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I have some questions regarding the story of Safi Ibn Sayyad. It is narrated in: https://sunnah.com/bukhari:1354, we understand that this young boy named Safi ibn Sayyad was accused of possibly being the Dajjal. The rasool (swl) considered this as a mere possibility, yet, I find many discrepancies with this. For starters, at this current time, this boy was from Medina, yet, the rasool (swl) had stated that one of the criteria of the Dajjal's character, is that he cannot enter Mecca or Medina.
Secondly, in the following narration: https://sunnah.com/muslim:2920a, we find that the Dajjal will not emerge until the conquering of Constantinople, yet, the rasool (swl) had considered the possibility that Safi ibn Sayyad could have been the Dajjal? Even though he was from Medina, despite the fact Constantinople had not been conquered, wouldn't such criteria immediately disprove the fact that he is the Dajjal?
Thirdly, in the following narration: https://sunnah.com/muslim:2942a, we find that a group of former Christians had seen the Dajjal chained down on another island far from Arabia, yet, suspicions were cast on Safi Ibn Sayyad of being the Dajjal? We know that for example, Umar RA and his family swore by Allah that Safi Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal and Umar RA swore in front of the rasool (swl) and he had remained silent, showing that the rasool (swl) felt it may be possible too. Yet, all these findings and signs about the Dajjal completely point out the contrary to Safi ibn Sayyad being the Dajjal. How could it even be possible that the great companions, let alone, the rasool (swl) would even consider this a possibility? Lastly, we have the following narration: https://sunnah.com/muslim:2927c that shows that even after the death of the rasool (swl), the companions had considered this to be a possibility.
How is this even possible? So many signs, prophecies, and so fourth completely pointed in an opposite direction towards Safi Ibn Sayyad being the Dajjal, yet, why and how could the rasool (swl) even consider such a possibility?
I would appreciate it if someone was able to give a detailed response to all of the questions that have been aroused. This to me feels like an extremely compelling theological problem and I would like to be able to dismiss it somehow.

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There is disagreement among the scholars on whether or not Ibn Sayyad is the Dajjal. The reports can be explained to support either stance.

The ahadith about Dajjal being unable to enter Makkah or Medinah apply after his 'emergence' meaning after he declares himself and begins his activities. It is possible that before that he could enter Makkah and Medinah:

وفيه دلالة على أن قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن الدجال لا يدخل المدينة ولا مكة أي في زمن خروجه ولم يرد بذلك نفي دخوله في الزمن الماضي والله أعلم

This hadith (about the vision of Dajjal circumambulating the Ka’bah ) is evidence that the saying of the Prophet ﷺ that Dajjal would not enter Medinah nor Makkah means at the time of his emergence and it does not negate his entrance in the past, and Allah knows best.

Fath al-Bari

وأما احتجاجه هو بأنه مسلم والدجال كافر ، وبأنه لا يولد للدجال وقد ولد له هو ، وأن لا يدخل مكة والمدينة وأن ابن صياد دخل المدينة ، وهو متوجه إلى مكة ، فلا دلالة له فيه لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إنما أخبر عن صفاته وقت فتنته وخروجه في الأرض

As for Ibn Sayyad's argument that he is not the Dajjal since he is a Muslim and the Dajjal is a disbeliever, and that he has children unlike the Dajjal, and that Dajjal will not enter Makkah and Medinah and he entered Medinah and was heading to Makkah - then there is no evidence in this argument for him because the Prophet ﷺ only told about his characteristics at the time of his fitnah and going out in the land.

Sharah Nawawi

The Dajjal's emergence after the conquest of Constantinople is also not contrary to him being Ibn Sayyad. The Dajjal can be born and exist before the conquest, it is only his fitnah that comes after the conquest.

As for the hadith of Tamim al-Daari about seeing the Dajjal chained on an island then again it is possible to reconcile this report, for example:

وما يبعد أن يكون بالجزيرة ذلك الوقت، ويكون بين أظهر الصحابة في وقت آخر

It is possible for him to be on the island at that time and to be present in the midst the Sahaba at a different time

Al-Tadhkirah

وأقرب ما يجمع به بين ما تضمنه حديث تميم وكون ابن صياد هو الدجال، أن الدجال بعينه هو الذي شاهده تميم موثقا، وأن ابن صياد شيطان تبدى في صورة الدجال في تلك المدة إلى أن توجه إلى أصبهان، فاستتر مع قرينه إلى أن تجيء المدة التي قدر الله تعالى خروجه فيها

The hadith of Tamim and what is reported about Ibn Sayyad can be combined: the one who Tamim saw was the Dajjal himself, and Ibn Sayyad was a devil who took on the shape of the Dajjal for a period of time, until he went to Isfahan and disappeared with his companion (the Dajjal) until Allah brings about the time of his emergence

Fath al-Bari

The Sahaba could have held that the reports are reconcilable and that despite them Ibn Sayyad would become the Dajjal in the end of times. For example this hadith (if it is authentic) implies that Jabir was aware of he hadith of the Jassasah and believed that Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal even if he had accepted Islam, entered Medinah and died.


Those who claim that Ibn Sayyad was not the Dajjal claim that initially the Prophet ﷺ was unsure about Dajjal's identity as the details were not revealed to him at that time. He was suspicious of Ibn Sayyad because some of the known characteristics of the Dajjal were present in him. Later he was given more detailed description about the Dajjal through revelation.

ويحتمل أنه - عليه السلام - كان كالمتوقف في بابه، ثم جاءه الثبت من الله، أنه غيره، فقال في حديث تميم الداري

It is possible that the Prophet remained silent regarding the matter and later he was informed by Allah that the Dajjal is a different person, such as in the hadith of Tamim al-Daari

al-Ba‘th wa’n-Nushoor

ويحتمل أن يكون هذا قبل أن يوحى إلى النبي ﷺ في أمر الدجال، وتعيينه

It is possible that this happened before the revelation to the Prophet ﷺ regarding the affairs of the Dajjal and his identity

al-Bidaya wa'l-Nihaya

Similarly, the Sahaba who continued to say that Ibn Sayyad was the Dajjal might have been unaware of the incident of Tamim al-Daari which clarified that Ibn Sayyad was not Dajjal. There are several other examples of where some sahaba were unaware of some ahadith since they did not accompany the Prophet ﷺ at all times.

Ibn Sayyad was a Dajjal, meaning a charlatan who made false claims for a period of time. But this group holds that he was not the greater Dajjal who would be killed by Jesus عليه السلام at the end of times.

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  • So what is meant by emerging in all these hadiths refers to an official emerging, ie, he announces himself and starts fitnah across the land, and once this happens, he is no longer allowed to do so and so such as entering mecca and medina? Could you provide some sources for that as well as a proper chronology of when the following narrations were made and the event it's correspondent too? Likewise, could you give a detailed response to my other questions regarding the companions as well? I know it's not necessary for any1 to do this, but I'd appreciate it if possible. Thank you. Commented Mar 12 at 21:39
  • Also, is it possible these narrations regarding Safi ibn Sayyad may refer to "a dajjal" rather than "the dajjal"? would appreciate a detailed response on that too and some sources to help claim it if such a theory is possible. Thank you. Commented Mar 12 at 21:40

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