In a hadīth, the Prophet ﷺ has described the munāfiq and the muʾmin with examples of trees. The muʾmin is similar to a tree with deep roots. It is tall-standing and firm. Even when it is buffeted by the strong winds of a hurricane, the most that happens to it is that it sways and bends with the wind. It does not snap or fall. When a muʾmin has deep roots of faith and īmān, even when he is buffeted by strong winds of calamities and misfortunes, the muʾmin does not break or snap. The muʾmin is swayed and shaken but does not fall due to their deep roots.
The Prophet ﷺ then described a bush-like tree which grows in the desert. It looks good but it has shallow roots and is top heavy. With a strong gust of wind, the whole tree is uprooted, and it is swept away with the wind. That is the munāfiq. A munāfiq does not sway or bend. One minute the munāfiq is there and the next minute the munāfiq is gone. Rather than bending, swaying or breaking, the munafiq disappears. A munāfiq is never stable, steady or perseverant because the munāfiq has no principles. Why would the the munāfiq have principles? A conscious does not matter. What matters is immediate gain and profit. For short term gain, the munafiq is willing to trade his opinions, position, loyalty and even religion.
May Allāh make us from amongst those that have deep roots and not those that sell everything for short term benefit.
[This short excerpt is based on a lecture entitled ‘Traits of Hypocrisy Part 3’ delivered by Shaykh Riyadh ul Haq on Friday 20thDecember 2019].