Tahajjud and Istikhara

October 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Tahajjud

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

When the Prophet got up at night to offer the Tahajjud prayer, he used to say: Allahumma lakal-hamd. Anta qaiyimus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna. Walakal-hamd, Laka mulkus-samawati wal-ard wa man fihinna. Walakal-hamd, anta nurus-samawati wal-ard. Walakalhamd, anta-l-haq wa wa’duka-l-haq, wa liqa’uka Haq, wa qualuka Haq, wal-jannatu Han wan-naru Haq wannabiyuna Haq. Wa Muhammadun, sallal-lahu’alaihi wasallam, Haq, was-sa’atu Haq. Allahumma aslamtu Laka wabika amantu, wa ‘Alaika tawakkaltu, wa ilaika anabtu wa bika khasamtu, wa ilaika hakamtu faghfir li ma qaddamtu wama akh-khartu wama as-rartu wama’a lantu, anta-l-muqaddim wa anta-l-mu akh-khir, la ilaha illa anta (or la ilaha ghairuka). (O Allah! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah ! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you . Sufyan said that ‘Abdul Karim Abu Umaiya added to the above, ‘Wala haula Wala quwata illa billah’ (There is neither might nor power except with Allah).

Istikhara

The Prophet (p.b.u.h) used to teach us the way of doing Istikhara (Istikhara means to ask Allah to guide one to the right sort of action concerning any job or a deed), in all matters as he taught us the Suras of the Quran. He said, "If anyone of you thinks of doing any job he should offer a two Rakat prayer other than the compulsory ones and say (after the prayer): — ‘Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’alaka min fadlika al-’azlm Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-l-amra Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadha-lamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.’ (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not. You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter–(or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)–Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter–(or said: If it is worse for my present and later needs)–Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it). The Prophet added that then the person should name (mention) his need.

Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

December 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Torment in Hell

1. The Worst Torment

Hypocrites, whom Allah describes in the Qur’an as deserving of even worse, will be punished with the greatest suffering in the Hereafter—in other words, with the torment of Hell:

. . . Do you, then, believe in one part of the Book and reject the other? What repayment will there be for any of you who do that except disgrace in this world? And on the Day of Resurrection, they will be returned to the harshest of punishments. Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Al-Baqara: 85

2. An Unremitting Suffering

Those are the people who trade the Hereafter for this world. The punishment will not be lightened for them. They will not be helped.

Al-Baqara: 86

Hypocrites will remain in Hell for all eternity and their suffering will never be lightened in any way.

3. A Fierce Punishment

Give news to the hypocrites that they will have a painful punishment.

An-Nisa’: 138

According to the Qur’an, the torment of Hell will be fierce and very great. Everyone there will be cast into the flames. Escape will be impossible. They will be bound with chains and iron shackles. They will be scourged with whips of iron. Hypocrites, whose only foods will be boiling water, pus, the tree of Zaqqum and thorns, will wish to leave Hell, but their suffering will never end or ever be alleviated.

The reason is that although they knew everything Allah required of them in this world, they followed their Earthly desires and turned their backs on the truth, declaring war on Allah and His religion.

4. The Most Humiliating Torment

The people in Hell will assume a frightening appearance and experience torment in all respects. Their bodies will be torn apart with fire, boiling water will be poured over their heads, and they will be forced to wear clothing made of tar and flame:

But those who strive against Our signs, trying to nullify them, will have a punishment most humiliating. (Surah Saba’: 5)

5. Curse of Allah

As we have seen, hypocrites will be surrounded with torments in all respects in Hell. Yet there is one torment even greater than all of these, and that is the curse of Allah—His refusal to speak with them and His humiliation and disparagement of them:

The repayment of such people is that Allah’s curse is on them and that of the angels and of all humanity.

Ali ‘Imran: 87

Those who conceal what Allah has sent down of the Book and sell it cheap, take nothing into their bellies but the Fire. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will not speak to them or purify them. They will have a painful punishment.

Al-Baqara: 174

6. They Will be All Alone

The people they imagined to be their friends in this world will be far distant from them in the Hereafter. Each will have his own sufferings, for which reason they will be able to find no friend or comforter, and they will remain all alone.

. . . You will not find any one to help them.

An-Nisa’: 145

In the Hereafter, moreover, they will curse the people they called closest to them in this world.

. . . But then on the Day of Resurrection, you will reject one another and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers.

Al-‘Ankabut: 25

7. They Will Suffer Terrible Loss

There is no doubt that in the Hereafter they will be the losers.

An-Nahl: 109

Leaving behind the life of this world, which they imagined to be so profitable, they will die and enter Hell, their true abode. There they will see the true face of all things and realize that rather than having gained any profit, they have actually suffered a terrible loss. They will realize that everything they did in this world has been meaningless and cannot benefit them at all.

The Lowest Level of Hell

The hypocrites are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them.

An-Nisa’: 145

As Allah reveals to us in the above verse, hypocrites inhabit “the lowest level of the Fire.” The reason for that, of course, is their two-facedness and their moral model based on strife.

We have touched on dozens of elements that determine hypocrites’ cunning natures. One aim behind our setting out these defects one by one is to show that hypocrites are among the cruelest people who have ever lived, and to provide a means of imparting that knowledge to all.

The reason why the hypocrites described right throughout this book are to be regarded as cruel and extreme is because they are people to whom knowledge has been given. In other words, they have been told of religious moral values and have learned the truth from believers, and even from the messenger of Allah himself. They have lived for a while according to those religious moral values, but then turned their backs on them and, of course, on Allah, on His messenger and the faithful, imagining that their life would be easier as deniers. Allah reveals that:

They swear by Allah that they said nothing, but they definitely spoke the word of disbelief and returned to disbelief after their Islam. They planned something, which they did not achieve and they were vindictive for no other cause than that Allah and His messenger had enriched them from His bounty. If they were to repent, it would be better for them. But if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter, and they will not find any protector or helper on the Earth.

At-Tawba: 74

Therefore, they bear a greater burden of responsibility than—and are quite distinct from—those to whom knowledge has not been imparted; in other words, to people who have not been called to religious moral values and the Qur’an, and who have thus never been followers of Islam. The suffering they experience in the Hereafter will be far worse than the latter, as is revealed by Allah. That is because hypocrites appear to be religious during the course of their lives, avoiding any number of telltale sins that would enable them to be identified by believers. In their hearts, however, they harbor no obedience towards Allah and His messenger but on the contrary, feel a cunning hatred of and enmity towards them. It is only natural and just that such people should deserve the worst punishment in Hell, because hypocrites have witnessed the finest examples of moral values in the community of the faithful, have lived in the most peaceful environment, and have experienced great love and respect. However, although they have known nothing but goodness and beauty from believers, still they manage to feel hatred for them because of the sickness in their hearts.

Moreover, because they were proud and arrogant in the face of believers during their time in this world, Allah will humiliate and belittle them.

The position of the hypocrites is described thus in one hadith:

On the Day of Qiyamah, the one in the vilest of conditions will be a two-faced person.

Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

They seek to deceive believers in this world but in the Hereafter, will beg them for even the slightest help. Yet of course believers will not be taken in by this. Thanks to the infinite justice of Allah, they will live for all eternity among His blessings.

Verses speak of hypocrites’ endless lamentation in Hell:

That Day the men and women of the hypocrites will say to those who believe, “Wait for us so that we can borrow some of your light.” They will be told, “Go back and look for light!” And a wall will be erected between them with a gate in it, on the inside of which there will be mercy but before whose exterior lies the punishment. They will call out to them, “Were we not with you?” They will reply, “Indeed you were. But you made trouble for yourselves and hung back and doubted and false hopes deluded you until Allah’s command arrived. The deluder deluded you about Allah. So today no ransom will be accepted from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is your master. What an evil destination!”

Al-Hadid: 13-15

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

November 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Hypocrites Never Vanquish Prophets

Those who anticipate the worst for you say, “Were we not with you?” whenever you gain a victory from Allah, but if the disbelievers have a success they say, “Did we not have the upper hand over you and yet in spite of that keep the believers away from you?” Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection. Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers.

An-Nisa’: 141

All through history, hypocrites have rebelled against the truth and waged a war against believers from inside their community. As revealed in the verse “. . . But all might belongs to Allah and to His messenger and the believers. But the hypocrites do not know this” (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 Qur’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 Qur’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.

Al-Ahzab: 60

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 Allah’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 Qur’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, “Allah will test you with a river. Anyone who drinks from it is not with me. But anyone who does not taste it is with me—except for him who merely scoops up a little in his hand.” But they drank from it—except for a few of them. Then when he and those who believed with him had crossed it, they said, “We do not have the strength to face Goliath and his troops today.” But those who were sure that they were going to meet Allah said, “How many a small force has triumphed over a much greater one by Allah’s permission! Allah is with the steadfast.”

Al-Baqara: 249

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, “Our Lord, pour down steadfastness upon us, and make our feet firm, and help us against this disbelieving people.” And with Allah’s permission they routed them. . . .

Al-Baqara: 250-251

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!

At-Tahrim: 9

The approach to be taken towards hypocrites receives much attention in the Qur’an. In the same way as the believer learns all he needs from the Qur’an, he also learns how to behave in this regard.

The exemplary advice given to believers in the Qur’an is this: that believers should never take hypocrites as their friends, and that they should warn the hypocrites by means of the Qur’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, Allah’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.

Al-Mumtahana: 13

As we have seen from the beginning, in the light of the verses of the Qur’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 one’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.

Al-Ma’ida: 42

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 people’s hearts, so turn away from them and warn them and speak to them with words that take effect.

An-Nisa’: 63

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.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

September 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Seek to Turn People from the Path of Allah

One of the important responsibilities Allah imposes on a believer is to command what is good and forbid what is evil, and to announce the world the stipulations of the Qur’an’s moral values. It is to warn people to save their eternal lives in the Hereafter by explaining the vital issue of which they are heedless. This responsibility is great, and the work to be done is wide-ranging. For believers, being a vehicle whereby even one person acquires faith is of the greatest importance in obtaining Allah’s approval.

However, the attitude of hypocrites is just about the exact opposite of what it should be. Instead of calling people to the path of Allah, they have undertaken to turn people from it, showing that they act under the inspiration of satan. Instead of being a means whereby people come to faith, the hypocrite’s main objective is, like satan, to turn them aside from that path and attract others to the ranks of the hypocrites:

Among people there is one who argues about Allah without knowledge or guidance or any light-giving book, turning away arrogantly, to misguide people from the way of Allah. He will be disgraced in this world and on the Day of Resurrection We will make him taste the punishment of the burning.

al-Hajj: 8-9

Hypocrites employ a variety of methods. In applying them, however, their main characteristic is cunning. They seek to hinder believers by following a two-faced approach while remaining in their midst. This is doubtless the main reason why they will be made “the lowest of the low” in the Hereafter.

They Bear Tales about Believers to the Deniers

. . . and among you are listeners on behalf of them. . .

At-Tawba: 47

Hypocrites’ greatest desire is to see the society of believers fall apart. For that reason they combine forces with deniers, whom they believe to be very powerful, and embark on a cunning struggle against believers. A unified community of believers represents a severe danger to them. Therefore, they first and foremost seek to eliminate that unity. They aim to wreak as much harm as possible, or rather they strive to do so.

They regard their presence inside a society of believers as an advantage, imagining that while in their midst, they will be able to engage in much covert activity against them, being able to round up news and information. Yet every action they take rebounds as a problem back on their own heads and fails to achieve any aim.

The objective of these people, who initiate co-operation with deniers while still within the community of believers, is to learn the believers’ tactics and then transmit these to the deniers. At this point, however, a factor enters the equation that the hypocrites either do not know or else underestimate. Allah never permits the establishment of any order that works against believers. Over the course of history, all the snares set by hypocrites have collapsed. According to Allah’s promise, this will continue in the future. Everything they do will be condemned to failure.

They Whisper in Secret

Hypocrites engage in secret talk while in the midst of believers, intending to provoke sin, enmity and rebellion:

Don’t you see those who were forbidden to confer together secretly returning to the very thing they were forbidden to do, and conferring together secretly in wrongdoing and enmity and disobedience to the messenger? .

Al-Mujadala: 8

While in the community of the faithful, they establish a secret union amongst themselves and draw up plans against the believers. One example of this was seen in the days of the Prophet Muhammad (s):

As for those who have set up a mosque, causing harm and out of disbelief, to create division between the believers, and in readiness for those who previously made war on Allah and His Messenger, they will swear, “We only desired the best.” But Allah bears witness that they are truly liars.

At-Tawba: 107

The hypocrites of that time secured a separate area from the believers from which to observe from afar the Prophet (saas) and those around him, learn what they were doing and set traps for them. The Qur’an particularly mentions this characteristic of hypocrites. The hypocrites who do so imagine that by keeping something hidden from believers and by drawing up secret plans, they will thus achieve success. The fact is, however, that Allah sees all that they do, as is revealed in this verse: “Don’t they know that Allah knows their secrets and their private talk, and that Allah is the Knower of all unseen things?” (Surat at-Tawba: 78) This behavior stems, of course, from their failure to believe this important secret.

Not only do they adopt an atheistic approach among believers, they also whisper rebellion against the Prophet (saas). But in the Hereafter, when everything they ever did is set out before them, they will realize that what they did was not secret and that it is enough that Allah, the Supporter of the believers, is aware of all plans prepared against them. Hypocrites do not expect Allah to reveal all these activities they seek to conceal from other people, because again, it is human beings whom they fear. In fact, though, all their deeds will be held to account in the Hereafter, and their actions they regarded as secret—which they imagined would never see the light of day—will be laid out, one by one, before them.

They Organize Evil

Believers spend their lives performing religious observances for Allah and undertaking the most serious endeavors on His path. In the light of that objective, they seek to spend every moment of their lives in search of the good; because they know the uncertainty surrounding the time of their deaths.

But hypocrites, as in everything else, behave in a totally contrary way to believers. They seek evil at every moment of their lives. Deliberately planning to slander the innocent or prepare snares for believers, they seek to harm the faithful. All their efforts are directed against believers. The main starting point for their efforts is the resentment they feel towards believers and the verses of Allah. Each warning issued only intensifies the hatred within them and strengthens their desire for revenge, as is revealed in verses:

. . . But then when a warner did come to them, it only increased their aversion, shown by their arrogance in the land and evil plotting. But evil plotting envelops only those who do it. . . .

Fatir: 42-43

This hatred they feel can cause them to do many things. As prophets come to remind them of goodness and beauty and read the verses of Allah, so the rage inside them grows and leads them towards cunning actions. For that reason, they begin to organize and plan evil against believers. They plan to hinder believers’ activities and seek to provoke discord among them. They endeavor to twist a commandment given to believers and to portray disobedience to the prophet as something desirable. They rebel by committing deeds that the prophet says should not be performed, and seek to garner support. Everything they do is aimed at damaging the existing order and weakening the community of the faithful.

According to what the Qur’an teaches us, however, none of these efforts will have any effect. In all periods of history, those who have plotted against Allah’s order have been vanquished. Anyone who is unable to appreciate Allah properly will continue with these endeavors unaware of this great truth. The fact is that, as is revealed in the Qur’an, any scheming will impinge on none but its author.

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

July 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Argue about Allah in the Absence of any Evidence

Among people there is one who argues about Allah without knowledge or guidance or any light-giving book.

Al-Hajj: 8

Their highest goal is to turn people from Allah and His religion and to hinder the spread of religious moral values on Earth. They therefore argue about Allah in such a way as to confuse people, and urge them to shape their own speculations about Him. Since they have a tendency to spread strife, they actively seek to eliminate people’s respect for and fear of Allah, but carry out these activities in a sly manner. Using a similar method to that employed by satan, they address people’s subconscious and speak in such a way as to confuse them.

All they manage to do, however, is deceive other hypocrites just like themselves. Allah reveals how the actions they take to turn people away from His path will rebound upon their own heads:

Turning away arrogantly, to misguide people from the way of Allah. He will be disgraced in this world and on the Day of Resurrection We will make him taste the punishment of the burning.

Al-Hajj: 9

They Admire an Ethical Model of which Allah Disapproves

As we have seen so far, hypocrites engage in all kinds of behavior displeasing to Allah. Unaware of the gravity of their situation, they also put forward negative, perverted ideas regarding Islam, the religion selected by and beloved of Allah. With their own defective logic, they regard their own ideas as good and the truth as ugly:

We brought you the truth but most of you hated the truth.

Az-Zukhruf: 78

As is revealed in the Qur’an, these two-faced people, “who have sold guidance for misguidance” (Surat al-Baqara: 16), refuse to recognize the revelation of Allah, and regard the truth as something ugly. The proper moral values that Allah revealed to believers through the Qur’an represent a model that they view as totally impractical. Since they themselves are full of hatred and uncleanliness, they imagine that others are too and could never abide by such a model.

No doubt, these ideas apply both to themselves and to other deniers of a similar nature. Good moral values can be implemented only through fear of Allah and absolute submission to His commandments. A person can maintain a good character only through faith in the Hereafter and the Day of Judgment and reckoning. For anyone who has forgotten that he will have to account for himself on the Day of Judgment, there is no motive to display patience or make sacrifices for others. He feels the need to engage in such behavior only if it squares with his own interests. Otherwise, for someone who lives far removed from religious moral values, it seems meaningless to display a good character in this world—which is in any case transitory—to people who are in any case mortal.

The hypocrite will receive no reward, either in this world or the Hereafter, for any good behavior he engages in for the sake of his own interests. If someone ignores all Allah’s commandments, everything that he does will be in vain, as is revealed by Allah in the Qur’an:

That is because they followed what angers Allah and hated what is pleasing to Him. So He made their actions come to nothing.

Muhammad: 28

Their Defiance of the Qur’an

First, in order to acquire a sufficient understanding of this matter, it should be useful to examine briefly the denier’s view of the Qur’an.

One of deniers’ most important characteristics is that they live by the religion of their ancestors instead of the religion of Allah. Under their religion, going along with baseless practices passed on by word of mouth is regarded as “religious observance.” By complying with these traditions, they imagine themselves to be virtuous and “obedient.” They never take the Qur’an as a criterion in any form whatsoever. The essence of this religion of the ignorant lies in traditions determined by the society, in which “goodness” lies in small matters performed with hardly any effort at all. They perform these in the name of “being good,” and thus think that this must make them “good” too.

For example, giving some spare change to a beggar they happen to meet on the street, or donating clothes that are too old for them to ever wear again is in their eyes a “good deed.” However, the true definition of goodness and righteousness is provided in the Qur’an:

It is not righteousness to turn your faces to the East or to the West. Rather, truly righteous are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day, the Angels, the Book and the prophets, and who, despite their love for it, give away their wealth to their relatives and to orphans and the very poor, and to travelers and beggars and to set slaves free, and who perform prayer and give the alms; those who honor their contracts when they make them, and are steadfast in poverty and illness and in battle. Those are the people who are true. They are the people who guard against evil.

Al-Baqara: 177

When these others are told about the criteria in the Qur’an, they refuse to abandon their distorted beliefs:

When they are told, “Come to what Allah has sent down and to the messenger,” they say, “What we found our fathers doing is enough for us.” What! Even if their fathers did not know anything and were not guided!

Al-Ma’ida: 104

Whenever they commit an indecent act, they say, “We found our fathers doing it and Allah commanded us to do it too.” Say: “Allah does not command indecency. Do you say things about Allah you do not know?”

Al-A‘raf: 28

They never want to abandon the “social religion” they’re accustomed to. For that reason, they seek out contradictions in the verses of Allah and strive to prevent people from His path. They are:

Those who bar access to the way of Allah and seek in it something crooked and reject the Hereafter.

Hud: 19

In short, these people are exceptionally insensitive with regard to the Qur’an and the verses of Allah; and their viewpoints never change in any significant way.

It is at this point comes a parting of the ways between hypocrites and deniers. Unlike the denier, the hypocrite does not completely reject the Qur’an. He will not emphasize that he does not truly believe in and submit to it, but on the contrary, seeks to hide that fact as much as possible. The denier does not implement the observances in the Qur’an unless he views them as a tradition left over from his ancestors; whereas the hypocrite does appear to fulfill a great many observances—on the surface.

Yet the hypocrite has not genuinely submitted to the verses. Whenever they impinge on his earthly desires, he remains completely insensitive to them. Furthermore, he performs only “formal” observances, even though a great many other observances need to be performed: such as complete submission to Allah and His messenger, and genuine acceptance of the messenger’s stipulations. In addition, the hypocrite ignores those commandments of Allah concerning proper moral values that happen to conflict with his worldly interests—which interests include defending those desires, belittling others and regarding oneself as superior.

Great wisdom underlies Allah’s revelation of the Qur’an, in which He warns against the Day of Judgment, and shows people the true path. However, only a few believe in the Qur’an and live by it in a fitting manner: Those are the faithful.

Believers are most respectful of the provisions of the Qur’an and submit to them. Their respect stems from their profound respect for Allah. Every time the Qur’an is recited, they fall silent to listen and fully reflect on the verses. The Qur’an increases their faith, and gives their hearts satisfaction and repose. In one verse Allah describes believers as:

. . . those whose hearts tremble when Allah is mentioned, whose faith is increased when His signs are recited to them, and who put their trust in their Lord.

Al-Anfal: 2

The attitude of hypocrites towards the Qur’an is highly two-faced. They abide by some of the verses of the Qur’an, but not by others. Their criteria are their earthly desires. They turn their backs without a qualm on provisions that feel difficult for them, such as spending in good causes or regarding their brother’s desires as superior to their own. They are very flexible when it comes to implementing many provisions that are actually obligatory, and do not implement others at all if no one is looking.

As the above verse reveals, believers who read the Qur’an grow in faith, while hypocrites grow in denial. This is actually one of Allah’s great miracles. That is because despite their reading exactly the same verses, two entirely different spiritual states emerge. Believers perceive the wisdom in the verses, while hypocrites are completely unable to fathom it. They may even be unaware of their inability to understand and imagine that they actually comprehend the Qur’an very well indeed.

The way this miracle comes about is set out in the Qur’an:

When you recite the Qur’an, We place an obscuring veil between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter. We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an, they turn their backs and run away.

Al-Isra’: 45-46

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