Signs of the Hour: Focus on al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl
A khuṭbah over-viewing some of the minor and major signs of the hour. Special attention is given to one of the greatest signs – al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl.
Ignorance Becoming Widespread
States Abū Khadījah, ‘From the signs of the hour is that ignorance will become widespread and knowledge will become hard to seek due to the death of the ʿUlamāʾ.”
ʿAbdullāh Ibn ’Amr Ibn al-ʿĀs (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) said: “I heard Allāh’s Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) say:
“Verily Allāh does not take away the knowledge by snatching it away from (the hearts of) the people. But rather he takes it away by the death of the scholars, to the point that when not one scholar remains, the people will then take ignorant people as their leaders, who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead others astray. ”
An Increase in Killing, Diseases and Earthquakes
Abū Khadījah continues, ‘From the signs of the hour, also, is that killing will increase. More and more people will get killed to the extent that it is reported from the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) that a person will get killed and he will not know why he has been killed, and the who kills will not know for what reason he killed. New diseases will appear, diseases that have not been seen before. And also, an increase in earthquakes and tremors upon the earth, that they will become more widespread and more frequent.
So all of these are from the signs of the hour, which each and every one of us has to take heed of and be aware of, so that we know how to combat the diseases that our peers from amongst mankind, from the diseases of ignorance and becoming negligent is worship, negligent in action and negligent in following the Sunnah of the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam).’
The Descent of Imām Mahdī and ʿĪsá (ʿalayhis ṣalātu was salām)
Regarding Imām Mahdī and The Prophet ʿĪsá (ʿalayhis ṣalātu was salām),
Jābir Ibn ʿAbdullāh (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿanhu) said, “Go forward and lead the prayer, for the iqāmah was given for you.” So their Imām (Mahdī) will lead them in prayer, and when he has finished, then ʿĪsá will head towards the Dajjāl, with whom will be seventy thousand Jews. When the Dajjāl looks at him, he will melt like salt in water, and the ʿĪsa (ʿalayhis ṣalātu was salām) will catch up with him at the gate of Lod (which is a town near Jerusalem) and kill him. Then Allāh will cause the defeat the Jews, and there will be nothing that Allāh has created that a Jew hides behind, but Allāh will cause that thing to speak. Rocks, trees, walls and animals will all say, ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allāh, here is a Jew, come and kill him!’ – except for the box-thorn tree (al-gharqad), for it is one of their trees and will not speak. ”
Mentioning the Fitnah of the Dajjāl
From the aḥādīth about the Dajjāl,
The Ḥadīth of Fāṭimah ibnt Qays, which tells the story of Tamīm al-Dārī and al-Jassaasah, that the Dajjāl said to them: “Soon I will be given permission to emerge and I will emerge and travel throughout the land, and I will not leave any town but I will enter it within forty nights, apart from Makkah and Teebah (Madīnah), for they are both forbidden to me. Every time I want to enter one of them I will be met by an angel with an unsheathed sword in his hand, who will drive me back. Over each of their entrances there are angels guarding them.” [Fāṭimah] said: The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, striking the minbar with his stick, “This is Teebah, this is Teebah, this is Teebah,” meaning Madīnah. “Have I not told you that?” The people said, “Yes.” [The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said:] “I liked what Tamīm said because it agreed with what I have been telling you about him [the Dajjāl] and about Makkah and Madīnah. ”
Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu) said: The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “The Hour will not begin until time passes quickly, so a year will be like a month, and a month will be like a week, and a week will be like a day, and a day will be like an hour, and an hour will be like the burning of a braid of palm leaves. ”
Hudhayfah (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿanhu) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: ‘The Dajjāl will be one-eyed, blind or defective in his left eye, with thick hair. He will have with him a Paradise and a hell, but his hell will be a Paradise and his Paradise will be a hell.  ”
According to the ḥadīth of Fāṭimah ibnt Qays (raḍī Allāhu anha), the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said concerning the Dajjāl, “He will (emerge) from the direction of the Syrian sea or from the direction of the Yemeni sea… No, rather from the east... ” – and he pointed towards the east.
In the ḥadīth of Fāṭimah ibnt Qays (raḍī Allāhu anha), it is stated: “(He, the Dajjāl will say), “I almost have permission to emerge. Then I will emerge and will travel throughout the earth for forty days, and I shall not leave any town without entering it, apart from Makkah and Madīnah, which I will be prevented from entering because every time I try to enter, there will be an angel with an unsheathed sword in his hand, preventing me from entering. On every gate there will be angels defending them. ”
In the ḥadīth of al-Nawwās Ibn Samʿān about the Dajjāl, it is reported that the Ṣaḥābah said: “O Messenger of Allāh, 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.” … They said, “How fast will he travel through the earth?” He said, “Like the clouds when they are driven by the wind. He will come to some people and call them, and they will believe in him and respond to him. Then he will command the sky to rain, and the earth to bring forth vegetation, and their cattle will come back to them in the evening, with their humps very high, and their udders full of milk, and their flanks stretched. Then he will come to another people and will call them, but they will reject him. So he will leave them and they will be stricken with famine, with none of their wealth in their hands. He will pass by ruins and will say, ‘Bring forth your treasure!’ – and the treasure will follow him like a swarm of bees. Then he will call a man who is brimming with youth, and will strike him with a sword and cut him in two, then (he will put the pieces apart from one another) the distance of an archer from his target. Then he will call him, and the young man will come forward smiling, with his face shining. ”
Abū-Dardāʾ stated that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “Whoever memorises ten āyāt from the beginning of Sūrah al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjāl. ”
The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “I have been warning you about the Dajjāl who has one abraded eye. He will have with him mountains of bread and rivers of water, and his sign will stay in the earth for forty mornings, and his authority will reach everywhere. He will not come to four mosques: the Kaʿbah, al-Masjid al-Nabī, al-Masjid al-Aqṣá and the Mosque of al-Ṭūr (Sinai). ”
ʿImrān Ibn Husayn narrated that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said: “Whoever hears of the Dajjāl, let him keep away from him, for by Allāh a man will come to him thinking that he is a believer, then he will follow him because of the confusion he causes. ”
 Related by Abū Dāwūd (4319) and Aḥmad (19888). This ḥadīth was classed as ṣaḥīḥ by al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Abī Dāwūd.