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.