…‘Indeed the one who is two-faced is the worst of the people because he is similar to the hypocrite [Just as the hypocrite gives the outward appearance of Islam while harbouring disbelief and hatred in his heart, the two-faced person gives the outward appearance of love, fealty and reparation while harbouring the desire to cause hatred and division in his heart], using cajolery and lying to create fasad (corruption) between the people.’
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls [and from our bad deeds]. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, [alone and without any partner] and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Ali Imran 3:102]
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you).” [Al-Nisa’ 4:1]
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [Al-Ahzab 33:70-71]
Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. As to what proceeds:
Dear brothers and sisters! It was related by Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Indeed the worst of the people are the two-faced, those who go to one group of people with one face and a different group with another.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
In his explanation of this narration, Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) says:
“Imam Al-Qurtubi stated, ‘Indeed the one who is two-faced is the worst of the people because he is similar to the hypocrite [Just as the hypocrite gives the outward appearance of Islam while harbouring disbelief and hatred in his heart, the two-faced person gives the outward appearance of love, fealty and reparation while harbouring the desire to cause hatred and division in his heart], using cajolery and lying to create fasad (corruption) between the people.'”
Imam An-Nawawi said:
“He is the one who goes to each group of people with that which will please them, so he gives them the impression that he is with them and against the other group, and his action is that of hypocrisy, lying, deceit and using trickery to uncover the secrets of each group; and it is from the prohibited sycophancy.’” [Fathul Bari, vol. 10 page 475]
Also, in his book Az-Zawajir, Imam Al-Haithami (rahimahullah) considers the two-faced person from the people of major sin. He states that:
“The Two-hundred and Fifty-third (253) Major Sin: the speech of the fork-tongued, i.e. the two-faced, who has no regard with Allah.” [Az-Zawajir, vol. 2 page 574-576]
In another wording of the narration, Ammar Ibn Yasir (RA) related that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever had two-faces in the worldly life will have two tongues of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Dawud and Al-Albani in Al-Silsilah as-Sahiha no. 992]
Azim Abadi (rahimahullah) says:
“Al-Alqami stated that: ‘This means that since he came to each group with different faces to cause corruption, he will be given two tongues of fire like the two tongues he had with each group in the worldly life.’” [Awn al-Ma’bud Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud, vol. 13 page 150]
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Muslims to be wary of those who carry other people’s speech to them, “So and so said such and such about you,” only to turn around and take the second party’s speech back to the first. For how many close companions and friends have been turned into enemies and much rancour has replaced love among us as a result of such machinations? And if these provocateurs truly understood what awaited them from punishment and humiliation, perhaps it would cause them to turn to Allah in penitence and repair the bonds their whispers have destroyed. I ask Allah Azza Wajal, the Mighty and Majestic, to give us protection from the two-faced people and to unite our hearts upon Islam and Sunnah.
I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Qur’an and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.
O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.
Dear brothers and sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Sermon is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and I seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.
May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.
With this I conclude my Sermon and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is All-forgiving, Most Merciful.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 9, 1440 AH (July 12, 2019).