Most Muslims are familiar with the principles of Islam that will justify lying in situations where they sense the need to do so. Among these are:
- War is deception.
- The necessities justify the forbidden.
- If faced by two evils, choose the lesser of the two.
These principles are derived from passages found in the Quran and the Hadith.
IN THE QURAN, ALLAH, ALLEGEDLY, SAYS:
” Allah will not call you to account for what is futile in your oaths, but He will call you to account for your deliberate oaths: for expiation, feed ten indigent persons, on a scale of the average for the food of your families; or clothe them; or give a slave his freedom. If that is beyond your means, fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths ye have sworn. But keep to your oaths. Thus doth Allah make clear to you His signs, that ye may be grateful.” Surah 5:89
“Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness (vain) in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts; and He is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing.” Surah 2:225
“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.” Surah 16: 106
The noted Islamic commentator, Al-Tabary explained Surah 16:106 as a verse that had been revealed to Mohammed after he learned that Ammar Ibn Yasser was forced to deny his faith in Mohammed when kidnapped by the Banu Moghera tribe. Mohammed consoled Ammar by telling him, “If they turned, you turn.” (Meaning: if they again capture you, you are allowed to deny me again.)
These and similar passages from the Quran clearly reveal that Muslims’ unintentional lies are forgivable and that even their intentional lies can be absolved by performing extra duties. It is also clear that if forced to do so, Muslims can lie while under oath and can even falsely deny faith in Allah, as long as they maintain the profession of faith in their hearts.
In the Hadith, Mohammed, emphasizes the same concept.
From “Ehiaa Oloum al-Din,” by the famous Islamic scholar al-Ghazali, Vol. 3: PP.284-287:
- For reconciliation among people.
- In war.
- Amongst spouses, to keep peace in the family.
One passage from the Hadith quotes Mohammed as saying: “The sons of Adam are accountable for all lies except those uttered to help bring reconciliation between Muslims.”
Another says, “Aba Kahl, reconcile among people.”(Meaning: even through lying.)
The following quote demonstrates the broadness of situations in which the prophet permitted lying. “The sons of Adam are accountable for all lies with these exceptions: During war because war is deception, to reconcile among two quarreling men, and for a man to appease his wife.”
The implications of the principle of Al-Takeyya
Unfortunately, when dealing with Muslims, one must keep in mind that Muslims can communicate something with apparent sincerity, when in reality they may have just the opposite agenda in their hearts. Bluntly stated, Islam permits Muslims to lie anytime that they perceive that their own well-being, or that of Islam, is threatened.
In the sphere of international politics, the question is: Can Muslim countries be trusted to keep their end of the agreements that they sign with non-Muslim nations? It is a known Islamic practice, that when Muslims are weak they can agree with most anything. Once they become strong, then they negate what they formerly vowed.
The principle of sanctioning lying for the cause of Islam bears grave implications in matters relating to the spread of the religion of Islam in the West. Muslim activists employ deceptive tactics in their attempts to polish Islam’s image and make it more attractive to prospective converts. They carefully try to avoid, obscure, and omit mentioning any of the negative Islamic texts and teachings.
An example of Islamic deception is that Muslim activists always quote the passages of the Quran from the early part of Mohammed’s ministry while living in Mecca. These texts are peaceful and exemplify tolerance towards those that are not followers of Islam. All the while, they are fully aware that most of these passages were abrogated (cancelled and replaced) by passages that came after he migrated to Medina. The replacement verses reflect prejudice, intolerance, and endorse violence upon unbelievers
In conclusion, it is imperative to understand, that Muslim leaders can use this loop-hole in their religion, to absolve them from any permanent commitment. It is also important to know that what Muslim activists say to spread Islam may not always be the whole truth. When dealing with Muslims, what they say is not the issue. The real issue is, what they actually mean in their hearts.
The principle of Al-Takeyya
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 circumstances that they perceive as life threatening. They can even deny the faith, 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
According to this verse a Muslim can pretend to befriend infidels (in violation of the teachings of Islam) and display adherence with their unbelief to prevent them from harming him.
Under the concept of Takeyya and short of killing another human being, if under the threat of force, it is legitimate for Muslims to act contrary to their faith. The following actions are acceptable:
- Drink wine, abandon prayers, and skip fasting during Ramadan.
- Renounce belief in Allah.
- Kneel in homage to a deity other than Allah.
- Utter insincere oaths.
By Abdullah Al Araby