As-Salāmu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakathuhu

May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of God be upon you beautiful people

"Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [Qur'an 17:81]

Saturday, 28 May 2011

What is Taqiyya?

The Anti-Muslim demagogues love to talk about this weird, so called, rule that permits Muslims to lie to spread Islam. I had never even heard of it until I was accused of it by someone in a discussion once. The basic idea, according to them, is that if any Muslim ever denies being a blood thirsty lunatic engaged in perpetual war against the West, they must be lying. Muslims are simply presumed guilty, and if we profess innocence that is only further evidence of our guilt.

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 Islamophobes 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 Encyclopaedia 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.” [1]

“Taqiyyah (From the root word waqa “to safeguard”; “self-protection” and hence “dissimulation [in order to protect oneself]”).” [2]

So, taqiyyah (takiya, taqiyya) is concerning dissimulation due to force – i.e. when an individual is forced to conceal.

Sadly, Islamophobes – in order to obtain an unchecked platform and/or demonise 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 hidjra [emigration] if the compulsion remains within the endurable limits, as in the case of temporary imprisonment or flogging which does not result in death” [1]

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.” [2]

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, everyday fibs here, 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.” [1]

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. [1] [3]

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”. [3]

“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” [3]

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”.” [3]

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. "[2]

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. [1]

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” [1]

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. [1]

Taqiyyah (From the root word waqa “to safeguard”; “self-protection” and hence “dissimulation [in order to protect oneself]”). [2]

Lying about the Prophet Muhammad (p)

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) [4]

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. [5]

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


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.

If you do encounter an anti-Muslim bigot on the internet crying “taqiyya” (there are plenty about), please do send him/her to this group to be educated


[1] Article by R. Strothmann, Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers, Fourth impression, 1995, E.J. Brill Leiden. New York. Koln p. 561 - 562
[2] The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, Revised Edition, Cyril Glasse, Stacey International, 2001, p450-451.

[3] Men and Women around the Messenger, Sa’d Yusuf Abu ‘Aziz, Translated by Suleman Fulani, Darussalam, 2009, p. 286-287

[4] Reliance of the Traveller, Translated by Nuh Hamim Keller – Amana Publications, 2008, r8.0, p 747

[5] Muhammad, Messenger of Allah – Ash Shifa of Qadi Iyad, translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley, Madinah Press, 2004, p. 387


Kyle said...

Isaiah 59:13 rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
Mark 8:38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Luke 12:9 But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.
2 Timothy 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

Anonymous said...

There's no conflict when one separates the heart from the tongue.

Anonymous said...

When i heard about the word "Taqiyya" being used to describe the process in which a Muslim lied about his religion to a non Muslims I was generally confused I was like 'huh?' Never heard such a thing seeing as we must speak the truth all the time even about our religion. So I searched it up and realized that this form of lying and misguidance was generally been produced by anti-islamic bigotries and Islamphobes trying to hurt Islam. Until I came across this article which explained a lot and even went and did some more research on the topic of what 'taqiyya' is and found out that what your saying is true.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this write-up, brother! I too was accused of "using Taqiyya" in my arguments - despite never having heard of it before (and also having no reason to lie...)

This article helped a lot.

Siv-Ingvild Thirud said...

I played online wargame, and I had muslims in my aliance. They told me to be more wise, and to say what is nescesary to get what I want. Say one thing to one player, and something else to another.... in my mind, that is lying. Maybe I will never be as good player as them, but I will always have my honour and my conscience. To me, that is more important

Rise From The West said...

@Siv-Ingvild Thirud; Muslims are like all people some practise their religion well, some don't. Just because some Muslims told you to lie while playing does not mean that Islam teaches that. I wish people would understand this. It's as if Islam is the only religion on the Earth where the whole religion is judged according to its followers.

Anonymous said...

@Rise From The West: It's also worth noting that Siv-Ingvild Thirud's story is totally unverifiable. You find that a lot of Islamphobes come up with this kind of anecdotal evidence (calling such stories 'evidence', is pretty generous imo) when their arguments are disproven, it's quite pathetic really.

I'm a Christian btw, and I enjoy this blog :)

Thomas said...

This says there is NO place at all in Islam for Taqiyya:

Anonymous said...

Firstly, There is no such thing as "Islamophobia". In fact it is impossible, as true phobias are based on irrational and unfounded fears.

Secondly, the word "Islamophobia" is a term of bigotry used solely for the deliberate purpose of insulting non-Muslims.

I noticed that you made sure to use the term "Islamophobe(s)" at least 10 times in your posting.

If one wanted to be bigoted, rude and disrespectful like you, they could just as easily state that humanity is extremely concerned with the creation of Allah's messenger, INFIDELPHOBIA!!

Biddy said...

^ to anon above. Maybe the author (like myself) does consider fear of Islam to be irrational and unfounded - therfore the use of 'phobia' correctly applies

Anonymous said...

Biddy, what is it about 9/11/2001, perpetrated in the name of Islam, that makes fear of Muslims irrational and unfounded?

Erik Kilpatrick said...

I'm pretty sure your fellow Muslims cut heads off of non-followers... You are indoctrinated to believe yours is the only religion worthy of god and "infidels" must convert or die. There is no separation of Religion, Government and Military in Islam. There is no such thing as Human Rights. Your "religion" allows women to be treated like property. How is any of this JUST in the eyes of God? YOU may not believe Islam is evil because taqiyya has been used on good people for Centuries to mask the corrupt intentions of your "messenger". Just take a look at your reward for entering your heaven... perverted!