It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.”.
Hypocrisy is of two types: hypocrisy of belief, which takes a person beyond the bounds of faith, and means pretending outwardly to be Muslim whilst concealing disbelief in one’s heart; and hypocrisy in deed, which means imitating the hypocrites in their manners and attitudes. The latter does not take a person beyond the bounds of faith, but it is a major sin.
In this hadith, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) discussed hypocrisy in deed, and described its distinguishing features. He said that among the signs of hypocrisy in deed, which indicate that this person resembles the hypocrites in their actions and attitudes, you will find these three signs, or some of them. The first sign is that when he speaks he lies, to the extent that this person becomes known for telling lies when he speaks. The second sign is that when he makes a promise he breaks it, meaning that he becomes well-known for breaking his promises, so that if he promises to do something, he deliberately breaks that promise. The third sign is that when he is entrusted with something, he betrays that trust, meaning that he becomes well-known among people for treachery. The things that are mentioned here all stem from one source, namely hypocrisy, which is contrary to honesty and sincerity, the opposite of fulfilling promises, and is contrary to trustworthiness. What is meant in this hadith is that these characteristics are the characteristics of hypocrisy, and the one who possesses these characteristics is like the hypocrites in this regard and has an attitude like theirs. It does not mean that he is a hypocrite in the sense that he pretends to be a Muslim whilst in his heart he is a disbeliever. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did not mean that he is a hypocrite like the disbelievers who will abide forever in the lowest levels of Hell.
This hadith points out the blameworthy characteristics of hypocrisy in order to alert people and warn them against falling into that..