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Islam Our Future – Chapter 16
Understanding Dishonesty and Deceit in Islam
The following discussion is so very important for two reasons. Firstly, because of the prominence of deception in the last-days, and secondly, because of the grave implications that deception for the cause of Islam has for the spread of Islam in the West.
When someone first becomes curious and wishes to begin learning about Islam, it is imperative that they first understand the degree to which lying is not only permitted, but actually fostered and even, at times, commanded in Islam.
When a Christian wishes to teach others about Christianity, it is simply understood that honesty will be an essential aspect of that sharing. In Islam however, most westerners have a hard time relating to the fact that purposeful exaggerations, covering of the truth and occasionally – outright-deliberate lying is a core part of the religion of Islam. There are actually specific doctrines and traditions that foster a culture of dishonesty within Islam. Now, of course, there are some verses and traditions in Islam that discourage lying:
But unfortunately, as we are about to see, for many Muslims, it is the exceptions to the rule that have actually become the rule itself.
Deception and Jihad
In order to understand how a religion can rationalize and lying, we must first briefly revisit the concept of jihad and the goals of Islam. We have already discussed this in the last chapter, but will point out again that jihad is essentially viewed within Islam as a struggle to bring all things into submission to Allah and Islam. The battlefields that jihad is fought on can be viewed on a spectrum. On one side of the spectrum is the personal inner struggle. This struggle is fought by every Muslim who wishes to overcome his or her own personal weaknesses, or inner demons. As we move across the spectrum there is the need to wage jihad to cause other individuals to submit to Islam. This is, of course, what Christianity calls evangelism. In Islam it is called Dawah. Flowing on down the spectrum, there is the imperative for Islam to take over local and eventually national governments. This is the point, unfortunately where the true face, the violent face of Islam is often revealed and, where jihad usually begins to get bloody. This reality is seen throughout the World today. So, while many people in the West think of jihad as simply fighting against non-Muslim governments and nations etc., the concept in Islam actually includes all aspects of life. So, in the Muslim mind, even the struggle to convert non-Muslims to Islam is part of jihad. Evangelism in Islam is more than just “sharing the good news,” it is war. With this in mind, it is vital that we note Muhammad’s famous saying that, “War is deception.” 1 Thus, when dealing with non-Muslims, Islam encourages Muslims to use an aggressive jihad/war-time mentality that is literally defined by deception. Indeed until any non-Muslim comes to realize the degree to which this mentality plays out when dealing with many Muslims, it will be only too easy to lose touch with a healthy sense of objectivity. When dealing with someone who is purposefully deceptive, trusting individuals – as so many in the West are these days, are like sheep being led to the slaughter.
This mentality of evangelism as jihad also finds its support in Islam under the category of two specific doctrines called Kithman and Taqiya.
Kithman: Hiding the Truth
Kithman is a command to deliberately conceal one’s beliefs. It is a particular form of lying primarily practiced by the minority Shia’ Muslims. This doctrine is articulated by Imam Jafar Sadiq, the sixth Imam of Shia’ Islam:
So Shia’ Muslims are commanded to purposefully hide what they truly believe in order to mislead outsiders as to the true nature of their religion. One cannot help but to immediately think of Jesus’ words, when He told his followers never to hide their religion:
But instead, Shia’ Muslim are said to “belong to a religion that whosoever conceals it, Allah will honor him and whosoever reveals it, Allah will disgrace him.” That is the doctrine of kithman. To most westerners, this concept is unimaginable and completely contrary to reason. If you have something good, then share it. If you have something to hide, then I probably don’t want it anyway.
There is essentially no difference between the doctrine of Kithman and the doctrine of Taqiya. Taqiya is defined by one Shia’ Muslim commentator thusly:
This same commentator however from an article in A Shite Encyclopedia, goes on to state that, “The true spirit of ‘al-Taqiyya’ is better embodied in the single word ‘diplomacy.’” Indeed diplomacy is quite a “diplomatic” definition.
The doctrines of Kithman and Taqiya are often said to be strictly Shia’ doctrines. Sunni Muslims however deny that either doctrine is part of their tradition. Unfortunately, this is merely another deception itself. Next, we will run through some of the Sunni traditions that prove the universal application of Taqiya within Islam.
Taqiya: Foundation for Deception
The Quran teaches that it is allowable for Muslims to literally deny their faith in order to protect themselves. Muslims who deny their faith will be forgiven as long as their true faith was not really shaken (i.e. their denial was a lie in the purest sense) and only if their denial of faith was for the purpose of avoiding harm (primarily while living among non-Muslims):
The Sunni Scholar, Ibn Kathir, elaborates on the meaning on this verse in his classic commentary on the Quran:
As long as a Muslim lives in a country where Islam exists as a minority, in “a weakened state,” then deceptiveness is allowed. When challenged by non-Muslims to blaspheme Allah, they “went along with them.” The actual story of how the above verse was “revealed” to Muhammad is told thusly:
So Muhammad actually encouraged Muslims to lie and blaspheme and deny their beliefs if it was going to protect them, as long as they were “comfortable with faith.” Ibn Abbas, the most renowned and trusted narrator of tradition in the sight of the Sunnis confirms this notion:
This is of course quite a contrast to the millions of Christians throughout history who have refused to renounce Christ and have accepted instead death and martyrdom.
The Quran also commands Muslims not to befriend anyone who is not a Muslim – again though, unless doing so can help protect the Muslim from harm:
Ibn Kathir again comments that:
Ibn Kathir, then goes on to utterly destroy the notion that Taqiya is for Shia’ Muslims only when he says, “Taqiya is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.”
We see that Taqiya is indeed a doctrine for all Muslims that allows them to literally deny any aspect of their faith and in order to protect themselves from harm. The problem however, is that in practice, the definition of “harm” has come to include a mere harming of one’s reputation as a representative of Islam. Thus Muslims are allowed to deny or misrepresent any aspect of their faith in order to help correct the negative image of Islam in non-Muslim countries. Ibn Taymiyah, the renowned Muslim philosopher validates this point very strongly in his book titled The Sword on the Neck of the Accuser of Muhammad:
Deception Justified to Gain Wealth
Despite Ibn Kathir’s comments however, many will make the claim (possibly as a deception tactic itself) that Taqiya should only used to protect ones life. Far from it. Muhammad even allowed lying for the sake of gaining wealth:
It is the “any end justifies the means” approach to life and religion that Muhammad displays that shines through the most here. And there are numerous other examples of Muhammad encouraging his followers to lie as a means to achieve the end goal of the furtherance of Islam.
Deception Justified To Murder The Enemies of Islam
Abdullah Al-Araby a Middle-Eastern born authority on Islam, in an article entitled Lying in Islam, details another story of Muhammad’s permissiveness toward lying to achieve the death of his enemies. This time the victim’s name was Shaaban Ibn Khalid al-Hazly:
So we see that, again, lying is permissible for any number of reasons. As long as the end goal is to further the cause of Muhammad or Islam, it is permissible and overrides the initial prohibition against lying. In this case it was permissible in order to achieve the end goal of an assassination of someone whom Muhammad wanted dead. Unfortunately, because Islam holds up Muhammad as the supreme example of behavior for all Muslims, this same attitude is carried on by many of Muhammad’s followers today.
Deception to Attain Goals and Prosperity
Imam Al-Ghazali, one of the most famous Muslim theologians & philosophers of all time, takes the permissibility of lying even further. To Ghazali, lying is permissible so long as virtually any positive or beneficial goal may be achieved:
It is really quite impossible to deny that deceit has found a rich seedbed in Islam to deposit its roots and call home. We see that Islam as a religious system permits and even encourages lying and deceit as a specific aspect of its religious life. The unusal fusion of religion and deceit has profound implications both in matters relating to the spread of Islam in the West as well as in matters relating to our discussion about the last-days.
Implications for Islam in the West
In terms of the implications for today, Abdullah Al-Araby comments:
I have personally witnessed this dynamic to the point of utter exhaustion. And equally frustrating is the fact that so many Christians, due to either a lack of knowledge or simply not wanting to appear too fighty or contentious, allow the deception to flow unchecked. When Americans witnessed numerous so-called moderate Muslims make speeches to defend the benign nature of “The Religion of Peace,” after 9-11, for instance, many of these speakers were knowingly misrepresenting the true nature of Islam. Many have been documented speaking in far more aggressive terms in private meetings with other Muslims. We pointed out the example of Omar Ahmed, Chairman of the Board of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the last chapter. These Muslims, posing as “moderates” justified their misrepresentations of Islam because in their minds, they were protecting Islam and thus American Muslims from “harm.” It was “damage control” in its truest form. Christians, Americans and unfortunately, even much of the political leadership, either desperately wanting to believe the best of people in order to comfort themselves in times of great uncertainty or through the inevitable dumbing down of the West through the constant hammering of moral-relativity and political correctness, bought much of this deception – hook, line and sinker. Those few who were bold enough to speak the truth regarding the true nature of Islam were viewed as either intolerant or hateful or both. This is the pattern that is followed whenever a great evil is carried out by Islam. Pay attention and you will see it again and again.
Implications for the Last-Days
Of course the implications for Islam’s doctrines of lying are obvious in relation to our discussion of the last-days. The biblical picture of the last-days is one where deception is the absolute rule of the day. Virtually every passage where the end-times are discussed in the New Testament, the author stresses that believers are to be very careful that they not be deceived. Following are some examples of such warnings.
Just before Jesus was taken away to be crucified, he had a discussion with his disciples about the last-days. His very first exhortation was that they be careful not to be deceived.
Jesus goes on to warn of the power of this deception:
Likewise the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians warns the Church of the need to be cautious of being deceived:
Paul refers to the future deception as “a powerful delusion.”
I understand that to accuse anyone of being a liar is quite an insult. As such I felt it was important to demonstrate thoroughly the fact that Muhammad, the Quran and Hadith as well as Islam’s most respected scholars all allow lying as a means to achieve any number of goals. I have documented this fact quite plainly. This is not an unfounded accusation made by the “people of falsehood” (a name that the Quran ironically applies to non-Muslims) but is indeed an established doctrine and practice within Islam. While I understand that this may feel like quite strong language, the simple truth is that Islam, as a religious system is a son of its true father. The demonic being that quite literally assaulted Muhammad in the Cave of Hira, is the same being that inspired the ungodly doctrines of deception that have so obviously affected the religion of Islam as we know it today. While I am quite sure that these comments may offend most Muslims, my response would be to ask that they do not get upset with me for reporting this information but rather that they express their anger toward the traditions of Muhammad and the scholars of Islam who not only condone, but encourage such behavior. It is behavior that simply should not be found among those who call themselves godly. The Bible calls on all people to strive to resemble their true heavenly father, the Author of all light and truth.
While most people will agree that religion and deception are not intermixable, it is clear that in Islam, deception and religion mutually support one another. Likewise we can be sure that in the last-days, deception and religion will be so intertwined that it will be difficult even for “the elect” to discern just what is the truth. As such, once again, Islam finds itself fulfilling yet another of the primary descriptions of the last-days system of the Antichrist.
1. Sunan Abu Dawood Book 14, Number 2631: Narrated Ka’b ibn Malik
2. Hadith Imam Jafar Sadiq Footnote. #1 Usool al Kafi, p.88
3. ibid. Ft. #2, Ibid, p.522
4. A Shite Encyclopedia October 1995
5. Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir -Surah 16:106 www.tafsir.com
6. Confirmed by At-Tabari and narrated by Abd al-Razak, Ibn Sa’d, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, al-Bayhaqi in his book "al- Dala-il," http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter6b/1.html
7. Sunan al-Bayhaqi and Mustadrak al-Hakim http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter6b/1.html
8. Ibn Kathir’s Tafsir -Surah 3:28 www.tafsir.com
9. Ibn Taymiyah, The Sword on the Neck of the Accuser of Muhammad, p.221, as quoted in Gabriel, Islam And Terrorism, (Lake Mary, Charisma House, 2002), p. 91
10. Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, v3, p61, http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter6b/1.html
11. Bukhari Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369 Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah
12. Islam Review, Lying in Islam, Abdullah Al Araby http://www.islamreview.com/articles/lying.shtml
13. Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, The Reliance of the Traveller, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, (Amana publications, 1997), section r8.2, p 745
14. Ulum id Din pp. 3,137 As quoted in Islam and Terrorism, Mark Gabriel (Lake Mary, Charisma House 2002), p. 95
15. Islam Review, Lying in Islam, Abdullah Al Araby
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