Also found in: Wikipedia.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
One such passage speaks of the Azariqa's dissociation (bara'a) from their fellow quietist Kharijites (al-qa'ada), their examination (mihna) of prospective members, and their ascription of unbelief to those who do not emigrate (lam yuhqjir) to their camp.
Do not let your soldiers die at the hands of these Kharijites. Have no fear, religion is with you, Allah is with you, His messenger is with you, the believers and the people are with you.
The charges also include providing financial support to Iraqi insurgents; establishing an organization called Project of the Generation to collect donations under false charitable pretenses; open support for Al-Qaeda terrorist acts inside the Kingdom and abroad; playing host to Al-Qaeda operatives and theologians that follow devious interpretations of the faith; supporting takfir ideology; disobedience to the crown; and adopting the ways of the Kharijites. Suspect Nos.
(132) Even al-Baladhuri's much more conservative number--he claims 'Ubayd Allah imprisoned four hundred Kharijites (133)--presents us with a figure far more massive than the paltry numbers thitherto encountered, making even the numbers mentioned, for example, in the imbroglio involving Hujr b.
"We have to confront every ideology that turns people from the right path and combat terrorist acts that are carried out by those who are similar to the Kharijites," the minister told a meeting of the imams in Najran on Wednesday.
(23) Later, in 64/684, another governor, 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Utba al-Fihri, brought a sizable faction of Kharijites with him from Mecca.
"We should confront the ideology of takfir and tafjeer of these kharijites (deviants) by protecting our youth from being enticed by them," he explained.
110/728); (6) the Haruriyya (i.e., the Kharijites) or the Qadariyya (from Abu Umama al-Bahili, d.
(77) More significantly, (78) al-Azdi reverses the sequence of commanders sent against the Kharijites as they are presented in al-Tabari (Tamim ibn al-Hubab (79)--Najda ibn al-Hakam al-Azdi--al-Shahhaj ibn Wada) to al-Shahhaj--Najda ibn al-Hakam al-Azdi--Tamim ibn al-Habhab; (80) and since all three of these figures came from prominent Mosuli families, (81) there may be good reason to prefer his reading.
A strong, living tradition became challenged, perhaps, Katz suggests, by the Kharijites owing to their emphasis on the text of the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] as the sole source of law.
It appears from a study of reports by Ibn Rustah and other observers that there had been an inscription of al-Walid on the southern facade of the courtyard, which had been destroyed by Kharijites in 130/747, during the reign of Marwan II (127-32/744-50).(44) It would have been appropriate in the Prophet's own mosque to adorn the entire courtyard, as well as the surrounding arcades and those of the sanctuary, with the complete text of the revelation, which the faithful could theoretically follow in sequence as they progressed through the building, finishing with the text on the qiblah wall, and several sources seem to support that conclusion.
He also speculates that other "anti-Umayyad" religious movements, such as the Kharijites, Qadariyya, and Mutazila, may have "contributed to the popular dimensions of the Abbasid revolution" (p.