Can we label a Muslim to be a Munafiq (Hypocrite)?
even if we see the signs of Nifaq (hypocrisy) in his words & actions?
Is it alright to label a Muslim as a Munafiq?
First thing we need to understand is,
'What is Nifaq?’
It refers to a burrow (hole) insid
Or a burrow with two holes inside which something can go and hide and then come out from the other side
the burrow of a mouse or rat is also known as Nifaq
The underground tunnels built in Arabia
with two outlets on different ends are called Nafaqa,
You can read the written letters Na Fa Qa on the exit or entry of the tunnel
From above it appears plain and cars are passing by,
but beneath it there is a hidden road or a tunnel from where a car enters
and comes out after miles towards the other end this is called nafaqa\NAnd from it we get Nifaq
In the terminology of Shariah, and in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah,
Nifaq means a person conceals kufr and shirk in his heart and
pretends to be a Muslim through his words and deeds
Whoever is a disbeliever by heart
and an enemy of Islam from inside, keeps enmity towards Islam,
hates Muslims and does not like Islam, rather his heart is full of Kufr
But due to his worldly needs or under some compulsion he declares himself a Muslim.
This in reality is Nifaq
Now that you have understood that Nifaq is not connected with outward appearance, but it is connected with what is inside the heart
Now let us study the verse from Surah Al Ahzab in detail...
Allah informs his Prophet,
there are many Munafiqs in Madinah,
and He has informed the names of many of them
If you study this verse in detail, only then can you understand the issue properly
He said that many names of the Munafiqs who are dwelling in Madinah have being informed to you
but there are still many in the city, and around the city whom you do not know. But I know them.
Thus, we come to know that there were munafiqs in Madinah
and the Prophet (peace be upon him) could not recognize them
Because he took them on face value when they recite the Shahadah
Whereas Allah informed him that though this person recites shahadah, and sits in your gathering but
He has concealed kufr in his heart & he is a munafiq
Allah had informed the names of the Munafiqs
and the Prophet (peace be upon him) had jotted the names of all these Munafiq
and that is why
After the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him), it was Hudaifah ibn Yemen (Allah be pleased with him) who had the list of the names
Umar Farook (Allah be pleased with him) used to visit Hudaifah (Allah be pleased with him) and say, “O
Hudaifah! Please show me the list of names of the Munafiq which the Prophet had dictated
"I hope my name is not mentioned in it”\NHe used to fear being mentioned in the list
Only when he was informed that his name was not included,\Nhe used to feel relieved of being saved from Nifaq
So my brother's & sister's, Nifaq is connected to the heart and not with outward appearance
and the plight of the heart is known only to 'Allah, The Knower of what is in the hearts’
As Allah says in Qur’an that O Prophet!
You know the names of the Munafiq of whom I have informed you but
there are many others, whom you do not know, but I know them
Now after understanding this,
if some signs are evident in a person,
we still do not know what is in his heart
We may be able to see the outward deeds
but what is inside we cannot claim to know
Let me give you an example to explain
At times it happens that a deed which is normally done by a disbeliever, is also committed by a true Muslim
Therefore, if any act of someone is apparent
like that of a Munafiq or a Disbeliever,
yet he cannot be termed as a disbeliever or Munafiq
Therefore all the Scholars of Deen
have categorized the Munafiqs into two types:
Munafiq-e-Aitaqadi is one who is actually referred as a Munafiq in the Qur’an
and they are worse than the disbelievers
For example, The Leader of Munafiq, Abdullah ibn Ubai ibn Sulool
and his companions in Madinah whose names were disclosed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) by Allah Himself
They are those Munafiqs who are disbelievers from the core of their hearts
but due to some compulsions they pretend to be Muslims through certain actions
They are called Munafiq-e-Aitaqadi
Today the revelations do not come,
so we can only put up on face value from what we see,
but with regards to what a person's carries in his heart, we can never know
Therefore, we cannot issue a ruling upon someone that he is a Munafiq
and he is the Aitaqadi type and will stay in hell-fire
as mentioned in the Qur’an, “Indeed the Munafiqs will be in the deepest depth of Hell-fire.”
Now let us focus on the second category of Munafiq,
In this category, the person believes, loves Allah, His Messenger, loves Islam, while he is on Touhid, hates shirk, but
He adopts certain acts which are mentioned as the signs of Munafiqs
As the Prophet (peace be upon him) has mentioned certain signs of a Munafiq,
"A Munafiq has three signs."
First, when he speaks - he lies
Second, when a trusted item is given to him he betrays the trust
and third, when he promises - he breaks his promise.
He speaks lies, he betrays the trust and he breaks promises, these are the three things signs of Munafiq
The Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed the three signs of Nifaq
but if each Muslim should introspect his heart, to search if he has any kufr in his heart or hatred towards Islam
He may be afraid of breaking promises and considers lying to be haram
yet he might fall into one of these sins
yet he does not become a Munafiq but the actions are that of Munafiq
That is why it is called Nifaq-e-Amali
We may say someone is a Munafiq by his deeds
or we can ask him to leave that particular act and repent because the act is that of a Munafiq
It is not the deed of a Believer. Yet we cannot call someone a Munafiq by Aitiqad
nor can we apply a fatwa of nifaq on such person that “You have now turned into a Munafiq and you have no connection with Islam anymore.”
This is because Nifaq is connected with heart and only Allah, who has no partner and the Knower of what hearts possess,
and he will not inform us anymore because revelations have ceased to happen
So we take it only on face value.
That is why if you consider this: If someone has lied or abused
yet he has never been issued a fatwa of being a Munafiq by the Prophet (peace be upon him)
Muslims might have committed sins but still they were never called Munafiqs.
Take the example from that Hadith,
where a Muslim who used to drink alcohol was brought before the Prophet (peace be upon him)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) announced his punishment and it was implemented
Few days later he again drank alcohol and was punished again
He was brought for the third time under the influence of alcohol
The Prophet (peace be upon him) punished him again and this went on
See, how only Allah knows what is in the heart.
This man was drinking repeatedly and was punished repeatedly.
Once when he was brought for punishment, someone cursed him, “Allah’s curse be upon you. You sinner!
You get drunk repeatedly and get hit with sticks.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Do not curse him, for he may be sinning but in his heart there is love for Allah and His messenger.”
Thus a person may commit a lot of sinful acts,
but yet his heart can be clear of nifaq. It does possess Emaan and Islam
That is why I would appeal all of you that you should not impose
any fatwa of being a Munafiq upon any individual Muslim
At the most you may say, 'Allah knows best what is in the hearts but the actions are those that speak of Nifaq’
You may correct him and explain, but you cannot impose a fatwa of him being a Munafiq
Let me clarify it before you all,
that many a times if you explain it to someone he would jump to say,
“No matter how much you defend, I know his heart and his intentions very well, I know how big a Munafiq is he.”
Dear brothers, It is difficult to read a person's heart and by passing such comments you are harming your own hereafter
Let me draw your attention to that Hadith, which, by Allah will make you tremble
I will explain in detail
The Hadith is in Bukhari as well but
I will explain the detailed one from Musnad e Ahmed and Mustadarak al Hakeem
So that no one should get involved in hurling fatwas on other fellow Muslims
This is the age of turmoil
where the easiest fatwas are the ones on Takfeer (to declare someone a kafeer) and Nifaaq (Hypocrisy)
Fatwas on a Believer come quicker than fatwas on an alcoholic or adulterer
So please remember this hadith and it is a long one
The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent a man along with the army of Muslims.
He was a true Muslim and none of us can match his status
When the battle between Kufr and Islam grew fierce, this man made an enemy run for his life
The kafir ran and this man chased him till then the kafir fell down and immediately recited:
I bear witness that no one deserves to be worship except Allah and I bear witness that Mohamed is the Messenger of Allah.
He kept on repeating the shahadah declaring that I am a Muslim, I am a Muslim
But still he killed him. Sat on his chest and killed him.
Upon returning back along with the army, the matter was reported to the Prophet (peace be upon him)
and he said, "You killed him!"
He said, “He did not recite the shahadah sincerely,
I knew it well that he was doing so to save his life”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Did you tear off his heart and see it?”
“No, O Messenger of Allah but I heard him just reciting the shahadah”
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, “How sad it is, neither you accepted his verbal shahadah
nor did you tear of his heart and checked it!”
He was upset
After some time, the sahabi died.
Now listen to this. How frightening it is!
The sahabi died, and his tribals gave him a burial bath and offered salatul janazah over him
and then buried him in a graveyard
The moment they buried him,
the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “His body was thrown out by the grave forcefully.”
The people buried him again after a tedious effort.
The next morning they found that the body was out of the grave again.
His people could not even perceive any negative thing about him, such a good man he was
Yet he grave threw him out.
When his people came to know, they came and said,
“May be some shroud thief has done this.”
They buried him again and appointed few youngsters with swords, to keep a watch on the situation
and find out who comes at midnight
and misbehaves with their dead.
The youth kept a strict vigil waiting for the thief
and were ready to kill if anyone who did the same thing to their dead.
They sat with a strict vigil.
Suddenly the grave got cleft asunder and the body was thrown out.
They found the body out of the grave in the morning.
When the seniors of the tribe inquired from the vigilant youth
they explained what happened but nobody was ready to accept their version.
They said, “It could be some enemy of ours who is doing this.”
The next night they appointed more youth for vigilance and instructed them to guard the grave properly.
They thought that the youth might have been little careless the previous night
and while you may be little away some enemy must have damaged his grave.
They strongly believed that there was no shroud thief but an enemy
who was misbehaving with their dead brother.
That night they kept a vigil again and with fully armed youth around the grave.
Suddenly the grave cleft asunder and the dead body was out.
Today there were many youth and the next day again, the old people saw that the dead body was out again.
The seniors concluded that the young men set for vigil may be distracted in playing or sleeping
and the enemies come and misbehave with their dead.
Then then decided that the elderly would be keep a watch that night.
Every senior and experienced elderly person of the tribe sat on the vigil
because they felt that the youth appointed by them were not upto mark,
They sat with swords and spears
The grave cleft asunder and threw the dead body out.
Now, the elderly people understood that it was not an enemy at work for the past 3-4 days
They felt that its some sort of punishment from Allah due to which the grave was not accepting the dead body.
They took the dead body and went deep inside the jungle and discarded it
Then the people went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and reported the whole matter to him.
“O Prophet! Such and such thing has happened.”
He replied, “Don't forget that
this earth has taken in, people who were worst, like Namrod, Pharon and others. These were very big sinners,
as compared to your brother, but
Allah has commanded the earth not to accept this man.
So wherever you will bury him it will throw him out.
This body will not be accepted by earth.
Through this incident Allah want to show you
and make you realize the value and status of a person in the sight of Allah, who recites Shahadah.
Allah wants you to realize the importance and honor a person who recites shahadah.
That is why Allah has commanded the earth not to allow his body to be buried but throw it out.
Otherwise Allah has commanded the earth to accept in it,
bodies of big sinners and kuffars, but this man's body has not be accepted by grave.
The disbelievers were accepted by the grave in spite of their kufr
but this is a Muslim who killed a man who recited the shahadah
and was judgmental about the status of the heart of the person.
He refused to accept the shahadah of a person that is why Allah commanded the earth not to accept his dead body.
Dear audience, I have narrated this hadith to you
so that you may restrain from issuing fatwas on your fellow Muslims.
Do not hurl fatwas, control your tongues. Keep the matters for Allah to settle.
Today many of us are so casual in saying, “I know how black this person's heart is.”
On one hand he is reciting shahadah and yet you issue fatwa against him. Nobody can bear witness to the condition of a person's heart.
You may say about what is apparent and keep the Hadith of Sahih Muslim,
never issue fatwas upon others rather be concerned about your own self. Focus on your own sins and shortcomings.
You may not know though you may be a pious person yet one sin can cause
Allah to annul all your good deeds.
Whereas the person upon whom you are issuing a fatwa
he may do a small deed which may be highly in the sight of Allah, and He would cause him enter in Jannah.
Consider this Hadith: There were two neighbors
One of them was pious Alhamdulillah,
and his neighbor was involved in some kind of sins.
He used to reprimand his neighbor as to why he was into such a sin.
The neighbor used to say, “Shaitan causes me to do but I will repent.”
The pious man cautioned him again but the neighbor continued to sin.
The third time when he committed the sin the man got angry and said,
“I am cautioning you repeatedly, By Allah, He will not forgive you. He may forgive others but not you.”
This was the only thing he said. Just a fatwa that “Allah will not forgive you at all.”
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said that the neighbor pleaded and said,
“Do not issue such fatwa as the matter is between me and Allah.
And indirectly he said, “How do you know how much I plead before Allah at night.
This matter is between me and Allah so please do not issue a fatwa upon me.
When both the men died, Allah commanded the sinner to enter Jannah
and ordered the pious to enter the Hellfire.
He said to Allah, I was trying to stop him from committing sin.”
Allah replied, “I know he committed sins and you wanted to stop him but the issue is who gave you the right to give judgement about me?
Therefore my audience, do not issue fatwas on petty issues but try to correct your Muslim brother,
and explain him not only once but thousand times,
but do not get fed up and start issuing Fatwas
That “He is definitely a Munafi, I guarantee that he is a Munafiq for sure,
this man is a confirmed disbeliever and I know his reality.”
How can you know the reality my brothers and sisters, because reality is connected with heart.
May Allah guide us all and guide us to control our tongues.
May He guide us to correct our own faults instead of issuing the ruling of kufr and nifaq on others.