Wednesday, November 17, 2010

One Too Many Taqiyya

Are you going to believe me,
or what you see with your own eyes?

~ Groucho Marx

At first glance it's a fun & funny little word: taqiyya. No, it's not a beverage akin to Tequila or a menu item at your favorite Mexican restaurant. It's not a Native American place name or a key character from the movie Avatar. I dare say it's far more sinister than any of these.

I stumbled across the word while reading an article, having never heard it before. At once I thought it belonged in my own personal word-arsenal. Then, like we are encouraged in Reader's Digest's Word Power, I've been attempting to use it in sentences, in context so as not to forget the power of it's meaning.

So what is it - taqiyya - exactly?

Believe it or not, it's a doctrine. It derives from the Islamic religion, but it's hardly the property of Muslims alone.

In essence, taqiyya permits strategic lying. In fact, it not only permits it, it holds such skill in utmost esteem. Seems there's nothing to equal a convincing liar.

It's literal meaning is "concealing, precaution, guarding"; and in practical terms it is manifested as dissimulation, lying, deceiving, vexing and confounding with the intention of deflecting attention, foiling or pre-emptive blocking. (1)

No doubt you know someone that speaks falsehood so convincingly that they actually believe it to be true; their taqiyya skills finely honed?

I confess: I was never very good at it, but it wasn't for lack of trying: "Oh mother ... don't be such a worry-wart. I never drive over the speed limit." Or, "Me ... heck no; I don't have a problem with alchohol; I can stop drinking anytime I want."

Denial. Self-deluded. Veiled. These are the adjectives associated with the snookered. You can often see the tell-tale traces of fish line at the corner of their mouths (I have a few scars of my own!). Believing the lie is so much easier (and often less painful) than ferreting out the truth.

The taqiyya-adept exist in our midst (with a poker face) among family & friends, or giving out the news, or running for/holding public office, or preaching from the pulpit, or selling snake oil. Golly! (to quote Gilligan), they're everywhere!

But I (Jeremiah) said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD!
The prophets keep telling them,
‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine.
Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are
prophesying lies in my name.
I have not sent them or appointed them
or spoken to them.
They are prophesying to you false visions,
divinations, idolatries and
the delusions of their own minds."
Jeremiah 14:13-14

They perish because they refused
to love the truth and so be saved.
For this reason God sends them
a powerful delusion so that they
believe the lie
and so that all will
be condemned who have not believed
the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

While I find this subject matter amusing, it strikes a deeper chord too. Afterall, who among us hasn't encountered the above scriptures, or heard that there is coming a time when the practioners of taqiyya will be utterly believable? They'll be giving out regular, and free doses of their fabrications as if such fabrications are foundational truths.

I've concluded the antidote to the Doctrine of Taqiyya is to seek and to know the truth, The Truth.

Afterall, being a believer is not about being an Ostrich. That would be playing right into the hands of the Taqiyya-izers.

Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching,
you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32

... and isn't it fascinating that the seeking/finding of Truth is ALWAYS associated with obedience? Taqiyya's standards require no such nobility, which means even one taqiyya, is one too many.

Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims


Aliene said...

Wow, what a word. Had to dig deep to get that one. But it is interesting.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Had to read this one twice, Sassy. Quite a few Taqiyyas came to mind while reading this post; like you, I can look back over my track record and find my badge accordingly.

We must keeping pressing into known Truth so that we are better prepared to recognize falsehood when it arises. Sometimes I feel very inadequate along these lines, but the older I get, the bolder I am. If we're going to err, let's err on the side of the kingdom! Even when it's not always so eloquent.

Love you.


Diana said...

Thanks for a "thought FULL" post.

Sonja said...

This is a STRONG word, and a thought provactive view. There won't be one person who reads this and doesn't see their own Taqiyya come to mind. It's not a word I'm going to soon forget! I don't care where it came from... it applies to me today!

Beth E. said...

I'm sorry to say that over the years, I've been on the giving and receiving end of taqiyya. Convicting on the giving end, painful on the receiving end.

I agree with Elaine...we must press in to know the Truth, so we can protect ourselves from the falsehoods of this world.

Awesome post...I'll ponder it the rest of the day.


LisaShaw said...


Thank you for sharing this powerful, challenging and needed message! Pressing forward in the TRUTH that is in the WORD of GOD. Dying (to the flesh) to be more like HIM!!!

Love you!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Thought provoking, convicting, and challenging...that is what I discovered in your post today. "Taqiyya"...a daily part of life today whether in the news, in politics, in the courtroom, and sad to say, in my life often without a second thought. I find it so easy to be critical of the taqiyya I find everywhere around me, but all to often it is overlooked in my own Christian life when it shows itself in subtle or blattant ways. So thankful for THE TRUTH and so thankful for His grace and mercy in dealing with me. Thankful that God uses friends like you and the brilliant and perceptive mind that He has blessed you with, so that you can share with us. I don't think I will forget this word and it's meaning. Freedom through His truth is the very best kind.

Tiffany Marcotte said...

Ok Sassy, It's time for you to start working on a book! You are one of the most inspirational writers! I hope one day to be as wise are you and as articulate. You piece words together like Poetry. Every post is so beautifully stitched together. You are such an artist whom I admire very much!