Hypocrites who made sincere repentance
Fatwa No: 345715

Question

Do you know of any known hypocrites that became believers by name and whose story is inspiring? They were at the lowest of the lows and then reached the highest of the highs.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger. 

Some scholars stated that if a hypocrite sincerely repents, Allah will raise his status and make him among the believers. Allah says (what means): {Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allah, and are sincere in their religion for Allah, for those will be with the believers.} [Quran 4:146]

Tafseer Al-Qaasimi (3/381) reads:

{Except those who repent}, meaning from hypocrisy, {correct themselves}, meaning they amend their deeds; {hold fast to Allah}, meaning they have trust in Him by avoiding being allies to the non-Muslims and by sincerely devoting their religion to Allah without any hesitation. And they did not seek with their acts of obedience anything but the Face of Allah and did not show off to the people as they did before they repented. Then such people will be with the believers … due to their high status by virtue of those matters, so they will not be in Hellfire, let alone being in the lowest part of it; rather, they will be with the believers who remained steadfast on belief without any hypocrisy; i.e. they will be with them in the degrees of Paradise. Allah clarified this by saying {And Allah is going to give the believers a great reward} [Quran 4:146], which is abundant reward in Paradise, so they will share the reward with them and will get a share in it like them.

As regards identifying some of them [by name], then Al-‘Ayni said in his commentary on the following report cited by Al-Bukhaari on the authority of Al-Aswad:

We were in the study circle of Abdullah ibn Mas’ood and then Huthayfah came and greeted us and said, ‘Hypocrisy came upon a people who are better than you.’ Al-Aswad said, ‘Subhaan Allah (glory be to Allah)! Allah says: {Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire.} [Quran 4:145].’ Abdullah smiled. Huthayfah sat in a corner of the mosque. Then Abdullah got up and his companions scattered. He (Huthayfah) threw a small stone at me [to attract my attention], so I came to him, then Huthayfah said, ‘I was astonished at his smiling for he knew what I had meant, as hypocrisy came upon a people who were better than you and then they repented, so Allah accepted their repentance.’

Al-`Ayni said in ‘Umdatul-Qaari (18/193), “What Huthayfah meant was that a group of hypocrites rectified their deeds and became righteous, so they were better than those Taabi’is (the generation that directly followed the generation of the Companions) because of the status of being Companions in addition to righteousness, such as Majma’ and Yazeed ibn Haarithah ibn ‘Aamir, who were hypocrites but later on both became righteous and upright…

Allah knows best.

Related Fatwa