KITHMAN, is the command for Shi'a Muslims to conceal their religious beliefs from non-Shia's. Kithman is a special variety of Lying .
This practice, along with the practice of Taqiya, were, and are many places today, a method of self-preservation for the Shi'a community. Historically, the Shiites have been in the minority and have been persecuted by Sunni Muslims who considered them heretics.
Traditions from the sixth Shia Imam firmly established this practice:
Imam Jafar Sadiq (R) said:
"You belong to a religion that whosoever conceals it, Allah will honour him and whosoever reveals it, Allah will disgrace him." (Ft. #2, Ibid, p.522).
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