The Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi will come this century

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CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK

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30 / total: 34

Book II - Why will the Personages of the End Times not be Recognized?
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The Antichrist: the Negative Force Opposed to the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the End Times

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).

The Antichrist will Not be Recognized Either When He First Appears

One of the main reasons why people will fail to recognize and support the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) is without doubt their inability to see the true face of the antichrist. In resorting to a variety of methods in order to turn people away from the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), the antichrist will also use various tactics to conceal his true face. For that reason the antichrist will not be recognized when he first appears, just like the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), and will not be known for what he is. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi offers the following clarification on the subject in his works:

However, as we said, this world is the arena of trial. The door is opened to the reason, but the will is not taken from the hand. So, when those individuals, and even the terrible antichrist, appear, many people and even himself will not know to start with that he is the antichrist. Those individuals of the end of time will be known through the insight and the light of belief. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, p. 344)

According to these statements by Bediuzzaman, the antichrist will misrepresent himself to people by way of various deceptions and ruses, for which reason people taken in by his deceits will fail to recognize this representative of denial during the early stages of the End Times. (Allah knows the truth.)

Knowledge of the means to which the antichrist will resort in order to conceal his true nature is of the greatest importance in order to avoid being taken in by his deceptions and make accurate analyses. It must not be forgotten that unmasking the antichrist will be a means whereby the snares he has set for all believers can be neutralized.

The Propaganda of the Antichrist will Play A Major Role in the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) Not Being Recognized

The antichrist's objective is to prevent people living by Qur'anic moral values and to neutralize the struggle waged by the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). To that end he will attempt to prevent people seeing the auspicious activities that these holy personages perform. He will even misrepresent the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) to society and will do all in his power to make people hostile to them. He will seek to influence large numbers of people, and with this community he thus establishes he will wage a major campaign against these blessed individuals. According to the indications in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), these propaganda techniques employed by the antichrist will play a major role in the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) not being recognized by the majority of society when they first appear.

Propaganda techniques are one of the best-known methods of shaping public opinion. Large masses of people can be directed in the desired direction by means of exaggerated reports or reports with no truth to them at all. Mass indignation can even be evoked. The indications in the hadiths show that the antichrist will employ various propaganda techniques to prevent people obeying the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). These propaganda methods will resemble the methods employed by unbelievers through the ages. Allah tells us in the Qur'an that unbelievers will resort to such methods as making conspiracies against believers, seeking to incite society against them by various lies, using false proof, using a deceptive style of presentation and a style that intensifies a potential atmosphere of indignation. Allah shows how unbelievers will use the means at disposal to give the impression that something is one way when it is in fact not, and that they will thus be able to lead society in the direction they desire.

Thus the antichrist may attempt to use such propaganda techniques, with various lies and slanders, in order to mislead society in the End Times. One very important characteristic feature of the antichrist noted in the hadiths is the way that he has the means to enable his slanders and lies to reach a great many people. The hadiths contain signs that the antichrist will engage in his propaganda by making use of the press and publishing vehicles.

When the antichrist appears he will shout and scream in such a way that the peoples of the East and West will hear him. (Ibn Kathir, al-Nihaya, 1:96)

A voice will be heard saying, "The antichrist has entered your homes and taken your children captive." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 73)

These expressions tell us that the antichrist's voice will be heard all over the world and that he will enter everyone's homes by using methods of mass communications. Therefore, the antichrist will be able to enter more than one place at the same time. According to the signs in the Qur'an, the antichrist will aim to blacken the reputations of true believers by using these means to spread his evil propaganda.

Means of communication such as radio, television, the Internet, newspapers and magazines are today the most important ways that people communicate and are kept informed. In the same way that these can be used for such purposes as raising people's cultural levels, telling the public about day-to-day events and calling on people to live by proper moral values, they can also be used to spread slander and false reports, to misdirect people for evil ends, and to encourage immorality. According to the signs contained in the hadiths, the antichrist will attempt to blacken the reputations of believers by using these vehicles to spread his wicked propaganda. Using television and the press, he will spread slanders about the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), accusing them of being "perverted," or "bewitched," or "encouraging ignorance" or "deception." In a climate of non-stop propaganda in which the characters of believers and people with proper moral values are blackened, many people who lack the requisite information will regard the antichrist as strong and powerful in their eyes and thus align themselves with him. Some ignorant Muslims who, albeit unknowingly, fail to analyze all these events in the light of Qur'anic moral values and the beliefs of the Ahl al-Sunnah, will support the antichrist and further strengthen his propaganda. As revealed in the words of one hadith, " The antichrist will bring with him what will resemble hell and paradise, and what he will call paradise will be actually hell," (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, 554) the antichrist will depict good as evil and evil as good. As a result of this propaganda, the great majority will not recognize the Prophet Jesus (as), Hazrat Mahdi (as) and other devout believers, and will even regard them as evil.

Since the antichrist behaves as the public wish and in line with their worldly desires, they will love him and follow the path he shows them. Many people will imagine that the antichrist is actually calling them to what is good and thus follow him and turn their backs on those they should be following, the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). They may even actively oppose them. Since this false propaganda of the antichrist's will be entirely compatible with people's worldly desires and interests their preferences will be in opposition to Muslims.

As described in detail in previous sections, some people will fall under the influence of such propaganda by the antichrist and will abandon Hazrat Mahdi (as). Some hadiths indicating this read as follows:

They will strive alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as). Then Medina will be rocked and the unbelievers will be expelled from it... Only pure Muslims will be left there, and later they will migrate to Bayt al-Maqdis ... (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, 8th edition, p. 256)

The Day of Judgment will not happen until a group from my community rule over everyone. They will pay no heed to the departure of those who abandon them, nor to those who help them. (Muawiya (ra); Buyuk Kiyamet Alametleri, 476/9, Major Portents of the Judgment Day, 476/9)

It needs to be made clear that in the same way that the antichrist employs overt propaganda during all these activities, he may also seek to misdirect people by using covert indoctrination. In the same way that he may employ a style intended to blacken the names of believers during the course of this propaganda, he may also employ a style intended to target them indirectly and to establish a false impression of them in society. For that reason, Muslims must be on their guard against all the antichrist's methods and ruses. What Muslims who wish to understand the antichrist's trickery and avoid his fitnah need to do is to fully comply with the moral values of the Qur'an and to take the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas) as their guide. In the Qur'an Allah tells the faithful to:

You who believe! If a deviator brings you a report, scrutinize it carefully in case you attack people in ignorance and so come to greatly regret what you have done. (Surat al-Hujurat, 6)

Muslims who comply with this commandment of our Lord's will not, by Allah's leave, be taken in by the antichrist's falsehood and slander-based propaganda. When they analyze every report they hear or every piece of information that comes their way using the criteria of their reason, conscience and moral precepts of the Qur'an, they will be protected against confusing good with evil and right with wrong.

The End Times are an age when the honesty required by religious moral values, justice, protecting the needy, observing the rights of the weak, giving alms, and being compassionate are all in decline. These virtues will be replaced by lies, fraud, ruthlessness, intransigence, selfishness and aggression. In such a climate, where helping others is regarded as a kind of naiveté, honesty is seen as unnecessary, when people look askance at compassion and gentleness, when justice is not done, and when cruelty and oppression spread, people will find it difficult to distinguish what is good from what is bad, and what is right from what is wrong.

The values and criteria by which good and evil are determined are of the very greatest importance. If people determine good and evil on the basis of their own personal interests and other value judgments, terrible turmoil will ensue. That is because people can only come to real goodness by thinking in line with Qur'anic moral values and following the voice of their consciences. The fact that people will turn away from the moral values of the Qur'an in the End Times will cause them to confuse good and evil and thus turn their backs on the truth.

There is no doubt that this state of affairs will play a major role in the antichrist's struggle. The antichrist, the main defender and proponent of systems and ideologies that are incompatible with religious moral values will draw strength from this corrupt climate in the End Times and thus cause the majority of people to behave in accordance with the indoctrination he provides. For that reason, it is of the greatest importance to identify the way the antichrist turns people away from the true path and the methods he may employ in order to prevent people recognizing the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). These methods are considered in this chapter. Our hope is that this information will prevent people being taken in by the antichrist's deceptions when the Prophet Jesus (as) returns to Earth and when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears.

The Antichrist's Influence over the Majority of People Will Prevent the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) Being Recognized

As we are told in the words of one hadith, "The antichrist has many followers. Many people will join him," (Wali-ud-din bin Abdullah al-Khatib al-Umari al-Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, Damascus: 1382/1962, 3:38.2) the antichrist will cause a great many people to follow him when he appears. This is also revealed in the words of another hadith: "Certain it is that he will conquer all places apart from Haram [Mecca and Medina] and Bayt al-Muqaddas..." (Al-Haqim, Mustadraq, No. 1230, 1/478) In addition, various other hadiths of a metaphorical nature also contain indications that a great many people will go along with the antichrist and that his system will be a rather powerful one. In his accounts of the hadiths concerning the antichrist, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also notes the scale of this system set up by the antichrist, one that is incompatible with religious moral values. Bediuzzaman states that the signs in the hadiths indicate "the size of the antichrist's dominion and activities." According to the indications given in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), the antichrist will declare his own supposed divinity and will deceive a great many people with this false indoctrination. People who are taken in by the lies of the materialist and atheistic ideologies that the antichrist supports will turn away from religious moral values and a moral collapse and degeneration will manifest itself in societies. Together with this, Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers, though few in number, will engage in a great intellectual struggle against the antichrist. Bediuzzaman also describes how the numbers of those perceiving the true face of the antichrist will be very small:

None knows the Unseen save Allah, one interpretation must be as follows: it is an allusion and sign that quantitively the spiritual community of those striving [in the way of Allah] who will recognize the Prophet Jesus (as) and follow him, will be very few and small comparatively to the scientific, physical armies of the antichrist. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 495)

". .. Scientific, physical armies of the antichrist...": Bediuzzaman is stating that the atheistic forces that support the antichrist will be very powerful, in terms of their teaching resources, militarily and materially.

". .. spiritual community of those striving [in the way of Allah]...": Here, Bediuzzaman is saying that the Prophet Jesus (as) and the community that follows him will be involved in a large-scale intellectual struggle against the antichrist. This community will make enormous efforts to spread proper moral values, and will work with great devotion on the path of Allah. The term "spiritual" used here by Bediuzzaman refers to a community that possesses genuine faith and that experiences the esoteric aspects of events as well as those aspects that are visible on the surface.

Another extract from Bediuzzaman Said Nursi in which he refers to the antichrist having a large number of followers and to his having wide means at his disposal reads as follows:

There is a report that in the time of the Prophet Jesus' (as) struggle against the antichrist, he will leap ten yards in the air but will only be able to plunge his sword into his knee, so much taller is the antichrist than the Prophet Jesus (as). That means that the antichrist must be 10 or perhaps 20 times taller than the Prophet Jesus (as)…

First Point: If the community of Christian clergy who believe in the essence of Christianity and the community that begins to impose irreligion in opposition to them assume substance and physical form they can be no more than a child beside a man the height of a minaret. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Kastamonu Addendum, p. 80-82)

In this account Bediuzzaman is stating that in the light of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) the number of those around the antichrist will be proportionally very much greater than that of those who support the Prophet Jesus (as). According to this description, the number of genuine believers in the End Times will be proportionally very much smaller than that of those who propagate irreligion.

According to the indications provided in the hadiths, the great majority of people will be taken in by the false indoctrination of the antichrist, either through ignorance or because of their worldly passions and desires. It will be next to impossible for those who do not abide by religious moral values to see the antichrist's true face, and the antichrist will only be recognized for what he is by those who have the understanding and conception that faith brings with it. In the words "…when those individuals, and even the terrible antichrist, appear, many people and himself even will not know to start with that he is the antichrist. Those individuals of the end of time will be known through the insight and the light of belief. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Words / Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch, p. 355), the great Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also states that the antichrist will not immediately be recognized by everyone.

People's inability to recognize the antichrist and their being deceived by his words will also lead to the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) not being recognized. With the broad means at his disposal the antichrist will bring the greater part of society under his influence, direct them as he pleases and cause them to keep their distance from the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).

The Antichrist's Violent and Oppressive Practices Will Prevent People Following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as)

Another piece of information indicated in the hadiths, is, as already stressed in earlier sections, that the antichrist will have very wide material resources and that his dominion will be very powerful, and that these will keep people away from religious moral values in the End Times. The antichrist will use this power and these resources to fight believers. The struggle in question will be a very multi-faceted one. In the same way that the antichrist will attempt to weaken and wear believers down psychologically, he will also put physical pressure on them. This intense pressure by the antichrist will be one of the main reasons why people stay away from the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). Indeed, it is revealed in the Qur'an that in addition to oppressing believers verbally and bad behavior, unbelievers may also put physical pressure on them:

… You will hear many abusive words from those given the Book before you and from those who are idolaters… (Surah Al 'Imran, 186)

When those who disbelieve were plotting against you to imprison you or kill you or expel you… ( Surat al-Anfal, 30)

The great Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman also states that the antichrist's power and dominion will be based on violence and oppression:

... Because both dajjals employ the severest despotism, the greatest tyranny, and the maximum violence and terror, they appear to have vast power. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays / The Fifth Ray - Second Station, p. 116)

Elsewhere, Bediuzzaman describes how the antichrist will pressurize the Islamic world and inflict difficult and hard days on devout Muslims:

... noxious and awesome persons like Sufyan and the antichrist will come to rule over the godless at the end of time, and exploiting the greed, discord and hatred amongst the Muslims and mankind, they will need only a small force to reduce humanity to anarchy and the vast world of Islam to slavery. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, The Twenty Second Letter)

"... noxious and awesome persons like Sufyan and the antichrist will come to rule over the godless at the end of time…": At that time, the End Times, individuals such as the antichrist and the Sufyan (the negative power, who, according to the hadiths, will appear in the Islamic world and strive against Hazrat Mahdi [as]) who will harm people and direct them towards evil, will also unite unbelievers and hypocrites against Muslims and will act as their leaders.

"... exploiting the greed, discord and hatred amongst the Muslims and mankind, they will need only a small force to reduce humanity to anarchy and the vast world of Islam to slavery.": The antichrist will benefit from people's desires and hypocrisy in order to turn them from the truth. This will lead to strife and corruption on Earth. The Islamic world will be the grouping most affected by this state of affairs. The antichrist will particularly target Muslims and inflict pressure and violence on them.

There can be no possible doubt that those who submit to and have faith in Allah know, by His leave, that Allah creates everything befalling them and that there are most auspicious aspects to them. Their faith and trust in Allah endows them with a sense of security, no matter what circumstances they may find themselves in.

However, this climate established by the antichrist will bring concern and fear to those who do not submit to Allah and who do not fear Him as they ought. These people may fear the violence of the antichrist in such a climate and thus keep their distance from the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). They may fear that, "If we join the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) we will draw the violence of the antichrist onto our own heads." Indeed, these people may go even further than just avoiding the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) themselves, and may also try to keep their children and families away from them. They may fear pressure from those people who are deceived by the antichrist into turning away from religious moral values and who harbor hostility towards true believers.

The fact that throughout the course of history some people have feared oppression and repression in their societies and avoided obeying messengers and living by the true faith is a state of affairs also revealed in the Qur'an. Yet that fear is a totally groundless one, because Allah protects those of His servants who fear, trust in and submit to Him alone, and will grant them success by His will. This fact is imparted in the Qur'an:

It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth to exalt it over every other religion, though the idolaters hate it. (Surat as-Saff, 9)

The Antichrist Will Prevent the Recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) by Depicting Truth as Falsehood and Falsehood as Truth

One of the dictionary definitions of the word dajjal (antichrist) is "he who confuses truth and falsehood, who adorns the words to depict falsehood as truth." Some of the hadiths that indicate that the antichrist portrays right as wrong, wrong as right, good as evil and evil as good, read:

Then the antichrist will come forth accompanied by a river and fire. He who falls into his fire will certainly receive his reward, and have his load taken off him, but he who falls into his river will have his load retained and his reward taken off him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, p. 4232)

He will also have Paradise and Hell with him. Though his Paradise will appear as Paradise, in reality it will be Hell, and likewise, though his Hell will appear like Hell, in reality it will be Paradise. (Sahih Muslim)

As stated in the hadiths, the values that the antichrist portrays as good will actually lead people to wickedness, and even to disaster, whereas the values he depicts as evil are actually things intended for the good and benefit of mankind. Since many people fail to interpret events in the light of the moral values of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas), they will imagine that the antichrist is actually calling them to what is good and will follow along behind him and turn their backs on those they should be following. However, the atmosphere of cruelty established by the antichrist will show them what a great error this is. For these reasons, our Prophet (saas) has warned people and told them to be aware that something the antichrist portrays as evil is actually good:

Antichrist would appear and there would be along with him water and fire and what the people would see as water that would be fire and that would burn and what would appear as fire that would be water and any one of you who would see that should plunge in that which he sees as fire for it would be sweet, pure water. (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, 7012) 

Naturally, the area in which the antichrist will make the greatest use of this trickery will be in blackening the name of true believers. The Prophet Jesus (as) is a holy prophet referred to by our Lord in the Qur'an, one of the chosen in this world and in the Hereafter. Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a most holy individual whose superior virtues, justice, honesty, patience, submission, courage, reliability, affection and compassion represent a role model for everyone. Yet despite all this, according to the indications in the hadiths, the antichrist will attempt to portray these holy individuals and their auspicious actions as evil. He will engage in negative activities aimed at preventing people from following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). People with a less than adequate knowledge of Qur'anic moral values or those who do not fully abide by them may unknowingly fall under the influence of this propaganda spread by the antichrist, and may form baseless and false ideas regarding the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).

The antichrist may also cooperate with people who were once alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as) but who subsequently turned from him, exhibiting a hypocritical character, in order to attain that end. Indeed, it is also revealed in the Qur'an that people with a hypocritical character cooperated with unbelievers in order to carry out activities against the believers. Despite the presence in their midst of a holy individual with such superior moral values as him, hypocrites in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saas) nevertheless departed from him and cooperated with unbelievers against believers. The situation of these people is described as follows in the Qur'an:

As for those who have set up a mosque, causing harm and out of disbelief, to create division between the believers, and in readiness for those who previously made war on Allah and His Messenger, they will swear, "We only desired the best." But Allah bears witness that they are truly liars. (Surat at-Tawba, 107)

One of the characteristics of these people is the way that despite exhibiting such an ugly attitude they were still able to tell the lie that "they had good intentions." Just like these hypocrites, despite intending to spread evil in the world the antichrist will also maintain that he wishes the very best for people. There is no doubt that this is a great falsehood. The response that true believers will give to the antichrist's call to a life far removed from religious morality, a life filled with immorality and evil is obvious. As revealed in the Qur'an:

Say: "Are we to call on something besides Allah which can neither help nor harm us, and to turn on our heels after Allah has guided us, like someone the satans have lured away in the earth, leaving him confused and stupefied, despite the fact that he has companions calling him to guidance, saying, 'Come with us!'?" Say: "Allah's guidance, that is true guidance. We are commanded to submit as Muslims to the Lord of all the worlds." (Surat al-An'am, 71)

The Antichrist Will Prevent People Following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) by Pretending to Want the Best for Them

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).

The Antichrist Will Prevent the Recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) by Whispering to People

The hadiths inform us that one of the trickeries of the antichrist is confusing people by the use of sly whispering. The antichrist will cause people to feel unnecessary disquiet and thus to hesitate over joining the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) when they appear. The fact is, however, that the Prophet Jesus (as) is a holy prophet, chosen and honored in the Sight of Allah. He is a holy prophet, and when people see his powerful fear of Allah and profound faith they will realize that he is far superior to other people. By Allah's leave, those who look upon him in a sincere manner will feel no reservations about recognizing him in their hearts. Hazrat Mahdi (as), on the other hand, is a superior personage with very elevated moral values, honored by Allah with the task of leading people to salvation in the End Times. Everyone who evaluates events with their consciences will, if Allah so wills, realizes that Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a holy figure specially appointed by Allah. However, people who lack profound faith, who do not have the requisite fear of Allah or who have a hypocritical character will be unable to recognize the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) and will be reluctant to take their places alongside these holy individuals under the influence of the whisperings of the antichrist and his supporters.

The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) reveal how the antichrist will deceive people by means of whispering and leading them in skepticism:

Whoever hears that the antichrist has come should keep away from him. By Allah! One will come to him and will think that he is a believer, but he will follow him on account of the doubts that he will raise in his mind. (Al Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, 2057)

Let him who hears of the antichrist go far from him for I swear by Allah that a man will come to him thinking he is a believer and follow him because of confused ideas roused in him by him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 37, 4305)

Our Prophet (saas) has particularly warned people against this aspect of the antichrist. The characteristic in question bears a close resemblance to the perverted nature of satan. Allah has revealed in the Qur'an how satan also seeks to deceive people by whispering and sowing false doubts:

[Satan said,] "I will lead them astray and fill them with false hopes…" (Surat an-Nisa', 119)

He makes promises to them and fills them with false hopes… (Surat an-Nisa', 120)

In the continuation of this verse, Allah reveals how these false doubts and whisperings of satan actually consist merely of a hollow deception: "… But what satan promises them is nothing but delusion." (Surat an-Nisa', 120)

Like satan, the promises the antichrist makes, the groundless doubts he causes people to feel and his whisperings are all similarly invalid and groundless. Nonetheless, in the same way that some people listen to satan's false suggestions, they will also listen to the whisperings of the antichrist and turn their backs on the true path. The situation of those people who are taken in by the false doubts sown by satan and who avoid adopting true believers as their friends, supporting and standing alongside them, is described in the Qur'an, together with the regret they will feel in the Hereafter as a result of this:

They will call out to them, "Were we not with you?" They will reply, "Indeed you were. But you made trouble for yourselves and hung back and doubted and false hopes deluded you until Allah's command arrived. The deluder deluded you about Allah." (Surat al-Hadid, 14)

As we are told in the verse, these people have gone along with the deceptions of satan and have doubted whether devout believers are actually on the true path and whether Allah will inevitably bestow superiority upon them.

The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) also indicate that when the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) appear, such people will, under the influence of the antichrist, harbor doubts about their intellectual struggle on the true path and also look on them with suspicion.

The antichrist's whisperings aimed at causing people to treat the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) with suspicion will take many various forms. He will suggest that their interests will be damaged if they go along with the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), that the order they have established will be impaired, that they will suffer material losses, or be exposed to pressure and unwelcome reactions from society. It is a characteristic of the antichrist that he is able to make the most cunning use of these matters to make people feel disquiet and thus to lead them in the direction of his choosing. It is revealed in the Qur'an that communities in the past have also harbored doubts about the true faith preached by the prophets, and have turned their backs on them due to unfounded concerns and disquiet. One such verse is as follows:

They said, "Salih, we had great hopes in you before this happened. Do you forbid us to worship what our fathers worshipped? We have grave doubts about what you are calling us to." (Surah Hud, 62)

In the same way that believers with a genuine faith in Allah never pay heed to satan's false doubts, they are never influenced in even the slightest way by the lies, trickery and false suggestion of the antichrist. They believe in Allah and His messenger, and bow to our Lord in complete submission. These moral values of devout believers are praised as follows in the Qur'an:

The believers are only those who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then have had no doubt and have strived with their wealth and themselves in the Way of Allah. They are the ones who are true to their word. (Surat al-Hujurat, 15)

The Antichrist Will Use People's Feelings of Envy and Pride to Prevent the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) from Being Recognized

Pride and self-love are the main moral flaws that prevent people abiding by their consciences and seeing the truth. In the Qur'an Allah has commanded people to avoid pride and arrogance.

Pride is at the same time one of the distinguishing characteristics of satan, whose irrational arrogance is revealed in the Qur'an:

He [Allah] said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you to?" He [satan] replied, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and You created him from clay." (Surat al-A'raf, 12)

According to satan's twisted logic, he regarded himself as superior to man, for which reason he refused to obey Allah's command and to prostrate himself before him. Satan's pride prevented him from immediately seeing the truth and from obeying our Lord. This moral deficiency of satan may also appear in people who do not live according to Qur'anic values and who have a hypocritical character. These people's pride may be most evident in situations in which they need to obey the messengers sent to them. The feeling of grandeur they possess has throughout the course of history prevented such people from appreciating the superior virtues of the messengers sent to them and from adhering to the true path to which they were called. They avoided complying with the prophets by making irrational and illogical excuses. Admitting the superiority of someone else is one of the subjects that a proud person's lower self finds it hardest to accommodate. Allah reveals in the Qur'an how throughout history such people have used the excuse "they are human, just like me" to avoid adhering to the true path to which the messengers summoned them, and even to turn their backs on the truth. Allah describes these people's distorted logic thus in the Qur'an:

Nothing prevents people from having faith when guidance comes to them but the fact that they say, "Has Allah sent a human being as messenger?" Say: "If there had been angels on the Earth going about in peace, We would have sent down to them an angel from heaven as messenger." (Surat al-Isra', 94-95)

For people caught up in feelings of pride and self-love as a result of satan's indoctrination, following another human being like themselves and complying with the truth sent down with that person is one of the hardest things for their lower selves to cope with. According to their ignorant criteria, the person they should heed should be superior to them in terms of such worldly characteristics as wealth, rank, position or prestige. Yet according to Qur'anic moral values, who guard against evil makes him/her superior to another. One person's worth or superiority depends on such moral features as faith, fear of Allah, sincerity, justice, honesty, patience, compassion and loyalty. The prophets were blessed individuals, chosen and honored in the Sight of Allah, whom our Lord appointed as role models because of their moral virtues and attitudes. Therefore, to join with such blessed individuals, selected for His servants by our Lord, and to follow in their path is a great blessing for believers. However, like all those people throughout history who have been unable to appreciate this blessing from our Lord, people who are caught up in the same error in the End Times will act towards the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) out of that same spirit of pride, under the influence of the antichrist. Because of their pride, they will be unable to appreciate them properly and will be reluctant to follow them. Despite understanding with their consciences, they will still not support them, and may even ignore the whole situation even though they actually recognize these holy individuals. (Allah knows the truth.)

Another moral failing of the proud is that they are envious. Envy is revealed in the Qur'an as an evil of the lower self and a trait to be avoided, and throughout history has led people to avoid compliance with the messengers sent to them. It is revealed in the Qur'an that some people have opposed the prophets because of jealousy at what had been revealed to them:

What an evil thing they have sold themselves for in rejecting what Allah has sent down, outraged that Allah should send down His favor on whichever of His servants He wills. They have brought down anger upon anger on themselves. The unbelievers will have a humiliating punishment. (Surat al-Baqara, 90)

The hadiths also contain indications that in the End Times the antichrist will incite people's feelings of pride and envy and thus seek to prevent them from complying with the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). People affected by these suggestions from the antichrist will avoid following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) because they think that this will damage their own grandeur and pride, for which reason they will pretend not to recognize them. Even though these people see, from the portents they witness, the events that take place, and from the reason, foresight, discernment and moral virtues manifested in the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), that they are actually summoning them to salvation, they will still pretend not to. (Allah knows the truth.)

The way that people turn their backs on the truth solely because of their pride, despite grasping it in their consciences is a state of affairs revealed in the Qur'an:

And they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, in spite of their own certainty about them. See the final fate of the corrupters. (Surat an-Naml, 14)

With the power of understanding bestowed on them by their consciences and their faith, however, devout believers will immediately recognize the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) and bind themselves to them with a sincere love and respect.

The Antichrist Will Gather Support by Offering Material Benefits, Thus Preventing the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) from Being Recognized

The benefits of the life of this world are of enormous importance to people who do not live by Qur'anic moral values. Since they never reflect that this world is a temporary abode, that with death they will have to leave behind all their possessions, and that they will be held to account in the Hereafter, they attach great importance to acquiring ever more goods and fortune. They are prepared to undertake a great deal, even if it is wrong, if they think that it will increase their possessions and bestow an improved station upon them. They may not care in the slightest whether they are causing any unfairness or injustice. Some people's passionate attachment to property and the life of this world is revealed as follows in the Qur'an:

To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the Presence of Allah. (Surah Al 'Imran, 14)

Like their own desires, the position and material assets of others in society are also of great importance to people who do not adhere to Qur'anic moral values. People with such a mindset feel enormous awe and respect for people with material riches, power and prestige. When they think that these people may help them achieve the condition they themselves desire, they have no hesitation about adopting their values and acting in the manner they desire. They may form a friendship with someone simply because he is rich, an unconditional friendship based solely on material belongings. Out of a belief that their strength will be of benefit to them, they always back them up, even if they are in the wrong. Such people's undesirable character traits, moral deficiencies, degenerate lifestyles, corrupt relationships, ruthlessness and cruelties are generally ignored. That is the reality underlying the fact that despite being at the forefront of degeneration in many countries wealthy people are widely regarded by society.

This distorted perspective causes some of the wealthy people to occupy a prime place in society, solely on account of that attribute. So much so, in fact, that even if their words do not actually reflect the truth or even if their advice is wrong, they are still able to direct a large part of society through their suggestions. Indeed, in many communities such people do make suggestions that turn people away from religious moral values, and when they blacken the names of people with good and proper moral values by uttering slanders some people are influenced by this. What is wrong here, of course, is not following advice given by somebody who is well-off. The important thing is the content of his inculcation, the direction to which he or she intends to lead society. If someone makes suggestions that are incompatible with religious moral values and turns people towards a degenerate lifestyle and if this is regarded as perfectly natural solely on account of the respect felt for the material advantages possessed by that person that is wrong.

According to the indications in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), the antichrist will also make use of this distorted perspective that dominates a great many societies in order to achieve his own objectives. One of the features of the antichrist revealed in the hadiths is the way that he seeks to deceive by addressing people's material interests. Some of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that draw attention to this characteristic of the antichrist read as follows:

… the antichrist will have a mountain of bread and meat, and rivers of water... (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 214)

With him there will be a mountain of broth, hot meat that never grows cold, a flowing river, a forest made of bright green gardens, a mountain of fire and smoke … He will tell people this is my paradise, and that is my hell… He will say this is food and that is drink… (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 214)

The antichrist will employ all these means revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) to gather support and thus to keep people away from the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). Many people will regard the benefits of this world offered by the antichrist as more attractive and will become receptive to his indoctrination. They will be unable to see the disaster to which the antichrist is actually leading them, and will imagine that he possesses an indestructible power. Since their lower selves will be more suited to the antichrist, they will be unable to appreciate the superior nature of the honorable struggle engaged in by the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), and will be unable or pretend not to recognize them. (Allah knows the truth.)

The fact is, however, that it is actually Almighty Allah to Whom all forms of wealth belong. People need to act in the light of that knowledge and not to depart from the path they know to be that of goodness and truth for the sake of earthly gain.

One example in the Qur'an of the awe that people who fail to live by the moral values commanded by Allah feel in the face of wealth and material power is provided in the story of Qarun. Allah blessed Qarun with great assets and wealth. Yet Qarun was ungrateful in the face of this blessing from our Lord. Allah describes in the following verse how Qarun became proud because of all these means he enjoyed:

Qarun was one of the people of Moses but he lorded it over them. We gave him treasures, the keys alone to which were a heavy weight for a party of strong men. When his people said to him, "Do not gloat. Allah does not love people who gloat." (Surat al-Qasas, 76)

The fact is that all the means given to people in the life of this world are only to test them. True believers make use of all the opportunities bestowed on them in a manner of which Allah will approve, on His path, and are grateful for and seek to be worthy of all of our Lord's blessings. They know that assets belong to Allah, and that He can increase or take back His blessings whenever He so wills. Qarun's wealth and property deceived not just him, but other people taken in by this temporary power. The devilish awe that people living far removed from Qur'anic moral values felt for Qarun's wealth is described in a verse thus:

He went out among his people in his finery. Those who desired the life of this world said, "Oh! If only we had the same as Qarun has been given! What immense good fortune he possesses." (Surat al-Qasas, 79)

These people realized their mistake when Allah destroyed Qarun's wealth and property. As revealed in other verses:

We caused the earth to swallow up both him and his house. There was no group to come to his aid, besides Allah, and he was not someone who is helped. Those who had longed to take his place the day before woke up saying, "Allah expands the provision of any of His servants He wills or restricts it. If Allah had not shown great kindness to us, we would have been swallowed up as well. Ah! Truly the unbelievers are not successful." (Surat al-Qasas, 81-82)

People who fall under the satanic influence of the material opportunities and means possessed by the antichrist may find themselves in the same situation when Allah destroys the antichrist's power. Those who make the mistake of imagining that the antichrist is powerful enough to do anything and that his wealth will never come to any harm, instead of supporting sincere believers, may then suffer the most terrible disappointment.

According to the signs in the hadiths, the antichrist will make use of the weaknesses of such people for his own ends. He will also encourage people towards all forms of degeneration, such as alcohol, prostitution and perversion, and will offer them advantages in these areas. He will attract mass support by gathering around him people with an inclination towards these perversions to which he invites them. As a result of the gathering of people with an inclination towards these perversions to which he calls, a compulsory alliance, one whose members will look after and protect one another and who will constitute an earthly body that opposes all those who are not of them, will form. The antichrist may use this wide body founded on worldly interests as he wishes for his own purposes. By offering a wealthy and impressive lifestyle, he will attempt to turn them away from religious moral values and from people who might be a means whereby they adhere to those values. Although they realize that he is actually calling them to evil, many people will still be taken in by this corruption of the antichrist's on account of the awe they feel in the face of his wealth, means and assets, and will turn their backs on the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). It is again revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) how a great many people will willingly support the antichrist, knowing that he is evil, in order to make use of the benefits he offers them:

Ubayd ibn Omar relates: "Some people will converse with the antichrist. And they will say: 'We know that he is unbeliever, we are befriending him in order to eat his food and enjoy his tree.' When Allah's retribution comes, it will of course come on all of them together with the antichrist." (Nuaim Ibn Hammad [Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah], 9th edition, p. 231)

However, it must not be forgotten that under the law of our Lord it is those with a sincere faith and who fully adhere to the moral values commanded by Allah who will enjoy the most agreeable and auspicious outcome:

That abode of the Hereafter – We grant it to those who do not seek to exalt themselves on the earth or to cause corruption in it. The successful outcome is for those who guard against evil. (Surat al-Qasas, 83)

The Antichrist Will Threaten Those Who Follow the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) with Material Losses, and This Will Prevent Their Being Recognized

According to the indications in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), on the one hand the antichrist will offer people a life full of adornment by promising worldly advantages, while on the other he suggests that those who align themselves alongside believers will have troubled lives. To that end, he will do all in his power to ensure that believers do experience difficulties, by using the resources at his disposal. This is how the hadiths indicate that the antichrist will inflict trouble and difficulty on those who do not go along with him:

He would come to a people and invite them. But they would reject him and he would go away from them and there would be drought for them and nothing would be left with them in the form of wealth. (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, 7015)

This method employed by the antichrist bears close similarities to the methods used by unbelievers in the past as revealed in the Qur'an. In the past, too, unbelievers used the lie that those who heeded the prophets would suffer serious losses in order to prevent them following the prophets' path. This is revealed as follows in the Qur'an:

The ruling circle of those of his people who disbelieved said, "If you follow Jethro, you will definitely be lost." (Surat al-A'raf, 90)

The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) also contain signs that people whose faith is weak or who do not adhere to religious moral values will be influenced by such threats on the part of the antichrist. A great many people will ignorantly act out of hesitation over pressure from the antichrist and a concern solely to protect their material interests, rather than following the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). Although they realize that the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) are holy individuals with elevated moral values who will lead them to the truth, they will be reluctant to support them out a fear that this might result in their own interests suffering. Yet this is a most mistaken approach. Goods and property belong in fact to Allah. Allah bestows wealth on whosoever He wills. In one verse we are told that:

There is nothing that does not have its stores with Us and We only send it down in a known measure. (Surat al-Hijr, 21)

In addition, alarming people with threats of poverty and their material interests being damaged, and thus seeking to keep them from religious moral values, is one of the attributes of satan. This is also revealed in the Qur'an, in the verse, "satan promises you poverty and commands you to avarice…" (Surat al-Baqara, 268). Under the influence of satan's indoctrination, people with a hypocritical character also constantly avoid supporting believers and combining their resources on the path of Allah. The way that the hypocrites in the time of our Prophet (saas) were reluctant to act together with the Prophet (saas) and the companions and told a number of lies to that end is one striking example on this subject. The attitude of these hypocrites is described as follows in the Qur'an:

At that point the believers were tested and severely shaken. When the hypocrites and people with sickness in their hearts said, "What Allah and His Messenger promised us was mere delusion." And a group of them said, "People of Yathrib, your position is untenable so return!" some of them asked the Prophet to excuse them, saying, "Our houses are exposed," when they were not exposed; it was merely that they wanted to run away. (Surat al-Ahzab, 11-13)

As we are told in these verses, the believers with the Prophet (saas) were subjected to a test; the devout remained loyal to the Prophet Muhammad (saas), while those with sickness in their hearts revealed their insincerity. Their great fear that their interests would be damaged revealed their true faces. Not content with holding back themselves, they also endeavored to turn true believers away from the true path. During this testing by our Lord, however, the companions displayed exemplary moral values, revealed in the verse, " …'This is what Allah and His Messenger promised us. Allah and His Messenger told us the truth.'..." (Surat al-Ahzab, 22)

Devout believers need to exhibit just such an attitude in the face of the corruption and deceptions of the antichrist. It must not be forgotten that, as stated in a verse, "We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast." (Surat al-Baqara, 155), Allah may test the faithful in various areas. Our Lord has also imparted the glad tidings that those who display patience in the face of such a test are exhibiting the attitude that finds favor in the Sight of Allah.

According to the indications of the hadiths, the antichrist will seek to inflict difficulties on Muslims by taking away their resources they possess. This state of affairs must increase the enthusiasm, faith and determination of all faithful believers today, in the same way as with the companions in the past, and those with faith must place their trust in our Lord alone. There is no doubt that Allah assists those who place their trust in Him, and provides an easing in every difficulty. When the people of the Prophet Abraham (as) wanted to cast him into the fire, Allah cooled the fire, and when the Prophet Moses (as) was trapped between Pharaoh's armies and the sea, our Lord assisted the believers by parting the sea in two. The faithful must not forget our Lord's compassion and support for devout believers, and must behave in the same spirit of trust in the face of the fitnah of the antichrist in the End Times.

The Antichrist Will Prevent the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) from Being Recognized by Supporting Materialist Ideologies against Them

One of the main distinguishing features of the End Times is the spread of materialist and atheist philosophies and people adapting their lifestyles in accordance with these perverted intellectual trends. That is why when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears his greatest intellectual struggle will be that against materialism and atheism, which turn people away from religious moral values and have inflicted terrible disasters on mankind. There can be no doubt that the ideologies that the antichrist, whose aim is the dominion of irreligion, supports and seeks to disseminate the most are materialist and atheistic ones. Indeed, in analyzing the information regarding the antichrist contained in the hadiths, many Islamic scholars have stated that the antichrist will assume the leadership of materialist power centers. One statement by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi on the subject reads:

The Second Current: A tyrannical current born of naturalist and materialist philosophy will gradually become strong and spread at the end of time by means of materialist philosophy, reaching such a degree that it denies Allah. ... the members of that current, who deny Allah, each ascribes dominicality to his soul like a little Nimrod. And the greatest of them, the antichrist, who will come to lead them, will manifest awesome wonders, a sort of spiritualism and hypnosis; he will go even further, and imagining his tyrannical, superficial rule to be a sort of dominicality, he will proclaim his godhead [surely Allah is beyond that]. It is clear just what foolish buffoonery it is for impotent man, who may be defeated by a fly and cannot create even a fly's wing, to claim godhead. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, Fifteenth Letter)

"A tyrannical current born of naturalist and materialist philosophy will gradually become strong and spread at the end of time by means of materialist philosophy...": In the End Times, the irreligious movement that draw its strength from materialist ideologies will be reinforced and spread with the support from these corrupt tendencies and go so far as to deny the existence of Allah.

"... And the greatest of them, the antichrist, who will come to lead them, will manifest awesome wonders, a sort of spiritualism and hypnosis...": The antichrist will assume the leadership of forces supported by materialist and atheist ideologies in order to turn people away from religious moral values. The antichrist, who will use such extraordinary powers as hypnotism, will unite all those centers opposed to religious moral values and assume their leadership.

There is absolutely no doubt that the indoctrination and propaganda by the antichrist will play a major role in the spread of materialist and atheist philosophies. According to indications contained in the hadiths, the constant repetition of this indoctrination by various means, such as the press, will have a hypnotic effect on some people. Most people will be influenced by this indoctrination, without investigating its accuracy or reflecting on where it might lead, and ignoring its falsehoods. In his works, Bediuzzaman has stated that materialism is a contagious sickness like the plague, and is spread by indoctrinating the public:

Materialism [atheist, materialist and Darwinist philosophy] is a spiritual plague which has infected man with a fearsome fever, causing him to be visited by Divine wrath. The more the ability to inculcate and criticize expands, so does that plague spread. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, Seeds of Reality)

The antichrist's support of these irreligious movements and his efforts to spread these will cause a great many people to turn away from Qur'anic moral values and to oppose the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as). (Allah knows the truth.)

Hazrat Mahdi (as) will wage an intellectual struggle against the one waged by the antichrist, one in which Hazrat Mahdi (as) will emerge victorious, a struggle in which he sets out the existence and oneness of Allah and reveals the impasses and errors of materialist and Darwinist ideologies. Materialism, atheism and all false tendencies that are based on these corrupt ideologies will, by Allah's leave, be demolished in intellectual terms as a result of this great struggle of Hazrat Mahdi's (as). In describing the duties that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will undertake, Bediuzzaman draws particular attention to the intellectual struggle against materialism:

And he will have three major duties: First: Under the effect of science and philosophy, and the contagious plague known as materialism and naturalism, and its spread among people, he will first of all save the faith in such a way as to silence philosophy and materialism... (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 259)

"... Under the effect of science and philosophy, and the contagious plague known as materialism and naturalism … in such a way as to silence philosophy and materialism…" Using scientific and philosophical proof, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will completely silence atheistic, Darwinist and materialist movements, in other words he will neutralize them on the plane of ideas.

The Antichrist Will Attempt to Prevent the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) from Being Recognized by Using Indoctrination, Hypnosis and Similar Deceptive Methods

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.

The Antichrist Will Conceal His True Face and Prevent the Recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) by Using Technology

Metaphorical language is employed in some of the hadiths concerning Hazrat Mahdi (as), and in their commentaries Islamic scholars have made interpretations of what these accounts may be referring to. Islamic scholars are agreed that the antichrist will make use of all the technological possibilities of the age in which he comes in order to distance people from rightness and truth. One of the hadiths on this subject has been reported by Nawwas ibn Saman, and says that the antichrist "will stay on Earth for forty days, but will travel to all places, from east to west, and from north to south." Other hadiths state:

We said: "Allah's Messenger, how quickly would he [the antichrist] walk upon the earth?" Thereupon he said: "Like cloud driven by the wind." (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, 7015; Sunan Abu Dawud, Malahim: 14; Tirmidhi, Fitan: 59; Sunan Ibn Majah, Fitan: 33; Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, 6: 455-456)

The earth will be spread out beneath his feet like a ram's hide is spread out … (Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4: 529-530)

All these reports have been interpreted by Islamic scholars that the antichrist will spread his sphere of activity across the whole world by using such modern means of transport as planes and high-speed trains and will also employ modern means of communications. (Al-Hakim's Al-Mustadrak, 4: 529-530; Nursi, p. 509; Saban Dogen, The Mahdi and the Antichrist, Genclik Publishing, Istanbul, p. 76-77)

According to these statements by Islamic scholars, the antichrist will be active all over the world in order to prevent the recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) and to obstruct the intellectual struggles based on the truth and the auspicious activities of these holy individuals, and may make use of all the opportunities offered by today's technology. (Allah knows the truth.) In the present day, when information can be exchanged just about everywhere in the world by way of the Internet, when anyone in any country in the world can be tracked by satellite, when news reports can be transmitted everywhere thanks to television channels that broadcast internationally, and when one can contact people in even the remotest places by the use of cell phones, how and for what purposes these opportunities are employed assumes the very greatest significance. According to the indications in the hadiths, the antichrist will use all these means to ensure that the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) are not recognized and to prevent them from bringing Qur'anic moral values to reign on Earth. (Allah knows the truth.)

Again according to the signs in the hadiths, slanders similar to those once uttered against the prophets will be made against these holy individuals in the End Times by the antichrist. He will spread these slanders very rapidly by making use of modern technology, and a great many people will be taken in by this groundless propaganda emanating from several sources at one and the same time. Because of this influence established by the antichrist, some people will fail to understand that the Prophet Jesus (as) is a holy prophet and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a great savior, the tidings of whom were imparted by our Prophet (saas) 1400 years ago, and will be unable to recognize them. They will be unaware that these holy personages are calling them to salvation and that they need to follow them, but will turn their backs on them. (Allah knows the truth.)

According to what is indicated in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and in explanations by Islamic scholars, the antichrist will also set traps for believers, aimed at arresting them, exiling them from their lands, subjecting them to various forms of torture and even taking their lives. He will attempt to apply the same kind of fake measures against the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) as the pagans of Mecca did against the Prophet Muhammad (saas), his own people against the Prophet Abraham (as), Pharaoh against the Prophet Moses (as) and leading members of their tribes against the Prophet Noah (as), the Prophet Jethro (as) and the Prophet Jacob (as). These people who have opposed the prophets throughout the course of history have always used all the material and psychological means available in their own times and have had no hesitations over using all they possessed in order to forbid the believers not to have faith and to call others to the faith. This is a characteristic of the unbelievers. This is revealed as follows in one verse of the Qur'an:

Those who disbelieve spend their wealth barring access to the Way of Allah. They will spend it; then they will regret it; then they will be overthrown. Those who disbelieve will be gathered into Hell. (Surat al-Anfal, 36)

As stated in this verse, by the will of Allah, all these endeavors on the part of the unbelievers will come to nothing. For that reason, even if the antichrist does use advanced technology in the course of his own struggle in the End Times and even if he does possess the widest ranging material means, he will never be able to attain his desired end and, by Allah's leave, believers will eventually emerge triumphant. It must not be forgotten that all strength and power in fact belong to Almighty Allah. Our Lord has revealed in His verses that it is His messengers and those who follow them who will always be victorious:

Allah has written, "I will be victorious, I and My messengers." Allah is Most Strong, Almighty. (Surat al-Mujadala, 21)

This superiority achieved by devout believers will, by Allah's leave, come about with the intellectual defeat and elimination of the antichrist, the elimination of ideologies that are incompatible with religious moral values, and with the moral values of the Qur'an coming to prevail over the whole world. Our Lord will grant this holy success to the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the End Times, and through them the whole world will be illuminated by the radiance of Islamic moral values.

The Antichrist Will Prevent the Recognition of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) by Deceiving People with Various Extraordinary Powers

One of the features of the antichrist revealed in hadiths is that he will portray himself as a guide or even a prophet. This indicates that in organizing his evil the antichrist will appear to be acting in the name of Allah, as if he had a religious aim. (Allah knows the truth.) According to statements in hadiths, the antichrist will finally declare his so-called divinity (Surely Allah is beyond that). One of the hadiths on this subject reads:

When the antichrist appears ... everyone will IMAGINE HIM TO BE A GENUINE GUIDE and follow along behind him, then when he comes to Kufa he will continue his activities, AND WILL THEN CLAIM TO BE A PROPHET… And all rational people who see this will abandon him… He will then CLAIM TO BE DIVINE … And will even say, "I am Allah (Surely Allah is beyond that)"… (Al-Tabarani related this from the companion bin Mu'tamar.) (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 212)

In another hadith, this perversion of the antichrist's is described thus:

He {the antichrist[ will first say, "I AM A PROPHET." Yet there will be no prophet after me. He will then make a second claim, saying, "I AM YOUR LORD." Although you will not see your Lord until you die. (Sunan Ibn Majah, 4077)

As is clear from the information provided in the hadiths, the antichrist will reveal himself by degrees (Allah knows the truth.) His basic idea is that of his alleged divinity. Yet since he thinks that it might spoil his plans if he were to openly declare this right from the outset, he will slowly indoctrinate people with the idea. For that reason he will first declare himself to be a guide, then a prophet, and then allegedly divine.

In all these stages the antichrist will act with the suggestions of satan. Our Prophet (saas) has revealed that satan is the antichrist's friend and helpmate, and that the antichrist will receive assistance from satan and his friends during his struggle based on falsehood. Our Prophet (saas) has also stated that the antichrist will spread the lie that he is a supposed deity with the help and support of satan:

... SATANS WILL SAY TO HIM, "TELL US WHAT YOU WANT, AND WE WILL DO IT." And he will say, "Go, and tell people that I am their Lord," and will disperse them in all directions... (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, pp. 212-213)

We are informed in the hadiths that in declaring his supposed divinity the antichrist will employ various deceptive techniques, assisted by satan, and that he will possess a number of extraordinary powers. According to these hadiths, in announcing the perversion that he is a so-called deity the antichrist will portray himself as resurrecting the dead in order to confirm that claim. The hadiths list such information as causing society to believe in him by depicting himself as having brought dead camels back to life (Musnad, VI, 455-6), deceiving someone else by pretending to bring his mother and father back to life and saying that he would resurrect someone he had sawn in pieces back to life among the antichrist's trickeries. Some of these hadiths read as follows:

One of his trials is this: He will ask a Bedouin, "Will you bear witness that I am your Lord if I bring your mother and father back to life?" And the Bedouin will say, "Yes," at which two satans will appear to him in the form of his mother and father... (Sunan Ibn Majah, 4077)

He will ask, "If I kill this man and then bring him back to life, will you have any doubt about my claim to divinity?" (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 15, p. 6981)

One trial of his is this: He will kill one person and cut him up with a saw. He will even cast the two parts of that person's body in different places. He will then say [to the bystanders], "Look at that servant [I have slain]. I shall now bring him back to life…" (Sunan Ibn Majah, 4077)

As is indicated in all these hadiths, all these actions carried out by the antichrist are deceptions and fitnah aimed at mustering support and turning people away from Qur'anic moral values. Islamic scholars have described these tricks employed by the antichrist as "istidraj" in other words, "false miracles carried by unbelievers, worked by Allah to test people." Only people who do not evaluate what they see in the light of the verses of the Qur'an and the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) can imagine these to be genuine miracles. Miracles are blessings bestowed on His righteous servants by Allah. All the trickeries performed by the antichrist, on the other hand, stem from characteristics given to the antichrist by Allah in order to test people. The life of this world is a sphere created as a test. In the End Times the fitnah and trickeries of the antichrist will also be a test for many people. While devout believers recognize the antichrist when they see such trickery and realize that he is the antichrist referred to in the hadiths, many people will be taken in by these deceptions.

In addition, Islamic scholars have noted that the antichrist may well employ such methods as hypnotism and the like in performing such tricks. (Allah knows the truth.) Bediuzzaman Said Nursi describes this characteristic of the antichrist:

The great antichrist will have hypnotic effects along the lines of spiritualism… This unbeliever who adopts worldly interests alone, will assault sacred values with an effrontery and courage born of his absolute godlessness. People unaware of the truth of the matter will regard this as an amazing dominion and bravery. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, pp. 513-515)

Bediuzzaman also describes this aspect of the antichrist elsewhere:

And the greatest of them, the antichrist, who will come to lead them, will manifest awesome wonders, a sort of spiritualism and hypnosis; he will go even further, and imagining his tyrannical, superficial rule to be a sort of dominicality, he will proclaim his godhead [surely Allah is beyond that]. It is clear just what foolish buffoonery it is for impotent man, who may be defeated by a fly and cannot create even a fly's wing, to claim godhead... (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, Fifteenth Letter, p. 55)

As stated by the Bediuzzaman in this passage, the antichrist may deceive a great many people who lack adequate information or whose faith is weak by means of deceptions such as hypnotism and displays of magic.

We are also told in verses from the Qur'an that unbelievers may use such methods from time to time. Pharaoh and his court accused the Prophet Moses (as) of sorcery and wanted him to face up to the greatest sorcerers of the age. They set what they thought was a cunning snare for the Prophet Moses (as), imagining that they could thus defeat him and that the believers around the Prophet Moses (as) would disperse. However, as with all the plots prepared by unbelievers, Allah turned Pharaoh's trap against him. By Allah's leave, the Prophet Moses (as) worked miracles against their magic, and this led those opposed to the prophet to believe in him. These people later became role models for all the faithful with their courage and honesty. This event is described as follows in verses:

The ruling circle of Pharaoh's people said, "This is certainly a skilled magician who desires to expel you from your land, so what do you recommend?" They said, "Detain him and his brother and send out marshals to the cities, to bring you all the skilled magicians." The magicians came to Pharaoh and they asked, "Will we receive a reward if we are the winners?" He said, "Yes, and you will be among those brought near." They said, "Moses, will you throw first or shall we be the ones to throw?" He said, "You throw." And when they threw, they cast a spell on the people's eyes and caused them to feel great fear of them. They produced an extremely powerful magic. (Surat al-A'raf, 109-116)

As revealed in these verses, people opposed to the Prophet Moses (as) displayed a phenomenon that affected everyone watching, and even frightened them. The antichrist may influence people using a similar method, just as revealed in the story, and thus cause people to believe in his false power. (Allah knows the truth.) However, we must not forget that no matter how much people are influenced by these tricks of the antichrist's and no matter how much they fall under his influence, the truth will emerge and all the antichrist's stratagems will, by Allah's leave, be destroyed.

Protection Against the Fitnah of the Antichrist

By Allah's leave, the antichrist's efforts to distance people from religious moral values will have no effect on devout believers. A Muslim who evaluates everything he confronts with Qur'anic moral values and who adopts the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas) as his guide is blessed by Allah with a powerful conscience and mind with which to distinguish good from evil. Since he thinks in the light of the verses of the Qur'an he can determine whether an event is beneficial or harmful in good time and take the necessary precautions. For that reason, when the antichrist appears true believers will, by Allah's leave, immediately recognize him and take the requisite precautionary measures.

Believers who have genuinely submitted to Allah, who live every moment of their lives for Allah's approval alone, who feel an awe-filled fear of Him and who fully abide by the moral precepts revealed by Allah in the Qur'an can immediately identify the antichrist and his lies.

Saying that "the individuals of the End Times will recognize the antichrist," Bediuzzaman Said Nursi has also described how the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will recognize and identify the antichrist. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will call people to the true path against the intellectual system and corruption of the antichrist but, as described in previous chapters of this book, the number of those who believe in Hazrat Mahdi (as) will still be very small. Since the great majority of people will fall under the influence of the antichrist they will be blind to the true facts, despite being warned against the antichrist's fitnah. (Allah knows the truth.)

The fact that the number of Muslims who are not deceived by the antichrist's indoctrination will be very small is in complete agreement with the verses of the Qur'an. It is revealed in the Qur'an that most people will not possess faith and that most will not obey the messengers. Some verses on this subject are as follows:

But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believer. (Surah Yusuf, 103)

... Those are the signs of the Book. And what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the Truth. But most people have no faith. (Surat ar-Ra'd, 1)

We have variegated it for them so they might pay heed but most people spurn anything else but disbelief. (Surat al-Furqan, 50)

It is very easy, by Allah's leave, on the other hand for believers who see the true face of the antichrist to avoid his fitnah. Our beloved Prophet (saas) has revealed in hadiths how believers need to protect themselves against the antichrist's fitnah and stratagems:

The Prophet (saas) referred to difficulties and shortages before the coming of the antichrist. At that point the people asked him: "O Messenger of Allah! What is most auspicious on that day?" "A young man who gives his people water. There is nothing to eat on that day," he replied.

Qiram asked, "Then what will believers eat on that day?" The Prophet (saas) answered, "The tasbih, the takbir and the tahlil." (Saim Gungor, Buyuk Fitne Mesih-i Deccal [The Great Corruption of the Messiah Antichrist], pp. 56-57)

Tasbih: Glorifying Allah, reciting His finest names.
Takbir: Recalling that Allah is Almighty and Great.
Tahlil: Remembering that there is only one Allah, and no other God than Him.

This reminder issued by our Prophet (saas) is of course an important guide for believers. Indeed, it is revealed in the Qur'an that – at a time when the believers were fighting the hypocrites and unbelievers of the Prophet's (saas) day – believers seeking salvation must frequently remember Allah:

You who believe! When you meet a troop, stand firm and remember Allah repeatedly so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surat al-Anfal, 45)

Another way whereby the fitnah of the antichrist can be neutralized is also revealed in hadiths: calling all people to faith by explaining, with full supporting evidence, the existence and oneness of Allah and by combating irreligion in the most effective manner on the level of ideas. This is a major responsibility that all true believers must assume. In the End Times this responsibility will be discharged under the leadership of Hazrat Mahdi (as), who will make great efforts to call people to faith and preach true religious moral values to all. The great Islamic scholar Imam Rabbani drew attention to this in the words:

A scholar of theology and metaphysics will come and prove all the truths of faith and Islam with the most rational and clearest evidence. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 152; Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Antichrist], p. 105)

Imam Rabbani is referring to the emergence of a holy individual who will communicate the signs leading to faith against the antichrist during a great intellectual struggle. This holy personage will tell people of the existence and oneness of Allah, in such a way as to permit no debate or doubt, with certain proof and in the most effective manner, and will also warn them of the Day of Judgment. There is no doubt that this is the most effective intellectual struggle to be waged against the antichrist, who denies all spiritual values, leads people into denial and turns them away from religious moral values. Under the leadership of Hazrat Mahdi (as), believers will oppose the antichrist with a spiritual force and wage an intellectual struggle that will eliminate the influence of the antichrist by calling people to abide by religious moral precepts.

It is of the utmost importance that Muslims engaged in this struggle should have a spirit of unity. In one hadith, "... There will be no Muslim whose home corruption does not touch and enter. This will continue until a man from my line [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] appears…" (Nuaim Ibn Hammad, vr, 75b; Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Antichrist], Genclik Publishing, 2nd edition), our Prophet (saas) has noted that the End Times will be a difficult period for believers. In another hadith we are told how believers may avoid these harsh conditions:

In those days, Muslims whose relations with one another are impaired will be unable to escape being the targets of the antichrist. (Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4:529-530; Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Antichrist], Genclik Publishing, 2nd edition)

Our Prophet's (saas) words clearly show that believers who wish to avoid the trial of the antichrist must have a spirit of union and unity and act in the knowledge that all Muslims are brothers. Our Lord has also revealed in the Qur'an that the faithful must support and have solidarity with one another, or else there will be corruption and disorder in the world:

Those who disbelieve are the friends and protectors of one another. If you do not act in this way there will be turmoil in the land and great corruption. (Surat al-Anfal, 73)

When these moral values are displayed, devout believers who struggle against the antichrist with pure sincerity, even though they may be few in number, may hope for our Lord to make Qur'anic moral values supreme across the whole world. Allah has revealed in the Qur'an that a community small in numbers has overcome much larger communities with many more means at its disposal. There is no doubt that this is both welcome news for sincere believers and also a source of great joy and enthusiasm. Our Lord has revealed:

… But those who were sure that they were going to meet Allah said, "How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah's permission! Allah is with the steadfast." (Surat al-Baqara, 249)

The Auspicious and Wise Aspects of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) not Being Recognized

There is much that is wise and auspicious in the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) not being recognized, despite all the manifest portents. The great Islamic scholar Bediuzzaman Said Nursi has described how the personages of the End Times will not be recognized by everyone, and how there is great wisdom behind this:

Since belief and accountability are a test, a trial, a competition within the bounds of man's will, matters that are obscure, profound, and in need of careful study and experiment cannot be obvious. They should not be so compelling that everyone has to affirm them willy-nilly. For in this way the Abu Bakr's may rise to the highest of the high and the Abu Jahl's descend to the lowest of the low. If there is no will, there is no accountability. It is because of this mystery and wisdom that miracles are displayed only rarely, and in this realm of accountability, like some allegorical verses of the Qur'an, the signs of the end of the world, which will be visible and seen, are obscure and open to interpretation. ... In fact, although when the Prophet Jesus (as) comes he himself will know he is the Prophet Jesus (as), not everyone will know. Similarly, fearsome figures such as the antichrist and Sufyan will not know themselves to be such. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 579)

As stated by Bediuzzaman, one of the wise aspects in the personages of the End Times not being recognized is the fact that this state of affairs is a test. Allah has created this world as a place of testing and all people are tested throughout the course of their lives. In the same way that people living in the period when the portents of the Day of Judgment begin to manifest themselves, when the Prophet Jesus (as) returns to Earth and when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears, will be tested by everything that befalls them, so they will also be tested through their reactions and attitudes when these holy individuals appear.

Another wise aspect of this situation, in addition to it being a requirement of testing, may be that in this way the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) can remain free from pressure from unbelievers. These holy individuals' not being recognized when they first appear may be a manifestation of our Lord's protection of and support for them. (Allah knows the truth.) As has already been made clear, the time when the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) appear will be a very harsh one, when moral degeneration reaches very serious dimensions, when unbelievers harbor a fierce hostility towards religious moral values and the faithful, and when they wage intense overt and covert activities against them. The Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) remaining concealed and unknown at such a time will be a means whereby they are protected from onslaughts by unbelievers. (Allah knows the truth.)

It will be a period when these two holy figures wage a great intellectual struggle against irreligious and pagan systems and when they are actively spreading religious moral values across the face of the Earth. Their not being recognized by the majority of people will also make things much easier for them in the early years of their activities and will accelerate people's acceptance of Islamic moral values. (And Allah knows the truth.)

The Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will Appear When All Hope of Their Coming Has Been Abandoned

One of the portents of the End Times as revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) is that people will despair of Hazrat Mahdi (as) ever coming. According to the indications in the hadiths, people living face-to-face with war, famine, injustice, moral collapse and contagious diseases in the End Times will lose all hope of these disasters ever coming to an end. Many Muslims will cease to expect the Golden Age to begin, the moral values of the Qur'an to reign supreme on Earth and will believe that the tribulations will increase and continue. It is revealed in hadiths that people with such a perspective will claim that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will never appear:

Allah will send Mahdi (as) at a time when people are despairing and say, "There is no such thing as the Mahdi"... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 55)

... Mahdi (as) will appear with the standard of the Messenger of Allah at a time when scourge on scourge fall on people's heads and they despair of his appearance... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 55)

Mahdi (as) will not appear until innocent people are slaughtered and the dwellers in the earth and sky can no longer bear the killing... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 37)

As indicated in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), many people today imagine that the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will never come. Yet that thinking is actually one of the portents of the End Times. In fact, and on the contrary, both holy personages will appear, by Allah's leave, when this negative state of mind is widespread and when hope of their coming has been abandoned.

By Allah's leave, the Prophet Jesus (as) will return to Earth and, together with Hazrat Mahdi (as), despite all the difficulties they experience, their numbers being very small, lack of support and even the negative activities designed to oppose them, they will bring true religious moral values to prevail over all the world. In the same way that the world is filled with oppression and injustice prior to the coming of these holy figures, it will, by our Lord's leave, be filled with justice, peace, security and abundance afterwards.

The Prophet Jesus (as) will Eliminate the Fitnah of the Antichrist

The glad tidings are imparted in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that the system of the antichrist will be intellectually eradicated by means of the Prophet Jesus (as):

My Lord told me [the Prophet Jesus (as)] that the antichrist would come. There will be two arrows made from the kadib tree by me. When the antichrist sees them he will dissolve like lead in water. (Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Tafsir Ibnu Mas'ud, p. 243)

When the enemy of Allah [the antichrist] would see him [the Prophet Jesus (as)], it would disappear just as the salt dissolves itself in water and if he [the Prophet Jesus (as)] were not to confront them at all, even then it would dissolve completely, but Allah would destroy them by his hand... (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, 6924)

... As the antichrist spreads fitnah, Almighty Allah will send the Prophet Jesus (as), son of Mary… The Prophet Jesus (as) will meet the antichrist at the gate of Ludd (a region near Jerusalem) and will destroy him. (Sahih Muslim; Saim Gungor, Buyuk Fitne Mesih-i Deccal [The Great Corruption of the Messiah Antichrist], p. 104)

As stated in the hadiths, the Prophet Jesus (as) will return to Earth and will encounter the antichrist at the Masjid al-Aqsa, and on seeing the Prophet Jesus (as) the antichrist will disappear like salt dissolving in water. By Allah's leave, the Prophet Jesus' (as) "breath alone" will be sufficient to eliminate the fitnah of the antichrist.

It is revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that the breath alone of the Prophet Jesus (as) will have a major impact on people who lack faith and will eradicate that system of ideas based on falsehood:

... It is not possible for any unbeliever who smells his [the Prophet Jesus' (as)] breath not be made ineffective by it. The fact that the antichrist is a liar will spread in waves. The system of the antichrist will be destroyed as an ideology. (Sunan Ibn Majah, 10/32)

... As the antichrist spreads fitnah, Almighty Allah will send Jesus, son of Mary… Every unbeliever who would smell the odor of his self would die and his breath would reach as far as he would be able to see. Jesus will meet the antichrist at the gate of Ludd (a region near Jerusalem) and will destroy him. (Sahih Muslim; Saim Gungor, Buyuk Fitne Mesih-i Deccal [The Great Corruption of the Messiah Antichrist], p. 104)

We are also reminded of this in a verse from the Qur'an: "Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away! Woe without end for you for what you portray!" (Surat al-Anbiya', 18). Truth always overcomes falsehood.

There is great wisdom in the system of the antichrist being vanquished by means of the Prophet Jesus (as). Some of this wisdom is set out by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi as follows:

It could only be a wondrous person with the power of miracles who could make him ineffective and change the way of the awesome antichrist, who will preserve himself through wonders, bestowed on him by Allah in order to lead him astray, such as magic, hypnotic powers, and spiritualism, and will spellbind everyone. And that person will be the Prophet Jesus (as), who is the prophet of the majority of mankind, and whom most people follow. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, Fifth Ray)

As has already been stated, in addition to material power and resources the antichrist will also possess a number of extraordinary powers and will bring most people under his influence by means of those powers. By performing extraordinary deeds and deceiving people with false miracles, and since he acts with the support of satan, the defeat of the antichrist will only take place through the Prophet Jesus (as), a holy prophet who is told to have performed various miracles by our Lord. By Allah's leave, the Prophet Jesus' (as) eradication of the fitnah of the antichrist will be very swift and easy. (As a blessing from Allah, the Prophet Jesus (as) worked such miracles as resurrecting the dead, curing the sick and making a bird out of mud and breathing life into it.)

It is revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that the Prophet Jesus (as) will eliminate the fitnah of the antichrist alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as):

Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be from my Ahl al-Bayt and from my line. He will fill the world with justice. It is certain that he will set out with the Prophet Jesus (as) and will help him to make the antichrist ineffective at the place known as the Gate of Ludd in the land of Palestine. (Al-Sharani, Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 438, [816])

The Prophet Jesus (as) will come down from the sky and will destroy the antichrist or help Hazrat Mahdi (as) destroy the antichrist. (Al-Kittani, p. 145; Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Antichrist], p. 127)

Hazrat Mahdi (as) will depart with Jesus (as) and will destroy the antichrist at the Gate of Ludd in the land of Palestine. He will assist Mahdi (as) in the destruction of the antichrist. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 105; Saban Dogen, Mehdi ve Deccal [The Mahdi and the Antichrist], p. 127)

As is revealed in accounts, our Prophet (saas) advised believers to pray in order to protect themselves against the fitnah of the antichrist. He said: "When any one of you utters tashahhud (in prayer) he must seek refuge with Allah from four (trials) and should thus say: 'O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the torment of the Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of Messiah al-Dajjal (the antichrist).'" (Muslim, Book 4, 1217) The fact that this prayer was taught to the faithful by the Prophet Muhammad (saas) himself and was recommended to be read during the prayer shows how important it is for believers. We know that Islamic scholars also prayed in the words "O Allah, protect us from the trials of the Messiah al-Dajjal and the Sufyan" following the prayer. (Ibn-i Hazm, al-Muhalla, II, 301) Muslims all over the world seek shelter in our Lord during their five daily prayers with this prayer taught by our Prophet (saas) out of a knowledge of the true dimensions of the fitnah of the antichrist.

However, the climate created by the antichrist is one that everyone possessed of faith and good conscience must oppose with all their might and which requires a major intellectual campaign to be waged against. That being the case, it is of the greatest importance that the faithful and those seeking protection from the trial of the antichrist support the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) with all their might. To that end, Muslims must unmask the corruption and deceptions of the antichrist and wage an intellectual struggle against the ideological foundations of the system of the antichrist. Information provided in verses and phenomena described in the hadiths indicate that one of the most significant periods in world history is at hand. It is of enormous importance that those who enjoy the honor of living in such a historic period feel great excitement as a result and also that they be aware of the scale of the responsibilities incumbent upon them.

Conclusion: The Golden Age That will be Enjoyed in the Time of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as):

It is revealed in many of the hadiths reported from our Prophet (saas) that once the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as) have eradicated the intellectual system of the antichrist, a holy time in which, by Allah's leave, Qur'anic moral values rule the whole world will be experienced. According to the information contained in the hadiths, this period, known as the Golden Age, will last for more than half a century and will resemble the Age of Bliss experienced during the time of our Prophet (saas). The reason why this age will be known as Golden is that our Prophet (saas) has described it as having similar features to Paradise. By Allah's leave, it will contain all the conditions necessary for people to be able to live in peace and security. All forms of corruption, disorder and trouble experienced during the first stages of the End Times will come to an end, together with the strings of great disasters, wars and suffering. The degeneration, spiritual emptiness and moral corruption caused by philosophical systems that deny Allah will give way to an age which all believers have longed for over a period of hundreds of years, when Qur'anic moral values rule the world. Our Lord will rescue all mankind from the terrible disorder of the End Times and bestow on them the blessing of plenty, abundance and justice.

The matchless nature of the blessings that will be enjoyed in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as) during the Golden Age is described in great detail in the hadiths. According to these, the Golden Age will be a time of great plenty and abundance, wealth and well-being. The needy will be given many times more than they require, nothing will be counted out or measured, and there will be not the slightest difficulty, poverty or hunger. All the wealth in the Earth will be brought forth, and more products will be obtained from the soil than ever before.

Some of the hadiths that impart the glad tidings of this plenty and abundance that will be experienced in the Golden Age read as follows:

Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come among my community. His life span will be seven years if short, or eight, or nine years. In his time my community, the good and bad, will be blessed with incomparable blessings, the sky will cause plentiful rain to fall and the earth will hold nothing back. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 9)

Ibn Abi Shayba, says in his book the Musannaf that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri related that the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come from my community. If his life span is extended or shortened, his reign will last for seven, or eight or nine years. And he will fill the world, previously full of oppression, with justice. The sky will send down rain, the earth will bring forth abundance, and the community will prosper in his time as never before. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 9)

The earth will cast forth the treasures inside it. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 45)

... The earth will cast forth all the riches hidden in it in the form of ingots of gold and silver. (Al-Sharani, Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 464)

People will reap seven hundred measures of wheat when they sow one measure… A man will sow a few handfuls of seed and reap 700… Although much rain falls, not a drop will be wasted. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 164; Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 24)

In addition, the moral degeneration and injustices present in society will be eliminated in the Golden Age. There will be an end to rampant theft, fraud, cheating, neglect of the needy and injustices such as only a very small part of the community living in a state of plenty. In this period when Qur'anic moral values reign supreme, there will be equality among people from all sections of society, and a climate of peace and security. As a result of this climate of justice, people will have nothing to do with cheating, evil or what is unlawful. This climate so full of justice is described as follows in hadiths:

Hazrat Mahdi (as) ... will fill the earth with justice when it was formerly full of oppression. In the time of his succesion the dwellers in the earth and sky, and even the birds in the air, will be delighted with him. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 24)

In the same way that bees gather round the queen, so people will gather round Hazrat Mahdi (as). He will fill the world, once filled with oppression, with justice instead, the sleeping man will not be awakened and no blood will be shed. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 11)

... He will fill the world with truth and justice as it is now filled with oppression and torture. (Sunan Abu Dawud, 5/93)

He will fill the world with justice, instead of oppression and torture. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 163)

... The world will be filled with justice... (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, 1/251)

Justice will be so plentiful that everything taken away by force will be restored to its owner, and things will be given back to their owners, even if it is just something caught between someone's teeth… The earth will be filled with security, and a handful of women will easily be able to go on the hajj even if unaccompanied by any men. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 23)

He will distribute goods fairly. His justice will prevail everywhere. The world, now full of cruelty and evil, will overflow with justice after his coming… In the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as), justice will be so plentiful that everything taken away by force will be restored to its owner, and everything will be given back to its owner, even just something caught between someone's teeth... The world will be filled with security and even just a few women will easily be able to go on the hajj unaccompanied by any men. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 23)

According to this information supplied in the hadiths, the main distinguishing features of this period will be abundance of products and goods of all kinds, the establishment of security and justice, peace and happiness, all material resources being used for people's ease, comfort, joy and happiness, nobody being left in need, and those who ask being given many times more than they require. Additionally, it is also revealed in the hadiths that "weapons will fall silent," which imparts the glad tidings that the Earth will be filled with peace in this age. People who were previously in a state of disagreement with one another will enjoy great brotherhood during the Golden Age, and conflict of all kinds will be replaced by peace, friendship and love.

One of the main reasons for this climate when all mankind enjoys great peace, security and comfort will be Muslims' proper moral values. The most important feature of the Golden Age will be that it is a period when people have complete devotion to the Qur'an and fully live according to Qur'anic moral values. Since people will fear Allah and be aware that they will be held to account for all their deeds in the Hereafter, they will scrupulously avoid such vices as selfishness, corruption, unjust earnings, lying, harboring evil intentions towards others or taking bribes. Instead of these, virtues such as honesty, helpfulness, self-sacrifice, wanting the best for others, thinking of their health, comfort and security, love, respect, compassion, devotion and loyalty will prevail. This excellent morality that will be experienced in the Golden Age is described as follows in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas):

... In the same way that Almighty Allah began Islam with me, so He will bring it to an end with him. In the same way that they were freed from polytheism and enmity with me and their hearts were filled with friendship and love, so it will be with him. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 20)

... The goodness of good men will grow, and even the bad will be treated well. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 17)

In addition to all this, technological advances will reach a peak in this phase of the End Times, and people will be able to make all possible use of these technological blessings. Enormous strides will be made in medicine, agriculture, industrial technology and transportation.

The plenty, wealth, beauty and progress that will dominate all spheres of life in the Golden Age will also be reflected in the field of art. Great artistic advances will be made, and ever lovelier works will be produced in the fields of music, painting and others. The wide horizons and profound thought that faith in Allah bestows will lead the way in all branches of art. In this period people everywhere will be confronted by beauty and, just like their moral values, the homes they live in, their gardens, the decoration of their homes, their clothing, the music they listen, their forms of entertainment, theatres, pictures and conversation will also become ever more delightful.

People will be so pleased with their lives in the Golden Age that, as one hadith puts it they will "be unaware of the passing of time and will ask Allah to prolong their lives so they can take greater advantage of these delights." In other hadiths it is revealed that everyone will wish to live in the Golden Age:

... The younger ones wish they were grown-ups, while the adults wish they were younger... (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 17)

Nuaym narrates from Tawus: I begged not to die before seeing Hazrat Mahdi (as). Because the goodness of good people will grow in his time, and even the bad will be treated well. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 17)

Nuaim Ibn Hammad narrates from Ibn Abbas that: Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a young one from our Ahl al-Bayt. Our elderly will not reach him whereas the young ones will hope for him… (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 173)

All these good aspects of living in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as), a most valuable human being who will be a means whereby people attain salvation in this world and in the Hereafter, are indicated by our Prophet (saas), telling people to "follow him, even by crawling over snow:"

... A man from my family appears to fill Earth with justice, just as it has been filled with corruption. So whoever reaches that [time] ought to come to them, even if crawling on the ice/snow, since among them is the successor of Allah al-Mahdi. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 14)

People will enjoy all these delights the tidings of which Allah imparts to His faithful servants in the Qur'an, in this age. Allah reveals in verses that He will give faithful believers delightful lives in this world:

What is with you runs out but what is with Allah goes on forever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did. Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 96-97)

It is emphasized in the Qur'an that those environments in which people live according to Allah's commandments will turn into the Abode of Peace. People possessed of such moral values will enjoy great delights in this world and also be rewarded with the endless life of Paradise in the Hereafter:

Allah calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path. Those who do good will have the best and more! Neither dust nor debasement will darken their faces. They are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surah Yunus, 25-26)

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