Narrations state that the terrible dissension of the Antichrist (Dajjal) will occur among Muslims, so that all the Umma have sought refuge with God from it.
None knows the Unseen save God, an interpretation is this: the Muslims’ Antichrist is different. In fact, like Imam ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him), some investigative scholars said that the Muslims’ Antichrist (Dajjal) is the Sufyan. He will appear from among the Muslims and will carry out his work through deception. The Great Dajjal of the unbelievers is different.1 For those who do not bow to the absolute force and compulsion of the Great Dajjal are martyrs, and those who submit unwillingly are not unbelievers, and not sinners, even.
In narrations, the events associated with the Sufyan and those of the future are depicted as occurring in the region of Damascus and in Arabia.
God knows best, an interpretation is this: since in early times the centres of the Caliphate were in Iraq, Damascus, and Medina, on their own interpretations, the narrators showed these events as occurring close to the centre of Islamic government, as though it was always going to remain thus, and said Aleppo and Damascus. They added their own details to the succinct predictions of the Hadith.
Narrations mention the extraordinary power of the figures of the end of time.
The knowledge is with God, its interpretation is this, that it is an allusion to the vast collective personality those figures represent. At one time, the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Army, which had defeated Russia, was shown in a picture with one foot in the Pacific Ocean and the other foot in the fort of Port Arthur. The vastness of its collective personality was depicted in the representation of his person, and in the gigantic form of the representation. As for their extraordinarily vast power, since most of the affairs they carry out are destructive and related to the appetites, they appear to have extraordinary power, for destruction is easy; one match can burn down a village. As for the satisfying the animal appetites, since it is what the instinctual soul wants, it is much sought after.
Suyuti, al-‘Urf al-Wardi fi Akhbar al-Mahdi (al-Hawi li’l-Fatawa), ii, 234; Ahmad Zayni Dahlan, al-Futuhat al-Islamiyya, 294; al-Barzanji, al-Isha’a fi Ashrat al-Sa’a, 95-9; Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyya, 36; al-Qurtubi, Mukhtasar al-Tadhkira, 133-4.