These are the Characteristics of the Khawarij – Beware of them! It’s important to know the attributes and characteristics of the Khawarij (Kharijites) so that we can protect ourselves, as well as others. We should learn about these attributes in order to protect ourselves from becoming like them and to recognise those who possess their characteristics so that we do not become like them. A person may or may not be from the Khawarij from a young age. In fact, it’s possible that a person may grow up on the haq (truth), following Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, but due to the environment in which he/she lives or external influences, he/she may become affected by their ideas. So if people do not take care of themselves, in regards to their Deen, they may end up becoming Murji’ah or Khawarij. It has been reported that the Prophet, , said: “Every newborn is born on the Fitrah (natural disposition) but its parents may make it a Jew, Christian or Magian.” (Saheeh al-Bukhari) So a person may be influenced by their parents or society, otherwise everyone was originally born upon monotheism. And he, , said: “By the One in whose Hand is my soul! A person will do the actions of the people of Paradise until there is nothing between him and it except an arm span, and then that which has been written (decreed) in the Book will overtake him, and then he will do the actions of the people of the Fire and he will enter it.” (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) Doing the “actions of the people of the Fire” could be a change in ‘aqeedah (belief). So no one should praise or give themselves the stamp of approval. You have to be on guard and protect yourself. Islamic groups and individuals alike may start off good but, due to certain factors, they may change. They may start upon the Sunnah but later go astray due to a failure in observing, checking, consulting others, seeking advice and accounting themselves. A person could begin on the Sunnah but end up in innovations. We have spoken a lot in the past about the Murji’ah (those who separate Iman from actions), so this time we will focus on the Khawarij, since we did not spend enough time on them. Therefore, we are not explaining their characteristics because we have changed. Rather, it is because the true manhaj (methodology) is attacked and opposed by both extremists: the Murji’ah and the Khawarij. The Khawarij are not an historical sect or movement. Rather, they are present in our times! The Sunnah states they exist and that whenever one generation ends, another will rise, until they come out with the Dajjal (False Messiah) and fight with him against the Muslims! It has been reported that the Prophet, , said: “They (the Khawarij) will recite the Qur’an, but it will not go past their throats (reach their hearts). Whenever a generation comes out, it is cut.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, , saying: ‘Whenever a generation comes out, it is cut,’ he said it over twenty times, ‘until the Dajjal comes out from amongst them.’” (Saheeh Sunan Ibn Majah #144) And he, , said: “They will continue to come out until the last of them come out with the Dajjal.” (Collected by Al-Haithami in Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, volume 6, page 231) These hadeeths prove that the Khawarij exist and will continue to exist. So how do we know who they are? The answer is that they have certain attributes and characteristics. No one will say, “I am from the Khawarij.” But if he has their attributes he is one of them.