The hypocrites

The hypocrites in islam

Who is a Hypocrite?

The Hypocrite is one who‘s actions and statements contradict one another, his apparentness and his outwardness don’t seem to match up together. The Islamic definition is one who displays goodness but internally harbours evil. To be more specific one who displays Eman but sitting in his heart is pure kufr.

Types of Hypocrisy

There are different types of hypocrisy and each type has its consequences. The major division is the hypocrisy in belief and the hypocrisy in action. Another way to look at the same concept is dividing hypocrisy into major and minor, the major rendering a person a disbeliever who will abide in the lowest levels of the Hellfire. Minor hypocrisy makes a person a sinful person but not a disbeliever. The danger of minor hypocrisy is that it is a stepping stone to major hypocrisy if not treated upon diagnosis.

Major Hypocrisy

Major Hypocrisy or other wise known as Hypocrisy in one’s belief, is where a person outwardly looks, behaves and speaks like a believer while his heart has nothing but hatred for Allah and His messenger. And this type of hypocrisy was prevalent in the time of the Prophet in Madina. The Quran when it addresses hypocrites it refers to this type of hypocrisy. And these people will be in the lowest levels of the Hellfire.

“Surely the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire – and you will never find for them any helper.” 1

The emergence of Hypocrisy in faith

The Prophet spent 13 years in Meccah, in which he and his followers underwent torture, persecution, boycotts, assassinations all kinds of mistreatment. Most of the companions of the Prophet were mistreated and they had no real worldly gain by being followers of Muhammad. As a matter of fact, it was political, social, economical suicide for a person to become a Muslim. If any influential person embraced Islam they would lose they position immediately likewise if a businessman became Muslim, the community would restrict buying and selling from that person. It was not in favour of a person to become a Muslim in these early 13 years of Prophethood, those who did were known as the most pious believers and Allah even praises them and guarantees for them Paradise.

“As for the foremost – the first of the emigrants and the Helpers-and those who follow them in goodness, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with him. And he has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there forever and ever. That us the ultimate triumph”.2

The Madinan phase

The Muslim community was really exposed to hypocrisy soon after the Prophet entered the city of Madina. At first, many people in Madina were hesitant to embrace Islam. They didn’t know whether Islam was here to stay or if it was just a temporary movement. The pivotal point at which people had to make a do or die decision is after the battle of Badr in 2nd year of the Hijrah. Most people were very confident that the Prophet Muhammad and his followers would be annihilated by the mighty army of the Meccans but to everyone’s surprise 313 ill equipped civilians aided by Allah overcame a mighty army of over 1000 soldiers. The Prophet Muhammad marched back with not just a victory but with a vast amount of wealth, war booty. Immediately after he solidified his authority and rule in Madina.

The Chief Hypocrite

Abdull Ibn Ubayy Ibn Salool was known as the uncrowned king of Madina, he was to be the king of Madina after many years of in fighting between the Awz and khazraj, they finally squashed their troubles and had agreed to live together in peace under their new king, Abduallah Ibn Ubay Ibn Salool. Upon arrival of the Prophet Muhammad he took control of Madina and Abdualah was left with a dilemma, either he submits to the Prophet Muhammad and lives as an ordinary man or he opposes him and fights, he decided the former, from this point on hypocrisy was born. He detested the Prophet Muhammad yet walked with him, praised him and followed him in all that which he preached. His full story can be seen in the tafseer of Surah Al Munifiqoon on Islamiccourses Online. But at night time he would sit with his enemies and conspire on how to bring down the movement of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Real Threat of Hypocrites on Islam

The threat of this third group is so real and dangerous that Allah dedicated many verses in the Qur’an describing their traits. Surah Al-Baqarah begins with 5 verses describing the believers then 2 verses describing the disbeliever, and then a staggering 12 verses detailed the characteristics of the Hypocrites which include two parables and a number of warnings. These 19 verses are fully explained in the tafseer of surah al Baqarah program on Islamic Courses Online. The hypocrite in the Ummah is far more dangerous than an open enemy, as his intentions and plots are unknown.

And again at the end of surah Al Baqarah Allah describes them in 3 verses 204-206. Other surahs detailing the characteristics of hypocrites are large chunks of surah an Nisa, a verse in surah al Anfal v49, a huge part of Surah at Tawbah, a verse in surah al Ahazb, surah al Fath, surah al Hadeed, surah al Hasr and finally Allah revealed a full chapter titled the surah of the Hypocrites which is fully dedicated to the evils of the Hypocrites, which can be viewed fully on Islamic Courses Online.


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