Ibadism: Origins and Early Development in Oman by John C. Wilkinson

By John C. Wilkinson

Ibadism represents a department of the 3rd nice department in Islam, that of the Khawarij. It survives in a few remoted groups in North Africa, yet manifested itself periodically in Oman as an entire Imamate good into the 20th century.

Using early fabric recorded in Basran and Omani resources, this booklet deconstructs the traditional account of origins, displaying that Ibadism's evolution right into a madhhab (school) can basically be understood in a much wider historic viewpoint of the tribal and nearby dimensions. Its activation one of the Yamani tribes of Iraq calls for reappraising what the Yaman-Nizar department represented within the Umayyad interval, and the hole chapters show that there has been a true cut up in pre-Islamic occasions among northern and southern Arabs that used to be mirrored within the nice revolts of Ibn al-As'ath al-Kindi and Yazid b. al-Muhallab al-Azdi. The nascent Ibadi stream in Basra, whose team spirit used to be enshrined in walaya, the non secular and actual cement binding the neighborhood to God, exploited the ensuing resentment to set up Imamates in southern Arabia, by means of North Africa. learn of the earliest assets throws substantial mild not just on Ibadi origins, but in addition the early emergence of Islamic kalam and fiqh and the impact of up to date theological debate.

The heritage of Ibadism within the first six Islamic centuries is vital for figuring out either the evolution of associations and sensible legislations. one in all is strengths is the power to conform to assorted occasions, and the pragmatic rulings bearing on agriculture, alternate, mining, and on the subject of Oman, its significant function in increasing Indian Ocean trade represents a different maritime criminal code. In parallel comes an expanding convergence in the direction of Sunni-Ash'ari norms and the evolution of Ibadi identification as a madhhab. Sunna and hadith have been absorbed into the athar of the group, which now develops as a proper line of transmission or even the construction in their personal hadith assortment within the Maghrib. however, interpretation nonetheless remained primarily open, hence giving the approach a flexibility that ensured survival in largely diverse environments.

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Later, when Sabra b. Shaymân al‐Ḥuddâni, then the leading Omani shaikh, gave refuge to Ziyâd (b. Abîhi) in Basra and a cool reception to Ibn al‐Ḥaḍrami, it was less to do with loyalty to ῾Ali's representative and more to do with tribal pique, because Mu῾âwiya's agent had been instructed first to approach Tamîm before treating with Azd. And refuge once given was a matter of tribal honour, which transcended political considerations, a factor Ziyâd's son, ῾Ubaydallâh, was to exploit again in the events of 64 AH.

The Tihâma of that period, as also in early Islamic times, was the coast of Hijaz rather than of Yemen itself, and its Arabs Muḍar, whose ‘capital’ may have been Yathrib. This conquest was achieved with the Himyar kings῾ regular South Arabian troops, and ‘their Arabs’. This is the first time that these two groupings are placed more or less on a par; and as a result the Kindi dynasty of Ḥujr b. 25 Kinda (Kiddat of the inscriptions) had originally been incorporated in the Sabaean domain when Sha῾îr Awtar (the Arabized form of his name, 210–30 AD) dealt with the Arabs that had been harrassing the incense route, in two expeditions against Qrytmdht Khlm, identified as the archaeological site of Qaryat al‐Fâw, dominated by Madhhij in the first century and Kinda in the next.

The descent group model It is true that the switch of the Quḍâ῾a from Nizâr to Yaman in Syria seems to indicate that it was the tribes that created the higher echelons of genealogy, rather like the supposed descent from Yâs reinforces the tribal cohesion of the disparate clans that form the Bani Yâs in modern state formation of the Abu Dhabi‐Dubai area. Similarly, polarization into balanced ‘moieties’ in time of crisis, as in Yaman and Nizâr which brought to an end the First Imamate in Oman, and the Hinâwi and Ghâfiri at the end of the Ya῾âruba Imamate, is to be explained essentially in terms of political and territorial interests, as will appear in Chapter 11.

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