Undoubtedly this is a problem from which the ummah suffers from time to time, especially when it is faced with trials and tribulations and these hypocrites feel secure and feel that they will not be punished if they attack the foundations of this religion and try to spread division and tribulation.
Undoubtedly the damage that these people do is greater than that caused by the kuffaar whose kufr is obvious, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“They are the enemies, so beware of them. May Allaah curse them! How are they denying (or deviating from) the Right Path?”
Because of that, it is prescribed to wage jihad against them and to treat them harshly.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said concerning the Nusayris, among whom were some who expressed their kufr and heresy openly and others who made a hypocritical show of loving Ahl al-Bayt (the members of the Prophet’s household):
Undoubtedly waging jihad against these people and carrying out the hadd punishments against them is one of the greatest acts of obedience and most important obligatory actions. It is better than waging jihad against those mushrikeen and people of the Book who do not fight the Muslims, for waging jihad against these comes under the same heading as waging jihad against the apostates. Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq and all the Sahaabah started with jihad against the apostates before they engaged in jihad against the kuffaar of the people of the Book, for jihad against these (the apostates) is a means to protect the lands that are already under Muslim rule, and to deter anyone who wants to apostatize. Jihad against the mushrikeen and people of the Book who are not fighting us is an additional manifestation of the power of this religion. Protecting the capital takes precedence over making profit.
Moreover the harm that these people (hypocrites) cause to the Muslims is greater than that caused by others (kaafirs), indeed their harm is like that caused by the mushrikeen and people of the Book who fight the Muslims. The damage that they do to the religious commitment of many people is worse than the damage done by those mushrikeen and people of the Book who wage war on us. Every Muslim must do as much as he can of his duty. It is not permissible for anyone to keep quiet about anything that he knows about them, rather he must broadcast it so that the Muslims will know what they really are. It is not permissible for anyone to help them to remain among the troops and government employees, or for anyone to keep quiet and refrain from carrying out against them that which Allaah and His Messenger have enjoined. It is not permissible for anyone to speak against carrying out what Allaah and His Messenger have enjoined. This is one of the greatest types of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, and of striving in jihad for the sake of Allaah. Allaah said to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet (Muhammad)! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them”
These people are included in this phrase “the disbelievers and the hypocrites”.
The one who helps to put a stop to their evil and to guide them as much as he can will have of reward that which is known only to Allaah, for the primary purpose is to guide them as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind”
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:110]
Abu Hurayrah said: You are the best of people for people, you bring them in chains and fetters until they enter Islam. (al-Bukhaari, 4557).
The purpose of jihad and of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, is to guide people to what is best for them in this world and in the Hereafter, as much as possible; then whomsoever Allaah guides will find happiness in this world and in the Hereafter, and whomsoever He does not guide, his evil will be contained.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 35/159-160
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The Muslim ummah must respond in kind when it is attacked. So with regard to those who fight Islam with ideas and words, we must explain the falseness of what they say using rational evidence as well as shar’i evidence, so that the falseness of what they say will become apparent.
With regard to those who fight Islam by economic means, we must ward them off and attack them if possible, by using the same means with which they attack Islam. We must explain that the best way to strengthen the economy in a just manner is the Islamic way.
With regard to those who attack Islam with weapons, we must resist them in a similar fashion. Hence Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet (Muhammad)! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them, their abode is Hell, — and worst indeed is that destination”
It is well known that jihad against the hypocrites is not like jihad against the kuffaar, because jihad against the hypocrites is fought with knowledge and argument, whilst jihad against the kuffaar is fought with swords and arrows.
Fataawa ‘Ulama’ al-Balad al-Haraam, p. 1733.