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Trials of the Dajjal and the Benefits of Surat al-Kahf

Trials of the Dajjal and the Benefits of Surat l-Kahf (Download Link)

 

Trials of the Dajjal and the Benefits of Surat al-Kahf

Abu Muhammad Adbullaah Flaming St. Fleur

 

From the Qur’an and Sunnah mentions various types of trials and tests believers will face in his or her life. Allah, The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful in surat al Baqarah mentions few of the ways believers will be tested. Allah said in His noble book “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits…),” (Al-Baqarah, 2:155) Elsewhere in the Qur’an also affirms we are trialed often as Allah mentions “Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice but then they do not repent, nor do they remember?” (at-Tawbah, 9:114) The matter of facing trials in our lives are also emphasized in the Sunnah as well. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Trials will not cease afflicting the believing man and the believing woman in their self, children, and wealth, until they meet Allah without having any sin.” (at-Tirmidhi, 2399) Abu Hurairah also reported from the Prophet (ﷺ) “The believer is like a plant which is continually swayed by the wind, the for believer is continually afflicted by trail…” (Bukhari and Muslim) Likewise Mu’awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated “I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) say: ‘There is nothing left of this world except trials and tribulations.’” (Ibn Majah, 4035) Allah and His Prophet warned us of various trials we will face such as the trials of wealth, trials of false prophets, trails of women (for men), trials in our faith, and in general trials from life and death etc.

However, one of the greatest trials mentioned was the trial of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal.  Abu Qatada reported from Imran b. Hussain I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “There would be no creation (creating more trouble) than the Dajjal right from the creation of Adam to the Last Hour.” (Muslim, 2946) Hence, the Messenger of Allah would seek refuge with Allah from the False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal. It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to seek refuge (with Allah) from the torment of Hell, the torment of the grave, and Al-Messiah Ad-Dajjal.” The Prophet in advent of the Dajjal warned the Muslim community up until the point he even gave detailed descriptions of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal. Narrated `Abdullah: Ad-Dajjal was mentioned in the presence of the Prophet. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah is not hidden from you; He is not one-eyed,” and pointed with his hand towards his eye, adding, “While Al-Messiah Ad- Dajjal is blind in the right eye and his eye looks like a protruding grape. (Bukhari, 7407) The Prophet also mentioned about the Dajjal’s description “…he Antichrist is short, hen-toed, woolly-haired, one-eyed, an eye-sightless, and neither protruding nor deep-seated…” [1]In another hadith, Jabir mentioned the Prophet of Allah (ﷺ) said: “There is no fitnah which will arise before the final hour greater than the fitnah of Dajjal, and there has been no prophet in the past, except that they warned their people, and indeed, I am not about to inform you that which no prophet has informed before. Then he placed his hand on his eye and said: I bear witness that Allah Ta ‘ala is not one-eyed.”[2] In another hadith …

 

Anas narrated: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “No prophet was sent but that he warned his followers against the one-eyed liar (Ad-Dajjal). Beware! He is blind in one eye, and your Lord is not so, and there will be written between his (Ad-Dajjal’s) eyes (the word) Kafir (i.e., disbeliever).” (Bukhari, 7131)

 

Another rewire from Anas reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “There would be written three letters Ka. Fa. Ra (i.e., Kafir), between the eyes of the Dajjal. (Muslim, 2933b) In another hadith Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) went further into description of the Dajjal mentioning …

 

“While I was sleeping, I saw myself performing the Tawaf of the Ka`ba. Behold, there I saw a whitish-red lank-haired man (holding himself) between two men with water dropping from his hair. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people replied, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I turned my face to see another man with red complexion, big body, curly hair, and blind   in the right eye which looked like a protruding out grape. I asked, ‘Who is he?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’ Ibn Qatan resembles him more than anybody else among the people and Ibn Qatan was a man from Bani Al-Mustaliq from Khuza`a.”[3]

 

The Prophet placed emphasis on the fitnah of Ad-Dajjal as it is the greatest fitnah to afflict mankind. It is also an issue of importance since in addition to the coming of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal, he will also be amongst the greater signs of the Day of Judgement.  Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “Hasten in performing these good deeds (before these) six things (happen): (the appearance) of the Dajjal, the smoke, the beast of the earth, the rising of the sun from the west, the general turmoil (leading to large-scale massacre) and death of masses and individuals.” (Muslim, 2947b) Thus the Prophet linked Ad-Dajjal with other major signs indicating the great importance of not only Ad-Dajjal but all the major signs as well. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) mentioned all prophets before him warned their people of the advent of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal. Consequently, it is of great importance Muslims is aware of the fitan (trial, tests, temptation, conflict, tragedy) of the Dajjal as his approaching is that which is unforeseen and only known by Allah alone, The All Seeing, The All Hearing. We are afflicted in two types of trials, the 1st which is from the cast of doubts, error, confusion, and misunderstanding (shubuhaat) and 2nd is of desires (shahawaat). The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal fitnah is of both types of trials mentioned and is a trial for all the believers living in the time of his appearance.

Hence it is of great importance to look in the Book (of Allah, almighty) and the Sunnah to see some of the trials brought forth by the Dajjal. This paper will briefly examine some of the trials of the Dajjal and briefly discuss the benefits of surat l-Kahf against the Dajjal and his fitnah.

Fitnah of the Dajjal as From the Sunnah

 

From the fitnah of The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal is of many and no believer is safe from such encounter. The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal will come and will cause corruption, confusion, deception and demonstrate false miracles to persuade (or disorient) his followers and the masses.  While navigating through the land, he will perform marvels attempting to convince the masses that he is Allah, thus gaining more influence and power.  It was narrated that Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The Dajjal (False Christ) is blind in his left eye and has abundant hair. With him will be a Paradise and a Hell, but his Hell is Paradise, and his Paradise is Hell.'” (Ibn Majah, 4071) Another similar hadith is recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Shall I not tell you about the Dajjal a story of which no prophet told his nation? The Dajjal is one-eyed and will bring with him what will resemble Hell and Paradise, and what he will call Paradise will be actually Hell; so, I warn you (against him) as Noah warned his nation against him.” (Bukhari, 3338)

This is amongst one of the many deceptions the Dajjal will cause, calling to paradise but, it will be a call to the hellfire. Many will be seduced and confused by him hence the Prophet said:” …. If you are confused about him, know that your Lord is not one-eyed.”[4] Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan mentions in his commentary on the Creed of Imam al-Tahawi “The Dajjal is one of the Jews and he will claim to be the Lord and satanic paranormal occurrences will take place at his hands. He will seduce many.” (Fawzan, 2014) In regard to The False Messiah Ad- Dajjal being one of the Jews, its authentically reported he will have plenty of followers from the Jews as well.  Anas b. Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “The Dajjal would be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls.” (Muslim, 2944) In addition to his followers being Jews, further description was given about his followers and his emergence site so the believers should be aware.  It comes in Musnad Ahmad, narrated that Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: `The Dajjal will emerge from a land in the east called Khurasan and he will be followed by peoples whose faces are like hammered shields.`[5] Thus Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan mentions in his book “He will lead them and be a cause of the occurrence of great trials of faith for the Muslims.”

The Dajjal will come with many wonders such as killing a man and bring him back to life, to try to convince the people he is Allah. It comes a narration from the sunan of Ibn Majah which some scholars viewed it da’if (weak) while others such as Shaykh Al Albaani in his Saheeh al Jami’ al-Sagheer authenticated the narration. The Prophet of Allah said concerning the Dajjal…

“Part of his Fitnah will be that he will say to a Bedouin: “What do you think, if I resurrect your father and mother for you, will you bear witness that I am your Lord?” He will say: “Yes.” Then two devils will appear to him in the form of his father and mother and will say: “O my son, follow him, for he is your Lord.” And part of his Fitnah will be that he will overpower a single soul and kill him, then he will cut him with a saw until he falls in two pieces. Then he will say: “Look at this slave of mine; I will resurrect him now, then he will claim that he has a Lord other than me.” Then Allah will resurrect him and the evil one will say to him: “Who is your Lord?” and he will say: “Allah is my Lord, and you are the enemy of Allah, you are Dajjal. By Allah, I have never had more insight about you than I have today. (Ibn Majah, 4077)

However, from the believers will be those who can identify him (the antichrist) and by the permission of Allah also be steadfast on their faith in tribulate times. Sa’id al-Khudree mentions…

“Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) told us a long narrative about Ad-Dajjal, and among the many things he mentioned, was his saying, ‘Ad-Dajjal will come, and it will be forbidden for him to pass through the entrances of Medina. He will land in some of the salty barren areas (outside) Medina; on that day the best man or one of the best men will come up to him and say, ‘I testify that you are the same Dajjal whose description was given to us by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ).’ Ad-Dajjal will say to the people, ‘If I kill this man and bring him back to life again, will you doubt my claim?’ They will say, ‘No.’ Then Ad-Dajjal will kill that man and bring him back to life. That man will say, ‘Now I know your reality better than before.’ Ad-Dajjal will say, ‘I want to kill him, but I cannot.’ (Bukhari, 1882)

Therefore, there should be no Muslim assuming they are safe from the fitnah of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal. How can we be secured when Umm Sharik reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The people would run away from the Dajjal seeking shelter in the mountains. She asked: Where would be the Arabs then in that day? He said: They would be small in number.”[6] It is upon us to contemplate and reflect on these narrations concerning the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal and how should we comprehend them in today’s time and prepare ourselves for such a significant event. The Prophet himself associated the matter of the Dajjal along with the punishment of the grave, the punishment of the hellfire, and afflictions of life and death in one supplication[7] seeking refuge from the four. How severe is the matter of The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal? That it was a cause to make the Messenger of Allah himself seek protection? Hence what is our condition in compared to the Prophet, and our state if the affair would occur in our time? May Allah help us all from such turbulent times and that which is decreed for us tomorrow.

Benefits of Surat l-Kahf Concerning Ad-Dajjal

 

Despite the many narrations of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) warning about The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal from his appearance or tribulations he will bring, Allah, The Entirely Merciful, The Especially Merciful have provided various ways seeking refuge. Within the Sunnah, are various ways the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) taught us how to seek protection from The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal. Amongst some of those ways of protection (from the Dajjal) are with the 18th surah, surat al-Kahf (The Cave). The reading of the first Ten verses of surat l Kahf is a means of protection against the Dajjal (antichrist). Hence it is recommended these to read, contemplate, recite, and memorize such verses often. Abu Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) as saying: “If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal.” (Muslim, 809a) In another hadith mentions that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever recites three Ayat from the beginning of Al-Kahf he is protected from the turmoil of the Dajjal.”[8]

Abu Dawood in his Sunan, in the chapter: The appearance of the Dajjal mentions Abu al-Darda’ reported the Prophet (ﷺ) as saying: If anyone memorizes ten verses from the beginning of surat al-Kahf, he will be protected from the trial of Dajjal (Antichrist).” Abu Dawood said: In this way Hashim al-dastawa’I transmitted it from Qatadah, but he said: “If anyone memorizes the closing verses of surat al-Kahf.” Shu’bah narrated from Qatadah the words “from the end of al-Kahf. (Abu Dawood,4323) In the same chapter Abu Dawood reports in a long hadith

 

Al-nawwas b. Sim’an al-Kilabi said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) mentioned the Dajjal (Antichrist) saying: If he comes forth while I am among you, I shall be the one who will dispute with him on your behalf, but if he comes forth when I am not among you, a man must dispute on his own behalf, and Allah will take my place in looking after every Muslim. Those of you who live up to his time should recite over him the opening verses of Surat al – Kahf, for they are your protection from his trial…” (Abu Dawood, 4321)

 

The hadith mentioned above goes into further detail such as the time the Dajjal (Antichrist) will remain on the earth, the descent of Jesus the son of Mary to East of Damascus etc. However, I wanted to emphasis the fact that the Prophet himself again mentioned surat al-Kahf as a protection from the trial of the Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah).  There is of no doubt the ten verses of the beginning of the surah and last ten are a means of protection. But you may wonder what is the link to these verses and the False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal? Why these versus for protection? With full certainty, and conviction that which is legislated in the Qur’an and authentic prophetic tradition, we believe, we hear, and we obey. However, various times in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah the reason is provided (directly or indirectly) for various forms of worship, commands, or prohibitions etc. Such reason or explanation often strengthen our Imaan and aid us in comprehension, thus also aid us staying focus since we are aware of the specific reason and purpose.

Surat al-Kahf is incredibly unique and is related to the matter of the False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal in many ways. In understanding such relations why, the verse in the surah is a protection from the Antichrist should aid us in seeking refuge from the Ad-Dajjal often accordingly from Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. Allah mentions in the ninth verse “Do you think that the people of the Cave and the Inscription (the news or the names of the people of the Cave) were a wonder among Our Signs?” (Al-Kahf, 18:9) The Kahf (cave) indicates a place of refuge which was taken by a group of youth who sought refuge in it, who fled protecting for protection of their faith. It is said this story was regarding a Christian tradition of the Seven sleepers. This group of youths fled an ancient city of Greek due to Roman persecution. However, Allah signs are far greater than the story of the people of the cave. The Qur’an clarified the reality of the story but placed emphasis on its benefits and virtues learnt from the story.

Amongst the amazing virtues was that the group of youths fled persecution, making hijrah to protect themselves from being forced into pagan practices. Hijrah was made by these youths seeking refuge in Allah and seeking a place where they can practice their faith.  Hijrah is of many different forms, and the youths performed the act physically and inwardly (with their hearts) as the following verse mentioned “(Remember) when the young men fled for refuge (from their disbelieving folk) to the Cave, they supplicated to Allah: “Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!” (Al-Kahf; 8:10)

In relation to The False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal, to protect themselves and their faith people will also flee from the Dajjal seeking refuge. Thus, Umm Sharik narrated the Prophet saying, “The people will flee from the Dajjal such that they will go to the mountains.” Likewise, the people of the cave fled persecution for Allah’s sake as well. Therefore, in connection with the event of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal, it shows the importance of seeking refuge or making hijrah to safeguard one’s faith especially in times of turmoil and tribulation. Likewise, it is similar as the advent of the False Messiah who will come and bring chaos, confusion, delusion, corruption in the lands. A similar narration was narrated from Abu Said Al-Khudri: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “A time will soon come when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take on the top of mountains and the places of rainfall (valleys) so as to flee with his religion from afflictions.” (Bukhari, 19)

The verses of surat al-Kahf for protection from Ad-Dajjal addresses circumstances of protection of faith, fleeing persecution and affliction to protect one’s religion.  The verses also address the significance of declaration of the correct faith, and it is proper understanding as revealed from Allah. Thus, for someone to value an item, or a gift, he or she must first understand it is importance, its relevance and that which makes it valuable. Likewise for the youths of the cave who made hijrah meant they understood the significance of their faith accordingly. Faith and its proper understanding are essential in times of tribulation and must be preserved at all circumstances. Within the ten versus also addresses the Christian doctrine, which is widespread today, that Allah, God, has taken himself a son.[9] In great threat, condemnation, and denunciation the Qur’an makes clear such belief is based on no knowledge, nor do they have an idea of its origins. “And to warn those (Jews, Christians, and pagans) who say, “Allah has begotten a son (or offspring or children).” (Al-Kahf; 18:4) I used here the Mohsin Khan interpretation of the meaning of the verse as it places in parentheses Jews, Christians, and pagans. Though the doctrine itself is well known today to Christian theology, it was also amongst a minute group of Jews who also held similar views with the Prophet ‘Uzayr (Ezra). Jews of Yemen was listed in the encyclopedia Judaica to have believed ‘Uzayr being a son of Allah. Allah makes mention of this saying “The Jews say, “Ezra is the son of Allah “; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah.” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?” (At-Tawbah; 9:30) The ideology of Allah having a son or children is an ancient one amongst pagan societies which became prominent in the Church fourth century due to the counsel of Nicaea. Which is later came to known as the Nicene creed.

In the last ten verses closing the surah similarly addresses those with flawed beliefs “Then do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants instead of Me as allies? Indeed, We have prepared Hell for the disbelievers as a lodging.” (Al-Kahf; 18:102) in the last verse of the surah, Allah enjoins His Prophet declaring Allah’s Oneness, and Uniqueness in His divinity, His names and attributes and His worship alone with no partners. Thus, the final verse of the surah rectifying and making clear of the flawed beliefs of the pagans, Christians, Jews etc. The Qur’an mentions the Prophet being commanded (by Allah) to tell the disbelievers “Say, “I am only a man like you, to whom has been revealed that your god is one God. So, whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord – let him do righteous work and not associate in the worship of his Lord anyone.”

Hence in times of trial, and tribulations a believer’s faith is vital for many characteristics Allah described them with in the Qur’an such as “O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).” (Al-Baqarah, 2:153) Also in the prophetic tradition “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” (Muslim, 2999) Likewise, faith is essential in the advent of the False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal where one must flee from him, for the safeguard of his religion. Faith is required in what the Prophet warned us about and advised us in case of the Antichrist appearance. The believer should not think he is able to withstand The False Messiah Ad-Dajjal after the Prophet advised us in a hadith saheeh,

Narrated Imran ibn Husayn: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Let him who hears of the Dajjal (Antichrist) go far from him for I swear by Allah that a man will come to him thinking he is a believer and follow him because of confused ideas roused in him by him.” (Abu Dawood, 4319)

Faith is of essence in the coming of the Dajjal hence the Prophet advised us “When three things appear faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from his faith: the rising of the sun in its place of setting, the Dajjal, and the beast of the earth.” (Muslim, 158) It should be noted the Prophet mentioned “faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed…” Meaning faith is required prior to the coming of the False Messiah, to go through the trials and tribulations inflicted by the Dajjal. The Same with the youths of the cave acquisition of faith must be sound and appropriate according to what was revealed by the Creator. Hence no crookedness can be found in the revelation as mentioned in the first ten versus “[He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward” (Al-Kahf; 18:2)

Conclusion

 

In conclusion there will be many trials and tribulations caused by The False Messiah, Ad-Dajjal which the Prophet of Allah warned his community and followers of. Likewise other Prophets prior to him, also warned their people of such advent to come, as it is deemed being the greatest tribulation of mankind.  The Antichrist, Ad-Dajjal description was given in detail to us by the Prophet as well as his (Dajjal) followers, his signs, and paranormal phenomena leading masses astray, confused, deceived and eventually to the hellfire. The believers in advent of the False Messiah would be fleeing seeking refuge in Allah in comparison to the people of the cave, to safeguard their religion. Though we are advised to flee in the advent of the Dajjal, the Prophet informed us ways to protect ourselves now as believers. It is highly encouraged we hold on to the prophetic advice given in the Sunnah and transmitted to us in practice which is the reading of the ten verses of surat al-Kahf (first ten or last ten of the surah). Continuously reading, contemplating, reciting, memorizing, and acting upon the surah itself is of great merit. However, if we are unable to do so, the least we can do is sincerely recite/ read the ten verses weekly for our benefit, our reminder, and our protection of the False Messiah Ad-Dajjal.

 

 

 

 

References

Al-Tahawi., A.J, Fawzana, S., (2014) A Commentary on the Creed of Imam al-Tahawi

Dar Al-Arqam Publishing, Birmingham, UK

[1] Sunan Abi Dawood, Book 39: Kitab Al-Malahim (Battles), Chapter: The appearance of the Dajjal, 4320

[2] Mustadrak-lil-Hakim Volume: 1 pg. 406

[3] Sahih al- Bukhari, Interpretation of Dreams, 7026

[4] Abu Dawood, 4320. Authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albaani.

[5] Musnad Ahmad, Book 1, Hadith 12

[6] Sahih Muslim, The Book of Tribulations and Portents of the Last Hour, B00k 54, Hadith154

[7] (O Allah! I seek refuge with you from the punishment in the grave and from the punishment in the Hell fire and from the afflictions of life and death, and the afflictions of Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal.”

[8] Jami’at-Tirmidhi, Book 45: Chapters on The Virtues of the Qur’an, Hadith 0

[9] The Christian doctrine mentioned here is the doctrine of sonship, and the theology of a servant of a God.

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