Wednesday 26th of February 2020

hypocrites are in the lowest stage of the fire

Thus the punishment of the hypocrites shall be more severe than that of the infidels. Hypocrisy is actually the worst kind of disbelief.

In order to gain worldly benefits the hypocrite veils his disbelief by the screen of religiousness. He seems to be religious by his words and actions. Whereae his heart is not religious. For example he recites the two confessions (Kalema Shahadatain). He verbally claims to believe in Quran and Qiyamat. But his heart does not have faith in these things. It denies them.

يَقُولُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِهِم مَّا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ

“They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts.”

(Surah Fath 48:11)

Such people also perform good deed with enthusiasm to gain popularity among the people. They recite prayer, go for Hajj and give charity so that people consider them religious. They may praise them and trust them.

Thus in addition to disbelief, the hypocrite also suffers from the disease of lying, cheating and ridiculing the faith. The hypocrite lies to Allah, the Prophet and the believers. He resorts to cheating and ridicules the truth. Actually he is lying to himself. He is cheating himself and ridiculing his own self. This is mentioned in detail in the Holy Quran. Read Surah Munafiqoon (Chap. 63) to understand the degradation of hypocrites, their evil traits and the severity of their punishment in the Hereafter. Apart from this, also refer to the verses about hypocrites in Surah Baqarah, Aale Imraan, Surah Nisa and Surah Taubah.

Types of Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy means ‘double-facedness’. A contradiction between his apparent and hidden self. Apparently he is a believer but his inner self in disbelief. His outer apperance is good but his internal condition is evil. Hypocrisy is of three types:

1.       Hypocrisy against Allah regarding actual faith

2.       Hypocrisy with Allah regarding the necessities of faith.

3.       Hypocrisy with others.


First Type: Hypocrisy against Allah regarding actual faith

A hypocrite does not sincerely believe in Allah and the Hereafter. Howevr, he show himself to be a Muslim before other people. His intention is that the Islamic commandments may be in favours. For example, he may be considered paak (clean/pure) in the society. He can marry among the Muslims and he can benefit from inheritance etc.

Such people are mentioned in Surah Baqarah:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

“And there are some people who say: We believe in Allah and the last day; and they are not at all believers.”

(Surah Baqarah 2:8)

And Quran also says,

وَإِذَا لَقُواْ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ قَالُواْ آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلَوْاْ إِلَى شَيَاطِينِهِمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّا مَعَكْمْ إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُسْتَهْزِئُونَ

“And when they meet those who believe, they say: We believe; and when they are alone with their Shaitans, they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.”

(Surah Baqarah 2:14)

This is the worst stage of hypocrisy. Nothing can be considered more serious. The punishment of such hypocrites in the Hereafter shall be worse than infidels. He shall never be able to get salvation. In addition to their degradation and their punishment the Quran also states that it is necessary to remain aloof from them.

A large portion of the Muslim community has always consisted by hypocrites. It is obligatory for every Muslim to express immunity from them, whether there is alive or dead. We should curse them. For example the hypocrisy of Yazeed Ibne Muawiya is obvious. Indeed such hypocrites have caused more harm to Islam than the infidels.

Taqiyaah and its Types

We should know that hypocrisy with Allah is that a person apparently poses as religious while concealing his infidelity. So that he can gain benefits of religiousness. However, Taqaiyyah, which is obligatory according to reason and Shariat is very much different from hypocrisy. Taqaiyyah denotes the denial of ones faith from the deniers of truth, so that ones life, honour and wealth remain safe. With the condition that not practicing taqaiyyah causes no benefit to the faith. If a believer expresses his faith he shall be subjected to murder, robbery or loss of honour, then in this condition it is obligatory on him to observe Taqaiyyah and conceal his faith.

If the expression of truth will strengthen religious giving up of taqaiyyah is recommended. For example the case of Mitham Tammar, or Abu Zar Ghiffari, Hujr bin Adi. These loyal companions did not observe taqaiyyah.

And whenever there is a risk of the truth being destroyed or harmed if one does taqaiyyah, it is haraam to observe taqaiyyah. In this case avoiding taqaiyyah becomes obligatory. That is why the chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.) did not observe taqaiyyah.

In short, taqaiyyah is of three types: Obligatory, recommended and prohibited. It is possible that in some cases it could also be Mubah (permissible) and Makraooh (detestable).

Difference between Taqaiyyah and Hypocrisy (Nifaq)

So we realize that when Taqaiyyah is wajib (obligatory) or Mubah (permissible), it is not construed as hypocrisy. It is the opposite. That is when taqaiyyah is not permitted or obligatory and a person observes it, this shall tantamount to hypocrisy. Whenever taqaiyyah is obligatory or permissible even intellect says that it is a necessity and it is a good thing. When taqaiyyah is obligatory and the person fails to observe it he is said to have acted against reason. Because he would have wasted his life and died for no just cause. This is noting but gross foolishness.

The holy law of Islam has permitted taqaiyyah or the concealment of ones faith only when there is a danger to ones life, honour or property. The following verses of the Holy Quran testify to this: Surah Aale Imran: verse 28, and Surah Nahl: verse 106. The traditions of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) also greatly emphasize the importance of taqaiyyah. However it is beyond the scope of discussion to mention them in detail.

Second Type: Hypocrisy with Allah Regarding the Necessities of faith.

There is a person whose faith regarding Allah and the day of recompense is very weak. Either he does not prosses the necessary items of faith or they are deficient and weak. Yet he falsely claims that he possesses all the necessary principles of faith. Such a person may believe in Qiyamat, Accounting, scales of deeds and Hellfire but he does not fear them at all. Yet he claims that: “I fear Allah. I am terrified of the Day of Qiyamat and Accounting.”

The proof of the falsity of his claim is the way he commits sins in an unhindered way. He sins without much ado. If one fears that a particular eatable is poisonous he would not even dare to touch it. In the same way one who is fearful of divine justice and retribution will never commit sins blatantly.

Regard this is a statement of a learned person: “If you are whether you fear Allah, you must remain silent. Because if you say you do not fear Him you will become a Kafir. Allah has promised recompense on the day of judgement. If you say: I fear Allah, you would have lied. Because the sign of Allah’s fear is flight from sins.”

A Believer is not a Habitual sinner

The fact is that a believer considers Allah as All-seeing and Omnipresent all the time. He remains afraid of His chastisement and in owe of His justice. That is why he does not commit sins in a blatant manner. He never denies divine punishment. Even if he sometimes commits a sin due to the overpowering of selfish desires, satanic instigation or vanity regarding the divine bounties, he is immediately remorseful and repents for his sin. He seeks forgiveness at once and tries to compensate for his misdeed.

In other words, occurrence of sin is no proof of lack of belief. The proof of disbelief is failure to repent for ones sins.

It is related from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said,

“One who is pleased with his good deeds and remorseful of his deeds is a believer (Momin).”

Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) says in Dua Abu Hamza Thumali:

“O my God! When I disobeyed I was not denying your Lordship. And neither did I consider Your command unimportant. I did not consider ineffective your retribution. I did not belittle your promise of chastisement. Yet I committed a mistake. My self led me astray. My carnal desires overpowered me. My depravity helped me in this regard. The shade of the freedom that you had given me made me careless.”

Spending in Allah’s way is a sign of Hope in Allah

Another form of hypocrisy with Allah is that man claims falsely to have hope in Allah, while he has not such hopes or hopes little. He says, “I repose hope in my God.” This lie, and its proof is that he is hesitant to spend his life and property in the way of Allah. He considers spending in the way of Allah, a loss. He doest not think that Allah will recompense him in the world and the Hereafter. If he had hope in Allah he would not have hesitated to even give his life in Allah’s way.

Thus, the proof of having fear of Allah is abstinence from sins and performance of repentance. Abstaining from sins. In the proof that the person hopes that Allah will reward him for the same. That is why he strives to be obedient. The hard work that human beings put in for the worldly affairs indicates that they expect something material in return. What all man says and writes in hope of material gains?

False claim of Piety and Religiousness

Another kind of hypocrisy is that man claims falsely that he is very pious and religious, while in fact his heart is not clean of the love of this world. Though he claims reliance on Allah, professes His love, patience, thankfulness and resignation to Divine will, the actual hope of his heart is reposed in wealth and property. Such a person is not considered as being thankful to Allah for His uncomputed bounties. He is unhappy with Allah during difficulties and hard times. To study the details of this please refer to Mulla Naraqis Me’rajus Sadat.

We should know that this type of hypocrisy is different from the one mentioned before. In the first case there is altogether no hope in Allah or very less hope. However, here even if the faith in the Hereafter is weak it is yet not such a grim situation. If a person falsely claiming piety and religiousness were to die, he shall not remain forever in divine chastisement. After suffering punishment for a certain period he would gain salvation. However, even after this he shall not able to obtain the grades of the true believers in Paradise.

Hypocrisy with Allah regarding the worship acts

A person can be a hypocrite regarding different types of worship acts, for example physical or monetary, obligatory or recommended etc. Though he performs prayers, fast, zakat, khums, Amrbil Ma’roof and Nahy Anil Munkar for the name of Allah but along with this he aims to prove his piety to the people. Either he completely performs these acts for show off or he does them for both Allah and the people. Such hypocrisy is also referred to as Riyakari (show off). The aim of such behaviour is to earn fame and honour among the people.

Such a person will be called by four nicknames in Qiyamat: Traitor, Transgressor, Disbeliever and the Loss Sufferer. Quranic ayats and traditions prove that the act of this person is haraam (illegal) and batil (invalid). He would have to undergo punishment in the Hereafter, unless he repents his past misdeeds. The details of the same are given in our book Gunahane Kabira. (Translated into English as Greater sins by the same translator)

Sins that cause Hypocrisy

There are some sins that destroy belief (Eimaan) and create hypocrisy in the heart. And one who dies without belief can never obtain salvation. One of such sins is Riyakari (show off). Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says,

“One who cheats Allah is kept in a misunderstanding by Allah and He destroys his belief (Eimaan).”


Similary murder, omitting prayer, not paying zakat, not performing Hajj, false allegations and other sins like these destroy the belief. Some of tem are mentioned in the traditions. One of Sch sins to be pleased at the tragedies that befell the chief of the Martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.).

In Beharul Anwaar the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is quoted to be prophesizing about Imam Husain (a.s.):

“As if I see the place of the falling down of Husain and the place he shall be buried: As if I see the prisoners astride the camels. In this condition the head of my son Husain shall be presented to Yazeed. By Allah! Whoever feels happy to see the head of Husain, Allah will create contradiction in his words and thoughts. And would give him a painful punishment.”

The Islam of this person shall be confined to his tongue while his heart will be full of darkness (disbelief).

In the same way one of the sins responsible for creating hypocrisy is non-payment of religious takes like zakat and khums. The Holy Quran says,

وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ عَاهَدَ اللّهَ لَئِنْ آتَانَا مِن فَضْلِهِ لَنَصَّدَّقَنَّ وَلَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ فَلَمَّا آتَاهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ بَخِلُواْ بِهِ وَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ فَأَعْقَبَهُمْ نِفَاقًا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ يَلْقَوْنَهُ بِمَا أَخْلَفُواْ اللّهَ مَا وَعَدُوهُ وَبِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْذِبُونَ

And there are those of them who made a covenant with Allah: If He give us out of His grace, we will certainly give alms and we will certainly be of the good.

(Surah Taubah 9:75-77)


But when He gave them out of His grace, they became niggardly of it and they turned back and they withdrew.

(Surah Taubah 9:75-77)


So He made hypocrisy to follow as a consequence into their hearts till the day when they shall meet Him because they failed to perform towards Allah what they had promised with Him and because they told lies.

(Surah Taubah 9:75-77)

Third Type: Hypocrisy with the people

Hypocrisy with people is that a person is double faced and double-tongued. He praises one person in his presence but behind his back he denounces him and tries to cause pain and harm him. Or that he befriends two enemies and promises each of them his support. That he instigates each of them to increase enmity, and trie to show that he has helped him against his enemy.

It must, however be mentioned that if he keeps in contact with both of them and expresses his solidarity with each without professing enmity of the other and without instigating them for further enmity, this would not be construed as hypocrisy. If one expresses friendship to a mischievous and degraded person without any intention of befriending him it is regarded as a kind of taqaiyyah if one’s aim was to remain safe from the mischief of this person. In some cases this type of taqaiyyah even becomes wajib.

The worst folks in Qiyamat

A person came to the door of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and sought his person to enter. The Prophet (s.a.) told his companions to allow him entry and also remarked that he was a vile person.

When the person joined the assembly the Holy Prophet (s.a.) spoke to him so nicely that the companions present therein began to think that the Messenger (s.a.) has got to like this person. When he left the people asked the Prophet (s.a.) why he had behaved so nicely with him while previously he was having such a negative opinion. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said,

“The worst of the folks on the day of Qiyamat are those whom the prople are forced to accord respect in fear of their mischief.”

Some companions have reportedly said: we sued to meet some people with bowed foreheads while our hearts cursed them.

Difference between Taqaiyyah and False Praise

As we have mentioned that such a course of action is allowed only to avoid loss. But we see quite often that people indulge in false praise just for greed. The needlessly praise some detestable persons. They do not even have any chance of being harmed by this person. Sometimes they indulge in such double-facedness due to their low status and weakness. They term this false praise a good moral behaviour. Actually it is hypocrisy and it is haraam.

Double Facedness

Amirul Mo-mneen Ali (a.s.) says,

One of the firm decisions of Allah in the Wise Reminder (Qur’an) upon which He bestows reward or gives punishment, and through which He likes or dislikes is that it will not benefit a man, even though he exerts himself and acts sincerely if he leaves this world to meet Allah with one of these acts without repenting, namely that he believed in a partner with Allah during his obligatory worship, or appeased his own anger by killing an individual, or spoke about acts committed by others, or sought fulfillment of his needs from people by introducing an innovation in his religion, or met people with a double face, or moved among them with a double tongue.

(Nahjul Balagha, Sermon No. 152)

And Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says,

“How evil is the one who is a slanderer, a defamer. He expresses friendship with one face and enmity with the other.”

It is also quoted from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) in Al-Kafi that,

“If a person possesses these three characteristic he is a hypocrite even if he prays and fasts and considers himself a Muslim.

One who does Khayanat in the trust?

One who lies?

One who goes back on his word?

All three types of actions with the people are considered hypocrisy.

Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) says,

“Sins that present the acceptance of supplications are the following: Bad intention regarding Allah, an evil inner self and hypocrisy with the believing brothers. If it is accompanied with necessary conditions the supplication is indeed accepted. Lack of trust in this regard, delaying prayers from its best time and not making effort to gain Allah’s satisfaction by giving charity. Using foul and dirty language.” This hadith mentions hypocrisy with Momineen to be one of the sins that prevent acceptance of supplications.

Since we have already dicussed hypocrisy in great detail in the chapters of Riyakari, Cheating and Back-biting etc we shall refrain from greater details over here.

The Punishment shall be in proportion to Hypocrisy

As we have indicated earlier, hypocrisy towards Allah and the creatures of Allah is of different types and of different grades. The punishment for it depends upon the magnitude of a particular hypocrisy. For example the worst form of hypocrisy against Allah is that a person professes belief verbally but harbours disbelief in his heart. If man dies in such a condition he shall remain in Hell forever and his punishment shall be worse than infidels.

The next lower stage of hypocrisy is that man expresses certainty of belief with his tongue while his heart is not in absolute disbelief, but there is a doubtful state. If this person also dies without belief he shall reside in Hell forever. But his punishment will be less than that of those who completely deny faith in worldly.

The next grade of hypocrisy is that a person verbally says he is a believer and even has faith in his heart. But with regard to worship acts he makes other people partners to the Almighty. That is he commits Riyakari (Show off). If such a person were to die he will not remain in Hell forever. He shall suffer the punishment for some time then due to his belief he will be allowed to enter Paradise. His punishment in Barzakh (Purgatory) and Hell will depend upon the magnitude of his Riyakari.

source : QALBE SALEEM/Shaheede Mehraab Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Al-Haaj Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)
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