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The Dajjal The Never Was – Join islam

In Islamic eschatology (the study of end times), “Dajjal” refers to a figure often described as the “false messiah” or “antichrist” who is to come before the Day of Judgment. The concept of Dajjal is not found in the Quran but only in Hadiths. The Sahih Hadith mentions a particular individual the prophet suspected of being the Dajjal, a child named Saf Ibn Sayyad.

One narration claims that ‘Umar took an oath before the prophet testifying that Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal, and the prophet did not disapprove.

‘Muhammad b. Munkadir reported: As I saw Jabir b. ‘Abdullah taking an oath in the name of Allah that it was Ibn Sayyad who was the Dajjal I said: Do you take an oath in the name of Allah? Thereupon he said: I heard ‘Umar taking an oath in the presence of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) to this effect but Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) did not disapprove of it.

حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُعَاذٍ الْعَنْبَرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْمُنْكَدِرِ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ يَحْلِفُ بِاللَّهِ أَنَّ ابْنَ صَائِدٍ الدَّجَّالُ، فَقُلْتُ أَتَحْلِفُ بِاللَّهِ قَالَ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ عُمَرَ يَحْلِفُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَلَمْ يُنْكِرْهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2929

In the more comprehensive narration cited below regarding Ibn Sayyad, we see that the prophet believed he was the Dajjal, and when Umar offered to cut off the child’s head, the prophet is said to have responded, “If he is the same (Dajjal) who would appear near the Last Hour, you would not be able to overpower him, and if he is not that there is no good for you to kill him.” See also Sahih Muslim 2924a.

As if that is not strange enough, after their engagement, the prophet later attempted to spy on a sleeping Ibn Sayyad so he could listen to what he was murmuring to himself under his blanket. In order to not be detected the prophet hid himself behind a palm tree but was spotted by Ibn Sayyad’s mom who saw the prophet lurking and blew his cover. See also Sahih al-Bukhari 3056, 3057.

The Hadith ends by telling us that other details of the Dajjal were mentioned, that (1) he would be one-eyed, (2) he would have the word Kafir written on his forehead, and only the believers could see it. Below is the full narration from Sahih Muslim.

‘Abdullah b. Umar reported: ‘Umar b. Khattab went along with Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) in the company of some persons to Ibn Sayyad that he found him playing with children near the battlement of Bani Maghala and Ibn Sayyad was at that time just at the threshold of puberty and he did not perceive (the presence of Holy Prophet) until Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) struck his back with his hands. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: Ibn Sayyad, don’t you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah? Ibn Sayyad looked toward him and he said: I bear witness to the fact that you the messenger of the unlettered. Ibn Sayyad said to the Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ): Do you bear witness to the fact that I am the messenger of Allah? Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) rejected this and said: I affirm my faith in Allah and in His messengers. Then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said to him: What do you see? Ibn Sayyad said: It is a Dukh. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: May you be disgraced and dishonored, you would not not be able to go beyond your rank. ‘Umar b. Khattab said: Allah’s Messenger, permit me that I should strike his neck. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: If he is the same (Dajjal) who would appear near the Last Hour, you would not be able to overpower him, and if he is not that there is no good for you to kill him.

‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar further narrated that after some time Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and Ubayy b. Ka’b went towards the palm trees where Ibn Sayyad was. When Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) went near the tree, he hid himself behind a tree with the intention of hearing something from Ibn Sayyad before Ibn Sayyad could see him, but Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saw him on a bed with a blanket around him from which a murmuring sound was being heard, and Ibn Sayyad’s mother saw Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) behind the trunk of the palm tree. She said to Ibn Sayyad: Saf (that being his name), here is Muhammad. Thereupon, Ibn Sayyad jumped up murmuring, and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: If she had left him alone, he would have made things clear.

Abdullah b. Umar told that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stood up amongst the people and lauded Allah as He deserved, then he made a mention of the Dajjal and said: I warn you of him, and there is no Prophet who has not warned his people against the Dajjal. Even Noah warned (against him), but I am going to tell you a thing which no Prophet told his people. You must know that he (the Dajjal) is one-eyed, and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, is not one-eyed. Ibn Shihab said: ‘Umar b. Thabit al-Ansari informed me that some of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) informed him that the day when Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) warned people against the Dajjal, he also said: There would be written between his two eyes (the word) Kafir (infidel) and everyone who would resent his deeds would be able to read or every Muslim would be about to read, and he also said: Bear this thing in mind that none amongst you would be able to see Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, until he dies.

حَدَّثَنِي حَرْمَلَةُ بْنُ يَحْيَى بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَرْمَلَةَ بْنِ عِمْرَانَ التُّجِيبِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنِي ابْنُ، وَهْبٍ أَخْبَرَنِي يُونُسُ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ أَخْبَرَهُ أَنَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ انْطَلَقَ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي رَهْطٍ قِبَلَ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ حَتَّى وَجَدَهُ يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الصِّبْيَانِ عِنْدَ أُطُمِ بَنِي مَغَالَةَ وَقَدْ قَارَبَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحُلُمَ فَلَمْ يَشْعُرْ حَتَّى ضَرَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ظَهْرَهُ بِيَدِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لاِبْنِ صَيَّادٍ ‏”‏ أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيْهِ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ فَقَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ الأُمِّيِّينَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَتَشْهَدُ أَنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ فَرَفَضَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَقَالَ ‏”‏ آمَنْتُ بِاللَّهِ وَبِرُسُلِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَاذَا تَرَى ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ يَأْتِينِي صَادِقٌ وَكَاذِبٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ خُلِّطَ عَلَيْكَ الأَمْرُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنِّي قَدْ خَبَأْتُ لَكَ خَبِيئًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ ‏”‏ هُوَ الدُّخُّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ اخْسَأْ فَلَنْ تَعْدُوَ قَدْرَكَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ بْنُ الْخَطَّابِ ذَرْنِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَضْرِبْ عُنُقَهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ لَهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنْ يَكُنْهُ فَلَنْ تُسَلَّطَ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنْهُ فَلاَ خَيْرَ لَكَ فِي قَتْلِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

وَقَالَ سَالِمُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ سَمِعْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُمَرَ، يَقُولُ انْطَلَقَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأُبَىُّ بْنُ كَعْبٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ إِلَى النَّخْلِ الَّتِي فِيهَا ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ حَتَّى إِذَا دَخَلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم النَّخْلَ طَفِقَ يَتَّقِي بِجُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَهُوَ يَخْتِلُ أَنْ يَسْمَعَ مِنِ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ شَيْئًا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرَاهُ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ فَرَآهُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ مُضْطَجِعٌ عَلَى فِرَاشٍ فِي قَطِيفَةٍ لَهُ فِيهَا زَمْزَمَةٌ فَرَأَتْ أُمُّ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَهُوَ يَتَّقِي بِجُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ فَقَالَتْ لاِبْنِ صَيَّادٍ يَا صَافِ – وَهُوَ اسْمُ ابْنِ صَيَّادٍ – هَذَا مُحَمَّدٌ ‏.‏ فَثَارَ ابْنُ صَيَّادٍ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لَوْ تَرَكَتْهُ بَيَّنَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

قَالَ سَالِمٌ قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ فَقَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي النَّاسِ فَأَثْنَى عَلَى اللَّهِ بِمَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الدَّجَّالَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنِّي لأُنْذِرُكُمُوهُ مَا مِنْ نَبِيٍّ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ أَنْذَرَهُ قَوْمَهُ لَقَدْ أَنْذَرَهُ نُوحٌ قَوْمَهُ وَلَكِنْ أَقُولُ لَكُمْ فِيهِ قَوْلاً لَمْ يَقُلْهُ نَبِيٌّ لِقَوْمِهِ تَعَلَّمُوا أَنَّهُ أَعْوَرُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى لَيْسَ بِأَعْوَرَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ شِهَابٍ وَأَخْبَرَنِي عُمَرُ بْنُ ثَابِتٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ أَنَّهُ أَخْبَرَهُ بَعْضُ أَصْحَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ يَوْمَ حَذَّرَ النَّاسَ الدَّجَّالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّهُ مَكْتُوبٌ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ كَافِرٌ يَقْرَؤُهُ مَنْ كَرِهَ عَمَلَهُ أَوْ يَقْرَؤُهُ كُلُّ مُؤْمِنٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ‏”‏ تَعَلَّمُوا أَنَّهُ لَنْ يَرَى أَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ رَبَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَتَّى يَمُوتَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2930a, 2931, 169d
https://sunnah.com/muslim:2930a
See also:  Sahih al-Bukhari 6173-6175,

Ibn Sayyad, Dajjal, and End of The World

The fact that the prophet, according to the Hadith, even suspected that Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal which is to come at the end of times, aligns with the false understanding, according to the Hadith, that the prophet assumed that the End of the World was imminent. According to the most authentic Hadith sources, it claims that the prophet stated the world would end before the youngest person among his people would live to old age.

Anas reported that a person asked Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as to when the Last Hour would come. He had in his presence a young boy of the Ansar who was called Muhammad. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: If this young boy lives, he may not reach an old age till the Hour arises.

وَحَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا يُونُسُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ حَمَّادِ بْنِ سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، أَنَّ رَجُلاً، سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَتَى تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ وَعِنْدَهُ غُلاَمٌ مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ يُقَالُ لَهُ مُحَمَّدٌ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنْ يَعِشْ هَذَا الْغُلاَمُ فَعَسَى أَنْ لاَ يُدْرِكَهُ الْهَرَمُ حَتَّى تَقُومَ السَّاعَةُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2953a

Another narration states that the Hour will occur within 100 years.

Jabir b. ‘Abdullah reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying this one month before his death: You asked me about the Last Hour whereas its knowledge is with Allah. “And I swear by Allah, not there will be any living soul on earth in a hundred years.”

حَدَّثَنِي هَارُونُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، وَحَجَّاجُ بْنُ الشَّاعِرِ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا حَجَّاجُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، قَالَ قَالَ ابْنُ جُرَيْجٍ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبُو الزُّبَيْرِ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ جَابِرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَمُوتَ بِشَهْرٍ ‏ “‏ تَسْأَلُونِي عَنِ السَّاعَةِ وَإِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَأُقْسِمُ بِاللَّهِ مَا عَلَى الأَرْضِ مِنْ نَفْسٍ مَنْفُوسَةٍ تَأْتِي عَلَيْهَا مِائَةُ سَنَةٍ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2538a

So, the Hadiths about an adolescent boy being presumed to be the Dajjal corresponds with other narrations regarding the prophet’s supposed belief in the short time horizon to the world’s end.

Was Ibn Sayyad the Dajjal

But the narrative gets even stranger from here because obviously, Ibn Sayyad was not the Dajjal, and the world did not end. But are there any narrations explaining what happened to Ibn Sayyad? It just happens that there are.

Sahih Muslim has several Hadith of Ibn Sayyad as an adult. These Sahih narrations claim that he grew up to be a pious believing Muslim but contemplated suicide because of the hardship he faced due to the rumor spread about him by the prophet accusing him of being the Dajjal. Ironically, this narration comes from someone who camped with him after they performed the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage.

Abu Said al-Khudri reported: We came back after having performed Pilgrimage or Umra, and lbn Sayyad was along with us. And we encamped at a place, and the people dispersed, and he and I were left behind. I felt terribly frightened of him as it was said about him that he was the Dajjal. He brought his goods and placed them by my luggage, and I said: It is intense heat. Would you not place that under that tree? And he did that. Then, there appeared before us a flock of sheep. He went and brought a cup of milk and said: Abu Said, drink that. I said it is intense heat and the milk is also hot (whereas the fact was) that I did not like to drink from his hands or to take it from his hand, and he said: Abu Said, I think that I should take a rope and suspend it by the tree and then commit suicide because of the talks of the people, and he further said. Abu Said he who is ignorant of the saying of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) (he is to be pardoned), but O people of Ansar, is this hadith of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) concealed from you whereas you have the best knowledge of the hadith of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) amongst people? Did Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) not say that he (Dajjal) would be a non-believer, whereas I am a believer? Did Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) not say he would be barren and no child would be born to him, whereas I have left my children in Medina? Did Allah’s Messenger (may peace upon him) not say: He would not get into Medina and Mecca, whereas I have been coming from Medina and now I intend to go to Mecca? Abu Said said: I was about to accept the excuse put forward by him. Then he said: I know the place where he would be born and where he is now. So I said to him: May your whole day be spent.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا سَالِمُ بْنُ نُوحٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي الْجُرَيْرِيُّ، عَنْ أَبِي نَضْرَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ خَرَجْنَا حُجَّاجًا أَوْ عُمَّارًا وَمَعَنَا ابْنُ صَائِدٍ – قَالَ – فَنَزَلْنَا مَنْزِلاً فَتَفَرَّقَ النَّاسُ وَبَقِيتُ أَنَا وَهُوَ فَاسْتَوْحَشْتُ مِنْهُ وَحْشَةً شَدِيدَةً مِمَّا يُقَالُ عَلَيْهِ – قَالَ – وَجَاءَ بِمَتَاعِهِ فَوَضَعَهُ مَعَ مَتَاعِي ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ إِنَّ الْحَرَّ شَدِيدٌ فَلَوْ وَضَعْتَهُ تَحْتَ تِلْكَ الشَّجَرَةِ – قَالَ – فَفَعَلَ – قَالَ – فَرُفِعَتْ لَنَا غَنَمٌ فَانْطَلَقَ فَجَاءَ بِعُسٍّ فَقَالَ اشْرَبْ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ ‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ إِنَّ الْحَرَّ شَدِيدٌ وَاللَّبَنُ حَارٌّ ‏.‏ مَا بِي إِلاَّ أَنِّي أَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَشْرَبَ عَنْ يَدِهِ – أَوْ قَالَ آخُذَ عَنْ يَدِهِ – فَقَالَ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ لَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ آخُذَ حَبْلاً فَأُعَلِّقَهُ بِشَجَرَةٍ ثُمَّ أَخْتَنِقَ مِمَّا يَقُولُ لِيَ النَّاسُ يَا أَبَا سَعِيدٍ مَنْ خَفِيَ عَلَيْهِ حَدِيثُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا خَفِيَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَعْشَرَ الأَنْصَارِ أَلَسْتَ مِنْ أَعْلَمِ النَّاسِ بِحَدِيثِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَلَيْسَ قَدْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ هُوَ كَافِرٌ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَأَنَا مُسْلِمٌ أَوَلَيْسَ قَدْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ هُوَ عَقِيمٌ لاَ يُولَدُ لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ تَرَكْتُ وَلَدِي بِالْمَدِينَةِ أَوَ لَيْسَ قَدْ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لاَ يَدْخُلُ الْمَدِينَةَ وَلاَ مَكَّةَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَدْ أَقْبَلْتُ مِنَ الْمَدِينَةِ وَأَنَا أُرِيدُ مَكَّةَ قَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيُّ حَتَّى كِدْتُ أَنْ أَعْذِرَهُ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَمَا وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأَعْرِفُهُ وَأَعْرِفُ مَوْلِدَهُ وَأَيْنَ هُوَ الآنَ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ تَبًّا لَكَ سَائِرَ الْيَوْمِ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2927c
https://sunnah.com/muslim:2927c
See also: https://sunnah.com/muslim:2927a,

Conclusion

Here is the conundrum with these narrations regarding Ibn Sayyad and the prophet. If the narrations of Ibn Sayyad as a child are to be accepted, then his narrations as an adult should also be accepted. Therefore, if the Dajjal was to appear before the end of times, and Umar testified before the prophet that Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal, and for all intents and purposes, the prophet did not deny this fact and appears to strongly suspect this as well, but Ibn Sayyad ended up being a pious believer, then this creates quite the problem and leaves people with one of two choices.

Either the prophet was not only wrong about the timing of the End of the World and his intuitions on the identity of the Dajall that he ended up tormenting an innocent soul by labeling him the antichrist to the point that he contemplated suicide, or the entire narrative regarding Ibn Sayyad is a fabrication.

If the former is true, then this puts into question the entire credibility of the prophet in his judgments, and if the latter is true, then the entire theory of Hadith sciences being able to determine the authenticity of Hadith loses all credibility. So traditionalists are in quite a bind: either severely disparage the prophet’s credibility or the credibility of their Hadith sciences.

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