In the name of God, the All-Compassionate, the All-Merciful.
Ayahs 11 and 12 of Surah Baqara read:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ
أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشْعُرُونَ
"When they are told, 'Do not cause corruption on the earth,' they say, 'We are only reformers!' Look they are they are themselves the agents of corruption, but they are not aware." (2:11-12)
Hypocrisy is an epidemic disease that can spread rapidly if not checked. It can plunge the society into sycophancy, ostentation, and hypocrisy. Since a hypocrite does not have sincere beliefs he tries to deceive the believers and weaken their faith. That's why he keeps ridiculing divine rules in the name of religion in order to hoodwink people.
The Holy Qur'an gives examples of this evil behaviour of the hypocrites in the Surahs Tawbah and Munafiqun. It describes how they flee the battlefield or deride believers who spent for the needy by saying: What is the use of this paltry amount of money?
Yes, hypocrisy is the source of all sorts of corruption in the society but since the hypocrites are blind in heart and soul they try to portray their corruption as reform. Under the flimsy pretext of avoiding bloodshed they propagate that compromise with the enemies is to the benefit of religion even if it undermines the fundamental principles of religion and the faith of believers!
From these two Ayahs we learn that:
1. The impacts of hypocrisy are not merely harmful for the individual but they make the whole society corrupt.
2. Among the signs of hypocrisy are self-praise, arrogance and haughtiness. The hypocrites or the Munafiqun as they are called by the Holy Qur'an say: It is only we who are the reformists.
3. If hypocrisy is imprinted in one's heart it will hinder the way to understand correctly. Thus such a person won't be ready to listen or ponder upon truth.
4. The believers should be familiar with and aware of the deceitful but hollow propaganda of the hypocrites so as not to be gulled by them.
5. If being clever is not on the right path and the divine direction it is stark insanity and obstinacy.
In Ayah 13 we read:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ ۗ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
"And when they are told, 'believe like the people who have believed,' they say, 'Shall we believe like the fools who have believed?' Look! They are themselves the fools, but they do not know." (2:13)
As it was mentioned among the signs of hypocrisy are arrogance and humiliating fellowmen. The hypocrites consider themselves clever and regard others as fools. When they are told to be with the people and not separate themselves from the masses they accuse people of being fools and devoid of any understanding, despite the fact that these people have always helped their leader in hardships and stood beside Islam through thick and thin. The hypocrites regard their own diabolical thoughts and actions as cleverness. The Holy Qur'an answers them by saying: You, who are regarding the believers as fools, are fools yourselves, but the problem is that you are not aware of your foolishness. What is worse than being foolish is being unaware of it.
From this Ayah we learn that:
1. Humiliating the believers is one of the characteristics of the hypocrites who regard themselves better than and superior to others.
2. One must behave with the arrogant people in a firm manner. A person who humiliates the believers should be humiliated in the public so that his haughtiness is shattered.
3. Humiliating and ridiculing others is a foolish act. A wise man speaks logically, whereas a fool resorts to humiliation and ridicule.
4. God will disgrace the hypocrites and He will reveal their evil face in this world, while the punishment of Afterlife will be much more excruciating and severe.