As described in the preceding section, the antichrist will conceal his true face by portraying truth as falsehood and falsehood as truth, and will thus hinder the recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). According to signs in the hadiths of our Prophet Muhammad (saas), the antichrist will pretend that he is trying to keep people from harm and to protect them from danger. Many people who do not live by Qur’anic moral values but who hold their own personal interests above all else will be taken in by this deception of the antichrist’s. As a result of this trickery, a great many people will believe that it is actually the antichrist who will lead them to salvation and will turn their backs on the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).
The fact is however that it is revealed in the Qur’an how unbelievers used just such a method to attract people to their side and distance them from believers. For example, despite all his ruthlessness and all his cruelty against an innocent people, Pharaoh still pretended to be concerned for their welfare and to wish to protect them. To that end he suggested that the path to which the Prophet Moses (as) called them would be harmful to them and that he wanted to protect them from that harm. Pharaoh’s words and the lies he told the people are revealed as follows in verses of the Qur’an:
Pharaoh said, “Let me kill Moses and let him call upon his Lord! I am afraid that he may change your religion and bring about corruption in the land.” (Surah Ghafir, 26)
… Pharaoh said, “I only show you what I see myself and I only guide you to the path of rectitude.” (Surah Ghafir, 29)
They said, “These two magicians desire by their magic to expel you from your land and abolish your most excellent way of life…” (Surah Ta Ha, 63)
According to the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), the antichrist will also say that he is attempting to lead people to the true path, in exactly the same way that Pharaoh attempted to mislead society. He will deceive the great majority of people by claiming that he is actually attempting to protect them against catastrophe.
However, there can be no doubt that the path to which the antichrist calls people is actually a dead-end, and will lead them to disaster and suffering rather than to salvation. The things the antichrist depicts as loss and harm are actually a great benefit for believers, and, by Allah’s leave, very auspicious.
The end awaiting Pharaoh, his court, his followers and those who displayed similar attitudes in the past should be a deterrent for those who struggle against Qur’anic moral values:
Such was the case with Pharaoh’s people and those before them. They rejected Allah’s signs so Allah seized them for their wrong actions. Allah is Strong, Severe in Retribution. (Surat al-Anfal, 52)
The Antichrist Will Influence People by Addressing Their Worldly Desires, and Thus Prevent the Recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as)
Another of the techniques employed by the antichrist in order to deceive people is that of “addressing their lower selves and worldly desires.” Allah has revealed in the Qur’an that lower self leads people to evil and has commanded them to act in accordance with their consciences:
“… The self indeed commands to evil acts – except for those my Lord has mercy on. My Lord, He is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Surah Yusuf, 53)
And [I swear by] the self and what proportioned it and inspired it with depravity or sense of duty, he who purifies it has succeeded, he who covers it up has failed. (Surat ash-Shams, 7-10)
Therefore, believers always act in accordance with the voice of their consciences and seek to purify their selves. On the other hand, people who lack the proper fear of Allah have no hesitations over behaving in line with the desires of their lower selves. Yet earthly desires lead to troubles and difficulties because such desires may encourage lying, selfishness, ruthlessness, jealousy, arrogance, injustice, lovelessness, idolatry and even denial. That is the reason why many people failed to obey the prophets in the past, because the path to which the prophets called them conflicted with their lower selves. Allah reveals this fact as follows in the Qur’an:
Or do they say, “He is a man possessed,” when he has brought the truth to them? But most of them hate the truth. (Surat al-Muminun, 70)
According to the signs in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), the antichrist will make use of this side of human nature in the End Times and thus seek to attract supporters. By addressing people’s lower selves he will be able to direct them as he so chooses. Bearing in mind the fact that the great majority of people will also have turned away from religious moral values in the End Times, one can form a better idea of the consequences of the antichrist’s behaving in line with people’s lower selves. The antichrist will give rise to environments in which people think only of their own interests, act unjustly for the sake of their own gain, lie, oppress the weak as they choose, and greedily consume the beauties of this world. In addition, he will tell various lies to give people the impression that all this is legitimate and justified. He will be able to direct people who are prone to immorality by encouraging irregular relationships, alcohol, drugs and a degenerate lifestyle. People far removed from religious moral values will thus chase after the evils to which the antichrist directs them, rather than following the true path to which they are called by the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).
The fact is, however, that people acting solely in the light of their lower selves brings with it a system that will lead all of mankind to terrible troubles and disaster. In the Qur’an our Lord has revealed that everything will be corrupted in the event that people follow their whims and earthly desires:
If the truth were to follow their whims and desires, the heavens and the earth and everyone in them would have been brought to ruin. No indeed! We have given them their Reminder, but they have turned away from it. (Surat al-Muminun, 71)
All the messengers ever sent have called on people to avoid whims and desires and to adopt only the proper behavior that will meet with Allah’s approval. He reveals in a verse how the prophets have not complied with the desires of society:
Say: “I am forbidden to worship those you call upon besides Allah.” Say: “I do not follow your whims and desires. If I did I would go astray and not be among the guided.” (Surat al-An‘am, 56)
When the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) appear they will act solely in line with the approval of Allah, not with the wishes, aims and demands of human beings who are far removed from religious moral values. As revealed in the Qur’an “You are calling them to a straight path. But those who do not believe in the Hereafter recoil from the path.” (Surat al-Muminun, 73-74), the path to which these blessed individuals call people is the true path. Yet although the majority of people grasp the superior virtues of these righteous personages with their consciences, they will still ignore this state of affairs under the influence of their earthly desires and will follow the interests to which the antichrist calls them. They will shelter behind various excuses in order not to accept the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), not to support them, and to keep their distance from them. The antichrist will help these people who look for excuses not to follow the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). The antichrist will offer these people the ready-made excuses they are looking for, thus making matters easier for them. Since the antichrist will behave in line with their desires, lower selves will feel love for the antichrist and willingly go along with the excuses he offers them. Since they love the antichrist out of their earthly desires they will feel no need for moral love and will turn their backs on those they should love, the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).