What is fitnah?
Ibn Faaris said: “Fa-ta-na is a sound root which indicates testing or trial.” (Maqaayees al-Lughah, 4/472). This is the basic meaning of the word fitnah in Arabic.
Ibn al-A’raabi summed up the meanings of fitnah when he said: “Fitnah means testing, fitnah means trial, fitnah means wealth, fitnah means children, fitnah means kufr, fitnah means differences of opinion among people, fitnah means burning with fire.” (Lisaan al-‘Arab by Ibn Manzoor).
What are the types of fitnah?
In Surah Al Kahf, there are 4 different stories which relates to 4 different fitnah. These are:
- Fitnah of Faith (Eman): Story of youths in the cave
- Fitnah of Wealth: Story of a man who lost his gardens because of arrogance & greed
- Fitnah of Knowledge: The story of Prohet Musa & Prohet Khidir
- Fitnah of Power: The story is of a just Ruler, Zulqarnain who traveled the world and helped people
Attitude Towards Fitnah
When one is tested with fitnah, either towards himself, family members or friends, these are the three basic checklist to carry.
1. Deliberation, gentleness, forbearance and not being hasty.
They enable the Muslim to see things as they really are and to understand what is going on.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no gentleness in a thing but it adorns it, and the absence of gentleness in anything makes it ugly.” Narrated by Muslim, 4698
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”
They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones”
3. Justice & Fairness in all things
“and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety”
Who is Dajjal/Anti-Christ?
The root dajala means to mix. The word dajala is used to mean deliberately confusing matters and being vague and ambiguous.
Dajjal is a false prophet and is a liar who will lead people astray.
He is the messiah of misguidance who will tempt people by means of the signs that he is given, such as bringing down rain, reviving the earth to bring forth vegetation, and other “miracles.”
The Dajjal is the one who speaks in vagaries, who tells many lies and deceives many people.
The word “Dajjal” became a title given to the lying, one-eyed, false messiah. The Dajjal is so called because he will conceal his kufr from the people by lying to them, deceiving them and confusing them.
It was narrated from ‘Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“I have told you so much about the Dajjal that I fear you will not understand. The Dajjal will be a short man, pigeon-toed, with curly hair. He will be one-eyed, with his eye neither prominent nor sunken. If you become confused about him, then remember that your Lord is not one-eyed.”
[Abu Dawood, no. 3763]
Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
‘The Dajjal will be one-eyed, blind in his left eye, and will have thick hair. He will have a paradise and a hell with him, but his paradise will be a hell and his hell will be a paradise.’”
[Muslim, no. 5222]
How to protect ourselves against Dajjal & Fitnah?
From Al-Nawwaas ibn Sam’aan, in which Rasulullah SAW says: “Whoever among you sees him (the Dajjal), let him recite against him the opening verses of Surat al-Kahf.”
According to some reports, The Prophet ﷺ also commanded us to recite the final verses of this surah AlKahf.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
‘When any one of you says Tashahhud, let him seek refuge with Allah from four things, and say: O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the fitnah (trials) of life and death, and from the evil of the fitnah of the Dajjal).”
[Narrated by Muslim, no. 924]
Thus, the best protection is to:
1. Memorise First 10 ayah of Surah Al Kahf
2. Memorise Last 10 ayah of Surah Al Kahf
3. Read The Prophet’s dua before giving salam in every prayer
Bonus knowledge: Fitnah of Women
Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said:
“I have not left behind me any fitnah (temptation) more harmful to men than women.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5096; Muslim, 2740
Thus, one should beware of it and seek Allah’s Refuge. Allah has prescribed ways to get rid of it and save oneself. How?
1. Adopt these criterias:
Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.
2. Recite Prophet Yusuf’s dua when tested with fitnah of women:
قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
My Lord! the prison house is dearer to me than that to which they invite me; and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and become (one) of the ignorant.
To you who was tested, May Allah make it easy for you and surround you with those who supports & love you. You’ve been doing great! Hang in there and keep praying that He’ll bless you with the best of gifts for being patient. 🙂
May Allah protect us all from any kind of fitnah & enjoin us with the good.
Other reads & references:
- Meaning of fitnah:
- 4 Types of Fitnah:
- Attitude towards fitnah:
- Fitnah of Leadership: