The Islamophobes love to talk about this weird, so called, rule that permits Muslims to lie to spread Islam.
It should be fairly clear to any rational being that lying to spread a religion is nonsensical. If I lie to you about what Islam is and you convert I haven’t spread Islam because what you have accepted was a lie.
These constant stream of Islamophobes carping on about how Muslims are allowed to lie to non-Muslims whilst appealing to something called “taqiyya” (also spelled, “takiya” and “taqiyya”) also end up convincing the average joe non muslim about this myth.
THE WORD TAQIYA CAME FROM THE ROOT WORD WAW-QA-YA
The Arabic term ‘taqiyya’ is formed from the root ‘Waw-Qaf-Ya’ and inherently carries the meaning of ‘caution’. Such a meaning of caution is also captured in other terms which are formed from its root meaning.
Ta-Qaf-Ya = to fear, be cautious, guarded, prepared, preserve, forethoughtful, reverential & pious fear (of God), righteous/virtuous/just/honest.
Sadly, Islamophobes – in order to obtain an unchecked platform and/or demonize Muslims – have misapplied this term in their exaggerated claims of “Muslims are allowed to lie to the unbelievers”.
Taqiyya is not used to convert folk to Islam nor is it used for such purpose. It is simply a concealment of belief used to avoid persecution!
Sadly, our Islamophobic counterparts attempt to convince the gullible that taqiyya allows Muslims to lie (or conceal) about aspects of their faith (Islam) as well as lie in general.
TAQIYYA AND THE SHI’ITES (SHIA)
It is, however, associated most closely with the Shi’ites who practiced taqiyya systematically and widely during periods of Sunni domination to hide their beliefs from Sunni Muslims.
Obviously, if these Shi’ites felt they would have been persecuted for publicly announcing their shia beliefs, one can understand why they concealed (used taqiyya) their beliefs.
IS TAQIYYA ALLOWED IN THE QURAN?
Two verses seem to support the notion that under a real threat of persecution to life, one will not be held accountable for their denial of faith, reserved or lacklustre expression of outward religion until the threat is removed.
Even in dire circumstances of persecution, the Quran encourages one to migrate to avoid harm to person and property with a view to preserve life.
16:106 Whoever rejects God after his belief – except for he who is compelled while his heart is still content with belief – But those who have comforted their chest towards rejection, then these will have a wrath from God and they will have a great retribution.
40.28 (part) “And a believing man from the family of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith said “Will you kill a man because he says, ‘My Lord is God’?…”
One notes from both verses above, that any caution exercised remains within the sphere of religious expression and should not be misconstrued as a willful form of open deception / lying to be exercised in all matters for any perceived ‘wider good’.
Misuse of verses where oft critics of Islam and even some Muslims believe that Islam sanctions deception / lying to others for any ‘greater purpose’ has no unequivocal warrant in the Quran.
QURAN 3:28 AND TAQIYYA
3:28 Let not the believers take the rejecters as allies (willingly) instead of the believers. And whoever does so will have nothing with God; except that you may be cautious of them (Tattaqu) (as) a precaution (Tuqatan). And God warns you of Himself, and to God is the (final) destination.
This verse instructs Muslims to not take the unbelievers as allies over the believers but does allow in case being cautious of them. Tuqatan, ‘as a precaution’, that is to say, that you may be cautious of them, in that case you may show patronage to them through words, but not in your hearts.
PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION OF LIFE
The Quran considers the preservation and protection of life as sacrosanct which is more than alluded to in many different verses. This is also powerfully underscored in the Quranic sentiment where if one kills a soul without warrant, it is akin to having slaughtered all of mankind and in contrast, one who saves a soul, is akin to having saved all of mankind (5:32). Therefore, preservation of life remains a key teaching of the Quran.
It would be an absolutely untenable proposition to even suggest that if one’s life, limb or property were in serious danger, that they indulge to those circumstances which will only inevitably cause further strife with the possibility of a fatal outcome.
There is no warrant for the aggressive interpretation of the term ‘taqiyya’ to imply willful deception or lying at any given moment for any wider good.
In contrast, the Quran acknowledges situations whereby a believer may be forced / coerced by circumstances to exercise ‘caution’ of outward religious expression. This is especially if by not doing so, they would expose themselves to persecution and death.