The horrors of hypocrisy
I was not really surprised to see the news “Mosharref, Saydee sued for zakat scam” the news that came out on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 on the Daily Star where they along with some others have been accused of usurping zakat (poor due) funds to their own people and organizations they belonged to during their political rule. This is a typical example of a hypocrite who displays his belonging to a great religion called “Islam” but living a life contrary to its teachings.
Allah has warned the hypocrites over and over again about severe punishments that will befall them. A chapter (# 63) called “THE HYPOCRITES” exist in the Holy Qur’an where Allah Himself has revealed the nature of the hypocrites.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of the Bangladeshi Muslim population are involved in hypocrisy in one way or another. For instance, majority of them take bank interests from their savings and do not see anything wrong with it. Many of them take bank loans to buy cars, apartments and businesses and do not see anything wrong with it. Where as, the Qur’an clearly warns –
“Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for God (to judge); but those who repeat (The offence) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever). God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked…O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.” (2:275-276, 278).
“To the Hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;- Yea, to those who take for friends unbelievers rather than believers: is it honour they seek among them? Nay,- all honour is with God…That they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- we have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.” (4:138-139, 161).
By usurping the zakat funds that belonged to the poor Mosharref, Saydee and others have done a serious sin. If they acknowledge and realize their sin, then they should seek forgiveness from Allah and promise not to do it again and return the fund to the poor.
“Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (9:60).
Majority of the Bangladeshi Muslims do not offer regular prayers (as if they have been given a choice on this matter) as ordained in the Qur’an when it says –
“And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship). Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand?” (2:43-44).
Even if some do offer prayers, their prayers are not up to the par to find an acceptance in the kingdom of Allah. They basically dodge their own selves -
“The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching God, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold God in remembrance; (They are) distracted in mind even in the midst of it,- being (sincerely) for neither one group nor for another whom God leaves straying,- never wilt thou find for him the way…The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;- Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God's sight: if so they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will God grant to the believers a reward of immense value.” (4:142-143, 145-146).
They also do not fast that is compulsory on all believers –
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,- (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew. Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (2:183-185).
As a new frontier of problem we now have gamblers, drug addicts and alcoholics. In Islam all these are prohibited. But our government doesn’t care –
“O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” (5:90-91).
Similarly, killing, murdering and adultery is now a growing problem as well –
“Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). Nor take life - which God has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).” (17:32-33).
Many so called practicing Muslims in Bangladesh are engaged in crime and corruption at their work places and in the society taking bribes, stealing and looting secretly and indulging in haram income hoping that no one would know and they won’t get caught. Therefore, Allah warns them -
“The Hypocrites are afraid lest a Sura should be sent down about them, showing them what is (really passing) in their hearts. Say: "Mock ye! But verily God will bring to light all that ye fear (should be revealed).” (9:64).
But nothing can be hidden from Allah and He reveals the secrets and what is hidden as He did for the Jamaat leaders;
“And God most certainly knows those who believe, and as certainly those who are Hypocrites.” (29:11).
One of the major actions of a believer is to enjoin good and forbid evil. But the hypocrites do the opposite -
“The Hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: They enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. They have forgotten God; so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites are rebellious and perverse. God hath promised the Hypocrites men and women, and the rejecters, of Faith, the fire of Hell: Therein shall they dwell: Sufficient is it for them: for them is the curse of God, and an enduring punishment,- As in the case of those before you: they were mightier than you in power, and more flourishing in wealth and children. They had their enjoyment of their portion: and ye have of yours, as did those before you; and ye indulge in idle talk as they did. They!- their work are fruitless in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will lose (all spiritual good).” (9:67-69).
Therefore, the believers are asked not to obey them once their hypocrisy is identified -
“And obey not (the behests) of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and heed not their annoyances, but put thy Trust in God. For enough is God as a Disposer of affairs… Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time: They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be seized and slain (without mercy). (Such was) the practice (approved) of God among those who lived aforetime: No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of God.” (33:48, 60-62).
The meaning of the word “hypocrite” is – “a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.” In short, one who is not true to oneself is a hypocrite. All untrue persons will be severly punished by Allah in this wprld and in the world here after -
“And that He may punish the Hypocrites, men and women, and the Polytheists men and women, who imagine an evil opinion of God. On them is a round of Evil: the Wrath of God is on them: He has cursed them and got Hell ready for them: and evil is it for a destination. For to God belong the Forces of the heavens and the earth; and God is Exalted in Power, Full of Wisdom.” (48:6-7).
The Jamaat, when they were in power with BNP did not pay attention to implement Islamic laws in Bangladesh; instead they focused on their economic muscle building indulging in petty crimes and sin as they are now being revealed. They did not care about Islam and they did not even care about the national constitution for that matter. Because if they did, they would have known that implementation of law and order in the country as per the Islamic principles is a constitutional demand –
“2A. The state religion.
The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in the Republic…
8. Fundamental principles.
(1) The principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, together with the principles derived from them as set out in this Part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy.
(1A). Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all actions…”
Folks working at the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Islamic Foundation should take note on this matter and act upon it correctly perchance they too find themselves victims of accusations of being hypocrites someday. Be warned however that Allah is a witness of all that we do and we will be held accountable for all our actions and decisions.
“If anyone contends with the Apostle even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell,- what an evil refuge!” (4:115).
So mind it whom and what you are actually playing with. Allah is merciful if we seek mercy but strict in punishments if we fail to seek it. Do not think He is joking or giving empty threats when he talked about punishments in the Qur’an. Get a copy of the translated Qur’an and begin to study it to become a good Muslims leaving aside all hypocrisies for good.
“"Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (2:128).
Mosharref, Saydee sued for zakat scam: http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=139934
Ministry of Religious Affairs: http://www.mora.gov.bd/
The Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh: http://www.bangladeshdir.com/webs/catalog/islamic_foundation_bangladesh.html
The Constitution of Bangladesh: http://www.pmo.gov.bd/constitution/index.htm