Every religiously educated person whether its Christianity, Judaism or Islam knows that the end of the world and the era of mankind is about to be finish soon. Hollywood has made dozens of movies about end of time and the final battle between the forces of evil and good before the end of this world called Armageddon. The Antichrist or Masih ad-Dajjal will lead the forces of evil and Jesus Christ will defeat him. Who is Antichrist or Dajjal, what will be his ambitions and how will Muslims recognize him, these are the important questions and the most important question is how will Muslims defeat him. Lets explore subject and try to figure out the answers.
Who is Dajjal – The Antichrist
It is the most important question which has been asked for ages that who is Dajjal or Antichrist or false messiah. There are three different concepts about that, one is Jewish, one is Christian and one is Islamic. The three monotheistic religions are agreed upon the fact that a false messiah will come before the end of this world. Let’s take a look at the all three namely Jewish, Christian and Islamic concept of false messiah:
The Jewish view
The Jewish eschatology (a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind) that is deeply influenced by the Babylonian and Iranian myths, he would appear as a mighty ruler at the head of gigantic armies, destroy three rulers (the three horns, Daniel 7:8, 24), persecute the saints (7:25), and devastate the Temple of God.
The Christian view
The Christian eschatology, a view of the Antichrist is given in II Thessalonians 2. Here Antichrist appears as a tempter who works by signs and wonders and seeks to obtain divine honours; it is further signified that this “man of lawlessness” will obtain credence or metal acceptance, especially among the Jews because they have not accepted the truth. The idea that the Jews would believe in Antichrist as punishment for not having believed in the true Christ seems to be expressed by the author of the Fourth Gospel (John 5:43).
I am come in my father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)
The conception of Antichrist as a perverter of men led naturally to his connection with false doctrine (I John 2:18, 22, 4:3; II John 7).
Little children, it is the last time : and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists ; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us ; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us : but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (I John 2:18-22)
and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God : and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:3)
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 7)
In the Book of Revelation, the Antichrist is seen as a worker of wonders and a seducer.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion : and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death ; and his deadly wound was healed : and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast : and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast ? who is able to make war with him ? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies ; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them : and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity : he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth ; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast ; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast : for it is the number of a man ; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13)
Now lets take a look at the Islamic perspective. In Sahih Hadith or the sayings of prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h) the word used for representing the Antichrist is Al Masih ad-Dajjal, means a false messiah who will deceive the people and claim that he is a true messiah i.e. Jesus (p.b.u.h). Dajjal is an Arabic word means “deceiver”. In Islamic eschatology, the Antichrist who will come forth before the end of time; after a reign of 40 days or 40 years, he will be destroyed by Hazrat Isa or Jesus (pbuh).
He is described as a plump, one-eyed man with a ruddy face and curling hair and the Arabic letters k-f-r (“unbelief”) on his forehead. Ad-Dajjal will appear during a period of great tribulation (in the period of great affliction); he will be followed by the Jews and will claim to be God in Jerusalem. He will work false miracles, and most people will be deceived. At this moment the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur.
That was a quick introduction of Al Massih Ad-Dajjal or antichrist. Now lets explore the subject in wider perspective. According to sahih hadith mentioned in Sahih Bukhari:
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The Last Hour would not come until there would arise about thirty impostors, liars, and each one of them would claim that he is a messenger of Allah.
What will be the significance of Dajjal in all the thirty false prophets and lairs
Dajjal would be one of them. And he would be the most powerful and influential and more trouble maker for mankind in all the falsely proclaimed messiahs and prophets.
Abu Qatada reported: We used to go to Imran b. Husain passing in front of Hisham b. ‘Amir. He, one day, said: You pass by me (in order) to go to some per- sons but (amongst ttie living persons) none remained in the company of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) more than I and none knows more ahadith than I. I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There would be no creation (creating more trouble) than the Dajjal right from the creation of Adam to the Last Hour.
Muslim :: Book 41 : Hadith 7037
Now you’ve got the little idea about the hardship of the affliction caused by the Antichrist.
Now, read the following Hadith that states the appearance of Dajjal is the first sign of the coming of the last hour (Al-Qayamah).
Abu Zur’a reported that three persons amongst Muslims had been sitting in Medina in the presence of Marwan b. Hakam and they heard him narrate these signs from him and the first amongst them was the appearance of the Dajjal.
Muslim :: Book 41 : Hadith 7026
As I discussed earlier that all the three monotheistic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam are agreed upon the appearance of Antichrist or Dajjal in the time of great affliction. In the following Hadith our beloved prophet Mohammad (pbuh) mentioned that:
Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: There is never a prophet who has not warned the Ummah of that one-eyed liar; behold he is one-eyed and your Lord is not one-eyed. On his forehead are the letters k f. r. (Kafir).
Muslim :: Book 41 : Hadith 7007
Our prophet not only warned us about him but he also prayed for seeking refuge from the hardness of the time because he knew that it would be the most darkest and worst age for Muslims around the world and it would be so hard to protect faith and to be a true believer.
Narrated ‘Aisha: I heard Allah’s Apostle in his prayer, seeking refuge with Allah from the afflictions of Ad-Dajjal.
Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 88 :: Hadith 243
So, How will Muslims recognize him
In another Hadith it is mentioned that the letters k, f and r or the word “kafir” would be easily read by every Muslim. He would be blind by his one eye and that would be left one and his hairs would be thick and curly with red complexion. It means that every Muslim at that time would be able to recognize him as the false messiah.
Anas b. Malik reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Dajjal is blind of one eye and there is written between his eyes the word” Kafir”. He then spelled the word as k. f. r., which every Muslim would be able to read.
Now read these Hadith which define the appearance of Dajjal more clearly.
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said. “While I was sleeping, I saw myself (in a dream) performing Tawaf around the Ka’ba. Behold, I saw a reddish-white man with lank hair, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, “who is this?’ They replied, ‘The son of Mary.’ Then I turned my face to see another man with a huge body, red complexion and curly hair and blind in one eye. His eye looked like a protruding out grape. They said (to me), He is Ad-Dajjal.” The Prophet added, “The man he resembled most is Ibn Qatan, a man from the tribe of Khuza’a.”
Bukhari :: Book 9 :: Volume 88 :: Hadith 242
He (Dajjal) would be a young man with twisted, contracted hair, and a blind eye. I compare him to ‘Abd-ul-’Uzza b. Qatan. He who amongst you would survive to see him should recite over him the opening verses of Sura Kahf (xviii.). He would appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left.
Muslim :: Book 41 : Hadith 7015
What will be the aims and ambitions of Antichrist
According to Hadith and religious scholars that Dajjal would come in the time of great afflictions. He will be the test by the God for people to distinguish the true believers and the people who are working for the satanic agenda in the world, and to make a world a better place for us by sending the true messiah i.e. Jesus (p.b.u.h) who will fight and then eliminate all the evil powers in the world and spread the peace and harmony among the nations of the world. The aim of Antichrist would be completely wipe out the religious believes and promote ungodly worship and then total disbelief in God or Atheism. Ungodly worship can be in the form of Idol worship like Hindus and Buddhists and also can be in the form of democratic governing system.
Minhaj al-Nubuwwah (منهـــاج النبـــوة) i.e., the prophet's pathway relates to the social and spiritual guidance of mankind in the light of the Book of Allah, the Holy Qur'an and the Sunnah (teachings) of the final messenger, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).