As revealed in the verses of the Qur’an, hypocrites are false, two-faced individuals, who behave like true believers, as if they had true faith, when in fact they do not believe at all. Most important, they do not keep this falsity to themselves, but try to infiltrate among true believers and behave like them. The reason they behave in that way is that they hope to enjoy various worldly advantages by staying alongside believers.
They imagine that by approaching believers and pretending to have faith themselves, they can deceive believers and make use of various of the advantages they enjoy.
When they realize they cannot obtain the benefits they hoped for, or when they are visited by troubles or difficulties as a test from Allah, they immediately take their leave and show their true faces. Having departed, or in the act of departure, they also strive to hurt believers or damage the relations between them. Once they have abandoned the believers, they keep trying to collaborate with the deniers. It is for this reason that they are described as "munafiqun” (hypocrites) in the Qur’an (meaning those who spread “nifaq,’ or strife and corruption.)
Hypocrites are people described in many verses of the Qur’an, and believers are reminded to watch out for them. Therefore, a believer guided by the Qur’an must be on guard against hypocrites and be aware of their characteristics. Because every community that lives by the moral values of the Qur’an will encounter hypocrites.
It would be a serious error to imagine that these people are a community who only lived in Mecca and Medina at the time of our Prophet (saas). Because these people have changed their guise – as at all periods of history – and adapted themselves to the modern world, and still appear before us as hypocrites.
Today, too, as at all other times, there is a community of hypocrites who imagine they can camouflage themselves by imitating the attributes of Muslims. These people harbor the intention of inflicting material or spiritual damage on believers, turning them away from the faith or turning them toward superstition by sometimes cunningly allying themselves with people who have a dishonest conception of the faith.
All the verses of the Qur’an concerning hypocrites show that Allah will definitely expose them within their community of believers. No matter how cleverly hypocrites may seek to hide their true faces, they will still be recognized by believers at a time of Allah’s choosing.
Because that is their destiny. Allah creates them for that end and places them among believers to test the latter. All hypocrites’ behavior, words and deeds are described in detail in the Qur’an. No matter what hypocrites do, they will still end up saying and doing these things. It is impossible for them to avoid this course set out in destiny.
There is no need for hypocrites to expose themselves in times of trouble in order for them to be revealed and recognized. If Allah wishes, He gives believers the ability to see hypocrites’ two-faced natures. Believers possessing that ability may sometimes treat a hypocrite with tolerance, imagining he may change his behavior. Hypocrites thus imagine they are able to conceal their true selves, but this is a grave error. Believers will also turn their backs on these people when they realize they are totally determined in their hypocrisy.
Allah reveals in the Qur’an that hypocrites can 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 revealed in these verses, Allah can expose hypocrites to believers through their expressions and speech. Hypocrites’ two-faced natures and the state of fear and insecurity they live in are reflected in their faces and words.
The reward hypocrites’ will receive for their two-facedness is terrible suffering in this world and in the Hereafter.
Hypocrites will suffer dreadfully in this world
By giving rise to corruption, hypocrites deserve eternal punishment. By Allah’s leave, that punishment will commence while they are still in this world and continue for all eternity in hell in the Hereafter.
First of all, there is a spiritual punishment for hypocrites in this world. They live in a constant state of fear and trouble. They themselves are well aware of their two-faced behavior toward believers. For that reason their consciences are permanently troubled. That unease continues throughout their lives.
They are also in a constant state of fear before and after spreading their corruption. Before their two-facedness is revealed they fear of being exposed by believers. After taking their leave from believers, they live in a constant state of fear that Allah will punish them for their misdeeds. The rise in the number of people living by the moral values of the Qur’an further increases hypocrites’ fear. Because as more people believe in Allah they will feel a great regret for having left their ranks for petty worldly concerns. For that reason, at time when the moral values of the Qur’an are widely implemented, some hypocrites come up to believers and try to share their success by suggesting “we were with you.” The behavior of hypocrites in the time of our Prophet (saas), when such things also happened, is described as follows in the Qur’an:
Give news to the munafiqun (hypocrites) that they will have a painful punishment. Do those who take unbelievers 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 unbelievers 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 unbelievers any way against the believers. (Surat an-Nisa, 141)
We are told that in the Age of Happiness, the hypocrites attempted to approach believers in an insincere manner in order to gain a share of the spoils from battles in which our Prophet (saas) had been victorious:
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)
As we have seen, the hypocrites tried to reassume their places alongside believers when these surpassed them, but received nothing from the believers. On the contrary, when the believers grew strong they announced the hypocrites’ two-facedness to everyone, and the hypocrites were thus humiliated in this world.
They will be cast into the lowest circle of Hell
In return for all this two-facedness, strife and enmity, the hypocrites will receive their real punishment in the Hereafter. The place set aside for them in the Hereafter is the lowest circle of Hell, where the punishment is worst of all. This is revealed thus in the Qur’an:
" The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them,” (Surat an-Nisa, 145)
The Hell whose lowest circle is populated by the hypocrites is described as follows in verses of the Qur’an:
"…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-Ma’arij, 11-17)
"There will be sighing for them in it and they will not be able to hear.” (Surat al-Anbiya’. 100)
"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 adh-Dukhan, 43-48)
This punishment that the hypocrites will suffer is merely the reward for their deeds. Because they harbored nothing but enmity toward believers, the servants of Allah, sought to deceive them with lies and trickery, and tried to divert them from their path. They collaborated against them with the deniers, slandered them in all kinds of ways, and were behind the traps set for them.
The punishment they will receive in this world and in the Hereafter is simply the reward for their past deeds. As we are told in another verse:
"Allah does not wrong people in any way; rather it is people who wrong themselves.” (Surah Yunus, 44)2009-04-01 14:18:25