Then whoever considers the blameworthy characteristics with which Allaah describes the Hypocrites in the Qur’aan will know that they indeed deserve the lowest depth of the Fire. So He describes them as trying to outwit Him and to outwit His servants. He describes their hearts as being diseased: and it is the disease of misgivings and doubts. He also described them as causing corruption upon the earth and mocking His Religion and His servants; and being guilty of transgression; and of taking misguidance in exchange for guidance, and of being deaf, dumb and blind, and in confusion; and laziness upon worship of Him, and being guilty of fornication, and remembering Him little; and wavering – which means their fluctuating between Believers and Unbelievers, so that they are neither fully with these nor with those; and of swearing false and baseless oaths in His name, the Most High. He also described them with extreme cowardice, and with an absence of understanding of the Religion and a lack of knowledge, and with miserliness; and with an absence of true Faith in Allaah and the Last Day; and with their hating that Allah’s command is made manifest; and that they are grieved when the Believers attain good and victory, and that they become overjoyed when trials and tribulations befall them, and they avidly await the Muslims being struck by setbacks.
They also accuse them of what is not found in them, and they cast aspersions upon those who give in charity. He also described them as being slaves to this world; and that if they are given something from it they are pleased, and if they are prevented from that then become vexed. Also that they trouble Allaah’s Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and criticize him, and that they seek to please the creation and do not seek to please the Lord of the creation, and that they mock the Believers. He also informed that they are the impure dregs, and the impure dregs of every category are that which is most foul and impure. So they are the foulest, most polluted, and the most despicable of the descendants of Aadam.
He, the One free of all imperfections, also described them as mocking Him, and His signs, and His Messengers; and that they command evil and that they forbid the good, and that they hold their hands from spending in a manner pleasing to Him. He also described them as abandoning remembering Him, and that they ally themselves to the Unbelievers and abandon the Believers; and that Satan has overcome them and caused them to forget remembrance of Allaah: so they do not remember Him except a little. Also that they are the party of Satan, and that they have friendship and affection for those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), and that they say with their tongues that which is not in their hearts.
Also from their characteristics are what Allaah’s Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) described them with: lying when speaking, betraying their trust, breaking their agreement, behaving shamelessly when disputing, breaking their promises, delaying the Prayer to the end of its time and then rushing its performance – doing it quickly and hastily, and leaving off praying it with the Congregation, and that the hardest of Prayers upon them are the Dawn Prayer and the Ishaa’ prayer.
Also from their characteristics is that their actions give the lie to their sayings and their inner state gives the lie to their outward state and their secrets contradict what they display.
Also from their characteristics is that when there is a dispute if you call them to accept the judgement of the Book and the Sunnah they refuse that and turn away from it, and they call you to refer for judgement to those they have set up besides Allaah:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ رَأَيْتَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودًا
Meaning: And when it is said to them: come to the judgement which Allaah sent down in His Book and to the Messenger – for him to judge between us, then you will see the Hypocrites turning away from you. [Sooratun-Nisaa (4): 61]
Also from their characteristics is their opposing that which the Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallaam) brought with the intellect and opinions of men, and from their characteristics are hiding the truth and seeking to dupe its people.
So, in summary, their affair is that they are in relation to the Muslims like counterfeit currency which is accepted by most people because of their lack of insight into the true coinage. So nothing is more harmful to the religions than this type of people, and the harm caused to the Muslims by them is greater than the harm they suffer at the hands of open Unbelievers. So the open Unbelievers with their Unbelief are less harmful, and will be above them in levels of the Fire. So both groups share in Unbelief, and in enmity towards Allaah and His Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), however the Hypocrites add to this lying and Hypocrisy, which is why He, the Most High, said regarding them:
هُمُ الْعَدُوُّ فَاحْذَرْهُمْ
Meaning: They are the enemy, so beware of them! [Sooratul-Munaafiqoon (63):4]
So it is fully befitting that the people of this level should be placed where Allaah will place them in the abode of humiliation, and that they should be put in the lowest of the levels of the people of obstinate rejection of the truth and of Unbelief.
So the more true Faith (Eemaan) a servant has and the greater his awareness (of his Lord), then the greater his fear will be of being from the people of this level. Therefore, those who were the chiefs and the first and foremost ones of this Ummah feared greatly lest they should be from them. So ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “O Hudhayfah! I implore you, by Allaah, to tell me: Did Allaah’s Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) name me amongst those people?” So he replied: “No, and I will not declare anyone righteous after you.” 1
Also Ibn Abee Mulaykah said: “I reached thirty of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salAllaahu ‘alayhi wasallaam) and each one of them feared becoming a hypocrite. Not a single of them said that he was upon the level of Eemaan of Jibreel and Meekaa’eel.” 2
1 -Reported by al-Bazzaar (1/391: ‘Kashful-Astaar’), and declared hasan by Shaikh Muqbil, ‘Al-Jaami’us-Saheeh mimma laisa fis-Saheehayn’ (4/32-33).
2 – Mentioned by al-Bukhaaree in a chapter heading: the Book of Eemaan: Chapter 36: ”The Fear of a Believer that His Deeds Should Be Annulled Whilst He is Not Aware’
- Transcribed from: The Abridgement of the Levels of People in the Hereafter | Ibn Al Qayyim | [Taken from the book: Tareequl Hijratayan wa Baabus-Sa'aadatayn -The Path of the Two Migrations and The Door to the Two States of Bliss]