Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala begins this ayah by saying,
مُّذَبْذَبِينَ بَيْنَ ذلِكَ لاَ إِلَى هَـؤُلاءِ
“(They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these…”
The hypocrites sway between faith and disbelief. They are neither with believers nor with disbelievers. Rather, they are with the believers outwardly and with the disbelievers inwardly. Some of them would suffer fits of doubt, leaning towards these sometimes and towards those sometimes.
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Umar radhiAllahu anhu said that the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,
مَثَلُ الْمُنَافِقِ كَمَثَلِ الشَّاةِ الْعَائِرَةِ بَيْنَ الْغَنَمَيْنِ، تَعِيرُ إِلى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَإِلَى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً، وَلَا تَدْرِي أَيَّتَهُمَا تَتْبَع
“The example of the hypocrite is the example of the sheep wandering between two herds, sometimes she goes to one of them, and sometimes the other, confused over whom she should follow.” Muslim also recorded it. This is why Allah said afterwards,
وَمَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ سَبِيلاً
“and he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.”
Whomever Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sends leads astray from the guidance will never find a wali to lead him to the right path because whom Allah misguides no one can guide. So the hypocrites whom Allah has led astray from the paths of safety will never find a guide to direct them, nor someone to save them. There is none who can resist Allah’s decision, and He is not asked about what He does, while they all will be asked.
– The hypocrite wavers between emaan and kufr. Sometimes he acts like a Muslim and sometimes his actions resemble those of the kuffar. He is neither a disbeliever nor a believer. Why does he does that? To get benefits from both sides.
– There’s severe warning against being shaky or doubtful about one’s emaan. This is the trait of a hypocrite. A true believer will never be doubtful what Qur’an or Sunnah teaches him.
– A person whom Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala abandons no one can guide him. Why would Allah send someone astray? It happens because of one’s own actions. If someone is being disrespectful to Allah’s commands, Allah will let him go astray. It is their own inclination towards the wrong that makes them lose track.
– When a person truly wants guidance then he should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because the matter of guidance and misguidance on His hands alone. We must prove from our actions that we are sincere in our yearning for hidayah. We can’t say half-heartedly, “O if Allah wills, He will guide me.” No, you have prove you are worthy of it.