Spreading like wildfire
Once the disease of hypocrisy enters the heart, it will quickly dominate it. Spreading like wildfire, this domination is accelerated when one perpetually lies and denies the truth of Allah's Message. This is not a personal conclusion drawn by the author, but one that is elucidated in the following passage:
"In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease [of doubt and hypocrisy]; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie." (Al Baqarah 2:10)
Eventually these are the ones who will instigate great harm against society. We are witnessing these events across the Muslim map every single day. Just by observing the daily news, we can see how this trend of behaviour has reached epidemic proportions – gross violations of human rights and lives andbrutal killings carried out by the hands of those purporting to believe in Islam.
However "… when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers [peacemakers] Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not." (Al Baqarah 2:11 – 2.12) How many key figures across various lands are now guilty of this very same pattern of behaviour? Their actions fall within the template described by the Qur'an, almost word for word. When called to account, they simply raise their hands and claim to be acting for the greater good.
The Root of The Problem
What is the root of all this? It does not stem from weaknesses, for Allah forgives the sins of His slaves. The cause of it is much darker – it starts when one denies Allah's attributes or one of the pillars of the deen. These are the so called revolutionary minds, who with their limited understanding, are convinced that their own systems are superior to what has already been ordained by Allah, and who behave as if Allah's commands and injunctions apply to some outdated era rather than to them. It is this rejection of the fundamental belief in Allah's orders, the increasing disbelief in the rules and structures determined by Allah, that sows hypocrisy – in short the denial of Allah and His Messenger. This hypocrisy poisons and contaminates the heart, blinding its owner to the extent that truth and falsehood can no longer show themselves with clarity.
And when it is said to them, "Believe as the people have believed," they say, "Should we believe as the foolish have believed?" Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not. (2:13) And when they meet those who believe, they say, "Webelieve"; but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say, "Indeed, we are with you; we were only mockers." (2:14)
Again, this is the behaviour witnessed of many key players in Islamic nations. Outwardly professing their Islam, their methodology and philosophy are in direct contradiction with the duties entrusted to them as leaders of Muslim nations. They reject any form of Islamic governance, and are willing to slander, spill blood and instigate havoc and indiscriminate slaughter in order to establish a secular rule, or some other personal agenda. Their allies and supporters are not Muslims, but other hypocrites and non-believers who are ininfluential positions.
Added to that is their overwhelming love of dunia – the love of wealth, glory and power – for which they willingly and enthusiastically trade their deen. This attachment to dunia further deceives, making the disease more chronic by fuelling it with its hypnotic charms, hurtling them into even deeper blindness and obliviousness.
Inability to Perceive
Allah has snatched their understanding to the extent that they do not know what they do not know, being wholly incapable of perception. In Al Baqarah, verse 9, we have already set out how they are unable to comprehend that their deception does not fool anyone but themselves. Verse 12 emphasizes this blindness:
Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. (Al Baqarah 2:12), and again, Verse 13 already quoted above mentions that they are the foolish ones, but are unable to perceive it.
While they continue with their mockery of Allah and humanity, they do not realize that it is they who are being mocked by Allah:
“[But] Allah mocks them and prolongs them in their transgression [while] they wander blindly.” (2:15) Their vision of the truth is so clouded, and their hearts are so blinded by their hypocrisy, that they are blind but are unable to recognize their own blindness. No matter how hard one tries to reason with them, present concrete evidence of their various evils or appeal to their intellect or even basic human compassion, they would remain arrogant, stubborn and blinded to the truth, as well as the catastrophes and tragedies that they continue to perpetuate.
Their end will be even more tragic than the lives of those they have ruined, and in this Allah states with finality at all the hypocrites who have caused havoc and destruction on this earth, the ones who sold out on their religion for power, money and glory, the ones who have been so grossly misguided that there is no turning back for them – “Those are the ones who have purchased error [in exchange] for guidance, so their transaction has brought no profit, nor were they guided.” (Al Baqarah 2:16)
This is why their version of the truth is not the truth, but different degrees of lies and falsehood. May Allah grant us the vision to perceive the truth, and not snatch away our ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood in the face of such turbulent times, ameen.