Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.

He writes

Perhaps you have heard of taqiyya, the Muslim doctrine that allows lying in certain circumstances — primarily when Muslim minorities live under infidel authority. Now meet tawriya, a doctrine that allows lying in virtually all circumstances—including to fellow Muslims and by swearing to Allah—provided the liar is creative enough to articulate his deceit in a way that is “technically” true.

Deceit and lying may be far more ingrained in the culture than previously thought.

The authoritative Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary defines tawriya as, “hiding, concealment; dissemblance, dissimulation, hypocrisy; equivocation, ambiguity, double-entendre, allusion.” Conjugates of the trilateral root of the word, w-r-y, appear in the Quran in the context of hiding or concealing something (e.g., 5:31, 7:26).

As a doctrine, “double-entendre” best describes tawriya’s function. According to past and present Muslim scholars, several documented below, tawriya occurs when a speaker says something that means one thing to the listener, although the speaker means something else, and his words technically support this alternate meaning.

For example, if someone declares “I don’t have a penny in my pocket,” most listeners will assume the speaker has no money on him—although he might have dollar bills, just literally no pennies.

This ruse is considered legitimate according to Sharia law; it does not constitute “lying,” which in Islam is otherwise forbidden, except in three cases: lying in war, lying to one’s spouse, and lying in order to reconcile people. For these exceptions, Sharia permits Muslims to lie freely, without the strictures of tawriya, that is, without the need for creativity.

I don’t have a problem with tawriya. Ibrahim is wrong. Tawriya isn’t lying.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. (NIV)

10 thoughts on “Tawriya”

  1. This doctrine of lying is often used to ‘protect Islam’ from criticism, or looking bad in the eyes of others. It’s usually combined with an attitude of victimhood followed by irrational outrage.

    This makes it just a little bit different to believe anything the apologists for Islam say, or to have a rational and meaningful conversation with them.

    Good to see it openly discussed, while we can.

  2. Christ spoke in parables… not via some sleazy half truths.

    John 2:19 is neither a parable nor “some sleazy half truth”. It is a double entendre. No problem.

  3. His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

    He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables,

    For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

    This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

    ‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
    When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
    For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
    and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
    and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
    and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.’

    “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

  4. Jesus believed in ‘use it or lose it’. The more you study the better you get. He understood that the people he was talking to had not had exposure to the perspective he was advocating. So he attempted to explain this using allegory as the language of debate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *