Nāṣir b. Sulaymān b. Saʻīd al-Sābiʻī, Al-Khawārij wa-l-ḥaqīqa al-ghā’iba, Mascate, al-Maktaba al-Jīl al-waʻīd, 1420/1999

Disguised under a rather romanesque name, this is a serious study. The author is an investigator in the Sulṭān Qabūs University in Oman and he provides us with a complete study on the ḥadīths produced on Khārijism. As a matter of fact, any reader of Ṭabarī or the classical Sunnī heresiography must have met at least one of those ḥadīth predicting the emergence of a deviant form of Islam clearly identified with Khārijism. The most famous one is predicting that « There will be (after me) a group that will despise your prayer with their own prayer, your fasting with their own fasting, your teachings with their own teachings. They will recite the Qur’ān but it will not go beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through its target ». Yet, the author identifies seven other hadīth  where the Khawārij are vigourously damned under the name of ahl Nahrawān, al-māriqūn or the « dogs of hell » (kilāb al-nār). These hadīth are still used by some preachers to denounce whoever they identify as the present-day « Khawārij » and they have flourished throughout Islamic history as a powerful instrument of exclusion (takfīr). The great merit of the author is to show that these hadīth were completely fabricated, a conclusion that sounds usual for any Western scholar but that will surely contribute to fight some prejudices in the Islamic sphere. The fact that this study has been  made by an Omani Ibāḍī investigator is not surprising, because this minority is precisely still accused of belonging to « Khārijism » by some fanatical preachers. Hence a huge part of the Ibāḍī own production has been dedicated to the following assertion : « The Ibāḍis are not khawārij (al-Ibāḍiyya laysū khawārij) ».

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