▪ religious doctrine
also spelled  Taqiyah,  Arabic  Taqīyah 

      (“self-protection”), in Islām, the practice of concealing one's belief and foregoing ordinary religious duties when under threat of death or injury to oneself or one's fellow Muslims.

      The Qurʾān allows Muslims to profess friendship with the unbelievers (3:28) and even outwardly to deny their faith (16:106), if doing so would save them from imminent danger, on the condition that their hearts contradict their tongues. Muḥammad himself was regarded to have set the first example for the application of taqiya when he chose to migrate to Medina rather than face his powerful enemies in Mecca.

      Some rules have been laid down as to when a Muslim may or may not use taqiya. The threat of flogging or temporary imprisonment and other discomforts that remain within tolerable limits do not justify the use of taqiya. A person without responsibilities toward women or children may not use it under any circumstances short of direct and express threat to life. Oaths taken with mental reservation are justified on the basis that God accepts what is believed inwardly. Consideration of community rather than private welfare is stressed in most cases.

      The Shīʿites (Shīʿite), the minority branch of Islām, made taqiya a fundamental tenet because of their suffering from persecution and political defeats throughout their history. The Ibāḍīyah (a Muslim sect found in eastern Africa, southern Algeria, and Oman) called for prudent fear and avoidance of foolish and unnecessary martyrdom and regarded taqiya as a basic religious requirement. Many other sects went underground when they felt that open expression of their beliefs was harmful to their cause. Ultimately, it is left to the conscience of each individual to judge, when the situation arises, whether taqiya is absolutely necessary and whether his private interests or those of the religion and the community are being served.

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Universalium. 2010.

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