BE­WARE OF THE ‘MUNAFIK’

They ex­ist in var­i­ous spheres of our lives

New Straits Times - - OPINION - Azu­raa@nstp.com.my

HYPOCRISY. What does it mean? Some say it in­volves those who do not por­tray their true selves. Oth­ers say they are worse than mur­der­ers.

Me? I opt for the dic­tio­nary mean­ing or look at it from a Malaysian Malay Mus­lim point of view.

So I grab my sweater and head to the cinema. Bought a ticket to watch Munafik 2 since its pro­ducer, Syam­sul Yu­sof, said he had in­jected el­e­ments of re­al­ism in the film.

Yes, it is an Is­lamic hor­ror flick with the main theme about hypocrites, or the Malay term, “munafik”.

The hypocrites in the movie range from the ob­vi­ous vil­lain by the name of Abu Jar, who openly dis­plays his hypocrisy to the pro­tag­o­nist’s best friend of 10 years. The mes­sage in the movie is so clear: Be­ware of the munafik. They can be any­one.

In Is­lam, the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a hyp­ocrite in­clude ly­ing when­ever he speaks, not ful­fill­ing prom­ises and be­tray­ing trust.

Prophet Muham­mad once said: “The worst peo­ple in the sight of Al­lah on the Day of Res­ur­rec­tion will be the dou­ble faced peo­ple who ap­pear to some peo­ple with one face and to other peo­ple with an­other face.”

I be­lieve other faiths, too, have their views on hypocrites.

I am not an ex­pert in the field of com­par­a­tive reli­gion — I dare not say more on things that I am not fa­mil­iar with. But if we look at hypocrites from a gen­eral per­spec­tive, many of us have in our life­time come across these two-faced peo­ple. They ex­ist in var­i­ous spheres of our lives and we can even find them in our own fam­i­lies. De­press­ing though it may sound, that is the re­al­ity.

So­ci­ol­o­gists de­fine hypocrisy as not putting into prac­tice what one has preached, not walk­ing the talk or pub­licly de­pict­ing one­self as a guardian of moral norms for oth­ers to em­u­late, but vi­o­lat­ing them in pri­vate.

Based on what has been high­lighted in the me­dia or cy­ber­world, much has been said about po­lit­i­cal hypocrisy. So I shall not go into that. One area that I would like to high­light is the im­pact of hypocrisy at work­places.

The late man­age­ment guru and au­thor Stephen Covey once said: “What you do has far greater im­pact than what you say.”

Re­searchers have dis­cov­ered that Covey’s words are not mere ad­vice, but are a warn­ing to man­agers and or­gan­i­sa­tions on the im­por­tance of lead­ers walk­ing the talk.

In the Jour­nal of Man­age­ment, many re­searchers, in­clud­ing R.L. Green­baum, M. Bardes Mawritz and R.F. Pic­colo, have taken a closer look on the is­sues of hypocrisy and its im­pact.

The man­age­ment ex­perts have listed some back­lash to hypocrisy in work­places, such as em­ploy­ees feel­ing un­happy be­cause they feel they have been treated un­fairly. They also listed some traits of su­per­vi­sors who en­gage in “be­lit­tling em­ploy­ees and spread­ing ru­mours”.

Other re­searchers also stress the im­por­tance of trust and the im­pact of dis­trust in or­gan­i­sa­tions. They say since hyp­o­crit­i­cal be­hav­iours can de­stroy or­gan­i­sa­tional trust, such be­hav­iours have to be care­fully ex­am­ined and pre­vented.

Af­ter watch­ing Munafik 2 ,I learnt other things from it aside from the dan­ger posed by hypocrites. I will not delve too deeply into the film — I do not want to spoil it for oth­ers who have not seen it. But some ex­am­ples are worth men­tion­ing.

One should care­fully oil the hinges of all the win­dows and doors in a house. The mere creak­ing sound of rusty hinges scares the be­je­sus out of me.

An­other is to pay the elec­tric­ity bill on time. I do not want to be caught in the dark for too long af­ter all the jump scares I’ve had to en­dure through­out the movie. The scary scenes usu­ally hap­pen in poorly lit and dark places.

Lastly, the onus is on the per­son to take the nec­es­sary steps to be closer to God. The main hero of the movie, Us­taz Adam, said the steps were through “so­lat (pray­ing), su­jud (pros­tra­tion), taha­jjud (night prayer) and doa (prayer or in­vo­ca­tion)”.

Have a good Sun­day, peo­ple. And watch out for the munafik.

So­ci­ol­o­gists de­fine hypocrisy as not putting into prac­tice what one has preached, not walk­ing the talk or pub­licly de­pict­ing one­self as a guardian of moral norms for oth­ers to em­u­late, but vi­o­lat­ing them in pri­vate.

With more than 20 years in jour­nal­ism and a masters in Coun­selling Psy­chol­ogy, the writer is al­ways drawn to the mys­tery of the hu­man mind and be­hav­iours

FILE PIC

Film pro­ducer Syam­sul Yu­sof stand­ing next to a poster of his movie, ‘Munafik 2’, which earned RM40 mil­lion at the box of­fice just 17 days into its re­lease, mak­ing it the num­ber one lo­cal film in Malaysia.

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