This paper tackles one of the most challenging topics in Ibāḍī studies: the association between Ibāḍīs and the classical Khārijītes. The chief motive of conducting the study is to refute the constant unsubstantiated association between the moderate Ibāḍī school of thought and a classical extremist group, the Khārijītes. The paper adopts a multidisciplinary approach, making a comparative study between the two sects. This involves a discussion of the historical, political, and theological distinguishing features of Ibāḍīs compared to Khārijītes in three sections. The historical section reveals that the term Khārijītes only appeared in 64 AH/684 CE, when al-Muḥakkimah split into two main sects: the moderate Ibāḍīs and the violent Azāriqah, Ṣufriyyah, and Najdāt. The political section makes a decisive distinction between the Ibāḍīs and Khārijītes in three main practical areas: the ruling of Isti‘rāḍ, the ruling of Khurūj, and the ruling on taking an opponent’s property. The third section demonstrates that the theological distinction between the two sects is the main distinguishing marker and the most dangerous one. The paper concludes that there is no commonality between Ibāḍīs and Khārijītes apart from a historical denial of the arbitration between ‘Alī and Mu‘āwiyah at the battle of Ṣiffīn (37 AH/657 CE).
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