Let’s start with some Hellmatics.According to hadith, if a stone is dropped from the top of Hell, it would take seventy years for the stone to reach the bottom. And of course we know it will melt from the intense heat before it even gets there.That bottom, according to Surah 4:145, belongs to the hypocrites. Not the mass murderers, not the adulterers, not the usurpers, not the tyrants, but the hypocrites.

What does the Prophet (SAW) say about hypocrisy?Abdullah bin Amr (RA) narrated that Rasulillah (SAW) said, “Whoever has the following four characteristics will be a pure hypocrite and whoever has any one of the following characteristics will have the characteristics of a hypocrite:  1. Whenever he speaks, he lies,2. Whenever he makes a covenant, he always shows treachery, 3. Whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it.4. Whenever he quarrels, he behaves in a very evil and insulting manner.” [Sahih Bukhari: Book of Faith, Hadith 34]

You probably feel guilty now because you fear you bear the signs of hypocrisy. I won’t tell you to relax, but Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RA) also panicked for fear of being a hypocrite. The same Umar of whom the prophet said, “Among the nations who came before you there were Muhaddathun (men who were inspired) and if there are any such men among my ummah, then ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab is one of them.” [Sahih Muslim: 2398]

On the fear of hypocrisy, a classical scholar, Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “The more faith and knowledge a person has, the more he will fear that he may be among this class of people (hypocrites)”.Hasan Al-Basri even added that, “no one feels safe from it (hypocrisy), except a hypocrite.”

These days, people throw around ‘hypocrite’ like it’s a complement.It’s amazing some people have telepathic powers that they can tell who is a hypocrite and who isn’t. Might be experience, might be ignorance, Allah knows best.

Some understand hypocrisy to mean a person who sins in secret then speaks against the same sin in public, forgetting, or totally ignoring the words of Abubakr (RA) who used to say;“O Allah, You know me better than I know myself, and I know myself better than these people who praise me. Make me better than what they think of me, and forgive those sins of mine of which they have no knowledge, and do not hold me responsible for what they say.”This doesn’t make the sins we do in secret right. May Allah forgive us.

Some, in the bid to prove they aren’t hypocrites, gladly show off the sins they commit in private, forgetting the words of the prophet when he said, “All of my ummah will be forgiven except those who sin openly. It is a part of sinning openly when a man does something at night, then the following morning when Allah has concealed his sin, he says, ‘O So and so, I did such and such last night,’ when all night his Lord has concealed him and the next morning he uncovers what Allah had concealed.” (Al-Bukhari, 5721; Muslim, 2990).

So shame of exposing sins is a good sign after all. Still doesn’t mean Allah doesn’t see them.When a person loses the sense of shame, he loses everything.May Allah forgive our sins, conceal our secrets, and save us from hypocrisy.

The mistakes are mine and Allah knows best.