Allah’s Judgement Between the Believers & Hypocrites – Ibn Al Qayyim
Allaah (The Most High) said:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ
And when it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers.’’
Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not. [2:11-12]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:
This dispute took place between the believers and the hypocrites; the believers said to them, “Do not cause corruption in the earth” but the hypocrites replied to them with the statement, ‘’We are peacemakers’’. So it seemed as if the dispute between the two parties has ended and the hypocrites have (effectively refuted) the believers’ claim that they are corrupters, rather they are peacemakers and not corrupters. Then Allaah (The All-Mighty, The All-Wise) passed a judgement between the two parties and established four proofs against the hypocrites: firstly, Allaah declared them liars; secondly, Allaah informed us that they are corrupters; thirdly, Allaah specifically described them as corrupters by saying, ‘’Verily! They are the ones who make mischief’’; fourthly Allaah described them as extremely ignorant people because they do not perceive at all that they are corrupters.
In Ayahs 11-12, Allaah stated that they do not perceive; then after that Allaah informed us that they (hypocrites) do not know because they said: [أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ – Shall we believe as the fools have believed?] So Allaah declared them to be a people who do not know, saying: [أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ – Verily, they are the fools, but they know not. (2:13)]
Allaah stated that they do not have knowledge due to their foolishness and lack of perception. This is severe dispraise and ignorance that a man is a corrupter but he does not perceive that at all, even though the effects of his corruption is apparent and visible to the slaves of Allaah, but he does not perceive it. This shows the severity of the corruption in his perception and the paths through which he attains knowledge.
Also he is a foolish person and foolishness is extreme ignorance. Foolishness is a lack of having knowledge of what will rectify one’s worldly affairs, his afterlife and intensions, so if it is the case that he is in such a state, whilst being unaware of it, then he is from the most wretched of human beings. Allaah stated that they (hypocrites) do not know due to their foolishness, so this necessitates that they are ignorant. And Allaah stated that they do not perceive due to the fact that they do not realise their corrupt state of affairs, so this shows the corrupt ways by way of which they seek understanding. The two verses (Al-Baqarah Ayaat 11-12) establish the fact that they are ignorant and that they have a corrupt perception, so they believe that corruption is rectification and that evil is something good.
[Source: Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim’ Vol 1 page 97; abridged and slightly paraphrased]