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Within the Shia theological framework,[1] the concept of taqiyya (تقية - 'fear, guard against', also taghiyeh)[2] refers to a dispensation allowing believers to conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion.[3]

The word "al-taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of imminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." In political terms, it is used by critics of Islam to describe what they see as intentional concealment of Islamic doctrines in order to gain influence and deceive so-called "enemies of Islam". A one-word translation would be "dissimulation." [4][citation needed]

Al-Tabari's (d. 923) famous tafsir (exegesis of the Koran) is a standard and authoritative reference work in the entire Muslim world. Regarding 3:28, he writes: "If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harboring inner animosity for them. … Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers — except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them." Regarding 3:28, Ibn Kathir (d. 1373, second in authority only to Tabari) writes, "Whoever at any time or place fears their [infidels'] evil may protect himself through outward show." As proof of this, he quotes Muhammad's close companion, Abu Darda, who said, "Let us smile to the face of some people [non-Muslims] while our hearts curse them"; another companion, al-Hassan, said, "Doing taqiyya is acceptable till the Day of Judgment [i.e., in perpetuity]. Source: "War and Peace - and Deceit - in Islam" by Raymond Ibrahim /Pajamas Media February 12, 2009

Contents

Shi'i view

Shia authority, Ayatollah Sistani describes the concept of taqiyya as follows:

1) Taqiyah is done for safety reasons. For example, a person fears that he might be killed or harmed, if he does not observe Taqiyah. In this case, it is obligatory to observe Taqiyah.
2) Reconciliatory Taqiyah. This type of Taqiyah is done when a person intends to reconcile with the other side or when he intends to soften their hearts. This kind of Taqiyah is permissible but not obligatory.
3) Sometimes, Taqiyah may cause a more important obligation to be lost or missed, if so it is forbidden. For example, when I know that silence would cause oppression and infidelity to spread and will make people go astray, in such a situation it is not permissible to be silent and to dissimulate.
4) Sometimes, Taqiyah may lead to the death of an innocent person. If so, it is not permissible. It is therefore haram (forbidden) to kill a human being to save your own life.[5]


The taqiyya doctrine is based on this sura from Qur'an 3:28: "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." Sunni commentator Ibn Kathir explained that "believers that fear for their safety from the unbelievers... are allowed to show friendship to the unbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly."

According to Shia scholar Muhammad Husain Jafari Sahiwal, Shi'ism would not have spread if it wasn't for taqqiya. (Referring to instances where Shiites have been ruthlessly persecuted by the Sunni political elite, during the Umayyad and Abbasid empires.)[6]

Sunni View

Surah al-Imran 3:118 mentions Taqqiya, this is according to Ibn Kathir and the hadith.

(unless you indeed fear a danger from them) meaning, except 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 is allowed until the Day of Resurre ction. Allah said,

[7]

Use in politics

Muslims and Islamists are sometimes accused of practicing taqiyya in contemporary political debates. For instance, this accusation has been levelled by Fouad Ajami at the theologian Tariq Ramadan,[8] by James Woolsey at Islamist terrorists,[9] and by Michael Rubin and others at the government of Iran.[10][11] Others have responded that the accusers misunderstand the meaning of the term and that politicians of all religions lie.[8][12][13]

See also

References

  1. ^ Kohlberg (1977) p. 395
  2. ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Ed. John Bowker. Oxford University Press, 2000. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 9 June, 2006.
  3. ^ "Taqiyah" Oxford Dictionary of Islam. John L. Esposito, Ed. Oxford University Press. 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 9 June, 2006.
  4. ^ al-Taqiyya/Dissimulation (Part I)
  5. ^ Ayatollah Sistani's official website
  6. ^ Tarikhush Shi’ah, p.230
  7. ^ http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=3&tid=8052
  8. ^ a b http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=191964&sectioncode=26
  9. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1738419.htm
  10. ^ http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1254862-2,00.html
  11. ^ http://aei.org/publications/pubID.28896,filter.all/pub_detail.asp
  12. ^ http://www.juliansanchez.com/2008/11/11/what-he-said/
  13. ^ http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2008/11/taqiya.php

Further reading

  • Bar-Asher, Me'ir Mikha'el (1999). Scripture and Exegesis in Early Imami Shiism. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11495-5
  • Cook, Michael (2003). Early Muslim Dogma: A Source-Critical Study. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-54572-2
  • Daftary, Farhad (1992). The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42974-9
  • Hafizullah Emadi (1998). The end of taqiyya: reaffirming the religious identity of Ismailis in Shughnan, Badakhshan - political implications for Afghanistan. Middle Eastern Studies. 34(3), 103-120.
  • Hafizullah Emadi (2000). Praxis of taqiyya: perseverance of Pashaye Ismaili enclave, Nangarhar, Afghanistan. Central Asian Survey. 19(2), 253-264.
  • Firro, Kais (1999). The Druzes in the Jewish State: A Brief History. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11251-0
  • Gleaves, Robert (2000). Inevitable Doubt. Two Theories of Shi'i Jurisprudence. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11595-1
  • Misri, Ahmad ibn Naqib al- (1997). The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana Publications.

External links

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Taqiyya (or kitman[1]) is the principle generally employed by the Shia and Druze sects. that dissimulation is permissible if it furthers an Islamic morally valid objective according to Sharia.

Sourced

  • 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.

References

External links

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