Nuances of Taqiyya

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Al, Nuances of Taqiyya

This is a three-part explanation of the nuances of taqiyya.


al-Taqiyya/Dissimulation (Part I)

Assallamu `Alaykum,

Today, I would like to present the concept of “al-Taqiyya” in the
following exposition. This topic is as thorny as previous ones have
been, and many people have experienced great difficulty in trying to
understand it. I pray to Allah (SWT) that this discussion will help loosen
some of the intellectual rust that has accumulated over the years in many
peoples’ minds. The interminable negative propaganda that people are
bombarded with on a daily basis serves to nurture feelings of animosity and
disbelief towards the Shia; additionally, it may promote the explicit
denial of proven facts and truths. Nonetheless, you owe it to yourself to
search for the truth; and, indeed, Allah (SWT) has commanded that you do.
As such, it is your prerogative to believe or reject everything that the
Shia claim; but my plea is that the next time you hear a discussion about
the Shia in your Mosque, or any place else, please remember my posts, and
question the person who is discussing the topic. Only then, will you see my
point, In Sha’ Allah (SWT).

I intend to demonstrate and prove that the concept of “al-Taqiyya” is an
integral part of Islam, and that it is NOT a Shi’ite concoction.

As usual, the two perspectives, the Sunnis and the Shia, will be presented
to maintain a level of fairness and integrity in the reporting of this

The word “al-Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing or disguising one’s
beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies  at a
time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from
physical and/or mental injury.”  A one-word translation would be

The above definition must be elaborated upon before any undertaking of this
topic is to ensue.  Although correct, the definition suffers from an
apparent generalization, and lacks some fundamental details that should be

First, the CONCEALMENT of one’s beliefs does NOT necessitate an ABANDONMENT
of these beliefs.  The distinction between “concealment” and “abandonment”
MUST be noted here.

Second, there are numerous exceptions to the above definition, and they
MUST be judged according to the situation that one is placed in.  As such,
one should NOT make a narrow-minded generalization that encompasses all
situations, thereby failing to fully absorb the spirit of the definition.

Third, the word “beliefs” and/or “convictions” does NOT necessarily mean
“religious” beliefs and/or convictions.

With the above in mind, it becomes evident that a better, and more accurate
definition of  “al-Taqiyya” is “diplomacy.”  The true spirit of “al-
Taqiyya” is better embodied in the single word “diplomacy” because it
encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of behaviors that serve to further the
vested interests of all parties involved.

al-Taqiyya According to the Sunnis
Some Sunnis assert that al-Taqiyya is an act of pure hypocrisy that serves
to conceal the truth and reveal that which is the exact opposite (of the
truth). Furthermore, according to those Sunnis, al-Taqiyya constitutes a
lack of faith and trust in Allah (SWT) because the  person who conceals his
beliefs to spare himself from eminent danger is fearful of humans, when, in
fact, he should be fearful of Allah (SWT) only.  As such, this person is a

Sunni Sources in Support of al-Taqiyya
The following exposition will Insha Allah demonstrate the existence
of al-Taqiyya in the Quran, Hadith, the Prophet’s (PBUH&HF) custom, and the
companions’ custom. As usual, Sunni books will be used to further the
argument. This is in keeping with the commitment to reveal the truth by
showing that the Sunnis reject the Shia’s arguments, while THEIR OWN books
are replete (full) with the SAME ideologies that the Shia uphold! Although
some Wahhabis staunchly argue their aforementioned statements, and
aggressively defame the Shia and refute their doctrines, they have failed
to explain the validity of their argument vis-a-vis the existence of these
SAME doctrines in their own books, as has been demonstrated in ALL the past
posts about the Shia. Those who think that they are the true protectors of
the custom of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and the only guardians of the Islamic
Faith, how can they explain their own rejection of that which they are
supposed to protect? Rejecting al-Taqiyya is rejecting the Quran, as will
be shown shortly.

Let’s Begin…

Reference 1:
Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his book, “al-Durr al-Manthoor Fi al-Tafsir al-
Ma’athoor,” narrates Ibn Abbas’, the MOST renowned and trusted narrator of
tradition in the sight of the Sunnis, opinion regarding al-Taqiyya in the
Quranic verse: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers
unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, (they) shall have no
relation left with Allah except by way of precaution (“tat-taqooh”), that
ye may guard yourselves (“tooqatan”) from them….[3:28]” that Ibn Abbas

“al-Taqiyya is with the tongue only; he who has been COERCED into
saying that which angers Allah (SWT), and his heart is comfortable
(i.e., his TRUE faith has NOT been shaken.), then (saying that which
he has been coerced to say) will NOT harm him (at all); (because) al-
Taqiyya is with the tongue only, (NOT the heart).”

NOTE: The two words “tat-taqooh” and “tooqatan,” as mentioned in the Arabic
Quran, are BOTH from the same root of “al-Taqiyya.”

NOTE ALSO: The “heart” as referred to above and in later occurrences refers
to the center of faith in an individual’s existence.  It is mentioned many
times in the Quran.

Reference 2:
Ibn Abbas also commented on the above verse, as narrated in Sunan al-
Bayhaqi and Mustadrak al-Hakim, by saying:

“al-Taqiyya is the uttering of the tongue, while the heart is
comfortable with faith.”

NOTE: The meaning is that the tongue is permitted to utter anything in a
time of need, as long as the heart is not affected; and one is still
comfortable with faith.

Reference 3:
Abu Bakr al-Razi in his book, “Ahkam al-Quran,” v2, p10, has explained
the aforementioned verse “…except by way of precaution (“tat-taqooh”),
that ye may guard yourselves (“tooqatan”) from them….[3:28]” by affirming
that al-Taqiyya should be used when one is afraid for life and/or limb.  In
addition, he has narrated that Qutadah said with regards to the above

“It is permissible to speak words of unbelief when al-Taqiyya is

Reference 4:
It has been narrated by Abd al-Razak, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim,
Ibn Mardawayh, al-Bayhaqi in his book “al- Dala-il,” and it was corrected
by al-Hakim in his book “al- Mustadrak” that:

“The nonbelievers arrested `Ammar Ibn Yasir (RA) and (tortured him
until) he (RA) uttered foul words about the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and
praised their gods (idols); and when they released him (RA), he (RA)
went straight to the Prophet (PBUH&HF).  The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said:
“Is there something on your mind?”  `Ammar Ibn Yasir (RA) said: “Bad
(news)! They would not release me until I defamed you (PBUH&HF) and
praised their gods!”  The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: “How do you find
your heart to be?” `Ammar (RA) answered: “Comfortable with faith.”  So
the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: “Then if they come back for you, then do
the same thing all over again.”  Allah (SWT) at that moment revealed
the verse: “….except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in

NOTE: The full verse that was quoted partially as part of the tradition
above, is: “Any one who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters unbelief,
EXCEPT UNDER COMPULSION, his heart remaining firm in faith — but such as
open their breast to unbelief, — on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs
will be a dreadful Chastisement [16:106].” (Emphasis Mine)

Reference 5:
It is narrated in Sunan al-Bayhaqi that Ibn Abbas explained the above verse
“Any one who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters unbelief….[16:106]”
by saying:

“The meaning that Allah (SWT) is conveying is that he who utters
unbelief after having believed, shall deserve the Wrath of Allah (SWT)
and a terrible punishment.  However, those who have been coerced, and
as such uttered with their tongues that which their hearts did not
confirm to escape persecution, have nothing to fear; for Allah (SWT)
holds His (SWT) servants responsible for that which their hearts have

Reference 6:
Another explanation of the above verse is provided by Jalal al-Din al-
Suyuti in his book, “al-Durr al-Manthoor Fi al- Tafsir al-Ma-athoor,” vol.
2, p178; he says:

“Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Munzir, and Ibn Abi Hatim narrated
on the authority of Mujtahid (a man’s name) that this verse was
revealed in relation to the following event: A group of people from
Mecca accepted Islam and professed their belief; as a result, the
companions in Medina wrote to them requesting that they emigrate
to Medina; for if they don’t do so, they shall not be considered
as those who are among the believers.  In compliance, the group left
Mecca, but were soon ambushed by the nonbelievers (Quraish) before
reaching their destination; they were coerced into disbelief, and they
professed it.  As a result, the verse “…except under compulsion, his
heart remaining firm in faith [16:106]…” was revealed.”

Reference 7:
Ibn Sa’d in his book, “al-Tabaqat al-Kubra,” narrates on the authority of
Ibn Sirin that:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) saw `Ammar Ibn Yasir (RA) crying, so he
(PBUH&HF) wiped off his (RA) tears, and said: “The nonbelievers
arrested you and immersed you in water until you said such and such
(i.e., bad-mouthing the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and praising the pagan gods
to escape persecution); if they come back, then say it again.”

Reference 8:
It is narrated in al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, v3, p61, that:

After the conquest of the city of Khaybar by the Muslims, the Prophet
(PBUH&HF) was approached by Hajaj Ibn `Aalat and told: “O Prophet of
Allah: I have in Mecca some excess wealth and some relatives, and I
would like to have them back; am I excused if I bad-mouth you (to
escape persecution)?”  The Prophet (PBUH&HF) excused him and said:
“Say whatever you have to say.”

Reference 9:
It is narrated by al-Ghazzali in his book, “Ihya `Uloom al-Din,” that:

Safeguarding of a Muslim’s life is a mandatory obligation that should
be observed; and that LYING is permissible when the shedding of a
Muslim’s blood is at stake.

Reference 10:
Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his book, “al-Ashbah Wa al-Naza’ir,” affirms

“it is acceptable (for a Muslim) to eat the meat of a dead animal at a
time of great hunger (starvation to the extent that the stomach is
devoid of all food); and to loosen a bite of food (for fear of choking
to death) by alcohol; and to utter words of unbelief; and if one is
living in an environment where evil and corruption are the pervasive
norm, and permissible things (Halal) are the exception and a rarity,
then one can utilize whatever is available to fulfill his needs.”

NOTE: The reference to the consumption of a dead animal is meant to
illustrate that EVEN forbidden things become permissible in a time of need.

Reference 11:
Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his book, “al-Durr al-Manthoor Fi al-Tafsir al-
Ma’athoor,” v2, p176, narrates that:

Abd Ibn Hameed, on the authority of al-Hassan, said: “al-Taqiyya is
permissible until the Day of Judgment.”

Reference 12:
Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v7, p102, that Abu al-Darda’ said:

“(Verily) we smile for some people, while our hearts curse (those same

Reference 13:
Narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari, v7, p81, that the Prophet (PBUH&HF)

“O `Aisha, the worst of people in the sight of Allah (SWT) are those
that are avoided by others due to their extreme impudence.”

NOTE: The meaning here is that one is permitted to use diplomacy to get
along with people. The above tradition was narrated when a person sought
permission to see the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) and prior to his asking
permission the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said that he was not a good man, but still
I shall see him. The Prophet talked to the person with utmost respect, upon
which Aisha inquired as to why did the Prophet (PBUH&HF) talk to the person
with respect despite his character, upon which the above reply was

Reference 14:
Narrated in Sahih Muslim (English version), Chapter MLXXVII, v4, p1373,
Tradition #6303:

Humaid b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthum
daughter of ‘Uqba b. Abu Mu’ait, and she was one amongst the first
emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon
him), as saying that she heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon
him) as saying: A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation
amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he
conveys good.  Ibn Shihab said he did not hear that exemption was
granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases:
in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the
narration of the words of the husband to wife, and the narration of
the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to
bring reconciliation between them).

The (Sunni) commentator of this volume of Sahih Muslim, Abdul Hamid
Siddiqi, provides the following commentary:

Telling of a lie is a grave sin but a Muslim is permitted to tell a
lie in some exceptional cases, and this permission is given especially
on three occasions: in case of battle for bringing reconciliation
amongst the hostile Muslims and for bringing reconciliation between
the husband and the wife.  On the analogy [Qiyas] of these three
cases, the scholars of Hadith have pointed out some other exemptions:
for saving the life and honor of innocent person from the
highhandedness of tyrants and oppressors if one finds no other way to
save them.

Notice that neither the above tradition nor the commentary are concerned
with dealing with non-Muslims only.

Please refer to Sahih Muslim Volume IV
Tradition no. 6303 p1373
English only – Abdul Hamid Siddiqui
End of Part 1 of 3


al-Taqiyya/Dissimulation (Part II)

al-Taqiyya According to the Shia
The Shia did NOT innovate or concoct anything new, they simply followed the
injunctions of Allah (SWT), as stated in the Quran, and the custom of the
Seal of Prophethood, Muhammad (PBUH&HF). Nonetheless, one must also examine
what the Shia themselves say about al-Taqiyya:

al-Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Mudhaffar in his book, “Aqa’id al-Imamiyah,”
wrote that:

“al-Taqiyya should conform to specific rules vis-a-vis the situation
wherein eminent danger is present; these rules, listed in many books
of Fiqh (Jurisprudence), along with the severity of the danger
determine the validity, or lack of, al-Taqiyya itself. It is not
mandatory to practice it (al-Taqiyya) at all times; on the contrary,
it is permissible, and sometimes necessary, to abandon it (al-Taqiyya)
altogether; as in the case where revealing the truth will further the
cause of the religion, and provide a direct service to Islam; and
(when the revealing of the truth is such that it constitutes) a jihad
(striving) for (Islam’s) sake; (verily,) in such a situation, wealth
and life should be forsaken.  Furthermore, al-Taqiyya is prohibited in
instances wherein the killing of innocent people and the spread of
corruption will result; and in cases wherein the marring of the
religion will result, and/or a significant harm will befall the
Muslims, either by leading them astray or corrupting and oppressing

Either way, al-Taqiyya, as the Shia uphold it, does not make of the
Shia a secret cooperative that seeks to destroy and corrupt, as the
enemies (of the Shia) wish to present them; (these critics launch
their verbal attacks) without really heeding the subject (of al-
Taqiyya); and (without even) laboring to understand our own opinion on
the matter (of al-Taqiyya).

Nor does it (al-Taqiyya) mandate that the religion and its injunctions
become a secret of secrets that cannot be disclosed to those who do
not subscribe to its teachings. How so, when the books of the
Imamiyah (the Shia) that deal with the (subjects of) Fiqh, Kalam, and
beliefs are in abundant supply, and have exceeded the limits (of
publications) expected from any nation professing its beliefs.”

Imam Khomeini in his book, “Islamic Government,” also presents his view on
al-Taqiyya. He believes that al-Taqiyya is permitted only when one’s life
is jeopardized.  Whereas in cases wherein the religion of Allah (SWT),
Islam, is in danger, it is not permitted even if it leads to one’s death:

The Imams, may peace be upon them, imposed on the jurisprudence very
important ordinances and committed them to shouldering and preserving
the trust.  It is not right to resort to dissimulation on every issue,
small and big. Dissimulation was legislated to preserve one’s life or
others from damage on subsidiary issues of the laws.  But if Islam in
its entirety is in danger, then there is no place for dissimulation
and for silence.  What do you think a jurisprudent should do if they
force him to legislate or innovate?… If dissimulation forces on us
to jump on the sultan’s bandwagon then it should not be resorted to
even if such refrainment leads to the death of the person concerned,
unless his jumping on the bandwagon constitutes a real victory for
Islam and the Muslims, as in the case of Ali Ibn Yaqtin and Nasiruddin
in al-Tusi, may Allah have mercy upon their souls.

In his book, “Shi’ite Islam” (translated into English by Sayyed Hussein
Nasr), the Shi’i scholar Allama Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai defines
Taqiyya as the situation where a person “hides his religion or certain of
his religious practices in situations that would cause definite or probable
danger as a result of the actions of those who are opposed to his religion
or particular religious practices.” He goes on to define the nature of the

The exact extent of danger which would make permissible the practice
of Taqiyya has been debated among different Shia scholars.  In our
view point, the practice of Taqiyya is permitted if there is definite
danger facing one’s own life or the life of one’s family, or the
possibility of the loss of the honor and virtue of one’s wife or of
other female members of the family, or the danger of the loss of one’s
material belongings to such an extent as to cause complete destitution
and prevent a man from being able to continue to support himself and
his family.

Tabatabai cited two verses from the Quran in support of al-Taqiyya:

“…except for precaution and           :   : :     .    |  :: :    | | ||
dissimulation that you may protect      4_,_o_,  o_8_,_o |q_o_,_, . | |_||
yourselves against them…”(Quran 3:28)  :      (         /      (_)

For the above verse, the great Sunni scholar, Mawdudi, has a commentary in
support of Taqiyya. Notice that in the above verse, the words “tattaqu” and
“toqat” have exactly the same root as Taqiyya.

The second verse is the following:

“Any one who becomes unbeliever after being believer, EXCLUDING the
one who is under compulsion and force while his hurt is firm in faith,
but the one go on in disbelief, Wrath of Allah is on to them and they
will have a dreadful penalty,” (Quran 16:106)

| :       /|       | ||   .  |    |               | ||     . /
4_,_|_o q  o _)|  . _o |_||  4_, |_o_,| ]_e_,  . _o 4_|_||_,  _9_)  . _o
.      /   /    (_)                :      .  (_)         .  /     (_)

|         . / ||        ^           / |          |     | ||       @   |
|  ],_p  _9_)_||_,  _7 _w  . _o  . _)_| q     .  |_o_, |_||_,   . _,_o_D_o
/      /       .  (_ /   (_)   (_)     /    (_)    :      .   (_)

|.        |.        |      | ||             . .         |   .
o_,_D_c  __, |]_c  o_8_| q  4_|_||  . _o  __,,_p_c   o_8_,_|_e_9
( :       .        (      /         (_)    .         (   :

Then Tabatabai explained:

As mentioned in both Sunni and Shi’ite sources this verse was revealed
concerning ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir.  After the migration (hijrah) of the
Prophet, the infidels of Mecca imprisoned some of the Muslims of that
city and tortured them, forcing them to leave Islam and to return to
their former religion of idolatry.  Included in this group who were
tortured were Ammar and his father and mother. Ammar’s parents refused
to turn away from Islam and died under torture.  But Ammar, in order
to escape torture and death, outwardly left Islam and accepted idol
worship, thereby escaping from danger.   Having become free, he left
Mecca secretly for Medina.   In Medina he went before the Holy
Prophet–upon whom be blessings and peace–and in a state of penitence
and distress concerning what he had done, he asked the Prophet if by
acting as he did, he had fallen outside the sacred precinct of
religion.  Then Prophet said that his duty was what he had
accomplished. The above verse was then revealed.

The two verses cited above were revealed concerning particular cases
but their meaning is such that they embrace all situations in which
the outward expression of doctrinal belief and religious practice
might bring about a dangerous situation.  Besides these verses, there
exist many traditions from the members of the Household of the
Prophet, ordering Taqiyya when there is fear of danger.

Some have criticized Shia by saying that to employ the practice of
Taqiyya in religion is opposed to the virtues of courage and bravery.
The least amount of thought about this accusation will bring to light
its invalidity, for Taqiyya must be practiced in a situation where man
faces a danger which he cannot resist and against which he cannot

Resistance to such a danger and failure to practice Taqiyya in such
circumstances shows rashness and foolhardiness, not courage and
bravery.  The qualities of courage and bravery can be applied only
when there is at least the possibility of success in man’s efforts.
But before a definite or probable danger against which there is no
possibility of victory–such as drinking water in which there is
probably poison or throwing oneself before a cannon that is being
fired or lying down on the tracks before an onrushing train–any
action of this kind is nothing but a form of madness and contrary to
logic and common sense.  Therefore, we can summarize by saying that
Taqiyya must be practiced only when there is a definite danger which
cannot be avoided and against which there is no hope of a successful
struggle and victory.

Please refer to Shi’ite Islam
Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabatai
Translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
pp 223-225

It is apparent then, from the above quotes, that the Shia are NOT advocates
of hypocrisy, secrecy, and cowardice, as some of the Wahhabis, among
others, purport.

The following is from the book of Moojan Momen, which is entitled “An
Introduction to Shi’i Islam:  History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi’ism,”
When discussing the sixth Shi’i Imam (successor to the prophet), Imam
Ja’far al-Sadiq (AS), he writes:

The doctrine of Taqiyya (dissimulation) was widely used at that time.
It served to protect the followers of Imam al-Sadiq at a time when al-
Mansur [the caliph] was conducting a brutally oppressive campaign
against the Followers of the Members of the House of Prophet and their
End of Part 2 of 3


al-Taqiyya/Dissimulation (Part III)

Quran Speaks: al-Taqiyya vs. Hypocrisy
Some people have fallen victim to confusing al-Taqiyya with hypocrisy, when
in fact they (al-Taqiyya and Hypocrisy) are two opposite extremes.  al-
Taqiyya is concealing faith and displaying nonbelief; while Hypocrisy is
the concealment of unbelief and the display of belief.  They are TOTAL
opposites in function, form, and meaning.

The Quran reveals the nature of hypocrisy with the following verse:

“When they meet those who believe, they say: `We Believe;’ but when
they are alone with their evil ones, they say: `We are really with
you, we (were) only jesting [2:14].”

The Quran then reveals al-Taqiyya with the following verses:

“A Believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had CONCEALED
his faith, said: “Will ye slay a man because he says, `My Lord is
Allah’?….[40:28]” (Emphasis Mine.)


“Any one who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters unbelief, EXCEPT
under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith — but such as
open their breast to unbelief, — on them is Wrath from Allah, and
theirs will be a dreadful Chastisement [16:106].” (Emphasis Mine.)

And also:

“Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather
than believers: if any do that, (they) shall have no relation left
with Allah except by way of precaution (“tat-taqooh”), that ye may
guard yourselves (“tooqatan”) from them….[3:28]”


And when Moses returned unto his people, angry and grieved, he said:
Evil is that (course) which ye took after I had left you. Would ye
hasten on the judgment of your Lord? And he cast down the tablets,
and he seized his brother by the head, dragging him toward him.
(Aaron) said: “Son of my mother! Lo! People did oppress me and they
were about to kill me. Make not the enemies rejoice over my
misfortune nor count thou me amongst the sinful people. [7:150]”

. .    |:  :    |     | /      .    .    .:    |      : ||     |
_,_, q_|_,_o_,  | q > |_) q    _, q_9_e,_p_,_w |  o q_o_||  .  |
(_S     /      :     /       / (_S   /              (  /      (_)

Now, we see that Allah (SWT) Himself has stated that one of His (SWT)
faithful servants CONCEALED his faith and pretended that he was a follower
of the Pharaoh’s religion to escape persecution. We also see that Prophet
Aaron (Haroon) observed Taqiyya when his life was in danger. We also
observe that al-Taqiyya is CLEARLY permitted in a time of need. In fact,
the Book of Allah instructs us that we should escape a situation which
causes our destruction for nothing:

“and make not your own hands contribute to your destruction [2:195]”

Reason and Logic
Aside from the instuctions of Quan and Hadith on the permissibility and
necessity of Taqiyya, such necessity can also be derived from a logical
and rational standpoint.  It is apparent to any discerning observer that
Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon His (SWT) creation certain defense mechanisms
and instincts to protect themselves from impending danger.  What follows
are some examples that serve to illustrate the above point.

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Instinct:”

“Instinct is inherited, essentially unlearned, and generally adaptive
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR that is typical to each species. Instinct is prominent
in aggression, courtship, and mating, and in various social behaviors,
although learning, maturation, growth, or circumstance can modify the
behavior. Human behavior is mostly a product of learning, whereas the
behavior of a moth, a snail, or a bird mainly depends on instinct.”

“Behaviors that are most instinctive include reproduction,
concealment, defense, escape, threats or warnings, and aggression, all
of which are essential to the survival of the species.”

“A species’ instinctive behaviors appear similar in form: chickens and
turkeys seek a high place to roost at night, cats stalk prey in a
characteristic manner, and dogs mark their territories in a species-
specific method.  Typical behavior patterns appear even in animals
that are raised isolated from other members of their own species, a
situation in which learning by observation, imitation, or instruction
cannot occur.  Many, but not all, birds sing the songs of their
conspecifics (other members of their species) even though they are
removed from the nest before hatching and are raised in a quiet room.
Others sing a simplified version of the species’ song.”

It is apparent then that instincts play a crucial role in the animal
kingdom, as well as the human one.  Furthermore, the above quote asserts
that: “Behaviors that are most instinctive include reproduction,
CONCEALMENT, DEFENSE, escape, threats or warnings, and aggression, all of
which are essential to the survival of the species.” (Emphasis Mine)

Given the above, we may suggest that although al-Taqiyya is a learned
behavior, it nonetheless originates from the survival instinct that is
innate to creation.  That is, out of fear and the instinct to survive, one
conceals that which may jeopardize his well-being.  It is a fact that one
CAN overcome the fear within him, and utter the truth even if it
jeopardized him; but one must also set priorities and judge WHEN the
telling of the truth will serve a noble purpose, and WHEN it won’t make a
difference. If a person is about to be slaughtered because he is a Shi’i,
then his concealment of his beliefs is of utmost importance, IF that
concealment does NOT serve as an injustice to someone else. For example, if
I, a Shi’i, deny my beliefs to protect myself; and, as a result, an
innocent man is blamed instead, then I must come forward, at the risk of
death, to protect that man; but when my denial serves no injustice
whatsoever, then I MUST conceal my beliefs to protect myself.

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Insect:”

“Most insects try to escape when threatened and some insects “play
dead,” for example, some beetles fall to the ground after folding up
their legs, giving the appearance of a clump of dirt.  Many insects
use shelters ranging from burrows in the ground to elaborate shelters
constructed of various materials. Insects also employ camouflage. Many
are so colored that they blend into their background, such as moths
colored like the bark of trees.  Some insects bear a close resemblance
to objects in the environment, such as inchworms, which resemble
twigs. Other insects will cover themselves with debris or excrement.
Chemical defenses often involve distasteful body secretions, repellent
secretions, or poisonous injection into an attacker.  The use of the
sting is probably the most effective and often a severe method.  The
only stinging insects are Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and some ants).”

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Mammal:”

“The name pangolin is from a Malay word for “round cushion” and refers
to the animal’s DEFENSE of curling up into a ball.  As a further
defense, the pangolin will spray urine and anal gland secretions on a
persistent intruder.” (Emphasis Mine)

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Coloration, Biological:”

“Both the ringed plover chick and its egg are cryptically colored.
Plovers are shore birds that dig shallow nests in the open ground; the
coloration acts as camouflage, helping the young blend with their
surroundings as protection against predators.”

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Bear:”

“The polar bear, Thalarctos maritimus, travels great distances along
arctic coasts.  Its white fur furnishes camouflage against snow and

The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
(1992) under the topic of “Deep-Sea Life:”

“Fishes of the shallower parts of the deep sea often have very large
eyes relative to their size, suggesting that they respond to the
minimal light present in the upper zones. Both fishes and
invertebrates in these zones also often possess complex organs capable
of producing light (see BIOLUMINESCENCE).  These organs frequently
exist in definite patterns on the body and may be important in species
and sexual recognition, in the attracting of prey or repelling of
predators, in camouflage, or in other ways not yet understood.”

Other examples of naturally-occurring defense mechanisms include, but are
not limited to, the thorns on certain flower stems and the poisonous
chemicals in plants to protect them from danger.

It is clear from the above quotations that defense mechanisms are Allah’s
(SWT) mercy to His (SWT) creation, such that He (SWT) has not left them
unprotected.  As such, al-Taqiyya, I contend, is an instinctive defense
mechanism that Allah (SWT) has endowed humans with.  The ability to use
one’s tongue to escape persecution is indeed a supreme example of defense.

I read once in a Sufi book that “Islam is truth without form.”  Indeed,
that is so; and Islam is Allah’s (SWT) NATURAL religion, it is the
Primordial Truth, it is the ONLY religion that conforms to man’s instincts
and natural inclinations.  Given that, al-Taqiyya, I contend, is a truism
because it satisfies an instinctive need to survive and prosper.

It has been demonstrated under the section of “Sunni Sources In Support of
al-Taqiyya” that it is permissible to lie to save oneself, as al-Ghazzali
asserted; and that it is legitimate to utter words of unbelief as al-Suyuti
stated; and that it is acceptable to smile at a person while your heart
curses him as al-Bukhari confirms; and that al- Taqiyya is an INTEGRAL part
of the Quran itself, as has been shown under the section of “The Quran
Speaks: al-Taqiyya vs. Hypocrisy;” and that it was practiced by one of the
MOST notable companions of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), none other than `Ammar
Ibn Yasir (May Allah Reward him GENEROUSLY); and we have seen that al-
Suyuti narrates that al-Taqiyya is permissible until the Day of Judgment;
and that a person can say anything he wants, even to badmouth the Prophet
(PBUH&HF) if he is in a dangerous and restrictive situation; and we have
also seen that even the Prophet (PBUH&HF) himself practiced al-Taqiyya in a
manner of diplomacy that served to advance good relations among the people.
Furthermore, the Prophet did not disclose his mission for the first three
years of his prophethood, which was, in fact, another practice of al-
Taqiyya by the Prophet to save the young Islam from annihilation.

Now, the question to our opponent is: If your MOST authentic books
explicitly advocate al-Taqiyya, as has been demonstrated above, why then do
you mock the Shia and accuse them of hypocrisy?  By Allah (SWT), who is the
hypocrite now?

Apparently now, there is NO difference between the Sunnis and Shia vis-a-
vis al-Taqiyya, except that the Shia practice al-Taqiyya for fear of
persecution, while the Sunnis don’t.

The Shia HAVE TO practice al-Taqiyya as part of the persecution that they
have suffered from day one of the death of the Mercy to Mankind, Muhammad
(PBUH&HF).  It is enough to say “I am a Shi’i” to get your head chopped
off, even today in countries like Saudi Arabia.  As for the Sunnis, they
were never subjected to what the Shia have been subjected to, primarily
because they have always been the friends of the so-called Islamic
governments throughout the ages.

My comment here is that Wahhabis themselves do indeed practice al-Taqiyya,
but they have been psychologically programmed by their mentors in such
a way that they don’t even recognize al-Taqiyya when they do actually
practice it. Ahmad Didat said that the Christians have been programmed in
such a way that they may read the Bible a million times, but will never
spot an error! They are fixed on believing it because their scholars say
so, and they read at a superficial level.  I say that this also applies to
those who oppose al-Taqiyya.

Dr. al-Tijani wrote a short event where he was sitting next to a Sunni
scholar on a flight to London; they were both on their way to attend an
Islamic Conference. At that time, there was still some tension due to the
Salman Rushdi affair. The conversation between the two was naturally
concerned with the unity of the Ummah. Consequently, the Sunni/Shia issue
introduced itself as part of the conversation. The Sunni scholar said: “The
Shia must drop certain beliefs and convictions that cause disunity and
animosity among the Muslims.”  Dr. al-Tijani answered: “Like what?”  The
Sunni scholar answered: “Like the Taqiyya and Muta’ ideas.” Dr. al-Tijani
immediately provided him with plenty of proofs in support of these notions,
but the Sunni scholar was not convinced, and said that although these
proofs are all authentic and correct, we must discard them for the sake of
uniting the Ummah!!! When they both got to London, the immigration officer
asked the Sunni scholar: “What is the purpose of your visit sir?”  The
Sunni scholar said: “For medical treatment.”  Then Dr. al-Tijani was asked
the same question, and he answered: “To visit some friends.”  Dr. al-Tijani
followed the Sunni scholar and said: “Didn’t I tell you that al-Taqiyya is
for all times and occasions!” The Sunni scholar said: “How so?”  Dr. al-
Tijani answered: “Because we both lied to the airport police: I by saying
that I came to visit some friends, and you by saying that you are here for
medical treatment; when, in fact, we are here to attend the Islamic
Conference!” The Sunni scholar smiled, and said: “Well, doesn’t an Islamic
Conference provide healing for the soul?!”  Dr. al-Tijani was swift to say:
“And doesn’t it provide an opportunity to visit friends?!”

So you see, the Sunnis practice al-Taqiyya whether they acknowledge the
fact or not. It is an innate part of human nature to save oneself, and most
often we do it without even noticing.

My comment again is: Who, in Allah’s (SWT) Name, is this Scholar to state
that although the proofs provided to him by Dr. al-Tijani are ALL
authentic, they must be discarded for the sake of uniting the Ummah???!  Do
you truly believe that the Ummah will be united by abandoning Allah’s (SWT)
commandments?  Does the above statement represent scholarly merit, or pure
rhetoric, ignorance, and hypocrisy on the part of that scholar?  Is a
scholar who utters such words of ignorance worthy of being obeyed and
listened to? Who is he to tell Allah (SWT), the Creator of the Universe,
and His (SWT) Messenger (PBUH&HF) what is right and wrong? Does he know
more than Allah (SWT) about al-Taqiyya? Exalted be Allah (SWT) from being
insulted by those who lack ALL forms of intelligence to interpret His (SWT)

al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (AS) [The Sixth Imam of Ahlul-Bayt] said:

“al-Taqiyya is my religion, and the religion of my ancestors.” He (AS)
also said: “He who doesn’t practice al-Taqiyya, doesn’t practice his

In conclusion, I repeat my appeal to you to comprehend what I say in these
discussions.  The Shia are Muslims, NO DOUBT about it. Be your own judge,
and verify what I say here. Better yet, download everything and go to the
scholar that you trust the most; ask him to refute what the Shia claim; and
then judge whether he himself is honest or not. Remember: “Let there be no
compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: Whoever rejects
Taghoot and believes in Allah, (he) hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-
hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. [2:256]”

End of Part 3 of 3

Side Comments on al-Taqiyya
A Wahhabi contributor mentiond:

> Taqqiyah means to pretend by doing or saying exactly the opposite of
> what you believe or feel

Not a correct definition. It does not necessarily have to be in exact
opposite, though it might be so in some cases. al-Taqiyya is primarily
concealing the belief. You might want to refresh your memory by reading my
original article in which I mentioned the definition of al-Taqiyya as
“Concealing or disguising one’s beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings,
opinions, and/or strategies  at a time of eminent danger, whether now or
later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury.”

> e.g. to pretend to be nice while cursing the person in the heart
> without a present danger (al-Kafi fi alFrua’, Vol. 3, pp. 188-9).

Again you are scrupulously quoting from a 33-page booklet written by “Saeed
Ismaeel”. The minimum amount of decency requires you to mention this since
you did not directly looked up the above tradition. I doubt even Saeed
Ismaeel (your mentor) has also touched al-Kafi. He got them from the books
of “Ihsan Ilahi Zahir” and “Mohammad Manzoor Nomani”, etc. I have read the
books of these individuals from cover to cover. What I have found was
malicious misquotations or quoting the traditions out of context. Sometimes
they do not even bother themselves to quote the tradition (even partially)
similar to above.

We do NOT have any authentic tradition which sates you may apply al-Taqiyya
WITHOUT PRESENT OR FUTURE DANGER. If you think otherwise, please quote a
tradition which EXPLICITLY states the above. These are all interpretation
of your mentors from the traditions. No tradition explicitly states as

The danger might be present of later in time. Also the danger might be for
oneself our for another person related to you. As such, the Imam may
conceal some information from his own followers, if he knows that if they
do that they will be trapped into the hand of officials. In fact, I have
seen some Wahhabis, to mock Shia in the concept of Taqiyya, refer to
a tradition in Usul Kafi and partially quote it out of context in order to
misrepresent the concept of Taqiyya for the Sunni brothers. The correct
translation of the tradition that they refer to, is as follows:

Usul Kafi, Tradition #195:

Zurarah said: I asked Abu Ja’far (AS) a question, for which the Imam
gave me an answer. Afterwards another person came to the Imam and
asked him the same question but Imam gave him a different answer.
Again, a third person came and asked Imam the same question to which
Imam gave an answer which was still different from mine and the second
person. When the two had left, I asked “O son of Prophet, two of your
followers from Iraq asked you a question and you gave them two
different answers.” Hearing this, the Imam replied, “O Zurarah, these
different answers are in our own interests and they contribute to the
stability of both (me and my followers). (In such severe moments) if
all of you present a unite stand, it will enable the people (opponents
and rulers) to verify the allegiance of yours to us and this will
endanger and shorten the life of you (Shi’ites) as well as the life of

I have seen these Wahhabis that they quote the first part of the tradition
and drop the explanation of Imam to show that Imam applied al-Taqiyya two
his own followers with no reason. From the tradition, it is not clear what
exactly the question of those followers was. However the clarification of
the Imam at the end implies that the question was related to some social
and political actions which were planted by the ruler of the time in order
to identify and trap the Shi’ites. This is exactly what al-Taqiyya is used
for. Note that the Imam is emphasizing that he is PRESERVING the life of
his followers as well as the Ahlul-Bayt.

Another example is explained by another tradition where the Imam attended
the funeral prayer of one of the officials who was a hypocrite form Umayad
Government, in order to fool the authorities which would cause to decrease
the prosecution of Ahlul-Bayt and their followers. These kinds of
diplomacies were widely used even by Prophet (PBUH&HF) himself. Have you
ever thought why Prophet applied al-Taqiyya and did not disclose his
mission for the first three years of his prophethood?  It was because, if
he have done that, Islam would have been destroyed from the very beginning.

> The specific purpose of Taqqiyah is the “preservation of Islam and
> the Shii school of thought; if the people had not resorted to it,
> our school of thought would have been destroyed”

If the Prophet applied al-Taqiyya for the first three years of his
prophethood, and concealed his mission, then why not Shia do that to escape
the prosecutions of so-called Islamic governors?  Was the Prophet a coward?
Or he wanted to preserve Islam from being destroyed?

Also let me give you another example from another prophet who concealed his
belief. Quran states that: Moses (AS) with the order of Allah, assigned
Haroon (AS) as his successor (Caliph) and left his people to him, to go to
MIQAAT (appointment with Allah) for a total of forty days. After leaving of
Moses, all his companions (except very few) turned against Haroon, and were
deceived by Sameri, and became worshipers of a golden calf. (See Quran
7:142, 20:90-97, 20:83-88). When Moses (PBUH) came back from MIQAAT he was
very angry since Allah had informed him that his community went astray
during his absence. Moses came and started questioning his brother Haroon,
that why he did not take action to prevent this corruption. Quran states
that Haroon replied:

“(O’ Moses) people did oppress me and they were about to kill me.”
(Quran 7:150).

If you believe in Haroon as a true prophet of God, you do not allow
yourself to call him coward. Or do you think that Aaron was a Shia? In
fact, he was a Shia (follower) of Prophet Moses (AS). It was his duty to
save his life, though it appears that Wahhabis think he should have killed

> As Ibn Taymiyyah said, the verse 3:28 about Taqiyyah is applicable in the
> case of a non-believer ONLY under special cases, e.g., a Muslim cannot
> apply it against a Muslim.

A so-called Muslim who prosecute an innocent person, is not any better than
a non-Muslim. If you look around the world, from Saudi Arabia, to Iraq, to
Afghanistan,… the majority of those who prosecute Muslims call themselves
Muslims too. If you look at the History also, they majority of Muslim
rulers who called themselves Muslims and Khalifa, were oppressors and
tyrant (like Umayad and Abbasid Caliphs). Are you suggesting that we should
not safeguard our lives from those tyrants who label themselves as Muslims?

Moreover, by his above saying, Ibn Taymiyyah did not accept Sahih Muslim
as authentic, or else Ibn Taymiyyah has rejected the testimony of Prophet
(PBUH&HF). Even the Prophet (PBUH&HF) himself practiced al-Taqiyya in a
manner of diplomacy that served to advance good relations among the people.
The tradition from Sahih Muslim which I mentioned in my article talks about
MUSLIMS. In the case that there is a dispute between two Muslims to such
extent that it is considered as an eminent DANGER, and if nothing else
works, it is permitted to twist the words in order to make the
reconciliation. You see, there always exists a requirement of an eminent
DANGER for al-Taqiyya. For instance, the danger of divorce for a Muslim
couple who have a dispute. The commentary of the tradition talks about
Muslims too.

> Verse 16:106 is applicable only when a Muslim faces a situation
> smilar to a situation of the great Companion Ammar when he had to
> choose between dying under torture like his parents or pretending to
> be an unbeliever hy tongue These cases are not the basic rule but
> only exceptions

This a basic rule, otherwise Allah would not have mentioned it in Quran in
a number of verses.

> Could you ever trust a Muslim if this were the case?

If a Muslim is not in danger he should not apply al-Taqiyya, the same way
that I do not apply al-Taqiyya behind this terminal. But if I were in a
country like Saudi Arabia, then I would have practiced it.

> If a person considers that Iying about Allah, His Prophet (pbuh) and
> the Muslims to serve his biased and misguided goals as an essential
> part of his bliefs, can we trust him?

Surely not. But who said so?

> The verse (3:28) is not only an exception but also a restricted
> exception. Not only is it forbidden to be used against Muslims but it
> also does not give permission to lie to others. What it means is that if
> you oppose certain behaviors and you are in a situation where
> condemnation would endanger Islam or Muslim community you can keep silent
> but you must avoid Iying. (ibn Taymiyah, Minhaj, Vol. p. 213 and ibn
> Kathir, Tafseer).

Again, the saying of your “clergymen” such as Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Kathir
is clearly in contradiction with Quran where Allah stated:

“Any one who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters unbelief, except
under compulsion while his heart remaining firm in faith…  (16:106)

As you see, Quran states “uttering unbelief”. This does not mean keeping
silent. Uttering means either saying or acting something in contrary to
belief. What lie is bigger than uttering unbelief?

Also, if the most authentic Sunni collections of Hadith such as Sahih al-
Bukhari and Sahih Muslim advocate al-Taqiyya, then why do Wahhabis insist
to the contrary? Is this not a sign of pure hypocrisy by itself?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s