Since Muhammad saw days, there were already a number of Muslims led by Abdullah bin Ubai of this character. It was reported that Abdullah b Ubai even pray immediately behind Muhammad saw but committed numerous actions against the teaching of Islam.
AlQuran descibed in length about hypocrites and those verses about hypocrisy are not meant only to those people of the time of Muhammad saw, but to the Muslims of the day and the future. They shall exist in any ages.
Hypocrisy is a big sin in Islam and hypocrites shall be punished severely by Allah and their place shall at the deepest part of the hell. ISLAM taught us not to be hypocrites but still there are Muslims who are hypocrites. There many reasons to it and it needs a very long and detail discussion.
This is one of the problems facing the Muslims today especially those who are the leaders, who possessed the power and the influences but unfortunately they are Muslims.
To Non-Muslims, please do not take Islam in a very negative perspective. Islam is the teaching but Muslims is the practitioners. Like any other teachings they are always open for misinterpretation, miss practice and wrongly understood. Worst they are abused for their own overly self interest.
Every human is given a piece of brain which is much bigger in capacity than animal. A brain alone is not enough for a human to develop so God attached into us another component called LUST. Lust that make us desirous to survive and they are limitless. But the magical thing about our creation, there is another part called HEART. The brain and the heart work hand in hand to control the lust. The brain and the heart need the guide on how to control. So Allah gives us the guide through the Prophet Muhammad saw and later compiled into what we see the Book of AlQuran. This is just to simplify for the basic understanding how Islam came into teachings and guidances to mankind on how to live in this world. The details need an in-depth exploration of Islamic teaching itself.
So in relation to hypocrites, these are the Muslims who are fulfilling their worldly limitless lust or desire through manipulation of the Islamic teaching. They are those who are not fear Allah swt. They may be seemed to be fearing Allah swt by their speeches, by their actions or by their attires but deep in their heart the feel of fear just not there. They are deceiving not Allah swt but themselves.These are people who are actually ruling the Muslims world today and causing a very negative image of Islam in the eyes of the Non Muslims.
Al-Munafiqoon, Verse 1-4
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 indeed are speaking falsely. (1) 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, (2) That is because they believed, then disbelieved, therefore their hearts are sealed so that they understand not. (3) 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. They deem every shout to be against them. They are the enemy, so beware of them. Allah confound them! How they are perverted! (4)