So how concerned are we about the colossal import of a situation the Messenger has deemed as the gravest occurrence from the beginning to the end of time, about something all Messengers from the time of Noah (a.s.) have warned their followers about, regarding a matter our Messenger himself sought refuge from?
It goes without saying that far from being concerned about it, we are yet to realize that the Dajjal's birth took place 472 years ago, and having passed its infancy and childhood it is now an adult that has the entire world including its 'Muslim' population laying prostrate at its feet!
The reason for this ignorance remains the fact that during the last few centuries we were colonized by the European Christian forces, the method of education they imposed on us has been one that has taken us far away from the true faith of Islam. The result of which has been that this nation can accurately recall how long it took Hannibal to cross the Alps with his army or recite without mistake from Shakespeare, but is totally in the dark as regards to what the Messenger of Allah has stressed to be the most important event in the history of this world. The small portion of this populace which is actively involved in the study of the Qur'an and the Hadith too have neglected it to oblivion. With their shortsighted and narrow vision, these people are waiting for the literal transformation of the Messenger's prophecy where he informs of the emergence of a huge one-eyed giant astride a colossal mount and of its tyrannical rule. They have accepted these Hadith in their literal aspect only, neither spending their time nor their effort in trying to see beyond the mere words, to try and gauge why this should be the single most grave, influential and frightening event throughout the world's history. These people devote far more time on details regarding wadu (ablution), meswak (cleaning teeth), kuluk (using sponge) and other trivial issues than they think about the Dajjal or its significance!
Like others, I too was waiting for a huge one-eyed giant and to hear its proclamation to be the lord and ruler of mankind!
However, the first time I realized that it would not be the case was when I read Muhammad Assad's book "Road to Mecca". Muhammad Assad was born as Leopold Weiss into an Austrian Jewish family and converted to Din-ul-Islam in his youth. It is in this beautiful writing that he first hinted at the idea of the Western civilization being the Dajjal prophesied fourteen centuries ago by the last Messenger of Allah. However he has not elaborated on this issue. It was in the late 50's or early 60's that I read this book and from then onwards, the more I thought about it, the clearer it has become to me that his idea is indeed correct. For the Messenger of Allah to give the mostly illiterate Arabs of fourteen hundred years ago a correct and comprehensive picture of a civilization based on today's technological advancement was next to impossible. Therefore, he did so through a series of allegorical references which exactly match the description of the western civilization of our time.
Everything we know about the Dajjal is derived from the Messenger's 'Hadith' or tradition i.e. words or actions of the Messenger himself, also action of others, he approved or disapproved of. As we all know, Hadith are classified into several groups, among which three are prominent, namely the 'sahih' or correct; 'hassan' which are also true but not as accurately related as the former and thirdly 'daif' or weak, poor Hadith s, some of which are nevertheless accepted when corroborated. Besides these, there are also 'gharib', 'munkar', 'maruf' etc. divisions. During the rigorous process of collecting and verifying true Hadith, many false statements earlier deemed as correct Hadith have been rejected, while some of the true ones have also been omitted due to the fact that they could not be unbrokenly traced back to the Messenger of Allah himself. In order to get a complete and comprehensive idea about any subject broached in the Hadith, it is necessary to study all Hadith regarding it, notwithstanding the fact whether they are accepted without any doubt or rejected outright. Similar has been my method in collecting all relevant data about the Dajjal; however the ones quoted here are almost all Sahih or correct Hadith and those remained the basic platform of this research.
I have categorized all Hadith regarding the Dajjal into two groups. One part containing predictions related to its importance and gravity, the other concerning its identification. From the first group of the Hadith we are able to derive why the emergence of Dajjal occupies a more important stance than the deluge of Nooh's (a.s.) (Noah) time and why it is graver than the world wars. In the second group of Hadith the Messenger of Allah has related to us some definite signs through which we should be able to correctly identify the Dajjal as what it is and thus resist and reject the influence of the Dajjal. The almost complete lack of education and the total absence of technology could have prevented the people of the then Arabia in understanding the concept of the Dajjal, however, today, when almost every one of the allegories used to describe the Dajjal by the Messenger have been reflected in the mirror of the western society, how close are we in correctly interpreting and identifying it as the self-same "Masih-al-kazzab," the Dajjal? Unfortunately far from resisting or rejecting it, we, the so- called Muslims of this world, have it in front of our very eyes and yet are not only unable to DAJJAL? The Judeo-Christian ‘Civilization’! recognize it for its true self, but have accepted it as our lord, master and have submitted to it.
Let us start with the name, with which the Messenger has introduced us to it, the Dajjal- which is not actually a name, in the sense that it is more of a description than a proper name; like that of Imam Mahdi (a.s) who will have a separate personal name but is known to us as Al-Mahdi or 'the rightly guided one' who will appear in the later times to guide mankind to true Guidance, the right path. Similarly, the Dajjal is not a name in the proper sense as an adjective. The literal meaning of the word "Dajjal" is that of an attractive impostor, beautiful outside but dark and ugly inside, a cheat a deceiver and a liar. Is not this statement true of the technologically advanced western civilization which dazzles the beholder with fantastic achievements on the one hand yet due to its absolute detachment from God in their collective lives, society is rife with injustices, crimes and sins of every kind? This 'civilization' has been responsible for the deaths of 14 million human lives in course of the two world wars and another 20 million people in different wars and skirmishes ever since. The number of people disabled from these would be at least double of the dead; countless more have been displaced and rendered homeless. It does not end there- injustices and cruelty on a personal and collective level, murders, thefts, rapes, kidnappings go on unabated and it is for these that the western civilization is the dazzling, attractive impostor.
1 Hadith, Muslim from Emran bin Hossain (ra).
2 Hadith, from Abu Obaydah (ra) bin Zarrah and Abdullah bin Umar (ra)- Abu Daud, Tirmizi and Muslim.
3 Hadith, from Aisha (ra)- Bokhari.