Rafed English

Hypocrisy and Ostentation



One other shared moral quality of believers is sincerity. Believers are aware that God knows everything and that they will have to account in the Hereafter for all of their thoughts, speeches, and conduct in this world. They strive to earn God's approval and are sincere in their conduct. As they expect to be rewarded by God for their actions, they have no petty interests and do not behave in ways designed to impress or gain the love of other people. The Prophets' devotional behaviors, as related in the Qur'an, are examples for believers to follow. Good news awaits His sincere servants, for "Those who shun the worship of false deities and turn toward God will have good news" (Qur'an, 39:17). Other verses deal with those who show off to attract other people's notice, such as:

O you who believe! Do not nullify your charity by demands for gratitude or insulting words, like him who spends his wealth, showing off to people and not believing in God and the Last Day. His likeness is that of a smooth rock coated with soil, which, when heavy rain falls on it, is left stripped bare. They have no power over anything they have earned. God does not guide disbelieving people. (Qur'an, 2:264) So woe to those who perform prayer and are forgetful of their prayer, those who show off. (Qur'an, 107:4-6)

The Bible warns: Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them... (Matthew, 6:1). The Pharisees, supposedly men of religion, are mentioned: Everything they do is done for men to see... (Matthew, 23:5). Their hypocrisy is likened to tombs that are impressive on the outside but full of filth on the inside:

You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous. But on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matthew, 23:27-28) Various passages in the Torah condemn those who pray to impress others and reveal that such people do not live by the morality they preach and thus are bent on evil. The situation of those who pretend to be close to God while their hearts do not appreciate Him appropriately are described, as follows: You are always on their lips, but far from their hearts. (Jeremiah, 12:2)

Adapted from: "A Call for Unity" by: "Harun Yahya"

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