Surah al-Munafiqun is the sixty-first surah of the Qur’an and is comprised of eleven verses. All of the commentators of the Qur’an are certain that it was revealed in Medina. The subject matter of the surah proves that it was revealed in Medina, since it describes the state of the hypocrites.
This treacherous gang was formed when the Prophet migrated to Medina. The reasons for this will be explained later. Before the migration there was no mention of hypocrites at all. These hypocrites were an unhappy, disbelieving minority who pretended to be Muslim out of tear of the majority. Their hearts remained firm in disbelief. Their outward appearances were different from their inward beliefs. This phenomenon occurred only when the Muslims were in Medina.
A number of important verses in the Qur’an refer to the hypocrites. These verses discuss their history, the forms of sabotage they undertook and theserious harm that they forced the Muslims to endure. These verses can be found in the following surahs: Al ‛Imran, Nisa', Ma'dah, Infal, Tawbah, ‛Ankabut, Ahzab, Muhammad, Fath, Mujadilah, Hadid, Hashr and the surah under discussion. It would be a great help to Islam if all of the verses regarding hypocrites were gathered, and the time and reasons for their revelation were investigated. This study would be helpful and beneficial if it were well-organized and written as a single report.
It is up to those who love the Qur’an and the history of Islam to write about the social topics discussed in the Qur’an, such as the topic of hypocrisy. It is up to them, also, to write in a way that is interesting for the people of the present age. It is up to them to relate the hypocrites of yesterday to the hypocrites of today and their plans in order to shed light on the hypocrites' plans in both ages.
This study would be similar to a subject-based exegesis (tafsir mudhu'i) of the glorious Qur’an, but it is only a small part of the Qur’anic subjects that should be discussed. Most topics have not been discussed properly. Whenever a scholar writes about hypocrisy or any other Qur’anic theme he has paid his debt to the Qur’an.
The author is hopeful, with the greace of Allah, that as long as a studious atmosphere is available in places such as Qom, a small part of this duty will be achieved.