Khawarej, singular Khariji, meaning "those that seceded" were members of the earliest sect in Islam.Kharijites, literally "those who went out"; is a general term embracing various Muslims who, while initially supporting the authority of the final Rashidin Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Taleb, the son-in-law and cousin of the prophet Muhammad, then later rejected his leadership. They first emerged in the late 7th century AD, concentrated in today's southern Iraq, and are distinct from Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims.The Khawarej were the first group of terrorists in Islamic history and that the current ideology of al-Qaeda and the Taliban are no different to the ancient Khawarej. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Ibn Baaz also declared Osama bin Laden as a Khariji.From their essentially political position, the Khawarej developed extreme doctrines that further set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims. The Khawarej were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death. The Khawarej were also known historically as the Shurah, literally meaning "the buyers" and understood within the context of Islamic scripture and philosophy to mean "those who have traded the mortal life for the afterlife, which, unlike the term Kharijite, was one that many Khawarej used to describe themselves.The differences between the Sunni, Shia, and the Khawarej are the following: Sunni Muslims believe that as a rightly guided Caliph, Ali's decisions did not justify any form of sedition. Shia Muslims believe that the Imamate (leadership) was the right of Ali, and the rule of the first three Rashidun caliphs (Abubakr, Omar bin al-Khattab, and Usman ibn Affan) was invalid. Khawarej insist that any Muslim could be a leader of the Muslim community and on the right to revolt against any ruler who deviated from their interpretation of Islam.The only surviving group of the Khawarej, the Ibaḍi of Oman, Zanzibar and North Africa, reject the "Kharijite" appellation and refer to themselves as ahl al-adl wa al-istiqama ("People of Justice and Uprightness"). One of the early Kharijite groups was the Haruriyya; it was notable for many reasons, among which was its ruling on the permissibility of women Imams and that a Haruri, Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, was the assassin of Caliph Alī.
Tags:Africa, Arabia, Ibn, Imamate, Iraq, Islam, Islamic, Khawarej, Muslim, Oman, Rashidun, Saudi, Saudi Arabia, Sheikh, Shia, Sunni, Taliban