They Embraced Islam when it was Weak, and Abandoned it when it was Strong

A Reflection on Imamah
April 15, 2021
Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam withholds the Inheritance of Fadak
April 15, 2021

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

They Embraced Islam when it was Weak, and Abandoned it when it was Strong

 

When do hypocrites emerge and why? Any hypocrite, regardless of time or place, has one of two possible aims:

  1. He fears something from which he wants to escape,
  2. or desires attaining a certain benefit.

Therefore, hypocrites did not emerge in the Meccan period of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mission. After all, who would try to be two-faced with a person who had neither wealth nor power, a person who brought a new way of life which made its adherents targets for persecution. Why would anyone wish to align himself with the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam at a time when the disbelievers of the Arabian Peninsula were persecuting him and his supporters?

Who would even contemplate assisting the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the early days of his mission in Makkah; at a time when the disbelievers of Makkah could potentially drag him over the burning sands of the desert, and brand him with fire and searing iron, as they had done for some of his supporters?

What incentive would there be for someone to be a hypocrite simply to appease a person who—at least based off the perception of his immediate community—was destined for failure, and whose religion was to undoubtedly perish?

Everyone who embraced Islam in Makkah faced persecution and torture beyond imagination. Despite this they remained resilient, motivated, seeking the next life and the magnanimous reward of their Creator.

In light of this situation, there was no benefit in anyone trying to curry favour with the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or in even treating him amicably for that matter. However, when the Muslims gained strength after their migration to Madinah, and after establishing a state, a group emerged who pretended to be Muslim. Their motives were either out of fear of the Muslims, or to attain a worldly benefit. Verses of the Qur’an have been revealed exposing them and warning against them.

Nonetheless, it does not mean that all the Muslims at that time, especially the ones who accepted Islam in Makkah and were subjected to persecution and torture at the hands of the disbelievers of Quraysh, were apostates and infidels.

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ

And some among the Bedouins around you are hypocrites, as well as some of the people of Madinah. They are fanatical in their hypocrisy. You do not know them. We know them. We will soon punish them twofold, and then they will be returned to a great punishment.[1]

 

As for the Meccan period, hypocrisy did not raise its head yet.

How does it come to be then that we do Takfir of whomsoever we like, without care or consequence? This is an attempt to impose our authority upon Allah, Who is Supreme over all creation.

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever does Takfir of another Muslim then he has disbelieved himself.” Are we not conscious of what we utter, and do we not fear Allah in respect to the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions?

 

NEXT⇒ Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam withholds the Inheritance of Fadak


[1] Surah al Tawbah: 101.

Back to top