We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Taqiyah - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Taqiyah

Source:
The Islamic World: Past and Present What is This? Accessible coverage of Islam from the seventh century to the twenty-first century

    Taqiyah

    The act of concealing one's true religious beliefs in order to prevent death or injury to oneself or other Muslims is known as taqiyah. The Qur'an permits Muslims who are subject to persecution to fulfill their religious obligations secretly in their hearts, rather than openly.

    The practice of taqiyah is closely associated with Shi'i Muslims, who claim that Sunnis and those who hold political power have discriminated against them since the death of the Prophet Muhammad. Shi'is base their belief in taqiyah on the actions of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law. After the Prophet's death, some Muslims claimed that Ali was his legitimate successor. A majority, however, chose to follow Abu Bakr, who became the first caliph after Muhammad. Instead of insisting immediately on his God-given right to lead the Muslim community, Ali temporarily accepted the rule of his opponents. He pledged his loyalty to them—even though he considered their leadership to be illegitimate—as a way to preserve his movement for the future.

    Over time, pro-Shi'i movements used taqiyah to hide revolutionary activities. Taqiyah became a widely accepted practice, and in the 900s, Ibn Babawayh, a prominent Shi'i authority, declared it to be a religious obligation. Some scholars, however, voiced concerns about the danger of following a policy of deceit. They argued that taqiyah permits Shi'is to say anything and make any claim, and therefore, their words are not trustworthy. As a result, Shi'i scholars created rules for the use of taqiyah.

    Today, Muslims continue to debate the appropriate application of taqiyah. Although jurists have identified the situations in which Muslims may practice taqiyah, in general, they advise against its use, whenever possible. See also Ali ibn Abi Talib ; Shi'i Islam.

    • Previous Result
    • Results
    • Highlight On / Off
    • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
    • Next Result
    Oxford University Press

    © 2019. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice