The antichrist is revealed as one of the major portents of the Day of Judgment in many of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that refer to the End Times. There are also many signs in the hadiths to the effect that the antichrist will cause turmoil and insecurity to spread, will lead people towards immorality and wickedness, will direct the masses towards denial and rebellion and will be a source of terror and violence.
According to what all these indications show, the antichrist will appear in the final period before the Day of Judgment, in other words in the End Times, and will turn people away from religious moral values and cause great disorder and oppression on earth. Our Prophet (saas) has emphasized the scale of the fitnah of the antichrist and has warned all Muslims against this danger:
There have been no creation (creating more trouble) than the antichrist, from the creation of Adam to the Last Hour. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, 8th. Editionı, p. 225)
The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) contain considerable information about the timing of the antichrist’s appearance. In one hadith he reveals that the antichrist will appear at the start of the century:
A major event has taken place at the start of every century since the world was built. At the beginning of one century the antichrist will appear and Jesus son of Mary will descend to Earth and destroy him. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 90)
In another hadith, our Prophet (saas) states:
The life of this community will exceed one thousand years, but not one thousand five hundred years... (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 299)
Since our Prophet (saas) has revealed that his community will not last longer than 1500 years, it is likely that he is indicating that these great events will take place in the early 2000s. (Allah knows the truth.)
In a sermon he preached in Hijri 1327 before the Omayyid Mosque in Damascus, the great Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi described the future of the Islamic world as of Hijri 1371 and noted that the great intellectual struggle of Hazrat Mahdi (as) would take place in the 2000s:
... may be not now but 30-40 YEARS LATER, in order to fully equip science and, knowledge acquired through arts, science and skills, the goodness of civilization and those three forces, and to overcome the nine obstacles, He sent inclination for investigating the truth, moderation and love for human beings to the fronts of those nine foes. By Allah's Will, He will demolish them AFTER HALF A CENTURY. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Damascus Sermon, p. 25)
The most important characteristic of the antichrist is that he will engage in activities aimed at turning people away from religious moral values, and that he will engage in a struggle, based on superstition, against the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), who will be charged with bringing Qur’anic moral values to prevail across the whole world. This account by Bediuzzaman therefore reveals that the antichrist, who will struggle against the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), will actively appear at the same time as them, in other words in the 2000s. (Allah knows the truth.)
According to the indications in the hadiths, this struggle waged by the antichrist against the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be a multi-faceted one, and the antichrist will employ a range of methods and tactics to achieve his ends. He will resort to all means to prevent people remembering Allah, living according to the moral precepts revealed in the Qur’an, and following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).