What is Taqiyya in Islam? Can Muslims Lie?

First of all It should be fairly clear to any rational being that lying to spread a religion is nonsensical. If I lie to you about what Islam is and you convert I haven't spread Islam because what you have accepted was a lie. These constant stream of Islamophobics carping on about how Muslims are allowed to lie to non-Muslims whilst appealing to something called “taqiyyah” (also spelled, “takiya” and “taqiyya”) also end up convincing the average joe non Muslim about this myth.

Rather than relying on shoddy hate sites/Christian missionaries to educate us about taqiyyah we shall rely on SCHOLARLY authority – largely in the form of R. Strothmann’s relevant section in “Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam” (by H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers) and Cyril Glasse’s Concise Encyclopedia of Islam.

What is “Taqiyyah”, “Takiya”, “Taqiyya”?

This term is spelt variously; “taqiyyah”, “takiya” or “taqiyya”.

“Takiya (A.), caution, fear (see glossarium to Tabari S.V. T-K-A) pr kitman, “disguise” is the technical term for dispensation from the requirements of religion under compulsion or threat of injury.” “Taqiyyah (From the root word waqa “to safeguard”; “self-protection” and hence “dissimulation [in order to protect oneself]”).” So, taqiyyah (takiya, taqiyya) is concerning dissimulation due to force – i.e. when an individual is forced to conceal.

Sadly, Islamophobic – in order to obtain an unchecked platform and/or demonize Muslims – have misapplied this term in their exaggerated claims of “Muslims are allowed to lie to the unbelievers”.

At what level of force is Takiya (Taqiyyah, Taqiya) justified?

“But an individual is not justified in takiya nor bound to higjra [emigration] if the compulsion remains within the endurable limits, as in the case of temporary imprisonment or flogging which does not result in death”

So, this make a mockery of the Islamophobes’ general suggestions of “Muslims are allowed to lie to the unbelievers” as even under threat of imprisonment and flogging Muslims are not justified in takiya. The level of force which justifies oneself in takiya is that of an unbearable level.

Takiya (taqiyya, taqiyyah) and the type of lies…

One may ask, what type of “disguise” is allowed under takiya (taqiyyah, taqiyya)?

Let’s be clear about takiya (taqiyyah, taqiyya); “The principle of dissimulation of one’s religious beliefs in order to avoid persecution or imminent harm, where no useful purpose would be served by publicly affirming them.”

So takiya (taqiyyah, taqiyya) is not used to convert folk to Islam nor is it used in Islamic text books or anything of such a nature. It is simply a form of concealment used to avoid persecution!

For further clarity, we are not talking about general, thus the ethical question of dishonesty is bypassed:

“The ethical question whether such forced lies are nevertheless lies, such a forced denial of the faith nevertheless a denial, is not put at all by one “who conceal himself” as he is not in a state of confidence which would be broken by lies or denial.”

Sadly, our Islamophobic counterparts attempt to convince the gullible that takiya (taqiyyah, taqiyya) allows Muslims to lie (or conceal) about aspects of their faith (Islam) as well as lie in general.

Famous case of Taqiyyah (Taqiyya, Takiya)

A common example of takiya (taqiyyah, taqiya) involves a Muslim (Ammar B. Yasir, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, p) being forced to worship idols and insult the Prophet of Islam.

The level of force the polytheists applied on Ammar bin Yasir can be imagined by Amr bin Maymoon’s statement, “The polytheists tortured Ammar with fire”.
“Abu Ubaydah bin Muhammad bin Ammar bin Yasir said: The polytheists seized Ammar and they did not let him off until he was forced to insult the Messenger of Allah and say good things about their deities”

Ammar bin Yasir told Prophet Muhammad (p) of what he was forced to say.

“The Prophet (p) said: “Say it again if they ask (i.e. force) you to do so”.”

So, in order to avoid such torture the Prophet allowed Ammar bin Yasir to use “taqiyya”

If Jesus (pbuh) had done the same, our Christian friends would have lauded it as an act of piety and mercy. Instead we see Islamophobes exaggerating this form of concealment in order to demonise Muslims. It’s a crazy old world!

Taqiyyah and the Shi’ites (Shia)

"It is, however, associated most closely with the Shi’ites who practiced taqiyyah systematically and widely during periods of Sunni domination to hide their beliefs from Sunni Muslims. "

Obviously, if these Shi’ites felt they would have been persecuted for publicly announcing their shia beliefs, one can understand why they concealed (used taqiyya) their beliefs.

Is taqiyyah allowed in the Quran?

Our Islamophobic friends jump up and down in joy whilst proclaiming taqiyyah (taqiyya, takiya) is allowed in the Quran. Let’s analyse (via scholarship) the two Verses they cite.

Quran 16:106 and taqiyyah (taqiyya, takiya)?

Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief - save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with the Faith - but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: On them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. [Pikthal translation of the Quran 16:106]

The reason for this verse is unanimously said to have been the case of Ammar b. Yasir, whose conscience was set at rest by this revelation when he was worried about his forced worshipping of idols and objurgation of the Prophet.

The story of Ammar bin Yassir is relayed earlier (see above).

Tabari says on Sura 16:106 (Tafsir, Bulak 1323 sqq.24.122): If any one is compelled and professes unbelief with his tongue, while his heart contradicts him, to escape his enemies, no blame falls him on him, because God takes his servants as their hearts believe”

The Quran’s (16:106) allowance of uttering disbelief whilst under extreme force is hardly justification for the outrageous smears the Islamophobes propagate.

Quran 3:28 and taqiyyah (taqiyya, takiya)?

Let not the believers take disbelievers for their guardians in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying. [Pikthal translation of the Quran 3:28]

This Verse instructs Muslims to not take the unbelievers as patrons over the believers but does allow for this in the case of fear. Tuqatan is used here (a verbal noun of taqiyyah). Tafsir Jalalayn explains:

“unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqātan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts” [Tafsir Jalalayn – 3:28]

It is hardly something Islamophobes can latch onto as evidence for their demonization of Muslims as this Verse allows concealment (taqiyyah, taqiyya, takiya) in the case of fear (i.e. to avoid persecution). We are essentially back to where we started as initially stated on taqiyyah:

Takiya (A.), caution, fear (see glossarium to Tabari S.V. T-K-A) pr kitman, “disguise” is the technical term for dispensation from the requirements of religion under compulsion or threat of injury.

Taqiyyah (From the root word waqa “to safeguard”; “self-protection” and hence “dissimulation [in order to protect oneself]”).

Lying about the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H)

Islamophobes, in an attempt to obtain an unchecked platform, do suggest Muslims misinform (“use taqiyya”) about the Prophet Muhammad (p). This is an utter absurdity as it is a grave sin for a Muslim to misinform about the Prophet Muhammad as the Prophet stated:

“Whoever lies about me intentionally shall take a place for himself in hell” (al-Adhkar (y102), 510-12)

In fact, presenting misinformation about the Prophet (p) was considered an extreme offense amongst early Muslim communities:

Habib ibn ar-Rabi’ said that it is disbelief to alter his [Prophet Muhammad’s] description and its details. The one who does that openly is an unbeliever. He is asked to repent.

So much for the Islamophobes claims of “Muslims using taqiyyah” regarding Prophet Muhammad (p).

Conclusion: Taqiyyah (taqiya, takiya) is not something to be writing home about. To use this practice to brandish Muslims as untrustworthy (or to demonise them) is unscholarly and unjust.

No comments