Taqiyya about taqiyya

An Islamic apologist, A.M., frequently sends me articles that he claims demonstrate the inaccuracy of what I say about Islam. However, usually the articles he sends don’t refute anything I say, but rather demonstrate the rather breathtaking talent that some people have for deception and misdirection.

So it is with this piece about the Islamic doctrine of deception, taqiyya. The author, who identifies himself only as Ibn al-Hashimi, quotes a number of Shi’ite authorities approving of deceptive practices, and concludes:

Lying is a big sin in Islam, and the best believer is the one who always tells the truth. The Shia faith is a deranged ideology, one which advocates cussing (Tabarra), prostitution (Mutah), self-flagellation (Matam), and deceit (Taqiyyah). It is not possible that the Deen of Haqq (the Religion of Truth) would advocate deceit, lying, and hiding. Taqiyyah is a practise of a cult or a secret society, and it is not used by those who follow the Religion of God. Declared one Imam of the Shia: –¦Taqiyyah is the distinctive feature of the Shia.” We would have to agree with him on this point.

So taqiyya is just another invention of the dirty Shi’ites, and the true Muslims, i.e. the Sunnis, don’t practice it. This anti-Shi’ite polemic, however, fails to mention a few inconvenient facts. Chief among these is that Sunni authorities have found sanction for this practice in the Qur’an itself: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them” (Qur’an 3:28).

The Sunni Qur’an commentator Ibn Kathir explains that in this verse “Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers.” However, exempted from this rule were “those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, ‘We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, ‘The Tuqyah [taqiyyah] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.'”

This practice is also sanctioned by the Qur’an warning Muslims that those who forsake Islam will be consigned to Hell “” except those forced to do so, but who remain true Muslims inwardly: “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 penalty” (Qur’an 16:106). Ibn Kathir explains that “the scholars agreed that if a person is forced into disbelief, it is permissible for him to either go along with them in the interests of self-preservation, or to refuse.”

Moreover, Sahih Bukhari, the hadith collection that Sunnis consider the most reliable, records three times Muhammad’s statement that “war is deceit.” Are we to suppose that no Sunni who reads that thinks it is a principle worth implementing?

Another hadith in a collection considered reliable by Sunnis has Muhammad saying that lying is permissible “in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)” (Sahih Muslim 6303). Muhammad also gave the killer of Ka’b bin al-Ashraf permission to lie in order to deceive Ka’b and lure him to his death.

Another venerable Sunni commentator on the Qur’an, as-Suyuti, says that “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…”

So why didn’t “Ibn al-Hashimi” mention any of this? After all, if he had taken up this and other material from Sunnis and explained why he didn’t think it was valid today, that would be one thing. But when he just ignores it and acts as if all the justification for religiously-sanctioned deception is on the Shi’ite side, it makes me wonder if he is just practicing…religiously sanctioned deception.

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  1. says

    If a Muslims lips are moving, he is probably practicing his taqiyya. The muslim wants your property, your money, and the end of your life…

  2. says

    Didn’t the so called prophet say that allah is the master deceiver ?

    Didn’t the so called prophet say that lying in defence of Islam is okay ?

    Then how of Islam is true ? And how much is false ?

    Was Islam Taqiya right from day one ? Did Muhammed tell the truth that Gabriel appeared before him, or was it Taqiya even then ?

    Once a person tells a lie even his past utterances come under cloud. So did Muhammed advocate Taqiya right from the beginning, and disclosed it only later ?

    So the very legitimacy of Islam, Quran, angels and allah are a big question mark.

  3. says

    exsgtbrown says it well –ala the Bill Clinton chestnut—“how can you tell when he is lying? When his lips are moving of course”

    Liars in a lying faith lie about lying. There is no “thou shalt not lie” in islam.

  4. says

    Two comments:

    1) Taqiyya as a doctrine of religiously-sanctioned dissimulation originates in Shi’a Islam. And that is something that Sunnis like tell Infidels: “It’s a Shi’a doctrine.” In fact, a good example of this can be found in one of Tariq Ramadan’s soft-spoken (so soft one could barely detect the serpentine hiss underneath his words, unless one already understood, in the well-prepared manner of Magdi Allam or Caroline Fourest, just what Frere Tariq was all about) essentially sinister appearances on “On Point,” with the terminally ignorant (yet briskly self-confident withal) Tom Ashbrook). When a skeptical caller mentioned “taqiyya” Ramadan said quickly “it is a Shi’a doctrine.”

    But if “taqiyya” is a Shi’a doctrine, the same kind of religious dissimulation can and has been derived independentlly from the texts — Qur’an and Hadith — of Islam. This is what is shown above.

    Indeed, if one googles both “taqiyya” and “kitman” (the practice of “mental reservation” — that is, of delibeately holding back, of not telling the whole story, the full truth, in order to protect the Faith from inquiring Infidels) is to real) one realizes that whatever the history of “taqiyya” deception has been practiced by Sunni Muslims, with Infidels, whenever they have felt it necessary — and that deception has, nota bene, the repeated sanction of Muhammad’s own words, and his exemplary example.

    2) The second thing to note about “taqiyya” being a doctrine that originates in Shi’a Islam is that this demonstrates something important.

    What is that something? Well, we are hearing, and shall hear even more when the Americans (thank god) leave Tarbaby Iraq, that “those Americans caused the hostiilty in Iraq between formerly peaceful Sunnis and Shi’a who had always lived in harmony” (a variant on this is, equally false, is the statement “the Sunnis and Shi’a had always lived in harmony until Saddam Hussein came long” a phrase believed in by some of the same Iraqis, even the “moderates,” who also believe, just as dreamily, that “the Jews in Iraq had no problems until the creation of the state of Israel”).

    “Taqiyya” is a doctrine that goes back to early Islam and the persecution of Shi’a by Sunnis. The split between Shi’a and Sunni is not something that happened yesterday. It did not happen, like the Reformation in Christianity, after 1500 years of unity in the Western Church. It dates back to the first century of Islam. While some (such as the egregious D’Souza) may wish to minimize those differences, or declare them, bizarrely, to be “political” rather than “religious” (apparently D’Souza missed his Master Lewis’ discussion of how there is no split in the belief-system of Islam between the “religious” and the “political”) the depth and duration and above all, murderousness, of those divisions, could be seen a thousand years before the founding of the American Republic.

    And the doctrine of “taqiyya” originates among the Shi’a who were told to dissimulate, not because the Americans or Israelis or British were coming, but because the Sunnis were coming, and how.

  5. says

    I have noticed when discussing with Islam apologists that they usually have very vague definitions of Islam, and often make a huge point of how Islam is not monolithic, that Islam is whatever Muslims believe it is, and so forth.

    However, as soon as I mention taqiyya, they often do the exact opposite – they adopt a very detailed and restricted definition of taqiyya, and argue that whatever it is you’re calling taqiyya, most certainly doesn’t fit that description.

  6. says

    In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful.

    Proclaiming One Unified Religion for All the People

    All religions of the world – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and others have been severely corrupted through Innovations, traditions, and the idolization of humans such as the Prophets and the saints.

    The Christianity they say the Jesus is God or son of God

    The Muslim say that we need the Hadith and Sunnah to be able to understand what they think that was left out from Quran. But we know that God state the Quran is complete nothing was left out and that God doesn’t ran out of words.

    All Humans religion proclaims one God in there heart, but the only deference is that they do not practice what there heart proclaim.

    So as you can see there are many of us who doesn’t like the traditional Muslim they have great it for their owned personal gain.

    God said that we are responsible for action

    [2:139] Say, “Do you argue with us about GOD, when He is our Lord and your Lord? WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for our deeds, and you are responsible for your deeds. To Him alone we are devoted.”

    [28:55] when they come across vain talk, they disregard it and say, “WE ARE RESPONSIBLE for our deeds and you are responsible for your deeds. Peace be upon you. We do not wish to behave like the ignorant ones.”

    Lip Service Does Not Count

    [16:106] those who disbelieve in GOD, after having acquired faith, and become fully content with disbelief, have incurred wrath from GOD. The only ones to be excused are those who are forced to profess disbelief, while their hearts are full of faith.*

    There are times in our life that we myth be place in situation that we do not want to died does making you fare of dead you myth agree with the person who is trying to hurt you, do disclaim your religion so myth say anything just to be left alone, God doesn’t punish someone for what’s not in their heart.

    Choose Your Friends Carefully

    [3:28] the believers never ally themselves with the disbelievers, instead of the believers. Whoever does this is exiled from GOD. Exempted are those who are forced to do this to avoid persecution. GOD alerts you that you shall reverence Him alone. To GOD is the ultimate destiny.

    This is the same thing that you elder myth say to you when you go outside to be with your friends to be careful how you choose your friends, God just remind you of your true friend are does that believe in the same thing you do, there are many other verse in the Quran your enemy to myth be your friend to tomorrow.

    [2:62] Surely those who believe; and those who are Jewish, and the Nazarenes, and the Sabians, whomever of them believes in God and the Last Day and does good work; they will have their reward with their Lord, with no fear over them, nor will they grieve. In the day or night

    [5:69] Surely those who believe; and those who are Jewish, and the Sabians, and the Nazarenes, whomever of them believes in God and the Last Day and does good work; then they will have nothing to fear nor will they grieve.

    Say: “Obey God and the messengers.” But if they turn away, then God does not like the rejecters.

    This system has been the same for human, angle and all creatures sense the beginning of creation, we worship God Alone.

    All I am asking from you is that for you to look deep in your heart and see what the Quran offers, not what u see these hypocrites proclaiming, attack them not the Quran your right there people out there that want us to believe that the Quran is bad, but its not the Quran it’s the people.

    Muslim now say’s “AMEN” the Quran doesn’t tell you that.

    [10:10] their saying in it is: “Glory is to our god!” and their greeting in it is: “Peace and the end of their saying is: “Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds!”

  7. says

    In this day and age I find it simpler to look things up on my own rather than listen to Islamic apologists.

    It’s just too easy to search for keywords in the Qur’an and ahadith. Finding the citations in The Life of Mohammad (sirat e rasullah) is way too simple thanks the Internet.

    May God bless Al Gore, jr. for inventing the internet. It will be the undoing of belief systems like Islam.

  8. says

    …”Lying is a big sin in Islam, and the best believer is the one who always tells the truth. The Shia faith is a deranged ideology, one which advocates cussing (Tabarra), prostitution (Mutah), self-flagellation (Matam), and deceit (Taqiyyah). It is not possible that the Deen of Haqq (the Religion of Truth) would advocate deceit, lying, and hiding. Taqiyyah is a practise of a cult or a secret society, and it is not used by those who follow the Religion of God. Declared one Imam of the Shia: “…Taqiyyah is the distinctive feature of the Shia.” We would have to agree with him on this point..”..

    By Allah this is TRUE. The best Jihad is not that of the sword. But a word of ‘truth’ told infront of a tyrant ruler‘….this is a sahih hadith from Bukhari…It is the twisted shia who believe in actively deceiving both sunnis and non-muslims….

  9. says

    Hugh (or anyone who knows),

    Would you please point me to an explanation of the term “Tarbaby Iraq” or tell me what it means? I’ve seen it twice in your writing and I don’t understand it.

    I thought “tarbaby” was a racial slur against people of African origin.

    Thank you.

  10. says


    Speaking of taqiyya, the statement “The best Jihad is not that of the sword. But a word of ‘truth’ told infront of a tyrant ruler'” does not in fact appear in Bukhari, contrary to your claim.

    Robert Spencer

  11. says

    substitute Muslim Minions for Brer Fox and the United States with Brer Rabbit and substitue Iraq for the tarbaby:..

    Brer Rabbit’s confrontation with the Tar-baby was a little less intentional, but soon no less militant. For when the Tar-baby did not respond to his salutation, even after hollerin’, in case the Tar-baby was deaf, Brer Rabbit took it upon himself to teach the Tar-baby a lesson in civility. So he threatened to whack her upside the head if she didn’t take off her hat and say howdy.

    Brer Fox, he lay low, and the Tar-baby just stayed still, saying nothing. Brer Rabbit drew back his fist and took her a whack on the side of the head. His fist went right into the tar and stuck there. After threatening to hit her again if she didn’t let him loose, Brer Rabbit fetched her a whack with his other hand. And that stuck too.

    Brer Rabbit kicked the Tar-baby with first one foot, then the other, and finally, in desperation, butted her with his head ’til he was stuck firm to the Tar-baby in five places. Just then Brer Fox sauntered forth from his hiding place and, just as innocent as a mockingbird, greeted Brer Rabbit. This time it was Brer Rabbit that ain’t sayin’ nothing. Well, Brer Fox was pretty pleased with himself. He’d caught Brer Rabbit fair and square. Ain’t nobody made Brer Rabbit try to strike up an acquaintance with the Tar-baby. And nobody invited him to stick his hands, his feet, or his head in the tar. He did that all on his own. And now he’d be stuck ’til Brer Fox went and lit a brush fire, pulled him out of the tar, and barbecued him for lunch.

  12. says

    In “Reliance of the Traveler” (a text on Islamic law that is endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo as representative of Sunni orthodoxy) there is a fascinating section on lying and when it is permissible and, at times, mandatory. Deliberately misleading someone is also permissible and a good alternative to lying.

    Maybe the Shia call it taqyiya and the Sunnis just call it good old lying.

  13. says


    I wonder if it’s a cultural thing that I haven’t heard the term used this way before. I grew up in Canada, as did my parents and grandparents, and I have never in my life heard anyone use that word (I’ve only read that it was a put-down of certain people). And, obviously, we never read the Brer Rabbit stories, either. (It was Dr. Seuss for us.)

    It seems to me that Hugh has a strong appreciation of, and love for, language and I thought he must have used that term deliberately to convey something specific but I didn’t know what it was, so that’s why I asked for an explanation.

    Thanks again.

  14. says

    I have recently re-read M Scott Peck’s “People of the Lie” and was
    struck by its relevance for our attempts to get a handle on Islam and Muslim societies.

    Peck was in some respects a classic left/liberal but as a practising psychologist he encountered certain people he was simply forced to classify as…evil; in the end he decided he had to write a book about the phenomenon. The chapter “The Psychology of Evil” is particularly worth reading. Narcissism; pretending that oneself is perfect; total inability to tolerate criticism; projection and scapegoating, are all nailed as aspects of the evil personality, and will ring bells for people like us who have been learning about Islam and its founder.

    Peck called his book ‘people of the lie’ because he came to the conclusion that if a person or a group is engaging in evil, one of the key warning signs is whether and how much the person or group are lying to themselves and to others. He also identifies ‘confusion’ as another marker – evil ‘creates confusion’.

    Islam: religion of the lie, in so many ways.

  15. says

    “I thought ‘tarbaby’ was a racial slur against people of African origin.”
    — from a posting above asking for the meaning, and therefore the Joel-Chandler-Harris origin of, “Tarbaby Iraq”

    No. If it were I would never use it.
    And the fact that one or two politicians have apparently been bamboozled into thinking it is such and that therefore they must hasten to apologize does not make it a “racial slur.” It isn’t. It is a literary reference, and an apt one, to a creature consisting of sticky tar, created by one fictional character, Bre’r Fox, to get another fictional character, Bre’r Rabbit, in a celebrated story by Joel Chandler Harris, in trouble. And that’s all it is.

  16. says

    Robert are you not falling into the taqiyya trap just by spending so much of your valuable time responding?

    Sounds like a bedroom jihadi to me,spent a couple of years in a madrassa in Egypt or Saudi.

    It’s junk mail.