The Kharijites and Their Impact on Contemporary Islam 3

Nevertheless, in the year 41 AH Sayyidina `Ali fell victim to the murderous designs of a Kharaji called Abdurahman ibn Muljam al-Muradi. The murder was further inspired and instigated by his wife, Quttam bint as-Shajna, whose father and brother were killed in the Battle of Nahrawan. It is also reported that the said ibn Muljam, along with two other Kharajites, stood in front of the Ka`ba and swore that they would rid the Ummah of the three – according to them – vilest figures known to Islam: Sayyidina `Ali, Mu`awiyah, and `Amr ibn al-`As.

These pious marauders, unfortunately, proceeded to establish themselves in three important Muslim centres. The fanatical Azariqa held the first two, namely Iraq and Southern Iran. The Najadat held the third, namely the Arabian Peninsula. The Azariqa, founded by Nafi` ibn al-Azraq al-Hanafi and the Najadat, founded by Najda ibn Amir al-Hanafi, were amongst the first and most influential offshoots of the original Muhakkima mentioned in the first part of this series. The modern day tendencies of certain Islamic “movements” and groupings – influenced by the spirit of Kharijism – to implode upon themselves and eventually fragment into myriads of belligerent sub-groups, are merely reminiscent of what eventually happened to the original movement called the Kharijis.

Extremism and integrity can never co-exist in a single heart – let alone the heart of Islam. Any Islamic tendency, movement, or grouping, founded on other than the compassionate foundations of Islam will necessarily come to experience a state of spiritual entropy. But it is in the nature of “energy” to find work to do. And if that “energy” finds itself without a compassionate basis then chaos – particularly in its worst form of demented violence – is a natural consequence.

In the next article – and before we link this discussion to the contemporary Muslim world – we shall explore the principles and practices that informed some of the most important offshoots of the original Kharijis.

part 4

 

Notes:

1″fal-hukmu lillah”, Quran 40: 12.

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

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

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