Chapter Two: Taqiyyah proven from Quran


It is an irrefutable fact that the use of Taqiyyah can be proved from both the Qur’an and the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed (S). All the prophets (A.S), the Imams (A.S) and others pious people offered advice on practising Taqiyyah. The following Quranic verses support our case:

First verse

“Anyone who after accepting faith in Allah utters unbelief except under compulsion his heart remaining firm in faith but such as open their breast to unbelief on them is Wrath from Allah and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty”
Surah An-Nahal, verse 106 transliteration by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

All Muslim scholars agree that this verse descended in relation to the suffering of Ammar bin Yasir (ra). Allamah Jalaludeen Suyuti in his commentary of this verse states:

“The non-believers once caught Ammar-bin-Yaser (ra) and they forced him to praise their false gods and to condemn Prophet Muhammad (s). They forced him to an extent that Ammar bin Yasir (ra) gave in, and conceded to their demands. After that, when he returned to the Prophet Muhammed (s), Ammar (ra) narrated the whole story to him (s). Prophet Muhammad (S) asked him: “How do you feel in your heart?” To which Ammar (A.S) replied: “I am fully content with Allah’s religion in my heart”. To this Prophet Mohammed (S) said: “If non-believers ask you to say the same again, say it”. Then the following ayah was revealed:

‘Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters disbelief (save under compulsion and even then his heart remains firm in faith) on them is Wrath from Allah and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty’”
Tafseer Dur al Manthur Volume 4 page 132, Cairo edition

We also read:

وأما عمار فقال لهم كلمة أعجبتهم تقية

“Ammar said to them under Taqiyyah a word which they liked”

When this incident occurred with Ammar bin Yasir, people said to the Holy Prophet (s), “O messenger of Allah (s), Ammar has become a non-believer”. Prophet Muhammad (s) replied, “It is not possible. Ammar is full of Islamic zeal from head to toe. This zeal is mixed in his flesh and blood”. A while later, Ammar (ra) came to the Prophet (s) crying. After wiping Ammar’s (ra) tears, Prophet Mohammed (S) said, “What happened? If non-believers force you to repeat these words, repeat them”.

The incident has been declared authentic by various Imams of Ahle Sunnah. Ibn Hajar Asqalani said: ‘The chain is Sahih’ (al-Deraya fi Takhrij ahadith al-Hidaya, volume 2 page 197). Imam al-Hakim said: ‘Sahih according to the conditions of two Sheikhs (Bukhari & Muslim)’ ( al-Mustadrak, volume 2 page 357) while Imam al-Dhahabi echoed the same (Talkhees al-Mustadrak). Ibn Kathir said: ‘The chain is Sahih’ (Irshad al-Faqih, volume 2 page 295).

After recording the above incident, Qadhi Baydhawi commented:

وهو دليل على جواز التكلم بالكفر عند الاكراه

“This verse is a proof that if one is forced to, one can denounce Islam”.
Tafseer Baydhawi, Volume 1, Page 453, Publishers, Luknow

In relation to this verse, Imam of Ahle Sunnah Allamah Abu Hussein Firah Al Baghwi commented:

واجمع العلماء على أن من أكره على كلمة الكفر يجوز له أن يقول بلسانه

All scholars of the Muslim Ummah agree on the fact that at times when one is forced, one can denounce Islam.
Tafseer Mu’alim al Tnazeel, Volume 2, Page 214, Published Bombay

Allamah Fakhruddin Razi in Tafseer Kabir, Volume 5, Page 564, Published Istanbul, wrote:

“It is an agreed fact that while denouncing the Islamic faith, one’s heart must not be content with it”

Allamah Khazin in Libab-ul-Taweel popularly known as Tafsir Khazin, Volume 3 page 136 while writing a commentary about this ayah, after giving the traditions regarding Ammar (ra) wrote:

إن الآية عامة في كل من أكره على الكفر، وقلبه مطمئن بالإيمان، وإن كان السبب خاصاً

This verse is directed to anyone who has been forced to denounce Islam, but is content with Islam in his heart, even if the reason behind this is out of the ordinary.

Second verse

Let not the believers take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.
Surah Al-Imran, verse 28 transliteration of Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Imam Bukhari records in his Sahih:

وقال ‏{‏إلا أن تتقوا منهم تقاة‏}‏ وهى تقية

‘Except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them (3:28)’ and this is Taqqiyah

Interestingly, late Salafi scholar Maulana Waheed uz Zaman who has translated Sahih Bukhari into Urdu translated the above portion as follows:

“Yes, it is permissible that you, on your own implement precautionary measures in order to keep your self safe from infidels (while apparently become their friends) i.e. adopt Taqqiyah”
Sahih Bukhari, Arabic to Urdu by Maulana Waheed uz Zaman, vol 3 pages 766-768

In fact in Tafsir Dur al-Manthur, Volume 2 page 176 we read that the early Sunni scholars used to read the word ‘Taqata’ as ‘Taqiyyah’ in this verse:

وأخرج عبد عن أبي رجاء أنه كان يقرأ إلا أن تتقوا منهم تقية

Abd bin Hamid narrated that Abi Raja used to recite “ELA AN TATAQU MENHUM TAQYYIAH”

We also read:

وأخرج عبد بن حميد عن قتادة أنه كان يقرؤها إلا أن تتقوا منه تقية

Narrated Abed bin Hamid that Qutada used to recite “ELA AN TATAQU MENHU TAQYYIAH”

Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani in his commentary of the above cited text of Sahih Bukhari records:

تقاة وتقية واحد۔۔۔ ومعنى الآية‏:‏ لا يتخذ المؤمن الكافر وليا في الباطن ولا في الظاهر إلا للتقية في الظاهر فيجوز أن يواليه إذا خافه ويعاديه باطنا

“Taqata and Taqqiyah are the same thing…the meaning of this verse is that no believer shall befriend an unbeliever either internally or externally except in Taqqiyah externally. It is permitted to befriend him if he is afraid of them but he must keep enmity from them internally”
Fatah ul Bari, Volume 12 page 313

Sunni scholar Ahmad bin Mustafa al-Muraaghi (d. 1317 H) states under the commentary of the cited verse:

وقد استنبط العلماء من هذه الآية جواز التّقيّة بأن يقول الإنسان أو يفعل ما يخالف الحق لأجل توقى ضرر من الأعداء يعود إلى النفس أو العرض أو المال.

“Scholars have deduced the permissibility of Taqiyyah from this verse wherein a person speaks or acts in a manner that is contrary to Haqq (the truth) so that he protects his life, property and honor from an enemy.”
Tafsir Muraaghi, Volume 3 page 133

Allamah Mehmood Alusi al-Baghdadi stated in Tafsir Ruh Al-Ma’ani, Volume 2 page 479:

وفي الآية دليل على مشروعية التقية وعرفوها بمحافظة النفس أو العرض أو المال من شر الأعداء، والعدو قسمان: الأول: من كانت عداوته مبنية على اختلاف الدين كالكافر والمسلم، والثاني: من كانت عداوته مبنية على أغراض دنيوية كالمال والمتاع والملك والإمارة

“This verse contains proof regarding the permissibility of Taqiyyah. Scholars have defined Taqiyyah as to protect one’s life, property and honor from evil of the enemy and enemies are of two kinds, one that is based on difference in religion such as between a non-believer and a Muslim and the second type of enmity is due to worldly affairs such as wealth, possessions and sovereignty and leadership.”

Qadhi Baydhawi states in Tafseer Baydhawi, volume 1, page 134 (Luknow), in his commentary of the verse states:

“But if you want to remain safe from the disbelievers, means, if you have some fear from them regarding a thing from which you want to remain safe from them then you can surely take them as friends… Allah (swt) has stopped the believers from befriending the disbelievers either internally or expressly, but if there is any fear from them then one can exhibit friendliness”.

Allamah Fakhruddin Razi had commented on this verse:

“Undoubtedly, there is no harm in practicing Taqiyyah if a believer is caught up between non-believers and his life or property comes under threat from them. In such circumstances he should conceal his enmity from them. Infact, he should talk in such a manner that his words should show passion. His heart should not confirm what he is saying. Taqiyyah does not have an effect on one’s heart; it only has an external effect”.
Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 2, Page 626, Published Istanbul

So we have the word of Allah, and the confirmation of the Sunni Ulema that these verses endorse the use of Taqiyyah to protect ones life. And yet the Nawasib are seeking to define Taqiyyah as calculated deception that contradicts the Qur’an. Whose word shall we rely those of this Nasibi group or the verdict of Allah (swt)?

Third Verse

In Holy Quran we read a about a believer who performed Taqiyyah during the reign of Firown:

[Yusufali 40:28] A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith, said: “Will ye slay a man because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah’?- when he has indeed come to you with Clear (Signs) from your Lord? and if he be a liar, on him is (the sin of) his lie: but, if he is telling the Truth, then will fall on you something of the (calamity) of which he warns you: Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies!

We read in Tafsir Thalabi, Volume 8 page 272:

وكان يكتم ايمانه من فرعون وقومه خوفا على نفسه

“He was concealing his faith from Firon and his people because he feared for his life”

We should also point out the importance of the believer mentioned in the above verse:

‘Abi Laila narrated that Allah’s messenger (pbuh) said: ‘The Sidiq (truthful) are three, Habib al-Najar the momin of al-Yasin who said {O my people! follow the messengers}, Hazqil the momin of al-Firon who said {Will ye slay a man because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah’ }, and Ali bin Abi Talib is the third and he is the most superior’
1. Fadael al-Sahaba, by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, v3, p96
2. Imam Suyuti in his book Jamea al-Saghir v2, p115 termed it ‘Hasan’
3. Shawahid al-Tanzil, by Hasakani, v2, p306
4. Tatikh Dimashq, v42, p43
5. Al-Manaqib by Khawarezmi, p310
6. Tafseer Kabeer, Volume 13 page 326

Fourth Verse

In Surah Kahf, we read yet another example wherein the close servants of Allah (swt) performed Taqqiyah. Firstly it should be known that the people of Kahf (cave) have been referred to by Allah (swt) as one of His (swt) signs:

[Shakir 18:9] Or, do you think that the Fellows of the Cave and the Inscription were of Our wonderful signs?

Not only this, but the people of Kahf have been bestowed special grace by Allah (swt) as we read:

[Shakir 18:14] And We strengthened their hearts with patience

And then the Quran tells us the situation when they were resurrected:

[Shakir 18:19] 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 any one:
[Shakir 18:20] For surely if they prevail against you they would stone you to death or force you back to their religion, and then you will never succeed.

For any unbiased and rational mind, the underlined words of the Holy Quran shall be sufficient to teach the concept of Taqqiyah wherein one of the signs of Allah (swt) i.e. one of the people of Kahf practiced Taqqiyah in front of powerful opponents so that they may not force him back to their false religion. Despite this, Allah (swt) cites this Taqqiyah as ‘success’ which is not a success pertaining to world, but rather success in one’s religion, the religion of Allah (swt).

Ibn Kathir records the following commentary:

“(And let him be careful) meaning when he goes out buying food and coming back. They were telling him to conceal himself as much as he could, (and let no man know of you. For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you) means, `if they find out where you are,’ (they will stone you or turn you back to their religion;) They were referring to the followers of Decianus, who they were afraid might find out where they were, and punish them with all kinds of torture until they made them go back to their former religion, or until they died, for if they agreed to go back to their (old) religion, they would never attain success in this world or the Hereafter. So they said:(and in that case you will never be successful.)”

We read in Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Volume 10 page 376:

في هذه الآية نكتة بديعة، وهي أن الوكالة إنما كانت مع التَّقِيّة خوف أن يشعر بهم أحد لما كانوا عليه من الخوف على أنفسهم.

“This verse contains a vital point, and that is the people of the cave chosen this person as a supporter for business on the condition of Taqiyyah as they feared for their lives, in case people find out about them.”

Fifth verse

Allah (swt) in Surah Qasas informs us of the methodology employed by the mother of Musa (as) to save her son from the harm of Pharaoh. When Musa (as) had been adopted by Asiya, his mother (as) began to express remorse and desired to be reunited with him. Allah (swt) enabled this by providing a means via which his (as) mother and son would be reunited once more. This method was achieved via Taqiyyah adopted by the sister of Moses. Let us look at Surah Qasas verses 10-12 wherein this matter is discussed:

YUSUF ALI: And the heart of the mother of Moses became void, and she would have betrayed him if We had not fortified her heart, that she might be of the believers.
And she said unto his sister: Trace him. So she observed him from afar, and they perceived not.
And We had before forbidden foster-mothers for him, so she said: Shall I show you a household who will rear him for you and take care of him?

The Sunni scholars in their commentaries of this verse have acknowledged that the sister said nothing that might attract Pharaoh’s suspicions about the true identity of the baby. She did not mention the actual identity of the child, rather stated that she would put Pharaoh in contact with a household that would care for the child.

Maudoodi in his commentary of this verse said:

This shows that the sister did not go and sit back at home when she found that her brother had reached Pharaoh’s palace, but cleverly hung about the palace to watch every new development. Then, when she found that the child was not taking to any nurse, and the queen was anxious to get a nurse who would suit it, the intelligent girl went straight into the palace, and said, “I can tell you the whereabouts of a nurse, who will bring him up with great affection.” …. Prophet Moses’ sister did not say that she would bring a suitable nurse, but said that she would tell them of a house whose people would take up the responsibility of bringing him up with care and affection.

The crucial thing we learn here is that the sister of Moses (as) adopted Taqiyyah, she hid the identity of the potential wet nurse to ensure that mother and child were reunited. Ibn Kathir in his commentary of this verse claims that the suspicions of Pharaoh were aroused, forcing the sister to strengthen her initial offer of assistance with a further example of Taqiyyah.

“… When Musa had settled into the house of Fir`awn, after the king’s wife had begun to love him and asked Fir`awn not to kill him, they brought to him the wet nurses who were to be found in their household, and he did not accept any of them, refusing to take milk from them. So they took him out to the marketplace, hoping to find a woman who would be suitable to nurse him. When (his sister) saw him in their arms, she recognized him, but she did not give any indication nor did they suspect her. …
(she said: “Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and look after him in a good manner”) Ibn Abbas said: When she said that, they had some doubts about her, so they seized her and asked her, How do you know these people will be sincere and will care for him” She said to them, “They will be sincere and will care for him because they want the king to be happy and because they hope for some reward.” So they let her go. After what she said, being safe from their harm, they took her to their house and brought the baby to his mother. She gave him her breast and he accepted it, so they rejoiced and sent the glad tidings to the wife of Fir`awn.

None of the comments uttered by this sister were accurate; on the contrary they were stated to quash the suspicions that had appeared on the mind of Pharaoh. Had she told the truth at that point, her life as well as that of her infant brother would have come to an abrupt end, but she did not she hid the truth and uttered a false statement so as to convince Pharaoh that her intentions were genuine. Her uttering one thing whilst hiding the reality in her heart is a clear example of Taqiyyah. The Taqiyyah did not just end there. When Musa (as) was successfully suckled by his natural mother, his sister again sought eliminate any concerns as to why he was not successfully suckled by other wet nurses and automatically provided a reason for her success compared to the other wet nurses. We read in Tafsir Jalalayn under the commentary of the same verse:

And We had forbidden him to [take to the breasts of] foster mothers from before, that is to say, we prevented him from taking to the breasts of any suckling mother other than his own mother. Therefore he would not accept the breasts of any of the foster-mothers brought for him. So she, his sister, said, ‘Shall I show you a household — having seen their affection for him — who will take care of him for you, by having him suckled and so on, and who will act in good faith towards him? ’ (the [suffixed] pronoun in lahu has been interpreted as referring to the king, as a response to them [when they asked Mary how she could be sure]). Her suggestion was accepted. So she brought his mother and he took to her breast. She explained to them that he had taken to her [breast] because of her pleasant scent and the wholesome taste of her milk.

If one brings these Tafseers together we learn that the sister of Musa (as) adopted Taqiyyah at three stages, namely when she:

  1. offered to direct Pharaoh to a household that would suckle Moses (as)
  2. eliminated suspicions raised about her offer by citing grounds that would please Pharaoh
  3. explained why Musa (as) was attracted to the milk of this ‘lady’ and not that of others

If the sister had provided honest answers at any of these three points Musa (as) would have been killed, her adoption of Taqiyyah both protected Musa (as) and ensured that mother and son were reunited.


Sixth verse

We read in Holy Quran:

[Shakir 12:4] When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon– I saw them making obeisance to me.
[Shakir 12:5] He said: O my son! do not relate your vision to your brothers, lest they devise a plan against you; surely the Shaitan is an open enemy to man.

In his Tasfir, Ibn Kathir provides this commentary of the said verse:

Allah narrates the reply Ya`qub gave his son Yusuf when he narrated to him the vision that he saw, which indicated that his brothers would be under his authority. They would be subjugated to Yusuf’s authority to such an extent that they would prostrate before him in respect, honor and appreciation. Ya`qub feared that if Yusuf narrated his vision to any of his brothers, they would envy him and conspire evil plots against him. This is why Ya`qub said to Yusuf:
(Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you.)
This Ayah means, “They might arrange a plot against you that causes your demise.” In the Sunnah, there is a confirmed Hadith that states.


Taqiyyah practiced by Harun (as)

We read in Tafseer al-Tahreer wa al-Tanweer, by Ibn Ashur, Volume 1 page 805:

قلت : لم يثبت أن صالحي الأمم كانوا يلتزمون الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر إما لأنه لم يكن واجبا عليهم أو لأنهم كانوا يتوسعون في حال التقية وهذا هارون في زمن موسى عبدت بنو إسرائيل العجل بمرأى منه ومسمع فلم يغير عليهم

I say: It’s not proven that the pious people of former nations were practicing  “Amar Bil Maroof and Nahi Anil Munkar”[enjoin the good  and forbidding from evil] maybe because it wasn’t obligatory or maybe that they were practicing Taqyia extensively, and this is Haroon at Musa’s time, his people i.e. Bani Israel worshiped cow in front of him and he didn’t take any action against them.


Difference between hypocrisy and Taqiyyah

Nawasib often try to equate Taqiyyah with hypocrisy, when both of these are two opposite extremes. Taqiyyah is concealing one’s faith and displaying unbelief; while Hypocrisy is the concealment of unbelief and the displaying of belief. They are TOTAL opposites from the aspects of function, form, and meaning. The Holy Quran reveals the nature of hypocrisy with the following verse:

“When they meet those who believe, they say: `We Believe;’ but when they are alone with their evil ones, they say: `We are really with you, we (were) only jesting [2:14].”

The Quran then reveals Taqiyyah with the following verses:

“A Believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had CONCEALED his faith, said: “Will ye slay a man because he says, `My Lord is Allah’?….[40:28]“


“Any one who, after accepting Faith in Allah, utters unbelief, EXCEPT under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in faith — but such as open their breast to unbelief, — on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Chastisement [16:106].”

And also:

“Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, (they) shall have no relation left with Allah except by way of precaution (“tat-taqooh”), that ye may guard yourselves (“tooqatan”) from them….[3:28]“

If the stubborn Nawasib remains adamant that Taqqiyah is hypocrisy then he is openly negating the definitions given by Holy Quran, that is a grave sin.

The misuse of a Quranic verse by Nawasib

We have already presented several Quranic verses demonstrating the legitimacy of performing Taqiyyah in relevant circumstances, corroborated by commentaries of Sunni scholars. Despite this, there exist a group of deceitful Nawasib who use a verse of the Holy Quran and then incorrectly interpret it to evidence the prohibition on performing Taqiyyah. states:

Now I will finish of with this magnicificant ayah from the Quran which shows us that Taqayyah (deception, lying etc) is forbidden in Islam.. and the Shi’ites practice this Taqqayah on us Muslims!!! so dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Allah states in the Noble Quran:  “Surely those who hide from people the clear proofs and guidance, which we clarified in the Book (Qur’an), will be cursed by Allah and all those who curse.”(2:159) And the statement of the Prophet (s.a.w) who said: “Whoever is asked for knowledge and conceals it will have a bridle of fire around his neck on the Day of Judgement.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)


We have already cited all those verses from the Holy Quran that prove the legitimacy of Taqiyyah. Some of these verses contain clear incidents of people performing Taqiyyah. Thus, the verse cited by Nawasib cannot be advanced as a prohibition on Taqiyyah, because that would mean a contradiction in Holy Quran that can never be the case. The deceitful Nawasib are trying to present the cited verse as a prohibition of Taqiyyah when the verse was revealed specifically for disbelievers who would conceal the Prophethood of Muhammad (s). We read in Tafseer Tabari, Volume 2 page 72:

“Those who conceal the proof of guidance are the Jews rabbis and Christian scholars because they conceal from the people the matter of Muhammad”

We read in Tafseer Samarqandi, Volume 1 page 134:

“Revealed because of the head of Jews”

We read in Tafseer al-Wahidi, Volume 1 page 141:

“Meant by it the scholars of Jews”

If Nawasib still want to bring this verse as to ‘prove’ the prohibition of Taqiyyah then we should point out that the verse and also the tradition quoted by the Nawasib go against them. According to the cited verse and Hadith the one who conceals knowledge when asked and hides clear guidance will be cursed by Allah (swt) and all those who curse and will have a bridle of fire around his neck on the Day of Judgment. In light of the Nawasib understanding of this verse we challenge them to apply the verse and Hadith to their revered Abu Hurraira who according to Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Hadith Number 121 attested:

“I have memorized two kinds of knowledge from Allah’s Apostle . I have propagated one of them to you and if I propagated the second, then my pharynx (throat) would be cut (i.e. killed)”.

Nawasib need to pass their verdict on this practice of Abu Huraira in accordance with their interpretation of verse 2:159 and the tradition quoted by them from Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood, and declare that their most prolific Hadith narrator:

  1. Is cursed by Allah (swt)
  2. As a cursed person will have a bridle of fire around his neck on the Day of Judgment.

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