Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan says, as occurs in “al-Khutub al-Minbariyyah Fil-Munaasabaat al-Asriyyah” (1/199), the following:
That the person, so long as he is within the confines of life he is subject to a great tribulation, none will be saved from it when it befalls except a small (number) amongst the people, and verily that is the tribulation of the al-Maseeh ad-Dajjaal (Anti-Christ) who will appear amongst the people at the end of time. Through his hands there will occur great tribulations and severe trials, and for this reason the Prophets warned their nations, and the most severe of them in warning his nation was our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and he legislated for us that we seek refuge from him (the Dajjaal) at the end of every (legislated) prayer, and his appearance has drawn close due to the clear signs, may Allaah protect us and you from his trial and make us firmly established upon our religion.
And the Shaykh listed this as the sixth of seven things that are impediments to a person performing action, the others being poverty, riches, illness, sudden death, senility, and the establishment of the hour.
Note: The “nearness, closeness” mentioned by the Shaykh is a relative one, relative to the occurrence of most of the minor signs of the approach of the Hour (which have come to pass) and it is qualified by other (major) signs which have yet to pass, such as the return of strength to Muslims, the uncovering of a mountain of gold in the Euphrates river, the Khilaafah in Bayt al-Maqdis and so on.