Succumbing To Hypocrisy
By Haisam Mehmood
Hypocrisy has become an inevitable part of human character. It can be defined as beliefs and traits contrary to one’s real character or actual behavior, especially the pretence of virtue. For us to rightly apprehend the concept of hypocrisy and its roots, we need to dig deep into the matter to find the root cause. However, in this dissertation, I aim to expose the social facet of hypocrisy and the impact it has on our society.
To begin with, I shall ask a simple question; why is it so that a person is impelled to lie or be pretentious in what he/she does in routine matters of life? The answer is but convoluted!
The first deals with the social desirability of such acts which enables one to attain wider acclaim within a social setup. The second is the fulfillment of the underlying motives driven by emotional and interest-led impulses. Indeed, every human is entitled to emotional, financial, social and political rights, but the attainment of these rights and exercising them in a reasonable manner is what differentiates emancipation and astuteness.
Having dealt with the cause part of the question under discussion, let us shed some light on its effects. Once again, we shall divide the effects into two broad aspects. First is the social illusion – which degenerates the society with the tribulations such as misapprehension and social inequalities resulting from these misjudgments. The second effect is far reaching in its implications: it leads to prejudice and encourages a setup where due merits are not recognized and undue advantages are granted to the hypocrites. Moreover, it restricts one’s ability to remain immune to social injustice and pretentiousness and becomes a mainstream practice of a society. This makes hypocrisy an incentive instead of a menace and benchmarks the ethics of modernized societies resulting in an undeclared perpetual self -commitment to hypocrisy.
I am optimistic that if we are granted with a free will, there is a reason for it. The reason is trial. Allah tests us weather we are able to control or deny the inclination generated by Satan’s “Wasswasa” or fall for the evil trap. It is our self-control and iron resolve that shall enable us to abstain from hypocrisy. Holy Quran chapter 114(An-Nas) verse 4-5:
“From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper)…Who whispers [evil] into the hearts of mankind”
We must also bear in mind that Allah has informed us in Chapter 110 (An-Nasr) verse 3:
“Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.”
Therefore, a person who is practicing hypocrisy without perceiving the costs associated with it is indeed a worthy recipient of this text. The true cost is the disapproval and hatred of Allah, to whom we all shall be answerable for everything we do and say.
It would be remiss not to provide for an effective solution to this social evil. I would suggest that we need to have a strong believe that everything we get in this life is pre-decreed and no worldly power can change, increase, decrease or take away. Therefore, we must individually deny all forms of hypocrisy and develop our personality in a way that reflects self-confidence, genuinely fair and equitable attitude towards other human beings and self-satisfaction in terms of the socio-political and economic position we hold within a society. Moreover, at a personal level, we need to weigh social, emotional and financial needs of our friends, family members and other members of the society (in whatever capacity they are in) and give due attention to all of them with a moderate approach to (if not eradicate) curtail hypocrisy from our society. This shall give rise to a social order that is compatible with the pure human nature of co-operation, mutual interest and trust instead of satanic traits of mistrust, injustice and self-centeredness.
I would like to quote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a pro-modern philosopher here:
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes… we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions – especially selfish ones.”