Taqayyah (Dissimulation) in the Holy Quran


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The Ahle Tasannun allege that the Shias believe in and practice Taqayyah (dissimulation) which is un-Islamic and akin to hypocrisy because in Taqayyah a person’s apparent words or deeds are not in sync with what is in his heart. However, little do the Ahle Tasanun realise that Taqayyah has its roots in the Holy Quran. The Quranic definition of Taqayyah is exactly what the Shias follow i.e. to conceal one’s faith and manifest what is seemingly contrary to it during times of fear, danger and harm. Although, Taqayyah is accepted to be an Islamic belief as per the Ahle Tasannun and we will surely bring forward those in a separate article. For the sake of brevity, here are few proofs from the Holy Quran whose apparent meaning also validates the belief in Taqayyah.

  1. The Believer from the progeny of the Pharaoh (Firaon)
وَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مُّؤْمِنٌ مِّنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَكْتُمُ إِيمَانَهُ

“And a believing man from the people of Firaun who had concealed his faith said…”

[Surah Ghaafir (40): verse 28]

Note:

  • This verse talks about a believer who lived among the people of Firaun
  • He did not reveal his inner faith due to fear of being harmed
  • Allah the Almighty has glorified him and not rebuked him for practicing dissimulation
  1. Believers are commanded to observe Taqayyah against disbelievers
لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَن تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللهِ الْمَصِيرُ

Let not the believers take the unbelievers as friends instead of believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, except if you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.

[Surah Aale Imraan (3): verse 28]

Note:

  • Believers are commanded not to befriend the disbelievers else it will not result in any kind of divine protection
  • However, there is an exception made for those who wish to guard themselves on account of dissimulation
  • The word تُقَاةً (Tuqaatan) is used in it which is exactly what is meant by Taqayyah
  • It means that if a person, on account of Taqayyah befriends or forms acquaintances with the disbelievers, then Allah will grant him divine protection
  • In other words, Taqayyah is a cause of receiving divine bounties and protection.
  1. People of the Cave (Ashaab al-Kahf)
وَكَذَٰلِكَ بَعَثْنَاهُمْ لِيَتَسَاءَلُوا بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ ۚ قَالُوا رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ فَابْعَثُوا أَحَدَكُم بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَٰذِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ فَلْيَنظُرْ أَيُّهَا أَزْكَىٰ طَعَامًا فَلْيَأْتِكُم بِرِزْقٍ مِّنْهُ وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ وَلَا يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًا

And thus did We rouse them that they might question each other. A speaker among them said: How long have you tarried? They said: We have tarried for a day or a part of a day. (Others) said: Your Lord knows best how long you have tarried. Now send one of you with this silver (coin) of yours to the city, then let him see which of them has purest food, so let him bring you provision from it, and let him behave with gentleness, and by no means make your case known to anyone.

[Surah Kahf (18): verse 19]

Note:

  • This verse talks about the people of the cave (Ashaab al-Kahf)
  • The last part of the verse is a clear instruction from Allah to them that they should conceal their faith and not let anyone know about it
  • A glaring difference in this verse is that it is Allah Himself who has commanded the people of the cave to conceal their faith from the people of the city
  • This is nothing but Taqayyah

Conclusion

These were just three verses from the Holy Quran whose apparent meaning is proof enough for the practice of Taqayyah. It requires only basic common sense for a person to understand it. Even after reading these verses if the Ahle Tasannun still accuse the Shias of hypocrisy for practicing Taqayyah, then it clearly proves that the proponents of حَسْبُنَا کِتَابُ اللہِ (The Book of Allah is sufficient for us) are themselves far away from the real Quranic teachings.


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