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Taqiyya (al-Taqiyya, also spelled Al-Takeyya) is a concept in Shia Islam.[1] It encourages lying and deceit by "disguising one's beliefs, intentions, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions or strategies,"[2] especially when failing to do so may put the believer at risk.[3] It is authorized under the Koran and Sunna.[Citation Needed]

Taqiyya allows a Shia Muslim even "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."[2] Taqiyya further permits "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.'"[2] Most Muslim scholars teach that this should only be done when necessary.[3]

Sunni Muslims also practice this but call it Muda'rat.[4]

Islamic Review states, "The Arabic word, "Takeyya", means "to prevent," or guard against. The principle of Al Takeyya conveys the understanding that Muslims are permitted to lie as a preventive measure against anticipated harm to one's self or fellow Muslims. This principle gives Muslims the liberty to lie under certain circumstances. They can even deny their ideology, if they do not mean it in their hearts. Al-Takeyya is based on the following Quranic 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 (prevention), that ye may Guard yourselves from them (prevent them from harming you.) But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah. Surah 3: 28" [5]

A Christian, in contrast, never hides who he is, nor denies his identity. If the world chooses to punish such a person by death or by other means, a Christian knows that Jesus Christ warned him this would happen. He also said one coming under such attack or punishment would receive the greater reward in heaven on that very account.

But Islam generally teaches that it is acceptable to lie, so long as he knows the truth and the lie will benefit the ideology, or keep him in, or get him into, a position to advance the ideology, if only by stealth.

Verses of the Koran and Hadith that encourage Muslims to practice Taqiyya

  • Koran (9:3) - "...Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters..."
  • Koran (66:2) - "Allah has already ordained for you the dissolution of your oaths..."
  • Koran (2:225) - "Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts"
  • Koran (3:54) - "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers."
  • Sahih Bukhari (52:269) - "The Prophet said, 'War is deceit.'"
  • Sahih Bukhari (49:857) - "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar."
  • Sahih Bukhari (84:64)- "Whenever I tell you a narration from Allah's Apostle, by Allah, I would rather fall down from the sky than ascribe a false statement to him, but if I tell you something between me and you (not a Hadith) then it was indeed a trick (i.e., I may say things just to cheat my enemy). No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, where-ever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.'"
  • Sahih Muslim (32:6303) - "...he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)."


  1. "Taqiyah" Oxford Dictionary of Islam. John L. Esposito, Ed. Oxford University Press. 2003. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed 9 June 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.islam-watch.org/Warner/Taqiyya-Islamic-Principle-Lying-for-Allah.htm
  3. 3.0 3.1 IslamToday.com, Rulings Regarding the Concealment of Faith, retrieved 10/16/08 [1]
  4. https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx
  5. Islamic Review, Lying in Islam, by Abdullah Al Araby [2] The mission statement for Islamic Review, a Christian organization, states, "Muslim activists, in their attempt to spread their religion in the West, have been deliberately hiding a certain side of their religion. They carefully avoid, obscure and omit any negative teachings of Islam in order to lure converts. Our mission is to expose these teachings that are withheld from seekers in order to help people gain a more realistic insight of what it is like to live under Islam."