The imam began this week’s reminder with a passage from the Glorious Quran. Surat Hadid, ayat 12 to 15 and is translated to say:
On the Day you see the believing men and believing women, their light proceeding before them and on their right, [it will be said], “Your good tidings today are [of] gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein you will abide eternally.” That is what is the great attainment.
On the [same] Day the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you and seek light.” And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.
The hypocrites will call to the believers, “Were we not with you?” They will say, “Yes, but you afflicted yourselves and awaited [misfortune for us] and doubted, and wishful thinking deluded you until there came the command of Allah . And the Deceiver deceived you concerning Allah .
So today no ransom will be taken from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is most worthy of you, and wretched is the destination.
Dear brothers and sisters, this week’s reminder is based mainly on these ayats from the Quran and it describes the day of Judgement and the situation of the hypocrites.
The reference of light in these passages refers to the light of belief. In fact, scholars state in commenting on these ayats that Allah SWT is light, the Messenger SAWS is light, the Quran is light and the religion of Islam is light, illuminating life for us Muslims. Equally so, those who are in a state of disbelief, live in the darkness of ignorance. Allah SWT knows best.
Allah SWT speaks of this again in Sura An-Nur, ayat 40 which was referenced in today’s reminder. It is translated to say:
Or [they are] like darknesses within an unfathomable sea which is covered by waves, upon which are waves, over which are clouds – darknesses, some of them upon others. When one puts out his hand [therein], he can hardly see it. And he to whom Allah has not granted light – for him there is no light.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to take lessons from this warning and if we ponder over the ayats today. The hypocrites believed that their external actions were enough for them to succeed knowing that internally they believed the opposite. They believed that they would follow the believers in Paradise, but this will be clarified to them on the Day of Judgement and they will be called out as hypocrites.
We need to understand what signs indicate that of a hypocrite so that we do not fall into the same trap. The reminder today talks about 4 signs of a hypocrite.
First is being involved in situations that lead to doubt, such as debating with non-believers without having any knowledge. Dear brothers and sisters, inviting others to Islam is a responsibility on each and every one of us. Conveying one’s love for Islam or demonstrating through the actions that befit a Muslim is a great example of this.
However, we must not confuse this with debate. Debate involves two parties in which each is aiming to prove the other wrong, it’s almost as a contest and therefore we have to be careful and not get involved in situations where the topic being debated is something one has no knowledge of.
An example of this is debating evolution with a biologist. Leave it to the Muslim who is also a biologist and can match the other in the knowledge of the topic. Otherwise, one runs the risk of putting doubt into one’s belief.
Second is procrastinating, this is when there is intention to do something but say ‘I will do it next week or year etc’. This is worrying sign as this is so common. However, we must recognize that if we are a serial procrastinator then we are demonstrating one of the signs of a hypocrite.
One practical remedy to overcome this is is to break-down larger tasks into smaller ones and do little but often. Another is to not-overcommit to doing things when the time simply isn’t there to do it.
Third is doubting the religion – and this can happen after struggling to cope with all the sins and the person thinks maybe just easier to give up and disbelieve. Dear brothers and sisters, the ultimate goal of shaytaan is for you to disbelieve. However, he knows that will not happen on the first attempt. He lures you into acts of disobedience first, acts of sin and neglecting of the acts of worship. Only then, when one’s heart is damaged through his acts will shaytaan attempt the final attack of convincing one to doubt the faith altogether.
We need to be mindful that this is the strategy that he takes with us and therefore work to remove habitual sins and work to increase habitual acts of worship so that we venture on the right path and avoid this calamity.
Fourth is being blind in one’s beliefs, as if its the right path. Dear brothers and sisters, this is a difficult one as it’s points to deeds which one may do and think that they are right in doing it. This is one of the subtlest tricks of shaytaan. Unlike an obvious sin, it may be an innovation in Islam that is being followed but one does not hear the warnings from others regarding it. We need to keep ourselves protected from this sign and the best way for this is to seek the protection of Allah SWT in supplication and to learn to be humble in taking advice from others.
Dear brothers and sisters, we need to be mindful that we do not fall foul of these signs of hypocrisy. We ought to make an effort to stop any signs of hypocrisy immediately and seek forgiveness from Allah SWT first. Alongside that, changing environment or friends, doing dua and performing good deeds are all practical steps we can perform to steer us away from this and ensure that we are those with light on the day of Judgement.