Qarmati

(Shia)

Qarmatiyyah, Qarmati, Qarmatis, Isma'iliyyah

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Doctrines

The Qarmatis are a schismatic branch of Isma'iliyyah. Their beliefs are in many respects the same as Isma'iliyyah. They believed that the shari'ah should be replaced and that the revelations of prophets such as Moses, Jesus and Muhammad were invalid. They also believed in reincarnation. They differed from mainstream Isma'iliyyah (represented by the Fatimid caliphs) in refusing to recognise the Fatimid caliphs as their Imams. Instead they maintained that Muhammad ibn Isma'il was the final Imam who would return as the Mahdi.

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History

The Qarmatiyyah is an Isma'ilite Shi'ite community which settled mainly in the Bahrein peninsula in the 10th century. There are different opinions about the origins of the name of the movement; one of the more common views is that it derives from the name of an early convert, Hamdan b. Qarmat, a cattle breeder and driver who lived in the second half of the 9th century.

The movement acquired its impetus from the belief in the imminent return of the Mahdi. This impetus expressed itself in a number of attacks carried out by the movement into Iraq, one of which threatened to capture the Abbasid capital Baghdad. In 930 the Qarmatis attacked Mecca during the pilgrimage season, killing many residents and pilgrims, and removed the black stone of the ka'bah. The removal of the Black Stone symbolised the Qarmati claim that Islam had now come to an end. (It was not until 951 that the Black Stone was returned to Mecca.)

In 932 a young Persian prisoner was proclaimed as the awaited Mahdi. At this point events got out of hand. The Persian is believed to have ordered the killing of certain Qarmati leaders and to have required the community to worship fire. Eventually, in order to restore order the Persian himself was put to death.

The subsequent history of the Qarmati movement is one of steady decline. In 1078 the Qarmati state of Bahrein came to an end, while other Qarmati communities were absorbed by Twelver Shi'ism. By the 14th century the movement was all but extinct.

Symbols

The movement has no distinctive symbol system.

Adherents

The movement has no contemporary adherents.

Headquarters / Main Centre

The movement was centred around the Bahrein peninsula.

Bülent Şenay
Overview of World Religions Project


Qarmati

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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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