Shaykh Dr. 'Ali Muhammad as-Sallaabee
Their shaykh al-Mufeed said: "Taqiyyah is concealing the truth and one's belief in it, not speaking about one's beliefs to those who are different, and not supporting them in any matter that may cause harm in one's religious or worldly affairs."
Yoosuf al-Bahraani, one of their senior scholars in the twelfth century AH, said: "What is meant by taqiyyah is to show agreement with those who differ from us in what they believe, out of fear."
Khomeini said: "The meaning of taqiyyah is for a man to say something different than the truth or to do something contrary to the teachings of Islam, in order to protect his life, honour or wealth."
These three definitions of taqiyyah, by three of the senior scholars of the Rafidi Shia who came at different intervals, are based on their four main principles of taqiyyah, which are:
(1) The meaning of taqiyyah is for a person to show to another something other than what he believes in his heart.
(2) Taqiyyah is to be used with those who differ, and it is very clear that all of the Muslims come under this heading.
(3) Taqiyyah is used with regard to what those who differ believe or follow in matters of religion.
(4) Taqiyyah is only to be used in the case of fear for one's religion, life or wealth. These four guidelines form the basis of their belief in taqiyyah.
Status of Taqiyyah among the Rafidi Shia
Taqiyyah is held in high esteem among them, as is indicated by numerous reports in their main reference books. A-Kulayni and others narrated from Ja'far as-Saadiq that he said: "Taqiyyah is part of my religion and the religion of my forefathers, and the one who has no taqiyyah has no faith."
It was narrated from Abu Abdillah that he said: "Nine-tenths of religion is in taqiyyah; the one who has no taqiyyah has no faith. Taqiyyah may be applied to everything except nabeedh (a type of drink) and wiping over the two khuffs (leather slippers)."
In Al-Mahaasin, it is narrated from Habeeb ihn Basheer from Abu Abdillah that he said: "No, by Allah, nothing on earth is dearer to me than taqiyyah. O Habeeb, the one who has taqiyyah will be raised in status by Allah; O Habeeb, the one who has no taqiyyah will be humiliated by Allah."
In at-Toosi's al-Amaali, it is narrated from Ja'far as-Saadiq that he said: "He is not one of us who does not adhere to taqiyyah and preserve our dignity before the base people."
In Al-Usool al-Asliyyah it is narrated from 'Ali ibn Muhammad that Daawood as-Sarmi said: "He said to me: 'O Daawood, if I told you that the one who forsakes taqiyyah is like the one who forsakes prayer, it would be true."
It was narrated from Baaqir that he was asked: "Who is the most perfect of people?' He said: "The one who adheres most to taqiyyah and takes care of his brothers the most."
It was also narrated that he said: "The noblest characteristic of the virtuous Imams of our sect is the use of taqiyyah."
These reports illustrate the high status of taqiyyah in their view and its importance in their religion. For the Rafidi Shia, taqiyyah is one of the most important fundamentals of religion; the one who has no taqiyyah has no faith, and the one who forsakes taqiyyah is like the one who forsakes prayer. In fact, taqiyyah in their view is better than all the pillars of Islam. Taqiyyah represents nine-tenths of their religion, and all the pillars and obligatory duties of Islam represent the remaining one-tenth. The author of al-Kaafi narrated reports under the headings: 'Chapter on taqiyyah,' 'Chapter on concealment,' and 'Chapter on speaking openly.' Al-Majlisi quoted one hundred and nine of their reports in Bihaar al-Anwaar in a chapter called 'Taqiyyah' and being kind for fear of hostility.
Causes of this Exaggeration with Regard to Taqiyyah
This exaggeration with regard to taqiyyah is due to a number of things, such as:
1) Their view that the rulership of the first three caliphs was invalid:
The Rafidi Shia regarded the rulership of the first three caliphs (Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman رضي الله عنهم) as invalid. They and those who swore allegiance to them are regarded as disbelievers, even though 'Ali رضي الله عنه swore allegiance to them, prayed behind them, fought in jihad alongside them, gave his daughter Umm Kulthoom رضي الله عنها in marriage to 'Umar رضي الله عنه and had a concubine whom he received from his jihad with Abn Bakr رضي الله عنه. When he was appointed caliph, he followed in their footsteps and did not change anything that Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه and 'Umar رضي الله عنه did, as the books of the Shia themselves admit.
This proves that the Shiite madh-hab is invalid from its foundations. They tried to escape these overwhelming contradictions by using the principle of taqiyyah to explain the events of their histoty. They suggested that 'Ali's رضي الله عنه keeping quiet about Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه was taqiyyah, and al-Hasan ibn 'Ali's رضي الله عنهما yielding the caliphate to Mu'awiyah رضي الله عنه was taqiyyah, and the disappearance and concealment of their Imams was taqiyyah. Thus it is possible to explain all events that contradict their beliefs by means of taqiyyah.
2) Their claim that the Imams were infallible:
They claimed that the Imams were infallible; they were not heedless, and they did not err or forget. However, this claim is contrary to what is known of their lives. Even the reports of the Shia themselves, which are attributed to the Imams, differ and contradict one another to the extent that there is no report without another one that contradicts it, as was acknowledged by their shaykh at-Toosi. It is obvious that this cancels out the very foundation of the principle of infallibility, so they came up with the idea of taqiyyah to explain these contradictions and differences and to cover up their lies about the Imams.
The author of al-Kaafi narrated that Mansoor ibn Haazim said: "I said to Abu Abdillah: 'Why is it that sometimes I ask you about an issue and you give me an answer, then someone else comes to you and you give him a different answer?' He said: 'We answer people on the basis of giving more or less.'" The commentator on al-Kaafi said that this means that they: "are more strict when using taqiyyah, and less so when there is no taqiyyah. That is not because of forgetfulness or ignorance; it is because they know that differences among the Shia are better for them and more conducive to their survival, because if they were united in their views, they would be known for being Shia, and that could be a reason for killing them and killing the Imams."
3) Making the mission of those who fabricate lies about the Imams easy:
Another factor is the aim of making the mission of those who fabricate lies about the Imams easy and trying to conceal the real madh-hab of Ahlul-Bayt. They tried to give the impression to their followers that what they (those who lay down the principle of taqiyyah) transmitted from the Imams was their true madh-hab, whereas the well known sayings and actions of the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt in front of the Muslims did not represent their true madh-hab because they did that on the basis of taqiyyah. Using this ploy, it became easy for them to fabricate words and attribute them to the Imams, even as they rejected what was narrated from them of truth. So, for example, you will find them rejecting the words of Imam Muhammad al-Baaqir or Ja'far as-Saadiq that were said in front of people or that were narrated by Muslims of good character, on the grounds that some Sunnis were present, so he 'used taqiyyah in his words'. On the other hand, they accept what is narrated by fabricators such as Jaabir al-Ja'fi alone, on the grounds that there was no one present when he spoke whose presence would necessitate the use of taqiyyah.
It is sufficient for you to know that Imam Zayd ibn 'Ali, who is one of Ahlul-Bayt, narrated from 'Ali رضي الله عنه - as is reported in the books of the Twelver Shia themselves - that he washed his feet when doing wudoo', but the one they call Shaykh at-Taa'ifah does not accept this hadith and cannot find any reason for rejecting it except taqiyyah. He rejected the hadith, which was narrated in al-Istibsaar from Zayd ibn 'Ali رضي الله عنه from his grandfather 'Ali ibn Abi Taalib رضي الله عنه, who said: "I was sitting and doing wudoo', and the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم came when I started doing wudoo' ... and I washed my feet, and he said to me: 'O 'Ali, let water go between the toes, lest the fire go between them.'" So you can see that 'Ali رضي الله عنه used to wash his feet during wudoo', and the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم confirmed that he should let the water go between his toes. However, the Shia went against the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and the practice of 'Ali رضي الله عنه with regard to that and paid no attention to such reports, even when they were narrated in their own books from the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt. The Shiite shaykhs themselves never bothered to think about these reports or examine them; they always have this ready-made excuse of taqiyyah.
Hence at-Toosi said: "This report is in accordance with the masses - meaning Ahlus-Sunnah - but it is to be interpreted as being taqiyyah because of what is known without any doubt of the view of our Imams, namely that the feet should be wiped." Then he said: "The narrators of this report are all of the masses (Sunnis) or men of the Zaydi sect; if they narrate a report supporting some of their ideas or practices, we do not accept it."
With regard to marriage, they have reports that mention the prohibition on temporary, fixed-term marriage. In their books, it is narrated from Zayd ibn 'Ali from his forefathers from 'Ali رضي الله عنهم that he said: "On the day of Khaybar, the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم forbade the flesh of domesticated donkeys and temporary marriage." Their Shaykh al-Hurr al-'Aamili said: "I say: The Shaykh and others interpreted it as being taqiyyah (in the report), because the permissibility of temporary marriage is one of the fundamentals of the Imami madh-hab."
With regard to the division of inheritance, a woman cannot inherit anything of property, houses or land. There is a report from the Imams contradicting that - namely the hadith of Abu Ya'qoob from Abu Abdillah, who said: "I asked him about the man: does he inherit anything of the house or the land of his wife, or is he in the same position as the woman, so he should not inherit anything from her? He said: 'He inherits from her, and she inherits from him, everything that he or she leaves behind.'" At-Toosi said: "We interpret this as being taqiyyah, because everyone who disagrees with us disagrees with us on this issue, and none of the masses (the Sunnis) agree with us on this issue. In such cases, we may interpret it as being taqiyyah."
4) The principle of taqiyyah was established in order to isolate the Shia from the Muslims:
Their Imam Abu Abdillah said: "Whatever you hear from me that resembles the view of the people (meaning Ahlus-Sunnah) is taqiyyah, and whatever you hear from me that does not resemble the view of the people is not taqiyyah." The result of this belief in taqiyyah was that the views of the Imams were lost to the Shia; even their shaykhs do not know, with regard to the views of the Imams narrated in the reports, what is taqiyyah and what is true. They set up a method of judging what is true, and it brought the entire madh-hab into extremism; what they decided is that whatever is contrary to the masses (meaning Ahlus-Sunnah) is guidance.
The author of al-Hadaa'iq admitted that because of taqiyyah, only a few of the rulings of their religion are known for certain. He said: "Therefore none of the rulings of Islam were known on the basis of certainty except a few, because the reports narrated (from the Imams) are mixed with other reports that are interpreted as being taqiyyah." This was also admitted by 'the trustworthy one of Islam' Muhammad ibn Ya'qoob al-Kulayni in his book al-Kaafi. He got so confused that when there were conflicting reports, he no longer paid attention to what was thought most likely to be correct, and he resorted to merely submitting to and accepting whatever was narrated from the Imams.
With regard to how they apply taqiyyah among the Shia, there are reports showing that their taqiyyah is not connected to cases of necessity. Yoosuf al-Bahraani admitted that the Imams may give contradictory rulings even if none of those people (Sunnis) were present, so we see them giving several different answers concerning one issue, even if none of them are similar to the Sunni view.
Concept of taqiyyah among Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah
The concept of taqiyyah in Islam is, in most cases, to be used with the disbelievers. Allah سبحانه و تعالى says:
...except if you indeed fear a danger from them." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:28).
Imam Ibn Jareer at-Tabari رحمه الله said: "The taqiyyah mentioned by Allah سبحانه و تعالى in this verse is taqiyyah used with the disbelievers and no one else." Fo this reason, some members of the early generation thought that there should be no taqiyyah after Allah سبحانه و تعالى caused Islam to prevail. Mu'adh ibn Jabal رضي الله عنه and Mujaahid رحمه الله said: "Taqiyyah was to be used at the beginning of Islam, before the Muslims prevailed, but today Allah سبحانه و تعالى has caused the Muslims to prevail, and there is no danger to be feared."
On the contrary, the Shias use taqiyyah with the Muslims, especially the Sunnis, to the extent that they think that the era of the best generations was an era of taqiyyah. This was stated by their shaykh al-Mufeed, and it may be noticed in the texts that are attributed to their Imams. They regard Ahlus-Sunnah as being worse in disbelief than the Jews and Christians because in their view, the one who denies the imamate of the twelve Imams is worse than the one who denies prophethood.
The correct view is that taqiyyah is a concession in cases of necessity. Hence Allah سبحانه و تعالى) made an exception to the principle that it is forbidden to become close friends with the disbelievers when He سبحانه و تعالى said:
"Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Awliyaa' [supporters, helpers] instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself [His punishment], and to Allah is the final return." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3: 28).
He سبحانه و تعالى issued a statement warning against that in the words 'and whoever does that'. In other words, whoever does what Allah سبحانه و تعالى has forbidden has nothing to do with Allah سبحانه و تعالى. Then He سبحانه و تعالى said: 'except if you indeed fear a danger from them,' meaning that whoever fears their evil in certain places and at certain times may dissemble or conceal his religion outwardly but not inwardly; his intention must stay true.
The scholars unanimously agree that taqiyyah is a concession allowed in cases of necessity. Imam Ibn al-Mundhir رحمه الله said: "They were unanimously agreed that the one who is forced to disbelieve, to the extent that be fears he may he killed, and speaks words of disbelief although his heart is at rest with faith is not to be deemed a disbeliever, but the one who chooses resolve in such a situation is better."
Imam Ibn Battah رحمه الله said: "They agreed that the one who is forced to disbelieve and chooses to be killed will have a greater reward with Allah."
Taqiyyah according to the Shiite view is something quite different, though. For them it is not a concession; it is one of the pillars of their religion.
Islam is the religion of jihad and calling others to the faith, so taqiyyah cannot be a basic principle and something that is entrenched in the behaviour of the Muslim or a characteristic of the Muslim society. On the contrruy, in most cases it is something temporary that is used in individual cases of necessity, and it is related to being unable to migrate; when the situation of compulsion ends, it is no longer to he used. According to the Shiite madh-hab, however, it is regarded as something natural and an essential part of the madh-hab. It is an ongoing and permanent part of social behaviour. The scholars have stated, based on their knowledge of the situation of the Shia, that their taqiyyah is nothing but lies and hypocrisy.
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله differentiated between the taqiyyah of hypocrisy and the taqiyyah that is allowed in Islam. He said that the taqiyyah allowed in Islam "does not mean telling lies and speaking with my tongue something different from what is in my heart, for that is hypocrisy. Instead, I do what I am able to. If the believer is among disbelievers and evildoers, he does not have to strive in physical jihad against them when he is not able to do so, but if he is able to do that verbally, then be should do that. Otherwise he should do that in his heart, but still he should not lie and say with his tongue something that is not in his heart; he should practice his religion either openly or concealing it. Nevertheless, he should still not show agreement with everything in their religion; rather the most that his taqiyyah may involve is for him to be like the believer in the household of Pharaoh; he did not show agreement with them with regard to all of their religion, but at the same time he did not lie or say anything. Outwardly pretending to follow the false religion is something else altogether; Allah سبحانه و تعالى did not allow that at all except in the case of one who is forced and compelled to such a degree that he has to speak words of disbelief. Allah سبحانه و تعالى may excuse him for that, but the hypocrite and liar will not be excused at all. Moreover, the believer who lives among the disbelievers and has no other choice and is concealing his faith should treat them in accordance with the faith in his heart, on the basis of sincerity, wishing them well even if he does not agree with their religion, as Yoosuf as-Siddeeq عليه السلام did with the people of Egypt, who were disbelievers. This is unlike the Rafidi who does not leave any harmful action that he is able to do without doing it to those who differ from him."
Shaykh Shalmaan al-'Awdah summed up the differences in the way taqiyyah is understood by Ahlus-Sunnah and the Rzfidis, saying: "Taqiyyah, for Ahlus-Sunnah, is a temporary exception that is different from the norm, but for the Shia it is something that is obligatory and enjoined until the return of the hidden Imam of Ahlul-Bayt. Acting on the basis of taqiyyah, for Ahlus-Sunnah, ends as soon as the reason for it ends, hut for the Shia, it is an ongoing obligation for all that will not end until the appearance of their Mahdi, who will never emerge. The taqiyyah of Ahlus-Sunnah is to be used with the disbelievers in most cases, although it may be used with evildoers and oppressors, but the taqiyyah of the Shia is, in principle, to be used with Muslims who differ from them, namely Ahlus-Sunnah. For Ahlus-Sunnah, taqiyyah is something that is done reluctantly, and the Muslim resorts to it without feeling happy or at ease with it, but for the Shia, it is a characteristic that is regarded as praiseworthy and good, and there are many texts from their Imams that praise it."
['Ali Ibn Abi Talib, vol. 2, pp. 552-562.]