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Taqqiya

May 20, 2015

The much talked about verse referring to taqqiyya is brought up again.

YUSUFALI: 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. (16:106)

Debater also cited this verse:

YUSUFALI: 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. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah. (3:28)

Debater says: This is PERMISSION to lie….Quite diffferent than simply YOU making the choice to do so and God allowing it.

My earlier response to the same debater who brought this same verse over and over again – not learning the explanation but simply want to demonize the Quran:

Taqiyyah – the root word (waqa) of which means word waqa to safeguard, self-protection and hence dissimulation [in order to protect oneself] (The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, Revised Edition, Cyril Glasse, Stacey International, 2001, p450-451)

Unfortunately, Christian missionaries – in order to demonise Muslims and Islam – have misapplied this term and claim that Muslims are allowed to lie to the unbelievers!!!

Taqiyyah was allowed only in extreme cases to safeguard one’s life and property in order to avoid persecution or imminent harm, where no useful purpose would be served by publicly affirming them.” (The Concise Encyclopaedia of Islam, Revised Edition, Cyril Glasse, Stacey International, 2001, p450-451). Such permission was necessary at the time when Muslims were being persecuted and killed simply for being Muslim.

This verse (16:106) which you mentioned, refers to the incident when Ammar bin Yasir (ra) had to utter some words against Islam to save himself from the Quraish disbelievers. The Quraishites brutally martyred his father, Yasir and his mother Sumaiyah. His parents were actually the first martyrs of Islam. When his parents were killed, Ammar pretended to renounce Islam and thus saved his life.

The level of force the polytheists applied on Ammar bin Yasir can be imagined by Amr bin Maymoon’s statement, “The polytheists tortured Ammar with fire”. Abu Ubaydah bin Muhammad bin Ammar bin Yasir said: The polytheists seized Ammar and they did not let him off until he was forced to insult the Messenger of Allah and say good things about their deities”

Ammar bin Yasir told Prophet Muhammad (p) of what he was forced to say. The Prophet (p) said: “Say it again if they ask (i.e. force) you to do so”.” – (Men and Women around the Messenger, Sa’d Yusuf Abu ‘Aziz, Translated by Suleman Fulani, Darussalam, 2009, p. 286-287)

So, in order to avoid such torture the Prophet allowed Ammar bin Yasir to use “taqiyya”. This clearly shows that hiding one’s true faith when one is in danger of one’s life is allowed. Taqiyyah is not used to convert folk to Islam nor is it used in Islamic text books or anything of such a nature. It is simply a form of concealment used to avoid persecution! We are not talking about general, everyday general lies here or being deceptive. Taqiiyah is ONLY for purpose of protection and NOT for deception. Taqiyyah is allowed in matters of faith and certainly not in the matters of murder, fornication, slander , or as deception in sly manner…etc.

Taqiyyah is not something that one SHOULD utter words of disbelief to save one’s life. It is only a permission but not the ideal thing for a Believer. According to this permission if one utters such a thing, he shall not be taken to account.

There are instances which show that during the period of the Prophet some acted upon this permission while others did not. There was Khabbab bin Art who was made to lie on embers of fire until the fire was extinguished by the melting of his fat, but he remained firm in his faith. He did no hide his faith. Then there was Bilal Habashi who was made to put on an armor and stand in the scorching heat. Then he was dragged on the burning sand but he went on saying, “Allah is one.” Habib Gin Zaid bin `Asim, whose limbs were cut one by one by the order of Musailimah, the Liar. Each time his limb was severed it was demanded of him that he should acknowledge the Liar as a prophet but each time he refused to bear witness to his claim of prophethood until he breathed his last. However in the case of Ammar bin Yasir whose parents were mercilessly butchered before his eyes, after this he himself was put to such unbearable torture that, in order to save his life, he had to utter the same words of unbelief that were demanded of him.

From the second verse (3:28 ) you quoted, Allah assures the Muslims that faith is a spiritual things connected with the heart. If your faith inside your heart is firm then Allah is pleased with you whether u manifest it or hide it. He knows your hidden secrets and recognizes it. This verse instructs Muslims not to take the unbelievers as patrons over the believers but does allow for this in the case of fear. Tuqatan is used here (a verbal noun of taqiyyah). Tafsir Jalalayn explains: “unless you protect yourselves against them, as a safeguard (tuqatan, ‘as a safeguard’, is the verbal noun from taqiyyatan), that is to say, [unless] you fear something, in which case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts” [Tafsir Jalalayn – 3:28]. This again is in war context and only to protect oneself.

To use the concept of Taqiyyah to discredit Islam and use this practice to label Muslims as untrustworthy (or to demonize them) is scholarly and unjust. For the most part, this kind of hiding the truth is practiced the world over in times of imminent danger to one’s life – even in the Bible.

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