Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:11-12)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Characteristics of Hypocrites
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ ﴿١١﴾ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٢﴾
Translation: When they are told not to commit corruption in the land, they reply, “We are only reformers”. They, certainly, are corrupt but do not realize it.
Commentary: A hypocrite instigates corruption and malice under the guise of serving God and His believers. A Masjid is constructed under the premise that it will be used as a place of worship; however hypocrites of Medina established Masjid al-Dirar under a false premise.
Prior to the migration of the Prophet to Medina, a Christian monk by the name of Abu Amir was a prominent figure in the city of Medina. He was an influential individual, who was regularly involved in the daily political affairs of the city.
Upon the arrival of the Prophet, Abu Amir saw his social status was faded. He left Medina to form an alliance with the polytheist of Mecca. His union with the disbelievers of Mecca led him to participate in the battles of Uhod and Hunayn. After the crushing defeat of the battle of Hunayn, Abu Amir went to Hercules, the emperor of Byzantine Empire, to lobby for an army to defeat the Muslims.
In order to regain a foothold in the city of Medina, he wrote a letter to the hypocrites in Medina to establish a center for him. Knowing that the Prophet would not allow for a facility to be established; the hypocrites approached the prophet and requested for a new masjid to be commissioned. This new masjid, or Masjid al-Dirar, would accommodate those who were traveling from far distances and could not attend the Prophet’s Masjed or Quba Masjed. The prophet acquiesced to their request, and agreed to pray in the newly built Masjid after his return from his expedition of Tabauk.
After his excursion of Tabauk was completed, the Prophet journeyed back home to Medina. Prior to his arrival, the Angel Gabriel descended from the Heaven and exposed ominous plot of hypocrites behind building the Masjed (9:107):
“And (there are) those who have built a Masjid to cause harm (to Islam), promote disbelief, create dissent amongst believers and to provide a center for one who has been at war with Allah and His messenger even before.” This person who has been at war with Allah and His messenger was Abu Amir.
This is one of many examples of hypocrites’ treason under the guise of serving interest of believers. After this revelation, the so called Masjed was demolished by the order of the Prophet.