Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Islam in Oman for Beginners: What are Ibadhis?

[this is one I had to look up because before I cam to Oman, I had never heard of "ibadhiya"]
"Ibadi" is a word used in the Quran that litterally means "Allah's Slaves/Servants"

Some believe it to be the earliest Islamic School of thought on Islam, founded only 50 years of the death of the Prophet Mohamed SAW, derived from the Kharijites.

Kharijites (literally "Those who Went Out") is a general term embracing various Muslims of the first and second generations of Islam who, while initially supporting the leadership of the fourth caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, later rejected him. They first emerged in the late 7th century AD, concentrated in today's southern Iraq, and are distinct from the Sunnis and Shias. Kharijites insist that any Muslim could be a leader of the Muslim community and on the right to revolt against any ruler who deviated from the example of the Islamic Prophet Mohamed.

They believed it is not a must for the Islamic caliph to be from a certain tribe or the Prophet Mohamed's bloodline. Any pious Muslim nominated by other Muslims can be an eligable caliph. Obedience to such a Caliph is binding as long as that Caliph/leader is managing affairs with justice and consultation, but if he deviates, then obedience is not obligatory.

WHICH, CONSEQUENTLY, OPNO does believe also, although I am not Ibadhi. So many Sunni among the Salaf label me a Kharjite though I consider myself Salafi (funny that, huh?).

I don't know if I would have been one though because, the Kharjites (and most Ibadhi) believe that the act of sinning is analogous to Kufr (disbelief---a thing Muslims are absolutely forbidden with punishment tatamount to death in Islam) and that every grave sinner was regarded as KafirKaafir (disbeliever) unless he repents.

[Madhab is an Islamic word for School of Thought/Islamic Jurisprudence]
The only surrviving group of the Kharjites, are the Omani Ibadhi who do not equate themselves with the Kharjites whose school of thought theirs arrives from, instead attributing themselves to Jabir ibn Zaid al-'Azdi from Nizwa, Oman, although scholars peg it with Abdullah ibn Ibadh at-Tamimi as MORE LIKELY (died 708).

Unlike the Kharijites, the Ibadhi have abandoned the practice of disassociation with other Muslims and labelling all Muslim sinners as Kuffar/disbelievers, although they dislike to maintain strong friendships with Muslims they do not believe are practicing correctly. Nor do they believe in hostility with other religions such as Judaism and Christianity without first being attacked.

Originally the Kharijites believed that the removal of any Caliph who was not practising Islam to the dictates of the Prophet Mohamed SAW (they saw Uthman ibn Affan as introducing bidas [innovation forbidden in the religion]) was a requirement of the Muslim citizenry, even through the act of assassination, as was done to Ali ibn Abi Talib, and attempted upon Muawiya [if you are familiar with Islamic history after the death of the Prophet Mohamed SAW these references will make sense, if not, don't worry, they are just examples!]

Ibadhi in majority, while approving the removal of an Islamic Calipha/Muslim leader, do not condone killing sinners for Kuffar as a means to an end.

Key differences between Ibadhi and other schools of thoughts/madhabs:
-Ibadhi believe that the most Islamically knowledgeable and skilled should be leader of the Muslims, and one not following Islam directly should not be followed by the Muslim citizenry
-Ibadhi do not make dua (*I'll explain in another post) during the 5 daily prayers unless for rain which a special prayer.
-Ibadhi do not believe God can be seen in Paradise as according to the Qur'an where Moses/MusaMusa is told upon asking to see God, "You shall not see me." This is contrary to the mainstream Sunni belief that Muslims will see God with their eyes on the day of Judgment, but the same as the Shia opinion.
-Ibadhi believe that once in the hellfire, one stays there, unlike the Majority Sunni belief that those Muslims who enter the Hellfire will live therein for a fixed amount of time, to purify them of their shortcomings, after which they will enter Paradise. Sunnis also believe, however, that unbelievers in "One God" (without association of others with God) will be in the Hellfire forever.
-Ibadhi believe the Quran was created at a certain time
-Ibadhi pray with their hands at their sides and not crossed on above or below their chests
-Ibadhi do not believe Quran can be recited at all by an individual unless that individual has preformed ritual cleansing
-Ibadhi believe if the fast of Ramadan is broken they must fast two consecutive months to make up the fast
[and various other small differences in Islamic jurisprudence]

On history and the Islamic Caliphate/Leadership of the Muslim Population:
Ibadis agree with Sunnis in approving of Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattab, whom they regard as the two rightly-guided Leaders/Caliphs. They regard Uthman ibn Affa as having introduced bida "innovations" into Islam, and approve of the revolt which overthrew him. They also approve of the first part of Ali's caliphate, and, like Shi'as, disapprove of Aisha's rebellion against him and also disapprove of Muawiya's revolt. However, they regard Ali's acceptance of arbitration at the Battle of Siffin against Muawiya's rebels as un-Islamic and as rendering him unfit for the Imamate/role of Calipha/Leader of the Muslims, and they condemn Ali for killing the Muslims of an-Nahr in the Battle of Nahrawan

In their belief, the fifth legitimate Caliph was Abdullah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi. All Caliphs from Muawiya onwards are regarded as tyrants except Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, on whom opinions differ. However, various later Ibadi leaders are recognized as Caliphas to the Ibadhi population, including Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kindi of South Arabia and the imams of the Rustamid dynasty in North Africa.

***The last so-called Calipha/Imam (I personally don't think much of the Ibadhi population serriously equated him on the same level as following the Prophet Mohamed sallalahu alahi wa salam) was Ghalib of Oman).

View of hadith:
Ibadi Islam accepts many Sunni hadith, while rejecting others, and accepts some hadith not accepted by Sunnis. Ibadi jurisprudence is based only on the hadith accepted by Ibadis, which are far less numerous than those accepted by Sunnis. Several of Ibadism's founding figures – in particular Jabir ibn Zayd – were noted for their hadith research, and Jabir ibn Zayd is accepted as a reliable narrator by Sunni scholars as well as Ibadi ones.

The principal hadith collection accepted by Ibadis is al-Jami'i al-Sahih, also called Musnad al-Rabi ibn Habib, as rearranged by Abu Ya'qub Yusuf b. Ibrahim al-Warijlani. Most of its hadith are reported by Sunnis, while several are not. The rules used for determining the reliability of a hadith are given by Abu Ya'qub al-Warijlani, and are largely similar to those used by Sunnis; they criticize some of Mohammed SAW's companions, believing that some were corrupted after the reign of the first two caliphs. The Ibadi jurists accept hadith narrating the words of the companions as a third basis for legal rulings, alongside the Qur'an and hadith relating Muhammad's words.


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