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What is Taqqiyya'h? Is Taqqiyya'h allowed in Islam?


From the website management:


Taqiyya'h in Sahih al Bukhari 


Taqiyya'h in Sahih Muslim


Article by Dr. Tijani Samavi


In the same way we referred previously to the belief in the principle of badā', taqiyyah (dissimulation) too is among the points disapproved and deplored by Ahl al-Sunnah. They misuse it to vilify their brethren, the Shi'ah, labelling them among the hypocrites, as they claim that they (Shi'ah) show the opposite of what they hide inside their hearts!!


Most often I conferred some of them (Sunnis), endeavouring to convince them that taqiyyah is never like hypocrisy (nifāq), but all was in vain. Even you may see some of them feel disgusted sometimes, and other times may be amazed and baffled, thinking that such beliefs being innovated (as heresies) into Islam, as if they be among the fabrications and bida' (heresies) of the Shi'ah.


When any truth-seeker fairly investigates the matter in an equitable way without any prejudice, he will verily find out that all these beliefs being (derived) from the kernel and essence of Islam, and a product of the Holy Qur'ān and Prophetic Sunnah. Rather the magnanimous Islamic concepts and sound Shari'ah can never be established and straight but only through these beliefs.


What is amazing about Ahl al-Sunnah, being that they disapprove of creeds (held by the Shi'ah) in which they themselves believe, and with which their books, Sihāh and Musnads are replete, testifying against them.


We can read together what is said by Ahl al-Sunnah regarding the issue of taqiyyah:


— It is reported that Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hātam, with the chain of al-'Awfi, from Ibn 'Abbās that regarding Allah's saying: "... except (when) ye (have to) guard yourselves against (them) for fear from them...", he said: Taqiyyah (dissimulation) is verily by the tongue, and whoever intends to talk about a thing implying disobedience to Allah, disclosing it then for fear from people (to avoid their evil) with his heart being still content with the Faith. This will verily be not detrimental for him, since taqiyyah is in fact with the tongue."


— It is reported and confirmed by al-Hākim, and by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan, from 'Ata', from Ibn 'Abbās, that regarding Allah's words: "...except (when) ye (have to) guard yourselves against (them) for fear from them ..." he said: Taqiyyah is verily uttering something by the tongue with the heart being still content with the Faith.


— 'Abd ibn Hamid reported from al-Hasan ('a) that he said: The taqiyyah is permissible till the Day of Resurrection.


— 'Abd ibn Abi Raja' said that he used to read thus: "... except (when) ye (have to) guard yourselves against (them) with taqiyyah."


— It is reported by 'Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Sa'd, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hātam, and Ibn Mardawayh, and confirmed by al-Hākim in al-Mustadrak, and by al-Bayhaqi in al-Dalā'il, that he said: The polytheists took away 'Ammār ibn Yāsir, never letting him alone till he slandered the Prophet (S) and referred to their idols with good terms, only then they left him. When the Messenger of Allah (S) came, he asked him: What is the matter with you? He replied: I have bad news, I was never forsaken till defaming you and mentioning their idols with good (glorifying them). The Prophet said: How do you feel inwardly (in heart)? He replied: My heart is still content with the faith. He (S) said: If they return and resume you can resume. Thereat the following verse was revealed: "...save he who is compelled while his heart remaineth steadfast with the faith..." (16:106)


— Ibn Sa'd reported from Ibn Sirin that he said: The Prophet (S) encountered 'Ammār as he was crying. He wiped his eyes (the tears) saying: "Have the disbelievers taken and plunged you into water, and you said so and so (?), (no problem) if they return to it you can tell them the same."


— It is reported by Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Abi Hātam, and al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan, through the chain of 'Ali, from Ibn 'Abbās, that regarding the verse: "He who disbelieveth in God after his belief in Him, save he who is compelled while his heart remaineth steadfast with the faith ...", he said: Allah the Glorified informs that: Whoever disbelieves in God after having faith in Him, on him is the wrath of God and for him shall be a great torment. Whereas that who is compelled and coerced, saying something (bad) with his tongue while his heart contradicting this through (firm) faith, so as to protect himslef and be safe from his enemy, for him no harm is there and he is not to blame. This due to the fact that Allah calls His bondmen to account for what is deliberately determined insdie their hearts.


— Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Hātam, reported from Mujahid that he said: This verse was revealed in regard to some of the Meccans who believed (in Allah). Then some of Sahābah at al-Madinah wrote (a letter) to them telling them: Travel toward us, as we never regard you belonging to us till you migrate toward us. So they went out, starting their travel to al-Madinah. On the way, they were caught by some Qurayshi people who seduced them, compelling them to disbelieve. Then in thier regard this verse was revealed: "... save he who is compelled while his heart remaineth steadfast with the faith..."


— In his Sahih, under bāb al-Mudārāt ma'a al-nās, al-Bukhāri reported from Abu al-Dardā' that he said: "We grin (the teeth) before some people while our hearts are cursing them."


— Al-Halabi in his Sirah, is reported to have said: "When the Messenger of Allah (S) conquered the Town of Khaybar, Hajjāj ibn 'Allāt said to him: O' Messenger of Allah, I have a property at Makkah, in which I have a household, and I intend to go there. Would you absolve me if I speak ill of you, and utter something (bad) about you? The Messenger of Allah (S) permitted him to say whatever he would like.


— Al-'Imām al-Ghazāli, in his book Ihyā' al-'ulum, is reported to have said: "To prevent shedding the blood of the Muslim is obligatory. Whatever be the purpose for shedding the blood of a Muslim hiding (himself) from the oppressor, then to lie about him (not divulging his place) is verily obligatory.


— In his book al-'Ashbah wa al-naZa'ir, Jalāl al-Din al-Suyuti is reported to have said: "It is permissible to eat the (meat of) carrion during hunger, and to wash down the morsel into wine, and pronouncing word of infidelity. When harām prevails in a country, to the extent that halāl (lawful) can rarely be found, thereat using whatever is needed is permissible."


— Abu Bakr al-Rāzi, in his book Ahkām al-Qur'ān, is reported to have interpreted Allah's words "... unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security ..." thus: It means that when you fear loss of life or some of body organs, you can guard yourselves against them and show loyalty without believing in it (in the heart). This is the outward meaning of the utterance, on which multitude of men of knowledge are unanimously concurring, as reported by Qatādah about Allah's saying: "Let not the believers take the disbelievers as their friends rather than the believers" that he said: It is not permissible for any believer to take a disbeliever as his friend (wali) in his religion. And regarding His saying: "... unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security", he said: It necessitates the permissibility of showing disbelief in case of taqiyyah (dissimulation)."


— In Sahih al-Bukhāri, it is reported from Qutaybah ibn Sa'id, from Sufyān, from Ibn al-Mukandar, who narrated on the authority of 'Urwah ibn al-Zubayr that 'A'ishah told him that: A man took permission to enter upon the Prophet (S), when he (S) said: Let him in, how bad is the son (or the brother) of the clan! As he entered, the Prophet talked to him so mildly and tenderly. I said: O Messenger of Allah, after you uttered those words, you talked to him so gently (what for)? The Prophet (S) said: "O' 'A'ishah, verily the most wicked person in position near Allah, is that whom people forsake or be gentle with for the sake of guarding against his obscenity of language."


After reviewing all these traditions, we have a sufficient proof that the Sunnites believe in permissibility of taqiyyah, in the extreme, holding that it is permissible till the Day of Resurrection as previously mentioned. They believe in the obligation of lying, as reported by al-Ghazāli, and in demonstrating disbelief (kufr) as unanimously concurred by a multitude of the learned men,and confessed by al-Rāzi, and in permissibility of showing ostensible smile while cursing inwardly, as confessed by al-Bukhāri. Besides, they hold that man is free in defaming or slandering the Messenger of Allah (S) with any words he likes for protecting his money and properties, as expressed by the author of al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, and to say whatever implying disobedience to Allah or obscenity for fear from people, as reported by al-Suyuti.


So Ahl al-Sunnah need not to vilify and negate the Shi'ah for a doctrine believed by them, and reported in their Sihāh and Musnads as permissible or rather obligatory (belief). The Shi'ah never went farther than what is held by the Sunnites, except that they became known in practising it more than other sects, due to the oppression and persecution they suffered at the hands of the Umayyads and 'Abbāsids. At those times, just saying: This man is following and taking the part of Ahl al-Bayt, was a reason enough to make him face his end, and being murdered so savagely at the hands of the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt ('a).


Therefore, they (the Shi'ah) had no alternative but to practise and apply taqiyyah, following the instructions of Ahl al-Bayt Imams (peace be upon them). Al-'Imām al-Sādiq is reported to have said: Verily taqiyyah is of my Din (religion) and the Din of my fathers, and one who does not keep taqiyyah has no din. Taqiyyah was verily a motto for the Ahl al-Bayt Imams themsleves, to safeguard themselves and their followers and lovers against all sorts of danger and damage, and sparing their lives, and reforming the conditions of the Muslims who were afflicted with trial in their Din, as occurred to'Ammar ibn Yāsir (may God be pleased with him) or even more.


While the Sunnites were far from such a trial since, most the time, they were on good terms with the rulers, as a result of which they were never subjected to murder, looting and injustice. So it was quite natural for them to negate taqiyyah, and vilify those practising it, with the Umayyad and 'Abbāsid rulers playing a great role in defaming the Shi'ah because of the taqiyyah.


And since regarding it (taqiyyah) Allah revealed a verse to be recited and laws to be executed, and since the Messenger of Allah (S), as reported in Sahih al-Bukhāri, practised it himself, permitting 'Ammār ibn Yāsir to revile him and declare his disbelief if the infidels resumed torturing him, and also since the 'ulamā' of Muslims permitted this practice (taqiyyah), following the precepts of the Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Messenger, how is it correct then to vilify and deplore the Shi'ah, and for what reason?!


Taqiyyah was practised by the dignified Companions during the eras of the tyrant rulers, like Mu'āwiyah, who used to kill whoever refusing to curse 'Ali ibn Abi Tālib. The story of Hijr ibn 'Adiyy al-Kindi and his fellowmen is widely known. And the likes of Yazid, Ibn Ziyād, al-Hajjāj, and 'Abd al-Mālik ibn Marwan, and their equals are so many, that intending to gather the examples and evidences indicating the Companions' practice of taqiyyah, we shall need a separate book to cover them, we shall need a separate book to cover them, but the reasons of Ahl al-Sunnah that I cited can be sufficient, thanks to God.


I avail myself of this opportunity to cite a nice story I personally experienced with one of the Sunni scholars. It coincided that we met on board of an airplane, while we were among those invited to attend an Islamic conference in Britain. We exchanged our viewpoints about the Shi'ah and Sunnah for nearly two hours. He was one of callers to unity, and I admired him.


But I was displeased when he said that: the Shi'ah are asked now to abandon some of the beliefs that create disagreement among the Muslims, and causing them to defame and attack each other. When I asked him: Like what? He immediately replied: Like the mut'ah (temporary marriage) and taqiyyah. I tried my best to convince him that mut'ah being a legitimate and legal kind of marriage, and taqiyyah being a permission from Allah, but he insisted on his opinion, never be persuaded by all the evidences I cited for him. He claimed that whatever I cited and mentioned was correct and true, but it should be abandoned for the sake of a higher and more significant convenience, being unity of Muslims.


I found strange his logic which calling to abandon the precepts and rules of Allah for the sake of unity of Muslims. In a courteous way, I said to him: Had the unity of Muslims mainly depended on this thing, I would have been the first to respond and submit.


We disembarked in London airport, and I was walking behind him. As we approached the airport policemen, we were questioned about the reason of travelling to Britain. He answered by claiming that he came for treatment, and I claimed that the reason of my coming being to visit some of my friends. We passed safely and without any delay, toward the hall of bags delivery.


Thereat I whispered in his ear: Have you noticed how taqiyyah be valid and possible at all times? He said: How? I said: Because we lied to the police, I through claiming to have come to visiting my friends, and you through claiming to have come for treatment, while we actually came for participating in the conference.


He smiled, while recognizing that he told a lie in the hearing of me, saying: Don't the Islamic conferences have a remedy for our souls? I laughed saying: And don't they have a visit to our brethren?!


I resume the topic and say that taqiyyah is verily not in the way claimed by the Sunnah — that it be a sort of hypocrisy — but the opposite is right. As hypocrisy means to show out faith (Imān) and conceal disbelief (kufr), while taqiyyah being to demonstrate kufr and conceal faith, and what a great difference is there between the two positions. Regarding the former one, i.e. hypocrisy (nifāq), Allah said: "And when they meet with those who believe, they say, "We believe", but when they go apart to their devils, they say, "Surely we are with you, verily, we did but mock." (2:14) That means: outward faith + inward kufr = hypocrisy (nifāq).


While regarding the second situation, i.e. taqiyyah, Allah, the Glorified and Most High, said: "And said a man who was a believer, from among the people of Pharaoh; who used to conceal his faith ..." which means: outward disbelief (kufr) + inward faith (imān) = taqiyyah.


The believing man of the people of Pharaoh used to conceal his faith inwardly, with no one being aware of it except Allah, pretending before Pharaoh and all people of his being the follower of the din of Pharaoh. (Allah referred to him in His Holy Book as a sign of extolness and glorification for his status).


Dear reader, I invite you to recognize in full what the Shi'ah hold in regard of taqiyyah, so as not to be beguiled by what falsely and calumniously claimed about them.


In his book 'Aqa'id al-'Imāmiyyah, al-Shaykh Muhammad Ridā al-Muzaffar is quoted to have said:


"There are certain rules for taqiyyah, in respect of its obligation and non-obligation, in accordance with the difference of situations of fear from damage. They are stated classified of fear from damage. They are stated classified under their relevant chapters in the fiqhi books sof the 'ulamā'.


It is not obligatory in all cases, but rather it may be or should be contradicted in certain cases, such as when disclosing and proclaiming the truth implies a support to the Din, and a service rendered to Islam and jihād in its way. Only then it can be disposed of funds and properties, and selves can never be endeared or held on. Taqiyyah may be forbidden in respect of the acts obligating the killing of honourable persons, or spreading abroad of falsehood (bātil), or corruption in Din, or an extreme loss for the Muslims, through misleading them, or making injustice and despotism to prevail among them."


"However, taqiyyah, in the perspective of the Imāmiyyah, never makes them an underground society working for destruction and sabotage, as intended to be portrayed by their enemies who never endeavour to realize the matters in their true sense, bothering not themselves to comprehend the correct opinion held by us."


"Also its purpose is not to render Din and its rules a secret that it is impermissible to be divulged to those denying it. How can it be so while the Imāmiyyah books and works, in the fields of fiqh, laws and themes of kalām and doctrines, have covered the East and West and gone beyond the limits expected from every community believing in them." (End of his speech).


Everyone can clealry observe that there neither be any nifāq (hypocrisy), nor deceit, nor foist, nor cheating, as claimed by their enemies.




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