I also have a question. I remember being told in school about the two types of hypocrisy, the real one which is mentioned in the Qur’an and the one that is just a person having some qualities of a hypocrite in him. And I remember being told that it didn’t have real hypocrites in this time.
While teaching a class I passed this on and some people objected, asking if the people who come into the masjid pretending to be Muslims to spy weren’t hypocrites. Did I get that wrong? What would such a people be classified as? Merely spies?
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
The hypocrites that are condemned as ‘hypocrites’ and about whom the punishment of the hellfire has been mentioned, refers to those who hide kufr (disbelief) in this hearts but express Islam on the tongue. Wherever these people are found, they will be considered as ‘hypocrites’ and they can be called hypocrites. This type of hypocrisy is the hypocrisy in beliefs.
If a person has true Islam in his heart and he also expresses Islam on his tongue, but is guilty of some of the traits of hypocrisy like lying, breaking one’s promise etc., then this person will not be a hypocrite in the true sense of the word which has been mentioned in the Holy Quran. He will be considered as having traits of a hypocrite in actions, not in beliefs, and will not be condemned to the pit of the hellfire like the other ‘hypocrites’ mentioned in the Quran. As for those who pretend to be Muslims by expressing Islam externally, then they will be ‘hypocrites’. However, it is essential that one knows fully well that these persons do not have Imaan in their hearts before making such pronouncements and statements. If one does not know the truth or he is doubtful about this issue, then he must refrain from saying that such a person is a hypocrite. Allah Alone knows what is in the hearts of people.
If such people ‘Spy’ on Muslims and it is known that this is their job, then they can be called ‘spies’.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan