Throughout their entire lives, everyone is at war with an enemy, the extent of whose strength and influence they perhaps fail to fully comprehend. The main feature of this enemy is subtlety. He constantly invites mankind to commit evil, and many people he uses without them even being aware of it. Those who are constantly in conflict with others, who always believe that violence is the answer, who take pleasure in brutality, murder, chaos and anarchy, in short, those who harm the peace and security of the world, have lost the war against this foe, whether they realize it or not, and have fallen under his control. This most dangerous enemy is the Devil, described to us in all his aspects by God in the Qur'an. The Devil is a force who, ever since the time of the Prophet Adam, has been doing all in his power to turn man away from God. One of the most common errors people commit is their failure to adequately estimate the Devil, that one who incites them to wickedness and leads them to Hell. The fact is, however, that the Devil poses a serious danger to man, and is his declared enemy. In a verse, God reveals:
The Devil is your enemy so treat him as an enemy. He summons his party so they will be among the people of the Searing Blaze.(Qur'an, 35: 6)
One of the most devious quagmires that the Devil sets up for people is conflict, terror and anarchy. As God revealed in another verse, "The Devil wants to stir up trouble between them" (Qur'an, 17: 53); to destroy feelings of friendship, love, compassion, forgiveness, peace and trust between people, and to incite them towards violence, are the objectives of the Devil. However, one point should be stressed here. Although the Devil appears to be a creature who is active on many fronts, he is, in fact, under God's control and is His subject. He knows that God has granted him a set time until the day of judgement, and that he will have to pay for sins when that time comes. The promises he fabricates to encourage people to join him, and the schemes he sets in motion, are all part of his deceptions. God describes this fact of the Devil:
They are like the Devil when he says to a human being, "Disbelieve," and then when he disbelieves, says, "I wash my hands of you. Truly I fear God, the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat al-Hasr: 16)
Nevertheless, the Devil is able to influence certain people (those who do not believe in God, and who do not know or fear Him as they should). The degree of this influence depends on the circumstances. He is often behind certain events which impel human societies into disaster and which cause harm to the innocent. One of the greatest sources of misery effected by the Devil in our time is, without a doubt, terrorism.
The hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, also mention that, during the end times, a devilish power will emerge, one of whose most important attributes will be that he disrupts the peace and order of mankind. Many people, though, attach little importance to that power, known as the Antichrist (Dajjal). That is because, most people either have little knowledge of the matter, or have never heard of it at all. However, the subject of the Antichrist is very prominent in those of the Prophet's hadiths which point out that the last day is approaching, and about which a substantial amount of information has been provided. The aim of this book is to describe the characteristics of the Antichrist, one of the Devil's primary minions on earth, as set out in the hadiths, and to allow the reader to acquire more familiarity with this Devilish power, of which God's messenger (pbuh) has warned us.
From the hadiths, one would ordinarily think of him as an individual. However, as well as an individual, it can also be an ideology that tends towards violence and savagery, possesses devilish characteristics, and inflicts suffering on mankind. Later chapters of this book will treat that aspect, and demonstrate that the Antichrist is a perverted ideological movement that has enormous influence in the world. That movement holds whole communities under its spell, attracts followers despite all its manifest absurdities and errors, and even has its own differing sects within it.
Another important matter that will be considered in this book is the way this movement inspires fear and unease in people, giving rise to chaos and anarchy, and destroying peace and security, in order to consolidate its hold on the entire world. One of the most frequently employed methods that the movement in question resorts to, in order to achieve its aims, is acts of violence and terrorism aimed at the innocent. In other words, terrorism is the most prominent element of the way of the Antichrist. That element is employed by the disciples of the system, in hysteria and rage, as if it were a holy rite.
The wars, conflicts, acts of brutal terrorism, slaughter and acts of genocide that still go on in various parts of the world today, are the work of the Antichrist, the principle devilish power in the run-up to the last day. The main aim of that system is to turn people away from religious belief, proper morality, spiritual depth, love and all human values, and to turn them into uncompassionate and aggressive creatures that take pleasure in savagery and violence, and thus turn the whole world into a battleground. However, it must never be forgotten that this plan will not succeed, and that the system of the Antichrist is doomed to annihilation. Whatever the degree of the strife and chaos it manages to create, the ideological system of the Antichrist is doomed, under the law of God, to ultimate defeat and destruction. By the will of God, that defeat will come about by means of a war of ideas waged by those who turn to Him with true sincerity and strive to bring about the spread of belief and proper morality all over the world. That is a promise made by God to the believers. The following verse is the way in which God says that the truth will be made known in the end and falsehood be overcome:
Say: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Falsehood is always bound to vanish."(Qur'an, 17: 81)