Monday, September 17, 2012

The Benefits of Studying Hypocrisy & Acting The Opposite

It is beneficial to study the qualities of hypocrisy (nifaq) and hypocrites (munafiqun) because it is by doing the exact opposite of hypocrisy that one can achieve the highest state of piety known as ihsan and be a muhsin, bi idhnillah. 

The hypocrites do not believe in God and the Last Day, they deceive themselves and they have a disease in their hearts [Qur'an 2:8] so believers should believe in God and the Last Day as well as as the divine mission of Muhammad (saw), not deceive themselves and seek a cure for the ills of the heart by seeking knowledge and the path of purity from those who have knowledge and achieved it. The hypocrites make mischief [2:11] have secret pacts with the disbelievers [2:14] and have bartered guidance for error by wagering on this life and being doubtful about the next [2:16] they are deaf, dumb, and blind, [2:18] so the believers should be making peace and having open alliances with the faithful and should barter error instead for guidance by wagering on the next life and being doubtful about the nature of this life, they (believers) should be paying attention by listening, observing, and being thoughtful and reflective of the signs of Allah. The hypocrites turn away from revelation and religious injunctions when they are invited to it [4:61] so believers should turn toward the revelation and religious injunctions when invited to and when there is no invitation. They (hypocrites) do not honor their oaths and promises so the faithful should honor their oaths and promises and take them seriously. Hypocrites do not struggle in the cause of God and show their backs (i.e- turn away) in the face of difficulties so believers should struggle in the cause of God and not show their backs when the going gets rough. The hypocrites make a show of their good deeds while anxiously hiding their bad deeds, so believers should conceal their good deeds as they conceal their bad deeds and not make a show of either. They make a dazzling display of speech but do not have any real substance (action) to back up what they say [2:204] so believers should be modest in their speech and put their substance in their actions instead. The hypocrites are afraid of being found out and discovered, they have an understanding with each other to enjoin evil and forbid justice and they have forgotten Allah such that Allah has forgotten them [9:64-7] therefore, believers must not be afraid of people knowing their true natures (because Allah already knows it) and they should have an understanding with each other to enjoin and promote good and prohibit/discourage evil and they must never forget Allah, lest He forgets them (God forbid.) The hypocrites obstruct people from the path of God, their exteriors are polished and pleasing as if to appear holy and pious, and when prayer is offered for them they turn away in arrogance (thinking that they don't need it) [63:2-5] so the faithful should never hinder anyone from the path of God- rather promote it in word and deed, and focus on rectifying their interiors more than making their exteriors pleasing, and humbly accept any and all who pray for them or on their behalf.

By using the hypocrites qualities and doing the opposite we can, bi idhnillah, safeguard ourselves from hypocrisy, inshaAllah ta'ala.  The Qur'an says the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire, [4:145] so then wouldn't the opposite of them be the people who will be in the highest heights of Jannat al-Firdos inshaAllah? May Allah (swt) grant us all ability (tawfiq) to implement good deeds over good words and help us to be true to God and to the prophets (peace be upon them all) and true to ourselves and the world around us, and to remove whatever qualities of hypocrisy we may have and replace them with the qualities of a sincere devotee of God ameen ya Rabb al-alamin.

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