Chapter Two discusses core themes and topoi emerging from the depiction of Khārijism in early Islamic historiography that recur over the entire period of Khārijite history covered in this book. These themes include the motifs of Khārijite piety, their longing for battle against those they considered unbelievers (jihād) and the resulting excessive violence that was considered a trademark of Khārijism. The continuous presence of these particular themes indicates their importance not only for the characterisation of Khārijism, but also for the development of Islamic doctrine, which largely came to condemn militant piety. This chapter thus outlines one of the main purposes that telling Khārijite history could serve.
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