The Arabic word ‘munafiq‘ is translated as hypocrite simply because of the lack of a more appropriate word. There is no single word in the English language that comes close to its proper meaning.


The human body survives by taking air, food drink etc. By its very nature the human being is greedy, selfish, gluttonous and avaricious. It not only takes what it needs, it also hoards.


The Self fights an ongoing battle in its desire to be munificent and realise its potential by developing itself; it seeks to be benevolent, philanthropic, generous, giving and eager to self-sacrifice.


The hypocrites feign these highly desirable qualities and attitudes that receive great approval, while in their private life such opinions belie their public statements. It is these people who are munafiq, those that are stingy and grudging when it comes to self-sacrifice and expending their Self for the good of others. The munafiq holds back in everything except that which is in their self-interest. See verse and footnote 2:8.


The disbeliever, (Arabic: kafir) is the one who not only openly denies and rejects the truth but conceals it, perhaps preventing others from its benefit. What then exactly does the kafir disbelieve in?


First and foremost it is a denial of God, His sovereignty and ultimate accountability to Him. By denying God’s sovereignty, the kafir is setting up an authority other than God. It may be another individual, a religion or some system other than God’s Deen-Islam. It may even be his own ego.


By rejecting accountability to God, the kafir rejects responsibility for his own actions. If he does not accept responsibility and accountability to God, then who does he concede to, if not to another authority?


As a consequence of rejecting God, the kafir alsorejects the Quran’s guidance and the Permanent Values it contains. He may say that he still believes in justice, equality and kindness to his fellow humans and is against all the bad things that happen in the world, but what worth is a good deed if its full and absolute value is not realised?


The Quran tells us that each human being has immense latent potential and by implementing the optimum values, the Permanent Values underpinned by accountability, the human being can raise his status and make his Self fit for the next stage in life.


The kafir in actual fact denies the very purpose and meaning of his life; the impending exaltation of his very being and the ability to raise the measure of his own being by his own endeavour. See verses 109:1-6.