In the beginning of the Quran Allah (SWT) divides the whole of mankind into three groups: believers, disbelievers, and hypocrites. Allah (SWT) describes very briefly the characteristics of the believers. Then disbelievers are mentioned in only one verse. This description is then followed with very extensive detail of the hypocrites. Hypocrites are described at great length because they are the most dangerous members of society. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the characteristics and fate of these hypocrites.
Notice that this grouping of mankind is based on beliefs and practices irrespective of color, creed, origin, language, and national or territorial affiliations.
Let us now examine the characteristics of hypocrites as described in Surah al-Baqarah Allah (SWT)says: Al-Baqarah # 8
Among people there are those who say we believe in Allah (SWT) and the Day of Judgement, they are not believers, they are trying to cheat Allah (SWT) and the true believers. Unfortunately, they are not deceiving anyone but themselves, and they are not even aware of this.
Note that although they are claiming belief in Allah (SWT) and the Day of Judgement, there is no mention of belief in the prophethood of Mohammad (SAS). This was the case of the Jews of that time. Hence, any belief without the belief in the prophethood of Mohammad (SAS) is unacceptable. They are so lost that they cannot even understand their own actions.
Allah (SWT)says:Al- Baqarah # 10
In their hearts there is a disease and Allah (SWT)has increased their disease. There is a painful punishment for them because they lie.
Hence, lying is not an insignificant sin.It can transform a believer into a hypocrite.Allah (SWT) describes lying along with idol worshipping in the Quran:
Save yourself from the evil of idol worshipping and lying.”
Allah (SWT) describes three distinct indicators of these hypocrites. Allah says: Al- Baqarah # 11,12When it is said to them don’t create mischief in the world, they say that we are the peace makers, in fact they are indeed the mischievous ones, but they do not perceive it.Secondly, Allah (SWT) further says: Al-Baqarah # 13
When it is said to them believe like the other people believe they say, “Shall we believe like the foolish believe?” Verily, they are the fools, but they do not understand.
It is clear from this that the test of correct belief is to have belief as the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS). Allah (SWT) had so much respect for the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) that He made this criteria to test the sincerity of belief. Similarly, Allah (SWT) honored the companions in an earlier verse where Allah (SWT) says that the hypocrites are trying to cheat Allah (SWT) and his believers. \
Allah describes a third indicator of hypocrites as follows. Allah (SWT) says: Al-Baqarah # 14,15,16
When they fall in with those who believe they say “We believe!” When they go apart to their devils they declare, “Look we are with you! Verily we did but to mock (or pretend).”
Allah (SWT) does mock them, and leave them to wander blindly in their rebellion. They are those who purchase error at the price of guidance. So their commerce will not prosper neither are they guided.
On the contaray, let us describe the fate of believing men and women on the Day of Judgement. Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al-Hadid # 12
On the Day of Judgement you will see the believing men and women with a guiding light in front of them and on their right hand side. These are good tidings for you, that you will reside in gardens below which rivers flow. They will reside there forever. It is indeed a great triumph.
Several points need to be mentioned. We noticed that believing men and believing women are treated alike for the rewards for their good deeds. There is light on their right hands because they are given their account on the right hand. It is also customary to have light in front for travelling. This light in front of them is there as a result of their good deeds. There are several sayings of Prophet Mohammad (SAS) to illustrate this fact.
Anas (RU) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said: “Give glad tidings to those people who go to the Masjid during the dark nights. They will have all of the light on the Day of Judgement.” (Ibn Majah)
Ibn-e-Omar (RU) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said: “Those who offer their prayers regularly and conscientiously, will be rewarded with a guiding light on the Day of Judgement; Those who don’t will not have any light and they will be with Qaroon, Haman, and Phiraun.” (Musnad Ahmad)
Abu Saeed narrates that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said: “Whosoever recites Surah Kahf on Friday will have a guiding light on the Day of Judgement which will extend from his feet up to the Heavens.” (Tabarani)
Abu Hurairah (RU) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said that: “Whosoever recites even one verse of Quran it will transform into guiding light for him on the Day of Judgement.” (Imam Ahmed)
Abu Hurairah (RU) narrates that Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said that: “Whosoever will send peace and blessing upon me will have guiding light to cross the bridge on the Day of Judgement.” (Dailmi)
Similarly all good deeds will provide guiding light to believers. In contrast to all this, Allah (SWT) describes the situation of Hypocrites. Allah (SWT) says: Al-Hadid # 13,14,15,
On the Day of Judgement hypocrite men and women will say to the believers to please wait for us so that we can make use of your light. It will be said to them go back and look for the light. A wall will be drawn between the believers and hypocrites. Inside this wall will be the Mercy of Allah (SWT) and outside the wall will be the misery. Hypocrites will say loudly to the believers “Were we not with you?” The believers will reply, “Yes indeed, but you tempted one another, hesitated and doubted, while your vain desires charmed you till the order of Allah (SWT) arrived. The deceiver deceived you concerning Allah (SWT):” So this day no ransom can be taken from you nor from those who disbelieved. Your home is the fire, that is the proper place for you and it is a terrible end to your journey.
According to Ibn-e-Kathir, all believers and hypocrites will be given guiding light on the Day of Judgement while crossing the bridge. The light of the hypocrites will be soon extinguished. In this way Allah (SWT) is mocking them as they used to mock Allah (SWT) and his obedient servants. Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: Al-Baqarah # 15
Allah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wonder blindly.
Note that the hypocrites were given some light initially, because they did some good deeds for showing off.
Hence, we conclude that sincere deeds will result in a permanent guiding light and hypocrisy will be mocked at on the Day of Judgement. Ibn Kathir has mentioned a very long Hadith in which he relates that each believer will have light according to his deeds. Some will have light like a mountain, some like palm trees, and some in length equal to the height of a person.
Allah (SWT) further says: Al-Hadid # 17
Remember that Allah (SWT) makes the dead Earth alive again. Allah (SWT) in this way makes His verses clear to you so that you can understand.
Here Allah (SWT) is reminding us that just as He can revive the dead earth, similarly He can revive the dead hearts of the hypocrites if there is sincere repentance. I pray to Allah (SWT) that Allah (SWT) makes us sincere Muslim and provides us with guiding light permanently on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.