Mosul & the Khaarijite Expulsions – Parallels in the Modern Day Eviction of ISIS with That of Their Misguided Predecessors


الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين، أما بعد


Throughout time, from the specific reasons for the rebellions and disturbances in the city of Mosul was due to the presence of the renegade Khawaarij who had likewise appeared at times in the varying regions of Iraq and Syria and in other regions of the Muslim world causing turmoil and bloodshed. The purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that the 21st century is by no means the first time that the renegade Khawaarij – though in the present-day form of ISIS have taken the city – nor is it historically the first time that the Khawaarij have been ejected from it.

Regarding this city; the following citations by the historians clearly show that the tribulations and rebellions instigated by the Khawaarij have been troubling Mosul and Upper Mesopotamia from long ago, particularly during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, a clear indication that they will emerge throughout time – and that when they do so, they are cut off every time they manifest, as stated by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).


Mosul – and the Khaarijite Activities


1. The Khawaarij appeared in Mosul during the era of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez, as stated by Ash-Shaatibee who said: “…And likewise ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez, when the Hurooriyyah (Khaarijites) rebelled in Mosul during his era, he commanded with desistance from them…”[1]

At-Tabari mentioned in the events of the year 100H that ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez did eventually fight against the Khawaarij, this was when the Khawaarij initially defeated an army sent against them by ‘Abdul-Hameed, when ‘Umar bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez found this out he sent an army under Maslamah bin ‘Abdil-Malik who defeated them.[2]


2. In the year 105H Mus’ab bin Muhammad Al-Waalibi rebelled as did those along with him, until they reached a place known as Hazzah from the districts of Mosul. So Hishaam (the Caliph) sent an army against them where they met in a battle which ended with the killing of Mus’ab and a great many from the Khawaarij.[3]


3. Ibn Katheer recorded an incident which took place during the end of the Umayyad era in the year 129H in which the Khawaarij had gathered around Shaibaan bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez Al-Khaarijee. So Sulaimaan bin Hishaam pointed out to them that they should fortify (entrench) themselves at Mosul and make it a residence for themselves – and so they relocated to it. However, the Caliph – Marwaan bin Muhammad was on their trail and so they set up their military formations outside it (Mosul). Those besieged entrenched themselves in whilst the army of Marwaan did likewise (on the outside), and so he remained for a year (six months according to At-Tabari) laying siege to them and so fighting would ensue morning and evening.

Marwaan wrote to his deputy in Iraq; Ibn Hubairah commanding him to fight the Khawaarij who were in his country, and so many episodes ensued between him and them with Ibn Hubairah vanquishing them, leaving no trace of them in Iraq, he saved Al-Kufah from their hands.

Marwaan then wrote to Ibn Hubairah telling him that once he had seen to the Khawaarij, that he was to help him by supporting ‘Aamir bin Dubaarah, and so he sent six or eight thousand troop reinforcements to him whilst the Khawaarij had dispatched a detachment of some four thousand against him, so they obstructed his way whereupon Ibn Dubaarah defeated them killing their Ameer Al-Jaun bin Al-Kilaab Al-Khaarijee and so he headed to Mosul, whilst the scattered remnants of the Khawaarij returned there.

So Sulaimaan bin Hishaam pointed out to them that they should evacuate Mosul as it was not possible for them to remain there with Marwaan infront of them and Ibn Dubaarah behind them. The provisions had been cut off from them such that they could find nothing to eat, so they evacuated it, meanwhile Marwaan sent Ibn Dubaarah on their trail with three thousand men, so they pursued them killing those of them that fell behind. He would catch up with them at places and so would fight against them, he did not cease pursuing them until he scattered their union in all directions, and their Ameer – Shaibaan bin ‘Abdil-‘Azeez was killed the following year.

Sulaimaan bin Hishaam along with his adherents and his family boarded some ships and journeyed to Sindh, whilst Marwaan came back from Mosul and took up residence at his home in Harraan, having found happiness at eradicating the Khawaarij.[4]


4. In the year 168H (784CE) Yaseen At-Tameemee revolted in Mosul against (The Caliph) Al-Mahdi, so the military garrison stationed at Mosul came out to him but he defeated them and so overcame much of the areas of Rabee’ah and Upper Mesopotamia. The Caliph sent two detachments against him that both fought against him resulting in the death of Yaseen At-Tameemee and a number of his companions and the defeat of the rest of his followers.[5]


5. After the death of Al-Haadi in the year 170H (786CE), Haaroon ar-Rasheed assumed power, and so in the year after Ar-Rasheed was given the pledge of allegiance, As-Sahsah Al-Khaarijee rebelled in Upper Mesopotamia, where he caused a huge amount of corruption. So Aboo Hurairah directed an army against him, however he defeated them, he then proceeded to Mosul and commit atrocities within it by way of killings and plunder, the military stationed in Mosul engaged him but he killed many of them, he returned to Upper Mesopotamia and took control of the areas of Rabee’ah. So Ar-Rasheed prepared an army which proceeded to him after which they killed him.[6]


6. Ibn Katheer mentioned that in the year 180H, the Caliph Haaroon Ar-Rasheed had the city walls of Mosul demolished, this being due to the abundance of the Khawaarij there.[7]


7. In the year 176H (792CE) Al-Fadl Al-Khaarijee rebelled in the regions of Nusaibeen, then he went on to other towns taking a great amount of wealth from its people before coming to Mosul, so when he approached it, its military came out to him to repel him from them. However he defeated them, so they returned to fight him again whereupon Al-Fadl was killed along with his companions.[8]


8. Ibn Al-Atheer mentioned how in the year 267H fighting broke out in Mosul between two groups from the Khawaarij, Haaroon Al-Khaarijee and Muhammad bin Khirzaad who was also a Khaarijite. Severe fighting broke out and Haaroon was defeated losing some two hundred men, he withdrew and over time consolidated his position and drew the people around himself whilst Muhammad bin Khirzaad became increasingly isolated losing many of his adherents to Haaroon. Muhammad bin Khirzaad was eventually killed leaving Haaroon as leader of the Khawaarij.[9]


9. Ibn Al-Atheer mentioned how in the year 279H, fighting took place in Mosul wherein the Khawaarij had gathered together, at the head of them was Haaroon Ash-Shaaree. Then three years later in the year 282H the Caliph Al-Mu’tadid had appointed Nasr Al-Qushooree in Mosul to collect wealth (revenue) and to aid the officials in its collection, so an official set out for it together with a group from the companions of Nasr, whereupon a group from the Khawaarij set upon them, and so they fought until nightfall came upon them and it separated them. However, a person from the Khawaarij whose name was Ja’far was killed, and he had been from the chief companions of Haaroon. Hence his killing became great upon him (Haaroon), and so he ordered his companions to cause corruption in the land. So Nasr Al-Qushooree wrote a letter to Haaroon Al-Khaarijee warning him of the close proximity of the Caliph, and that if he was to become resolved in his decision against him – that he will annihilate him and his companions. Haaroon wrote a sharp response which Nasr presented to the Caliph – who in turn made preparations to move against the Khawaarij of Mosul.

Ibn Katheer mentioned in the events which took place in the year 283H: “In (the month of) Muharram Al-Mu’tadid (the Caliph) set out from Baghdad intent for Mosul in order to fight Haaroon Ash-Shaaree Al-Khaarijee, so he was triumphant over him and defeated his companions.”[10]


10. Ibn Katheer mentioned in the events which took place in the year 317H: “And in (the month of) Sha’baan a Khaarijite revolted in Mosul, and yet another in Bawazeej, so the people of those districts fought against them until their evil was suppressed, and their companions dispersed.”[11]


The Appearance of the Khawaarij Over the Course of Time – and Their Subsequently Being Cut Off


From Ibn ‘Umar who said that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:

(( يَنْشَأُ نَشْءٌ يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ لَا يُجَاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُمْ ، كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ ))

:قَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ : سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ

(( كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ ))

أَكْثَرَ مِنْ عِشْرِينَ مَرَّةً

(( حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ فِي عِرَاضِهِمُ الدَّجَّالُ ))


((A people will emerge who recite the Qur’aan, yet it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction [from them] emerges; it will be cut off.)) 

Ibn Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) say:

((Every time a faction [from them] emerges; it will be cut off.))

more than twenty times [before saying:]

((Until Dajjaal emerges among them.))[12]


There occurs in a similar wording from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:


(( يَنشأُ نَشءٌ يَقرؤُونَ القُرآنَ لا يُجاوِزُ تَرَاقِيهِم، كُلَّمَا خرجَ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ، حتَّى يَخرُجَ في أَعرَاضِهِم الدَّجَّالُ ))


((A people will emerge who recite the Qur’aan, yet it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction [from them] emerges; it will be cut off, until Dajjaal appears amongst their contingents.))[13]



The Scholars Have Warned For Centuries Regarding the Consequences of the Khawaarij Gaining Ascendancy


Wahb bin Munabbih (d.110H/728CE) (rahimahullaah) said:


إني قد أدركت صدر الإسلام ، فوالله ما كانت الخوارج جماعة قط إلا فرقها الله على شر حالاتهم، وما أظهر أحد منهم قوله إلا ضرب الله عنقه، ولو مكن الله لهم من رأيهم لفسدت الأرض، وقطعت السبل والحج، ولعاد أمر الإسلام جاهلية


“Indeed I encountered the early period of Islaam, so by Allaah; the Khawaarij were never a united body – except that Allaah scattered it due to their evil states, and no one from among them manifested his saying except that Allaah struck his neck. If Allaah had allowed for the Khawaarij that their opinion becomes consolidated; then the earth would have been corrupted, and the routes would have been cut off – as well as the Hajj, and thus; the affair of Islaam would return instead to Jaahiliyyah (ignorance).”[14]


Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (d.774H/1373CE) (rahimahullaah) stated regarding the Khawaarij:


لَوْ قَوُوا هَؤُلَاءِ لَأَفْسَدُوا الْأَرْضَ كُلَّهَا عِرَاقًا وَشَامًا وَلَمْ يَتْرُكُوا طِفْلًا وَلَا طِفْلَةَ وَلَا رَجُلًا وَلَا امْرَأَةً لِأَنَّ النَّاسَ عِنْدَهُمْ قَدْ فَسَدُوا فَسَادًا لَا يُصْلِحُهُمْ إِلَّا الْقَتْلُ جُمْلَةً


“If these people ever gained ascendancy, they would corrupt the entire earth, Iraq, and Syria, and they would not spare a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, because in their view the people have denigrated to such corruption that there is nothing suitable for them except mass killing.”[15]



[1] Al-Khawaarij Ta’reekhu-hum wa Araa-uhum al-I’tiqaadiyyah p.542. For the original reference refer to: Al-I’tisaam vol 2 p.186.

[2] See: Ta’reekh al-Umam wal-Mulook vol 8 p.131

[3] Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 4 p.367

[4] See: Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 13 p.223-224

[5] Al-Khawaarij Ta’reekhu-hum wa Araa-uhum al-I’tiqaadiyyah p.160 and Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 5 p.257

[6] Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 5 p.281 and Ta’reekh al-Mawsil p.73-74

[7] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 13 p.604

[8] Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 5 p.296 and Ta’reekh al-Mawsil p.74

[9] Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 6 p.306

[10] See: Al-Kaamil fee at-Ta’reekh vol 6 p.369 & p.380 and Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 14 p.662

[11] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol.15 p.43

[12] Reported by Ibn Maajah (no.144) and was declared Hasan (sound) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah (no.144).

[13] Shaikh Al-Albaanee reported this hadeeth in his Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (no.2455) and mentioned that the hadeeth is reported by Ibn Maajah (1/74) though the wording in Sunan Ibn Maajah differs slightly from what is above.

The Shaikh likewise reported it in his Saheeh Al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer (no.8171) in which he declared it Saheeh (authentic).

[14] Siyar A’laam an-Nubalaa vol 4 p.554-555

[15] Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol 10 p.584-585

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