The Matter of Ibn Sayyaad (Hadith No. 1136)
Ibn Sayyaad’s name was Saafi, or ‘Abd-Allaah, ibn (the son of) Sayyaad or Saa’id.
He was one of the Jews of Madeenah, and it was said that he was one of the Ansaar. He was a child at the time when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah. It was also said that he became Muslim.
Ibn Sayyaad was a dajjaal (a liar), and he used to tell fortunes, sometimes what he said came true, and sometimes it did not. He became famous among the people, and it was rumored that he was the Dajjaal. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to find out about him, so he used to go to him secretly, without revealing his identity to him, hoping to hear something from him. He also asked him some questions directly, to find out what he really was. He outlived the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then he was lost on the day of al-Harrah.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
‘Umar set out along with the Prophet (p.b.u.h) with a group of people to Ibn Saiyad till they saw him playing with the boys near the hillocks of Bani Mughala. Ibn Saiyad at that time was nearing his puberty and did not notice (us) until the Prophet stroked him with his hand and said to him, “Do you testify that I am Allah’s Apostle?” Ibn Saiyad looked at him and said, “I testify that you are the Messenger of illiterates.” Then Ibn Saiyad asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h), “Do you testify that I am Allah’s Apostle?” The Prophet (p.b.u.h) refuted it and said, “I believe in Allah and His Apostles.” Then he said (to Ibn Saiyad), “What do you think?” Ibn Saiyad answered, “True people and liars visit me.” The Prophet said, “You have been confused as to this matter.” Then the Prophet said to him, “I have kept something (in my mind) for you, (can you tell me that?)” Ibn Saiyad said, “It is Al-Dukh (the smoke).” (2) The Prophet said, “Let you be in ignominy. You cannot cross your limits.” On that ‘Umar, said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Allow me to chop his head off.” The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “If he is he (i.e. Dajjal), then you cannot over-power him, and if he is not, then there is no use of murdering him.” (Ibn ‘Umar added): Later on Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) once again went along with Ubai bin Ka’b to the date-palm trees (garden) where Ibn Saiyad was staying. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) wanted to hear something from Ibn Saiyad before Ibn Saiyad could see him, and the Prophet (p.b.u.h) saw him lying covered with a sheet and from where his murmurs were heard. Ibn Saiyad’s mother saw Allah’s Apostle while he was hiding himself behind the trunks of the date-palm trees. She addressed Ibn Saiyad, “O Saf ! (and this was the name of Ibn Saiyad) Here is Muhammad.” And with that Ibn Saiyad got up. The Prophet said, “Had this woman left him (Had she not disturbed him), then Ibn Saiyad would have revealed the reality of his case.
There are other narrations as well, where Ibn Sayyaad interacted with the Companions. Some denote that he was the Dajjaal, and some prove otherwise. He himself used to deny it when people accused him of being the Dajjaal, saying that he didn’t have the traits of Dajjaal as described by the Prophet (SAW).
But he was definitely a liar. Once, when he was alone with Abu Sa`eed al-Khudri (RA), he almost convinced him of his innocence. But what he said in the end made Abu Sa`eed (RA) realize that he was lying.
Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri said:
We went out for Hajj or ‘Umrah, and Ibn Saa’id was with us. We stopped at a place to camp, and the people separated and I was left with him (Ibn Saa’id). I felt very nervous and afraid of him, because of what had been said about him. He brought his luggage and put it with mine. I said, ‘It is very hot – why don’t you put your things under that tree?’ So he did that. Then some sheep appeared before us, and he went and brought a large vessel (of milk) and said, ‘Drink, O Abu Sa’eed.’ I said, ‘It is too hot, and the milk is hot.’ In fact (the only thing wrong was) that I did not want to drink from his hand, or take anything from his hand. He said, ‘Abu Sa’eed, I have been thinking that I should take a rope and suspend it from a tree, and hang myself, because of what people are saying about me. O Abu Sa’eed, does anyone know more about hadeeth than you Ansaar? Are you not one of the most knowledgeable of people about the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that the Dajjaal is a kaafir, and I am a Muslim? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that he would be sterile, with no children, and I have left my child behind in Madeenah? Didn’t the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say that he will never enter Madeenah or Makkah, but I have left Madeenah and am headed for Makkah?’ … I was about to accept his excuses, then he said, ‘But, by Allaah, I know who the Dajjaal is, where he was born and where he is now. [bro, nobody knows about Dajjal and his whereabouts except Allah!]’ I said to him, ‘May you perish for the rest of the day!’
(Narrated by Muslim, no. 5211).
According to another report, Ibn Sayyaad said: “By Allaah, I know where he is now and I know his father and mother.” It was said to him, “Would you not be happy to be that man?” He said, “If it were offered to me, I would not refuse.” (Narrated by Muslim, 521)
Scholars have differed greatly regarding Ibn Sayyaad. Some said he was the Dajjaal and others said he was not. But it’s safe to say that Ibn Sayyaad was one of the dajjaals or liars, but he was not the greater Dajjaal. And Allaah knows best.
Read more on the topic here.