The Conclusion revisits the book’s main premises and findings. It reiterates the distinctly rhetorical character of the accounts in early Islamic historiography that purport to tell Khārijite history, arguing that a sustained historiographical analysis of Khārijism must precede any study of the historical phenomenon. This is particularly important as the book’s preceding chapters revealed a host of themes that have less to do with the Khārijites themselves than with the specific historiographical concerns of early Islamic authors. This observation further highlights the significance of literary approaches not just to Khārijite history, but to early Islamic history and historical writing more generally. The chapter closes with some remarks on potential future avenues of research that are intended to encourage renewed interest in and engagement with the Khārijites, hoping thereby to narrow at least some of the gaps in the scholarly understanding of Khārijite history and thought.
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