Whaling a Taqiyyah

We recently came face-to-face with the lies of a low-level Christian missionary on the voice channel Paltalk with regard to the so-called “abrogration” of Qur’an, 2:256 (“There is no compulsion in religion…”). When this author took the microphone and attempted to address the claims which has no basis in Qur’anic tafsir (commentary), he was shouted down by the same Christian missionary who accused this author of committing taqiyyah, which is exclusively a Shia belief. Unfortunately for the missionary, the author in question is a Sunni Muslim and hence could not be committing taqiyyah as per the missionary’s claims.1. The missionary thus resorted to the tafsir (commentary) of Sura’ al-Imraan (3):28 by Ibn Kathir from the same volume (the abridged translation) to lend “support” to his further misinterpretation of the Qur’anic text.

Hence our purpose in writing this article is two-fold: what exactly did Ibn Kathir say with regard to the issue of taqiyyah? What is Sunni Islam’s position on this exclusively Shia doctrine? And what is the deal with the so-called “abrogation” of Qur’an, 2:256, which the Christian missionary claims is no longer “valid” in Islam?

We seek to answer these questions, insha’allah.

The Deal With Taqiyyah: What Did Ibn Kathir Really Say?

The Christian missionary had referred to Qur’an 3:28 and relied on his copy of Ibn Kathir’s commentary2 for some “interesting” information of taqiyyah and quoted it (partially) in his speech over Paltalk when we deflected the charge of taqiyyah. What he “failed” to mention was the context in which this commentary was made. The context of the commentary is with regard to Muslims taking the disbelievers as their protectors or political allies.

We therefore reproduce the whole commentary here as follows.

{28. Let not the believers take the disbelievers as friends instead of the believers, and whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in any way, unless you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself, and to Allah is the final return.}

The Prohibition of Supporting the Disbelievers

Allah prohibited His believing servants from becoming supporters of the disbelievers, or to take them as comrades with whom they develop friendships, rather than the believers. Allah warned against such behavior when He said,

{And whoever does that, will never be helped by Allah in anyway}

meaning, whoever commits this act that Allah has prohibited, then Allah will discard him.

Similarly, Allah said,

{0 you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies as friends, showing affection towards them}

until,

{And whosoever of you does that, then indeed he has gone astray from the straight path.} [60:1]

Allah said,
{0 you who believe! Take not for friends disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?} [4: 144]

and,

{0 you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends, they are but friends of each other. And whoever befriends them, then surely, he is one of them.} [5:51

Allah said, after mentioning the fact that the faithful believers gave their support to the faithful believers among the Muhajirin, Ansar and Bedouins,

{And those Who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you do not behave the same, there will be Fitnah and oppression on the earth, and a great mischief and corruption.} [8:73]

Allah said next,

{unless you indeed fear a danger from them.}

meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.” Allah said,

{And Allah warns you against Himself.}

meaning, He warns you against His anger and the severe torment He prepared for those who give their support to His enemies, and those who have enmity with His friends….3

Note the bold sentences in the above quote. If someone is threatening to kill you and is only willing to let you go if you say or do the things he demands, then in such a dire circumstances, a person is permitted to say what needs to be said to save his/her life. That is all there is to it.

Consider the example of the American journalist Jill Carrol who was recently released in Iraq by militants. While still in Iraq, she appeared on television praising the militants who kidnapped her and murdered her translator. Later, once she was released and returned to America, she said that she was demanded to say those types of things, or else her life would have been in danger. Can anyone blame her for doing that and for saying the things she said in Iraq?

Likewise, Ibn Kathir explains that in such a situation, where you are being threatened with violence and you are not strong enough to defend yourself, a person may say certain things so that the aggressor would not harm him/her. Ibn Kathir does not state anywhere that you can just lie “for fun” or whenever you want to. Nor is this act specifically named as a “doctrine” called taqiyyah.

In the Qur’an we also read (16:106):

“Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.” (Yusuf Ali)

Ibn Kathir has this to say in the abridged commentary:

{except one who was forced while his heart is at peace with the faith}

This is an exception in the case of one who utters statements of disbelief and verbally agrees with the Mushrikin because he is forced to do so by the beatings and abuse to which he is subjected, but his heart refuses to accept what he is saying, and he is, in reality at peace with his faith in Allah and His Messenger (P).

The scholars agreed that if a person is forced into disbelief, it is permissible for him to either go along with them in the interests of self-preservation, or to refuse, as Bilal did when they were inflicting all sorts of torture on him, even placing a huge rock on his chest in the intense heat and telling him to admit others as partners with Allah. He refused, saying, “Alone, Alone.” And he said, “By Allah, if I knew any word more annoying to you than this, I would say it.” May Allah be pleased with him.

Similarly, when the Liar Musaylimah asked Habib bin Zayd Al-Ansari, “Do you hear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Yes.” Then Musaylimah asked, “Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah?” Habib said, “I do not hear you.” Musaylimah kept cutting him, piece by piece, but he remained steadfast insisting on his words.

It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast In his religion, even if that leads to him being killed, as was mentioned by Al-Hafiz lbn ‘Asakir in his biography of ‘Abdullah bin Hudhih Al-Sahmi, one of the Companions….4

And so, according to Ibn Kathir, if someone is being compelled and forced, then they can do and say certain things — even pretend to renounce Islam — in order to save their lives, although it is preferable they face the torture and stick to Islam.

The Qur’an clearly speaks against lying and acts of deception in numerous passages and in Islam lying is absolutely wrong and condemned.

“Woe to every wicked liar.” (Qur’an, 45:7)

Allah will say: “This is the Day when the truthfulness of the truthful will benefit them. They will have Gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever and ever. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. That is the Great Victory.” (Qur’an, 5:119)

“Anyone who commits an error or an evil action, and then ascribes it to someone innocent, bears the weight of slander and clear wrongdoing.” (Qur’an, 4:112)

They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains. If they come to you, you can either judge between them or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. But if you do judge, judge between them justly. Allah loves the just. (Qur’an, 5:42)

Why, when you heard it, did you not, as male and female believers, instinctively think good thoughts and say: “This is obviously a lie?” Why did they not produce four witnesses to it? Since they did not bring four witnesses, in Allah’s sight they are liars. Were it not for Allah’s favor to you and His mercy, both in this world and the Hereafter, a terrible punishment would have afflicted you for your plunging headlong into it [slander]. You were bandying it about on your tongues, your mouths uttering something about which you had no knowledge. You considered it to be a trivial matter, but in Allah’s sight it is immense. Why, when you heard it, did you not say: “We have no business speaking about this. Glory be to You! This is a terrible slander!”? (Qur’an, 24:12-16)

O you who believe! If a deviator brings you a report, scrutinize it carefully in case you attack people in ignorance and so come to greatly regret what you have done. (Qur’an, 49:6)

Do not say about what your lying tongues describe: “This is lawful and this is forbidden,” inventing lies against Allah. Those who invent lies against Allah are not successful. (Qur’an, 16:116)

Who could do greater wrong than those who lie about Allah and deny the truth when it comes to them? Do the unbelievers not have a dwelling place in Hell? (Qur’an, 39:32)

On the Day of Rising you will see those who lied against Allah with their faces blackened. Do not the arrogant have a dwelling place in Hell? (Qur’an, 39:60)

Say: “People who invent lies against Allah will not be successful.” (Qur’an, 10:69)

Look how they invent lies against Allah. That suffices as an outright sin. (Qur’an, 4:50)

Hence what the missionary has claimed about the concept of taqiyyah in Islam is a false lie and goes against the spirit of the Qur’an. One can also see the numerous statements by the Prophet (P) against lying and liars, as well as the statements of Muslim scholars against lying and liars.

Qur’an 2:256: Where is the Abrogation?

Now we come to the gist of the whole issue, namely the so-called “abrogation” of Qur’an 2:256. The Christian missionary cited Ibn Kathir’s commentary to this verse in order to “prove” that this verse was “abrogated” according to Ibn Kathir. However, Ibn Kathir does not say in the abridged commentary that this verse has been abrogated, which is contrary to the missionary claim on Paltalk.

We cite the relevant passage as follows.

No Compulsion in Religion

Allah said,

{There is no compulsion in religion}, meaning, “Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear. and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty. Whoever Allah blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam.”

It was reported that the Ansar were the reason behind revealing this Ayah, although its indication is general in meaning. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas said [that before Islam], “When (an Ansar) woman would not bear children who would live, she would vow that if she gives birth to a child who remains alive, she would raise him as a Jew. When Banu An-Nadir (the Jewish tribe) were evacuated [from Al-Madinah], some of the children of the Ansar were being raised among them, and the Ansar said, ?We will not abandon our children.? Allah revealed,

{There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the right path has become distinct from the wrong path}

Abu Daud and An-Nasa’i also recorded this hadith.

As for the Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded, in which Anas said that the Messenger of Allah (P) said to a man,

{“Embrace Islam.” The man said, “I dislike it.” The Prophet (P) said, “Even if you dislike it.”}

First, this is an authentic Hadith, with only three narrators between Imam Ahmad and the Prophet (P). However, it is not relevant to the subject under discussion, for the Prophet (P) did not force that man to become Muslim. The Prophet (P) merely invited this man to become Muslim, and he replied that he does not find himself eager to become Muslim. The Prophet (P) said to the man that even though he dislikes embracing Islam, he should still embrace it, ?for Allah will grant you sincerity and true intent.’5

The following points are to be noted in order to understand the above passage by Ibn Kathir:

    1. According to Ibn Kathir, the verse is a general statement.
    2. Ibn Kathir states that no one is to be forced to become a Muslim. It is a person’s choice to accept or reject Islam.
    3. Ibn Kathir does not state anywhere in this commentary that this passage has been “abrogated.”

Therefore there is no basis in the missionary claim that this verse was “abrogated” according to Ibn Kathir.

What About the “Christian Taqiyyah“?

While Islam does not have any notion of a taqiyyah except in the minds of those who whale about it, in Christianity we find an interesting example of how one can resort to taqiyyah. Namely, the example of Paul of Tarsus, who was not only a scheming imposter, but a hypocrite and a false prophet. Such is the taqiyyah resorted to by this man that he said thus:

“But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless being crafty, I caught you with guile.” (2 Corinthians 12:16)

Now here is a person who openly admits that he uses guile (understood as deception or lying) in order to spread his message. Is this the kind of man that the Christian missionaries expect us to follow?

Another passage clearly displays the flip-flop mentality of this Great Deceiver from Tarsus:

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law — though not being myself under the law — that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law — not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ — that I might win those outside the law.” (I Corinthians 9:20)

Geza Vermes, a fomer Christian who is one of the leading scholars in historical Jesus research today, says:

“He [Paul] could also be calculating and ready to compromise: ‘To the Jews I became as a Jew…to those under the law I became as one under the law…To those outside the law I became as one outside the law…I have become all things to all men‘…Or in short, ‘I try to please all men in everything I do’ (I Cor. 10:33).”6

Paul’s deceptive methodology of “winning” converts resulted in him being viewed as an opportunist by the Jews:

“His goal is not self-gratification but the interests of the gospel, and in particular the desire to ‘win’ converts. Like a demagogue who enslaves himself to the populace to compaign for their rights, Paul has deliberately renounced rights and demeaned himself to advance the cause of the gospel (v. 19). His self-sacrifice is first illustrated by the chief characteristic of his mission, his cross-cultural adaptability (vv. 20-1). Among the Jews he could live like a Jew; that is, among the law-observant he observes the law, although not considering himself utterly bound to it (v. 20). The purpose is to win Jews for the gospel; for, although his call was ‘to the Gentiles’ (Rom 1:5), Paul still associated with Jews, as his synagogue visits testifies (2 Cor 11:24). Similarly, for Gentiles ‘outside the law’ Paul lived in a Gentile fashion, although in truth not lawless before God, but under full obligation to Christ (v. 21, ‘under Christ’s law’; no code of teaching is here envisaged). Again the purpose is to win Gentiles, the task in which Paul was so successful, though at the cost of his reputation among most fellow Jews, who took his adaptability to be merely opportunism (Gal 1:10).”7

Now here is a person who can be rightfully charged with the practice of a Christian taqiyyah. Such a lying, sinful person is not worthy to be considered as a follower of Jesus (P), much less an apostle. Only a product of Satan will resort to such lies and trickery to spread their message.

For more information, please see Lying In Christianity.

Conclusions

We have cited from Ibn Kathir and showed how his commentary was misused by a low-level missionary who whales about taqiyyah and abrogation and yet ended up citing texts which does not support his claims. Hence we are obliged to ask, from where did he get his poppycock stories from? One wonders why was this person wailing about taqiyyah and a so-called “abrogation” when neither one existed in the passages we have cited above.

It is obvious that this rabid missionary has no idea on what he was talking about and was just whaling for some sort of argument in order to smear Muslims with and tarnish their claims. In logical fallacy circles, this is called poisoning the well and an ad hominem attack. Perhaps the Christian missionary should return to his Logic 101 classes to learn the finer points of debating instead of resorting to wailing about taqiyyah or cutting his opponent off from the microphone when his opponent is speaking.

And only God knows best. bismika-tombstone Whaling a Taqiyyah

Footnotes

  1. For the Sunni perspective on the Shia doctrine of taqiyyah, see this article. []
  2. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (abridged), Vol. 2 (Darussalam, 2000), pp. 141-142 []
  3. ibid. []
  4. ibid., Vol. 5, p. 530. []
  5. ibid., pp. 30-31 []
  6. Geza Vermes, The Changing Faces of Jesus (Penguin Books, 2000), p. 66. Italics are by Vermes. []
  7. John Barton, John Muddiman (eds.), The Oxford Bible Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 1123 []

11 Comments

  1. Dear Gajibur,

    I think your outburst against Denis is quite unjustified in this instance. He was correct to point out that according to Bin Baz, the ayah “there is no compulsion in religion” has been abrogated. You cannot possibly blame Denis for this. He is not responsible for Bin Baz’s opinion, unless you can prove that Denis caused Bin Baz to regard the ayah abrogated. You are merely shooting the messenger.

    You said that, “You desperately hold onto a very small minority of muslims who have a different view regarding that verse.” But this is not what Denis did. He did not argue for the correctness of this view. Let me quote him:

    “Now, in no way am I arguing that every other Muslim should agree with Bin Baaz, nor am I trying to portray Islamic exegesis as monolithic.”

    So I hope you attempt to read him carefully the next time.

    You regard the non-abrogation of this ayah as “a very small minority of muslims who have a different view regarding that verse.” I AGREE WITH THIS.

    A small number of scholars, such as Bin Baz and some earlier scholars, deemed this ayah to be abrogated. But according to the scholarly concensus, the ayah is not abrogated. Its ruling stands.

    The missionary Shamoun, who is a compulsive liar, claimed that Ibn Kathir regarded this passage to be abrogated. But, as shown, this was a lie.

    As with regards to Takiyah, in Sunni Islam that is not taken as a green light to tell lies. Its application is as follows: if someone is about to kill you and says he would not do so if you meet his demand, such as, for example, renounce Islam, then you may do so. God knows your dire circumstance and would not consider this to be a sin. Period. What is “wrong” with this?

    Shamoun’s claim in other rantings of his border on the absurd. He cites traditions which permit deception in WARFARE. Yet this is a method followed by ALL armies on this planet. The modern American military, for instance, does everything it can to mislead the enemey and propagate disinformation towards them in order to maintain an upper-hand and defeat them. This is what all armies do. Shamoun would, presumably, have no “problems” with this; it is only that he has “problems” when Muslim armies practice this. Again, this is only applied in war situations, it is no general rule or a permission to lie for whatever reason.

    Shamoun’s absurdity is clear because he uses the above to make a broad generalization, suggesting that this “shows” Muslims can tell lies whenever they like. This is a distortion. Islamic teachings are clear about the sin of lying and deception.

    Other examples of his downright ridiculous and laughable reasoning are too numerous and too silly to even mention.

    I am amazed that such a mentally shallow character, not to mention a vulgar personality, is popular among some extremist Christians. For an organization whose purpose is to introduce “the gospel” to the Muslims, Shamoun is a major embarrassment and makes their job so difficult.

  2. Denis Giron, you really are quite a desperate soul aren’t you. The verse which say “there is no compulsion in religion” has not been abrogated according to most muslims. You desperately hold onto a very small minority of muslims who have a different view regarding that verse. Clearly you do this because they help in your efforts to demonise the muslims as intolerant people. My advice to you is to be less desperate, that way you wont look like a desperate clown.

    Heri Nurheryawan, The verse “there is no compulsion in religion” is not contradictory in my opinion, as far as i know it has nothing to do with prayers or fasting. The verse is saying no one can be forced into the islamic religion.

  3. (Taqiyya has been a part of Islam, ever since It’s Creation. And if Taqiyya Is an act of “Kufr”, as the the Author so claims, Then the Prophet would be the First Person to be charged with such accusation since he Kept his faith for himself for the first three years of his “Da’wa” in Mecca)In response to this i will say that Prophet didnt keep his faith to himself as my above fellow clearly misunderstood it but He preached his message starting from his friends and family members.Those who follow Taqiyyah have just misinterpreted Quran (sadly).

  4. Taqiyya has been a part of Islam, ever since It’s Creation. And if Taqiyya Is an act of “Kufr”, as the the Author so claims, Then the Prophet would be the First Person to be charged with such accusation since he Kept his faith for himself for the first three years of his “Da’wa” in Mecca.

    Not only that. If anything, it is Sunni Imams and “‘Aalims” that are the Biggest Practicers of “Taqiyya”. How many times have you heard a Sunni ‘Aalim praising their Corrupt and Immoral Leaders, in contrast to Shi’ite ones???

    Some of You asked for some Shi’ite Material about
    “Taqiyya”…..Here you go:

    http://www.answering-ansar.org...../chap4.php

    See also:

    The Creed of Shi’a Explained, with a special Chapter on “Taqiyya”.

    http://www.answering-ansar.org...../chap1.php

    It’s REAL definition from the Quran, and the Sunnah, and the people who practiced it throughout the Ages. Take stories from ACTUAL Shi’ites, not from ignorant, ranting bashers like the Author, and the ignorant, lackies and their juvenile rants

    here’s some real reading with proofs, better than the Wahhabi, Petro-Dollar Horse$hit Propaganda this Pseudo-Pundit calls “Replies”.

  5. these shia’s are to blame. kufaars blame us for doing ‘taqqiyah’ for something THEY (the shias) do… wow.

  6. “No compulsion in religion” is totally ilogical because there are always compulsion in religion. Such as you have to pray 5 times a day or you go to hell. In Mekah if you don’t go to pray the security will beat you with the stick. But the Quran is true because the true meaning is not religion but ways.

    “No compulsion in ways” this is logic. And between the good way and bad way is clear. Allah give mankind the freedom of choice of their way, whether he choose the bad or the god ones. There no such thing as good religion or bad religion ? every religions claim to be good but is it true ?

    According to Quran the good way is to surrender (islam) to God . So islam is not religion but it is simply a good way, and that is surender. How you explain “whoever you are from Jews, Nashara or Sabiens (in other word = all mankind) as long as you surrender (islam) and believe in the afterlife then you will be safe”

    How come Jews, Nashara and sabiens doing 5 times ritual as you does according to your religion in the name of Islam ?

    You guys abuse the word islam in Quran and create your own religion just like crhistian abuse teh real bible and create their own religion. Jews also the same.

    Islam is NOT religion, is the WAY. Ways can be good or bad. It is your choice but the outcome you will gain after life and God decide where you go. This is the main teach of Quran.

  7. While this is not entirely relevant to your article (though I do believe it is somewhat relevant), it might be worth noting that it seems the position that the relevant passage in Soorat al-Baqara which reads laa ikraha fee’d-Deen has been abrogated is not entirely unheard of among Muslims. It seems even the somewhat infamous Shaykh Bin Baaz took this position:

    http://63.175.194.25/index.php.....038;ln=ara

    [you can get an English translation by changing the last three characters of the URL to ‘eng’]

    Now, in no way am I arguing that every other Muslim should agree with Bin Baaz, nor am I trying to portray Islamic exegesis as monolithic. I am simply noting the above as an interesting historical note relevant to your article (or at least your discussion with the relevant Christian on Paltalk).

  8. Syed M, why don’t you offer a link where we can see how Shias explain Taqiyah?

  9. akhi shias do not believe that you can do taqiyyah at anytime. What you are claiming is not even part of Shia Aqidah. I recommend you study taqiyyah from the point of view shia ulama, and not from hostile ulama.

  10. For more detalis about “Taqayyah”

    http://www.allaahuakbar.net/sh.....qiyyah.htm

  11. Assalamu Alaikum

    It might be smart to actually study what the Shia perspective on Taqiyyah is, instead of using a link which is dedicated to making Shias looking bad with out understanding the history of taqiyyah amongst Shia Muslims.

    ;]

    Thats just my 2 cents

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