أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَـتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصْـبِعَهُمْ فِى ءَاذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ وَاللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِالْكـفِرِينَ
Aw kasayyibin mina assama-ifeehi thulumatun waraAAdun wabarqunyajAAaloona asabiAAahum fee athanihim mina assawaAAiqihathara almawti wallahu muheetunbilkafireen
“Or [it is] like a rainstorm from the sky within which is darkness, thunder and lightning. They put their fingers in their ears against the thunderclaps in dread of death. But Allah is encompassing of the disbelievers.”
This is another parable, which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala gave about the hypocrites who sometimes acknowledge the truth and at other times doubt it.
كَصَيِّبٍ here means “heavy rainfall”. This refers to the revelation (wahi). It was further said that this rainfall contains darkness, thunder and lightning. What this means is that the revelation that is being sent from high above contains warning, promises, glad tidings as well as hope. Upon hearing thunderclap, the hypocrites would insert their fingers in their ears. Why? It was because the thunderclap here refers to warnings. The hypocrites knew that these warnings are about them and the condition of their hearts was such that they did not want to listen to these warnings. They were afraid of death because of the consequences of their actions that they will have to face in the Hereafter.
يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَـرَهُمْ كُلَّمَآ أَضَآءَ لَهُم مَّشَوْاْ فِيهِ وَإِذَآ أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُواْ وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَـرِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Yakadu albarqu yakhtafu absarahumkullama adaa lahum mashaw feehi wa-itha athlamaAAalayhim qamoo walaw shaa Allahu lathahababisamAAihim waabsarihim inna Allaha AAalakulli shay-in qadeer
“The lightning almost snatches away their sight. Every time it lights [the way] for them, they walk therein; but when darkness comes over them, they stand [still]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken away their hearing and their sight. Indeed, Allah is over all things competent.”
Due to the hypocrisy in their hearts, they were unable to see the truth of Islam. It seemed as if someone has snatched away their sight.
“Every time it lights [the way] for them, they walk therein; but when darkness comes over them, they stand [still],” meaning because they are only feigning Islam and are not truly believers they follow the commandments only for some time. Whenever they were required to make a sacrifice such as going on Jihad or giving in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala they would change their path. It seemed as if someone has made them to standstill.
Whenever the Muslims won a battle, the hypocrites would appear to collect their share from the victory but when Islam suffered loss they would revert to their disbelief.
In another ayah Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about the same characteristic of the hypocrites,
“And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss.” [Surah Hajj: 11]
وَلَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَـرِهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
“And if Allah willed, He would have taken away their hearing and their sight. Certainly, Allah has power over all things.” Had Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala willed He would have taken away their hearing and sight because of their abandoning the truth after acknowledging it.
At many places in the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reveals the true characteristics of the hypocrites. They make a verbal declaration of emaan but when it comes to performing deeds they don’t act. It is because their hearts are filled with disbelief and doubts. A person who has doubts about Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the Prophet, the angels or the Hereafter, such a person cannot be considered a believer even if he verbally declares himself to be a Muslim.
The two saheehs record that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
ثَلَاثٌ مَنْ كُنَّ فِيهِ كَانَ مُنَافِقًا خَالِصًا، وَمَنْ كَانَتْ فِيهِ وَاحِدَةٌ مِنْهُنَّ كَانَتْ فِيهِ خَصْلَةٌ مِنَ النِّفَاقِ حَتَّى يَدَعَهَا: مَنْ إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإِذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإِذَا ائْتُمِنَ خَان
“Whoever has the following three (characteristics) will be a pure hypocrite, and whoever has one of the following three characteristics will have one characteristic of hypocrisy, unless and until he gives it up. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie. Whenever he makes a covenant, he proves treacherous. Whenever he is entrusted, he breaches the trust.”
Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Sa`id saying that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
“The hearts are four (types): polished as shiny as the radiating lamp, a sealed heart with a knot tied around its seal, a heart that is turned upside down and a wrapped heart. As for the polished heart, it is the heart of the believer and the lamp is the light of faith. The sealed heart is the heart of the disbeliever. The heart that is turned upside down is the heart of the pure hypocrite, because he had knowledge but denied it. As for the wrapped heart, it is a heart that contains belief and hypocrisy. The example of faith in this heart is the example of the herb that is sustained by pure water. The example of hypocrisy in it is the example of an ulcer that thrives on puss and blood. Whichever of the two substances has the upper hand, it will have the upper hand on that heart.” This hadeeth has a Jayid Hasan (good) chain of narration.