The path of hypocrisy!
In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Part of being a productive Muslim is to seek to understand the meanings kept in the Words of Allaah Exalted be He. This should be an insatiable quest for every Muslim because there's no end to knowledge seeking simply because knowledge is a sea with no shores.
Allaah Exalted be He has explained to us in plain terms in various places in the Glorious Qur'an the characteristics of the hypocrites who come to people portraying one thing while hiding their true selves with the aim of deceiving Allaah and the believers.
We are not just to read through the verses but to pause and to think deeply and assess ourselves for a possible presence of such characteristics in us and if found be eliminated leaving behind no traces so as to be among the chosen servants of the Most Merciful.
Allaah says of the hypocrites:
"They say: "We have believed in Allaah and in the Messenger, and we obey," then a party of them turn away thereafter, such are not believers. And when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger, to judge between them, lo! A party of them refuses and turns away.
But if the truth is on their side, they come to him willingly with submission. Is there a disease in their hearts Or do they doubt or fear lest Allaah and His Messenger should wrong them in judgement. Nay, it is they themselves who are the wrongdoers. Q24: 47-50
How much of Allaah's guidance and prophetic teachings do we follow or are we among those that proclaim Iman yet reluctant in responding to the Shari'ah?
Are we only satisfied with Qur'an and Sunnah when they conform to our personal desires or are we true servants of Allaah at all times just as He is our Lord at all times?
How many of us are guilty of "fatwa shopping" that we dump the fatwa of a shaykh once it forms an obstacle between us and our desires while looking elsewhere until we get a fatwa that will make haram halal for us.
On a scale of 1-10, where do we place ourselves in respect to how much we put our words into practice? We need to evaluate ourselves to know whether we are progressing or retrogressing spiritually.
A lot of people talk about Islam, write about Islam, call to Islam but very few walk the talk themselves, live the life of what they write and exemplify what they call to.
Umar ibn AbdulAzeez once wrote to one of his governors that a lot of people call to Taqwa (piety) but very few people practice piety.
Don't be overwhelmed by how much talks you give, or listen to, or the number Islamic messages you disseminate or the number of Islamic associations you belong with, be concerned by how much improvement you have in your Tawheed, Akhlaq (manners, character), sincerity and how close you are with the Sunnah of the Prophet (Pbuh) which signifies a huge departure from Bid'a (innovation) and shirk.
Allaah says of the original believers: "The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allaah and His Messenger, to judge between then, is that they say: "We hear and we obey. "And such are the successful. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger, fears Allaah, and has Taqwa (piety) of Him, such are the successful. Q24:51-52.
Again, millions of faithfuls have gathered in the ancient city of Makkah proclaiming the Oneness of Allaah, we ask Allaah to unite the hearts of Muslims just as they are united in facing the Ka'abah.