From the morals and manners of the Salaf was their hard labour in countering hypocrisy so that their good nature remained the same whether in public or private. This way they would have no actions left for their realities to be exposed tomorrow in the Afterlife.
Once ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Azeez (rahimahullaah) was advised, “O ‘Umar, beware of being tha ally of Allaah in open, while being his enemy in secret. If one’s nature in open and secret do not equate, the he is a hypocrite, and the hypocrites occuppy the lowest level in Hellfire.”
It was said by one of them, “Beware of hypocritical fear! On being asked, “What is hypocritical fear!” He replied, “When your body is seen fearing whereas your heart is not fearing.”
So search yourself. Does your open and secret (self) equate? Increase in seeking forgiveness knowing that whoever displays beyond what is in his heart is a hypocrite.
The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallaam) said, “Whoever has the following four characteristics will be a pure hypocrite, and whoever has one of them will possess a characteristic of hypocrisy until he gives up. Whenever he speaks he lies. Whenever he promises he he betrays. Whenever he makes a covenant he proves treacherous. Whenever he quarrels he is insulting.”¹