Category Archives: History

Cheraman Juma Masjid – The First Masjid in India

Cheraman Masjid - Modern Structure

What??: Cheraman Juma Masjid – The First Mosque in India

Established??: 619 AD (circa 7th Century AD)

Where??: Kodungallur, Thrissur District, Kerala, India

Nearest Railway Station: Irinjalakuda (16 Kilometres)

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport (28 Kilometres)

Distance from (by road):
Cochin: 43 Kilometres
Bangalore: 512 Kilometres
Mumbai: 1503 Kilometres
Hyderabad: 1094 Kilometres


Cheraman Masjid - Old Structure


Legend of a king abdicating his throne to vindicate his certitude is a glorious chapter in any history. There are a number of regional and tribal variations on the tradition of Cheraman Perumal, his abdication of throne to convert to Islam and subsequent pilgrimage to Mecca. The most accepted and popular version is as follows.

Cheraman Perumal, the reigning King of Kerala, with Kodungallur as its capital, once experienced an unusual dream of the new moon being split into two halves at the horizon. His Court astrologers could not give him a satisfactory explanation. Later when a group of Arab traders on their way to Ceylon met the Perumal, he mentioned about his dream. They explained that this could probably be the miracle Prophet performed at Arabia (see: Holy Qur’an-54:1-5).

This explanation convinced him and he decided to embrace Islam. His decision to leave for Mecca was kept a secret. He divided his land and assigned various territories to local chieftains to ensure smooth governance. He then left for Mecca, met the prophet and embraced Islam. He spent some years there and while returning home, fell ill and died at Dhufar in Oman. Before his death, he wrote letters to local rulers of Malabar and handed them to his friends. Later, when Malik Bin Dinar and his companions reached Kodungallur, the letters were handed over to the ruling chieftains. They were given permission to construct mosques in different places. The first mosque in India was thus constructed at Kodungallur and Malik Bin Dinar himself was the first Ghazi of this “Cheraman Masjid”. After a while he appointed his relative Habib Bin Malik as the Ghazi at Cheraman Masjid and traveled across the length and breadth of Kerala. He established different Mosques in different parts of Kerala. Later, he left for Arabia where he died. It is believed that the old tombs now at Cheraman Mosque belong to Habib Bin Malik and his wife Khumarriah.


Musris as it was called in ancient days; Kodungallur is only an appendix in history today. lt was the cradle of Kerala culture centuries ago. Dating back to even 400BC it was a vibrant emporium of trade with East and West. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) called her “Primum Emorium Indiae” – the most important Indian port. Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Persian and Chinese were here in Musiris. Muchiripattanam, referred to in Valmiki Ramayana is just another pointer to its antiquity.

Augustus Caesar (63 BC –14 AD) had built a temple and protected it by two cohorts at Kodungallur to protect his trade interests. St. Thomas landed here in AD52 and Jews fleeing Jerusalem in AD 69 from the pogrom by Caesar Titus found a haven at Kodungallur. For more than 3000 years, Kerala had a flourishing maritime trade. The merchants from all over the then known world flocked in attracted by the spices, condiments, jewels and various flora and fauna of this ancient land. Even before 800 BC navigators of China and Arabia knew the nature and the trade potential of the monsoon winds. Indian maritime traders were using the monsoon winds to reach Babylon as early as 700 BC.

Teakwood from Kerala has been identified in the Moon-Attur temple of Mesopotamia and in the 6th century BC Palaces of Nebuchadnezzar. There are details about the spices of Kerala in the Holy books of Jews. Etymologists have noticed interesting phonetic similarities in mercantile nomenclature of ancient Tamil, Greek and Arabic words. The Malayalam words like ‘Karpooram’ and “Inji” became “Carpion and Ginger”. The Tamil word “Arisi” metamorphosed to rice (English) through Orisi (Greek). William Logan has identified Keralite colonies in Arabia and in the Island of Secrota in the Gulf of Aden. Some historians like Strobow, found close similarities in the social customs of Nairs of Kerala and some tribes of Arabia. It was around 900 BC Queen Sheba presented the spices of Kerala to King Solomon.

Total absence of reliable historical records makes early history of Kerala a bundle of myths and legends. The intense dynastic struggle that existed then, culminated in the election of a ruler called Perumals. The political scene in Kerala is clearer only after the abdication of the last of the Perumals, Cheraman Perumal. The European period (1498-1947) begins with the landing of Vasco de Gama at Kappad near Kozhicode in 1498. Hyder Ali’s invasion of Malabar in 1766 had tremendous influence in the socio-political scene of Kerala. The reign of Tipu Sultan was the beginning of the long and torturous road to the empowerment of the common man. The fall of Mysore in 1792 placed India into the colonial hands and the Kerala society into yet another period of social and economic “Dark Age” forcing Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), a century later, to utter his famous observation on Kerala as “a lunatic asylum “. The upper caste atrocities with the connivance of the British were so suffocating that there were about 300 anti-British peasant rebellions between the fall of Tipu (1750-1799) and the Malabar Rebellion (1921).

Malabar rebellion of 1921 had great impact in Kerala Islamic history especially that of Kodungallur Muslims. The Ulemas of Malabar found a perfect haven at Kodungallur to escape police atrocities during the rebellion. The receptive minds of the affluent Muslims of Kodungallur amalgamated with the progressive and intellectual brains of the Ulema created a chain of events resulting in the formation of an organization called “Muslim Aikya Sangham” in 1923 at Eriyad, Kodungallur. .

Aikya Sangham and its ideologies were well accepted by the community. Thus under the aegis of Aikya Sangham a total of 1497 schools were started in Muslim dominant areas of Cochin and Malabar. They reformed Madrasa syllabus and modernized Madrasas with benches, desks, black boards. They supplied books, slates and pencils and other study materials free to all students. Mid-day meal at a regular basis was started and all these were open to students of all castes and creed. They encouraged the Muslim community to accept government scholarships and established scholarships of their own. Female literacy was promoted with great emphasis. They were instrumental in establishing a system where Arabic Munshis (teachers) were to be appointed by the government in Muslim dominant areas. The result had far reaching effects. By the time the nation became independent the general literacy of Muslims of Kodungallur was almost at par with that of general population and Muslim female literacy was far ahead of the national Muslim average. It is interesting to note that the village of Eriyad, Kodungallur from where Aikya Sangam originated, has the largest number of Muslim lady doctors now. It is also to be noted that when only a few affluent families were literate in Muslim Community, the general and secular literacy has percolated to the grass root level at Kodungallur even at the beginning of the 20th century. To this great achievement the community is indebted to the vision, courage, and commitment of leaders like, Kottapurath Seethi Mohammed Sahib, Manapat Kunhumohamed Haji, Janab Seethi Sahib and other leaders of Aikya Sangham.Janab Mohamed Abdurahman Sahib was a great leader of Freedom movement and Janab K.M. Ibrahim Sahib son of Seethi Mohamed Sahib and younger brother of Seethi Sahib was a great parliamentarian. Dr P.K. Abdul Gafoor, the founder President of M.E.S is also from Kodungallur.


The Oral tradition is that Cheraman Perumal, when he was convinced of his imminent death, wrote letters to his relatives in Kerala among whom he had partitioned his kingdom before leaving for Mecca. These letters were handed over to his companions. After a while, when Malik Dinar came to Kerala, he brought the letters written by Perumal. In his letter he had asked his relatives “to receive the bearers of the letter and to treat them well”. The rulers of Kerala honoured the letter and permitted Malik Ibn Dinar and his fellow Arab Muslim traders to establish mosques at different places of Kerala. This mosque at Kodungallur is the first to be established. Kerala Vyasan Kunhikuttan Thampuran (1864-1913) is of the opinion that a defunct Buddha vihar was handed over to the nascent Muslims to establish a mosque there.

Inside the Cheraman Juma Masjid

It is believed that the mosque was first renovated or reconstructed sometime in the 11th Century AD and later again 300 years ago. The last renovation was done in 1974 when, as a result of increase in the population of the believers, an extension was constructed demolishing the front part of the mosque. The ancient part of the mosque including the sanctum sanctorum was left untouched and is still preserved. Another extension was made in 1994 to accommodate the ever increasing number of believers. When yet another extension to the mosque was needed in 2001 it was decided to reconstruct this in the model of the old mosque.

Cheraman Masjid Old Pulpit

It is a matter of great pride that devotees and substantial number of pilgrims are from non-Muslim communities. The Mohalla Committees have encouraged this and the secular credentials of the mosque are dearly preserved. Offerings of Iftar during the fasting month of Ramzan are being made by the non-Muslim communities. Many non-Muslim devotees are conducting “Vidhyarambham” of their children at the mosque. .


There are about 1500 families registered as members with a total population of about 10000 members. The management of the affairs of the Mosque is vested in a Committee elected by the general body of the adult members of the Mohalla as per its bye-law for a period of two years..


The site where St. Thomas landed in 52 AD is just 5 kms from the mosque and the famous Bhagavathy temple is only two kms. The Mahadeva temple and the old palaces of the Chera kings are just 250 yards away. Kodungallur (10.3N-76E) is now the headquarters of the Kodungallur taluk of Thrissur District. People are friendly and helpful. There are long stretches of clean sandy beaches with vast areas of backwaters at Kodungallur. Hotel beds are comfortable and affordable. Most people can manage English.


Sayyid Ahmad Shaheed & the Ulama’-e-Soo’

[By Brother Dr Abu Tamim (May Allah Ta’ala Enlighten his Grave)]

Sayyid Abu’l Hasan ‘Ali al-Nadwi (rahmatullah alayh) writes in “Sayyid Ahmad Shahid” about the British intrigues and techniques to defeat the Jihad of Sayyid Ahmad (rahmatullah alayh). 

He states on pg.106: “The British, however, were not slow to realize that any attempt to stamp out the reformist movement by persecution alone was bound to fan the zeal of the Muslim populace to flame and array the whole community on their side. The ruling circles held the view that all attempts by the Muslims to return to the first principles of their faith involved a revolt against the ruling power. (Indian Musalmans, p.76)

And nothing could suit the purpose better than to defame the Sayyid as a prophet preaching a new religion (Indian Musalmans, pp. 51-54) and his followers as ‘Wahhabis’ who had, by that time been sufficiently besmirched by the Orientalists (Carsten Nisbuhr’s Description de la Arabia) and hired clerics (‘Ulama) and were looked down upon by the illiterate Muslim masses of India as sacrilegious barbarians. 

A counter propaganda against the followers of the Sayyid was started and fataawa against the Jihad against the British were obtained and circulated (Rajendra Prasad; Indian Divided, p. 94. Also see Calcutta Review and the article “Wahabeeism” by Reilly in the Times, London, dated Feb 27 and Mar 1, 1871), some of which have been quoted by Hunter (Indian Musalmans, p. 147).”

Then the Shaykh gives the names of some of the scholars who gave fatawa and ran a smear campaign against the Sayyid. These are:

Nawab Abdul Latif of Calcutta.

Maulwi Karamat ‘Ali Kajgavi of Jaunpur (Raafidhi Shi’a).

Not to be mistaken for Hadrat Mawlana Karamat ‘Ali Jaunpuri who was a follower of Sayyid Ahmad.

Maulwi Chirag ‘Ali (Aligarh Movement).

Maulwi Nazir Ahmad (Urdu Litterateur and Hanafi ‘Alim).

Maulwi Fadl Rasul Badayuni (Hanafi Mubtadi’ and British agent).

Maulwi Muhammad Husain Batalvi (Ahl Hadith).

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (Apostate). (Names mentioned in book end here)

In addition to this, some other scholars who opposed the Movement of Sayyid Ahmad (rahimahullah) were:

Syed Ahmed Khan (Modernist).

Maulwi Nazir Husain Dehlawi (Ahl Hadith).

Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan (Ahl Hadith).

Brief Introduction to the Islamic Calendar

The Islamic calendar is based on lunar months, which begin when a thin new crescent Moon is actually sighted in the western sky after sunset within a day or so after the New Moon. Hence, the month is either 29 days or 30 days. There are 12 months in an Islamic year, which is either 354 days long or 355 days long, compared to (Gregorian) civil calendar year of 365 or 366 days. Since the Islamic Lunar year has 12 lunar months, it is on an average, 11 days shorter than the (Gregorian) civil year, the Islamic year shifts earlier in each civil year by about 11 days. The 12 months of the Islamic calendar are:



Rabi’ al-Awwal

Rabi’ al-Thaani

Jumada al-‘Ula (also known as Jumada al-Awwal)

Jumada al-Ukhra (also known as Jumada al-Thaani)





Dhu al-Qa’dah

Dhu al-Hijjah

The Islamic (Hijri) calendar year is usually abbreviated A.H. in Western languages from the latinized Anno Hegirae or more commonly known as “After Hijrah.”

It was during Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) last pilgrimage in the 10th year of Hijrah (10th year of his migration from Makkah to Madinah), that the decision to introduce a purely lunar Islamic Calendar was made. The word Hijrah has often been misrepresented by many writers Muslims and non-Muslim alike. It means neither flight nor fleeing. The Arabic word Hajara means: to break off from the relations or abandon one’s own tribe.

Although, the Islamic calendar was introduced in the Christian Era of 632 AD by the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the beginning of the Islamic era for the count of Islamic years was considered and discussed during 639 AD, the time of the 4th year of the Caliphate of Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) who declared that the most important event in establishing the roots of Islam in Madinah is Hijrah (Messenger’s migration from Makkah), therefore let it become the epoch of the era which happened in 622 AD. The actual starting date for the Islamic Calendar was chosen (on the basis of purely lunar years, counting backwards) to be the first day of the first month (1st Muharram) of the year of the Hijrah. However, the era between 1styear to 10th year of the Hijrah was not following this Islamic Calendar; instead the prevailing practices of various kinds of intercalation was followed in Arabia at that time. Different tribes were following different intercalations, so there was no uniform calendar. Accordingly, first day of Muharram, 1 A.H. as practiced in Arabia corresponded either April 18 or May 18, 622 C.E. (Julian calendar). However, if one wants a theoretical starting date for Islamic calendar (on the basis of purely lunar months without intercalation, counting backwards) then the first day of the first month i.e. 1st Muharram, 1 A.H. corresponds to July 16, 622 C.E.

The earliest date of Islamic calendar for which a Julian calendar date is exactly known is 9th Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 AH, which corresponds to March 6, 632 C.E. (Friday), when the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed his last and farewell pilgrimage to Makkah.

Life Sketch of Syed Ahmed Shaheed (rahimahullah)

By Maulana Syed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi (rahimahullah)

It  is  a  strange  and  inexplicable  phenomena  of  Muslim history  that  whenever  sincere  efforts  have  been  made  for revival  of  Islamic  tenets  extraordinary  results  have  come  to be  seen  in  its  three  branches,  viz.,  faith,  (righteous)  deeds and  morals  and  such  examples  of  courage  and  fortitude, integrity  and  probity,  sympathy  and  service,  justice  and equality,  affection  and  compassion,  fidelity  and  self-sacrifice were  witnessed  which  were  forgotten  for  a  long  duration  of time  and  there appeared  to  be  no  hope  of  their  coming  up again.

These  winds  of  change  blew  at  different  times of  history. Sometimes  for  long  and  sometimes  for  short  periods.  But  authentic  records  of  such  revivalist  movements  have  been preserved  for  posterity.

Such  a  change  came  about  in  India  at  the  beginning of  thirteenth  century  Hijri  when  Syed  Ahmed  Shaheed  raised the  banner  of  faith  and  ‘jihad’  which  brought  to  mind  the memories  of  early  Islamic  history.

Syed  Ahmed  Shaheed  based  his  movement  on  the  simple and  pristine  faith  of  the  earliest  times  and  instilled  a  spirit of  belief  and  ‘jihad’  and  organised  a  large  body  of  warriors and  preachers.

He  established  the  centre  of  his  activities  in  the  north-west  region  with  the  ultimate  object  of  expelling  Englishmen (British  Imperialists)  from  India  and  setting  up  a  theocratic state.  The  ‘mujahidin’  as  they  were  called,  inflicted  many crushing  defeats  on  the  trained  Sikh army  in  various  battles and  to  begin  with,  laid  down  the  foundation  of  Islamic Rulership in  North-West  Frontier,  established  revenue  and  Civil  Courts at  different  places.  But  the  local  misguided  villagers  fell upon them  as  it  were  under  a  pre-meditated  plan  and  murdered most  of  them  in  cold  blood.

The  Amir, Syed Ahmed, Maulana Muhammad  Ismail and other  indefatigable  ‘mujahidin’  laid  down  their  lives  in  the battlefield  of  Balakot  for  the  sake  of  Islam  and  ‘shariat’  and With  their  martyrdom,  the  hope  of  an  Islamic  Nation also  died out like  the  last  flicker  of a  dying  flame  as  a  result  of persistent perfidy  of  certain  tribal  heads,  their  internal  feuds,  self-invented  conventions  and  petty  rivalries.

The  surviving  followers  established  themselves  at different places and kept the flame  of faith  and  ‘jihad’  burning. But  the  Englishmen  pursued  and  subjected  these  valiant ‘mujahidin’  to  merciless  cruelties,  atrocities  and  oppression. Their  properties  were  confiscated  and  some  of  them  were sent  to  the  gallows  and  some  were  sentenced  to  life imprisonment.  But  these  intrepid  ‘mujahidin’  braved  these persecutions  and  prosecutions  with  magnanimous  courage and  unflinching  and  axiomatic  faith  in  their  mission.  They lived  and  died  for  propagation  of  Islam  and  preservation  of ‘shariat’  and  left  a  shining  example  of  devotion  and  sacrifice for  the  coming  generations  and  showed  that these  ideals  have to  be  propagated  and  preserved  at  all  costs  and  no  sacrifice is  too  great  in  the  way  of  Islam  and  ‘shariat’  be  it  wealth or  life.

But  the  messenger  and  those  who  believe  with him  strive  with  their  wealth  and  their  lives.  Such are  they  for  whom  are  the  good  things.  Such  are they  who  are  the  successful.” [Surah  at-Tauba: 88]

[Syed  Abul  Hasan  Ali  Nadwi,
Dar-e-‘Arafat (Rae  Bareli), 14th  April,  1974. 20th  Rabi-ul Awwal.  1394 A.H.]

The  Pitiable  Conditions  of  Muslims  in  thirteenth Century  India

The  political,  religious  and  moral  condition  of  Muslims in  lndia  in  the  thirteenth  century  Hijri  (the  end  of  eighteenth and  beginning  of  nineteenth  century  C.E.)  had  come  down to  rock  bottom.  The  Mughal  Empire  had  disintegrated  and East  India  Company  and  its  allies  swayed  over  various  parts of  India.  The  remaining  parts  were  held  by  petty  rulers  and  sardars.  The  Mughal  King,  Shah  ‘Alam,  was  a  figure-head. The  whole  of  South  India  was  at  the  mercy  of  Marathas. The  Punjab  and  part  of  Afghanistan  were  ruled  by  the  Sikhs. The  capital,  Delhi  and  adjoining  areas  were  the  target  of Maratha  and  Sikh  forays.  The  political  credibility  of  the Muslims  was  at  a  low  ebb.  They  had  no  leader  who  could unite  them.  They  were  weak  and anybody  could  harass  them at  will.

The  moral  fabric  of  the  Muslim  society  was  shattered and  many  sinful  and  heretic  practices  had  become  a  fashion and  people  used  to  pride  over  them.  The  use  of  alcohol  was not  uncommon,  the  high  and  low  revelled  in  wild  orgies.  The morality  and  sense  of  shame  had  lost  their  importance  with some  people;  many  Muslim  women  had  entered  the European  households.

The  polytheistic  and  heretic  rites  had  infiltrated  in  the “millat”.  The  Muslims  had  acquired  such  beliefs  for  which the  Jews,  Christians  and  infidel  Arabs  had  earned  the  wrath of  Allah.  Many  un-Islamic  and  Shiite  rituals  had  entered  the ‘sunni’  society  and  most  of  its  members  had  lost  sight  of ‘shariat’:  The  Islamic  traditions  were  being  forsaken.  The injunctions  of  Glorious  Qur’an  and  ‘traditions’  were  not observed  even  in  literate  and  respectable  Muslim  families. The  widow  re-marriage,  daughter’s  share  in  property  and traditional  greetings  were  under  taboo  by  social  conventions. The  same  way,  the  obligatory  duty  of  Hajj  was  dropped  on the  pretext  of  anarchic  and  disorderly  conditions.  The Glorious  Qur’an  was  thought  to  be  a  riddle  not  to  be understood  or  impossible  to  be  explained  by  the  uninitiated and  it  was  considered  a  ‘forbidden  tree’. 

But  it  would  not  be correct  to  presume  that the  thirteenth century  was  all  unenlightened  or devoid  of  learning,  religious activity,  spiritual  life  or  there  was  no  pursuit  of  knowledge. The  earlier  part  of  thirteenth  century  is  historic  for  Islam  and Muslims  in  India.  There  were  such  erudite  scholars  that  it would  not  be  easy  to  find  their equals  anywhere else,  scholars who  were  unique  for  their  profound  knowledge  and understanding  of Traditions  of the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  geniuses  in  the  fields  of  literature  and  poetry,  tutors  with encyclopaedic  knowledge  and  sufis  and  mystics  of  high  order were  all  there.  There  was  a  net-work  of  schools  and monasteries (khanqah)  and  ‘ulama’  who were busy  in  teaching and  preaching,  writing  and  compiling,  the  schools  and ‘ khanqah’  were  full  of  students  and  disciples  (murid)  in  those days.

It cannot  however,  be  denied  that  the  store  of knowledge,  which  their  predecessors  had  built  up  was  being depleted  for  want  of  replenishment.  There  was  no  further addition  and  no  progress.  There  were  geniuses  in  different branches  of  learning  but  their  energies  were  being  frittered away  for  want  of  purpose  in  life.  The  noble  qualities  of fortitude  and  bravery, sense  of  shame  and  ambition  were being  wasted  for  contemplible  ends  and  epicurism  was  the order  of  the  day.  There  were  scattered  sages  and  geniuses but  no  organised  body  as  such.  The  life  had  lost  its  moorings and  there  was  no  trace  of  any  useful  and  popular  movement.

There  was  an  urgent  need  for  such  a  person  or  body of  persons  who  would  utilise  the  talents  of  these  persons and  give  them  a  direction.  who  would  popularise  the  ecstasy of  “khanqah”  and  the  light  of  learning  of  the  schools.  The ‘Ulama’  who  would  ride  the  chargers  and  the  ‘mujahid’  who would  enkindle  the  flame  of  love  of  Allah,  provide  warmth to  the  low-spirited  and  enliven  the  spirit  of  religion  from  one end  of  the  country  to  the  other,  who  would  put  to  good  use the  inherent  talent  of  the  Muslims;  who  would  have  foresight; who  would  not  consider  anything  useless;  who  would  have the  healing-touch  of  a  christ;  who  would  be  the  epitome  of all  such  qualities  which  go  to  make  one  an  ‘imam’  of  his time.  This  was  the  singular  honour  for  which  Syed  Ahmed (rahimahullah) was  the  most  suitable  person  in  the  galaxy  of  ‘ulama’  and sages.  We  are  narrating  in  this article  the  selected  facts  and tales  of  his  tenacity  of  purpose,  impact  on  Muslim  society and  revolutionary  changes  which  he  brought  about  during his  life  time.

The  Family

Shaikh-ul-Islam Syed Qutubuddin  Muhammad al-Madani was  the  son  of  Syed  Rashid-ud-Din,  who  was  the  twelfth descendant  of  Muhammad  Zu  Nafs  Zakiyya  Shahid,  grandson  of  Hazrat  Hasan.  Shaikh-ul-lslam  Syed  Qutubuddin  was a  high-minded  sage  and  a  pious  man  who  was  endowed  with courage  and  spirit  of  ‘jihad’  along  with  erudite  knowledge and  piety.  He  came  to  India  with  a  party  of  ‘mujahidin’ through  Ghazni  and  conquered  Kara  (in  Allahabad)  where he  settled,  died  and  lies  buried.  The  scions  of  Shaikh Qutubuddin  had  inherited  qualities  of  leadership,  self-possession.  abstinence  and  piety.  There  was  one  sage  Hazrat Shah  ‘Alamullah  in  the  descendants  of  Syed  Qutubuddin during  the  reign  of  Aurangzeb  Alamgir.  He  was  ‘authorised’ (majaz)  by  Hazrat  Syed  Adam  Binnori,  one  of  the  ‘khalifa’  of  Hazrat  Mujaddid  Alf  Sani.  He  was  very  pious  and  staunch  ‘traditionalist’.  He  died  in  1096  (1684)  and  was  buried  at Daerah  (Rae  BareIi)  which  he  had  founded.

The  Birth

Syed  Ahmed  was  the  fifth  descendant  of  Shah ‘Alamullah.  He  was  born  in  1201  (Nov.  1786).  His  father’s name  was  Syed  Muhammad  lrfan  and  grandfather’s  Syed Muhammad  Nur.  At  the  age  of  four  he  was  enrolled  in  a ‘maktab’.  But  he  was  not  disposed  to  learning  and  did  not make  any  progress  in  book  lore  despite  the  best  of  efforts. He  was fond  of manful  sports  and soldiership  from  childhood. When  he  reached  adolescence  he  used  to  attend  on  the  old, infirm  and  widowed  in  the  manner  the  elders used  to  wonder at  it.  He  was  very  fond  of  prayers  and  ‘zikr’.

To  Lucknow  In  Search  Of  Livelihood

His  father  Maulana  Muhammad  lrfan  breathed  his  last when  he  was  only  twelve  years  old.  The  conditions  warranted that  he  should  shoulder  the  responsibility  of  maintenance  of the  family,  and  look  for  livelihood.  He  went  to  Lucknow  with seven  other  relations  in  search  of  a  job.  The  distance  from Rae  Bareli  is  seventy  eight  km.  They  had  one  mount  and they  used  to  ride  it  in  turn.  But  Syed  Sahib  used  to  insist on  others  to  ride  at  his  turn  and  preferred  to  walk.  He  looked after  his  companions  throughout  the  journey  and  reached Lucknow.  Nawab  Sa’adat  Ali  was  the  Ruler  at  that  time.  He was  an  ambitious  and  able  administrator.  But  inspite  of  that except  for  a  few  jagirdars  and  big  businessmen  there  was unemployment  and  poverty.  Everyone  busied  himself  in looking  for  a  job  in  Lucknow,  But  it  was  difficult  to  find  one. lnspite  of  hard  work  and  day-long  labour  they  had  to  be content  with  a  frugal  and  insufficient  meal.  Syed  Sahib  was staying  with  a  nobleman  who  had  high  regard  for  his  family. But  he  used  to  feed  the  rich-fare  he  used  to  get  from  the host  to  his  companions  and  he  was  content  with  potluck.

Under The  Tutelage  Of  Shah  Abdul  Aziz (rahimahullah)

He  passed  four  months  under  difficult  conditions.  Once the  ruler  went  for  shooting  and  the  nobleman  with  whom Syed  Sahib  was  staying  went  with  the  entourage.  Syed  Sahib with  his  companions  went  with  the  party  and  attended  on the  co-travellers.  He  had  to  undergo  many  hardships  in  this safari.  Syed  Sahib  tried  to  persuade  his  companions  to proceed  to  Delhi  and  profit  from  Shah  ‘Abdul  Aziz  but  to no  avail. 

Ultimately  he  went  to  Delhi  by  himself. He  travelled  the  entire  distance  on  foot,  served  the travellers  on  way  but  continued  the  journey  most  of  the  time thirsty  and  hungry  and  reached  Delhi  after  many  days.  When he  reached  Delhi  he  had  blisters  in  his  feet  on  account  of continuous walking.  He  presented  himself before  Shah  Abdul Aziz. Shah  Abdul  Aziz  knew  the  family  well.  He  expressed great  pleasure  on  introduction  and  after usual  formalities  sent him  to  his  brother  Shah  Abdul  Kadir. He  acquired  such  competence  in  ‘contemplative sciences’  in  a  very  short  span  of  time  which  others  normally  attain  after  hard  and  strenuous  endeavour  -ranging  over  a long  time. 

He  was  ordained  (khalifa)  and  permitted  to  go to  Rae  Bareli.  He  stayed  here  for  two  years  during  which period  he  married  also.

Joins  The  Army  Of Amir  Khan

He  needed  actual  fighting  experience  to  perfect  the  art of  ‘jihad’  for  which  he  was  destined  and  which  was  his  main object  in  life.

He  went  to  Delhi  again  in  1226  (1811)  and  at  the instance  of  Shah  Abdul  Aziz  joined  the  army  of  Amir  Khan who  was  engaged  in  armed  struggle  in  Malwa  and  Rajasthan. He  tried  to  divert  his  struggle  and  contain  the  ascending English  power.  Amir  Khan  was  an  ambitious  Afghan  soldier of  fortune,  who  had  collected  a  good  number  of  valiant  and adventurous  fighters  around  him.  He  was  a  power  to  reckon with  and  the  rulers  sometimes  requisitioned  his  services.  The Englishmen  too  could  not  ignore  him.

Syed Sahib served  Amir  Khan  for  six  years.  He  continued his  prayers  and  preachings  along  with  his  duties  with  the result  that  the  entire  camp  became  a  centre  of  preaching. The  armymen  greatly  benefited  from  it  and  there  was  a marked  change  in  the  life  of  Amir  Khan  himself.

Return  To  Delhi

When  Amir  Khan,  compelled  by  circumstances  and disloyalty  of  some  of  his  close  associates  sought  truce  with Englishmen,  Syed  Sahib  opposed  it,  but  when  he  eventually signed  the  treaty  and  accepted  the  State  of  Tonk.  He  was disheartened  and  left  for  Delhi.

This  time  a  large  number  of  people  gathered  around him  and  two  eminent  persons of  the  family  of Shah  Waliullah, Maulana  Abdul  Hai  and  Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail  were initiated  (bai’at).  Because  of  these  two  renowned  ‘ulama’  the great  and  small,  ‘ulama’  and  ‘mashaikh’  thronged  around  him in  multitude,  and  his  popularity  increased  day  by  day.  He started  preaching  around  Delhi  and  went  to  Muzaffamagar, Saharanpur and  other  historical  places,  which  had  produced great  men  and  were  inhabited  by  ‘ulama’  and  nobility-the cities  like  Rampur,  Bareilly,  Shahjahanpur,  etc.,  where hundreds  of  people  were  ‘initiated’  and  they  recanted  and abandoned  polytheislic  and  heretic  practices.  Haji  Abdul Rahim,  who  was  one  of  the  famous  ‘mashaikh’  of  his  time came  for  ‘initiation’  with  thousands  of  his  disciples.  This  tour proved  very  auspicious  for  the  entire  region.  It  is  said  on authority  that  whenever  he  stayed  even  for  a  short  time the  obligatory  (farz)  prayers  (in  mosques)  were  re-established, religious  beliefs  were  revived,  ‘sunnat’  were  restored,  the  zeal for Islamic  tenets  was  renewed  and  above  all  people developed  a  dislike  for  polytheistic,  heretic  and  Shiite practices.  Maulana  Abdul  Hai  and Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail were  with  him  in  this  tour,  lot  of  people  benefited  from  their sermons  and  lives  of  many  people  were  revolutionized.

Back  To  Home  Town

He  came  back  home  to  Rae  Bareli.  The  entire  region was  then  in  the  grip  of  a  famine  and  there  was  scarcity  and suffering,  poverty  and  privation  and  he  had  over  a  hundred persons  to  feed.  But  there  was  an  atmosphere  of  Shekinah and  absolute  faith  in  Allah.  There  were  great  scholars  and sufis  with  him  and  everyone,  inspite  of  his  scholarly  learning used  to  profit  from  him  and  he  used  to  be  busy  in  serving the  people.  This  small  hamlet  was  a  crowded  monastery (khanqah),  a religious  school  and  a  training  ground  for  ‘jihad’. It  was  a  time  of  great  delight  and  ecstasy  though  full  of hardships.  He  also  visited  Allahabad,  Benares,  Kanpur  and Sultanpur during this  period  and  people came  to  him  in  groups for  ‘bai’at’.

The  Visit  To  Lucknow

There  was  a  good  number  of  Pathans  in  Lucknow Cantonment  who  were  devotees  of  Syed  Sahib’  and  his ancestors,  of  whom  Nawab  Faqir  Muhammad  Khan  is  worth mentioning.  He  undertook  this  journey  to  Lucknow,  with about  one  hundred  and  seventy  disciples,  at  the  request  of these  people  for  their  reformation.  Maulana  Abdul  Hai  and Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail  were  with  him  in  this  tour  also. Nawab  Ghaziuddin  Haider  was  the  Ruler  and  Nawab Mo’tamad-ud-Dowlah  Agha  Mir  was  his  Minister  at  that  time. But  there  was  chaos  and  disorder,  repression  and  injustice in  the  State.  The  high  and  mighty  indulged  in  epicureanism and  sensualism.  It  was  the  spring  time  of  merry-making, amusement  and  fun.  But  at  the  same  time  there  were  some people  who  were  amenable  to  good  counsel  and  they  had regard  and  respect  for  the  greatness  of  religion.  The  city was  the  centre  of  scholars  and  sages  and  the  select  among the  nobility  from  outlying  areas  had  also  emigrated  here. There  were  many  pearls  of  the  first  water  in  the  masses awaiting  the  master-touch  of  a  wonder-worker.

Syed  Sahib  and  his  companions  stayed  on  the  western bank  of  Gomti  near  Shah  Pir  Muhammad  mosque.  The  day he  reached  there,  people  started  coming  in  great  number and  they  used  to  mill  around  the  place  from  morning  till  night. The  successive  and  persuasive  sermons  of  Maulana Muhammad  Ismail  had great effect  on  the  local  people.  These sermons  changed  the  lives  of  thousands  of  people.  They came,  recanted and started a  new  life.  The  people of  Lucknow greatly  benefited  spiritually  by  the  visit  of  Syed  Sahib  and his  blessed  party  during  this  short  stay.  The  great  savants and  sages  used  to  visit  and  enter  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’.  Maulana Abdul  Hai  and  Maulana  Muhammad  lsmail delivered sermons every  Friday  and  members  of different  fraternities  (biradaris) became  the  disciple  (murid)  of Syed  Sahib  and  recanted  from polytheism  and  heresies  (bid’at).  There  were  innumerable feasts  and  many  works  of  wonder  (karamat)  were  witnessed during  this  time.  The  polytheism  and  heresies  were  reduced to  the  minimum  and  those addicted  to  crimes  and  wickedness recanted.  The  government  was  perturbed  at  the  popularity of  Syed  Sahib,  specially  at  the  relinquishment  of  Shiite practices.  He  was  warned  but  he  continued  his  preachings and  invited  people  to  the  true  religion  with  determination and  grit.

He  returned  to  his  home  town  after  one  month  and during  this  period  he  felt  the  urgent  need  for  ‘jihad’  in  view of  the  oppressions  over  Muslims  in  the  Punjab  and  became restless  for  it.  Whenever  he  saw  a  youngman  of  strong physique,  he  would  say,  “He  is good  for  our cause.”  He  would often  wear  arms  so  that  other  people  may  realise  their importance.  He  would  hold  mock-battles, target  practice  and display  of  martial  arts  and  soldiership.

The  Hajj

During  this  period  along  with  other  tenets  of  Islam,  the fundamental  tenet  like  Hajj  was  abandoned  or  neglected  on account  of  the juristic  excuse  of  insecurity  on  way.  A  few  so  called  ‘ulama’  had  given  a  judicial  decree  (fatwa)  for  it to  be  dropped.  Syed  Sahib  wanted  to  stop  this  practice  and preached  the  obligatory  nature  of  Hajj  himself  with  great force.  He  considered  it  necessary  to  take  practical  steps  to revive  it  and  went  for  Hajj  with  a  number  of  savants  and distinguished  persons.  He  asked  his  disciples  to  write  letters to  different  places  on  the  indispensability  of  Hajj,  with  the result  that  a  large  number  of  pilgrims  collected  at  this declaration  and  invitation  for  it.  He  started  with  four-hundred pilgrims  on  2nd  July,  1821.  after  Id  prayers  (ld-ul-Fitr) from
his  home  town.

He  went  to  Dalmau  from  Rae  Bareli  and  from  there he  went  to  Calcutta  by  boat.  On  way  Maulana  Abdul  Hai and  Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail  and  other  savants  in  the caravan  delivered  sermons  in  which  polytheism  and  heresies were  countered  and  correct  beliefs  and  virtuous  deeds  were restituted.  Thousands  of  men  and  women  entered  the  fold of  ‘bai’at’.  It  is  said  that  not  a  single  Muslim  was  left  as  the entire  city  of  Mirzapur  entered  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’  and thousands  of  Muslims  in  Benares  including  the  savants  and sages  came  for  bai’at  with  the  result  that  polytheistic  and heretic  practices  were  hit  hard.  He  reached  Patna  via Ghazipur  and  Danapur  and  stayed  there  for  two  weeks. During  his  stay  importance  of  ‘shariat’  was  emphasised  and heresies  were  denounced  with  vigour.  He  sent  a  few  Tibetan nationals  to Tibet  from  Azimabad  for  preaching  and the effect of  their  efforts  was  felt  in  China  also.  He  reached  Calcutta from  Azimabad  and  stayed  there  for  three  months.  Calcutta was  the  seat  of  the  British  Government  and  the  biggest  city of  lndia.  He  brought  about  a  religious  revolution  there.  The heads  of  different  families  and  fraternities  (biradari)  declared to  their  families  and  fellow  brothers  that  those  who  do  not enter  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’  of  Syed  Sahib  and  do  not  stick  to ‘shariat’  would  be  boycotted.  The  people  lined  before  the halting  place  of  Syed  Sahib  at  this  announcement.  The  pubs and  dens  of  vice  were  deserted.  The  grand-children  of  Tipu Sultan,  whose ancestors had good  relations with  the ancestors of Syed  Sahib greatly  benefited  by his  advices.  He  left  Calcutta for  Hajj  pilgrimage  with  seven  hundred  and  seventy  five persons.  The  rush  of  on-lookers  was  so  great  that  the  roads were  blocked  with  Muslims  and  non-Muslims  and  it  was difficult  for  pedestrians  to  pass  through  the  crowd.  The caravan  reached  Jeddah  on  16th  May,  1822,  stopping  and preaching  at  every  port  and  coastal  region  on  way.  He entered  the  Haram’  on  21st  May,  1822.

The  people  of  this  holy  place  also  took  advantage  of his  presence. The  ‘imam’  of  the Grand  Mosque  and  the  Grand ‘ Mufti’  of  Makkah  became  his  disciples  (murid)  and  the chief tains  and  noblemen  of  other  Muslim  states  profited  from him.  He  passed  the  month  of  fasting  in  Makkah.  During  the period  of  Hajj  he  took  a  vow  (bai’at)  for  ‘jihad’  from  his companions  at  ‘Aqba-e-Ula’  -the  place  where  Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan)  had  taken  the  vow  (bai’at) from  ‘Ansar’  and  which  later  became  the  basis  of  his emigration  to  Madinah.

He  went  to  Madinah  from  Makkah.  There  also  savants and  sages,  high  and  low  crowded  round  him  in  great numbers. He  returned  to  Makkah,  passed  the  second  month  of  fasting there,  performed  Hajj  for  the  second  time  and  returned  to Rae  Bareli  on  30th  April,  1824.

The  Pre-Occupation  At  Home  Town

He  stayed  at  Rae  Bareli  from  30th  April,  1824  to  17th January,  1826 -for  one  year  and  ten  months.  It  was  his last  stay  in  his  home  town.  He  occupied  himself  with preaching  and  inducing  others  for  ‘jihad’  which  included practical  training–both  spiritual  and  physical  of  the companions.  This  period  was  full  of  rigorous  performance of  religious  duties,  asceticism  and  vigorous  work.  The  life was  simple  and  spiritual,  austere  and  disciplined.  The  entire village  (Daera  Shah  Alamullah)  was  full  of life  and  high  spirits.

Need  For  Emigration

The  pitiable  condition  of  the  Muslim  scholars  and helpless  position  in  which  Islam  was  placed  at  that  time  was clear  to  Syed  Sahib.  He  was  a  spectator to  the  over-whelming influence  of  un-lslamic  powers,  specially  intolerable  tyranny to  which  the  Muslims  in  the  Punjab  were  subjected.  The  entire community  was  living  a  serf-like  life  of  distrust  and  disrespect, disappointment  and  discomfiture.  Their  property  was  being confiscated  on  trivial  grounds.  The  chambers  in  the  famous Shahi  Mosque  of  Lahore  were  being  used  as  stables.  There was  restriction  on  azan  and  Islamic  practices  at  many  places and  Muslims  had  become  despondent  and  restless  with  this contemptible  treatment.

In  this  big  border  province which was  inhabited by martial community  (Pathans)  among  Muslims  and  where  they  had clear  majority  this  disgrace  and  subordination  under  a  non-Muslim  power,  which  was  inimical  to  them,  could  not  be allowed  to  remain  as  such.  It  was  a  permanent  danger  for Delhi,  whole  of  north-west  India,  and  Afghanistan.  It  was far-sightedness  and  political  acumen  of  Syed  Sahib  and  his companions  that  they  realised  this  danger  and  made  the Punjab  the  centre  of  their  crusading  activities.

The  rise  of  British  power  in  India,  internecine  feuds among  Muslims  and  the  resultant  dispersion  and  decline  of Islamic  influence  disturbed  him.  Raising  the  ‘Voice  of  Truth’ and  need  for  liberation  of  Islamic  lands  made  a  demand  for ‘jihad’  from  all  duty-conscious  and  self-respecting  Muslims. In  his  opinion  ‘jihad’  was  an  important  part  of  religion  and he  considered  emigration  as  the  first  step  towards  it.  Because under  the  prevailing  conditions  ‘jihad’  was  difficult  without emigration.  The  clear  verses  of  the  Glorious  Qur’an  and Traditions  incited  him  for  ‘jihad’  and  love  of  Allah  and  Divine Pleasure  excited  him  to  act  and  he  made  a  firm  determination for  it.

Though  his  main  object  was  India  is  clear  from  several letters  which  he wrote  to different Heads  of States  and  Muslim Rulers  in  and  outside  India.  Maharaja  Ranjit  Singh  had established  his  rule  in  the  Punjab  and  the  Muslims  were tyrannised, that  is  why  they  needed  immediate  help.  Besides. in  view  of  military  strategy  and  political  expediency  it  was necessary  to start  this  movement  from  north-west  India  which was  the  centre  of  powerful  and  zealous  Afghan  tribes.  Then some  of  their  families  and  relations  were  his  disciples  (murid) and  respected  him.  They  promised  help  and  co-operation  for this  purpose.  Moreover.  other  Muslim  countries  extended right  up  to  Turkey.  He  was  preparing  himself  and  his companions  for  ‘jihad’  from  the  very  beginning.

The  Emigration

He  bid  adieu  to  his  home  town  Rae  Bareli  on  17th January,  1826.  The  caravan  passed  through  plains  and deserts,  hills  and  dales,  forests  and  rivers,  mountains  and passes  and  covered  United  Provinces,  parts  of  Malwa, Rajasthan,  Baluchistan  and  North-West  Frontier  to  reach Afghanistan  which  was  in  itself  an  arduous  task.  They  had to  undergo  various  hardships,  hunger  and  thirst,  because  of shortage  of  provisions  and  water,  fear  of  highway  robbers. They  passed  through  new  places,  encountered  unfamiliar dialects  and  strange  people,  some  courteous  and  some contemptuous,  faced  their  doubts  and  suspicions,  their curiosities  and  dose  enquiries,  prying  and  spying,  etc.  They endured  all  these  odd  situations  on  their  way.  The  caravan consisted  of  noblemen,  saints and  sages,  rich  and  enthusiastic youngmen,  weak  and  infirm,  but  full  of  zest  for  ‘jihad’  and consisted  of  six  hundred  ‘mujahadin’.

He  stopped  at  Dalmau,  Fatehpur,  Banda,  Jalon, Gwalior,  Tonk  and  he  was  welcomed  at  every  place  and people  became  his disciples  (murid).  The  Maharaja  of  Gwalior asked  for  an  audience  and  he  presented  gifts.  He  went  to Tonk  from  Gwalior.  The  Nawab  of  Tonk  received  him  with great  enthusiasm  (Syed  Sahib  had  served  in  his  army  for  six years  at Tonk)  and saw  him  off.  He  reached  Hyderabad  (Sind) via  Ajmer,  Pali  and  through  toilsome  desert  of  Marwar.  On way  thousands of  men  and  women entered  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’ and  many  persons  accompanied  him.  Sind  was  under  the rule  of  independent  rulers,  who  were  members  of  a  family and  lacs  of  warriors  and  war-veterans  lived  in  their  territories. There  were great  many  ‘aulia’  who  had  disciples  all  over Sind. They  welcomed  Syed  Sahib  and  assured  all  help.  The  Ruler of  Sind,  Mir  Muhammad  and  the  elite  received  him  with  open arms.

He  stayed  at  Hyderabad  (Slnd)  for  a  week  and  went  to Pirkot  and  stayed  there  for  two  weeks  and  then  went  to Shikarpur  and  met  the  respectable  and  prominent  persons. of  the  place.  He  went  to  Chhatarbagh  and  Dhadhar  from Shikarpur.  On  way  he  stayed  at  many  places  and  invited the  people  for  ‘jihad’.  The  savants,  sufis  and  citizens  paid their  homage  to  him.  He  journeyed  through  the  narrow  and perilous  Bolan  Pass  with  the  entire· caravan.  It  is  a  natural gorge  which  has  been  carved  by  denudation  for  strong  willed  conquerors  and  the needy  passersby  in  the  long  chain of  mountains  which  separate  India  from  Afghanistan.  He reached  Shal  (Quetta)  through  Bolan  Pass.  The  Chief of Shal paid  him  great  respect  and  many  ‘ulama’  became  his  murid.

In  Afghanistan

He  went  to  Kandahar.  The  Barakzai  brothers  ruled  over Afghanistan  during  this  period,  who  were  called  Durranis. Purdil  Khan  ruled  over  Kandahar.  Mir  Mohammad  Khan  over Ghazni,  Dost  Muhammad  Khan  and Sultan  Muhammad  Khan over  Kabul  and  Yar  Muhammad  Khan  over  Peshawar.  But there  was  no love  lost between  them and  they  used  to engage in  family  feuds  most  of  the  time.  The  main  purpose  of  this visit  was  to  unite  these  brothers  and prepare  them  for  ‘jihad’ against  the  enemies  of  Islam.

When  he  reached  Kandahar,  the  ruler  received  him  and thousands  of  ‘ulama’,  noblemen  and  other  persons  came  out of  the  town  on  foot  to  welcome  him.  The  roads  were  jampacked  with  people.  He  stayed  in  Kandahar  for  four  days. Everybody  was  ready  and  willing  to  join  him  for  ‘jihad.’  He went  to  Ghazni  from  Kandahar.  About  four  hundred  learned men,  students  and  sages  from  monasteries  (khanqah)  came to  him  eager  for  ‘jihad.’  He  selected  two  hundred  and  seventy persons  and  took  them  with  him.  He  informed  Mir Muhammad  Khan  of  Ghazni  and  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan of  Kabul,  of  his  arrival  and  the  purpose  of  his  visit  and  asked for  their  cooperation.  When  he  reached  Ghazni,  rich  and learned  persons  came  about  three  miles  out  of  the  town  on foot  to  receive  him.  He  encamped  near  the  mausoleum  of Sultan  Mahmood  Ghaznavi  and  lot  of  people  entered  the fold  of  ‘bai’at’.

He  stayed  at  Ghazni  for  two  days  and  left  for  Kabul. The  rich,  the  elite and  thousands of common  people  received him  outside  the  town.  The  cloud  of  dust  raised  by  the  horses and  crowd  blinded  everything.  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan came out  to  receive  him  with  his  three  brothers  and  fifty  horsemen. He  stayed  in  Kabul  for  one-and-a-half  months.  He  spoke about  reforms  and  ‘jihad’  most  of  the  time.  The  elite  and the  commonmen,  profited  by  his  preachings  finding  the  faithlifting  atmosphere,  burning  desire  for  ‘jihad’  and  the  will  to lay  down  their  lives  in  the  ‘Way  of  Allah’  the  people  joined the  blessed  caravan.  He  did  his  best  to  bring  reconciliation between  the  Barakzai  brothers  but  he  did  not  succeed.  He left  for  Peshawar.  The  people  used  to  receive  him  with  great enthusiasm  all  through  the  journey.  He  exhorted  the  people for  ‘jihad’  on  way  and  reached  Nowshera.  He  made  the ‘jihad.’ beginning  of  the  highly  desired  object  and  a  great  divine worship  which  was  the  culmination  of  years  of  preaching and  striving  and  the  chief  purpose  of  this  strenuous  journey.

The  Battle  Of Akora

He  asked  in  a  despatch  from  Nowshera  to  the  Ruler of  Lahore  to  embrace  Islam  in  the  first  instance  or  accept suzerainty  of  Islam  and  pay  ‘jizya’  and  in  case  of  non-acceptance  of  these  terms  threatened  him  with  war.  He  also wrote  that  probably  you  may  not  have  that  love  for  liquor which  we  have  for  martyrdom.  The  Ruler  of  Lahore  sent a  big  Sikh  army  in  reply  to  this  notification.  The  moment he  received  the  news  he  made  preparations  for  ‘jihad.’  The ‘ mujahidin’  were  overjoyed  with  an  opportunity  for  ‘jihad’ and  everyone of them was  brimming over with  the  high  spirits of  martyrdom.  The  ‘mujahidin’  were  seven  hundred  and  the enemy strength was estimated at seven  thousand armed  men. The  handful  ‘mujahidin’  confronted  their  ten  times  strong enemy  at  midnight  on  20th  Dec.,  1826.  The  ‘mujahidin’ fought  with  their  heart  and  soul  and  the  enemy  fell  back. By  dawn  they  were  routed  and  put  to  flight.  This  victory inspired  the  Muslims,  the  tribal  chiefs,  ‘ulama’  and  elite  came to  enter  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’  at  the  hands  of  Syed  Sahib.  The people  had  confidence  in  him  now.  He  made  peace  in between  warring  tribal  chiefs.  Khadi  Khan  of  Hund  fort became  his  disciple  and  Syed  Sahib  stayed  at  Hund  fort  for three  months  at  his  request.

The  Raid  On  Hazru

The  local  people  expressed  their  desire  to  make  a  dawn attack  on  Hazru  which  was  a  big  trading  centre  in  the  Sikh territory.  Syed  Sahib  permitted  it,  but  he  did  not  participate in  it.  The  raiders  committed  many  irregularities  in  taking  the spoils  of  war.  They  did  not  heed  the  instructions  given  by Syed  Sahib.  They  did  whatever  they  liked  without  regard  to any  rules.  The  ‘ulama’  among  the  ‘mujahidin’  unanimously decided  that  the  most  important  and  the  foremost  task  is to  appoint  an  ‘imam’  and  ‘amir’  so  that  the  ‘jihad’  be  carried out  under  his  leadership  and  command.

Then  on  13th  January.  1827  at  Hund  ‘bai’at’  for ‘ imamat”  and  ‘khilafa’  was  carried  through  at  the  hands  of Syed  Sahib  unanimously.  Khadi  Khan, Ashraf  Khan, Fateh Khan, Bahram  Khan,  and  the  big  and  small  chiefs  came  to him  for  ‘bai’at’  on  both  the  counts.  Besides the  ‘ulama  of India  also  accepted  his  “imamat”  Syed  Sahib  issued  letters for  ‘bai’at’  and  ‘imamat”  to  all  the  chiefs,  rulers,  savants  and sages  of  India.  The  Rulers  of  Peshawar  and  Kabul  Yar Muhammad  Khan  and  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  came  with a  big  party  for  bai’at on  seeing  his  piety  and  popularity. He  promulgated  laws  of  ‘shariat’  after  election  as  “amir”  and issued  ordinances  based  on  ‘shariat’  all  around.  The judgements  in  Darul  Qaza  were  being  delivered  according to  ‘shariat  now.  The  result  of  this  superintendence  (ihtisab) was  that  no  non-praying  Muslims  were  found  in  the  whole area-far and  near.

The  Battle  Of  Saidu  And  Poisoning

The  whole  region  had  become  united  as  a  single  unit under  lhe  “imamat”  and  “khilafat”  of  Syed  Sahib.  The suzerainty  of  big  and  small  landlords  came  to  an  end  and they  became  envious  though  they  entered  the  fold  of  ‘bai’at’ compelled  by  circumstances.  But  they  were  boiling  within their  hearts  for  vengeance  and  were  in  league  with  the  Sikh government  at  Lahore.

There  were  several  skirmishes  with  the  Sikh  army.  The local  landlords  who  were  outwardly  with  Syed  Sahib  but  at heart  with  the  Sikhs,  expressed  their  desire  to  make  an organised  and  final  stand  against  the  Sikhs. The  plain  of Saidu was  selected  at  the  instance  of  the  local  landlords.  When the  preparations  for  it  were  in  full  swing  somebody  poisoned the  food.  The  local  people  and  some  others  from  outlying areas  were  with  the  Muslim  army  including  the  landlords  and their  troops.  The  Muslim  army  had  the  upper  hand  and  on the  point  of  winning  the  battle  then  all  of  a  sudden  the  chiefs of  Peshawar  joined  hands  with  the  Sikhs.  Yar  Muhammad Khan deserted  with  his  troops.  The  ‘mujahidin’ were left  alone to  fight  the  Sikhs  –rather  the  Sikhs  and  the  deserters.

At  Panjtar

In  view  of  the  changed  circumstances  Syed  Sahib  shifted to  Panjtar  from  Hund  at  the  request  of  Fateh  Khan,  ruler of  Panjtar  and  made  it  Lhe  centre  of  his  activities.  Panjtar is  a  secure  place  situated  in  the  mountains  of  Swat  and  it remained  the  headquarter  of  the  ‘mujahidin’  for  quite  a  long time.  It  was  an  Islamic  camp  and  centre  of  preaching  and reforms.  This  mountainous  fastness  was  a  solemn  place  of which  every  nook  and  corner  was  crammed  with  ‘mujahidin · and  devotees  who  were  most  of  lhe  time  busy  in  recitation of  the  Glorious  Qur’an-‘zikr’,  preparation  for  ‘jihad’  and  there was  an  atmosphere  and  spirit  of  fellow-feeling  and friendliness.  service  and  sacrifice.

Khadi  Khan  became  very  apprehensive  with  Panjtar being  the  headquarter,  he  turned  jealous  and  prejudiced  against Syed  Sahib  and  wanted  to  harm  his  cause.  The  unexpected tum  of  events  at  Saidu  did  not  dishearten  Syed  Sahib  and did  not  in  any  way  affect  his  dedication  to  his  mission.  He went to Buner,  Swat and  Hazara.  The  lour was very successful so  far  as  preaching,  reformation  and  preparation  for  ‘jihad’ were  concerned.  He  went  to  Khar  which  is  the  centre  of Swat.  He  stayed  there  for  one  ‘year.  Maulana  Abdul  Hai passed  away  during  this  period.  He  was  ‘Shaikhul-lslam’  of the  Muslim  army  (mujahidin)  and Syed  Sahib had  high  regards for  him.

Encounter  With  The  French  General

General  Ventura,  a  French  General  in  the  services  of Maharaja  Ranjit  Singh,  attacked  the  ‘mujahidin’  with  an  army of  about  ten  to  twelve  thousand  and  helped  Khadi  Khan  of Hund.  General  Ventura  retreated  under  fierce  attack  by  the ‘mujahidin’  who  fought  with  zeal  for  ‘jihad’  and  fondness  of martyrdom.  He  returned  to  Lahore  after  this  defeat discomfited.  He  took  the  field  again  after  a  few  months  and advanced  towards  Sammah.  Khadi  Khan  welcomed  him  and secretly  helped  him.  Syed  Sahib  wrote  letters  to  the responsible  persons  of  that  region  and  informed  them  of General Ventura’s  adventure, and  organised a  line  of defence. The  ‘mujahidin’  took  a  vow  to  fight  to  the  last.  When  General Ventura  saw  that  the  ‘mujahidin’  have  taken  up  positions of  vantage  in  the  hills  and  passes  he  again  retreated  out  of fear.  When  the  local  people  saw  the  steadfastness  of  ‘mujahidin’  and  signs  of  Divine  help,  they  came  for  ‘bai’at’ in  groups.  Syed  Sahib  also  went  round  the  villages  and strengthened  the  system  of  ‘shariat.’  Khadi  Khan  conspired with  the  enemies  inspite  of  instructions  and  warning  to  desist from  it.  Syed Sahib  attacked  the  Hund  fort  and  seized  it  under compulsion.  Khadi  Khan  lost  his  life  in  the  battle.

The  Battle  Of  Zaida

Amir  Khan,  brother  of  Khadi  Khan.  joined  hands  with Yar  Muhammad  Khan  at  whose  instance  Syed  Sahib  was poisoned  at  Saidu.  Syed  Sahib  spoke  to  Yar  Muhammad Khan  and  asked  him  not  to  create  dissension  and  discord.

However,  he  launched  an  attack  on  the  ‘mujahidin’  at  Zaida. The  Durrani  army  was  driven  back by the  ‘mujahidin ·  because of  their  firmness  and  resolute  stand  and  they  captured  their cannons.  The  defeated  army  retreated  in  disorder,  Yar Muhammad  Khan  was  killed.  The  routed  Durrani  army attacked  the  Hund  fort  which  was  under  the  control  of ‘ mujahidin.’  They  were  fifty  or  so  in  number  but  they  fought with  undaunted  courage and determination  and  repulSed  their attack  and  this  attempt  also  ended  in  fiasco.

The  news,  somehow  got  circulated  that  the  ‘mujahidin’ intended  to  attack  Peshawar  which  was  in  the  hands  of  the Durranis.  They,  therefore,  left  Peshawar.  The  ‘mujahidin’ seized  Ashra  and  Amb  in  the  meantime.

Syed  Sahib  thought  of  advancing  towards  Kashmir  and for  it,  it  was  necessary  to  seize  Phuira.  He  sent  an  expedition under  the  command  of  his  nephew,  Syed  Ahmed  Ali.  The Sikhs  attacked  them  from  an  ambush  and  many  ‘mujahidin’ lost  their  lives  including  Syed  Ahmed  Ali.  Syed  Sahib  camped at  Amb,  enforced  the  system  of  ‘shariat’  and  initiated reformation  of  society.

The  Battle  Of  Mayar

Sultan  Muhammad  Khan decided  to  fight  a  decisive  battle with  the  ‘mujahidin. He  collected  a  big  army  of  Durranis and  for  this  end  in  view  he  reached  Charsadda  via  Chamkani. Syed  Sahib  also  camped  at  Toru  with  ‘mujahidin.  He  did his  best  to  prevent  the  chiefs  of  Peshawar  from  this  fraternal feud.  But  they  did  not value  this  spirit  of  reconciliation.  Sultan Muhammad  Khan  and  his  relations  swore  by  the  Glorious Qur’an  to  fight to  the  last.  The  entire army  passed  underneath the  Glorious  Qur’an  which  was  hung  in  a  gate.  There  was much  blood-shed  at  the  battle-field  of  Mayar  which  lies between  Toru  and  Hoti.  Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail  and Shaikh  Wali  Muhammad  seized  their  artillery.  The  Durranis turned  tail and  left  the  field  in  shambles  and  the  mujahidin· emerged  victorious.  The  mujahidin’  demonstrated  such fortitude  and  heroism,  courage  of  conviction  and  devotion to  duly  and  penchant  for  the  ‘coming  world’  that  it  reminded of  the  heroic  deeds  of  early  Muslims.

The  Triumphant  Entry  in  Peshawar

Syed  Sahib advanced  towards  Peshawar after the  victory of  Mayar  which  was  an  important  city  after  Kabul  and  Lahore in  north-west  and the  capital  of  North-West  Frontier  Province for  a  long  time.  The  circumstances  compelled  him  to  take over  Peshawar.  When Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  felt  sure  that the  ‘mujahidin’  have  decided  to  annex  Peshawar  he  left  it with  members of his  family  and  started  negotiations  with  Syed Sahib.  When  Syed Sahib entered  Peshawar,  the  people  were very  happy.  They  illuminated  the  city  and  provided  sherbet at  different  places.  The  ‘mujahidin’  demonstrated  the  spirit of  true  Islamic  virtue  and  training,  probity and circumspection. Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  offered to  make  peace,  promised fidelity  and  vowed  that  if  Peshawar  be  given  back  to  him, he  would  enforce  ‘shariat’  laws  and  convert  the  region  into an  Islamic  one.  Syed  Sahib  had  not  undertaken  this expedition  for  territorial  conquest  but  to  establish  Islamic government  and  to  enforce  ‘shariat.  He,  therefore,  accepted the  offer  and  gave  him  one  more  chance.  Peshawar  was handed  back  to  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  and  Syed  Sahib left  for  Panjtar.

The  Massacre  Of  ‘Quzat’

The  tribal chiefs,  specially  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  and worldly-minded  ‘ulama’  realised  that  enforcement  of  Islamic laws  and  ‘shariat·  and  appointment  of  revenue  collectors would  be  against  their  personal  interests  and  result  in  loss of  their  income.  They,  therefore,  decided  to  get  rid  of  them.

Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  prepared  a  scheme  to  ‘defame the  ‘mujahidin’  among  the  elite  and  the  common man  a  little after  he  was  handed  over  Peshawar.  He  obtained  the signatures  of  a  few  ‘ulama  on  a  ‘fatwa that  the  beliefs  of the  ‘mujahidin’  are  perverse  (fasid).  He  prepared  a  scheme to  murder  all  the  ‘Quzat’.  revenue  collectors  and  censors (muhtasib)  appointed  by  Syed Sahib  at  one  time  in  the  region of  Peshawar  and  Sammah  except  Panjtar.  They  were murdered  in  a  ruthless  manner  –somebody  was  killed  while praying  in  the  mosque  and  somebody  while  defending himself.  The  oppressors  did  not  heed  the  supplications  of ‘ ulama’,  womenfolk  and  non-Muslims  too.  The  ‘mujahidin’ who  were  thus  put  to death  were  the  choicest pick  from  India and  were  the  product  of  years  of  hard  training.

The  Second  Emigration

Syed  Sahib  lost  heart  with  this  merciless  killing  of innocent  ‘mujahidin.’  He  was  so  heart-broken  with  the infidelity,  thanklessness,  oppression  and  barbarism  of  the local  people  that  he  decided  to  emigrate  from  there.  He collected  the  ‘ulama’  and  the  chiefs,  investigated  the  reason for  this  heart-rending  incident,  placed  before  them  the  chief aim  of  his  visit  and  his  efforts  in  this  regard.  When  he  realised that  his  companions  were  innocent  and  oppressed  and  the entire  blame  for  this  massacre  lay on  the  local  people.  he finally  decided  to  emigrate.

When  the  ‘ulama’  and  those  persons  who  were  sincere at  heart  got  wind  of  emigration  they  grew  anxious  and  came to  Syed  Sahib  in  a  body  and  requested  him  not  to  emigrate. But  he  did  not  agree.  He  had  come  to  know  that  Fateh  Khan had  colluded  with  Sultan  Muhammad  Khan  in  his  conspiracy to  exterminate  the  ‘Quzat’,  revenue  collectors  and  censors. Fateh  Khan  also  did  not  request  to  stay  on  but  supported it  in  secret.  Syed Sahib  forgave  them  instead  of  any  retaliation or  revenge.  He  condoned  Fateh  Khan  also  and  treated  him with  kindness  and  presented  him  a  few  gifts.  But  he  did  not waver  in  his  firm  resolve  to  emigrate  from  there  and  camped at  Rajduari.  On  way  the  people  from  Sammah  (where  the Quzat  revenue  collectors  and  censors  were  killed  in  cold blood)  came  in  tears  to  him  and  requested  him  to  come  back to  Sammah.  He  said.  “‘A  faithful  (Muslim)  is  not  bitten  twice from  the  same  hole”.

Towards  Kashmir

Syed  Sahib  selected  Kashmir  for  future  reformative activities.  He  moved  towards  Kashmir  with  the  remaining companions  who  were  not  prepared  to  leave  him  in  these conditions  of  gloom  and  confusion,  indefiniteness  and uncertainty.  The  Valley  of  Kashmir  was  safe  and  provided with  such  natural  defences  that  an  intelligent  leadership·could derive  lot  of  advantages  from  it.  The  location  was  such  that it  could  influence  India  and  those  Muslim  countries of  Central Asia  which  were  important  from  racial  and  military  point  of view  and  which  had  established  strong  Islamic  governments in  the  past.  Besides,  cordial  relations  could  be  established with  them.

At  Balakot

The  administration  of  the  states  of  Pakhli  and  Kaghan Valley  were  in  a  state  of  flux-partly  on  account  of  successive  Sikh-incursions  and  partly, because  of  their  clan  feuds.  They wanted  the  help  of  Syed  Sahib.  These  states  lay  on  way  to Kashmir  where  he  wanted  to  establish  the  centre  of  his  future activities.  The  second  emigration  was  being  made  for  that purpose.  Balakot was  the  most  suitable  place  to  lend  support to  these  states,  consolidate  his  own  armed  strength  and  for advancement  towards  Kashmir.  It  is  situated  at  the  southern end  of  Kaghan  Valley  and  shut  in  by  a  mountain  and  there is  no  inlet  except  the  mouth  of  Kunhar  river.  There  are  two mountain  ranges  running  parallel  with  the  valley  in  which the  passage  in  between  is  not  more  than  half-a-mile  wide. The  river  Kunhar  flows  in  this  narrow  passage  with  the  hills of  Kalu  Khan  and  Matikot  on  the  eastern  and  western  sides respectively.  This  emigration  was  beset  with  many  dangers and  was painstaking.  The  mountains and valleys  were covered with  snow,  and  the  path  was  full  of  twists  and  turns.  There was  no  arrangement  for  supplies  and  transport.  It  proved to  be  an  outstanding  example  of  his  ambition  and  daring, endurance  and  forebearance  and  strength  of  faith  of  his companions  for  the  object  in  view.  He  reached  Sachchun from  Panjtar halting  at different  places  on  way  and  proceeded towards  Balakot  and  reached  there  on  17th  April,  1831.

The  Last  War  And  Martyrdom

Prince  Sher  Singh  was  deputed  by  his  father,  Maharaja Ranjit  Singh,  to  fight  a  last-ditch  battle  with  the  ‘mujahidin.’ When  he  came  to  know  that  Syed  Sahib  had  camped  at Balakot  with  his  companions,  he  brought  a  large  army  and camped  at  the  east  bank  of  Kunhar  river  about  five  miles from  Balakot.

When  it  was  clear  that  Sikh  army  would  attack  Balakot scaling  down  from  Matikot,  arrangements  were  made  for  a final  show down with  it.  The  valley  of Balakot was strategically favourable  for  the  ‘mujahidin.’

Prince  Sher  Singh  lost  hope  of  winning  the  war  on account  of  Balakot’s  natural  defences  and  was  thinking  of going  back.  But  some  local  people  guided  him  and  his  army reached  Matikot  on  6th  May,  1831  in  a  short  time.  The  Sikh army  attacked  the  ‘mujahidin’  while  coming  down  from Matikot.  Syed Sahib  was  in  the  forefront  and  the  ‘mujahidin’ were  closely  following  him.  The  volley  of  Sikh  bullets  was raining  like  hail.  Syed Sahib moved  ahead of  others and calledout  the  battle-cry  ‘Allah-u-Akbar’  aloud.  He  was  moving  fast like  a  lion  after  its  prey.  He  found  a  big  rock  in  the  Held. He  took  cover  behind  it  and  started  firing  from  there.  The ‘mujahidin’  followed  him  and  at  first  sent  a  salvo  of  gun-fire from  their  guns  and  then  carbines  and  killed  many  enemy soldiers.  The  enemy  started  retreating  under  barrage  of  fire towards  the  hilJs  and  ascending  it.  The  ‘mujahidin’  dragged them  down  and  put  them  to  sword.

The  ‘mujahidin’  lost  sight  of  Syed  Sahib  and  felt  sure that  he  has  been  martyred.  Maulana  Muhammad  Ismail  was hit  by  a  bullet  in  the  head  and  he  was  martyred  too.  The enemy saw that  the  ‘mujahidin’  were  confused.  they  attacked once  again  with  all  their  might  and  sent  a  continuous  barrage of  gun-fire  wilh  the  result  that  the  scales  turned  againsl  the ‘mujahidin ·  and  many  of  them  lost  their  lives.  (May  their  souls rest  in  eternal  peace).

The  journey  of  these  intrepid  ‘mujahidin’  which  started on  17th January, 1826, when Syed Sahib  left  his  home  town Rae  Bareli  with  a  handful  of  ‘mujahidin’  ended  at  Balakot on  6th  May,  1831.  They  left  their  beloved  families  at  home and  covered  deserts  and  valleys,  mountains  and  forests, countenanced  the  rebellion  and  infidelity  of  the  Durranis.  but they  were  so  enamoured  of  their  Creator  and  were  so  fond of  martyrdom  that:

Life  is  the  price  for  proximity  with  beloved in  the  realm  of  love,

The  head  is  a  burden  on  shoulders  with t his  life-giving  news

Muslims and India’s Freedom Struggle

Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi

India, from ancient times is famous for its civilization, rituals and natural recources. It existed even in the immemorial times. According to many prophetic traditions, the Prophet Adam (alayhissalaam), the first man on earth, landed in India. Interestingly Adam, the first prophet of Allah to the people, was the first man to stay at the soil of India. It is known to all that Muslims believe in all the prophets sent down by Allah on this earth. It is also known that all the prophets of Allah came with one religion that is Islam. So in this way, Muslims are the true successor of this land. 

After the seventh century AD, the atlas of the world changed. As two great world empires i.e. Persia and Rome collapsed. India also could not guard itself from the effect of the international revolution that was brought about by Islam. In 711 AD, Muhammad Qasim entered India and cut off Sind. Later, it was the turn of Sultan Mahmood Gaznavi (reign 998-1030) who conquered a good part of western and northern India. Soon after him came Sultan Shihabuddin Gauri in 1206 who laid the foundation stone of Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526). Finally came Babar whose Mughal empire lasted for centuries (from 1526 to 1857). 

The Mughal Empire with its all glory after the period of Aurangzeb Aalamgir (1618-1707) started declining. The undeserving successors of throne could not protect the inherited government from declining. Europe those days was passing by boundless scientific and economical progress while the Muslim empires like Ottoman Caliphate in Turkey and Mughal Empire in India could not sense the importance of scientific developments that were taking place in Europe. The onslaught of Europe on India started by the Portuguese pirates and colonialists in seventeenth century, but it was heightened when the English looters and terrorists disguised as ‘traders’ established bases with an eye on India’s wealth  and land. Later the East India Company began taking the country into its grip and finally it put an end to the 7-century old Muslim rule. 

First, East India Company established its base in Surat where it got permission to operate business in the period of Jahangir in 1612. The company got marvelous success and occupied all three important ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Surat. Shah Waliullah Muhaddis Dehlawi (1703-1762) was the first person who apprehended the danger and was disappointed of the Muslim government to stand to an action. So he chalked out a plan of complete revolution. Shah Waliullah’s various books reflect this thought and propound a complete framework. Shah Waliullah is the frontrunner of this field. Later, his sons and pupils forwarded his mission. 

Meanwhile, the company began to expand its area. It resulted at a fierce fight between the company and Sirajuddaula in Palasi (Plassey) (Bengal) in 1757. Sirajuddaula was defeated and the door was open for Britain to occupy Bengal. Afterwards, Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan stood up to stop English steps in Deccan (Southern India). But this campaign suffered a major setback due to internal treachery and Tipu was martyred fighting in Srirangapattam in 1799. The English general Nell climbed up his dead body and shouted: “From today India is ours”. Finally, one day in 1803 the Mughal king in Delhi was forcibly asked to sign a paper that read, “The people for Allah, the country for King his majesty and the order for the Company”.

Meanwhile, Shah Abdul Aziz (rahimahullah) (1746-1823) who was realizing the situation very carefully issued a fatwa saying that India has become a Darul Harb (non-Muslim country); Muslims must wage war against the British. 

After 1803, there was no real threat to the English. The ground was not prepared to start any revolutionary movement. So, Syed Ahmad Shaheed (rahimahullah), a disciple of Shah Abdul Aziz (rahimahullah), with his some companions migrated to Qandahar in Afghanistan in search of a land from where he can run a movement and prepare a team for the revolution. There, he established an Islamic government and confronted with Sikhs who were a big obstacle in the way of their movement. Unfortunately, the greatest militant movement of this subcontinent suffered sedition of Afghans and finally collapsed. The remaining people, especially the Ulama-e-Sadiqpur, continued their mission inside India.  

The sparks of hate and anger against the English burst again in 1857. This time it was not a mutiny of a group but mass revolt against the English throughout the country. In Shamli people revolted in the leadership of Haji Imdadullah (rahimahullah) while they were fighting in Lucknow and Faizabad under the command of Begum Nawab and Maulana Ahmadullah. Meerut and Delhi were the centers where Indian army men were with Sultan Bahadur Shah Zafar. The revolt continued for months, but the Indians were defeated in the long run. 

It is noteworthy that the caravan of freedom was led purely by Muslims till 1857. Since the power was snatched from Muslims so they were naturally the first enemies of the alien government. According to historians, 27,000 Muslims were only hanged to death. Not to speak of the 7-day-long massacre. Even the children were not spared. The atrocities that were perpetrated on women are beyond imagination. Shah Zafar was exiled to Rangoon and his descendents were finished off. 

After the failure of 1857 revolution, the Muslim leaders changed their strategy. They started setting up educational institutions across the country to combat the government’s disastrous policies. On the foremost of them was Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi and his colleagues who established Darul Uloom Deoband to produce a team of Ulama who can fight eyeball to eyeball with British government. The first student of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Mahmood Hasan known as Shaikhul Hind, with his people drew a plan known as “Reshmi Rumal Movement” (Silken Letters Movements). Hazrat Shaikhul Hind had a secret agreement with Ottoman Caliphate of Turkey to attack on British bases in India and prepare ground for revolt. But this plan also was sabotaged by some Muslims. Consequently, he with his colleagues was arrested and sent to Malta Island where they spent 3 years and later released when no guilt was proved. 

As the 1st World War erupted the Indian subcontinent was resounding with the slogans of Khilafat Movement. Until this point of time, no prominent Hindu leader was in the field. Due to the World War, the global scenario changed and India Hindus got up from their long slumber. Shaikhul Hind in his way back to India from Malta was supposed to get down in Bombay. Gandhi Ji was amongst those who came to receive him. After that in a meeting Shaikhul Hind, Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, Mukhtar Ansari and other Muslim leaders elected Gandhi Ji as the leader. Since Hindus were in majority, so it was necessary to win the local and international support by putting Hindu leaders forward. 

Around 1919 Jamiatul Ulama came into being to provide Muslims a platform to fight against the English. It is worth mentioning that it was Jamiat, which taught the Congress to follow the path to freedom. Otherwise, it was not founded with sole purpose of independence. The Jamiat leaders worked closely with the Congress and inspired it to adopt non-cooperation, complete freedom and other programme. 

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the genius scholar and prolific water of the Indian subcontinent, was the hero of India’s independence. Through his writings and particularly historic newspapers al-Hilal and al-Balagh he heated up the continent with warm slogans of freedom that made the colonialists restless. He headed the Congress especially in the most crucial times of independence history during the II World War and afterwards. It was the continuous pressure and wise policy of the Congress under his leadership that materialized the dream of freedom in shorter period. 

These are some brief extracts from the history of freedom. Otherwise, the sacrifices that Muslims have offered to free India from the clutches of the English cannot be described in a short article. If we take only the names of the Muslim fighters it will take hours to finish. The most important thing is that Muslims were pioneer in freedom fighting and only they carried it on till 1900. The Hindu leaders appeared long after them and Muslims went parallel with them till the country was free. Muslims had always held high the torch of patriotism and freedom fighting.

Today, it is tragic enough that Muslims are blamed that they are traitors. Muslim fighters instead of being paid homage their names are removed from textbooks and history. While, many in Hindu community think that Muslims have got their share in the form of Pakistan, but they forget that still India has more Muslims than Pakistan or any other country in the world except Indonesia. 

The purpose to mention these sacrifices is to remind today’s Muslims of our brave past. Since, it is said that a nation which fails to treasure its history is lost in the darkness of ages. It has nothing that inspires it to face any threat with courage and determination. 

After the Battle of Balakot, a number of battles were fought against the British invaders of India. In 1856 a meeting of the senior ‘Ulama of India was convened. Amongst others, those who attended were Mawlana Ja’far Thaneseri, Mawlana Wilayat ‘Ali [these two were survivors of the Battle of Balakot], Haji Imdadullah, Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Nanautwi, Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and Hafidh Muhammad Dhamin (rahimahumullah).

At this meeting, Mawlana Nanautwi (rahimahullah) said: “Are you not aware that the British are sitting on our heads. They have laid their snare throughout the country. Be prepared for decisive battles. We shall either be cut to pieces or fight them to the end. We shall not allow the British to occupy this country.”

One of those attending the meeting said: “Hadhrat, we are few in number and limited in resources.” Mawlana Nanautwi responded: “Is our number less than the number of the mujahideen of Badr?” The spirit of struggle was kindled in the hearts of those who attended. It was firmly resolved to free India from the clutches of the British.

Two major battles took place. One was the War of Independence under Haji Imdadullah, and the other was The War of the Red Shawls under Mawlana Mahmud al-Hasan who was the student of Maulana Qasim Nanautwi.

After this battle about 14,000 ‘Ulama were executed by the British. The War of Independence was fought on two fronts: One in Ambala under the command of Mawlana Ja’far Thaneseri, and the other in Shamli under the command of Haji Imdadullah. As Allah Ta’ala willed, the battle was lost, but not the spirit of Jihad of our ‘Ulama. They did not surrender to the British.

After this battle, the British viceroy to India requested his ministers and counsellors to submit a report on how to entrench British rule in India. One of the leading British politicians, Dr.William Yur, stated in his report: “Of the entire population of India, the Muslims are the most spirited and vigilant. The Battle of Independence was fought by Muslims. As long as Muslims cherish in them the spirit of struggle we shall not be able to vanquish them. It is therefore imperative to first and foremost snuff out this spirit by eliminating the ‘Ulama and the Qur’an.”

Giving expression to this advice, the government in 1861 launched a campaign to destroy copies of the Qur’an. 300,000 copies of the Qur’an were set alight by the government. An English historian writes in his memoirs: “From 1864 to 1867, the British government firmly resolved to eradicate all the ‘Ulama of India.

From 1864 to 1867 heart-rending acts of brutality and torture were perpetrated against the ‘Ulama . The British executed 14,000 ‘Ulama by hanging them on trees. From Chandi Chowk of Delhi up to Khaibar, from every tree hung the body of an ‘alim‘Ulama  were sewn into pig’s skins and hurled into blazing furnaces. Their bodies were branded with hot copper rods. Gallows were set up in the courtyard of the Badshahi Musjid of Lahore. Each day up to 80 ‘Ulama were executed by hanging.

Sometimes ‘Ulama would be wrapped in sacks and dumped into the Ravi River of Lahore. A hail of bullets would then be pumped into the sacks.

Thompson writes further: “As I reached my camp in Delhi, I saw a blazing fire. I saw a group of 40 naked ‘Ulama being led to the fire. As I was witnessing this scene, another group of 40 ‘Ulama were brought. In front of my eyes they were stripped of their clothing. Addressing them, the English commander said: ‘O molwis! You will be roasted in this fire just as these ‘Ulama are being roasted. To save yourselves, one of you should say that you were not part of the 1857 uprising. The moment I hear this proclamation, I shall release you all.’”

Thompson continues: “By the Lord who has created me! Not a single one of the ‘Ulama said anything of the sort. All of them were roasted on the fire. Then another group of forty was brought and roasted over the blazing fire. But not a single ‘alim surrendered to the demands of the British”.

The Kharijites- Historical Background and their Ideological Impact on Present-Day Fitnah’s

Prophet  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “There  will  appear  at  the  end  of  time  a people  who  are  young  of  age,  foolish-minded.  They  will  speak  with  the  best  (and most-alluring)  of  speech  (that  is  spoken)  by  people  and  will  recite  the  Qur’an  but it  will  not  go  beyond  their  throats.  They  will  pass  out  of  Islam  as  the  arrow passes  through  its  game.  Whoever  meets  them,  let  him  kill  them,  for  there  is  a reward for whoever kills them.”

The  Prophet’s  Companion,  Abu  Umamah  al-Bahili  (radhiyallahu anhu)  said  of  the  Khārijites, “The  Dogs  of  the  people  of  Hellfire,  they  used  to  be  Muslims  but  turned disbelievers.”  When  Abu Umamah  was  asked  whether  this  was  his  own  speech  or something  he  heard  from  the  Prophet,  he  said,    “Rather,  I  heard  it  from  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).”  

Ibn  Taymiyyah  (d.  728H,  14th  century  CE)  said,  “For  they  [the  Khārijites]  strived to  kill  every  Muslim  who  did  not  agree  with  their  view,  declaring  the  blood  of the  Muslims,  their  wealth,  and  the  slaying  of  their  children  to  be  lawful,  while excommunicating  them.  And  they  considered  this  to  be  worship,  due  to  their ignorance and their innovation which caused [them] to stray.” 


All  praise  is  due  to  Allah,  the  Lord  of  the  worlds  and  may  He  make  good mention of His Prophet in the highest company and grant him safety.

As  prophesized  by  the  Prophet  Muḥammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  the  Khārijites (extremist  renegades)  were  the  first  sect  to  break  off  from  the  main  body of  the  Muslims  and  they  appeared  in  two  waves.  First,  as  the revolutionary  Saba’ite  movement  against  the  third  caliph ʿUthman  (radhiyallahu anhu) and  thereafter,  as  the  Khārijites  proper  against  the  fourth  caliph  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu).  They  expel  Muslims  from  Islam  on  account  of  major  sins. They  are  mostly  young  in  age,  appear  as  pious  worshippers,  have  not acquired  knowledge  from  the  scholars  of  Islam,  make  use  of  secrecy, come  to  the  people  under  the  guise  of  enjoining  the  good  and  prohibiting the  evil  and  employ  faulty  interpretations  of  Islamic  texts  due  largely  to their  ignorance.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  also  explicitly  stated  that  they will  never  cease  to  appear  until  the  Dajjāl  (the  Anti-Christ)  appears  in  the midst  of  their  armies.  This  indicates  that  the  Muslim  will  always  be plagued by  this  disease  throughout  the  passage  of  time  and that their  war is fundamentally a war against the people of Islām.

Speaking  about  the  relative  ability  amongst  the  people  to  recognize opposition  to  the  Sunnah  (Prophetic  tradition),  Ibn Taymiyyah  said,  “Some  factions  are  greater  in  their  opposition  to  the Messenger  than  others,  and  others  are  more  apparent  in  their  opposition [than  others].  However,  the  apparentness  [of  such  opposition]  is  a relative  matter.  The  opposition  of  the  one  who  opposes  the  Sunnah  will be  clear  to  the  one  who  knows  the  Sunnah.  In  some  cases,  the  opposition of  some  of  them  to  the  Sunnah  is  apparent  to  some  of  the  people  due  to their  knowledge  of  the  Sunnah  as  opposed  to  others  who  do  not  know  of [the    Sunnah]  what  those  people  know.  And  sometimes  the  Sunnah  in that  matter  is  known  to  all  of  the  ummah  and  thus  the  opposition  of  the one  who  opposed  it  is  readily  apparent  –  just  as  the  opposition  of  the Rafiḍah  [Shi’ites]  to  the  Sunnah  has  become  apparent  to  the  majority.  In the  view  of  the  majority,  they  are  opposers  to  the  Sunnah,  and  thus  it  is said,  ‘Are  you  a  Sunni or  a  Raafidhi?’  Likewise  the  Kharijites,  when  they were  people  of  the  sword  and  of  fighting,  their  opposition  to  the  jama’ah became  apparent  when  they  would  fight against  the  people,  but  as  for  today,  most  people  do  not  recognize them.”  [Kitāb  al-Nubuwwāt  (Aḍwāʾ  al-Salaf, 1420H) 1/564].

The  last  statement  of  Ibn  Taymiyyah  about  the  Kharijites  and  the  fact that  most  people  do  not  recognize  them  or  their  ideology  is  reflective  of another  wider  reality,  which  is  that  most  people  do  not  understand  the reality  of  the  creed  and  methodology  of  the  Righteous  Salaf  and  what opposes it.  Many  of  the  contemporary  Kharijite  movements  nowadays make  an  ascription  to  the  way  of  the  Salaf  when  they  are  the  furthest away  from  it  in  their  statements,  actions  and  methodologies  of  reform. This  should  not  be  surprising  since  the  very  first  Kharijites  considered themselves  to  be  superior  to  the  Prophet’s  Companions,  considering themselves  to  be  the  actual  Salaf  and  the  true  representatives  of  Islam. This leads to three affairs:

Firstly,  many  naive,  ill-informed,  emotive  Muslims  who  see  oppression, bloodshed  and  war  in  Muslim  lands  are  emotionally  manipulated  into believing  that  the  loud,  rhetorical  voice  of  the  Kharijites  and  their  use  of lofty  slogans  of  “Shari’ah”,  “Jihad”,  “Judging  by  Allah’s  Law”,  “Enjoining Good  and  Forbidding  Evil”  are  contextually  valid,  evidence-based, authentic  voices  when  in  reality  they  are  nothing  but  the  rantings  of ignoramuses,  ignorant  of  the  basics  of  the  Islamic  creed  and  ignorant  of Allah’s  laws  in  His  creation.  This  is  evidenced  by  their  gross  misdiagnosis of  the  causes  of  affliction  (which  they  always  return  back  to  the  rulers) but whose true roots are more foundational and lie elsewhere. 

Secondly,  it  allows  those  with  enmity  from  the  non-Muslims  to  malign the religion of Islam and its noble, revered Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). 

Thirdly  and  fallaciously,  the modern-day Kharijites  are Salafis.  In  partial  explanation  of  this development,  many  of  these  Kharijite  groups  have  realized  that  in  order to  gain  legitimacy,  acquire  a  wider  following  and  to  spread  their  doubts more  easily,  they  ought  to  make  an  ascription  to  the  way  of  the  Salaf  and identify  as  Salafīs.   Further,  identifying  with “Salafiyyah,”  represented  a  manhaj  (methodology)  that  stood  in  stark contrast  to  true Salafus Saliheen.  Many  of  the  ideological  figureheads  behind  the Kharijite  movements  were  averse  to  the  label  of  Salafiyyah  and saw  it  as  a barrier  to  recruitment.  For  that  reason,  some  of  them  invented  principles to  undermine  ascription  to  Salafiyyah  and  to  incorporate  other  groups and  orientations  into  a  wider  umbrella  of  “Ahl  al-Sunnah  wal-Jamāʿah”  so they  could  draw  from  a  larger  recruitment  base  to  help  fulfil  their agendas.  It  also allowed  them  to  deflect  criticism  from  themselves  as  a  readily identifiable  extremist  Salafiyyah  and  its  adherents, thereby  achieving  more  than  one  objective  through  this  already extremist Wahhabi stuff. 

What follows  in this  article  is  a  small  effort  in  attempting to  uncover  the foundations  of  modern Kharijite groups  such  as  the Ibn Saud,  ISIS  and  similar  Kharijite  groups  whose  ideologies  and aspirations  are  behind  the  extremism  and  terrorism  being  witnessed today  and  oppressively  ascribed  to  Islam.  The  historical events  behind  the  emergence  of  the  very  first  Kharijites,  the  Prophetic traditions  regarding  them,  the  statements  of    scholars  throughout history  against  them  and  the  nature  of  their  activities  are  presented  in what  is  to  follow.

The  Prophet  Muhammad    (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  informed  of  a  group    that  would appear  shortly  after  his  death  who  would  put  the  Muslims,  their  leaders and  their  societies  to  trial  and  tribulation.  They  are  famously  known  as the  Kharijites  (extremist  renegades). These  Kharijite  renegades  came  in  two  waves.  The  first  were  known  as the  Sabaiyyah  and  they  assassinated  the  third  caliph  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) in  the  year  35H. They  were  behind  the  events  that  led  to  the  appearance  of  the  second  wave  who abandoned  the  fourth  caliph,  ʿAli  (radhiyallahu anhu)  during  a  period  of  civil  strife,  and  he was  eventually killed  by  them  in the  year 40H. When  this  group  appeared,  the Companions  of  the  Prophet  saw  that  numerous  verses  of  the  Qur’an applied  to  them.  These  verses  include  the  saying  of  Allah,  “Say: Shall  we  inform  you  of  the  greatest  losers  as  to  [their]  deeds?  Those whose  efforts  have  been  wasted  in  this  life  while  they  thought  that  they were  acquiring  good  by  their  deeds!”  (18:103-104). Imam  al-Tabari  relates  this  application  of  the  verse  to  the  Kharijites  from  ʿAli bin  Abi Talib  (radhiyallahu anhu)  in his  exegesis.  Also,  the  saying  of Allah,  “Some  faces,  that  Day,  will  be  humiliated.  Labouring  (hard  in the  worldly  life),  weary  (in  the  Hereafter  with  humility  and  disgrace).” (88:2-3). Also  the  saying  of  Allah,  “And  when  they  deviated,  Allah caused  their  hearts  to  deviate.”  (61:8). And  also,  “Those  who  break Allah’s  Covenant  after  ratifying it,  and sever  what Allah has  ordered to be joined and  do  mischief  on  earth, it  is  they  who  are  the  losers.”  (2:27). 

It  is  common  knowledge  to  the  scholars  of  the  Muslims  and  their students  that  ISIS,  Boko  Ḥaram  and  others  are  simply  another manifestation  of  the  recurring  appearance  of  this  group  that  was explicitly  mentioned  by  the  Prophet  of  Islam.  They  have  killed exponentially  more  Muslims  in  the  past  1400  years  than  they  have  killed non-Muslims  in  the  past  20  years.  In  fact,  if  we  were  to  say  this  the  other way around,  that  they  have  killed  more  Muslims  in  the  past  20  years  than they  have  killed  non-Muslims  in  the  past  1400  years  it  would  not  be  an exaggeration  at  all. This  is  because  the  Kharijites  revolt  against  Muslim Ummah and create fitnah.  Their  activities  are  primarily  directed  towards  them  and  not  non-Muslims  in principle.   Their  appearance  was  prophesized  by  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in a large  number  of  traditions  and  they  indeed  appeared  less than  30  years  after  him  in  36H,  around  the  year  657CE.  Because  this faction  was  intended  as  a  trial  and  tribulation  for  Muslims  in  various times  and  ages,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  spoke  extensively  about  them, their  traits,  activities  and their  great  danger  upon  Islam  and  the  Muslims. The  traditions  in  this  regard  are  well-known  and  famous  and  have  come through large-scale transmission right from the dawn of Islam. 


The  primary  motivations  driving  Kharijite  extremists  return  back  to worldly  matters  including  wealth  and  how  Muslim  rulers  dispose  of  it. They  desire  that  wealth  should  come  to  them  upon  their  belief  that giving  it  to  the  rulers  is  unlawful  because  they  do  not  distribute  it  justly and  do  not  use  it  for  its  designated  purposes. This  is  revealed  in  a  letter  of  advice  given  by  the  great  Islamic  scholar, Wahb bin Munabbih  (rahimahullah d.110H,  early  8th  century CE)  to  a  man  affected  by  the  ideology of  the  Kharijites,  A  group  of  Kharijites  came  to  this  man  from  San’a  in  Yemen and  said  to  him  that  his  zakah  (obligatory  charity)  given  to  the  rulers  does  not fulfil  his  obligation  because  it  is  misused  and  thus,  his  wealth  should  be  given directly  to  the  Kharijites  who  will  give  it  to  the  poor  and  needy  as  well  as establishing  the  prescribed  punishments.  These  are  the  same  activities  of  the Kharijites  of  ISIS  today  whereby  they  collect  wealth  under  the  same  pretences whilst  using  it  to  fortify  their  own  position  and  power.  Refer  to  Munabahah  Wahb bin Munabbih (taḥqīq  al-Burjis,  1423H),  p.  19. In  other  words,  affairs pertaining  to  misuse  of  state  capital  and  social,  political  and  economic injustice.  For  this  reason,  there  are  strong  parallels  between  the Kharijites  who  departed  from  Islam  and  the  Jacobinist,  Marxist, Bolshevik, Communist,  Socialist  movements  originating  in  Europe and the fitnah of the Middle East such as the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire by Kharijite al-Saud, Sharif Hussain and Ataturk which paved way for the formation of illegitimate state of Israel which was the direct consequence of the extreme ideology of Kharijites,  under  the  very  same  banners  of  social  and  economic  injustice, launched an era  of  war  and  permanent  revolution.

And  this  revolutionary  ideology  [of  the  modern Kharijites],  we  do  not  say  it  is  ‘influenced  by  the  ideology  of  the  Kharijites’  but we  say  that  it  is  influenced  by  the  Communist,  nationalist  and  secularist revolutions  before  it  is  influenced  by  the  ideology  of  the  Kharijites. 

These  (demonstrations  and  revolutions)  are  from the  methodology  of  Marx  and  Lenin  and  their  likes,  they  are  not  from  the methodologies  of  Islam. Revolutionism,  shedding  blood,  tribulations, difficulties (all  of  this)  is  the  way  of  Marx  and  Lenin. They  combined  it  with  the  way  of  the Kharijites  and  they  said  ‘It  is  Islam’…  Jihad  itself  has  its  subject  areas  and  has  its conditions and fiqhi rulings  and  it  is  not  these  Marxist  methods  which  they  clothe  with  the garment  of  Islam.  They  have  taken  revolutionism,  Socialism  from  Marx  and Lenin. In  an  article  titled,  “How  Marx  Became  Muslim”  John Gray  writes,  “Islamic  fundamentalism  is  not  an  indigenous  growth.  It  is  an  exotic hybrid,  bred  from  the  encounter  of  sections  of  the  Islamic  intelligentsia  with radical  western  ideologies.  In  A  Fury  for  God,  Malise  Ruthven  shows  that  Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian executed after imprisonment in 1966 and arguably the most influential  ideologue  of  radical  Islam,  incorporated  many  elements  derived  from European  ideology  into  his  thinking.  For  example,  the  idea  of  a  revolutionary vanguard  of  militant  believers  does  not  have  an  Islamic  pedigree.  It  is  ‘a  concept imported  from  Europe,  through  a  lineage  that  stretches  back  to  the  Jacobins, through  the  Bolsheviks  and  latter-day  Marxist  guerrillas  such  as  the  Baader-Meinhof  gang.’  In  a  brilliantly  illuminating  and  arrestingly  readable  analysis, Ruthven  demonstrates  the  close  affinities  between  radical  Islamist  thought  and the  vanguard  of  modernist  and  postmodern  thinking  in  the  West.  The inspiration  for  Quṭb’s  thought  is  not  so  much  the  Koran,  but  the  current  of western  philosophy  embodied  in  thinkers  such  as  Nietzsche,  Kierkegaard  and Heidegger.  Quṭb’s  thought  –  the  blueprint  for  all  subsequent  radical  Islamist political  theology  –  is  as  much  a  response  to  20th-century  Europe’s  experience  of ‘the  death  of  God’  as  to  anything  in  the  Islamic  tradition.  Quṭbism  is  in  no  way traditional.  Like  all  fundamentalist  ideology,  it  is  unmistakeably  modern.”  The Independent  Newspaper  (UK),  27th July 2002.

The  aims  behind  the  instigation  of  these  social  revolutionary  movements revolve  around  ten  core  objectives  and  they  are:  One:  Abolition  of  all  private property  which  is  achieved  through  imposing  a  debt  burden  through  heavy, punishing  taxation.  Gradually,  property  is  confiscated  through  this  method  until it  remains  in  the  hands  of  the  beneficiaries  of  this  system.  Two:  Heavy progressive  or  graduated  income  tax  to  keep  everyone  at  relatively  similar  levels of  wealth  and  prevent  any  potential  competing  power  that  could  challenge  the system  and  its  beneficiaries.  Three:  Abolition  of  all  rights  of  inheritance  to  allow the  beneficiaries  of  this  system  to  gradually  own  all  wealth  and  property.  Four: Confiscation  of  property  of  all  emigrants  and  rebels  which  refers  to  what happens  when  debts  or  taxes  are  not  paid.  Five:  Centralization  of  all  credit through  a  central  bank  which  is  fundamental  to  the  running  of  the  system  and its  core  engine.  Six:  Centralization  of  the  means  of  communication  and  transport to  enable  the  monitoring  and  control  of  the  activity  of  all  subjects.  Seven: Extension  of  factories  and  instruments  of  production  which  refers  to  taking lands  from  farmers  and  giving  them  to  private  corporations.  This  amounts  to confiscation  and  privatization  of  land.  Eight:  Equal  liability  to  labour,  which means  everyone  must  work  in  this  collectivist  system.  Nine:  Manufacturing  and agriculture  blended  together  whereby  conglomerates  and  corporates  take  over farming  and  agriculture  and  city  and  country  are  blended  together  which effectively  amounts  to  population  control,  moving  all  people  out  of  rural  areas into  towns and  cities.  Ten:  Free  education  for all  children  in public  schools  which means compulsory indoctrination of children to be good citizens within this collectivist  system.  These  are  the  ten  planks  of  Communism  laid  out  by  Karl Marx  which  were  a  refinement  of  the  ideology  of  the  Jacobins  involved  in  the French  Revolution  in  the  late  18th  century.  Today,  many  aspects  of  this  system can be  readily identified  in  developed  nations.

The  ideological  grandfather  of  all  Kharijite  renegade  movements  in Islamic  history  is  a  man  known  as  Dhul-Khuwaisarah  al-Tamimi.  The Qur’an  judged  this  individual  to  be  from  the  disbelieving  hypocrites, “Amongst  them (the  Hypocrites)  is  one  who  criticizes 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).    This man  and  his  few  followers  challenged  the  integrity  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  in  a  famous  incident  which  is  documented  in  numerous Prophetic  traditions.  As  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  distributing  wealth  to a  number  of  tribes  for  certain  benefits  he  had  in  mind  for  them,  this  man appeared  and  said,  “Be  just  O  Muḥammad”  and  “We  are  more  worthy  of this  than  them”  and  also,  “This  is  a  division  by  which  the  pleasure  of Allah  is  not  sought.” [al-Bukhārī  (nos.  3610 and 4351)].  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  to  prevent  his Companions  from  striking  this  audacious  man  and  as  the  man  walked away,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “From  this  man  will  appear  a  people  who recite  the  Qur’an  but  it  will  not  go  beyond  their  throats.”  He  went  to  describe in  other  reports  that  they  will  separate  from  the  main  body  of  Muslims, turn  against  them  and  fight  them.  He  also  prophesized  that  they  would be  killed  and    “Amongst  them  will  be  a  black  man  on  whose  upper  arm  will appear  [a  feature]  as  if  like  the  breast  of  a  woman.” (Muslim (no.  1066). The  hadith  was  reported  by  Hadhrat Abu Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu)  who  also  bore  witness  that  he  was  present  when  this  man  was  identified  at  al Nahrawan where  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  fought  and killed  the  Kharijites)  This  incident  is  evidence that  the  entire  issue  with  the  Khariijtes  is  a  worldly  one.  Religion  is merely  used  as  a  cloak  to  legitimize  their  activities  and  serve  as  a  means of  recruiting  the  ignorant  and  unsuspecting.  Thereafter,  it  is  used  as  a vehicle  to  help  them  attain  their  worldly  objectives.  Ibn  Kathir,  the Qur’an  commentator  said,  “For  the  first  innovation  to  occur  in  Islam  was the  tribulation  of  the  Kharijites  and  their  (ideological)  starting  point  was due  to  [a  matter]  of  the  world.” [Tafsīr  al-Qurʾān  al-Adheem (2/10)]  The  matter  being  referred  to  was  the distribution  of  wealth,  they  consider  the  ruling  authorities  to  be  unjust and  astray  in  their  disposal  of  wealth.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “The foundation  of  the  misguidance  of  these  [Kharijites]  is  their  belief regarding  the  leaders  of  guidance  and  the  body  of  the  Muslims  that  they have  departed  from  justice  and  are  misguided.” [Majmuʿal-Fatawa  (28/497)].  As  we  shall  see  in  what follows,  the  Kharijites  employed  texts  of  the  Qur’an  which  they  did  not understand  and  built  their  ideology  upon  gross  misinterpretations.  By revolting  against  the Ummah  they  create  civil  strife  and  bring  chaos, ruin  and  destruction. One  can  see  here  the  parallels  between  the  ideology  of  the  Kharijites  and  the Marxist, Communist  movements  calling  for  social  justice.  Refer  to  the  section  at the  end  of  this article  which  connects  Sayyid  Qutb,  founder  of  20th  century  takfiri jihadi  movements  with Leninist  methodology. Not  a  single  Companion  of  the  Prophet  was amongst  the  Kharijites  which  demonstrates  their  departure  from  Islam, its scholarly tradition and its main body.


The  Prophet  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  prophesized  that  this  group  would appear  during a  period  of  conflict  and splitting between the  Muslims.  The Companion  Abu  Sa’id  al-Khudri  (radhiyallahu anhu)  relates  that  the  Prophet  said, “They  [the  Khārijites]  will  depart  from  the  religion  like  an  arrow  passes  through its  game  …  and  they  will  appear  during  a  period  wherein  the  people  will  be  in  a state  of  division.” [(Muslim  (no.  1064)]  In  another  tradition  related  by  Abu  Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu),  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “There  will  appear  a  people  from  the  East,  they  will recite  the  Qur’an  and  it  will  not  pass  beyond  their  throats…” [Bukhari  (no.  7652)]  And  in  the tradition  related  by  Yasir bin ‘Amr  who  said  that  he  asked  Sahl  bin Hunayf,  “Did  you  hear  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  say  anything  about  the Khārijites?”  Sahl  said  that  he  heard  the  Prophet  saying  –  and  whilst narrating,  Sahl  pointed  his  hand  towards  Iraq  –  “There  will  appear  from there  a  people  who  recite  the  Qur’an,  it  will  not  pass  beyond  their  throats,  and they  will  depart  from  Islam  like  the  arrow  passes  through  the  game.” [al-Bukharī  (no.  6934)]  We  find another  prophecy  in the  tradition related by  Abu  Sa’id al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) who said that  he  heard  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “My  nation  will  split  into  two parties  and  from  their  midst  there  will  depart  a  renegade  group,  the  closest  of  the two  parties  to  the  truth  will  kill  them.” [Muslim  (no.1064)]  This  was  mentioned  by  the  Prophet at  least  two  and  a  half  decades  before  it  actually  happened.  It  is worthwile  therefore,  to  look  in  some  detail  into  the  background  and circumstances  leading  to  the  emergence  of  this  group  as  it  contains  many lessons  and  benefits.  One  can  refer  to  the  works  of  famous  historians such  as  Ibn  Kathir’s  al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah, al-Tabari’s  Tarikh  and  Ibn ʿAsakir’s Tarikh  Dimashq during  the  events  of  34H-38H  for  a  detailed elaboration  on  these  events.  A  condensed  summary  of  the  main  events follows below.


The  appearance  of  the  first  two  sects  in  Islam, the  Kharijites  and  the Rafidites (Shi’ites)  is  tightly  interwoven  and  cannot  be  separated  from each  other.  The  activities  of  a  particular  subversive  movement  known  as the  Saba’iyyah  led  to  the  creation  of  these  two  sects.  The  Companion Hudhayfah  bin  al-Yaman  (radhiyallahu anhu)  used  to  ask  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  about evil  out  of  fear  that  it  may  befall  him  and  he  would  be  in  gatherings  in which  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned  the  various  tribulations  to  befall the  Muslim  nation  following  his  death.  Ḥudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) stated,  “By  Allah,  I  am the  most-knowledgeable  amongst  the  people  of  every  tribulation  to occur  between  my  presence  and  the  Final  Hour.” [Imam  Muslim  (no.  2891)]  Ibn  Kathir,  the  famous historian  and  Qur’anic  commentator,  relates  the  statement  of Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu),  “The  first  of  the  tribulations  is  the  killing of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) and  the last  of  them  is  the  appearance  of  the  Dajjal  (Anti-Christ).” [Al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah (Dar Hajar, 1418H) 10/330].  Thus,  the  first significant  event  having  major  consequences  for  the  Muslim  nation  was the  revolution  against  the  third  caliph, Uthman  (radhiyallahu anhu)  which  culminated in  his  assassination.  This  was  executed  by  a  group  of  renegade  hypocrites led  by  a  man  known  as  Abdullah  bin  Saba [His  existence,  presence  and  subversive  activities  are  documented  and  reported by  dozens  of  Sunni  and  Shi’ite  scholarly  authorities  right  until  the  end  of  the 19th  century.  After  that  some  of  the  Orientalists,  followed  by  Muslim  ‘thinkers,’ began  to  propagate  the  claim  that  ʿAbdullah    bin  Sabaʾ  is  a  figment  of  the imagination  and  that  he  was  invented  in  order  to  malign  the  Shi’ites.  The following  is  a  brief  list  of  works  accepted  by  Shi’ite  authorities  affirming  his existence,  activities  and  doctrines:  Risalah  al-Irjaʿ  by  al-Hasan  bin  Muhammad  bin al-Hanafiyyah  (d.  100H) – who  is  a  grandson  of  ʿAli  bin  Abi  Talib  (radhiyallahu anhu).  This small  treatise  was  written  by  him  and  was  read  out  openly  in  Kufah.  It  covered the  tribulations  that  had  taken  place,  and  a  statement  of  deferment  (suspension) about  his  position  regarding  ʿUthman  (radhiyallahu anhu)  and  his  grandfather  Ali  (radhiyallahu anhu).  He also  announced  his  clear  allegiance  to  Abu  Bakr  (radhiyallahu anhu).  He  also  spoke  of  the tribulations which had occurred and spoke of the Saba’ites (followers of Abdullah  bin  Saba)  and  their  doctrines.  The  Irjāʿ  (deferment)  referred  to  here  is not  the  doctrine  of  the  well-known  Murji’ite  sect  who  expelled  actions  from faith.  Kitab  al-Gharat  of  Abu  Ishaq  Ibrahim  bin  Muhammad  Sa’id  bin  Hial  al-Thaqafi  al-Isfahānī  (d. 283H),  this  book  has  been  published  in  Iran.  Kitab  al-Maqalaat  wal-Firaq  of  Sa’d  bin  Abdullāh  al-Ash’ari al-Qummi  (d. 301H),  this  book was  also  published  in  Iran  in  1963CE.  Kitab  Firaq  al-Shi’ah  of  Abu  Muhammad  al-Hasan  bin  Musa  al-Nawbakhti  (d.  before  300H). This  has  been  published numerous  times  and  has  an  Orientalist  print  which  was  done  in  Istanbul  in 1931CE.  This  contains  a  good  section  on  ʿAbdullah  bin  Sabaʿ and  his  doctrines. Rijal al-Kashi of  Abu  Amr  Muḥammad  bin  Umar  bin  Abd  al-ʿAziz  al-Kashi,  (d. 370H).  This  book  has  been  published  in  Karbala, Iraq. Rijal  al-Tusi  by  their shaykh,  Abu Ja’far  Muhammad  bin  al-Hasan  al-Tusi  (d.  460H).  First  edition published  in  al-Najaf  in  1961CE  distributed  by  Muhammad  Kadhim al-Kutbi. Sharh Ibn Abi al-Ḥadid  li  Najh  al-Balaghah  of  Abi  Hamid  Abd  al-Hamid  bin Hibatullah  al-Mada’ini  known  as  Ibn Abi al-Ḥadid, (d.  656H).  First  edition published  in  1326H.  Al-Rijal  by  al-Hasan  bin  Yusuf  al-Ḥilli  (d.  726H),  printed  in Tehran  (1311H)  and  al-Najaf  (1961CE).  Rawdat  al-Jannat of  Muhammad  Baqir al-Khawansari (d.  1315H),  it  was  published  in  Iran  (1307H). Tanqih al-Maqal  Fee Ahwal  al-Rijal  by  Abdullah  al-Mamqani  (d.1351H),  printed  in  al-Najaf  (1350H). Qamus al-Rijal of  Muhammad Taqi al-Tustari,  printed  in  Tehran  (1382H).  Rawdat al-Safa, a  book  of  history  relied  upon  by  the  Shi’ah  in  Persian  (2/292),  printed  in Tehran.  Al-Kuna  wal-Alqab  of  Abbas bin Muhammad Rida al-Qummi (d.1359H), printed  in  1359H]. His  followers  became  known as the Saba’iyyah  and  they  had  been  recruited  and  mobilized against Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) on  alleged  grounds  of  social  injustice,  class  separation  and despotism  in  addition  to  a  range  of  what  were  claimed  to  be  erroneous mistakes  in  jurisprudence  and  personal  conduct. [The  Maliki  jurist,  Muhammad  bin  Abdullah, Abu  Bakr  bin  al-Arabi (d.543H, 12th  century  CE)  wrote  his  famous  work  titled,  al-ʿAwasim  min  al-Qawasim,  which contains  a  powerful  and  robust  response  to  each  and  every  allegation  raised against  Uthman  (radhiyallahu anhu)] Their  slogan  against Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  the  same  as  the  slogan  of  the  hypocrite,  Dhul Khuwaysarah  al-Tamimi against  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  –  the  absence  of social  justice  in  matters  of  wealth  –  the  same  slogan  of  Marxist, Communist and the Arab revolutionary  movements  of  the 18th, 19th  and  20th  centuries.  This  is  a  crucial point  to  note  as  it  helps  to  explain  the  circumstances  behind  the emergence  of  the  Kharijite  terrorists  during  both  the  dawn  of  Islam and modern  history  in  the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  Four  figures  are  of  special note  here. Muhammad bin al-Saud the Jew-sympathizer & Jamal  al-Din  al-Afghani,  a  concealed Shi’ite  revolutionary  who  the  founder  of modern  Salafism. He  was  the  first  to  revive  and  spread  this  claim  in  the modern  era.  He  launched  a  Marxist,  Communist  diatrabe  against class  separation. Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  accusing  him  of  hoarding  capital,  nepotism,  despotism  and  After  him  Sayyid  Qutb  developed  this  poison  in  more detail  in  a  number  of  his  writings  dealing  with  social  justice  and capitalism  and  he  also  praised  the  revolution  of  ʿAbdullah  bin  Sabaʾ against  ʿUthman  and  maligned  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu),  his  parents  and  the  Banu Umayyah  in  the  severest  of  ways,  even  negating  their  Islam.  At  the  end  of his  life  spread  doctrines  of  excommunication  and  hatred  against  all contemporary  Muslim  societies  whom  he  charged  with  apostasy  just like Ibn Saud had done to attack Ahlus Sunnah of Arabia. 

Abu  A’la Mawdudi  also  made  insinuations  against  Uthman  (radhiyallahu anhu)  and Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu). In  his  book  ‘Khilafat  wa  Mulukiyat’  (written  in 1386/1966CE)  lays  charges  of nepotism  against  ʿUthman  (radhiyallahu anhu)  and  of  transforming  the  nature  and  structure of  the  khilafah  into  a  kingship.  He  also  attacks  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  and  the  Banu Umayyah  in  general.  This  is  the  foundation  of  Saba’ite  and  Shi’ite  revolutionary poison  against  the  Companions.  It  should  come  as  no  surprise  that  Mawdudi  was an extremely close friend of the kafir and mushrik, “Ayatollah” al-Khomeini and described  his  1979  revolution  as  a  genuine  “Islamic  revolution”  which  should  be supported  by  Muslims,  groups  and  movements  from  all  over the  world. 

It  is  important  from  the  beginning  for  us  to  understand  that  anyone  who wished  to  speak  ill  of  the  Companions  by  concealment  did  so,  not  by attacking  them  directly,  but  by  attacking  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  who was  the first  of  the  kings  of  Islam. Mu’awiyah  bin  Abi  Sufyaan (radhiyallahu anhu) was  amongst  the  Muslims  who  accepted  Islam  prior to  the  conquest  of  Makkah  but  concealed  his  faith  from  his  father, Abu Sufyan (radhiyallahu anhu). Ibn Asakir relates the  saying  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), “I  accepted  Islam  on  the  day  of  the affair  [referring  to  events  surrrounding  the  treaty  of  Ḥudaybiyyah  in  7AH]  but concealed  my  faith  out  of  the  fear  of    my  father”  [Tarikh  Dimashq,  (5/19)].  He participated  in  the  battle  of  Hunayn  with  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Ibn Taymiyyah  mentions  in  al-Fatawa  (4/458)  that  he  and  others  such  as  Suhayl  bin ʿAmr,  al-Harith  bin  Hisham  were  from  those  upon  whom  Allah  sent  down tranquiilty (sakinah)  during  the  battle,  as  occurs  in  the  verse,  “He  is  the  one  who sent  down  His  tranquility  upon  His  Messenger  and  upon  the  Believers…”  (9:26). Likewise  the  verse  (Ḥadid  57:10)  which  promises  goodness  for  those  who  spent and  fought  after  the  conquest  of  Makkah  includes  Mu’awiyah  as  also  indicated by  Ibn  Taymiyyah  in  al-Fatawa  (4/459).  Further,  the  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) made  supplication  for  him,  “O  Allāh  make  him  a  guide  (for  others),  guided  (in  himself) and  guides  others  through  him.”  [Sahih Sunan  al-Tirmidhī]. Likewise  in  al-Bukhari,  from  the  hadith  of  Umm Haram (radhiyallahu anha) that  she  heard  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say,  “[Paradise,  forgiveness]  will  become  obligatory  for  the first  army  from  my  ummah  to  makes  a  sea  expedition..”  So  Umm Haram (radhiyallahu anha) said,  “O Messenger  of  Allah,  am  I  from  them?”  He  said,  “You  are  from  them.”  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) was  the  first  to  make  a  sea  expedition  to  Cyprus. Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) was  also  a  writer  of revelation,  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “For  it  has  been  established  through  large-scale transmission that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commanded him as he commanded others,  and  he  made  jihad  alongside  him and  he  was  trustworthy  to  him,  writing the  revelation  for  him,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  did  not  suspect  him  at  all  in  the writing  of  revelation.”  [Al-Fatawa  (4/472)].  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) also related 163 hadiths  from  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) some of  which  are  found  in  al-Bukhari  and Muslim. Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  is  also  “the  Uncle  of  the  Believers”  because  he  is  the  brother of  Umm Habibah  bint Abu Sufyan (radhiyallahu anha), who  is  the  Prophet’s  wife. As  for  his  rulership, then  he  was  appointed  by  ʿUmar  bin  al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) to  rule  over  Sham,  and  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was  most  knowledgeable  and  informed  about  men  and  would  only  appoint  them due  to  his  trust  in  them  and  his  knowledge  of  their  capabilities.  He  became  the first  king  of  Islam  as  he  said,  “I  am  the  first  of  the  kings  of  Islam”  as  related  in the  Musannaf  of  Ibn  Abi  Shaybah  (6/207).  The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) explained that  after  the  Prophetic  Khilafah  there  would  be  a  kingship  of  mercy,  and  this was  another  praise  of  the  rule  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu).  He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “The first  of  this  affair  (of  Islām)  is  nubuwwah  (prophethood)  and  mercy. Then  there will  be  khilafah  (succession)  and  mercy.  Then  there  will  be  mulk  (kingship)  and mercy.”  [Reported  by  al-Tayalisi  and  Ahmad].  Ibn Abi  alʿIzz said,  “Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  is  the  first  of  the  kings  of  the  Muslims  and  he  is  the best  of  the  kings  of  the  Muslims.”  [Sharh  al-Tahawiyyah (p. 722)].  Ibn  Taymiyyah said,  “The  scholars  are  agreed  that  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) is  the  best  of  the  kings  of  this ummah.  For  the  four  that  were  before  him  were  the  caliphs  of  nubuwwah (prophethood)  and  he  was  the  first  of  the  kings,  his  kingship  was  one  of  mercy  as has  come  in  the  ḥadīth…  and  there  was  in  his  kingship  such  mercy,  gentleness and  benefit  for the  Muslims  that  nothing  better was  known about  the  kingship  of others  besides  him.”  [Majmuʿal-Fatawa  (4/478)].  Al-Khallal  relates  that  Mu’afī  bin ʿImran  was  asked  whether  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) or  Umar  binʿAbd al-Aziz (rahimahullah) was  superior and  he  replied  “Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) was  six-hundred  times  the  likes  of  ʿUmar  bin  ʿAbd  al-Aziz.”  [As-Sunnah (2/435)]. Under  his  authority,  the  Muslims  conquered vast  regions  of  the  Earth  and  he  was  also  the  first  to  launch  a  successful sea  expedition. Thus, anyone  who  desired  to  attack  Islam  and  its  people but  desired  to  conceal  their  hatred  towards  its  carriers  and  conveyers (the  Companions)  would  target  speech  towards  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in particular.  This  was  simply  another  approach  in  their     ideology which  intended  harm  for  Islam  and  its  people.  However,  the  Righteous Salaf,  wise  to  this,  on  the  basis  of  what  they  understood  from  revealed texts,  consolidated  and  protected  the  fortress  of  Islam  by  making  it  clear that  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) is  the  veil,  the  cover  for  the  rest  of the Companions, and that  whoever attacked  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) has  lifted  that  veil  and  made  the  rest of  the  Companions  vulnerable  to  attack  and  thus  intends  evil  for  Islam and its adherents. Ibn  Kathir (rahimahullah) brings  the  following  statement  of  al-Rabiʿ  bin Nafiʿal-Halabi, “Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) is  the  veil  (covering)  for  the  Companions  of  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  So  when  a  man  removes  the  covering  he  will  transgress against  what  lies  beyond  it  (meaning  the  Companions).” [al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah (8/139)]  

And Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) also  brings  the  statement  of Abdullah  bin  al-Mubarak (rahimahullah), “Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) is  a test  (trial)  for  us.  Whomever  we  see  looking  at  him  suspiciously  then  we suspect  him  in  relation  to  those  people  (the  Companions).”  What  we learn  from  these  statements  is  that  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  has  been  made  a fitnah  (trial)  and  mihnah  (test,  examination). A  person’s  attitude  towards the  Companions  and  his  intentions  towards  them  is  known  from  his intentions  and  attitude  towards  Mu’awiyah  (radhiyallahu anhu).  For  this  reason when the  Salaf  saw  a  man belittling  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)   they  suspected  him  of harbouring  ill-will  and  malice  towards  the  Companions  as  a  whole,  and hence  to  Islam itself.  Ibn  Kathir  relates  from al-Fadl bin  Ziyad  who said, “I heard  Abu  ʿAbdullah  (Imam  Ahmad)  being  asked  about  a  man  who  reviled Mu’awiyah  and  ʿAmr  bin  al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhum) and  whether  he  should  be  labelled  a  Raafidhi and  he  said,  ‘He  did  not  venture  into  transgressing  against  them  except that  he  was  secretly  harbouring  evil.  No  one  ever  belittled  any  of  the Companions  except  that  he  has an evil intent’.”  [al-Bidāyah wal-Nihāyah  (8/148)].

It  should  come  as  no  surprise  that  the  writings  and  ideas  of  these thinkers  (al-Afghani, Ibn Saud, Sayyid  Qutb, Mawdudi)  became  the inspiration  behind  the  ideologies  of  excommunication  (takfir)  and revolution,  leading  to  hatred  and  desertion  of  Muslim  societies, eventually  culminating  in  terrorism.  Thus, The  foundations  of  20th  century extremism  and  terrorism lie  with  Salafis  inspired by European revolutionary movements.

The “Marxist” Social Revolution Against ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)

Al-Tabari,  the  historian  and  Qur’anic  commentator,  relates  that  in  the year  30H  (around  652CE)  ʿAbdullah  bin  Sabaʾ  travelled  to  Syria  where  he met  the  Companion  Abu  Dharr  al-Ghifari (radhiyallahu anhu) .  He  began  to  complain  against Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  govenor  of  Syria  appointed  by  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  saying,  “O Abu  Dharr,  are  you  not  surprised  at  Mu’awiyah?  He  says  that  wealth  is Allah’s  wealth,  but  everything  belongs  to  Allah,  as  if  he  wishes  to  hoard  it exclusive  to  the  Muslims  and  to  remove  the  name  of  the  Muslims  from this  [wealth].” This  is  the  ideology  of  Marxist  Socialism  and  Communism,  a  full  1200  years before  the  Communist  Manifesto  was  written  by  Marx  and  Engels.  From  1848 onwards,  this  ideology  coincided  with  a  spate  of  revolutions  against  monarchies and  governments  in  Europe  and  beyond.  These  revolutions  were  intended  to overturn  the  existing  order  in those  nations  for the  benefit  of private  interests. 

Attempting  to  arouse  discontent,  he  went  to  another Companion,  Abu al-Darda (radhiyallahu anhu) ʾand  also  began  to  hang  around  ʿUbadah  bin al-Samit (radhiyallahu anhu),  though he  was  unsuccessful  in these  endeavours. [Tarikh  al-Ṭabari  (4/283)].  This  was  part  of a  wider  strategy  since  his  presence  is  also  documented  in  the  Hijaz  (the Arabian  peninsula),  Basrah,  Kufah  (Iraq)  and  finally  Egypt  from  where the  revolutionary  activities  were  planned  during  34H  (655CE)  through written  correspondence  between  supporters  in  Egypt,  Basrah  and Kufah. [Ibn Asakir’s  Tarikh  Dimashq  and  Ibn  al-Jawzi’s  al-Muntazam  fil-Tarikh for further  details].  In  the  month  of  Shawwal  of  35H  (656CE)  the  revolutionaries descended  into  Madinah  from  the  various  townships  and  surrounded  the house  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu). Due  to  their  large  numbers,  they  effectively controlled  the  city  and  were  unchallenged.  The  siege  had  been  planned to  coincide  with  the  Hajj  season  in  the  month  of  Dhul-Hijjah  35H  (around June  656CE)  with  their  knowledge  that  the  major  Companions  would have  travelled  to  Makkah.  After  forty  days  they  burst  into  the  house  of ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu), an  eighty-year  old  frail  man  who  was  fasting  and  reciting  the Qur’an.  They  attempted to  pull  off  his  shirt  and  repeatedly  and  violently stabbed  him  to  death.  After  the  assassination,  the  main  leaders  of  this large  group  of  around  two  thousand  people  kept  a  low  profile  and concealed  themselves  within  the  army  of  ʿAli  bin  Abi  Talib (radhiyallahu anhu).  Some of  them  had  escaped  to  Basrah.  Meanwhile,  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  who  was  the appointed  ruler  of  Syria  demanded  that  the  killers  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) be apprehended  before  the  new  caliph  is  chosen.  ButʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  by  then became  the  fourth  caliph  by  agreement  of  the  major  Companions  who held  authority  and  standing. Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) was  resolved  to  pursue  and  identify  the perpetrators  and  bring  them  to  justice,  however  his  immediate  goal  was to  establish  political  stability  and  unify  the  Muslims  following  this  great calamity  and  the  immediate  danger  posed  by  the  large  number  of revolutionaries. 

The  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had  informed  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) that  a  group  of  hypocrites would  attempt  to  pull  off  his  shirt  and  that  he  would  be  killed  unjustly.  This related  in  the  hadith  of  ʿ’Abdullah  bin  ʿUmar (radhiyallahu anhu) who  said  that  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said  “A tribulation  will  occur  in  which  this  man”  –  and ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) passed  by  –  “will  be  killed unjustly  on  that  day.”  Related  by  al-Tirmidhi,  Ahmad.  And  in  the  hadith  related  by  A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) that  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) summoned  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) to  speak  to  him  and  when  he  finished,  he  struck  his shoulder  and  said,  “O  Uthman,  perhaps  Allāh  will  clothe  you  with  a  shirt  and  if  the hypocrites  attempt  to  remove  it  from  you,  do  not  remove  it  until  you  meet  me  (in  the Hereafter).”  [Related  by  Imam  Ahmad,  al-Tirmidhi,  Ibn  Majah  and  others]  and Shaykh  Muqbil  bin  Hadi  said,  “This  tradition  is  authentic  upon  the  requirements of  al-Bukhari  and  Muslim.”  Refer  to  Sahih al-Musnad  (5/501-502).  And  Abu  Bakr al-Khallal  also  narrated  that  Imam  Ahmad  (d.  241H)  used  this  tradition  as evidence  and  said,  “They  (the  hypocrites  who  killed  him)  indeed  desired  to  do that.”  Al-Sunnah  of  al-Khallal  (no.  407).  These  traditions  provide  two  of  many, abundant  examples  of  foreknowledge  indicating  the  veracity  of  the  prophethood of Nabi Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wadallam).

Activities of the Revolutionaries Post-Assassination

The  Saba’iyyah  who  had  descended  upon  Madinah  outnumbered  the inhabitants  of  Madinah  rendering  ‘Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  powerless  and having  to  tread  with care. 

For  this  very  same  reason,  a  group  of  those  from  the  clan  of  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  Banu  Umayyah,  departed  to  Makkah  to  the  wives  of  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to inform  them  of  what  had  transpired  and  to  discuss the  next  steps  to  seek  justice.  In  a  gathering  of  the  senior  Companions and  the  wives  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  ʿA’ishah (radhiyallahu anha)   encouraged  them to  establish  justice  for  the  murder  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  before  settling  the  issue  of leadership.  The  people  responded  to  her  call  and  some  of  them  said  that they  should  proceed  to  Madinah  to  demand  the  killers  and  others  said they  should  go  to  Basrah  to  make  military  preparations  to  pursue  the perpetrators  some  of  whom  had  alighted  there.  They  eventually  decided to  go  to  al-Basrah. [al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah  (10/432-433)].

Prior  to  reaching  Basrah,  the    party  of  ʿA’ishah (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  attacked  by  a  band  led by  Hukaym  bin  Jablah  al-‘Abdi  who  was  from  the  Saba’iyyah  and  their intent  was  to  prevent  the  reconciliation  that  was  about  to  take  place between Ali  and A’ishah (radhiyallahu anhuma). He  was  a  leader  of  one  of  the  four  factions  that  came  from  Basrah  to  al-Madinah  which  led  to  the  siege and  assassination  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu).  [Refer  to  alʿAwasim  min  al-Qawasim  of  Ibn  al-Arabi  al-Maliki  (Maktabah  al-Sunnah,  1412H)  p. 124]. However,  they  were  successfully  repelled. [Tarikh  al-Tabari  (4/466)]. This  indicates  the  extent  to  which  the  Saba’iyyah  were  resolved  to prevent  unity  amongst  the  Companions.  As  the  journey  to  Basrah continued,  an  incident  took  place  which  changed  the  mind  of  A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) and she  expressed  her  desire  to  return  back  to  Makkah. On  the  journey  to  Basrah,  they  passed  by  an  oasis  called  al-Hawab  whereupon some  dogs  began  to  bark  at  them.  When A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) heard  this  she  asked,  “What  is the  name  of  this  oasis?”  When  she  was  told  it  was  called  al-Hawab,  she  struck one  hand  with  the  other  and  said,  “To  Allah  we  belong  and  to  Him  shall  we return.  I  do  not  see  except  that  I  should  turn  back.”  When  asked  why,  she  said that  she  had  heard  the  Prophet  say  to  his  wives,  “If  only  I  knew  which  one  of  you will  be  barked  at  by  the  dogs  of  al-Hawab.”  [Related  by  Ahmad  in  al-Musnad  (6/52)]. This  became  a  fulfilled  prophecy of  the  Prophet  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]. However, news  reached  that  the  army  of  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  reached  Basrah  before  them  so they  made  their  way  to  Basrah  with  the  intent  of  catching  the perpetrators  and  resolving  the  matter  with ʿ’Ali (radhiyallahu anhu),  who  had  also  arrived  at Basrah  for  reconciliation. [Tarikh  al-Tabari  (4/505)] Neither  party  had  any  intention  of  fighting with each other. 

The Saba’ites and the Battle of the Jamal (Camel)

Upon  arrival  of  both  parties  at  Basrah,  discussions  took  place  between Ali  and  A’ishah (radhiyallahu anhuma)   through  a  messenger.  Eventually,  a  truce  was reached  and  it  was  agreed  that  both  parties  would  disengage  peacefully and  return  to  their  homes.  This  was  unwelcome  to  the  Saba’iyyah concealed  within  Ali’s (radhiyallahu anhu) army. [Tarikh  al-Tabari  (4/513)].  Whilst  it  was  known  they  were  present and  lurking  around,  their  specific  identities  were  not  which  made  it difficult  for  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  to  take  the  appropriate  course  of  action. Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) ordered  his people  to  depart  and  return.  Similarly,  the  party  of  A’ishah  , Talhah  and  al-Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhuma)  also  made  plans  to  depart.  Fearing  that  they  were soon  to  be  apprehended  due  to  the  combined  efforts  of  both  parties  who had  come  to  an  agreement,  the  Saba’iyyah  conspired  with  each  other  for their  survival.  Al-Tabari  relates  that  after  discussing  their  options,  their leader,  ʿAbdullah  bin  Saba,  suggested  that  they  split  into  two  parties, with  each  party  positioning  itself  in  strategic  positions  on  the  side  of  Ali and ʿA’ishah (radhiyallahu anhuma). Then  at  the  appropriate  time  during  the  night,  they  would both  initiate  an  attack  to  make  it  appear  to  each side  that  the  other  party had  acted  treacherously  and  initiated  war  despite  the  truce. [al-Kamil  Fil-Tarikh  of  Ibn al-Athir  (3/125)].  They implemented  their  evil  plot  and  each  party  fought  as  the  aggrieved oppressed  party,  believing  it  their  religious  duty  to  establish  justice.  The resulting  turmoil  led  to  the  death  of  ten  thousand  Muslims.  This  sad event  took  place  in  36H  (November  656CE)  and  after  it,  both  parties  were remorseful  at  what  had  taken  place  of  chaos  and  loss  of  life  which  had  in fact  been  instigated  by  subversive  Saba’iyyah  element  within  their  ranks. None  of  the  Companions  involved  in  this  incident  had  any  intention  to fight  against  each other  at  all.   

The Battle of Siffin

Six  months  later  and  still  resolved  to  achieve  political  unity,ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  turned to  address  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in  Syria  who  had  not  yet  come  under  the authority  of ʿAli’s (radhiyallahu anhu) leadership  and  demanded  vengeance  for ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu).  But ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  insisted  on  unity  and  for  everyone  to  come  under  his  authority before  pursuing  justice  for  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu). What  complicated  matters  was  that  it  was  known  that  the  perpetrators  had taken  cover  within  the  ranks  of  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu).  This  was  to  the  consternation  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) and  those  with  him  who  demanded  the  perpetrators  be  turned  over.  However,ʿAli’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  position (of  establishing  leadership and  stability)  was  judged  by  the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to be closer  to  the  truth  in  his  prophecy  that  civil  war  would break  out  between  two  parties  and  the  one  that  was  closer  to  the  truth  would fight  and  kill  the  Kharijite  renegades  when  they  appeared,  and  that  was  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu).  Abu Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) reported  that  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “My  nation  will  split  into two  parties  and  from  their  midst  will  split  a  renegade  group,  the  closest  of  the  two  parties to  the  truth  will  kill  them.”  [Related  by  Muslim (no.  1064)].  Despite  sustained  diplomatic efforts  to  come  to  a  resolution,  the  armies  of  the  two  parties  met  at  a place  called  Siffin  near  the  Euphrates  (present-day  Raqqah  in  Syria).  This was  in  Dhul-Hijjah,  the  last  month  of  the  Islamic  calendar,  in  the  year  36H (May  657CE)  Fighting  broke  out,  and  continued  for  just  over  two  months and  very  large  numbers  were  killed. Abu  Hurayrah  related  that  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “The  Final  Hour  will  not come  to  pass  until  two  great  armies  fight  and  great  killing  will  take  place  between  them, whilst  the  claim  of  both  is  one  [and  the  same].”  [Bukhari no. 3609]. Both  parties  claimed  to  be  upon  the  truth, [Fath al-Bari  (6/616)] and  there  were  tens  of thousands  of casualties  on  both sides. The  Companion  Ammar  bin Yasir (radhiyallahu anhu) who  was  on  the  side  of ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  killed  in  this  battle.  Just  prior  to  his death,  he  took  a  drink  of  milk,  fulfilling  two  more  prophecies. Abu  Sa’id  al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu)  related  that  during  the  Battle  of  the  Trench  in  5AH (627CE),  whilst ʿAmmar  bin  Yasir (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  participating  in  digging,  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to  him,  “A  transgressing  faction  will  kill  you.”  Reported  by  Muslim (no.  2915).  This  is  evidence  that  ʿAlī  was  correct  in  his  position  and  that  the  other party  had  erred  and  Ibn  Kathir (rahimahullah) indicated  that  this  prophecy  is  from  the evidences  for  the  prophethood  of  Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Abu al-Bukhtari  relates  that  some milk  was  brought  to  ʿ’Ammar (radhiyallahu anhu) (in  the  Battle  of  Siffin  before  he  died)  and he laughed and said, “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to me, ‘The last drink you  will  have  when  you  die  will  be  a  drink  of  milk’.” [Musnad Ahmad (4/319)]. Over  the passing  of  time,ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) gained  the  upper  hand  and  the  army  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) began  to  signal  their  desire  for  arbitration  by  placing  copies  of  the  Qur’an on their spears and raising them up. 

The Saba’ites, Arbitration and Separation of the Kharijite Movement

The  faction  of  the  Saba’iyyah  in  the  army  of  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  coerced  him  to  accept  an arbitration  and  even  threatened  to  kill  him.  One  of  them,  Zayd  bin Husayn al-Ta’i, said,  “If  you  do  not  accept  [arbitration]  we  will  kill  you just  as  we  killed  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  for  when  he  abandoned  acting  by  the  Book  of Allah  we  killed  him  and  by  Allah  we  will  do  to  you  what  we  did  to  him.” [al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/546].  And  Imam al-Dhahabi said,  “And  from the  heads  of  the  Kharijites  was  Zayd bin Husayn…”  [Al-Siyar  (2/536)].  This  is evidence  of  the  link  between  the Saba’ites  and  the  Kharijites.  The  peak  of  the heirarchy  of  both  movements  were  made  up  of  the  same  instigators  which  is why  any  study  of  the  emergence  of  the  first  two  sects  in  Islam  cannot  be separated. ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) was  not  happy  with  accepting  an  arbitration  because  he  saw  it  as  a mere  tactic  of  war  by  the  opposing  faction  to  avoid  impending  defeat. Under  pressure  and  threat  of  assassination  by  the  Saba’iyyah  who  had managed  to  maneuvre  themselves  into  a  position  of  strength  within  his army  he  unwillingly  accepted  the  request.  An  arbitration  ensued  with each  side  delegating  a  representative  to  settle  the  matter  and  end hostilities.  However,  no  sooner  had  the  arbitration  taken  place  and reconciliation  made  between  the  two  warring  parties  of  Muslims  but objections began to be raised. It  is  related  that  the  first  who  raised  the  issue  of  the  arbitration  was ʿAbdullah  bin  Wahb  al-Rasibi. [al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/560]  Then  some  of  the  Qur’anic  reciters  who were  associates  of  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) took  this saying  and  began  to chant, in  their compound  ignorance,  “The  judgement  is  for  none  but  Allah.”  This  was  the beginning  of  the  emergence  of  the  Kharijite  renegades  mentioned  in  the Prophetic  traditions.  The  army  ofʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  returned  to  Kufah  in  early  37H  (July 657CE).  As  they  approached  the  city,  twelve-thousand  men  separated from  him  and  refused  to  inhabit  the  city  with  him. They  settled  in  a  place called  Harura. This  is  why  they  were  also labelled  the  Harurites (Haruriyyah).  It  appears  that  the  Saba’ite  faction  stirred  up discontentment  towards Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) during  the  return  journey  and  a  large number  had  been  affected.  They  raised  a  number  of  objections  against ʿAli’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  conduct  so  he  sent  Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  scholar  of  the  Qur’an,  to  debate them  on  those  issues. Ibnʿ’Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu)  refuted  their  arguments  and  a  third  of them  returned  from  their  error  but  the  remainder  persisted  upon  their misguidance. [al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/567].  They  claimed  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  disobeyed  Allah,  that  the  truce  was unlawful  and  that  everyone  who  accepted  the  arbitration  had  become disbelievers including ʿAli, Mu’awiyah and both of their armies. 

These were  the Kharijite  renegades intended by  the  saying  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), “A renegade  faction  will  appear  during  an  era  of  civil  strife  amongst the  Muslims  and  the  closest  of  the  two  [contending]  parties  will  kill  them.” [Bukhari  and  Muslim].  In this  tradition  is  a  clear  judgement  that  despite  the  contention  and  war between  the  two  parties  of  ʿAli  and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhum),  both  remained  Muslims. One  was  correct  (‘Ali)  in his  decision  that  political  unity  and  stability  was the  first  priority  and  the  other  (Mu’awiyah)  had erred in his  judgement  of demanding  that ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  should  be  avenged  beforeʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) took  power.  This is  the  belief  of  orthodox  Muslims  and  it  is  prohibited  to  harbour  any  ill-feeling  towards  the  Companions  who  had  been  put  to  trial  with  each party pursuing what they knew to be truth and justice. 

The  Breakaway  “Islamic  State”  of  the  Kharijites  and  “Enjoining  the  Good and Forbidding the Evil”

When  the  Kharijites  split  away  from  the  Muslims,  they  began  to  entice each  other  to  ‘enjoin  the  good  and  forbid  the  evil’ [ Refer  to  the  statements  of  the  Saba’ite  Kharijites  later  in  this  article  in  this regard  after  they    had  broken  away  and  set  up  their  own state  –  point  8  in  the  section which relates  to  their  activities  and  methods] and  to  rectify  the  people because  they  had  become  misguided  in  their  view. This  was  the  very  same  foundation  upon  which  Hasan  al-Banna  founded  his Brotherhood  (al-Ikhwan  al-Muslimun, a salafi sub-group).  They  saw  themselves  as  an  elite  band who  stood  to  enjoin  good  and  prohibit  evil  and  whoever  did  not  join  them  was deficient  if  not  suspect  in  his  faith.  Similarly,  the  present-day kharijis largely  operates  upon  the  claim  of  enjoining  good  and  forbidding  evil.  To  them, it  is  practically  encompassed  in  mobilizing  people  against  the  people whom  they  consider  disbelievers  and  apostates  and  as  the  root  of  all  problems faced  by  Muslims.  Islam  and  the  Shari’ah  did  not  come  with  revolutions  and coups,  these  are  the  ways  of  the  disbelievers  under  whose  influence  the  20th century  political ‘terrorists’  appeared,  founded  upon  hizbiyyah  (partisanship  and loyalty  to  the  party  and  its  goals).  From  Harura,  the Kharijites  made  their  way  to  a  place  called  al-Nahrawan,  twelve  miles from  Baghdad.  This  became  their  ‘Islamic  State’  which they  considered  the abode  of  Islam  upon  the  belief  that  the  rest  of  the  Muslims  had  forsaken Islam  and  their  lands  were  lands  of  disbelief  and  war.  This  was  in  early 37H  (July  657CE)  and  over  the  next  two  years,  the  Kharijite  ideology  began to  develop  more  fully  and  take  shape.  They  also  began  recruiting  people and  obliging  them  to  emigrate  to  their  alleged  Islamic  state  so  that  they could  launch  jihad  against  the  Muslims  as  is  explicit  in  their  words. (These  are  documented  in  a  later  section  on  the  activities  of  the  Saba’iyyah  and Kharijites  during  this  entire  four year  period,  until  they  assassinated  Ali). They  also  began  to  take  the  ambiguous  verses  of  the Qur’an  and  interpret them  with  false  interpretations,  using  them  against  the  Muslims.  As  a result,  the  learned  scholars  of  the  Qur’an  of  the  time  such  as  Qatādah  (d. 118H,  early  8th  century  CE),  a  direct  student  of  the  Prophet’s  Companions, commented  on  the  Qur’anic  verse,  “As  for  those  in  whose  hearts  is  a disease,  they  pursue  what  is  ambiguous  therein,  seeking  tribulation…” (3:7)  by  saying,  “If  they  are  not  the  Haruriyah  [Kharijites]  or  the  Sabaʾites, then  I  do  not  know  who  they  are.” [Tafsir  al-Tabari].  The  first  leader  of  the  Kharijites  was ʿAbdullah  bin  Wahb  al-Rasibi  and  he  and  some  of  the  main  instigators with  him  have  been  identified  as  Saba’iyyah,  followers  of  ʿAbdullah  bin Sabaʾ.  He  had  strong  marks  of  prostration  on  his  forehead  due  to  striving hard  in  worship  which  indicates  that  outward  piety  does  not  equate  to guidance  and  doctrinal  authenticity.  Regarding  this  appellation  (al-Sabaʾ, referring  to  the  region  in  Yemen)  the  historian  known  as  al-Sam’ani  (d. 562H)  wrote,  “And  Abdullah    bin  Wahb  al-Saba’i,  leader  of  the  Kharijites, and  it  is  my  belief  that  this  Ibn  Wahb  is  ascribed  to  Abdullah  bin  Saba, for  he  (the  latter)  is  from  the  Raafidah  [Shi’ites],  and  a  group  amongst them  ascribe  to  him  and  they  are  called  Saba’ites.” [  Al-Ansab (Dar al-Janan, 1408H)  p.209].  Imam  al-Dhahabi, the  famous  encyclopedic  biographer,  wrote,  “In  this  year  [38H,  659CE]  was the  occurrence  of  al-Nahrawan  between  Ali  and  the  Kharijites.  The  head of  the  Kharijites, ʿAbdullah  bin  Wahb  [al-Rasibi]  al-Saba’i was  killed  and most  of  his  associates  were  killed.”  Al-Dhahabi  also  said,  “And  from  the heads  of  the  Kharijites  was  Zayd  bin  Huṣayn al-Ta’i…” [Al-Siyar  (2/536)]  and  he  was  the individual  who  said  to  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) that  unless  he  accepts  the  arbitration  with Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu), they  will kill him as  they  killed  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu).  Those  who  later  revolted  against  the  leaders  of  Bani  Umayyah,  the  first  ruling dynasty after  the  four  righteous  Caliphs,  were  also  from  the  Saba’iyyah.  The  poet al-A’sha  (d.  84H)  said  about  the  revolutionary,  al-Mukhtar bin Abi  Ubayd al-Thaqafi  and  his  followers,  “I  bear  witness  against  you,  that  you  are  Saba’iyyah and  that  I  am  acquainted  with  you  O  agents  of  disbelief.”  Refer  to  al-A’sha’s Diwan  (p.148)  and  Tarikh al-Tabari (Dar al-Ma’arif,  2nd  edition) 6/83.

Short  of  two  years  later, Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) finally  fought  against  the  Kharijites  at  al-Nahrawan  in  38H  (659CE),  fulfilling  the  prophecy  in  the  speech  of  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), “A renegade  faction  will  appear  during  a  time  of  civil  strife and  the  closest  of  the  two  parties  to  the  truth  will  kill  them.”  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  closer  to the  truth  than  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  this  tribulation  and  he  fought  and  killed  the Kharijites.  When  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  defeated  them  at  al-Nahrawan,  he  ordered  that  the black  man  mentioned  by  the  Prophet  on  whose  upper  arm  would  be  a mark  should  be  looked  for.  After  a  few  attempts,  he  was  finally  found  on the  battlefield  and  identified  with  a  mark  exactly  as  the  Prophet mentioned. Al-Haytham bin Adi  (d.  207H)  in  his  work  titled  “al-Khawarij” relates  through  Nafiʾ  bin  Maslamah  who  said,  “The  man  who  was  (found), Dhul-Thudayyah  (possessor  of  the  breast-like  mark  on  his  upper  arm) was  from  Uraynah,  from  Bajilah,  and  he  was  intensely  black  in complexion.  He  had  a  vile  stench  that  was  known  within  the  army  and [during  the  battle]  he  would  be  in  our  proximity.  He  would  fight  us  and we  would  fight  him.” [al-Bidayah (10/590)].  When  his  lacerated  body  was  found  and  came  to the  attention  of  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu), he  prostrated  for a lengthy  time, recognizing  the fulfilment of the prophecy  made  by  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). [Ibid]  Following the  defeat  of  the  Kharijites  the  people  began  to  say  to  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) ,  “All  praise  is due  to  Allah,  O  chief  of  the  believers,  who  has  cut  them  off.”  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) responded,  “No  by  Allah,  they  remain  in  the  loins  of  men  and  wombs  of women  and  when  they  appear,  hardly  do  they  fight  anyone  except  that they  overwhelm  him.” [al-Bidayah 10/590-591].  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  knew  that  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  had prophesized  their  continued  appearance  till  the  end  of  time  and  that they will not go extinct after their defeat at al-Nahrawan. Once  this  historical  background  has  been  put  in  place,  we  can  now  look in  more  detail  about  the  traits  of  the  Kharijites  mentioned  in  the Prophetic  traditions,  some  of  their  early  terrorist  activities,  how  the Muslim  scholars  spoke  of  them  through  every  generation  and    the  nature of  their  activities  during the  time  they  broke  of  from  Ali’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  army  and  were eventually fought and killed by him almost two years later. 


Many  of  the  ideas  and  activities  of  this  early  subversive  current  which put  Islam  and  the  Muslims  to  trial  can  be  found  today  amongst  the Kharijite  terrorists  of ISIS  in  the  land  of  Shām  (Syria)  and Iraq – the  very  place  from  which  the  Prophet  of  Islam  indicated,  over 1400  years  ago,  that  these  people  would  first  emerge  and  then  continue to  emerge.  The  famous  historian  and  Qur’an  commentator, Isma’eel Ibn  Kathir (d.774H,  14th  century  CE),  compiled  the  activities  of  the  early  Saba’ites and  Kharijites  in  some  detail  and  it  is  worthwhile  to  mention  them  here to  see  the  striking  parallels  between  them  and  the  Kharijites  of  today  in the  form  of  ISIS,  Boko  Haram  and  others.  When  the statements  of  the  leaders  and  spokesmen  of  ISIS  and  videos  of  the activities  of  their  members  are  compared  with  those  of  the  first Kharijites,  it  becomes  clear  with  absolute  certainty  that  they  are  the Kharijite  Dogs  of  Hellfire  intended  in  the  Prophetic  traditions.  This prophecy  about  the  Kharijites  is  one  of  many  serving  as  proof  for  the truthfulness of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

1.  Forging  documents  against  the  Companions.  The  Saba’ite  Kharijite terrorists  distributed a  document  in the  name  of  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) in  which there  was  a  command  authorizing  the  killing  of  the  conspirators  behind the  planned  uprising  against  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) during  35H  (656CE). They  had forged  this  document  and  the  seal  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  with  which  they  stamped the  document  to  give  it  the  appearance  of  authenticity.  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  would have  had  no  knowledge  about  these  conspirators  and  their  intentions  at the  time  and  he  expressly  denied  he  wrote  this  document. [Al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/280-281]. 

They also fabricated  documents  against  the  Companions  such  as ʿAli, Talhah and Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhum) in  which  they  allegedly  called  the  people  to  fight  against  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) in  order  to  aid  the  religion,  and  they  wrote  in  these  fabricated  documents that  fighting  againstʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  the  greatest  form  of  jihad  and  support of  the  religion. [Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah:10/277]. In  a  like fashion,  the Kharijites Ibn Saud claimed and now the ISIS  claim  that  killing people  is  the greatest  form  of  jihad  and  they  fabricate  statements  upon  the  scholars  of  the Muslims  such  as  Muhammad  Ibn  ʿAbd  al-Wahhab  and  Ibn  Taymiyyah,  ascribing to  them  and  their  statements  what  they  did  not  say  or  intend.  This  is  to  deceive the  people  to  make  it  appear  that  they  are  justified  and  supported  in  their  evil activities  when  the  reality  is  that  in  the  speech  of  those  scholars  is  the  very opposite  and  what  acually  condemns them,  their  ideology  and  their activities.  They  also  fabricated  a  document  against  ʿA’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) in  which  she  allegedly  called  the  people  to  revolt  against  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu).  After mentioning  narrations  from  Masruq  and  al-A’mash  in  this  regard,  Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) comments,  “And  in  this  and  its  likes  is  plain  evidence  that  those Kharijites,  may  Allah  disfigure  them,  would  fabricate  documents  upon the  tongues  of  the  Companions  and  spread  them  in  the  horizons,  inciting the  people  to  fight  against ʿUthman.” [Al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/339-340].

2.  Addressing  the  rulers  with  Jewish  or  Christian  names.  The  Kharijite terrorists  would  address  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  with  names  of  Jewish  and  Christian leaders  to  imply  he  was  somehow  working  for  them  or  aligned  with  them or  like  them  [Al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/282]   and  they  would  refer  to  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  with  derogatory  names  such  as jahid  (denier,  rejector). [Al-Bidayah  wal-Nihayah 10/591].  ʿAbdullāh  bin  Wahb al-Rasibi  would  refuse  to  call ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  with  any  name  or  title  except  this  one,  jahid (denier,  rejector)]  During  their  revolt  against  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  Madinah, one  of  them  stood  up  whilst Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  was  delivering  a  sermon  and  said to  him,  “Stand  O  Na’thal  and  come  down  from  this  pulpit.”  Na’thal  was the  name  of  one  of  the  Jewish  leaders  in  Madinah.  And  when  the murderers  eventually  broke  into  his  house  they  said  to  him,  “Which religion  are  you  upon  O  Na’thal?”  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  replied,  “Upon  the  religion  of Islam  and  I  am  not  Na’thal,  but  I  am  the  Chief  of  the  Believers  (amir  al-mu’minin).”

3.  Stealing  property  and  wealth.  The  first  Kharijite  terrorists  would  steal the  property  and  possessions  of  the  People  whom  they  declared  apostates as  they  did  with  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  after  killing  him.  They  left  nothing  in  his house  and  took all of  his  possessions. [al-Bidayah  10/307]. 

4.  Spilling  blood  and  cutting  off  routes  of  travel.  The  Kharijite  terrorists who  opposed ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) would shed blood,  cut  off  the  routes  of  travel  and would  violate  the  inviolable [al-Bidayah, 10/584], such  as  their  murder  of  ʿAbdullah  bin  al-Khabbab and killing women and even an  unborn child. [The  Kharijites  of  ISIS  and  Boko Haraam  slaughter  men,  women  and  children without  distinction  as  they  were  doing  in  the  streets  and  mosques  of  Baghdad years  ago  with  horrendous  bombings  –  terrorizing  the  people  and  cutting  off  the routes  of travel, also needs mention of Muhammad ibn Saud’s slaughtering and looting of innocent people of Ta’if and Karbala] 

5.  Motivated  by  personal  reasons.  The  Kharijite  terrorists  of  old  made  it clear  that  they  were  motivated  primarily  for  personal,  worldly  reasons. One of  the  assassins  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) called ʿAmr  bin  al-Hamiq  sat  on his chest  after  he  had  already  been stabbed  by  another  and  proceeded to stab him  nine  times  in  the  chest,  after  which  he  said,  “Three  of  them  were  for Allah  and  six  of  them  were  for  what  I  held  in   my  chest.” [al-Bidayah, 10/309].  In  a  like  fashion,  the  Kharijites  in  all  their  varying factions  today,  whether  those  engaged  in unneeded violence  or  those  who just  support  the  underlying  ideology,  they  all  have  grievances  against  the Muslim people in  matters  of  wealth and  employment] In  reality,  none of  them  were  for  Allah  at  all,  for  these  individuals  were  disbelieving hypocrites by judgement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) they kill Muslims in their services to their U.S-Israeli Masters who have installed them to kill Muslims.

6.  Divided  in  their  pursuit  of  overall  leadership.  Ibn  Kathir (rahimahullah) writes,  “So when  they  revolted  in  the  era  of  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  people  rallied  behind  them [the Kharijites],  and  everyone  had  an  associate  [leading  them  in  the revolution],  and  each  group  of  people  desired  that  their  associate  would take  the  overall  leadership  after  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu).” [ al-Bidayah, 10/397].  In  a  like  fashion,  the  Kharijites  of  today  are  divided into  factions  (al-Nusrah,  ISIS  and  Saud dynasty),  each  of  them  desiring  that they  will  be  the  ones  to  take  over  general  leadership.  This  has  led  them  to  fight and  kill  each  other  and  declare  each  other  apostates  indicating  the  nature  and extent  of their misguidance,  founded  upon matters  of the  world]. Many  factions  came  to Madinah  from the  various  cities  and  each  had  a  leader.  Their  anticipation would  be  that  following  the  removal  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  their  leader  would  be the  one  to  take  power.  This  undercurrent  of  rivalry  and  pursuit  of ultimate  authority  expresses  itself  today  in  the  rivalry  between  the factions of ISIS, al-Nusrah.

7.  Recruitment  by  stealth  and  encouraging  emigration  from  Muslim lands.  After  splitting  from  the  main  body  of  Muslims  under  the leadership  of  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu),  ʿAbdullah  bin  Wahb  al-Rasibi  –  who  was  the  first  leader of  the  Kharijites  and  member  of  the  Saba’iyyah  subversive  movement  – began  to  meet  with  his  associates  and  started  recruiting  people  by encouraging  them  to  abandon  their  families  and  to  travel  to  them  by stealth.  He  said,  “Come  out  with  us  O  our  brothers  from  this  city  whose inhabitants  are  oppressive  to  this  outskirt  near  the  mountainous  rural district  or  to  some  of  these  cities,  upon  your  rejection  of  these  oppressive rulings.” [al-Bidayah,  10/578.  Similarly,  the  Kharijites  of  ISIS  use  propaganda  via social  media  to  entice  the  young,  ignorant  and  foolish  to  abandon  their  families and  travel  to  them  in  the  lands  occupied  by  them] Similarly,  Zayd  bin  Husayn al-Ta’i  –  the  one  who  threatened  to kill  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  just  as  his  group  had  previously  killed  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  –  advised  those who  were  upon  this  Kharijite  ideology  in  various  cities.  He  informed them  when  they  desire  to  leave  Kufah  to  come  to  their  meeting  place, they  should  not  leave  in  groups,  but  in  isolation  so  as  not  to  create suspicion.  They  would  write  letters  to  their  followers  in  Basrah  and  other locations  giving  them  advice  on  how  and  where  to  meet.  Youths  began  to leave,  abandoning  their  mothers,  fathers,  aunties  and  uncles  and  all other  relatives.  Ibn  Kathir (rahimahullah) commented,  “Due  to  their  ignorance  and paucity  of  knowledge  and  intellect,  they  thought  this  matter  pleases  the Lord  of  the  Heavens    and  Earth.  They  did  not  know  that  it  is  from  the greatest  of  major  sins,  vices,  destructive  affairs,  mighty  transgressions and  errors  and  that  it  is  from  what  Iblis  (Satan)  has  beautified  for  them and for  their  souls  which command  them with evil.” [al-Bidayah, 10/581]. 

8.  Waging  jihad  against  Muslims  and  encouraging  their  slaughter.  These Kharijites  considered  the  Muslims  to  have  strayed  and  abandoned  Islam, despairing  of  bringing  them  back  and  thus  they  enjoined  jihad  against them.  When  the  heads  of  this  movement  gathered  in  a  house,  each  one  of them  of  was  presented  with  leadership  and  they  all  refused  except ʿAbdullah  bin  Wahb  al-Rasibi  who  said,  “By  Allah,  I  do  not  accept [leadership]  desiring  the  world  and  nor  do  I  abandon  it  out  of  aversion  of death.”  When  he  had  been  made  leader,  they  gathered  together  in  the house  of  Zayd  bin  Husayn  al-Ta’i  who  gave  them  a  sermon.  He encouraged  them  to  enjoin  the  good  and  forbid  the  evil  and  he  recited  verses from  the  Qur’an  to  them  such  as,  “O  Dawud,  we  have  made  you  the vicegerent  upon  the  Earth,  so  judge  between  the  people  with  truth  and do  not  follow  desire  lest  it  misguide  you  from  Allah’s  path.”  (38:26)  and also  “And  whoever  does  not  judge  by  what  Allah  revealed,  they  are  the disbelievers.”  (5:44)  and  “…they  are  the  oppressors.”  (5:45)  and    “…  they are  the  sinners.”  (5:47).  Then  he  said,  “So  bear  witness  against  the  people subjected  to  our  call  from  the  people  of  our  qiblah  (direction  of  prayer) that  they  followed  desire,  shunned  the  judgement  of  the  Book,  have transgressed  in  speech  and  deed  and  that  waging  jihād  against  them  is  a duty  upon  the  believers.”  Then  he  encouraged  them  to  attack  the  people and  in  his  speech  he  said,  “Strike  their  faces  and  foreheads  with  swords until  the  Most-Gracious,  Most  Merciful  (al-Rahman,  al-Rahim)  is  obeyed.” Ibn  Kathir (rahimahullah) commented  upon  this,  “These  type  of  people  are  from  the strangest  of  species  amongst  the  offspring  of  Adam,  and  sublime  is  Allah who  created  variations  in  His  creation  as  He  desired…  The  intent  here  is that  they  are  misguided  ignoramuses,  wretched  (despicable)  in  both statements  and  deeds.” [al-Bidayah,  10/578-581].  [In  a  like  fashion  today,  the  Kharijites  of  ISIS, Boko  Haram  and  others  wage so-called jihad  against  Muslims  after  first excommunicating  those  who  do  not  agree  with  them,  or  criticize  them.  The Kharijite  ideology  is  clothed  with  lofty  slogans  such  as “Shar’ah”  and  “Khilafah” and  “social  justice”  and  the  claim  of  “enjoining  the  good  and  forbidding  the  evil” and  what  is  similar  to  that].  One  should  note  that  though  the  Kharijites  split and  became  into  many  sects,  acquiring  other  deviant  beliefs,  what  is common  between  them  and  unites  them  all  is  the  issue  of  takfir  in relation  to  justice and  judgement  by  Allah’s  law.  This  is  the foundational  basis  of  all  revolutionary  political  movements  taking  form in the innovated “Islamic political jama’ah.”

9.    Judging  Muslims  with  disbelief  on  account  of  matters  that  do  not constitute  it.  The  ignorant  Kharijites  excommunicated  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and  accused him  of  being  a  polytheist  because  he  deferred  judgement  to  men,  a reference  to  the  arbitration  between  ʿAli  and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)  during  the  battle at  Siffin.  They  said,  “O  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu),  you  have  ascribed  partners  to  Allah  in  His religion,  judgement  belongs  only  to  Allah.” [al-Bidayah, 10/570].  This  is  despite  the  fact  that arbitration  –  such  as  in  marital  disputes  and  in  reconciliation  between  to contending  or  warring  parties  –  is  permitted  in  the  Qur’an,  and  this  is how  Ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  Qur’anic  scholar,  refuted  those  Kharijites.  Thus,  they accuse  Muslims  with  disbelief  through  matters  that  are  not  even considered  sins  in  the  Islamic  Shari’ah,  let  alone  disbelief  itself,  but rather  commended.  

10.  Their  opponents  condemned  to  Hellfire  if  killed  by  them.  The Kharijites  of  old  also  believed  that  whomever  was  killed  by  them  was automatically  in  the  Hellfire.  The  companion  of  the  Prophet,  Abu  Ayyub al-Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu) said,  “I  pushed  a  spear  into  a  man  from  the  Kharijites and  pushed  it  through  till  it  came  out  from  his  back  and  I  said  to  him, ‘Glad  tidings  O  enemy  of  Allah  of  the  Fire.’  So  he  replied,  ‘You  will  soon come  to  know  which  of  us  is  more  worthy  of  being  burned  therein’.” [al-Bidayah,  10/588.  Today,  the  Kharijites  of  ISIS  claim  that  anyone  who fights  them  and  is  killed  by  them  is  automatically  an  apostate  and  is  condemned to  the  Hellfire  –  as  can  be  seen  in  numerous  videos  that  have  been  surfacing  over the  last  couple  of years]. This  is  keeping  in  mind  that  the  Companions  of  the  Prophet  are guaranteed  Paradise  by  the  testimony  of  the  Qur’an  and  the  Kharijite dogs  are  condemned  to  the  Hellfire  by  testimony  of  the  Qur’an  and  the Prophetic traditions. 

11.  Claiming  Paradise  for  their  dead.  When  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  came  to  them  at  al-Nahrawan,  admonished  them  and  warned  them  severely  and  they intended  battle,  they  began  chanting,  “Judgement  is  for  Allah,  departure, departure  to  Paradise!” [al-Bidayah, 10/587].  Thus,  they  claimed  automatic  entry  to  Paradise for  their  dead,  whereas  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  judged  them  Kharijite dogs  of  Hellfire  who  exit  from  Islqm  as  an  arrow  passes  through  its game. [The  same  rhetoric  is  found  today  with  the  Kharijite  dogs  of  ISIS    and others,  their  slogans  being,  “The  judgement  is  for  Allah  alone,”  and  their enticement  to  the  ignorant  and  foolish  to  seek  Paradise  through  martyrdom  and slaughtering  other  Muslims].

11.  Violating  the  rights  of  the  people  under  protection.  The  Khsrijites violate  the  rights  of  the  non-Muslims  who  are  under  guarantee  of protection  from  the  Muslims.  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  sent  Ibn  ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu),  the  most knowledgeable  companion  of  the  Prophet  of  the  Qur’an,  to  debate  the Kharijites  and  as  a  result  one  third  of  them  returned. [It  is  said  they  numbered  six  thousand  and  it  is  also said  twelve  thousand].  To  the  remaining two-thirds  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  announced  that  there  is  “an  agreement  between  us  and you  that  you  will  not  spill  inviolable  blood,  you  will  not  cut  off  the pathways  and  you  will  not  oppress  [the  non-Muslims]  under  protection.” Later,  when ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)  had  fought  them,  A’ishah (radhiyallahu anha) said  to  Ibn  Shaddad,  “He  killed them”  and  he  replied,  “By  Allah,  he  did  not  dispatch  [his  army]  to  them until  they  cut  off  the  pathways,  spilled  blood  and  made  lawful  [the killing]  of  the  [non-Muslims]  under  guarantee  of  protection.” [al-Bidayah, 10/588].  In  a  similar  way,  the  treacherous  Kharijites  of  ISIS   violate  the  sanctity  of  the  Shari’ah  by  taking  lives  which  the Shari’ah  has  protected]. 

12.  They  comprised  the  ruffians,  hooligans,  the  dregs  of  society  and  the young  and  foolish  of  age.  Those  who  were  mobilized  against  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  by the  Saba’iyyah  were  the  dregs  of  society  and  the  young  and  foolish. [al-Kamil of Ibn al-Athīr (3/101)].  Just the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  described  them,  “young  of  age,  foolish-mind.” Historians  Ibn  Sa’d,  al-Dhahabi,  Ibn  Kathir  and  others  recount  from earlier  authorities  that  those  the  revolutionaries  mobilized  against ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  were  the  dregs  of  society,  ruffians,  brainless  savages  and  that the  Kharijites  comprised of  ignorant  masses. [Similarly  today,  the  young  and  foolish  who  know  hardly  a  thing  about  the foundations  and  principles  of  Islam  are  recruited  by  ISIS,  and  many  of  them  have barely  left  street-life  thuggery,  drugs  or  a  teenage  life  engrossed  in  pop- culture  and  music,  and  then  all  of  a  sudden,  they  are  off  to  the  alleged  Islamic state  to  wage  jihad.  This  phenomenon  is  not  new  and  it  is  not  surprising  to  those who  know  history  and  understand  the  reality  of  the  religion  of  the  Kharijites,  it was  the  very  same  thing  taking  place  between  36H  and  38H  when  the  first Kharijites  set  up  their  alleged  Islamic  state  in  al-Nahrawan  and  began  to  use propaganda  to  recruit  the  young  and  foolish  to  their  cause].

13.  Find  fault  with  scholars  in  irrelevant  matters.  When  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) sent  Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) to debate  with  the  Kharijites  after  they  abandoned  his  army and  camped  at  Harura,  he  was  wearing  a  fine  garment.  They  began  to debate  with  him  about  it  and  he  replied  with  the  Qur’an,  “Say:  Who  has forbidden  the  adornment  [of  clothing]  given  by  Allah  which  He  has produced  for  His  servants  and  the  good  lawful  things  of  provision?” (7:32).  This  indicates  their  resentment  against  both  the  rulers  and  the scholars  for  the  good  things  Allah  has  bestowed  upon  them  and  that these  underlying  currents  of  jealousy  are  what  drive  the  instigators amongst  them. [ Similarly the  Khariji Muhammad ibn Saud rebelled against the Ottoman Caliphate, of late,  ISIS  and  others  resent  what  they see  of  affluence  with  the  rulers  of  the  Muslims,  despite  the  fact  that  the  Prophet informed  and  taught  his  nation  that  there  will  come  leaders  who  will  give preference  to  their  own  interests  above  and  beyond  those  of  the  subjects  and that  some  of  them  would  not  follow  his  guidance  and  would  have  the  hearts  of devils  in  the  bodies  of  men,  but  despite  that,  he  enjoined  patience  upon  the subjects  even  if  oppressed.    

14.  Fault-picking  against  the  rulers  and  twisting everyting that they  do  in their  statements,  activities  and  decisions.  During  the  2  year  period between  36H  and  38H  before  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  eventually  fought  the  Kharijites,  they would  find  fault  with  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) in  every  issue  possible,  criticize  him  and twist  his  words  to  present  them  in  the  worst  possible  light.  Ibn  Kathir relates  through  al-Tabari  that  the  Kharijites,  “began  to  confront  him regarding  his  statements,  make  him  hear  their  slurs  (revilements)  and making  all  sorts  of  interpretations  of  his  statements.” [  al-Bidayah, 10/569].  Similarly, ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  made  some  personal  judgements  in  matters  of jurisprudence  and  these  issues  were  raised  against  him  by  the  Saba’iyyah as  part  of  a  wider  agenda  to  stir  up  revolution.  Likewise,  when  they fabricated  a  letter  upon ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  which  he  allegedly  gave  orders  to have  them  killed  andʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  stated  his  complete  innocence,  they responded  by  saying, “If  you  did  write  it  you  are  treacherous  and  if  you did  not  write  it,  it  shows  you  are  powerless  and  the  likes  of  you  therefore are  not  fit  for  leadership  due  to  either  treachery  or  incapacity.” [ al-Bidayah, 10/311].

15.  Complaining  and  supplicating  for  change  despite  living  in  relative affluence  and  safety.  From  their  ungratefulness  is  that  despite  living  in sufficiency,  affluence  and  safety,  they  supplicate  for  change.  In  the  reign of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu) ,  people  would  come  to  the  Bayt  al-Mal  (the  state  treasury), take  their  portion,  and  then  supplicate  for  a  change  in  their circumstances  for  the  better. [al-Bidayah, 10/336.]  [Just like al-Saud did with the rebellion against Ottomans, despite living in security and peace under them, This  indicates  the nature  of  the  heart  residing  in  the  body  of  a  Kharijite,  vile  and  putrid, ungrateful and filled with scorn].

16. Doctrines  of  prominent  early  Kharijite  sects.  The  heresiographers specializing  in  documenting  the  ideas  and  practices  of  the  deviant  sects note  the  following  about  the  very  early  Khariijte  splinter  groups:  The Azariqites  declared    killing  the  wives  and  children  of  Muslims  they considered  apostates  to  be  lawful.  Some  of  them  also  made  it  lawful  to violate  contracts.  They  also  held  that  whoever  resides  in  the  lands  of disbelief  is  a  disbeliever,  keeping  in  mind  that  a  land  of  disbelief  is  any land  other  than  theirs.  The  Najadites  made  it  lawful  to  kill  non-Muslims under  covenant  with  the  Muslims  and  to  take  their  wealth.  Some  of  them also  believe  that  dissimulation  (taqiyah)  in  speech  and  deed  is  permissible even  in  killing  people.  The  Bahaisites  asserted  that  when  the  ruler becomes  a  disbeliever  (according  to  them),  all  of  his  subjects  also  become disbelievers.  Another  group,  the  ʿAjaridites  make  secret  assassinations lawful  and  they  also  make  it  permissible  to  enslave  women  and  kill  the children of the disbelievers (that includes Muslims). [lawful  and  they  also  make  it  permissible  to  enslave  women  and  kill  the children of the disbelievers (that includes Muslims)].

From  the  above,  which  is  but  a  glimpse  of  their  activities  one  can  clearly determine  that  these  people  are  at  war  with  Islam,  its  lands  and  its inhabitants,  rulers  and  ruled.  Anyone  who  equates  the  ideology  of  the modern  Kharijites  from  the  Qutbists,  al-Nusrah,  ISIS  and others  with  the  Islam  brought  by  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or  with  the   scholars  of madh-habs who  have  always  been  at  the forefront  of  fighting  against  the Kharijites  is  a  rank  ignoramus  or  a  paid  shill  who  prostitutes  his  services for  silver  coins  or  a  resentful  hater  and  it  is  not  impossible  for  him  to  be all  three  at  the  same  time.  This  brings  to  question many  of  the  “terrorism experts”  that  have  appeared  over  the  past  decade  or  so  to  take  advantage of  the  monetary  rewards  available  in  the  terrorism  industry,  the  goal  of which  is  to  maintain  a  particular  perception  towards  the  average  Muslim living  in  non-Muslim  countries  who  wishes  to  preserve  his  faith  from erosion.  Well  funded  anti-Islamic-hate  networks  operate  to  spew propaganda against  Islam,  its  Prophet  and  the  Muslims  at  large. 


From  the  well-known,  authentically  related  statements  of  the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about this group include  his  saying,  “They  depart  from  the  religion (Islam)  like  an  arrow  passes  through  its  game  and  they  do  not  return  back  to  it until  the  arrow  returns  back  to  its  bow-string” [This  indicates  that  the  Kharijites  rarely  abandon  their  misguidance  and  do  not return  back  to  the  truth  due  to  a  combination  of  ignorance  about  the  rulings  of Islam  and  strong  religious  fervour founded  upon  such  ignorance]. and  “Their  faith  does  not  pass beyond  their  throats”  and  “They  recite  the  Qur’an  but  it  does  not  go  beyond  their collar-bones,”  indicating  ignorance  and  false  scholarship.  He  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) also  said,  “They  speak  with  the  best  speech  of  the  creation,”  meaning, beautified,  alluring  speech,  and  “(They  are)  young  of  age,  foolish  of  mind”  and  “Their  speech  is  beautiful,  alluring  yet  their  actions  are  evil”  and    “They  are the    most  evil  of  the  creation”  and  “They  call  to  the  Book  of  Allāh,  yet  they  have nothing  to  do  with  it.”  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  went  further  and  also  said “They  are  the  most  evil  of  those  killed  beneath  the  canopy  of  the  sky”  and  “They are  the  Dogs  of  Hellfire.” [These  reports  can  be  found  in  the  hadith  collections  of  al-Bukhari,  Muslim, Abu  Dawud,  Ibn  Majah  and  others  and  are  well  known  and  famous  to  the Scholars  of  the  Muslims,  the  students  of  knowledge  and  many  of  the  common folk.  It  is  great  oppression  therefore,  that  the  actions  of  these  terrorists  are ascribed  to  Islam  and  its  noble  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)].  These  very  severe  and  harsh  descriptions  of  the  Kharijite  extremists came  alongside  a  mention  of  their  devotion  which  would  surpass  and excel  that  of  the  Prophet’s  Companions  themselves.  Despite  this,  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  signalled  his  intent  to  kill  them  should  he  have reached them. [For  documentation  of  these    traditions  refer  to  Jamiʾal-Usul  Fi Aḥadith  al-Rasul  of Ibn al-Athīr  (10/76-92)  under  the  heading  of  “The  Kharijites.”].


On the  basis  of  the  Prophetic  traditions  and  the  activities  of  the  Kharijites, the scholars  have  detailed  their  traits  and  characteristics,  which are  summarized   below: 

1.  They  display  fake  piety  (wara’ʾ).  A  type  of  piety  that  led  them  to  major innovations  and  deviation.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “This  (display  of  overt) piety  can  lead  a  person  to  major  innovations,  for  the  (overt)  piety (displayed)  by  the  Kharijites,  Rafidites  and  Mu’tazilites  is  of  this  type. They  avoided  oppression  and  from  what  they  believed  to  be  oppression from  mixing  with  the  oppressors  as  they  claimed  until  they  abandoned the  major  obligations  such  as performing the  jumu’ah (Friday)  prayer  and congregrational  prayers  (with  the  Muslims),  and  Hajj  and  giving  advice  to  the  Muslims  and  showing mercy  to  them.  The  people  of  this  type  of  piety  were  shown  rejection  by the  leading  imams,  such  as  the  Four  Imams,  and  this  condition  (of  overt, fake  piety)  began  to  be  mentioned  amongst  the  (issues)  within  the doctrine  of  Ahl  al-Sunnah  wal-Jama’ah.” [ Majmuʿal-Fatawa  (20.140)].  An  illustration  of  their  fake piety  is  that  when  they  took  the  Prophet’s  companion  ʿAbdullah  bin Khabbab (radhiyallahu anhu)  captive  and  led  him  to  his  eventual  slaughter,  they  passed  by some  date-palm  trees  owned  by  a  Christian  and  one  of  them  took  a  date and  ate  it.  So  they  said  to  him,  “You  have  (unlawfully)  taken  a  date  which belongs  to  the  people  of  the  covenant.”  Another  killed  a  pig  that belonged  to  a  Christian  and  they  ordered  him  to  pay  compensation. Whilst  observing  these  actions,  ʿAbdullah  said  to  them,  “Shall  I  not  tell you  who  is  a  greater  right  upon  you  than  this?”  They  said,  “Who”  and  he replied,  “Me,  I  have  not  abandoned  a  prayer  nor  have  abandoned  this  nor that  (form of  worship).”  However,  they  killed him. [Musannaf  Ibn  Abi  Shaybah (7/560)]. So  they  showed overt piety  and  fear  of  Allah  in  taking  a  date  unlawfully  and  killing  a  pig  which was  the  property  of  a  Christian,  however,  it  was  a  fake  type  of  piety, because  they  paid  no  regard  to  human  life,  that  of  the  Prophet’s companion,  whom  they  slaughtered  by  the  banks  of  a  river  until  his blood flowed into it.

2.  They  abandon the  main  body  of  the  Muslims.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “The foundation  of  the  misguidance  of  these  [Kharijites]  is  their  belief regarding  the  leaders  of  guidance  and  the  body  of  the  Muslims  that  they have  departed from justice  and  are  misguided.” [Majmu al-Fatawa (28/497)].

3.  They  consider  themselves  to  be  more  righteous  and  superior  to  the people  of  knowledge.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “The  first  of  those  who  went astray  in  this  regard  are  the  renegade  Kharijites  when  they  judged  that they  (alone)  are  holding  fast  to  the  Book  of  Allah  and  His  (Prophet’s) Sunnah.” [ Al-Istiqamah  (1/13)]. Considering  that  the  Kharijites  have  no  genuine  scholars amongst  them,  it  is  clear  that  they  consider  themselves  more  learned  and supeior to the scholars.

4.  Treating  what  is  not  a  sin  to  be  a  sin.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “They  have two  well-known  traits  by  which  they  departed  from  the  main  body  of  the Muslims  and  their  rulers.  The  first  of  them  is  their  departure  from  the Sunnah  and  making  what  is  not  a  sin  to  be  a  sin  or  what  is  not  a  good deed to be  a  good deed.” [Majmuʿ  al-Fatawa (19/72)].

5.  They  declare  Muslims  disbelievers  on  account  of  sins  and  subsequently legalize  their  murder.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “[The  second  of  their  two well-known  traits]  that  they  declare  Musilms  to  be  disbelievers  on account  of  sins  and  evils  and  built  upon  this  takfīr  they  make  lawful  the shedding  of  the  blood  of  the  Muslims  and  taking  their  wealth  and  claim that  the  land  of  Islām is  a  land of  war  and  that  the  land inhabited by  them (alone)  is  a  land  of  faith.” [ Majmu al-Fatawa  (19/73)].

6.  They  follow  ambiguous  passages  of  the  Qur’an.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said, “Likewise,  [Imam]  Ahmad  would  explain  (correctly)  the  ambiguous verses  and  ḥadīths  which  the  deviants  would  utilize  from  amongst  the Kharijites  and others.” [Majmuʿal-Fatawa  (17/414)].

7.  Their  raising  the  sword  of  violence  and  slaughter  with  the  pretext  of enjoining  good  and  forbidding  evil.  Ibn al-Qayyim  said,  “The  Kharijites appeared  fighting  against  the  rulers,  revolting  against  them  with  the sword with the  pretext  of  enjoining  the  good and  forbidding the  evil.” [Ighathat al-Lahafan (2/81)].

8.  Considering  something  to  be  from  the  religion  when  it  is  alien  to  the religion.  Ibn  Taymiyyah said,  “For  the  people  of  religiosity  amongst  those desire  the  attainment  of  what  they  consider  to  be  religion  but  they  err from  two  angles.  The  first  is  that  what  they  consider  to  be  religion  is  not religion,  such  as  the  view  of  the  Kharijites  and  other  than  them  from the  people  of  desires.  For  they  believe  and  opinion  which  is  erroneous and  innovation  and  then  fight  the  people  over  it.  Rather,  they  declare their  opponents  to  be  disbelievers.  Thus,  they  err  in  their  view  and  in fighting  those  who  oppose  them  or  in  declaring  them  disbelievers  and cursing  them.  This  is  condition  of  the  generality  of  the  people  of desires.” [Minhaj  al-Sunnah (4/536)].

9.  Their  gross  ignorance  of  the  religion  and  absence  of  scholars  amongst them.  This  is  manifest  when  Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) was  sent  to  debate  with  them  and to  repel  their  doubts. It  became  clear  that  amongst  the  twelve  or  so thousand  of  them,  there  was  not  a  single  companion  of  the  Prophet. In their  debate  they  demonstrate  their  ignorance  of  the  Qur’an  and  its interpretation.  They  do  not  have  the  ability  to  make  istidlal  (infer  and deduce  from  the  texts)  and  they  rely  upon  generalizations  and absolutions. Imam al-Shatibi  said,  “From  following  ambiguities  is  to  take unqualified  absolutions  before  looking  at  their  qualifications  and  taking generalizations  without  reflecting  as  to  whether  they  have  specifications or  not.  Likewise,  the  opposite,  to  take  a  text  which  has  been  restricted and  to  generalize  it.” [Al-I’tisam (1/245)].  There  are  no  scholars  to  be  found  with  the Kharijite  terrorists  of  al-Nusrah  and  ISIS  and  certainly  they are diagnosed with the satanism due to them abandoning the madh-habs of khair ul khuroon and following the whims and desires of deviant modern-day salafi scholars,  they  were nurtured  upon  the  books  of  Sayyid  Qutb and Mawdudi  and  the  books  of ideology  (fikr)  and  harakah  (political  activism)  that  are  circulated amongst  the  Qutbiyyah,  Sururiyyah,  Ḥaddqdiyyah  –  all  factions  of  Takfiris who came from the direction of the Salafiyyah Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan). 

10.  They  subject  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  to  faulty  analogies  and interpretations.  Ibn  al-Qayyim  said,  “Whoever  subjected  the  Qur’an  and the  Sunnah  with  a  form  of  interpretation  such  as  the  use  of  one’s own opinion (dhawq) or  emotional  state  (hal) then  he  has  a  resemblance  to  the  Kharijites,  the  followers  of  Dhul Khuwaysarah.” [ Al-Sawa’iq al-Mursalah  (1/308)]. Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “The  very  first  innovations  such  as the  innovation  of  the  Kharijites  arose  due  to  their  evil  understanding  of the  Qur’an.  They  did  not  deliberately  intend  to  oppose  it,  but  they understood   from it  what  it  did not indicate.” [Majmuʿal-Fatawa (13/30)].

11.  Severity  and  exaggeration  in  worship.  The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) informed  his  companions,  as  occurs  in  a  narration  collected  by  al-Bukhari,  that,  “A  people  will  depart  from  you  and  you  will  belittle  your  prayer compared to their prayer and your fasting compared to their fasting.”

12.  They  split  into  groups,  declare  each  other  astray  and  make  takfir  of each  other.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “From  the  blameworthy  characteristics of  the  people  of  innovation  is  that  they  make  takfir  of  each other.” [Minhaj  al-Sunnah (5/251)].

13.  If  they  gained  power,  they  would  behave  with  the  Muslims  as  the leaders  of  Persia  and  Rome. ʿAli bin  Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) said  in  a  sermon  to  the Muslims  prior  to  fighting  the  Kharijites,  “Fear  Allāh  and  fight  those  who contend  with  Allah  and  attempt  to  extinguish  the  light  of  Allah,  fight  the erroneous,  misguided,  oppressive  criminals.  Those  who  are  not  (truly) reciters  of  the  Qur’an,  nor  jurists  in  religion,  nor  scholars  in interpretation,  nor  do  they  have  any  precedence  in  worthiness  in  this affair  within  Islam.  By  Allah,  if  they  were  appointed  with  authority  over you,  they  have  would  have  done  with  you  the  deeds  of  Chosroes  and Heraclius.” [Tarikh  al-Tabari  (5/78)].

14.  When  they  gain  strength  they  slaughter  Muslims  primarily  and  leave alone  non-Muslims.  Ibn Hajar  said,  “When  the  Kharijites  judge  with disbelief  those  (Muslims)  who  oppose  them,  they  make  lawful  the shedding  of  their  blood  whilst  leaving  alone  the  people  of  the  covenant. They  say,  ‘We  shall  fulfill  their  covenant  with  them.’ [As  indicated  elsewhere  in  this  work,  the  Kharijites  do  not  withhold  from killing  the  people  of  the  covenant  either,  even  if  they  do  not  subject  them  to  the same  type  of slaughter  they  unleash upon  Muslims].  And  they  abandon fighting  the  pagans  and  preoccupy  themselves  with fighting  the  Muslims. All  of  this  is  from  the  effects  of  the  worship  of  the  ignoramuses  whose hearts  have  not  been  expanded  with  the  light  of  knowledge.  They  did  not hold  fast  to  any  firm  rope  of  knowledge.  Sufficient  it  is  that  their  leader showed  rejection  against  the  Messenger  of  Allah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  accused him  of  oppression,  we  ask  Allah  for  safety.” [Fath al-Bari (12/301)].  This  observation  is  true today  when  we  see  that  the  vast  majority  of  those  killed  by  the  ISIS Kharijite  terrorists,  once  they  gained  power,  are  Muslims.  Likewise,  the overwhelming  majority  of  those  killed  by  terrorist  attacks  are  Muslims. [Refer  to  The  New  Jihadism,  A  Global  Snapshot  by  Peter  R.  Neumann,  International Centre  for  the  Study  of  Radicalization  at  King’s  College  London.  p.  14.  Peter Neumann,  the  author  of  the  report  states,  “This  report,  therefore,  tells  the  story of  a  movement  in  the  middle  of  a  transformation  –  one  whose  final  outcome  is impossible  to  predict.  The  immediate  focus,  however,  is  jihadism’s  human  cost: with,  on  average,  more  than  20  attacks  and  nearly  170  deaths  per  day,  jihadist groups  destroy  countless  lives  –  most  of  them  Muslim  –  in  the  name  of  an ideology  that  the  vast  majority  of  Muslims  reject.”  And  he  notes  in  the conclusion,  “In  just  one  month,  jihadist  groups  killed  5,042  people  –  the equivalent  of  three  attacks  on  the  scale  of  the  London  bombings  in  July  2005 each  day.  Contrary  to  the  often  articulated  complaint  that  jihadism  is  overreported  and  that  groups  like  the  Islamic  State  get  too  much  coverage,  our survey  seems  to  suggest  that  most  of the  victims  receive  practically no  attention. Hardly  any  of  the  attacks  that  formed  the  basis  for  our  analysis  were  reported  in the  Western  media.  Indeed,  even  the  suicide  bombings  –  of  which  there  were  –  made  virtually  no  headlines  except  in  the  countries  in  which  they  took  place. Yet  most  of  the  victims  of  jihadist  violence  continue  to  be  non-combatants,  and the  vast  majority  is  Muslim.”  (p.  21).  Refer  also  to  a  2009  report  by  the Combating  Terrorism  Center  (US)  titled  “Deadly  Vanguards:  A  Study  of  al-Qa’ida’s Violence  Against  Muslims”  by  Scott  Helfstein and  others]. 

15.  They  are  the  worst  of  those  killed  beneath  the  canopy  of  the  sky.  This is  textually  stated  in  the  Prophetic  tradition  related  by  Ibn  Majah,  “They are  the  most  evil of  those  killed beneath  the  canopy  of  the  sky.” [Ibn Majah no.176] 


The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  indicated  that  they  will  not  cease  to  appear  in every  age  and  era  by  saying,  “There  will  emerge  a  people  from  my  nation  from the  East  who  recite  the  Qur’an  but  it  does  not  go  beyond  their  throats.  Every  time a  faction  amongst  them  emerges  it  will  be  cut  off.  Every  time  a  faction  amongst them  emerges  it  will  be  cut  off,”  until  he  said  this  ten  times,  (and  then  he said)  “Every  time  a  faction  amongst  them  emerges  it  will  be  cut  off,  until  the Dajjal  (Anti-Christ)  appears  amongst  their  (later)  remnants.” [Related  by  Ibn  Majah].  In another  more  explicit  narration,  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “They  will  not cease  to  emerge  until  the  last  of  them  emerge  with  the  Dajjal.” [Majmaʾ  al-Zawa’id  of al-Haythami  (6/246)].  An  indication that  the  Kharijites,  from  their  beginning  to  their  end,  are  at  war  with  the people of Islam.


The  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  encouraged  the  Muslim  rulers  to  fight  them whenever  they  appear  with  their  turmoil  and  bloodshed.  He  said, “Wherever  you  meet  them,  kill  them,  for  there  is  a  reward  on  the  Day  of Judgement  for  whoever  kills  them.”  And  he  also  said,  “If  I  was  to  reach  them,  I would  slaughter  them,  like  the  slaughtering  of  Ad  (a  destroyed  nation  of  the past),”  meaning,  every  last  one  of  them  until  not  one  of  them  remains  as explained  by  the  classical  Scholar,  Ibn Hajar  al-Asqalani  in  his commentary  on  this  tradition. [Fath al-Bari  (6/435)].  For  this  reason,  the  Muslim  rulers  from the  time  of  the  fourth  righteous  Caliph ‘Ali  bin  Abi  Talib (radhiyallahu anhu)   have never  ceased  to  fight  against  them. When  they  appeared,  the Companions  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  applied  the  folllowing  Qur’anic verses  upon  them:    “Say: Shall  we  inform  you  of  the  greatest  losers  as  to [their]  deeds?  Those  whose  efforts  have  been  wasted  in  this  life  while they  thought  that  they  were  acquiring  good  by  their  deeds!”  (18:103-104). [Imam al-Tabari  relates  this  application  of  the  verse  to  the  Khārijites  from Ali bin  Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) in his  exegesis].  Also,  the  saying  of  Allah:  “Some  faces,  that  Day,  will  be humiliated.  Labouring  (hard  in  the  worldly  life),  weary  (in  the  Hereafter with  humility  and  disgrace).”  (88:2-3). [This  application  of  the  verse  is  mentioned  by  Imam al-Qurtubi in  his exegesis and  he  relates  it  from  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu)]  Also  the  saying  of Allah  “And  when  they  deviated, Allah  caused  their  hearts  to  deviate.”  (61:8). [al-I’tisam of al-Shatibi  (1/89)] And  also,  “Those  who  break  Allah’s  Covenant  after  ratifying  it,  and  sever what  Allah  has  ordered  to  be  joined  and  do  mischief  on  earth,  it  is  they who  are  the  losers.”  (2:27). [Refer  to  al-I’tisam  of al-Shatibi (1/90)].  Misguided  in  this  life  and  losers  in  the  next because  their  deeds  were  vain  whilst  they  deceived  themselves  into thinking  they  were  doing  good;  toiling  hard  in  this  life,  but  weary  and  in humiliation  in  the  next;  their  hearts  caused  to  deviate  because  they chose  deviation  by  breaking  the  covenant  and  causing  mischief  upon  the Earth.


The  first  wave  of  Kharijites  terrorists,  the  Saba’iyyah,  revolted  against the  third  caliph,  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu),  and  assassinated  him  in  his  own  home whilst  he  was  fasting  and  reciting  the  Qur’an.  This  incident  in  the  year 35H  (around  June  656CE)  led  to  a  series  of  events  which  brought  about the  circumstances  for  the  emergence  of  the  larger  body  of  the  Kharijites in  the  time  of  ʿAli  bin  Abi  Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) as  has  preceded.  After  they  broke off  from  the  army  of  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) ,  their  first  act  of  terrorism  was  against  the Companion  of  the  Prophet  called  ʿAbdullah  bin  Khabbab (radhiyallahu anhu) near Basrah  in  Iraq  in  the  year  37H  after  they    had  split  from  ʿAli’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  army  and set up their own state in al-Nahrawan.

Despite  giving  him  ʿAbdullah (radhiyallahu anhu)  an  assurance  of  safety  at  the  first encounter,  they  acted  treacherously  towards  him.  Because  he  did  not agree  with  them  that  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) , the  fourth  caliph,  was  an  apostate (Na’audhubillah),  they excommunicated  him.  Thereafter,  they  laid  him  on  the  ground  and slaughtered  him  whilst  his  blood  flowed  into  the  nearby  water  stream. Then  they  murdered  his  woman  who  was  at  the  peak  of  pregnancy.  She pleaded  for  her  life  and  that  of  her  unborn  child,  but  they  sliced  her  open and  spared  not  even  her  child.  Then  they  killed  numerous  others  who were  present  in  his  caravan. [This  incident  is  related  by  numerous  historians  such  as  al-Tabari  and  Ibn  al Athir and  others].  It  was  here  that  the  cousin  and  son-in-law of  the  Prophet,  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  followed  the  Prophetic  traditions  ordering  this group  to  be  fought  and  killed. [It  should  be  noted  that  groups  such  as  ISIS,  Boko Haram etc  are  the ideological  descendants  of  those  very  first  Kharijite  terrorist  renegades  and  had the  noble,  esteemed,  lofty,  honourable,  merciful  Prophet  of  Islam  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) been  alive  to  reach  them  and  their  likes,  he  would  have  slaughtered  them  until not  a  single  one  of  the  savages  remained.  The  Kharijite  terrorists  are  a  trial  for the  Muslims  before  they  are  a  trial  for  anyone  else].


The  Kharijites  extremists  accusedʿAli bin Abi Talib (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) of  becoming  an apostate  because  he  agreed  to  an  arbitration  by  which  reconciliation  was intended  between  himself  and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu).  Due  to  their  severe ignorance  and  the  absence  of  a  single  scholar  amongst  them,  the Kharijites  held  this  arbitration  to  be  an  act  of  disbelief  because  in  their misguided  view  it  entailed  judging  by  other  than  Allah’s  law.  Hence,  they excommunicated  the  Companions  and  split  away  from  the  main  body  of Muslims.  It  was  only  after  their  murder  of  ʿAbdullah bin  Khabbab (radhiyallahu anhu) that  Ali bin  Abi  Talib (radhiyallahu anhu)  recognized  these  were  the  very  people  spoken  of  by the  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) decades  earlier  and  mobilized  himself  to  fight them.   A  number  of  years  after  battling  them,  one  of  the  extremist Kharijites  called  ‘Abd  al-Rahman  bin  Muljam  plotted  to  assassinate  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and  attained  his  evil  objective  in  the  year  40H  (661CE).  This  was one  of  three  assassination  plots  but  the  only  one  that  was  successful.  The Kharijites  had  desired  to  kill  the  main  leaders  of  the  Muslim  nation following  their  defeat  at  al-Nahrawan.  Abd  al-Rahman  bin  Muljam agreed  to  assassinate  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  Kufah,  al-Barrak  bin  ʿAbdullah  al-Tamimi agreed  to  assassinate  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) in  Syria  and  ʿ’Amr  bin  Bakr  agreed  to assassinate ʿ’Amr  bin  al-‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu)  in  Egypt.  The  latter  two  failed  in  their  mission. One  can  see  that  the  Kharijites  were  intending  to  destroy  the  Muslim nation  by  assassinating  its  rulers  in  the  three  major  capital  regions  of  the Islamic  caliphate  after  having  split  away  from  the  main  body  of  Muslims and established their  own mini-state  in al-Nahrawan  close  to  Baghdad. [This  is  identical  to  what  ISIS  have  done  today  in  which  they claim  to  have  established  an  ‘Islamic  state’,  which  to  them  is  the  land  of  Islam  and all  lands  inhabited  by  Muslims  are  lands  of  disbelief  and  war  because  their  rulers are  apostates  whose  removal  is  of the  most  urgent  priority, so they butcher everyone mercilessly].

This  is  the  way  of  these  people  throughout  the  ages  until  this  day  of  ours: To  pursue  wealth  and  power  by  undermining  the  Islamic  authorities  and bringing  chaos,  destruction  and  bloodshed  through  murder, assassination,  terror  and  chaos.  In  the  Prophetic  traditions,  the  Muslim rulers  are  commanded  to  fight  these  Kharijites  whenever  they  appear because  their  evil  ideology  and  terrorist  mindset  is  the  first  of  enemies  to the  religion  of  Islam  and  runs  contrary  to  it  from  every  angle.  The  leaders  amongst  them  are  motivated  by  wealth,  land,  power  and politics  and simply  use  Islam  as  a  hijacked  vehicle  or  a  donned,  beautified garment  through  which  they  pursue  their  interests.  Through  beautified speech,  they  recruit  the  young,  ignorant  and  foolish.  Whilst  the  noble, just,  Prophet  of  Islam,  Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  commanded  that  these  evil and  most  harmful  of  people  to  Islam  and  its  adherents  be  fought,  killed and  cut  off  we  see  on  the  other  hand  that  they  are  most  beneficial  in serving  the  purposes  of  those  who  oppressively  ascribe  their  destructive activities  to  the  Prophet  of  Islam  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  satirize  him  upon falsehood.  This  is  despite  the  historical  record  showing  that  the  Prophet of  Islam  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  challenged  by  their  ideological  grandfather,  Dhul Khuwaysarah,  that  his  Companions  were  slaughtered  and  murdered  by them  and  that  the  Islamic  tradition  throughout  history  is  squarely against  them.  Despite  being  defeated  by Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  at  al-Nahrawan,  many  of them  escaped  to  various  Islamic  lands  and  continued  to  sow  the  seeds  for the Kharijite ideology which has continued to this day.  


Many  early  Islamic  scholars  from  the  3rd,  4th  and  5th  centuries  of  Islam who  specialized  in  the  study  of  deviant  sects  (heresiography) documented  the  beliefs  and  actions  of  one  of  the  most  extreme  sects  of the  Kharijite  terrorists  known  as  the  Azariqah.  ISIS  are  reminiscent  of this  group. [al-Milal  wal-Nihal  of  al-Shahrastani  (1/112)].  Their  founder  was  Abu  Rashid  Nafiʿ  bin  Azraq  (d. 65H around  685CE).  The  Azariqah  split  off  from  the  Kharijites  and  made  their way  to  Basrah,  taking  control  over  it  and  other  areas  in  Persia.  Their  evil doctrines  included  the  belief  that  the  excommunication  of  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu)  was valid  and  correct  and  that ‘Ali’s (radhiyallahu anhu)  assassin,  Ibn  Muljam,  was  correct  and praiseworthy  in  his  action.  In  their  view,  all  sinful  Muslims  are  apostates who  will  reside  in  Hellfire  for  eternity  should  they  die  without  having repented  from  their  sins. [This  clashes  with  the  belief  of  orthodox  Muslims  who  hold  that  the  sinful amongst  the  Muslims  who  die  without  repentance  will  be  eventually  delivered due  to  their  pure  monotheism].  Whoever  opposed  their  opinion  was considered  a  polytheist  and  they  threw  the  children  of  such  people alongside  them  –  all  of  them  were  considered  disbelievers  whom  it  was permissible  to  fight  and  kill.  The  land  inhabited  by  those  outside  their group  was  considered  to  be  land  of  war  (dar al-harb)  and  whatever  was permitted  with  respect  to  a  land  of  war  was  permitted  to  them  against the  Muslims  inhabiting  such  a  land.  Anyone  who  did  not  join  them  by emigrating  to  them  even  if  he  held  their  view  was  considered  a  polytheist. They  also  held  the  necessity  of  eliminating  every  “disbeliever”  from  the Earth,  and  by  “disbeliever”  they  mean    every  Muslim  who  does  not  agree with  them.  They  would  interrogate  Muslims  on  their  views  towards  the rulers  and  whoever  did  not  agree  with  their  excommunication  of  the Muslim  rulers  of  the  time  would  be  killed.  They  would  lie  in  wait  for Muslims,  slaughter  them  and  also  slaughter  their  children  mercilessly,  on the  flimsiest  of  grounds  until  they  instilled  terror  in  the  hearts  of civilians  who  would  be  scared  to  leave  their  homes  or  embark  on journeys.  


From  what  has preceded,  it  is  clear  that  the  central  focus  of  the  Kharijites is  around  the  issue  of  rulership  and  judgement  by  Allah’s  law. [It  is  not  the  case  that  every  group  or  sect  of  the  Kharijites  excommunicates Muslims  on  the  basis  of  major  sins  –  and  that  is  not  what  unites  them  in  doctrine. This  is  because  some  Kharijites  make  takfīr  on  the  basis  of  all  major  sins,  others only  on  the  basis  of  some  as  opposed  to  others.  However,  what  unites  them  all  is the  issue  of  rulership  and  juding  by  Allah’s  law,  they  make  unrestricted, generalized,  unqualified  takfir  in  relation  to  this  matter  and  it  was  on  this  very basis  that  their movement  began].  Their ignorance  in  this  regard  became  manifest  when  they  treated  something permissible  in  the  Shari’ah  –  namely, arbitration  between  two  warring parties  as  a  means  of  conciliation  –  to  be  major  disbelief.  This  same compound  ignorance  remains  a  trait  with  them  to  this  day  and  indeed the  Messenger  of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) characterized  them  as  “youthful”  and “foolish-minded”  and  stated  that  “the  Qur’an  does  not  go beyond  their  throats,” meaning,  that  whilst  they  recite  it,  they  do  not  grasp  and  understand  it. Today,  the  Kharijite  movements,  parties,  groups  and  sects  show  their ignorance  in  this  matter  in  their  interpretation  of  the  verses  related  to judgement  and  rulership  in  order  to  elicit  generalized  takfir  of  the  rulers without  any  detail  or  elaboration. This  in  turn allows  them to  justify  their revolutionary  methodology  clothed  with  the  lofty  slogan  of  “enjoining  the good  and  forbidding  the  evil”  thereby  mimicking  the  speech  and  action  of the  heads  of  the  Saba’ite  Kharijites  such  as  Zayd  bin Husayn al-Ta’i  (see below).  This  is  after  our  knowledge  that  due  to  their  compound ignorance  they  have  grossly  misdiagnosed  the  actual  causes  of  decline and  deterioration  in  Muslim  societies  and  nations  which  are  not restricted  just  to  the  rulers  alone.  As  for  the  centrality  of  their  focus around  this  issue,  Abu  al-Muzaffar  al-Sam’ani  (d.  489H)  said,  “Know  that the  Kharijites  seek  evidence  through  this  verse  and  say  that  whoever does  not  judge  by  what  Allah  has  revealed  is  a  disbeliever,  but  Ahl  al Sunnah  do  not  make  takfīr  on  account  of  abandonment  of  judging alone.” [Tafsir al-Qur’ann  of  al-Sam’ani  (Dar al-Watan, 1418H)  2/42].  And  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said  regarding  the  verse,  “But  no  by  your Lord,  they  do  not  have  faith  until  they  make  you  a  judge  in  all  disputes between  them…”  (4:65),  “This  verse  is  from  that  which  the  Kharijites  use to  make  takfir  of  the  rulers  who  do  not  judge  by  what  Allah  has revealed.” [Minhaj  al-Sunnah  (5/131)].  And  Ibn Abd  al-Barr  said,  “And  a  faction  of  the  people  of innovation  from  the  Kharijites  and  Mu’tazilites  have  strayed  in  this  field and  used  as  proof  verses  which  are  not  to  be  taken  apparently,  such  as His  saying,  the  Mighty  and  Majestic,  ‘And  whosoever  does  not  judge  by what  Allah  has  revealed,  they  are  the  disbelievers.’  (5:44).” [Al-Tamhid  of Ibn ʿAbd  al-Barr  (16/17)].  Ibn Taymiyyah  said,  “They  (the  Kharijites)  said  that  ʿUthman  and  ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhum)  and whoever  allied  with  them  had  judged  by  other  than  what  Allah  revealed, ‘And  whosoever  does  not  judge  by  what  Allāh  has  revealed,  they  are  the disbelievers.’  (5:44).  Thus,  they  declared  Muslims  to  be  disbelievers  on account  of  this  and  other  than it.” [Majmuʿal-Fatawa (13/208)].

The  misguided  and  ignorant  Kharijites  treat  matters  pertaining  to  upon generalization  and  absolution.  Upon  that  basis,  they  stir  up  socieities,  thereby  causing  instability,  which  in turn  facilitates  the  beneficial  interests  of  hostile  enemies  of  Islam  from the  outside (just like what the ISIS are doing by killing people of Oraq & Syria thereby helping Israel and allies!).  In  all  these  subject  matters  there  are  details  and  elaborations in  the  statements  of  the  people  of  knowledge  from  the  Companions  and   scholars,  right  until  this  day  of    ours  –  all of  which  the  Kharijites  either  feign  ignorance  of  or  are  ignorant  of because they have no genuine scholars amongst them. 


Worthy  of  mention  at  this  point  is  that  there  are  to  be  found  today ignoramuses  who  sympathize  with  the  Kharijite  terrorists,  making excuses  for  them  and  stipulating  such  conditions  for  considering someone  to  be  a  Kharijite  that  would  exclude  even  the  very  first Kharijites  mentioned  by  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  from  being  Kharijites.  The most  common  doubt  in  this  regard  is  the  claim  that  expelling  a  person from  Islam  on  account  of  a  major  sin  (such  as  lying,  stealing,  fornicating, drinking,  gambling  and  the  likes)  is  what  identifies  a  Kharijite.  This  is incorrect  because  from  the  very  first  Kharijites,  in  fact  from  the  heads  of the  very  first  Kharijites  were  those  who  would  not  expel  a  Muslim  from Islam  due  to  these  actions.  In  Maqalat  al-Islamiyyin,  a  famous  early  book on  heresiography  (dealing  with  deviant  sects),  Abu  al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (rahimahullah) writes,  “And  they  (the  Kharijites)  were  upon  agreement  that  every  major sin  constitutes  disbelief  except  the  Najadites  for  they  do  not  speak  with that.  They  were  also  agreed  that  Allah  will  punish  the  major  sinners  with eternal  punishment  except  the  Najadites,  the  associates  of  Najdah (bin ʿAmir).” [Refer  to  Minhaj  al-Sunnah  of Ibn Taymiyyah  (3/461)]. Thus,  it  is  clear  that  not  all  of  the  factions  of  the  Kharijites make  takfir  by  way  of  major  sins.  That  which  unites  all  the  Kharijites  is the  issue  of  rulership  and  judging  by  what  Allah  has  revealed,  utilizing that  to  make  takfīr  of  the  rulers  and  to  contend  with  them  for  power, raising  the  sword  and  breaking  off  from  the  main  body  of  the  Muslims. The  Kharijites,  in  their  foundations,  are  two  groups.  Abu  Bakr  Ibn  alʿArabi (rahimahullah) explains  that  the  first  are  those  who  claimed  ʿUthman,  ʿAli,  those participating  in  the  Battle  of  the  Camel  and  those  pleased  with  the arbitration  between  ʿAli  and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhum)  are  disbelievers.  The  second  are those  who  claimed  that  whoever  committed  a  sin  will  be  in  the  Hellfire eternally. [Aridat  al-Ahwadhi  (9/38-39)]  There  are  many  differences  between  this  group  on  this  point and it is not something upon which they are united. 

Abu  Mansur  al-Baghdadi  writes  in  al-Farq  bayn  al-Firaq,  “Our  Shaykh, Abu al-Hasan said,  ‘That  which  unites  (all  the  sects  of  the  Khārijites)  is imputing  disbelief  to  ʿAli  and  Uthman,  those  who  participated  in  the Battle  of  the  Camel,  those  who  partook  in  the  arbitration  and  those  who were  pleased  with  the  arbitration  and  considered  the  two  arbitrating parties  to  be  correct  (in  their  action)  or  just  one  of  them,  and  revolting against  the  ruler.’  And  he  (Abu al-Hasan)  was  not  pleased  with  what  al-Ka’bi  cited  that  they  were  united  upon  excommunicating  the perpetrators  of  major  sins.  That  which  is  correct  is  what  our  Shaykh  Abu al-Hasan  has  cited  from  them  (the  Kharijites).  Al-Ka’bi  erred  in  his  claim of  their  being  a  consensus  of  the  Kharijites  upon  excommunicating  the perpetrators  of  major  sins.  This  is  because  the  Najadites  amongst  the Kharijites  do  not  expel  from  Islam  those  amongst  them  who  commit major  sins  which  have  prescribed  punishments  associated  with  them.” [Refer  to  al-Farq bayn  al-Firaq  (Maktabah Ibn Sinah,  Cairo) pp.  72-73]. Shaykh Abd  al-Razzaq  al-Afifi  wrote,  “And  also  from  their  doctrines  is  to make  takfīr  on  account  of  major  sins.  Thus,  whoever  committed  a  major sin  is  a  disbeliever.  They  would  consider  the  major  sinnner  to  be  in  the Hellfire  eternally  except  the  Najadites  in  these  last  two  points.” [Mudhakkarah  al-Tawhid  (p.  121)].  Shaykh ʿAbd  al-Latif,  the  great  grandson  of  Muḥammad  bin  ʿAbd  al-Wahhab  wrote,  after  mentioning  the  story  of  the  emergence  of  the Kharijites,  “This  is  a  summary  of  their  affair  and    you  have  come  to  know their  misconception  on  account  of  which  they  firmly  held  the  disbelief  of ʿAli (radhiyallahu anhu) and  his  party  and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu) and  his  party.  This  belief  remained present  amongst  those  who  had  dispersed  after  this  event.  Thereafter, the  extremists  amongst  them  began  to  make  takfīr  by  way  of    major  sins. Then  they  gained  strength  and  [acquired  a]  state  after  which  they  were fought  by  al-Mihlab  bin  Abi Sufrah,  al-Hajjaj  bin  Yusuf.  And  before  that, they  were  fought  by  Ibn  al-Zubayr (radhiyallahu anhu)  during  the  era  of  his  brother, ʿAbdullah.  It  was  then spread  about  them,  that  they  make  takfir  by  way  of sins,  meaning  those  which are  less  than  shirk.” [Al-Durar  al-Saniyyah  (9/229)].

From  the  above  it  is  clear  that  expelling  Muslims  from  Islam  due  to  major sins  was  a  later  development  in  the  doctrine  of  the  Kharijites  and  even then,  it  is  not  the  case  that  all  factions  of  the  Kharijites  impute  major disbelief  to  Muslims  on  account  of  major  sins,  there  is  considerable disagreement  between  them  and  a  variety  of  sayings  and  elaborations. But  that  which  all  Kharijites  are  united  upon  is  contending  with  the rulers upon the claims of injustice and judging by other than Allah’s law.


The  righteous  caliph,ʿUmar  bin  ʿAbd  al-Aziz (rahimahullah d.101H,  8th  century  CE), the  great  grandson  of  the  second  caliph,  Umar  bin  al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu),  wrote  an admonition  to  the  Kharijite  terrorists  of  his  time,  warning  them  of  the consequences  of  their  transgressions  and  making  clear  to  them  that  he would  not  hesitate  to  terminate  them  if  they  did  not  cease  and  desist from  their  anti-Islamic  activities.

Since  that  time,  the  written  Islamic tradition  of  refuting  the  Kharijite  terrorists  and  waging  war  against  them has  been  continued  by  Islamic  scholars  and  rulers.  Islamic  historians have  documented  the  beliefs  and  activities  of  this  vile  group  in  great detail.  Whenever  the  Muslims  adhered  to  the  way  of  the  upright orthodox  scholars  who  held  fast  to  the  unadulterated  Islam  of  the Prophet’s  Companions,  they  remained  protected  from  the  poison  of  the Kharijites.  But  when  they  became  distant  from  such  scholars,  they  were no  longer  able  to  recognize  the  poisonous  ideology  of  the  Kharijites.  Ibn Taymiyyah  said,  “Likewise  the  Kharijites,  when  they  were  people  of  the sword  and  of  fighting,  their  opposition  to  the  jama’ah  (body  of  Muslims united  behind  their  ruler)  became  apparent,  when  they  would  fight against  the  people.  But  as  for  today,  most  people  do  not  recognize [Sirah  ʿUmar  bin ʿAbd  al-ʿAziz  byʿAbd  Allah  bin ʿAbd  al-Hakam,  pp. 75-76].  From  this  insightful  statement  one  will  recognize  that  the  very them.” First  strategic  action  of  the  Kharijites  is  to  undermine  the  orthodox  scholars  who  the  greatest  barrier  to  their  evil  so  that  they  can  gain  a foothold in the  minds  of  the  youth. 


In  another  tradition,  the  Prophet  Muḥammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “There  will appear  at  the  end  of  time [The  various  Prophetic  traditions  about  them  indicate  that  they  were  to appear  shortly  after  the  death  of  the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallan)  and  would  continue  to appear  through the  passing  of time,  putting  the  Muslims  to  trial], a  people  who  are  young  of  age,  foolish-minded.  They will  speak  with  the  best  (and  most-alluring)  of  speech  (that  is  spoken)  by  people and  will  recite  the  Qur’an  but  it  will  not  go  beyond  their  throats.  They  will  pass out  of  Islam  as  the  arrow  passes  through  its  game.  Whoever  meets  them,  let  him kill  them,  for  there  is  a  reward  for  whoever kills  them.” [Ibn  Majah (no.  167)]. 

The  Prophet’s  Companion,  Abū  Umamah  al-Bahili (radhiyallahu anhu)  said  of  the Kharijites,  “The  Dogs  of  the  people  of  Hellfire,  they  used  to  be  Muslims but  turned  disbelievers.”  When Abu Umamah was  asked whether  this  was his  own  speech  or  something  he  heard  from  the  Prophet,  he  said,  “Rather,  I  heard it  from the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” [Reported  by  Ibn  Majah (no. 175)] 

Abu al-‘Aliyah  (d.  90H,  8th  century  CE),  a  famous  student  of  the  Prophet’s Companions,  said:  “Allah  has  bestowed  two  favours  upon  me,  I  do  not know  which  of  them  is  superior.  That  Allah guided  me  to  Islam  or  that  He did  not  make  me  a  Haruri  (Kharijite).” [Shu’ab  al-Iman  of  al-Bayhaqi  (4/212)] 

Qatadah  (d.118H,  8th  century  CE),  the  famous  Qur’anic  commentator, said  about  them  as  cited  by  Imam  al-Tabari,  “The  Kharijites  emerged whilst    the  Companions  of  Allah’s  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  were  plentiful  in al-Madinah,  Sham  and  ʿIraq,  and  his  wives  were  still  alive.  By  Allah,  none of  them  (the  Companions),  male  or  female,  came  out  as  a  [Kharijite]  ever, and  they  were  not  pleased  with  what  they  were  upon,  nor  did  they support  them  in  that.  Rather,  they  used  to  convey  the  criticism  by  Allah’s Messenger  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  of  them  and  the  descriptions  with  which  he described  them.  They  used  to  hate  them  with  their  hearts  and  would show  enmity  towards  them  with  their  tongues.  By  Allah,  their  hands would  be  severe  against  them  whenever  they  came  across  them.” [Tafsir  al-Tabari,  Dar  Ihya  al-Turath al-Arabi, 1421H, 3/209] 

This proves  that  Islam  has  always  been  in  one  direction  and  the  Kharijite terrorists  have  been  in  an  altogether  different  direction.  There  was  not  a single  Companion  of  the  Prophet  with  them,  showing  that  they  departed completely from the main body of Islam.  

Imam al-Tabari  (d. 310H,  10th  century CE)  said,  “The  Kharijites  would meet  each  other  and  remember  the  location  (of  battle)  of  their  brothers [of  old]  at  al-Nahrawan.  They  held  that  remaining  stationary  amounted to  cheating  and  weakness  and  that  in  [the  activity  of]  making  jihad against  the  Muslims  (ahl  al-qiblah)  lay  excellence  and  reward.” [Tarikh  al-Tabari (5/174)]. 

Imam al-Ajurri  (d. 360H,  10th  century  CE)  said  in  his  book  entitled  The Shari’ah,  “It  is  not  permissible  for  the  one  who  sees  the  uprising  of  a Khārijite  who  has  revolted  against  the  leader,  whether  [the  leader]  is  just or  oppressive  –  so  this  person  has  revolted  and  gathered  a  group  behind him,  has  pulled  out  his  sword  and  has  made  lawful  the  killing  of  Muslims –  it  is  not  fitting  for  the  one  who  sees  this,  that  he  becomes  deceived  by this  person’s  recitation  of  the  Qur’an,  the  length  of  his  standing  in prayer,  nor  his  constant  fasting,  nor  his  good  and  excellent  words  in knowledge  when  it  is  clear  to  him  that  this  person’s  way  and methodology  is  that  of  the  Kharijites.” [Al-Shari’ah  (p.  28)].  This  speech  of  this  insightful scholar  is  not  heeded  today  by  the  ignorant  and  youthful  who  are deceived  by  the  apparent  display  of  what  is  really  fake  piety  by  the Kharijites of ISIS and rush to join them in their evil.

Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi (d. 456H,  11th century CE)  said,  “And  they  do  not cease  to  strive  in  overturning  the  orderly  affairs  of  the  Muslims  (to chaos)  and  splitting  the  word  of  the  believers.  They  draw  the  sword against  the  people  of  religion  and  strive  upon  the  Earth  as  corrupters.  As for  the  Kharijites  and  Shi’ah,  their  affair  in  this  regard  is  more  famous than that  one  should be  burdened in mentioning.” [Al-Fasl  Fil-Milal  al-Ahwa wal-Nihal (5/98)].

Ibn  Taymiyyah  (d. 728H, 14th  century CE)  said,  “For  they  [the  Kharijites] strived  to  kill  every  Muslim  who  did  not  agree  with  their  view,  declaring the  blood  of  the  Muslims,  their  wealth,  and  the  slaying  of  their  children to  be  lawful,  while  excommunicating  them.  And  they  considered  this  to be  worship,  due  to  their  ignorance  and  their  innovation  which  caused [them]  to  stray.” [Minhaj  us-Sunnah  (5/248)].  He  also  said,  “The  people  knowledgeable  of  the  affairs are  agreed  that  the  greatest  swords  unsheathed  upon  the  people  of  the qiblah  (the  Muslims)  from  those  who  ascribe  to  it  and  the  greatest mischief  that  has  occurred  to  the  Muslims  from  those  who  ascribe  to  the people  of  the  qiblah  is  from  the  factions  ascribing  to  them  (the  Muslims), for  they  are  most  harmful  upon the  religion and its  adherents.” [ Majmuʿ al-Fatawa  (28/479)].

Ibn  Kathir,  the  famous  Qur’an  commentator,  (d.774H,  14th  century  CE) said,  “If  these  [Kharijites]  were  to  acquire  strength,  they  would  corrupt the  entire  earth  in  Iraq  and  Sham  (Syria)  and they  would  not  leave  a  male or  female  child  nor  a  man  or  woman  (alive).  This  is  because  in  their  view the  people  (Muslims)  have  become  corrupt  in  a  way  that  nothing  will rectify  their  (situation) except  mass  murder.” [Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah  (10/585)].


Many  highly-regarded  scholarly  authorities  throughout  Islamic  history have  considered  the  Kharijite  renegades  and  terrorists  to  be  disbelievers and not Muslims.  Ibn Hajar  al-ʿAsqalani  (d.  852H,  15th  century  CE),  one  of  the  highly respected  scholars  who  wrote  a  monumental  explanation  of  the collection  of  Prophetic  traditions  by  Imam  al-Bukhari,  writes,  after explaining  that  the  Kharijites  are  to  be  fought  when  they  spill  blood  or take  wealth  unlawfully  after  they  have  been  advised  and  the  proof  has been  established  against  them,  “This  was  indicated  by  al-Bukhari  in  his heading  for  the  aforementioned  [Qur’anic]  verse,  and  those  who excommunicated the  Kharijites  [from  Islam]  used  it  as  a  proof,  [this  view] is  necessitated  by  what  al-Bukhari did  whereby  he  put  them  [the Kharijites]  alongside  the  disbelievers  [in  his  chapter  heading]  whereas  he separated  [them]  from  those  who  [err  by]  making  a  faulty  interpretation by  putting them into  a  separate  chapter  heading. [Indicating  that  the  most  famous  authority  in  the  collection,  compilation  and arrangement  of  the  Prophet  traditions  in  Islam,  Imam  al-Bukhari,  inclined  to  the view  of  the  Kharijites  being  disbelievers.] 

This  [same  view]  was  also  stated  explicitly  by  al-Qadi  Abi  Bakr Ibn  alʿArabi  in  his  explanation  of  al-Tirmidhi  wherein  he  said,  ‘That  which  is correct  is  that  they  [the  Kharijites]  are  disbelievers  due  to  his  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) saying,  ‘They  exit  from  Islam’  and  his  saying,  ‘I  would  slaughter  them  like  the slaughtering  of  [the  people  of]  ʿĀd’  and  in  a  wording,  ‘[the  people  of]  Thamudand  both  of  these  nations  were  destroyed  due  to  their  disbelief.  Also  due to  his  saying,  ‘They  are  the  most  hated  of  creation  to  Allah,  the  Exalted’  and due  to  their  judgement  upon  everyone  who  opposed  their  belief  with disbelief  and  eternity  in  the  Hellfire,  [and  because  of  this],  they  [the Kharijites]  were  more  worthy  of  this  label  [of  disbelief]  than  them.’  [End of  quote  from  Ibn  al-ʿArabi].” [Aridat  al-Ahwadhi (9/38)  and  refer  also  to  Fath al-Bari  (12/299)]  Then  Ibn  Ḥajar  continues,  “And  from those  who  inclined  towards  this  orientation  is  [Imam]  al-Tabari [ Imam  Ibn  Jarir  al-Tabari (d.  310H, 10th  century  CE)  wrote  one  of  the  most rigorous  and  extensive  explanations  (tafsir)  of  the  Qur’an  based  upon  the statements  of the  Companions  of the  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  their  students].  in  his [work],  ‘Tahdhib’  wherein  he  said,  after  citing  the  traditions  in  this  topic [relating  to  the  Kharijites],  ‘Within this  is  a  refutation  of  the  one  who  said that  no  one  can  [ever]  leave  Islam  from  the  people  who  turn  to  the direction  [of  Makkah  for  prayer]  after  he  deserves  this  ruling  unless  he knowingly  intended  to  leave  Islam.  Such  a  person  [holding]  this  view  is invalidating  this  tradition  [about  the  Kharijites]  that  ‘they  speak  the  truth and  recite  the  Qur’an  but  they  exit  from  Islam  and  have  nothing  to  do  with  it.’ And  it  is  known  that  they  [the  Kharijites]  did  not  make  lawful  the  spilling of  the  blood  of  the  Muslims  and  taking  their  wealth  except  erroneously on  account  of  what  they  interpreted  wrongly  from  the  verses  of  the Qur’an  with  what  was  not  intended  by  it’.” [Fath al-Bari (12/300)].  After  citing  from  these scholars,  Ibn Hajar says,  “And  what  supports  their  excommunication [takfir]  is  the  example  mentioned  in  the  tradition  of  Abu Sa’id al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu), meaning  the  one  that  is  yet  to  come  in  the  chapter  which  follows. That which  is  apparently  intended  by  it  is  that  they  exit  from  Islam  and  no longer  have  any  connection  to  it,  just  as  the  arrow  passes  right  through its  game  due  to  the  speed  and  strength  of  its  propulsion,  in  that  it  has  no connection  to  the  game  at  all  [after  passing  through  it].” [Fath al-Bari  (12/300)].  A  page  later, Ibn  Hajar  mentions  the  position  of  Imam  al-Qurṭubi,  the  famous  exegete of  the  Qur’an,  “And  the  statement  of  excommunication  (takfir)  [of  the Kharijites]  is  most  apparent  from  the  [Prophetic]  tradition.”  Ibn Hajar also  states  “Upon  the  view  of  their  excommunication,  they  are  to  be fought  against  and  killed,  and  their  wealth  is  to  be  taken,  and  this  is  the saying  of  a  group  of  the  people  of  Prophetic  traditions  regarding  the wealth  of  the  Kharijites.” [Fath al-Bari (12/301)].


At  the  head  of  them  is  the  Iranian  Shi’ite,  Jamal al-Din, pretending  to  be  “al-Afghani.”  His  dubious  and  sinister  movements across  Egypt,  Iran  and  Turkey  in  the  19th  century  were  attempts  at altering  the  forms  of  government  in  those  lands  to  facilitate  foreign exploitation.  He  was  the    inspiration  behind  Hasan  al-Banna’, setting  up  the  Muslim  Brotherhood,  an  instrument  of destabilization  in  Muslim  lands.  Al-Banna’  also  called  to  nearness  and unity  with  the  Shi’ites.  Abu A’la Mawdudi  propounded  the  Kharijite revolutionary  methodology  in    his  writings,  claiming  that  the  primary goal  of  the  Prophets  was  toppling  the  tyrannical  rulers.  He  was  a  close friend  of  the  mushrikkafir,  al-Khomeini.   Finally,  the  ideological  grandfather, who  made  explicit  what  those  before  him  concealed,  Sayyid  Qutb,  He  propounded  the  Kharijite, takfiri  doctrine  with full  expression  and  added  to  it  a  distorted  conception  of  jihad

Following  the  failed  attempts  to  assassinate  Jamal ‘Abd  al-Nasser  in  Egypt, many  of  those  upon  the  doctrines  of  Sayyid  Qutb  fled  to  Saudi  Arabia,  seeking sanctuary  and  refuge,  which  they  were  graciously  given.  They  repaid  the  favour by  working  sedition  and  spreading  their  takfiri  poison  – giving  birth  to  the Qutbiyyah  and  Sururiyyah  movements  prominent  in  the  1990s.  It  is  due  to  them that  extremism  and  terrorism  is  associated  with  Arabia.  In  reality  it  is  the infiltration  of  the  Muslim  Brotherhood  (al-Ikhwan  al-Muslimun)  within Arabian educational  institutions  that  led  to  the  emergence  of  Kharijites  such  as  Safar  al-Hawali,  Salman  al-Awdah  and  others  who  carried  the  poison of Sayyid  Qutb]. 

A  common  theme  in  the  writings  of  these  figureheads  is  the  revilement of  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) and  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu),  accusing  them  of  nepotism  and mismanagement  of  capital  and  the  absence  of  social  and  economic  justice in  their  rule.  This  type  of  commotion  led  to  revolution  against  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) and  his  eventual  assassination  and  the  subversive  group  behind  this,  the Saba’ites,  were  the  seed  group  from  which  both  the  Kharijites  and  the Rafidah Shi’ites  emerged  following  the  civil strife  between  Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) and Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu)   which  they  instigated.  It  should  come  as  no  suprise then,  that  all  of  those  mentioned,  al-Afghani,  al-Banna, Mawdudi  and  Qutb  have  in  their  works,  the  poison  of  the  Shi’ites  or  calls to  nearness  with  the  Shi’ites.  All  contemporary takfiri  movements have  their  ideas  traced  back  to  these  thinkers  and  writers.  Their  primary focus is around the rulers and revolutionary activity.

The  seeds  of  this  ideology  in  the  20th  century  were  laid  by  Abu  A’la Mawdudi  during  the  1940s  within  his  writings  within  which  he  distorted the  message  of  Islam,  giving  it  a  political  interpretation  and  representing Islam  as just a  political  ideology  concerned  primarily  with  wrestling  power from  the  ruling  authorities  who  assert  legislative  and  executive  power over  laws  that  govern  the  lives  of  their  subjects.  He  portrayed  the message  of  all  the  Prophets,  from  Nuh  (alayhissalaam)  to Prophet Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  as one  in  which  political  power  and  authority  was  the  essential  meaning  of the  declaration,  “la ilaha illallah.” [There  are  evidences  to  suggest  that  Mawdudi  was  a  crypto-Raafidhi.  First  his ideology  resembles  the  Imamah  ideology  of  the  Raafidhi  Shi’ites  who  make  it  from the  greatest  pillars  of  the  religion.  Secondly,  he  criticised  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu). Thirdly,  he  spoke ill  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu). Fourthly,  he  was  a  close  friend  of “Ayatollah”  Khomeini  and  praised  the  Iranian Revolution]. Mawdudi preceded  Sayyid  Quṭb  in this  concept  and  Qutb  himself  took  it  from  Mawdudi  and  also recommended  the  writings  of  Mawdudi to  his  own  followers.  Upon  this basis,  the  Messengers  were  sent  to  establish  a  political  infrastructure. Since  all  current  rulers  govern  the  lives  of  their  subjects,  they  have usurped  the  right  of  Allah  to  rule  (Hakimiyyah)  and  have  thus,  revoked Islam.  On  that  basis,  establishing  Islam  requires  an  overturning  of  this situation  through  revolutions.  Whilst  Mawdudi  was  the  original expounder  of  these  ideas,  they  remained  an  ideology  and  were  not implemented practically  until Sayyid Qutb  took them  to  the  next  level.


In  his  book  al-Adalah  al-Ijtima’iyyah Fi al-Islam  (Social  Justice  in  Islam)  and Kutub  wa  Shakhsiyat  (Books  and  Personalities),  Sayyid  Quṭb  interpreted early  Islamic  history  through  a  Marxist,  Socialist,  Communist  lenses, reviled  the  third  Caliph  Uthman (radhiyallahu anhu) and  excommunicated  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu),  his  parents  and  ʿ’Amr  bin  al- ‘Aas (radhiyallahu anhu) and  the  rulers  of  Banu Umayyah, accusing  them  of  mismanagement,  hoarding  capital  and  creating  class separation.  He  praised  the  revolution  initiated  and  led  by  ʿAbdullah  bin Saba al-Yahudiʾ [The  1906  edition  of  the  Jewish  Encyclopedia  has  an  entry  for  Abdullah  bin Sabaʾ  as  follows,  “A  Jew  of  Yemen,  Arabia,  of  the  seventh  century,  who  settled  in Medina  and  embraced  Islam.  Having  adversely  criticized  Calif  Othman’s administration,  he  was  banished  from  the  town.  Thence  he  went  to  Egypt,  where he  founded  an  antiothmanian  sect,  to  promote  the  interests  of  Ali.  On  account  of his  learning  he  obtained  great  influence  there,  and  formulated  the  doctrine  that, just  as  every  prophet  had  an  assistant  who  afterward  succeeded  him, Mohammed’s  vizier  was  Ali,  who  had  therefore  been  kept  out  of  the  califate  by deceit.  Othman  had  no  legal  claim  whatever  to  the  califate;  and  the  general dissatisfaction  with  his  government  greatly  contributed  to  the  spread  of Abdallah’s  teachings.  Tradition  relates  that  when  Ali  had  assumed  power, Abdallah  ascribed  divine  honors  to  him  by  addressing  him  with  the  words,  ‘Thou art  Thou!’  Thereupon  Ali  banished  him  to  Madain.  After  Ali’s  assassination Abdallah  is  said  to  have  taught  that  Ali  was  not  dead  but  alive,  and  had  never been  killed;  that  a  part  of  the  Deity  was  hidden  in  him;  and  that  after  a  certain time  he  would  return  to  fill  the  earth  with  justice.  Till  then  the  divine  character of  Ali  was  to  remain  hidden  in  the  imams,  who  temporarily  filled  his  place.  It  is easy  to  see  that  the  whole  idea  rests  on  that  of  the  Messiah  in  combination  with the  legend  of  Elijah  the  prophet.”  End  of  quote.  This  entry  indicates  the  origins of the  Shi’ite  sect]  which  led  to  the  assassination  of  ʿUthman (radhiyallahu anhu)  and  described  it as a manifestation of the “true Islamic spirit.”

In  the  writings  of  Qutb  there  is  to  be  found  an  ideological  framework identical  to  the  ideology  of  the  Kharijites  and  of  socialist,  communist movements  who  operate  under  the  banner  of  social  justice  and  equal distribution  of  wealth.  Thus,  in  this  period  Qutb  started  writing  about Islam  from  a  doctrinal  angle,  unlike  his  previous  phrase,  in  which  his interest  was  purely  artistic  and  literary. [Qutb’s  early  writings  were  simply  artistic  and  literary  discussions  of  the  style of the  Qur’an  and  were  not  studies  on Islamic  subjects].  This  ideological  framework  is greatly  reminiscent  of  the  slogan  of  “social  justice”  raised  by  Dhul Khuwaysarah  al-Tamimi,  the  father  of  the  Kharijites  who  accused  the Prophet  Muḥammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  of  being  unjust  in  the  distribution  of wealth  and  from  whose  descendants,  the  Prophet  informed,  would  come the  Kharijites  who  would  depart  from  Islam  and,  motivated  by  other  than Islqm,  would  fight  and  kill  the  Muslims.  In  1952,  Qutb  had  some involvement  in  the  socialist  coup  of  Jamal  Abd  al-Nasir.  For  some  reason, he  fell  out  with  the  Free  Officers  in  1953  and  was  given  a  prominent position  by  the  then  supreme  guide  and  leader  of  the  Muslim Brotherhood,  Hasan  al-Hudaybi.  It  was  in  this  decade,  within  Nasserite Egypt,  that  Qutb’s  extremist  doctrines  began  to  take  shape  more  fully.  In this  period,  his  hatred  of  all  Islamic  societies,  his  excommunication  of them  (judging  them  with  apostasy)  and  instigating  violent  jihad against them  began  to  develop  in  his  writings.  He  explicitly  negated  the  Islam  of all  contemporary  Muslim  societies  and  conveyed  the  idea  that  there  has been  no  Islamic  society  in  existence  since  the  time  of  Banu Umayyah,  the first ruling dynasty after the four righteous caliphs. 

Sayyid  Qutb  said,  “The  whole  of  mankind,  including  those  who  repeat from  the  minarets,  in  the  eastern  and  western  parts  of  the  world,  the words  ‘Lā  ilāha  illallāha’,  without  any  [consideration  of]  meaning  or reality,  then  they  are  the  most  sinful  of  people  and  will  be  the  most severely  punished  on  the  day  of  Judgement  because  they  have apostatised  by  turning  to  the  worship  of  the  servants  (of  Allāh).” [ In  al-Dhilal  (2/1057)]  Qutb also  wrote,  “Today  we  are  in  Jahiliyyah  (pre-Islamic  ignorance),  like  that which  was  prevalent  at  the  dawn  of  Islam,  in  fact  more  oppressive  (i.e. severe).  Everything  around  us  is  Jahiliyyah…” which  we  live  is  not  a  Muslim  society.” [Ma’alim  Fi al-Tariq, 17th  edition,  1991  (p.21)].  And  also  “This  society  in which  we  live  is  not  a  Muslim  society” [In al-Dhilal  (4/2009)]  He  also  said,  “The  Ummah  (of Islam)  has  ceased  to  be  in  existence  (ghabat  al-ummah)  and  has  not  been perceivable  for  a  very  long  time.” [Ibid.  (p.  8)].  After  Qutb  announced  his  hatred  and excommunication  (takfīr)  of  all  Muslim  societies  without  exception, he  continued,  in  a  hateful,  thunderous tone  and  advocated  violent  revolutions  against  them. [This  is  acknowledged  by  many  prominent  figures  amongst  the  Muslim Brotherhood  (al-Ikhwan).  FaridʿAbd  al-Khaliq,  former  leader  amongst  the Ikhwan,  writes,  “We  have  pointed  out  in  what  has  preceded  that  the  spread  of the  ideology  of  takfir  occurred  amongst  the  youth  of  the  Ikhwan  who  were imprisoned  in  the  late  fifties  and  early  sixties,  and  that  they  were  influenced  by the  ideology  of  …  Sayyid  Quṭb  and  his  writings.  They  derived  from  these  writings that  the  society had  fallen  into  the  disbelief of  pre-Islāmic  ignorance,  and  that  he had  performed  takfir  of  the  rulers  who  had  rejected  the  hakimiyyah  of  Allqh  by not  ruling  by  what  Allah  has  revealed,  and  also  takfir  of  those  ruled  over (civilians),  when  they  became  satisfied  with  this.”  And  he  also  said,  “The adherents  of  this  ideology,  even  if  their  jamāʿāt  (groups)  are  numerous,  believe in  the  kufr  (disbelief)  of  all  the  present  Islamic  societies  and  that  their  jāhiliyyah is  like  the  jāhiliyyah of  the  disbelievers  before  they  entered  into  Islām  during  the era  of  the  Messenger.  Then  they  built  Sharīʿah  rulings  in  relation  to  them  (these societies)  upon  this  foundation  and  defined  their  relationships  with  individuals from  these  societies  in  implementation  of  that.  They  judged  the  society  with disbelief  because  it  did  not  apply  the  legislation  of  Allah,  and  nor  adhere  to  His commands  and  prohibitions.”  [Ikhwan  al-Muslimun  Fi  Mizan  al-Haqq, (p.115,  118)]. 

Sayyid  Qutb  wrote, “And  this  important  duty,  the  duty  of  instigating  a  Islamic  revolution  is general,  it  is  not  restricted  to  one  region  exclusive  to  another.  Rather,  it is  what  Islam  desires,  and  places  it  in  front  of  its  vision,  that  it  should instigate  a  comprehensive  revolution  in  all  inhabited  places.  This  is  its greatest  objective  and  its    loftiest  goal  to  which  it  turns  its  vision,  except that  it  is  absolutely  mandatory  for  the  Muslims  or  members  of  any Islamic  party  to  immediately  embark  upon  their  duty  by  instigating  the urgent  revolution,  and striving to  alter  the  structure  of  rule  in their  lands in  which they  live.” [Fi Dhilal al-Qur’an  (9th edition, 1980, 3/1451)].

Once takfir  had  been  made  of  all  societies  and  destructive  revolutions announced  against  them,  the  only  thing  left  was  the  practical methodology  of  launching  the  proposed  revolutions.  And  it  is  here  that Qutb  plagiarizes  the  essential  idea  of  “What  is  To  Be  Done?,”  a  tract written  by  Vladimir  Lenin  between  1901  and  1902.  It  constituted  a skeleton  plan  for  the  revolution  and  was  later  refined  and  republished  in 1907.  Qutb’s  book  “Ma’alim  Fi  al-Ṭariq”  (Milestones)  formed  the  basis  of  a new,  innovated  understanding  of  jihad  in  the  20th  century.  These particular  writings  of  Qutb  were  strongly  influenced  by  Marxist, Communist  revolutionary  movements.  In  addition  to  the  notion  of  social justice,  Qutb’s  ideology  took  shape  around  a  number  of  other  concepts such  as  Jahiliyyah  and  Hakimiyyah [In  this  concept  Sayyid  Qutb  was  influenced  by  the  French  Philosopher,  Alexis Carrell  and  his  book,  “Man,  the  Unknown”  in  which  the  idea  of  “barbarism”  of modern  societies  is  developed].  The  first  alludes  to  all  contemporary Muslim  societies  reverting  to  the  pre-Islamic  days  of  ignorance  through which  they  are  judged  apostates.  The  second  alludes  to  the  sole  right  of Allah  alone  to  judge  which  Qutb  alleged  to  have  been  usurped  by  all rulers  and  governments.  Within  this  framework,  Sayyid  Qutb  redefined the  notion  of  jihad  and  took  it  away  from  its  noble  and  honorable  status to  one  involving   chaos,  treachery,  perfidy,  slaughtering  of civilians  and  everything  that  opposes  the  spirit  of  Islam.  Thus,  all contemporary  takfiri movements  are  operating  upon  the philosophy  and  thought  (fikr)  of  Sayyid  Qutb  and  not  the  Islam Prophet of Muhammad  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and  his  Companions  which  is  based  upon revelation (wahi). 

Paul  Berman  wrote  in  an  article  published  in  the  New  York  Times,  23rd March  2003,  “The  few  had  to  gather  themselves  together  into  what  Qutb in  ‘Milestones’  called  a  vanguard  –  a  term  that  he  must  have  borrowed from Lenin.

Rod  Dreher  wrote,  “What  is  to  be  done?  Lenin  famously  asked  about Czarist  Russia.  Qutb’s  answer  to  the  same  question  about  the  West  was,  in part,  ‘Milestones,’  a  Leninist-style  tract  advocating  worldwide  Islamic revolution.” [In the  Dallas  Morning  News  (27th August  2006)]. 

Phil  Paine  wrote,  “The  first  thing  one  notices  about  Qutb’s  ideological thought  is  how  little  it  has  to  do  with  traditions  of  Islam,  or  the  needs  of people  in  Islamic  countries.  It  is  profoundly  European  in  inspiration,  and it’s  chief  models  are  Hitler,  Marx  and  Lenin…  Lenin  is  by  far  the  strongest influence.  Whole  passages  look  like  they  were  simply  copied  out  from  his works  and  then  a  pseudo-Islamic  terminology  inserted,  ‘revolutionary vanguard’  becoming  ‘Islamic  vanguard’,  and  so  on…  As  Marxist  mumbojumbo  justified  the  telling  of  any  lie,  the  betrayal  of  any  value,  the commitment  of  any  atrocity,  in  the  name  of  an  implacable  destiny,  so too,  does  Milestones.” [In his  review  article,  The  Ideology  of  Sayyid  Qutb  (22nd  August  2006)] 

Lawrence  Wright  observed  about  the  book  ‘Milestones,’  that  “Its  ringing apocalyptic  tone  may  be  compared  with  Rousseau’s  ‘Social  Contract’  and Lenin’s  ‘What Is  to  Be  Done?’  –  with  similar  bloody  consequences.” [Cited  by  Daniel  Martin  in  Sayyid  Qutb]

From  these  citations,  we  can  see and  insight  about these renegades: And  this  revolutionary  ideology  [of the  modern  Kharijites],  we  do  not  say  it  is  ‘influenced  by  the  ideology  of the  Kharijites’  but  we  say  that  it  is  influenced  by  the  Communist, nationalist  and  secularist  revolutions  before  it  is  influenced  by  the ideology  of  the  Kharijites.”


These  realities  are  unknown  to  the  Kharijites  because  they  have  no understanding  in  the  religion.  It  is  clearly  established  in  the  Qur’an  and the  Sunnah  that  the  nature  of  the  rulers  and  their  rule  is  directly  tied  to the  actions  of  the  servants.  The  Messenger  (sallallaahu alayji wasallam),  explained  “And never  do  a  people  cheat  in  the  weights  and  measures  except  that  they  are  taken by  years  (of  hardship),  scarcity  of  resources  and  the  tyranny  of  the  ruler  upon them.” [Sahih  Ibn  Majah  (no.  4019)  from  ʿAbdullah  bin  ʿUmar  (radhiyallahu anhu)]. 

Elaborating  upon  the  same  principle,  Ibn  al-Qayyim said:  “And  reflect  in  His,  the  Most  High’s  wisdom  in  making  the kings  of  the  servants,  their  leaders  and  their  rulers  to  be  of  the  same species  as  the  actions  [of  the  servants].  Rather,  it  is  as  if  their  actions became  manifest  in  the  appearances  of  their  rulers  and  kings.  If  they remain  upright,  then  their  kings  will  remain  upright,  and  if  they  turn away  (from  uprightness),  then  they  (the  kings)  too  will  turn  away  from uprightness. [In  the  hadith  of  Ibn  ʿUmar  (radhiyallahu anhu)  the  Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “And  never  do a  people  cheat  in  the  weights  and  measures  except  that  they  are  taken  by  years  (of hardship),  scarcity  of  resources  and  the  tyranny  of  the  ruler.”  [Sahih  Ibn  Majah (4019)]. When  this  is  for  cheating  in  the  weights  and  measures,  then  what  about  shirk with  the  Lord  of  the  worlds,  the  greatest  of  all  injustices,  that  is  found widespread  in the  majority of  Muslim  lands?]  And  if  they  (the  servants)  oppress  [each  other],  then  their kings  and  rulers  will  oppress  [them].  And  if  plotting  and  deception appears  from  them,  their  rulers  will  [be  made  to]  behave  likewise (towards  them),  and  if  they  (the  servants)  withhold  the  rights  of  Allah that  are  between  themselves  and  become  miserly  with  respect  to  them, then  their  kings  and  their  rulers  will  withhold  the  right  that  they  (the servants)  have  upon  them  and  will  become  miserly  with  respect  to  them. And  if  they  take  from  the  one  who  is  considered  weak  what  they  do  not deserve  to  take  from  him  in  their  dealings,  then  the  kings  will  take  from them  (the  servants)  what  they  do  not  deserve  to  take  (from  them)  and will  inflict  them  with  taxes.    And  everything  that  they  (the  servants)  take away  from  the  weak  person  (unjustly),  the  kings  will  take  away  from them  with  power,  force.  So  their  actions  (those  of  the  servants)  become manifest  in  their  actions  (those  of  the  kings  and  rulers).  And  it  is  not from  the  Divine  wisdom  that  the  evil-doers  and  the  sinners  are  made  to be  ruled  over  [by  anyone]  except  by  one  who  is  of  their  like.  And  when the  very  first  band  (of  Islām)  was  the  best  of  the  generations,  and  the most  pious  of  them,  then  their  rulers  were  likewise.  And  when  they  (the people)  became  corrupt,  the  Rulers  were  made  corrupt  over  them.  Thus, the  wisdom  of  Allah  refuses  that  the  likes  of  Mu’awiyah (radhiyallahu anhu),  and  ʿUmar  bin ʿAbd  al-ʿAziz (rahimahullah) are  put  in  authority  over  us  in  the  likes  of  these  times  [the 8th  Century  Hijrah],  let  alone  the  likes  of  Abū  Bakr  and  ʿUmar.  Rather, our  rulers  are  in  accordance  with  our  (nature)  and  the  rulers  of  those before  us  were  in accordance  with their  (nature).” [Miftah Dar  al-Sa’adah,  (Dar Ibn  Affan, 2/177)].

Ibn  al-Qayyim  also  said,  “For  every people,  Allah,  the  Sublime,  with  His  wisdom (hikmah)  and  justice  (‘adl)  makes  the  (consequences)  of  the  actions  of  the servants  to  appear  to  them  in  forms  (suwaar)  that  are  appropriate  to  (their actions).  So  sometimes  it  is  in  the  form  of  a  drought  or  barrenness  (of land).  Other  times  it  is  by  way  of  an  enemy.  Other  times  by  way  of tyrannical  rulers.  Other  times  by  way  of  general  diseases  (that  spread). Other  times  it  is  by  anxiety,  grief  and  worry  that  reside  in  their  souls  and do  not  leave  them.  Other  times  it  is  by  preventing  the  blessings  from  the sky  and  the  Earth  from  them.  Other  times  it  is  by  unleashing  the  devils upon  them  to  incite  them  to  the  causes  of  their  destruction,  so  that  His word  can  be  established  upon  them  and  so  that  each  of  them  arrives  at the  outcome  destined  for  him.  The  intelligent  (aqil)  traverses  with  his insight  (baseerah)  in  all  regions  of  the  world  and  witnesses  this,  and  he  sees   the  occurrence  (of  these  instances)  of  Allah’s  justice  and  wisdom  taking place.” [Zad  al-Ma’ad  (4/363)].

These  statements  of  Ibn  al-Qayyim  are  in  effect,  an  insight  into  the statement  of  Mu’adh  bin  Jabal  (radhiyallahu anhu),  who  said,  “The  ruler  is  from  the affair  of  Allah  whoever  reviled  the  ruler  is  in  reality  reviling  the affair  of  Allah.” [Related  by  Abu  Amr  al-Dani  in  al-Sunan  al-Waridah  fil-Fitan]. The  ruler  is  from  the  placement  of  Allah,  He places  rulers  in  accordance  with  what  the  subjects  deserve,  as  a  direct expression  of  the  actions  of    the  servants  themselves,  a  law  in  Allah’s creation.  Thus,  when  the  modern  Kharijites  revile  and  attack  the oppressive  rulers  who  do  not  judge  by  Allah’s  law  with  respect  to  their subjects,  attempting  to  remove  them  and  acquire  power,  they  are corrupters  of  an  already  corrupted  situation.  The  situation  was  corrupted by  the  people  due  to  their  deeds,  their  shirk  (associationism),  bid’ah (innovation),  ma’siyah  (disobedience),  as  result  of  which  Allah  punished them  from  a  way  amongst  the  ways  at  His  disposal,  which  includes tyrannical  rulers  who  do  not  judge  by  Allah’s  law  and  do  not  implement justice  to  the  detriment  of  the  subjects.  Ibn  Taymiyyah  said,  “Indeed,  the affair  [of  rule]  being  destined  for  the  kings  and  their  deputies  from  the rulers,  judges  and  leaders  is  not  due  to  the  deficiency  in  them  alone,  but due  to  the  deficiency  in  both  the  shepherd  and  the  flock  together,  for  ‘As you  yourselves  behave,  you  will  be  ruled  over  (in  a  like  manner)’   and  Allāh,  the Exalted  has  said,  ‘Thus  do  we  turn  some  of  the  oppressors  against  others on  account  of  (the  deeds)  they  earn.’  (6:129).” [Majmu  al-Fatawa (35/20-21)].  And  Abu Bakr Muhammad  al-Ṭurtushi said,  “I  never  ceased  hearing  the  people saying,  ‘Your  actions  are  your  workers,  as  you  yourselves  behave,  you will  be  ruled  over  (in  a  like  manner)’  until  I  grasped  this  meaning  from the  Qur’an,  Allāh,  the  Exalted  said,  ‘Thus  do  we  turn  some  of  the oppressors  against  others  on  account  of  (the  deeds)  they  earn’.  (6:129). And it  used  to  be  said,  ‘Whatever  you  show  rejection against  in  your  time, then  it  is  your  own  deed  that  has  corrupted  that  for  you.’  And  ʿAbd  al Malik  bin  Marwan  said,  ‘O  subjects,  you  have  not  dealt  justly  with  us.  You want  from  us  the  sirah  (way,  approach,  behaviour)  of  Abu  Bakr  and ʿUmar (radhiyallahu anhu) but  you  do  yourselves  do  not  behave  with  respect  to  us  or yourselves  with  their  behaviour’.” [Siraj al-Muluk  (2/467-468)].

Thus,  modern-day  Kharijite  movements  are  further  corrupters  of  already corrupt  situations  and  this  is  from  their  ignorance  and  their  inability  to grasp  the  ʿaqidah  of  Ahl al-Sunnah  in  these  great  and  mighty  affairs  of  alqada  wal-qadar,  the  actions  of  the  servants,  the  rule  of  Allah  in  His creation  and  the  purpose,  justice  and  wisdom  in  Allah’s  actions  and  His legislations  –  and  from  that  is  the  famous  hadith  related  by  Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhi),  which  is  a  stake  in  the  heart  of  every  brain-dead  Kharijite,  that  the Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “There  will  be  after  me  rulers  who  do  not  guide themselves  by  my  guidance  nor  follow  my  Sunnah  and  their  will  appear  amongst you  men  whose  hearts  are  the  hearts  of  devils  in  the  bodies  of  men.”  Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) said,  “What  shall  I  do  if  I  reach  that  (time)?”  He  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said,  “Hear  and obey  the  ruler,  even  if  your  back  is  beaten  and  your  wealth  is  confiscated.” [Related  by  Muslim  in his  Sahih].  And this  is  only  after  we  accept  that  the  rulers  targeted  by  the  Kharijites  are as  evil  as  they  are  made  out  to  be,  for  most  of  what  the  Kharijites  allege  is from  their  own  evil  understanding  or  complete  lack  of  undestanding  of the  rulings  of  the  Shari’ah,  treating  things  permitted in  the  Shari’ah  to  be disbelief  –  just  as  the  very  first  Kharijites  treated  the  matter  of  arbitration to be disbelief.


The  Shari’ah  of  Islam  judged  the  Khariijtes  to  have  departed  and  exited from  Islam  just  as  an  arrow  passes  through  its  game.  The  following citation  will  help  us  to  grasp  one  of  the  angles  from  which  this  is  indeed the  case.   Muhammad  bin ʿAbd  al-Wahhab  said,  in demonstrating  the  contrast  between  the  way  in  which  the  Shari’ah  treats the  sinners  and  the  heretical  innovators,  “Chapter:  What  has  come  [to show]  that  innovation  is  more  severe  than  major  sins  due  to  His  saying, “Indeed,  Allah  does  not  forgive  association  with  Him,  but  He  forgives what  is  less  than that  for  whom  He  wills.”  (4:116)  and  his  saying, the  Most High,  “That  they  may  bear  their  own  burdens  in  full  on  the  Day  of Resurrection  and  some  of  the  burdens  of  those  whom  they  misguide without  knowledge.  Unquestionably,  evil  is  that  which  they  bear.” (16:25) [Fadl al-Islam  within  the  Majmuʾ  Mu’allafat  (6/1156)].  And  in  the  Sahih [of al-Bukhari]  that  he  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said  about the  Kharijites,  ‘Wherever  you  find  them,  slaughter  them’  and  within  [the Sahih]  is  that  he  prohibited  from  fighting  the  tyrannical  rulers,  so  long  as they  pray.”

He cited  the  first  verse  (4:116)  to  show  that  no  matter  what  level of  sin  is  committed  (by  the  sinners,  rulers  included)  it  can  be  forgiven, unless  it  is  shirk.  And  the  second  verse  (16:25)  is  about  the  innovators who  will  bear  their  burden  and  that  of  all  those  whom  they  misguided.  In the  first  hadith  he  indicated  how  the  Kharijites  (despite  their  outward piety  and  alluring  speech  about  the  religion  and  Allah’s  right  to  judge and  so  on)  are  to  be  slaughtered  wherever  they  are  found [This  is  for  the  rulers  to  pursue  and  not  for the  subjects]. and  in  the second  hadith  he  indicated  how  the  sinful,  tyrannical  rulers  must  not  be fought  so  long  as  they  pray.  This  is  an  indication  of  how  the  Shari’ah  of Islam  preserves  both  the  worldly  and  religious  interests  in  contrast  to what  the  intellects  and  opinions  of  men  may  surmise.  It  came  with rulings  and  injunctions  that  actualize  the  greater  benefit  and  repel  the greater  harm.  Unlike  atheistic,  materialist  philosophies  which  came  with social  revolutionary  movements  to  topple  monarchies  and  governments (under  the  guise  of  establishing  social,  economic  and  political  justice) leading  to  mass  murder,  chaos,  civil  strife,  destruction  of  infrastructure and  whose  beneficiaries  are  not  the  masses  but  an  elite  few,  the  Shari’ah of  Islam  came  with  the  opposite:  The  preservation  of  peace  and  security despite  the  presence  of  tyranny  and  social  and  economic  injustice.  It came  with  patience  upon the  tyranny,  injustice  and  self-preference  of  the rulers,  despite  their  sinfulness  and  injustice,  alongside  strong  incitations to  slaughter  and  kill  the  revolutionary  renegades  (Kharijites)  who  revolt against  the  authorities  and  create  more  evil  and  harm  than  which  is found  from  the  rulers  alone.  And  this  is  despite  the  apparent  great  piety of  these  Kharijites  in  their  abundant  beautified  speech,  their  prayer  and fasting. 

And  all  praise  is  due  to  Allah  and  may  peace  and  blessings  be  upon  His Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

The History of Al-Aqsa Mosque from Earliest Times to the Present day



For  more  than  thirteen  hundred years  Al-Aqsa  has  been venerated throughout the Muslim  world as  the  third  holiest  site  of  Islam.  It  was  to this  that the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  made his  Night Journey  from  the Masjid al – Haram in Makkah. It was  from  this  site  that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ascended on the Miraj,  his  journey  through the heavens  to his  Lord.

Glory  be to him Who carried His  Servant (Muhammad – sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  by  night, From the Holy  Mosque to the Furthest Mosque, The precincts  of which We  have blessed,That We  might show him some of Our  signs. He is  the All – Hearing, the All  Seeing. (Quran,  Surah Al-Isra,  17:1)

For  thirteen hundred years  Al- Aqsa  has  dominated the skyline and the life of  the Holy  City.  For more  than thirteen centuries  it was  a centre  of  pilgrimage for  Muslims  from  all over  the world.  For the past twenty  years,  its  very  existence has  been threatened. It  is  purpose  of  this  article to outline the history  of  events  that has  led  to  this  situation and the Muslim perspective on, and beyond it.

The History  of  Palestine

Palestine;  The  land  of  the  Prophets. Rich in history – the history  of  generations  of  believers  who lived and worshipped, and fought and died there, praising their  Lord and defending their  faith.

Nearly  4,000 years  ago the Prophet Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) [Abraham], stopped in the land of Cannan. He was  a true believer,  one pure of  faith. He surrendered his will to God alone, with no associates.  

From  his  sons Isma’eel (alayhissalaam) [Ishmael] and Is’haaq (alayhissalaam) [Isaac]  came  two  great  nations  of  believers.  The  descendants  of Ibraheem (alayhissalaam)  [Abraham]  – two rivers  from  a single sea. But the nearest to Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) [Abraham]  were  those who most  closely followed his  way.

Six  centuries  later  the Prophet Musa (alayhissalaam) [Moses],  revived his  teachings  and led his people, descendants  of  Is’haaq (alayhissalaam) [Isaac], out of  Egypt. Their  destination?? Palestine, the Land of  Canaan.

Two more  centuries  and the Prophet Dawud (alayhissalaam) [David], united the scattered  tribes of Israel. He took  Jerusalem  for  his  capital. It is  said that he brought with him the ark of  the covenant.

The  Prophet Sulaymaan (alayhissalaam) [Solomon],  inherited the Kingdom  from Dawud (alayhissalaam) [David], and built fortifications,  and  a  place of  worship; a place of  worship on a site revered since ancient times,  a hill known as  Moriah.

The Kingdom  split into two in the struggle for  power  following Sulaymaan’s (alayhissalaam) [Solomons]  death;  Israel  to  the  North and tiny Judah, including Jerusalem  to the South.

After  two  hundred  years  of  bitter  rivalry  between these two kingdoms,  Israel was  conquered by the Syrians and Judah found itself  the sole remaining remnant of  the Israelite nation.

A  temple  cult  developed  in  the  house of  worship built by Sulaymaan (alayhissalaam) [Solomon]. Elaborate rituals  and a paid priesthood  were  put  in  place. Protagonists  of  a return  to the pure teachings  of  Musa (alayhissalaam) [Moses]  were  beaten and exiled. Incidents  of  injustice and immorality  within the general populace  became  rampant. The destruction of  the Temple, and with it Jerusalem,  was  prophesied.

Nebuchadenezzar  entered  Jerusalem  in  586  BC. The temple was  sacked and set fire  to, and razed  to  the  ground.  The  Royal  Palace  and all the great houses  were  destroyed, the population carried off  in chains  to Babylon. and they  lamented on their  long march into exile:

If we had just  performed the will of God and devoutly  sung His  praises,  we would not have into your  hands  been delivered

Judah ceased to exist. Four  hundred years  of  rule by  the house of  Dawud (alayhissalaam) [David] had to come  to an end.

In  536  BC,  the Persians  overthrew  the Babylonians  and encouraged exiles  to return. Construction began on the Second Temple and was  completed in twenty  years.

After  200 years  of  relative peace the Greeks  captured Jerusalem.  Attempts  at  Hellenization, including the rededication of  the Second temple of  Zeus  and the sacrifice of  pigs  on  its  altar sparked a revolt.

In  164  BC  Hasmonean Jews  captured Mount Moriah and re – consecrated the Temple. But after  a hundred  years  of  Jewish  rule,  the  society  they  created lay  in ruins,  broken down by  years  of vicious  infighting.

Jerusalem  was  over-run  by  Rome  in  63 BC. Herod was  appointed King of  Judea. He slaughtered the  last  of  the  Hasmoneans  and ordered a lavish  restoration and extension of  the Second Temple.

A  period  of  great  civil  disorder  followed with strife  between pacifists  and Zealots,  and riots  against the  Roman  authorities.  In  the  midst  of  this  chaos ‘Eesa Masih (alayhissalaam) [Jesus  of  Nazareth], began his  teaching mission. His  attempts  to call people back  to the pure  teachings  of  Ibraheem  and Musa (alayhimussalaam)  were  judged  subversive  by  the authorities.  He was  tried and sentenced to death;  “yet they did not slay  him but a likeness  that was  shown to them.

Years  later  Jewish  Zealots  captured the temple Mount and massacred Roman troops  in Herod’s palace. After  three years  of  revolt, Titus  of  Rome  laid  siege  to  Jerusalem.  The  fiercely  defended Temple  eventually  fell,  and with it the whole city. Seeking a complete and enduring victory,  Titus ordered the total destruction of  the Herodian Temple. It was  the 70th year  of  the Christian Era.
A new  city  named Aelia was  built by  the Romans  on the ruins  of  Jerusalem,  and  a  temple dedicated  to  Jupitor  raised  up.  In 324 Constantine of  Byzantium  marched on Aelia. He rebuilt the City  walls  and commissioned the church  of  the Holy  Sepulchre, and opened the city  for  Christian pilgrimage.

After  nearly  300 years  of  Christian rule Jerusalem  was  sacked again, this  time  by  the  Sassanid Persians. The Christians  were  massacred and their  holy  places  destroyed.  Fifteen  years  later Byzantine rule was  restored and the Persians  expelled.

Attempts  were  made to rebuild the city. But the die was  cast:  600  miles  to  the  south,  Makkah  had just  converted  to a far  more  dynamic  and true compassionate force. And it was  spreading north, soon  to  overwhelm  all  of  Byzantium,  carrying  with it the pure essence of  the teaching of Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) [Abraham], the path revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  the path of  Islam.

In 638 Jerusalem’s  thousand years  of  recurrent  persecution,  intolerance  and  oppression,  were bought to an abrupt halt: ‘Umar  ibn al-Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu), the Second Khalif of  Islam,  entered Al-Quds.

Eager  to  be  rid  of  their  Byzantine  overloads  – and aware of  their  shared heritage with the Arabs, the descendants  of  Isma’eel (alayhissalaam) [Ishmaeel], as  well as  the Muslims’  reputation for  mercy  and compassion in victory  –  the people of  Jerusalem  handed over  the city  after  a brief  siege.

They  made only  one condition: that the terms  of  their  surrender  be  negotiated  directly  with  the Khalif  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) in person.

‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) entered  Jerusalem  on  foot.  There  was  no bloodshed. There were  no massacres. Those who  wanted  to  stay  were  guaranteed protection for  their  lives, their  property, and places  of worship.

It  is  related  that  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) asked Sophronius, the city  patriarch, to take  him  to the Sanctuary  of  David, as  soon as  he was  through writing the terms  of  surrender. They  were  joined  by  four  thousand  of the companions  of  the Prophet.

When they  reached the area of  the Noble Sanctuary  they  found  it  covered  in  rubbish.  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) proceeded  to  the  West  of  the sanctuary  and unfurled his  cloak. He filled it with debris, those with him  did likewise. They  disposed of  it and returned, again and again, until the  whole  area where  Al – Aqsa  Mosque now  stands  was  cleared.

The entire area of  the Haram  ash – shariff,  the Noble sanctuary,  included more  than 35  acres. The great rock, site of  the Prophet’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) ascension to heaven on the Night Journey,  and direction of  the first qibla, lay  in the centre. The rock  was  uncovered and the ground purified. It was  suggested that the Muslims  pray  to the North of  the  rock,  to include  it  in  the  qibla  when facing south toward  Makkah, but ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) rejected this  idea, and possible future  confusion, by  praying to the South of  the  Rock,  at  the  southernmost  wall  of  the Noble sanctuary.

A huge timber  mosque which held three thousand worshippers  was  erected on this  site,  the  site of  the present Aqsa  Mosque. Fifty  years  later,  near  the end of  the 7th century,  it was  given  to  the Umayyad Khalif, ‘Abdul Malik  ibn Marwan, to construct one of  the world’s  most  beautiful  and enduring shrines  over  the rock  itself. Highlighting the skyline  of  Jerusalem,  and  the  memories  of all that visit, the dome of  the rock  is  a tribute to the Muslims’  love and respect for  this  site.

Thabit Al-Bunani reported on the authority  of  Anas (radhiyallahu anhu)  that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said, “I was  brought al – Buraq, an animal white and  long,  larger  than  a  donkey  but  smaller than a mule, whose stride was  a distance equal to the range of its  vision. I  mounted  it  and  came  to  Jerusalem,  and tied it to the ring used by  the Prophets.  After entering  the  Mosque,  and  praying  two  rakats  in it, I came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Jibreel [Gabriel] said, ‘you have  chosen the true religion’ We  were  then taken to heaven…..” [Muslim] 

After  completion  of  the  Dome  of  the Rock, construction began on the site of  the original timber mosque  at  the south end of  the Sanctuary.  A vast  congregational mosque, accommodating over 5,000 worshippers,  rose  up. It became known as  Masjid Al – Aqsa, although, in reality  the  entire Haram  ash-Sharif  is  considered Al -Aqsa  Mosque, its  entire precincts  inviolable.

The next five centuries  of  Muslim  rule were  characterized by  peace, justice and prosperity.  The Noble sanctuary  became a great centre  of  learning; scholars  came  from  all over  the  world  to worship at Al-Aqsa  and to study  and teach within its  precints. Except  for  a  brief  period  under  the Fatimid Hakim  which caused as  much  hardship for  the  Muslims  as  the  Christians  and  Jews,  the Islamic  injunctions  to  respect  the  rights  of  the people of  the Book  were  respected throughout this period.

And We  gave Moses  the book, and made it a guidance for  the children of Israel saying: ‘Take not unto yourselves  any  guardian other  than me’ They  were  the  seed  of  those  We bore with Noah; surely  he was  a thankful servant. And We  decreed for  the children of Israel in the book: You shall do corruption in the earth twice,  and  you  shall  become great tyrants.  So when the time for  the first of these came to pass,  We  sent against you servants  of ours,  men of great might, and they  ravaged  the country, and in it was  a promise performed.” (Qur’aan, Surah Al-Isra)

People of the Book

In  1078  bands  of  Selijuq Turks  took  Jerusalem.  They  ruled for  the next 20 years,  during which time  the rights  of  Christian pilgrims  to Jerusalem  were  regularly  trampled,  together  with  almost everyone else’s, in the paths  of  their  fierce  internal rivalries.

In 1096, the first Crusade was  called by  Pope Urban II,  Hundreds  of  thousands  of  Christians  were  mobilized to defend their  faith.

Sanctified by  religion, spurred on by  the promise of  adventure and material  gain,  rag-tag  army of  knights,  foot soldiers, women children and old men, marched across  Europe to their  destination and  their  goal,  the  Holy  City  of  Jerusalem.  Three years  of  marching and mayhem  – – much  of  it against their  pockets  of  Jews  who crossed their  path  and a remnant of  the Crusaders,  perhaps a tenth of  those that had set out, reached gates  of  Jerusalem.  It was  morning of  June 7th  1099. 

Ironically, by  the time  they  arrived the city  was  back  in the hands  of  the Fatimids, and the  rights  of Christian pilgrims  had been restored. After  a five-week  siege,  the  city’s  ramparts  were  stormed. The Crusaders  went berserk. For  two days,  the 40,000 men, women and  children  of  al-    Quds were  massacred in the streets,  in the mosques, and in  their  homes.  Muslim  soldiers  were slaughtered  in  Al-Aqsa  mosque after  being guaranteed amnesty  there. The cities  Jews  were burned  alive  in  their  main  synagogue,  where  they  had huddled together  for  refuge. Al-  Aqsa  and the Dome  of  the Rock  were  looted.  

A golden cross was placed on top of the Dome of the Rock. It was renamed Templum Domini. Al Aqsa  mosque became Temple Solomonis.  On  their  enthusiasm  to link  the glory  of  the Noble sanctuary  with  their  own  heritage, the new  conquerors  erased every  trace possible of  its  Islamic origin. In the Dome  of  the Rock, Quranic  inscriptions  were  plastered  over.  Steps  were  carved  into the rock  and an alter  placed on top of  it. Chips  of  the rock  were  sold  for  their  weight  in  gold.  Al- Aqsa  mosque  was  sub-divided into a royal palace for  the Knights  Templar.  The vast  vaulted subterranean area to the east of  Al-Aqsa  became a stable for  400 horses.  All  this  had  not passed  by  entirely  unnoticed  by  the  Muslims  outside of  Jerusalem.

In 1146, Nuradeen Mahmud ibn  Zangi,  ruler  of  Aleppo,  commissioned master  craftsmen to build an extraordinary  cedar mimbar.  It  was  to  be  installed  in  Al-Aqsa  on the day  the crusaders  were  expelled from  Al-Quds. It was  Nuradeen who, through an auspicious  joining of  statesmanship, piety,  humility  and honour  in his  own character,  reunited the Muslims  of  Syria into  a  force  capable  of  rising  Jihad against  their  enemies.  But it was  his  lieutenant and successor,  Salahudeen, who was  to lead them  into  victory.  Generous  almost  to a fault, shunning luxury  and ostentation, Salahudeen was merciful  with  those  he conquered but ruthless  to anyone who maligned the Prophet and the path of  God.  

On  the 2nd  day  of  October, 1187, the 27th  day  of  Rajab, the day  Muslims  celebrate the  Prophets night  journey,  Salahudeen entered Jerusalem  after  a 12-day siege.  There  was  no bloodshed. There were  no massacres. Those who wanted to leave were permitted to do so, with all their  goods. Those who wanted to stay  were  guaranteed protection  for their  lives, property, and places  of  worship. The wisdom  of  the  Khalif  Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu) was  observed,  the laws  of  Islam  restored.   

The  cross  on  the Dome  of  the Rock  was  taken down. Al-Aqsa  was  purified and reinstated as  a mosque.  The magnificent mimbar  commissioned by  Nuradeen 40 years  earlier  was  put into place. After  88 years  of  occupation, the Jumu’ah prayer  was  held once again on the  furthest mosque. The Crusaders  dressed in black.  They  sought aid throughout  Europe  to  recapture Jerusalem  and  soon  returned  to  lay  siege to the Muslim  coastal stronghold of  Acre. Richard the Lionheart joined them  in the Spring of  1191. By  July  the city  of  acre  surrendered  into  the crusaders hands. Two thousand seven hundred Muslim  soldiers  and  their  families  were assembled and massacred outside the city  walls. After  a year  of  struggling to  get  a  toe-hold  from which to regain Jerusalem,  Richard finally  capitulated and returned  to  England.  The  rights  of Christians  to worship at their  holy  sites  were  guaranteed and  Salahudeen’s  authority  in  all  but  the coastal areas  of  Palestine was  confirmed.  

The next centuries  witnessed the final expulsion of  the  Crusaders  from  Palestine  and  successful resistance to the advance of  the Mongols  under  the energetic  rule of  the  Mamaluks.  Awesome  in battle, the Mameluks  were  no less  vigorous  in their  building programs  and public  works.  The  four minarets  on  the  North  and  West  boundaries  of  the noble Sanctuary  and the arched mawzeen surrounding  the  Dome  of  the  Rock  are from  the Mameluk  period, as  are endowments  for  four madrassas  on  the  grounds  of  the  sanctuary  and a trust fund for  maintaining Al-Aqsa  and the Dome  of  the Rock.  

After  a reign of  nearly  300 years  Mameluk  power  declined. By  the early  16th  Century  Ottoman Turks  displaced  them, in the process  establishing a vast  empire  which encompassed Constantinople, Damascus,  Cairo, Makkah, Madinah and Jerusalem.  

On  entering  Jerusalem  in  1517 the ottoman sultan Selim  was  entrusted with keys  to Al-Aqsa and the Dome  of  the Rock. A delegation of  Christian clerics  presented him  with  a  scroll  containing  the original covenant of  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu),  guaranteeing them  rights  over  the Church  of  the  Holy  places.  Selim pressed them  to his  face  and kissed them, confirming his  intention to honour  Umar’s (radhiyallahu anhu) word.  

Selim’s son Sulayman al  Qanuni, known throughout Europe as  Sulayman the Magnificent, consolidated his  domain into the greatest world power  of  the 16th Century, drawing  on  his tremendous  resources,  he  restored  and renewed all of  Jerusalem,  building walls, gates, towers, and aqueducts. 

His  most  remembered  gift  to Jerusalem,  however, was  the breathtakingly  beautiful tile work commisioned  for  the  exterior  of  the Dome  of  the Rock. With the incomparable skills  of  Persia’s master  ceramists,  40’000 tiles  were  fired and put into place, crowned  by  the  inscription  of  Surah YaSeen  at  the  top.  This  brilliant application of  exquisite aesthetics  to celebrate the message of God has  made the Dome  of  the Rock  a world landmark  in sacred architecture. 

This  was  the peak  of  the Ottoman empire. It soon began to deteriorate. Central authority  broke down.  Regionalism  rose  up.  Corruption by  petty  officials  became widespread. Military  and political instructions  and frontiers  began to crumble. The western powers,  restrained by  Ottoman strength for  so  many  years,  were  joyously  anticipating its  collapse and the inevitable division of  spoils.

In  19th  Century  Jerusalem  their  dreams  began to be realized. Consular  offices  representing the European  powers  were  set  up  in  the  old city  to begin exerting influence from  abroad, while a new political movement was  being cultivated that could exercise  power  from  within  Palestine:  Secular Zionism.

Denying the prophetic  message, while at the same  time  using it as  the basis  of  their  claims  for  a Jewish  state in the Holy  Land, crying anti -Semite  at  every  protest  of  their  despotic  actions,  even as  they  planned   a ruthless  displacement policy  against the Semitic Arabs, the European  Zionists created sufficient confusion to successfully  deflect  world criticism  of  their  nationalistic  goals  in the Middle East. From  this  apparently  irreconcilable platform, the political Zionists  waged  a successful campaign to gain international sympathy  and support for  their  bizarre  concept  of  a secular, and at the same  time Jewish state in Palestine.

Ottoman  sovereignty  was  now  seriously  threatened and with it the believers’ control of  the sacred city  of  Al-Quds.

When  British forces  entered Jerusalem  after  its  surrender  by  the Ottomans  in 1917, it was  only  a question  of  time  until  Zionist  plans  began to be realized. The Balfour  Declaration of  the same  year gave support for  the idea of  a Jewish  homeland in Palestine. The British Mandate of  1920 helped to  enforce  it.  But  what  was  originally  conceived of  as  a more  passive and politically  acceptable ally  in the Middle east, turned out to be an unexpectedly  impatient  and  violent  one.  Zionist inspired terrorism  and economic  blackmail combined to force the British out in 1948.

A hastily prepared UN recommendation for  the creation of  separate Arab and Jewish  states  with Palestine  led  immediately  to  an  escalation of  hostilities.  Two Jewish  terrorist  groups, Airgun and the Stern gang, led a campaign of  terror  and psychological warfare calculated  to  drive  the  Arabs out,  culminating  in  their  joint  undertaking  at the Arab village of  dayr Yasin, in which 250 men, women and children were  brutally  murdered, with  threats  to  repeat  performances  broadcast throughout Palestine.

On  May  14th, in 1948, David Centurion proclaimed the State of  Israel. Lack  of  unity  among  the Arab states  in the ensuing Arab/Israeli wars  led to huge losses.  By  the time  of  the Cessation of hostilities  in 1949, more  than 700;000 Arabs  were  driven out of  their  homes.

Al-Aqsa  Mosque  and  the  Dome  of  the Rock  had both sustained damage from  the crossfire of mortars  and bombs  but remained, together  with the old walled city, in the hands  of  the Arabs.

The first stage of  their  nationalistic  plans  realized, the Israelis  cast  a covetous  eye on Gaza  and the West  Bank. But the real prize, East  Jerusalem,  and  its  jewel,  the  Noble  sanctuary,  laid tantalizingly  just  out  of  reach.  The  Israelites  commenced on their  plans  for  the capture of  Al-Quds.

In  1967  they  got their  opportunity. Through the din of  the capricious  chants  of  Arab nationalism Israel carefully  plotted its  attack. On  June 7th the Israelis  took  Al-Quds.

Israeli  tanks  and  soldiers  entered the Noble sanctuary.  The Maghribi quarter  was  levelled. Two mosques  and 135 homes  were  bulldozed, leaving six  hundred and fifty  Muslims  homeless.  The West  Bank  and Gaza  were  occupied, demographically  impossible situations, which would drive the  Jews  to  desperation  and  despicable acts  of  oppression in years  to come. Jerusalem  was annexed.

Only  the Haram ash-Sharif  was  returned to the Muslims  and their  willingness  to defend it at  any cost.

Then We  gave you once again your  turn  to prevail over  them. And We  gave you  wealth and  children,  and  We  made  you  more  in  soldiery, saying, ‘If you do good, it is  to your  own souls  and you do good to, and if you do evil it is  to them also

So when the promise of the second came to pass,  We  roused against you others  of Our servants  to ravage you, and to enter  the Temple,  even  as  they  entered  it  the  first  time, and  to lay  waste to all that which they  conquered with an utter  wasting. Perhaps  the lord will  have  mercy  on you but if you return, we shall return  – and We  have appointed Hell a prison for  the unbelievers.” (Quran, Surah Al-Isra)

The Furthest Mosque

With the capture of  east Jerusalem  all of  the elements  seemed to  be  in  place  for  the  realization  of the  Jewish  national  dream,  the  rebuilding  of  the Second Temple, for  which virtually  every practicing Jew  had been praying, “that in our  days  may  the Temple  be  rebuilt“,  for  the  past  1900 years.

Only  according  to the Halachah, the Jewish  code of  law  and doctrine, the most  critical requirement  for  rebuilding  the  Temple,  the  coming  of  the Messiah, had yet to be fulfilled. But the requirements  of  Judaic  Law  had never  deterred the Secular  Zionists  before.  Especially  when  it involved  prohibiting something they  desired, like a a fantastic  symbol of  Jewish  nationalism  right in  the  middle  of  Jerusalem,  to  replace  the  glaring reminder  of  the Muslims  still in their  midst. A Second  Temple  would  do  very  well  indeed, just  as  it had before its  destruction, as  an object of worship for  the Jews.

A  model  of  the  temple  already  existed,  built on the grounds  of  the Holy  Land Hotel in West Jerusalem  before the Six  Days’ War.  The only  obstructions  to  the  realization  of  the  Zionists architectural dreams:

•  international recognition of  the Muslim  right to, and ownership of  the Haram  ash-Sharif,

•  the existence of  Al – Aqsa  Mosque and the Dome  of  the Rock,

•  and the vigilance of  600 million Muslims  who call this  site the third holiest  in Islam.

Seeking  to  establish the principle of  the Noble Sanctuary  as  a place of  Jewish  worship, extremist groups  began performing Jewish  prayer  services  in the area of  the  Sanctuary,  despite  the prohibition  by  the  chief  Rabbinate  of  Jews  of  even setting foot in it for  fear  of  violating its  sanctity according to Judaic  law.

Fearing retribution from  the Muslim  World the Israeli attorney  General  banned  such  acts  in  the Spring of  1969. Four  months  later  the entire south wing of  the Al-Aqsa  Mosque  was  destroyed by  fire. Fire  fighters  from  Jerusalem  and the West  Bank  answered  the  alarm,  but  not  soon  enough to prevent damage that would take  more  than twenty  years  of  concerted effort  to repair.

When  the  fire  was  finally  extinguished, the Qibla wall, mihrab and dome were  destroyed and with them  the  mimbar  commissioned  by  Nuradeen  over  700 years  earlier;  the mimbar  installed by Salahudeen when the Crusaders  were  driven out in the twelfth century.

An Australian visitor  at a coastal kibbutz  was  arrested that night for  setting blaze. Reaction  from the  Muslim  countries  was  strong and swift. A protest strike  and demonstration was  called in Jerusalem.  Others  followed throughout the Muslim  world.

An  emergency  meeting  of  the  UN  Security  Council was  called, and Israel’s  control of  Jerusalem put into question. The Israel’s  position about rebuilding the Temple on public  record:  

according  to  the  Halachah,  the  Temple  will be rebuilt when the Messiah appears.  It is therefore inconceivable that we ourselves  should make  any  plans  for  rebuilding the Temple

Despite his  disarmingly  rational courtroom  demeanor,  and  evidence  that  he  may  have  worked with others,  an Israeli court ruled that the Australian could not be held responsible  for  his  actions due to mental imbalance. After  treatment in Israel he returned to Australia.

Two decades  later,  work  on the restoration of  the  damage  caused  by  this  fire  continues. Supported by  Muslims  throughout the world, and winning international awards  for  excellence,  the restoration has  nonetheless  disrupted worship in al- Aqsa  since 1969,  with  immediate  end  in sight.

Attempts  to  establish  Jewish  prayer  services  within the Sanctuary  continued. In 1976 Israeli central  Courts  passed  a  law  permitting them. Two weeks  of  demonstrations  by  Muslim  Law students  and  the  subsequent  resignation  of  members  of  the municipal courts  in the West  Bank resulted in their  repeal. Other  attempts  to establish these services  were  renewed two years  later.

In September  of  1979, fifteen extremist Jews  blocked the way  to one of  the Sanctuary’s  gates  on the day  of  the Friday  congregational prayer, pointing a gun at one of  the Muslim  security  guards.

In  may  of  1981  the  adhan  was  prohibited from  the minaret overlooking the West  Wall because of Jewish  celebrations.  The  following  month  the Hakam  of  the Wailing Wall petitioned the Minister  of Religious  affairs  in  Jerusalem  for  permission  to pray  in Al – Aqsa. Harassment and acts  of sabotage escalated in 1981. In August an Israeli helicopter  hovered  at  low  attitude  over  Masjid  Al – Aqsa  preventing worshippers  inside from  hearing the khutba. That same  month a tunnel  dug  by workers  from  the Ministry  of  Religious  affairs  was  uncovered  in  the  sanctuary  leading  to  the Western Wall. The government immediately  ordered the tunnel sealed because  of  the  political sensitivity  of  the issue.

Despite warnings  by  Israeli archeologists  against digging beneath the Sanctuary,  and UN resolutions  against them, excavations  continued, leading to dangerous  cracks  to  buildings adjoining  the  Western  Wall.  Engineers  and archeologists  were  prohibited by  Israeli authorities from  revealing anything about their  digs  beneath Al-Aqsa.

In September  Arab students  entering one of  these tunnels  to seal it off  were  injured  in  an encounter  with a group of  Israelis. A general strike  was  called by  the Supreme Muslim  Council  to protest the excavations. Muslims  were  prevented by  Israeli Security  Forces  from  entering Jerusalem  the following Friday  for  fear  of  large demonstrations.

The following spring armed Israeli religious  students  clashed  with  Muslim  security  guards.  This time  the Minister  of  Defence was  petitioned for  permission to perform  Jewish  services  at  Al- Aqsa. Excavations  beneath Al – Aqsa  continued with Israeli archeologists  claiming  the  discovery of  Jewish  ruins  under  the Mosque. In April of  1982 a parcel with a  fake  bomb  and  threats  signed by  Jewish  extremists  was  discovered at one of  the gates  leading to the Sanctuary.  Two days  later Muslims  mobilized a large demonstration in Al-Aqsa  to protest attacks  on Holy  places.

The following day  an ex-Israeli army  regular  opened fire  with his  military  assault  rifle,  killing  two Muslims  and  filling  the  interior  and  exterior  of  the Dome  of  the Rock  with bullet holes.

The West Bank  and Gaza  rioted in protest. Less  than a month later,  shots  were  fired  into  the  Sanctuary  by  a sniper  on  the rooftop on the Madrassa  Amriyya, and a group of  Israelis  tried to enter  the Sanctuary  with  leaflets  inciting Jews  to take  over  the Mosque. In nearby  Khalil, armed members of  Kryat Arba entered the Ibraheemi Mosque and performed prayer  with the support of  the Military.

In  June  the  Awqaf  received a letter  from  Europe warning that this  fund was  trying to buy  up Waqf property  to the Sanctuary.

In March Muslim  security  guards  discovered explosives  in the entrance to the Sanctuary  on  the day  of  the Friday  prayer, four  armed Israelis  were  discovered  attempting  to  enter  the  sanctuary through Solomons  Stables, and arms  and plans  for  rebuilding the temple  were  found  in  the house of  an extremist group leader.

The  same  month  a  group of  Jewish  fanatics  armed with Uzi’s  and M – 16’s  and carrying a cache of  explosives  were  caught attempting to enter  the Sanctuary.  Radio Israel reported  that  they  were prepared for  a prolonged siege. Six  months  later  they  were  acquitted in Israeli courts.

In  January  of  1984 a group of  Jewish  terrorists  carrying ladders  and explosives  were  stopped in the  sanctuary  by  Muslim  security  guards  in the middle of  the night. Four  days  later  time  bombs were  discovered by  explosive experts.

By  the  Spring  of  ’84 armed Israeli guards  were  patrolling the Sanctuary  twenty  – four  hours  a day, their  presence and behavior  inimical to the sanctity  of  the Mosque. The Supreme Muslim  Council petitioned  the  Israeli  Prime Minister  repeatedly  to withdraw  the soldiers  but to no effect. With no response forthcoming from  the Israelis, the Supreme Muslim  Council petitioned the UN in May  of 1984 to pressure  Israel to withdraw  its  troops  from  Al-Aqsa.

Despite  continued  demands  for  their  withdrawal, Israeli soldiers  continue to patrol the Sanctuary on the pretense of  protecting it from  attack. In reality  it is  the Muslim  –  run  Aqsa  Security  force  – underpaid, understaffed, and unarmed – whose vigilance has  provided the only  protection for  the Noble Sanctuary  in virtually  all the acts  of  terrorism  against it.

The UN Security  council has  passed more  than  20  resolutions  condemning  Israel’s  annexation  of Old  Jerusalem  and its  military  occupation of  the West  Bank. Repeated violations  of  human rights led  directly  to the Intifada, the Palestinian Uprising, in the winter  of  1987. Recognizing the Intifada’s  roots  in the revival of  Islam,  the Israelis  increased their  attacks  on places  of  worship throughout  Palestine.  On  June 15th, 1988 Israeli troops  stormed Al – Aqsa  Mosque, firing tear  gas into  groups  of  worshippers.  A month later  the discovery  of  new  excavations  adjacent to the Sanctuary  led to more  civil disorder.

Less  than one year  later  soldiers  were  forced from  the precints  of  the Noble Sanctuary  by  the more  than 20’000 Muslims  who gathered in Al – Aqsa  for  the first Friday  prayer  in  Ramadan. Roadblocks  were  set  up  around  Jerusalem  the following week  and Palestinians  from  the West Bank  and Gaza  were  barred from  the Mosque.

In the meantime, the aspiration to rebuild a Jewish  Temple on the site of  the Dome  of  the  Rock has  become more  and more  open, despite the Judaic  injunctions  against it. In July  of  1984 it  was reported in the  International Herald Tribune  that the

yearning to remove  the mosques  and build a Jewish  temple there has  begun to  spread from a few religious  fanatics  into more  established rightist political groups.”  

A  recent article on rebuilding the Temple appearing in one of  Israel’s  major  color  supplements, The  Nation,  explores  such  obtuse  questions  as  the location of  toilets, parking spaces, and gift shops  – and whether  or  not to air-condition while pondering the more  serious  implications  of  the multi – billion dollar  projected annual income  generated by  their  anticipated  monopoly  on  the Jewish  pilgrim  trade.

A  visit  to  the  Institute  of  the  Temple overlooking the Wailing Wall, and the sanctuary  itself, reveals just  how  busy  some  have been in making preparations  for  what they  feel may  be  a  forthcoming event.  A  scale model of  the Second temple is  on display,  together  with diagrams  of  various  other aspects  of  the Temple based on descriptions  of  their  original counterparts  recorded in the Misha, and a miniature version of  the Arc  of  the Covenant, thought to be buried somewhere under  Al – Aqsa.  Major  expenditures  in time  and money  have already  been made to reproduce what are thought  to  be  exact  replicas  of  the myriad utensils  necessary  for  the performance of  the complex Jewish  rituals  to take  place within the Temple.

A recent debate in Jerusalem  between Muslim, Jews  and  Christians  televised  in  Britain  included the serious  suggestion by  an Israeli participant that the Dome  of  the  Rock  could  be  relocated,  as the  Temples  of  Ramses  the  Second  were  in Aswan Dam  project, to make  way  for  the new  Jewish temple.  If  the  Israeli’s  enthusiasm  for  moving  Arabs  out of  their  houses  is  anything to go by, not to mention their  history  of  blowing them  up, then the Muslims  had better  keep  an  eye  on  Al – Aqsa and the Dome  of  the Rock.

Harassment  and  acts  of  terrorism  against Muslims  living adjacent to the Sanctuary,  while officially not  condoned,  are  part  of  an  ongoing  policy  to drive them  from  this  area. The eventual bulldozing and  replacement  of  their  houses  with Jewish  condominium  fortress  complexes  can only  be a harbinger  of  things  to come.

The  Israelis  seem  busy  preparing  for  a war  while creating the desperation, injustice and despair necessary  to provoke one. Where can it possibly  lead?

To  the West  Bank  and Gaza. To  the Intifada and a people who have had enough of  the insatiable greed and thoughtlessness  of  an unconscionable occupation. And  to  Al-Aqsa,  to  the  furthest mosque – not to the idol that the Temple became where prophets  were  slaughtered and pure religion of  Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) [Abraham]  was  abandoned – but to the site from  where the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  made his  journey  through the heavens  to the Lord.

Regarding  his  ascent the Prophet, peace and blessings  be upon him,  related in the last  section of the hadith reported by  Thabit al  bunani, on the authority  of  Anas (radhiyallahu anhu):

…..I found Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) [Abraham] leaning his  back  against the frequented house  which  is  entered  daily  by seventy  thousand angels  who do not return  to it.

I was  then taken up to the lote – tree of the furthest boundary  whose leaves  are like elephant ears and whose fruits  are like earthen vessels. When  what  God  commands  over  shadows  it,  it changes, and none of God’s  creatures  can describe it  because  of  its  beauty.  God  revealed  to  me what He revealed and made obligatory  fifty  prayers  every  day  and night.

I  then  came down to Musw (alayhissalaam) [Moses]  who asked what my  Lord had made obligatory  for  my  people. When I told him he had prescribed fifty  prayers  every  day  and night he said, ‘

Go  back  to your  Lord and ask  Him to lighten them, for  your  people are not capable of that. I have tested Bani Israel and have experience.’

I  went  back  to my  lord  and said “O  my  Lord, make  things  lighter  for  my  people”, so  he relieved me of five. when I returned to Moses  and told him he had relieved me of five  he said,

“your  people are not capable of that, so  go back  to your  Lord and ask  Him to make  things  still lighter.” I then kept going back  and forth between my  Lord and Moses  till he said,  

“Muhammad, there are five  prayers  every  day  and night. Each  will count as  ten making fifty  times of  prayer. He who intends  to do a good action recorded for  him. If he does  do it, it will be recorded for  him  ten times.  He who intends  to do a wrong action but does  not do it, will have nothing recorded against him. If he does  do it, only  one wrong action  will  be  recorded  against  him.  I  then came down. When I came to Moses  and told him he said,  “Go  back  to  your  Lord  and  ask  Him  to make  things  lighter.”  God’s  messenger  said that he replied “I have gone back  to my  Lord until I am ashamed before him  ” [Muslim].