The Shārī Imām

Adam R. Gaiser

in Muslims, Scholars, Soldiers

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199738939
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894598 | DOI:


The Shārī Imām

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This chapter traces the development of the concept of shirā’ (selling, exchange) as a type of martyrdom among the early Khārijites from its first articulations as praise for the early Khārijite martyrs (such as Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Udaya), to its appropriation by the early IbādΔīs. Once appropriated, the IbādΔiyya not only perpetuated and created their own narratives about the shurāt, but also incorporated the notion into the articulation of the early IbādΔī polities by creating novel uses for the concept. The concept of shirā’ transformed from a type of reckless bravado to “sell one’s soul” for paradise to a type of voluntary defense of the IbādΔī polity. Accordingly, the IbādΔīs developed the notion of a shārī Imām as the leader of the shurāt.

Keywords: Khārijites; IbādΔiyya; imāmate; shirā’; shurāt; Martyrdom; Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Udaya

Chapter.  14746 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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