It is permissible to fight the Khawaarij if they attack the property, persons or families of the Muslims – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 27 : Point 31
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

And it is permissible to fight the Khawaarij if they attack the property, persons or families of the Muslims; but if they desist and depart then it is not his right to chase them nor are their wounded to be killed nor may he seize their property as booty nor may he kill those of them taken captive nor may he chase those of them who flee.

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Transcribed Audio:

We have come to know that the Khawaarij are those who hold breaking away from obedience and they hold that there is no pledge of allegiance to the person in authority (the ruler) or that no bay`ah (pledge) remains if he commits sin; and they declare the Muslims to be disbelievers on account of major sins. So those people who accept this position but they do not have strength and they do not fight then they are left, along with their being advised and having the affair made clear to them so that perhaps they may return.

But as for if they come to have strength and they manifest their force, then it becomes obligatory upon the Muslims to fight against them to repel their evil. And they are not fought against upon the basis that they are disbelievers; rather they are fought against upon the basis that they are Muslims who have transgressed against the Muslims and attacked them. And for this reason when the Chief of the Believers (ameerulmu·mineen), `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu was questioned about the Khawaarij, “Are they disbelievers?” So he said, “No, they fled away from disbelief; but rather they are a people who transgressed against us.” [01],[02]

So they (the Khawaarij) are not fought against upon the basis that they are disbelievers, and therefore their women and their children are not taken as slaves and their property is not seized and those of them who are injured are not killed because the fighting against them is just to repel their evil, not because of their being disbelievers.

His saying, “And it is permissible to fight against the Khawaarij if they attack the Muslims with regard to their property, their persons and their families,” because the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam commanded that they be fought against and because `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu fought against them when they attacked `Abdullaah ibn Khabbaab ibn al-Aratt radiyAllaahu `anhu. And they killed him and they split open the abdomen of his slave girl who was pregnant. So then when they did that the Chief of the Believers (meaning `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu) resolved to fight them because the first signs of their evil had now appeared from them.

His saying, “But it is not for him (the Muslim ruler), if they desist and leave them alone, to chase them.” If they desist from fighting then it is not for the ruler to chase them and to wage war against them as long as they do not commit transgression. So they are astray without any doubt and it is obligatory to give them advice so that perhaps they will return; however they are not to be fought.

His saying, “And he may not kill their injured,” because the wounded person, his evil has been curbed.

His saying, “and he may not take their property as booty,” meaning their property is not taken as ghaneemah (booty/spoils of war) because it is the property of the Muslims.

His saying, “and he may not kill those of them taken prisoner,” because they are Muslims and their evil has been prevented by their having been taken captive and by their being wounded.

His saying, “and those of them who flee away are not to be chased.” If they are defeated, then the ruler leaves them alone and he does not chase after them because their evil has been repelled.


[01] Reported by `Abdur-Razzaaq in al-Musannaf and al-Bayhaqiyy in as-Sunanul-Kubraa.

Translator’s side point: You’ll find some narrations reported by Ibn Abee Shaybah also in his Musannaf, as indicated here also by al-Bayhaqiyy. And some of the reports contain the wording that `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anh said something similar to this with regard to the People of the Camel, meaning the Companions who fought against him in the Battle of the Camel, and in some of the reports it mentions that he said something like this with regard to the Khawaarij at Nahrawaan. And as for this wording that Shaykh al-Fowzaan mentioned here, then it is indeed as Shaykh al-Fowzaan mentioned it, he said it was with regard to the Khawaarij and it is an important difference with regard to the wording.

[02] Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah said in Risaalatu Fadli Ahlil-Bayt wa Huqooqihim (a treatise with regard to the virtue of the Ahlul-Bayt, the family of the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, and their rights) “It is established from ameerul-mu·mineen `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu through different chains that when he fought against the People of the Camel, he did not take their children as slaves and he did not take their wealth as booty and he did not kill their wounded ones and he did not chase after those who fled and he did not kill any captive and he prayed (the funeral prayer) over those who had been killed from both sides, at both the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Siffeen. And he said “Ikhwaanunaa baghow `alaynaa.”, “They are our brothers; they transgressed against us.” And he informed that they are not disbelievers nor are they hypocrites. And in what he said he was following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, since he called them brothers and he declared them to be believers in the fighting and in the transgression just as is mentioned in His saying,

وَإِن طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا ۖ فَإِن بَغَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى الْأُخْرَىٰ فَقَاتِلُوا الَّتِي تَبْغِي حَتَّىٰ تَفِيءَ إِلَىٰ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَإِن فَاءَتْ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَهُمَا بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَقْسِطُوا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable.

(Sooratul-Hujuraat (49), aayah 9)

He also said (two pages later), “They are not equal those who were killed, who he prayed over and he called them ikhwaanunaa (our brothers), they are not equal along with those whom he did not pray over (the Khawaarij at the Battle of Nahrawaan). Rather, when it was said to him (quoting the aayah from Sooratul-Kahf (18), towards the end of the soorah), “Who are,

الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا –

“Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds! (18:104)

That he replied, “They are the people of Harooraa· (meaning the Khawaarij).”

Also, Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah mentioned, “And likewise, the people of Siffeen, he prayed the funeral prayer over those who were killed from them and he said, ‘They are our brothers, they transgressed against us but the sword purified them.’ And if in his view they had been disbelievers, he would not have prayed funeral prayer over them and he would not have declared them to be brothers and he would not have stated that the sword purified anything from them.” (Minhaajus-Sunnah)

With regard to the Khawaarij the wording is as Shaykh al-Fowzaan put it here. What is authentic with regard to the Khawaarij that he said when they asked, “Are they disbelievers?”

He said, “No they fled from disbelief; they are a people who transgressed against us.” He didn’t call them his brothers.

And then he quoted the same quotes from Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah.

Transcribed by Saima Zaher. Download PDF of Lesson 27

Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

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