From the events we see in the daily news are increasing reports of Wahabi armed seditionists causing strife and bloodshed in different parts of the Muslim world. It is predicted that they have in fact murdered equal or more Muslims then the number killed at the hands of Non-Muslim enemies of Islam. These radical Maoist type bandits are usually brainwashed from one part of the Muslim world and then seek to migrate in desire of power and authority to other parts of the Muslim world where Muslims are poor and weak incapable of defending themselves. This is because only a minority of Muslims ever fall for their rhetoric and they can’t cause their anarchist dictatorship to succeed except by obtaining power and refuge in such places where their power of gun reigns. They group in secrecy to hatch plots and divisions among the community. Their terrorist activities are all being sanctioned using Islamic sounding fancy slogans as smokescreens.
Many are confused by these events where some perceive it as a new phenomenon and tend to make apologies for them by justifying it as an outcome of sociological factors like poverty and illiteracy. While other ignorant “born again” Muslims fall prey for their fancy slogans and cheer them, as they perceive them to be the “mujahideen” and supposed flag holders of true Islam. Such reactions continue to act as a shield in preventing the total elimination of these cultist anarchist cells.
The reality of these seditionists can be perceived by carefully studying the ways of the kharijite movements in past Islamic history. The precedent for all these groups walking in Muslim garb can be found in them. Don’t pay attention just to their outward slogans, because their slogans are just as what the fourth caliph of Islam Ali (radiallahu anhu) described: “A true word by which falsehood is intended”. Their strict outward show of adherence to Islam should also not be paid attention to, as they are as the khawarij were known to be, “The believers would consider their prayers and fasting insignificant to theirs” and “They read the Quran … and speak the best of words but their faith does not go beyond their throat”. Most of their ranks compose of young foolish ones not just unqualified to teach the religion but not even in acquisition of any educational degree in the religion. Their basis of sedition is most of the time based on extrapolating the sins committed by Muslims and thereby imputing sinning Muslims with actual disbelief itself. They have a general tendency of believing any means as valid in obtaining their goal, which is the reason for their lawless character and their concern for mere outward adherence and appearances.
Ibn Taymiya relates the traits of the khawarij: “There are two well-known and exclusive traits by which they parted from the community of Muslims and the Islamic state: their abondment of the Sunna and the act of declaring sinful that which is not a sin or declaring as good that which is not good. The second difference between the Kharijites and the remaining people of blameworthy innovation is that they declare people disbelievers over sins and misdeeds. Their imputation of disbelief on account of sins result in their making lawful the blood and wealth of the Muslims and declaring the abode of Islam an abode of war and only the land in their control the abode of faith.” [Majmua al fatawa, 19:72:73]
The tendency of the Khawarij to take control of powerless Muslim localities situated in remote areas using the threat of a gun to establish their self styled dictatorship, their false sense of asceticism and migration, can be seen precedent in the description of the khawarij related by Imam Ibn al Athir: “the Kharjites joined forces and gathered in the home of ‘Abd Allah b. Wahb al-Rasabi, where he addressed them and encouraged them to abstain from the delights of the world and to enjoin the good and to forbid the evil. Then he said, ‘Leave with us and let us abandon this city of oppressors and head for the mountains or some of the other cities, while detesting these blameworthy and misguided innovations’. Then they gathered in the house of Shurayh b. Awfa al-Abasi. Ibn Wahb said, addressing the gathering, ‘Let us come together and head for a land where we will carry out the law of God, for you are the people of the truth’. Shurayh said, ‘We would go to the various towns, enter them and expel their inhabitants.’ [al-Kamil fi al-tarikh, 3:213-214]
Such traits of the khawarij can be further seen from other historical references such as the one Ibn Kathir relates recounting a sermon delivered to the Kharijites by one Zayd b. Hisn al-Ta’I al-Sanbasi:
They… gathered in the house of Zayd b. Hisn al-Ta’I al-Sanbasi. He addressed them and encouraged them to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. He recited to them some select verses from the Qur’an, such as the statement of the Most High, ‘O David! Indeed, We have made you a vicegerent on the earth, so judge between people with truth and do not follow vain desires, lest they lead you astray from the path of God’ [Quran 38:36], and His statement, ‘And whoever does not judge by what God has revealed, then they are the disbelievers’. He went on to recite the similar verses that mention ‘they are the oppressors’ and ‘they are the corrupt’. Then he said, ‘I call the people of our call and qibla to beear witness that they [‘Ali and the community] have followed vain desires and cast the ruling of the Book [Qur’an] aside and acted unjustly in their words and deeds. And I call you to bear witness that it is incumbemt upon the believers to wage jihad against them’. Upon hearing this, a man amongst them by the name of ‘Abd Allah b. Sakhbara al-Sulami began to weep, then he [Zayd b. Hisn] started to rouse the, to revolt and said, ‘Strike their faces and sides with swords until the Most Compassionate and Merciful is obeyed. If you are victorious and God is obeyed as you wish, He will reward you with the recompense of those who obey Him and act upon His commands. And if you are killed, then what could be better than God’s good pleasure and paradise?’ [Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya, 7:286]
Imam Abu Bakr al-Ajurri wrote about the Kharijites in his book Kitab al-sharia and penned a chapter called, ‘On the Condemnation of the Kharijites and Their Evil Way, and the Permissibility of Killing them, and the Reward for the One Who Either Kills them or is Killed by Them’. He stated,
All the scholars of the past and the present agree that the Kharijites are an evil folk who disobey God, the Exalted and Sublime, and His Messenger – even if they pray and fast and strive in worship. None of that will avail them, despite their show of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. That is because they interpret the Qur’an according to their vain desires and pass it off on the Muslims. God, the Exalted and Sublime, the Prophet and the Rightly Guided Caliphs after the Prophet warned us of them, as did the Companions and those who followed them in excellence-may God have mercy upon them.
The Kharijites are a vile and despicable folk, as are the other sects that adhere to their doctrine and inherit their way, from those of the past to the present day. They revolt against the governments and declare lawful the murder of Muslims. The first of them to appear was during the time of the Messenger of God, and he was a man who accused the Prophet of injustice as he apportioned the war booty at Ja’rana. He said, ‘O Muhammed! Be just, for I don’t think you are acting fairly’. So the Messenger of God replied, ‘Woe to you! Who will be just if I am not just/’ ‘Umar wanted to kill him but the Prophet forbade him and said, ‘Leave him, for he has compatriots. You will belittle your prayers and fasting in comparison to theirs, but they shall pass through the religion just as an arrow passes through a hunted game’.
In several hadith reports the Prophet ordered that they be fought, and explained the virtue of the one who either kills or is killed by them. After their appearance they abandoned the various cities and gathered together, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, until they reached Medina and killed ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan. The Prophet’s Companions murder but were unsuccessful. Afterwards, the same people revolted against the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali b. Abi Talin, because they were displeased with his judgement, and raised their slogan, ‘There is no judgement but for God’. In response ‘Ali said, ‘A word of truth by which falsehood is intended’. Then ‘Ali fouht against them and God honoured him with slaying them. The Prophet informed us about the virtue of the one who either kills them or is killed by them. The Companions fought alongside ‘Ali, and as a result, ‘Ali’s sword against the Kharijites became a sword of truth until the Final Hour.
Therefore, if a Kharijite revolts against the government-whether the government is just or not-and gathers forces and unsheathes his sword, no one should be deceived by his efforts in reciting the Qur’an, praying lengthy prayers, engaging in constant fasts or his uttering of fine words regarding Sacred Knowledge, since his doctrine is that of the Kharijites.”
Therefore, understand these traits well and don’t be fooled by it, for the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him warned us that Dajjal would appear from among their ranks.
Note: Translation of quotes from original sources borrowed from the book “Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings” by Dr. Muhammed Tahirul Qadri.