Exposing Hypocrisy: How does the Quran Confront Hypocrites Schemes?

By Abdul Azim Al-Mutani February 05, 2024 1286

Hypocrisy in belief and behavior only emerged in Madina society after the migration. The strength of the Muslims became evident in the Madina, and hypocrisy grows significantly in the shadow of power. A group of disbelievers and polytheists resorted to concealing their disbelief and polytheism, pretending to be Muslims out of fear and desire. Fear of the strength of the Muslims and a desire to avert harm from themselves, seeking benefits for their own causes. In this way, the hypocrites managed to infiltrate Muslim gatherings, deceive their councils, perform religious rituals such as prayer and pilgrimage with them, attend their consultation meetings, and know their secrets. They spared no effort to conspire against Islam, using all the cunning tricks they could muster, after adopting hypocrisy as a cover for their disbelief and malicious intentions. Undoubtedly, hypocritical belief is disbelief; in fact, it is more heinous than open disbelief, as it combines lying and deception at the core of disbelief.

The hypocrisy in belief that the Islamic call faced did not detach itself from the hypocrisy in behavior. The hypocrites were keen on appearing righteous before people, portraying themselves as devout worshippers of Allah, mentioning Allah with their tongues while their hearts were darker than the blackest of nights. In reality, they posed a greater threat to Islam and Muslims than those who openly declared their disbelief before Allah and the people and isolated themselves from the Muslims.

However, Islam did not issue a ruling to use force against the hypocrites, to eliminate them, or to forbid them from exercising their rights in life. It did not seize their freedoms, neither in words nor in actions. Instead, Islam took a peaceful stance toward them. Its role was limited to exposing their conspiracies, revealing their secrets, warning the Muslims against being deceived by them, and threatening them with a dire fate. Allah instructed the prophet not to incline towards them, not to pray for them upon their death, and not to seek forgiveness for them, whether alive or dead.

In Surahs “Al-Ahzab” and “At-Tawbah,” the Quran dealt peacefully with many of the schemes of the hypocrites within the general framework of the Islamic call's position towards them.

During the Battle of the al-Khandaq (the Trench), also known as the Battle of the al-Ahzab (the Confederates), the hypocrites played a heinous role in discouraging the Muslims when the Quraysh allied with whomever they could from the Arab tribes, attempting to invade the Madinah, the headquarters of the emerging Islamic state. The hypocrites aimed to discourage people from joining the prophet, weakening his strength and paving the way for the victory of the Quraysh and their allies.

They spread an atmosphere of despair, falsely denying the promises of Allah and His Messenger, saying, “Allah and His Messenger did not promise us except delusion.” (Al-Ahzab: 12).

Then, they incited people to abandon the forces of Muslims and advised them to return to Medina, stating, “O people of Yathrib, there is no stability for you [here], so return [home].” (Al-Ahzab: 13).

They initiated their vile plot, seeking permission from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to leave the battlefield, claiming that their homes were vulnerable and that they only sought protection for their wealth and families from thieves, saying, “And a party of them asked permission of the Prophet, saying, 'Indeed, our houses are unprotected,' while they were not exposed. They did not intend except to flee.” (Al-Ahzab: 13).

The Quran, in response to all of this, did not take a single step towards ordering their fight, killing them, capturing their women and children, seizing their wealth and homes, or even depriving them of their civil rights. Instead, its role was limited to refuting their claims and revealing the true reasons behind their escape and discouragement of people.

Despite their claim that their homes were vulnerable, the Quran stated, “while they were not exposed,” and then explicitly disclosed the real reason that led them to act as they did: “they did not intend except to flee.” The Quran exposed that, due to their hypocrisy, if the enemy had invaded their homes and asked them to join in attacking the Prophet and his companions or openly declare their disbelief, they wouldn’t have even hesitated to do so: “And if they had been entered upon from all its [surrounding] regions and fitnah had been demanded of them, they would have done it and not hesitated over it except briefly.” (Al-Ahzab: 14).

Then, Allah commanded His Messenger (peace be upon him) to tell them: “Never will fleeing benefit you if you should flee from death or killing; and then [if you did], you would not be given enjoyment [of life] except for a little.” (Al-Ahzab: 16).

Then the Surah continued to expose their vicious secrets until Ayah number 20. Despite their crimes, the hypocrites remained in the Madinah, enjoying all their rights in life and freely moving around its various areas.

If such actions were taken against any contemporary governing system, what would this regime do?

The fate is obvious: they will be accused of collaboration, cooperation with the enemy, fleeing the battlefield, major treason against the homeland, and incitement against the regime, followed by arrests, accusations, investigations, and trials. Those fortunate enough might receive a life sentence, while the unfortunate ones would face nothing but execution by hanging or firing squad. Even the intercession of advocates would be of no use if anyone dared to intercede for them, invoking the law!

Let the enemies of Islam, both foreign and domestic, ask themselves: Did Islam do any of these things to its fiercest opponents? When Islam was applied by leaders who truly understood its essence, adhering to its commands and prohibitions, did Islam, at any point, resemble the scenarios described? Those leaders implemented the rule of Allah and His Messenger, abandoning their personal desires; therefore, their reality was a manifestation of Islam in its clearest meaning.

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Quoting from the website of “Islamic Seminary - Darul Uloom Deoband, India.”

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