Taqiyah “to save life, honour or property (either one’s own or of other believer/s) by hiding one’s belief or religion.(2)

Is Taqiyah Hypocrisy ? -Extract of Book Itmmam ul hujjah ( completion of arguement )  |  ABTV film | Video lecture(eng)  |  Urdu

Taqiyah By: Sayid Saeed Akhtar Rizvi     from   http://al-islam.org/taqiyah/

He who disbelieves in Allah after his belief in him, (is the liar) except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with the faith (has nothing to worry). But he who opens his breast for infideli8ty\, on these is wrath of Allah, and for them is a great torment. (1)

            This verse of Qur’an refers to incident when “Ammar bin Yasin (May Allah be pleased with both) had to utter some words against Islam to save himself from the Quraishite infidels.

            It clearly allows hiding one’s true faith when one is in danger of one’s life. This rule is called taqiyah.

Question 1:   What is the meaning of “Taqiyah”?

Answer:         Its literal meaning is to safeguard; to defend; to fear; piety (because it saves one from the displeasure of Allah.

            This gist of above is that the word tiqayah means to be on guard, to fear, to be pious.

            The dictionary as Surah says:(Tiqayah, Tuqat: = piety)

Question 2:   What is its significance in Islamic terminology?

Answer:         In Islamic terminology it means “to save life, honour or property (either one’s own or of other believer/s) by hiding one’s belief or religion.(2)

Question 3:   Is it something peculiar to the Shi’sm, because I have heard many people accusing the Shi’as because of taqiyah?

Answer:         Every society, religion and group practices it and has prac5ticed it at one time or the other. You will find so many examples of taqiyah in Old and new Testaments, and even in the lives of the Holy Prophet of Islam, hi9s Companions and many Sunni Scholars.

Question 4:   But is this practice allowed in Islam?

Answer:         Yes. Allah has allowed it in the Qur’an; and reason too shows the wisdom of this permission.

                        Shah “Abdu ‘1-‘Aziz Dehlawi writes: It should be known that tiqayah is, infact, allowed by shari’ah, by authority of Quranic verses, “except when you have to guard against”, and “except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with faith.”(3)

                        Famous Sunni scholar, “Allamah Wahidu ‘z-zaman Khan of Haydrabad ( India ) says: “Taqiyah is proved from Qur’an, “except when you have to guard against them”; and ignorant people think that tiqiyah is something peculiar to the Shi’as, while it is allowed in the Sunni faith also at times.”(4)

Question 5:   if you hide your belief and declare yourself to believe in some anti-Islamic tenets, won’t you automatically go outside the pale of Islam and become a ‘Kafir’?

Answer :        Belief and faith as well as the disbelief or rejection of faith (in short, Iman and Kufr) are basically the matters of “heart”. That is why Allah rebuked those newly-converted Arabs who claimed to be “Believers”:-

                        The desert Arabs say: We believe”. Say (unto them): “You believed not; rather say “we accepted Islam”, because the Faith has not yet entered your hearts.(5)

                         The declaration by tongue has a very minor role in it. A belief without declaration is acceptable but a declaration without bel4eif is condemned in the Qur’an in severest terms:-

                       When come unto thee the hypocrites, they say: “ we bear witness that verily you are the Messenger of Allah”; and verily Allah knows that you are certainly His Messenger and verily Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are certainly the lairs. (6)

                         Now remember that the life of a Muslim is very precious in the eyes of Islam. The importance attached to even one life is seen in this verse:-

                        And he who saves it (i.e., a human life) shall be as though he has saved the whole mankind.(7)

                        And a Muslim is bound to save a life from unlawful destruction, whether it is someone else’s or his own:-

                        And cast not yourselves with your own hands into perdition.(8)

                        It is for this reason that suicide has been declared a capital sin just like murder; and it is for this reason that Shi’a Shari’ah does not allow starting a jihad (war) without permission of the Prophet, Imam or their especially appointed deputies or in defence.

                       And it is to save the life of a believer that one is allowed to utter a lie and save that precious life.

Question 6:   All Right. You saved a life; but you committed one of the greatest sins, i.e. lie. So, spiritually you are doomed to disgrace in either case. Then, why not tell the truth and let the enemies kill you if they want?

Answer:         When a person is in such a situation that no matter which ever course of action he chooses he has to commit an evil, then the reason says that he should select the lesser evil.

                        Or if he is forced to destroy or damage one of his two possessions, then surely he would damage or destroy the less-expensive item to save the more precious one.

                        Imam Fakhru’d-din ar-Razi says commenting on the events of the Prophet Musa (a.s) and Khidr (a.s.) mentioned in Surah al-Kahf:-

                        When one is confronted by two damaging alternatives, it is wajib to bear the lesser one in order to ward off the greater one; and this was the principle followed in the three action (done by Khidr).(9)

                        Islamic Sheri’ah abounds with examples of this principle. Prayer is the most important pillar of Islam. But if you are praying and a child falls down in a well, and there is no one else to save the child, the Sheri’ah commands you to leave your prayer and try to save the child. If you ignored this command, that prayer would not be accepted, and you would be guilty of neglecting to save a life.

                        Now, suppose the unbelievers are determined to kill a Muslim, not because he has committed any crime but just because of his faith. The said Muslim goes into hiding and you know where he is. The unbelievers come to you and ask you whether you knew where that person was. You are caught between two evils: either you say “No” and become a liar, or you say “Yes” and cause the murder of an innocent Muslim. The reason says that telling a lie in that situation is preferable than the truth which would lead to murder.(10)

                        Now suppose that the unbelievers have caught a Muslim and that Muslim happens to be “You”. They put two alternatives before you: Either renounce Islam or be killed. If the flame of true Faith is lightning your heart, mere words of tongue cannot extinguish it at all. Those words of disbelief will be just like a dark cover to hide the light of your faith from the unbelievers, but they can have no adverse effect on the flame itself.

                        And if you do not hide that flame behind that cover, your life will be forfeited and with that you will lose the possibility of serving Islam at some other time.

                        In short, by uttering a few false words against Islam you will save your life as well as your faith; and by not uttering those words your life will come to its end and with it will vanish all chances of Islamic services, which you could have rendered had you been alive. Allah, therefore, has allowed you to save your life by uttering a few false words against Islam.(11)

Question 7:   Say whatever you like, but the fact remains that “taqiyah” is just another form of Nifaq (hypocricy).

Answer:         Far from it. In fact taqiyah is opposite of Nifaq. Remember, Iman and Kufr, when seen with their ‘declaration’, can be divided in four categories only:-

(1)       Correct belief of Islam by heart and its declaration in words.            This open Iman (faith)

(2)  Belief against Islam by heart and expression of that anti-Islamic belief in words.

This is open Kufr (infidelity). These two categories are opposite to each other and cannot combine in one place.|

(3)  Belief against Islam in heart but declaration ofd Islam in words. This is Nifaq (Hypocricy).

(4)             Correct belief of Islam by heart but declaration of anti-Islamic belief in words.

This is taqiyaq, and these categories (Nifaq and Tiqiayah) are, likewise, opposite to each other and can never be found in one place.(12)

Question 8:   You claimed above that many companions of the Holy Prophet practiced it. Can you give an example?

Answer:         We have mentioned in the very beginning the example of “Ammar bin Yasir (r.a.): The Quraishites brutally martyred Yasir and his wife Sumaiyah jhust because of their faith. They were the first martyrs of Islam. When the parents were killed, “Ammar pretended to renounce Islam, and thus saved his life. Someone told the Prophet that Ammar had become Kafir. The Prophet said “Never; verily the flesh and blood of “Ammar is saturated with true faith.” Then “Ammar came to the Holy Prophet bitterly weeping that he had to utter evil words against Islam so that he could slip away from the clutches of infidels. The Prophet asked him: “how did you find your heart”? Ammar said: Steadfast in Faith”. The Holy Prophet told him not to worry and advised him to repeat those words if the infidels again asked him to do so.

                        And it was not only the Holy Prophet who liked the choise of “Ammar (r.a.) Even Allah confirmed his action in the verse which has been written in the beginning:-

                        He who disbelieves in Allah after his belief in Him (is the liar) except he who is compelled while his heart remains steadfast with the faith (his nothing to worry). But he who opens his breast for infidelity, on these the wrath of Allah, and for them is a great torment.

                        All commentaries of Qur’an narrate that it was revealed concerning the above incident of Ammar (r.a.).(14)

Question 9:   Is there any other verse sanctioning such a cause of action?

Answer:         Yes. See the following verses which says:

                        Let not the believers take the disbelievers as \their friends rather than the believers: whoso shall do this then he has no relation with Allah – except when you have to guard yourselves against them for fear from them; but Allah cautions you of Himself for unto Allah is the end of your journey. Say, whether you conceal what is in your hearts or manifest, Allah knows it; and He knows all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; and verily Allah has power over all things.(15)

                        The reason of this permission is given in this very Aya: “Say whether you conceal what is in your hearts or manifest it, Allah knows it”.

                        Here Allah assures the Muslims that Faith is a spiritual thing, connected with heart; and if your fatith inside your heart is un-impaired, then Alla his pleased with you whether you manifest that faith or hide it. It is all the same with Allah,  because He knows your hidden secrets, and even when you hide your faith from unbelievers, Allah knows it and recognizes it.

                        As explained in reply to Question No. 1 tiqiyah and tuqat both are synonymous.

                        as-Suyuti writes inter alia under this verse:

                        “An Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim have narrated through al-‘Awfi from Ibn ‘Abbas (that he said about this verse): ‘So tiqiyah is by tongue. Whoever is compelled to say something which is disobedience of Allah and he speaks it because of those people’s fear while his hearts remains steadfast in the faith, it will do him no harm; verily taqiyah is with the tongue only.’

                        “……. And ‘Abd ibn Hamid has narrated from Al-Hassan (Al-Basri) that he said: Taqiyah is lawful upto the day of resurrection. And ‘Abd (ibn Hamid) has narrated from Abu Raja; that he was reciting, illa an tattaqu minhum tiqiyatan’: and ‘Abd inb Hamid has narrated from Qatadah that he was reciting (likewise) …. tiqiyatan – with ya.’

                        Imam Fakhruddin ar-Razi has mentioned some rules concerning taqiyah under this verse, some of which are given here:

                        “Third Rule: Tiqiyah is allowed in matters related to manifestation or friendship or enmity; and it is also allowed in matter connected to professing (their) ( religion. But it is certainly not allowed in matter which affect other person, like murder, fornication, usurpations of property, perjury, slander of married women or informing the unbelievers about ht weak points in Muslims’ defence.

“Fourth Rule: The Qur’anic verse apparently shows that taqiyah is allowed with dominant unbelievers. But according to the madh-hab of Imam Shafi’I (May Allah be pleased with him) if the condition between (various sects of) the Muslims resembles the condition between the Muslims and the polytheists, then taqiyah (form the Muslims too) is allowed for the protection of one’s life.”

“Fifth Rule: Taqiyah is allowed for protection of life. The question is whether it is allowed for the protection of property; possibly that too may be allowed, because the Prophet (S.A.W.W) has said: ‘The sanctity of a Muslim’s property is like the sanctity of his blood’; and also He (S.A.W.W.) has said: Whoever is killed in defence of his property, is a martyr’; and also because man greatly needs his property; if water is sold at exorbitant price, wadhu’ does not remain wajib and one may pray with tayammum to avoid that small loss of property; so why shall not this principle be applied here? And Allah knows better.

“Sixth Rule: Mujahid has said that this rule (of taqiyah) was valid in the beginning of Islam, because of the weakness of the believers; but now that the Islamic government has got power and strength, it is not valid. But ‘Awfi has narrated from al-Hasan (al-Basri) that he said. Taqiyah is allowed to the Muslims upto the day of resurrection.’ And this opinion is more acceptable because it is wajib to keep off all types of harms from one’s self as much as possible.”

Imam Bukhari has written a full chapter, Kitabul Ikrah, on this subject of compulsion, wherein he writes, inter alia:-

And Allah said ‘except when you have to guard yourselves against them for fear for them’. And it is Taqiyah.

…. And Hassan (Basri) said: Taqiyah is upto the Day of Resurrection …. And the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) said: ‘Deeds are according to intentions.(18)

As-Sayid ar-Radi (The compiler of Nahjul-Balaghah) writers, inter-alia, in explanation of verse 3:28-29:-

“Then Allah made an exception (in this rule of not keeping friendship with the unbelievers) and that exception is the situation of taqiyah; so he said”  and it is also read (taqiyatan), and both words have the same meaning.

“It means that Allah has permitted in this situation (when one is afraid of them) to show their friendship and one’s inclination towards them ‘with tongue’ but not with intention of heart.”(19)

Also, there are four verses in Qur’an which allow eating unlawful food when one is starving to death and no lawful food is available: One of them says:

Verily, verily, He has but prohibited that which dies of itself and blood and swine-flesh and whatsoever has other name than Allah’s invoked upon it; but whoever is forced to it without the desire (for it) not to transgress (the limits) then it is no sin on him; verily Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.(2).

The same thing has been repeated in 5:3, 6:145 and 14:115

As explained earlier, the life of a believer is the most precious thing. And it is for this reason that one has been allowed to eat such abominable things as dead body or pork when life depends on it.

That same principle will apply if safety of life depends on uttering a few false words.

That is why the Prophet (S.A.W.W.) has categorically said:(He who has no taqiyah has no religion).(21)

And Imam Muhammad al-Baqir 9a.s.) has said:(Taqiyah is my religion and the religion of my forefathers: He who has no taqiyah has no faith).(22)

Question 10:            Though this practice is allowed in the Qur’an and hadith, nevertheless it is something evil. I do not believe that Allah would like us to resort to it even if it is allowed.

Answer:          You have just now seen that taqiyah is not only allowed but even wajib in some cases. Do you think that Allah would make something wajib without taking liking it. Also, the prophet (S.A.W.W.) makes taqiyah synonymous with religion, and Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) confirms it in clear words.

                        However, if you ponder on the Qur’an you will see that the Holy Book of Allah presents taqiyah in a very commendable light. In the verse 40:28 Allah says:-

                        And said a man who was a believer from among the people of Pharaoh: who used to conceal faith……”(23)

                        It shows that Allah was well pleased with that hiding of the faith because it had great benefits, as Abu Talib kept his Faith secret because it had great benefits. Just because Abu Talib did not announce his Faith, he was able to protect the life of holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.). Likewise, that believer from the family of Pharaoh was able to protect Prophet Musa (a.s.) by not declaring his Faith openly.

                        Any how, faith based on taqiyah was so pleasing to Allah that he was counted as a “Siddiq” (Most Truthful). The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) has said:

                        “There are three siddiqin: (1) Habib Najjar; (2) The Faithful from the family of Pharaoh and (3) ‘Ali bin Abi Talib”.(24)

                        Not only “the Believer from the Family of Pharaoh” but, according to Al-Baidawi, even the Prophet Musa (a.s.) had spent a considerable period of his life in taqiyah. See his commentary under the following Ayat:

                        Said (Pharaoh): Did we not cherish you amidst us as a child? And you did dwell amidst us for years of your life.(25).

                        Coming back to the time of the Holy Prophet of Islam, we know that the Holy Prophet kept his Mission secret for 3 years; and we have seen how ‘Ammar bin Yasir resorted to taqiyah. This way in Meccan period. Even after Hiujrah there remained in  Mecca many believers whose Islam was unknown to others. When the peace of treaty was concluded in Hudaibiyah in 6 A.H. many Muslims were displeased with its terms.

                        Hadhrat Umer bin Khittab was so incensed that he protested to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and in later days he used to say:-

                        (I did not entertain any doubt – about the Prophet hood of the Holy Prophet – Since I accepted Islam except on the day of Hudaibiyah).(26)

                        Replying to that group, Allah explains one of the reasons of that treaty and one of the causes why war was not waged at that time:-

                        And were it not for the believing men and believing women, not having known them you might have trodden them down; a crime would have afflicted you because of them without (your) knowledge.(27).

                       This verse clearly says that there were believing men and believing women in  Mecca whose Islam was unknown, not only to the pagans but even to the Muslims of Medina. And Allah describes such practicers of taqiyah as ‘believing men’ and ‘believing women’.

                        In short, these verses, traditions and incidents clearly show and demonstrate that if one is in danger of one’s life because of his faith, then it is allowed to utter words against one’s true belief of Islam, to save the life which is more important and that ‘lie’ will not be counted against him.

                        as-Sayid ar-Radi says:-                        “……. and we know that taqiyah affects only externally (i.e., its effect is only on the tongue) and not internally (on the heart, spirit, soul). When someone forces an other one to do something, (and that thing happens to be connected with heart) then the oppressor has not way of knowing that his wish has been complied with, except through some uttering's by the tongue from which he will conclude that he has succeed in changing the heart of oppressed. Therefore, the best course of action at the time of taqiyah is to show the friendship with the unbelievers by words, to mix with them and live with them with good manners – but the heart must remain firmly with the previous feelings towards them, of hidden enmity and the belief of aloofness from them.

                        “And such a man (who finds himself in such a situation) should – as far as possible – use dissimulation and double – entendre (i.e. words and sentences that admit two interpretations – one correct, one wrong; the speaker intends correct meaning and the unbelievers take it to mean the other meaning).’(28).


Question 1:   What is the meaning of the last paragraph of as-Sayid ar-Radi quoted here?

Answer:         He has alluded here to the best way of taqiyah, which is called tawriyah.

                        Sometimes a sentence or phrase may be used in such a way that the hearer takes it to conform with his own ideas, while the speaker takes it to mean a quite different thing. A good example of tawriyah is found in a talk of the “believer from the family of Pharaoh.”

                       Islamic traditions say that he was a cousin of Pharaoh. When his partiality towards Prophet Musa (a.s.) became known, some courtiers of Pharaoh told him that his cousin was a secret follower of Musa and did not believe in divinity of Pharaoh.

                          Pharaoh was naturally furious and asked his cousin to explain it. The court was full. “The believer from the family of Pharaoh” asked them:

                        The Believer : Tell me who is your Lord?

                        Courtiers: Pharaoh.

                        The Believer: Who is your creator?

                        Courtiers: Pharaoh.

                        The Believer: Who is your sustainer, who guarantees your livelihood and removes your trouble?

                        Courtiers: Pharaoh.

                                    Then the believer declared: “O King ! I keep and all these present as my witness that \their Lord is my Lord, and their Sustainer is my Sustainer; and the One who looks after their lives and livelihood is the One who looks after my life and livelihood. I have no Lord or Creator except their Lord, Creator and Sustainer...”

            Pharaoh’s anxiety vanished and the backbiters were severely tortured and put to death.(29)

            But, inspite of the joy of Pharaoh on this declaration, the real intention of “The Believer” is quite clear.

           Also two examples from New Testament come here to mind:

            Tawriyah of Jesus Christ:

            St. Matthews reports:  n went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him (Jesus) in his talk.

            And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.

           Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

            But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

            Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

            And he saith unto them, whose is this image and superscription?

            They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

            When they had heard these words, they marveled and left him and went their way.(30)

Taqiyah of St. Paul

            St. |Paul was brought before a gathering of the Jews who wanted to punish him for his faith in Christianity. Now read the accounts from the ‘Act’:-

            But when Paul perceived that the one part were sudducces, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; to the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

            And when he had so said, there arose a dessension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.

            For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angle, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

            And there arose a great cry: and the Scribes that were of the Pharisees, part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man.(31)

           Many examples of this kind of taqiyah could be quoted from Shi’a sources. But, as many of them entail explanations of Arabic grammar, I prefer not to write them here. However, one is given here to complete this topic.

            A preacher was asked during his sermon: “Who was the supreme most after the Holy Prophet? Abu Bakr or Ali? He replied:

           It may be interpreted as “He whose daughter was in His (i.e. Prophet’s) house.” i.e. Abu Bakr.

            And may as easily mean “He that His (Prophet’s) daughter was in his house”. i.e. Ali.

When taqiyah is not allowed

Question 12:            If Taqiyah is allowed by Islam, when why did not Imam Hussain (a.s.) restore to it? Why did he sacrifice his all on the altar of truth instead of taking refuge in taqiyah?

Answer:         Taqiyah is based on the principle of opting for the lesser evil. Telling a lie is not a big sin as destroying a life. Therefore, lie is preferable to putting oneself in danger of life.

                        Now, if safety of one’s own life depends upon putting another believer’s life in danger, then by the same reasoning, taqiyah is not allowed, because one believer is going to die in any case. So it is better for you to die than to cause the death of another believer.

                        By the same reasoning, if there is a likelihood that one’s taqiyah may destroy the belief of other believers, then taqiyah is forbidden to such a person.

                        Take for example the case of Imam Hussain (a.s.). The character of Yazid is well known and we need not go into its details here. Such a person demands allegience from Imam Hussain (a.s.), the grandson of the Holy Prophet of Islam and symbol of Islamic values and religious uprightness. Yazid had written to his governor of Madina to demand allegience from Imam; and if, Imam refused, then the governor was to send his head to Damascus .

                        So Imam Hussain (a.s.) was well-aware of the consequences of his rejection of that demand. Still he knew that if he did swear allegience to Yazid, Muslims would think that Yazid was the rightful successor of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.) and thus all the debaucheries of Yazid would become a part of Islam. In short, Islam would have been completely disfigured if Imam Hussain (a.s.) had accepted Yazid as the legal Khalifah of the Holy Prophet.

                        Thus we come to the conclusion that if someone is of such a status that if he resorted to taqiyah, other would be misled into un-Islamic tenets and beliefs, then the basic principle demands that he should sacrifice his life but save others from going astray. One or more lives are not as important as one or more people’s Faith and spiritual deliverance.

                       In the end, it should be reiterated that taqiyah is not a specialty of the Shia’as. Every sect of Islam accepts the principle. Quotations from Sahih Bukhari and Sunni Commentaries of the Qur’an have been given in this article. Imam Shafi’i allowed taqiyah even from the Muslims as well as from the infidels. And all great scholars of Sunni sect, without any exception, have written that taqiyah is valid upto the Day of Judgment. Those interested in detailed reference should see ‘Fulk-un –Najat’ of Maulana Ali Muhammad And Maulana Amirud-Deen ( Lahore , Pakistan ) where scores of references have been given from page 89 to page 116.

                        The Sunni scholar, Najamuddin Tufi Hanbali writes:-

                        “Know that the long arguments for an against taqiyah are useless… but there is no doubt in its validity and legality. Of course, common people do not like its name (taqiyah) because it has been identified with the Shi’as.” Otherwise, the whole world uses it naturally, through some call it ‘tolerance’, others name it as ‘diplomacy’, and some call it ‘common sense’. And it is proved by proofs of Sheriah (Islam).(32)

Question 13:            Keeping in view, all these verses of the Qur’an and the Prophet’s traditions, and looking at all these historical facts in the lives of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.), his companions and even previous Prophets as well as the Sunni scholars, how is it that the Wahhabis go on accusing the Shi’as of various ridiculous beliefs and then declaring that even if the Shia’s deny such beliefs they should not be believed because they practice taqiyah?

Answer:         Well our books are readily available in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Swahili, English and many other languages. They are on sale in Iran , Iraq , Gulf States , Lebanon , Pakistan , India , East Africa, U.K. , Canada , U.S.A. and other countries. There are books on theology, jurisprudence and social, ethical and philosophical subjects. Some are meant for our children’s education, others for youths and grown up people. Let the Wahhabis produce proof from our books in support of those baseless accusations. Unfortunately, they go on repeating those foolish things from their own books and think that they have vanquished the Shia’s!!

                        What will they say if we start writing that: The Wahhabis believe that Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab was their prophet, and that is why they hate the Holy Prophet, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (S.A.W.W.) so much and always try to distract the Muslims from showing love and respect to the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.W.) but they do not dare to declare this belief openly because then they would be turned out of Mecca will they refute this allegation? What will be their defence when will reject their words of mouth and their writings, as we will go on asserting that it was al pack of lies just to safeguard their hold on the sanctuaries of Mecca and Madina?



(1)       Qur’an, Surah 16 (an-Nahl), verse 106.

(2)       Shah ‘Abdu ‘l-Aziz Dehlawi, Tuhfa-e-Ithna-‘ashariyah, ch. 11 p-368.

(3)       Ibid.

(4)       ‘Allamah Wahidu ‘z-Zaman Khan, Anwaru ‘l-lughah, Bangalore cd., para 26, p. 84

(5)       Qur’an 49 : 14

(6)       Qur’an 63 : 1

(7)       Qur’an   5 : 32

(8)       Qur’an   2 : 195

(9)       ar-Razi, Tafsir Mafatihu ‘l-ghayb, Old ed. Vol.5, pp 746-750

(10)     All Muslim sects agree that tiqiyahg is not only permissible but compulsory (wajib) in conditions like this. See for example, Sahih Muslim with its Sharh by Nawawi which says:-

            (The Islamic jurisprudents are agreed that if an oppressor comes looking for a man in hiding with intention to kill, or looking for a thing given in trust with an aim to usurp it unlawfully, and he asks about him or it, then it is wajib on a person who knows about to hide it and to deny any knowledge of him or it; and this is lawful – rather wajib – lies, because it is spoken to ward off an oppressor).

(See its pages 106, 266 and 325).

            Imam Muslim has written a whole chapter on this theme, i.e., the chapter o unlawfulness of lie and description of lawful lies;

See also

(a)       al-‘Ayni, Umdatu ‘l-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, Egypt , vol. 5, pg. 581; vol. 6, pg. 352.

(b)       Imam ar-Razi, Tafsir Mafatihu ‘l-ghayb, vol. 6, pg. 164.

(c)       ‘Allamah Wahidu ‘z-Zaman, Nuzulu ‘l-abrar min fiqhi ‘n-Nabii ‘l-Mukhtar vol. 3 Pg. 123.

(11)     See the above references to appreciate that the Sunni scholars unanimously agree that taqiyah is allowed to save one’s own life, honour and property.

(12)     Imam ar-Razi too has clearly described this contrast in his tafsir in the following words:

            This points to the fact that (in these matters) consideration is given only to what is hidden in the heart. A hypocritic  who shows faith and hides disbelief is a disbeliever, while a believer who under compulsion shows disbelief and hides faith is a believer; and Allah better knows what is hidden in the hearts of all.

            (vide Tafsir Mafatihu ‘l-gayab, Egypt, under verse 19:10)

(13)     Qur’an 16 : 106

(14a)   as-Suyuti: Tafsir ad-Durru ‘l-manthur, vol. 4 pg. 132

(b)      ar-Razi, Tafsir Mafatihu ‘l-ghayb;

(c)      az.Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf, Beirut, Vol. 2 pg. 430. Practically all books of Tafsir describe this event under this verse.

(15)     Qur’an   3 : 28-29

(16)     as-Suyuti, ad-Durra ‘l-manthur, vol. 2, pp. 16-17

(17)     ar-Razi, Tafsir Mafatihu ‘l-ghayb, Beirut , 3rd ed., vol. 7, pg 13

(18)     al-Bukhari, as- Sahih , Egypt ed., vol. 9, pp. 24-25

(19)     as-Sayid ar-Radi, Tafsir Haqa’iqu ‘t-ta’wil, vol. 5 pg. 74

(20)     Qur’an   3 : 173

(21)     Mulla’Ali Muttaqi, Kanzu’l-ummal, Beirut , 5th ed., 1405/1985, vol. 3 pg. 96, hadith no. 5665.

(22)     al-Kulayni, al-Kaif, Tehran, 1388, Vol., 2 Pg. 174.

(23)     Qur’an   40 : 28

(24)     ubaydullah Amritsari, Arjahu ‘l-matalib, 2nd ed., pg. 23.

(25)     Qur’an   26 : 18; Tafsir al-Baydawi, Egypt, Vol. 1, pp. 112, 396 as quoted in Fulkun-Najat, vol. 2, pg. 103.

(26)     as-Sayuti, ad-Durru ‘l-manthur, vol.6, pg. 77

(27)     Qur’an   48 : 25

(28)     as-Sayid ar-Radi, op. cit, pt. 77.

(29)     at-Tabrasi, al-ihtijaj, Beirut, 1403/1983, vol. 2, pp. 370-371.

(30)     Matth. 22:15-22

(31)     Acts, 23:6-9

(32)     Tufi, Sharhu ‘l-Arba ‘in an-Nawawi as quoted in Falkun-Naat, 2nd ed. Lahore, vol. 2 pg. 107.


Taqiyah (pious dissiumlation or concealing one's faith in dangerous circumstances)

In the matter of taqiyah also the Shi'as are very much defamed and the reason for that is that ordinary people are quite ignorant of its reality. A careful consideration will show that the taqiyah in which the Shi'as believe is not peculiar to them alone. Rather, it is a logical necessity and a natural demand. There is no commandment of the shari'ah which is inconsistent with wisdom and learning. In every problem, knowledge and wisdom appear together.
If one assesses innate human tendencies, one has to admit that everyone has a natural disposition to defend himself: life is dear. Of course, if there is a matter of honour at stake, or a question of protecting the truth, then, even though life is dear, it is not given any relative importance. But if circumstances do not reach such an extreme, what sane man would be prepared to endanger his own life just so that the world may laugh at him? What is more, to court danger is against the counsel of wisdom and religion.
Thus the Holy Lawgiver has permitted the Muslim who is surrounded by danger and who risks his or her life or his or her honour to hide his or her belief outwardly although he or she must continue to observe his or her religion inwardly. There are also verses in the Holy Qur'an suggesting the same thing and the story of 'Ammar, his parents and some other companions of the Prophet shows that when he was suffering the persecutions of the idol-worshippers, he professed unbelief.
There are of course rules for taqiyah. They are three:
1) if life will be lost for no purpose, then it is an obligation;
2) if expressing the truth would serve some useful purpose, then it is optional;
3) if atheism (kufr) is gaining the upper hand, people are being led astray, and their is danger of cruelty and oppression, then taqiyah is forbidden.

Now let us throw some light onto the matter so that a conscientious person may make up his own mind as to whether the Shi'a are actually guilty of taqiyah (supposing that it is condemnable), or whether they were forced to do taqiyah by certain groups who took away their freedom and forced them to dissimulate their beliefs.

As soon as Mu'awiyyah took over power, he made the shari'ah into a plaything and victimized the Shi'as of 'Ali (a.s.) with unconcealed savagery. The blood of the Shi'as was cheaper to him than water. The Marwanid caliphs also followed the same iniquitous policy. Then came the 'Abbasid period, and they even increased the atrocities. Consequently, those who loved the ahl ul-bayt (a.s.) had to adopt various tactics. Sometimes they went into hiding, sometimes they rose up.

Sometimes they were forced to conceal themselves and sometimes they stood up against the oppression in their enthusiasm for the truth so that their blood might become a beacon lighting the path for others. Some great Shi'ahs, therefore, paid no heed to taqiyah and braved all kinds of cruelties, sometimes ending up as martyrs. There is the very famous story of the martyrs of Maraj Azra, who were fourteen brave warriors who sacrificed their lives in the way of God under the leadership of the pious companion Hajar ibn Abi Kindi. He was also the military leader who was responsible for the conquest of Syria. Mu'awiyah said of him, "I know what was the case with everyone of those whom I put to the sword in Maraj Azra, but I am at a loss to understand what the crime of Hajar was for which he was killed." But we can easily say what his fault was. He did not feel there was any need to do taqiyah, because he wanted to let the world know the tyranny of the Umayyids and the deep religious feelings of his own family.
Let us not forget the events surrounding the ends of the great companions 'Amr ibn Himq al-Khuza'i and 'Abdu 'r-Rahman ibn al-Hasan al-Ghazi, who were buried alive by ibn Ziyad. Nor Maytham Tammar, Rushayd al-Hajari and 'Abdullah ibn Yaqfar who were crucified. Moreover, there are the examples of the hundreds and thousands of other Muslims who died fighting for their beliefs in the way of God before the disbelievers who crushed them to death.
These lovers of truth did not do taqiyah because such was the need of the moment. Their abstaining from taqiyah protected the truth and showed up the false religiosity of Mu'awiyyah, Yazid, Ziyad and Ibn Ziyad.
How can we possibly forget the events surrounding the martyrdom of al-Husayn (a.s.) and his worthy companions? They, of course, considered taqiyah to be unlawful in its particular circumstances, but there are other situations in which it may be compulsory, or may be merely optional.
It is reported that once Musaylimah, the false prophet, captured two Muslims and forced them to acknowledge his prophethood and deny the prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.). One of them refused and was therefore killed, but the other accepted and was released. When the news reached the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), he said, "The first man made haste to reach heaven, the second man marked his time. Bothe of them will be recompensed."
O Muslims! Do not taunt your brothers concerning taqiyah. May God bless you and us in the hereafter, and may we all be united on the point of guidance. Salam, peace, to you all, and may God bestow on you His Mercy and His Blessings.