hypocrisy – Nifaq

Hypocrisy and spending

The word for hypocrisy is nifāq and its derived from the letters nūn, fa, qāf. A burrow is called nafaq. The burrow is a kind of tunnel that is used by the desert rodent, Jerboa, to escape from its enemies. The hypocrite, al-munāfiq, is like the Jerboa. He hides his true nature under the surface and he chooses where he is going to come out and how he is going to present himself, depending on the audience. He always has an exit plan, and he always lives in fear of being exposed. One of the meaning of the verb form fa’āla is continuance. The word munāfiq comes from this form and it implies that he is always on his guard. This can be seen in the following verse:


And when you see them, their forms please you, and if they speak, you listen to their speech. [They are] as if they were pieces of wood propped up – they think that every shout is against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

From the same root we find the verb anfaqa and the verbal noun infāq. Infāq is spending and the verb is used many times in the Quran. Here is one example:


Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them,


The verb anfaqa belongs to the verb form af’ala. This form has many meanings; one of them is the removal of something. Qadha is the name for something that gets in the eye, the verb aqdha (in the form af’ala) means to remove that thing from the eye. The verb anfaqa can have the meaning of removing nifāq, i.e. hypocrisy. Giving to other is thus a means of removing hypocrisy from the heart. 

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: Two characteristics are not gathered in a believer: miserliness and ill conduct. (al-Bukhari)

This meaning is also manifested in origins of the word for alms, ṣadaqah. ṣadaqah is derived from the verbal noun ṣidq meaning to be sincere.

People with pure hearts give alms, but the giving of alms is also a way of purifying the heart from hypocrisy.  

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2 Responses to hypocrisy – Nifaq

  1. Anonymous says:

    very nice

  2. ayash says:

    Thanks for sharing. it was really helpful.

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