The Prevalence Of Nifaq (Save The Blessed) In Al-Quraa’
Shaykh Muhammad Moosaa Aal Nasr
Al-Munafiqun: The Hypocrites According To The Qur’aan & Sunnah Pgs. 73-76
Translated by Yahya Adel Ibraahim
‘Uqbah bin ‘Aamir (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The majority of the munafiq’s found in my Ummah are its Quraa’ .” (Saheeh, reported by Ahmed, at-Tabrani and others, see Saheeh al-Jami’, No. 1203]
Al-Imaam al-Manawi (rahimahullaah) in Fayd ul-Qadir comments on this hadeeth by saying:
“They are those who interpret it to mean other than what was intended and they place it in its wrong place. They may also memorise its words while not accepting its dictates. The munafiqun during the Messenger of Allaah’s (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s) time was of this persuasion.”
Az-Zamakhshari (rahimahullaah) comments:
“The Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) meant riyaa’ when he mentioned nifaq. Since both of these characteristics signify an outer deed that is contrary to the inner belief.”
It is also stated that the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) meant the nifaq of ‘amal not the nifaq of kufr.
The munafiq outwardly displays belief in Allaah to ensure the security of his property and life, while denying belief internally. The person who has riyaa’ outwardly displays the deeds that earn a great reward in al-Akhirah (hereafter) while seeking for these deeds a handsome share in the worldly life. A (misguided) Qari outwardly proclaims that he seeks reward from Allaah alone while seeking to have people praise him, his knowledge and deeds. The three all have one thing in common – their hidden intentions are different to their public actions.
For this reason al-Imaam al-Ghazali (rahimahullaah) states:
“Beware of Quraa’ if they have these four characteristics:
• Al-Amal (Hope for worldly reward and remuneration)
• Al-‘Ajlah (hastiness in seeking reward for his deeds)
• Al-Kibr (Pride and boastful arrogance)
• Al-Hasad (Wishing to have what others possess while also wishing for them to lose their possession, namely, envy).”
In seeking a share of the dunya (worldly life) a misguided Qari may do all that is deviant, and unethical. He may lie, defame, slander and cheat in a manner of which a criminal would be ashamed.
Al-Imaam an-Nawawee (rahimahullaah) states:
“I do not fear to be slandered except by al-Quraa’ and al-‘Ulemah (who have been led astray).”
Those who heard him say this showed their aversion to the statement. He replied,
“I am not the originator of the statement. Ibraahim an-Nakha’i (rahimahullaah) preceded me.”
‘Attah (rahimahullaah) said:
”Beware of al-Quraa’. If I was to disagree with one of them about (something as insignificant) as the state of a fruit by saying it is sweet and they saying it is rotten; they would seek to have my blood sanctioned (my death or punishment) from a tyrannical Sultan (ruler).”
Al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyyad (rahimahullaah) said to his son:
“Purchase a home that is at a great distance from the (deviant) Quraa’. What do I need (or benefit) from them? If one of my shortcomings is uncovered they will seek my demise. And if one of my virtues were to be made public they would envy me for it. You see that they are arrogant, unaccommodating, and surly in their dealings with people. It is as if they feel that their prayer is greater than everyone else. They act as if they have received a divine revelation promising them Jannah and salvation from the fire. It is as if they seek personal happiness and satisfaction while seeking the wretchedness of all others. Yet, with all of this arrogance and conceitedness they will dress in shabby garments acting meek (to appear humble).”
[End of the abridged words of al-Manawi, Vol. 2, Pgs. 80-81…]
The hadeeth that we have been discussing is a clear example of the prophetic knowledge of the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
I have encountered a great many of these type of misguided Quraa’ prophesied by the Messenger of Allaah (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). 
Our Muslim Ummah has been afflicted with Quraa’ who have mastered the articulation and pronunciation of the Qur’aan, but do not implement any of its dictates or obligations. Many of these reciters indulge in major and minor sins without seeking to correct their ways. There are those who are mesmerised by the musical incantations of popular singers; others are addicted to cigarettes and Hashish. We seek refuge with Allaah from all of this.
Furthermore, there are those who have turned their recitation of al-Qur’aan into a vocation seeking the lowly fare of the worldly life. Commercialism of al-Qur’aan has become widespread in the Muslim lands. The reciters seek compensation for reciting on special occasions of joy or sorrow; if not promised compensation they would not recite.
The Qur’aan to them no longer carries a meaning. The general population listens to it as if it is a song or a play.
Some of the Quraa’ take pride in the fact that their recitations are sold in America on the A side of Arabic music tapes, or that they used his voice in a movie. They also use the Qur’aan to support a certain political agenda. After the signing of the Palestinian – Israel Peace treaty a particular Qari was instructed to recite:
“But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allaah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (8:61)
When this particular Qari passed away they found that he had a fortune in gold earned from his recitations.
These are those who recite the Qur’aan and it does not pass their trachea (they do not act upon it). They do all of these deviant deeds while thinking that they are in a state of goodness.
As for those who are upon the truth – small in number they may be – they recite the Qur’aan in the best possible manner while they order its injunctions and do not transgress limits. They adjust their lives in accordance to its dictates and believe in it completely; they remain awake during the night hours engaged in its recitation and act upon its instructions in the daytime; they cling to the book with strength, studying it, teaching it and acting upon it. Surely they are chosen by Allaah and known as Ahlul-Qur’aan (the People of al-Qur’aan).
We ask Allaah to include us with Ahlul-Qur’aan.