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Turning towards Mecca

The Ibadi movement or Ibadiyya is the dominant school of Islam in Oman and, owing to historical Omani influence, in Zanzibar. Outsiders typically classify Ibadism as an offshoot of the Kharijite school, though Ibadi Muslims claim to be related to Kharijites only in sharing a common precursor.


The name Ibadi derives from the name of Abdullah ibn Ibad al-Tamimi[1] (died 708), who differed with the Kharijites, though the origins of the rift can be traced back further to disagreements over the doctrine of takfir[2] and over the assassination of Uthman, the third caliph, in 656. Ibadis ranked as the more moderate group opposing Ali,[3] the next caliph (in office 656-661). During the reign of Caliph Marwan II (in office 744-750), Ibadis staged a large-scale rebellion in the Hijaz (now western Saudi Arabia), and actually managed some success there before eventually being kicked out to Oman, where they remain the dominant branch of Islam even today.

Differences from other branches of Islam[edit]

  • Unlike Sunnis, they believe Allah will not show himself on Judgement Day.
  • Unlike both Sunnis and Shi'ites, they do not believe it necessary for all Muslims to have a single leader, and additionally do not believe that such a leader must be descended from Muhammad's tribe.
  • They accept a much smaller body of hadith than Sunnis, which includes some hadith that Sunni Muslims do not accept.
  • They view the first two caliphs as rightly guided, and think the next two had it right until partway through their respective lives.
  • They do not accept reasoning by analogy as a valid source of law, relying only on the Quran and on hadith.


  1. See the Wikipedia article on Abd-Allah ibn Ibadh.
  2. See the Wikipedia article on takfir.
  3. See the Wikipedia article on Ali Ibn Abi-Talib.