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The Kharijites in Early Islamic Historical TraditionHeroes and Villains$
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Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450881

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450881.001.0001

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Khārijism from the Second Fitna until the Death of ʿAbd al-Malik

Khārijism from the Second Fitna until the Death of ʿAbd al-Malik

(p.217) 6 Khārijism from the Second Fitna until the Death of ʿAbd al-Malik
The Kharijites in Early Islamic Historical Tradition

Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Six examines the material on the Khārijites for the period of the second civil war (fitna) and the caliphate of ʿAbd al-Malik. It returns to a thematic structure, identifying five main concerns: (1) the reputation of al-Muhallab b. Abī Ṣufra and his family as formidable warriors who save the early Islamic community from the most violent Khārijite faction, the Azāriqa; (2) the volatility of Khārijism as antithesis to the importance of communal togetherness; (3) criticism of the Umayyads and their agents, especially the governor of Iraq, al-Ḥajjāj b. Yūsuf; and (4) the interactions between the Khārijites and Ibn al-Zubayr, who challenged Umayyad rule during the second civil war. The fifth theme is peculiar to al-Ṭabarī, who utilises his accounts of Khārijite military prowess to fashion a military manual of sorts for the prudent field commander. This final chronological chapter follows the preceding ones in underlining the literary features of the examined accounts, putting into question the possibility of a straightforward positivist reconstruction of Khārijite history.

Keywords:   Khārijites, fitna, ʿAbd al-Malik, al-Muhallab b. Abī Ṣufra, Azāriqa, Khārijism, Umayyads, al-Ḥajjāj b. Yūsuf, Ibn al-Zubayr, al-Ṭabarī

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