The people of knowledge have discussed the deviant groups throughout time. The one characteristic that combines them all is ignorance. Ignorance and the following of desires. Some have deviated in misinterpreting the attributes of Allah, some speaking ill of the companions, cursing and reviling, others have denied and rejected outright the presence of matters that we should believe such as the angels, jinn etc.

Ignorance is a great factor in the positions they have taken. Ignorance maybe

  1. Jahl Baseed (slight ignorance), such as it occurring in a particular affair.
  2. Jahl Murakab – a firm belief that completely opposes reality.
  3. Doing something that one should not do whether his belief was correct or not.
  4. Jahaalah – when someone does something that he knows he should not be doing.


Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-time. 4:17

Jahl is from the sickness that destroy (in fact even kill!). It harms individuals, psychologically, in their religion and even physically. The actions of ISIS, al-Qaida and their likes (or those inspired by them) show that it is a sickness that kills

Ibn Qayyim said in his Nooniyyah:

Ignorance is a deadly disease

Cured only by two matters similar in composition

Text from the Qur’an or Sunnah

And the doctor for that is the firmly grounded scholar

Imam Ibn Qayyim also said:

Ignorance is of two types,

  1. Not having knowledge of beneficial truth
  2. Absence of acting upon what beneficial knowledge necessitates

Both of them are ignorance, linguistically, culturally, legislatively and in reality.


When Banoo Israaeel were asked to slaughter a cow and they would find out who the murderer was. They began to ask many questions, and then said are you mocking us? Musa said “I take Allah’s Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorants or the foolish).” Here he was referring to ignorance in action. That one would jest and joke about such a serious matter, that is of ignorance.

Yusuf, peace be upon him said “Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one (of those who commit sin and deserve blame or those who do deeds) of the ignorants.” 12:33

This is that he knows that carrying this act would be of ignorance.

The one who studies the khawaarij will find that they have every aspect of ignorance among them. Ibn Taymiyyah said: “The khawaarij used to follow the Qur’an in accordance with their own understanding”.

There is a difference between knowledge and understanding.  A person may have knowledge but no understanding. Understanding is the most important element of seeking and obtaining knowledge. One may not be the best memoriser. If he understands what the texts indicate he is in a better position than the one who memorised but has no understanding.

Imam Shaaf’iee said: “I believe in Allah, what came from Allah in the way Allah intended. I believe in the messenger of Allah and what came from the Messenger of Allah, in the way the Messenger of Allah intended it.“

Ibn Abaas said: “O Leader of the Believers, indeed the Qur’an was revealed upon us and we read it and we learnt and knew why it was revealed. There will come a people after us who will read the Quran and not know why it was revealed. Each one of them will have opinions of why it was revealed and when that happens they will differ, and when they differ, then they will fight each other and kill them.

They began with warning against the rulers, then they begin to excommunicate (make takfeer – declare people to be non muslim), then they begin to bomb and kill.

What were the khawaarij ignorant of?

  1. The reasons of revelation. Particularly the verses they used. They were ignorant of the Qur’an, this is clear from the statement of ibn ‘Abbaas. In fact, he debated them regarding the issues and doubts they had, they made takfeer of Ali and anyone that supported him.
  2. The implementation of how they should be implemented.
  3. They followed the ambiguous verses
    1. It is He Who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the Book (this Quran). In it are Verses that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book [and those are the Verses of Al-Ahkam (commandments, etc.), Al-Fara’id (obligatory duties) and Al-Hudud (legal laws for the punishment of thieves, adulterers, etc.)]; and others not entirely clear. So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah, and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.” And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabari). 3:7
  4. They turn away from the scholars – the carriers of knowledge.
    1. They turn people away from the scholars
    2. They speak ill of the companions
    3. The first of the khawaarij did so when he accused the prophet of being unjust
    4. He did not repent or realise his sin. He then walked
    5. ISIS say that the first thing they wish to do is to Slaughter shaykh Fawzan (big scholar) and to slaughter him in front of the ka’bah
    6. They know that without detaching the people from the scholars, the people will not stay ignorant
  5. They are ignorant of the Sunnah of the prophet, peace be upon him, in numerous ahaadeeth
    1. Like whoever, is displeased with what he says from the rulers should be patient as comes in the hadith of ibn mas’ood
    2. And that we should carry out the right that is upon us and ask Allah for our rights.
    3. He did not say take up the sword.
    4. Today they accuse the scholars if they say that – they say “scholars for dollars”, “puppets of the government”
    5. The prophet went further – “listen and obey, even if he beats your back and takes your wealth”
    6. Whoever has advice for the ruler should not make it public, rather he should take him by his hand, and be alone with him, if he accepts it that is good, if not he has carried out his obligation
    7. He did not say speak about him on the pulpit.
  6. The intents of the Sharee’ah.
    1. The scholars mention that Allah revealed the sharee’ah and it has intents, goals.
    2. Some say they are 5 – protection of:
      1. Religion
      2. Intellect
      3. Life
      4. Wealth
      5. Lineage
    3. The legislated punishments in Islam are mostly to protect these 5 great goals.
    4. Some return it to one main goal:
      1. The establishment of good in all its forms and repelling evil in all its forms
    5. The khawaarij have clearly circumvented the great goals of the religion.
      1. They take women as slaves and bounties (no respect for lineage)
      2. They pillage and plunder, taking wealth of people who do not agree with them (no respect for wealth)
  7. They spread matters of public safety without verifying and spreading fear
    1. They do not return it to the scholars and the leaders
    2. Allah said: “When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you.” 4:83
  8. They split and make a difference between the Book of Allah and the Sunnah. The Sunnah explains the book. Allah revealed the Sunnah to make the Qur’an clear.
    1. If the head of them (dhul khuwaysirah) disrespected the prophet, peace be upon him – saying “ be just O Muhammad”, how about the rest?
    2. You’ll find the bulk of their speech revolves around verses in the Qur’an – mostly misconstrued.
    3. Allah said: “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad SAW) the reminder and the advice (the Quran), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them, and that they may give thought.” 16:44
    4. The story of Ibn Mas’ood and the people of the circles.
    5. It is Allah who gives understanding
    6. The companions are the source of understanding the religion
  9. They take the asaaghir (the young ones) as their major scholars.
    1. They take young unkown people and raise them to the level of the great scholars, and raise them with many words of praise.
    2. They know that the elderly scholars do not agree with them
    3. The prophet informed us that they [khawaarij] will be young.
      1. This has been the case from the beginning until today.
      2. Excitable, impressionable youth.
      3. Those who lead them – again youth
    4. They try to put a wedge between the elderly scholars and the peope.The prophet said: “Indeed before you there are deceptive years [to come], the liar will be believed and the truthful one will be deemed a liar and the ruwaybidha will speak.” They asked who are the ruwaybidha? – he replied: “the irrelevant man who speaks about the great affairs.“
  10. The so called “people of knowledge” pass fataawa based on ignorance.
    1. Qaasim ibn Muhammad – “That my tongue is cut off is more beloved to me that I speak of matters that I have no knowledge of”.
    2. The khawaarij would not just make up fataawa, they would also fabricate ahaadeeth.
    3. One of them (who repented said), beware of where you take hadith from, for indeed, whenever we had an opinion, we would make it into hadith.
    4. They still do this until today – they either fabricate them, add to them, subtract from them or misconstrue them.
  11. They are against teaching and learning.


Ibn Taymiyyah said: That which gathers all evil is Jahl and Oppression. “Truly, We did offer AlAmanah (the trust or moral responsibility or honesty and all the duties which Allah has ordained) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results).” 33:72

He continues: “Two things stop people from following the prophet: Ignorance or corrupt intent”

Ignorance stops them from acting on that which is correct and oppression returns back to the evil intent.