Major Sign #5: The Beast

The Beast is also a major sign of Qiyamah.

“And when the word is fulfilled concerning them. We shall bring forth a Beast of the Earth to speak unto them because mankind had no faith in our revelation.”
Quran: Surah An-Nami

Timing of the arrival of the Beast

Abdullah-b-Umar said, “I memorised a Hadith from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ which I have not forgotten. I heard Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saying, ‘The first of the signs that will come is the rising of the sun from the place of its setting and the emergence of the Beast upon the people. Whichever of these two occurs before the other then the other is right behind it.”
Muslim

Commentating on the above verse Ibne Kathir has said that the beast will appear very near the end of time. When disintegration, corruption, kufr and evil prevail, commands of Allah are ignored, the Deen changed and made a mockery of, it is then Allah will take out the Beast from the earth. (Ibne Kathir)

Imam Hakim in the light of the above Hadith has said that the rising of the sun from the west will take place before the emergence of the Beast. The Beast will appear on the same day the sun has risen from the west or very soon thereafter. Ibne Hajar after quoting Imam Hakim mentions, “The wisdom in the Beast appearing after the sun has risen from the west is that the door of repentance will close at the time the sun rises from the west. Thus the Beast will emerge to distinguish the believers from the non-believers completing the aim of closing the door of repentance.” (Fathul-Bari)

Task

The task of the Beast will be to distinguish the believers from the non-believers, with Prophet Musa’s staff it will draw a line on the forehead of every believer whereby his face will become bright and luminous and with the ring of Prophet Sulaiman, it will seal the nose of every non-believer where by his whole face will become black. Thus there will be complete distinction between the Muslim and non-Muslirn, so that if many parties sit at a dinner table, the Muslim and non-Muslirn will be distinguished. (Abu Huraira-Musnad Ahmad/Tirmidhi)

The Beast will also talk to people. It will say, “Mankind had no faith in our revelations.” (Ibne Kathir)

Place Of Emergence

Many opinions have been expressed as regards to the place the Beast will come out from. A few are listed:

  • It will come out from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam in Mecca. This opinion is based on the hadith reported by Tabrani on the authority of Hudhaifa-b-Usaid.
  • It will come out three times, from some desert and then go back into hiding, then from some village and finally from Al-Masjid Al-Haraam.
  • There are many other opinions most of them report that it will come out from the Haram of Mecca. (Tadkirah and Al-Isha’ah)

Nature Of The Beast

Many different opinions have been expressed as to the nature of the Beast and the type of animal it is. A few are shared and explained.

The Beast As An Animal

Some Ulama are of the opinion that the Beast to come before the end of time is the very animal which has been mentioned in the Hadith of Fatimah-b-Qais. Known as the Jassasa (spy) seen by Tamim Dari and his companions from the tribes of Lakhm and Juzaam on the same Island as the Dajjal. This is related of being the opinion of the Sahabi Abdullah-b-Amr-b-al-Aas. (Nawawee’s commentary on Muslim)

I heard the proclaimer of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ proclaiming (for) ‘Congregational Prayer’. I came out of the mosque and prayed with Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .

When he finished his prayer, he sat upon the pulpit smiling and said, ‘Let every man remain in his seat.’ Then he said, ‘Do you know why I have called you together?’ They replied, ‘Allah and his Messenger know best.’

He said, ‘By Allah, I have not called you together for hope or for fear, but I have called you together because Tamim Dari a Christian came and embraced Islam. He narrated a story to me which agreed with the account I have given to you about the Dajjal (Anti-Christ).

He informed me that he had embarked upon a sea-boat with thirty men of Lakhm and Jozam. Then the sea waves played with them for a month and threw them onto an island when the sun was about to set. They sat in a small side boat and entered the Island.

A beast with very coarse hair met them. They could not tell its front from its back due to its excessive hair. They asked, ‘Woe to thee! Who art thou?” It replied, ‘I am a spy. Go to the man in the monastery, as he is eager to have your information.’ He said, ‘When it named a man for us, we fled away from it lest it might be the devil.’

We hurriedly went on till we entered the monastery and found a big-bodied man whom we did never see before. He was firmly tied up, his hands tied to his neck, the place between his knees, and joints tied up with iron chains.”
Muslim, Narrated by Fatimah-bin-Qais

The Beast As A Camel

Some scholars are of the opinion that it is the young of the she camel of Prophet Salih. Imam Al-Qurtubi holds the same opinion, he writes in his commentary of the Qur’an, “The first opinion (regarding the Beast) is that it is the young of the she-camel of Prophet Salih. This is the most correct view and opinion. Allah knows best.”

Background Of This Opinion:

The people of Thamud were Arabs who lived a couple of hundred years after Prophet Noah in a place called Hijr which today is known as Madaain Salih in the North of Arabia near Tabuk. Blessed in provisions and livelihoods their land was fertile with green gardens and running springs and they skilfully carved spacious houses out of mountains. They were ungrateful to Allah as they worshiped the stone idols they carved with their very own hands. Thus Allah honoured Salih from amongst them with Prophethood and sent him as a Messenger to the people of Thamud to bring them out of darkness into light. Salih conveyed the message of Allah day and night and called them to the worship of Allah with wisdom and kind-heartedness but the people of Thamud decided to remain blind.

Finally, they like the communities before them asked to see a miracle. They said, ‘ O Salih take out a ten month pregnant she-camel from a mountain which then gives birth to a young that has the same body and stature as the mother.’ Having seen the miracle they refused to believe. The she-camel was a sign of Allah, very large and unusual in form and the people were warned that they would be destroyed if they treated it with evil.

All the other animals were afraid of Prophet Salih’s camel and would run away whenever she and its young came to drink water. Thus bounds were arranged. However, after a very short period they broke the agreement and decided to kill the camel of Allah. A group hid waiting for the camel on its return from the well with its child. Shooting an arrow they injured it and finally killed it paving the way for the destruction of the entire community. On seeing its mother in trouble the child fled to the mountains and disappeared. This young is referred to in the second opinion.

The Beast As An Extraordinary Animal

Some are of the opinion that the Beast to come is an animal that has features of many different animals. The same is reported from Abu Zubair. Describing the Beast he has reported that, “Its head is like that of a bull, eyes like that of a pig, ears like that of an elephant, horns like that of a stag, neck like that of an ostrich, chest like a lion, colour like that of a tiger, flanks like that of a cat, tail like that of a ram, feet and legs like that of a camel and a distance of 12 cubits between every two joints.” (Tadhkirah)

The Beast As A Snake

Some scholars are of the opinion it is the Snake which guarded the Holy Ka’bah. Imam Al-Qurtubi relates this as being the opinion of Ibne Abbas. (Al-Qurtubi)

Obeying Allah’s command Prophet Ibrahim with the help of his son Ismail built the Holy Ka’bah. He dug a well inside the Holy Ka’bah which was to the right of whoever entered it and acted as a safe to all the gifts that were presented to the Ka’bah which were kept inside it. At the time of Jurhum the gold and silver were stolen many times from the Kabah thus the tribe of Jurhum decided to choose a man amongst them to keep guard.

Unfortunately, one day the guard himself decided to steal the gifts of the Kabah. Taking the opportunity as it came he climbed down the well and began to gather what he could in a piece of cloth. While he was busy Allah sent a stone on him, which closed the well and thus he was unable to escape.

From that day Allah sent a snake to guard the Ka’bah. The snake lived in the well guarding the gifts of the Ka’bah for over 500 years. Exposed to the wearing factors of nature the walls of the Ka’bah at the time of Quraish (slightly before the time Prophet received Prophethood) had become weak and part of the covering had also burnt, thus the Quraish decided to rebuild the Ka’bah.

However, the snake prevented them from demolishing the Holy Ka’bah every time they tried. Finally they stood at the Place of Ibrahim and prayed, “Oh Allah if you are happy in its rebuilding then make it possible and take care of this snake.” Allah sent an eagle which took the snake towards Ajyaad. This snake is referred to in the forth opinion. (Tarikh-Makka)

Many other opinions have been expressed as regards to the nature of the Beast. However, finding myself inclined towards Abu Amr Uthman Ibne Sa’d al-Mukri ad-Dani’s opinion I conclude with his words, “There are many narration’s in regards to the physical description, length, and nature of the Beast but most of these are Mawqoof on the Sahaba or those after them. As for those that are Marfoo only a few are sound thus we cannot assert anything in regard of its description and nature except that which is proven from the authentic Marfoo narration’s and that it is a huge creature that will come out from the Earth, a beast other than man, nobody will be able to escape it. It will stamp the Muslim by writing ‘believer’ between his eyes, and stamp the non-Muslim by writing Kafir between his eyes.” (As-Sunan Al-Waridah Fil-Fitan)

The Fire

The last major sign to appear before the Day of Judgement is the fire which will come out from the Yemen and gather the people in the place of their assembly.

In the Hadith of Hudaifa-b-Usaid regarding the Major signs Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “At the end of which a fire would burn out from Yemen and would drive people to the place of their assembly.” (Muslim)

The Prophet said, “The people will be gathered in three ways:
1.The first way will be of those who will wish or have a hope (for paradise) and will have a fear (of punishment).

2.The second batch will be those who will gather riding, two on a camel or three on a camel or ten on a camel.

3.The third batch will be the rest of the people who will be urged to gather by the fire which will accompany them at the time of their afternoon nap and stay with them where they will spend the night, and will be with them in the morning wherever they may be then, and will be with them in the afternoon wherever they may be then.

Bukhari, Narrated by Abu Huraira