Writing about Dajjal is not promoting an obsession but creating awareness about the issue. Our purpose should be education on the subject and not spreading sensation or hysteria. Preparation for the worst fitna, so that we are not caught off guard because the very meaning of the word Dajl is deceit and Dajjal the great deceiver; the devil incarnate. Like any other test in life, appearance of Dajjal will come as a test. However, test and tribulation of the faithful will be harder than ever before. Every prophet has warned about fitn of Dajjal. Prophet (PBUH) has even been recorded mentioning coming of as much as thirty Dajjals before the appearance of The Dajjal whose powers will mesmerize the world. Even faithful will find it hard to distinguish right from wrong. In past, coming of Dajjal has been associated with ravaging of Baghdad by Mongols. Founder of fitn of Qadaniyat Mr Ghulam M Mirza is one example. But the one dubbed to fight Armageddon by all religions of Books, is real villain in waiting. His powers will exceed human abilities. He will perform false miracles. He will bring dead to life. He will defy laws of physics. He will tame nature for his use. Holder of such powers is likely to baffle anyone.
We know from Hadith that recitation of Al Kahf on Friday shields against fitn of Dajjal till next Friday. Should it not ring alarm bells that nearly millennium and a half ago, the Prophet (PBUH) had emphasized so much on shielding and preparing against this fitn each Friday till the end of times. So, should we not infer that presence of Dajjal over centuries is a different phenomenon from final appearance of Dajjal towards the end of times.
Only Allah knows the whole truth.
We shall now try to establish relation of Dajjal with all four stories of Al Kahf. What make these stories relevant and guidance for all times? How can reading of few Quranic stories protect us from Fitn of Dajjal? The morals of stories and their sequence is also amazingly organized.
First story of men of cave depicts societal decay where living bona fide life of a Muslim becomes difficult. The only refuge is in bonding with likeminded faithful and retiring to protection of Allah. Remaining steadfast on Tauheed against all the odds is the bottom line of our faith system. Look around, people like us who are born Muslim, believe in Allah’s oneness but our faith limits end there. Manifestation of Tuaheed is in following Quranic injunctions of Allah and just paying lip service to Oneness of Allah.
Second story of Men of two gardens hits absurdities of materialism. It is about forgetting Allah in good times, love for wealth and offspring and trust in own abilities rather than in blessings of Allah. Materialism is our adopted goddess. We prostrate in front of Allah but never get tired of doing math in our heads. Every day we worship the deity of desire. Today, anyone who avoids haram is the heretic of society. Everyday we put behind Allah in want for our material needs.
Third story of Musa and Khizar AS touches upon our overconfidence on knowledge of things and human impatience. Our race has evolved in every branch of knowledge. How far have we come? Not very far. Despite all the growth in knowledge, we measure people in terms of colour, creed and material status. Easy access to info has further confused the issue. Information is aplenty but knowledge is withering away. Science is the new religion of substance.
Before we take on the last story, it is important to draw chronological relation of first three. When it gets difficult to live like a Muslim in a Muslim society, connect with likeminded faithful and seek Allah’s refuge. Next step of decay is cancer of materialism followed by overconfidence in our knowledge. Humanity has sequentially traveled past these milestones. Life is difficult for those who believe in oneness of Allah. Materialism is the religion of the world. Human knowledge and confidence has relegated the need of God in the eyes of Godless.
Following the sequence of this Surah and journey of humanity, next is the story of Al Zulqarnain. A learned, wise and brave ruler who defeated Gog and Magog. It seems all signs point towards appearance of Dajjal any time soon. Likewise, the promised Al Mehdi and Al Massih, who like Al Zulqarnain will establish writ of Allah’s Deen on earth by defeating the Antichrist and Gog Magog. There seems to be a deliberate sequence and chronology among stories of Al Kahf and their relation with appearance of Dajjal. However, timelines may be longer than usual and Allah knows the whole truth.
May Allah help us understand the bigger picture and enable us to play our desired role, Ameen.