Description of a Hypocrite

Hypocrisy is a serious sickness and a great crime. It means making an outward display of Islam whilst inwardly concealing kufr. Hypocrisy is more dangerous than kufr (disbelief) and the punishment for it is more severe, because it is kufr mixed with Islam and its harmful effects are greater.

The sin of hypocrisy is described in various hadith. The imam mentioned a couple in todays reminder. The first one is:

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves to be dishonest)”.

The second one mentioned said:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has the following four (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has one of the following four characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy unless and until he gives it up.

  1. Whenever he is entrusted, he betrays.
  2. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
  3. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous.
  4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very imprudent, evil and insulting manner.”

Dear brothers and sisters, these characteristics not only have the curse of weighing heavily against the believers good deeds but also they, in turn, cause the faith itself to become weaker.

Allah SWT mentions this in the Quran and the imam reminded us of this through the two ayats 142 and 143 of Sura Nisa.

These are translated to say:

Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little,

Wavering between them, [belonging] neither to the believers nor to the disbelievers. And whoever Allah leaves astray – never will you find for him a way.

Dear brothers and sisters, we conclude then with a breakdown of the 4 characteristics mentioned in the hadith with reminders on how each can be avoided.

The first was the mention of being entrusted with something and betraying that trust. The dictionary defines this as ‘to do something very bad and hurtful to someone that causes loss of respect.”

This can range from the obvious such as stealing from somebody but most of us here may think we are in the clear with this one. However, other dangers that fall into this category, as mentioned last week, are causing hurt from the tongue in what is said about one another. We live in a time and a place where gossip, backbiting and slander is seen as the norm in society.

We need to remind ourselves that if we are going behind someone’s back and speaking ill of them then this is a betrayal of that persons trust and thus we are in danger of falling into this category.

The second point is when someone speaks, he tells a lie. Dear brothers and sisters, we have had reminders in the past about this point as it is an important reminder. However, it is worth mentioning here that in the current time and place, we often convince ourselves to lie because the pressure of conforming to the norms of society means that we lie to fit in.

This is a difficult one, for example, if a friend approaches us and is wearing something new and asks our opinion. We may think that the item is inappropriate for a Muslim to be wearing but for fear of hurting their feeling or sounding uncool, we will say what they want to hear.

This is a test of our times. Our opinion may not be the popular ones in todays time and place. However, we cannot sell ourselves short in the pursuit of being popular or the same as the majority because we are at risk of hypocrisy if we do.

The third example, to prove treacherous when making a covenant is a reminder for those of us who deal in business. Unfortunately, it is a fact that when people speak of those in countries from where our heritage lies, it is normally synonymous with scams, fraud and deception.

This is a shame because Muslims ought to be the beacon of trust, honour and a promise being kept true at all times. Therefore, we need to be absolutely resolute in business here and ensure that we do not wrong anyone in business and that those who do business with Muslims do so in the confidence that they will never be short-changed in any way.

The final example was of quarrelling and the etiquettes of such an action. This is an interesting point because the hadith does not stop at quarrelling but expands on what is impermissible when doing so.

Therefore, we ought to recognize that having disagreements is part and parcel of life. However, if one is resorting to being rash, ugly or vile in their disagreement then not only have they lost the argument already but they are at risk of being labelled a hypocrite as mentioned here.

The point here is one of ego. When one engages in a quarrel, if the ego is out of control then there is no stopping the person and they will resort to whatever it takes to get the last word. However, remind yourself that in any disagreement there is an opportunity for someone, if not both, to learn, to grow and to show humbleness in accepting the opposite viewpoint as being the correct one – even if that is at a cost of a dent in their ego.

Dear brothers and sisters, hypocrisy is a damaging trait – both on it’s own and its impact on our level of faith. Let us be of the people who avoid being labelled a hypocrite by being mindful of the four definitions given towards this hazardous label.

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Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Allah SWT says in Sura Al-Maidah, ayat 51:

O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are, in fact, allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is one of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

Dear brothers, it’s hard living in this society. It is difficult trying to hold to values which most around us regard as dated, ancient and out of touch.

And when people of all faiths and backgrounds combine to celebrate an event, it is really difficult to remain steadfast to the truth.

It’s painted in messages of love for starters. What’s wrong with love in a world full of media-promoted hate? What’s a day of celebrating something which comes so natural to us all? Love and affection for another human being is ingrained into our species and unlike the ugly act of war, it is warm and fuzzy with images of cupid, hearts and the likes.

Dear brothers, Shaytaan is our sworn enemy as told to us by Allah SWT and his messenger SAWS. Regardless of our faith even, he is an enemy on mankind. He has sworn to lead each and every one of us astray.

We are in war with him and thus this life is the battlefield. As Muslims today, we are the last and final line between him and his achievement of sending all of mankind astray. And what can be better for him than that for Allah’s SWT creation to associate partners with Allah SWT?

Let’s shed a light on this then and expose his strategy and how dangerous Valentine’s day actual is.

It all begins with educating oneself. We need to first understand the origin of this day. We’ve spoken of Saint Valentine, a Christian, a member of the Church, a recognised Saint in Christianity being the namesake for this celebration.

But wait a minute, 14th February celebrations were around before him? What was it before Saint Valentine and why is he now associated with it?

It begins much earlier than that. It begins in ancient Rome in actual fact with the worship of the pagan God Lupercalia. On this day, names of the females were placed into a hat and chosen by males to engage in illicit relations. After all, this was a supposed God of Fertility.

And for those who wonder on Cupid. Well he is actually the son of Venus who was a Roman goddess of Beauty and Love. Some of you may know him by his other name of Eros in ancient Greece. Same individual and incidentally the name from which the word Erotica is derived from. Cupid means “to desire.”

So wait, here we have clear association with Partners with Allah SWT and we still think it’s nothing dangerous? Can you see how Shaytaan has strategized in order to disguise the worst of sins?

And how is it that Valentine is now its name? That’s simple. Coat the pagan festival with a Christian gloss and it all looks above board to the average person. Especially to the average Christian.

But wait, we’ve seen this pattern before have we not? Christmas? New Year Day? All coincidentally aligned perfectly with Pagan festivals worshipping other so-called Gods.

Dear brothers, today’s khutba is on Valentines Day but there is a deeper message than that. Two points that need to be made which are vital for us all.

Firstly, we need to recognize that even if those so-called allies around us unite in something that is wrong, then we remain steadfast and stand firm against the tactics employed on us to send us astray.

And secondly, and more importantly, we need to recognize that we are in desperate need of a mental MOT.

Dear brothers, the truth on the danger of Valentines Day isn’t a secret. It is available to us all. We all have the internet.

But in an age of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc, how are we utilising these tools at our disposal? Can we justify posting selfies and watching funny animal videos?

No we can’t. We, as ambassadors to the truth, need to hunt out the truth from the deception. We need to be first to recognize what is real and what is falsehood. And we need to educate people around us on the real facts on every day events such as this one coming up.

As our Prophet SAWS said:

If someone loves his brother he should tell him.

Dear brothers and sisters, our religion promotes love. Whether that is the type of Love this day promotes between partners, or a love between parent and child, bother and sister, and the ummah for one another, Islam is a religion that encourages love with the correct expression of it.

The Prophet SAWS spoke of an example of this in the following hadith in which he said:

You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I show you something that, if you did, you would love each other? Spread peace between yourselves.

So dear brothers and sisters, educate one another on this day in our calendar on Sunday and remind one another that as Muslims our love for our spouses isn’t demonstrated on a single day and lastly, demonstrate to one another and our local communities that love can be demonstrated with acts of charity, kindness and consideration for others.

May Allah SWT remind us on the dangers of this day. May Allah SWT keep us protected from the traps of Shaytan and may Allah SWT enable us to demonstrate love for one another in accordance with his decree.

Ameen wal hamdullilahi rabilalameen.

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