Imaam Mahdi isn’t a saviour and dajjaal isn’t absolutely powerful. I think – and this of course my unsupported take – that the reason why dajjaal is the single most potent fitnah to mankind is because he is an embodiment of our shadow side. In an extremely hedonistic time where our technology has far surpassed our morality and humanity, the trial he poses is worse than the black plague. But it’s not because he possesses any powers other than what Allaah has permitted and regulated, but because of what it pits us up against. The stakes are really, really high. Imaam Mahdi is a representation of the fact that Allaah’s Mercy is never outdone by evil. When the stakes are raised, the capacity for good increases exponentially. That’s why I said he’s not a saviour because to take him as a saviour is to miss the point totally and fall into the victim narrative that not only makes you susceptible and separate from your own shadow, but would make you extremely vulnerable in a time of highly advanced psychological warfare. Instead, see it as representing the polarity with which Allaah maintains cosmic order and that nothing is meant to obliterate us but simply to challenge us in a way that matches our prowess. And it so happens that because we’ve pretty much outsmarted and beaten the forces of nature and microbes that previous civilizations succumbed to, we meet our match in dajjaal. Now, I’m not saying we in the sense that he’s going to come anytime soon because that’s the knowledge of Allaah alone, but I say it in the sense that a lot of the signs have unfolded and we resemble the people or at least the civilization that the prophet sallAllaahu calayhi wasallam described as being met with dajjaal.
Also, the fact that prophet Cisa(عيسى) calayhissalaam will slay him shows that Allaah is in no way bound by the hows. So again, it’s imperative that we do not lose sight of the forest for the trees when contemplating or discussing the events and signs of the last days because this knowledge wasn’t availed to us to feed our overactive imagination and become paralyzed by powerlessness. But it was so that we have the context and understanding needed in order to meet and frame the challenges in a constructive and transformative way.
In the end, the world is a test of polarities to bring us into a balance and centeredness that moves us closer to the actualization of tawheed. It’s for us to think outside the (dogmatic) box while remaining bound by the islaamic precept as set in no terms uncertain by the prophet upon whom and his family be peace and blessings until the end of times.