The Dajjaal will be a man from among the sons of Adam. He will have many attributes which were described in the ahaadeeth to acquaint people with him and to warn them of his evil. So when he comes, the believers will know him and will not be misled by him. They will know his features which the Truthful One (the Prophet) (Peace be upon him) has told us about. These features will distinguish him from other people, so that no one will be deceived by him except those who are ignorant and whose doom has already been decreed. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.
Among these attributes are: He will be a young man with a ruddy complexion, short, with thick curly hair, a wide forehead, and broad upper chest, blind or defective (mamsooh) in the right eye. This eye will be neither prominent nor sunken, and will look like a floating grape. His left eye will be covered with a thick piece of flesh growing at the edge of his eye. Written between his eyes will be “Kaaf faa’ raa’ (ك‘ ف‘ ر ) (K-F-R)”, in separate (Arabic) letters, or “kaafir (كافر )”, with the letters joined. This will be read by every Muslim, literate or illiterate. Another of his characteristics will be that he will be sterile, with no children born to him. The following are some of the saheeh ahaadeeth in which the above attributes are mentioned. These ahaadeeth form part of the evidence (daleel) concerning the emergence of the Dajjaal: From ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
‘Whilst I was sleeping, I saw myself performing Tawaaf around the Ka’bah, when I saw a dark man with straight hair, standing between two other men, with water dripping from his head. I asked: “Who is this?” They said: “The son of Maryam.” Then I turned and saw a ruddy-complexioned man, well built, with curly hair, blind in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape. I asked: “Who is this?” They said: “This is the Dajjaal.” The person who looks most like him is Ibnu Qatan.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6508; Ibn Qatan was a man from Banu Mustalaq from Khuzaa’ah).
It was also narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) mentioned the Dajjaal to the people and said:
“Allah is not one-eyed, but the false messiah (al-maseeh al-dajjaal) is one-eyed, blind or defective in his right eye, with his eye looking like a floating grape…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 3184)
In the lengthy hadeeth narrated by al-Nawwaas ibn Sam’aan (may Allah be pleased with him) it says:
“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) mentioned the Dajjaal one morning. Sometimes he described him as insignificant and sometimes he described him as so significant that we thought that he was in the cluster of date-palm trees…”
One of the features of the Dajjaal that he described was:
“He will be a young man with very curly hair, with his eye floating. It is as if he looks like ‘Abd al-‘Uzza ibn Qatan.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5228)
It was narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“I have told you so much about the Dajjaal that I fear you will not understand. The Dajjaal will be a short man, pigeon-toed, with curly hair. He will be one-eyed, with his eye neither prominent nor sunken. If you become confused about him, then remember that your Lord is not one-eyed.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, no. 3763. This hadeeth is saheeh – Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, no. 2455)
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“… as for the false messiah, he will be one-eyed, with a wide forehead and broad upper chest, and he will be hunchbacked…”” (Narrated by Ahmad, no. 7564)
Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“The Dajjaal 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.”” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5222)
According to the hadeeth of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“No Prophet was sent but he warned his people about the one-eyed liar. He is one-eyed, but your Lord is not one-eyed, and between his eyes will be written ‘kaafir.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 6598)
According to another report:
“Written between his eyes will be ‘kaaf faa’ raa’.’” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5219)
According to a report narrated by Hudhayfah,
“This will be read by every believer, literate or illiterate.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5223)
From the apparent meaning, this writing will be real, and the fact that some will see it whilst others will not, and that illiterate people will read it, is not problematic.
“This is because Allah causes people to understand something when looking at it, as He wills and when He wills. So the believer will see this with his insight, even if he is illiterate, and the kaafir will not be able to see it, even if he is literate. By the same token, the believer will see with his insight evidence that the kaafir will not see. Allah will enable the believer to understand without him being literate, because at that time, extraordinary things will be happening.” (Reported by Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqallaani, 13/100)
“The correct view according to those who studied this issue is that this writing should be taken literally, as being real writing which Allah will create as a sign, one of the definitive proofs that (the Dajjaal) is a kaafir and a liar, to expose his falsehood. Allah will show this sign to every Muslim, literate or illiterate, and will conceal it from everyone whom He decrees is doomed or whom He wants to test. There is no reason why this should be impossible.” (Sharh al-Nawawi li Saheeh Muslim, 18/60)
Another of his attributes was mentioned in the hadeeth of Faatimah bint Qays (may Allah be pleased with her), in the story of al-Jassaasah, in which Tameem al-Daari (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“So we rushed to the monastery, where we saw the most enormous man we had ever seen, fettered with the most chains we had ever seen.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5235)
‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) say:
“From the time of the creation of Adam until the Hour begins, there will never be a bigger creation than the Dajjaal.”” (Narrated by Muslim, 5239)
The Dajjaal will not have any children, as stated in the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him), who described what happened between him and Ibn Sayyaad, who said to him:
“Did you not hear the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) say that he will have no children? …” Abu Sa’eed said, ‘I said: ‘Yes…’” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 5209)
From the reports quoted above, we may note that some of them describe his right eye as being blind or defective, and some describe his left eye as being blind or defective. Both accounts are saheeh. Some of the scholars sought to reconcile these reports. Al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad said: “Both eyes of the Dajjaal will be defective, because all the reports are saheeh. His right eye will be the one that is abraded (mamsooh) and dull, unable to see, as stated in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar. And his left eye will be the one that is covered with a thick fold of skin, and will also be defective.” So he will have a defect in both his right eye and his left eye; each of them will be blind, i.e., defective, because the Arabic word used in the hadeeth, a’war, is used to describe anything that is defective and is especially used to describe the eyes if they are impaired. One eye will be non-functional and the other will be defective.” Al-Nawawi agreed with this reconciliation suggested by al-Qaadi ‘Iyaad, and al-Qurtubi also approved of it.
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