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.