Hypocrites present an outward appearance of belief in Allah, his Angels, his books, his messengers, the last day, etc. while concealing within that which negates all or some of that. This is the hypocrisy which Rasulullah ﷺ confronted during his life and the ones who Allah said in the Qur’an that they are in “the lowest depth of hell-fire”.
According to Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
“The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he speaks lies, when he promises he breaks his promise and when he is entrusted he betrays the trust.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
In another narration from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr, a fourth sign of hypocrisy is mentioned, “If he argues, he becomes immoral.” (Saheh Bukhari, vol. 1, Pp. 31-32 Hadith no. 33 and Saheh Muslim, vol. 1, p. 40, Hadith no. 111.)
In the Quran Allah says:
“ O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed. They swear by Allah that they said nothing (evil), but indeed they uttered blasphemy, and they did it after accepting Islam; and they meditated a plot which they were unable to carry out: this revenge of theirs was (their) only return for the bounty with which Allah and His Messenger had enriched them! If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back (to their evil ways), Allah will punish them with a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter: They shall have none on earth to protect or help them. Among them are men who made a covenant with Allah, that if He bestowed on them of His bounty, they would give (largely) in charity, and be truly among those who are righteous But when He did bestow of His bounty, they became covetous, and turned back (from their covenant), averse (from its fulfillment). So He hath put as a consequence hypocrisy into their hearts, (to last) till the Day, whereon they shall meet Him: because they broke their covenant with Allah, and because they lied (again and again).”
Surah At-Taubah9: 73-77 (False oaths, breaking promises (to Allah), lying)
Abdullah bin Salul was the biggest hypocrite in Medina. He betrayed the Muslims and the Prophet ﷺ many times. He was a hypocrite in faith and thus, he was a kafir. A person who has one of the four characteristic of a hypocrite is not an absolute hypocrite, but has traits of hypocricy; thus, he is a hypocrite in action.
A person who commits all the acts mentioned in the hadith above, continually and habitually, is considered out-and-out hypocrite. Ibn Umar (Radiyalahu Anhum) said that the Prophet ﷺ said, “The aspects of a hypocrite, whoever has all these qualities in them, is purely a munafiq (hypocrite). And whoever has one, has an aspect of nifaq (hypocrisy) until he leaves it.”..
Allah knows best
‘O Allah! We seek your refuge from quarreling, hypocrisy and bad manners’ we seek your refuge from going astray or being led astray, from slipping or someone causing us to slip, from oppressing or being oppressed, from being ignorant or ignorance being shown to us’