Who is a Hypocrite? How should the jihad be done against the Hypocrites?
A Hypocrite is a person who passes himself off as a believer although he does not truly have faith. In this respect, Hypocrisy is a forgery of faith. (1)
A Hypocrite is like a chameleon; he changes his color in accordance with the place he is in. (2)
A hypocrites direction is determined by wind, whatever side the wind blows violently, he turns himself into that direction. A motive of self-interest prevails over his conception of religion and faith. (3)
In respect of doing harm, a hypocrite is like a tiny white stone in a rice sack.
There are mainly two reasons that lead men into hypocrisy:
1- To make use of the benefits of Islam.
2- To attempt to spread mischief among the Muslims.
Since hypocrites constitute a minor group within the Muslim community, they try to make themselves unnoticed by saying We are Muslims too, or pretending to be Muslims, they spy on them, give information to particular places and thus weakening them unnoticed.
There are many verses in the Quran about hypocrites. Doubtlessly, that is not for nothing. Because when the enemy is not known, he does more harm. He is more dangerous while lying in ambush. (4)
Against this harmful group of people, Allah Almighty warns, O (most illustrious) Prophet! Strive against the unbelievers and the hypocrites (in the way required by time and conditions), and be stern against them. (Al-Taubah Surah, 9:73; Al- Tahrim Surah, 66:9) The Prophet (PBUH) did not draw his sword against the hypocrites. He made jihad against them by offering proofs, attempting to persuade them, and punishing them in accordance with the Islamic law. (5)
The Holy Quran depicts the hypocrites without giving their names. It draws the framework of hypocrisy. Various people from different ages may be included in this framework.
Although the Prophet (PBUH) knew the hypocrites in general, he did not make their names public and did not put them to shame.
There is some kind of hypocrisy, which would be ineffective, if remained unknown. The hypocrite tries to conceal it. If it is no longer secret, just as one says do what ever you want if you are not ashamed, he says I do not care whatever happens and puts his hypocricy into practice. (6)
Like in faith and disbelief, hypocricy also have degrees. Some hypocrites are quiet and inoffensive. This kind of hypocrites must be warned and guided; one must try to bring the faith from their tongues to their hearts. Some endeavor against Islam although pretending to be Muslims. We must be wide-awake against these people and warn others about them.
If we handle the verses about the hypocrites as a whole, it will be possible to know about them better:
Had We so willed, We could have shown them up to thee, and thou should have known them by their marks: but surely thou will know them by the tone of their speech! (Muhammad, 30) That is, a hypocrite contradicts himself with his own words. If one paid careful attention, he would not have difficulty in recognizing them because of the inconsistency in his words. For those who have the perfection of faith, the manners of a hypocrite would not become a secret since they have got the praise of a hadith which says beware of the sagacity of believers, since they see through the light of Allah (7)
However some hypocrites are difficult to identify as the verse indicates: Among the Bedouin Arabs who dwell around you there are hypocrites, and among the people of Madinah (too) there are such as have grown more artful and insidious in hypocrisy: you (O Messenger) do not know them (unless We inform you of them). We know them all (and the threat they pose)... (Al-Taubah Surah, 9:101)
The hypocrites in big cities are the ones who are obstinate in hypocricy and are quite unreliable. They know how to dissemble themselves. They are used to come up the water like oil. If there is no revelation, even the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) cannot know them. (8)
The Quranic verses that mention hypocrites caused so many hypocrites to be sincere Muslims. For example, let us see this verse:
Among the believers are men (of highest valor) who have been true to their covenant with God: among them are those who have fulfilled their vow (by remaining steadfast until death), and those who are awaiting (its fulfillment). They have never altered in any way. In consequence God will reward the truthful ones for having been true to their covenant, and punish the hypocrites if He wills or turn to them in lenience and accept their repentance (if they repent). Surely God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate. (Al-Ahzab Surah, 33:23-24)
In these verses, there is an allusion at those who have disease in their hearts and go back on their words, besides those believers who keep their promises (true to their covenant with Allah) are praised. (9) The words in the verse, which read, punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy show that there is a hope of salvation for them. Furthermore, at the end of the verse, the verses reading, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful makes them more hopeful and lead them to repentance.
1-Sadık Kılıç, Kur'an'a Göre Nifak (The Hypocricy According to The Quran), Furkan Pub., İst.,1982, p.,27
2-İbnu Manzur, IV, 358-359
3-Kılıç, p. 54
4-Nursi, İşaratu'l-İ'caz, p., 82-83
5-Razi, XVI, 135; İbnu Kesir, IV, 119; Beydavi, I, 412; Yazır, IV, 2591
6-Nursi, İşaratu'l-İ'caz, p.,83-84
7-Acluni, I, 41-42
8-Yazır, IV, 2611
9-Beydavi, II, 243