;
Characteristics of the Hypocrites and Their Destination

Allah states that whoever embraces the faith, reverts from it, embraces it again, reverts from it and remains on disbelief and increases in it until death, then he will never have a chance to gain accepted repentance after death. Nor will Allah forgive him, or deliver him from his plight to the path of correct guidance. This is why Allah said,

﴿ لَّمۡ يَكُنِ ٱللَّهُ لِيَغۡفِرَ لَهُمۡ وَلَا لِيَہۡدِيَہُمۡ سَبِيلاَۢ

(Allah will not forgive them, nor guide them on the (right) way). Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that his father said that Ahmad bin `Abdah related that Hafs bin Jami' said that Samak said that `Ikrimah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented;

﴿ ثُمَّ ٱزۡدَادُواْ كُفۡرً۬ا

(and go on increasing in disbelief), "They remain on disbelief until they die.'' Mujahid said similarly. Allah then said,

﴿ بَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

(Give to the hypocrites the tidings that there is for them a painful torment.) Hence, the hypocrites have this characteristic, for they believe, then disbelieve, and this is why their hearts become sealed. Allah describes the hypocrites as taking the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, meaning they are the disbelievers' supporters in reality, for they give them their loyalty and friendship in secret. They also say to disbelievers when they are alone with them, "We are with you, we only mock the believers by pretending to follow their religion.'' Allah said, while chastising them for being friends with the disbelievers,

﴿ أَيَبۡتَغُونَ عِندَهُمُ ٱلۡعِزَّةَ

(do they seek honor, with them) Allah then states that honor, power and glory is for Him Alone without partners, and for those whom Allah grants such qualities to. Allah said,

﴿ مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ ٱلۡعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًاۚ

(Whosoever desires honor, then to Allah belong all honor), and,

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِۦ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ

(But honor belongs to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not). The statement that honor is Allah's Alone, is meant to encourage the servants to adhere to their servitude to Allah and to be among His faithful servants who will gain victory in this life and when the Witnesses stand up to testify on the Day of Resurrection. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَقَدۡ نَزَّلَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ أَنۡ إِذَا سَمِعۡتُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ يُكۡفَرُ بِہَا وَيُسۡتَہۡزَأُ بِہَا فَلَا تَقۡعُدُواْ مَعَهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۚ إِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا مِّثۡلُهُمۡ‌ۗ

(And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in talk other than that; certainly in that case you would be like them.) The Ayah means, if you still commit this prohibition after being aware of its prohibition, sitting with them where Allah's Ayat are rejected, mocked at and denied, and you sanction such conduct, then you have participated with them in what they are doing. So Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا مِّثۡلُهُمۡ‌ۗ

((But if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them.) concerning the burden they will earn. What has already been revealed in the Book -- as the Ayah says -- is the Ayah in Surat Al-An`am (6), which was revealed in Makkah,

﴿ وَإِذَا رَأَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِىٓ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡہُمۡ

(And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur'an) by mocking at them, stay away from them). Muqatil bin Hayyan said that this Ayah (4:140) abrogated the Ayah in Surat Al-An`am, referring to the part that says here,

﴿ إِنَّكُمۡ إِذً۬ا مِّثۡلُهُمۡ‌ۗ

((But if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them), and Allah's statement in Al-An`am,

﴿ وَمَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنۡ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ وَلَـٰڪِن ذِڪۡرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

(Those who fear Allah, keep their duty to Him and avoid evil, are not responsible for them (the disbelievers) in any case, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may have Taqwa). Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ جَامِعُ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ وَٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعًا

(Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.) means, just as the hypocrites participate in the Kufr of disbelievers, Allah will join them all together to reside in the Fire for eternity, dwelling in torment, punishment, enchained, restrained and in drinking boiling water.

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَرَبَّصُونَ بِكُمۡ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمۡ فَتۡحٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ قَالُوٓاْ أَلَمۡ نَكُن مَّعَكُمۡ وَإِن كَانَ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ۬ قَالُوٓاْ أَلَمۡ نَسۡتَحۡوِذۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَنَمۡنَعۡكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۚ فَٱللَّهُ يَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۗ وَلَن يَجۡعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

(141. Those who wait and watch about you; if you gain a victory from Allah, they say: "Were we not with you'' But if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers'' Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection. And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.)

Hypocrites Wait and Watch what Happens to Muslims

Allah states that the hypocrites watch and await the harm that occurs to the believers, awaiting the time when the Muslim circumstances and religion are dissolved and the state of Kufr takes over.

﴿ فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمۡ فَتۡحٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ

(if you gain a victory from Allah) triumph, aid and booty,

﴿ قَالُوٓاْ أَلَمۡ نَكُن مَّعَكُمۡ

(they say, "Were we not with you'') trying to come closer to the believers with this statement. However,

﴿ وَإِن كَانَ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ نَصِيبٌ۬

(But if the disbelievers gain a success,) by gaining victory over the believers sometimes, just as occurred during Uhud, for surely, the Messengers are tested, but the final victory is theirs.

﴿ قَالُوٓاْ أَلَمۡ نَسۡتَحۡوِذۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَنَمۡنَعۡكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۚ

(they say (to them), "Did we not gain mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers'') meaning, did we not help you in secret and try our best to confuse the believers and weaken their resolve, until you gained victory over them This statement of the hypocrites is an attempt to strengthen relations with the disbelievers, because they pretend to be friends with both parties so that they will be safe from their harm, due to their weak faith and lack of certainty. Allah said,

﴿ فَٱللَّهُ يَحۡكُمُ بَيۡنَڪُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۗ

(Allah will judge between you (all) on the Day of Resurrection) meaning, by what He knows about you, O hypocrites. Therefore, do not be deceived by being shaded under the protection of Islamic Law in this life, which is such only out of Allah's wisdom. Surely, on the Day of Resurrection, your pretending shall not benefit you, because on that Day, the secrets of the souls will be disclosed and the contents of the hearts will be collected. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَن يَجۡعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers). `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Yasi` Al-Kindi said, "A man came to `Ali bin Abi Talib and said, `What about this Ayah,

﴿ وَلَن يَجۡعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.) `Ali said, `Come closer, come closer. Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection, and He will not grant victory for the disbelievers over the believers.' '' Ibn Jurayj recorded that `Ata' Al-Khurasani said that Ibn `Abbas said that,

﴿ وَلَن يَجۡعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ سَبِيلاً

(And never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers.) "Will occur on the Day of Resurrection.'' As-Suddi recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ashja`i said that it occurs on the Day of Resurrection. As-Suddi said that "way'' means, proof. It is possible that the meaning of, `and never will Allah grant to the disbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers', is in this life by being unable to exterminate the believers completely, although they sometimes gain victory over some Muslims. However, the Final Triumph will be for the believers in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا

(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in the worldly life) This provides a rebuttal to the wishes of the hypocrites for the destruction of the believers, and their loyalty to the disbelievers, fearing for themselves if they are victorious. In another Ayah, Allah said,

﴿ فَتَرَى ٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ۬ يُسَـٰرِعُونَ فِيہِمۡ

(And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy), they hurry to their friendship), until,

﴿ نَـٰدِمِينَ

(Regretful)

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ يُخَـٰدِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَـٰدِعُهُمۡ وَإِذَا قَامُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَىٰ يُرَآءُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ وَلَا يَذۡكُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬ مُّذَبۡذَبِينَ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ لَآ إِلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ وَلَآ إِلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ‌ۚ وَمَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ سَبِيلاً۬

(142. Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little.) (143. (They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these nor to those; and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.)

The Hypocrites Try to Deceive Allah and Sway Between Believers and Disbelievers

In the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah (2), we mentioned Allah's statement,

﴿ يُخَـٰدِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ

(They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe). Here, Allah states,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ يُخَـٰدِعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَـٰدِعُهُمۡ

(Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them.) There is no doubt that Allah can never be deceived, for He has perfect knowledge of the secrets and what the hearts conceal. However, the hypocrites, due to their ignorance, scarce knowledge and weak minds, think that since they were successful in deceiving people, using Islamic Law as a cover of safety for themselves, they will acquire the same status with Allah on the Day of Resurrection and deceive Him too. Allah states that on that Day, the hypocrites will swear to Him that they were on the path of righteousness and correctness thinking that such statement will benefit them with Allah. For instance, Allah said,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَبۡعَثُہُمُ ٱللَّهُ جَمِيعً۬ا فَيَحۡلِفُونَ لَهُ ۥ كَمَا يَحۡلِفُونَ لَكُمۡ‌ۖ

(On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together; then they will swear to Him as they swear to you) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَهُوَ خَـٰدِعُهُمۡ

(but it is He Who deceives them) means, He lures them further into injustice and misguidance. He also prevents them from reaching the truth in this life and on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَقُولُ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقُونَ وَٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقَـٰتُ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱنظُرُونَا نَقۡتَبِسۡ مِن نُّورِكُمۡ

(On the Day when the hypocrites ـ men and women ـ will say to the believers: "Wait for us! Let us get something from your light!'' It will be said: "Go back to your rear! Then seek a light!'') until,

﴿ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(And worst indeed is that destination). A Hadith states;

« مَن سَمَّعَ سَمَّعَ اللهُ بِهِ، وَمَنْ رَاءَى رَاءَى اللهُ بِه »

(Whoever wants to be heard of, Allah will make him heard of, and whoever wants to be seen, Allah will show him.) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِذَا قَامُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَىٰ

(And when they stand up for Salah, they stand with laziness). This is the characteristic of the hypocrites with the most honored, best and righteous act of worship, the prayer. When they stand for prayer, they stand in laziness because they neither truly intend to perform it nor do they believe in it, have humility in it, or understand it. This is the description of their outward attitude! As for their hearts, Allah said,

﴿ يُرَآءُونَ ٱلنَّاسَ

(to be seen of men) meaning, they do not have sincerity when worshipping Allah. Rather, they show off to people so that they gain closeness to them. They are often absent from the prayers that they can hide away from, such as the `Isha' prayer and the Dawn prayer that are prayed in darkness. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَثْقَلُ الصَّلَاةِ عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِينَ صَلَاةُ الْعِشَاءِ وَصَلَاةُ الْفَجْرِ، وَلَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا فِيهِمَا لَأَتَوْهُمَا وَلَوْ حَبْوًا، وَلَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ آمُرَ بِالصَّلَاةِ فَتُقَامُ، ثُمَّ آمُرَ رَجُلًا فَيُصَلِّي بِالنَّاسِ، ثُمَّ أَنْطَلِقَ مَعِيَ بِرِجَالٍ مَعَهُمْ حُزَمٌ مِنْ حَطَبٍ، إِلى قَوْمٍ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الصَّلَاةَ، فَأُحَرِّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِالنَّار »

(The heaviest prayers on the hypocrites are the `Isha' and Dawn prayers. If they know their rewards, they will attend them even if they have to crawl. I was about to order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer, then order someone to lead the prayer for the people, then order some men to collect fire-wood (fuel); then I would burn the houses around men who did not attend the (compulsory congregational) prayer.) In another narration, the Prophet said,

« وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ عَلِمَ أَحَدُهُمْ أَنَّهُ يَجِدُ عَرْقًا سَمِينًا أَوْ مِرْمَاتَيْنِ حَسَنَتَيْنِ، لَشَهِدَ الصَّلَاةَ، وَلَوْلَا مَا فِي الْبُيُوتِ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ وَالذُّرِّيَّـةِ لَحَرَّقْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ بُيُوتَهُمْ بِالنَّار »

(By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat between two ribs, he would have turned up for the prayer, and had it not been that the houses have women and children in them, I would burn their homes around them.) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلَا يَذۡكُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

(And they do not remember Allah but little) means, during the prayer they do not feel humbleness or pay attention to what they are reciting. Rather, during their prayer, they are inattentive, jesting and avoid the good that they are meant to receive from prayer. Imam Malik reported that Al-`Ala' bin `Abdur-Rahman said that Anas bin Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، تِلْكَ صَلَاةُ الْمُنَافِقِ، يَجْلِسُ يَرْقُبُ الشَّمْسَ، حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَتْ بَيْنَ قَرْنَيِ الشَّيْطَانِ، قَامَ فَنَقَرَ أَرْبَعًا، لَا يَذْكُرُ اللهَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا »

(This is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until when it goes down between the two horns of the devil, he stands up pecks out four Rak`ahs (for `Asr) without remembering Allah during them except little.) Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said "Hasan Sahih''. Allah's statement,

﴿ مُّذَبۡذَبِينَ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ لَآ إِلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ

((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) means that the hypocrites are swaying between faith and disbelief. So they are neither with believers inwardly or outwardly nor with disbelievers inwardly or outwardly. Rather, they are with the believers outwardly and with the disbelievers inwardly. Some of them would suffer fits of doubt, leaning towards these sometimes and towards those sometimes,

﴿ كُلَّمَآ أَضَآءَ لَهُم مَّشَوۡاْ فِيهِ وَإِذَآ أَظۡلَمَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ قَامُواْ‌ۚ

(Whenever it flashes for them, they walk therein, and when darkness covers them, they stand still). Mujahid said;

﴿ مُّذَبۡذَبِينَ بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ لَآ إِلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ

((They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these) "The Companions of Muhammad ,

﴿ وَلَآ إِلَىٰ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ‌ۚ

(nor to those): the Jews.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Prophet said,

« مَثَلُ الْمُنَافِقِ كَمَثَلِ الشَّاةِ الْعَائِرَةِ بَيْنَ الْغَنَمَيْنِ، تَعِيرُ إِلى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَإِلَى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَلَا تَدْرِي أَيَّتَهُمَا تَتْبَع »

(The example of the hypocrite is the example of the sheep wandering between two herds, sometimes she goes to one of them, and sometimes the other, confused over whom she should follow.) Muslim also recorded it. This is why Allah said afterwards,

﴿ وَمَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ سَبِيلاً۬

(and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.) meaning, whomever He leads astray from the guidance,

﴿ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ ۥ وَلِيًّ۬ا مُّرۡشِدً۬ا

(For him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him (to the right path)) because,

﴿ مَن يُضۡلِلِ ٱللَّهُ فَلَا هَادِىَ لَهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him). So the hypocrites whom Allah has led astray from the paths of safety will never find a guide to direct them, nor someone to save them. There is none who can resist Allah's decision, and He is not asked about what He does, while they all will be asked.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَتَّخِذُواْ ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ أَوۡلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجۡعَلُواْ لِلَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ سُلۡطَـٰنً۬ا مُّبِينًا إِنَّ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ فِى ٱلدَّرۡكِ ٱلۡأَسۡفَلِ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمۡ نَصِيرًا إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصۡلَحُواْ وَٱعۡتَصَمُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَأَخۡلَصُواْ دِينَهُمۡ لِلَّهِ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ مَعَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ‌ۖ وَسَوۡفَ يُؤۡتِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا مَّا يَفۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ بِعَذَابِڪُمۡ إِن شَكَرۡتُمۡ وَءَامَنتُمۡ‌ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ شَاڪِرًا عَلِيمً۬ا

(144. O you who believe! Do not take disbelievers as friends instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest Sultan against yourselves) (145. Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depth (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.) (146. Except those who repent, do righteous good deeds, depend on Allah, and purify their religion for Allah, then they will be with the believers. And Allah will grant the believers a great reward.) (147. Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.)