Shafaqna (International Shia News Association)
The Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:8-10)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Characteristics of Hypocrites
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّـهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨﴾ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّـهَ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَمَا يَخْدَعُونَ إِلَّا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٩﴾ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَهُمُ اللَّـهُ مَرَضًا ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْذِبُونَ ﴿١٠﴾
Translation: And there are some people who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day;” but they do not really believe. They desire to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves and they do not realize it. There is a disease in their hearts, so Allah added to their disease and they shall have a painful chastisement because they lied.
Commentary: The Quran defines a hypocrite as one who outwardly declares Faith, while inwardly conceals their disbelief and resentment towards believers.
One of the hypocrites of early Islam was Abd Allah bin Ubay. Prior to the immigration of Prophet Mohammad from Mecca to Medina, there were two tribes in Medina by the name of “Aws” and “Khazraj” who fought one another for many years. After years of waging wars, which resulted in devastating loss of life, the two tribes negotiated a truce. They agreed to form a joint government with the leadership of Abd Allah bin Ubay, who was a wealthy and affluent leader in Medina.
While this truce was being negotiated, however, a prominent group of leaders from Medina met with the Prophet in Mecca and were impressed by his teachings. They accepted Islam and invited the Prophet to migrate to Medina.
This subsequently led to the people of Medina to embrace Islam and dissolution of the unity government, which would have appointed Abd Allah bin Ubay as the leader of Medina.
Threatened by Islam’s influence over his power in Medina, Abd Allah bin Ubay resented the Prophet and taunted him upon his arrival to the city of Medina. Despite Abd Allah bin Ubay’s insults; the people of Medina enthusiastically welcomed the Prophet to their city.
The Prophet’s presence and teachings captivated the hearts of Medina’s citizens and replaced their initial animosity with affection1. With the rise of Islam in Medina, Abd Allah bin Ubay did not want to submit himself to the teachings of the Prophet. However, he also could no longer openly harass him. Therefore, he falsely pledged allegiance to Islam but secretly would plot against the Prophet. Abd Allah bin Ubay’s actions serve as a noteworthy example of Islam’s hypocrites.
Hypocrisy is a disease of the soul, and the root cause of many evils. A hypocrite is one who lies, deceives, commands evil, forbids good2, mocks believers behind their backs, and makes mischief upon the land3. In their own mind they are deceiving Allah and believers; but in reality they will harvest fruits of their own lies and deceptions.
Their behavior eventually distances themselves from the Mercy and Divine Guidance of Allah, and worsens their disease of hypocrisy that will eventually destroy their faculty4.
1- The Quran [8:63]