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The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya (Arabic: الاباضية al-Ibāḍiyyah) is a form of Islam distinct from Sunni and Shia. It is the dominant sect in Oman and Zanzibar; Ibāḍī are also found in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and East Africa. The Tartib al-Musnad and Jami Sahih are the main hadith collections for Ibadis.
The Ibāḍī movement is said to have been founded 60 years after the death of Muḥammad. Historians and a majority of Muslims believe that the denomination is a reformed sect of the Khawārij or Khārijite movement. However, Ibāḍīs deny anything more than a passing relation to the Khawārij and point out that they merely developed out of the same precursor group.
The school derives its name from ʿAbdu l-Lāh ibn Ibāḍ of the Banu Tamim. However, the true founder was Jābir ibn Zayd of Nizwa, Oman. Initially, Ibadi theology developed in Basra, Iraq. The Ibadis opposed the rule of the third caliph in Islam, Uthman ibn Affan, but unlike the more extreme Kharijites the Ibadis rejected the murder of Uthman as well as the Kharijite belief that all Muslims holding differing viewpoints were infidels. The Ibadis were among the more moderate groups opposed to the fourth caliph, Ali, and wanted to return Islam to its form prior to the conflict between Ali and Muawiyah I.
Due to their opposition to the Umayyad Caliphate, the Ibadis attempted an armed insurrection starting in the Hijaz region during the 8th century. Marwan II, the last Umayyad ruler, led a 4,000 strong army and routed the Ibadis first in Mecca, then in Sana'a in Yemen, and finally surrounded them in Shibam. Problems back in their heartland of Syria forced the Umayyads to sign a peace accord with the Ibadis, and the sect was allowed to retain a community in Shibam for the next four centuries while still paying taxes to Ibadi authorities in Oman. Finally, the last Ibadis of Shibam were expelled by the Sulayhid dynasty in the 12th century. In the 14th century, historian Ibn Khaldun made reference to vestiges of Ibadi influence in Hadhramaut though the sect no longer exists in the region today.
The isolated nature of Oman granted the Ibadi denomination, secretive by nature, the perfect environment to develop in isolation from the Islamic mainstream. Ibadhis were even cut off from the kharijite sect due to Ibn Ibadh's criticism of their excess and rejection of their more extreme beliefs. The spread of Ibadism in Oman was essentially the triumph of theology over tribal feudalism and conflict.
Ibadis have been referred to as tolerant puritans or political queitists due to their preferance to solving differences through dignity and reason rather than confrontation, as well as their tolerance for practicing Christians and Jews sharing their communities.
Ibāḍī communities are generally regarded as conservative. For example, Ibādīya rejects the practice of qunūt (supplications) while standing in prayer.
Their views assimilate those of the Khārijites, in 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, sinners, and those destined for Hell.
- wuqūf: reservation towards those whose status is unclear.
Doctrinal differences with other denominations
Ibāḍīs have several doctrinal differences with other denominations of Islam, chief among them:
- Muslims will not see God on the Day of Judgment, a belief shared with Shi'ites. Sunnis believe that Muslims will see God with their eyes on the Day of Judgment.
- Whoever enters Hell will remain there forever. This is contrary to the Sunnī belief that Muslims who enter Hellfire will live there for a fixed amount of time to purify them of their sins, after which they will enter Heaven.
- The Quran was created by God at a certain point in time. Sunnīs hold the Quran to be the word of God, as exemplified by the suffering of Ahmad ibn Hanbal during the miḥnah.
- It is unnecessary to have one leader for the entire Muslim world, and if no single leader is fit for the job then Muslim communities can rule themselves. This is different from both the Sunni belief of Caliphate and the Shi'ite belief of Imamah.
- It is not necessary for the ruler of the Muslims to be descended from the Quraysh tribe, which was the tribe of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. This is different from both Shi'ites as well as a majority of Sunnis.
Views on Islamic history and caliphate
Ibāḍīs agree with Sunnīs regarding Abū Bakr and 'Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb as rightly-guided Caliphs. They regard 'Uthmān ibn 'Affān as wrongly introducing bid'ah ("innovation") to Islam, and approve of the revolt which overthrew him. They approve of the first part of 'Alī's caliphate, and (like Shī'a) disapprove of 'Ā'ishah's rebellion and Mu'āwīyah's revolt. However, they regard Alī's acceptance of arbitration at the Battle of Ṣiffīn as rendering him unfit for leadership, and condemn him for killing the Muslims of an-Nahr in the Naharwān.
In their belief the next legitimate Caliph was Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi, and all Caliphs from Mu'āwīyah onwards are tyrants except 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Azīz, on whom opinions differ. Numerous Ibāḍī leaders are recognized as true imams, including 'Abdullāh ibn Yaḥyā al-Kindī of South Arabia and the imams of the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa. Traditionally, convervative Omani Ibadism rejected monarchy and hereditary rule.
View of hadith
Ibāḍīs accept as authentic far fewer hadīth than do Sunnīs, and some of those accepted by Ibāḍīs are rejected by Sunnīs. Ibāḍī jurisprudence, naturally, is based only on the ḥadīth accepted by Ibāḍīs. Several of Ibāḍīsm's founding figures were noted for their ḥadīth research, and Jābir ibn Zayd is accepted as a reliable narrator by Sunnī scholars as well as by Ibāḍī ones.
The principal ḥadith collection accepted by Ibāḍīs is Musnad al-Rabī' ibn Ḥabīb, as transmitted by Abū Ya'qūb Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm al-Warijlanī. Ibāḍī jurists use the rules set by Abū Ya'qūb al-Warijlanī to determine the reliability of a ḥadīth. These are largely similar to those used by Sunnīs.
Ibāḍī jurists criticize some of the Companions, believing them corrupted after the reign of the first two caliphs. Still, they accept hadith narrating the words of the companions as a third basis for legal rulings, alongside the Qur'an itself and ḥadith citing Muhammad.
View of jurisprudence
The fiqh or jurisprudence of Ibadis is relatively simple. Absolute authority is given to the Qur'an and hadith; new innovations accepted on the basis of qiyas, or analogical reasoning, were rejected as bid'ah by the Ibadis. They differ in this from the majority of Sunnis, but find agreement with most Shi'ites as well as the Zahiri school of Sunnism.
Ibāḍī Muslims make up a majority (roughly 75%) of the population in Oman. The early medieval Rustamid dynasty in Algeria was Ibāḍī, and refugees from its capital Tiaret founded the North African Ibāḍīs communities which exist today in M'zab. The Mozabites, a Berber ethnic group in M'zab, are Ibadis. Ibadis are also found in East Africa (particularly Zanzibar), the Nafūsah Mountains of Libya, and Djerba Island in Tunisia.
- Qaboos bin Said al Said, Sultan of Oman and its dependencies.
- Sulaiman al-Barouni, wali of Tripolitania.
- Nouri Abusahmain, president of the General National Congress.
- Schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1,400 years - and it's getting worse
- Uzi Rabi, The Emergence of States in a Tribal Society: Oman Under Saʻid Bin Taymur, 1932-1970, pg. 5. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2006. ISBN 9781845190804
- Joseph A. Kechichian, Oman and the World: The Emergence of an Independent Foreign Policy, pg. 24. Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 1995. ISBN 9780833023322
- Daniel McLaughlin, Yemen: The Bradt Travel Guide, pg. 203. Guilford: Brandt Travel Guides, 2007. ISBN 9781841622125
- Diana Darke, Oman: The Bradt Travel Guide, pg. 27. Guilford: Brandt Travel Guides, 2010. ISBN 9781841623320
- Daniel McLaughlin, Yemen, pg. 204.
- Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari (August 23, 2005). "Seeing God in dreams, waking, and the afterlife.". Retrieved December 18, 2011.
- Uzi Rabi, The Emergence of States, pg. 22.
- Joseph A. Kechichian, Oman and the World, pg. 25.
- Hasan M. Al-Naboodah, "Banu Nabhan in the Omani Sources." Taken from New Arabian Studies, vol. 4, pg. 186. Eds. J. R. Smart, G. Rex Smith and B. R. Pridham. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1997. ISBN 9780859895521
- Uzi Rabi, The Emergence of States, pg. 21.
- Mansoor Moaddel, Islamic Modernism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism: Episode and Discourse, pg. 32. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
- Camilla Adang, This Day I have Perfected Your Religion For You: A Zahiri Conception of Religious Authority, pg. 15. Taken from Speaking for Islam: Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies. Ed. Gudrun Krämer and Sabine Schmidtke. Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2006.
- "CIA - The World Factbook". Central Intelligence Agency. 5 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Ibadi Islam: an introduction
- A Concise History of al-Ibadiyyah
- Ibn-Ibad and the Ibadi School of Islamic Law