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KHAWARIJ. The third major sectarian grouping in Islam, neither Sunnis nor Shi`is, came into existence as a consequence of "the great fitnah" between 656 and 661 CE and became known as the Khawarij ("exiters," plural of Khariji). When the caliph `All agreed to submit his quarrel with Mu'awiyah to arbitration at the battle of Siffin, a group of his followers, mostly from the tribe of Tamim, accused him of rejecting the word of the Qur'an, surah 49.9, "If two parties of the faithful fight each othe ...more

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