What we should know about them and their traits.
Problems of Khawarij:-
They wanted to implement Islam, but although they were in the period of the
Sahaabah, they didn’t follow them. They interpreted the Quran according to their
understanding. They didn’t take Knowledge from the Sahaabah. There were no
Sahaabah from among the Khawarij.
The Prophet (saw) said, the gist of which is: “The Khawarij will be continuously
emerging till the last comes with Dajjal.”
One of the names given to the Khawarij was Sufreeyah because of the excessive
fasting and praying which made them pale. However, the Prophet (saw) said that
they are the worst of the creation. That is because they kill the Muslims and leave
the Kuffar. They will keep emerging till the Day of Judgment. They are divided
into many groups as they developed many ideologies. They were bothered about
the dates and didn’t bother about killing the Muslims. They are serious
worshippers but they do not follow the Sunnah. Thus:
1. The Khawarij did not interpret the Quran according to the Sahabahs.
2. Though initially they did not have problem with the Attributes of ALLAH,
they later denied them and misinterpreted using Philosophy.
3. Because they used their Aql (mind) they spoke about the unseen matters
4. They don’t categorize the mistakes into major and minor sins unlike the
Attributes and Characteristics of Khawarij:
1. They are young in age.
2. They have foolish minds i.e. intellects.
3. They speak with the best speech among the creation.
4. Their eeman does not pass their throats.
5. They pass through the religion just as an arrow passes through its bow.
6. They have a weakness when it comes to understanding the Quran.
7. They are excessive in performing the acts of worship.
8. They are the worst of creation.
9. They shave their heads.
10. They kill the people of faith and leave the people of disbelief.
11. They become deeply absorbed in the religion.
12. They call the people to ALLAH, while they know not.
13. They will set out (to fight) against the best group amongst the people.
14. Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) held them to be the worst of creation. He said:
“They took the ayaat that were concerning the disbelievers and applied them
to the believers.”
15. Their prayer does not pass their throats.
16. They shed unlawful blood.
17. They speak the truth.
18. They are the first ones to separate from the unified body of Muslims and
declared anyone who committed sins to be a disbeliever.
19. They beautify their speech.
20. The Dajjal will appear from amidst them.
21. They are from those in whose hearts is a deviation.
22. They declare a Muslim to be a disbeliever due to any sin.
23. They did not interpret the Quran according to the Sahabahs.
24. Initially they did not have any issues regarding the attributes of ALLAH,
however they later denied them and misinterpreted them according to the
25. They used their intellect in unseen matters also.
26. They don’t categorize the mistakes into major and minor sins unlike the
Prophet’s (saw) teachings.
They claim the following to be their evidence:
1. ALLAH says in Surah Taghabun, verse 2:
ھُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنْكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنْكُمْ مُؤْمِنٌ
“He is the One Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of
you are believers..”
2. The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever does not do like me is not from me…”
Misconception of the Khawarij regarding Leadership:
The Prophet (saw) had said that the leader should be from among the Quraish.
However the Khawarij deny this concept and claim that any common man with
intellect can be an Imam.
Misconception of the Khawarij regarding the Ahadith of Wa’ad and
ALLAH, the Mighty and Majestic has beautified the religion of Islam by making it
easy upon the mankind. From this beauty is that there are Ahadith which give the
glad tidings of Paradise with simple deeds and on the other hand there are
Ahadith which warn of punishment for certain actions. These are called as
Ahadith of Wa’ad and Wa’eed respectively. However the Khawarij did not
understand the concept of Waad and Wa’eed and thus deviated their minds from
the true path.
Examples for Wa’ad Ahadith:
1. Whoever says “La ilaha illallah” will enter Jannah.
2. Whoever makes a taubah before the sun rises from the west will be
3. Whoever performs wudu and perfects it, will have his sins come out of the
4. The one who dies in the way of ALLAH will be forgiven.
Examples for Wa’eed Ahadith:
1. The one who has even an atom of pride in his heart will not enter Jannah.
2. The one who disobeys the parents will not enter Jannah.
3. The person who leaves the Jama’ah will die the death of a kafir.
The Khawarij misunderstood these Ahadith. They deny the Ahadith of Wa’ad and
only act upon the Wa’eed. That is why they claim anyone who commits a small
mistake to be a kafir. They forget that the obligatory actions are on the highest
level and the voluntary deeds cannot enter the level of obligatory actions. Though
there are Ahadith which highlight the importance of the ways of entering Jannah,
it does not mean that by leaving the pillars of Islam and by just doing the
voluntary deeds one can enter Jannah.
According to the true path, if a person has eeman, but commits sins then he will
be punished, however ALLAH will forgive him because of his eeman and make
him enter paradise. Entering paradise without any punishment or accountability
happens to very righteous and pious slaves of ALLAH, Almighty. Major sins
cannot remove eeman from a Muslim.
Thus there should be no contradiction between the Ahadith of Wa’ad and
Wa’eed. A believer can never always be in hell fire. This is the principle of Ahlus
Are the Khawarij Kuffar?
Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (ra) was asked about them for which he said:
“They run away from Kufr. They are our brothers who went against us.”
Though they don’t have attachment with Islam, we can’t call them as Kuffar as
they perform acts of belief. Thus they are our brothers who have gone against the
main stream of Islam(1).
1. Sheikh Abdus Salam’s (Priniciple preston college chennai) notes on Khawarij.
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