precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution
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Taqiya (تقیة, taqiyyah/ taqīyah, literally "prudence, fear, caution") is an Islamic term referring to precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution. This practice is emphasized in Shia Islam whereby adherents are permitted to conceal their religion when under threat of persecution or compulsion. However, it is also permitted in Sunni Islam under certain circumstances.


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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Among the Sunni authorities the question was not such a burning one. Nevertheless Ṭabarī says on Sūra xvi. 108 (Tafsīr, Būlāḳ 1323 sqq., xxiv. 122): "If any one is compelled and professes unbelief with his tongue, while his heart contradicts him, to escape his enemies, no blame falls on him, because God takes his servants as their hearts believe". The reason for this verse is unanimously said to have been the case of 'Ammār b. Yāsir, whose conscience was set at rest by this revelation when he was worried about his forced worshipping of idols and objurgation of the Prophet. It is more in the nature of theoretical speculation, when in this connection the question of hid̲j̲ra is minutely investigated, that in certain circumstances e. g. threat of death, a Muslim who cannot live openly professing his faith may have to migrate "as God's earth is wide". Women, children, invalids and one who is tied by considerations for them, are permitted muwāfaḳa ("connivance"); but an independent individual is not justified in taḳīya nor bound to hid̲j̲ra, if the compulsion remains within endurable limits, as in the case of temporary imprisonment or flogging which does not result in death.
    • Rudolf Strothmann, “Taḳīya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  • Taqīyah is the precautionary dissimulation of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution. Muslims recognize the personal duty of affirming right and forbidding wrong, but when confronted by an overwhelming injustice that threatens the well-being of an individual, this obligation can be fulfilled secretly in the heart rather than overtly.
    • Paul E. Walker (2009). "Taqīyah". The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World: Oxford University Press. Edited by John L. Esposito.
  • Taqqiya is een bekend begrip in de islamitische wereld. Het wil zeggen dat moslims die nog niet in een moslimland leven vaak niet alles zeggen wat ze werkelijk vinden.Maar op het moment dat de islamitische cultuur sterker wordt zullen er ook moslims zijn, die nu als gematigd worden gezien, die meegaan in de dwangmatigheid van de Koran en zijn ideologie. Dat begrip komt uit de moslimwereld zelf en mag dus niet worden onderschat.
  • Taqiyya is a well-known term in the Islamic world. It means that muslims who do not live in a muslim country (yet) often don't say everything they really think. But at the moment that the Islamic culture gets stronger there will also be muslims, who are now being seen as moderate, who follow along in the compulsive strictness of the Koran and its ideology. The term comes from the muslim world itself and should therefore not be underestimated.
  • The sixth Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq, who died in 765, had a servant who was suspected of having revealed some of the secrets of the faith. The Imam lectured, “Whoever propagates our tradition is like someone who denies it. . . . Conceal our doctrine and do not divulge it. God elevates in this world one who conceals our doctrine and does not divulge it and he turns it in the next world into a light between his eyes which will lead him to Paradise. God abases in this world one who divulges our tradition and our doctrine and does not conceal it, and in the next world he removes the light from between his eyes and turns it into darkness which will lead him to hell. Taqiyya is our religion and the religion of our fathers; he who has no taqiyya has no religion.” Other Imams also emphasized the cardinal importance of taqiyya, apparently not only because Shi’ites were under constant threat from Sunnis, but because Shi’ite Islam contained doctrines that must stay hidden from outsiders. Some sayings of the Imams include, “He who has no taqiyya has no faith”; “he who forsakes taqiyya is like him who forsakes prayer”; “he who does not adhere to taqiyya and does not protect us from the ignoble common people is not part of us”; “nine tenths of faith falls within taqiyya”; “taqiyya is the believer’s shield (junna), but for taqiyya, God would not have been worshipped.”
    • Etan Kohlberg, “Taqiyya in Shi’i Theology and Religion,” in Hans Gerhard Kippenberg and Guy G. Stroumsa, eds., Secrecy and Concealment: Studies in the History of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Religions (Brill, 1995), 345.
    • as quoted from Robert Spencer - The Complete Infidel's Guide to Iran-Regnery Publishing (2016)



Jane's Information Group states that while Raymond Ibrahim's opinion is well-researched, factual in places but whose interpretation of taqiyya is ultimately misleading. It focuses on a very narrow use of the term taqiyya, which is sometimes used to refer to dissimulation allowed to Shias to preserve their own lives and the lives of others. It appears to be a polemical piece interspersed with cherry-picked citations from the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet and secondary works. [1]

  • Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream...Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.
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