Hypocrites, as the verses relate in the Qur'an, are two-faced people, who act as if they were pious believers, though they do not have faith. They are impostors. More importantly, they do not engage in such falsehood unaided; they aim to infiltrate the company of the believers, posing as one of them. The reason they seek to be accepted among the believers is to gain some personal advantage.
They associate themselves with believers, appearing to be faithful, so as to deceive them in whatever way they can. Once they realize they will not be able to attain their desired end, however, or when the believers are faced with ordeals when tested by Allah, they immediately abandon them, thus revealing their true faces. Whether while or after leaving the presence of the believers, they do not abandon their agenda of bringing harm upon the believers, or fomenting conflict, and striving to ruin the unity of believers. For that reason, hypocrites are referred to in the Qur'an as "munafiqeen" (those who incite nifaq and fitnah).
Hypocrites are a kind of people to whom Allah calls attention in many verses of the Qur'an, and against whom He repeatedly warns believers to be cautious. For this reason, a believer, who takes the Qur'an as his guide, needs to be vigilant against hypocrites, and be knowledgable of all their characteristics, for, every community of believers, who live by the morality of the Qur'an, will certainly encounter hypocrites.
It would be very wrong to say that such people existed only in the time of our Prophet (saas), in Macca and Medina, for,-in every other period-as today, such characters are present right before us, under modern guises.
In our present societies too, there are communities of hypocrites who assume they can conceal themselves by taking on the attributes of a believer. Deceptively, they ally with those who are unclear or insincere in their understanding of religion, as they are themselves, for the purpose of concealing the truth, changing it for falsehood, forming new sects, and bringing harm to the believers, both materially and spiritually.
All verses related to hypocrites in the Qur'an reveal that Allah will surely expose all hypocrites concealing themselves within the community of believers. No matter how much the hypocrites may try to conceal their real identities, through their supposed cleverness, they will nevertheless be identified by believers by the will of Allah.
That is because, that is their fate. Allah created them for this purpose, and placed them among the believers so as to try them. Allah gives a detailed account of the mentalities, manner of speaking and actions of hypocrites in the Qur'an. No matter what, a hypocrite is destined to utter such language, and adopt this mindset. It is impossible for him to escape from this destiny preordained for him.
To expose the hypocrites, times of difficulty are not indispensable; that is to say, if Allah wills, He may grant believers the ability to recognize them and identify their hypocrisy. In expectation of an improvement in his attitude, believers possessed with this faculty may nevertheless show tolerance towards one displaying hypocrisy. It is for this reason a hypocrite thinks that he can conceal himself, but this is a great delusion. Once believers realize that that person is insistent on remaining insincere, they turn their backs to them.
Allah informs us in the Qur'an that hypocrites will never remain hidden:
Or did those with sickness in their hearts imagine that Allah would not expose their malevolence? If We wished, We would show them to you and you would know them by their mark and know them by their ambivalent speech. Allah knows your actions. We will test you until We know the true fighters among you and those who are steadfast and test what is reported of you. (Surah Muhammad, 29-31)
As the verses inform us, Allah may also make the hypocrites known to the believers by their demeanor and the way they talk. The symptoms of hypocrisy peculiar to these people, their fear and anxiety manifest themselves in their faces and through their speech. What hypocrites will be confronted with, in return for their hypocrisy, is a grievesome torment, both in this world and beyond.
Hypocrites Will Also Suffer Torment In This World
Causing fitnah in this world costs hypocrites an eternity in punishment. This is a torment that will begin when still in this world, and extend into Hell beyond death.
Specifically, they will suffer spiritual torment in this world. They live in perpetual anxiety and fear. Nevertheless, they actually know what they do is merely hypocrisy. For this reason, they feel constant pangs of conscience, throughout their lives.
In addition, they are always fearful, either before or after they have caused fitnah. They fear being discovered by the believers before their hypocrisy is made known. Once they separate from the believers, they live in constant fear of Allah's torment as reward for their evil. The increase in the number of those living by the principles of the Qur'an frightens the hypocrites, for, the more people submit themselves to Allah, the more they regret leaving the believers to pursue their trivial interests. For this reason, when Islamic morality is widely embraced, hypocrites may try to gain the confidence of the believers, claiming a share in their success, saying, "Were we not with you?" Allah relates in the Qur'an that these same things also occurred in the time of our Prophet (saas). The mindset of the hypocrites is conveyed in the Qur'an as follows:
Give news to the hypocrites that they will have a painful punishment. Do those who take the disbelievers as protectors, rather than the believers, hope to find power and strength with them? Power and strength belong entirely to Allah. (Surat an-Nisa', 138-139)
Those who anticipate the worst for you say, "Were we not with you?" Whenever you gain a victory from Allah, but if the disbelievers have a success they say, "Did we not have the upper hand over you and yet in spite of that keep the believers away from you?" Allah will judge between you on the Day of Rising. Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers. (Surat an-Nisa', 141)
The hypocrites, who lived at the time of our Prophet (saas), also tried deceptively to gain the confidence of the believers, in order to share in the spoils gained from victories. The related verse reads:
When you go out to get the booty, those who remained behind will say, "Allow us to follow you," desiring to alter Allah's words. Say: "You may not follow us. That is what Allah said before." They will say, "It is only because you envy us." No indeed! How little they have understood! (Surat al-Fath, 15)
Evidently, hypocrites tried to approach the believers when they witnessed their success, but the believers were not deceived by them. On the contrary, believers announced their hypocrisy to everyone when they attained supremacy, and the hypocrites faced a humiliation in this world before the next.
They Will Be Cast Into The Lowest Depths Of The Fire
Hypocrites will receive the true punishment for their hypocrisy, fitnah and enmity in the Hereafter. The place allocated for the hypocrites in the Hereafter is the lowest depths of the Fire, that is to say, where the most intense torment will be inflicted. This fact is related in the Qur'an as follows:
The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them. (Surat an-Nisa', 145)
The lowest level of the Fire, into which hypocrites will be cast, is described in the Qur'an as follows:
Even though they can see each other. An evildoer will wish he could ransom himself from the punishment of that Day, by means of his sons, or his wife or his brother or his family who sheltered him or everyone else on earth, if that only meant that he could save himself. But no! It is a Raging Blaze stripping away the limbs and scalp, which calls for all who drew back and turned away. (Surat al-Maarij, 11-17)
There will be sighing for them in it and they will not be able to hear. (Surat al-Anbiya, 100)
And beyond him is Hell where he will be given pus to drink. He gulps at it but can hardly swallow it down. Death comes at him from every side but he does not die. And beyond him is relentless punishment. (Surah Ibrahim, 16-17)
That Day you will see the evildoers yoked together in chains, wearing shirts of tar, their faces enveloped in the Fire. (Surah Ibrahim, 49-50)
The Tree of az-Zaqqum is the food of the wicked, seething in the belly like molten brass, as boiling water bubbles and seethes. "Seize him and drag him bodily into the middle of the Blazing Fire. Then pour the punishment of boiling water on his head." (Surat ad-Dukhan, 43-48)
Such torment to be inflicted upon the hypocrites is only in repayment for their deeds, for they harbored enmity towards the believers who merely chose to be Allah's servants, attempting to deceive them, and veer them from their righteous course, through lies and deception. They cooperated with disbelievers against believers, slandered them, and supported those plots hatched against them.
The torment they will receive, both in this world and the Hereafter, is only the punishment they deserve for what they have done. As Allah relates in one verse:
Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves. (Surah Yunus, 44)2009-01-18 03:43:26