Permissibility of drinking alcohol under taqiyya

 Drinking wine under taqiyya

(Shaykh al-Tusi’s Ikhtiyar Ma’irfat al-Rijal, volume 2, page 465)

Nasr ibn al-Sabbah, narrated from Abu Ya’qub Ishaq ibn Muhammad al-Basri, from Jafar ibn Muhmmad ibn al-Fudayl, from Jafar ibn Ali al-Hamdani, from Dursat ibn Abu Mansur who said: 

I was with Abi al-Hasan Musa [al-Kadhim) and he had with him al-Kumayt ibn Zayd. 

So he said to al-Kumayt: You are the one who says ‘I have went on path of Umayya, and the matters [i.e, my actions] are firm on their faith’

He [Kumayt] said: ‘I have said that, but by Allah I have not went back on my faith. And I am to you a follower and to your enemy - a combatant. However, I have said it in taqiyya.’ 

He [the Imam] said: If you have said that, it is permissible [under taqiyya]. [Overall], taqiyya is permissible when drinking alcohol.’ 

Being that Kumayt was a poet under the Umayyads, both the Umayyad caliph and the poets would drink alcohol under these poetic sessions. Which praise Bani Umayya and also typically speak of lewd topics.

The Imam permits such poetry in favor Bani Umayya, and drinking alcohol - if either case is under taqiyya. 

364 - نصر بن الصباح، قالحدثني أبو يعقوب إسحاق بن محمد البصري، قالحدثني جعفر بن محمد بن الفضيل، قالحدثني جعفربن علي الهمداني، قال:

حدثني درست بن أبي منصور، قالكنت عند أبي الحسن موسى عليه السلام وعنده الكميت ابن زيد، فقال للكميت أنت الذي تقولفالآنصرت على أمية والأمور إلى مصائر؟

قالقد قلت ذاك فوالله ما رجعت عن أيمان واني لكم لموال ولعدوكم لقال ولكني قلته على التقية، قالأما لئن قلت ذلك أن التقية تجوز فيشرب الخمر.

  • Interestingly enough, most of the above report is found in Kitab al-Aghani (1) by the Zaydi poet and historian Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (d. 356 AH / 967 CE). 

However, in al-Isfahani’s work - it is actually Imam al-Baqir who permits Kumayt to praise Bani Umayya under taqiyya. And there is no mention of the portion regarding alcohol. 

As confirmed by Shi’i rijal, al-Kumayt had died during Imam al-Sadiq’s era. 

Thus, it seems that the report permitting alcohol under taqiyya - with regards to identity of the Imam - incurred a scribal error, or a scribe attempting to summarize the report. 

It seems that the narrator heard Imam al-Kadhim narrating the fatwa his grandfather Imam al-Baqir gave, but the scribe mistakenly removed this part. 

Scholars who adopt the view the Imam permitted alcohol under taqiyya essentially believe ahadith warning from such an act are done out of karahiya - among other ta’wilat.