Ibāḍism: History, Doctrines and Recent Scholarship

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Ibāḍism is the only surviving sect of Khārijism, and thus represents the third main branch of Islam, after Sunnism and Shīʻism. Ibāḍīs, who number less than 1% of the world’s Muslims, are found mainly in the Sultanate of Oman, in the Mzāb and Wārgla (Ouargla) regions of southeastern Algeria, in the Nafūsa mountain region of northwestern Libya, and on the island of Jirba (Djerba), Tunisia. The traditional narrative of Ibāḍism’s origins dates it to ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ibāḍ’s split from the radical Khārijism of Nāfiʻ ibn al-Azraq in 64/684 CE. Ibāḍīs say that Jābir ibn Zayd (d. 93/711 CE) organized the sect in Baṣra, but recent scholarship questions much of this traditional narrative. This article discusses recent scholarship on Ibāḍism’s historical development, summarizes its distinctive teachings in theology and jurisprudence, and offers a brief analysis of the relationship of Ibāḍism to the Bū Saʻīdī sultanate of Oman and Zanzibar.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalReligion Compass
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • Religion
  • Islam
  • Ibadism
  • Theology
  • History of Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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