The State of Hypocrites in The Hereafter
Don't they know that whoever opposes Allah and His messenger, will have the Fire of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever? That is the great disgrace.
(Surat at-Tawba: 63)
The reward meted out to hypocrites who declared war on Allah and His religion is that which they thoroughly deserve. Throughout their eternal lives, hypocrites will experience physical and spiritual torment.
Hypocrites' infernal torment actually begins while they are in this world. In addition to terrible humiliation and belittlement, many other forms await them while they are still living on Earth. The greatest suffering, however, will without doubt be that of Hell—an endless, eternal burning fire.
Moment of Death
All human beings live out the destiny set out for them by Allah, and they die at the moment determined by Him. The souls of believers—those who live their lives in the light of His wishes—are gently taken by angels as a blessing from Allah, and are welcomed to Paradise. Allah imparts these glad tidings to believers in the Qur'an:
Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say, "Peace be upon you! Enter the Garden for what you did." (Surat an-Nahl: 32)
This does not apply to deniers, however. Angels do not gently bear their souls away. On the contrary, they take their souls by striking them on the back and on the face. In addition to the physical pain they will experience, this is also a terrible humiliation for them. Allah has terrified all hypocrites and deniers with this humiliation and suffering:
If only you could see when the angels take back those who disbelieved at their death, beating their faces and their backs: "Taste the punishment of the burning!" (Surat an-Anfal: 50)
How will it be when the angels take them in death, beating their faces and their backs? (Surah Muhammad: 27)
As the angels bear away their souls in this way, they begin to realize the kind of recompense that awaits them for everything they did in this world. The prestige they sought so hard to maintain on Earth is suddenly destroyed. They die in humiliation and are later cast into Hell:
Say to those who disbelieve: "You will be overwhelmed and crowded into Hell. What an evil resting-place!" (Surah Al 'Imran: 12)
Those who disbelieve spend their wealth barring access to the way of Allah. They will spend it; then they will regret it; then they will be overthrown. Those who disbelieve will be gathered into Hell. (Surat an-Anfal: 36)
Those who are herded headlong into Hell, such people are in the worst position. They are the most misguided from the way. (Surat al-Furqan: 34)
Torment in Hell
1. The Worst Torment
Hypocrites, whom Allah describes in the Qur'an as deserving of even worse, will be punished with the greatest suffering in the Hereafter—in other words, with the torment of Hell:
... Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be returned to the harshest of punishments. Allah is not unaware of what you do. (Surat al-Baqara: 85)
2. An Unremitting Suffering
Those are the people who trade the Hereafter for this world. The punishment will not be lightened for them. They will not be helped. (Surat al-Baqara: 86)
Hypocrites will remain in Hell for all eternity and their suffering will never be lightened in any way.
3. A Fierce Punishment
Give news to the hypocrites that they will have a painful punishment. (Surat an-Nisa': 138)
According to the Qur'an, the torment of Hell will be fierce and very great. Everyone there will be cast into the flames. Escape will be impossible. They will be bound with chains and iron shackles. They will be scourged with whips of iron. Hypocrites, whose only foods will be boiling water, pus, the tree of Zaqqum and thorns, will wish to leave Hell, but their suffering will never end or ever be alleviated.
The reason is that although they knew everything Allah required of them in this world, they followed their Earthly desires and turned their backs on the truth, declaring war on Allah and His religion.
4. The Most Humiliating Torment
The people in Hell will assume a frightening appearance and experience torment in all respects. Their bodies will be torn apart with fire, boiling water will be poured over their heads, and they will be forced to wear clothing made of tar and flame:
But those who strive against Our signs, trying to nullify them, will have a punishment most humiliating. (Surah Saba': 5)
5. The Curse of Allah
As we have seen, hypocrites will be surrounded with torments in all respects in Hell. Yet there is one torment even greater than all of these, and that is the curse of Allah—His refusal to speak with them and His humiliation and disparagement of them:
The repayment of such people is that Allah's curse is on them and that of the angels and of all humanity. (Surah Al 'Imran: 87)
Those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and sell it cheap, take nothing into their bellies but the Fire. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will not speak to them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment. (Surat al-Baqara: 174)
6. They Will be All Alone
The people they imagined to be their friends in this world will be far distant from them in the Hereafter. Each will have his own sufferings, for which reason they will be able to find no friend or comforter, and they will remain all alone.
... You will not find any one to help them. (Surat an-Nisa': 145)
In the Hereafter, moreover, they will curse the people they called closest to them in this world.
... But then on the Day of Resurrection, you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers. (Surat al-'Ankabut: 25)
7. They Will Suffer Terrible Loss
There is no doubt that in the Hereafter they will be the losers. (Surat an-Nahl: 109)
Leaving behind the life of this world, which they imagined to be so profitable, they will die and enter Hell, their true abode. There they will see the true face of all things and realize that rather than having gained any profit, they have actually suffered a terrible loss. They will realize that everything they did in this world has been meaningless and cannot benefit them at all.
The Lowest Level of Hell
The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them. (Surat an-Nisa': 145)
As Allah reveals to us in the above verse, hypocrites inhabit "the lowest level of the Fire." The reason for that, of course, is their two-facedness and their moral model based on strife.
We have touched on dozens of elements that determine hypocrites' cunning natures. One aim behind our setting out these defects one by one is to show that hypocrites are among the cruelest people who have ever lived, and to provide a means of imparting that knowledge to all.
The reason why the hypocrites described right throughout this book are to be regarded as cruel and extreme is because they are people to whom knowledge has been given. In other words, they have been told of religious moral values and have learned the truth from believers, and even from the messenger of Allah himself. They have lived for a while according to those religious moral values, but then turned their backs on them and, of course, on Allah, on His messenger and the faithful, imagining that their life would be easier as deniers. Allah reveals that:
They swear by Allah that they said nothing, but they definitely spoke the word of disbelief and returned to disbelief after their Islam. They planned something, which they did not achieve and they were vindictive for no other cause than that Allah and His messenger had enriched them from His bounty. If they were to repent, it would be better for them. But if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter, and they will not find any protector or helper on the Earth. (Surat at-Tawba: 74)
Therefore, they bear a greater burden of responsibility than—and are quite distinct from—those to whom knowledge has not been imparted; in other words, to people who have not been called to religious moral values and the Qur'an, and who have thus never been followers of Islam. The suffering they experience in the Hereafter will be far worse than the latter, as is revealed by Allah. That is because hypocrites appear to be religious during the course of their lives, avoiding any number of telltale sins that would enable them to be identified by believers. In their hearts, however, they harbor no obedience towards Allah and His messenger but on the contrary, feel a cunning hatred of and enmity towards them. It is only natural and just that such people should deserve the worst punishment in Hell, because hypocrites have witnessed the finest examples of moral values in the community of the faithful, have lived in the most peaceful environment, and have experienced great love and respect. However, although they have known nothing but goodness and beauty from believers, still they manage to feel hatred for them because of the sickness in their hearts.
Moreover, because they were proud and arrogant in the face of believers during their time in this world, Allah will humiliate and belittle them.
The position of the hypocrites is described thus in one hadith:
On the Day of Qiyamah, the one in the vilest of conditions will be a two-faced person. (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
They seek to deceive believers in this world but in the Hereafter, will beg them for even the slightest help. Yet of course believers will not be taken in by this. Thanks to the infinite justice of Allah, they will live for all eternity among His blessings.
Verses speak of hypocrites' endless lamentation in Hell:
That Day the men and women of the hypocrites will say to those who believe, "Wait for us so that we can borrow some of your light." They will be told, "Go back and look for light!" And a wall will be erected between them with a gate in it, on the inside of which there will be mercy but before whose exterior lies the punishment. They will call out to them, "Were we not with you?" They will reply, "Indeed you were. But you made trouble for yourselves and hung back and doubted and false hopes deluded you until Allah's command arrived. The deluder deluded you about Allah. So today no ransom will be accepted from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is your master. What an evil destination!" (Surat al-Hadid: 13-15)