Khariji

Kharijiyyah, Kharijite, Kharijites

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Doctrines

Kharijite belief is distinguished from that of mainstream Islam through its particular emphasis on good actions as well as belief. For the Kharijites the mere profession of the faith - "There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the prophet of God" - was not sufficient in itself to make a person a Muslim; the profession had to be accompanied by righteousness and good works. Contrary to the Sunni view and practice, the Kharijites interpreted the Qur'anic command concerning "enjoining good and forbidding evil" to mean the vindication of their beliefs through the sword. With regard to the question of who should lead the community of Muslims, the Kharijites claimed that the community could only be led by those who were pious and righteous. It was deemed acceptable to overthrow a ruler whose conduct fell short of these ideals.

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History

Kharijiyyah emerged in the first century of Islam as a result of disputes within the community over the question of who should lead it. During the reign of the third caliph, 'Uthman, certain groups accused the caliph of nepotism and misrule, and this discontent led to his assassination in 656. After 'Uthman's death Ali, the cousin of the Prophet, was invited by the Muslims at Madina to accept the caliphate, which he did, and thus became the fourth caliph (656-661). Ali's rule was opposed by Uthman's nephew, Mu'awiyah, who rebelled against Ali, but subsequently agreed to settle the issue of who should lead the community through human arbitration. The principle of the use of human arbitration for this purpose was opposed by certain groups within the community, who became known to history as the Kharijites (a term which means "those who go out, go off").

Because of their belief that the pursuit of truth was done through the use of the sword, they embarked upon endless campaigns against the community. Gradually they were subdued, and within two centuries of the birth of Islam were wiped out.

Symbols

The Kharijites had no distinctive symbol system.

Adherents

The group has no contemporary adherents. However, a moderate group called Ibadites, who refer themselves back to the Kharijites but reject their aggressive methods, are to be found in the sultanate of Oman and North Africa.

Headquarters / Main Centre

The Kharijites were centred around the marshes around Basra and on the left bank of the Tigris, a location which afforded them the opportunity to escape to the mountainous regions of the Iranian plateaus if defeated in battle.

Bülent Şenay
Overview of World Religions Project


Kharijites

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Unfortunately, we are not aware of any scholarly texts on this subject which have yet been translated into English. We know that a number of Arabic scholars have written wonderful texts in Arabic, and look for the day when we will be able to add higher quality texts to this presentation.


Also, see:
Islam, Muhammad
Koran, Qur'an
Pillars of Faith
Abraham
Testament of Abraham
Allah
Hadiths
Revelation - Hadiths from Book 1 of al-Bukhari
Belief - Hadiths from Book 2 of al-Bukhari
Knowledge - Hadiths from Book 3 of al-Bukhari
Times of the Prayers - Hadiths from Book 10 of al-Bukhari
Shortening the Prayers (At-Taqseer) - Hadiths from Book 20 of al-Bukhari
Pilgrimmage (Hajj) - Hadiths from Book 26 of al-Bukhari
Fighting for the Cause of Allah (Jihad) - Hadiths of Book 52 of al-Bukhari
ONENESS, UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH (TAWHEED) - Hadiths of Book 93 of al-Bukhari
Hanafiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Malikiyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Shafi'iyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Hanbaliyyah School Theology (Sunni)
Maturidiyyah Theology (Sunni)
Ash'ariyyah Theology (Sunni)
Mutazilah Theology
Ja'fari Theology (Shia)
Nusayriyyah Theology (Shia)
Zaydiyyah Theology (Shia)
Kharijiyyah
Imams (Shia)
Druze
Qarmatiyyah (Shia)
Ahmadi
Ishmael, Ismail
Early Islamic History Outline
Hegira
Averroes
Avicenna
Machpela
Kaaba, Black Stone
Ramadan
Sunnites, Sunni
Shiites, Shia
Mecca
Medina
Sahih, al-Bukhari
Sufism
Wahhabism
Abu Bakr
Abbasids
Ayyubids
Umayyads
Fatima
Fatimids (Shia)
Ismailis (Shia)
Mamelukes
Saladin
Seljuks
Aisha
Ali
Lilith
Islamic Calendar
Interactive Muslim Calendar


The individual articles presented here were generally first published in the early 1980s. This subject presentation was first placed on the Internet in December 1997.

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