Saturday, March 15, 2014


The Current State of the Ummah

If we take a quick look at the last 100 years, the situation of the Muslim Ummah, across the globe, is a tell-tale of long-standing suffering and oppression. The Western ideology has reduced this world to a mere playground for the rich to plunder and exploit the lands, lives and wealth of the masses. The scourge of graft  and repression has assumed a different hue, and has led many people believe that the current situation resembles the end times that has been prophesised in the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him); and only the promised Mahdi and the second coming of Isa (peace be upon him) could deliver peace and justice to the Ummah.

Some people believe that the situation we have been thrown into cannot be changed by us; its beyond human capability! The belief that we lack power and intellect to bring about a change in the lives of the Ummah; the diffidence that our enemy is superior than us can only be termed as ‘Defeatism’. And this defeatist approach has led to inactivity and fatalism creep into the Muslim blood, making the predicament everlasting.

Consequently, some people have clung all their hopes on to the coming of Mahdi and Isa. As a matter of fact, they have left everything, forsaken all the activities to revive the Muslim Ummah and to lead her back to her original state as mentioned by Allah (swt) – The Best Ummah. It has only added an insult to injury.

It is important to understand here that the attitude of fatalism that affects some Muslims is something that is not applied in all the aspects of life. For example, we see many who have a fatalistic attitude towards the political situation, but are wise when it comes to seeking rizq (provisions) which Allah (swt), Ar-Raziq has promised that he will provide. Many Muslims work extremely hard, sacrificing time, effort and even emigrating, leaving behind families and loved ones in order to find work. This, despite the fact, that it is proven through definitive text (qati atthaboot) that are definitive in meaning (qati addalalah) that it is Allah (swt) who provides the rizq.

Similarly, no person, however fatalistic an attitude he carries would stay in front of a bus, when it is racing towards him. When an illness comes to them, they will seek treatment from their doctor and if he is unable to help, they strive hard to seek the best possible treatment. They will refrain from going to dangerous places to protect their own lives and their loved ones. . This, despite the fact, that Allah (swt) has stated in many definitive texts (qati atthaboot) that are definitive in meaning (qati addalalah) that Allah (swt) is the one who causes death when the ajal (life span) expires.

The Nature of the ahadith Relating to Mahdi, Isa and Ad-Dajjal

Before discussing the nature of the the ahadith relating to Mahdi, Isa and Ad-Dajjal, it is important to understand that from the types of ahadith includes the ones that have information or glad tidings and warnings about what man is going to face in the future. So they are informative (ikhbari) in nature.  For eg, the hadith

My Ummah will be divided in to seventy three sects. All of them will be in fire except one.”

This hadith gives us the news that the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) will be divided into seventy three sects. It is clear that the Muslims are not being given the order to divide themselves into seventy three sects, rather it is just a news (khabar) and one is not supposed to derive Ahkam from the Ikhbari hadith rather he takes heed from them in terms of the glad tidings and warnings it brings. 

Similarly, there are many other ahadith that inform the Ummah about certain things that will happen in the future or may be the portents of the hour. However, one must realise that all such prophecies are the khabar (information) of the event that will come to pass. Let us assess some more ahadith.

The number of men will decrease, whilst the number of women will increase, until for every man there are 50 women.

Illegal sexual intercourse will become widespread.” [Bukhari]

Similarly, the above mentioned ahadith are only providing us information and by their very nature the ahadith are Ikhbaria and not something from which Ahkam are supposed to be derived. For example, it is just a khabar that there would be 50 women for every man, it does not oblige the Muslims to create a situation where this hadith fits-in. It is rather a news given by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) that there will come a time when women would exceed men in number.

In the same way, the hadith about widespread illegal sexual intercourse tells us that in the years to come it will become the order of the day. Perhaps we are witnessing it in the world today; however, the ahkam for us still remain the same, which is the prohibition of illegal sexual intercourse.

With regards to the issue of Mahdi, when the ahadith tell us about the emergence of Mahdi or the second coming of Isa (as) or  about the appearance of Dajjal, it is just to provide information, and not a hukm (ruling) to lookout for them and exhaust our energies in finding out whether their emergence is near or far. Rather these ahadith are a prophecy of the Glad tidings to the Muslims or of the Fitna that they will have to endure, so that they are prepared accordingly.  What the ahadith tell us is that they will emerge. In order for us to recognise them the ahadith give a detailed description of the series of events that will occur, which will make Muslims indisputable regarding the identity of Mahdi, Isa (as) and Ad-Dajjal. (In the later part of this article, we will deal with the signs of Mahdi, Isa and Ad-Dajjal and how we are supposed to take the hadith from the Usul Al Fiqh point of view)

An example of how the companions of the prophet (saw) viewed such prophecies is that of Salman Al-Farsi (ra).

He in his search of truth and the Last Messenger came to the city of the prophet, Madina Al Munawwara. From his studies of the scriptures revealed to prophets before Muhammad (saw), he knew that one of the signs of the Messenger of Allah would be that he would not take sadaqa but accept gift from the people. Besides, he also knew that the Messenger of Allah (saw) would have the seal of Prophethood on his shoulder blade.

When he first met the Messenger of Allah, he gave him sadaqa, to which the Messenger of Allah (saw) refused. However, later on when he offered something as a gift, the Messenger of Allah (saw) accepted it. His first sign was met and then for the fulfilment of his second sign, he went around the Messenger of Allah (saw). The Messenger of Allah noticed that Salman was looking for something, so he uncovered his shoulders to show him what was between his shoulder blades. When Salman saw the mark, he fell down in tears.

Brief List of Mahdi & Isa Claimants

History bears witness to many individuals proclaiming themselves as Mahdi or Isa (as) or both. Naming all of them here is a formidable task. To highlight that such flimsy claims are not new and one of a kind, we name a few of such people who attempted to confuse the Ummah. These fraudsters cashed in on the fear factor of the people who merely supported their claims fearing that their claims could be true. Hence, it was not at all out of conviction, but fear which has crept into the hearts and minds of the people because of the intellectual decline that the Ummah is going through.

The list of some of the claimants is as follows;

1.      Ali Muhammad Shirazi
2.      Muhammad Ahmed
3.      Mirza Ghulam Ahmed
4.      Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani
5.      Riaz Ahmed GoharShahi
6.      Dia Abdul Zahra Qadim
7.      Shakil Bin Hanif

It is important to note that the list only include people who proclaimed themselves Mahdi in the twentieth and the twenty first century only. The actual list has over 50 such claimants. Just in India alone, there are 3 people who have been claiming themselves to be the Mahdi.

Usul of Understanding and Deriving Ahkam from Ahadith

The widespread confusion over the Ahadith about Mahdi, Isa (as) And Dajjal are primarily because of the ambiguous Nature of some of the Nusoos (sing:nass) (text) that are present regarding the subject. Further, many of the interpreters have not used any Usool (principle) in understanding these ahadith, rather have resorted to using logic and syllogism.
Three most important principles that one needs to take into account while deriving Ahkam (rulings) or understanding any hadith are as follows;

1.      Every hadith should be understood in the light of Ulum al hadith (sciences of hadith – the science by which a hadith is defined whether it meets the criteria of being a hadith of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and what is the intended meaning of the hadith)

2.      The language of the Quran is Arabic and so is that of ahadith. This is why to understand either of these they have to be understood as the Arab understood them in the Arabic language and not in any other language. If a person was to resort to using Urdu in understanding ahadith and if he was to use Urdu as his base for understand terminologies used in ahadith he would arrive at contrasting meanings compared to what was intended in the hadith. This is why it is of utmost importance that the meaning is taken as understood by the Arabs in the language as it was during the time of the prophet (saw).

3.      The meaning that is taken from a text, an Ayah of the Quran or a hadith, it is only the Haqiqi (actual) meaning that has to be taken and any other meaning such as the Mijazi (metaphorical) meaning can be taken only if the text has clear cut Qareena (indications) present in it. These are clearly discussed by the scholars of Lugha (language) and Hadith in great detail in the books of Usul Al Fiqh and Mustalah al Hadith and are not vague or unknown, rather are well codified.

We will raise some of the most common points raised by the claimants of being Imam Mahdi and Isa (as) and address them in the light of the above points

Following are the most prominent points proposed by such claimants.

1. It is not necessary that Mahdi carry the same name as mentioned in the hadith of the prophet (saw)

They use the hadith of the prophet (saw)

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تذهب الدنيا حتى يملك العرب رجل من أهل بيتي يواطئ اسمه اسمي
 “The world will not come to an end until the Arabs are ruled by a man from my family whose name is the same as mine and whose father’s name is the same as my father’s” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

to interpret that Imam Mahdi’s name will have to have the same meaning as that of the prophet’s (saw) name and not that it actually will be the name of the Prophet (saw).

However this understanding is incorrect.

The key aspect in their understanding of the ahadith is the twisting of the meaning of the ahadith by claiming that it is the logical meaning or the Metaphorical (mijazi/tamseel) meaning that has to be taken and not the Haqiqi (actual) meaning. They seem to do this without any basis, rather as and when it suits their end conclusions.

They ignore all the other ahadith that give reference that Imam Mahdi will have the same name as that of the Prophet (saw) by either saying that they are not acceptable as ahadith or by twisting their meaning to say that the meaning is metaphorical in nature.

  عن حذيفه , أن النبي (ص) قال لو لم يبق من الدنيا إلا يوم واحد لطوّل الله عز وجل ذلك اليوم حتى يبعث رجلاً من ولدي اسمه اسمي، فقام سلمان الفارسي فقال: يا رسول الله، من أي ولدك؟ قال من ولدي هذا، وضرب بيده على الحسين

Huzaifa narrated that the Prophet (saw) said: 

" If there is not left in this World except one day, Allah will lengthen it until He (Allah) sends a man from my children (or descendants), his name is (like) mine." So, Salman Al-Farsi stood up and said: O Messenger of Allah: From which of your children (or descendants)?  He said: " From my Child, this one and he tapped with his hand on Al-Hussein [Tabarani, Sawaiq Al Muhriqa]

We should remind ourselves of the hadith of the prophet (saw) where he warns people from ascribing to him what he has not said

قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول من يقل علي ما لم أقل فليتبوأ مقعده من النار

Narrated Umm Salama: I heard the Prophet saying, “Whoever (intentionally) ascribes to me what I have not said then (surely) let him occupy his seat in Hell-fire.”

2. Imam Mahdi will be identified as Imam Mahdi much before he will be given the pledge of Allegiance in Makkah

They use logical premise to say that how can people give Mahdi the pledge of allegiance when he is an unknown person. This they do to prove that their claim today as Mahdi is valid because during this period they will build their popularity and then eventually in Makkah the pledge of allegiance will be given.

However what they ignore is the fact that there are enough signs that the prophet (saw) has given which will prove the identity of Mahdi and it would not be required to know him from before. Some scholars even hold the opinion that the real Mahdi himself will not know that he is Mahdi that is why he will be reluctant to take the pledge in Makkah.

The prophet (saw) has already mentioned in detail about his characters and the place where he would be found and he (saw) has already mentioned that this person would be reluctant to take the pledge of allegiance (baya’a) from the people. This is unlike the reality of the claimants of Mahdi who have time and again appealed to the people to give them Baya’a and have even gone to the extent of creating fear in the minds of the people if they were not to give them the Baya’a.

عن أم سلمة ، عن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال : " يكون اختلاف عند موت خليفة ، فيخرج رجل من أهل المدينة هاربا إلى مكة ، فيأتيه ناس من أهل مكة فيخرجونه وهو كاره ، فيبايعونه بين الركن والمقام ، فيبعث إليه بعث من الشام ، فيخسف بهم بالبيداء ، فإذا رأى الناس ذلك أتاه أبدال الشام وعصائب العراق فيبايعونه ، ثم ينشأ رجل من قريش أخواله كلب ، فيبعث إليهم بعثا فيظهرون عليهم وذلك بعث كلب ، فالخيبة لمن لم يشهد غنيمة كلب ، فيقسم المال ويعمل في الناس بسنة نبيهم ، ويلقي الإسلام جرانه على الأرض ، فيلبث سبع سنين " .

Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet said, People will begin to differ after the death of a Khalifah. A man from the people of Madinah will flee to Makkah. Some of the people of Makkah will come to him and drag him out against his will; they will swear allegiance to him between al-Rukn and al-Maqam. An army will be sent against him from Syria; it will be swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madinah. When the people see this, groups of people from Syria and Iraq will come and swear allegiance to him. Then a man from Quraysh whose mother is from Kalb will appear and send an army against them, and will defeat them; this will be known as the Battle of Kalb. Whoever does not witness the spoils of this battle will miss much! The Mahdi will distribute the wealth, and will rule the people according to the Sunnah of the Prophet. Then he will die, and the Muslims will pray for him. [Abu Dawud]

The claimants for instance take every specific aspect from this hadith which would have disproved their claim and give it a twist so that it suit their aims.

Before addressing further claims, let us put down the principles where the metaphorical (mijazi) meaning or tamseel can and cannot be used.

The scholars have clearly explained this in the books of Usul al Fiqh. The claimants acts have gone in contradiction of 1400 years of Islamic scholarship of Usul such as Shafi, Ibn Taymiya, Abu Hanifa , Amidi, ArRaazi and others who were experts of the subject.

Shekh Taqiuddin Nabahani writes in his book “Asshakhsiya Al Islamiya” Volume 3

ودخول المجاز في الكلام قد يكون بالذات أي بالأصالة وقد يكون بالتبعية. والمجاز بالذات إنّما يكون في اسم الجنس وهو ما دل على نفس الذات الصالحة لأن تصدق على كثيرين من غير اعتبار وصف من الأوصاف كالأسد للشجاع والقتل للضرب الشديد ولا يدخل في غير ذلك

The metaphor in the speech can be in the essence, i.e. the original, and it can be in the subsequence. The metaphor in the essence can only be in the generic noun which denotes the same essence which is applicable to many things without any consideration to other qualities, like the word lion for the brave person, and the word killing for the hard beating, and it cannot be in other than that.

As for the areas where the metaphorical meaning cannot be used, it is in three cases

The first is a Hurf (character, alphabet), this is because the meaning delivered by an alphabet cannot be delivered by something else other than it and therefore if anything else is used to denote a Hurf then the meaning is not delivered.

The second is the Verb and derived nouns

ثالثها: العلم- لأنه إن كان مرتجلاً أو منقولاً لغير علاقة، فلا إشكال في كونه ليس بمجاز، وإن نقل لعلاقة كمن سمّى ولده مباركاً لِما اقترن بحمله أو وضعه من البركة فكذلك ليس بمجاز، لأنه لو كان مجازاً لامتنع إطلاقه عند زوال العلاقة، والحال ليس كذلك، فدل على أنه ليس بمجاز

The third is the Alam (proper noun) because if it is improvised (مُرْتَجَل) or transformed without a relation (to a quality), there is no doubt that it is not a metaphor, and if it is transformed due to a relation, the example is that of a person who names his son Mubarak (blessed) because of the blessings that accompanied his pregnancy or birth, it is also not a metaphor, because if it is considered as a metaphor then this metaphorical value will disappear after the incident and the situation (with the names) is not as such, which shows that it is not metaphor.

This applies to names of people, areas and cities and anything that falls within the above three categories.

Now based on this let us assess the hadith and the correct way of understanding it.
a. The claimants say that the word “al Madeena” in the above refers to any city and not that it is “madina al munawwara” and therefore it could be Delhi as well or any other city.

Let us assess his claim in the light of the Arabic language and how this term is used among the Arabs. First of all the term ‘Al’ ‘ال’ it makes a noun definite. So if it is present before any noun , it makes it definite. It is called ‘لام التعريف’ in Arabic and is a basic lesson that one learns when he studies Arabic.

Madina in the above hadith has an ‘al’ before which makes it definite and that is why the scholars whenever they studied this hadith they were not confused to understand this Madina to mean Delhi or Kuala Lampur, rather they understood it as only one Madina, which is the Madina of the Prophet (saw) and that is because there is an ‘al’ before it. This is consistent in the ahadith and even in the general Arabic terminology.

b. One particular claimant has also attempted to define the term ‘Shaam’ to mean Afghan.
This is incorrect because ‘Shaam’ is a term and is a proper noun and is used to denote a particular land which is the Levant and is the western part of Asia and includes Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

In addition to this Shaam here also has an ‘al’ before it which means it is the ‘shaam’ that is being discussed here and not any other ‘shaam’ which anyways does not exist.

c. The claimants also propose that if people would not know Mahdi how will they give him Baya’a.

 The prophet (saw) gave this Ummah enough clear guidance to appreciate who the person would be when they would see him and he has clearly explained when to search for him. It would be a time when the Muslims would have their Khilafah and one of their Khalifah’s would die and people would have difference regarding who should be chosen as the Khalifah, it is at this time that a person of a character well defined in the ahadith will be found , he will be tall and fair complexioned and will have a broad forehead and his nose will be high and he will be found making Tawaf between the Rukn Yamani (the 3rd corner of the Kaba) and the Maqam.

They will recognize him and give him Baya’a but he will be reluctant to do so.

3. Imam Mahdi would reveal himself as Mahdi after the death of a Khalifah , and this Khalifah was Maulana Inamul Hasan who passed away in New Delhi 1995

One particular claimant started this propaganda in 1996 and used the death of the leader of the Global Tableeghi movement as a premise to his claims. He claims that Maulana Inamul Hasan rah was the Khalifah and there was a certain Ikhtilaf (difference of opinion) in the movement as to who should be the next leader after his death and therefore his claim as the Mahdi is justified.

There is a consistent trend with how some of these claimants have been viewing all incidents and texts. Wherever they do not conform to their views either they twist them or even discard them at times. We will put some light on the aspect of how they discard the text when they do not match their views.

As for the view that Maulana Inamul Hasan was a Khalifah, he was a Khalifah of a Sufi Order and not the Shari’ defined Khalifah and he never defined himself to be. There are several other such people who are Khalifah’s of scholars however none of them are the Khalifah of the Muslims and nor do they claim to be so! And the Ummah is not obliged to give Baya’a (pledge of allegiance) to any of them.

4. Imam Mahdi and Isa are one person and therefore the claimant is the embodiment of Isa (as) and Imam Mahdi.

Some use the fabricated hadith to say that they are not just Mahdi rather Isa (as) too. The hadith they use has been clearly deemed fabricated, it has been quote by ibn Majah.

لا مهدي إلا عيسى بن مريم
 “There is no Mahdi except 'Eesa

The issue with this hadith is that it has among the narrators ‘Mohammad Ibn Khalid’ who is ‘majhool’ (unknown) and ‘abaan ibn abi ayyaash’ who is ‘matrook’ (abandoned) who quotes it from hasan that he heard from the Prophet (saw) and this makes the hadith weak in its reporting.

It was examined by Ibn Taymiya, Showkani, Al hakim, Ibn al Qayyim, Azzahabi and others.
However, the claimant (this time Shakeel bin Hanif) says that the hadith was quoted by Imam Shafi to confuse the people into accepting the hadith and secondly he says that ibn Taymiya professes a view that Taqleed is not allowed so why should people in India who are muqallids of Imam Abu Hanifa follow him?

We should understand that Imam Shafi, much like any other scholar is a human and is not Masoom. The scholars of hadith after him reviewed this hadith and showed what Imam Shafi may not have noticed. As for the issue that Ibn Taymiya believed that Taqleed is not allowed, regardless of the fact whether he carried this view or not, he still is considered a scholar of Islam so we cannot abandon what he brings from the correct Islamic views.
Azzahabi the famous expert on Takhreej (verification) of ahadith says in his book Meezan al Itiadal that it is a munkar (rejected) hadith.

Imam Hakim, the famous Imam who wrote the Book of Hadith - Mustadrak Al Hakim reviewed the reporters and considered them to be unknown making the hadith weak. However, it is apparent that once the claimant found this, he left Imam Hakim and decided not to consider his views nor his books.

In 2006, he quotes ahadith that favour him from the Mustadrak of Alhakim, however, recently he has been claiming that all ahadith apart from the ones found in the six books of hadith are false and  unacceptable. This is because of the fact that he keeps finding ahadith that contradict his view in the other books. So is he claiming that anything found in Sunan Bayhaqi, Al Mustadrak, Muwatta Imam Malik, Musnad Ahmad, Musnad Bazzar, Sunan Dar Qutni and the hundreds of other books of ahadith that were compiled are false?

Why does he ignore the fact that Muwatta Imam Malik was written in the early second century of Islam, more than 100 years before Sahih Bukhari and it was written by the famous Imam Malik who the Maliki mazhab is referred to?

This in no way seems to be a scholastic opinion that is based on principles and fundamentals , rather based on whims and desires so wherever he finds that there are Ayat or Ahadith that contradict his , he either twists them or simply discards them !

5. Isa (as) had died and was reborn in the body of the claimant.

Because he now rejects ahadith that are other than in the 6 books, he also rejects the hadith which clearly mentions that Isa (as) will come down to the earth in Damascus on the wings of two angels
فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ بَعَثَ اللَّهُ الْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ فَيَنْزِلُ عِنْدَ الْمَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ شَرْقِىَّ دِمَشْقَ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودَتَيْنِ وَاضِعًا كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى أَجْنِحَةِ مَلَكَيْنِ إِذَا طَأْطَأَ رَأَسَهُ قَطَرَ وَإِذَا رَفَعَهُ تَحَدَّرَ مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤْلُؤِ فَلاَ يَحِلُّ لِكَافِرٍ يَجِدُ رِيحَ نَفَسِهِ إِلاَّ مَاتَ وَنَفَسُهُ يَنْتَهِى حَيْثُ يَنْتَهِى طَرْفُهُ [رواه مسلم[

The Messenger of Allah said: "In the meantime, while the Dajjal will be busy doing this and this, Allah will send down the Messiah son of Mary. He will descend in the eastern part of Damascus, near the white minaret (tower), dressed in the two yellowish garments, with his hands resting on the arms of two angels. When he will bend down his head, water drops will appear trickling down, and when he will raise it, it will appear as though pearl--like drops are rolling down. Any disbeliever whom the air of his breath reaches, and it will reach up to the last limit of his sight, will fall dead. Then, the son of Mary will go in pursuit of the Dajjal, and will overtake him at the gate of Lud , and will kill him." (Sahih Muslim)

Although this hadith is explicit that Isa (as) will be sent down from the sky on the wings of two angels by the mercy of Allah (swt), the claimant rejects the hadith and twists the meaning citing that the importance of Isa (as) is more than that of Mahdi and there is no need of two important people at the same time and so on...  using illogical assumptions to confuse the Ummah.

6. Dajjal is a Metaphorical Term designated to a period of time when there would be certain activities that would take place and he is not a person

As we know Isa (as) will come after the advent of Dajjal, when he would have already started creating his Fitna in the Ummah. So if someone claims himself to be Isa (as), he has to explain where is Dajjal ? This claimant comfortably twists Dajjal to mean two Countries which he claims are France and USA. He vehemently states that the hadith about Dajjal says that he will have the words K F R written on his forehead, and going by the same ridiculous logic, he unabashedly put forth that F R are the first two words from France and K is from America. As for the one eye of Dajjal, he claims them to be satellites used by these countries.

It is strange that he disregards so many aspects of this hadith just to make it in line with his false claims.

Let us examine the hadith regarding this subject and clarify what is the correct understanding on the issue.

a. Firstly, let us see the hadith of Tamim addaari (ra) who was lost in the sea and ended up at an island where he saw Dajjal in person. The detailed hadith talks about the incident and how he saw Dajjal and that the prophet (saw) agreed to it, and it is a saheeh hadith reported by Muslim.

« إِنِّى وَاللَّهِ مَا جَمَعْتُكُمْ لِرَغْبَةٍ وَلاَ لِرَهْبَةٍ ، وَلَكِنْ جَمَعْتُكُمْ لأَنَّ تَمِيماً الدَّارِىَّ كَانَ رَجُلاً نَصْرَانِيًّا فَجَاءَ فَبَايَعَ وَأَسْلَمَ ، وَحَدَّثَنِى حَدِيثاً وَافَقَ الَّذِى كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْ مَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ ، حَدَّثَنِى أَنَّهُ رَكِبَ فِى سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ مَعَ ثَلاَثِينَ رَجُلاً مِنْ لَخْمٍ وَجُذَامَ ، فَلَعِبَ بِهِمُ الْمَوْجُ شَهْراً فِى الْبَحْرِ ، ثُمَّ أَرْفَئُوا ( أي : التجؤوا ) إِلَى جَزِيرَةٍ فِى الْبَحْرِ حَتَّى مَغْرِبِ الشَّمْسِ ، فَجَلَسُوا فِى أَقْرُبِ السَّفِينَةِ ( وهي سفينة صغيرة تكون مع الكبيرة كالجنيبة يتصرف فيها ركاب السفينة لقضاء حوائجهم ، الجمع قوارب والواحد قارب ) فَدَخَلُوا الْجَزِيرَةَ فَلَقِيَتْهُمْ دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ ( أي : غليظ الشعر ) كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ ، لاَ يَدْرُونَ مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ ، فَقَالُوا : وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ ؟ فَقَالَتْ : أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ ( قيل سميت بذلك لتجسسها الأخبار للدجال ) . قَالُوا : وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ ؟ قَالَتْ : أَيُّهَا الْقَوْمُ ! انْطَلِقُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِى الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِالأَشْوَاقِ . قَالَ لَمَّا سَمَّتْ لَنَا رَجُلاً فَرِقْنَا ( أي خفنا ) مِنْهَا أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً ، قَالَ فَانْطَلَقْنَا سِرَاعاً حَتَّى دَخَلْنَا الدَّيْرَ ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ أَعْظَمُ إِنْسَانٍ رَأَيْنَاهُ قَطُّ خَلْقاً ، وَأَشَدُّهُ وِثَاقاً ، مَجْمُوعَةٌ يَدَاهُ إِلَى عُنُقِهِ ، مَا بَيْنَ رُكْبَتَيْهِ إِلَى كَعْبَيْهِ بِالْحَدِيدِ ، قُلْنَا : وَيْلَكَ مَا أَنْتَ ؟ قَالَ : قَدْ قَدَرْتُمْ عَلَى خَبَرِي ، فَأَخْبِرُونِي مَا أَنْتُمْ ؟ قَالُوا : نَحْنُ أُنَاسٌ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ ، رَكِبْنَا فِى سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ ، فَصَادَفْنَا الْبَحْرَ حِينَ اغْتَلَمَ ( أي هاج ) ، فَلَعِبَ بِنَا الْمَوْجُ شَهْراً ، ثُمَّ أَرْفَأْنَا إِلَى جَزِيرَتِكَ هَذِهِ ، فَجَلَسْنَا فِى أَقْرُبِهَا ، فَدَخَلْنَا الْجَزِيرَةَ ، فَلَقِيَتْنَا دَابَّةٌ أَهْلَبُ كَثِيرُ الشَّعَرِ لاَ يُدْرَى مَا قُبُلُهُ مِنْ دُبُرِهِ مِنْ كَثْرَةِ الشَّعَرِ ، فَقُلْنَا : وَيْلَكِ مَا أَنْتِ ؟ فَقَالَتْ : أَنَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ . قُلْنَا : وَمَا الْجَسَّاسَةُ ؟ قَالَتِ : اعْمِدُوا إِلَى هَذَا الرَّجُلِ فِى الدَّيْرِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى خَبَرِكُمْ بِاْلأَشْوَاقِ . فَأَقْبَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ سِرَاعاً ، وَفَزِعْنَا مِنْهَا وَلَمْ نَأْمَنْ أَنْ تَكُونَ شَيْطَانَةً ، فَقَالَ : أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ نَخْلِ بَيْسَانَ . قُلْنَا : عَنْ أَىِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ ؟ قَالَ : أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَنْ نَخْلِهَا هَلْ يُثْمِرُ ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ : نَعَمْ . قَالَ : أَمَا إِنَّهُ يُوشِكُ أَنْ لاَ تُثْمِرَ . قَالَ : أَخْبِرُونِى عَنْ بُحَيْرَةِ الطَّبَرِيَّةِ ؟ قُلْنَا : عَنْ أَىِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ ؟ قَالَ : هَلْ فِيهَا مَاءٌ ؟ قَالُوا : هِىَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ . قَالَ : أَمَا إِنَّ مَاءَهَا يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ . قَالَ : أَخْبِرُونِى عَنْ عَيْنِ زُغَرَ ؟ ( وهي بلدة تقع في الجانب القبلي من الشام ) قَالُوا : عَنْ أَىِّ شَأْنِهَا تَسْتَخْبِرُ ؟ قَالَ : هَلْ فِى الْعَيْنِ مَاءٌ ؟ وَهَلْ يَزْرَعُ أَهْلُهَا بِمَاءِ الْعَيْنِ ؟ قُلْنَا لَهُ : نَعَمْ ، هِىَ كَثِيرَةُ الْمَاءِ ، وَأَهْلُهَا يَزْرَعُونَ مِنْ مَائِهَا . قَالَ : أَخْبِرُونِى عَنْ نَبِىِّ الأُمِّيِّينَ مَا فَعَلَ ؟ قَالُوا : قَدْ خَرَجَ مِنْ مَكَّةَ وَنَزَلَ يَثْرِبَ . قَالَ : أَقَاتَلَهُ الْعَرَبُ ؟ قُلْنَا : نَعَمْ . قَالَ : كَيْفَ صَنَعَ بِهِمْ ؟ فَأَخْبَرْنَاهُ أَنَّهُ قَدْ ظَهَرَ عَلَى مَنْ يَلِيهِ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ وَأَطَاعُوهُ ، قَالَ لَهُمْ : قَدْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ ؟ قُلْنَا نَعَمْ . قَالَ : أَمَا إِنَّ ذَاكَ خَيْرٌ لَهُمْ أَنْ يُطِيعُوهُ ، وَإِنِّى مُخْبِرُكُمْ عَنِّي ، إِنِّى أَنَا الْمَسِيحُ ، وَإِنِّى أُوشِكُ أَنْ يُؤْذَنَ لِى فِى الْخُرُوجِ ، فَأَخْرُجَ فَأَسِيرَ فِى الأَرْضِ فَلاَ أَدَعَ قَرْيَةً إِلاَّ هَبَطْتُهَا فِى أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً غَيْرَ مَكَّةَ وَطَيْبَةَ فَهُمَا مُحَرَّمَتَانِ عَلَيَّ كِلْتَاهُمَا ، كُلَّمَا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَدْخُلَ وَاحِدَةً أَوْ وَاحِداً مِنْهُمَا اسْتَقْبَلَنِى مَلَكٌ بِيَدِهِ السَّيْفُ صَلْتاً يَصُدُّنِى عَنْهَا ، وَإِنَّ عَلَى كُلِّ نَقْبٍ مِنْهَا مَلاَئِكَةً يَحْرُسُونَهَا . قَالَتْ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم - وَطَعَنَ بِمِخْصَرَتِهِ فِى الْمِنْبَرِ - : « هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ هَذِهِ طَيْبَةُ » . يَعْنِى الْمَدِينَةَ « أَلاَ هَلْ كُنْتُ حَدَّثْتُكُمْ ذَلِكَ ؟ » . فَقَالَ النَّاسُ :نَعَمْ .
« فَإِنَّهُ أَعْجَبنِى حَدِيثُ تَمِيمٍ أَنَّهُ وَافَقَ الَّذِى كُنْتُ أُحَدِّثُكُمْ عَنْهُ وَعَنِ الْمَدِينَةِ وَمَكَّةَ ، أَلاَ إِنَّهُ فِى بَحْرِ الشَّامِ أَوْ بَحْرِ الْيَمَنِ ، لاَ بَلْ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ ما هُوَ ، مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ ، مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ » ( قال القاضي : لفظة ( ما هو ) زائدة ، صلة للكلام ، ليست بنافية ، والمراد إثبات أنه فى جهات المشرق ) وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى الْمَشْرِقِ . قَالَتْ فَحَفِظْتُ هَذَا مِنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم  

He said: “By Allah, I did not call you together for an exhortation or for a warning. I have called you together because Tameem al-Daari was a Christian and he came and swore allegiance and became Muslim, and told me something which agrees with what I was telling you about the Dajjaal (false messiah). He told me that he sailed in a ship with thirty men of Lakhm and Judhaam and they were tossed by the waves of the sea for a month. Then they came to an island at sunset. They sat in a small rowing-boat and landed on that island. They were met by a beast with a great deal of hair and they could not distinguish his face from his back because he was so hairy. They said: ‘Woe to you, what are you?’ It said: ‘I am al-Jassaasah.’ They said: ‘What is al-Jassaasah?’ It said: ‘O people, go to this man in the monastery for he is keen to know about you.’ He (the narrator) said: When it named a man for us we were afraid of it lest it be a devil. Then we set off, rushing, until we came to that monastery, where we found the hugest man we had ever seen, bound strongly in chains with his hands tied to his neck and his legs bound from the knees to the ankles with iron shackles. We said: ‘Woe to you, who are you?’ He said: ‘You will soon find out about me; tell me who you are.’ They said: ‘We are people from Arabia who embarked on a ship, but the sea became wild and the waves tossed us about for one month, then they brought us to this island of yours. We took to the rowing-boats and landed on this island. We were met by a beast with a great deal of hair and we could not tell his front from his back because he was so hairy. We said: Woe to you, what are you? It said: I am al-Jassaasah. We said: What is al-Jassaasah? It said: Go to this man in the monastery for he is keen to know about you. So we came rushing to you and we fled from it because we could not be sure that it was not a devil.’ He (that chained person) said: ‘Tell me about the date-palm trees of Baysaan.’ We said: ‘What do you want to know about them?’ He said: ‘I am asking you whether these trees bear fruit.’ We said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Soon they will not bear fruit.’ He said: ‘Tell me about the lake of Tabariyyah’ We said: ‘What do you want to know about it?’ He said: ‘Is there water in it?’ They said: ‘There is a great deal of water in it.’ He said: ‘Soon it will dry up.’ Then he said: ‘Tell me about the spring of Zughar (which is in the south of Syria).’ They said: ‘What do you want to know about it?’ He said: ‘Is there water in the spring and do the people grow crops with the water of the spring?’ We said to him: ‘Yes, there is plenty of water in it and the people grow crops with its water.’ He said: ‘Tell me about the Prophet if the unlettered; what has he done?’ We said: ‘He has left Makkah and has settled in Yathrib (Madeenah).’ He said: ‘Do the Arabs fight against him?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘How did he deal with them?’ We told him that he had prevailed over the Arabs in his vicinity and they had shown obedience to him. He said to us: ‘Has it really happened?’ We said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘If it is so that is better for them that they show obedience to him. Now I will tell you about myself. I am the Dajjaal and soon I will be given permission to emerge. So I will come out and travel in the land, and will not spare any town but I will stay for forty nights, except Makkah and Taybah (Madeenah). They are both forbidden to me; every time I try to enter one of them, I will be met by an angel with a sword in his hand, who will bar my way, and on every route there will be angels guarding it.’ She said: Then the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) struck the minbar with his staff and said: “This is Taybah, this is Taybah, this is Taybah,” meaning Madeenah. “Did I net tell you this before?” The people said: Yes. [The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:] “I liked the story of Tameem because it agrees with what I used to tell you about him and about Makkah and Madeenah. But he is in the Syrian Sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemeni Sea (Arabian Sea). No, rather he is in the east, he in the east, he is in the east,” and he pointed towards the east with his hand. She said: I memorized this from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (2942), so it is a saheeh hadeeth. It was also narrated by the scholars in their books, with their isnaads from Faatimah bint Qays (may Allah be pleased with her). Al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Jaami’ al-Saheeh (2253): This is a saheeh ghareeb hadeeth. End quote. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in al-Istidhkaar (7/338): It is saheeh in its isnaad and transmission. End quote.

Therefore, what Tamim Addaari (ra) saw and what the prophet (saw) approved as Dajjal was a human being and not France and America! Therefore, Dajjal is a person and not a period or an era or a land or country!

b. The second issue is that of how the time will pass when Dajjal will come.

أن الصحابة قالوا : " يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا لَبْثُهُ فِي الأَرْضِ ؟ قَالَ : أَرْبَعُونَ يَوْمًا ؛ يَوْمٌ كَسَنَةٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَشَهْرٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَجُمُعَةٍ وَسَائِرُ أَيَّامِهِ كَأَيَّامِكُمْ "
It is reported that the Sahabah said: “O Messenger of Allaah, 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.” …[Reported by Muslim]

The hadith is explicit in explaining that the first day out of the 40 days when Dajjal will emerge will be like one year and when the companions (ra) asked the prophet how do they conduct the prayers, he said that they should calculate the timings. What is clear here is that the day will not seem long rather it actually will be long and it is not used in a metaphoric sense rather in a real sense otherwise the prophet would have said that you pray as and when the time of prayer is and not that you calculate the time and pray. The prophet also clearly says that the 2nd day will be like a month and the third like a week and the 4rth onwards like the normal days.

This means that the first day will be so long that the morning will be 6 months long and the evening 6 months long. And this is not something impossible rather it is all in the capability of Allah (swt) the creator, the All powerful.

So we will know when Dajjal will emerge, the first day will be so long and it will not need anyone to explain to the people that the Dajjal has arrived rather people themselves will question because of the reality of how long the day will be.

The irrationality of some of the claimants can also be gauged from the fact that they even began to claim themselves to be the incarnation of Krishna, the Hindu God.

What should be our view towards these claimants and what should be our response to them

It is important for us to realise that the advent of Mahdi and Isa is in the knowledge of Allah (swt) and people should not get confused with it. The Messenger of Allah (saw) has revealed to us the key signs by which we could easily recognise them. One should be careful while taking the metaphorical meanings from the ahadith except when it is inline with the Usul of Hadith and Fiqh and be aware of what the claimants are claiming to be and how they are interpreting and deriving the meanings of the ahadith.

This should also serve as an opportunity for us to study the relevant sciences to understand the Quran and Hadith so that we are not confused by these claims and so that we educate the Ummah about these matters. We should join hands with like minded people in clarifying these issues to the youth of the Muslim Ummah.

Besides, one of the most important things that we should always keep in mind is that Allah, on the day of judgement, will question us regarding the actions that we undertook and whether we did what were required to do. As discussed in the beginning of the article, Allah has made obligatory on every individual to work for his deen. It is saddening to see people so engrossed in the issues of end times that they fail to realise that it is only adding to their defeatist mentality.

One must remember that Mahdi’s emergence is a khabar that has been given to us as a glad tiding, but apart from the khabar, Allah (swt) has obliged on us the duty to work for His deen and not to wait for Mahdi. His emergence is in the hands of Allah (swt) and he (swt) will emerge him out at the required time, but our salvation is not in waiting for Mahdi, but lies in working for Islam. Meanwhile, if he comes, we would recognise him with the signs that the Messenger of Allah (saw) has given us and not get carried away by fraudsters.

-     Ustadh Abu Khaled Al-Hejazi

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