The Menace of the Khawaarij

The orthodox scholars of Islaam warned people about the evil of the Khawaarij. Imaam Aboo Bakr al-Aajurree (d.360H), one of the earlier scholars of the Muslim Nation said, “It is not permissible for the one who sees the uprising of a Khaarijee1 who has revolted against the leader, whether he 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‘aan, nor the length of his standing in prayer, 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 Khawaarij.”2

The Khawaarij that existed in the time of the earliest generations were known for their asceticism and abundance of acts of devotion. As for the Khawaarij of today, generally speaking, they are devoid of these attributes. Regardless, the Muslim should not be fooled by any of their actions, as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stated that they would excel his own Companions in their amount of prayer and fasting,3 yet in another hadeeth, he said that “they will read the Qur‘aan, but it will not go beyond their throats.”4

Wahb Ibn Munabbih (d.110H), one of the eminent scholars of the Sunnah who studied directly from many of the Companions, had the following to say about the Khawaarij: “Never has the Nation united under a man from the Khawaarij. If Allaah had given the Khawaarij authority, then the world would have certainly been corrupted, the roads would be closed off, thus the Pilgrimage (Hajj) would cease.”5

Like the Khawaarij of former times, groups such as Jamaa’atul Jihaad, some of whose members would later become associated with al-Qaa’idah, originally focused all their efforts on overturning the present day governments throughout the Muslim lands. However, the Qutbist groups failed miserably in achieving any of their goals, with most of them being jailed or forced to flee to remote lands.

It is from these lands that they restructured and changed their tactics in bringing about their ultimate goal of establishing an overnight Khaarijee state. The New York Times’ Robert Worth refers to the Qutbists’ change in tactics: “Mr. bin Laden does seem to have deviated from the radical tradition in one sense, by focusing his attacks on the United States rather than Arab regimes. In his 1996 declaration, he went so far as to say that Muslims should put aside their own differences so as to focus on the struggle against the Western enemy – a serious departure from the doctrine of Qutb and even Sadat’s killers, who argued that the internal struggle was the one that mattered.”

“But that may be merely a shift in tactics not in overall strategy,” says Worth. Regarding this change in tactics, Worth quotes Michael Doran, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University: “Bin Laden is using the U.S. as an instrument in his struggle with other Muslims,” Mr. Doran said. “He wants the U.S. to strike back disproportionately, because he believes that will outrage Muslims and inspire them to overthrow their governments and build an Islamic state.”6

Al-Qaa’idah and Bin Laadin have not forgotten about the governments in the Muslim lands. In an interview which appeared in the takfeeree/jihaadee magazine Nida’ul Islam, Bin Laadin performs unrestricted takfeer upon the present day Muslim governments: “At the same time that some of the leaders are engaging in the major Kufr [Authors note: disbelief], which takes them out of the fold of Islam in broad daylight and in front of all the people, you would find a Fatwa [verdict] from their religious organisation. In particular, the role of the religious organisation [i.e. the Salafee scholars] in the country of the two sacred mosques [i.e. Saudi Arabia] is of the most ominous of roles, this is overlooking whether it fulfilled this role intentionally or unintentionally, the harm which eventuated from their efforts is no different from the role of the most ardent enemies of the nation.”

Continuing in his reference to the presence of the organization of Salafee scholars in Saudi Arabia, Bin Laadin terms the Standing Committee for issuing religious verdicts “an idol to be worshipped aside from God.”7

When considering this, one wonders how it can possibly be understood that Bin Laadin and his followers are “Wahhaabee,” as is being repeatedly mentioned in the media!

It is now being reported in some newspapers that there are two kinds of Salafees: It is claimed that, on the one hand, there are the Usaamah bin Laadin and London based Abu Hamza al-Masri types of Salafees, and on the other, the Salafees who “choose to adopt a pious life void of politics.”8

Usaamah Bin Laden and the agitators are fervent opponents of Salafism and followers of the Qutbist wing of the Khawaarij. It should also be noted that the Salafees do not deny the need for politics (attending to the needs of a nation), as this article is claiming. Rather, they put everything in its proper place and meticulously follow the Islaamic texts regarding political matters, seeking to rectify social and political problems through sincere advising and guiding – as required in the Islaamic texts – rather than seeking to exacerbate them. Salafism is a single way which is found in the unified understanding of the Salaf. Just as there were no two Prophet Muhammads or two sets of Companions, there are no two Salafisms.

1 A follower of the Khawaarij
2 Aboo Bakr Muhammad Ibnul-Hussayn al-Aajurree, ash-Sharee’ah (chpt. 6, explanation found between the 48th
and 49th narration). Translation: Salafi Publications
3 Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6933).
4 Meaning: The Qur’aan will not reach their hearts, as they are deprived from accepting the guidance contained
within the Qur’aan. The hadeeth is related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6934).
5 Taareekhud-Dimashq (18/alif 483) by Ibn ’Asaakir, and Ibn Mandhoor’s abridgement of Taareekhud-Dimashq
(26/388). Quoted from Salafi Publications’ “Clarification Of Truth In Light Of Terrorism, Hijackings & Suicide
6 Robert Worth, The deep intellectual roots of Islamic terror, The New York Times, 13th October 2001.
7 Nida’ul Islam, November, 1996, 15th issue.
8 Salafi’s (sic) Links to Terror, Sky News, August 30, 2002.

Source: The ‘Wahhabi’ Myth – Dispelling Prevalent Fallacies and the Fictitious Link With Bin Laden, Haneef James Oliver, Trafford Publishing, pp.28-31.

About islamtees

The Qur'an and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih (Righteous Predecessors).
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