By looking at the hadiths that have reached us from the Imams (as), the Shia are encouraged to interact with the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’ in a particular way. It requires us to treat them better than what one would normally expect us to treat them, and go over and beyond.
The ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’ are generally considered the majority within Muslim circles around the world. In saying that, the history of ideological and political tensions between Shia and Sunni’s has fluctuated, but none can say the oppression upon the Ahlulbayt (as) was greater than during the times of the first eleven Imams (as). The tyrant governments, who worked under the banner of the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’, would slaughter and massacre the lovers of Ahlulbayt (as). However, the Imams (as) did not command us to treat them badly or poorly, or publicly abuse them or slander. On the contrary, their advice is the polar opposite. Not only would they (as) give advise on how to act, but they would first and foremost, lead by example.
Let us look at a few reliable hadiths from the Imams (as):
Once I asked the Imam (as): “What is the proper way to deal with ourselves and our people, our associates of the people who do not believe as we do?”
The Imam said: “Look to your ‘A’immah (plural of Imam) whom you follow and do what they do. By Allah, they, (‘A’immah) visit their sick people, attend their funerals, present their testimony for and against them and return their trust.”
Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Mu’awiyah ibn Wahab who has said the above hadith.
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2,The Book of Social Manners, Chapter 1, Hadith #4
Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 12, Page 528, Hadith #4 (See Image below)]; al-Bahboodi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sahih al-Kafi, Volume 1, Page 160]
In a similar hadith, the Imam (as) goes further to say that one should love for people (in this context, the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’), what you love for yourselves.
I heard abu Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) saying: “You must maintain restraint from worldly attractions (sins), maintain persistence in work, attend funerals, and visit people during their illness. You should attend your Mosques along with your own people, and love for people what you love for yourselves. Would it not be embarrassing for one of you to see that a neighbor recognizes your rights but you do not recognize the rights of your neighbour?”
Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Husayn ibn Sa’id and Muhammad ibn Khalid all from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from Habib al-Khath’ami who has said the above hadith.
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2, , Hadith #3
Grading: al-Sheikh al-Haadi al-Najafi says the hadith has a reliable chain [Mawsu`at Ahadeeth Ahlulbayt (as), Volume 12, Page 146, Hadith #19 (See Image below); al-Bahboodi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sahih al-Kafi, Volume 1, Page 159]
According to most scholars of today, these dealings with the non-Shia Muslims are often referred to as al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah (التقية المداراتية).
This can be summed up in the following variation of the hadith from al-Sadiq (as):
I heard abu Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) saying, ‘You must never do anything that may embarrass us. A small boy causes embarrassment to his father because of his misdeeds. Be the beauty for those to whom you are devoted and do not be an embarrassment to them. Pray along with their tribes, visit their people in ill health, attend their funerals and do not allow anyone exceed you in good deeds. You have all the more reason to exceed others in good deeds. By Allah, no worship is more beloved to Allah than worshipping Him in (al-Khab’).’ I then asked, ‘What is al-Khab’?’ The Imam said, ‘It is al-Taqiyyah.’
Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Hisham al-Kindi who narrated the above hadith
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter on Taqiyyah, Hadith #11
Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 9, Page 179, Hadith #11 (See Image below)]; al-Bahboodi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sahih al-Kafi, Volume 1, Page 98]; al-Kho’i says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Kitaab al-Tahaara, Volume 4, Page 316]; al-Khomeini says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [al-Rasaa’il, Volume 2, page 195]; Sheikh Murtadha al-Ha’iri says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sharh al-`Urwat ul-Wuthqa, Volume 3, Page 281]
This form of Taqiyyah is not the traditional type that is often discussed, in terms of it stemming from fear of loss of life. In this case, there is no direct fear in loss of life or harm or loss of property. This type of Taqiyyah is considered is of al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah – which is defined as Righteous Dissimulation of Placation.
Sayed al-Khomeini has described it as follows:
والمراد بالتقية مداراة ان يكون المطلوب فيها نفس شمل الكلمة ووحدتها بتحبيب المخالفين وجرّ مودتهم من غير خوف ضرر كما في التقية خوفا
And the intention of al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaarah is that it demands in it the same as what the word implies and that is unity through inducing and arousing the love of the opposition of the Shia (for the Shia) without having fear of harm, like with “al-taqiyyah of fear”.
Reference: al-Rasaa’il, al-Khomeini, Printed 1385 Rabee` al-Awwal, Mu’asasah Isma`eeliyan, Volume 2, Page 174
al-Sayed al-Moneer al-Khabbaaz has broken down al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah on his website into two parts:
First: Prayers behind the Imams of other sects.
يجوز للشيعي أن يذهب ويصلي خلف أئمة المذاهب الإسلامية الأخرى وإذا صلى لهم يجوز له أن يسجد على الزلف ولا حاجة إلى أن يهيّأ ما يصح السجود عليه، يصلي خلفهم ويسجد على الزلف ولكن بشرط أن يقرأ لنفسه، يعني أن يقرأ الفاتحة والسورة لنفسه ولا يعتمد على قراءة الإمام، إذا صلى معهم وإن سجد على الزلف إذا قرأ لنفسه صلاته صحيحة ولا تجب عليه الإعادة، صلاته صحيحة مجزية، وهذا ما يسمى بالتقية المداراتية، وقد ذكر سيدنا الخوئي في كتابه استنادًا لصاحب [الوسائل، الباب الخامس من أبواب صلاة الجماعة] روايات معتبرة عن الإمام الصادق : ”من صلى معهم في الصف الأول كان كمن صلى خلف رسول الله “. استنادًا لأمثال هذه الروايات أفتى سيدنا الخوئي – قدّس سرّه – باستحباب التقية المداراتية وأنّ الصلاة خلف أئمة المذاهب الإسلامية بشرط ان يقرأ لنفسه صلاة صحيحة مجزية طبقًا لهذه الروايات الشريفة.
It is permissible for the Shi’i to attend and pray behind the imams (leader of prayer) of other Islamic sects, and if he prayers it is permissible for him to prostrate on the plain ground (i.e. carpet), however there is no necessity for him to prepare something to prostrate on something that is permissible to prostrate upon. He (is allowed) to pray behind them and prostrate on the plain ground (i.e. carpet) – however, it is binding upon him that he recites to himself, meaning he recites al-Fatiha and the second surah to himself and does not depend upon the recitation of the imam (leader of prayer).
If he were to pray with them, and prayed on the plain floor while reciting (the two surahs) to himself, his prayers is valid and correct, and it is not obligatory for him to repeat the prayers. This is what is labeled as al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah.
Al-Sayed al-Kho’i discussed this in his book – referring to the author of al-Wasaa’il [al-Shia], the fifth chapter from the chapters of Jama`ah prayers – reliable hadiths from Imam al-Sadiq (as): “Whoever prays with them (i.e. the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’) in the first row, it is as if he has prayed behind the Messenger of Allah (sawa).” al-Sayed al-Kho’i (qs) referred to these narrations and it’s likes in proving the recommendation of al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah, even if it is in praying behind the imams (leader of prayer) of different Islamic sects with the condition he recites (the two surahs) to himself, they [the prayers] are correct and valid, based upon these noble narrations.
Second: Good dealings with the sons of other sects
اقرأ الروايات التي تعرّض لها سيدنا الخوئي «قدّس سرّه»، منها صحيحة هشام الكندي عن الإمام الصادق قال: ”إياكم أن تعملوا عملاً نعيّر به فإنّ ولد السوء يعيّر والده بعمله، كونوا لمن انقطعتم إليه زينًا ولا تكونوا عليه شينًا، صلّوا في عشائرهم وعودوا مرضاهم واشهدوا جنائزهم واشهدوا لهم وعليهم ولا يسبقونكم إلى شيء من الخير فأنتم أولى به“، ثم يقول الإمام الصادق في رواية زيد الشحّام: ”خالطوا الناس بأخلاقهم، عودوا مرضاهم وصلّوا معهم في مساجدهم فإنّكم إذا فعلتم ذلك قيل: هؤلاء الجعفرية رحم الله جعفر ما كان أحسن ما يؤدّب به أصحابه، وإذا كنتم على خلاف ذلك قالوا: انظر! هؤلاء الجعفرية فعل الله بجعفر ما فعل ما كان أسوأ ما يؤدّب به أصحابه“.
لاحظوا كيف يؤدّبنا أئمتنا، كيف يربّينا أئمتنا، كيف يعلّمنا أئمتنا على مبدأ التقية المداراتية، صلوهم، خالطوهم، كونوا معهم على حسن الأمانة وحسن الأخلاق، عودوا مرضاهم، اشهدوا جنائزهم، صلّوا معهم في مساجدهم، إذا رأوكم كذلك عكستم صورة حسنة نقية عن الأئمة الهداة سلام الله عليهم، عكستم صورة نقية رائعة عن مذهب أهل البيت، عكستم صورة نقية رائعة عن علماء هذه المذهب، ”فإنّكم إذا فعلتم ذلك قيل: هؤلاء الجعفرية رحم الله جعفر ما كان أحسن ما يؤدّب به أصحابه“.
والتقية المداراتية هي تطبيق لما أجمع عليه المسلمون من الرواية عن النبي محمدٍ : ”إنّ الله أمرني بالمداراة كما أمرني بأداء الفرائض“، مداراة الآخرين أُمِرْت بها كما أمِرْت بأداء الفرائض، هذه الملاحظة الأولى.
Read the narrations that was brought forth by al-Sayed al-Kho’i (qs), from which is the authentic narration of Hisham al-Kindi from Imam al-Sadiq (as) who said: “You must never do anything that may embarrass us. A small boy causes embarrassment to his father because of his misdeeds. Be the beauty for those to whom you are devoted and do not be an embarrassment to them. Pray along with their tribes, visit their people in ill health, attend their funerals and do not allow anyone exceed you in good deeds. You have all the more reason to exceed others in good deeds.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) then said in the narration of Zaid al-Shahaam: “Intermingle with the people by their moral standards, attend to their sick and pray with them at their mosques, for if you perform this deed they will say: “These are the Ja`fariyyah, may Allah (swt) have mercy upon Ja`far, there was no one better at teaching good character to his companions.” And if you were to neglect doing so, they will say: “These are the Ja`fariyyah, may Allah (swt) execute Ja`far, there was no one worse at teaching good character than Ja`far.”
Notice how our Imams (as) taught us ethics, and how they raised us, and how they taught us upon the foundation of al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah. Mix with them, and be with them on the best of trusts and ethics. Visit their sick and be present at their funerals. Pray with them in their mosques. If they see you in this way, you would have reversed it to a beautifully pure image of the guiding Imams (as), and reversed it to a beautiful and splendid image of the school of Ahlulbayt, and reversed it to a beautiful and splendid image of the scholars of this school, “for if you were to act this way, they would say: ‘These are the Ja`fariyyah, may Allah (swt) have mercy upon Ja`far, there was no one better at teaching good character to his companions.'”
Some other scholars do not consider these dealings under the banner of al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah but rather al-Mudaratiyyah in general. The Marja`, al-Sheikh Mohammed Jameel Hamood al-`Amili shares his opinion on his website, that the two (al-Taqiyyah and al-Mudaratiyyah) do not necessarily come together, and this label “al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah” was only created recently.
Sheikh Nasser Makarim al-Shirazi breaks down al-Taqiyyah into different branches which does not include al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah by name:
وقد يتبين مما ذكر ان غاية التقية لا تنحصر في حفظ الأنفس ودفع الخطر عنها أو عن ما يتعلق بها من الاعراض والأموال، بل قد يكون ذلك لحفظ وحدة المسلمين وجلب المحبة ودفع الضغاين فيما ليس هناك دواع مهمة إلى اظهار العقيدة والدفاع عنها.
كما أنه قد يكون لمصالح آخر، من تبليغ الرسالة بنحو أحسن كما في قصة إبراهيم واحتجاجه على عبدة الأصنام، أو مصلحة أخرى كما في قصة يوسف مع اخوته.
فهي – بمعناها الوسيع – تكون على اقسام: التقية الخوفي، و التقية التحبيبي، والتقية لمصالح اخر مختلفة.
وغير خفى انها بأجمعها تشترك في معنى واحد وملاك عام وهو اخفاء العقيدة أو اظهار خلافها لمصلحة أهم من الاظهار فالامر في جميعها دائر بين ترك الأهم والمهم، والعقل والنقل يحكمان بفعل الأول وترك – الثاني، من غير فرق بين أن تكون المصلحة التي هي أهم حفظ النفوس أو الاعراض والأموال، أو جلب المحبة ودفع عوامل الشقاق والبغضاء أو غير ذلك مما لا يحصى.
It has been made apparent as previously mentioned, that the purpose of Taqiyyah is not limited to protection of ones self and pushing away danger from himself or what is related to that from property and valuables, rather, at times it is to protect the unity of the Muslims, and to arouse love (for each other) in situations where there is no important reason to reveal your (true) aqeedah or defending it. Just as it can be used for other situations, such as spreading the message in a more effective (lit. better) way, just like in the story of Ibrahim (as) and his proofs used over worshipping the idols, or other reasons such as in the story of Yusuf (as) with his brothers.
So, by its broad definition, it (al-Taqiyyah) is upon two parts:
- al-Taqiyyah al-Khowfiyyah (righteous dissimulation out of fear)
- al-Taqiyyah al-Tahbibi (righteous dissimulation of love)
- al-Taqiyyah limaslah akhir Mukhtalifah (righteous dissimulation for other various reasons)
Furthermore, it is not hidden that the combination of them (the types of taqiyyahs) shares the same one means and one framework, which is the concealing of the (true) aqeeda and making apparent what is opposite for a greater purpose of neglecting what is important for something of greater importance. The intellect as well as textual proofs commands the primary (in importance) over the secondary, without differentiating if the means that is of greater importance is protection of self/property/valuables or inducing the love and pushing away disputations and hatred or other than this which cannot be recounted.
Reference: al-Qawaa’id al-Fiqh, Nasser Makarim al-Shirazi, Volume 1, Page 410-411
It is clear from the words of all the scholars, is no matter what this form of interaction is labelled, be it al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah, another type of taqiyyah, or just general al-Mudaratiyyah (placation), the actions that we are commanded to do is common amongst all.
However, the statements of these scholars highlight the importance of what this sort of interaction achieves. The two important points raised were:
- Unity for the sake of Islam
- A form of Da`wah – calling Muslims towards Shi’ism and love for the Shia
We shall break down each below.
Unity for the sake of Islam
al-Sayed al-Rohani discusses this in detail in Fiqh al-Sadiq (summary found here), and mentions that Unity for the sake of Islam – in the face of the disbelievers and polytheists – is a core reason for establishing al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah. First and foremost, he mentions some ayahs in the Qur’an, which on the apparent, support this concept:
وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. (3:103 / Sahih International)
وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ
And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart (8:46 / Shakir)
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ
Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. (6:159 / Sahih International)
These ayahs, along with the biography of the infallible Imams (as), testify to the concept of Unity for the sake of Islam. First and foremost, the words of Ameer al-Mu’mineen (as) in the famous sermon of al-Shaqshaqiyyah:
فَرَأَيْتُ أَنَّ الصَّبْرَ عَلَى هَاتَا أَحْجَى، فَصَبَرتُ وَفي الْعَيْنِ قَذىً، وَفي الحَلْقِ شَجاً، أرى تُرَاثي نَهْباً، حَتَّى مَضَى الاْوَّلُ لِسَبِيلِهِ، فَأَدْلَى بِهَا إِلَى ابْنِ الْخَطّابِ بَعْدَهُ
I found that endurance thereon was wiser. So I adopted patience although there was pricking in the eye and suffocation (of mortification) in the throat. I watched the plundering of my inheritance till the first one went his way but handed over the Caliphate to Ibn al-Khattab after himself. (Sermon 3, Nahjul Balagha)
The importance of Unity for the sake of Islam is further solidified by Imam Ali (as) in his reasons of not rising up for his rights:
‘Nothing prevented Ali (as) from calling the people to himself except that they would have ended up straying from Islam and not returning. It was more beloved to him than calling them, as they would refuse him, and thus they would have become Infidels, all of them’.
Another piece of evidence used by al-Sayed al-Rohani is the Dua of Imam al-Sajjad in al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyyah, Dua 27 – Dua of the Frontiers. This dua is one where Imam al-Sajjad supplicates to Allah (swt) for the sake of the frontiers of the Islamic State that faced the polytheists, which at the time was under the rule of the tyranical Bani Umayyah. This dua was made for the protection of the slogan “There is no god but Allah (swt), and Mohammed (sawa) is His Messenger.”
Imam al-Hassan (as) has a hadith attributed to him in al-Tafseer Mansoob ila Imam al-Askari:
وقال الحسن بن علي عليهما السلام : إن التقية يصلح الله بها أمة ، لصاحبها مثل ثواب أعمالهم ، وإن تركها ربما أهلك أمة ، وتاركها شريك من أهلكهم
al-Hassan bin Ali (as) said: Indeed, through al-Taqiyyah, Allah (swt) mends the condition of a nation. For its bearer is the reward like of the action. If he were to neglect it, it may be to the destruction of a nation, and the one who neglects it is a partner it its deconstruction.
Reference: al-Tafseer Mansoob ila Imam al-Askari, Hadith #164
All this is finally coupled with the hadith mentioned earlier, that the Imams (as) themselves used to practice these actions: “Look to your ‘A’immah (plural of Imam) whom you follow and do what they do. By Allah, they, (‘A’immah) visit their sick people, attend their funerals, present their testimony for and against them and return their trust.”
Da`wah – calling Muslims towards Shi’ism and love for the Shia
When we say Da`wah, we do not mean in the sense of necessarily converting them to tashayyu`, but rather giving a good image to Shia Islam both in action and in words.
In terms of actions we have seen some of the hadiths above already:
“You must never do anything that may embarrass us. A small boy causes embarrassment to his father because of his misdeeds. Be the beauty for those to whom you are devoted and do not be an embarrassment to them. Pray along with their tribes, visit their people in ill health, attend their funerals and do not allow anyone exceed you in good deeds. You have all the more reason to exceed others in good deeds…”
“You must maintain restraint from worldly attractions (sins), maintain persistence in work, attend funerals, and visit people during their illness. You should attend your Mosques along with your own people, and love for people what you love for yourselves.”
This goes in-line with the way our Imams (as) have recommended we make da`wah, i.e. with actions and not the tongue:
Abu Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) said: “Preach and call people to the good, but not with your tongues. They must see from your hard work, truthfulness and restraint from worldly matters (sins).”
Sanad: It is narrated from him from ibn Mahbub from al-‘Ala’ ibn Razin from ‘Abd Allah ibn abu Ya`fur
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter of Truthfulness and Trust, Hadith #10
Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 8, Page 186, Hadith #10 (See Image below)]; al-Bahboodi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sahih al-Kafi, Volume 1, Page 80]
Here are a couple more hadiths which express this idea further:
Once abu Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) said to me, ‘Convey greetings of peace from me to all that you will see of those who obey me and uphold my words. Tell them that I enjoin upon you to be pious before Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, to restraint yourselves from the worldly attractions (sins) in the matters of your religion, to work hard, to maintain truthfulness in your words, keep your trust, perform long prostrations, and to maintain good neighborly relations. This is what Muhammad (sawa) has brought (from Allah). Return the trust to those who have entrusted you, whether they are virtuous people or evildoers. The Messenger of Allah would command to return the needle and swing thread. Maintain good relations with the people of your tribe, attend their funerals, visit their sick people, and fulfill your obligations toward them. If one of you maintains restraint in the worldly attractions (sins) in the matters of his religion, is truthful in his words, keeps his trust, has acquired proper moral discipline to behave toward people, it will be said about him, ‘This is a Jafari’, and this will bring me joy and delight and they will say, ‘This is the discipline of Ja`far.’ If otherwise, its misfortune and disgrace will trouble me and they will say, ‘This is the behavior of Ja’far.’
By Allah my father spoke to me about a man was of the Shia of Ali who lived within a tribe (of non-Shias), whose beauty was in his keeping his trust, fulfilling his obligations, and his being the most truthful in his words. With him they would keep their important documents and valuables. If one were to ask people of the tribe about him, they would ask, “Who is like him? He is the most trusted one in safekeeping of valuables and the most truthful in his words.”
Sanad: Abu Ali al-Ash’ari has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Jabbar from Safwan ibn Yahya from abu ‘Usamah Zayd al-Shahham who said the above hadith
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter on The Necessary Part of Social Manners, Hadith #5
Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 12, Page 528, Hadith #4 (See Image below)]; al-Bahboodi says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Sahih al-Kafi, Volume 1, Page 160]
in another hadith, the Imam (as) encourages the Shia to even do the call to prayers, and lead the prayers!:
From aba Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as), who said: “Oh Zaid, adopt characteristics when dealing with people, that common to their characters. Pray in their mosques, attend to their sick, be present at their funerals, and if you are capable to be their imams [of prayers] or their caller to prayers [mu’adhin], then do so – for if you do so, they will say: “These are the Ja`fariyyah, may Allah (swt) have mercy upon Ja`far, there was no one better at teaching good character to his companions.” And if you were to neglect doing so, they will say: “These are the Ja`fariyyah, may Allah (swt) deal with Ja`far, there was no one worse at teaching good character than Ja`far.”
Sanad: al-Sadooq from Zaid bin al-Shahaam in a mursal fashion, who narrated the above hadith
Reference: Man Laa Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih, Volume 1, Hadith #1128
Grading: al-Muhaqiq al-Bahrani (who considers mursal hadiths from al-Sadooq to be reliable) says this hadith is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [al-Hadaa’iq al-Naadhirah, Volume 11, Page 71]
Moving on from the actions, and focusing now on our rhetoric and how/what we speak with the non-Shia Muslims, the Imams (as) have also commanded us to speak in a particular way:
حدثنا أبي رضي الله عنه قال : حدثنا سعد بن عبد الله ، عن أيوب بن نوح ، عن ابن أبي عمير ، عن سيف بن عميرة ، عن مدرك بن الهزهاز قال : قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام : يا مدرك رحم الله عبدا اجتر مودة الناس إلى نفسه ، فحدثهم بما يعرفون ، وترك ما ينكرون
Aba Abdillah [al-Sadiq] (as) said: Oh Mudrak, may Allah have mercy upon the servant who instills love of the people towards himself, where he would speak to the people by what they know, and left out speaking about what they would reject.
Sanad: al-Sadooq, from his father, from Sa`eed bin Abdullah, from Ayoob bin Nuh, from ibn Abi `Umayr, from Saif bin `Umayr, from Mudrak bin al-Hazhaaz, who narrated the above hadith
Reference: al-Khisal, Chapter 1, Hadith #89
This is in reference to certain tenets within tashayyu` that do not necessarily need to be spoken about in public or with the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’. Note: This does not mean lying! This is similar to the sunnah of the Prophet Musa (as), when Pharaoh asked:
قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الْأُولَىٰ
[Pharaoh] said, “Then what is the case of the former generations?” (20:51 / Sahih International)
Musa (as) did not respond of their ugly status or their final abode in the hell-fire eternally. Rather, he responded beautifully with:
قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي فِي كِتَابٍ ۖ لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنسَى
[Moses] said, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord in a record. My Lord neither errs nor forgets.” (20:52 / Sahih International)
This was practiced heavily during the time of the Imams (as) along with the use of tawriyah (rhetoric with double or hidden meanings). For some examples, see here: http://purifiedhousehold.com/eloquence-under-taqiyyah-the-imams-as-hidden-insults/
Again, back to the sunnah of Musa (as) we find the following beautiful hadith:
عنه ، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ، عن ابن محبوب ، عن هشام بن سالم ، عن حبيب السجستاني ، عن أبي جعفر ( عليه السلام ) قال : في التوراة مكتوب – فيما ناجى الله عز وجل به موسى بن عمران ( عليه السلام ) – : يا موسى اكتم مكتوم سري في سريرتك وأظهر في علانيتك المداراة عني لعدوي وعدوك من خلقي ولا تستسب لي عندهم باظهار مكتوم سري فتشرك عدوك وعدوي في سبي
In the Torah it is of the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, to Moses ibn ‘Imran, ‘O Moses, keep My secret as secret in your secrecy. Demonstrate placation (al-mudaraah) from Me in your public life toward your enemy and My enemy among My creatures. Do not express My secret (condemnation of the enemy) for Me before them and in public that, consequently, your enemy and My enemy join to abuse Me.’
Sanad: It is narrated from him (narrator of the Hadith above) from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from ibn Mahbub from Hisham ibn Salim from Habib al-Sajistani from abu Ja’far (as) who has said the above hadith
Reference: al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter on Gentleness in Dealings, Hadith #3
Grading: al-Majlisi says it is Good/Hasan (حسن) [Mir’aat al-Uqool, Volume 8, Page 227-288, Hadith #3 (See Image below)]
The idea behind this hadith is similar to the ayah:
وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِم مَّرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah , lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do. (6:108 / Sahih Interational)
The use of this ayah by the infallibles (as) can be seen in following two articles:
No matter what you call this sort of dealings with the ‘Ahlul-Sunnah’, be it al-Taqiyyah al-Mudaratiyyah or just simply in general al-Mudaratiyyah, the Imams (as) have certainly asked us to deal with them in the best of ways, for the sake of Islamic Unity and inducing love for the Shia & Ahlulbayt (as).
From an actions point of view, this includes praying with them, visiting their sick people, attending their funerals, be present their testimony for and against them and returning their trusts. This shows the high moral standards of the Shia and their taqwa (consciousness) of Allah (swt).
From a rhetoric point of view, this includes withholding some beliefs and not publicly speaking of that which would push them away or make them detest the Shia.