Tuesday, July 23, 2013

[2-256] The Characteristics of the Hypocrites

The Characteristics of the Hypocrites


As-Suddi said that these Ayat were revealed about Al-Akhnas bin Shariq Ath-Thaqafi who came to Allah's Messenger and announced his Islam although his heart concealed otherwise.

Ibn `Abbas narrated that these Ayat were revealed about some of the hypocrites who criticized Khubayb and his companions who were killed during the Raji` incident. Thereafter, Allah sent down His condemnation of the hypocrites and His praise for Khubayb and his companions:

[وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ]

(And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.)

It was also said that they refer to the hypocrites and the believers in general. This is the opinion of Qatadah, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several others, and it is correct.

Ibn Jarir related that Al-Qurazi said that Nawf Al-Bikali, who used to read (previous Divine) Books said, "I find the description of some members of this Ummah in the previously revealed Books of Allah: they (hypocrites) are people who use the religion to gain material benefit. Their tongues are sweeter than honey, but their hearts are more bitter than Sabir (a bitter plant, aloe). They show the people the appearance of sheep while their hearts hide the viciousness of wolves. Allah said, `They dare challenge Me, but they are deceived by Me. I swear by Myself that I will send a Fitnah (trial, calamity) on them that will make the wise man bewildered.' I contemplated about these statements and found them in the Qur'an describing the hypocrites:

[وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يُعْجِبُكَ قَوْلُهُ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا فِى قَلْبِهِ]

(And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad ), in this worldly life, and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart,)

This statement by Al-Qurazi is Hasan Sahih. Allah said:

[وَيُشْهِدُ اللَّهَ عَلَى مَا فِى قَلْبِهِ]

(...and he calls Allah to witness as to that which is in his heart,)

This Ayah indicates that such people pretend to be Muslims, but defy Allah by the disbelief and hypocrisy that their hearts conceal. Similarly Allah said:

[يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللَّهِ]

(They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah.) (4:108)

This Tafsir was reported from Ibn `Abbas by Ibn Ishaq. It was also said that the Ayah means that when such people announce their Islam, they swear by Allah that what is in their hearts is the same of what their tongues are pronouncing. This is also a correct meaning for the Ayah that was chosen by `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. It is also the choice of Ibn Jarir who related it to Ibn `Abbas and Mujahid. Allah knows best.

Allah said:

[وَهُوَ أَلَدُّ الْخِصَامِ]

(Yet he is the most Aladd of the opponents.) (2:204) lThe Ayah used the word Aladd here, which literally means `wicked' (here it means `quarrelsome'). A variation of the word Ludda was also used in another Ayah:

[وَتُنْذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً]

(So that you (Muhammad) warn with it (the Qur'an) a Ludda people.) (19:97)

Hence, a hypocrite lies, alters the truth when he quarrels and does not care for the truth. Rather, he deviates from the truth, deceives and becomes most quarrelsome. It is reported in Sahih that Allah's Messenger said:

«آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإذَا عَاهَدَ غَدَرَ، وَإِذَا خَاصَمَ فَجَر»

(The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise). If you have a dispute with him, he is most quarrelsome.)

Imam Bukhari reported that `A'ishah narrated that the Prophet said:

«إِنَّ أَبْغَضَ الرِّجَالِ إلَى اللهِ الْألَدُّ الْخَصِم»

(The most hated person to Allah is he who is Aladd and Khasim (meaning most quarrelsome).)

Allah then said:

[وَإِذَا تَوَلَّى سَعَى فِى الاٌّرْضِ لِيُفْسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهْلِكَ الْحَرْثَ وَالنَّسْلَ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ ]

(And when he turns away (from you O Muhammad), he struggles in the land to make mischief therein and to destroy the crops and the cattle, and Allah likes not mischief.)

This Ayah indicates that such persons are deviant in the tongue, evil in the deeds, their words are fabricated, their belief is wicked and their works are immoral. The Ayah used the (Arabic word) Sa`a (literally, `tries' or `intends'). This word was also used to describe Pharaoh:

[ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ يَسْعَى - فَحَشَرَ فَنَادَى - فَقَالَ أَنَاْ رَبُّكُمُ الاٌّعْلَى - فَأَخَذَهُ اللَّهُ نَكَالَ الاٌّخِرَةِ وَالاٍّوْلَى - إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى ]

(Then he turned his back, Yas`a (striving hard against Allah). Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud saying, `I am your lord, most high.' So Allah, seized him with a punishing example for his last and first transgression. Verily, in this is an instructive admonition for whosoever fears Allah.) (79:22-26)

[Sa`a was also used in the Ayah]:

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا نُودِىَ لِلصَّلَوةِ مِن يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ فَاسْعَوْاْ إِلَى ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ]

(O you who believe (Muslims)! When the call is proclaimed for the Salah (prayer) on the day of Friday (Jumu`ah prayer), As`aw come to the remembrance of Allah.) (62:9)

This Ayah means, `(when the call to the Friday prayer is announced) intend and then proceed to attend the Friday prayer.' We should mention that hastening to the mosque is condemed by the Sunnah (as this is another meaning for the word Sa`a):

«إذَا أَتَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَلَا تَأْتُوهَا وَأَنْتُمْ تَسْعَوْنَ، وَأْتُوهَا وَعَلَيْكُمُ السَّكِينَةُ والْوَقَار»

(When you come to attend the prayer, do not come in a Sa`i (haste). Rather, come to it while walking at ease and in peace (or grace). )

The hypocrite has no motive in this life but to cause mischief and to destroy the crops and the offspring, including what the animals produce and what the people depend on for their livelihood. Mujahid said, "If the hypocrite strives for mischief in the land, Allah prevents the rain from falling and thus the crops and the offspring perish.'' The Ayah continues:

[وَاللَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ]

(...and Allah likes not mischief.) that is, Allah does not like those who possess these characteristics, or those who act like this.

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