THE SIGNS OF A MUNAAFIQ
The Sahaabah-e-Kiraam were always alert. They were suspicious of their own nafs, never trusting it. They always took stock of their deeds, hence they felt very strongly the slightest weakness which developed in them. They always feared the contamination of nifaq(hypocrisy). Whenever they discerned any adverse conflict in their internal and external conditions, they would suspect themselves of having become the victims of nifaaq.
Bukhaari Shareef reports the following Hadith:
“Ibn Abi Maleekah said: I met thirty Sahaabah of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] all of whom feared the affliction of nifaaq upon their nafs.”
In the commentary of this Hadith it is said:
“None of them regarded themselves free of nifaaq.”
Imam Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayhi) said:
“It is only the Mu’min who fears nifaaq and it is only the munaafiq who feels secure from it.”
Imam Ghazali (rahmatullah alayhi) said:
“A man said to Huzaifah: I fear Allah, for perhaps I become a munaafiq. Huzaifah replied: If you were a munaafiq you would not have feared nifaaq. Verily, a munaafiq does not fear nifaaq. Only a Mu’min fears nifaaq and only a munaafiq feels secure from it.”
The sign of true Imaan,
therefore, is the recognition of one’s own faults and weaknesses, so much so, that one fears for the safety of one’s Imaan. The true believer feels that his condition is like that of the munaafiqeen. An uncaring and self-assured attitude and indifference to ones faults and defects are ingredients of a hypocritical condition.
Imam Ghazali (rahmatullah alayhi) states in Ihya-ul Uloom:
“Huzaifah said: Today, there are more hypocrites than were in the time of Nabi [sallallahu alayhi wassallam]. During that time they concealed their nifaaq, but nowadays they exhibit it. Nifaaq is the opposite of truth and Imaan. It is a hidden condition.”
“When it was said to Hasan Basri that some claim that nowadays there is no longer nifaaq, he replied: 0 mybrother! [Today their number is so great] that if they all died [now] you will be overwhelmed with fear [because of the desolateness of the earth by virtue of silence in the roads. [In other words, the world will become almost empty and an eerie silence will permeate it as a result of this emptiness.”
Hasan Basri or some other saint also said:
“If the munaafiqeen had to grow tails, then we would not have been able to set our feet on the ground [because the whole earth would be covered by their tails. This expresses their abundance].”
A similar expression is given in Ruhul Maaani:
“The signs of a munaafiq are three. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he violates it; and, when he is trusted, he abuses that trust.”
Another sign of nifaaq is also given in the authentic narrations of Ahadeeth. That sign is: when the munaafiq disputes, he becomes abusive. A doubt arises at this juncture. These traits mentioned in regard to nifaaq sometimes are found in such Muslims whose Islam is beyond reproach.
There is no doubt regarding their Imaan. In fact, nowadays a great many among even the Ulama are afflicted with these evils. The Hadith also corroborates this by saying:
“The majority of the munaafiqeen of this Ummah are its Qurraa.”
In this first epoch of Islam the term, qurraa (reciters) referred to the Ulama. The explanation of this doubt is: Since these evils are the characteristics of nifaaq, their presence in one creates resemblance with the munaafiqeen. In having these evil traits which are the special features of nifaaq one will be simulating the munaafiqeen in character. Thus the Hadith: “He in who there exist four traits is a total Munaafiq”, means that such a person has a very strong affinity and resemblance with the munaafiqeen. It does not mean that he is a munaafiq in the technical or actual sense – – a hidden kaafir.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) said:
“The signs of the munaafiq are three. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he violates and when he is trusted, he abuses that trust.”
Hadhrat Abdullah Bin Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“He in who there are four qualities is a total munaafiq. He in who there is one of these qualities, has in him a quality of nifaaq. [This nifaaq remains in him] until he shuns it. When he is trusted, he misappropriates; when he speaks, he lies; when he pledges, he betrays and when he disputes, he becomes abusive.” [Bukhaari, Muslim]
In the Kitaab, Al-Adaabun Nabawi, in the commentary of the Hadith, “In who there are four qualities….”, it is said:
“In reality, these four qualities are major sins which bring spiritual destruction. They are such crimes which bring ruin in their wake. They do not emanate from a Mu’min whose heart is filled with Isnaaa. This Hadith is a great pillar among the pillars of moral character on which is based the honour and elevation of nations.”
In Surah Munaafiqoon, Tafseer Ibn Kathir presents a Hadith from the Musnad of Ahmad. In this Hadith eight factors of nifaaq are mentioned:
“Abu Hurairah narrates that Nabi: [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] said: ‘Verily, the munaafiqeen have some signs by means of which they are recognised. [These are]: their greeting is curse [i.e. instead of greeting, they curse); their nourishment is by plundering; their booty is wealth which has been placed in their trust; they do not venture near to the Musjids, and if they do, they indulge in nonsensical talk; they come to Salaat the very last and in pride; they love none nor do others love them; and, during the night they lay sleeping [like logs] while during the day they wander around bellowing and screaming.’”
ln short, hypocrisy produces moral degeneration, pursuit of ulterior and baneful motives, misappropriation of trust and renunciation of the Deen. When mans moral fibre is destroyed, his tongue becomes abusive and noxious and his actions despicable and abhorrent. When the attribute of amaanat is annihilated, plundered wealth seems wholesome. Khiyaanat (misappropriation) then seems adorable. Affliction with pernicious motives makes one unconcerned with the rights of others. A man suffering from baneful motives recognizes nothing but his own desires. His heart is devoid of love and pity for others. People detest him. This is always the fate which overtakes a selfish person. When indifference to the Deen sets in the heart, there remains no life in Salaat.
A Musim is never neglectful nor indolent in his Salaat which is among the Huqooq (Rights) of Allah Ta’ala. He always presents himself in the Musjid in humility, with respect and on time. No vestige of abuse, vulgarity, misbehaviour and futility will be found in him.
The Hadith says: “Verily, these two [Fajr and Ishaa] are the most difficult on the munaafiqeen.”
Since these two Salaats entail sacrifice of sleep and comfort, they are most difficult on the hypocrites. If this difficulty is merely, a natural state then it will not be evil. In this natural state, one will not be prevented from attending the Salaat on time. One overcomes the difficulty. In fact, such striving (Mujaahada) against the natural propensities is the means of procuring higher spiritual states and reward. However, if this sleep and comfort have become so loveable that they overshadow Salaat and eliminate the very intention of Fajr and Ishaa Salaat, then this will be the condition of the munaafiqeen. Conscious and deliberate abstention from Salaat is undoubtedly resemblance with the practice of the hypocrites. The Hadith shareef says:
“This is the Salaat of the munaafiqhe sits waiting for the sun tobecome yellow until it settles between the two horns of shaitaan [i.e. veryclose to sunset]. He then stands up and makes four pecks in which he[barely] makes the thikr of Allah.” [Muslim]
According to this Hadith, deliberate procrastination of Salaat is evidence of the Salaat being considered insignificant, hence it being compared with pecks (the pecks of a fowl) to indicate the contempt in which Allah Ta’ala holds it. To consider Salaat to be insignificant is the attitude of the munaafiqeen. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Jamaat [Salaat] is of the ways of guidance. Only a munaafiq is negligent of it.”
“The munaafiq is contemptible because of his despicable acts.”
“Nonsensical, abusive and audacious talk are branches of nifaaq.”
About nonsensical conversation, another narration states:
“Verily, I fear for this Ummat every such munaafiq who will speak with wisdom and perpetrate, injustice.”
“The most fearsome object which I fear for my Ummat is every such munaafiq who has the ability of eloquent expression.”
Commenting on this Hadith, the authorities says that it means:
“One who has knowledge and whose tongue is glib with eloquence, but his heart and deeds are ignorant and his beliefs are corrupt. He misleads and deceives people with his evil and eloquence of speech.”
“His tongue operates glibly in knowledge and eloquence while his heart his corrupt and devoid of virtue. Rasulullah [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] feared such a munaafiq for his Ummat because he [the munaafiq] being versed in knowledge will obtain a following of people. People will follow him and he will lead them astray.”
Eloquence of speech and ability in oratory, be it for the masses or for academic discourse, minus virtuous moral character and perfection of Imaan, are not desirable by the Shariah. Far from being considered laudable, the Shariah brands as a munaafiq an eloquent orator bereft of Islamic moral character and perfected Imaan.