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Hypocrisy Moral Double Standards and Duplicity

Maqsood Ahmed, OBE

Allah (SWT) leaves Munafiqoon astray (4:88)

In Sura a-Baqra in the ayah, 1 to 20 Allah (SWT) described three categories of people. The first group of people consist of those who are steadfast to faith and fully believe in the Qur’an as the source of guidance. They are righteous and sincerely devoted to Allah (SWT) and His (SWT) decrees (2: 1-5).
The second group of people (2:6-7) understand and realise that Islam is the truth, but they reject faith and are disbelievers. They are the ones who have a veil on their eyes and there is a seal on the hearts and hearing (2:6-7), which means they are not likely to receive or benefit from any guidance.
The third and last group of people are called al-munafiqoon, the hypocrites. They are multifaceted of them all. Hypocrites are among the worst type of dishonest people.
While the first two groups were described briefly by Allah (SWT) ٰ in two or three ayah (verses), the hypocrites are described by an astounding twelve ayah (8-20).
Allah (SWT) described some of their characteristics as follows. Only Allah (SWT) knows what is in their hearts (4:63) and Allah will certainly distinguish between those who have sure faith and the hypocrites (29:11) and Allah (SWT) warns that “And do not be like those who say, ‘We have heard,’ while they do not hear (8:2)
1.Some say: We believe in Allah and the Last Day, while they do not believe (2:8).
2. They are trying to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they do not realise that in truth they are only deceiving themselves (2:9).
3. They “think” that they are doing good on this earth, but they are doing nothing but destruction (corruption, pollution, exploitation) and all kinds of mischief but they do not realise (2:11-12).
4. They pretend to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc. but they do not possess them, and their actions contradict their stated beliefs.
5. Do you believers still expect them to be true to you, though a group of them would hear the word of Allah then knowingly corrupt it after understanding it? 2:75
6. They choose disbelievers as their allies instead of believers (4:139)
7. Surely hypocrites seek to deceive Allah – when they stand for prayer they do it half-heartedly only to be seen by other people (4:142)
8. They are torn between belief and disbelief (4:144)
They possess moral double standards and moral duplicity.
Besides the 12 ayahs of Sura al-Baqra, referred to above and others in the same Sura, and besides 11 ayas of Sura al-Munafiqoon (63) Allah has described the characteristics of hypocrites in various other Sura as well in different context e.g. in the following Surah (some quoted above).
(2) Surah Al-Baqarah ( The Cow ): 75-76
(4) Surah An-Nisa ( The Women ):138-146
(4) Surah An-Nisa ( The Women ):88
(4) Surah An-Nisa ( The Women ):60-68
(24) Surah An-Noor ( The Light ): 47-50
(29) Surah Al-Ankaboot ( The Spider ):10-11
(33) Surah Al-Ahzab (The Combined Forces): 48
Take away
Although a great deal of these ayahs and the characteristics of Munafiqoon are related to the early periods as the teaching of the Quran relates to all periods it will be hypocritical to say that these characteristics and descriptions do not concern present-day Muslims.
Self-accountability (Muhasibah) of various personal characteristics, in various situations with various intentions is paramount to remain within the hadood and continue to be among those who are showered with Allah’s (SWT) blessings and guidance. Munafiqoon are deprived of such guidance from Allah Almighty and they are left astray (4:88).

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