Towards a better understanding of Islam

From: Shake Your Conscience

Beware ! Of the Kharijite Fitna (Trial) in the name of Islam


Beware of the Kharijite Fitnah in the Name of Islam!


The most dangerous sect in Islam are the Kharijites (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,Anti Christ (Dajjal). We must be aware of their ideology and characteristics in order to protect ourselves from unwittingly supporting their destructive behavior. The kharijites earned their name from the root “kha-ra-ja” meaning “to go out”, because they exited Islam and the Muslim community due to their heretical innovations.

The kharijite ideology is based upon the following evil tenets:

– Declaring Muslims to be unbelievers.

– Rejecting lawful obedience to the rulers.

– Justifying violence against Muslims and innocent people.

Regarding the first tenet, the correct Islamic belief is that no Muslim can become an unbeliever due to his sins alone. Imam At-Tahawi states: {…} “We do not excommunicate anyone who prays toward Mecca because of his 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.” (Source: Aqeedah At-Tahawi). A Muslim must explicitly disavow Islam in order to be properly considered an unbeliever as Imam at-tahawi states: {…} “A person does not leave faith except by disavowing what brought him into it.” (Source: Aqeedah At-Tahawi). But the Kharijites charge other Muslims with unbelief due to their sins or perceived sins in order to justify their merciless and criminal behavior towards them. Ibn taymiyyah writes:


“The kharijite sect was the first to declare Muslims to be unbelievers because of their sins. They charged as unbelievers whoever disagreed with their innovations and they made lawful the spilling of blood and the taking of wealth. This is the condition of people of innovation, that they invent some religious innovation and then they excommunicate whoever disagrees with them concerning it. Rather, the people of the Sunnah and the community follow the Book and the Sunnah and they obey Allah and His Messenger and follow the truth. They have mercy upon the creation.” (Source: Majmu’ Al-Fatawa 1/278)

True Muslims have mercy upon the entire creation, including unbelievers and idolaters, but the Kharijites 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 Kharijites to be the worst of Allah’s creation and said: {…} Indeed, they take verses that were revealed about unbelievers and use them against the believers.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 6531, Grade: Sahih). In the early period of Islam, they even declared Ali Ibn Abi Talib to be unbeliever when he intended to reconcile with Mu’awiyah.

The Kharijites 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. However, the truth is that much of these matters are left open to interpretation and consultation among the Muslims. In fact, the Prophet commanded us to distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people and not to claim our opinions as the rulings of Allah. Buraida reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would appoint a commander over the army, he would personally enjoin him to fear Allah and to be good with the Muslims who were with him. The Prophet would say:


“When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not give them protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet but rather give them protection in the name of you and your companions. Verily, for you to violate the protection of yourself and your companions is a lesser sin than to violate the protection of Allah and His Messenger. When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal  for you to bring them out according to the rule of Allah, do not bring them out according to the rule of Allah but rather bring them out according to your ruling. Verily, you do not know if you will judge with the ruling of Allah concerning them or not.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1731, Grade: Sahih)

Thus, Muslims must distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people. Yet the Kharijites, who make no such distinction, will charge other Muslims with unbelief who disagree with their views. In fact, the kharijites do not simply declare Muslims to be unbelievers in a theoretical way, but rather they call for violent rebellion against entire Muslim societies.

Regarding the second tenet that is about the Muslim rulers, the correct Islamic belief is that we must obey them in all lawful matters. We should disobey them only 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. Umm Salamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “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: {…} “No, as long as they pray.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1854, Grade: Sahih). Thus, as long as Muslims are allowed to pray and practice the pillars of Islam, rebellion against the rulers will not be justified. However, the Kharijites rebel against the rulers not to protect religion, but for inexcusable worldly reasons.

In general, Muslims must work to reform societies through non-violent methods such as teaching, preaching, and charity. Violence is only the last resort. The Kharijites, on the other hand, charge Muslim leaders with disbelief and those also who do 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.” (Source: Sahih Muslim 1848, Grade: Sahih)

This narration succinctly describes the characteristics of the kharijites and their violent behavior. They reject lawful obedience to Muslim leaders and they fight according to their tribal zeal, which means that they are not concerned with justice for their victims. They attack both the righteous and the wicked, and they do not honor covenants of security and the protection of civilians. In our times, you will see them target markets, bus stations, airports, and other places frequented by unarmed civilians. The purpose of such attacks is not to achieve any immediate military objectives, but rather to spread terror among the population and destabilize the government. Thus, they follow the same path as the first Kharijites in the early period of Islam.

Ibn Kathir writes: {…} “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.” (Source: Al-Bidayah Wa Nihayah 10/584). Wherever they appear, the kharijites 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 seize the Caliphate.

Wahb Ibn Munabbih said:


“I knew the early period of Islam. By Allah, the Kharijites never had a group except that Allah caused it to split due to their evil condition. Never did one of them proclaim his opinion except that Allah caused his neck to be struck. Never did the Muslim nation unite upon a man from the Kharijites. If Allah had allowed the opinion of the Kharijites to take root, the earth would have been corrupted, the roadways would have been cut off, the Hajj pilgrimage to the sacred house of Allah would have been cut off, and the affair of Islam would have returned to ignorance until the people would seek refuge in the mountains as they had done in the time of ignorance. If there were to arise among them ten or twenty men, there would not be a man among them except that he would claim the Caliphate for himself. With each men among them would be ten thousand others, all of them fighting each other and charging each other with unbelief until even the believer would fear for himself, his religion, his life, his family, his wealth, and he would not know where to travel or with whom he should be.” (Source: Ta’reekh Dimshaq 69290)

Nevertheless, the Kharijites have been successful recruiting ignorant or desperate Muslims. The Prophet describes 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: {…} “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.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 4770, Grade Muttafaqun Alayhi). Their “foolish dreams” are their promises of an Islamic Utopia, a glorious jihad, a new Caliphate that will bring honor and strength back to the Muslims. Yet, their dreams are unrealistic and their methodologies dangerous to the very people they claim to be helping. Their understanding of faith is so shallow, superficial, and hypocritical that they cause even greater harm to Muslim community. Like their predecessors, their preaching and propaganda entices people to join their cause but by their actions they are the worst of creation, even though they recite the Quran and call to Islam. They bring forth verses of the Quran to bolster their arguments but wield them against the objectives of Islam.

Sa’eed Ibn Jubair reported: We were met by Abdullah Ibn Umar and we hoped that he would narrate to us a good saying. A man approached him and he said, “O Abu Abdur Rahman, tell us about fighting during times of persecution as Allah said: And fight until there is no more persecution.” (2:193). Ibn Umar said: {…} “Do you know what persecution is? May your mother be bereaved of you! Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, only fought the idolaters as there was persecution for practicing their religion. It was not like your fighting for the sake of ruling.” (Source: Sahih Bukhari 6682, Grade: Sahih). The purpose of a just war in Islam is to end religious persecution and to protect innocent people, yet the Kharijites use such verses to further persecute Muslims and to justify their worldly ambitions of political power.

World will keep witnessing the violent call of the Kharijites appearing again and again until the end of time when the False Messiah appears among them. They follow the same Satanic forces from which will emerge the greatest tribulation and suffering ever faced by humanity. Abdullah Ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “There will emerge from the east some people from my nation who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off.” The prophet repeated this and on the tenth time he said: {…} “Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off until the False Messiah emerges from their remnants.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad 27767, Grade: Sahih). As such, in our times we are witnessing a number of conflicts between oppressive governments and rebel Kharijite 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 communities through education, preaching, and charity.

Abdullah Ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: {…} “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.” (Source: Musnad Ahmad 6941, Grade: Sahih). If we are not careful, we might fall into the sins of either side of the conflict by legitimizing the misdeeds of an oppressive government or justifying acts of terrorism in response. We should not rush to support one or the other side in such conflicts as they are tribulations (fitnah) in which the truth is unclear. Therefore, we must be patient, resist calls for violence, and avoid getting involved in these conflicts. If we are patient, it will not be long before Allah will give us a way out. But if we call for violence, then Allah will heap more violence upon us. Haan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said: {…} “If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush to their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah, not even for a single day did they bring about any good.” (Source: Tabaqat Al-Kubra 8789)

Satan intends to use the alluring call of the Kharijites as a means to drag us into the Hellfire. We have to resist them by upholding the true teachings of Islam: mercy with the creation, patience, with hardship, justice with our enemies. The Kharijites intend to impress us by their outward displays of faith, but inwardly they have no faith. It is only by understanding the true spirit of Islam in both its inward and outward teachings that we can save ourselves, our children, and our communities or societies from falling under the influence of their dangerous ideology.

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