Sermon 057 – Addressing the Khárijites, Amír al-mu’minín said:

                Storm may overtake you while there may be none to prick you (for reforms). Shall I be witness to my becoming heretic after acceptance of Faith and fighting in the company of the Prophet?! “In that case I shall be misguided and I shall not be on the right path.” (Qur’án, 6:56). So you should return to your evil places, and get back on the traces of your heels. Beware! Certainly you will meet, after me, overwhelming disgrace and sharp sword and tradition that will be adopted by the oppressors as a norm towards you. (1)

                As-Sayyid ar-Radí says: In the words “wala baqiyah minkum ábirun” used by Amír al-mu’minín the “ábir” has been related with “bá’” and “rá’” and it has been taken from the Arab saying “rajulun ábirun” which means the man who prunes the date-palm trees  and improves them. In one version the word is “áthir” and its meaning is “relator of good news.” In my view this is more appropriate, as though Amír al-mu’minín intends to say that there should remain  none to carry news. In one version the word appears as “ábiz” with “zá’” which means one who leaps. One who dies is also called “ábiz”.

 (1).         History corroborates that after Amír al-mu’minín, the Khárijites had to face all sorts of ignominy and disgrace and wherever they raised their heads for creating trouble, they were met with swords and spears. Thus Ziyád ibn Abíh, `Ubaydulláh ibn Ziyád, al-Hajjáj ibn Yúsuf, Mus`ab ibn az-Zubayr and al-Muhallab ibn Abí Sufrah left no stone unturned in annihilating them from the surface of the globe, particularly al-Muhallab chased them for nineteen years, routed them thoroughly and rested only after completing their destruction.

AT-Tabarí writes that when ten thousand Khárijites collected in Sillá wa sillibrá (the name of a mountain in Ahwáz) then al-Muhallab faced them so steadfastly that he killed seven thousand Khárijites, while the remaining three thousand fled towards Kirmán for life. But when the Governor of Persia noticed their rebellious activities he surrounded them in Sábúr and killed a good number of them then and there. Those remained again fled to Isfahán and Kirmán. From there they again formed a contingent and advanced towards Kúfah via Basrah. Al-hárith ibn Abí Rabí`ah al-Makhzúmí and `Abd ar-Rahmán ibn Mikhnaf al-Azdí stood up with six thousand combatants to stop their advance, and turned them out of Iraq’s boundaries. In this way successive encounters completely trampled their military power and turning them out of cities compelled them to roam about in the deserts. Afterwards also, when they rose in the form of groups they were crushed. (at-Ta’ríkh, Vol. 2, pp. 580-591); Ibn al-Athír, Vol. 4, pp. 196-206).


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