What is nifaq?

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'Nifaq' literally means a false appearance, hypocrisy, duplicity, deceit, fraud etc. In its practical sense, it signifies a false reflexion of the mind outwardly. In other words, Nifaq is showing outward allegiance by hiding the opposition of the mind. In the Islamic shariat usage, it means an oral admission of Islam in contrast to the kufr or disobedience at heart. One who does so is called a Munafiq (hypocrite). The Munafiqs are unbelievers at heart. But outwardly they profess Islam and Iman and perform worship as Muslims.

Rasul (Sm.) describes the symbols of a Munafiq thus
آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثَ إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ وَإِذَا وَعَدَ اخْلَفَ وَإِذَا اؤْتُمِنَ خَانَ
Meaning: "A Munafiq has three distinctive marks. When he speaks he tells a lie, when he promises he breaks it and when something is kept in his custody he grabs it." (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Bad effects of Nifaq and its remedy

Nifaq is a deadly sin. It destroys a man's character and morality. It leads man to lies, Allah the Most High says - - وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُإِنَّ الْمُنْفِقِيْنَ لَكُذِبُونَ
Meaning: "And Allah testifies that the hypocrites are undoubtedly liars." (Sura: Al-Munafiqun, Ayat: 01)

Alongside telling lies, the hypocrites attach themselves with evil and immoral activities. They do not lag behind doing harm to others for worldly gains and protecting self-interests. They take to slander and back-biting. Consequently suspicion and disorder grip the society. People do not trust the hypocrites for their duplicity. Rather they are looked down upon with suspicion and hatred. They spend their life in humiliation and disrespect in society.

The hypocrites are very harmful for Islam and the Muslims. For they help the enemies of Islam in the guise of Muslims. They inform the enemies of the secrets and weakness of the Muslims. In the days of Rasul (Sm) the hypocrites used to conspire against the Muslims.

Even while staying with Islam and the Muslims, they used to disobey Allah the Most High. The consequences of the hypocrites will be very lamentable in the next life.

Allah the Most High says: إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ فِي التَّرْكِ الْأَسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ
Meaning: "Surely the hypocrites will remain in the lowest layer of hell." (Sura An-Nisa, Ayat: 145)

We shall save ourselves from Nifaq. We shall propagate the bad effects and consequences of Nifaq among our kith and kin, friends and Neighbours and warn them against it. We shall surely secure ourselves against these signs of Nifaq as pointed out by Rasul (Sm) and build up an excellent character.

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