Is Taqiyyah hypocrisy?

(First published in ‘Al-Jawwad’, July 1955)

After ‘Bada’, the Rizwan editor has raised some objections over Taqiyyah (dissimulation), which are as follows:


Taqayyah is one of the best worship acts for the Shias. The foundation of their religion stands on Taqiyyah itself. Taqiyyah means to lie.

It is narrated on page 488 of Usul al-Kafi that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said, “Taqiyyah is my religion, the religion of my forefathers, (God forbid), one who does not have Taqiyyah has no faith.”

It is narrated on page 483 of Usul al-Kafi that, “Taqiyyah is from the religion of God.”

Shia gentlemen should tell us that if Taqiyyah had been actually religion or a part of religion why didn’t Imam Husain resort to Taqiyyah and pay allegiance to Yazid? The Imam cut off the roots of Taqiyyah in the battle of Kerbala. He gave away his head but did not pay allegiance even for the sake of Taqiyyah. He made it clear from his behavior that ‘a religion based on Taqiyyah is not mine’.”

The quintessence of this objection is concealed in this statement:

‘Taqiyyah means to tell lies’.

I have mentioned in the discussion of ‘Bada’ that the religion of these gentlemen is based on dictionary but the editor of Rizwan could not even remain firm on this simple formula of his ancestors because at least some knowledge is required for referring to a dictionary too. The actual root of word much be known for finding the meaning of an Arabic word. One should know the difference between adjective and a conjunction in Persian. And in order to achieve this proficiency, precious time is wasted. Hence it is wiser to leave all this useless study for others and start a religious magazine and to publish in it whatever comes to the mind under the intoxication of lawful and clean drink of Nabidh1 and consequently assure for oneself a life of luxury. Maulana Syed Mahmud Ahmad Rizvi has done exactly this.

In any case, a word can have two types of meanings, literal or terminological. For the literal meaning the spoken language of the people whose mother tongue it is, would be the final authority. While for the terminological connotation, the word shall be accepted of those who have coined this term. What would you call a person who defines a word in such a way that neither the people of the language nor the ones who have coined the term can understand? You yourself can suggest.

‘If we say anything it would be considered objectionable.’2

Come, let me tell you the dictionary meaning of ‘Taqiyyah’. It is mentioned in the Arabic dictionary, Sirah, that ‘Taqiyyah’ means ‘caution’.

Thus a similar meaning is mentioned in other dictionaries also.

It is indeed astonishing that lexicon experts explain the meaning of ‘Taqiyyah’ as caution while the personal dictionary of the Rizwan editor says that it means ‘to lie’.

Now if the Rizwan editor had remained firm on the decision of dictionary he would not have to take the trouble to make this whole objection. After all, these traditions are also saying that “Taqiyyah (i.e. caution) is the religion of God, the religion of my forefathers and my religion. And one who does not have Taqiyyah is not a believer.” What is untrue in this statement?

Let us now explain the technical meaning of Taqiyyah.

Firstly, it is a Quranic and Shiite terminology and you neither trust Quran nor have any connection with the Shias, hence you had no right to just explain the meaning of this one word and create a heap of objections. The Holy Quran has clearly advised people like you:

“So ask the followers of the Reminder if you do not know.”3

However, in spite of your complete ignorance in this matter, without asking the Shias, you have simply mentioned that ‘Taqiyyah means to lie’. Due to this one sentence you have became guilty of three sins:

    (1) You opposed the above-mentioned command of Quran by not asking the ‘people who know’.

    (2) You insulted and denied the clear Quranic injunction of ‘Taqiyyah’ and according to the verdict of Qazi Ayaz: ‘One who insults or denies a Quranic command is a disbeliever.’

    (3) By publishing this wrong objection you have tried to hinder the common people from a Quranic command. While misguiding the people is like following the devil and such a great sin that God never forgives.

But in any case, I shall try to guide you.

“And nothing devolves on us but a clear deliverance (of the message).”4

I feel it necessary to mention some points by way of introduction.

First Preface

Faith and disbelief are related to one’s conscience. Hence, God has referred to those newly converted Arabs Muslims who claimed to be believers but had not become sincere believers, in the following way:

“The dwellers of the desert say: We believe. Say: You do not believe but say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts…”5

That is why people who only proclaim Islam verbally are externed from the circle of faith and they are said to be deserving the “lowest of the low” position in Hell and they are given the title of ‘hypocrites’ due to such belief of theirs.

Second Preface

The life of a Muslim is considered very valuable. So much so that it is prohibited to put ones own life in danger because it is not our property, rather a divine trust in our possession.

“…and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands…”6

Third Preface

If a situation arises where one is compelled to choose one of the two evils, one of them being greater than the other, any wise person will choose the lesser and which is less harmful. Numerous such examples are present in the Islamic law. For instance, a person is praying and he realizes that a child has fallen in a well. Now he has two options before him: either to continue praying while the child dies or discontinue his prayers, which is a greater sin.

However since the death of the child is a greater evil than discontinuing prayers, Islamic Shariah orders that it is incumbent upon such a person to discontinue his prayers and save the life of the child. If the man does not act in this manner his prayers shall be void and he would be guilty of the death of the child. Hence the discontinuation of this prayer is not only permissible but rather it is a very good deed and also obligatory in some cases.

Keeping in mind all these points, just suppose that the Rizwan editor was present near the cave of Thawr on the eve of the Hijrah, knowing the secret that the Messenger of Allah (S) was concealed in the cave. And the disbelievers reach the entrance of cave tracing the footprints of the Holy Prophet (S) where they are astonished to see the Rizwan editor, and they ask him if he had any knowledge about the whereabouts of Muhammad (S).

Could the Rizwan editor, in his enthusiasm of truth be justified in informing the disbelievers about the Prophet? His writings show that he indeed would have informed the disbelievers that the Holy Prophet (S) was hiding in that cave. However, we cannot expect this from any other Muslim. He would have either said that he does not know or would have informed them about a place far away from there so that the disbelievers may go away from the cave of Thawr in his pursuit. This lie of his would not be considered a sin but rather deserving of a great reward because the harm of this lie is nothing in comparison to the important purpose it served, that is saving the life of the Messenger of Allah (S).

Now in the same example just suppose an ordinary innocent Muslim instead of the Prophet (S) whom disbelievers are bent to kill only because he has become a Muslim. Suppose they ask the Rizwan editor about his whereabouts. Would he inform them? While the sin of a murder is a million times greater than lying!

Consider another example. Suppose one’s own life is in danger. The disbelievers have surrounded a person and ask him to either give up his faith or die. It is a fact that as long as the heart is filled with the light of faith, there is no harm in apparent confession of disbelief. It causes no harm to the faith. On the other hand, if one does not openly declare disbelief, one loses his life as well as the enthusiasm of faith, which could have created beneficial results in life.

The conclusion is that there is security of both life and faith in apparent confession of disbelief. And in not confessing thus, neither the believer nor his faith would be secure.

Whatever be the decision of the Rizwan editor in this matter, but God prefers that one confess disbelief apparently and save one’s life. If one remains alive one can benefit greatly from Islam and this is what is called Taqiyyah.

A similar thing happened to Ammar Yasir (r.a.). The disbelievers martyred his parents in a horrible way with utmost barbarity. Then they told him either to give up Islam or wash his hands off his life. Preferring the safety of his life, he confessed according to the order of the disbelievers and the disbelievers released him. After that he came to the Prophet (S) weeping and narrated the whole episode to him. The Prophet (S) said, “You did very well. If these disbelievers again force you, do repeat those words again.” The Messenger of Allah (S) approved in this way while Allah revealed the following verse by way of the approval of his action:

First verse

“He who disbelieves in Allah after his having believed, not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith, but he who opens (his) breast to disbelief — on these is the wrath of Allah, and they shall have a grievous chastisement.”7

Most Quranic commentaries narrate the above incident in the explanation of this verse. For more explanation, refer to the following commentaries. For the sake of brevity I have not quoted the whole episode:

    i) Tafsir Kabir of Imam Fakhruddin Razi

    ii) Tafsir Kashaf of Allamah Zamakhshari.

    iii) Tafsir Fazil Nishapuri etc.

Second verse

The following verse openly justifies and extols Taqiyyah:

“Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming. Say: Whether you hide what is in your hearts or manifest it, Allah knows it, and He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and Allah has power over all things.”8

I have already explained that according to the dictionary (Sirah) ‘Taqaah’ and ‘Taqiyyah’ have the same meaning. They may be two different words but their sense is entirely the same i.e. making a show of friendship to the disbelievers out of fear of ones life, and it is a permissible act.

Allamah Syed Razi (a.r.) has explained this in the briefest manner in Haqaiqut Tawil:

“Then God exempted Taqiyyah from this order (of prohibiting the friendship of disbelievers). So He said, ‘Except that you fear the mischief of these disbelievers and you want to remain secure.’ Here ‘Taqaa’ is also read as Taqiyyah in some recitations, but both of them mean the same. Thus, Allah has permitted the apparent confession of friendship with disbelievers only if it is just a verbal confession and one does not truly believes thus.”

God has also justified it saying that faith is actually related to one’s conscience. If faith exists in your heart you are free to keep it concealed or reveal it. Both are same in the view of God and He is always aware of your faith. It is enough for those who have brought faith for God’s bliss that God is aware of their faith. On the other hand, those whose aim in accepting Islam was to accumulate war-booty or to get royal patronage should really fear Taqiyyah because they cannot fulfill their wicked aims without making a show off. That is why the Rizwan editor is worried of Taqiyyah.

Third verse

The verse, which in helpless circumstances permits eating an unlawful thing to save ones life also allows Taqiyyah (i.e. expressing agreement with disbelievers). The verse is as follows:

“He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked; but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”9

Two more verses on this topic are present in Surah Anam and one in Surah Naml.

Obviously, the life of a believer is very dear to God. One can commit such a prohibited act in order to save one’s life, which is less harmful than the death of a believer.

Fourth verse

This verse is actually in praise of Taqiyyah:

“And a believing man of Firon's people who hid his faith said…”10

It is obvious from the way God has spoken of a believer from the community of Firon that He likes concealment of faith very much since there are many advantages of it. As in the case of Abu Talib (as), the infidels considered him also a disbeliever and refrained from causing serious harm to the Prophet (S). Similarly, the believer of Firon saved Prophet Musa (as) from the mischief of Firon and was always concerned about his security and service. In this way the following statement of Allah is fully confirmed:

“Surely We have sent to you (O people of Mecca!) an Apostle, a witness against you, as We sent an apostle to Firon.”11

That is, another similarity between the conditions of Prophet Musa (as) and the Holy Prophet (S) is that the Believer from the community of Firon was the well-wisher of Prophet Musa (as) while concealing his own faith and here Abu Talib (as) concealed his faith in order to protect the Messenger of Allah (S).

Allah so much liked this faith of Taqiyyah that He gave the title of ‘Siddiq’ (the truthful one) to the believer of the people of Firon.

The Holy Prophet (S) said, “The ‘truthful ones’ are three: (1) Habib Najjar (2) the believer of Firon’s nation and (3) Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as). And Ali (as) is the most superior among them.” For more explanation, refer to Sawaiqul Mohreqa and Tafsir Kabir, the famous books of Ahlul Sunnat. I leave the actual text and instead concentrate on replying to the objections of the Rizwan editor.

Fifth verse

Some Ahlul Sunnat scholars have proved the Taqiyyah of Prophet Musa (as) through this verse. I present this only for the palpitation of Rizwan’s heart. The verse is that Firon told Prophet Musa (as), ‘What has happened to you? You have started propagating the worship of One God while you used to live with us and followed my religion. You have also murdered a Copt.’:

“(Firon) said: Did we not bring you up as a child among us, and you tarried among us for (many) years of your life? And you did (that) deed of yours which you did, and you are one of the ungrateful.”12

Qazi Baidhawi writes in the commentary of this verse that before the declaration of Prophethood, Prophet Musa was living with Firon in Taqiyyah. (Shias are not responsible for this view).

Sixth verse

This verse of Surah Fath proves that the ritual of Taqiyyah prevailed at the time of the Holy Prophet (S). Allah revealed the reasons of peace treaty of Hudaibiyah when Umar doubted the prophethood after this incident. Allah informed that Mecca shall be conquered without fighting a war and this peace treaty shall be the foundation of this victory. The reason of conquest without war is:

“…and were it not for the believing men and the believing women, whom, not having known, you might have trodden down, and thus something hateful might have afflicted you on their account without knowledge — so that Allah may cause to enter into His mercy whomsoever He pleases; had they been widely separated one from another, We would surely have punished those who disbelieved from among them with a painful punishment.”13

This verse proves that during the time of the Prophet (S) there were some believing men and women in Mecca about whom even Muslims were unaware. What to say of the disbelievers! Here Allah is using the terms of ‘believing men’ and ‘believing women’ only for those who had resorted to Taqiyyah. What a calamity! Allah refers to those who practice Taqiyyah as believers while the Rizwan editor is heaping objections on them! As if he is (God forbid!) correcting the mistake of God like the second caliph used to (God forbid!) correct the mistakes of the Holy Prophet (S).14

“Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.”15

Apart from this, I have already mentioned about the Taqiyyah of Ammar Yasir in the beginning. Moreover it is well known that the Messenger of Allah (S) propagated Islam secretly for many years and a particular reference is not needed to prove it.

These numerous verses, traditions and incidents prove that it is allowed to confess disbelief falsely if the life of a believer is in danger since the life of a believer is more valuable than the harms of this lie. This is what Taqiyyah means. All essence of these verses is concealed in the following statements of Allamah Razi (a.r.):

“And thus we realize that Taqiyyah only applies to verbal confession (i.e. on the tongue) and not that it may dominate the conscience and the heart because one who forces a person to do something related to the heart (e.g. disbelief or faith) can never know what lies in his heart except that he would compel him to make a verbal confession and through this verbal confession gauge what lies in his heart.”

Thus the best method during Taqiyyah is that one should express the friendship of the infidels in such a way that one should be opposed to them but at the same time assume apparent good behavior and pleasing manners with them. But one should continue to harbor the same former enmity towards them in a concealed way, and have firm belief in aloofness from them and their dislike. And in expressing friendship and confessing disbelief also one should try ones best to use words having double meanings so that the disbelievers may take it in their sense while it implies something else.”16

Such usage of words having dual meanings is called ‘Toriya’. The best example of this is also present in a statement of the believer of the community of Firon who was in fact a cousin and heir-apparent of Firon. A courtier informed Firon, that his cousin has developed contrary views. On getting this information Firon wanted to confirm the report while his court was in session and the hall was filled with courtiers. The believer asked all the courtiers, “Who is your Creator?”

“Firon,” they replied at once.

Once again he asked. “Who is your Lord?”

“Firon,” they again replied in unison.

Then he asked, “Who is your sustainer?”

“Firon,” replied everyone.

Then addressing Firon, the believer said, “I confess, before you all that my Creator, Lord and Sustainer is the same as the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of these people.” Firon was satisfied although the aim of the believer is obvious.

I feel that since only this type of conversation is needed in Taqiyyah and it requires a degree of cleverness, that is why the Rizwan editor considers it unlawful for himself. Anyway, everyone is aware of his or her personal capability!

In other words you should know that caution, ‘Taqiyyah’, ‘Taqwa’ (piety) and ‘Taqaah’ are words having similar connotations. The basis of piety is to sacrifice a less important thing to save the precious one. Hence when it comes to saving the life of a believer, which is really precious, it can be achieved with apparent confession of disbelief provided that this confession does not affect to an extent, which would be more harmful than the life of believer. Intelligence and faith is required to decide whether the confession would cause more harm or not. The editor of Rizwan is deprived of both, else he wouldn’t have said:

“Shia gentlemen should tell us that if Taqiyyah had been actually religion or a part of religion why didn’t Imam Husain resort to Taqiyyah and pay allegiance to Yazid? The Imam cut off the roots of Taqiyyah in the battle of Kerbala. He gave away his head but did not pay allegiance even for the sake of Taqiyyah. He made it clear from his behavior that ‘a religion based on Taqiyyah is not mine’.”

The writer has leveled the following objection at another place in the same journal. On page 4 he says:

This behavior of Imam Husain (as) has cut off the roots of Taqiyyah. What could have been a more appropriate time to resort to Taqiyyah? If the Imam had so desired, he could have made a show of giving allegiance and led a life of comfort and peace. But Allaho Akbar! (God is the Greatest) He was the son of the Lion of God17. He did not even permit the thought of Taqiyyah. He made it clear from his behavior that Taqiyyah was unlawful and a religion based on Taqiyyah was not his.”

The fact is that Taqiyyah is based on the principle that the more precious thing must be saved. Everyone from Prophet Adam to the Holy Prophet (S) has acted upon this principle. Prophet Ibrahim (as) did Taqiyyah, Prophet Musa (as said by Baidhawi) acted similarly while the believer of the community of Firon also practiced Taqiyyah. The Holy Prophet (S) applauded Ammar Yasir (r.a.) for practicing it. Allah permitted Taqiyyah. However all these incidents show that Taqiyyah is allowed only so far as the apparent rejection of faith does not cause any harm to any Islamic aim.

Because if for instance, the life of one who confesses falsely is saved but another person who considers emulating him as cause of salvation gets deviated, the question would arise, whether the lives of one or more persons are more important or the faith and guidance of a whole group. Surely, we have to accept that the lives of one, fifty, hundred or a hundred thousand people are not as important as the faith of one, fifty, hundred or a hundred thousand persons.

That is why in important and serious circumstances the Prophet (S) was also permitted to wage a holy war (Jihad). Even though it put the lives of Muslims in danger, the benefit connected with the holy war was more important than lives of few people. Therefore Jihad had to be fought at that time. Although to decide what is more important at a particular time requires a very exalted and vast vision. Hence the decision of a holy war rests only with a messenger (as) or an Imam (as) because the Quran testifies to their infallibility.

Therefore if the personality of a ‘True guide’ is so honorable that due to his Taqiyyah a whole community would be misguided till the Day of Judgment, ‘Caution and Abstinence’ (or Taqiyyah) demands that he should not care for his life but save others from being deviated.

This principle does not depend only on the misguidance of others. Rather if due to Taqiyyah one has to murder an innocent soul even then Taqiyyah would not be permitted because the here the actual aim of Taqiyyah is being defeated. That is, saving the life of a believer. In case the choice is between saving one own life and taking the life of another person. In such a situation it would be better to sacrifice one’s own life and the permission of Taqiyyah shall stand withdrawn.

Even the Rizwan editor accepts that the personality of Imam Husain (as) was so influential that if he had paid allegiance to Yazid (l.a.) the transgression and sinfulness of the latter would have gained a stamp of approval. People would have got misguided and the name of Islam wiped out. Thus it is mentioned just before his remarks on Taqiyyah on page 4 itself:

“Though it is obvious that if Imam Husain (as) had paid allegiance to Yazid he would have honored the former. Rather the Imam (as) would have obtained many worldly benefits also. However, the system of religion would have been destroyed and the allegiance of Imam (as) would have become a stamp of approval for the evil deeds of Yazid. Therefore Imam (as) endangered his life, gave away his head but did not allow any harm to Islam.”

Then immediately after this he writes under the subtopic of topic of Taqiyyah and states his objections to it. After that in the account of the letters of Kufis he says:

“If Imam (as) had not accepted their request, what excuse he would have before the Almighty to their appeal that, ‘We paid allegiance to Yazid under the pressure of his hypocrisy and transgression. If Imam (as) had supported us, we were prepared to sacrifice our lives for him.’ The same problem was encountered by the Imam whose solution was not but that he should harken to their call.”

It is very surprising that after writing this, you also go on to say: ‘What could have been a better time to practice Taqiyyah?’ It is possible that in your view it may have been the best time. For in this way the Islam brought by the Holy Prophet (S), which prohibited wine, evil, dancing, singing, sinfulness and transgression etc. would have been destroyed. Only that Islam would have remained which permitted wine, incestual marriage and adultery, dance and music and in which a transgressor is considered worthy of Imamate and congregation leadership. Indeed, it was, from your point of view, the best time for Taqiyyah but from the point of view of Shias at that time there was no possibility of Taqiyyah. The expediencies for it are so many that there is no scope to describe them here.

As the saying goes: ‘These disbelievers are destroying their houses with their own hands.’ In the same way you have mentioned such points in the beginning which clearly prove that it was definitely not a time to resort to Taqiyyah.

After that you say:

“Shias should also think over this narration that is present in their religious book. It is mentioned on page 485 of Usul al-Kafi that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (as) said, “O Sulaiman! You follow such a religion that God honors one who conceals it and disgraces one who reveals it.”

It is narrated on page 482 of Usul al-Kafi: “Nine parts of religion are in Taqiyyah.”

Shias should note that they are ordered and that too by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (as) to conceal their religion. If you reveal it, you would be disgraced. Can a religion be called as a religion where one gets honor in concealing it and disgrace in revealing it?”

The religion of Islam is indeed very strange. God has asked His Prophet to remain quiet on numerous occasions and in the words of the Rizwan editor commanded him to conceal the faith. What type of a religion it is that in one place it commands Jihad and sometimes it says:

“(O unbelievers!) You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.”18

At times, it advises migration from the abode of unbelievers:

“…they (angels) shall say: In what state were you? They shall say: We were weak in the earth. They shall say: Was not Allah’s earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein?”19

It is said in the same place that God will forgive believers who cannot migrate due to their helplessness:

“Except the weak from among the men and the children who have not in their power the means nor can they find a way (to escape); So these, it may be, Allah will pardon them, and Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.”20

What type of a religion it is that instructs its followers to perform ablution or ritual bath for prayers but if they become ill or do not get water they may perform Tayammum?21 What type of a religion it is that commands to pray four units of prayers at hometown but allows two units while on a journey? What type of a Shariat it is that commands sacrificing an animal but if one cannot do so, he could fast for three days during Hajj and seven days on returning home?

An interesting joke comes to my mind regarding this issue. When the Prophet (S) initiated the propagation of Islam it was in an absolutely secretive manner. Often Muslims used to gather at the house of Zaid bin Arqam. They even used to pray secretly.

Abu Bakr tried to rectify this mistake (God forbid) of the Prophet (S) and coaxed him to go near the Holy Ka’ba and pray openly. The Prophet (S) tried to convince him but he did not budge. At last, the Holy Prophet (S) went to the Ka’ba along with his companions.

The disbelievers became furious on seeing this. They thrashed Abu Bakr so nicely that his face became swollen and his nose could not be distinguished. Read the following description of Sirat Halabiyyah:22

When the Messenger of Allah (S) entered the house of Arqam along with his companions (who were 38 in number) to pray secretly, Abu Bakr insisted that the Prophet (S) go to Masjidul Haram23 and make an open expression of Islam. The Prophet (S) told him, “O Aba Bakr! We are less in number and hence an open display is inadvisable.” However Abu Bakr continued insisting till the Prophet (S) relented and he and his companions went to the mosque.24

After narrating the above incident Allamah Dayar Bakri says:

“And Abu Bakr stood up and started speaking while the Messenger of Allah (S) remained seated. So the polytheists began to attack Abu Bakr and other Muslims, and gave them a severe beating within the boundaries of Masjidul Haram. Abu Bakr was crushed and received a terrible thrashing and the transgressor Utbah bin Rabiah came to him and started hammering him with his patched sandals. He used to rub each side of his sandals on the face of Abu Bakr. This affected his face so much that his nose could not be distinguished.”

Allamah Ibn Hisham in Sirat Ibn Hisham25 and Shah Abdul Haq Dehlavi in Merajun Nabuwwah26 have also quoted the same incident. I avoid the actual text for the sake of brevity.

Let us now consider this incident:

1) The first thing obvious from this episode is that the Messenger of Allah (S) used to propagate Islam secretly. He did not plan to make an open declaration till he had gathered enough power. It means, even the Holy Prophet (S) followed the principle of Taqiyyah. That is why Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) says: “Taqiyyah is my religion and the religion of my holy ancestors.”

2) All the previous discussions prove that Prophet Ibrahim (as), Prophet Musa (as) (as said by Baidhawi), the believer from the community of Firon, the Holy Prophet (S), Ammar Yasir, believing people of Mecca about whom even Muslims were unaware, followed Taqiyyah. Even after observing the style of all these personalities the Rizwan editor says: ‘Imam Husain (as) declared that a religion with Taqiyyah is not his.’ This only proves the intellectual level of the editor. Was the religion of Imam Husain (as) different from that of Prophet Ibrahim (as), the Holy Prophet (S) and believer from the community of Firon? Imam Husain (as) did Tayammum for prayers due to oppression of enemies, which did not allow him access to water. Will you say that Imam (as) claimed that a religion in which there is ablution is not his?

3) Abu Bakr opposed Taqiyyah and he had no qualms in destroying the exigencies of the Prophet (S). After seeing the Taqiyyah of the Holy Prophet (S) and opposition of Abu Bakr, the objections of the Rizwan editor against Taqiyyah are not surprising because these people have always considered Abu Bakr superior to the Holy Prophet (S) and base their religion on the statements of caliphs and their followers rather than the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S). Hence I consider the Rizwan editor worthy of forgiveness not only in this, but in every matter.

4) Now the most important conclusion becomes apparent here that due to the disobedience of the Prophet (S) and proclaiming Islam at a wrong time, the disbelievers angrily attacked Muslims and poor Abu Bakr became a sacrificial goat. The disbelievers disgraced him in such a way that his nose could not be distinguished from his cheek. Leave aside the discussion why the disbelievers selected Abu Bakr to the exception of all others for this evil act and how it shows his dignity. Just ponder on the fact that Abu Bakr was disgraced because of untimely expression and: Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) has also said, “O Sulaiman! You follow such a religion that God honors one who conceals it and disgraces one who reveals it.”

Now tell me what type of a religion it is that one gets honor in concealing it and disgrace in revealing it?

Is there any need of further discussion?

In the end I want to ask the Rizwan editor that the believer from the community of Firon practiced Taqiyyah and protected the religion of God so God gave him the title of ‘Siddiq’ (the truthful one) but on what basis have you people given the title of ‘Siddiq’ to Abu Bakr? While his mode of action was exactly opposite to that of the believer from the community of Firon. The former made the announcement of Islam at the wrong time and place.

Also traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) clearly say that only three people are ‘the truthful ones’ viz. (1) Habib Najjar (2) The Believer from the community of Firon and (3) Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as). And Ali (as) is the most exalted among them. Other narrations also address Ali (as) as ‘Siddiq-e-Akbar’ (the greatest truthful one). So when there is no other ‘truthful one’ in this nation, from where has Abu Bakr arrived to take this title?

What a daring that along with the caliphate, the titles were also usurped! Same is the case with the title of ‘Farooq-e-Azam’.27 The Holy Prophet (S) addresses Ali (as) as the ‘Farooq-e-Azam’ while you apply this title to Umar. What a great way of following the Prophet’s example!

It is possible that my honorable readers may be thinking why the Rizwan editor objects to a principle, which is in accordance with reason as well as the Quran and traditions. It is necessary to describe an important issue here. Faith is related to conscience and a belief inside the heart can only be destroyed by another belief, which is contrary to the former one. Iron is cut by iron only. Inner belief can neither be expressed nor destroyed by open declaration. If verbal expression had any effect on inner belief even hypocrites would have become believers, since they declare their belief in Islam verbally.

If a person is a sincere believer of Islam, verbal expression of disbelief could not affect his heart till he changes the beliefs of his heart. But if the Islam of a person is only verbal and there is no effect of faith and Islam on his heart, then verbal ‘expression of disbelief’ is quite enough to deceive that ‘verbal expression of Islam’. The editor of Rizwan falls in the second category whose Islam has not gone beyond their throats and it is limited to the tongue only. Hence he fears that if he has to express disbelief verbally in a forced circumstance their apparent veil of Islam shall also be destroyed. And that hidden hypocrisy will assume the form of clear disbelief, hence the best way to hide one’s hypocrisy and lack of faith of their hearts, is to oppose Taqiyyah.

Apart from this, there is another reason, which is as follows:

There can be one of the four conditions while considering faith and disbelief together:

    (1) Believing from heart and its true expression. (It is obviously faith)

    (2) Opposing Islam from heart and its expression. (It is clearly disbelief)

These two conditions are exactly opposite to each other.

    (3) Opposing Islam from heart while expressing a belief in it. (It is hypocrisy or hidden disbelief)

    (4) Believing Islam from heart but expressing disbelief out of helplessness. (This is called Taqiyyah or hidden faith).

Obviously, both these conditions are also clearly opposite to each other and they cannot exist together. Now the people who practice hypocrisy, if they oppose Taqiyyah, which is opposed to hypocrisy, they are worthy of being excused and their opposition is the very proof of the legality of Taqiyyah.

  • 1. Date wine, considered lawful by some caliphs and scholars of Ahlul Sunnat
  • 2. A line of Urdu poetry
  • 3. Surah Nahl 16:43
  • 4. Surah Yasin 36:17
  • 5. Surah Hujurat 49:14
  • 6. Surah Baqarah 2:195
  • 7. Surah Nahl 16:106
  • 8. Surah Aale Imran 3:28-29
  • 9. Surah Baqarah 2:173
  • 10. Surah Momin 40:28
  • 11. Surah Muzzammil 73:15
  • 12. Surah Shuara 26:18-19
  • 13. Surah Fath 48:25
  • 14. Courtesy: Allamah Shibli
  • 15. Surah Muhammad 47:24
  • 16. Haqaiqut Tawil, Part 5, Pg. 77
  • 17. An appellation of Imam Ali (a.s.)
  • 18. Surah Kafiroon109:6
  • 19. Surah Nisa 4:97
  • 20. Surah Nisa 4:98-99
  • 21. Dry Ablution with mud and sand etc.
  • 22. Vol. 1 Pg. 295
  • 23. The Sanctified mosque in Mecca
  • 24. Sirat-e-Halabiyyah, Vol. 1, Pg. 295
  • 25. Vol. 1 Pg. 153
  • 26. Vol. 2 Pg. 49
  • 27. The greatest discriminator of truth and falsehood