The Shi`ah and Taqiyyah (Dissimulation)

The Position of the Ahl al-Sunnah from the Shi`ah Perspective
May 17, 2016
The Shi`ah and Raj`ah
May 17, 2016

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The Shia and Taqiyyah (Dissimulation)


One of the beliefs that the Shia believe in is the belief of Taqiyyah (Dissimulation), which means: when a person expresses beliefs contrary to what he actually believes. This is regarded as one of the main pillars when interacting with others especially the Ahlus Sunnah, whom the Shia consider to be worse than the Jews and Christians.

The word Shia cannot be pronounced and uttered except by attributing lies to it, it is as if these two words are synonyms having no difference whatsoever. This connection was found from the very first day when the religion of Shi’ism was formed. The beginning of Shi’ism was from lies. So since the Shi’ism is a product of lies, they gave it a quality of sacredness and glory, then embellished it with a different name. This is why they use the word “taqiyyah”, meaning thereby; exposing that which is different from their belief or announcing contrary to what they conceal. They exaggerated in upholding this belief and made it the foundation of their religion as well as one of their main principles.[1]

The Shia consider taqiyyah as a loophole for every exaggeration and deviation. For example, some of them passed the judgment of kufr (disbelief) upon many Sahabah due to their enmity for Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu[2] and in addition that the Sahabah were impure on account of that. That the Shia are allowed to have social interaction with them is justified on grounds of Taqiyyah or need. Thus, where these factors are absent, the Sahabah are unequivocally regarded as unbelievers.[3]

It is not correct to say that taqiyyah means; hiding the laws and prohibiting (its propagation), this is not a correct definition, rather there is a different term for, namely Kitman. The one who adopts this quality has a different name altogether such a name that a believer will not be attributed with.[4]

The main focus of the Shia is to establish whatever they believe, even by means of lying or fabrication upon their Imams. They attribute appalling statements to the Imams, statements which are unbecoming from those who hold such a lofty status; anyone who reads the books of the Shia will definitely perceive this.

Taqiyyah for the Shia is “the door that the Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has opened for his servants. He has commanded them to practice it and made it incumbent upon them. Just as He has commanded them to perform salah and to keep fast, there is even a narration from the pure Imams saying that, ‘there is no religion for one who does not practice taqiyyah.’”[5]

According to the Shia, they believe that taqiyyah was legislated with the purpose of tricking their opponents and concealing their deviated beliefs. Sheikh al Mufid says with regard to this:


Taqiyyah is concealing the truth and hiding one’s belief from the opponents and to stop assisting them due to what can result to a great harm in din (religion) and worldly pursuits.[6]


Khomeini says while explaining the statement being falsely attributed to Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he said to one of his companions, “be aware, be aware not to leave taqiyyah”:


What is ostensible in this statement is that taqiyyah is connected with a time wherein the Shia were a minority and in a time of subjugation and suffering; were they to have abandoned Taqiyyah and their matter become known then without a doubt the harms of abandoning it would be much greater than the harms of Nasb (bearing malice towards the Ahlul Bayt) and Kufr. Indeed leaving taqiyyah is a cause of losing the people of the truth in a time where their number was very constricted. Similarly in the time of both al Baqir and al Sadiq Taqiyyah was incumbent, on account of the intelligence (agents) of the unjust leaders and enemies of the religion of Allah, May Allah curse them, upon the true sect. Their teaching in secret was for the preservation of truth and to revive the system of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This was incumbent to prevent their blood from being shed, losing their wealth, and from suffering humiliation at the hands of the enemies of Allah.[7]


According to Khomeini, Taqiyyah is confined to the time when the Shia were weak and do have a state of their own. As soon as their state is established then the ruling of Taqiyyah is lifted. This is exactly what Khomeini did; when the state of the Shia was established in Iran, they bared their fangs and their reality became known. Taqiyyah — according to Khomeini — if a Shia abandons it, it is worse than harbouring malice for the Ahlul Bayt or disbelieving in the religion of the Shia. Abandoning it is destructive which is tantamount to disbelief in the nubuwwah. Khomeini assumes that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has favoured the prophets upon the entire creation on account of their adherence to Taqiyyah, and deceiving the enemies of his religion. Can there be any greater kufr than this?


It is transmitted in the Tafsir of Imam ‘Ali:


The Nabi of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “whosoever performs five times daily salah, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will pardon all his sins — until he said — except major sins,” which is denial of nubuwwah or Imamah or oppressing one’s fellow brother or abandoning Taqiyyah, to such an extent that he will harm himself and his believing brothers.


Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports from Imam ‘Ali that he said:


The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah favoured all the prophets over all his creation due to their intense trickery of the enemies of Allah’s religion and because of their good practice of taqiyyah in favour of their believing brothers.”


It is also reported from Hassan ibn ‘Ali, from Amir al Mu’minin (‘Ali) that he said:


Taqiyyah is one of the best actions of a believer, he safeguards himself from (the evils of) his own self and he safeguards his brothers from the wicked.


Khomeini explains:


What is apparent, is that declaring the denial and refutation of taqiyyah to be a major sin and a sign of rejecting nubuwwah and Imamah was not only for the sake of preserving the wealth and honour of a believer — for example — but rather (it was considered a major sin) since abandoning Taqiyyah in those times would have resulted in the corruption of the religion or the school; therefore it reached that level (of compulsion). Were this not the case then it is quite obvious that the result of abandoning taqiyyah, which is the usurpation of the wealth of a believer, does not construe perpetration of such an act which necessitates their denial.

In a similar manner is the deception of the prophets — of the enemies of Allah’s religion — and their dissimulation with them due to their brothers; verily their virtue was not merely on account of their trickery and Taqiyyah but since their dissemination and the propagation of their religion was dependent on tricking the enemies of Allah and protecting the true believers, this is it attained such a status.[8]


The Shia regard Taqiyyah as permissible even if there be no compelling need for it, particularly with the Ahlus Sunnah — such as performing salah behind them, and wuquf (to remain standing) on the plains of ‘Arafah with them. Khomeini says:


There are many narrations indicating to the permissibility of taqiyyah in general,[9] even if there be no necessity for it, such as the reliance of Mas’adah ibn Sadaqah. A believer (Shia) may imitate them (the Ahlus Sunnah) in anything while practicing taqiyyah, as long as it does not lead to the corruption of religion, this is permissible. It has already passed that the permissibility, and other aspects (such as its virtue, etc.) are not on account of the permissibility of the act itself.

In the authentic narration of Abu al Sabah, it says, “whatever you do or whatever you take an oath on while practicing taqiyyah you are free to do so,” this narration indicates towards laxity in carrying out the obligations in their manner (i.e. of the Ahlus Sunnah). This includes that which is done through burdening or indication and so forth which indicates to the permissibility of doing anything in their way. In most narrations there is an encouragement of performing salah with them and following them in salah, and showing consideration towards them.

As has been authentically narrated by Hammad ibn ‘Uthman from Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) that he said, “whosoever performs salah with them in the first saff, will be like the one who performs salah behind Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the first saff.”

It has been also narrated from the authentic narrations of Sinan from Abu ‘Abdullah, “perform salah with them in their masajid.” It is also narrated from the authentic narrations of ‘Ali ibn Jafar from his brother, Musa, he says, “Hassan and Hussain performed salah behind Marwan while we also performed with them,” and many more authentic narrations. The salah of the Imams and their followers was with them in the first era until the era of the occultation, and it was not possible for them to abandon salah behind them, but instead they joined them just as they also performed hajj with them for as long as two hundred years. Hajj was done in the presence of the leaders, and it is not narrated anywhere that the Imams and their followers remained absent from them in that era, or that they went secretly to the place of wuquf, as the ignorant of the Shia do.[10] Thus, there is no doubt about the correctness of all that is done on account of Taqiyyah.[11]


Khomeini also said after quoting the narrations on taqiyyah:


It should be noted that what is understood from these narrations is that; it is permissible to do anything under taqiyyah, whether this is due to the differences between us and them in rulings such as masah ‘ala al Khuffayn (wiping over leather socks), breaking fast, or standing in ‘Arafah on the eighth, due to sighting of the moon by them.[12]


Khomeini was also of the opinion that marriage with the Ahlus Sunnah is not permissible unless if it is out of taqiyyah, because he — and the other Shia Imamiyyah — are of the opinion that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and Hafsah radiya Llahu ‘anha under Taqiyyah from their parents. They cite what they consider to be a weighty proof according to them:


I asked him about marrying them (the Ahlus Sunnah) and performing salah behind them? He replied by saying that it is a great matter; you will never manage to do it. Indeed the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did marry them and performed salah behind them.[13]


The taqiyyah that the Shia are upon and believe is a deception in religion. Explaining this deception to the ummah constitutes being sincere to them. An Imam does not thread any path except the path of sincerity and there is no Imam threaded the path of deception. Each Imam new that the one who exposes with his tongue what he does not believe in his heart is guilty of hypocrisy and deceit. However the Shia legalised this on account of their enmity.[14]

I do not think that the Imams knew Taqiyyah to mean deception in speech and hypocrisy in verdicts. The Shia practice Taqiyyah in the most trivial of matters, perpetrating hypocritical actions and fabricating information in the name of Taqiyyah. They openly commit the most evil of sins and they claim that they only do it out of Taqiyyah, to deceive the general masses.[15]

The essence of the Shia Taqiyyah is hypocrisy, its fruits are Jewish disbelief, they say that we hear and disobey when the religious etiquette confirms it. I say, “every Shia within Shi’ism is covered with Taqiyyah, so much so that there is no value in his words, no truthfulness in his actions, and no fulfilment of his promises. They swear by Allah that they are truly of you while they are not of you, but they are a people who are afraid.”[16]

The Shia did not suffice by fabricating against their Imams whom they dispute in their love, rather they went beyond them and started fabricating against the people of the cave (Ashab al Kahf). Al Kulayni mentions in al Kafi (volume 3 page 329) from Durst al Wasiti:


Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) said: “No taqiyyah of any human reached the level of Taqiyyah of the people of the cave, because they used to witness the festivals and tie their belts around their waist, so Allah gave them their reward double.”


The author of al Kafi narrates (vol. 3 pg. 334-335) from Abu Basir who said that Abu Jafar (al Baqir) said:


Mingle with them outwardly and oppose them internally if the authority is a childish one.


In this hadith there is weakness and linguistic remoteness which indicates towards the invalidity of the hadith.

Taqiyyah is only permissible for the weak, those who fear that that they will not be steadfast on the truth and those who are not in the position of being an example to people, it is for these people that concession has been given. As for the strong, like the guided Imams, there is no concession rather they should practice upon ‘Azimah, they should persevere and remain steadfast on the path of Allah in all condition they encounter. The Sahabah of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were brave and honoured, as the Qur’an testifies for them:


وَ لِلّٰهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَ لِرَسُوْلِهٖ وَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ وَ لٰکِنَّ الْمُنٰفِقِیْنَ لَا یَعْلَمُوْنَ

And to Allah belongs (all) honour, and to his messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.[17]


So it is not permissible that the notable people from among the special companions, such as ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, be hypocritical and disgraced by assuming the practice of Taqiyyah. The Shia are, as Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah said:


Their slogan is disgrace, their cover is hypocrisy and Taqiyyah, and their wealth is lies and wicked disbelief. They fabricate against Jafar al Sadiq that he said, “Taqiyyah is my religion and the religion of my fore fathers.” Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has freed the family members of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from that, they are not in need of it. They were from the most truthful of people and the greatest in faith; their religion is based on Taqwa (God fearing) not Taqiyyah.


The summary is that the belief of Taqiyyah is for a person to expose the opposite of what he believes. It is only permissible if there is a dire necessity which threatens the life of the person, on condition that this person is not a leader and an example, so that the general masses will not take his statements (under Taqiyyah) as their belief.

However, according to the Shia, Taqiyyah is permissible for everyone in every place — even in salah, by folding his hands or in wudu’, by washing his feet in ablution instead of mash (passing wet hands on the feet) — as Muhammad Jawad al Mughniyah has stated in his book, Man Dha wa Dhaka (page 90), and al Kafi (vol. 3 page 31), from Zurarah:


If you make wudu’ and wash the feet in place of mash, then you conceal that which is fard, that will not be wudu’. (Then he said) start with mash on the feet, and if you began with washing the feet then make mash after that, so that the last thing to be done will be that which is fard.


The commentator then mentioned in the sub-notes, “perhaps the meaning of this narration is that if you are in the place of Taqiyyah then you should begin with mash, so that your ablution can be complete, then wash your legs.”

If this is their belief, how can we trust them? They will laugh with us and show greatest amount of courtesy to us — just as they did at the taqrib (unity) conference in Cairo with the ‘Ulama’ of the Ahlus Sunnah — but when we turn away, they bite the tips of their fingers at us in rage.[18]


NEXT⇒ The Position of the Ahlus Sunnah from the Shia Perspective

[1]Al Shia wa al Sunnah pg. 153

[2]  This is a claim of the Shia but in reality it’s not like this. Refer to the chapter “al Sahabah wa ‘al al Bayt” from our book Haqiqat al Shia wa al Tashayyu’.

[3]Fiqh al Shia al Imamiyyah by Dr al Salus pg. 47

[4] Al Imam Jafar al Sadiq by Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zahra pg. 249

[5]Al Anwar al No’maniyyah vol. 1 pg. 82-83

[6]  Refer to the Sharh ‘Aqa’id al Saduq by Mufid pg. 66

[7]  Refer to al Makasib al Muharramah by al Khomeini vol. 2 pg. 162-163

[8] Al Makasib al Muharramah vol. 2 pg. 163-164

[9]  Ahlus Sunnah

[10]  In this time when they go for hajj they remain behind from standing on the grounds of ‘Arafah on the 9th of Dhu al Hijjah. In the year 1400 after Hijrah Khomeini gave fatwa that it is permissible to stand on the grounds of ‘Arafah with Ahlus Sunnah practicing taqiyyah.

[11]Kitab al Khalal fi al Salah of Khomeini pg. 8-9.

[12]  Refer to al Taqiyyah of Khomeini pg. 196 and our booklet al Khumayni wa Mowqifuhu min Ahlus Sunnah

[13]Al Taqiyyah of Khomeini pg. 198

[14]  Refer to al Shia fi Naqd ‘Aqa’id al Shia by Musa Jad Allah pg. 82

[15]  Ibid pg. 84

[16]  Refer to al Shia fi Naqd ‘Aqa’id al Shia by Musa Jad Allah pg. 85

[17]  Surah al Munafiqun: 8

[18]  This is what we could discuss very briefly in terms of taqiyyah, whosoever wants more details on this topic refer to our book al Khumayni wa al Taqiyyah and the chapter al Shia wa al Taqiyyah from our book Haqiqat al Shia wa al Tashayyu’.

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