DISHONESTY A PERMITTED "WORKING TOOL IN THE QURAN AND ISLAM
31 March 2013
Lawful dishonesty is something you only find in Islam of the big religions. Roughly they can be split in these categories:
A: Al-Taqiyya (lawful lie), Kitman (lawful half-truth), and Hilah (lawful pretending/circumventing). None of these are explicitly named in the Quran, but are based on texts there, and was used and accepted by Muhammad, and thus morally ok.
B: Deceit, betrayal, etc. This is explicitly mentioned in the Quran, and was also used by Muhammad, and are thus morally 100% ok to use - - - according to Islam.
C: Breaking/disuse of oaths - and implicit of words and promises. This was explicitly permitted and even advised by Muhammad to use, and thus morally ok. - pay expiation afterwards if necessary. This permission to a large degree is built on the verses 2/225, 5/89, 16/91, and 66/2 in the Quran.
D: Stealing/robbing and extortion - dishonest deeds. This is explicitly permitted and morally ok, according to the Quran - f.x. verse 8/69. The deeds themselves were not "working tools", but the permission to do this was a very efficient working tool attract warriors, and what was stolen made Muslims rich and was an efficient working tool for financing new raids and wars. It still to a degree is used to finance terrorism. The method is impeccable morally, because it was both sanctified and used by Muhammad.
E: Rape, slave taking, suppressing. Comment like point D. We specially mention that all three of these points were practiced also personally by Muhammad, and thus morally ok in Islam.
Al-Taqiyya, Kitman, and Hilah are not explicitly introduced in the Quran. It is based on conclusions Islamic scholars have made from things said and done about (dishonest) planning or cheating, honesty, breaking of oaths (introduced in the Quran), etc. in the book and in Hadiths. Institutionalizes by Muhammad and his Quran, but formalized by the scholars later.
The Quran and Islam tell that in principle you should be honest. But in many cases where dishonesty will give a better result, you are permitted to lie (Al-Taqiyya, Kitman) and even to deceive - done by Muhammad, and thus permitted - or make false oaths or to break oaths you have made (2/225a, 5/89a+b, 13/42, 27/50 and some more)). In some cases Allah will say it is ok because it is a minor thing or because you did not really mean your oath, and in other cases he will say; “ok – if you pay me some money or give me a gift for expiation afterward”. And then in some cases it is not only permitted, but advised to use it if necessary: To defend or promote Islam.
Al-Taqiyya, Kitman, and Hilah can be used at least in these cases. (For broken oaths there are given no real limitations if the broken oath will give a better result. By implication this also goes for ordinary words or promises, as an oath is something stronger than a normal promise or a normal given word. Also for cheating and betrayal we have found no limitations if this will give a better result, except you should not cheat or betray fellow Muslims.)
01. To save your or others' health or life.
02. To get out of a tight spot or a dangerous problem or position.
03. To make peace in a family.
04. When it will give a better result than honesty or honoring one’s oath.
05. To cheat women (should be remembered by girls with Muslim boyfriends wanting sex - or wanting a marriage to get work permit or residence permit in a rich country.)
06. To deceive opponents/enemies.
07. To betray enemies.
08. To secure one’s money (very clear from Hadiths).
09. To defend Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)
10. To promote Islam. (Advised if necessary to succeed.)
But al-Taqiyya is a double-edged sword: In the short run you may cheat and deceive some ones – actually also in the long run, too, if the opposite part does not know about this side of Muslims and of Islam, or if he/she is naïve.
But the serious side effect is that people quickly learn that one can never know for sure when to believe a Muslim in serious questions: Is he honest, or is he using f.x. an al-Taqiyya?
And there is another side effect: Muslims have difficulties being believed even when they are telling the full truth – for very good reasons the opposite parts are reluctant to fully believe them, as may be they tell the truth or maybe they just are practicing al-Taqiyya or Kitman.
And yet another side effect: How can Muslims know when to believe their leaders and others? (This may be one of the reasons for why Muslims produce so may conspiracy theories - they go looking for "the real truth" behind what is told, no matter if the tale is an al-Taqiyya or the plain, sterling truth).
This also may be some of the reason why Muslims are so skeptical to information from the outside - they are so used to the system of al-Taqiyya, Kitman, Hilah, etc., not knowing Islam is the only bug religion which has such rules for permitted dishonesty, they think the situation is the same outside Islam.
And all these side effects – which really over time may be the main effects – are made worse because Muslims have no way of strengthening their words by swearing, as oaths from Muslims are without much value, because they are permitted false oaths and to break their oaths – it is no sin to do so if you did not really mean the oath or have a reason for breaking it, and especially not if you give Allah a gift for expiation afterwards (necessary in serious cases).
###01 7/198b: In connection to this verse M. Yusuf Ali - a Muslim scholar who knew the real, historical side of Muhammad, not only the glossy picture from the imams, very well, in all his stealing and robbing, raping, womanizing, lying, torture, murder, and blood - wrote this about Muhammad (YA 1169): "Even now, after fourteen centuries, a life (Muhammad*) of unexampled purity, probity, justice, and righteousness is seen in the false light by blind detractors!" It simply is very difficult to believe that it is humanly possible honestly to believe in such a shining picture for a learned scholar. And what then about uneducated Muslims?
Is this really the "realism" in Islam?
In that case it is easy to see why many such areas are pretty backwards.
Are we living in the same world?
Or is this really what the Muslim moral code is like?
Did Yusuf Ali really believe what he said? - one of the foremost Muslim scholars and translators in last century?! - or is it perhaps an al-Taqiyya meant to satisfy the clergy/religious scholars?"
Or does this tell something about Islam and al-Taqiyya - the lawful lie Muslims are urged to use if necessary to defend and forward the religion (and some other things)???
The sentence made a huge impression on us, and told us much about Muslim integrity and moral backbone and code.
02 29/48b: (A29/46): "It is historically established that Muhammad, the "unlettered prophet", could neither read nor write (not correct - science for several reasons believe this is not true, but an alibi Muhammad used against the ones who claimed he made up things himself - his statement was that as he could not read or write, he could not make up a book. Wrong logic, but it worked*), and could not, therefore, have derived his extensive knowledge of the contents of earlier revelations from the Bible or other scriptures: which - as the Quran points out - ought to convince any unprejudiced person that this knowledge must have come to him through divine revelation".
###This is helpless kindergarten nonsense. For one thing Muhammad had no extensive knowledge of the Bible or the Jewish scriptures - most of his tales in the Quran were taken not from there, but from apocryphal (made up) tales, legends, fairy tales, etc. told in lazy evenings and other times for pastime in Arabia like in all primitive and not so primitive societies. The sources for his stories in the Quran mostly are known, so there is no doubt about this - except that he afterwards claimed that his fancy stories were the true ones from the Bible, and that the Bible and the other scriptures were falsified, and that was why they did not agree with his "revelations".
But this aside, and even if he in addition could not read: There was no problem for a well off businessman with a rich wife to pay someone a little for reading for him.
There is, however, another fact which also "kills" this argument: Most of the "Biblical" tales in the Quran as said are not from the Bible, but from verbal old legends, folklore, apocryphal tales, and even fairy tales. Muhammad did not need to know how to read to take material from such sources.
"Arguments" like this tell a lot about Islam and about Muslim scholars - not to mention about lack of real arguments. We could tell what we mean about this level of argumentation, but we do not use words like "rubbish", etc.
03 51/47d: (A57/30): "Literal meaning (of the word "samaa" is') "the sky" or "the heaven", which often in the Quran has the connotation of "universe" or in the plural ("the heavens"), of "cosmic systems". This is dishonesty, as words used in the modern meaning of those words did not exist at that time in any relevant language included in Arab - a typical al-Taqiyya (lawful lie) or at best a Kitman (lawful half-truth) like the ones you find too many of in Muslim religious literature trying to adjust the Quran to modern knowledge or twist facts or words to pretend that here the Quran is foretelling modern knowledge - if our sources are correct, the Arab word for "universe"/"cosmos" is "al-kawn" and is not used in the Quran at all. Pure dishonesty. (Muhammad Asad in connection to this verse and also to 21/30 claims that the Quran here foretells the expanding universe, etc. The claim is so far out that we do not bother to comment on it).
#04 87/19b: (YA6094): "There is a book in Greek, which has been translated by Mr. G.H. Box, called the Testament of Abraham (published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian knowledge, London, 1927). It seems to be a Greek translation of a Hebrew original. The Greek text was probably written in the second Christian century, in Egypt (then partly a Christian country*), but in its present form it probably goes back only to the 9th or 10t century. It was popular among the Christians. Perhaps the Jewish Midrash also refers to a Testament of Abraham".
What do you think about this book and about Abraham and books when you read this?
####And what do you think about Muslim way of "informing" people when we add that this is an apocryphal - made up - book, a fact which is well known, so well that there is no chance a learned man like Muhammad Yusuf Ali did not know about it - - - without mentioning this fact even with a whisper in his comment. He also never mentions the fact that even though Abraham lived (if he ever lived) some 2ooo - 1800 BC, and thus "his" book had to be that old and a very central book as it was from Abraham, is never referred to in any of the old confirmed Jewish scriptures. This kind of dishonesty you meet a little too often in Islamic religious literature.
##05 58/4h: In connection to among others this verse and its expression according to M. Azad "- - - if anyone has not (the wherewithal) - - -". You may find - or meet - a nice sample of Islamic honesty in debate - or in propaganda: (A58/7): "As regard the phrase 'he who does not find the wherewithal (lam yajid)', it may indicate either lack of financial means or the impossibility of finding anyone else who could be redeemed from factual or figurative bondage (- - -). According to many Islamic scholars of our times (e.g., Rashid Rida - - -), this relates, in first instance, to circumstances in which 'slavery will have been abolished in accordance with the aim of Islam' (Manar V, 337)". This simply is an al-Taqiyya - a lawful lie - and even a distasteful such one.
First note that the translation of the Arab text is changed a little compared to Yusuf Ali's one, and "by coincidence"(?) fits the "explanation" of the claim about Islam's intention of abolishing slavery better. The Quran in reality is clear on that it speaks about the economy of the person.
There is nowhere in the Quran said that slavery is bad or for other reasons should be terminated (it is a good deed to free a slave, but slavery is nowhere in the Quran condemned).
There is nowhere in the Quran even indicated that slavery is bad or for other reasons should be terminated. Not one place.
There is nowhere in the Quran said or in other ways indicated that slavery is morally wrong.
There is nowhere in the Quran even indicated that it would be good moral or good ethics to abolish slavery. To set free a slave - at least a Muslim slave - is a good thing, but slavery as an institution is nowhere attacked or even questioned.
The main Islamic idol - Muhammad - took and traded (sold or gave away for bribes) at least a few thousand slaves (victims enslaved during raids and wars) and expressed no qualms for doing this. Everything Muhammad said - or not said - or did, is the right thing to do for any Muslim, if it is not expressedly prohibited (f.x. a Muslim can have only 4 wives as he is forbidden to have as many as Muhammad had (36 we know by name included concubines and 7 we do not know if he was formally married to or not)).
Muslim countries were forced backwards and kicking and protesting into abolishing slavery - Mauritania as late as in unbelievable 1982 AD (and made it a punishable crime as late as in 2007 AD)!! - by forces and ideas from the west. We at least have never seen a Muslim whisper from older times about abolishing slavery as an institution.
Abolishing slavery is a "new idea" and a "foreign idea" in Islam. Such ideas were not accepted by Islam through most of Islam's history - well, necessity after long time made some "new ideas" acceptable if they clearly were in accordance with ideas in the Quran or strong Hadiths. We have found nowhere in older Islamic literature where the "new idea" of abolishing slavery was even aired, not to mention received backing.
The claim that Islam/Muhammad/the Quran promotes abolishing of slavery you ONLY meets from Muslim scholars born and raised in modern times - times when foreign, mainly Western, thinking, has made slavery extremely immoral. As it is not only permitted in Islam to lie, but advised "if necessary" to defend or promote the religion (and permitted in a number of other wide cases), this al-Taqiyya (lawful lie) is launched: 'Islam is the best also on this - Islam all the time intended to abolish slavery". (You even meet Muslims boasting that Islam forced Europe to end slavery, by stopping the trade from Africa. This simply is nonsense. For one thing European slaves mainly came from the Slavic areas in the East - it was not for nothing that the name "slave" was coined. And for another there hardly has been an area or a time in all history where trades between areas and countries and cultures have stopped for long times if good profit was possible to make. Slavery in Europe died out partly because in agriculture in chilly countries the work season is short and slaves had to be fed all the year, but mainly because it was opposed to Christian basic moral and ideas (this even though it is not clearly discredited or forbidden in the Bible).
There are in the world today some 24 million humans "living as slaves or under slave-like conditions" according to UN (the number is from 2005 if we remember correctly). A good percentage of these live in Islamic areas. We have seen little or nothing of negative reactions from Islam or Muslims to this fact. There may have been, but in case not enough to reach us, even though we have been looking for such reactions.
As abolishing of slavery is "a new idea" and on top of that "a foreign idea" both of which are despised by conservative Islam, and as Muhammad showed what was right and wrong for Islam in this question by taking and trading and keeping slaves (f.x. his concubines Marieh and Rayhana bint Amr), you can be pretty sure that if the world ever returns to medieval conditions, official slavery will reemerge in Islamic areas - "lawful and good" according to the Quran (8/69).
So much for this Islamic al-Taqiyya - lawful lie.
##06 59/23c: (YA5402): Here we just want to quote “The Meaning of the Holy Quran”: “How can a translator reproduce the sublimity and the comprehensiveness of the magnificent Arabic words, which means so much in a single symbol?” But this is just another and glorified way of saying: “How can one translate from a language where the words are so little precise and so vague in meaning, that it is difficult to know what is really meant”.
07 16/91e: "- - - break not your oaths after you have confirmed it." Well, Muhammad in the Quran and in Hadiths strongly advices you to break your oath if that gives a better result - pay a "fine" (expiation) to Allah afterwards if necessary. No wonder the Muslim areas are full of conspiracy theories about all and everything; When do the authorities and others speak the truth and when is it f.x. an al-Taqiyya (lawful lie) or a Kitman (lawful half-truth)?
Besides, if you all the same break a serious oath, you blot out the sin by paying expiation afterwards. Very simple. And a very practical moral code. BUT WHO CAN THEN TRUST EVEN THE OATH OF A MUSLIM?
And note the words: "- - - after you have confirmed it". A really strong proof for that Yahweh and Allah are not the same god - and Jesus and Muhammad not in the same line of anything in the world of morality, not to mention line of prophets (in addition to that Muhammad was no real prophet - he was unable to make prophesies).
This content was posted with assistance from M. A. Khan, the editor of islam-watch.org and the author of "Islam Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery" (available online)