The Taqiyyah Argument

I have come across many arguments against Islam, but none so absurd as ‘the taqiyyah argument’.

By what I have noticed, the argument is mostly put forward by Christians. What is claimed by this argument is that: Islam allows Muslims to deceive and lie to non-Muslims if it helps the religion, and apparently this is a principle called ‘taqiyyah’. A popular video on YouTube (titled: Three Things about Islam) mentions this argument as if it is a fact and a true teaching of Islam[1], but fails to provide a single shred of valid evidence (evidence from the Qur’an and the authentic teachings and sayings of the Prophet (pbuh). It is such a pathetic claim against Islam that the maker of the video stooped so low to provided a source of evidence (for this claim) to be Wikipedia. This site describes taqiyyah to be “a practice in Shia Islam whereby adherents may conceal their faith when they feel that they are under threat, persecution, or compulsion”[2], this definition is not the same definition given in the video (Three Things about Islam). Most non-Muslims who look for ways to ridicule and challenge Islam and the last and final Prophet (pbuh), stumble across this video and believe they have struck gold. The argument seems to be convincing to the western non-Muslim, maybe because it contains an Arabic word (Taqiyyah). This then probably leads to the deluded understanding that going around shouting: “taqiyyah, taqiyyah!” to the Muslim will shut him or her up. Rather the Muslim will most likely be confused and baffled to why a non-Muslim is suddenly so surprised to see a cap (‘taqiyah’ or ‘tagiya’ can also mean to be a short rounded cap/headgear worn by Muslim men)[3].

The word ‘taqiyyah’ is the in the Qur’an but it does not mean to promote lying for Islamic gain. The word is found in the holy Qur’an meaning: God fearing, righteousness and uprightness etc[4][5]. The word can also refer to a person who fears Allah or guards him/herself from evil. No where in the complete Qur’an does it mention to lie or to deceive non-Muslims for the benefit of the Religion.

Generally lying is prohibited in Islam as the Qur’an says, “Nay! if he desist not, We would certainly smite his forehead, a lying, sinful forehead” [6]. But in some specific situations, Islam does permit lying. For example, the Qur’an mentions that Allah pardons those who utter disbelief under compulsion[7]. And Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also permitted that Muslims can lie in three particular circumstances: 1) when in war/battle, 2) to bring peace between two disputing people and 3) to bring peace between a quarrelling/fighting husband and wife (a detailed explanation of these three points is written by Sami Zaatari[8]):

Humaid b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. ‘Auf reported that his mother Umm Kulthumdaughter of ‘Uqba b. Abu Mu’ait, and she was one amongst the first emigrants who pledged allegiance to Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him), as saying that she heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: “A liar is not one who tries to bring reconciliation amongst people and speaks good (in order to avert dispute), or he conveys good”. Ibn Shihab said 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)[9].

So brothers and sisters, you can see for yourself. Lying is permitted in certain situations but in general: prohibited. Even if it is for the benefit of Islam, lying is still prohibited (haram).

Most religions promote truthfulness and make out the importance of speaking only the truth. However, Christianity teaches something dreadfully different. Christians who use the taqiyyah argument seem to fail to realise, that the claim they are making against Islam is actually in the Bible taught by Paul (not in the Qur’an). Paul teaches: that it does not matter how Christ is preached, whether through lies or truth, it makes no difference to him[10] [11]. Isn’t this lying and deceiving for the benefit of the religion?

Islam is a religion of peace, and peace stands side by side with truthfulness. Without truth, peace has no meaning. And to say that Islam promotes lying and deceiving to help the religion is absolutely wrong. There is no truth to such a statement whatsoever. There maybe some Muslim scholars who do lie and mislead or misinform non-Muslims and Muslims alike for their own benefit or their own perverted beliefs. Those who do this are not practicing Islam. They are falsifiers and they will have the Creator to answer to. Islam is a complete religion; Allah says in the Qur’an: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”[12]. God has already perfected Islam as a religion/a way of life for mankind, so where is the need to lie for the religion? Those who deceive for the benefit of Islam are clearly doing wrong and committing a great sin.

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”[13]





[4] Qur’an 19:13, 18 & 63


[6] Qur’an 96:15-16

[7] Qur’an 16:106


[9] Sahih Muslim book 32: 6303

[10] Bible Romans 3:1-8, Philippians 1:15-18


[12] Qur’an 5:3

[13] Qur’an 2:256


4 thoughts on “The Taqiyyah Argument

  1. As Salaam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

    “The Taqiyyah Argument” is typically the last gasp of a failed debater.

    I remember discussing Islam and Christianity with a Christian apologetic, who had a deep hatred for Islam that he openly professed. After a few exchanges, he just started saying ‘taqiyyah, taqiyyah, taqiyyah’. At that point, I bade the man farewell.


    • Salam bro, with all my discussions with Christian apologists, ‘the taqiyyah argument’ has been used a few times against my contentions against Christianity. I still don’t understand how some apologists see this as an intellectually sound argument to pose at Muslims.


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