SAFspace

Welcome to the thoughts, rants and passions of a young Muslim woman seeking soulful enlightenment in cyberspace.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Hypocrisy


Rancorous ruminations flood her thoughts, engulfing her mind with pernicious vengeance. May you die a painful death. May you burn in Hell forever. Bitterness overflows from her very soul.

But when she catches sight of you, her angry accusations are shoved aside, the disgusted sneer quickly wiped away. Suddenly, she is all-smiles and pretended interest; arms stretched open to receive you; warm, loving words flowing from her lying lips.

She hates you. But she does not tell you.

Know though that many others are aware. She has meticulously catalogued your faults for public access and retrieval. They all know. Believe me, I've heard the rumours too.

And yet you seek out her company and simper at her false praise, stubbornly refusing to see her for what she is. How can you not acknowledge the spiteful allegations? Do you not notice? Are you fooling yourself?

Or are you hiding mutual animosity beneath that cheerful veneer?

Ah, you see, I sense the truth.

You hate her. But you do not tell her. Two can play this game.

31 Comments:

  • At 6/14/2005 08:32:00 PM, Blogger Ummhana said…

    Safiyah,

    Well said. It happens all the time. What is disheartening to me is the people who feed into the innerplay. There are those who sit around the arena stoking the fire of the hypocrites heart. If we would just walk away and refuse to access and retrieve the information maybe the hypocrite would not desire to keep up the facade. I am guessing she/he enjoys having people listen to her discontent.

     
  • At 6/14/2005 09:48:00 PM, Blogger Hasan the Not-So-Great said…

    "Two can play this game."
    its better if you don't. I have delaed with a heaping load of hypocrisy and its best to return them with kindness. The Prophet did and it works...trust me. I was giving kindness to a person who hated me and in return they either: 1) leave you alone 2) confess 3) become better people that aren't hypocrites

    try it.

     
  • At 6/14/2005 10:18:00 PM, Blogger Rizwan said…

    Fantastic insight Safiyyah =)

    I like how you link the two people together to illustrate how it is often the case that hypocritical behaviour is an intricate dance that involves an active element and a passive element--both of which fuel the fire of hypocrisy between them.

    Your post reminds me, among other things, to be careful of how I behave when confronted by pretentiousness and other patterns of behaviour that dwell in the shade of hypocrisy.

    If I have misunderstood what you intended to communicate, please set me straight =)

     
  • At 6/14/2005 11:55:00 PM, Anonymous Quran said…

    004.108
    They may hide (Their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (Them) from Allah, seeing that He is in their midst when they plot by night, in words that He cannot approve: And Allah Doth compass round all that they do.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 01:44:00 AM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    Ummhana: Nicely put. I agree. Those who want to hear the news are just as bad as the one sharing it. Unfortunately, there are many who are in a position to stop the behaviour, but fail to do so – they too are players in this dreadful game.

    Hasan: I believe the individual has to be told that what she is doing is very wrong. If she is met with approval or ignored, even in the spirit of being kind and not hurting her feelings, then others must take responsibility for contributing to the evil she spreads. And to be honest, if I knew someone was acting that way towards me, I wouldn’t want to be around that person. I would find it hard to play the game.

    Mohammad: You’re the one with the fantastic insight. I didn’t even notice the “intricate dance”, but I like your comments, I really do. A question for you: how would you react if faced with pretentiousness or hypocrisy?

    Sheikh-ul-Islam: Nice change, from swearing a while back to spouting Quranic verses at will. I’m duly impressed, I think.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 02:33:00 AM, Anonymous Signs said…

    Peace Safiyyah

    I'm glad that you are self assured but you are bordering on hubrus and self conceit. Trust me, a contemplating heart who reads the Quran will only see otherwise. One will soon realize that are littleness can never comprehend the Infinite and Exalted Realities of Allah. Humility goes a long way. Both for you, me and everybody else. Let us be humble.

    057.016
    Has not the Time arrived for the Believers that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and of the Truth which has been revealed (to them), and that they should not become like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious transgressors

     
  • At 6/15/2005 02:59:00 AM, Blogger Nzingha said…

    as salaam alaikum

    Saffiyah I must say you are doing something right to have such a stalker. concerned with your every post, comment and doing here on line. You must be doing something right to have someone so focused in on everything you do, trying to make everything bad.

    Of course on the flip side what a pathetic life for the stalker. But I'll leave that for the psychs of the world.

    On to your post, first thought that went through my mind "inlaws". Sometimes two must play the same game in order to have some sense of harmony. Odd how life works.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 03:58:00 AM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    asSalaam 'aleykum wa RahmatuLlah;

    remind me never to get into an argument with you, sister Safiyyah ;) - just joking, no really, please don't condemn me to the Fire.

    there are hadith that 'the best of you is the one who first reconciles with his brother' and that 'a believer doesn't remain angry with his brother [believer] for three days' -

    nonetheless, as i've blogged recently, there are legitimate reasons for anger, even at one's own muslim brethren. (the best example being our Prophet's (Sal Allahu alayhi wa Salaam fighting the Quraysh & mushrikeen/disbelieving bedouin, Emirul-muqmin'in Abu Bakr fighting the rejectionists [musaylima the liar and his supporters], as well as those who refused to pay Zakat - of the Najd; the battles of the Khulafaa Umar & Uthman (Radhi Allahu anhum) against the rebels, and those Imam Ali's (Karam Allahu wajahu fighting the Khawarij before going on to Syria. ('they are our brothers, who accepted misguidance after being guided', as he stated)

    inclining towards peace is commanded where others incline towards peace, as per the Qur'an. Is this always possible? hardly. (sometimes the worst conflicts are inter-family/tribal civil wars, ie the battles fought amongst Afghan mujahideen, tribespeople, and warlords for control of Afghanistan after kicking out the Soviets) - wa Allahu alim.

    may Allah guide and be Merciful with us all, muslim and non-muslim - not that He isn't already, but we are collectively in need of Guidance and Mercy.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 03:59:00 AM, Blogger Rizwan said…

    Thanks for asking that question Safiyyah. I think it's a very difficult one to answer. The temptation to "dance" the dance is powerful. Sometimes, good intentions don't lead down good paths...i.e. Consider how some medieval ulama wrote that giving arrogant people a taste of their own medicine could be justified sometimes because arrogant people often don't know how it feels to be treated the way they treat others. Being treated the way they treat others can sometimes wake such people up to seeing how ugly their behaviour is and start them on the road to modifying their arrogant behaviour and hopefully, with disciplined practice, purifying their heart of arrogance as well.

    Giving people who are behaving hypocritically a taste of their own medicine or taking a Qur'anic principle like "fight them the way they fight you" and misapplying it can lead down a very spiritually/psychologically destructive path.

    But perhaps all of these comments are veils for me to avoid directly answering your significant question--what do you do?

    I think dealing with hypocrites on a practical level is complicated because hypocrisy is such a complicated pathology/neurosis. Modern psychiatry has developed very sophisticated techniques to deal with hypocrisy or "cognitive dissonance." Googling the latter term may be more useful than my clumsy comments here.

    I think confronting hypocrisy is important. If I witness hypocritical behaviour in someone who is knowledgable about Islam [the shari`ah in particular] I think I would turn a blind eye hoping that the person realize their mistake and repent. If I witnessed hyprocritical behaviour in a child in its formative years I think I would definitely confront that behaviour--first by being vigilant about my own behaviour [doing my best to keep it free of obvious hypocrisy and also working on more subtle hypocrisy in myself that is not readily apparent to others].

    When in doubt about how to react, I think I would avoid direct interaction with a hypocrite if at all possible unless I was a person entrusted with some responsibility that required me to deal with the hypocritical person--for instance--if I were a lawyer or some other public servant charged with the public trust, or if I were an educator, if I were a corporate officer/executive that was responsible to act--I would have to act. But if I encountered hypocritical behaviour in social settings, or in an educational setting [from fellow students] or simlar situations that were somewhat more ambiguous, I think I would try to disengage from the person behaving hypocritically [as you suggested in your response to "hasan the great"]. Please note I am trying to make a distinction between people who behave hypocritically and hypocrites. I am trying to speak in terms of the former and not the latter. To speak of the latter would require that I had exact knowledge of what was in the human heart--and, of course, I cannot claim such knowledge. God knows best what is in the hearts of people and God knows who the hypocrites are--as Abu Bakr or Umar, God be pleased with both of them, used to say--the only one who feels safe from hypocrisy is a hypocrite.

    A reading of surah al-Munafiqun [The Hypocrites] with classical tafsir [scholarly exegesis] would be a good investment of time for anyone who wants to understand hypocrisy better. Everytime I read that surah--fresh insight comes to me not only about myself but also about human nature.

    Peace =)

     
  • At 6/15/2005 04:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    saffiyah, you should just delete him or her who is bothering you. it would be better to see more of your posts than read comments from anon.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 06:44:00 AM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 06:46:00 AM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    asSalaam 'aleykum wa RahmatuLlah;

    perhaps appropriate to this dialogue: a hope-giving story from the I-P conflict, arising through the Parent's Circle:

    http://www.theforgivenessproject.com/stories/?id=23

    Ghazi Briegeith & Rami Elhanan
    Ghazi Briegeith & Rami Elhanan
    Ghazi Briegeith, a Palestinian electrician living in Hebron, and Rami Elhanan, an Israeli graphic designer from Jerusalem, met through the Parents’ Circle – a group of bereaved families supporting reconciliation and peace. Ghazi’s brother was killed at a checkpoint in 2000. Rami’s 14-year-old daughter was the victim of a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 1997.

    Rami
    I was on my way to the airport when my wife called and told me Smadar was missing. When something like this happens a cold hand grabs your heart. You rush between friends’ houses and hospitals, then eventually you find yourself in the morgue and you see a sight you’ll never forget for the rest of your life. From that moment you are a new person. Everything is different.

    At first I was tormented with anger and grief; I wanted revenge, to get even. But we are people – not animals! I asked myself, “Will killing someone else release my pain?” Of course not. It was clear to my wife and I that the blame rests with the occupation. The suicide bomber was a victim just like my daughter, grown crazy out of anger and shame.

    I don’t forgive and I don’t forget, but when this happened to my daughter I had to ask myself whether I’d contributed in any way. The answer was that I had – my people had, for ruling, dominating and oppressing three-and-a-half million Palestinians for 35 years. It is a sin and you pay for sins.

    At first I foolishly thought I could just go back to work and resume my life, but the pain was unbearable. Then, a year later, I met Ytzhak Frankenthal, the founder of the Parents’ Circle. He was wearing a ‘kippah’ on his head, and immediately I stereotyped him as an ‘Arab eater’. Even when he told me his personal story, and about the reconciliation work of Parents’ Circle, I was very cynical.

    He invited me to a meeting, and reluctantly I went along, just to take a look. I saw buses full of people, among them legends – parents who had lost kids in wars and who still wanted peace. I saw an Arab lady in a long black dress. On her chest was a picture of a six-year-old kid. A singer sang in Hebrew and Arabic, and suddenly I was hit by lightening. I can’t explain it, but from that moment I had a reason to get up in the morning again.

    Since then my work with the Parents’ Circle has become the centre of my life, a sacred mission. If we – Ghazi and I – can talk and stand together after paying the highest price possible, then anyone can. There is a high wall between our two nations, a wall of hate and fear. Someone needs to put cracks in the wall in order for it to fall down.

    Ghazi
    You need a ticket to belong to the Parents’ Circle – the ticket is to have lost a member of your close family. This means Rami and I are brothers of pain.

    My own brother was killed in 2000 at the beginning of the Intifada. I’d been with him just minutes before he died. As I was walking home I heard a shot. I found out later he’d been stopped and searched at the checkpoint. When he protested, the soldier shouted, “Shut your mouth, or I’ll shoot you, you son of a bitch,” to which my brother replied: “YOU son of a bitch!” So the soldier shot him. It was a machine gun in a kid’s hand. Sometimes the power makes them mad.

    At first I was completely out of my mind – crazy with grief. There should be no forgiveness for the killers of innocents, and yet even then I saw the soldier as a victim of the occupation just as my brother was, just as I am still. But forgiveness is a very personal thing. Even if I choose to forgive the person who killed my brother, I can’t force my brother’s kids to forgive. But I can show them that far more valuable than a violent response, is opening your heart to reconciliation and peace. I can show them that opening a new page is their only hope of living a better life than ours.

    The Palestinians have nothing left to lose, so the Israelis must realise that they are destroying their own nation by causing so much suffering. You don’t need to love each other to build a bridge between the two nations: you need respect. If I can stand with my Jewish brother Rami, respecting him as he respects me, then there is hope.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 06:47:00 AM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 10:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Peace Nzingha,

    Do you feel better? I imagine you do but to be honest, me and you should read more Quran. It will be better for both of us.

    018.054
    We have explained in detail in this Qur'an, for the benefit of mankind, every kind of similitude: but man is, in most things, contentious.

    The best way to deal with a hypocrite is to continue to be yourself and not to allow them to phase you. If we understand hypocrisy; as a false pretense of virtue and religion, than we are all guilty of hypocrisy to different degrees.

    004.142
    The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance;

    The key is the Remembrance of Allah and the cultivation of sincerity. We have to be true to Allah first and only.

    Salaams,

     
  • At 6/15/2005 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Salikah said…

    ...and my personal award for best comment goes to Mohammad:

    "To speak of the latter would require that I had exact knowledge of what was in the human heart--and, of course, I cannot claim such knowledge. God knows best what is in the hearts of people and God knows who the hypocrites are--as Abu Bakr or Umar, God be pleased with both of them, used to say--the only one who feels safe from hypocrisy is a hypocrite"

    Wassalam,
    Salikah

     
  • At 6/15/2005 01:11:00 PM, Blogger Nzingha said…

    not so anonymous

    I do suggest you don't come swinging my way. I won't be as tactful as sister Saffiyah.


    Mohammad said "I think confronting hypocrisy is important. "

    Actually I would agree, but than I'm swiming in a culture that doesn't. And to do so on many levels only creates more problems. And there is where I have a problem much of the time. To not confront it, either on a small personal level or on a wider social level only keeps it going. I beleive much of the time it can be nipped in the bud. But for some reason if I were to try and do that, even on a personal level, its like I'm the one insulting the other. {confused}

     
  • At 6/15/2005 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Rizwan said…

    The details of *how* to confront hypocrisy are complicated and often difficult to discern. They also often change from case to case.

    One example of how hypocrisy may be confronted is the way the Duke confronts Lucio in Act 5 Scene 1 from Shakespeare's play "Measure for Measure." Lucio had been slandering the Duke accusing him of lechery behind the Duke's back but the Duke had heard it whilst he was in disguise as a monk [very similar to the way Harun al-Rashid or `Umar, God be pleased with them, used to wander the city in disguise looking for injustice to set right--I wonder if Shakespeare knew their stories...].

    When the Duke "returns" to his city as himself, Lucio acts the perfect hypocrite by coming before the Duke to claim that there was a monk in the city of the Duke slandering the Duke in his absence and that the monk should be arrested and tried...Angelo, the Duke's deputy, also behaves very hypocritically and the play takes us inside his mind. The way the Duke deals with Angelo's hypocrisy in Act 5 Scene 1 is also very interesting.

    I think if one reads such examples of how hypocritical behaviour may be confronted, one becomes hesitant of taking responsibility for confronting it.

    So I reiterate again, to be clear, if we witness hypocritical behaviour in social settings, I think it is wisest to disengage and leave such gatherings. The imperative on confronting hypocrisy needs to be done in the context of our own condition--that is to say that it is crucial that we confront our own hypocrisy and work to eliminate all traces of it from our behaviour and from our hearts as far as is humanly possibly by the Grace of God.

    These are just some thoughts. Perhaps I am wrong. Anybody have other ideas about how to confront hypocrisy--from others or from ourselves?

     
  • At 6/15/2005 03:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "`Umar, God be pleased with them, used to wander the city in disguise looking for injustice to set right--I wonder if Shakespeare knew their stories...]."

    I guess anonymity is not always bad. What say you Safiyyah?

    Salaams,

    ps Don't take my participation as an attack at your person. They are just observations, don't we all observe?

     
  • At 6/15/2005 07:31:00 PM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    Dawud: I don’t like cutting and pasting. I’d rather read your comments with a link to a relevant website stuck in. Just my preference. Question for you: You’ve known me for several years now. Have I ever treated you in a less than gentle way in real life? And have you ever seen me treating others in an unjust way?

    Sometimes it gets to be too much. In the last couple of days, I think I’ve reached my tipping point. I’m tired of the needless advice. I’m tired of being the paragon of virtue people expect me to be, and I’m tired of the less-than-perfect people who feel they have a right to publicly criticise me when they feel I’ve gone out of line.

    Salikah: Forgive me. I’m finding it hard to keep up with these multiple identities.

    Nzinga: Thanks for your support. I don’t understand what his/her purpose is. All I know is that I can’t stand him/her any longer! :-)

    Mohammad: I disagree that the only thing to be done is to work on oneself. I think that attitude leads to passivity, which can in fact fuel hypocrisy. What happens when someone comes up to you with stories behind another’s back? You will obviously need to deal with it in some way. If you simply listen, then you too are participating in something that is wrong. And we have a responsibility to correct others too, particularly if they are our friends and they are doing something that is harmful to others.

    Part of my problem in dealing with those who seem hypocritical is that I actually feel embarrassed for them. The other day I spoke to a woman who was quite clearly lying to me. It was evident in her facial expressions, her quickness of speech, and her extraordinary story. I didn’t want to call her on it because I felt embarrassed for her. Yes, I felt embarrassed for someone who really should have been embarrassed that she was lying – and embarrassed too at her own inability to spin falsehood into a believable story. If I were to catch someone stealing or doing something they shouldn’t be doing, particularly if I actually liked or respected that person, I'd turn a blind eye because I’d feel badly that I'd caught them “red-handed”. So I do have a problem confronting those with hypocritical behaviour. Often I avoid them. And when I can’t, sometimes I end up playing along, pretending they’re the best of friends when I’d rather not be around them. I end up being hypocritical myself. Not the best thing to do, but often one has no choice.

    Dear Sheikh-ul-Islam/ Umar of the 21st century: I am humbled that you are visiting this lowly blog so frequently. God must have sent you to correct my misdeeds. I pray that you are rewarded for your patience with ignorant souls like myself. Sadly, I fear I am a lost cause. I am too proud, and I cannot change my rebellious nature. Your wisdom is wasted on people like me. In fact, I am so subversive that I feel you are turning me away rather than guiding me towards the truth. Can you imagine that? It would be best that you leave. This is your final warning.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 08:18:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Charles said…

    a poignant vignette, written vaguely enough to inspire in the reader thoughts of many different situations, people, and politics. Was it machiavelli who said "keep your enemies close?" reminds me of that truism. Well done.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 08:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 6/15/2005 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    Thanks, Dr. Charles. You made my day. :-)

     
  • At 6/15/2005 10:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why did you "ban" moi?

    Salaams,

     
  • At 6/15/2005 11:32:00 PM, Anonymous Dalia said…

    She explained why, go read the comments. Sheesh....if this was my blog, I wouldn't be half a nice.

     
  • At 6/16/2005 12:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Peace Safiyyah,

    I'll let you be, I promise. I'll continue to read your blog(I'm allowed to do that, aren't I?) as I do appreciate your views and take on subjects. Hopefully, no hard feelings. Cool.

    Salaams,

     
  • At 6/16/2005 02:55:00 AM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    Send an email explaining who you are and what you’re about.

     
  • At 6/16/2005 04:45:00 AM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    asSalaam 'aleykum wa RahmatuLlah;

    I understand your frustration, and I also observe that you've never really gotten (violently or visibly) angry in my presence - but then women are often better at 'swallowing their rage' and smiling through the tears then men are - my own family background [Friesan, northern Dutch/German - farmers and opticians/ engineers mostly before we came to Canada], and upraising makes me both stubborn [tenacious, if you prefer] and emotionally sensitive. I often 'wear my heart on my sleeve', and while I don't often get violently angry, there are a few people in the MSA who could tell you when I've 'let off steam'.

    All of which is to say that I can understand your anger, and I'm also quite annoyed by 'naseehah' that the person offering would be better taking themselves - here, would you like a mirror?

    Nonetheless, if it's not a hadith, it was one of the best pieces of advice I heard from Shaykh Faisal abdur-Razack in an Eid Khutba, quite evidently speaking to members of the community who might not have spoken to each other since the last Eid: "the best amongst you is the first to reach out his hand and greet his brother with 'Salaam'" - Shaykh Faisal emphasized 'it's not the best amongst you is the one who was right but the first to greet his brother.

    You may have seen me emotional before, I get angry - especially when I'm told total BS from people I should trust - and like you, I'm likely (if I like or respect the person) to do no more than give allusions that I don't believe what they're telling me, and avoid or bypass that person rather than bluntly tell them 'you're lieing' - on the other hand, my ability to do that to several people gave me the strength to choose my own faith, and has been valuable in this Path.

    Hypocrisy is a tricky thing: as brother Mohammed*R* quoted, 'only the munafiq feels secure from nifaq'. If I can *attempt* to be as literate, one of my favourite quotes is from Shakespeare's Hamlet: 'Be true to thyself, and thou wilst find, as night follows day, thou canst not be false to any other man'

    May Allah enoble us, and cause us to speak the Truth 'even when it is against' ourselves:

    Surah an-Nisaa, ayat 135:
    bismiLlahir Rahmanir Rahim
    PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html#004.135

     
  • At 6/16/2005 05:42:00 AM, Blogger Rizwan said…

    Safiyyah, you make a good point about the importance of not merely working to rid oneself of hypocrisy but also responding actively to oppose it.

    I can relate to the scenarios you described...I think lately, I've been able to find the right tone to talk to people in such a way as to make them feel I want to hear what they have to say and I care about how they feel and whatnot--but at the same time--I have been able to communicate to them that there are lines that cannot be crossed around me--like slandering people--even if it is a celebrity or politician [Muslim or not].

    Initially it was hard and awkward and I couldn't help feeling as though I came off a bit rude--but it's gotten better and I can usually in a light but firm way make it clear that I cannot tolerate certain things. And alhamdulillah--the hypocrites are weak [as they have been described in the Qur'an]--they fade into shadows when exposed to even the weakest light of knowledge, sincerity and kindness [aside: kindness has gentle AND harsh aspects to it--like the kind nurse who applies antisceptic to a wound that makes it sting/burn/feel worse at first--but then get better...]

    So I think we ought to be wary of feeling hesitant/shy/embarrassed to confront hypocrisy [even sternly if necessary].

    *Note: in the comments above, we have often not distinguished between slander [which can be true], lying/calumny and hypocrisy. Slander and calumny are two specific instances of behaviour that signal hypocrisy in a person--but hypocrisy is a much broader term and hypocritical behaviour is not always characterized by lying or speech--but most often [I think] by one's *actions.*

    For example: the parent that urges its child to eat a healthy diet but him/herself consumes the least nutrituous foods behaves hypocritically, or the politician who urges environmental conservation but drives an SUV everywhere also does so, as does the religious leader who urges the congregation to be upright in business but who cheats on his income tax return...and the list can get quite extensive if we think about it a little.

    Alhamdulillah, though hypocrisy is a nasty disease, there are many strategies in Islam for treating it not only on personal but also social levels. One can find a great deal of writing about this by the ulama.

    May God help us to oppose hypocrisy with wisdom, compassion and justice.

     
  • At 6/16/2005 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Safiyyah said…

    I find it interesting – and also slightly hilarious – that people are trying to imagine what I meant by this piece on hypocrisy and projecting all kinds of personal meanings onto it. I just want to caution against that. As Dr. Charles put it, the post is intentionally vague. I was not thinking of any particular person or circumstance while writing it. We all know of individuals who are like that; I wanted to explore that behaviour. The post has no connection whatsoever with any of the individuals – anonymous or not – who’ve visited my blog. And my recent run-in with an anonymous poster had nothing to do with the short piece; I had intended to write it long before but never got around to it. Just thought I should make that clear for any over-imaginative readers out there;-)

     
  • At 6/16/2005 09:38:00 AM, Blogger Asmaa said…

    When people do good, and spread good, their enemies will be many.

     
  • At 6/16/2005 07:17:00 PM, Blogger dawud al-gharib said…

    asSalaam 'aleykum wa RahmatuLlah;

    ever play 'broken telephone' as a child? If a word or sentence whispered in the ear of the next child can get totally distorted when just going around a room - and I'm sure most of us can think of meetings and discussions where we've seen our own or other's words completely twisted out of comprehension from their origin and original meaning - (the hadith: 'the one who [knowingly] attributes to me what I did not say, let him take his place in the Hellfire')

    Nifaq is the worst way to twist one's own heart, and it starts from doubt, hatred, and fear - no? the internet feeds our deepest paranoias (and false utopias) by pretending that we are only one click away from our imaginary dream self-satisfaction (image, delusion, satiation of all passions & lusts & commercial wants)...

    I wouldn't want to project on you, Safiyyah - nor I was I implying above that I thought you were the angry person in the story you narrated - but I did think you articulated it so well, that it's clear you understand both the motivations and processes that bring that hatred to "HELLFIRE FLAME".

    if I may, I'll include a dervish story from Shaykh Tosun - www.jerrahi.org? it's allegorical, so brothers or sisters who are inclined to literalism will have to phase out for a moment and forgive us for our lapses -
    A man dies and goes in front of Allah for final Judgement. Sadly, his weight of evil deeds outweighs his good deeds, and he's thrown into the Fire ('which consumes men & stones'). However, once there, he sees that Hell looks much like this world - spotting a punishing angel, he walks over to him and asks, "What's wrong? I thought that Hell was full of fire and torture?" the angel responds: "Indeed it is. But one brings the fire with one."

     

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