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Murjiʾah (Arabic المرجئة, "Those Who Postpone"), also Murjites or Murjiʾites, an early Islamic sect. Murji'ah held that God alone was able to decide whether or not a Muslim had lost their faith, and consequently Muslims should practice postponement (ʾirjāʾ) of judgment on committers of serious sins and not declare a kafir (disbeliever) or punish accordingly anyone who has professed Islam to be their faith.[1] The school is now considered extinct.

The emergence[edit]

During the early centuries of Islam, Muslim thought encountered a multitude of influences from various ethnic and philosophical groups that it absorbed. Murji'ah emerged as a theological school that was opposed to the Kharijites on questions related to early controversies regarding sin and definitions of what is a true Muslim.[2]

As opposed to the Kharijites, Murjites advocated the idea of deferring judgment of other peoples' belief. The word Murjiah itself means "one who postpones" in Arabic.[3] Murjite doctrine held that only God has the authority to judge who is a true Muslim and who is not, and that Muslims should consider all other Muslims as part of the community.[4] This theology promoted tolerance of Umayyads and converts to Islam who appeared halfhearted in their obedience.[5]

Beliefs on grave sin[edit]

In another contrast to the Kharijites, who believed that committing a grave sin would render a person non-Muslim, Murjites considered genuine belief in and submission to God to be more important than acts of piety and good works. They believed Muslims committing grave sins would remain Muslim and be eligible for paradise if they remained faithful.[6] Conversely, those engaging in shirk could not benefit from performing good acts.[7] Thus, faith is paramount.

The Murjite opinion on the issue of whether one committing a grave sin remains a believer was adopted with modifications by the later theological schools – Maturidi, Ash'ari and Muʿtazila[8]

See also[edit]


  • Ibn Taymīyah, Abī al-ʻAbbās Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Ḥalīm. al-Fatāwá.
  • Fakhry, Majid (2004). A History of Islamic Philosophy, 3rd ed. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13221-2.
  • Izutsu, Toshihiko (2001). Concept of Belief in Islamic Theology. The Other Press. ISBN 983-9154-70-2.


  1. ^ "Murjiʾah, ISLAMIC SECT". britannica. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  2. ^ Ibn Taymīyah, Abī al-ʻAbbās Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Ḥalīm. "al-Fatāwá". Cite journal requires |journal= (help), 5: 555-556; 7: 195-205; 7: 223
  3. ^ Nigosian, Solomon Alexander (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices. Indiana University Press. p. 59.
  4. ^ Isutzu, Concept of Belief, p. 55-56.
  5. ^ Isutzu, Concept of Belief, p. 55.
  6. ^ Fakhry, Islamic Philosophy, p. 40-41.
  7. ^ Isutzu, Concept of Belief, p. 201
  8. ^ Isutzu, Concept of Belief, p.57-59