BY OYEWUNMI KAFAYAT
Nifaq is an Arabic word, literally means hypocrisy, It means adopting a two-pronged policy, is an undesirable trait in which a person presents an outer appearance while acting in ways that are incompatible with his inner condition. For example, one may offer the impression of friendship and devotion while pretending to be honest and compassionate, or appear to embrace faith or creed while harboring the opposite sentiment in his heart. In the presence of others, such a person demonstrates sympathy and friendliness, but when they are not around, they are different or contrary. Hypocrisy is viewed as a significant moral fault in Islam. The Prophet (SAW) said: He who has four qualities in him will be a pure hypocrite. In which there is a nature of it, a nature of a hypocrite remains in it until it is abandoned, betrays if the deposit is kept, when he speaks, he lies, Promises are broken, gives obscene insults when engaged in a dispute. Narrated by Abu Hurairah
Nifaq is basically of two types Behavioral and verbal
Behavioral Nifaq is when a person’s external appearance is kind, giving the sense of sympathy, support, and sincerity, but his heart says otherwise while Verbal Nifaq is when a person praises and flatters another person or individuals in front of them, but then denounces them and speaks slanderously about them when they are not there.
Nifaq can in different forms, Nifaq can manifest in a variety of ways depending on the health of the individual who is infected with this terrible disease. It can be shown in bragging of trust in Islam, sincerity of faith, and piety by a layperson. For ulama [scholars] and jurisprudents, claiming the Prophet’s wilayah and khilafah while claiming the highest degree of sincerity (Ikhlas) (s). For philosophers and reasonable scientists who claim to have authentic faith and knowledge based on deductive proofs.
Nifaq with the Almighty Allah, the Bestower, and Nourisher, is one of the forms of Nifaq, double-facedness, and double-tonguedness, with which a person can be inflicted in this world but is unaware of it. Throughout his life, he has claimed to believe in the Unity of God, claiming to be a Muslim and real believer, and even proclaiming His love. His inner essence, however, contradicts his outward appearance and statements.
Giving oneself the right to harass and harm subordinates, and never hesitating to cause them inconvenience or to cause problems for them, not only through actions but also through the dagger of the tongue, by using derogatory language in their presence or, in their absence, by revealing their secrets, slandering them, and making false accusations against them. As a Muslim whose hands and tongues other Muslims should be safe from, such a person’s claim of allegiance to Islam contradicts his reality, and his heart and deeds are diametrically opposed to his claim of being a Muslim.
Love to hear one’s praise that so and so is a devout guy or a gifted individual, and exhibit joy when someone says such a thing while feeling sad when the contrary occurs. If a person truly thinks and proclaims that all praise is due to God, the Almighty and that all of his attributes are gifts from God, then such an attitude contradicts his claim that all praise is due to God, and he lacks sincerity toward God as both Creator and Bestower.
If a person is plagued with this dreadful condition, he should first consider the harm it causes, both in this life and in the next. Being a hypocrite, he should believe, is completely against God’s created human nature. One should consider the fact that if he is known in this world for having this negative trait of hypocrisy, he will be degraded in the eyes of his peers and would become infamous among his peers. They will avoid being in his company, and he will lose their friendship.
The afflicted person should be exceedingly cautious about his actions and words, and he should act purposefully against his base desires, wage an outright battle against his inner self, and strive to improve himself both within and externally, in both deeds and words. He should be able to distinguish between kindness and hatred. In practice, he should avoid affectation, coquetry, and deception, and he should beg the Almighty’s protection and assistance at this time to grant him mastery over his demonic self and its wants, as well as to guide and accompany him in this endeavor. His mercy and grace are limitless toward His creatures, and whoever approaches Him with the intention of reforming himself receives His support and assistance.
If one continues to do this exercise for several days, his spirit will be cleaned and the rust of hypocrisy and double-facedness will be gone. His inner self and the mirror of his heart will be cleansed of this vice, and he will be ready to receive the Bestower’s graces and blessings once more.