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IBADIYAH. A moderate sect known as Ibadiyah (or Abadiyah), which finds its origin in the Khariji division of Islam, originated late in the first century AH (seventh century CE), when a group of Muslims broke away from the Kharijis. Prominent among them was `Abd Allah ibn Ibad, from whom the movement takes its name. A few decades later (c. 715 CE), under the impetus of its great scholar Abfi `Ubaydah Muslim ibn Abi Karimah, the Ibadiyah conducted a process of training missionaries (hamalat al-`ilm) and dispatched them to the peripheries of the Islamic world, particularly the Maghrib and Oman, with the goal of fomenting revolt and establishing a Pan-Islamic Ibadi state. InNorth Africathey gained support mainly among Berber groups and dominated large territories during the eighth and ninth centuries. The Ibadi state of Tahirt established by `Abd al-Rahman ibn Rustam, who seemed to have quite considerable support among Ibadis as a legal iman, lasted from 776 to 9o9. The North African Ibadiyah persists today in a few locations, notably the Mzab, Jerba, and Jebel Nafusa.

The Ibadiyah took strongest root inOman, where it has existed without interruption to the present and has exerted continuing influence on the state. The first publicly elected Ibadi imam there was al-Julanda ibn Mas’ud (r. c.749-751); the century from 793 to 893 may be described as the golden age of the Ibad! state inOman, which ended with its defeat by the `Abbasids. The seventeenth-century Imam Nasir ibn Murshid alYa’rubi established an Ibadi dynasty during his struggle against the Portuguese; it was replaced by the present ruling family beginning with Imam Ahmad ibn Said alBusa’idi (r. 1753-1783).

In contrast to more extreme Khariji doctrine, the Ibadiyah accept coexistence with other Islamic sects. They observe a threefold hierarchy of believers: those who believe internally in the uniqueness of God (lughatan wa shar`an); those who declare such a belief; and those who practice accordingly. Nonbelievers are divided into two differently treated categories: kufr aljuhud (polytheists) and kufr al-ni’mah (non-Ibadi Muslims). Guided by their creed, Ibadis adopt one of three modes of association with outsiders: association (walayah), hostile avoidance (bard’ah) from them, or they may take a neutral stand (muquf) if it is difficult to reach a decision.

To face the unpredictable circumstances, Ibadis developed their own political and organizational plans connected to the election of their imams. When the Ibadi community is suppressed by its enemies, it exists in a state of secrecy (kitman) during which there may be no imam. The Ibadiyah is obligated to elect a public imam and to revolt against tyrant rule, by violence if necessary, when the following conditions occur: the Ibadiyah have become strong enough to overcome their enemies; there are among them at least forty free, adult, rational, physically sound men; and these men include at least six who are learned and pious, who will advise the imam. There are two levels of the Ibadi imamate, the shim’ imamate and the difa’ imamate, that is, the defensive imamate. In the first case, the imam’s authority is absolute and he can only be deposed by resignation or deposition, while in the second the imam’s authority is time conditional (or linked with task fulfillment). Only one legal imam is elected in the country.

[See also Ibadi Dynasty; Khawary;Oman.]


Darjinl, Ahmad ibn Sa’id al-. Kitab tabaqat al-mashayikh bi-alMaghrib. 2 vols. Edited by Ibrahim Tallay.Constantine,Algeria, 1974. Contains information about notable Ibad! men who were influential in the early period of the sect.

Kind!, Ahmad ibn `Abd Allah al-. Al-Musannaf. 42 vols. Muscat, Oman, 1979-1983. Extensive study of Ibad! jurisprudence containing valuable raw material for further economic and social research.

Lewicki, Tadeusz. “The Ibadites in Arabia andAfrica.” Cahiers d’Histoire Mondiale 13.1 (1971): 51-130. Lewicki’s well-known studies of the political history of the Ibadis of North Africa are extended in this paper to cover the Ibadis of Oman.

Salimi, `Abd Allah ibn Humayyid al-. Bahjat al-anwar: Sharh Anwar al-`uqul fi al-tawhid, 2 vols. Reprint,Muscat,Oman, i981. Condensed traditional commentary of Ibadi jurisprudence written by a twentieth-century Omani scholar.

Ubaydli, Ahmad. “Early IslamicOmanand Early Ibadism in the Arabic Sources.” Ph.D. diss.,CambridgeUniversity, 1993. Intended to introduce the large body of Ibadi material recently discovered or published inOman, using classical Arabic sources along with this material to study the early history of the sect. See in particular chapters I.B, 1.C, i.D, and 2.

Wilkinson, John C. Water and Tribal Settlement inSouth-East Arabia.Oxford, 1977. Important study of the irrigation system and its influence on tribal settlement and Ibadiyah inOman.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/ibadiyah/

  • writerPosted On: April 5, 2014
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