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CIMS: 'The doctrine of Taqiyya in the perspective of the Quranic terms; Ikrah and Idtirar'

On the 18th April 2015, the Centre for Intra-Muslim Studies (CIMS) held a scholarly discussion inviting scholars from different Muslim schools of thought to discuss and disseminate the topic of; ‘The doctrine of Taqiyya in the perspective of the Quranic terms; Ikrah and Idtirar (Extraneous circumstances).' With the success of the previous discussion held on the topic of 'The Quran: In light of Sunni and Shia Perspectives,' this was the second in the series of discussions with the aim to to explore prominent issues relating to the two major units of the Muslim Ummah, i.e. Sunnis and Shias; with a view to encourage harmony and understanding between the schools of thought. Held at Al-Mahdi Institute, the event was very well received by renowned Ullama and scholars from Al-Mahdi Institute and Babul Ilm, Birmingham.  

With widespread misconceptions around the notion of Taqiyyah amongst Muslims, there is an underlying need to address these issues and clear any preconceived perceptions of Taqqiya being a form of hypocrisy and deception. The event facilitated for presentations by Shaykh Ayub Rashid and Shaykh Abdul Hadi with time being dedicated to Q&A and discussions at the end. 

In his presentation, Shaykh Ayub Rashid examined the concept of Taqiyyah from the perspective of the Shi'i school of thought by using the holy Qur'an, the Prophet's sunnah and hadith to illustrate to shed light on the topic. He explained that taqiyyah was not a new invesntion, rather it dates back to the time of the holy Prophet and has a direct link with specific verses of the holy Qur'an i.e. Sura al Imran (3:28) and Sura al-Nahl (16:106); where a believer is permitted to conceal his real faith and utter something which contradicts his faith for the sake of his own life or the people around him. He explained that Taqiyyah was used as the shield from the severe persecution of Shias by the hands of the Umayyad and Abbasid rulers. He also acknowledged that the notion of Taqiyyah has been misused by the people inclined to their vested interests which has caused a great deal of misunderstandings but has no concern with the proper teachings of the Shia Imamiyah school of thought. 

On the other hand, Shaykh Abdul Hadi al-Umri presented on the Quranic concept of Idtirar and Ikrah (extraneous circumstances) based on the teachings of the Sunni school of thought. He explored the state of idtirar (helplessness) and its applications and conditions concerning the human life. And, ended by also admitting of the misuse of this Quranic principle by the people of various Hiyal (tricks) for the sake of their worldly desires. 

The discussion ended with an interactive Q&A session allowing all scholars and attendees present to take part and iron out any issues or concerns they may have had. 

In conclusion, the scholars all accepted and agreed on the following statements;

- Taqiyyah and Ikrah are synonymous terms from the same origin and are denoted by the Quran on an equal basis.
- Taqiyyah is not a new invention in Shi'ism and it's terminology is derived from the holy Qur'an making it justifiable in Islam.
- Taqiyyah can only be practiced in genuine life or death circumstances similar to Idtirar and anything relating to worldly benefits is strictly forbidden and deceptive.
- The ulama of both schools of thought have to educate their communities about the true concept and application of Taqiyyah to dissipate the misconceptions around the issue. 

To view the images from the event, please click here.

To watch the full discussion, please click on the following links..

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

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