“Taqiyya” does not appear even once in the Holy Qur’an or sayings (Ahadith) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Not even once.
How can Islam be held accountable for a concept that doesn’t exist?
Islam offers no refuge to those who lie and instead holds truth as an uncompromising virtue. Therefore, the concept of Taqiyya or lying under special circumstances has no basis in Islam.
The argument of Taqiyya is the ultimate “cop-out” argument some critics present. It basically says, “You are wrong, and even if you prove you are right, you are lying, therefore wrong.” In other words, this argument does not prove anything against Islam—it baselessly assumes everything against Islam. Like a fixed sporting event, it determines the winner before the game is played. This tactic is abhorrent in practical life and any true seeker after truth would be able to understand this.
The following Quranic verses demonstrate how vociferously Islam condemns lying.
The Qur’an declares:
(1) “And confound not truth with falsehood, nor hide the truth knowingly.” (2:43)
(2) “O ye who believe! Why do you say what you do not do?” (61:3)
(3) “Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.” (61:4)
(4) “O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with the truthful.” (9:119)
(5) “O ye who believe! Be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore, follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.” (4:136)
(see appendix for more verses)
This demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that lying has no refuge in Islam.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade lying and treachery, and instead commanded Muslims to adhere to the truth even if condemned themselves.
Even Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) bitterest enemies, such as Abu Jahl (1), Abu Sufyan (2), Umaiyya and his wife (3), and the entire Meccan community (4) all acknowledged that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never lied. Prophet Muhammad’s attachment to truth was so strict that he instructed his followers to joke only if there was no lie in the joke (5).
Also, note that the Holy Qur’an emphasises observing truth and justice in every circumstance—even when testifying against oneself (4:136).
Furthermore, even when faced with the most hostile circumstances in Mecca, Muslims did not hide their faith and continued to bear extreme persecution for twelve years. If Taqiyya were an Islamic injunction, then the Meccan era would have been the best time to use it.
Regarding oaths in court, Prophet Muhammad said, “If someone swears a false oath near this pulpit of mine, he will take his seat in the Fire.” (6)
Again, he said, “Shall I inform you about the greatest of major sins? They are three: to associate partners with Allah, to disobey your parents, and to bear false witness (or he said) to speak falsely.” (7)
So, Muslims are not permitted to lie to spread Islam or in any other circumstance.
Other Qur’anic verses that condemn lying: 2:9-21; 4:70; 4:136; 5:9; 16:92-93; 33:36; 3:77-78; 61:3-4.
(1) Dala’il al-Nabuwwah, Baihaqi, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, Lebanon
(2) Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 52, #191.
(3) Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 56, #826.
(4) Muslim, Book 1, #406.
(5) Sunan Tirmidhi, Book of Righteousness.
(6) Muwatta, Book 8.
(7) Muslim, Book 1.