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The Ibāḍī movement or Ibāḍiyya (Arabic: الاباضية al-Ibāḍiyyah) is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shiite denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman. There are also Ibadis in Algeria, Tunisia, East Africa as well as Libya.

Believed to be one of the earliest schools, it is said to have been founded less than 50 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad. Some historians think that the denomination developed out of the seventh-century Islamic sect known as the Khawarij or Kharijites.

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Origin

The school derives its name from Abdullah ibn Ibadh at-Tamīmī. Followers of this sect, however, claim its true founder was Jabir ibn Zaid al-'Azdi from Nizwa, Oman.

Views

Ibadi communities are generally regarded as conservative, for example Ibadiyya rejects the practice of qunut or supplications while standing in prayer.

Sunni Muslims traditionally regard the Ibadiyya as a Kharijite group, but Ibadis reject this designation. Ibadis regard other Muslims not as kafir "unbelievers" (as most Kharijite groups did), but as kuffar an-ni'ma "those who deny God's grace", though nowadays this attitude has relaxed.

They believe that the attitude of a true believer to others is expressed in three religious obligations:

  • walāyah: friendship and unity with the practicing true believers, and with the Ibadi Imams.
  • barā'ah: dissociation (but not hostility) towards unbelievers and sinners, and those destined for Hell.
  • wuqūf: reservation towards those whose status is unclear.

Unlike the Kharijites, Ibadi have abandoned the practice of not associating with other Muslims.[1]

Doctrinal differences with Sunni Islam

Ibadis also have several doctrinal differences with orthodox Sunni Islam, chief among them:

  • Muslims will not see God on the Day of Judgement. This is derived from the Qur'an where Musa (Moses) is told upon asking to see God, "You shall not see me." This is contrary to the mainstream Sunni belief that Muslims will see God with their eyes on the day of Judgment[2]. This matches the beliefs of Shia Muslims. The Imam Ali said "Eyes cannot see Him, but he can be seen by the realities of faith" Nahj al-Balagha.
  • Whosoever enters the Hellfire, will live therein forever. This is contrary to the Sunni belief that those Muslims who enter the Hellfire will live therein for a fixed amount of time, to purify them of their shortcomings, after which they will enter Paradise. Sunnis also believe, however, that unbelievers will be in the Hellfire forever. (This may be compared to the differing Christian opinions on purgatory.)
  • The Qur'an was created by God at a certain point in time. The Sunni community holds that the Qur'an is uncreated, as exemplified by the suffering of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal during the Mihna. Much of the Shi'a community also holds that the Qur'an was created, one of many theological beliefs that they share with the Mu'tazilah.

Views on Islamic history and caliphate

Ibadis agree with Sunnis in approving of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, whom they regard as the two rightly-guided Caliphs. They regard Uthman ibn Affan as having introduced bid'ah "innovations" into Islam, and approve of the revolt which overthrew him. They also approve of the first part of Ali's caliphate, and, like Shi'as, disapprove of Aisha's rebellion against him and also disapprove of Muawiya's revolt. However, they regard Ali's acceptance of arbitration at the Battle of Siffin against Muawiya's rebels as un-Islamic and as rendering him unfit for the Imamate, and they condemn Ali for killing the Muslims of an-Nahr in the Battle of Nahrawan.

In their belief, the fifth legitimate Caliph was Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi. All Caliphs from Muawiya onwards are regarded as tyrants except Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, on whom opinions differ. However, various later Ibadi leaders are recognized as true imams, including Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kindi of South Arabia and the imams of the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa.

View of hadith

Ibadi Islam (found mainly in the Arabian kingdom of Oman) accepts many Sunni hadith, while rejecting others, and accepts some hadith not accepted by Sunnis. Ibadi jurisprudence is based only on the hadith accepted by Ibadis, which are far less numerous than those accepted by Sunnis. Several of Ibadism's founding figures – in particular Jabir ibn Zayd – were noted for their hadith research, and Jabir ibn Zayd is accepted as a reliable narrator by Sunni scholars as well as Ibadi ones.

The principal hadith collection accepted by Ibadis is al-Jami'i al-Sahih, also called Musnad al-Rabi ibn Habib, as rearranged by Abu Ya'qub Yusuf b. Ibrahim al-Warijlani. Most of its hadith are reported by Sunnis, while several are not. The rules used for determining the reliability of a hadith are given by Abu Ya'qub al-Warijlani, and are largely similar to those used by Sunnis; they criticize some of the companions, believing that some were corrupted after the reign of the first two caliphs. The Ibadi jurists accept hadith narrating the words of Muhammad's companions as a third basis for legal rulings, alongside the Qur'an and hadith relating Muhammad's words.

Demographics

Ibadi Muslims make up a majority (roughly 75%) of the population in Oman.[3] They are also found in the Nafusa Mountains in Libya, Mzab in Algeria, East Africa (particularly Zanzibar) and Djerba Island in Tunisia. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibadi, and refugees from its capital Tahert founded the North African Ibadi communities which exist today in the Mozabite Valley.

References

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Al-Ibādhiyyah (Arabic الاباضية) is a form of Islam. It is different from the Shi'a and Sunni denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in only one Muslim country, Oman. There are also Ibadis in Algeria as well as Libya.[1] It is probably one of the earliest schools, founded less than 50 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad. The sect developed out of the seventh-century Islamic sect known as the Khawarij or Kharijites. Ibadis do not consider themselves to be Kharijite.

The name is from ˤAbdullāh ibn-Ibāḍ at-Tamīmī. Followers of this sect, however, claim its true founder was Jabir ibn Zaid al-'Azdi from Nizwa, Oman.

Contents

How Ibadis are different

Ibāḍī communities are generally seen as conservative. Ibāḍiyyah rejects the practice of qunūt or supplications while standing in prayer. Sunni Muslims traditionally think the Ibāḍiyyah are a Kharijite group; Ibāḍīs reject this. Ibāḍīs think other Muslims are not kuffar "unbelievers" (as most Kharijite groups did), but as kuffar an-niˤma "those who deny God's grace". Today, this attitude has changed a lot. They believe that the attitude of a true believer to others is expressed in three religious obligations:

  • walāyah: friendship and unity with the practicing true believers, and with the Ibadi Imams.
  • barā'ah: do not deal with unbelievers and sinners; and show a certain hostility towardsthem, and those destined for Hell.
  • wuqūf: reservation towards those whose status is unclear.

Unlike the Kharijites, Ibāḍī have abandoned the practice of assassination of mainstream Muslims.[2]

Ibāḍīs agree with Sunnis in approving of Abū Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, whom they regard as the two rightly-guided Caliphs. They think Uthman ibn Affan has introduced bidˤa "innovations" into Islām. They approve of the revolt which overthrew him. They also approve of the first part of ˤAlī's caliphate, and, like Shi'as, disapprove of ˤĀ'isha's rebellion against him and also disapprove of Muˤāwiyya's revolt. However, they regard ˤAlī's acceptance of arbitration at the Battle of Siffin against Muˤāwiyya's rebels as un-Islamic and as rendering him unfit for the Imamate, and they condemn ˤAlī for killing the early Kharijites of an-Nahr in the Battle of Nahrawan.

Main differences to Sunni Islam

Ibadis also have several doctrinal differences with orthodox Sunni Islam, chief among them:

  • Muslims will not see Allah on the Day of Judgement. This is derived from the Qur'an where the Prophet Ibrahim is told upon asking to see Allah, "You shall not see me." This is contrary to the mainstream Sunni belief that indeed Muslims will see Allah with their eyes on the day of Judgment -- (without our specifying how and in a manner Allah knows best)[3]. This matches the beliefs of Shia Muslims. Imam Ali (AS) "Eyes can not see Him, but he can be seen by the realities of FAITH" Nahj al-Balaghah.
  • Whosoever enters the Hellfire, will live therein forever. This is contrary to the Sunni belief that those Muslims who enter the Hellfire will live therein for a fixed amount of time, to purify them of their shortcomings, after which they will enter Paradise. Sunnis also believe that unbelievers will remain in Hell forever.
  • The Qur'an is created. The Sunni community holds vigorously that the Qur'an is uncreated, as exemplified by the suffering of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Much of the Shi'a community also holds that the Qur'an is created, one of many theological beliefs that they share with the Mu'tazilah.

In their belief, the fifth legitimate Caliph was Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi. All Caliphs from Muˤāwiyya onwards are regarded as tyrants except Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, on whom opinions differ. However, various later Ibāḍī leaders are recognized as true imāms, including Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kindi of South Arabia and the imāms of the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa.

Ibāḍī Muslims are also found in Jabal Nafusa in Libya, Mzab in Algeria, East Africa (particularly Zanzibar) and Djerba Island in Tunisia]. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibāḍī, and refugees from its capital Tahert founded the North African Ibāḍī communities which exist today.

References

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