Those who anticipate the worst for you say, â€œWere we not with you?â€ whenever you gain a victory from Allah, but if the disbelievers have a success they say, â€œDid we not have the upper hand over you and yet in spite of that keep the believers away from you?â€ Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection. Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers.
All through history, hypocrites have rebelled against the truth and waged a war against believers from inside their community. As revealed in the verse â€œ. . . But all might belongs to Allah and to His messenger and the believers. But the hypocrites do not know thisâ€ (Surat al-Munafiqun: 8), hypocrites have always claimed that they are superior to believers and will overcome them. Yet despite all these baseless claims, they have never been able to vanquish the believers. Messengers and the believers around them have always emerged victorious. This situation has persisted, just like a law, throughout history.
When events are viewed through the perspective of the Qurâ€™an, the reason for this is easy to see. Allah never permits hypocrites to gain an advantage over the faithful. On the contrary, he overthrows them by means of the messenger and the faithful. Allah reveals in the Qurâ€™an that He has warned all deniers, hypocrites included, who engage in actions aimed against believers and that He will punish them unless they put an end to their cunning activities:
If the hypocrites and those with sickness in their hearts and the rumor-mongers in Madina do not desist, We will set you onto them. Then they will only be your neighbors there a very short time.
Allah also reveals, with examples, how He will always support sincere believers who turn to Him in all they do against the deniers. By means of Allahâ€™s help and support, His messengers have always secured victory, even under the most seemingly difficult conditions.
This is described with several examples in the Qurâ€™an. One of these is Talut, who assumed command of the army in a war waged against the deniers in the time of the Prophet Dawud (as). Talut, placed in command of the believers due to his superior military abilities, made a number of recommendations to the army. However, a number of people of weak faith turned their backs on this advice, though they should have obeyed him, and acted in accordance with their own desires:
When Talut marched out with the army, he said, â€œAllah will test you with a river. Anyone who drinks from it is not with me. But anyone who does not taste it is with meâ€”except for him who merely scoops up a little in his hand.â€ But they drank from itâ€”except for a few of them. Then when he and those who believed with him had crossed it, they said, â€œWe do not have the strength to face Goliath and his troops today.â€ But those who were sure that they were going to meet Allah said, â€œHow many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allahâ€™s permission! Allah is with the steadfast.â€
At the moment of battle, the hypocrites sought to create difficulties for the faithful by their sudden disobedience, though the believers displayed not the slightest disobedience and supported the messenger in the fighting:
When they came out against Goliath and his troops, they said, â€œOur Lord, pour down steadfastness upon us, and make our feet firm, and help us against this disbelieving people.â€ And with Allahâ€™s permission they routed them. . . .
Allah grants success to believers and victory over the deniers in response to their sincerity and determination. While they enjoy great success in this world, and the approval and paradise of Allah in the Hereafter, deniers are cursed and punished by Him.
Correct Approach Towards Hypocrites
O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and hypocrites and be harsh with them. Their refuge is Hell. What an evil destination!
The approach to be taken towards hypocrites receives much attention in the Qurâ€™an. In the same way as the believer learns all he needs from the Qurâ€™an, he also learns how to behave in this regard.
The exemplary advice given to believers in the Qurâ€™an is this: that believers should never take hypocrites as their friends, and that they should warn the hypocrites by means of the Qurâ€™an so long as the two remain together. And if the advice given bears no fruit, they should expel the hypocrites from among them. At this point, of course, Allahâ€™s messenger must take the final decision regarding the hypocrites. By means of His messenger, Allah enables believers to take the correct decision.
Let us now examine those verses concerning the attitude to be adopted towards hypocrites.
1. Not to Confide in Them
You who believe! Do not make friends of people with whom Allah is angry, who have despaired of the Hereafter as the disbelievers have despaired of the inhabitants of the graves.
As we have seen from the beginning, in the light of the verses of the Qurâ€™an, hypocrites are definitely not the kind of people that one should befriend or confide in. Only those of weak faith or in whose hearts faith is not yet fully established take these people, who fail to befriend Allah and who are in consequence not befriended by Him, as their confidants.
The verses revealed by Allah on this subject encourage believers to be on their guard against hypocrites at all times and never to confide in them. It is a matter of great importance to be on oneâ€™s guard against hypocrites, who hate the believers and wish them to be dispersed and suffer difficulties.
2. To Rule with Justice Among Them
They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains. If they come to you, you can either judge between them or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. But if you do judge, judge between them justly. Allah loves the just.
Implementing the stipulation in the above verse is a matter for the messenger at the head of the people alone. The messenger either rules among the hypocrites, as he desires, or else turns his back on them.
3. To Give Advice if They Will Receive That Advice
Allah knows what is in such peopleâ€™s hearts, so turn away from them and warn them and speak to them with words that take effect.
As can be seen from this verse, it is recommended that hypocrites be given effective advice. By this important and effective method, they can come to realize what they have done and regret it. The main thing here is to issue reminders so that they can feel such regret. Someone who fails to heed such advice has declared open war on the religious moral values. Therefore, one must never forget that these people should be spurned, not befriended.
Believers give these people advice in the hope that they will mend their ways. But certainly, every piece of advice increases the suffering in the Hereafter of the hypocrite who turns his back on it. All the advice given to hypocrites is actually a snare, set for them by Allah. By remaining among believers and working in secret, hypocrites imagine that they are being very clever, never realizing that in the Hereafter, they will be recompensed for every piece of advice they received while remaining among believers. In this way they fall into an eternal trap while seeking to set their own snares for believers.