عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: «مَثَلُ الْمُنَافِقِ، كَمَثَلِ الشَّاةِ الْعَائِرَةِ بَيْنَ الْغَنَمَيْنِ تَعِيرُ إِلَى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً وَإِلَى هَذِهِ مَرَّةً».
[صحيح] - [رواه مسلم]
المزيــد ...

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The hypocrite is like an ewe which goes to and fro between two flocks: going once to the one and another time to the other."
Sahih/Authentic. - [Muslim]

Explanation

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) provided a parable in which he likened the hypocrite to an hesitant ewe that does not know which of the two flocks it should follow. It goes to one flock one time and to the other flock another time. A similar meaning occurs in the verse that says: {Wavering in between, neither belonging to these [believers], nor to those [disbelievers]} [Surat an-Nisā': 143]. It means that the hypocrites are torn between belief and disbelief. They are not with the believers inwardly and outwardly, neither are they with the disbelievers inwardly and outwardly. Rather, they are outwardly with the believers and inwardly with the disbelievers. Some of them may have doubts, which make them incline to the believers at times and to the disbelievers at other times.

Translation:
View Translations
1: The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would provide parables to make meanings clearer and easier to understand.
2: The Hadīth highlights the hypocrites' hesitancy, doubt, and instability.
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