Honesty and Hypocrisy

Assalamu Alaikum,


This is a part of an article I had come across in http://www.tasawwuf.org some years back. The lesson impressed me instantly and made me appreciate the profound thinking of the great Masters of tasawwuf. You can read the full article here

Maulana Jami on the Path (of Tasawwuf)

It is recorded in the tradition of the Shaykhs that Jami once said, when asked about hypocrisy and honesty:

“How wonderful is honesty and how strange hypocrisy! I wandered to Mecca and to Baghdad, and I made a trial of the behavior of men.

When I asked them to be honest, they always treated me with respect, because they had been taught that good men always speak thus, and they had learned that they must have their eyes downcast when people speak of honesty.

When I told them to shun hypocrisy, they all agreed with me.

But they did not know that when I said ‘truth’, I knew that they did not know what truth was, and that therefore both they and I were then being hypocrites.

They did not know that when I told them not to be hypocrites they were being hypocrites in not asking me the method. They did not know that I was being a hypocrite in merely saying, ‘Do not be hypocrites’, because words do not convey the message by themselves.

They respected me, therefore, when I was acting hypocritically. They had been taught to do this. They respected themselves while they were thinking hypocritically; for it is hypocrisy to think that one is being improved simply by thinking that it is bad to be a hypocrite.

The Path (of Tasuwwuf) leads beyond: to the practice and the understanding where there can be no hypocrisy, where honesty is there and not something which is man’s aim.

It cannot be any more relevant in this era of  ‘spirituality’ fad where everyone knows what to speak to get clapping from the audience.

May Allah make our hearts sincere in our approach unto Him.


Abdul Muneer P.K.


3 Responses

  1. Amin. Amin. Brother, the words of Jami you have quoted are indeed relevant today more than ever, when ideology takes the place of seeking for the truth, and opinion the place of honesty. How can one be honest when the truth, the real truth is unknown to the heart.

    Ya Haqq!

  2. “How can one be honest when the truth, the real truth is unknown to the heart.”

    Yes Bhai. You have put it in a precis and powerful way. May Allah make us vanish in that truth.

    Incidentally, My Usthad would tell:
    To know Allah it is the ‘opposite’ that we have to know. That what exactly a ‘creation’ is.. (only then will ‘shirk’ be removed from us – Blogger). No other knowledge comes to mind where we learn one thing by studying the opposite. But when it comes to Allah and creation, these are the two fundamental realities that exists. Although we always experience, we have rightly understood or realized neither of it. It is here where we need Muhammad Rasoolullah (S.A).
    May Allah bless our hearts with the real truth. Amin.

  3. MashAllah

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