According to signs contained in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and in statements by Islamic scholars, the antichrist’s material strength and his preparation of a climate in which people’s earthly desires are met will enable his indoctrination of society to literally have a hypnotic effect on the greater part of society. The antichrist will reinforce this hypnotic effect with a great many other elements. The minds of those people who ignorantly fall under the spell of the transitory opportunities offered by the antichrist, and who repress the voices of their consciences in favor of their earthly passions, will in one sense pass under the total control of the antichrist. The antichrist will reinforce this control he has over people with radio and television broadcasts, with information in newspapers and magazines, and sometimes through cassettes, books and films. Using all these different means, together with a variety of styles, vocabulary, grammar and techniques, he will install the same ideas in people’s subconscious minds. In this way, people will forget about the existence of Allah, the Day of Judgment, the proximity of death and the existence of Paradise and Hell, and will be led instead to earthly desires and consumption of the joys of this world.
It needs to be made clear here that the fact that the antichrist uses such means of communication as radio, television, newspapers and magazines in no way means that these are entirely set aside as vehicles for diverting people from the right path. Many honest people with excellent moral virtues working in these fields are making great efforts to inform society and lead people in the direction of good. However, this does not alter the fact that the antichrist will also employ those same vehicles for different purposes.
One of the antichrist’s main objectives is to use all these means at his disposal to lead people to live improper lives. Decorative clothing, showy homes, luxury cars and fine foods and drinks are all used in the light of that objective. People are made to long to possess such things, but this then assumes the form of a passion and obtaining them becomes their only aim. All these things, which are a blessing when desired and used for Allah’s approval, may also become means whereby people are turned away from the true path. Every road taken in order to obtain these is depicted as legitimate. In this climate in which multi-faceted earthly desires are addressed, those who are unable to obtain them because they lack sufficient means are encouraged to resort to illegitimate routes. People are taught these by way of artificial news reports, or sometimes in soap operas, or films, or novels. Means by which they can come by this corrupt lifestyle they are made to long for are constantly described to such people through constantly renewed indoctrination.
While all this is going on, measures are also taken to prevent people thinking honestly. While people are encouraged towards illegitimate pleasures, desires and demands on the one hand, their minds are confused on the other in order to stop them becoming aware of the truth, and great care is taken to prepare a climate in which they are unable to think in a healthy manner. The hypnosis is thus constantly renewed. This hypnosis takes place by degrees. Music with a fixed beat, for instance, may be used as a way of reinforcing this hypnosis. The brain is weakened and made unable to think through music blaring out at high volume, with the same rhythm and beat. Without their being aware of it, people close their attention to everything else. Horror films and thrillers can also leave people prone to indoctrination and suggestion by weakening their nerves and will.
Believers with a sincere faith in Allah and who hope to attain Paradise, however, are never deceived by such wide-ranging propaganda and indoctrination, and are unaffected by the danger they pose.
People who lack a proper fear of Allah, and whose minds and faith are weak, can easily be hypnotized by the antichrist. Sentences squeezed into a film screenplay, momentary, subliminal images in the course of an advertisement, or ideas expressed in a song can easily have a negative effect on such people. Just a single image that a person is generally unaware of, or a single sentence, can have a major effect in hypnosis. One striking example of this is the way that following a song that extols suicide, a large number of people actually attempt to take their own lives.
Repetition is very important in this technique that the antichrist will use to establish a hypnotic influence over people. The constant portrayal of evil as something good and good constantly being depicted as evil is indicated in the hadiths as being one of the antichrist’s major and frequently employed tactics. The antichrist will use this tactic particularly against people whom he fears will unmask his true face. People who fear Allah, who believe in Him with a genuine faith and who call on people to adhere to proper moral values represent a grave danger to the antichrist. Frequently repeated indoctrination from various sources will thus be brought to bear against such people. This will reach such a state that people will come to believe everything they hear, without thinking or once analyzing the information offered to them, and generally without even feeling the need to ask for any evidence.
Since the antichrist will engage in all this indoctrination in a climate well suited to people’s lower selves, this will prevent them from seeing the fitnah of the antichrist and enable them to more easily submit to the indoctrination to which they are exposed. Due to the hypnotic effect established over them, in such a climate that satisfies their earthly passions they will regard all talk against religion and Muslims as highly legitimate and believe it unreservedly.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also draws attention to this environment that will emerge with the indoctrination by the antichrist, and warns all Muslims against this effect that will “create bewilderment”:
But in these stormy times, currents which numb the senses and scatter man’s attention on peripheral matters, plunging him into them, have deadened his senses and bewildered him. As a result of this the people of misguidance are temporarily unable to feel the spiritual torment. Even the people of guidance are overwhelmed by heedlessness and cannot truly appreciate its true pleasures. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 678)
Another important matter that Bediuzzaman emphasizes in this passage is “currents which numb the senses and scatter man’s attention on peripheral matters,” in other words the existence of movements that distract people’s attention away from vital issues towards trivial ones. However, one of the main dangers in this period will be the way that people are reluctant to defend the truth, some because of the circumstances in question and others due to being caught up in heedlessness or because of worries and disquiet. The great Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi has stated that avoiding this situation, which he describes as “even the people of guidance are overwhelmed by heedlessness,” is the duty of all Muslims. In his works, Bediuzzaman also indicates the role that certain media vehicles will play in the establishment of the hypnosis in question:
... Every morning and evening they report and teach one another sins and useless things in the newspapers. Because of this pleasure-obsessed civilization, the curtain of heedlessness has become so thick, and its clarity has become so befogged with its baubles and fantasies that it can literally no longer be torn aside. (Masnawi, p. 246)
In these words Bediuzzaman Said Nursi is referring to the manipulative effect of indoctrination by means of the press and publishing. The hypnotic effect caused by indoctrination reaching a scale that almost can no longer be eradicated is an important feature of the End Times. By the will of Allah, however, this veil of heedlessness will be completely lifted as a result of the second coming of the Prophet Jesus (as) and the great intellectual struggle to be waged by Hazrat Mahdi (as), and the hypnotic effect that keeps people from the truth and what is right will be lifted, and the moral values of the Qur’an will prevail over all the world.