It was related by Abū Hurayrah (radhi Allaahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allāh (sallallaahu aaihi wa sallam) 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.” Collected by al-Bukhārī in his al-Saheeh(no. 3232, 5719 and 6765) and Muslim in his al-Saheeh(no. 4566, 4693 and 4694)
In his explanation of this narration, al-Hāfiz Ibn Hajr (rahimahullaah) says, “al-Qurtub stated,
‘Indeed the one who is two-faced is the worst of the people because he is similar to the hypocrite, using cajolery and lying to create fasād (corruption) between the people.’
A two-faced person is one who comes to people with one appearance, which is beautiful. Whereas he holds grudge and envy towards them in his heart. A hypocrite gives the appearance of a believer whereas in his heart he is a disbeliever. Just like a person may give an outward appearance of loving Islam when in his heart, there is only disbelief.
‘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.’” Fath al-Bārī (10/475)
Hence a believer must always be cautious of what he speaks and how he conducts himself with other people as if he is a two-faced person, there is hypocrisy in his heart and Allah does not like Hypocrite.
Also, in his book al-Zawājir, Al-Haythamī(rahimahullaah) considers the two-faced person from the people of major sin. He states,
“The Two-hundred and Fifty-third Major Sin: the speech of the fork-tongued, i.e. the two-faced, who has no regard with Allāh.” al-Zawājir(2/574-576)
In another wording of the narration, ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir(radhi Allaahu anhu) related that the Messenger of Allāh (sallallaahu aaihi wa sallam) said,
“Whoever had two-faces in the worldly life will have two tongues of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” Collected by Abū Dāwud in his Sunan(no. 4212). It has been authenticated by al-Albānī in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (no.992)
The punishment for the one who is hypocrite is very severe. Hypocrisy includes in it number of sins which harm people, some of those are deceit, cheating, telling lies, selfishness and meanness, breaking promises and disregard for others. Hypocrite causes corruption on land and dispute among people.
Azīm Ābadī(rahimahullaah) says: “Al-‘Alqamī stated:
‘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’b ū d Sharḥ Sunan Abū Dāwud (13/150)
Therefore, for a believer it is important to maintain his conduct and be wary of what he does in his daily life. How he meets and greets peoples. Believers must self-introspect and try to get rid of any habit that may lead him to hypocrisy.
A believer must not indulge in gossips and backbiting as they too are bases of this evil and avoid carrying people’s speeches to other people. Like someone said “So and so said such and such about you,” only to turn around and take the second party’s speech back to the first.
My dear brothers and sisters, protect yourself from the humiliation and punishment on the day of judgement from the evil of hypocrisy.
We ask Allāh (azzawajal), the Mighty and Majestic, to give us protection from the two-faced and to unite our hearts upon Islām and Sunnah.