THE KHARIJITES ARE CURSED
God says in the Quran:
‘And those who spread corruption on the earth; for them is the curse and the worst abode’.
This verse refers to the Kharijites, as evidenced by the interpretation of the great Companion, Sa’d bin. Abi Waqqs (RA), who said,
‘By the One besides whom there is no other god, they are the Haruriyya [i.e., Kharijites]!’
The phrase ‘corruption on the earth’ implies the killing of peaceful citizens and the destruction of wealth and property. Abu Hafs al-Hanbali reported,
‘As for His statement “. . . and those who spread corruption on the earth”: that is either by inviting to something other than God’s religion or committing oppression, such as taking lives, destroying wealth and laying waste the land’.
This interpretation by Abu Hafs al-Hanbali (which was also reiterated by al-Razi in al-Tafsir al-Kabir) details that in addition to taking a peaceful life and plundering wealth, corruption on the earth includes calling people to heretical beliefs at odds with Islam. (KHARIJITES ARE CURSED)
THE KHARIJITES PRESUME THAT THEY ARE PIOUS
The Kharijites of old were fervent in their prayers, fasting, and recitation of the Quran, and exceeded the Prophet’s Companions in these things. The modern-day Kharijites are no different from their predecessors in this regard. They also appear outwardly pious and are seemingly observant of Islamic Law. Inwardly, however, they are prey to evils like extremism, radicalism and erroneous beliefs that are detrimental to the Muslim Umma, which lead to fighting and killing that badly damage Islam’s reputation.
‘Say, “Shall We inform you of those who are the greatest losers with respect to their deeds? It is those whose
entire struggle is wasted in the life of this world, but they presume they are doing good”.’
Imam al-Tabari mentioned in his exegesis that this verse was revealed regarding the People of the Book who abandoned their faith, adopted an evil path and added blameworthy innovations to their religion. A second view mentioned by al-Tabari states that these losers are the Kharijites because when Ibn al-Kawa the Kharijite asked Ali (RA) about these losers, Ali replied, ‘You and your ilk’. One report mentions that Abu al-Tufayl said, ‘Ibn al-Kawa the Kharijite asked Ali, “Who are the greatest losers with respect to their deeds?” AlÏ replied, “You, O Haruriyya!”
Al-Samarqandi says about the same verse,
‘Ali bin. Abi Talib said, “They are the Kharijites”.’
God also says,
‘And when it is said to them, “Do not spread corruption on the earth”, they say, “We are only reformers”. Beware, it is they who truly spread corruption, although they perceive it not’,
‘So [what about him] whose evil action has been made attractive to him and he considers it good?’
Abu Hafs al-Hanbali said,
‘Qatada said, “Amongst them are the Kharijites who declare lawful the blood and wealth of the Muslims”.’