The Plight of the Hypocrites
The term "non-Practising Muslim" is very often used by ignorant people who have not grasped true faith as described in the Qur'an. Those who consider themselves "practising" freely use the term as well as the group being referred to by the term i.e. "I am a non-practising Muslim", "he is a practising brother". The term "non-practising Muslim" is used to describe a group of large number of people who have an Arabic name and have parents who are considered Muslim, but openly do not lead a life endorsed by Allah's religion.
These people lead a life, not guided by Allah and His Book, but by their own whims and desires. They indulge in all forms of deeds without observing any of Allah's limits, purely to satisfy their own self. They never think of Allah or the existence of the Hereafter. None of their deeds are done with the intention of gaining the Paradise of Allah in the Hereafter. In short, they prefer the life of this world over the Hereafter. However, when asked about their religion, they would reply that they are Muslims, without much hesitation. Though deep inside they are very much aware of their irreligious state, they like to think of themselves as modern Muslims by not getting involved with religion in any serious way. Due to this, they are really unaware of Allah who created them. If they were truly Muslim as they claim, they would have always been mindful of Allah, doing good and obeyed all the Quranic commandments.
Though the true religion has suffered from many of its so-called followers portraying it as a backward way of life, this is not the reason why these people do not adhere to the religion of Allah. As stated before, they lead their life in that heedless way because they want to only satisfy whatever their inner-selves desires, and whatever the Satan whispers to them. They are not interested in the thought of worshipping Allah or doing what is good for their Hereafter.
It took the whole Qur'an, consisting of some several thousand verses to explain the characteristic of the true Muslim. Anyone who does not fit with Allah's strict definition of who a Muslim is cannot be a Muslim in Allah's sight. Allah has defined the word 'Muslim' in the Qur'an. Briefly, it is a reference for the sincere believers who work for the Hereafter by doing good and avoiding evil for Allah's sake alone. Even etymologically, the word it self means a person who submits. In the Qur'an, the Muslim is someone who submits to Allah and His commands stated in the Qur'an. Muslims have other attributes in the Qur'an, for example, ‘Righteous Ones’ and ‘The Good-doers’ among many more. That is why there can be no such person as a "non-practising Muslim" as the term is a contradiction in it self. The term "practising Muslim" is also inappropriate as the "Muslim" is always "practising". However, the use of the word "practising" may indicate that the people who use the word consider religion to be mere rituals and a set of do's and dont's rather than religion being about sincerely believing in Allah and striving to draw nearer to Him.
The "non-practising" people we
have discussed, are actually not an undefined group of people in the
Qur'an. In the Qur'an, they have been identified in Surah Al-Bakarah
"There are some people who say, 'we believe in Allah and the Last Day', when they really do not believe. They seek to deceive Allah and those who believe, but they only deceive themselves, though they are not aware of it." (Qur'an 2:8-9)
They also do not lead a psychologically happy life either; the Qur'an states that only in the remembrance of Allah does the heart find peace and satisfaction.
“Those who have faith and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah, only in the remembrance of Allah does the heart find peace.” (Qur’an 13:28)
Only those who love and fear Allah will receive the gift of true peace and contentment. Yet they try even harder with gaining more wealth, children and friends to gain peace and satisfaction which cannot be achieved this way, all while they deceive themselves to be Muslims just as stated in the Verse. There are also so-called Muslims in the majority, who perform outward rituals of worship and put on a certain mannerism and dress-code which they think is religious, yet do not grasp the existence of Allah in His true measure. This group of people certainly consider themselves very religious, since they are performing the rituals and wearing the right clothes, but because they have not taken the Qur'an as a guide but simply follow the majority, they do not have true faith in Allah and the Last Day.
The Qur'an states in Surah An-Nur,
that attempts to find happiness of so-called
"non-practising Muslims" as well as all self-proclaimed disbelievers are like a person chasing a mirage for water in a desert. When
he thinks he has reached water, he finds nothing there, only Allah, who
repays Him for His disbelieving way of life with the punishment of Hell.
"But the deeds of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but, when he gets there, he finds only Allah, who pays him his account in full - Allah is swift in reckoning." (Qur'an 24:39)
Surah Al-Bakarah mentions
that there are people who deceive themselves into thinking
they are people who submit to Allah when they really do not believe in
Allah and the Last Day without harbouring doubts. It also includes all those who assume they are
religious because they perform outward acts of worship but have no deep
fear of Allah nor any of the supreme wisdom from the Qur’an. These are
also deceiving themselves into being "Muslims". This is because they do not have the
necessary state of mind of a believer. They are incapable of grasping
true faith and way of conduct due to their distancing themselves from
the Qur'an - the only Book which explains true faith to the
Such people can often boast a high level of technical so-called Islamic
knowledge, which are never based on the Qur'an anyway and often
The true believer treads the path of righteousness cautiously in his words and deeds. Allah has reserved a special term in the Qur’an only for hypocrites – “those with a disease in their hearts”, and He warns the true believers not to fall into the ways of these people:
"The hypocrites, those who have a disease in their hearts said: "These people have been deceived by their religion." But whoever puts his trust in Allah, then Allah is Noble, Wise." (Qur'an 8:49)
All people striving to be believers must make sure they do not develop this disease in their hearts while not obeying those with it. The true believer can identify these sorts. Salah and fasting are not enough to prove that a person is a real believer. Only when one's speech and deeds consistently match the upright model of a believer described in the Qur'an can one be considered a believer:
"Do those with a
disease in their hearts assume that Allah will not expose their
malice? We could even point them out to you if We wished, and then you
could identify them by their marks, but you will know them anyway by the
tone of their speech. Allah knows everything you (people) do." (Qur'an
On the Day of Judgment, Allah will judge in His supreme wisdom all sorts of people. For us to know which group on earth will emerge victorious in the Hereafter and be rewarded with the eternal Garden, we have to turn to the Qur’an – the only Criterion from Allah to mankind. Allah states:
“[We said to Adam and his wife], ‘Get out, all of you! But when guidance comes from Me as it certainly will [on earth], there will be no fear for those who follow My guidance nor will they grieve – those who disbelieve and deny our Revelations shall be inhabitants of the Fire, and there they will remain.’ “ (Qur’an 2:38-39)
Let us ask ourselves, what sort of a person are we in the sight of Allah? Are you the kind of sincere believer who is knowledgeable of the Qur'an and works only for the sake of Allah in every moment of your life? Does every single word and deed of yours bear the motive of earning the paradise of Allah and to comply with the values of the Qur’an? Do you know what the Qur’an says? Have you read the Qur'an? These are very important questions as only the true believers will enter the ever-lasting Gardens of Allah - those who are truly worthy of Paradise, the sincere believers in Allah and the Last Day who adhere to the morality of the Qur’an.
See also: The Mix of Disbelieving People
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