The Appearance of the Dajjāl | خروج الدجال | Shaykh Rabī’ bin Hādī Al-Madkhalī
Imām Ahmad bin Hanbal said in his treatise: ‘Usūl us-Sunnah, “From the foundations of the Sunnah is to believe that Al-Masīh Ad-Dajjāl will appear, written between his eyes “Kāfir.” Also, to believe in the Prophetic narrations that have been reported about this, and to believe that this will indeed take place.”
Many Prophetic narrations have come concerning the appearance of Ad-Dajjāl and likewise the descending of the Messiah, ‘Ēsā (Jesus) the son of Maryam (Mary). From amongst these narrations is that which you say in your prayer, everyday:
“Oh Allāh, I seek refuge with You from the punishment of the grave, from the punishment of the Hell-Fire, from the trials of life and death, and the evil trial of Ad-Dajjāl.” [Al-Bukhārī]
(Sadly), there are some people who deny the appearance of the Dajjāl, saying that they understand the Dajjāl with various explanations and interpretations. From the strangest interpretations of the people of these times, is that they say the Dajjal is not an actual person and neither is ‘Ēsāعليه الصلاة والسلام, but rather they represent spiritual and material tendencies or persuasions! As for the material movements, they say this refers to the Dajjāl, while the spiritual movements, they say refers to ‘Ēsā عليه الصلاة والسلام.
The Prophetic reports about the Dajjāl and the descending of ‘Ēsā are numerous and reoccurring, as it will follow. From amongst these Prophetic narrations is that which is narrated by Abdullāh bin ‘Umar, Hudhayfah bin Yamān, Abdullāh bin Mas’ūd, and Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with them all). These narrations are in Sahīh Muslim concerning the appearance of the Dajjāl, explaining that every Prophet عليهم الصلاة والسلام warned their nations from the Dajjāl, and likewise Muhammad ﷺ warned from him (i.e. the Dajjāl) saying,
“Indeed I warn you from him, and I will inform you of something (about him) that no one has mentioned before: Indeed he is blind in his right eye” [Muslim, the Book of Trials and Signs of the Hour].
He will appear with (the image) of Paradise and the Hell-Fire. To the people it will appear that one river is fire and the other is paradise. But in reality the river with (the image) of the fire is a garden and the river with (the image) of a garden is actually fire. So the Messenger ﷺ of Allāh commanded the believer, when he sees the river that appears to be a fire, to lower his head, close his eyes, and drink from it; for indeed he will find it to be cool water. And as for that which appears to the people to be a garden, for indeed it is fire, and the refuge of Allāh is sought.
The Messenger ﷺ said, “Verily I am more knowledgeable than the Dajjāl about that which he has and comes with” [Sahīh Muslim].
So the Messenger ﷺ knows more than the Dajjāl. The Dajjāl does not know that one river is a garden and the other is fire, and we seek Allāh’s refuge.
The Messenger ﷺ is informing us about these realities, and in fact this is from his miracles and that which indicates the truthfulness of his Prophethood ﷺ.
Also, it is appropriate to mention here while discussing the Prophetic narrations about the Dajjāl, that people have mentioned that although the Messenger ﷺ mentioned the seriousness of the Dajjāl, he also belittled and dismissed him at the same time. Which made people discuss and engage in this topic, saying about the Messenger ﷺ ‘you have, while emphasising his danger, made him seem insignificant…’
The Prophet ﷺ said, “It is other than the Dajjāl that I fear for you” [Sahīh Muslim, the Book of Fitnah and the Signs of the Hour].
The reason for this is that, the Dajjāl clearly has written on his forehead Kāfir (disbeliever), which every believer whether that read or write will be able to understand; it is a clear sign that he is a disbeliever. As oppose to the one wears the garments of Al-Islām, in the name of Al-Islām, and carries the slogans of Al-Islām (apparently whilst actually deviating the people). This person is more harmful, for this reason the Messenger ﷺ says, “It is other than the Dajjāl that I fear for you.” These are the ones that misguide the people (mixing truth with falsehood), the Liars. The Messenger ﷺ has warned us from them (i.e. the callers to misguidance and innovations).