Al Baqarah, 13: Who is the ‘fool’ here?

How many times do we label another fellow Muslim ‘simpleton’ or ‘foolish’ when we see him sticking to his ethics that often get him into worldly trouble? Or- how many of us think “get a life”, when this person skips out on parties ’cause they clash with his prayer timings-or lets his cinema-tickets expire just ’cause movies are too shallow for his taste…?

Hold on with the thought- we will get back to it after analyzing the following verses.

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ ءَامِنُواْ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلنَّاسُ قَالُوٓاْ أَنُؤۡمِنُ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ‌ۗ أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعۡلَمُونَ (١٣)

And when it is said to them (hypocrites): “Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad Peace be upon him , Al-Ansâr and Al-Muhajirûn) have believed,” they say: “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?”

Verily, they are the fools, but they know not. [02:13]

The hypocrites cannot even imagine living a life marked by rules and restrictions- or a life lived by believing in the Unseen. But this life also promises eternal joy and everything one can possibly wish for and more. Sadly, these people are too short-sighted to see reason. Too hooked up in their worldly pleasures to care about the Hereafter. Too deluded to see beyond the web of desires they have spun around themselves…

And this explains their skeptic attitude sketched in these verses…

Allah said that if the hypocrites are told, (“Believe as the people believe,”), meaning, `Believe just as the believers believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, Resurrection after death, Paradise and Hellfire, etc- and obey Allah and His Messenger by heeding the commandments and avoiding the prohibitions, [1] the hypocrites dub this as the ‘faith of the fools’, and give this incredulous look: “Us and them having the same status, following the same path, while they are fools?! Not likely!”

By ‘fools’ they meant the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh). [2]

Allah (swt) comments on their response- since they are so thoroughly ignorant, the hypocrites are unaware of their degree of deviation and ignorance, and hence, they are the ones who are fools and not the believers. [3]

So, coming back to paragraph 1- Can you now connect my questions with the verses? Yes, sometimes even we exhibit hypocrisy through our deeds and actions. It’s a matter of choices. And different perceptions. Let’s begin by setting them straight. 🙂 Let’s look at things the way Allah (swt) wants us to. And that is: weigh your after-life pros and cons and not the worldly ones before doing anything.


  1. Tafsir ibn Kathir
  2. Tafsir ibn Kathir
  3. Tafsir ibn Kathir


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