Ibn Muljim– The Khawarij
See article on Shahadat of Imam Ali for context: here
Ibn Muljim was known to be a part of the Khawarij, a group of people who created strife during the Caliphate of Hadrat Uthmaan and eventually lead to the Shahadat of Imam Ali.
The term, Khawarij, comes from the root, Kharaja, which means to exit or rebel against since they exited Islam by rebelling against the principles of faith.
These group of people were founded on extremist ideas which conflicted with the fundamentals of Islam originally nurtured by the Prophet (ﷺ). Our Beloved Rasulullah (ﷺ) showed us that Islam was a religion of peace, love, acceptance, and compassion. Allah says in the Qur’an that he was sent as a mercy to everyone (believers and nonbelievers alike!) Yet the Khawarij disband these principles and attack anyone who go against them.
Rasulullah (ﷺ) warned of their coming and their behaviors. “There will definitely be a people after me from my nation who recite the Qur’an yet it will not even reach beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through a target, then they will not return back to it. They are the worst of people, the worst of creatures” [Ahmad, Muslim, and Ibn Majah from Abu Dharr (R)].
The Khawarij continued to grow to became an organized threat during the caliphate of Imam Ali. They rejected his leadership and kinship to the Prophet (ﷺ)while arguing that anyone was capable of leadership; thus, lowering the status of the righteous Caliphs Uthmaan, Imam Ali, and the family of Rasulullah (ﷺ).
As is in the tradition of Rasulullah (ﷺ), Imam Ali tried speaking with the Khawarij to bring as many back to Islam as possible, trying to avoid needlessly fighting with them. When he spoke with them, they started yelling that, “There is no rule except the rule of Allah!”
A Khawarji then went up to Imam Ali and recited a quote from the Qur’an, “And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate (anything) with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.” Then Imam Ali responded with another Qur’anic verse, “So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is true. And do not let those who have no certain faith worry you.” “A word of truth, but intended therewith falsehood. Indeed, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) described a people, and I certainly recognize their description within these people.”
The Khawarij were twisting the words of the Qur’an to their own interpretations and means. Not only that, but they disregarded the sayings of Rasulullah (ﷺ) and his son-in-law, the Caliph of Islam! Although Imam Ali tried to eradicate their beliefs, they still persisted, and eventually ended up stabbing him in the back as he prayed Fajr.
We should learn from the mistakes of the Khawarij. The pitfalls of arrogance is what led them astray, thinking they were better Muslims then the Sahaba and others. We have to make sure we do not lack in our love and respect for others since that is what the Khawarij lacked.
Hadiths regards the Khawarij:
– The (Khawarij) would be a people who would recite the Qur’an with their tongues and it would not go beyond their collar bones [neck]. They would leave their religion as the arrow passes through the prey. (Sahih Muslim).
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) made a mention of a sect that would be among his Ummah which would emerge out of the dissension of the people. Their distinctive mark would be shaven heads. They would be the worst creatures or the worst of the creatures. The group who would be nearer to the truth out of the two would kill them. The Messenger of Allah (SallAllah-u-Alaihi-wa-Sallam) gave an example (to give their description) or he said: A man throws an arrow at the prey (or he said at the target), and sees at its iron head, but finds no sign (of blood there), or he sees at the lowest end, but would not see or find any sign (of blood there). He would then see into the grip but would not find (anything) sticking to it. Abu Sa’id then said: People of Iraq. It is you who have killed them.
[Sahih Muslim: Book 005, Number 2324]
– “When you see them, you’ll belittle your own prayer in front of their prayer. You’ll belittle your own fasting when you see how much they fast” [Kitab al-Sunnah by Ibn Abi Asim].
– They recite Qur’an with their tongues only [al-Tabaraani and Sahih al-Jaami].
– They will justify falsehood using true statements out-of-context [Sahih Muslim].