Hypocrisy is a deep rooted and all-pervading spiritual disease. A person’s heart could be overflowing with it yet be oblivious of it due to its hidden and subtle nature; frequently does it lead a person think he is acting rightly when in reality he is spreading corruption.
It is of two types, major and minor: major hypocrites leads to eternal punishment in the lowest depth of Hell.¹
It is to actually display faith in Allaah, His Angels, and His books, His Messengers and the Last Day whereas inwardly one is devoid of such belief, indeed disbelieving in it. He does not believe that Allaah spoke to a man amongst men who he appointed to be a Messenger, guiding them by His provision and warning them of His punishment.
Allaah, the Exalted says,
‘There is a sickness in their hearts and Allaah has increased their sickness they will have a painful punishment on account of their lies.’ [Al-Baqarah 2:10]
As Sa’di said, “The sickness here is the sickness of doubts and desires,the heart is beset by two diseases that eject it from its state of balance and normalcy: The disease of false doubts and the disease of vile desires. Disbelief, hypocrisy, doubts, and innovations all arise from the disease of doubts. Fornication, the love of lewd deeds, and sins all arise from the disease of desires. This verse also shows that it is as a consequence of over sins that Allah punishes him by by afflicting him with more sins.”
At-Tabari gives as an example of how this verse was actualised by stating that each time a Surah was revealed of the Qur’an containing new injunctions, this increased them in their doubts and hence their disease increased, Each time a Surah is revealed there are some among them who say, “Which of you has this increased in faith? As for those who believe, it increases their faith and they rejoice at it. But as for those with sickness in their hearts, it adds defilement to their defilement and they die as disbelievers.” [Surat At-Tawbah 9:124-124]
Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) further said:
Whoever falls prey to the claws of their doubts will have his faith shredded to pieces: whoever allows his heart to open to their vile tribulations will find himself a burning furnace! and whoever lends an ear to their deceptions will find them coming between him and firm belief. Indeed the corruption they cause on earth is a great but most people are unaware.
“When they are told; Do not cause corruption on the earth, they say, we are only putting things right. No indeed: they are the corrupters but they are not aware of it.” [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:11-12]