The Hypocrites and the Friends of Disbelievers are in the Lowest Depth of the Fire
Allah then states that,
إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ فِى الدَّرْكِ الاٌّسْفَلِ مِنَ النَّارِ
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire..”
This would be due to their tremendous Kufr.
The word darkh is from the root letters dal-ra-kaf, and means the bottom or lowest depth of a thing such as a sea. Darkh is the opposite of daraja, daraja is upward level. Darajaat ascend and darkhaat descend.
Similarly the word asfal is from the root letters sin-fa-lam, and means lowest, inferior or downward. It is the opposite of the word a’la that means high or lofty whereas asfal is that which is haqeer i.e. very low.
Al-Walibi Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu said, it means in the bottom of the Fire. Other scholars said that the Fire has ever lower depths just as Paradise had ever higher grades. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that when Ibn Mas`ud was asked about the hypocrites, he said, “They will be placed in coffins made of fire and they will be closed in them in the lowest depth of the Fire.”
وَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ نَصِيراً
“no helper will you find for them.”
There would be no helper to save them from their misery and painful torment. The crime that they have created is huge. The lower level in Hellfire, the higher will be the punishment. Allah then states in ayah 146 that whoever among the hypocrites repents in this life, Allah will accept his repentance and sorrow, if his repentance was sincere and he then follows it by performing righteous deeds, all the while depending on his Lord. Allah said,
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُواْ وَأَصْلَحُواْ وَاعْتَصَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُواْ دِينَهُمْ للَّهِ
“Except those who repent (from hypocrisy), do righteous good deeds, depend on Allah, and purify their religion for Allah…”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is so Merciful that He is willing to forgive a person who commits a heinous crime such as hypocrisy if he repents sincerely and improves his actions. They do tawbah from nifaq and islah [correction] of their actions and intentions. If our niyah is invalid then our actions are in vain. After repentance from hypocrisy and reformation of their deeds they exclusively depend on Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. This means replacing showing off with sincerity, so that their good deeds will benefit them, even if they were minute. They perform good deeds solely for the pleasure of their Creator and not for the praise of people. Their riya [showing off] is replaced with ikhlas [sincerity].
فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْراً عَظِيماً
“then they will be with the believers. And Allah will grant to the believers a great reward.”
This means that if the hypocrites repent and remain steadfast on the right path they will be rewarded with the same benefits as believers in dunya as well as the akhirah.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala being the Creator cares about His creation therefore in the ayah above, He has shown four ways of coming out of hypocrisy. First is tawbah. Feel guilty or remorse for the wrong that you have done. Shed some sincere tears and make Tawbah. Remain steadfast on the straight path by doing islah of your deeds. Evaluating our intentions because our deeds are dependent on them. For whose sake are we doing a deed? To look good in the eyes of people or Allah? The third way is to stay connected with Allah. How does one connect with Allah? By studying Qur’an, performing the rituals with full khushu and honoring the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The moment a person abandons Qur’an or Salah, he will begin wavering. Therefore it is essential that our connection with Qur’an and other parts of the religion remain part of our regular routine. The fourth way is to be sincere in our worship of Allah. Whatever good we do we should do for His sake and fool ourselves by chasing people’s pleasure.
– When there could be hypocrites at the time of Prophet’s presence what about today? Today, we are more in need of islah because we are further away from the teachings of Rasoolullah sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. We should constantly busy ourselves in own islah and tawbah.
Allah then states in ayah 147 that He is too Rich to need anyone and He only punishes the servants because of their sins,
مَّا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَءَامَنْتُمْ
“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him.”
What does this tell us? That doing shukr can save us from Allah’s punishment. No matter what we have been blessed with or in what condition we are, we should humble ourselves before Allah and do shukr. A tongue that does His shukr and dhikr invites His mercy. One way to do His shukr is by using the talents and abilities that we have been blessed with in His way. Got a beautiful voice? Instead of wasting yourself singing songs do shukr by beautifying your Qur’anic recitation. Love talking? Instead of chatting or talking on phone, do da’wah; call people to the path of Allah. Too much wealth? Utilize that wealth for some productive work; spend it on the welfare of the underprivileged. Instead of going to the mall every time you get your paycheck or pocket money utilize it for some productive cause. The more we use Allah’s blessings wisely and humbly, the more pleased He will be with us.
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ شَـكِراً عَلِيماً
“And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.”
Allah appreciates those who appreciate Him, and has knowledge of those whose hearts believe in Him, and He will give them perfect reward. How is Allah Shakir? He is so pleased with the sincere act of His servant that He rewards one good deed with the reward of ten deeds.