What is Taqiya?

In Islam, Taqiya, or Taqiyya is a concept of denial of religious belief that is actually practiced if the believer is facing prosecution or feels that he or she is in danger. There is another term that explains this concept, and the term is kitman, and it means denying by being silence or omission. Although the practice is part of Islam, it is mainly used in Shia Islam, and according to this practice, the believers are allowed to hide their religion when they are fearing prosecution or compulsion. One thing that many people do not know about this is that Taqiya is also permitted in Sunni Islam but under certain circumstances, and conditions.

The practice of Taqiya dates back to Muhammad’s era where the term was actually used by some of his companions when they found themselves under threat. Afterwards, the term became a lot more common and important for Shias, mainly because of the violent experience they have had being the persecuted religious minority. As stated by Shia doctrine, Taqiya is allowed in situations where the person is going through a grave danger of losing one’s life, property, and only when there is no danger to the religion as a whole. In order to further solidify the stance, Taqiya has been politically legalized among Twelve Shias, this was done to make sure that there is a unity among Muslims as well as a vibe of fraternity among Shia clerics.

According to Yarden Mariuma, who is a sociologist at Columbia University, Taqiya is an Islamic constitutional term which means that a Muslim, under the Sharia, is allowed to lie. However, the meaning of this concept has been significantly different among different Islamic sects, clerics, countries, as well as political tenures. However, it has also been one of the major terms that have been used by modern day anti-Muslim polemicists.

According to Islamic scholars, Taqiya is a concept that is only allowed in a threatening state, and an increasing use of the term basically means something entirely different.

Taqiya Based on Quran

The technical and literal meaning of the term Taqiya has been taken from the Quranic reference to the concept of religious dissimulation in Sura 3:28. The Sura states.

Let not the believers take the unbelievers for protectors 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 (illā an tattaqū minhum tuqāt)

In the above verse, the words tattaqu (you fear) as well as tuqat “in fear” have been derived from the same place as the word term taqiya. In the verse, the word “taqiya” has been used as abstract noun, and it has been done so in reference to the principle that has been talked about in the passage, the passage is initially found in Al-Bukhari.

There have been other instances in which Qur’an has stated that taqiya is permissible, however, only under duress, and certain situations with certain circumstances as added factors.

Understanding Modern Buddhism

For those who are wondering, modern Buddhism is a movement that is based on the modern day understanding of Buddhism. According to several experts, the modernism aspect that is found in modern Buddhism is something that is found in other religions as well. Modern Buddhism has been affected by aspects such as monotheism, romantic expressivism, as well as scientific naturalism.  As far as the concept of monotheism is concerned, it has influenced Buddhism in such a way that the internalization of Buddhist gods is more accepted in the modern West. As far as scientific naturalism, and romanticism is concerned, they are more focused on the current life, reasoning, as well as psychological and health advantages.

Modern Buddhism started emerging during the time period of late 19th century and early 20th century; one could say that it was the result of joint efforts by Western Orientalists as well as reform-minded Buddhists. Modern Buddhism consisted of western philosophy, psychological insights, and themes of secularity. In addition to that, modern Buddhism actually ended up denying a lot of different elements such as gods, icons, cosmology, and a lot more; instead, it focused on thing facets such as interior exploration, satisfaction in the life we are living, and cosmic interdependence.


The earliest record of modern Buddhism dates back to the late 19th century, and these were by the European travelers as well as Christian missionaries; these people depicted modern Buddhism as a heathen religion that comprises of ludicrous ceremonies as well as strange gods. Instead of understanding this religion, their main concern was to reject and debunk it.

The first proper, and detailed study of modern Buddhism was published in 1966 by Heinz Bechert. He was responsible for identifying several characteristics of modern Buddhism, modern day interpretations of teachings of Buddhism, as well as other factors such as demythologization, and understanding of Buddhism as a religion of science, social philosophy, as well as focus on providing equality, democracy, activism, and social engagement; support of Buddhist nationalism as well as focus on bringing back the meditation practice was included too.

Different Concepts

Although the first concept is quite old, there have been other concepts such as Lopez’s concept of modern Buddhism. According to Donald S. Lopez Jr, the term “modern Buddhism” is best used to describe the entire Buddhist modernist traditions. He also suggests that these traditions have developed in some sort of transnational Buddhist sect. The sect that has been mentioned by Lopez does not refer to a physical or geographical existence of it, but instead, it is the modern facet of so many Buddhist schools that have opened in different locations around the world. In addition to that, the modern Buddhism also has a lineage in the cosmopolitan aspect, and several other canonical scripts. These mainly refer to the work of several authors who are both popular, and have reached the status of semi-scholars in one way or another.

Needless to say, one cannot possibly deny that the concept of modern Buddhism is slowly developing and growing further.

Mark of Cain

For hundreds of years people have speculated one of the strangest and mysterious incidents that have been recorded in the Holy Bible. This incident is also considered to be one of the very first crime of humanity during which Cain, who also happens to be the son of world’s first humans Adam and Eve ends up killing his brother Abel out of jealousy and spite; because Cain did not like that God was satisfied with the sacrificial offering made by Abel while he was rejected.

There is a specific section in Hebrews 11:4 which indicates that the reason why God rejected Cain’s offering was because of his approach and intention.

When it was revealed that Cain was behind the murder of his brother, God decreed:

“Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:11-12, NIV)

God’s wrath and curse was doubled because Cain could no longer produce anything from the land he had and he was also banished by God.

Explanation as to Why God Marked Cain

After the decree was imposed Cain protested that it was far too punitive and he feared that other people around him would try to execute him so as to end the curse of barren lands which is why God opted to protect Cain in an unusual manner:

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.” (Genesis 4:15, NIV)

In Genesis it has not been clearly mentioned who these people were that Cain feared so much but it is mostly likely his siblings. Although Cain was the oldest son of Adam and Eve, it is not entirely clear how many children they had between births of Cain and Abel.

Meaning Behind The Mark

Bible is deliberately ambiguous about the mark Cain had, leaving it up to the readers to interpret, some say it is a horn, scar and even discoloration of the skin. However, there are certain concrete things that we can say with assurance are:

  • The mark was permanent and most probably on his face so that it could be seen by everyone.
  • It was easy for everyone to understand.
  • It was probably there to intimidate people, regardless of their belief or disbelief in God.

The whole incident has been contested over the passage of history and the focus isn’t on the mark or the story itself, instead the focal point is the moral value that projects the severity of Cain’s sins and God’s mercifulness; and to teach the lesson that despite courts not being established none of Abel’s siblings took matters in their own hands.