Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dajjal in the Holy Qur'an

نحمده ونصلى ونسلم على رسوله الكريم

Some Muslim thinkers and modernists reject altogether the concept of the Dajjal. These are generally the same people who are skeptical about the Mahdi, and discard the traditions which speak of the second coming of Jesus. One of their objections is that if the Dajjal is real and as significant as he has been described in the Ahadith, why is there no mention of him in the Holy Qur’an?

While it is true that the Dajjal is not mentioned by name in the Holy Qur’an, there are certainly Qur’anic allusions to him, which in fact unveil some of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic figure. The Prophet () advised the Believers to recite the first and last ten Verses of Sura al-Kahf (the eighteenth chapter of the Qur’an) as a means of protection from the tribulation of the Dajjal. The subject-matter of these Verses is intimately related to the trial of the Dajjal. For example the Verse:

وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ عِوَجًا

He has not placed therein [the Book] any deviance


This is a signal that the Dajjal calls to something that contains deviance or crookedness. It is not straightforward unlike the message of the Holy Qur’an.

قَيِّمًا لِيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِنْ لَدُنْهُ

[He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him


That is the severe punishment or chastisement materialized through the tribulation of the Dajjal. This Verse unveils the fact that the tribulation of Dajjal is from Allah, as an examination of the people, in order to sift them into one of two camps; the Camp of Faith and the Camp of Hypocrisy.

وَيُنْذِرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّـهُ وَلَدًا

And to ward those who say: “Allah has taken a son”


The Dajjal or False Messiah will claim divinity, and he has a precedent from the Christian doctrine of the divine sonship of Jesus.

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ﴿٧﴾ وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًا جُرُزًا ﴿٨﴾

Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deed. And indeed, We will make that which is upon it [into] a barren ground. (18:7-8)

A major aspect of Dajjal’s tribulation will be the allure of the world. Dajjal will be associated with abundance of material goods and produce from the Earth, while those who oppose him will suffer the tribulation of scarcity and famine, as a test. Allah reminds the Believers that in the End the entire Earth of this world will be a barren ground, so not to desire the delights of this temporary life.

أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَابَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُوا مِنْ آيَاتِنَا عَجَبًا ﴿٩﴾ إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا

Or have you thought that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among Our signs, a wonder? [Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, “Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance.”


Retreating or withdrawing from the hustle and bustle of mainstream society serves as an antidote to the tribulation of Dajjal, which is why the example of the Companions of the Cave has been mentioned.

الَّذِينَ كَانَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِي غِطَاءٍ عَنْ ذِكْرِي وَكَانُوا لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَمْعًا

Those whose eyes had been within a cover [removed] from My remembrance, and they were not able to hear.


Covering of the eyes is an expression for spiritual blindness, which is why the Dajjal has been referred to as “One-Eyed”, perhaps signifying a deficient understanding or remembrance of God, or otherwise a focus on the material world and neglect of the remembrance of God. Spiritual deafness is also associated with Dajjal. In Jewish apocalyptic literature, the Antichrist is named Armilos or Armilus (a play on the word Romulus due to his association with the Roman empire), and is characterized as having one of his ears sealed and the other open.

أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنْ يَتَّخِذُوا عِبَادِي مِنْ دُونِي أَوْلِيَاءَ

Then do those who disbelieve think that they can take My servants instead of Me as allies?


Another allusion to the Dajjal; those who will take him as a Wali (patron) instead of Allah are disbelievers.

فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا

We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance.


The theme of the Dajjal’s importance is addressed in this Verse. In God’s perspective, the Antichrist is insignificant, and an explanation for why he has not been mentioned by name in the Holy Qur’an. This despite the fact that the Dajjal is the greatest tribulation in this world.

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰ إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

Say (O My beloved Prophet), “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.”


Those sects among the Muslims who are shaky about the humanity and mortality of the Prophet () are most vulnerable to falling into the trap of the Dajjal. The main principle for Believer to cling to in order to be immune from the deception of Dajjal is Tawhid – not associating anyone (the Dajjal for example) in worship with Allah.

Apart from the first and last ten verses of Sura al-Kahf, there is another Verse in the Holy Qur’an which is regarded as an allusion to the Dajjal:

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾ وَمَا يَسْتَوِي الْأَعْمَىٰ وَالْبَصِيرُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَلَا الْمُسِيءُ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٥٨﴾

The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of the people do not know. And not equal are the blind and the seeing, nor are those who believe and do righteous deeds and the evildoer. Little do you remember.


The intent with the word al-Nas (the people) here is the Dajjal employing the whole (that is people) unrestrictedly for some persons or person.

The major Tabi Abu ‘Aaliyah Rafi’a b. Mehran al-Riyahi (d. 90 H) said concerning this verse:

أي: أعظم من خَلْق الدجال حين عظَّمَته اليهود

“That is, [the creation of the heavens and the earth] is greater than the creation of Dajjal, when he was magnified by the Jews.”

Reference: Tafsir al-Qurtubi; v.18, p.373

In another narration from Abu ‘Aaliyah:
أخرج عبدُ بنُ حميدٍ, وابنُ أبى حاتمٍ, بسندٍ صحيحٍ, عن أبى العاليةِ قال: إنَّ اليهودَ أتَوا النبيَّ ﷺ فقالوا: إن الدجالَ يكونُ منا في آخرِ الزمانِ, ويكونُ من أمرِه. فعَظَّمُوا أمره, وقالوا: يَصْنَعُ كذا, ويصنَعُ كذا, فأنزَل اللهُ: (إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۙ إِنْ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ مَا هُمْ بِبَالِغِيهِ) قال: لا يَبلُغُ الذى يقولُ, (فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّـهِ) فأمَرَ نبيَّه ﷺ أن يَتَعَوَّذَ من فتنةِ الدجالِ, (لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ) الدجالِ

امام عبد بن حمید اور ابن ابی حاتم نے صحیح سند کے ساتھ حضرت ابو العالیہ سے روایت نقل کی ہے کہ یہودی نبی کریم
 کی خدمت میں حاضر ہوۓ، عرض کی کہ دجال آخر زمانہ میں ہم سے ہوگا۔ اس کے معاملات سے یہ چیزیں ہوں گی اور اس کے معاملہ کو بڑھا چڑھا کر پیش کیا اور کہا وہ یہ کرےگا۔ تو اللہ تعالی نے اس آیت کو پیش کیا

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ ۙ إِنْ فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ مَا هُمْ بِبَالِغِيهِ

جو وہ کہتا ہے اس تک نہیں پہنچے گا۔

فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّـهِ

اللہ تعالی نے اپنے نبی کو حکم دیا کہ وہ دجال کے فتنہ سے اللہ کی پناہ چاہے۔ فرمایا آسمان و زمین کی تخلیق انسان (دجال) کی تخلیق سے بڑا کام ہے۔

Imam Abd b. Hamid and Ibn Abi Hatim narrate through an authentic chain from Abul ‘Aaliyah that the Jews came to the Prophet and said: In the latter days, Dajjal will be from among us. Such and such things will be from his affair. And they magnified his affair. So Allah revealed: “Indeed, those who dispute concerning the signs of Allah without [any] authority having come to them - there is not within their breasts except pride, [the extent of] which they cannot reach.” (40:56) He said: They cannot reach it. “So seek refuge in Allah” (40:56) He ordered His Prophet to seek refuge from the Dajjal. “The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind (Dajjal)”

The monumental Islamic scholar, Ka’b al-Ahbar:

وأخرَج ابنُ أبى حاتمٍ عن كعبِ الأحبارِ فى قولِه: (إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ) قال: هم اليهودُ, نزَلت فيهم, فيما ينْتَظِرُونه من أمرِ الدجالِ

امام ابن ابی حاتم رحمہ اللہ نے حضرت کعب الاحبار رضی اللہ عنہ سے روایت نقل کی ہے کہ

الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ

سے مراد یہودی ہیں جن کے بارے میں اور دجال کے بارے میں وہ جس چیز کا انتظار کر رہے تھے اس بارے میں آیت نازل ہوئی۔

Imam Ibn Abi Hatim narrates from Ka’b al-Ahbar (Allah be pleased with him) that the Verse: “Indeed, those who dispute concerning the Signs of Allah without [any] authority having come to them” (40:56) are the Jews and the affair of the Dajjal for whom they are waiting

And from Ibn Juraij:

وأخرَج ابنُ المنذرِ عن ابنِ جريجٍ فى قولِه: (لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ) قال: زَعَمُوا أنَّ اليهودَ قالت: يكونُ منا مَلِكٌ فى آخرِ الزمانِ, البحرُ إلى رُكْبَتَيه, والسحابُ دون رأسه, يَأْخُذُ الطيرَ بين السماءِ والأرضِ, معه جَبَلُ خُبْزٍ ونهَرُ ماءٍ. فنزَلت: (لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ)

امام ابن منذر رحمہ اللہ نے حضرت ابن جریج رحمہ اللہ سے یہ قول نقل کیا ہے کہ یہودیوں نے یہ گمان کیا کہ آخر زمانہ میں ہم میں سے ایک بادشاہ ہوگا۔ سمندر اس کے گھٹنوں تک اور بادل اس کے سر کے نیچے ہوگا۔ وہ زمین و آسمان کے درمیان پرندے کو پکڑ لے گا۔ اس کے ساتھ پہاڑ، روٹی اور نہر ہوگی۔ تو یہ آیت نازل ہوئی

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ

Imam Ibn Mundhir narrated from Ibn Juraij concerning the Verse: “The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind” (40:57). He said: The Jews claim “There shall be a king from among us in the Latter Days; The seas will reach up to his knees, and the clouds will be beneath his head. He will grab birds (flying) between heaven and earth. He shall have with him a mountain of bread and a river of water.” So the Verse was revealed: “The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind” (40:57)

Reference: Durr al-Manthur; v.13, p.50

From these narrations cited by the Mufassireen, we see that major scholars from the Salaf interpreted several of the quoted verses of Sura Ghafir as directly related to the affair of the Dajjal. The last narration from Ibn Juraij reveals the fact that the king whom the Jews boast about that will rule them in the Latter Days is regarded as the Dajjal or Antichrist in Islamic prophecy. That king is described as immensely large, with the seas reaching his knees, and his head soaring above the clouds. I interpret this to refer to the speed with which Dajjal will travel in the seas and in the air, through modern means of transport, as we discussed in the previous post. Furthermore, the narrations which describe Dajjal as having a mountain of bread and river of water point to the plenty that Dajjal will possess in a time of scarcity, through which he will be a major tribulation for the people.

Another very important point is that in Sura 40:57, the Exegetes have interpreted the word الناس or “the people” as referring to Dajjal, a singular being. This is a possible indication that despite the Dajjal being mentioned in the singular in the Prophetic traditions, he is in fact a symbol for a large party of people, civilization or system. And Allah knows best.

1 comment:

  1. *Note: The Verse quoted فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا "We will not assign to them on the Day of Resurrection any importance (weight)." (18:105) should be interpreted in light of the Hadith narrated by al-Mughirah b. Shu'bah R.A:
    مَا سَأَلَ أَحَدٌ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الدَّجَّالِ أَكْثَرَ مَا سَأَلْتُهُ ، وَإِنَّهُ قَالَ لِي : مَا يَضُرُّكَ مِنْهُ ، قُلْتُ : لِأَنَّهُمْ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّ مَعَهُ جَبَلَ خُبْزٍ وَنَهَرَ مَاءٍ ، قَالَ : هُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ ذَلِكَ
    "No one asked the Prophet ﷺ about the Dajjal more than I did. He ﷺ said: "Why do you keep asking?" I said: "They say that he will have mountains of bread and meat, and a river of water." He ﷺ said: "He is too insignificant before Allah for that." (Bukhari and Muslim)


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