Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of
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When he (Dajjal) makes his appearance and I am in your midst, I will overpower him by arguments; and if, when he makes his appearance, I am not in your midst, every one should argue with him (Kanz al-`Ummal Vol. 7, No. 2076.).
In another hadith it is said:
So when he makes his appearance and I am in your midst, I will overpower him with arguments on behalf of every Muslim; but if he appears after me, every one should argue with him on his own behalf (Ibid., No. 2025, 2079.) .
These reports clearly show that if Dajjal had appeared in the life-time of the Holy Prophet, he would have silenced him by arguments. This shows that killing in this case signifies putting an end to Dajjal's mischief, and as Dajjal would mislead people by insinuation and by raising doubts in their minds, his mischief could be put to an end only by arguments. The Messiah killing Dajjal must mean the same thing as the Holy Prophet's overpowering him by arguments. In other words, the Messiah also will defeat him by arguments, or save people from his mischiefs through preaching. This meaning of the word qatl is given in Arabic lexicons. Thus in the Nihaya, a dictionary of Hadith literature, it is written in reference to the hadith about the incident of Thaqifa that the meaning of the clause qatala Allahu Sa`d-an (lit. my God kill Sa`d) is dafa` Allahu sharra-hu i.e. may God ward off his mischief. Again, when discussing the question of taking the oath of allegiance to two original rival Khalifahs, it was said taqtuli al-akhira (lit. kill the other one), and by a consensus of opinion it has been taken to mean reject his claims. Thus the word qatl means killing as well as the rejection of claims or warding off the evil; and since the qatl of Dajjal cannot mean the slaughter of all the Christian nations, the significance of the killing of Dajjal is the rejection of his claim and the warding off of his evil.
If we give thought to other relevant hadith, we meet therein further evidence that killing of Dajjal means the warding off of his mischief. There are quite a number of hadith which say that any one who reads the first or the last ten verses of the chapter, entitled The Cave, will find himself safe from the mischief of Dajjal. This means that Dajjal will not go about killing people, but will try to divert people from the path of truth by creating doubts in their minds. This is why in order to be safe from his mischief, one is advised to read certain verses of the Qur'an.
One on point, at least, hadith are clear and their evidence unanimous. The mischief of Dajjal does not consist in killing people, but in misleading them through doubts and evil suggestions. If such is the mischief of Dajjal, the remedy for it should be of a similar nature. Look again at the words of the following hadith:
By God a man will come to him (Dajjal) confident that he is a Muslim, but he will become his follower because of the doubts he will raise in his mind.
Still another hadith says:
Whoever says, God is my Lord, and continues to do so till he dies, God will keep him safe from the mischiefs of the Dajjal (Ibid., No. 2080.) .
Yet another hadith says:
Verily, God will keep a believer safe through the same thing with which he saves the angels, viz., the glorification of Him (Ibid., No. 2090.) .
It is evident from this kind of hadith that a believer will be quite safe from the mischief of Dajjal through the glorification of God. The mention of the believer's food in the tribulation of Dajjal refers to spiritual food, because just as physical food maintains the body, spiritual food keeps the spirit alive. We are thus told that people will be saved from the moral and spiritual perils created by Dajjal by the spiritual preventives of the remembrance of God. It is true, some hadith also speak of fighting with Dajjal on the lines of fighting with Persia and Rome, but these may have a reference to the Crusades when the whole of Christendom set out to destroy Islam by the sword. One point, which is quite definite and conclusive, is that the remedy prescribed for such mischief of Dajjal as is connected with religious life is spiritual in character. Sometimes the Prophet said that if he himself be alive at that time he would defeat him by arguments, and instructed his followers to adopt the same method if he appeared after his death. Again, he told them to read the chapter entitled The Cave, which deals with Christian doctrines and the history of Christianity in relation to Islam, and the object is undoubtedly gathering spiritual strength to resist the worldly attractions of Christianity. On other occasions, the Holy Prophet observed that people should take to the glorification of God, because by this means man attains the nearness of God and finds thereby spiritual strength in himself. The advent of the Messiah had the same objective; viz., the revival of faith and the restoration of the spiritual balance of humanity upset by the one-sided growth of material civilisation.
Thus killing of the Antichrist by the Messiah also means that the message, claims and pretensions of the Antichrist should be rejected and people should be safeguarded from his mischiefs.
If he (i.e., the Dajjal) makes his appearance and I am amidst you, I will overpower him with arguments.
That is why anyone else's killing of the Antichrist cannot be interpreted in a different manner. It is true that sometimes God endows prophets and reformers with political supremacy, but this is not a co-requisite of prophethood. Many prophets in the past did not enjoy any political power. For religious and spiritual evils not force but an ideological cure is needed. The Prophet was endowed with both spiritual and political power, but even then he said, that if the Antichrist appeared in his life-time he would overpower him with arguments. The Bible, history and the Qur'an provide ample evidence that Jesus Christ was not given any political power along with his prophethood. If in his first advent he propagated his message by peaceful means, why is political power considered as an essential part for his second advent. If the killing of the Dajjal had to be done in its literal sense, why was Jesus Christ selected for this task; his whole life had no association with such a work. The second advent of the Messiah has been so much linked up with the menace of the Antichrist that when `Umar considering Ibn Sayyad as the Antichrist, sought permission from the Prophet to kill him, the Prophet said: "If this is the promised Dajjal (the Antichrist) then you have nothing to do with him as the son of Mary is his master." (Mishkat Ch. Ibn Sayyad.)
Thus on the ideological ground, spiritual arguments and proofs are a force in themselves which can overpower even material forces. In short, it is a grave misunderstanding to consider that the overpowering of the Antichrist shall be by means of the sword. Even Islam became triumphant through its spiritual power alone. And as it conquered the hearts and minds of people it gradually gained political power. Islam did not need any sword for its dominance. The sword was needed only for the defence of Muslims when the enemy had resorted to the sword to destroy them. The Prophet has himself regarded Islam's victory as an ideological and spiritual victory.
He it is who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions though the polytheists are averse (9:33.).
Did Islam achieve such predominance in the world during the lifetime of the Prophet? Certainly not. In reality the foundations for such an ultimate predominance were laid down by the Prophet and we find Islam moving towards this end during the past thirteen hundred years of Islamic history. In the lifetime of the Prophet greater part of Arabia entered the fold of Islam. After his death, wherever the message of Islam reached, it was given a warm welcome by other nations. But this was more or less limited to the continents of Asia and Africa. Islam did reach Europe to some extent but it did not have much success there. The battle against the Antichrist was destined to be fought at the hands of the Promised Messiah, that is why Islam did not gain much influence in Europe as it had in Asia and Africa.
The successes of the Promised Messiah against the Antichrist have been effected in many ways. Firstly, it was he who took up a stand against the menace of the Antichrist which had assumed the form of the worst possible charges levelled against the holy personality of the Prophet Muhammad. These calumnies were given wide publicity in the Muslim countries of the East - which is considered to be the original place for the appearance of the Antichrist. This is not a proper occasion to give details of the unique work done in this connection by the Founder. It was due to his high regard for the honour of the Prophet that when Christians crossed all limits of decency and decorum in debasing the holy personality of the Prophet, he was compelled, as a counter-attack, to present the fictitious character of Jesus Christ as depicted in their own holy Scriptures.3 Consequently this made them all realise that such offensive writings or speeches directed towards the person of the Prophet had hurt the feelings of the Muslims, and the Christians changed their attitude in this respect to a great extent. There is still another way in which the Christian propaganda has been successfully met with in the East, and this is with the steady spread of the literature produced by the Founder and his followers presenting the true picture of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and refuting the wrong beliefs of the Christian Church. In this way the Muslims are being saved from going over to Christianity or, in other words, from the insinuating influence of the Antichrist. Undoubtedly the spread of Christianity among Muslims today has slowed down. Translations in various languages of this literature by the Founder and his followers are gradually spreading in different countries of the world. Moreover, the establishing of Islamic propaganda centres right in the heart of Europe, and dissemination of Islamic literature in various European languages is a significant achievement indeed. The number of persons entering into the fold of Islam has even gone beyond thousands. Again non-Muslims have begun to entertain favourable opinion about the teachings of Islam. The significance of the Prophet's report that `the sun will rise from the West', is that the sun of the truth of Islam which first manifested itself in the East will one day rise in the West and from there it will shine upon the whole world. This is also the true significance of another report where it is mentioned:
Jesus the son of Mary will come from the West and will verify Muhammad (Kanz al-`Ummal Vol. 7, No. 2079.).
Here it is mentioned that the Promised Messiah will appear from the West, but in most of the hadith the place of his appearance is mentioned to be in the East. This provides a clear indication that the Promised Messiah will establish Islamic centres in the West -- the heart of the activities of the Antichrist -- and the people there would come into the fold of Islam in large numbers.
One should not look down upon this noble task. Its seed was sown by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. Such seeds were sown by the righteous servants of God before and it was after their death that their seeds were nourished and developed. The intelligentsia of the West has started appreciating the principles of the Islamic teachings. The time is not very far when Europe in other aspects of life, will come to realise that it is in Islam alone that its salvation lies. The only thing now needed to achieve this object is that we Muslims should make it the foremost aim of our lives to spend all our energy towards this cause. It should be remembered that all the tasks of the Reformer were not accomplished in his lifetime. The work which he has started is carried on by his followers and is, in fact, the carrying on of his mission. Whatever path he has shown, whatever awakening he has caused, the direction in eradicating the influence of the Antichrist is indeed his work, although he has already passed away from this world.
And when the word comes to pass against them, We shall bring forth for them a creature from the Earth that will speak to them, because people did not believe in Our messages (27:82.).
In the Hadith there is a mention of the coming forth of Dabbat al-Ard (Beast from the Earth) under the heading Ashrat al-Sa ah (Signs of the Last Hour). Very few of these reports are reliable, and in those which are reliable, there is not much detail about it. The author of the Qur'anic commentary Ruh al-Ma`ani (Abu'l Fadl Shahab al-Din al-Sayyid Mahmud al-Alusi.) after quoting some reports containing a few more descriptions about Dabbat al-Ard, remarks that these reports so vitally differ from each other in its nature, outward appearance, its place of coming forth etc. that no reliance can be placed on them. The Qur'an has, however, explicitly said one thing about this Beast that it will speak to people. Since speech is peculiar to human beings, it can be safely said that it will be either a human being or a group from among human beings. The other point which is certain is that it will appear at a time when people will no longer have real faith in the messages of God and as a result of which punishment will overtake them.
In certain reports Dabbat al-Ard has been mentioned to be from the species of animals. In some others it is stated that it will come forth from every city. Thus by calling a man or a group of people Dabbat al-Ard may signify that he or they will be entirely bent upon the earth or engaged in earthly pursuits. Bringing forth of such people who will be occupied only in mundane affairs of life and who will have predominance over Muslims is a form of Divine punishment. The word akhrajna (We made them come out) is an indication towards this reality. It is evident from the Qur'anic verse (27:82) that the domination of the Western nations over Muslims is a punishment as the Muslims themselves had ceased to believe in the Divine Message. The word yaqeen (belief) seems to have been used here for the reason that when one believes in a certain thing, he puts it into practice. In other words, it means that Muslims at the time of the appearance of the Dabbat al-Ard will cease to act upon the Qur'anic injunctions, with the result that other nations possessing material resources will overpower them. There is also a suggestion here that if Muslims once again start believing in the Qur'an and put its teachings into actual practice, this punishment of dominance by other nations will be taken away, for spiritual forces will definitely overpower the material forces in the end. In fact the only way for Muslims to overcome material forces is to increase their spiritual power by strictly adhering to the Qur'anic injunctions. That is why it is mentioned in a certain report that it will be the time when Muslims will cease to forbid the wrong and to invite others to good, which also amounts to the negligence of the Qur'an in their actual lives. Three sections of the Western nations have been mentioned under different names: the Antichrist are the Christian missionaries, Gog and Magog are the people holding political dominance in the world and Dabbat al-Ard are their learned leaders who are lost in the worship of matter and the power of matter and have spread this cult all over the world.
"You will certainly follow the precepts of those who have gone before, step by step." They asked: "O Messenger of Allah, the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Who else?" (Bukhari, Kitab al-anbiya).
Descriptions about Jews and Christians and even about their being metamorphosed have been given at several places in the Qur'an. Thus it was destined that such condition should come over the Muslims too. It is also mentioned in the Hadith that knowledge "will be confiscated." This means that people will go far away from the truth and spirituality and will worship only the letter. It is stated in some reports that:
There will be a great number of reciters of the Qur'an at that time, but very few will be the possessors of knowledge ... Some people of my Ummah at that time will read the Qur'an, but it will not even pass down their throats (Kanz al-`Ummal Vol. 7, No. 17323.).
In another report `taking up' of the Qur'an in the later days has been mentioned thus:
It (i.e., the Qur'an) will say that I went forth from you and have come back to you. I am read but I am not acted upon. At that time the Qur'an will be taken up (Ibid., No. 1801.).
The `Ulama' of that time are regarded as the worst possible creatures on the earth under the sky (Mishkat Kitab al-'Ilm.).
Elsewhere it is mentioned: "A time of utter consternation will come over my Ummah and the people will go to their `Ulama', but they will find them monkeys and swines (Kanz al-`Ummal Vol.7, No. 2013; Muslim, Ibn Majah and Musnad of Ahmad.)." This report is corroborated by the one included in the Sihah Sittah (The six authentic collections of Tradition). In Sahih al-Bukhari it is narrated as: "There will be certainly such people in my ummah who will declare woolen-mixed silk, silk cloth, wine and playing on musical instruments as lawful ... Some people will be transformed into swines and monkeys (Mishkat.)." By maskh (metamorphosis) here is not meant the actual physical transformation but it means metamorphosis of their moral condition. About the Jews, who violated the Sabbath, the Qur'an says: "Be (as) apes despised and hated (2:65; 7:166.)." Similar meanings of maskh (metamorphosis) have been narrated from Imam Mujahid.4
It was not their outward appearance but their moral condition that had changed. Undoubtedly the `Ulama' of today have become so much degenerated that they spend all their energy on issues which ruin the cause of Islam. And in spite of the fact that their activities bring a bad name to Islam they do not change their attitude. There is another report which depicts the condition of the present `Ulama': "There will be such people in the Latter Days who will curse each other instead of exchanging greetings among themselves (Kanz al-`Ummal Vo. 7, No. 1842.)." Is there any doubt in it that this is an exact picture of our `Ulama'! And there is nothing strange about it if such people have been called Dabbat al-Ard (Beast from the Earth) as they have in fact gone far away from the real object of spiritual life.
No doubt we do find in the hadith that at last the Antichrist and Gog and Magog will be destroyed, yet we should not forget that the mercy of the Prophet who was a 'mercy unto the nations' in earlier times was also manifested when the leaders of wickedness were destroyed and most of the remaining people entered into the fold of Islam. And in these prophecies this has been foretold that at that time also the Prophet's mercy will be manifested in a similar way, that is, the West which will rise to destroy Islam, will one day be illuminated with the light of the sun of Islam.