Taqiyya can be described as an act of lying to save oneself.  A more detailed explanation is Taqiyya is the action of committing a sinful act (such as feigning unbelief) for a pious goal.  It works best when a person wants to create a favourable impression of themselves, their community or their faith, and thus pretends to be someone who they are not.  Genealogically speaking, Al-Taqiya arrives from the verb Ittaqu, which literally means ‘dodge the threat’. In political terms this points towards simulating any status required in order to win the war against the enemy. This phrase has a purely Arab Islamic background. It has its roots in early Islam Makkah when there were only a hand full of followers and all the verses of Quran were portraying Islam as a religion of peace, with equality for both genders and displaying the ‘to each his own’ policy.

Quran based evidence of Taqiyya is reflected in Chapter 3, Surah Aal e Imran, where it says:

“Let not believers take disbelievers as allies [i.e., supporters or protectors] rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing [i.e., no association] with Allāh, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.” 3:28

Again, it is mentioned in Chapter 16, where there is clear distinction between disbelievers, i.e. those who are true disbelievers in Allah and his message, versus those who are pretending to be like this due to insinuating circumstances:

“Whoever disbelieves in Allah after their belief—not those who are forced while their hearts are firm in faith, but those who embrace disbelief wholeheartedly—they will be condemned by Allah and suffer a tremendous punishment.” 16:106

A believing man from Pharaoh’s people, who was hiding his faith, argued, “Will you kill a man ˹only˺ for saying: ‘My Lord is Allah,’ while he has in fact come to you with clear proofs from your Lord?” 40:28

These three verses clearly present space for Taqiyya when one has to hide their ideology or conceal their identity in faith.

Apart from its presence in Quran, Hadith also carry ample evidence of normalisation of deceit inside Islam.  The most prominent saying on the topic is short and precise, when he says: “War is deceit”

Once we look at these verses and identify their meaning, we can say without doubt that the roots of this religious form of deception lie in Quran.  Many Sunnis will try to convince people that it is only the Shias who practice Taqiyya, because they are hypocrites.  The most common example they present is when the grandson of Prophet Muhammad was called to fight against Yazid, he was offered support by locals.  However when he arrived in Karbala, those who promised to stand by him pulled away.  The claim of Sunnis that this is an only Shia practice, and by some others who hold that this practice came in place after Prophet’s period are incorrect.  There is record of the Prophet allowing a companion to lie in order to assassinate Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf, a poet who insulted the Prophet. His Hadith calling war deceit gave birth to the strategy of war that has been employed across the ages and cultures of the world. In fact, there is this Quranic verse to consider too:

and they cheated/deceived, and God cheated/deceived, and God is the best of cheaters/deceivers” 3:54

The word used here is M-K-R which means deception, guile or circumvention. So in Quran, Allah is mentioned as the biggest of schemer / deceiver. Multiple translations of this verse have presented the word Makr as an act of planning, and have tried to say that Allah is the best of planners.  However, several experts in Arabic language disagree.

Rule of thumb for non believers is never to trust Muslims to teach them about any Islamic concept, because at best they will be fed half truths.  Mostly they will blatantly lie because this is part of their holy war against heresy and disbelievers. The worst of the lot are those who portray themselves as modern Muslims, who will try to appear sympathetic and then blame radicals for all faults.  The fact is, radical and moderate Muslims are allies, not adversaries. The radicals bomb, and the moderates issue veiled threats that “unless we get our will, more such attacks will ensue.” If anyone tries to reason with them using their own books, they will hurl accusations like

You don’t understand Islam.
You’re taking it out of context
It was valid for those circumstances & at that time
You don’t know Arabic
You’re Islamophobic

This is how they subdue the west.  If we look at how Taqiyya works in modern day, we have numerous examples in front of us.  There are many Muslims who will hold the placard of being Atheist, but will never condemn acts of terrorism in totality.  Rather they will try to make it the fault of world policies, prejudices, or lately, of growing Hindutva.  So when they say they don’t follow Islam but still don’t step up to condemn crimes and acts of violence by followers of Islam, this is Taqiyya.  People the world over, and more close to home, Hindus in India have been falling prey to this act for many centuries.  It is only off late that common Hindus even became aware of this phrase.  However, most non Muslims are still becoming victims to this act, which is aimed to eliminate their faith from the world.

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