The Kharijites and Their Impact on Contemporary Islam 4

Nonetheless, after the death of Sayyidina `Ali, the bloodlust of the Kharajites – especially against other Muslims – continued. While later generations of Muslims ensured that their influences were either eliminated or at least neutralised one sect, in its original form, has survived. They are the Ibadites of present day Oman. Their survival is attributed to the fact that they were the most tolerant of the Kharajite factions. They were the one group that did not, for example, regard a perpetrator of a major sin as a kafir or mushrik. Today the Ibadites are averse to being associated with the Kharajites and consider themselves just another madhhab like the Shafi`is and Hanafis etc.

In general, the Kharajites became distinguished from other Muslims by four principles that defined most of them and, of almost equal importance, their common approach to things.

The four principles comprised the following:

a) The declaration of kufr (unbelief) on Sayyidina `Ali, Uthman, `Amr ibn al-`As, Abu Musa al-`Ashari, Mu`awiya, and all those who consented to the process of arbitration. All of the differing Kharajite factions agreed on this point.

b) That all perpetrators of major sins were permanently destined for hell. The exception to this was the Ibadites.

c) The declaration of either kufr or shirk upon those who differed with them.

d) That it was obligatory to overthrow an oppressive ruler by force.

Their approach, on the other hand, was marked by unbridled extremism and severity. This extremism was most manifest in two respects. One, in the puritanical spirit that they executed all their affairs – whether of the worldly or spiritual order – and particularly so in their `ibadat; two, in the ruthless spirit of inquisition that they introduced into Islam. In this respect they differed but little from all other crazed fanatics, whether past or present, Muslim or non-Muslim.

In the next part of this series we shall look at the coming of `Abdul Wahhab and what has come to be known as the “Wahhabite” movement.

Part 5

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

Page 3 of 3 | Previous page

Leave a comment

You must be