The difference between believers and hypocrites

In the Quran Sharif in surah Noor, verse 40-51, Allah speaks about the characteristics of the Munafiqoon/the hypocrites. He begins by saying, “We have surely sent down clear-cut ayahs, and Allah guides whom He wills to the straight path. They say, “We have believed in Allah and in the messenger and have adopted obedience”, [but] then a group from them goes back after all this. Those are no believers.”

So why are they not true believers when, like us, this group of people also claim to possess faith? Allah continues to explain their plight.

“When they are summoned to Allah and His messenger so that judgement may be passed between them, a group of them turns away.” Why? Because they don’t want a ruling that will cause worldly loss. When it goes against their own whims and hidden agendas, they turn away from the rulings of deen. But, “if the right is theirs, they would come to Him as [if they are] submissive ones.”

Then Allah asks, “Do they have a sickness in their hearts, or do they have doubt [due to which they are unable to accept the overriding decree of Allah], or do they fear that Allah and His messenger will do injustice to them? [No, they don’t,] Rather they themselves are the unjust.”

This ayah was revealed about a man who would attend Salah and the gatherings of Nabi ﷺ. However, he was not a Muslim, he was a hypocrite. He was deeply engrossed in the love of this world so like all hypocrites, he only wanted worldly gain. So much so, he was willing to outwardly portray obedience to the deen and Allah. If a battle would lead to the acquisition of booty, the hypocrites were eager to join, yet they backed out from battles like Uhud. When sacrifice for the sake of Allah was required, they were nowhere to be seen.

The would follow deen when it would suit them. From this example, we must ask ourselves, how much am I doing for Allah? Am I in Allah’s deen for my own benefit? Or am I here for Allah alone, am I sincere? There are so many cases where people only give preference to deen when it suits them, otherwise they hanker after the dunya. Some men who rarely open the book of Allah, suddenly become eager to turn to it when inheritance is being distributed. He knows that this way, he will get a bigger slice of the cake! So is he really worried about shariah, or is he worried about filling his pockets?

We mustn’t be like this. Don’t pick and choose. Don’t enter a few fingers into deen, leaving the rest of your body hanging on the other side. True believers, when they are called to the hukm of Allah and Nabi ﷺ immediately say we have heard and obeyed. They are not looking for loopholes. Nor are they greedy. Rather, true believers are sincere; they are willing to follow deen even if it means they have to endure a few knocks and trials. Their only concern is that how do I make my Allah happy? What must I do to please him?

May Allah grant us the tawfiq to be sincere, Aameen.

— Hazrat Maulana Dawood Seedat حفظه الله

Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 11/3/2016 in Masjid-ut-Taqwa, Pietermaritzburg. To listen to the full audio, please click here.

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