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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the adherents of a Muslim sect. The Kharijite movement arose during a period of intense struggle for power within the caliphate—specifically, in A.D. 657, when some of the caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib’s soldiers (the descendants of nomadic Arab tribesmen) rebelled against the nobility’s increasing political dominance and its seizure of communal Muslim lands. These soldiers became known as Kharijis, or Kharijites. Although Ali broke up their movement in 658, their ranks continued to be replenished, mainly by members of the lower classes, including both Muslims from the Arab tribes and non-Arab converts to Islam. There were incessant Kharijite uprisings in the Basra and Kufa regions from 660 to 681.

The Kharijites called for equality among all Muslims, the preservation of communal land ownership, and the election of the caliph by the community; the community would have the right to depose the caliph, and any true Muslim was to be considered eligible to fill the office. As the result of a schism in 684, the Kharijites broke up into various subsects in the late seventh century—the Ibadiyah, or Ibadites, the Azariqah, and the Sufrites. While the Ibadites shunned armed struggle, rebellions by the Azariqites (and, beginning in 695, by the Sufrites) continued in Iraq and in Khuzestan until 697.

Increasing feudal oppression in the eighth century provoked uprisings by the Ibadites in southern Arabia and by other Kharijite sects in Persia and Iraq. In the mid-eighth century the Kharijite movement spread to the tribes of North Africa, leading to uprisings in Morocco and Ifriqiya (northeastern Africa); the various imamates founded by the Kharijites in North Africa, such as the Rustamid imamate in Tahart (modern Tiaret) and the imamate of Sijilmassa, were destroyed by the Fatimids in 909.

Members of the Ibadite branch of the Kharijites live in modern Oman, in several North African states, and in some of the other Arab countries.


Beliaev, E. A. Musul’manskoe sektantstvo. Moscow, 1957.
Churakov, M. V. “Kharidzhitskie vosstaniia v Magribe.” In the collection Palestinskii sbornik, fase. 7(70). Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Petrushevskii, I. P. Islam v Irane v VII-XV vv. Leningrad, 1966. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They disappear for a span of time, but re-emerge, re-emerge with a new name, and at times at a new place.' The Holy Prophet (PBUH) mentioned about the Kharijite groups; 'Every time a generation of them appears, it will be cut down, every time a generation of them appears it will be cut down.
Some of the martial texts might also be considered political, particularly those associated with 'Alid and Kharijite rebellions.
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Contrairement a ce qui est claironne dans un certain discours religieux, totalement trempe dans la litterature extremiste, l'ibadisme, quoi qu'en disent les [beaucoup moins que] apotres [beaucoup plus grand que] salafistes, n'est pas l'emanation directe de la mouvance kharijite et ne partage en rien le radicalisme de ses principales ecoles, a savoir les Nadjadats, les Azrakites et les Soufrites.
Summary: Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh blasts Qaeda and Islamic State, comparing them to Kharijite movement in early Islam.
It originated in the Kharijite secession of 37 AH/657 CE, she says, but members are insulted if characterized as moderate Khawarij.
The practice probably stems from early Kharijite tradition, but it was not widespread, and Muslims abhorred the ritualistic killing practices.
While the practice probably stems from early Kharijite tradition, it was not widespread, and the ritualistic killing practices were abhorred by Muslims.
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The Sunni school of philosophic thought, the Kharijite and the Shi'ite Schools of thought represented three main reformist movements.
The fourth chapter studies the differences in sectarian Islam between the Sunni, proto-Shi'ite, Kharijite, and Sufi martyrologies.