eye, with thick hair. He will have with him a paradise and a hell, but his hell will be a paradise and his paradise will be a hell.’” [Muslim].
Anas RA said that the Prophet SAW said: “No Prophet was sent but he warned his people about the one-eyed liar. He is one-eyed, but your Lord is not one-eyed, and between his eyes will be written ‘kafir.’” (Al-Bukhari].
Another report said that it would be: “Written between his eyes will be ‘kaf fa’ ra’.’” [Muslim]
Hudzaifah narrated that “This will be read by every believer, literate or illiterate.” [Muslim]
“This is because Allah causes people to understand something when looking at it, as He wills and when He wills. So the believer will see this with his insight, even if he is illiterate, and the kafir 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 kafir will not see. Allah will enable the believer to understand without him being literate, because at that time, extraordinary things will be happening.” (Fath al-Bari by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, 13/100).
Al-Nawawi said: “The correct view according to those who studied this issue is that this writing should be taken literally, as being real writing which Allah will create as a sign, one of the definitive proofs that (the Dajjal) is a kafir and a liar, to expose his falsehood. Allah will show this sign to every Muslim, literate or illiterate, and will conceal it from everyone whom He decrees is doomed or whom He wants to test. There is no reason why this should be impossible.” [Muslim]
Fatimah binti Qais RA in the story of Al-Jassaasah, in which Tamim Al-Dari RA said: “So we rushed to the monastery, where we saw the most enormous man we had ever seen, fettered with the most chains we had ever seen.” [Muslim].
‘Imran Ibn Husain RA said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW was saying:’ From the time of the creation of Adam AS until the Hour begins, there will never be a bigger creation than the Dajjal.’” [Muslim].
The Dajjal will not have any children, as stated in the hadith of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri RA who described what happened between him and Ibn Sayyaad, who said to him: “Did you not hear the Messenger of Allah SAW say that he will have no children? …” Abu Sa’id said, ‘I said, ‘Yes…’” [Muslim].
We may note that some of them describe his right eye as being blind or defective, and some describe his left eye as being blind or defective. Both accounts are sahih. Some of the scholars sought to reconcile these reports. Al-Qadi ‘Iyad said: “Both eyes of the Dajjal will be defective, because all the reports are sahih. His right eye will be the one that is abraded (mamsuh) and dull, unable to see, as stated in the hadith of Ibn ‘Umar. And his left eye will be the one that is covered with a thick fold of skin, and will also be defective.” So he will have a defect in both his right eye and his left eye; each of them will be blind, i.e., defective, because the Arabic word used in the hadith, a’war, is used to describe anything that is defective and is especially used to describe the eyes of they are impaired. One eye will be non-functional and the other will be defective.”
An-Nawawi agreed with the observation by Al-Qadi ‘Iyad and Al-Qurtubi also agreed with it.
Where The Dajjal Will Emerge.
The Dajjal will emerge from the direction of the east, from Khurasaan, from among the …. Isfahanian. Then he will travel throughout the earth and will leave no city without entering it, apart from Makkah and Madinah, which he will not be able to enter because the angels are guarding them.
Fatimah binti Qais RA the Prophet SAW said concerning the Dajjal: “He will (emerge) from the direction of the Syrian sea or from the direction of the Yemeni sea… No, rather from the east…” – and he pointed towards the east. [Muslim].
Abu Bakar As-Siddiq RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW told us: “The Dajjal will emerge from a land in the east called Khurasaan.” [At-Tirmidzi].
Anas RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘The Dajjal will emerge from among the ….Isfahanian, and with him will be seventy thousand [Isfahanian], wearing crowns.’” [Ahmad].
Places Which The Dajjal Will Never Enter.
It is forbidden for the Dajjal to enter Makkah or Madinah when he emerges at the end of time, because of the sahih hadith narrated to that effect. As far as other places are concerned, he will enter them one after another.
Fatimah binti Qais RA, it says: “(He will say :), ‘I almost have permission to emerge. Then I will emerge and will travel throughout the earth for forty days, and I shall not leave any town without entering it, apart from Makkah and Madinah, which I will be prevented from entering because every time I try to enter, there will be an angel with an unsheathed sword in his hand, preventing me from entering. On every gate there will be angels defending them.’” [Muslim].
It was also reported that the Dajjal will not enter the mosque of Sinai, or Masjid al-Aqsa (at Jerusalem). Imam Ahmad (no. 22572) narrated that Junadah Ibn Umayyah al-Azdi said: “I came to a man from among the Companions of the Prophet SAW and said to him, ‘Tell me a hadith that you heard from the Messenger of Allah SAW about the Dajjal.’ He mentioned the hadith, and said, ‘He will stay among you for forty days, during which he will go to every place (on the earth) apart from four mosques: Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah), the mosque of Madinah, and the (mosque of) Sinai and Masjid al-Aqsa.’”
The Followers Of The Dajjal.
Anas Ibn Malik RA reported that the Messenger of Allah SAW said: “The followers of the Dajjal from among the … of Isfahan will number seventy thousand, wearing heavy, striped garments.” According to a report narrated by Imam Ahmad, “Seventy thousand …., wearing crowns.” [Muslim].
Abu Bakar referred to above that: “He will be followed by people with faces like burnished shields.” (At-Tirmidzi].
With regard to the Bedouin being followers of the Dajjal, this is because many of them are ignorant. With regard to women, this is because they are readily swayed, and because many of them are ignorant. It was reported that Ibn ‘Umar RA said: the Prophet SAW said: “The Dajjal will come to this pond in Marriqanat – a valley in Madinah – and most of those who go out to him will be women, until a man will come to his mother in law, his mother, his daughter, his sister and his aunt, and will tie them up strongly for fear that they will go out to him.” [Ahmad].
The Fitnah Of The Dajjal.
The fitnah of the Dajjal will be the greatest fitnah from the time Allah created Adam until the Hour begins. This will be because of the mighty miracles that Allah will create with him, which will dazzle people’s minds and amaze them.
It was reported that he will have a paradise and a hell with him, but his paradise will be his hell and his hell will be his paradise. He will have rivers of water and mountains of bread. He will command the sky to send down rain, and it will rain, and he will command the earth to bring forth vegetation and it will do so. The treasures of the earth will follow him, and he will travel rapidly, like clouds driven by the wind. And he will do other extraordinary feats. All of that was mentioned in the sahih Hadith.
Hudzaifah RA said: The Messenger of Allah SAW said:‘The Dajjal will be one-eyed, blind in his left eye, and will have thick hair. He will have a paradise and a hell with him, but his paradise will be a hell and his hell will be a paradise.’” [Muslim]
Hudzaifah RA narrated that: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘I know what the Dajjal will bring with him: he will have two rivers flowing. One will clearly look like water and the other will clearly look like blazing fire. If any one of you sees that, let him choose the river which looks like fire, then let him close his eyes and lower his head and drink from it, for it will be cool water.’” [Muslim].
Al-Nawwaas Ibn Sam ‘an said that the a Sahaabah asked the Prophet SAW: “O Messenger of Allah, how long will he stay on the earth?” He said, “Forty days: one day like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the rest of the days like your days.” … They said, “How fast will he travel through the earth?”
The Prophet SAW said: “Like the clouds when they are driven by the wind. He will come to some people and call them, and they will believe in him and respond to him. Then he will command the sky to rain, and the earth to bring forth vegetation, and their cattle will come back to them in the evening, with their humps very high, and their udders full of milk, and their flanks stretched. Then he will come to another people and will call them, but they will reject him. So he will leave them and they will be stricken with famine, with none of their wealth in their hands. He will pass by ruins and will say, ‘Bring forth your treasure!’ – and the treasure will follow him like a swarm of bees. Then he will call a man who is brimming with youth, and will strike him with a sword and cut him in two, then (he will put the pieces apart from one another) the distance of an archer from his target. Then he will call him, and the young man will come forward smiling, with his face shining.” [Muslim].
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri RA said that this man whom the Dajjal will kill will be one of the best people, who will go out to the Dajjal from the city of the Messenger of Allah SAW, and will say to the Dajjal, “I bear witness that you are the Dajjal of whom the Messenger of Allah SAW told us.”The Dajjal will say (to the people): “What do you think – if I kill this man then bring him back to life, will you have any doubts?” They will say, “No.” So he will kill him, and then bring him back to life. Then he (the believing man) will say, “By Allah, I have never been surer about you than I am today.” The Dajjal will want to kill him but will not be permitted to. [Al-Bukhari].
Umamah al-Bahili RA narrated that the Prophet SAW said of the Dajjal: “Part of his fitnah will be that he will say to a Bedouin, Do you think that if I resurrect your father and mother for you that you will testify that I am your lord?’ He will say, ‘Yes.’ So two devils will appear to him in the image of his father and mother, saying, ‘O my son, follow him for he is your lord.’” [Ibn Majah]
Protection Against The Fitnah Of The Dajjal.
The Prophet SAW has taught his ummah about that which will protect them against the fitnah of the false messiah (al-masih al-Dajjal). He left his ummah on a path that is clear, and no one deviates from it except the one who is doomed. He did not leave any good thing without pointing it out to his ummah, or any evil thing without warning them against it. Among the things which he warned us against was the fitnah of the Dajjal, because it is the greatest fitnah which the ummah will face until the Hour comes. Every Prophet warned his ummah against the one-eyed Dajjal, but Muhammad SAW was the only Prophet who warned his ummah more about him. Allah told him many of the attributes of the Dajjal so that he could warn his ummah. The Dajjal will undoubtedly emerge among this ummah, because it is the last ummah, and Muhammad SAW is the Seal of the Prophets. There follow some of the Prophetic guidelines which the Chosen Prophet SAW set out for his ummah so that it may be protected against this mighty fitnah, from which we ask Allah to save us and grant us refuge:
Adhering to Islam, having the right faith and learning the Names and Most Beautiful Attributes of Allah which are not shared by anyone else. One should know that the Dajjal will be a human being who will eat and drink, and that Allah is far above that; the Dajjal will be one-eyed but Allah is not one-eyed; no one can see his Lord until he dies, but the Dajjal will be seen by all people, believers and kafir alike, when he emerges.
Seeking Allah protection from the fitnah of the Dajjal, especially in solah (prayer). This has been narrated in the sahih hadith, such as that narrated from Umm al-Mu’minin ‘Aishah RA, the wife of the Prophet SAW, who said that the Messenger of Allah SAW used to pray in his solah:
“Allahumma inni a’udzu bika min ‘adzab al-qabri, wa a’udzu bika min fitnat il-masih il-dajjal, wa a’udzu bika min fitnat il-mahya wa fitnat il-mamat. Allahumma inni a’udzu bika min al-ma’tham wa’l-maghram (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave, I seek refuge with You from the fitnah of the Dajjal, and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from sin and debt).” [Al-Bukhari]
Abu Hurairah RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘When any one of you says Tashahhud, let him seek refuge with Allah from four things, and say: ‘Allahumma inni a’udzi bika min ‘adhaab jahannam wa min ‘adzaab al-qabri wa min fitnat il-mahya wa’l-mamaat wa min sharri fitnat al-masih al-dajjaal (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trials of life and death, and from the evil of the fitnah of the Dajjal).’” [Muslim]
The Prophet SAW commanded us to recite the opening verses of Surat al-Kahf against the Dajjaal. According to some reports, the final verses of this surah were mentioned. This means reciting the first ten verses or the last ten. Among the hadith narrated concerning this was the lengthy hadith narrated by Muslim from al-Nawwaas Ibn Sam ‘an, in which it says: “Whoever among you sees him (the Dajjal); let him recite against him the opening verses of Surah al-Kahf.” [Muslim].
Abu Darda said that the Prophet SAW said: “Whoever memorizes ten ayat from the beginning of Surah al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal” – i.e., from his fitnah. Muslim said: “Shu’bah said, ‘from the end of al-Kahf.’ Hammaam said, ‘from the beginning of al-Kahf.’” [Muslim]
Al-Nawawi said: “The reason for this is because at the beginning of (this surah), mention is made of wonders and signs, and whoever ponders them will not be deceived by the fitnah of the Dajjaal. And at the end of this surah, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Do then those who disbelieve think that they can take My slaves as awliyaa’ (lords etc.) besides Me?’ [Al-Kahf 18:102].” [Muslim].
This is one of the special features of Surat al-Kahf. There are hadith which encourage reading it, especially on Fridays. Al-Hakim narrated from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri RA that the Prophet SAW said:
“Whoever recites Surat al-Kahf on Friday, it will be a light for him from one Friday to the next.” [Muslim]
Undoubtedly Surat al-Kahf is of great significance, containing great ayat, such as the story of the People of the Cave, the story of Musa and al-Khidir, the story of Dzu’l-Qarnain and his building the dam to hold back Ya’juj and Ma’juj, proof of the resurrection and the blowing of the Trumpet, and explanation of those whose deeds are most lost, who are those who think that they are guided when in fact they are misguided and blind.
Every Muslim should strive to read this surah, and to memorize it and read it repeatedly, especially on the best day on which the sun rises, namely Friday.
Fleeing from the Dajjaal and keeping far away from him. The best way is to live in Makkah or Madinah, and the places which the Dajjaal will not enter. When the Dajjaal emerges, Muslims should keep far away from him, because of the confusion he will cause and the mighty wonders that he will have with him, which Allah will cause to happen at his hands in order to test mankind. A man will come to him, thinking that he is a strong believer, and then he will follow the Dajjaal. We ask Allah to grant us and all the Muslims refuge from his fitnah.
‘Imran Ibn Husain RA said that the Prophet SAW said: “Whoever hears of the Dajjal let him keep far away from him, for a man will come to him and think that he is telling the truth because of the wonders that are sent with him.” [Imam Ahmad), Abu Dawud and al-Hakim]
The Death Of The Dajjal.
The Dajjal will die at the hands of the Messiah ‘Isa Ibn Maryam S.A, as is indicated by the sahih Hadeeth. The Dajjal will appear on earth and will gain many followers, spreading his fitnah far and wide. No one will escape his fitnah except a few of the believers. At that point, ‘Isa Ibn Maryam SA will descend to the eastern minaret in Damascus, and the believing slaves of Allah will gather around him. He will lead them towards the Dajjal, who at the time of the descent of ‘Isa AS will be heading for Batul-Maqdis (Jerusalem). ‘Isa will catch up with him at the gate of Ludd (Lod), a place in Palestine near Batul-Maqdis. When the Dajjaal sees him, he will start to melt like salt melting in water, but ‘Isa RA will say to him, “I have some business with you, you will not get away from me.” Then he will catch up with him and will kill him with his spear. His followers will flee, pursued by the Muslims, who will kill them, and trees and rocks will say, ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah, there is Jew behind me – come and kill him!” – apart from the gharqad (box thorn), for it is one of the trees of the Jews.
‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Amr RA said: “The Messenger of Allah SAW said: ‘The Dajjal will emerge among my ummah and will stay for forty… Then Allah will send ‘Isa Ibn Maryam, who looks like ‘Urwah Ibn Mas’ood, and he will pursue him and kill him.” [Muslim]
Majma’ Ibn Jaariyah al-Ansaari RA said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah SAW say: ‘The son of Maryam will kill the Dajjal at the gate of Ludd.”[Imam Ahmad and al-Tirmidzi].
Al-Nawwaas Ibn Sam ‘an RA said the Prophet SAW said: “… Every kafir that will smell the fragrance of (‘Isa will die, and his fragrance will reach as far as he will be able to see. He will then search for him (the Dajjal) until he catches up with him at the gate of Ludd, where he will kill him.” [Muslim]
Jabir Ibn ‘Abd-Allah RA said: “The Messenger of Allah RA said: ‘The Dajjal will emerge at a time when religious commitment is low and knowledge has decreased… Then ‘Isa Ibn Maryam will descend just before dawn and will call people, saying, ‘O people, what is stopping you from coming out against this evil liar?’ They will say, ‘This man is a jinn’, then they will set out. When they reach ‘Isa Ibn Maryam, the time for prayer will come the iqqamah will be given, and it will be said to him, ‘Go forward (to lead the prayer), O Spirit of Allah.’ He will say, ‘Let your imam go forward and lead you in prayer.’ When they have prayed fajr, they will go out to meet him (the Dajjal) and when they see the liar, he will start to dissolve like salt in water. ‘Isa will go to him and kill him. Even the trees and rocks will call out, ‘O Spirit of Allah, here is a ...!’ And none of those who followed him will be left, they will all be killed.” [Imam Ahmad].
When he is killed, his great fitnah will come to an end. Allah will save those who believed from his evil and from the evil of his followers, at the hands of the Spirit and Word of Allah, ‘Isa Ibn Maryam AS and his believing followers.