An Internal Disease: Nifaq

What is Nifaq?

In short it is hypocrisy and/or deceit

What Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw) have said regarding it:

And [remember] when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease said, “Allāh and His Messenger did not promise us except delusion,” And when a faction of them said, “O people of Yathrib, there is no stability for you [here], so return [home].” And a party of them asked permission of the Prophet, saying, “Indeed, our houses are unprotected,” while they were not exposed. They did not intend except to flee. And if they had been entered upon from all its [surrounding] regions and fitnah had been demanded of them, they would have done it and not hesitated over it except briefly. And they had already promised Allāh before not to turn their backs and flee. And ever is the promise to Allāh [that about which one will be] questioned. Say, [O Muhammad], “Never will fleeing benefit you if you should flee from death or killing; and then [if you did], you would not be given enjoyment [of life] except for a little.” Say, “Who is it that can protect you from Allāh if He intends for you an ill or intends for you a mercy?” And they will not find for themselves besides Allāh any protector or any helper. Already Allāh knows the hinderers among you and those [hypocrites] who say to their brothers, “Come to us,” and do not go to battle, except for a few…” (33:12-18)

They have taken their oaths as a cover, so they averted [people] from the way of Allāh. Indeed, it was evil that they were doing. (63:2)

Four are the characteristics which, when found in a person, make him a sheer hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it. These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks it; and when he argues, he behaves in a very imprudent, insulting manner. (Bukhārī & Muslim)

.وَإِذْ يَقُولُ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌۭ مَّا وَعَدَنَا ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥٓ إِلَّا غُرُورًۭا

وَإِذْ قَالَت طَّآئِفَةٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ يَـٰٓأَهْلَ يَثْرِبَ لَا مُقَامَ لَكُمْ فَٱرْجِعُوا۟ ۚ وَيَسْتَـْٔذِنُ فَرِيقٌۭ مِّنْهُمُ ٱلنَّبِىَّ يَقُولُونَ إِنَّ بُيُوتَنَا عَوْرَةٌۭ وَمَا هِىَ بِعَوْرَةٍ ۖ إِن يُرِيدُونَ إِلَّا فِرَارًۭا

وَلَوْ دُخِلَتْ عَلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَقْطَارِهَا ثُمَّ سُئِلُوا۟ ٱلْفِتْنَةَ لَـَٔاتَوْهَا وَمَا تَلَبَّثُوا۟ بِهَآ إِلَّا يَسِيرًۭا

وَلَقَدْ كَانُوا۟ عَـٰهَدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مِن قَبْلُ لَا يُوَلُّونَ ٱلْأَدْبَـٰرَ ۚ وَكَانَ عَهْدُ ٱللَّهِ مَسْـُٔولًۭا

قُل لَّن يَنفَعَكُمُ ٱلْفِرَارُ إِن فَرَرْتُم مِّنَ ٱلْمَوْتِ أَوِ ٱلْقَتْلِ وَإِذًۭا لَّا تُمَتَّعُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا

قُلْ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَعْصِمُكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَ بِكُمْ سُوٓءًا أَوْ أَرَادَ بِكُمْ رَحْمَةًۭ ۚ وَلَا يَجِدُونَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِيًّۭا وَلَا نَصِيرًۭا

(33:12-18) ۞ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْمُعَوِّقِينَ مِنكُمْ وَٱلْقَآئِلِينَ لِإِخْوَٰنِهِمْ هَلُمَّ إِلَيْنَا ۖ وَلَا يَأْتُونَ ٱلْبَأْسَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

اتَََّّذُوا أَيَْْانَُِمْ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنَُِّمْ سَاءَ مَا كَانُوا
(63:2) يعَْمَلُونَ

أَرْبَعٌ مِنْ كُنْ فِيهِ كَانَ مُنَافِقًا ، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ خَصْلَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ فِيهِ كَانَتْ فِيهِ خَصْلَةٌ مِنَ النِِّفَاقِ حَتََّّ يَدَعَهَا: إِذَا اؤتُُِنَ خَانَ ، وَإِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ ، وَإِذَا عَاهَدَ غَدَرَ ، وَإِذَا خَاصَمَ ( البخاري ومسلم‎ ) فَجَرَ

What can we do?

One of the best methods to safeguard ourselves is to be conscious of Allah (swt), keping good company and engendering the ultimate love, fear and enjoyment of bonding with Allāh through ibādāt zātiyyah (personal acts of worship where you bond with Allah e.g. duā).

Have Mercy on the Student

I’ve been teaching for a while now Alhamdulillah. Through experience and with the inspiration from my own teachers I have come to learn that it is important to have mercy on students.

Every teacher will have different expectations. Make this clear from the beginning to ensure you and the students are on the same page. Just like the way Khidr (ra) set the scene for Musa (as). Notify your students about your temperament.

“Invite to the way of Your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching.” (Quran 16:125)

Here are a few supporting reasons from Islamic Scripture exemplifying why one should be merciful towards others, including their students.

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (ra), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: When Allah decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over My wrath. [Hadith Qudsi – Muslim].

How amazing is that. Our Lord who is Just, Fair, Majestic and All things Mighty – has stated Himself that HIS MERCY will always be greater than His wrath. Should we not as teachers be more merciful than continuously disciplining our students, worse yet, overwhelming or burdening them? This does not mean we shouldn’t set coursework, be strict with deadlines, advise them to manage time, etc. But we should also be amongst those who are considerate. This hadith also gives me hope and encourages me to move forward and do better, after a slip.

The following is just beautiful and so true. The Hadith speaks for itself.

‘A’isha (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective. [Sahih Muslim]

Musa (as) was advised to approach Firaun who was a tyrant with gentleness and kindness. Further to this, if the Prophet (saw) was not gentle whilst giving dawah or just as, in his daily interactions, people would not have wanted to listen to him (saw). The Prophet (saw) was a mercy to mankind. If as Muslims we try to follow in his (saw) footsteps shall we not also adopt his character/traits.

“So by mercy from Allah, [O Muḥammad], you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah….” [3:159] – Sahih International. Taken from Quran.com

“So, it is through mercy from Allah that you are gentle to them. Had you been rough and hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from around you. So, pardon them and seek Forgiveness for them. And consult them in the matter, and once you have taken a decision, place your trust in Allah…” [3:159] – Ma’riful Quran

“And indeed, you (Muhammad) are of a great moral character.” [68:4]

Jarir bin ‘Abdullah (ra) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who is deprived of forbearance and gentleness is deprived of all good.” [Muslim]

Overlook the mistakes of students where possible. They are here to learn after all. Explain to them where appropriate and needed why a particular course of action was taken. This may enable them to understand and it avoids resentment. Children are curious little creatures, they will bound to have questions and teens may challenge you, which isn’t necessarily disrespectful given they approach you in a respectful and polite manner. Khidr eventually explained his actions to Musa (as) at the end, after all. Nevertheless, it should not be to the extent where an explanation is expected to be given for everything. Consider asking the students to reflect or leave the matter alone.

If you and a student have had a misunderstanding and it seems as though it will be best to part ways – part ways on amicable terms. The religion is sincere advice [Muslim]. In other words, The religion is wishing well for others.

Teachers have a good status around the world. Show to the students why it’s the case. If the profession is not respected, show to them why it ought to be.

Many students aren’t just students, especially as they grow older. They are parents, carers, workers, volunteers, have hobbies, health concerns, financial worries, going through personal issues, may be studying another discipline. They may also have other commitments.

We are in need of Allah’s mercy. What better way to seek His Mercy by being merciful to our students. Remember once when you were a student. It wasn’t always easy. If you are still a student, would you/do you not appreciate a teacher who has mercy towards you?

How can we get Someone who knows the religion but is not practicing the fundamentals or are not regular with them, to start practicing?

Different individuals require a different approach. Some people need to be told bluntly. A few tend to listen when a third party tells them instead of hearing it from their own kin/kith. Some need a harsh reminder to give them a wakeup call. Others we can give them advice without going into detail and they get the message. There are times where people will want a daleel after daleel. Many require a soft approach or just a gentle reminder. Some people just don’t listen and seem to not care. At times we may get caught up into the affairs of others and neglect ourself. Nevertheless,

You, yourself try to:

  • · Stay on deen and pray salah on time
  • Do all the fundamentals required by you
  • · Show good character – truth shines through character – the first dawah one gives to someone is via character
  • · Bond with them
  • · Give to charity
  • · Don’t be ashamed to pray around the person in question when you’re outside. If you continue to do so, they will see the importance of the act and consistency within yourself.
  • Ask them to do wudu before leaving the house. When the time for salah comes they won’t have the excuse that they can’t pray due to lack of wudu. Sometimes people don’t pray because they are embarrassed to make wudu in front of others or can’t be bothered to do so.
  • · Make dua for them
  • · Encourage them or engage them in doing other acts of worship/seeking knowledge instead of pointing out that they’re not currently doing a command of Allah (swt), even if obligatory. They will slowly come round too practicing the obligatory or the way they’re supposed follow the deen

At the end of the day we should try to be a prime example although we may not be perfect ourselves. Leading by example can slowly motivate others.

Benefits of Learning Tajweed and Reciting the Quran

  • Improving recitation for the pleasure of Allah (swt)
  • The Quran is the clear light and it’s a wise warning and the straight path
    • A light – a guidance for mankind – a solution for many
    • A wise warning – reminds us constantly not to go astray
    • Straight path – the way to Jannah
  • The Quran is a cure for physical, spiritual and mental illnesses
  • It will keep you away from sin
  • You will start to feel peace within yourself, with time if not at the beginning
  • Your recitation can attracts others to learn how to recite the Quran or may even get others to begin to recite it more often if they already know how to read Arabic
  • The best amongst of you all is to learn the Quran and teach it to others

‘Uthman bin ‘Affan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The best amongst you is the one who learns the Qur’an and teaches it.”

[Bukhari]

Abu Umamah (ra) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Read the Qur’an, for it will come as an intercessor for its reciters on the Day of Resurrection.”

[Muslim]

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.”

[At- Tirmidhi]

When you set yourself a target to memorise the Quran, learn tajweed or to recite:

  • Have a set target and objective in mind
  • Tell yourself there is No room for complacency
  • Stay focussed
  • Follow it through to the end
  • Don’t give up – it will get easier