Among the signs of the Hour will be the emergence of a beast from the earth. It will be very strange inappearance, and extremely huge; one cannot even imagine what it will look like. It will emerge from the earth and shake the dust from its head. It will have with it the ring of Solomon and the rod of Moses. People will be terrified of it and will try to run away, but they will not be able to escape, because such will be the decree of Allaah. It will destroy the nose of every unbeliever with the rod, and write the word "Kaafir" on his forehead; it will adorn the face of every believer and write the word "Mu'min" (true believer) on his forehead, and it will speak to people.
Allaah (سبحانه و تعالى) said:
"And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them: it will speak to them..." [an-Naml (27):82]
Ibn 'Abbaas, al-Hasan and Qataadah said that "It will speak to them" (tukallimuhum) means that it will address them. Ibn Jareer suggested that it means that the Beast will address them with the words "...for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs..." [an-Naml (27):82 - latter part of the Ayah]
Ibn Jareer reported this from 'Alee and 'Ata'. It was reported from Ibn 'Abbaas that tukallimuhum means that the Beast will cut them, i.e., it will write the word "Kaafir" on the forehead of the unbeliever. It was also reported from Ibn 'Abbaas that he will both address them and cut them; this suggestion incorporates both of the previous suggestions; and Allaah knows best.
We have already mentioned the Hadeeth of Hudhayfah ibn Usayd, in which the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) is reported to have said,
"The Hour will not come until you see ten signs: the smoke; the Dajjaal; the Beast; the sun rising from the West; the descent of Jesus son of Mary; Gog and Magog; and three land-slides - one in the East, one in the West, and one in Arabia, at the end of which fire will burst forth from the direction of Aden (Yemen) and drive people to the place of their final assembly."
Abu Hurairah said,
"The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'Hasten to do good deeds before six things happen: the rising of the sun from the West, the smoke, the Dajjaal, the Beast, the (death) of one of you or general tribulation.' " [Muslim]
"The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) took me to a place in the desert, near Makkah. It was a dry piece of land surrounded by sand. The Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said, 'The Beast will emerge from this place.' It was a very small area." [Ibn Maajah] 
It was reported from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said,
"The Beast of the Earth will emerge, and will have with it the rod of Moses and the ring of Solomon."
It was also reported that he said,
"(The Beast) will destroy the noses of the unbelievers with the ring, - so that people seated around one table will begin to address one another with the words "O Believer!" or "O Unbeliever!" (i.e., everyone's status will become clear) [Ibn Maajah] 
'Abd Allaah ibn 'Amr said,
"I memorised a Hadeeth from the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) which I have not forgotten since. I heard the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) say, 'The first of the signs (of the Hour) to appear will be the rising of the sun from the West and the appearance of the Beast before the people in the forenoon. Whichever of these two events happens first, the other will follow immediately.' " [Muslim] 
That is to say, these will be the first extraordinary signs. The Dajjaal, the descent of Jesus (alayhi-salam), the emergence of Gog and Magog, are less unusual in that they are all human beings. But the emergence of the Beast, whose form will be very strange, its addressing the people and classifying them according to their faith or unbelief, is something truly extraordinary. This is the first of the earthly signs, as the rising of the sun from the West is the first of the heavenly signs.
 Ibn Maajah, Kitaab al-Fitan, (Hadeeth 4267), 2/1352.
Checker's Note: Da`eef Jiddan (very weak). Ibn Maajah, no. 4067, Da`eef Ibn Maajah: 882.
 Similar Hadeeth narrated by Ibn Maajah in Kitaab al-Fitan, (Hadeeth 4061), 2 - 1351, 1352. Ahmad, Musnad, 2 - 295.
Checker's Note: Da`eef, Da`eef al-Jami as-Sagheer: 2413.
 Muslim, Kitaab al-Fitan, 8/202.