The Ibadis (الاباضية) are an ancient but deviant sect that are prevalent in the Sultanate of Oman. There are also significant pockets of Ibadis in Zanzibar, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. The Ibadis call themselves Ahl al-Istiqamah meaning the “people of straightness”.
Claiming to be a peaceful and moderate sect, many unsuspecting Muslims fall prey to the deceitful propaganda of the Ibadis. For example, ordinary Muslims from South Asia and other Muslim countries who go to Oman as guest workers unsuspectingly pray alongside Ibadi congregations behind an Ibadi imam. They notice a sharp difference in the method of offering the Salat. For example, Ibadis do not raise their hands at all, even when commencing the prayer. All other Muslims raise their hands when commencing the Salat, either up to the chest or to the ear lobes. Furthermore, the Ibadis do not clasp their hands in the Qiyam (standing position). But likewise neither do the Shi’ah and some Sunni Muslims who follow the Maliki school of thought.
However, the real danger of the Ibadis is not these variations in worship or jurisprudence, but the fact that the Ibadis promote Kharijism. The Khawarij were the first organized sect to break away from the Jama’ah of the Muslims. They rebelled against the fourth caliph Amir ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) and faught him in the well known Battle of Nahrawan in 659 C.E.
These days, some Ibadi apologists and others dispel false propaganda that the Ibadi sect are not Khawarij and that they respect the Prophet’s companions and family members, including Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him).
However, this is simply untrue. The Ibadis cling to their Kharijite foundations and consider, according to their principles, the doers of major sins to be Kuffar (unbelievers). While it is true that the Ibadis are moderate in comparison to other Kharijite sects like the Azariqah, the Sufriyah and the Najadat, they nevertheless share the same basic ideology as the original Khawarij, known as the Muhakimah and Haruriyah.
In fact, Ibadi apologists have themselves spilt the beans on this. For example, Soud H. Ma’awaly wrote the book Ibadhism: The Cinderella of Islam. Here are a few excerpts from that book:
“the Khawarij were right when they refused to go to Syria and fight because they said the war was for materialistic interests. It was not a war of ‘Jihad’ any more. They were right, as they were right before when they repudiated arbitration because it turned out to be a deceit.” (p. 24)
“When the so-called Khawarij defected from Seyyidna Ali and his army, they did not fight him. It was his army which went to fight them in the battle of Nahrawan. So the innocent Khawarij were neither the first nor the second nor the third to shed the blood of Muslims.” (p.30)
“They pledged allegiance to Seyyidna Ali and fought with him against the Uthmaniyyun in the battle of the Camel and at Siffin but abandoned him when he accepted arbitration. The results of the arbitration proved the correct stand of the Khawarij No. 2. He [Ali] also made a wrong decision when he accepted the advice of his army generals to fight the Khawarij No. 2 at Nahrawan.” (p. 32)
Look how this filthy Kharijite Ibadi is justifying the Kharijite rebellion against Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi Talib (Radiyallahu anhu) and claiming that the latter made a “wrong decision” to fight against the rebellious and renegade Khawarij!