Who was the comedian whose catchphrase was, "Not a lot of people know that"? It would help if Christians, indeed everyone, knew about Taqqiyah. It is permissible to lie in Islam - I know it's hard to grasp. If you do find it difficult, it's because you have been brought up in a Christian-influenced country probably...
"For the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,but the upright are in his confidence." (Proverbs 3:32)
"No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house;no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes." (Ps. 101:7)
What is Taqqiyah?
The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation." But it may be clearer to call it lying. Taqiyyah is uttering with the tongue what one does not believe in the heart. Many Sunnis deny that it is an Islamic practice, but Shi’ites dispute this by arguing that it is integral to Islam. According to one Shi’ite source:
Nine tenths of (the Islamic) religion is taqiyyah (dissimulation), hence one who does not dissimulate has no religion. (Al-Kafi vol.9 p.110)
And as a contributor to this site has pointed out:
al-Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (AS) [The Sixth Imam of Ahlul-Bayt] said:
"al-Taqiyya is my religion, and the religion of my ancestors." He (AS)
also said: "He who doesn't practice al-Taqiyya, doesn't practice his
But is it a Shi’ite practice only? Some Sunnis see Taqqiyah as a Shi’a error to be refuted. It is seen as a reason why Shi’ites can’t be trusted by Sunnis and is said to contradict the Qur’an which teaches:
Surely those who hide from people the clear proofs and guidance, which we clarified in the Book (Qur'an), will be cursed by Allah and all those who curse. (2:159)
It is also said to contradict a Hadith of Muhammad who is reported to have said:
Whoever is asked for knowledge and conceals it will have a bridle of fire around his neck on the Day of Judgement. (Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi)
But it is not certain that Taqiyyah is merely a Shi’i practice. Ibn Taymiyyah, a Sunni scholar, did not reject the practice out of hand. He merely introduced two conditions: Taqiyyah can only be done to an unbeliever. And that, while practising Taqiyyah, one cannot tell a lie. In other words, the dissimulator can only remain silent.
There are many theological wrangles about when dissimulation is allowed but what seems clear is that the Qur’an itself opens the door to muslims to conceal their true beliefs. For example:
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. [Yusufali 16:106]
This passage gives a Muslim the right, to ‘utter unbelief’ under the condition of ‘compulsion’. This is more than merely remaining silent. The interrogator can be misled by the words of the Muslim. The question then is, “What is ‘compulsion’?”
Whatever ‘compulsion’ is, the fact remains that dissimulation is widely practiced by Muslims. If a Muslim argues that such dissimulation goes against Islam then it can be countered that such misleading was practiced by Muhammad himself.
"(Verily) we smile for some people, while our hearts curse (those same people)." Sahih al Bukhari, v4, p45 publishers Uthmania, Egypt that Abu al-Darda' said he heard the Prophet (s) state:
On one occasion Muhammad said that such and such a person was not good yet when he met him he spoke to him with the utmost respect. Aisha asked why this man was given such respect to his face despite Muhammad having said previously he was of bad character. The Muhammad gave this reply:
"O `Ayesha, the worst of people in the sight of Allah (SWT) are those that are avoided by others due to their extreme impudence". (Narrated in Sahih al Bukhari, v4, p44, publishers Uthmania, Egypt that the Prophet (s) said:)
Muhammad was ‘diplomatic’ about the truth towards a muslim and set this incident as an example for Aisha and others to follow.
Some scholars accept that Muhammad practised Taqqiyah as a form of diplomacy, but argue that Taqqiyah is strictly limited to being coerced under threat of death. However, in the Sirah of al-Halabiyyah it is written:
After the conquest of the city of Khaybar by the Muslims, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was approached by Hajaj Ibn `Aalat and told: "O Prophet of Allah: I have in Mecca some excess wealth and some relatives, and I would like to have them back; am I excused if I bad-mouth you (to escape persecution)?" The Prophet (PBUH&HF) excused him and said: "Say whatever you have to say." This example seems to have nothing to do with duress, but rather the man is encouraged to dissimulate in order to recover wealth and relatives.
There appear to be three conditions in which Taqqiyah is allowed. These conditions are based on the Hadith of Muslim:
In war or battle to bring about peace
To prevent disputes among people
In order to bring about peace between husband and wife
Lying is permissible, according to Ghazali if the end is permissible and it is unattainable by telling the truth.
It is ironic that there is one person to whom you cannot lie and puts himself in a special category untouched by dissimulation: Muhammad.
Narrated Al-Mughira: I heard the Prophet saying, "Ascribing false things to me is not like ascribing false things to anyone else. Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire." ... (Sahih al-Bukhari 2.378, cf. 1.106-108)
How is Taqiyah practiced today?
Enough of the theory – we’ll allow the Sunnis and Shi’I to argue among themselves. More pressing is the need to see how this plays out in the real world. Let’s take the condemnation of acts of terror. After the July 7th 2005 London bombings, Omar Bakri Mohammed, former leader of the banned group Al-Muhajiroun, has said publicly that he condemns killing ‘innocent people’. Sounds reasonable. But who exactly is ‘innocent’ as he understands the word? He explained his public comments to his followers:
Yes I condemn killing any innocent people, but not any kuffar (non-muslim).
And even the muslims victims he would probably deny were ‘muslims’ as he defines the word. So he is actually fully supportive of the attacks even though his words seem, on the face of it, to condemn the attacks.
In the immediate aftermath (of the bombings) Omar Bakri Mohammed, said: “For the past 48 hours I’m very happy.” Two weeks later he referred to the bombers as the “fantastic four”.
When pressed on his use of the term, “fantastic four” he denied using it according to the Times. But again he is using Taqqiyah to pull the wool over the eyes of the unbelievers he holds in such contempt.
Another event that create a storm around the world was the Danish cartoon controversy in which cartoons of Muhammad were drawn depicting him in a less than flattering light. What is less well know is that radical Danish imams added three false, “extremely offensive Muhammad “cartoons” to the twelve relatively mild ones published by Jyllands-Posten.” It is suspected that they created these themselves to stoke the worldwide fires of muslim rage. The ends justify the means; even if that involves blaspheming your own prophet.
Implications for Christians
It is clear that anyone seeking to discover what Islam is by asking a Muslim cannot take what she is told necessarily at face value. To believe what you are being told is not to be more loving but to be more gullible. We are not commanded by Christ to be as wise as doves and harmless as serpents, but this is what is happening in the Church by well meaning and loving Christians.
The Christian must probe and challenge what he is being told. He must confront the Muslim with the evidence from hi own authorities when he is told there is ‘no compulsion in religion’. We must show the Muslim, who claims his religion is all sweetness and light, the disturbing passages in the Hadith that demand the death penalty for the convert from Islam to ‘unbelief’. We don’t do this to teach the Muslim; he is probably all too aware of the dark side of his traditions, but it establishes the basis of further communication between the Christian and the Muslim on a more honest and helpful footing.
Many Christians seek to establish friendships with Muslims to demonstrate the love of Christ to them. Bu the Muslim who is willing to make a friendship with an ‘unbeliever’ is betraying his religion (Qur’an 3:28 etc.). But he is not betraying his religion if he is ‘befriending’ you for the purpose of Jihad, that is in furthering the cause of Islam. His heart may not be in it, though his mouth speaks of friendship. Remember, Muhammad, for Muslims the perfect example to be copied, said, "(Verily) we smile for some people, while our hearts curse (those same people)." This is not to say that all Muslims are untrustworthy or that real friendships cannot be attained. That is going too far. But it is real cause for Christian wisdom.
These reflections may also be a cause of humility in us and a reason for self-examination. We may need to confess that our motives have not always been as worthy of Christ as they ought to have been.
 Ibn Abbas, commenting on Qur’an 3:28, as narrated in Sunan al-Bayhaqi and Mustadrak al-Hakim, said: "al-Taqiyya is the uttering of the tongue, while the heart is comfortable with faith."
 See http://www.answering-ansar.org/answers/taqiyyah/en/chap2.php
 al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, v3, p61