Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of The Glorious Koran. An Explanatory Translation (1930)
Al-Munâfiqûn, “The Hypocrites,” takes its name from a word occurring in the first verse. V. 8 refers to a remark of Abdullah ibn Ubeyy, the “Hypocrite” leader, expressing the desire that the old aristocracy of Yathrib, of which he had been the acknowledged chief, might regain the ascendancy and turn out the refugees from Mecca, whom he regarded as intruders.
The date of revelation is the fourth year of the Hijrah.
1. When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad), they say: We bear witness that thou art indeed Allah’s messenger. And Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the Hypocrites are speaking falsely.
2. They make their faith a pretext so that they may turn (men) from the way of Allah. Verily evil is that which they are wont to do,
3. That is because they believed, then disbelieved, therefore their hearts are sealed so that they understand not.
4. And when thou seest them their figures please thee; and if they speak thou givest ear unto their speech. (They are) as though, they were blocks of wood in striped cloaks.1 They deem every shout to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. Allah confound them! How they are perverted!
1 Or propped-up Hocks of wood.