Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hypocrisy in Deeds

The following are two Supplications (do’as) for Anxiety and Sorrow taken from ‘Hisnul Muslim min Adzkaar Al-Kitaab wa As-Sunnah’ (Fortification of the Muslim through remembrance and supplication from the Qur’an and Sunnah) - a very useful booklet for use in a Muslim’s everyday life.

‘O Allaah, I am Your servant, son of Your servant, son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your hand (You have total Mastery over), Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.’ (Ahmad 1/391 and Al-Albanee declared it saheeh.)

‘O Allaah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being over powered by men.’
(Al-Bukhaaree 7/157)


Here are some questions for us to think about. For all the good deeds that we strive to do in our daily lives as Muslims, how much of it is actually free from Hypocrisy (Riya’)? How much of the good deeds that we strive for everyday is directed fully towards Allah Almighty?

A Muslim strives to perfect his movements during his prayer (solat) in a congregation at the Mosque - Does he strive to do the same when he’s all alone at home and no one would be watching?

A blogger posts articles and writes his thoughts on Islam - is he doing it purely for his own reflection and as a form of da’wah for Allah and His religion, or is it done to gain popularity and for others to acknowledge or praise him?

A youth activist strives in his free time to help out in the community – is he doing it purely for Allah’s sake? Or is it done as a platform to meet the opposite sex, to be seen as someone who’s a good role model, to gain something out of doing it in worldly matters?

A Muslim regularly reminds others to enjoin in goodness and refrain from evil – does he do it himself when he is alone, away from the watchful eyes of others? does he do it to attract the attention of others?

Muslims should fear hypocrisy. Hypocrisy in deeds (lesser hypocrisy), which is not an act of shirik but is still dangerous, may lead to major hypocrisy if one fails to repent from it. The companions of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were afraid of having traits of the lesser hypocrisy.

It has been reported by ibn Abi Maleekah (rahimahulLAah) “I met thirty of the companions of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and all of them were afraid of committing acts of hypocrisy.”

Al-Hasan al-Basri (rahimahulLAah) said: “No one fears hypocrisy except a believer, and no one feels secure from it but a hypocrite.”

Umar said to Hudhaifah (radiAllaahu’anhum) [Hudhaifah was the keeper of the secrets of the Prophet. He was also the only person who was informed by the Prophet who the hypocrites were in Madeenah.] : “I plead to you by Allaah, did the Messenger of Allaah mention me among them (meaning the hypocrites)?” He said: “No, and I will not inform anyone of this after you.”

It is important that we strive to be sincere in all our deeds. Someone who’s sincere will not bother what others will think about him. It will be enough for him to know that Allaah Almighty knows. At times, thoughts will crop up in his head; if he portrays his deeds to others, maybe it will act as a reminder for others and a motivation for them to do the same, but this kind of thinking is just another form of trick and ‘ghurur’.

To refrain from hypocrisy, we have to know the factors that will lead to hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is mainly derived from the inclination and love for power, to attain a good status among men and the feeling of importance. Someone who seeks the goodness of life in this world, will strive for this. However, the reality is that everything in this world is temporary. What is more important for a Muslim is how he fares for Allaah and to work towards the eternal life in the hereafter in Jannah (Heavan). If he realizes this, instead of seeking acknowledgement from men, he will strive to block all factors that could have even a small hint of hypocrisy in his deeds and to perform it sincerely for Allaah.

Striving to perform one’s deeds secretly as much as possible will help to curb hypocrisy. We would know how sincere we are when performing deeds alone and no one is watching. Always reflect whether we’d perform our deeds similarly or even better, when we’re alone, as to how we would behave in front of others.

Another way is to strive to fight off any factors which could lead to hypocrisy the moment we begin performing our deeds. This can be done by pondering on the fact that Allaah is with us all the time. He is Al-‘Aleem (The All Knowing; the Omniscient) and Al-Baseer (The All Seeing). We shouldn’t lean to anything which could incur the wrath of Allaah. Shaitaan will make it harder for us all the time but we have to strive to continuously ward off any bad thoughts and to refrain from letting our emotions take control over mind. This is only possible with proper knowledge, continuously seeking help from Allaah and remembering Allaah (dhikrulLaah), regular practice and reflection, patience and perseverance.

As regards to Purity of Intention in our deeds, Allaah (Azza wa Jalla) said: “And they were not commanded except that they should worship Allah being sincere in their religion for Him and worshipping none except Him Alone, and establish prayer and give charity and that is the right (straight) religion.” [98:5]

Rasoolullah (sallalLAahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also said: “Allaah has forbidden the Hell-fire for anyone who says ‘none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah (Laa Ilaaha illAllaah)’, desiring the face (and pleasure) of Allaah.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And Allaah Almighty knows best. I remind myself before others. How perfect You are and I praise You. None has the right to be worshipped except You, I seek Your forgiveness and turn in repentance to You.


· An Explanation of the Last Tenth of the Noble Qur’an (Also with Crucial Matters in the Life of a Muslim)

· Intisari Ihya ‘Ulumuddin Imam Al-Ghazali, Mensucikan Jiwa (Kaedah Tazkiyatun Nafs Bersepadu Ditaskhih & Disusun Semula Oleh Sa’id Hawwa).

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