Rafed English

Hypocrites Among Sahabah and Surat al-Tawbah

Al-Baghawi and others reported from Ibn Abbas as saying: The Messenger of Allah was not aware of the hypocrites till the revelation of Surat Bara’ah (al-Tawbah). Before it he could recognize some of their distinguishing qualities, sayings and deeds, out of what is revealed in their regard in several surahs before Surat al-Tawbah, like al-Munafiqun, al-Ahzab, al Nisa, al-Anfal, al-Qital and al-Hashr.
Surat Bara’ah has in fact disgraced them and divulged all sorts of their outward and inward hypocrisy, the reason for which it was called also al-Fadihah, al-Muba’thirah, al-Musharridah, al-Mukhziyah, al-Muthirah, al-Hafirah, al-Munakkilah, al-Mudamdimah and Surat al-Adhab!

Herewith exposition of some facts about them in the Battle of Tabuk and its limit, with their acts and signs of their hypocrisy, and scandals, and their punishment, arranged according to the course of the verses of Surat al-Tawbah not according to the letters.682

1. Their asking permission to remain behind, which can never be done by a believer, as none asks permission to abandon jihad but only that who believes neither in Allah nor in the Hereafter (467).

2. Had they intended really to go out they would have made ready for it (174)

3. Allah was averse to their resurgence, so He hindered them (471)

4. Had they risen out among the believes, they would have only increased in their perplexity, with wishing for their disgrace (473).

5. They have adopted the course of sedition before Battle of Tabuk, during Battle of Uhud, when they instigated discord among Muslims, discouraging some of them (474).

6. They reversed the facts for the Prophet in the outset till truth was revealed to make him victorious and manifesting of Allah’s decree, while they being averse to this (475).

7. Some of them took leave from the Prophet to stay behind (in battles), with the excuse of fearing from being infatuated by prettiness of the Roman women but they were afflicted with the fascination of disobeying Allah and His Messenger by practice (477).

8. Every good befalls the Prophet would bother them, and every disaster strikes him would delight them, thinking themselves to be decisive in remaining behind (478).

9.The believers await for the hypocrites to be afflicted with a doom from Allah directly or at their hands (479).

10. Their almsgiving would not be accepted due to their debauchery, impiety, performing prayers while being idlers, and paying their contribution only unwillingly (481).

11. Punishing them with their wealth and children in this world, and passing away of their souls while being disbelievers (485-574).

12. Their swearing for the believers that they be in truth of them, with describing their failure and being afraid of them (485).

13. Pointing of some of them at the Messenger in the alms, and if they be given from them they would be pleased, otherwise they would be enraged (487).

14. Their vexing the Prophet (S) by saying: He is only a hearer (516).

15. Their swearing for the believers to please them without pleasing Allah and His Messenger (522).

16. Their fearing from revelation of a surah proclaiming what be in their hearts, and threatening them (by God) for their scoffing with disclosing what they fear (525).

17. Their apologizing for their scoffing by saying that they were only prating and jesting, which being the same as infidelity, with threatening to punish a party of them because of their insistence on their guilt, and possibility of forgiving another party (528-532).

18. Manifesting the conditions of the hypocrites and their general qualities, males and females, and throwing them together with the disbelievers into Hellfire and cursing them (533).

19. Resembling them to the hypocrites of the ancient peoples in having nothing to do but to enjoy what they stated when prating in falsehood and perishing of their works in the world and the Hereafter like them (527), with reminding them with the fate of the hypocrites folks who were before them (539).

20. The hypocrites are verily the transgressors (the verse 67).

21. Connecting them (hypocrites) to the disbelievers in respect of obligation of striving against them, with being harsh in treating them and threatening them (549).

22. Their swearing (by Allah) on denying what they said of the word of disbelief, and God’s proving what they denied, (and He inspired them that which they could not attain), which being the attempt to assassinate the Prophet (551-555).

23. Making some of them a covenant with Allah to give alms when being straitened, but breaching their covenant and lying after attaining richness and affluence, with (Allah’s) making the consequence of this to be hypocrisy accompanying them until the day of meeting God. And their unawareness that Allah knows both their secret and what they announce (558).

24. Their pointing at and carping the believers in giving the alms, and deriding them (563).

25. Depriving them from asking forgiveness by the Messenger due to their disbelief in Allah and His Messenger, with no hope to be guided (by Allah) through abandoning their rudeness. (666).

26. Rejoicing of those who were left behind at sitting still behind the Messenger of Allah, and their recommendation not to go forth in the heat with reminding them with the fire of hell (569).

27. Its being more proper for them to be sad, laugh a little and weep much (572).

28. The Prophet’s forbidding from praying for the dead of them, giving the reason to be their disbelief and dying while being disbelievers.(573).

29. Asking leave by men of wealth among them to stay behind of jihad whenever a surah is revealed commanding to gather between faith and jihad (581).

30. The state of the wandering Arabs and asking permission by some of them to sit and be exempted from jihad, and sitting of the liars without an excuse, with threatening that a painful doom will fall on those who disbelieve (583).

I suffice with citing these qualities of the hypocrites in the Battle of Tabuk, as stated in Surat al-Tawbah, Whoever seeking more information or desiring to recognize all the acts done by the hypocrites, he can refer to the Surahs of al-Munafiqun, al-Ahzab, al-Nisa’, al-Anfal, al-Qital and al-Hashr.

In the two Sahihs, in hadith al-Ifk, it is reported that Asid ibn al-Khudayr said to Sa’d ibn Ubadah: You are a hypocrite, and you dispute on behalf of the hypocrites. Then there was a heated wrangling between them till the Prophet reconciled between them. These were the Badrites among whom someone said to the other: you are a hypocrites, but the Prophet never charged with impiety anyone of them.

There are so many reports in this regard, and anyone desiring to know the names of the hypocrites among the Khazraj and Aws (Tribes), he can refer to the first volume of Ansab al-Ashraf, in which their names filled ten pages from p.274 upto p.283.


682. Thid chapter is taken from the tenth volume of Tafsir al-Qur'an al-hakim, of al-Imaman Muhammad Abduh and MUhammad Rashid Rida, and the numbers placed before the words are the numbers of the pages of this volume.

Adapted from: "Lights on the Muhammadan Sunnah" by: "Mahmud Ali Riyyah"

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