As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
In Surah al-Baqarah, Allah says,
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَقُولُ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَبِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
“And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers.” [v. 8]
According to the Qur’anic scholar, al-Karmani (in his book ‘Asrar al-Tikrar fil-Qur’an’), this is the only place where the oft-repeated verse “We believe in Allah and (in) the Last Day…” has come with the letter ب (ba) repeated twice (i.e. billah wa bil-yawm al-akhir).
Interestingly, he says that this is because the hypocrites want to emphasis on their ‘belief’ so that no-one doubts them or accuses them. In their heart, they know they are liars and they fear the people finding out about their hypocrisy or instability of faith, so to do away with that, they used this emphasis to deter the people from ever suspecting them, subhan’Allah.
Allah, the All-Knower of what the hearts conceal, then ends the verse by also using the letter ba to totally negate their belief which they just emphasised on (وَمَا هُم بِمُؤْمِنِينَ) “… but they are not believers.”
Reminds me of the proverb: كما تدين تدان ‘As you treat others, you shall be treated.’
There’s a strong theme of ‘al-Jaza’ min jins al-’amal’ (recompense comes in the form of the deed), particularly when it comes to the end result of the hypocrites and wrong-doers as we see in Surah al-Nisa’:
إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them…” [v. 142]
Deception is not a trait of Allah `azza wa jall (Glorified is He), but the scholars explained that rather this is to show the hypocrites that their deeds and state of heart is not unknown to Allah and that what they do returns to them and Allah deals with His slaves the way they deal with Him.
May Allah protect us from hypocrisy, ameen.