Signs of the Appearance of the Dajjal
A lengthy hadith narrated by Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaymah, and Ad-Dhiya', attributed to Abu Umamah, reports that the Prophet of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
"There will be three hard years before the Dajjal (appears). During them, people will be stricken by a great famine. In the first year, Allah will command the sky to withhold a third of its rain, and the earth to withhold a third a third of its produce. In the second year, Allah will command the sky to withhold two thirds of its rain, and the earth to withhold two thirds of its produce. In the third year, Allah will command the sky to withhold all of its rain, and it will not rain a single drop of rain. He will command the earth to withhold all of its produce, and no plant will grow. All hoofed animals will perish, except that which Allah wills."
He (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) was asked, "What sustains people during that time?" He said, "Tahlil, takbir and tahmid (saying, la ilaha illallah, allahu akbar and alhamdulillah). This will sustain them just as food does." [Sahih al-Jami' as-Saghir, no. 7875]
'Abdullah ibn 'Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said:
"The fitnah of al-ahlas (continuous calamity) is mass desertion and war. Then, the fitnah of as-sarra (meaning 'the rich', when some reach people use their money to hire others to fight for them) will start from under the feet of a man who claims that he is of me (of my descendants). However, he is not of me, for my loyal friends are the ones who have taqwa. Afterwards, people will unite around a man whose reign is unstable. Then, the fitnah of ad-duhayma (it is called 'dark and black fitnah' because of its enormity) (will start) and will not leave any member of this nation without severely touching him. When it is thought that its time has come to an end, it will be lengthened. Meanwhile (during this fitnah), a man will wake up as a believer and will meet the night as a disbeliever, until people divide into two camps; a camp of belief that contains no hypocrisy, and a camp of hypocrisy that contains no belief. If this happens, then await the Dajjal on that day or the next."
There are other signs to the imminent coming of the Dajjal. Mu'adh narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
"The flourishing of Jerusalem will mark the desertion of Yathrib (Madinah). The desertion of Yathrib will mark the start of al-malhamah (the great war that will start between Ar-Rum and the Muslim forces before Muslims conquer Constantinople for the second time). The start of al-malhamah will mark the conquering of Constantinople. The conquering of Constantionple will mark the appearance of Dajjal."
The flourishing of Jerusalem will happen by the hands of Muslims, by the will of Allah, after it will be retrieved from the Jews.
The Holy Land will be the seat of the Caliphate because the Messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said to Ibn Hawalah:
"O Ibn Hawalah! If you live to see the seat of the Caliphate of the Holy Land, then earthquakes, disasters and great calamities are imminent. Then, the Hour will be closer to people than this hand of mine to your head!"
Then, Muslims will migrate to Ash-Sham to join the Jihad against the enemies of Allah from among the Jews and Christians. People of Madinah will desert it, not because they dislike it, but for the purpose of joining the Jihad for the sake of Allah. Then, it will be totally uninhibited, wild animals and beasts will roam through it, and it will stay deserted until the Hour begins.
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said:
"Madinah will be deserted while in its prime! Then, it will be inhabited by birds and beasts."
"They (Muslims) will leave Madinah while in its prime. Only wild beasts and birds will roam it. The last persons to be gathered (for the beginning of the Last Day) will be two shepherds from (the tribe) of Muzaynah heading towards Madinah. They will be herding their sheep, and (when they reach it) they will find it deserted. When they reach Thaniyyat al-Wada' they will collapse on their foreheads (because the Hour will have started then)."
Also 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr said, "There will be a time among people when every believer will migrate to Ash-Sham." [Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 457, and he says "Sahih according to the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim." Adh-Dhahabi agrees]
The Destruction of Al-Masih ad-Dajjal
As was narrated in the hadith by An-Nawwas ibn Sam'an, the Dajjal will be killed at the hand of Jesus son of Mary.
The Dajjal's death will occur after the angels turn him towards Ash-Sham away from the outskirts of Madinah. He will perish in Ash-Sham near the eastern door of Lud in Palestine, may Allah return it to the Muslims.
Before we start mentioning the second coming of Jesus son of Mary, we will mention the story of Al-Mahdi, Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah.
Al-Mahdi will appear just before the coming of Jesus, alayhis-salam. He will lead the Muslim nation with justice and kindness and establish Allah's rule. A righteous Caliphate will reappear after the earth has experienced its share of injustice and tyranny. Jesus son of Mary will pray behind him. Among Al-Mahdi's characteristics is that he will spend money on his subjects without counting it, along with many of his other righteous deeds that were mentioned in several correct ahadith.
From Major Signs of the Last Hour published by Al-Hijazi 1995.