The most prominent qualities of the Kharijites were strictness, exceeding proper limits, and extremism in all rulings. Therefore, they abandoned Islam which is distinguished by moderation. They defamed their sect by dullness and ossification where they stopped at the apparent meanings of the Qur'anic texts without paying attention to the texts which abrogate these Qur'anic texts, specialize its generality, limit its absolute, or add some rulings to them by the Sunnah.
We have explained their stance from the narrations of the Companions represented in rejecting the narrations of those who disbelieved among them.
Their stance led to the rejection of most Hadiths, but they rather did not pay attention to Ijma` (consensus of scholars) and did not take it into account when they understood the Qur'an despite the fact that Ijma` in its origin is based on the texts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah and is not something fabricated in religion or something away from its rules and fundamentals. (1)
Their acute temper, extremism, and their immoderate inclination to name the opponents disbelievers played an effective role in their divisions where they separated to different sects and groups. All these issues played a great role in the errors and innovations which they invented in the society.
These are some of their errors which are contradictory to the authentic Hadith that were reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).
1- Their most famous error, which was committed by the first court and Al Azariqah, was calling the following Companions disbelievers: Ali, `Uthman, the Companions who fought in the Battle of the Camel, Mu`awiyah, his army, the judges, and those who satisfied with the arbitration. (2)
The error which they believed that Ali committed was that he resorted to ordinary men in the arbitration rather than resorting the matter to Allah. (3)
They called him mistaken because he erased his name from the Muslim caliphate, thereupon they called him a disbeliever.
As for `Uthman, they attacked him because of the incidents which they considered favoritism to his tribe over the interests of the entire nation, in addition to the transgressions to which we denoted earlier.
As for the Companions who fought in the Battle of the Camel, the Companions who fought in the Battle of Siffin, and Mu`awiyah, they attacked them all because they were indulged in the sedition and because they were parties in the dispute.
Al Azariqah interpreted the Ayahs in a way that served their purposes and desires. They interpreted Allah's Saying: "And of mankind there is he whose speech may please you (O Muhammad peace be upon him), in this worldly life, and he calls Allâh to witness as to that which is in his heart, yet he is the most quarrelsome of the opponents." [Surat Al Baqarah: 204] and said that the Ayah was revealed in Ali.
Moreover, they approved the action of `Abdur-Rahman ibn Muljim, the killer of Imam Ali to the extent that `Imran ibn Hattan, the Mufty (Islamic scholar qualified to issue legal opinions) of the Kharijites and their greatest poet praised him in famous verses:
What a strike of a good person ** by which he meant to gain the pleasure of the Lord. (4)
Their stance from the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was contradictory to the authentic Sunnah because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) attested for a large number of those whom they called disbelievers and promised them Paradise such as Ali, Talhah ibn `Ubayd Allah, Az-Zubayr, and `Uthman. (5)
Those Companions were among the Companions who gave homage to the Messenger of Allah in the Homage of Ar-Ridwan about which Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Indeed, Allâh was pleased with the believers when they gave the Bai'ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) under the tree." (6)
Furthermore, the books of the Sunnah are full of the great situations and virtues of those venerable Companions. (7)
As for the erasing of Ali to his name from the Muslim caliphate, he followed the example of the Messenger (peace be upon him) on the day of Al Hudaybiyah when he erased (the Messenger of Allah) after the polytheists objected to that title. (8)
When the Kharijites rejected the Sunnah, they turned away from its guidance and did not take a lesson of its incidents. (9)
(1) At-Tafsir Wal Mufassirun 2/313.
(2) Al Farq Bayna Al Firaq (81 /2).
(3) When Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) heard it, he said: (A true word but used in falsehood) or (A word of justice that is meant to achieve injustice. They say there is no princedom, but there must be a princedom whether the emir is good or evil). 1/116 -117 Milal Ash-Shahristany.
(4) Milal Ash-Shahristany 1/120. Al Bidayah Wan-Nihayah 7\ 359 and was opposed by Bakr ibn Hammad Al Zanaty Al Tahirty (200 AH – 296 AH) who satirized him:
Nay, but it was a strike from a bad person who will enter Hell Fire ** forever and he approached the Most Gracious while He is angry at him.
(5) See Hadith No. (3574 - 3575) from Sunan At-Tirmidhy.
(6) Surat Al Fath: 18.
(7) See: Sahih Al Bukhari in the book of virtues of the Companions, Sahih Muslim in the book of virtues, and Sunan and At-Tirmidhy in the books of virtues.
(8) See: Jami` Bayan Al `Ilm wa Fadluh 2 / 127, and Sahih Al Bukhari in the book of conciliation, chapter on how did he write: This is what has been signed ..., and the book of Battles, in the chapter of `Umrat Al Qada' (the compensatory `Umrah).
(9) See: Fundamental of the science of Hadith between the approach and the idiom p. 162 - 164.