Q. What is taqiyyah (something to do with the permissibility of lying) and the sunni view/belief regarding this?
A. Taqiyyah is the act of deliberately deceiving others, and (practicing it) is among the fundamental teachings of the shias.
Shias, in general, tell people who do not fully know their religion that Taqiyyah is allowed in cases of a serious danger to life or a similar situation, though Shia traditions contain a number of incidents which show that their Imams practiced Taqiyyah and uttered open falsehood and deceived people by their actions when there was not the least danger to their lives nor compulsion of any kind.
Further to this, we see that for the shias, the tenet of Taqiyyah is not only allowed but compulsory, and an essential part of the doctrines of the shi’ite faith. It is related that Imam Jafar Sadiq (once) said, ‘if I say that a person who gives up Taqiyya is as great a sinner as a person who gives up Namaz (salaah), I will only be saying what is correct and true’. He also added, ‘A person who does not observe Taqiyya is devoid of faith’. .(Man la Faqih tahzarahul; Khomeini, Iranian Revolution and the Shi’ite Faith, pg. 144-145). In another famous book of the shias, it is stated that Imam Jafar Sadiq said to Abu Umair Ajami, ‘O Abu Umair, among ten parts of religion, nine lie in Taqiyya. He who does not observe Taqiyya is devoid of faith’. (Usul-e- Kafi; Khomeini, Iranian Revolution and the Shi’ite Faith pg.14 ).
From these short quotations, it can be seen that Taqiyyah, which is the deliberate act to deceive others is a fundamental part of the Shi’ite faith.
For the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (sunni Muslim), Taqiyyah is nothing but clear deception, lying and trickery, and is totally condemned in Islam. The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAS) have both condemned this act of lying, deceiving others and misleading them through dishonesty, cheating and fraud. Hence, Taqiyyah has no place in Islam.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan