Exhortation from Ali to kill the “Khawarij”

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an 60:8-9)

Let us take a look at a rather interesting hadith that apparently has Ali ibn Abi Talib commanding people to fight the “khawarij”. You may find the original here: https://sunnah.com/muslim:1066a

Now look at it again in both the Arabic and the English translation.

So in the book of Zakat (Purification of Wealth) we have this hadith that is attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib,

“Whenever I narrate to you anything from the Messenger of Allah (saw) believe it to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE as falling from the sky is dearer to me than that of attributing anything to him which he never said. WHEN I TALK TO YOU OF ANYTHING WHICH IS BETWEEN ME AND YOU (THERE MIGHT CREEP SOME ERROR IN IT) FOR BATTLE IS AN OUTWITTING. I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) as saying: There will arise AT THE END OF THE AGE a people who would be young in age and immature in thought, but they would talk (in such a manner) as if their words are the best among creatures. They would recite the Qur’an, but it would not go beyond their throats, and they would pass through the religion as an arrow goes through the prey. So when you meet them, kill them, for in their killing you would get a reward with Allah on the Day of Judgement.”

Dear reader reflect upon the above statement. Why does Ali need to try and convince people that what he is about to say is absolutely true? After all, he is Ali, why would he preface a statement in such a manner?

What does he mean to than follow this statement up with his admission that if he conveys something or advises people there maybe some error in it (wrongful application of judgement or ijtihad).

Then, that statement is followed up with “For Battle is an outwitting.”

How does such a hadith end up in a chapter on Zakat (purification of wealth)? Why is the chapter heading, “Exhortation to kill the “Khawarij”?

How can this hadith be a reference to the so called “Khawarij” when the hadith clearly says such people are ‘youth’ and arise ‘at the end of age’ ?

Why is there an exhortation to kill such people on site rather than to reason with them, debate with them or invite them to the truth?

So much to ponder dear readers.

May Allah (swt) guide us all to the correct Qur’an and Sunnah. May Allah (swt) guide us all to what is beloved to Allah (swt).


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6 responses to “Exhortation from Ali to kill the “Khawarij”

  1. Salam brother.

    This is a little off topic, but I’m just curious. Do the modern Ibadhis consider themselves part of the Khawarij movement, because I recall reading that some modern Ibadhi scholars try to dissociate their firqa from this term? Is this true?


  2. JazaKallah Khayran, food for though Indeed…

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