Our Inner vs. Outer Condition

From the Words of ‘Abdullah ‘Azzam…

“…And the believer – subhan Allah, glory be to You, O Lord – is liked by everyone no matter what.

Why?

The believer isn’t fake. There is nothing you can hold against him. What he does in secret is what he does openly. There aren’t secret acts and public acts. He doesn’t have a personality in secret and a different one in public. They are both the same. So, if you were to peek into his life when he’s alone, you’d find him even better than he is in public. If you were to see him at home at night, you’d find him either praying, sleeping, eating suhur, or reciting the Qur’an. There is nothing you can hold against him. There is no girl he has snuck in to commit indecent acts with, nor does he have stolen money that he is counting.

His outer condition is like his inner condition. In fact, his inner condition is even better than his outer, and the early Muslims would say ‘O Allah, make our inner condition better than our outer condition, and make our outer condition good.’ There is nothing you can hold against him. He has inner confidence, is sure of himself, and is relaxed.

As for the hypocrite, he fears that everyone will discover his faults and that they are privy to his sins. This is why it’s as if the suspicious person wants to tell people ‘Take me away, take me away.’ Why? He is filled with faults, and he suspects that this person knows of them, that person found out, etc. So, his whole life is full of anxiety and constriction.

As for the believer, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab nullified his ablution while on the pulpit. He said: “O people, I’ve passed gas, and I am going to make ablution and return.” He is sure of himself. So, why would he care what people think? On a day other than Friday, he ascended the pulpit and gathered the people and said: “O people, a few years ago, I used to herd sheep for people in Makkah for a few copper coins.” So, ‘Abd ar-Rahman bin ‘Awf took him aside and said to him privately: “Commander of the Believers, you did nothing but belittle yourself in front of everyone.” So, ‘Umar said: “That was exactly my intention. I felt impressed with myself, and therefore wanted to humble myself in front of everyone.””

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 489]

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