Al Baqarah, 11-12: Now you have them on your side, now you don’t.

Let me put forth a scenario which I guess everyone of us is familiar with. In joint-family systems, there is always someone around who is Ms. Snoop-it-all. Her day isn’t complete unless she finds something ground-breaking and set off the fireworks. Get the picture? And when somebody cuts in and tells this person to lay-it-off and stop sending sparks around, the answer we usually hear is: “I mean well…” or ”She ought to know….” or “You’ll thank me for this one day…” or “I’m only setting it right…” –though her intentions are anything but that.

Now, read these verses.

We were discussing the first kind of hypocrites last time, and these verses further continue with their traits.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ {11}أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَٰكِنْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ {12}

And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.” [02:11-12]

Ibn Jarir (r.a), a noted scholar of tafsir, comments on this phrase “Make not mischief on the earth,”:

“The hypocrites commit mischief on earth by

  1. disobeying their Lord on it and continuing in the prohibited acts.
  2. They also abandon what Allah made obligatory and doubt His religion, even though He does not accept a deed from anyone except with faith in His religion and certainty of its truth.
  3. The hypocrites also lie to the believers by saying contrary to the doubt and hesitation their hearts harbor.
  4. They give as much aid as they can, against Allah’s loyal friends, and support those who deny Allah, His Books and His Messengers.

This is how the hypocrites commit mischief on earth, while thinking that they are doing righteous work on earth.” [1]

(And when it is said to them: “Do not make mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.”) meaning, “We seek to be friends with all the parties- the believers, the disbelievers and the people of the Book, and to have peace with all.”

But Allah (swt) cuts across their fake “neutrality” by saying: “Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.”

The  hypocrites’ behavior, and their claim that it is for peace, is itself mischief, although in their ignorance, they do not see it to be that way.

You see, no compromises on Islamic principles are acceptable, because when we give up or overlook a commandment, just to flow with the trends or force-create common grounds to fit in, we further mess things up. And exchanging values for looking ‘cool’ is really not worth all the fad. It only earns Allah Almighty’s wrath.

“Verily, the hyprocrites will be in the lowest depth of the Fire; no helper will you find for them.” (04:145)

If the hypocrite remains a disbeliever (rather than pretending to be Muslim), the evil that results from him would be less. Even better, if the hypocrite becomes sincere with Allah and makes the statements that he utters conform to his deeds, he will gain success.

Remember the scene I sketched in the beginning? That was just one of the ways in which we- Muslims- exhibit hypocrisy through our deeds and actions.

Well, the rule is- minding your own business is the first step towards doing something constructive. It’s only the idle-minds who go harping about everyone and everything they come across. Assuming, presuming, commenting, bickering, gossiping…and the croquet tournament begins. Snide comments pass, insults fly, bad feelings, breaking bonds…and the “thanking” part never comes. It just gets worse.

Well yeah, controlling this really is one big feat for females particularly. As we’ll move on with the Quran and the Hadith, we’ll come to see how detestable this habit is. Though if we have this trait, it doesn’t make us a full-blown hypocrite– but well, we’re carrrying this aforementioned hypocritc tag all the same-…

So, as true Muslims, we should say: “Oh, this is so beneath me. I should better get this out of my system!”

Happy working-on-it! 🙂


1. Tafsir ibn Kathir


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