Chapter

 Origins and Legacy of the Kharijites

Jeffrey T. Kenney

in Muslim Rebels

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195131697
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785001 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019513169X.003.0001
 						 Origins and Legacy of the Kharijites

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To establish why and how modern Muslim thinkers were able to evoke and use the image of the Kharijite this chapter explores the historical, literary process by which the early Kharijites were transformed into a mythic symbol of rebellion. It argues that individuals find themselves recipients of a theology/ideology that was ordered in, and is sanctioned by, the past. However, the “givenness” with which such a tradition is received by later generations masks the fact that over time it has changed. It required interpretation and codification. In other words, the particulars of a tradition, such as those of the Kharijites in Islam, were made particular by a historical and historicizing process that is the very basis of the tradition.

Keywords: Islam; Islamic history; rebellion; tradition; historical process

Chapter.  15628 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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