Tawriyyah with the Tongue and in Writing and Clarification of Some Other Expressions
Fatwa No: 449170

  • Fatwa Date:19-10-2021 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 13, 1443
  • Rating:

Question

Assalamu'alaykum warahmatullahi wabarokatuh. Dear Shaikh, may I ask a question. Is ambiguous speech (tawriya; التورية) acceptable on writing, not speaking, e.g.. not face to face but doing tawriya from online massage? E.g : I write, “Man does not judging but God judge.”, which I intend to mean, “democratic is not allowed, don't follow men voices. You should follow God's judgement (sharia).”, but someone may understand it as, “man can not do anything (or take decision) because everything has been decreed.”, which sounds like creed of Jabbaria (الجبرية).

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Tawriyyah is when the speaker says something that has an apparent meaning that the listener would understand, and it has another hidden meaning. The speaker’s intention is this hidden meaning, except that he concealed it with that apparent and immediate meaning (that first appears to the listener).

Imam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him made clear the criteria for the permissibility, dislikeability and prohibition of Tawriyyah, as he said in Al-Adhkar:

If there is a legitimate benefit in deceiving the addressee or a need that can only be achieved by lying, then there is no harm in using Tawriyyah. If there is none of that, then it is disliked and not forbidden, unless it leads to taking something unlawfully or preventing a right, then it becomes forbidden. This is the criteria in this Chapter [i.e. about the subject of Tawriyyah]” [End of quote]

We do not see any difference between Tawriyyah with the tongue and in writing when the same conditions are met.

As for your saying that Allah is the One Who judges and that the Judgment is His, then this is the truth and it is not Tawriyyah as it appears to us.

As for democracy, it is a new term; whatever is in accordance with the Sharee’ah from it is accepted, and whatever contradicts the Sharee’ah from it, is rejected, and you do not need Tawriyyah in this context. Rather, you must declare your belief and what you worship Allah with unless you fear harm to yourself.

As for the second expression [man cannot do anything (or take decision) because everything has been decreed], then this does not indicate coercion [Jabr] because what is meant is following the Allah’s Law in Islamic rulings that have been made compulsory; this means that the servant has the ability and will by which he chooses and acts. This expression negates coercion (Jabriyyah) and does not confirm it as it appears to us.

In any case, if you use an expression that indicates a religious prohibition, then it is necessary to be careful and explain it and clarify it so that there would be no confusion or error in understanding it by the addressee, whether this is in writing or direct speech.

For more benefit on the definition of Tawriyah, please refer to Fatawa 367429 and 351313.

Allah Knows best.

Related Fatwa