THE HYPOCRITES AND UNBELIEVERS ARE THE TWO GROUPS THAT GOD USES TO ELEVATE THE SPIRITUAL RANK OF BELIEVERS
Hypocrites and unbelievers are the two groups that God uses to spiritually elevate Muslims. Had there not been any hypocrites or unbelievers, Muslims would not be able to go to Heaven. Their ranks are elevated by means of hypocrites and unbelievers. For instance, in the time of the Messenger of God (saas), there was a Muslim group of nine hundred with the Messenger of God (saas) and 300 of them were hypocrites. The Messenger of God (saas) did not toss them out because he acquired more merit in God’s Sight as the struggle he waged alongside those hypocrites was harder. If he had tossed them out, they would have caused disturbance, and mischief. They would have become more vicious. However, even though they still caused mischief, at least they were more manageable when they remained in his sight. They soon lost their hypocrite disguise. Otherwise, hypocrites continue to carry out activities against Muslims even while they were among them. Even their gazes at our Prophet (saas) were full of hatred. In a verse, God says, “They all but strike you down with their evil looks.” Hypocrites look with such a hateful gaze. In their own way, they seek to do harm to the Messenger of God (saas). Messenger of God (saas) acts in a manner as if he does not understand it, but Almighty God sends down a revelation. In another verse, God says, “God knows the eyes’ deceit”. They look treacherously, in other words, with hatred, but they still claim that they are Muslims. Their being with the Messenger of God (saas) exalts the Messenger of God (saas)’s position since an effort in a society without hypocrites is an effort with less merit in God’s sight. However, an effort around and among hypocrites brings more merit. When they are around our Prophet (saas), hypocrites adopt a spy-like attitude, as they would do nothing other than sitting back and monitoring the Prophet (saas) They would only try to discover a fault of the Prophet (saas), in other words, something that they could use against him, something they could use to slander him. They would look for a word of the Prophet (saas) that they could alter and convey to people to cause mischief. Due to their prying attitude and the hatred and resentment they bear, hypocrites could not conceal the vileness in their gazes. They would slyly and vilely watch the Prophet (saas) and try to make him speak by asking him questions so that they could draw out a secret and information against Muslims. They would not do so because they did not know about it or wanted to know about it. They would do so out of their treachery, so that they could get the Prophet (saas) to speak and see if they could find anything in his speech they can use against Muslims. This was their sole purpose. They would also monitor the behavior of the Prophet (saas): For example, they would watch how he would eat, drink, sit, stand up, hoping they might discover something they could use against him, they might discover something to criticize him about. The Messenger of God (saas) would not say anything to them.
The Messenger of God played with the hypocrites, so to speak; he played them as if he is playing a game of chess. They would make a move, and our Prophet (saas) would make a counter-move. They would make a move, and our Prophet (saas) would make a counter-move. For example, hypocrites would gawk at our Prophet (saas). They would stare blankly like cattle. Why would they do so? Because at that moment, they would be busy conceiving malicious, vile schemes. Since they would be lost in their own vile thoughts, they would even forget that they were watching. They would become stuck in their thoughts concocting what immoral deeds they could commit and remain in that evil mode for several minutes. This is what God refers to in the verse, "God knows the eyes' deceit." Seeing the struggle the Messenger of God (saas) put up against the hypocrites, Muslims loved him all the more. Since the effort against hypocrites is more favorable than the effort made in the absence of hypocrites, the believers were amazed by and admired the patience, wisdom and ability of the Messenger of God (saas). They saw the revelation and inspiration God bestowed upon him and rejoiced. He remained patient. For example, he could have sent all three hundred of the hypocrites away but he did not; he endured. The hypocrites made fools of themselves. They could not harm Islam; they only managed to humiliate themselves. They downright showed people how treacherous and immoral they were. Their immorality, their foolishness and witlessness stood in stark contrast with the good moral values of the Messenger of God (saas). People realized the beauty of a wise person. God revealed the difference between a treacherous person and a high-quality one in all its certainty. For that reason, hypocrites are a stepping-stone for Muslims. Muslims step on them and rise up in position. The immorality of hypocrites stand in striking contrast with the good moral values of the Prophet (saas) and Muslims, and people like such contrasts. For example, God creates the white of the eye pure white while creating the eye itself pitch-black. Out of two contrasts come about a beauty. God creates symmetry; He brings about beauty. For example, when you put a diamond on black velvet, it shines brightly but if you were to throw it into the sand, you cannot even spot it. It just fades away, but if you shed light on the black velvet, it sparkles. Here the black color symbolizes hypocrites and unbelievers and the diamond symbolizes believers. The light is divine light, under which believers sparkle. For example, referring to the Messenger of God (saas), people might have asked, "Why did he not send the hypocrites away?" Life is riddled with hypocrites and unbelievers so that patience, suffering and wisdom can manifest. The Messenger of God personally visited the Fair of Ukaz, which was teeming with members of the deep state [of that time], most of whom were irreligious, deviant and cynical to talk about and preach Islam. He would not have even gone there, if he had not wanted to.