Monday, August 29, 2011

Taqiyya and Kitman | Muzzammil

Taqiyya and kitman are terms the Islamophobes like to throw around in order to draw on nuanced Islamic concepts to legitimize their propaganda call to dismiss all opposing voices. So if a Muslim makes a claim, true or false, it cannot be trusted as he or she may be engaging in taqiyya. It’s an effective tool in winning popular support for their agenda, as it draws a strict boundary between what is valid discourse (that of the Islamophobes) and what is not (the taqiyya-driven Muslims, and their sponsored leftist allies).

Kitman is a term rarely found in Sunni Islamic texts on jurisprudence. However, taqiyya does appear, in particular in the context of interpreting verses 3:28 and 16:105. The “occasion of revelation” for 16:105 was the torture of an early convert to Islam, Ammar b Yasir, who was spared torture when he praised the pagan Arab gods; the Prophet Muhammad affirmed his faith and this verse allowed such a concession. 3:28 uses the word “tuqah” a conjugate of “taqiyya”. Some early jurists (like Muadh b Jabal and Mujahid) were opposed to the concept altogether as they felt it implied “lying” (kidhb) and “hypocrisy” (nifaq). Most, however, disagreed that it implied these objectionable consequences, and allowed it as a dispensation (rukhsa) when one is compelled. “Most of the Ahl al-Sunna believe taqiyya…is permissible only in (cases of) necessity…al-Qurtubi said ‘taqiyya is not permitted unless one fears death, or the loss of a limb or serious bodily harm’” (al-Mawsuat al-Fiqhiyya: )

Furthermore, since this is a dispensation (rukhsa) “from God, and it is not an obligation, not performing taqiyya is more virtuous” (al-Jassas mentioning the Hanafi view: ). This is supported by a hadith from the Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba where two men were brought before a rebel leader, the “false prophet” Musaylama; Musaylama asked if the first believed he was a prophet and he replied in the affirmative and when he asked the second he replied “I am deaf” thrice and was subsequently killed; when the news reached the Prophet, he said “the one that was killed has passed away with integrity (sidq) and firm conviction (yaqin), and he held on to his merits, so glad tidings to him; and as regards to the second, he is saved from any consequence (of lying) due to a dispensation from God” (cited here: )

When Islamophobes write about taqiyya, they’ll normally mention it in isolation, without the context given in Sunni writings, in order to give it a global implication and create a general distrust of all Muslims. Shiite views of taqiyya and kitman may be slightly different to Sunni views. There are a few other issues when it comes to the topic of “lying” (kidhb) in Islamic jurisprudence (which is always impermissible, unless serious physical damage is feared; however portraying the truth in an agreeable and perhaps even a selective manner that does not involve lying is commended when it is used to “reconcile” between people and enjoin people to be charitable) – however, this is not related to “taqiyya” which has a very specific purpose.

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