بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Some people have fallen victim to confusing al-Taqiyya with hypocrisy, when in fact they (al-Taqiyya and Hypocrisy) are two opposite extremes. al- Taqiyya is concealing faith and displaying nonbelief; while Hypocrisy is the concealment of unbelief and the display of belief. They are TOTAL opposites in function, form, and meaning.
The Qur’an reveals the nature of hypocrisy with the following verse:
"When they meet those who believe, they say: `We Believe;’ but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: `We are really with you, we (were) only jesting (2:14)."
The Qur’an then reveals al-Taqiyya with the following verses:
"A Believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had CONCEALED his faith, said: "Will ye slay a man because he says, `My Lord is Allah’?....(40:28)”(Emphasis Mine.)
"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 Chastisement (16:106).”(Emphasis Mine.)
"Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, (they) shall have no relation left with Allah except by way of precaution ("tat-taqooh"), that ye may guard yourselves ("tooqatan") from them....(3:28)"
And when Moses returned unto his people, angry and grieved, he said: Evil is that (course) which ye took after I had left you. Would ye hasten on the judgment of your Lord? And he cast down the tablets, and he seized his brother by the head, dragging him toward him. (Aaron) said:
"Son of my mother! Lo! People did oppress me and they were about to kill me. Make not the enemies rejoice over my misfortune nor count thou me amongst the sinful people. (Qur’an 7:150)"
Now, we see that Allah (SWT) Himself has stated that one of His (SWT) faithful servants concealed his faith and pretended that he was a follower of the Pharaoh’s religion to escape persecution. We also see that Prophet Aaron (Haroon) observed Taqiyya when his life was in danger. We also observe that al-Taqiyya is clearly permitted in a time of need. In fact, the Book of Allah instructs us that we should escape a situation which causes our destruction for nothing:
"and make not your own hands contribute to your destruction (2:195)"
Aside from the instuctions of Quan and Hadith on the permissibility and necessity of Taqiyya, such necessity can also be derived from a logical and rational standpoint. It is apparent to any discerning observer that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon His (SWT) creation certain defense mechanisms and instincts to protect themselves from impending danger. What follows are some examples that serve to illustrate the above point.
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Instinct:"
"Instinct is inherited, essentially unlearned, and generally adaptive animal behavior that is typical to each species. Instinct is prominent in aggression, courtship, and mating, and in various social behaviors, although learning, maturation, growth, or circumstance can modify the behavior. Human behavior is mostly a product of learning, whereas the behavior of a moth, a snail, or a bird mainly depends on instinct."
"Behaviors that are most instinctive include reproduction, concealment, defense, escape, threats or warnings, and aggression, all of which are essential to the survival of the species."
"A species’ instinctive behaviors appear similar in form: chickens and turkeys seek a high place to roost at night, cats stalk prey in a characteristic manner, and dogs mark their territories in a species-
Typical behavior patterns appear even in animals that are raised isolated from other members of their own species, a situation in which learning by observation, imitation, or instruction cannot occur. Many, but not all, birds sing the songs of their conspecifics (other members of their species) even though they are removed from the nest before hatching and are raised in a quiet room.
Others sing a simplified version of the species’ song."
It is apparent then that instincts play a crucial role in the animal kingdom, as well as the human one. Furthermore, the above quote asserts that: "Behaviors that are most instinctive include reproduction, CONCEALMENT, DEFENSE, escape, threats or warnings, and aggression, all of which are essential to the survival of the species.”(Emphasis Mine)
Given the above, we may suggest that although al-Taqiyya is a learned behavior, it nonetheless originates from the survival instinct that is innate to creation. That is, out of fear and the instinct to survive, one conceals that which may jeopardize his well-being. It is a fact that one can overcome the fear within him, and utter the truth even if it jeopardized him; but one must also set priorities and judge when the telling of the truth will serve a noble purpose, and when it won’t make a difference.
If a person is about to be slaughtered because he is a Shi’i, then his concealment of his beliefs is of utmost importance, IF that concealment does not serve as an injustice to someone else. For example, if I, a Shi’i, deny my beliefs to protect myself; and, as a result, an innocent man is blamed instead, then I must come forward, at the risk of death, to protect that man; but when my denial serves no injustice whatsoever, then I must conceal my beliefs to protect myself.
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Insect:"
"Most insects try to escape when threatened and some insects "play dead,”for example, some beetles fall to the ground after folding up their legs, giving the appearance of a clump of dirt. Many insects use shelters ranging from burrows in the ground to elaborate shelters constructed of various materials. Insects also employ camouflage.
Many are so colored that they blend into their background, such as moths colored like the bark of trees. Some insects bear a close resemblance to objects in the environment, such as inchworms, which resemble twigs. Other insects will cover themselves with debris or excrement.
Chemical defenses often involve distasteful body secretions, repellent secretions, or poisonous injection into an attacker. The use of the sting is probably the most effective and often a severe method. The only stinging insects are Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and some ants)."
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Mammal:"
"The name pangolin is from a Malay word for "round cushion”and refers to the animal’s DEFENSE of curling up into a ball. As a further defense, the pangolin will spray urine and anal gland secretions on a persistent intruder.”(Emphasis Mine)
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Coloration, Biological:”
"Both the ringed plover chick and its egg are cryptically colored. Plovers are shore birds that dig shallow nests in the open ground; the coloration acts as camouflage, helping the young blend with their surroundings as protection against predators."
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Bear:"
"The polar bear, Thalarctos maritimus, travels great distances along arctic coasts. Its white fur furnishes camouflage against snow and ice."
The following quote is taken from the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (1992) under the topic of "Deep-Sea Life:"
"Fishes of the shallower parts of the deep sea often have very large eyes relative to their size, suggesting that they respond to the minimal light present in the upper zones. Both fishes and invertebrates in these zones also often possess complex organs capable of producing light (see BIOLUMINESCENCE). These organs frequently exist in definite patterns on the body and may be important in species and sexual recognition, in the attracting of prey or repelling of predators, in camouflage, or in other ways not yet understood."
Other examples of naturally-occurring defense mechanisms include, but are not limited to, the thorns on certain flower stems and the poisonous chemicals in plants to protect them from danger.
It is clear from the above quotations that defense mechanisms are Allah’s (SWT) mercy to His (SWT) creation, such that He (SWT) has not left them unprotected. As such, al-Taqiyya, I contend, is an instinctive defense mechanism that Allah (SWT) has endowed humans with. The ability to use one’s tongue to escape persecution is indeed a supreme example of defense.
I read once in a Sufi book that "Islam is truth without form.”Indeed, that is so; and Islam is Allah’s (SWT) natural religion, it is the Primordial Truth, it is the ONLY religion that conforms to man’s instincts and natural inclinations. Given that, al-Taqiyya, I contend, is a truism because it satisfies an instinctive need to survive and prosper.
It has been demonstrated under the section of "Sunni Sources In Support of al-Taqiyya”that it is permissible to lie to save oneself, as al-Ghazzali asserted; and that it is legitimate to utter words of unbelief as al-Suyuti stated; and that it is acceptable to smile at a person while your heart curses him as al-Bukhari confirms; and that al- Taqiyya is an integral part of the Qur’an itself, as has been shown under the section of "The Qur’an Speaks: al-Taqiyya vs. Hypocrisy;”and that it was practiced by one of the most notable companions of the Prophet (S), none other than `Ammar Ibn Yasir (May Allah Reward him generously); and we have seen that al- Suyuti narrates that al-Taqiyya is permissible until the Day of Judgment; and that a person can say anything he wants, even to badmouth the Prophet (S) if he is in a dangerous and restrictive situation; and we have also seen that even the Prophet (S) himself practiced al-Taqiyya in a manner of diplomacy that served to advance good relations among the people.
Furthermore, the Prophet did not disclose his mission for the first three years of his prophethood, which was, in fact, another practice of al- Taqiyya by the Prophet to save the young Islam from annihilation.
Now, the question to our opponent is: If your MOST authentic books explicitly advocate al-Taqiyya, as has been demonstrated above, why then do you mock the Shi’a and accuse them of hypocrisy? By Allah (SWT), who is the hypocrite now?
Apparently now, there is no difference between the Sunnis and Shi’a vis-a- vis al-Taqiyya, except that the Shi’a practice al-Taqiyya for fear of persecution, while the Sunnis don’t.
The Shi’a have to practice al-Taqiyya as part of the persecution that they have suffered from day one of the death of the Mercy to Mankind, Muhammad (S). It is enough to say "I am a Shi’i”to get your head chopped off, even today in countries like Saudi Arabia. As for the Sunnis, they were never subjected to what the Shi’a have been subjected to, primarily because they have always been the friends of the so-called Islamic governments throughout the ages.
My comment here is that Wahhabis themselves do indeed practice al-Taqiyya, but they have been psychologically programmed by their mentors in such a way that they don’t even recognize al-Taqiyya when they do actually practice it. Ahmad Didat said that the Christians have been programmed in such a way that they may read the Bible a million times, but will never spot an error! They are fixed on believing it because their scholars say so, and they read at a superficial level. I say that this also applies to those who oppose al-Taqiyya.
Dr. al-Tijani wrote a short event where he was sitting next to a Sunni scholar on a flight to London; they were both on their way to attend an Islamic Conference. At that time, there was still some tension due to the Salman Rushdi affair. The conversation between the two was naturally concerned with the unity of the Ummah. Consequently, the Sunni/Shi’a issue introduced itself as part of the conversation.
The Sunni scholar said: "The Shi’a must drop certain beliefs and convictions that cause disunity and animosity among the Muslims.”Dr. al-Tijani answered: "Like what?”The Sunni scholar answered: "Like the Taqiyya and Muta’ ideas.”Dr. al-Tijani immediately provided him with plenty of proofs in support of these notions, but the Sunni scholar was not convinced, and said that although these proofs are all authentic and correct, we must discard them for the sake of uniting the Ummah!!! When they both got to London, the immigration officer asked the Sunni scholar: "What is the purpose of your visit sir?”The Sunni scholar said: "For medical treatment.”Then Dr. al-Tijani was asked the same question, and he answered: "To visit some friends.”Dr. al-Tijani followed the Sunni scholar and said: "Didn’t I tell you that al-Taqiyya is for all times and occasions!”The Sunni scholar said: "How so?”Dr. al- Tijani answered: "Because we both lied to the airport police: I by saying that I came to visit some friends, and you by saying that you are here for medical treatment; when, in fact, we are here to attend the Islamic Conference!”The Sunni scholar smiled, and said: "Well, doesn’t an Islamic Conference provide healing for the soul?!”Dr. al-Tijani was swift to say:
"And doesn’t it provide an opportunity to visit friends?!"
So you see, the Sunnis practice al-Taqiyya whether they acknowledge the fact or not. It is an innate part of human nature to save oneself, and most often we do it without even noticing.
My comment again is: Who, in Allah’s (SWT) Name, is this Scholar to state that although the proofs provided to him by Dr. al-Tijani are ALL authentic, they must be discarded for the sake of uniting the Ummah???! Do you truly believe that the Ummah will be united by abandoning Allah’s (SWT) commandments?
Does the above statement represent scholarly merit, or pure rhetoric, ignorance, and hypocrisy on the part of that scholar? Is a scholar who utters such words of ignorance worthy of being obeyed and listened to? Who is he to tell Allah (SWT), the Creator of the Universe, and His (SWT) Messenger (S) what is right and wrong? Does he know more than Allah (SWT) about al-Taqiyya? Exalted be Allah (SWT) from being insulted by those who lack all forms of intelligence to interpret His (SWT) religion.
al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) (The Sixth Imam of Ahlul-Bayt) said:
"al-Taqiyya is my religion, and the religion of my ancestors.”He (as)also said: "He who doesn’t practice al-Taqiyya, doesn’t practice his religion."
In conclusion, I repeat my appeal to you to comprehend what I say in these discussions. The Shi’a are Muslims, no doubt about it. Be your own judge, and verify what I say here. Better yet, download everything and go to the scholar that you trust the most; ask him to refute what the Shi’a claim; and then judge whether he himself is honest or not. Remember:
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from error: Whoever rejects Taghoot and believes in Allah, (he) hath grasped the most trustworthy hand- hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (2:256)”