THE KHAWARIJ ORIGIN AND DESCRIPTION – ALL HADITH REGARDING THEM
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
One of the questions that is very often posed to me, are questions regarding the Fitna of The Khawarij. Such as; whether we declare them as Muslims or Kufar that have exited the fold of Islam, whether the salafis fall in to the sifat of the Khawarij because they also say: “There is no rule but for Allah. (12:40)”, as was said by the early Khawarij. On top of all of those questions there are dozens of others that mimic or lead to the same conclusion.
And for those that are lazy and wish a straight answer. The answer is a simple, No! Just because a group has some of the characteristics of the Khawarij, does not mean that they are Khawarij.
The Usul principle is that People are known by that which is prevalent amongst them, and though certain groups and neo-salafi sects do fulfill the criteria that was delivered to us in over 10 sahih hadith, it does not mean that they are The Khawarij who argued with Abdullah Ibn Abbas, who in turn fought Ali Ibn Abu Talib at Nahrawaan.
Those Khawarij actually split in to more than 25 different sects in the first 50 years of their existence, and there is only one sect that remains till today, and that is the sect of Ibadiyyah, who is prevalent in Oman, which was started by Abdullah Ibn ‘Ibad.
Even today, we have the government in Oman that uses The ‘Ibadi Aqeedah and Fiqh, their Mufti is ‘Ibadi and they till today exist. However of all the Khawarij sects, they were the most soft of them all, their founder had created a sub category of “Kafir” – where a Muslim that did not agree with them fell in to that category, but they were not Kufar who committed Rida, rather they were Kufar who should not be fought – thus he created a safe zone for himself. The Ummayyids and the Abbasids never fought them, as they were considered peaceful.
Approximately 300 years later a Muatazilli Scholar merged the Ibadi fiqh with their Aqeedah and they adopted the same positions, such as, The Shifa of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) which they negated, the seeing of Allah which they negated, they also believed the Qur’an was created and that major sinners would never exit the fire etc. Almost a copy of the Muatazilla belief system.
Writing all of that, unfortunately the ‘Ibadiyyah are not the topic of this paper, but the facts above can be expanded on, The reality is, that to many Muslims, they are foreign, as the ‘Ibadiyyah are less than 0.1% of the Ummah.
NOTE: Salafiyyah, Firqatul Najjiyyah, Taifat Al-Mansurah, Sawaadhul Adham, Ahl Al-Sunnah, Ahl Al-Hadeeth and Ahl Al-Athar; have nothing to do with the Khariji ideology or tendencies. I can not be more direct with my answer. Salafiyyah as a Manhaj and way of Life, as lived and understood by the Sahaba of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is free from anything that resemble the khawarij.
Back to the Early Khawarij:
The most dangerous sect in Islam are the Khawarij (al-khawarij). They have existed since the very early period of Islam and they will continue to cause strife in the Muslim nation until the end of time when they will join forces with the False Messiah (ad-dajjal). We must be aware of their ideology and characteristics in order to protect ourselves from unwittingly supporting their destructive behavior.
The Khawarij earned their name (from the root kh-ra-ja meaning “to go out”, because they exited Islam (Not In essence but in action) and the Muslim community due to their heretical innovations. They will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, meaning it will not enter their hearts and they will not understand it.
Shaykh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The Khawarij were the first ones to regard the Muslims as disbelievers, saying that they become disbelievers because of committing sins. They also regarded as disbelievers those who disagreed with their innovation and regarded it as permissible to kill them and take their wealth. This is how the innovators are: they introduce an innovation and regard as disbelievers those who differ with them, concerning it. Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah follow the Qur’an and Sunnah, and obey Allah and His Messenger; they follow the truth and show compassion to all people.”
The first hadith that we get of them, was at the time of rasulAllah saws. Narrated Abu Said al-Khudri in Bukhari:
While the Prophet ﷺ was distributing (Dhul Khuwaisara at-Tamimi came and said, “Be just, Oh Muhammad!” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Woe to you ! Who would be just if I were not?” `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “Allow me to kill him ! ” The Prophet ﷺ said, ” Leave him, for he has companions, and if you compare your prayers with their prayers and your fasting with theirs, you will look down upon your prayers and fasting, in comparison to theirs. Yet they will go out of the religion as an arrow darts through the game’s body in which case, if the Qudhadh of the arrow is examined, nothing will be found on it, and when its Nasl is examined, nothing will be found on it; and then its Nadiyi is examined, nothing will be found on it. The arrow has been too fast to be smeared by dung and blood. The sign by which these people will be recognized will be a man whose one hand (or breast) will be like the breast of a woman (or like a moving piece of flesh). These people will appear when there will be differences among the people (Muslims).”
Abu Sa`id added: I testify that I heard this from the Prophet ﷺ and also testify that `Ali killed those people while I was with him. The man with the description given by the Prophet ﷺ was brought to `Ali. The following Verses were revealed in connection with that very person (Dhil-Khawaisira at-Tamimi): at-Tawba 9:58-59
And among them are some who criticize you concerning the [distribution of] charities. If they are given from them, they approve; but if they are not given from them, at once they become angry. 9:58
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ رَضُوا مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَقَالُوا حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ سَيُؤْتِينَا اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَرَسُولُهُ إِنَّا إِلَى اللَّهِ رَاغِبُونَ
If only they had been satisfied with what Allah and His Messenger gave them and said, “Sufficient for us is Allah ; Allah will give us of His bounty, and [so will] His Messenger; indeed, we are desirous toward Allah ,” [it would have been better for them]. 9:59
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
يَخْرُجُ نَاسٌ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ وَيَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لَا يُجَاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُمْ يَمْرُقُونَ مِنْ الدِّينِ كَمَا يَمْرُقُ السَّهْمُ مِنْ الرَّمِيَّةِ ثُمَّ لَا يَعُودُونَ فِيهِ حَتَّى يَعُودَ السَّهْمُ إِلَى فُوقِهِ
“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.” Sahih Bukhari
The Kharijite ideology is based upon the following evil tenets:
AL-MANHAJ FIL HAROORIYYAH:
They Declare Muslims to be Kuffar for a sin that they commit.
They are known for Rejecting lawful obedience to legitimate rulers.
They use Ayat declared about the Mushriks therefore Justifying violence against Muslims and innocent people, making their blood and wealth halal.
Note: The correct Islamic belief is that no Muslim can become an unbeliever due to his sins alone.
وَلَا نُكَفِّرُ أَحَدًا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقِبْلَةِ بِذَنْبٍ مَا لَمْ يَسْتَحِلَّهُ وَلَا نَقُولُ لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ الْإِيمَانِ ذَنْبٌ لِمَنْ عَمِلَهُ
“We do not excommunicate anyone who prays toward Mecca because of their sins as long as he does not consider them lawful, and we do not say sins do not harm the faith of those who commit them.” Aqeedah At-Tahawiyyah.
A Muslim must explicitly disavow Islam in order to be properly considered an unbeliever.
Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah states:
وَلَا يَخْرُجُ الْعَبْدُ مِنَ الْإِيمَانِ إِلَّا بِجُحُودِ مَا أَدْخَلَهُ فِيهِ
“A person does not leave faith except by disavowing what brought him into it.” Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah
Ibn Ḥazm mentioned at the beginning of his book, “al-Iḥkaam fee Uṣool al-aḥkaam” that one of the reasons people deviate from the truth is that they often have preconceived ideas they have already decided to follow, so they look for evidence to support the direction they have chosen to take.
And this is THE SUNNAH OF ALL THE PEOPLE, OF BID’AH. If you study any of the heretical or misguided groups, you will find that they came up with a belief and it was only when they were challenged regarding the said belief, they started looking for proofs to support those very beliefs.
This is one of the main reasons that leads to tribulations occurring, divisions among people, and misguidance.
This is the difference between the person that lives the Athari way, the real Ahl Al Sunnah, the people that act according to the sahih proofs, they get the proof and they act according to it, and when asked why they do such and such action, they are able to back it up with a hadith, with an ayat, with the speech of the scholars.
While the people of Bid’ah start to scramble searching for a hadith that will justify their dalala, they may misinterpret a hadith or an ayat to try and legitimize their belief system and sometimes, they will go as far as to create and fabricate sayings and ahadith.
This is what the Khawarij did, they took ahadith and verses revealed about the kufar, and they applied them to the Muslims.
So, beware of having preconceived personal preferences in something and then afterwards you look to the evidences. Then you look in the Book for something to support and back what you have already decided on, what you already began to do, or perhaps to support the direction your group is taking, or for similar reasons. The people of Ahl Al-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah act upon the evidences presented to us unlike the ahlul bid’ah who do an act then look for a daleel in the kitab wa sunnah
Then, if we look to the people who are ruled – and from amongst them there are the scholars, the righteous, etc. – how can they then pass judgment upon them with disbelief just because they see them living under these laws, the same laws that encompass them too just as they do them? But they declare only them to be disbelievers and apostates, insisting that ruling by what Allah has revealed is obligatory! Yet they make an excuse for themselves and contradict themselves by stating that differing with the judgments of the Shari’a by mere actions does not necessarily hold the ruling that the one who does it is an apostate from his religion.
This is exactly what we say and it is what the people they do takfir of are saying, those they accuse wrongly with the ruling of Takfir and apostasy.
Muslims have mercy upon the entire creation, including unbelievers and idolaters, but the Khawarij have no mercy for those outside their group. They declare other Muslims to be unbelievers by misinterpreting and misapplying the verses of the Quran.
Al-Bukhari reported: Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, considered the Khawarij to be the worst of Allah’s creation and he said:
إِنَّهُمْ انْطَلَقُوا إِلَى آيَاتٍ نَزَلَتْ فِي الْكُفَّارِ فَجَعَلُوهَا عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“Indeed, they take verses that were revealed about unbelievers and use them against the believers.” Sahih Bukhari
In the early period of Islam, they declared Ali ibn Abi Talib to be an unbeliever when he intended to reconcile with Mu’awiyah. Ubaidullah ibn Abu Rafi reported: The Khawarij came out against Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, and they said: لَا حُكْمَ إِلَّا لِلَّه– There is no rule but for Allah. (12:40)
كَلِمَةُ حَقٍّ أُرِيدَ بِهَا بَاطِلٌ–
A word of truth by which is intended falsehood. Sahih Muslim
I will try sum up a lengthy hadith which was narrated in the Sunan of Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood.
It was at this time that Abdullah Ibn Abbas went out to speak to the Khawarij who had gathered at a plain, to try and convince them to give up the uprising against Ali Ibn Abu Talib.
Abdullah Ibn Abbas had put on a nice cloak as he walked towards them, and they recognized him, he was afterall the cousin of the Messenger as they said. But the first thing they said was: “Hello (Marhaban) oh Cousin of the Messenger”.And the exchange of words ensued, Ibn Abbas said to them: “…you look at this cloak asking why I wear fine clothes, but I saw the Messenger of Allah with a better one”.
He then said to them, “I come from the sahaba of the Messenger, and I see none of them amongst you, to them (Us) The Qur’an was revealed!” Then he asked them what is your issue? And they told him three main points that they had issues with.
No1: Ali left the Book of Allah and he became a judge besides Allah. (This was regarding the peace treary with Muawiyyah as mentioned above)
No2: Ali fought at the battles of Jamal and Siffin, but took no ghaneema or prisoners of war. (This was a battle where on one side was Our Mother Aisha and the other had Ali)
No3: He did not sign the treaty above as Amir Al-Moumineen, thus he must be the Amir Al-Kafireen. (RasulAllah left out The Title of RasulAllah at the treaty of Hudaybiyyah)
These three point above show the depth (shallowness) of the Khawarij and the Fiqh of Ibn Abbas, he easily dealt with their queries by quoting the Book of Allah and The Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger, and 2000 of the 6000 present there went back to the army of Ali. The remaining 4000 fought against Ali at Nahrawan.
SIDE NOTE: One highly important historical point, amongst these 6000 Khawarij, there was not a single sahabi present, when Ibn Abbas walked towards them they sounded like buzzing bees as they were reciting the Qur’an, they had raggedy clothes on and signs of prostration on their heads, and this proves the words of RasulAllah when he said (paraphrasing): “when you compare your deeds to theirs, you will belittle your own as their deeds and looks will stand out”. They had no people of knowledge amongst them, and when Ibn Abbas tried to speak at first they used the ayat:“They are an argumentative people”, which was revealed about the Mushriqeeen of Quraysh, which again made the words of RasulAllah true: “They will use ayat about disbelievers againt the believers”. And every hadith that speaks about them became proven in their words and actions against the Muslims.
The Ulama are not to be found amongst the Khawarij, hence not a single Sahabi was amongst them, and what they do is paint all of the Ulama of Islam with the same brush, everyone becomes an Alim Al-Sultan, everyone becomes a Murji’ah and a Munafiq or a Kafir, and to fill that gap they propel the similar thinking young ones amongst themselves to become their people of knowledge. As long as they conform to what they believe to be the truth they are upon the Haqq, but as soon as their understanding is skewed they will label that paerson to a be a Murjiah, Kafir, Murtad etc etc.
Then they start to split and make takfir and Tabdi of one another. And they will keep splitting till the day of Judgement, until, as the hadith says: “The Dajjal appears amongst them”.
The original Khawarij misused the verse “there is no rule but for Allah,” (12:40), by not properly distinguishing between matters upon which Allah has definitively ruled and matters left open to interpretation, consultation, and human decision-making. Ali ibn Abi Talib decisively refuted them with the Quran.
Later in Kufa, Iraq, The Khawarij had a meeting with Ali
and they declared the following
انْسَلَخْتَ مِنْ قَمِيصٍ أَلْبَسَكَهُ اللَّهُ وَمِنِ اسْمٍ سَمَّاكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ ثُمَّ حَكَّمْتَ الرِّجَالَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ وَلَا حُكْمَ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ
“You have replaced the authority Allah has given you and the name with which He named you. Then, you judged with the judgment of men in the religion of Allah while ‘there is no rule but for Allah.’ (12:40)
When Ali heard this, he gathered the people and he called for the greatest scripture (mushaf), which needed a lot of men to bring it out.
Side Point: The Mushaf we have today is not the Kufan Mushaf available at the time of Ali, if you can imagine animal skins that were layered one on top of another in book form with the words of Allah written on each skin, (It was as big as a big coffee table – for lack of a better example).
Ali started striking it with his hand and saying:
أَيُّهَا الْمُصْحَفُ حَدِّثِ النَّاسَ – O you scripture, speak to the people!
They said, “It is not a person. It is only ink and paper. We are speaking about what is narrated from it.” Ali then replied to them:
كِتَابُ اللَّهِ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ هَؤُلَاءِ يَقُولُ اللَّهُ فِي امْرَأَةِ رَجُلٍ وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ شِقَاقَ بَيْنِهِمَا فَابْعَثُوا الْآيَةَ وَأُمَّةُ مُحَمَّدٍ أَعْظَمُ مِنِ امْرَأَةِ رَجُلٍ وَنَقَمُوا عَلَيَّ أَنْ كَاتَبْتُ مُعَاوِيَةَ وَقَدْ كَاتَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سُهَيْلَ بْنَ عَمْرٍو وَلَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ
“The Book of Allah is between myself and these people. Allah said regarding the woman and man: If you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people… (4:35), and the nation of Muhammad is greater than the affair of a woman and a man. They have taken vengeance upon me because I have written to Mu’awiyah and yet the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had written to Suhail ibn Amr and: You certainly have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example. (33:21)” Al-Bayhaqi
The Khawarij believe their opinions regarding leadership, government, politics, and the Sharia are the only valid opinions in Islam and whoever disagrees with them becomes an unbeliever. In fact, the Prophet commanded us to distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people and not to claim our opinions are the rulings of Allah. Thus, Muslims primarily distinguished between the rule of Allah and the rule of people. Yet the Khawarij, who make no such distinction, will charge other Muslims with unbelief who disagree with their views (And NO I AM NOT MAKING DEMOCRACY PERMISSIBLE). In fact, the Khawarij do not simply declare Muslims to be unbelievers in a theoretical way, but rather they called for violent rebellion against entire Muslim societies.
The best example of the rebellion of the Khawarij,
is the Killing of Ali Ibn Abu Talib
Abdurrahman Ibn Muljim and two others made a pact at Hajj, that they would take out the top three Muslim figures next Ramadhan, one target was Muawaiyyah Ibn Abu Sufiyyan, next was Amr Ibn Al’as and finally the third was the best of the sahaba at the time, Ali Ibn Abu Talib.
As for Muawiyyah he was stabbed and cut but the guards managed to stop the attack and he only had injuries that healed.
As for Amr Ibn Al’as he fell sick on the day, and another person came out to the masjid and the attacker succeeded in killing him, but he missed his target mistakenly.
As for Ali Ibn Abu Talib, he was killed, stabbed multiple times by Abdurrahman Ibn Muljim, Ibn Muljim shouted at the time of the attack:
“LA HUKM ILLA LILLAH, LA LAKA WALA LI ASHABIK” – “There is no Judgment except for Allah, nor for you or for your friends!”
Again here we see the same mentality as the first group that debated Abdullah Ibn Abbas before Nahrawan.
Ibn Muljim had a dagger that is said to have cost him 1000 dirhams, it was a fortune, and he had paid another 1000 dirhams to make it double edged and laced with poison, he succeeded and Ali Ibn Abu Talib was fataly wounded. Ali’s Dr at the time in Kufa (where Ali was ((Who was the Dr of Kisra The Persian Emperor) looked at his wound and said that he was unable to help him. He told Ali that he only had a few days, and Ali passed away from assassination by a fanatic, who was clearly a Khariji.
SIDE NOTE: Ibn Muljim was with the 6000 Khawarij when Abdullah Ibn Abbas managed to talk 2000 of them back in to the army of Ali using his Fiqh and understanding of the Qur’an, Ibn Muljim remained with the remaining 4000 Khawarij.
Regarding Muslim rulers, the salaf were of the stance that we must obey them in all lawful matters. We should only disobey them if they command us to commit sins and we may not call for a violent overthrow of their governments as long as they allow the prayer.
Hence The Qawaid Al Fiqqhiyya: “There is no obedience to the creation through disobedience to the Creator.”
Al-umm al mumineen Ummi Salamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
سَتَكُونُ أُمَرَاءُ فَتَعْرِفُونَ وَتُنْكِرُونَ فَمَنْ عَرَفَ بَرِئَ وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ سَلِمَ وَلَكِنْ مَنْ رَضِيَ وَتَابَعَ
There will be rulers from whom you will see both goodness and corruption. One who recognizes their evil and hates it will maintain his innocence, but one who is pleased with it and follows them will be sinful.
It was said, “Shall we not fight them?” The Prophet said: لَا مَا صَلَّوْا – No, as long as they pray. Sahih Muslim
As long as Muslims are allowed to pray and practice the pillars of Islam, then there is no justification for declaring a rebellion against the rulers. In another hadith Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
مَنْ أَطَاعَنِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَقَدْ عَصَى اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أَطَاعَ أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ أَطَاعَنِي، وَمَنْ عَصَى أَمِيرِي فَقَدْ عَصَانِي
“Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me.” Bukhari
In contrast, the Khawarij rebel against the ruler not to protect the religion, but rather for inexcusable worldly reasons. Abu Hayyan reported: A man from the Khawarij came to Hasan Al-Basri and he said, “What do you say about the rebels?” Hasan said: هم أصحاب دنيا – They are seekers of the world. He said, “Why do you say that when one of them goes out with his spear until it breaks and he leaves his family and children?” Hasan said:
حدثني عن السلطان أيمنعك من إقامة الصلاة وإيتاء الزكاة والحج والعمرة
Tell me about the ruler. Does he prevent you from establishing prayer, giving charity, and performing the pilgrimage? He said no. Hasan said:
فأراه إنما منعك الدنيا فقاتلته عليها
As I see it, he has only prevented you from seeking the world and you have fought him for it.” Al-Basa’ir wal Dhakha’ir 1/34
In general, Muslims must work to reform societies through non-violent methods such as teaching, preaching, and charity. Violence is only a last resort in the worst case. The Khawarij, on the other hand, charge Muslim leaders with unbelief and anyone else who does not support their call for violent rebellion. In this way, they justify indiscriminate violence against entire Muslim societies.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Whoever rejects obedience to the leader and divides the community and dies will have died upon ignorance. Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed will have died upon ignorance. Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not even the believers and does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him. Sahih Muslim
This narration succinctly describes the characteristics of the Khawarij and their violent behavior. They reject lawful obedience to Muslim leaders. They attack both the righteous and the wicked, and they do not honor covenants of security and the protection of civilians. I have written about this in the past.
In our times, we hear news of such and such group bombing a market, or a masjid, and other places frequented by unarmed civilians. Many times the sole purpose of such attacks is to spread fear among the population.
It is In this way particularly, that the people that do such attacks and those that allow them are following a similar path to the first Khawarij in the early period of Islam. Ibn Kathir writes:
إِذْ لَوْ قَوُوا هَؤُلَاءِ لَأَفْسَدُوا الْأَرْضَ كُلَّهَا عِرَاقًا وَشَامًا وَلَمْ يَتْرُكُوا طِفْلًا وَلَا طِفْلَةَ وَلَا رَجُلًا وَلَا امْرَأَةً لِأَنَّ النَّاسَ عِنْدَهُمْ قَدْ فَسَدُوا فَسَادًا لَا يُصْلِحُهُمْ إِلَّا الْقَتْلُ جُمْلَةً
“If the Khawarij ever gained power, they would corrupt the entire earth, Iraq, and Syria. They would not leave a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, for in their view the people have become so corrupt that they cannot be reformed except by mass killing.” Al-Bidayah wa Nihayah 10/584
Wherever they appear, the Khawarij cause division among the Muslims at large and even among their own groups. Whenever they form a group, it is not long before splinter groups and off-shoots appear with each one claiming to have the right to paradise, all of them proclaiming the next to be murtaddeen or kufar.
Nevertheless, the Kharwarij have been successful recruiting sincere or desperate Muslims by telling them what they want to hear. Yes, even today, we have the same issue.
The Prophet described them as using beautiful Islamic rhetoric and selling “foolish dreams” to the Muslim masses. Ali ibn Abu Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
يَأْتِي فِي آخِرِ الزَّمَانِ قَوْمٌ حُدَثَاءُ الْأَسْنَانِ سُفَهَاءُ الْأَحْلَامِ يَقُولُونَ مِنْ خَيْرِ قَوْلِ الْبَرِيَّةِ يَمْرُقُونَ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ كَمَا يَمْرُقُ السَّهْمُ مِنْ الرَّمِيَّةِ لَا يُجَاوِزُ إِيمَانُهُمْ حَنَاجِرَهُمْ
In the last days, there will be young people with foolish dreams. They will say the best of words in creation but they will pass through Islam just as an arrow passes through its game. Their faith will not go beyond their throats.” Muttafaq Alayh
We will continue to see the violent call of the Khawarij appear again and again until the end of time when the False Messiah (Ad-Dajjal) appears among them. Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet repeated this and on the tenth time he said:
كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُمْ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ الدَّجَّالُ فِي بَقِيَّتِهِمْ
Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off until the False Messiah emerges from their remnants. Musnad
As such, in our times we are witnessing a number of conflicts between oppressive governments and rebel forces. Muslims are stuck between the spear of the ruler and the sword of the rebel. In such cases, we must remain patient and work to reform and improve our youths understanding of through education, preaching, and charity.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
تَكُونُ فِتْنَةٌ تَسْتَنْظِفُ الْعَرَبَ قَتْلَاهَا فِي النَّارِ اللِّسَانُ فِيهَا أَشَدُّ مِنْ وَقْعِ السَّيْفِ
There will be a tribulation that will wipe out the Arabs in which those killed on both sides are in the Hellfire. In that time the tongue will be stronger than the sword. Musnad
One important narration that comes to mind is the narration that was uttered by Abdullah Ibn Al-Khabbab Ibn Al-Arat who was a Tabi’, (whose father was one of the first 10 people, to enter Islam).
The Ibn Al-Khabbab incident needs to be put in to context with the khawarij. His caravan was stopped by the khawarij at his time and he and his female servant were taken as captives, she was pregnant with his child at the time. The reason for the capture was the khawarij asked him to narrate a hadith, Ibn Al-Khabbab narrated that: “…a fitnah will come where the one killed is better than his killer”. The Khawarij took it personal tied his hands up and took him and his servant with them.
It is along this route that two incidents happen, one of them is that a man from the Khawarij picks up a date from the floor, which had by chance fallen of a date tree owned by a Nasari man. As soon as he did that, another one of his band of men asked him to repent and pay the person back for that date which he took unlawfully. While that is happening another person sees a pig from the Christians and he kills it, and again someone from amongst them speaks out about it and condemns him for killing an animal that belongs to another man. So they seek the man to pay him back for the pig they unjustly killed.
All of this is happening while Ibn Al-Khabbab and his Malk-Yameen who is pregnant is watching, so he comments to the khawarij: “Is not the life of a Muslim, more important, than a Date or a Pig?”.
That enraged the khawarij even more, they dragged him and his pregnant servant to the middle of their village and they executed him like they would a sheep.
Side Note: For those familiar with capital punishment in Islam, they are aware that the punishment takes place from behind and not from the front of the executed, but the khawarij slaughtered Ibn Al-Khabbab like a sheep.
As for his pregnant servant, they cut her stomach open and took out the baby alive and then killed her and the baby.
Without getting in to the graphic details, the above story should be sufficient to anyone with a sound mind.
It was with this incident that they started their practice of slaughtering people like animals, and Allah is Who we seek shelter With.
Now there is this narration:
Nu’aym ibn Hammad narrates in the work “Al-Fitan”, that the 4th Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib said:
“When you see the black flags, remain where you are and do not move your hands or your feet. Thereafter there shall appear a feeble insignificant folk. Their hearts will be like fragments of iron. They will have the state. They will fulfil neither covenant nor agreement. They will call to the truth, but they will not be people of the truth. Their names will be parental attributions, and their aliases will be derived from towns. Their hair will be free-flowing like that of women. This situation will remain until they differ among themselves. Thereafter, Allah will bring forth the Truth through whomever He wills.”
It is often asked: Where did this narration come from and is the chain strong? These narrations above are related by Al-Bukhari’s teacher (Nu’aym bin Hamad) over one thousand two hundred years ago in his book Al-Fitan— this matn is very sound, also the isnad leading to Ali ibn Abu Talib is good, therefore because of the prophetical wording it is elevated to RasulAllah ﷺ as Ali was not a prophet nor could he see the ghayb.
In this text I hoped to stimulate the Muslim reader to further investigate the ahadith that I mentioned above. I also hope that the objective reader will be able to recognize hints of these traits that may be present in themselves, and that they are able to correct them, in sha Allah.
I myself was guilty, of not so much these very characteristics, but I was guilty of being overly critical of anything that did not conform to my shallow understanding of the deen.
It was only by meeting actual Ulama who pointed out these narrations and gave me the shurooh of them, that made me think twice about some of the positions that I had taken, mistakenly thinking I was protecting Islam, when in the contrary I needed protection of Islam.
What I found was, that with time and more knowledge I began to mature, and my opinions did not soften, rather they became more flexible because I started to understand matters better, my Arabic became better, my comprehension of the writings of the major scholars became better, my access to top teachers became better, the more time invested with the correct intention makes everything better, Alhamdulillah.
To this day, I deal with young, over zealous brothers who have that critical outlook and many of them if sincere in their pursuit of knowledge, will buckle when presented with proofs against what they believe to be the truth. That is a very important detail in all of this.
If your perception of reality is not straight and backed by evidences from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and you take your Aql over the Naql, then you too will end up on the wrong end of something.
It is very easy for someone who thinks that they have grasped the knowledge of Islam to be influenced by the sweet and enticing words of the ones that claim to be the saved sect or the protectors of women and children. It is an easy mistake to make, especially to those that have not grasped the rope of Allah fully. Someones zeal can be turned in to something that is evil, if they are only told one side of the story.
This is why we need to unerstand that learning does not stop, especially in this day and age, education is so easy and the shaitan has many more tools at hand to make us go astray, may Allah save us from the evil traps of men and jinn.
Once we grasp that what we know is nothing compared to what we do not know, we become humble and are then open to more knowledge. Whoever is not able to grasp the capacity of his own ignorance will be deceived by his subjective perception of knowledge. The people with the highest types of Kibr (Arrogance) are those that learn and then decide they have learnt it all and are now above their teachers, while the best of the people is the one that learns and keeps learning because he knows that his ignorance is never ending. The more you know the more you should know that you do not know.
Remember, the khawarij removed themselves away from the people of knowledge (the sahaba), and elevated amongst themselves their own companions to fill that gap, knowledgable ones were replaced by the intolerant, ignorant ones.
That gap will always be filled with the ignorant as long as the knowledgable ones are tarred and feathered.
We see it all around us, and this is not something that is attributed to Muslims only, the fanatical understanding is not solely owned by Islam. We see zionists committing great evils and christian fundamentalists burning down abortion clinics, we have tomes of encyclopedias written on the crusades that killed hundreds of thousands of inocents, all on a holy war to make christianity victorious.
The khawarij are a problem for Muslims, but the nature of their outlook on life and creed, and their misunderstood comprehension of the texts is prevalent across all the children of Adam.
The final thought is, we as Athari/Salafi Muslims, need to try and be a bit more tolerant of each other, and we must be able to recognize the broad spectrum of Muslims worldwide, and as much as we wish everyone would be like us, we must strive to be the people we wish our children to be.
As much as we want to oppose the tawagheet rulers and as much as we want to be “the ghuraba”, as much as we wish for the Shar of Allah to rule over us, we must also implement all of the teachings found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, we can’rt pick and chose what we think to be important, leaving the scholars aside, and we can’t give one matter a greater importance compared to another matter, when all of the matters and words said by our Messenger were important. Allahul Musta’an.
May Allah allow us to recognize the truth so that we can stick to it, and may Allah allow us to recognize the falsehood so that we can abstain from it.
Anything wrong in this paper is my own fault, and should be rejected. As for that correct statements, we need to accept them and adjust accordingly, in sha Allah.
والله تعالى أعلم
وصلى اللهم وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه والتابعين
أخوك أبو ناص