Kindly inform me about background of Khaarijis emerged in the period of Ali (rta).
After the arbitration-based settlement of the confrontation of the two Muslim factions – led by Hadhrat Ali and Hadhrat Mu`aawiyah, respectively – while the group led by Hadhrat Ali was going back to Kufa, differences of opinion regarding the validity of the settlement started cropping up among the army. A number of varying opinions ranging from the validity of the arbitration itself to the decision arrived at by the arbitration started coming in. Some of the Muslims even approached Ali attempting to dissuade him from the idea of returning to Kufa and to convince him to attack the other group, disregarding the decision of the arbitration. Ali (ra) refused to accept this opinion on the grounds that once the decision was given by the arbitrators and accepted by the representatives of the two parties, it was morally not correct to disregard it.
Among these various groups was one, which was of the opinion that the accepting decision of the arbitration was like giving the final authority to the arbitrators – which should only be given to the one God – and doing so was therefore, against the basic tenets of Islam. Thus, when all their efforts of convincing Ali (ra) to review the decision of returning to Kufa and to reassemble the Muslim army to attack the other group were met with frustration, this group decided to separate themselves from the group of Ali (ra). This was the beginning of the making of the group which we now know as the ‘Khawaarij’1.
I hope this helps.
August 25, 2001
- The word ‘Khawaarij’ literally means ‘those who separated themselves’. [↩]