Why are stories told about the Khārijites – purported rebels and heretics? From the Khārijites’ origins at the Battle of Ṣiffīn in 657 CE until the death of the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān in 705 CE, this exhaustive literary analysis provides a fresh perspective on Khārijite history as depicted in early Islamic historiography.
The Islamic tradition portrays Khārijism as a heretical movement of militantly pious zealots, a notion largely reiterated by what little modern scholarship there is on the Khārijites. Hannah-Lena Hagemann moves away from the usual positivist reconstructions of Khārijite history ‘as it really was’ and instead examines its narrative function in early Islamic historiography. The results of this literary analysis highlight the need for a serious reassessment of the historical phenomenon of Khārijism as it is currently understood in scholarship.
Part I: Preliminaries
Part II: Early Islamic Historiography and Literary Khārijism
- Literary Approaches to Islamic Historiography and Khārijite History
- Portraying Khārijism
- Composing Khārijism
Part III: The Portrayal of Khārijite History from Ṣiffīn to the Death of ʿAbd al-Malik
- Narratives of Khārijite Origins
- Khārijism During the Reign of Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān
- Khārijism from the Second Fitna until the Death of ʿAbd al-Malik
Part IV: Observations and Conclusions
- Observations Regarding the Historiographical Tradition on Khārijism