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Ibaziyah: An Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudential Sects


Ibāḍīyah or Ibāḍism is an Islamic sect that is an offshoot of Khawārij. It is one of the earlier Islamic sects, and the only remaining branch of Khawārij. The school derives its name from its first leader: ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ Tamīmī.

            Ibāḍīyah is distinct from the Sunni and Shi’a denominations. It is a very important movement from historical viewpoint; however, the population is very low in comparison to the Sunnis and Shi’as.

            Ibāḍīyah call their sect al-Da‘wah (the invitation), Madhhab al-Ḥaqq (right religion), Firqah al-Muḥiqqah (right sect), and Firqah al-Nājīyah (rescued sect). They regard it the nearest religion to the time of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), and the adjoining one to the soul of Islam. Ibāḍīyah is more moderate than other Khawārij, so, it is the closest sect of Khawārij to Sunnis.

            Ibāḍīs deny any relation to Khawārij. Their famous historians as Barrādī in his book Jawāhir al-Muntaqāt and Shamākhī in the book Kitāb al-Sayr; claim that Ibāḍīyah was founded before the appearance of Khawārij, and at the time of Uthmān. However, in their point of view, the people have rebelled against Imam Ali (A.S.) are not regarded as Khawārij, but, they are the people who have denied Islam and have turned apostate. They believe that an apostate is a person who refuses any essential precept, or performs an act that is in conflict with the articles of faith that are clearly mentioned in the text. Nevertheless, history bears witness to the fact that Ibāḍīyah emerged from the movement of Khawārij, and then became an independent sect. Abū Balāl Mirdās b. Udayyah and his thoughts paved the way for this division, and Ibāḍīyah was detached from other extremist branches of Khawārij like Azāriqah, by following his way.

            Distinguished historians and scholars of heresiography believe that the sect was founded by ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ Tamīmī. His exact date of birth and death is doubtful, but the famous report is that he was born in the early parts[2] or before the time of Mu‘āwīyah, and was alive until the later parts of ‘Abd Allah Marwān’s reign (65-86 A.H.).

            Some Ibāḍī researchers, without denying its ascription to ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ, prefer to ascribe the sect to Jāber b. Zayd (Abū al-Sha‘thā’). They believe that ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ used to follow Jāber’s fatwas in his ideas and practices.[3]

            Some other researchers believe that Ibāḍīyah, actually, has two founders: ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ, as the political leader of Ibāḍīyah, and Jāber b. Zayd as the theoretical and juridical leader of it. The writer of Dirāsah fī al-Fikr al-Ibāḍī, after mentioning it, adds: at the beginning, Ibāḍīyah’s rule was not a scholarly movement, rather, it was a politico-religious movement formed after the event of arbitration, which was hostile towards the Umayyad government. ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ, for being a notable political and religious character of the time, assumed the leadership of the movement. On the other hand, Jāber b. Zayd was only a theologically famous person, but not a political figure. When the movement appeared in the shape of a sect, Jāber confirmed the political way of ‘Abd Allah, and was recognized as a religious leader of Ibāḍīyah.[4]

1- Main Features

For Ibāḍīyah, imitation in basic dogmas is not permitted, however it is allowed in derivatives and applied fiqh, but only in the cases that there is not any precept elicited from the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus of Muslims, or reason. They justify this belief by saying that imitation, in essence, means accepting others’ words without seeking any proof, and it is useless while having a precept proved by the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus of Muslims, or reason.

            Contrary to most Sunni sects, Ibāḍīyah believe that the gate of ijtihād is open. They believe that a mujtahid (authorized interpreter of religious law) should be well informed of lexicon, jurisprudential principles, and the sources of reasoning (the Qur’an, Sunnah, and consensus). However, there is a discord between Ibāḍī scholars concerning the possibility of being ijtihād only in some parts of jurisprudence.

            Ibāḍī scholars maintain that it is possible to have a consensus among the people of loosening and binding. Sheikh Abū Muhammad ‘Abd Allah b. Hamīd Sālimī defines consensus as: “consensus in the custom of Uṣūlī scholars, jurists, and general Muslims means unanimous agreement of Muslim scholars on a verdict in an epoch. According to some scholars, consensus means Muslim’s agreement on a matter in an epoch. Some others have added that before the agreement, there would not be a continual dispute about the matter.” Concerning the authority of consensus, Sālimī says: “different definitions of consensus conclude that any definition accepted by a person is regarded as a proof for him. Therefore, the one who considers mujtahids’ agreement as consensus, their agreement is a proof for him, whether others agree or not. Whoever considers only faithful mujtahids’ agreement as consensus, but not impious or heretic ones, only faithful mujtahids’ agreement is a proof for him, however impious scholars oppose it.” Anyway, the authority of consensus, with regard to all definitions, is presumptive. Sālimī regards consensus as a conclusive proof only in an imaginary case with many conditions that would rarely happen.

            Among Khawārij, Ibāḍīyah is the only sect that has a codified jurisprudence. Ibāḍī scholars believe that it is possible to have a consensus among the people of loosening and binding. Ibāḍīyah regarding many legal rulings, such as praying, fasting, hajj, and legal alms is close to the four Sunni legal schools.

            Concerning theological doctrine, Ibāḍīyah believe that nobody could be entitled as Mu’min (faithful) or Kāfir (unbeliever), because divine revelation is interrupted, and Abū Bakr and ‘Umar has gone, so there is nobody who can reveal truth, and distinguish a Mu’min from a Kāfir.

Some recent Ibāḍī scholars believe that Ibāḍīyah differs from other Islamic sects only in two subjects, refuting the acceptance of arbitration by Imam Ali (A.S.), and rejecting being Qurashī as a condition of Imam. However, about other subjects it is of the same opinion as one of the famous theological sects. Concerning Divine Attributes, vision (of God), Divine transcendence, hermeneutic interpretation, and contingency of the Qur’an, they sympathize with Mu‘tazilah and Shi’a. About intercession, they agree with Mu‘tazilah. Regarding predestination and creating acts, they are in accord with Ashā‘irah.[5]

2- In the Course of History

In the second century, Ibāḍīyah spread through Yemen, Haḍarmawt, and Hejaz.  ‘Abd Allah b. Yaḥyā nicknamed as “Ṭālib al-Ḥaqq” played an active role for spreading this sect. His revolt reached its climax in the time of last Umayyad Caliph, Marwān b. Muhammad.

At the time of Manṣūr ‘Abbāsī, Mu‘n b. Zā’idah entered Haḍarmawt and appointed a deputy, but people killed him under the guidance of Ibāḍīyah.[6] Ibāḍīs formed the government in Libya and Algeria, and it lasted for more than three years in Libya (141-144 A.H.).  ‘Abd Allah b. Rustam established the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa, which lasted about 150 years (144-296 A.H.) and its center, the city of Tāhert in Algeria, was one of the most important headquarters of Ibāḍīyah School. Their governing realm was extended through the most regions of Algeria and Harrān, Awrās Mountains, half of South Tunisia, and most regions of Libya.[7]

 At present, Ibāḍīs are living in different parts of Islamic world, but their main headquarter is Oman, with Ibāḍīyah as its official religion. Some Ibāḍī groups are living in Zanzibar (a part of Tanzania) and the Sahara Desert, especially Mīzāb in Algeria, Nafusah Mountains in Libya, and Jirbah Island in Tunisia.[8]

3- Famous personages[9]

  • Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Ḥudayr: he was an intermediary between mainstream movement of Khawārij and moderate groups. Abū Bilāl’s revolt at the time of Mu‘āwīyah, holds an important place among many other Khārijī revolts raised after the martyrdom of Imam Ali (A.S.).[10]

Abū Bilāl’s views present the first steps of forming Khawārij’s beliefs. His views are very close to Ibāḍīyah beliefs, and are far from the beliefs of extremist Khawārij, whether before or after him.[11] However, because of his great personality, all Khawārij appreciate him and count him belonging to themselves. Ṣafarīyah and Ibāḍīyah are the closest Khārijī groups to Abū Bilāl’s way and thoughts. Ṣafarīyah regard themselves the initial followers of Muḥakkimah (Khawārij), and call Abū Bilāl Mirdās their Imam after ‘Abd Allah b. Wahab Rāsibī and Ḥarqūṣ b. Zuhayr. The great Ibāḍī scholar, Jīṭālī, mentions Jāber b. Zayd, Abū Bilāl Mirdās, and Abū ‘Ubaydah Muslim b. Abī Karīmah along with each other and regarding them of the same rank. He counts them as the great personalities who are qualified to follow.

  • Jāber b. Zayd, Abū al-Sha‘thā’: a learned and traditionist Successor, from Oman. He was born in 18 H., in environs of Nazwa, the capital of Oman, and died in 93 A.H. in Basra. He studied under many Companions of the Prophet (S.A.W), and wrote a great book about jurisprudence named as Dīwān Jābir, but it has become extinct. He also authored a Musnad (a book containing ḥadiths arranged in order of Companions name who have narrated it) in which he narrated from Ali b. Abī Ṭālib, Ibn ‘Abbās, Abū Sa‘īd khidrī, ‘Āyishah, ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar, Abū Hurayrah, Anas b. Mālik, and some other Companions; however, most traditions are narrated from Ibn ‘Abbās and ‘Āyishah.[12] Ibāḍīs regard Jāber b. Zayd as their first Imam. However, earlier, such non-Ibāḍī scholars as Bukhārī and Abū Na‘īm Isfahānī consider him as a Sunni Imam who was a companion of Ibn ‘Abbās, and say that any word which shows his relation with Ibāḍīyah is not reported.[13]
  • Farasṭā’ī Nafūsī (d. 504 A.H.): Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Bakr nicknamed as Abū al-‘Abbās, was born in the city of Farasṭā, Nafusah Mountains, Libya. He grew up in a learned family. He was a famous 6th century Ibāḍī scholar who is said to have authored 25 books, from which following titles are published:
    • Al-Jāmi‘ fī al-Furū‘, on subject of jurisprudence of Islamic rituals. (2 valumes)
    • Kitāb al-Qismah wa Uṣūl al-Arāḍīn, published with a research by Dr. Muhammad Nāṣir and Sheikh bi-al-Ḥājj Bakīr Bāsh‘ādil, in 1414 A.H. in eight volumes.
    • Al-Sīrah fī al-Dimā’.
  • Abū ‘Ubaydah Muslim b. Abī Karīmah Tamīmī: he was Jābir’s student, an Ibāḍī Imam, and a scholar of the first half of the second century. He apparently lived until 160 A.H. According to Abū al-Faraj Isfahānī, his name was Kūdīn, and Jāḥiẓ calls him Muslim b. Kurzīn, which shows that allegedly he was originally from Iran, and a freedman of Banī Tamīm. Darjīnī mentions him on the top of the third category of Ibāḍī scholars. Jāḥiẓ counts him of Khārijī scholars and (tradition) transmitters. Abū ‘Ubaydah Muslim, who is considered as the greatest Ibāḍī leader and mujtahid after ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ, studied under Jāber b. Zayd and, as it is reported, achieved the high level of knowledge. Nevertheless, Ibn Abī Ḥātam calls him unknown, and Ibn Jawzī regards him a weak and ignored person. Only Ibn Ḥibān has viewed him as trustworthy. It seems that Abū ‘Ubaydah was trying to conceal his situation, and his name is rarely cited in biographical dictionaries. Darjīnī says he kept his sect (Ibāḍīyah) undercover, until it was revealed by Ḥamalah al-‘Ilm (bearers of learning), al-Khamsah al-Yamāmīn.

Abū ‘Ubaydah, who allegedly 40 years learned and 40 years taught, conveyed his knowledge to Abū ‘Amr Rabī‘ b. Ḥabīb (the head of Ibāḍī scholars after Abū ‘Ubaydah), more than everyone else. He elected Abū ‘Amr as his successor to guide people.

  • Rabī‘ b. Ḥabīb Farāhīdī: a creditable jurist and ḥāfiẓ (someone who knows the whole Qur’an by heart), and is the writer of Jāmi‘ Ṣaḥīḥ that is Ibāḍīs’ famous Ibāḍīyah believe in Musnad Rabī‘ to the extent that Sheikh ‘Abd Allah b. Ḥamīd Sālimī calls it “the most correct book of tradition from the viewpoint of authority and the best in transmission”, and regards it as the most true book after the Qur’an. After the death of Rabī‘, Abū Sufyān Maḥbūb b. Raḥīl became the head of Ahl al-Da‘wah (Khawārij) in the East.

The Rest of Earlier Famous Ibāḍī Scholars

  • Abū Mawdūd Ḥājib al-Ṭā’ī,
  • Abū al-Ḥurr Ali b. al-Ḥiṣīn,
  • Abū Sufyān Maḥbūb b. al-Raḥīl,
  • Abū Ghānim al-Khurāsānī,
  • Sālim b. Dhakwān al-Hilālī,

Later Famous Ibāḍī Scholars

  • Jīṭālī: Abū Ṭāhir Ismā‘īl b. Mūsā al-Jīṭālī Nafūsī (d. 750 A.H.) was born and grew up in the city of Jīṭāl, Nafusah Mountains, Libya. He is regarded as an Ibāḍī great jurist and famous scientist in literature. He was thrown in jail of Tripoli, and died at Jirbah. He wrote some valuable books, so that Shamākhī considers them as a reviver of Ibāḍīyah sect. some of them are as follows:
    • Qanāṭir al-Khayrāt: about fundamental principles of religion,
    • Qawā‘id al-Islam,
    • Al-Ḥisāb wa Qism al-Farā’iḍ,
    • Mā Jama‘a min Ajwabah al-A’immah, (3 volumes)
  • Thamīnī ‘Abd al-‘Azīz b. Ibrāhīm:[14] entitled as Ḍiyā’ al-Dīn, and known as Muṣ‘abī, a famous Ibāḍī jurist and theologian of 12th and 13th[15] He learned religious studies from Abū Zakarīya Yaḥyā b. Ṣāliḥ Afḍalī (a jurist and the initiator of reformative movement in Mīzāb, died at 1202 A.H.). His most important book is al-Nīl concerning ‘Ibādāt (religious practices) and mu‘āmalāt (worldly affairs). He named his book al-Nīl hoping that God makes it lucrative just like the Nile River. The preface of the book shows that the writer’s aim was compiling a concise and comprehensible set of fatwas of the famous Ibāḍī scholars for the people of the time. The publishers of the book have named it as al-Nīl wa Shifā’ al-‘Alīl. Despite being brief, al-Nīl is a considerable book of Ibāḍīyah jurisprudence. Therefore, many Ibāḍī scholars have written expositions and annotations on it, turned it into poetry, taught it, and even memorized the book.[16]
  • Muhammad b. Yūsuf Aṭṭafayyash (d. 1303 A.H.): the writer of a commentary on al-Nīl entitled Sharḥ al-Nīl wa Shifā’ al-‘Alīl. Muhamad (b.) Ali Dabbūz says, Aṭṭafayyash wrote this commentary when he was informed that the French want to publish a magazine, al-Aḥkām al-Islāmīyah, and are attempting to write a book about Islamic jurisprudence. However, large volume of the commentary and the great length of time that the writing took refutes this idea. Actually, he explained al-Nīl in a way that all people can use it. This commentary contains the opinions of Islamic sects, and carries out the comparative analysis of different ideas. This commentary, which finished in 1300 A.H./1883 A.D., was the source of judgment for French appellate courts during the invasion of Algeria. In addition, since 1303 A.H./1886 A.D. it became officially a reference source for judges in Ibāḍīyah courts of Algeria. This commentary played an important role in introducing Ibāḍīyah jurisprudence to Islamic world. It has been published many times in Egypt, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and Muhammad b. Shāmis Baṭṭāshī turned it into poetry under the title of Salāsil al-Dhahab fī al-Uṣūl wa al-Furū‘ wa al-Adab.

Some of the Great Contemporary Ibāḍī Men

  • ‘Allāmah Muhammad b. Yūsuf Aṭṭafayyash (d. 1332 A.H.),
  • ‘Abd Allah b. Yaḥyā al-Bārūnī (d. 1332 A.H.),
  • Sheikh Mujāhid Sulaymān b. ‘Abd Allah b. Yaḥyā al-Bārūnī (d. 1395 A.H.),
  • Nūr al-Dīn Sālimī (d. 1332 A.H.). The legal authority for the people of Yemen,
  • Sheikh Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm al-Aṭṭafayyash (d. 1385 A.H.),
  • Sheikh Ali Yaḥyā Mu‘ammar (d. 1400 A.H.). The writer of al-Ibāḍīyah fī Mukab al-Tārīkh (4 volumes), al-Ibāḍīyah bayn al-Firaq al-Islāmīyah, and Ṣalāt al-Jum‘ah,
  • Ahmad b. Ḥamd b. Sulaymān al-Khalīlī. A great scholar of Yemen,
  • Abū al-‘Abbās al-Shamākhī,[17]

4- The Most Important Ibāḍī Jurisprudential Texts

  • Sharḥ al-Jāmi‘ al-Ṣaḥīḥ Musnad al-Imām al-Rabī‘ b. Ḥabī,
  • Al-Mudawwanah al-Kubrā, ‘Allāmah Abī Ghānim al-Khurāsānī (2 volumes),
  • Qāmūs al-Sharī‘ah, ‘Allāmah Jamīl b. Khamīs al-Sa‘dī (92 volumes),
  • Bayān al-Shar‘, ‘Allāmah Muhammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Kindī (72 volumes),
  • Al-Muṣannaf, ‘Allāmah Abī Bakr Ahmad b. ‘Abd Allah b. Mūsā al-Kindī (72 volumes),
  • The writings of Muhammad b. Yūsuf Aṭṭafayyash, especially: Sharḥ al-Nīl wa Shifā’ al-‘Alīl, and Taysīr al-Tafsīr,
  • Mashāriq Anwār al-‘Uqūl, ‘Allāmah ‘Abd Allah b. Hamīd al-Sālimī (2 volumes),
  • The writings of ‘Allāmah Ali Yaḥyā Mu‘ammar, especially: al-Ibāḍīyah fī Mukab al-Tārīkh (4 volumes), al-Ibāḍīyah bayn al-Firaq al-Islāmīyah, and al-Islām wa al-Qayyim al-Insānīyah,
  • Al-Ḥaqq al-Dāmigh, Sheikh Ahmad al-Khalīlī,
  • Fī Riḥāb al-Qur’an, a commentary on the Holy Qur’an by Sheikh Ibrāhīm Bayyūḍ,

5- Sources of Deduction

Ibāḍīyah sources of legislation, as Sheikh Ali Yaḥyā presents, are as follows: the Qur’an, Sunnah, consensus, qīyās, and argumentation (with subdivisions of: istiṣḥāb, istiḥsān [juristic preference], and maṣāliḥ mursilah [consideration of public interest]).

6- Some Jurisprudential Precepts

Ibāḍīyah is not significantly different from the four Sunni legal schools in many jurisprudential rulings, such as praying (time and number of rak‘ats), fasting (most terms of correctness and invalidators), legal alms (taxable limit and use), and hajj (pillars and rites). Therefore, it is not necessary to present their jurisprudential precepts in detail, and only mentioning some of them is enough.

            Jīṭālī in his book, Qanāṭir al-Khayrāt (which in fact is Qanāṭir al-Islam), allocates seven qinṭirah (castles) to religious individual duties, including: knowledge, faith, praying, fasting, legal alms, hajj, and repentance. Then he mentions very important duties of enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and jihad. Knowledge and faith are theological subjects, but praying, fasting, legal alms, hajj, repentance, enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and jihad are counted as the pillars of Islam.

            As Ibāḍīyah believe, praying is so important that leaving it means heresy. It is obligatory for Ibāḍīyah to recite opening chapter of the Qur’an along with one other Surah or three verses of the Qur’an in loud voice while praying morning prayer and the first two rak‘ats of evening prayers; but recite them in lower voice while praying middy prayer, afternoon prayer, and the last rak‘ats of evening prayers.  They believe that reciting opening chapter of the Qur’an is enough and reciting the other Surah is not necessary. They reject performing qunūt (supplication in prayer), raising hands, and moving forefinger while praying. They count بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (in the Name of Allah) as a part of every Surah, and necessitate reciting it in prayer. They also believe in curtailing prayer while traveling, whatever it lasts, if the passenger does not intend to stay for four or more days at the place, or choose it as his home. Friday prayer is obligatory for them in any case, even with an unjust prayer leader.

            According to Baghdādī’s statement, amputation of the hand of a thief is necessary among Ibāḍīyah, weather the theft was petty or grand. A judge can give his verdict on economical cases when two witnesses testify them. Women’s testimony is not accepted in the cases that brings about ḥadd (divinely sanctioned punishment), unless regarding women’s particular cases. However, some Ibāḍī scholars accept a woman’s testimony as [equal to] a man’s one.[18]

            For Ibāḍīyah, marriage between a fornicator and a fornicatress is forbidden. The guardian of a maiden or widow, even her father, is not allowed to force her into arranged marriage, but rather should consult with her. The guardian is allowed to give an immature maiden in marriage, but she can reject it when she comes of age. They believe that a Muslim cannot inherit from a polytheist, unbeliever, or apostate, and vice versa.

            Ibāḍīyah attach great importance to enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and jihad. Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and saying the truth in before a tyrant ruler is so important that they consider it recommended, even in danger of being killed, but on the condition that it is effective. Concerning jihad, they believe that everybody is obligated to attack the enemy lines, even by knowing that he would be killed. However, if their parents, because of old age, illness, or poverty need him; staying with them is preferable, but on the condition that his participation in the war was not needed.


1- See:

  • Qalhātī, al-Kashf wa al-Bayān.
  • Nūr al-Dīn Sālimī, al-Lum‘ah al-Marḍīyah min Ash‘ah al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Ali Akbar Ḍiyā’ī, Mu‘jam Maṣādir al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • ‘Abd al-Ḥalīm Rajab Muhammad, al-Ibāḍīyah fī al-Miṣr wa al-Maghrib,
  • Ali Yaḥyā Mu‘ammar, al-Ibāḍīyah bayn al-Firaq al-Islāmīyah,
  • Ali Yaḥyā Mu‘ammar, al-Ibāḍīyah fī Mukab al-Tārīkh,
  • Mas‘ūd Jalālī Muqaddam, The great encyclopedia of Islam, V2,
  • Ibrāhīm Baḥḥāz, Mushawwahāt al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • ‘Amr Khalīfah Nāmī, man Hamma al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Shahristānī, al-Milal wa al-Niḥal,
  • ‘Abd al-Qāhir Baghdādī Isfarāyīnī, al-Farq bayn al-Firaq,
  • Abū al-Ḥasan Ash‘arī, Maqālāt al-Islāmīyīn,
  • ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Badwī, Madhāhib al-Islāmīyīn,
  • Ahmad b. Sa‘īd al-Shamākhī, Kitāb al-Sayr,
  • Abū Mawdūd Ḥājib, Sayr al-‘Ulamā’ al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Īsā al-‘Izrī, al-Sayr al-‘Ummānīyah,
  • ‘Amr al-Nāmī, Dirāsāt ‘an al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Al-Darjīnī, Ṭabaqāt al-Mashāyikh,
  • ‘Abd Allah b. Midād, Sīrah Ibn Midād,
  • Jam‘īyah al-Turāth, Mu‘jam A‘lām al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • ‘Awaḍ Khalīfāt, Nash’ah al-Ḥarakah al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Farḥāt al-Ja‘bīrī, al-Bu‘d al-Ḥiḍārī li al-‘Aqīdah al-Ibāḍīyah,
  • Muhammad Jawād Mashkūr, Farhang-i Firaq Islāmī,
  • Maḥmūd Shahābī, Adwār-i Fiqh,

2- Al-Ḥarakah al-Ibāḍīyah fī Mashriq al-‘Arabī, P. 49,

3- Mukhtaṣar al-Tārīkh al-Ibāḍīyah, P. 28,

4- Dirāsah fī al-Fikr al-Ibāḍī, PP. 22, 26-32, 44-46,

5- Buḥūth fī al-Milal wa al-Niḥal, V. 5, PP. 302-303,

6- Al-Uṣūl al-Īmānīyah, PP. 355-356,

7- Al-Munjid fī al-A‘lām, al-Rustamīyūn,

8- Al-Uṣūl al-Īmānīyah, PP. 357,

9- See: The Great Encyclopedia of Islam, V. 2, Ibāḍīyah. (Mas‘ūd Jalālī Muqaddam),

10- In 58 A.H., after releasing from ‘Ubayd Allah’s jail, Abū Bilāl left Basra along with his 30 friends, and came down to Āsak (a place between Rāmhurmuz and Arrijān) where his followers increased to 40. He declared from the beginning that they never put somebody to the sword, except that they get attacked. When he attacked the caravan carrying Ibn Zīyād’s goods, he took only his and his friends’ portion from the Treasury of Muslims, and turned back the rest of the goods to the members of caravan. Answering the question that why he did not take all the goods, he said: they perform prayer and divide these goods among them as fay’ (booty, tribute, or revenue). In 60 A.H., ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zīyād sent 2000 soldiers to suppress them. Before starting the war, Abū Bilāl asked the enemy, why do you want to fight with us? We have not corrupted on the earth, and never draw sword against anybody. Anyhow, fight started, Caliph’s army was defeated by 40 Khārijī warriors, and ran away. Next year, ‘Ubayd Allah b. Zīyād sent another army consisting of 4000 soldiers to fight against them. War happened on Friday, in Dārāyjird of Fars. At the beginning, Caliph’s army could not do anything, but at the time of prayer (Friday prayer) Abū Bilāl asked for respite to perform the prayer. When Khawārij were praying, Caliph’s soldiers blitzed on them and killed all, including Abū Bilāl.

11- He allowed taqīyyah (dissimulation in the event of danger), and believed that God permitted it to put believers at ease. He regarded anybody who performs prayer, as a Muslim and forbade damaging his rights, as well as drawing sword against Muslims. He used to try to evade oppression, and did not wage a war except for defense. He rejected to engage in unreasoning massacre (that was called isti‘rāḍ), and dissociated himself from the Khawārij who did it. He also prohibited the revolt of women. He allowed taqīyyah, and, contrary to extremist Khawārij, did not negate qu‘ūd (not uprising against a cruel ruler) absolutely, and historical sources have mentioned the cases of his qīyām and qu‘ūd (uprising and not uprising against a cruel ruler). It is quoted from him that: if I had two lives, I would spend one for the cause of jihad and the other by the way of helping Muslims.

12- Ibid, PP. 27-28; al-‘Uqūd al-Fiḍḍīyah, PP. 93-103.

13- Almost all scholars of ḥadīth and rijāl (critical study of ḥadīths’ transmitters) praise him. They consider him trustworthy, adore his ijtihād and scientific degree, call him one of the Qur’an memorizers (of the third category), and say that he was most knowledgeable person concerning the Holy Qur’an. In addition, it is known that in the absence of Ḥasan Baṣrī, people took fatwa from him. Surely, if Sunni general public and jurists had even a little doubt about the soundness of Jābir’s faith, they would never grant such a great place to him, and the scholars of dirāyah (critical examination and classification of ḥadīths) and rijāl, despite of being punctilious and strict, did not praise him. In addition, he has not called weak or rejected in any bibliography. Darjīnī mentions Jābir, Abū Bilāl Mirdās, ‘Abd Allah b. Ibāḍ, and some other Khawārij as Ibāḍī great scholars of the second half of the first century A.H. He calls Jābir the first Sheikh of second Ibāḍī scholars’ category. Another evidence showing the acceptability of Jābir among Ibāḍīyah is that, Naffāth b. Naṣr, among all books of the library of an Abbasid Caliph (perhaps Ma’mūn), was only fond of the Jābir’s compilation of ḥadīths, which Ibāḍīyah did not possess, and transcribed that book. Moreover, it was usual for Ibāḍī scholars to narrate traditions from Jābir.

Ibāḍīyah’s relation and adhering to Jābir is not specific to the time after him, but it dates back to his lifetime, too. Some scholars of rijāl indicating this point have mentioned that he himself has rejected this relation and has dissociated himself from Ibāḍīyah, and as Ibn Sa‘d says, he denounced this sect even in his death agony. But, Shahristānī mentions a person by the name of Abū al-Sha‘thā’ as an earlier Khārijī scholar. In addition, Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd notes a person with the same nickname as an Ibāḍī man, and along the successors like ‘Amr b. Dīnār and Mujāhid, counts Jāber of Khawārij. Although Ibāḍīyah count Jābir as their great scholar and highly praise him, but have not narrated any word of him that shows his acceptance or approval to Ibāḍīyah, and proves his relation to them. Anyhow, there is no convincing proof for counting Jābir as an Ibāḍī; however, Ibāḍīyah can regard his dissociation from Ibāḍīyah as a case of taqīyyah. Therefore, it is impossible to make a conclusive judgment about the issue.

14- Thamīnī; Ali Muhammad Ḥakīmīyān, The Great Encyclopedia of Islam.

15- He descends from Abū Ḥafṣ ‘Umar Hintātī, the grandfather of Ḥafṣ family, from the large tribe of Hintātah. He was born in 1130 in Yasqin (or Yasjin/ Yazqin) the suburbs of Mīzāb (Mizāb), South Algeria. He memorized the Holy Qur’an, and learned inflexion and syntax in his town. Then, he emigrated to Warjalān (Warqalah) with his father. He engaged in commerce in his youth, and, after his father’s death, took the charge of his property in Yasqin and Warjalān. About 1160, by entering Abū Zakarīyā Yaḥyā b. Ṣāliḥ Afḍalī (a jurist and starter of reformative movement in Mīzāb, died at 1202 A.H.) in Yasqin, Thamīnī learned religious studies ceaselessly from him. His intelligence and poetic talent, which has been strengthened by living in desert, associating with the Bedouin and being under the influence of their eloquence, and conducting many literary studies; caused him to progress and achieve the high level of scholarship. So that, his master, because of his eloquence and talent for presenting scholarly issues in versatile style, entitled him “al-‘Arabī al-Salīqah” (an eloquent Arab man), and asked him to write down what he has learned. Responding the master’s request, Thamīnī started to write, and offered some of the writings to his master to view. His most important disciples are as follows: Ibrāḥīm b. Yūsuf Aṭṭafayyash (d. 1303), Ḥammū b. bi-Ahmad bi-Kallī (Bākilī), bi-al-Ḥājj b. Kāsī b. Muhammad Qarārī known as Sheikh bi-al-Ḥājj (d. 1243), Ḥammū wa al-Ḥājj Yasqinī (Yazqinī), Abū Ya‘qūb Yūsuf b. Ḥammū b. ‘Addūn (d. 1252), Thamīnī’s nephew Ibrāḥīm b. Bīḥmān (d. 1232), and Thamīnī’s daughter, Ḥājjah.

            In 1201, Thamīnī became the leader in Banī Yasjin mosque, as well as the leader of supreme council of ‘Ammī Sa‘īd in Mīzāb. That council, by having authority of issuing fatwas and executive power, was the highest authority to resolve problems and settle matters in Ibāḍīyah community. In the same year, he took over the directorship of “Hay’at ‘Azzābah” (a council consisted from the great Ibāḍīs that made decisions about all Ibāḍīyah. See: Mu‘ammar, V. 1, P. 97).

16- Al-Nīl includes 22 chapters that are compiled in three parts with an epilogue at the end of every chapter. It is reported that Thamīnī wrote al-Nīl in 18 years, and after completing it, he offered the book to his master, Yaḥyā b. Ṣāliḥ, to view, and Yaḥyā revised it. Then, Thamīnī summarized it twice, which led to inordinate brevity of some parts of the book. The style and method of al-Nīl is similar to al-Mukhtaṣar, written by Khalīl b. Isḥāq Mālikī (d. 776). Sharḥ Mufaṣṣal is the most famous commentary of al-Nīl that is written by Muhammad b. Yūsuf Aṭṭafayyash, known as Quṭb al-A’immah (d. 1303). Other commentaries of the book include, the commentary of Qāsim b. Sulaymān Shamākhī (d. 1265), and the commentary of Ibrāhīm b. ‘Umar Bayyūḍ (d. 1401). (for more information about these commentaries, as well as other commentaries of the book, see: Mu‘jam A‘lām al-Ibāḍīyah, V. 2, PP. 20,198, 342, 372, 399; Sa‘d Allah Qimārī, V. 7, PP. 78, 86-88) Ernest Zaies has translated some parts of al-Nīl into French. Other jurisprudential texts of Thamīnī are as follows:

  • Al-Takmīl li-mā Akhalla bi-hi Kitāb al-Nīl: about the decrees of land. It is a summary of the book, Uṣūl al-Araḍīn fī al-Fann al-Mi‘mārī, written by Abū al-‘Abbās Ahmad b. Muhammad (d. 504), and, by definition, it is a supplement to the al-Nīl wa Shifā’ al-‘Alīl. This book is published by Thamīnī’s grandson, Muhammad b. Ṣāliḥ, containing a detailed biography of his grandfather, and an annotation by Ibrāhīm b. Abi Bakr Ḥaffār (d. 1373),
  • Al-Ward al-Bisām fī Riyāḥ al-Aḥkām: regarding mu‘āmalāt (worldly affairs). It is a supplement of al-Nīl wa Shifā’ al-‘Alīl. It is published, and Aghbirī ‘Ummānī has turned it into poetry,
  • Al-Tāj fī Ḥuqūq al-Azwāj: regarding reciprocal duties and rights of married couple,
  • Al-Tāj ‘alā al-Minhāj, or Al-Tāj al-Manẓūm min Durar al-Minhāj al-Ma‘lūm: it is an abridgement of Minhāj al-Ṭālibīn wa Balāgh al-Rāghibīn, written by Khamīs ‘Ummānī,
  • Al-Miṣbāḥ: on inheritance, it is an abridgement of two books written by Abū al-‘Abbās Ahmad b. Muhammad Farasṭā’ī (d. 504), under the titles of Abī Mas’alah and al-Alwāḥ,
  • Al-Asrār al-Nūrānīyah: it is an abridgement of a book about prayer, Sharḥ al-Rā’īyah written by Abū Naṣr Fatḥ b. Nūḥ Malūshā’ī.
  • Al-Nūr,
  • The commentary of a theological book, al-Nūnīyah written by Abū Naṣr Fatḥ b. Nūḥ Milūshā’ī,
  • An abridgement of Ḥāshīyah,

17- Some other Contemporary Ibāḍīs are as follows:

  • Ibrāhīm b. Sa‘īd al-‘Ibrī. (a great Ibāḍī from Oman),
  • ‘Abd Allah b. Sayf b. Muhammad al-Kandī. (a great Ibāḍī from Oman),
  • ‘Amr Khalīfah Nāmī,
  • Sheikh Ibrāhīm Bayyūḍ,
  • Sheikh Abū al-Yaqḍān Ibrāhīm,
  • Sheikh ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ‘Umar bi-Kallī,
  • ‘Abd Allah b. Muhammad b. Barak,
  • Abū Mawdūd Ḥājib al-Ṭā’ī,
  • ‘Amrus b. Fatḥ al-Masākinī,
  • Sālim b. Ya‘qūb al-Jirbī,
  • Mahdī al-Nafūsī al-Wīghawī,
  • Muḥkam b. Hūd al-Hawārī,
  • ‘Amr Khalīfah al-Nām,
  • Munīr b. al-Nayyir al-Ja‘lānī,

18- See: The Great Encyclopedia of Islam, Ibāḍīyah. (Mas‘ūd Jalālī Muqaddam); Qalhātī, al-Kashf wa al-Bayān.

The article was written by Hujjat al-Islam Mujtaba Elahi Khorasani (Teacher of Advance Level of Mashhad Seminary) and Translated by Sayyid Dilawar Ali Naqavi  (Seminary Member, Researcher, English Translator and M.A. Student in Quranic Interpretation and Sciences).

About Alireza Mosaddeq

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