Understanding Taqiyya ― Islamic Principle of Lying for the Sake of Allah
Warner MacKenzie|Islam Watch
Lying and cheating in the Arab world is not really a moral matter but a method of safeguarding honor and status, avoiding shame, and at all times exploiting possibilities, for those with the wits for it, deftly and expeditiously to convert shame into honor on their own account and vice versa for their opponents. If honor so demands, lies and cheating may become absolute imperatives.” [David Pryce-Jones, “The Closed Circle” An interpretation of the Arabs, p4]
“No dishonor attaches to such primary transactions as selling short weight, deceiving anyone about quality, quantity or kind of goods, cheating at gambling, and bearing false witness. The doer of these things is merely quicker off the mark than the next fellow; owing him nothing, he is not to be blamed for taking what he can.” [David Pryce-Jones, “The Closed Circle”, p38]
The word “Taqiyya” literally means: “Concealing, precaution, guarding.” It is employed in disguising one’s beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies. In practical terms it is manifested as dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. It is currently employed in fending off and neutralising any criticism of Islam or Muslims.
Falsehoods told to prevent the denigration of Islam, to protect oneself, or to promote the cause of Islam are sanctioned in the Qur’an and Sunna, including lying under oath in testimony before a court, deceiving by making distorted statements to the media such as the claim that Islam is a “religion of peace”. A Muslim is even permitted to deny or denounce his faith if, in so doing, he protects or furthers the interests of Islam, so long as he remains faithful to Islam in his heart. (See end notes)
Like many Islamic practices, taqiyya was formed within the context of the culture of Arab tribalism, expansionary warfare, Bedouin raiding and inter-tribal conflict. Taqiyya has been used by Muslims since the 7th century to confuse, confound and divide ‘the enemy’.
A favoured tactic was ‘deceptive triangulation’; used to persuade the enemy that preparations for a raid were not aimed at them but at another tribe altogether. The fate in store for the deceived enemy target was an unexpected plunderous raid, enslavement of the women and death to the post-pubescent males.