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The Khawarij[needs IPA] (Arabic: الخوارج‎, al-Khawārij, singular خارجي, khāriji), Kharijites, or the ash-Shurah (Arabic: الشراة‎, translit. ash-Shurāh "the Exchangers") are members of a group that appeared in the first century of Islam
during the First Fitna, the crisis of leadership after the death of Muhammad.[1] It broke into revolt against the authority of the Caliph Ali
after he agreed to arbitration with his rival, Muawiyah I, to decide the succession to the Caliphate
following the Battle of Siffin (657).[2] A Khariji later assassinated Ali, and for hundreds of years, the Khawarij
were a source of insurrection against the Caliphate.[3] The Khawarij
opposed arbitration as a means to choose a new ruler on the grounds that "judgement belongs to God
alone". They considered arbitration a means for people to make decisions[2] while the victor in a battle was determined by God.[2] They believed that any Muslim—even if not Quraysh
or even an Arab—could be the Imam, the leader of the community, if he was morally irreproachable. If the leader sinned, it was the duty of Muslims to oppose and depose him.[3][4] Some Khawarij
developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni
and Shiʿi Muslims. They were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to takfir (declaring self-described Muslims as non-Muslims).[1][5][6]


1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Origin 2.2 Later history

3 In hadith 4 Beliefs and practices

4.1 Assassination attempts 4.2 Modern times

4.2.1 Like-minded groups

4.3 Early Muslim governance 4.4 Doctrinal differences with other sects 4.5 Other doctrines

5 Principal groups 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Etymology[edit] The term al-Khariji was used as an exonym by their opponents from the fact that they left Ali's army. The name comes from the Arabic root خ ر ج, which has the primary meaning "to leave" or "to get out",[7] as in the basic word خرج "to go out", "to walk out", "to come out", etc.[8] However, these groups called themselves ash-Shurah "the Exchangers", which they understood within the context of Islamic scripture (Quran 2:207) and philosophy to mean "those who have traded the mortal life (al-Dunya) for the other life [with God] (al-Akhirah)".[3][9][10] History[edit] Origin[edit] Further information: First Fitna
First Fitna
and Muhakkima The origin of Kharijism lies in the First Fitna, the struggle for political supremacy over the Muslim community in the years following the death of Muhammad. After the death of the third Rashidun
Caliph, Uthman, a struggle for succession ensued between Ali
and Muawiyah I, the governor of Syria and cousin of Uthman, in league with a variety of other opponents. In 657, Ali's forces met Muawiyah's at the Battle of Siffin. Initially, the battle went against Muawiyah but on the brink of defeat, Muawiyah directed his army to hoist Qurans on their lances.[11] Mu'awiya proposed to Ali
to settle their dispute through arbitration, with each side appointing referees who would pronounce judgment according to the Quran.[12] While most of Ali's army accepted the proposal, one group, mostly from the tribe of Tamim, vehemently objected to the arbitration and left the ranks of Ali's army.[12] These dissenters, who initiated what would become known as the Kharijite movement, wished to secede from Ali's army in order to uphold their principles.[13] They held that the third caliph Uthman had deserved his death because of his faults, and that Ali
was the legitimate caliph, while Mu'awiya was a rebel.[13] They believed that the Quran
clearly stated that as a rebel Mu'awiya was not entitled to arbitration, but rather should be fought until he repented, pointing to the verse:[13][14]

If two parties of the faithful fight each other, then conciliate them. Yet if one is rebellious to the other, then fight the insolent one until it returns to God 's command. ( Quran

The dissenters held that in agreeing to arbitration Ali
committed the grave sin of rejecting God's judgment (hukm) and attempted to substitute human judgment for God's clear injunction, which prompted their motto la hukma illa li-llah (judgement belongs to God alone).[14] From this expression, which they were the first to use as a motto, they became known as Muhakkima.[15] They also believed that Muslims own allegiance only to the Quran
and the sunna of Muhammad, Abu Bakr, and Umar, and denied that the right to the imamate should be based on close kinship with Muhammad.[13] The initial group of dissenters went to the village of Harura' near Kufa, where they elected an obscure soldier named Ibn Wahb al-Rasibi as their leader.[12] This gave rise to their alternative name, al-Haruriyya.[12] Other defectors from Kufa, where Ali's army had returned awaiting the outcome of arbitration, gradually joined the dissenters,[12] while Ali
persuaded some dissenters to return to Kufa.[14] However, when the arbitration ended in a verdict unfavorable to Ali, a large number of his followers left Kufa
to join Ibn Wahb, who had meanwhile moved his camp to another location along the Nahrawan canal.[12][14] At this point, the Kharijites proclaimed Ali's caliphate to be null and void and began to denounce as infidels anyone who did not accept their point of view.[12] From Nahrawan they began to agitate against Ali
and raid his territories.[14] When attempts at conciliation failed, Ali's forces attacked the Kharijites in their camp, inflicting a heavy defeat on them at the Battle of Nahrawan in 658, killing Ibn Wahb and most of his supporters.[12] This bloodshed sealed the split of Kharijites from Ali's followers, and Kharijite calls for revenge ultimately led to Ali's assassination in 661 by a Kharijite.[12][13] Later history[edit] For hundreds of years the Khawarij
continued to be a source of insurrection against the Caliphate.[3] and they aroused condemnation by mainstream scholars such as 14th-century Muslim Ismail ibn Kathir who wrote, "If they ever gained strength, they would surely corrupt the whole of the Earth, Iraq and Shaam – they would not leave a baby, male or female, neither a man or a woman, because as far as they are concerned the people have caused corruption, a corruption that cannot be rectified except by mass killing."[5] In a similar vein, the 10th century Islamic scholar Abu Bakr al-Ajurri said, "None of the scholars, in either past or recent times, ever disagreed that the Khawarij
are an evil group, disobedient to Allah Almighty and to His Messenger - Peace Be Upon Him. Even if they pray, fast, or strive in worship, it does not benefit them, and even if they openly enjoin good and forbid evil it does not benefit them, as they are a people who interpret the Quran
according to their desire."[16] One modern historian describes Khawarij
as "bedouin nomads who resented the centralization of power in the new Islamic state
Islamic state
that curtailed the freedom of their tribal society."[4] In hadith[edit] Among the hadith that refer to the Khawarij
(according to some sources) include:

A narration attributed to Yusair bin Amr [17][18] reports:

I asked Sahl bin Hunaif, "Did you hear the Prophet saying anything about Al-Khawarij?" He said, "I heard him saying while pointing his hand towards Iraq. "There will appear in it (i.e, Iraq) some people who will recite the Quran
but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will go out from (leave) Islam
as an arrow darts through the game's body.' "

A narration attributed to Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri [19][20] reports:

"There will come a people from the east who recite the Quran
but it will not go beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion just as an arrow pierces its target and they will not return to it just as the arrow does not return to the bow."

A narration attributed to Abu Dharr
Abu Dharr
[18][21] reports:

"Allah's Messenger (saws) said: Verily there would arise from my Ummah after me a group (of people) who would recite the Quran, but it would not go beyond their throats, and they would pass clean through their religion just as the arrow passes through the prey, and they would never come back to it. They would be the worst among the creation and the creatures."

Beliefs and practices[edit] Assassination attempts[edit] Among the surviving Kharijites, three of them gathered in Mecca
to plot a tripartite assassination attempt on Muawiyah I, 'Amr ibn al-'As and Ali. The assassination attempts were to occur simultaneously as the three leaders came to lead the morning prayer (Fajr) in their respective cities of Damascus, Fustat
and Kufa. The method was to come out of the prayer ranks and strike the targets with a sword dipped in poison.[22] Muawiya escaped the assassination attempt with only minor injuries. Amr was sick and the deputy leading the prayers in his stead was martyred. However, the strike on Ali
by the assassin, Abdur-Rahmaan ibn-Muljim, proved to be fatal. Ali
was gravely injured with a head wound and succumbed to his injuries a few days later.[23] The circumstances in which Ali
was attacked is subject to debate; some scholars maintain that he was attacked outside the mosque, others state that he was attacked while initiating the prayer and still others reiterate that ibn-Muljim assaulted him midway through the prayer while Ali
was prostrating.[22][24][25] All the assassins were captured, tried and sentenced to death in accordance with Islamic laws.[23] Modern times[edit] Like-minded groups[edit] In the modern era, a number of Muslim theologians and observers have compared the beliefs and actions of the Islamic State (IS), al-Qaeda, and like-minded groups to the Khawarij.[26][27][28][29][30] In particular, the groups share the Kharijites' radical approach whereby self-described Muslims are declared unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death and their disinterest in Quranic calls for moderation.[5][6][31] However, IS preachers strongly reject being compared to the Khawarij.[32] The Ibadis, a fellow early sect with similar beliefs, form the majority of the population of Oman
(where they first settled in 686),[33] and there are smaller concentrations of them in the M'zab
of Algeria, Djerba
in Tunisia, the Nafusa Mountains
Nafusa Mountains
in Libya, and Zanzibar. In the 18th century, Hanafi scholar Ibn Abidin declared the Wahhabi movement of Muhammad
ibn Abd al-Wahhab as modern Khawarij.[34] [35] According to some Muslims (such as Abu Amina Elias), Kharijites will "continue to cause strife" in the Muslim community until End Times,[20] and cite a hadith (# 7123)[20] from Sahih al-Bukhari
Sahih al-Bukhari
in support of this.

Part of a series on Islam Aqidah

Five Pillars of Islam

Shahada Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj

Sunni Six articles of belief

God Prophets Holy books Angels The Last Judgement Predestination

theological traditions

Ilm al-Kalam

Ash'ari1 Maturidi

Murji'ah Traditionalist2

Shi'a Twelver3


Tawhid Adalah Prophecy Imamah Qiyamah


Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj Khums Jihad Commanding what is just Forbidding what is evil Tawalla Tabarra

Seven pillars of Ismailism4

Walayah Tawhid Salah Zakat Sawm Hajj Jihad

Other Shia concepts of Aqidah

Imamate Batin Sixth Pillar of Islam

Other schools of theology

Khawarij5 Ibadi6 Murji'ah

Qadariyah Muʿtazila7 Sufism8

Including: 1Jahmi; 2Karramiyya; 3 Alawites
& Qizilbash 4Sevener-Qarmatians, Assassins
& Druzes 5Ajardi, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Najdat
& Sūfrī 6Nūkkārī; 7 Bahshamiyya
& Ikhshîdiyya 8Alevism, Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
& Qalandariyya Islam

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Early Muslim governance[edit] The Khawarij
considered the caliphate of Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
and Umar
to be rightly guided but believed that Uthman
had deviated from the path of justice and truth in the last days of his caliphate and hence was liable to be killed or displaced. They also believed that Ali committed a grave sin when he agreed on the arbitration with Muawiyah. The Kharijites thus deemed the arbitrators (Abu Musa Ashaari and 'Amr ibn al-'As), the leaders who appointed these arbitrators ( Ali
and Muawiyah I) and all those who agreed on the arbitration (all companions of Ali
and Muawiyah]) as kuffar "disbelievers", as they had breached the rules of the Qur'an. They also believed that all participants in the Battle of the Camel, including Talhah, Zubayr ibn al-Awam and Aisha
had committed a major sin.[36] Doctrinal differences with other sects[edit] Kharijites differ with both Sunni
and/or Shiʿa on some points of doctrine:

Sunnis accept Ali
as the fourth rightly-guided Caliph and also accept the three Caliphs before him, who were elected by their community. Shi'a believe that the imaamate was the right of Ali, and the rule of the first three Rashidun
caliphs was unlawful. Kharijites insist that the caliph need not be from the Quraysh
tribe, but any pious Muslim nominated by other Muslims was eligible to be the caliph.[36][37] Unlike Sunni
and Shia, Kharijites believed that Muslims had the right and duty to revolt against any ruler who deviated from their interpretation of Islam,[37] or, according to other interpretations, failed to manage Muslim's affairs with justice and consultation[36] or committed a major sin.[3] Kharijites reject the doctrine of infallibility for the leader of the Muslim community in contrast to Shi'a but in agreement with Sunnis.[38] Unlike the more extreme Kharijites, the Ibadis reject the murder of Uthman
as well as the Kharijite belief that all Muslims holding differing viewpoints were infidels.[citation needed]

Other doctrines[edit] Many Khawarij
groups believed that the act of sinning is analogous to kufr "disbelief" and that every grave sinner was regarded as a kafir unless they repent. They invoked the doctrine of free will, in opposition to that of predestination in their opposition to the Ummayad Caliphate, which held that Umayyad rule was ordained by God.[39] According to Islamic scholar and Islamist pioneer Abul A'la Maududi, using the argument of "sinners are unbelievers", Kharijites denounced all the above Sahabah
and even cursed and used abusive language against them. Other non- Khawarij
Muslims were declared disbelievers because they were not free of sin but also because they regarded the above-mentioned Sahabah
as believers and religious leaders, even inferring fiqh from the hadith narrated by them.[36] The Khawarij
considered the Qur'an as the source for fiqh but disagreed about the other two sources (hadith and ijma).[36] Based on Kharijite poetry writings, scholar Ihsan Abbas
Ihsan Abbas
finds three categories of focus among them:[40]

the strong desire of Kharijites for martyrdom and dying for the sake of God[40] detailed descriptions of how Kharijites defined a just and pious ruler[40] their universal tendency to blame the self for failing to establish the previous two categories.[40]

On the basis of women fighting alongside Muhammad, Khārijīs have viewed fighting jihad as a requirement for women. One famous example is the warrior and poet Laylā bint Ṭarīf.[41] Principal groups[edit]

Azariqa, the followers of Abu Rasheed Nafi ibn al-Azraq Najdat, the followers of Najdah ibn 'Amir Ajardites, the followers of Abd al-Karim ibn Ajrad Ibadis, the followers of Abd Allah ibn Ibad Sufris, the followers of Ziyad ibn al-Asfar and Umran ibn Hattan

See also[edit]

Kharijite Rebellion (866–896) Murji'ah



^ a b Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad
(2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. pp. xvii–xviii. ISBN 978-1908224125.  ^ a b c Higgins, Annie C. (2004). "Kharijites, Khawarij". In Martin, Richard C. Encyclopedia of Islam
and the Muslim World v.1. Macmillan. p. 390.  ^ a b c d e Glasse, Cyril (2001). The New Encyclopedia of Islam. California: Altamira Press. pp. 255–56. ISBN 0759101892.  ^ a b Schultz, Joseph P. (1981). Judaism and the Gentile Faiths: Comparative Studies in Religion. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 175. bedouin nomads who resented the centralization of power in the new Islamic state
Islamic state
that curtailed the freedom of their tribal society.  ^ a b c KHAN, SHEEMA (29 September 2014). "Another battle with Islam's 'true believers'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2014.  ^ a b Mohamad Jebara More Mohamad Jebara. " Imam
Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism". Ottawa Citizen.  ^ Hassanein, Ahmed Taher; Abdou, Kamar; Abo El Seoud, Dalal. The Concise Arabic-English Lexicon of Verbs in Context (New revised and expanded ed.). New York: The American University in Cairo Press (2011). p105. ^ Wehr, Hans; and Cowen JM (Ed). The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (Arabic-English), 4th Ed.n. Urbana, IL: Spoken Language Services. ISBN 978-0-87950-003-0. p 269 ^ Bhala, Raj (2011). Understanding Islamic Law: Sharīʻa. LexisNexis. ISBN 978-1-4224-1748-5.  ^ Martin, Richard C. (2004). Encyclopedia of Islam
and the Muslim World. Macmillan Reference USA. p. 390. ISBN 0028656032.  ^ Ali, Ameer. 'A Short History of the Saracens' (13th ed.). London 1961: Macmillan and Company. p. 51. He (Muawiyah) made his mercenaries tie copies of the Koran to their lances and flags, and shout for quarter.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Levi Della Vida, G. (2012). "K̲h̲ārid̲j̲ites". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam
(2nd ed.). Brill. (Subscription required (help)). CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b c d e Francesca, Ersilia (2006). "Khārijīs". In Jane Dammen McAuliffe. Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Brill. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ a b c d e John Alden Williams, Justin Corfield (2009). "Khawārij". In John L. Esposito. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Subscription required (help)). CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Djebli, Moktar (2012). "Taḥkīm". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill. (Subscription required (help)). CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad
(2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. p. 20. ISBN 978-1908224125.  ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:84:68 (Bukhari Book 9 Volume 84 Hadith
68) ^ a b "Question & Answers. Sects in Islam. Who are the kharijites". islamhelpline.net. Retrieved 9 January 2016.  ^ Sahih Bukhari
Sahih Bukhari
7123 ^ a b c Abu Amina Elias (June 24, 2014). "Dangers of the Khawarij ideology of violence". abuaminaelias.com. Retrieved 9 January 2016.  ^ Sahih Muslim
Sahih Muslim
2335 ^ a b Cook, David (January 15, 2007). Martyrdom in Islam. Cambridge University Press. pp. 54–55. ISBN 0521615518.  ^ a b "Hadrat Ali's (r.a.) Murder". Islam
Helpline. Retrieved 30 January 2014.  ^ Hitti, Phillip (2002). History of the Arabs. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 182. ISBN 0333631420.  ^ Tabatabaei, Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn (1979). Shi'ite Islam. Suny Press. p. 192. ISBN 0873952723.  ^ Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad
(2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. pp. xvii–xviii. ISBN 978-1908224125.  See also p.8. ^ "Prominent Islamic Scholar Refutes Claims of ISIS's Links to Islam". Think Progress. March 2015.  ^ "Shaykh Saalih Al-Suhaymee: It Is Obligatory to Name, Expose and Refute the Instigators of Extremist Ideologies and Activities". Islam Against Extremism. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-01-10.  ^ "It Is Criminal and Unjust to Ascribe the Actions of the Kharijite Renegades (Al-Qaidah, ISIS) to Islam
and the Muslims". Islam
Against Extremism. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.  ^ " Imam
Al-Albani: The Prophetic Description of 'Dogs of Hellfire' and Contemporary Takfiri Kharijites". Islam
Against Extremism. 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-02-27.  ^ The Balance of Islam
in Challenging Extremism Archived 2014-08-02 at the Wayback Machine. Dr. Usama Hasan 2012 quilliam foundation ^ "Counter-radicalisation (3): A disarming approach: Can the beliefs that feed terrorism be changed?". The Economist. 2 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.  ^ "CIA - The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.  ^ Ahmad, Ahmad Atif (2009). Islam, Modernity, Violence, and Everyday Life. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 164. Retrieved 9 January 2016.  ^ Khaled Abou El Fadl, "9/11 and the Muslim Transformation." Taken from September 11 in History: A Watershed Moment?, pg. 87. Ed. Mary L. Dudziak. Durham: Duke University Press
Duke University Press
2003. ISBN 9780822332428 ^ a b c d e Abul A'la Maududi, Khilafat-o-Malookeyat ( Caliphate
and kingship), (Urdu), p 214. ^ a b Goldhizer, Ignaz. "Muslim Studies"(Transaction Publishers, 1971) Vol.1 p.130 (Downloadable from https://www.scribd.com/doc/94082191/Goldziher-Muslim-Studies-1) ^ Baydawi, Abdullah. "Tawali' al- Anwar min Matali' al-Anzar", circa 1300. Translated alongside other texts in the 2001 "Nature, Man and God
in Medieval Islam" by Edwin Elliott Calverley and James Wilson Pollock. pp. 1001-1009 ^ Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 417. Retrieved 1 October 2015.  ^ a b c d Hussam S. Timani, Modern Intellectual Readings of the Kharijites, pgs. 84-85. Volume 262 of American University Studies, Series VII: Theology
and Religion. Bern: Peter Lang, 2008.ISBN 9780820497013 ^ Lori A. Allen, 'Jihad: Arab States', in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures: Family, Law and Politics, ed. by Suad Joseph and Afsāna Naǧmābādī 319-21 (p. 319).

Further reading[edit]

Al-Yaqoubi, Muhammad
(2015). Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations. Sacred Knowledge. ISBN 978-1908224125.  J. J. Saunders, A History of Medieval Islam, Routledge (UK), 1 October 1972 ISBN 0-415-05914-3

External links[edit]

Ibadhi Islam
site Hermeneutics of Takfir

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Prophets of Islam Angels Revelation Predestination Judgement Day

Five Pillars

Shahada Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj

History Leaders

Timeline of Muslim history Conquests Golden Age Historiography Sahaba Ahl al-Bayt Shi'a Imams Caliphates

Rashidun Umayyad Abbasid Córdoba Fatimid Almohad Sokoto Ottoman

Religious texts

Quran Sunnah Hadith Tafsir Seerah


Sunni Shia Ibadi Black Muslims Ahmadiyya Quranism Non-denominational

Life Culture

Animals Art Calendar Children Clothing Holidays Mosques Madrasas Moral teachings Music Philosophy Political aspects Qurbani Science


Social welfare Women LGBT Islam
by country

Law Jurisprudence


Banking Economic history Sukuk Takaful Murabaha Riba


Ghusl Miswak Najis Tayammum Toilet Wudu

Marriage Sex

Marriage contract Mahr Mahram Masturbation Nikah Nikah Mut‘ah Zina

Other aspects

Cleanliness Criminal Dhabiĥa Dhimmi Divorce Diet Ethics Etiquette Gambling Gender segregation Honorifics Hudud Inheritance Jizya Leadership Ma malakat aymanukum Military


Slavery Sources of law Theological

baligh kalam

 Islamic studies


Arabesque Architecture Calligraphy Carpets Gardens Geometric patterns Music Pottery

Medieval science

Alchemy and chemistry Astronomy Cosmology Geography and cartography Mathematics Medicine Ophthalmology Physics


Early Contemporary Eschatology Theological

Other areas

Astrology Creationism (evolution) Feminism Inventions Liberalism and progressivism Literature


Psychology Shu'ubiyya Conversion to mosques

Other religions


Mormonism Protestantism

Hinduism Jainism Judaism Sikhism

Related topics

Apostasy Criticism of Islam Cultural Muslim Islamism

Criticism Post-Islamism Qutbism Salafi movement



Islamic terrorism Islamic view of miracles Domestic violence Nursing Persecution of Muslims Quran
and miracles Symbolism

portal Category

Authority control

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