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The Dispute Between Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī and ISIS: Khārijites Falling Out with Each Other with Respect to Matters of Khārijite Jurisprudence

Posted by Abu Iyaad on Thursday, October 13, 2016 and filed under Analysis

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Differences Between Modern-Day Khārijites

Throughout his dark history, the Khārijite Qaʿdī terrorist, Abū Muḥammad al-Maqdisī, has repeatedly fallen out with other Khārijites. Whilst in Kuwait, he studied with Muḥammad Surūr for a while before differing and splitting with him. The Surūrites expelled him from their circles. Likewise he joined the circles of the Juhaymānites for a while before having disputes with them and splitting with them. It was during his time with the Juhaymānites that he authored most of his works outlining the Khārijite doctrine on the back of the core ideas of Quṭb and Mawdūdī that focus on legislation and rulership. The Juhaymānites also made him outcast due to his hastiness in takfīr, and he retaliated by writing a tract against them, accusing them of being ‘minor tāghūts’. [Tabdīd Kawāshif al-ʿAnīd (1428H) pp. 22-26]. He fell out with another Khārijite, Abū Muṣʿab al-Zarqāwī (a student of al-Maqdisī) who wrote rebuttals of al-Maqdisī and his self-centredness. After the emergence of the Khārijites of ISIS and their deeds (no doubt influenced through his ideological writings), he started distancing himself from them and claiming that “amongst them are Khārijites” without actually applying the label to them as a whole. Over the past couple of years, al-Maqdisī has numerous letters of protest against the leadership of ISIS such as al-Baghdādī and al-ʿAdnānī. However, one should never be deceived by this vile Qaʿdī terrorist and take lessons from history.

Differences Between Khārijites of Old

The leaders of two factions of the Khārijites (the Najadāt and the Azāriqah) fell out with each other because one, Najdah bin ʿĀmir, rejected the extremism of the other, Nāfiʿ bin al-Azraq. Abū Muḥamamd al-Yamānī (6th century hijrah) relates this in his book, “Aqāʿid al-Thalāth wal-Sabʿīn Firqah” (1414H), 1/20-23. They exchanged letters with each other before departing their ways. Al-Azraq and his faction had started killing women, children, the blind, the lame, old women and the ill. They also permitted the breaking of agreements, promises and trusts. Abū Muḥamamd al-Yamānī wrote:

For Nāfiʿ bin al-Azraq was one of their shaykhs and venerated leaders, he and his sect were unique in permitting the killing of children, the blind, lame, old women and the ill. They even cast small children into pots that were boiling. They also made lawful the breaking of promises (trusts, agreements). This then reached Najadah bin ʿĀmir, one of the Khārijites, and he wrote to him ...

So Najadah wrote a letter to Nāfiʿ admonishing him and telling him that Satan has misled him by killing the weak, unable and those who are non-participants in his activities and advised him to fear Allāh and cited him evidences for the prohibition of that. Then Nāfiʿ replied back justifying his activities of killing those who do not participate with him in his activities of women, children, the old and sick, and of violating promises, trusts and agreements and of appropriate the wealth of those who are not with him and his group. He advised Najdah:

Fear Allāh O Najdah and take another look at your self, there is no excuse for you except repentance and it is not permissible for you to desert us and sit away from us.

Al-Maqdisī whilst he was in Kuwait and in Saudī was upon some of these views himself – namely of violating trusts, misappropriating or stealing wealth and what is similar as has been related about him through numerous channels. So this disagreement is not between a Salafī and a Khārijite faction, rather they are all Khārijites, disputing with each other about matters of Khārijite jurisprudence, some more extreme than others, and some wallowing in takfīr more than others, and some making takfīr on account of some presumed sins and others on account of another set of presumed sins. What they have in common in are the doctrines of Sayyid Quṭb of takfīr and ḥākimiyyah and what they demand of disfigured forms of ‘loyalty and disownment’, ‘enjoining the good and prohitibing the evil’ and ‘jihād’. Thereafter, they have clothed these doctrines with the gown of Salafism to conceal the reality of the doctrines and make it appear as if they originate with Salafi scholars. They are spuriously identified as “Salafī-Jihādists” when in reality, the accurate and honest label for them is “Takfīrī-Jihādīst Khārijites”. They simply differ with each other in the extent to which they distort the texts in order to justify their acts, whilst agreeing upon the core central Khārijite thesis they took from Quṭb and Mawdūdī, which is the primary inspiration behind these various types of acts.

One should keep in mind that the Khārijites had various sayings an opinions as it related to their judgments of takfīr and their activities and interactions with those not upon their doctrines. These differences arise because the basic doctrine that constitutes their religion and which unites them all [exaggeration in taḥkīm and ḥākimiyyah, making takfīr of all rulers, governments, their institutions such as the military, the police, and anyone who aids them and allies with them and speaking of this as the central element of Islām] is of course plain falsehood. And falsehood only produces further falsehood. So as they have nothing to prove this heretical doctrine from the revealed texts, they have to interpret the texts upon their own desires in order to justify the views that they consider and hold in relation to events and situations that arise. Thus their differences in their interpretations of what is ‘jihād’, ‘loyalty and disloyalty’ and ‘enjoining good and prohibiting evil’ and the practical applications therein. It is inevitable that the Khārijites split, divide and fight each other, in pursuit of wealth and power, due to the very nature of their heretical doctrine. It is exactly as said of them in the Prophetic traditions and in the statements of the Companions and the Salaf, that they leave the muḥkam (decisive, specific) and perish on account of the mutashābih (ambiguous, non-specific) which they distort and misinterpret for their own ends.

As for Ahl al-Sunnah and the Scholars of the Salaf past and present, from the time of the Companions to this day of ours, the core, central Khārijite doctrine [as outlined by Quṭb and Mawdūdī] is nowhere to be found in their statements or writings. Not with Imām Aḥmad, nor Ibn Taymiyyah, nor Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb, nor al-Albānī, or Ibn Bāz or others.

Abu Iyāḍ
12 Muḥarram 1438 / 13 October 2016


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Takfīr (Excommunication)
Ḥākimiyyah (Lawgiving)
Khurūj (Revolution)
Walaʾ & Barāʾ (Loyalty and Disownment)
Jihād (War)
Imāmah & Khilāfah (Leadership & State)
Irhāb (Terrorism) & Plunder



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