They all Feared Hypocrisy, Where do WE Stand?

March 27, 2008

The Signs of Beneficial Knowledge:

  • From the signs that one has beneficial knowledge is that it leads him to flee from the worldly life and its splendors, as well as from leadership, fame and praise. 
  • Keeping far away from these things and exerting one’s efforts in avoiding them are indications that one has beneficial knowledge. 
  • And if he were to fall into committing any of these things unintentionally and unwillingly, he would be in immense fear of being punished for that since he would fear that such (praise or leadership or fame) is perhaps a plot or gradual delusion (before inevitable punishment from Allah).
  • Such was the case with Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal [rahimahullah], for he would fear for himself when his name became famous and his reputation spread.
  • Also from the signs of beneficial knowledge is that one does not claim to have knowledge nor does he use it to act arrogantly towards anyone, nor does he describe anyone as being ignorant – except for those who oppose the Sunnah and its followers, for in this case, he may speak about them out of anger for the sake of Allah and not his own sake nor intending to elevate himself over anyone.
  • Those who possess beneficial knowledge think poorly of themselves while thinking highly of those scholars that came before them. 
  • And they affirm with their hearts and souls the virtue and superiority that their predecessors have over them and their own inability to reach and attain the levels that they were at, let alone get near to them.

The Signs of Non-Beneficial Knowledge:

  • An indicative sign of this non-beneficial knowledge is that it breeds haughtiness, pride and arrogance in the one who possesses it.
  • It causes him to seek after grandeur and elevation in the worldly life and to compete for that.
  • It also leads one to pursue competing with the scholars, arguing with the foolish and turning the people’s attention his way.
  • It has been reported that the Prophet [sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] said that whoever seeks knowledge for these reasons, then “the Fire, the Fire”(narrated by Ibn Majah).
  • Another sign of this is when one openly claims to have a close relationship with Allaah, i.e. claims to be a Walee, as the People of the Scriptures would do

Ibn Abī Mulaykah – Allah have mercy on him – said, “ I met thirty of the Prophet’s Companions (including Ali, Aisha, Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Masood, etc)– Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them – and every one of them feared falling into nifāq [hypocrisy]; not one of them claimed he had the level of faith of Jibrīl or Mīkā`īl [alaihimis salaam].”

They all feared hypocrisy, where do WE stand?

[References include Ibn Rajab (via and Bukhari’s Fath al-Bari (via  Also, I apologize for the poor color of the font on this post, I ran into some ‘technical difficulties’]


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