Special edition: Fearing Hypocrisy




[ALL PRAISES BE TO ALLAH]
 
fear hypocrisy 


When a Muslim fears that he may fall into hypocrisy, this indicates that his heart is (spiritually) alive and that he is keen to protect his faith.

Ibraaheem al-Taymi said: "Whenever I examine my words against my deeds, I fear that I am insincere."

 Al-Hasan al-Basri said of hypocrisy:

"No one fears it but a believer, and no one feels safe from it but a hypocrite."

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The more faith and knowledge a person has, the more he will fear that he may be among this class of people (i.e., hypocrites), hence the leaders and earliest generations of this ummah were so afraid that they might be among them. ‘Umar used to say to Hudhayfah: I adjure you by Allaah, did the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) mention me along with the people (i.e., the hypocrites)? He said: No, but I would not praise anyone after you, meaning; I would not praise people (by saying that they are not mentioned among the hypocrites). It does not mean that ‘Umar was the only one who was free of hypocrisy. [Tareeq al-Hijratayn (p. 604)]

The greatest of the awliya’ (close friends of Allaah) feared this for themselves.

1 – Ibn Abi Mulaykah said: "I met thirty of the companions of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), all of whom feared being hypocrites, and none of them ever said that he had faith equivalent to that of Jibreel and Mikaa’eel."

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 
The most prominent among Sahaabah whom Ibn Abi Mulaykah met were: ‘Aa’ishah, her sister Asma’, Umm Salamah, the four ‘Abd-Allaahs, Abu Hurayrah, ‘Uqbah ibn al-Haarith and al-Miswar ibn Makhramah. These are among those from whom he heard hadeeth. He also met other more prominent Sahaabah than these, such as ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas, and he confirmed that they were afraid of hypocrisy in their actions and nothing to the contrary was narrated from any of the Sahaabah, so it is as if there was consensus on this matter. That is because the believers’ deeds may become contaminated with elements that undermine ikhlaas (sincerity towards Allaah). The fact that they feared it does not mean that they fell into it, rather it means that they were extremely cautious and pious, may Allaah be pleased with them. [Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (1/110,111)]

2 – al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
al-Ja’d Abu ‘Uthmaan said: I said to Abu Raja’ al-‘Attaaridi: Did you meet anyone whom I met of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who feared falling into hypocrisy? He said: Yes. Praise be to Allaah I met some of the prominent ones among them, and they used to fear it a great deal. And he had met ‘Umar.

3 – and he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Among those of the Sahaabah who used to seek refuge with Allaah from falling into hypocrisy were: Hudhayfah, Abu’l-Darda’ and Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari. Among the Taabi’een there were many who did that. Ibn Sireen said: There is nothing I fear more than this verse (interpretation of the meaning): “And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: ‘We believe in Allaah and the Last Day,’ while in fact they believe not” [al-Baqarah 2:8]. Ayyoob said: Every verse in the Qur’aan which mentions hypocrisy I fear lest it apply to me. Mu’aawiyah ibn Qurrah said: ‘Umar used to fear it, so how I can feel safe from it? al-Hasan spoke a great deal concerning this matter, as did the imams of Islam after them.

According to a report narrated by Ibn Haani’, Imam Ahmad was asked: What do you say about one who does not fear hypocrisy for himself? He said: Who can feel safe from hypocrisy? [Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/178, 179)]

Pay attention to two important matters:

1 – The hypocrisy that was feared by those imams among the Sahaabah and those who came after them was hypocrisy in deeds, which leads to hypocrisy in the heart, which leads one to Hell – we seek refuge with Allah – this is the kind of hypocrisy which is mentioned in a number of ahaadeeth which warn the Muslim against acquiring its characteristics, such as the following:

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “There are four characteristics, whoever has them all is a pure hypocrite, and whoever has one of them has one of the characteristics of hypocrisy, until he gives it up: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a covenant he betrays it, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he disputes he resorts to obscene speech.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari (34) and Muslim (58)]

It was also narrated (2632) by al-Tirmidhi (may Allaah have mercy on him) who said after it:

What this means according to the scholars is hypocrisy of action. It was the hypocrisy of disbelieving at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Something similar was narrated from al-Hasan al-Basri when he said: Hypocrisy is of two types: hypocrisy of action and hypocrisy of disbelief. [End quote]

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
This goes back to what we mentioned above: that hypocrisy may be minor or major. Minor hypocrisy is hypocrisy of action, which is what these people feared for themselves. It leads to major hypocrisy which is feared for the one who is overcome by minor hypocrisy to such an extent that it robs him of faith altogether, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“when they turned away (from the path of Allaah), Allaah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path)” [al-Saff 61:5]

“And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time” [al-An’aam 6:110]
Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/179)

Imam al-Nawawi commented on this hadeeth … See his Sharh Muslim (2/46-48).

2 – These prominent figures were the most righteous of people in heart, and they were those who most respected the sacred limits and were least likely to transgress them, but because of their great awareness of their Lord and their fear of His wrath, they would regard a minor sin – if they fell into it – as a major sin.

Some of them feared showing off, and others feared falling short in their deeds lest their actions contradict their words, and others thought that being distracted by permissible interactions in their homes with their wives and families even though they focused properly in gatherings of dhikr was a kind of hypocrisy.
It was narrated that Hanzalah al-Usaydi said: Abu Bakr met me and said: How are you, O Hanzalah?

I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite.

He said: Subhaan Allaah! What are you saying? I said: When we are with the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) he reminds us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal.

Abu Bakr said: By Allaah, we experience something similar. Abu Bakr and I went and entered upon the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), and I said: Hanzalah has become a hypocrite, O Messenger of Allaah.

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “Why is that?” I said: O Messenger of Allaah, when we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and the Garden until it is as if we are seeing them with our own eyes, but when we depart from you, we attend to our wives and children and businesses, and we forget a great deal.

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you continued as you are when you are with me, and continued to remember (Paradise and Hell), the angels would shake hands with you in your homes and on the streets. But, O Hanzalah, there is a time for this and a time for that” (he said it) three times.[Narrated by Muslim (2750)]

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to the words “we attend to our wives and children and businesses”, Al-Harawi and others said: What this means is that we get absorbed with that and get busy with it. “businesses” refers how a man earns a living.

“Hanzalah has become a hypocrite” means: he was afraid that he had become a hypocrite, because he felt the fear of Allaah when he was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and that was manifested in the way he focused on remembrance of Allaah and thinking of  the Hereafter, but when he departed he became distracted by his wife and children and earning a living in this world, and the basic meaning of hypocrisy is showing the opposite of what one conceals of evil, so he was afraid that he was a hypocrite because of that. But the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him that this was not hypocrisy, and that they were not expected to be like that all the time. “There is a time for this and a time for that.” [Sharh Muslim (17/66, 67)]

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
When it became clear to the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) that hypocrisy meant a difference between one’s inner thoughts and outward appearance, some of them feared that if they lost the focus and presence of mind they attained when they listened to reminders, after they returned to worldly matters and were distracted by their families and children and wealth, that this was hypocrisy, as was narrated in Saheeh Muslim from Hanzalah al-Asadi … and he quoted the hadeeth –  Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/111).


Al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) gave a chapter heading to the report he narrated from Ibraaheem al-Taymi, Ibn Abi Mulaykah and al-Hasan al-Basri – which we have quoted above – saying: Chapter on the believer’s fear that his deeds may be canceled out without him realizing.

And he ended this chapter by saying:

And there is fear for the one who persists in hypocrisy and sin without repenting, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135]. End quote.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
What the words of al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) – And there is fear for the one who persists in hypocrisy and sin without repenting, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135] – mean is that if one persists in sin and the various types of hypocrisy without repenting there is the fear that the one who does that may be punished by having his faith taken away altogether, so that he becomes a complete hypocrite and meets a bad end – we seek refuge with Allaah from that – as it is said that sin is the way to kufr. Fath al-Baari by Ibn Rajab (1/181).

[Islam Q&A]

Reference: qsep.com