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Taqiya (تقیة, taqiyyah/ taqīyah, literally "prudence, fear, caution") is an Islamic term referring to precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution. This practice is emphasized in Shia Islam whereby adherents are permitted to conceal their religion when under threat of persecution or compulsion. However, it is also permitted in Sunni Islam under certain circumstances.


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  • 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 Penalty.
  • 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.
  • Among the Sunni authorities the question was not such a burning one. Nevertheless Ṭabarī says on Sūra xvi. 108 (Tafsīr, Būlāḳ 1323 sqq., xxiv. 122): "If any one is compelled and professes unbelief with his tongue, while his heart contradicts him, to escape his enemies, no blame falls on him, because God takes his servants as their hearts believe". The reason for this verse is unanimously said to have been the case of 'Ammār b. Yāsir, whose conscience was set at rest by this revelation when he was worried about his forced worshipping of idols and objurgation of the Prophet. It is more in the nature of theoretical speculation, when in this connection the question of hid̲j̲ra is minutely investigated, that in certain circumstances e. g. threat of death, a Muslim who cannot live openly professing his faith may have to migrate "as God's earth is wide". Women, children, invalids and one who is tied by considerations for them, are permitted muwāfaḳa ("connivance"); but an independent individual is not justified in taḳīya nor bound to hid̲j̲ra, if the compulsion remains within endurable limits, as in the case of temporary imprisonment or flogging which does not result in death.
    • Rudolf Strothmann, “Taḳīya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann.
  • Taqīyah is the precautionary dissimulation of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution. Muslims recognize the personal duty of affirming right and forbidding wrong, but when confronted by an overwhelming injustice that threatens the well-being of an individual, this obligation can be fulfilled secretly in the heart rather than overtly.
    • Paul E. Walker (2009). "Taqīyah". The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World: Oxford University Press. Edited by John L. Esposito.
  • Taqiyya is a well-known term in the Islamic world. It means that muslims who do not live in a muslim country (yet) often don't say everything they really think. But at the moment that the Islamic culture gets stronger there will also be muslims, who are now being seen as moderate, who follow along in the compulsive strictness of the Koran and its ideology. The term comes from the muslim world itself and should therefore not be underestimated. Therefore it is too easy to say that there are enough muslims who participate in our society. It does not say anything about how they are going to behave once there are more muslims represented in The Netherlands... The more dominant the Islamic culture in The Netherlands will be, the more distant we will become from anything that has to do with freedom, tolerance and equality. Because the Islam – in contrast with other religions – will not accept anything else but the Islam. The society will change for the worse. It is no 'clash of civilisations', but a collision between culture and barbarism and retardedness.
    • Geert Wilders, 'Geert Wilders in interview Nu.nl (11 September 2008)


Jane's Information Group states that while Raymond Ibrahim's opinion is well-researched, factual in places but whose interpretation of taqiyya is ultimately misleading. It focuses on a very narrow use of the term taqiyya, which is sometimes used to refer to dissimulation allowed to Shias to preserve their own lives and the lives of others. It appears to be a polemical piece interspersed with cherry-picked citations from the Quran, the sayings of the Prophet and secondary works. [1]

  • Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream...Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.

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  • https://web.archive.org/web/20110811212138/http://articles.janes.com/articles/Janes-Islamic-Affairs-Analyst-2008/Interpreting-Taqiyya.html