Who are the Azariqa?

Abū Rāshid Nāfi’ Ibn Azraq [d.65H] founded the sect of the Azariqa which was a sub sect of the the Kharijite Movement. They considered themselves as inheritors of the Muhakkimah/Haruriyyah (The original Khawarij who rebelled against Ali [ra] & killed him). It is regarded as the most powerful & extreme of the Kharijite sects. (I think the oppression of the Umayyads especially its ruthless governors like Al-Hajjaj [rh] must have been a factor in their popularity)

(What comes Below is an adaptation fromhttp://www.academia.edu/1084477/The_Azariqa_and_Violence_among_the_Khawarij)

Nafi’ initially offered assistance to Ibn al-Zubayr (ra), but he and his followers quickly became disillusioned with Ibn al-Zubayr. The Khawārij initially believed that ibn al-Zubayr was of their opinions (a belief he didnt discourage & that was spread because he revolted against the Umayyads as well), but once the Syrians were beaten back, it occured to the Khawārij that he may not share their views. They decide to pointedly ask ibn al-Zubayr what he thinks of ‘Uthmān (ra), and he replies (with his soldiers present) that he was killed unjustly. Each side exchange speeches and curses, and the Khawārij leave.

According to Imam Shahrastani (rh) they have 8 major prinicples:

1.  Whoever commits a major sin is excluded from Islam as an unbeliever and will suffer eternal damnation.

2. ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Talha, al-Zubayr, ‘Aisha and ibn ‘Abbas (also all the participants in the Battle of the Camel) and all other Muslims are unbelievers and will suffer eternal damnation.

3. The children of the disbeleivers (which for them includes all Muslims who disagree with them) would suffer the same fate as their parents.

4.  Allah (swt) may (that is before Muhammed [saw] if Allah wanted he could have done so) send a prophet who will, by committing a grave sin, become an unbeliever.

5. The permissibility of killing women and children (Whether Muslim or Kafir).

6. That qu‘ud (staying back from Jihad), here failure to join the Azariqa in their rebellion, regardless of any other agreement, constitutes Kufr.

7.  The impermissibility of taqiya (deception in the face of oppression) in word or deed.

8.  The abolishment of stoning as punishment for adultery on Qur’anic grounds as well as punishment for slandering chaste women.

(9. That residing in the land of disbelief is in itself disbelief. Of course they considered the Dar ul Islam to be Dar ul Kufr.)

With the possible exception of the last point, not one of these is acceptable to non-Kharijites. But, removing the first, second and third points, which are conventional, though by no means universal, Kharijite doctrines, we are left with their three main innovations: the impermissibility of qu‘ud , and of taqiya, and the permissibility of killing and enslaving women and children – none of which are acceptable even to other Kharijites.

Imam Baghdadi (rh) , in his description, differs slightly: the penalty for slander was abolished for chaste men, but was still applicable for women; he adds that they held it permissible to break trusts with unbelievers, that the penalty for theft applies regardless of value stolen, and that prospective members of the sect should be forced to kill a prisoner in order to test their sincerity. Additionally, there is no mention of the unbelieving prophet,which under Baghdadi’s criteria would have placed the Azariqa completely outside the pale of Islam, alongside a minor Kharijite (i.e. the Yazidiya Khawarij) group which predicted a future prophet. Ibn Dhakwan (rh) adds only that the Azariqa, in addition to killing, deem it permissible to enslave the women and children of their enemies (i.e the Muslims) and seize their property (No wonder Rasulullah said about the Khawarij  “The worst of Allah’s creation”).

Salim b. Dhakwan states that “ they continued for as long as God willed in the way of the Khawarij before them, then hatred for their people [other Muslims] incited them to put their people among the idolatrous.”

The Azariqa, brought about many doctrinal developments to the Kharijite ideology. Not only did they reject qu‘ud  and taqiya, which had been basic aspects of Kharijism up to that point, but they transformed isti‘rad (killing of opponents) into unmitigated slaughter, included women and children as enemy opponents to be killed, and greatly expanded takfir.

The example of Salih b. Musarrim (a “moderate” kharijite) shows just how detached the Azariqah were, even from other Khawarij:

Salih rejected the indiscriminate slaughter of isti‘rad , telling one of his companions, who advocated it just prior to the revolt, that slaughter would only bring more enemies against them.Salih then goes on to say, regarding those who oppose their party,

“If we kill them and take their wealth, that is for us, but if we leave off and let them go we will be rewarded.[…] Fear God, O servants of God, do not rush to fight anyone unless they are hostile to you and intend to fight. You have rebelled [kharajtum] only by God’s anger, for His decrees are flouted, the earth filled with disobedience, blood spilled wrongfully and property taken without right. Do not malign people for deeds and then do them yourselves.”

(To whoever reads the words of the Khawarij, I swear by Allah that the Khawarij are the best of people in speech though they are the most ignorant in knowledge, understanding & application of Islam)

The Azariqa would at times keep to more remote areas of the caliphate such Tabaristan and Kirmin, Iraq, and to a lesser extent important Persian territories such as al-Ahwaz and Fars, were also the primary targets for their attacks. This central location for their activities increased their visibility more than if they had been centered in, for instance, Azerbaijan.

The Azariqa’s influence on how Kharijism as an entity is viewed is unmistakable.Van Ess, describing the Kh!rijites, states that,

“…bad memories were always associated with them. They considered themselves the only true Muslims. They did so in the first place for reasons more political than religious, but they were intent on reproducing the Prophet’s exemplary migration […] That schism resulted from the claim to exclusive sanctity. Hence,the Kharijites abhorred intermarriage with non-Kharijite Muslims. They also battled their coreligionists everywhere they could. They believed they were dealing not with Muslims of lesser quality but quite simply with unbelievers […and consequently] they were able to apply everything that had been said in the Koran about the pagans. As a result, not only were they convinced that all other Muslims would go to hell, but they even felt justified in conducting a jihad against them.”

And while some of these claims could apply to other Kharijite sub-sects (the Najadat, for instance, did believe in the importance, though not necessity, of migration into a Kharijite community), this litany of extremism could only apply to the Azariqa, and is in fact a good description of them and their activities.These extremist activities–the necessity of armed rebellion, killing of women and children, excessive use of takfir, complete scorn for their coreligionists–simply could not be ignored by the community, and as such placed the Azariqa at the forefront of all Kharijite groups.

(Im going to end now, the above was an adaptation fromhttps://www.academia.edu/1084477/The_Azariqa_and_Violence_among_the_Khawarij &http://www.thefreelibrary.com/What+do+we+learn+about+the+early+Kharijites+and+Ibadiyya+from+their…-a0253322405)

The Azariqa were so extreme that Najda ibn ‘Āmir (d. 692) the leader of the Najdat Khawarij also criticized him. Even writing a letter to him:

“…Then you deemed it lawful to kill the children [of those who disagreed with you] when the Messenger of God forbade it, and God said to that effect that “no burdened soul shall bear the burden of another” (Q., VII 164)…..”

[al-Mubarrad Muḥammad ibn Yazīd, al-Kāmil (Cairo, 1956), pp. 286–287]


Just going to say one small thing:

Qatari ibn al-Fuja’a from Al Khuwayr (in Northern Qatar) became the leader of the Azariqa & fought the Umayyad Khilafah for more than 20 years.

He was a skilled poet.

Ibn Khallikan (rh), a 13th-century Muslim scholar, states that ‘Qatari’ is not his given name, but instead refers to the name of the region where he hailed from.

His nicknames were na’ama (ostrich) and abu al-mawt (father of death).

He won battle after battle & declared himself the Khalifah after defeating the Umayyad forces who were sent to fight him.

He even minted his own coins! On it was written in Pehlavi (Middle Persian) “Abdallah Qatari, the commander of the believers, who has increased the royal glory” & in Arabic “(There is) No judgement except with God”

Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (rh) the governor of Iraq sent Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrahand Sufyan ibn al-Abrad al-Kalbi to fight Qatari who was in Tabaristan. After fleeing to Semnan, Ibn al-Fuja’a was confronted by Sufyan’s forces. Ibn al Fuja’as forces were defeated and he was decapitated in the encounter. Shortly after the battle, the remnants of the Azariqa faction met their demise under the leadership of ‘Abida ibn Hilal, marking the decisive end of these Khawarij.







InshaAllah this will clear up who the Azariqa were & deter the people from sympathizing with them simply because they fought the tyrants of Bani Umayyah (Which Rasulullah forbade in any case) alongside Abdullah Ibn Zubayr (ra) Ibn al Ashath (rh), Said ibn Jubayr (rh) & others. Unfortunately people sympathise with them just like they do with the GIAs 2nd mutation simply because it fought the Algerian Tawaghit despite its killing of the Mujahidin & the Muslim masses who supported Islam & their only crime was not making Takfir of the FIS.

May Allah have Mercy on all Muslims & all Ahlul Qibla including the oppressors, the Khawarij & other Ahlul Bida.

Compiled by Professor Juthamah Moriarty.



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