Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ibadism: Origins and Early Development in Oman

Finally, on this day, I received my new and most expensive book.  It is entitled as "Ibadism: Origins and Early Development in Oman" and authored by, John C.Wilkinson.
I am not advertising the book or approving it but I'm hoping to get benefit from it, and also to use it to enrich the Blog, inshAllah!

The book contains 14 chapters. The abstract of each chapter is as follows:
1)   The PreIslamic Heritage: Yaman And Nizâr
This chapter outlines the importance of the tribal dimension in the origins of Ibâism, demonstrating that its ideology found fertile ground amongst the Yamani tribes of Iraq following the defeat of their two great revolts against Umayyad authority and Hijazi hegemony, that of Ibn al–Ash'ath al–Kindi and Yazid b. al–Muhallab al–Azdi. Using little known Omani sources and new epigraphic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence concerning pre-Islamic Arabia and the Sabaeo-Himyaritic state, it questions standard explanations concerning the origins of the Yaman-Nizar divide based on Ibn al–Kalbi's manipulations of genealogical history, notably with respect to the Azd diaspora and Qudâ'a. It demonstrates that there was a very real divide between the Northern and Southern tribes in pre-Islamic times which proved a highly significant factor in the political history of the Umayyad period in the ex-Sasanid lands.

2)   The PreIslamic Heritage: Mazûn And The Arabization Of Arabia
This chapter continues with the pre-Islamic period and explains the tribal background with which the Imamate had to come to terms on Oman, its role in the Yaman–Nizâr civil war, and the alienation of northern Oman from the core of the Ibâi state. Basic relationships were rooted in the territorial distribution of Arab migration waves in eastern Arabia and the domination of the Azd and Kinda clans, under whose leadership the first Imamates were set up in southern Arabia. Oman formed part of the Persian Empire and as its importance grew in Indian Ocean trade, it was directly occupied and developed under the name of Mazûn in late Sasanid times. The subject and marginalized status of the Arab tribesmen was a matter for scorn for the over-weaning Hijazis, but gave the Arabs a certain empathy with the peasants and under-privileged. Ibâi, like all Khariji ideology, was rooted in the notion of equality before God and this led eventually leading to a remarkable assimilation of the tribes and villagers after the Imamate was established in Oman.

3)   The Conversion To Islam
This chapter discusses pre-Islamic religion and the conversion of the Arab tribes in Oman, how they drove the Persian occupants out and took possession of the settled lands. It then examines the conflicting histories of the ridda (apostasy) wars in some detail, not only because anything new relevant to the period of the Prophet and the immediate aftermath of his death is of concern to Muslim history, but also because the tribal and religious bias of the classical Arabic sources against the Yamani tribes and the much feared Ibâi ‘shurât’ has downplayed the role of Oman. The chapter concludes with an examination of the system of Caliphate government as it became incorporated into the Islamic state and the tribes became involved in campaigns in Sasanid territory, first based on Tawwaj and then on Basra (Ch IV), with the consequence that Oman itself lapsed into a tribal backwater under the pre-Islamic dynasty of the Julandâ.

4)   The Omani Tribes In Basra
This chapter pursues the fortunes of the Azd and other ‘Gulf’ tribes in the Fârs campaign and then in Basra, their role in the Battle of the Camel, and the formation of the Azd khums. Misapprehension concerning the term Azd 'Umân has distorted this early history: all the Azd in Basra were Omani but there was a wave of new migrants, essentially bedu (who may well have been excluded by 'Uthmân) at the end of Mu'âwiya's reign and these new migrants played a crucial role in events in Basra at the start of the second civil war. Basra was now threatened by the Azâriqa, Khawârij extremists, and was saved by al–Muhallab, whose family were not originally of Omani ashrâf origins, but military leaders. This marked the real rise in Omani fortunes as Muhallab and his son Yazid received governorships of enormous dimensions and inevitably a growing determination of Hajjaj to break the powers of the great Yamani leaders, the Kindi al–Ash'ath from Kufa and Yazîd b. al–Muhallab al–Azdi from Basra.

5)   The Origins Of Ibâism
This chapter examines Khâriji/Muhakkima beginnings, their adherence to the absolute authority of the Qur'ân, and the subsidiary role of the Prophet's sunna. All the early secessionists came from Kûfan Nizâri splinter groups and involved no Yaman tribes, either from Kûfa or Basra. The Ibâis recognize a true line of revolts down to the Tamîmi Abû Bilal (61/680), but no other until their own, sixty-seven years later. The characteristics of these early secessionists are examined. The Khawârij who went to Ibn Zubayr in 64, including the mysterious Ibn Ibâ, were Tamîm or Hanîfa (Nizâr) and the failure of their mission resulted in a split, represented as between the extremist Azâriqa and moderate Ibâis, with the Sufris somewhere between. This model does not stand up to examination. The non-Azâriqa were essentially divided between qu'ûd and shirâ ' (quietists and activists), split ideologically over relations with other Muslims, maintaining unity, and when to secede (khurûj). The Sufris activated earlier than the Ibâis because they operated amongst the Iraqi Nizar tribes, and were first in North Africa. It was not dogma but the tribal domain that made Sufris and Ibâis rivals.

6)   The Early Ibâis
This chapter discusses the nature and key figures as Ibâism took form in Basra, the proto-Ibâi period. It starts with a study of the primary source on which the origins of the movement were modelled in late Maghribi sources, a work attributed to Abû Sufyân, but which is frequently in conflict with extant material from his own correspondence and reports from his son Abu 'Abdullah. A thorough study of the main personalities from early sources, much of which has only recently become available (including the correspondence of Jâbir b. Zayd), throws new light on relations with 'Umar II and his son '.Abd al–Mâlik, to whom it is suggested IB 1 was addressed, and the activation of the movement in the 120s culminating in a joint Omani–Hadrami revolt that temporarily took possession of the Holy Cities. An attempt is made to show that while Jâbir b. Zayd and Abû 'Ubayda were key figures for doctrine and law, certain others were responsible for activating the movement, Hâjib al–Tâ'iy, al–Rabî' b. Habîb, Dumâm b. Sâ'ib. Reconsideration is also given to Sâlim b. Dhakwân.

7)   The Propagation Of Ibâism From Basra
This chapter starts with a failed attempt to set up an Ibâi state in Oman at the very start of the 'Abbasid period, and the resulting feud with the Julandâ. It continues with a study of how Ibâism was diffused from Basra through the Hajj, merchant and tribal networks, missionary activities, and the written word (important for the Maghrib). It then considers two fundamental concepts, walâya, the cement binding the community through association with God; and its opposite barâ'a, dissociation. The fundamental dogmas and schisms with which it dissociates are then examined, notably Mu'tazilism, the Qadariyya, Murji'a, and Khawârij (now a pejorative term), and a major internal schism, that of the Shu'aybiyya which had wide ramifications in that of the Nukkarites in North Africa, as also the breakaway of the Yemen community. The chapter concludes with a brief historical survey of Ibâism in North Africa and establishing the Rustamid Imamate at Tahert.

8)   The Establishment Of The Imamate In Oman
This chapter explains how the tribal rivalry of the Julandâ feud was exploited by the Ibâi missionaries to win victory at the battle of Majâza (177/793) and establish the Imamate. It analyses the basic balance of power between various potential factions and how and why the first main Imams were selected, along with a brief description of their rule. The chapter ends with Omani overseas expansion, showing how an Omani navy was organized, the piratical menace of the bawârij who had menaced Indian Ocean trade since the collapse of Sasanid power were dealt with, and Sohar became a major entrepôt.

9)   Law And Order
This chapter describes the establishment of the new Imamate state order, and in particular the role of Abû 'Abdullah, son of the last Basran leader, Abu Sufyân. The confrontation with the conservative Omani ‘ulama’ is characterized by the acrimonious theological debate over the Creation of the Qur'ân and the suspect nature of Mu'tazili influence. Abû 'Abdullâh's role in developing the principles for selecting an Imam, the issue of wuqûf (suspending judgment), advising other Ibâi communities, but above all in harmonizing Islamic principles with the pragmatic needs of daily life in Oman are illustrated. The establishment of a maritime legal code commensurate with expanding maritime trade is described, including discussion of the re-conquest of Socotra as a base on the African coast, whose interest in the Muslim world at this time was as a source of slaves from both Abyssinia and increasingly Bilâd al–Zanj. An attempt is also made to reconstruct the early history of the Imamate in Hadramawt.

10)               The Ibâi Ethos
This chapter describes the underlying ethos in Ibâism of equality before God, and illustrates this with particular reference to the protection of the rights of the peasants and other producing classes. It shows the ability of Ibâi law to adapt to the needs of an agricultural economy in two entirely different environments — that of Oman based on an ancient pre-Islamic falaj irrigation system, and that of colonization de novo in the Mzab. As barriers between the indigenous village population and the Arab tribesmen broke down, the majûs converted and a remarkable assimilation of the villagers and tribesmen occurred that is not characteristic of neighbouring regions. Nevertheless, the concern for protecting the little man from illegal seizure in an agricultural economy now based on privately owned mulk small holdings, led to a sterilization of vast areas of former production, when land that fell into the hands of jabâbira (tyrants) reverted to Ibâi rule, while a tax system that failed to recognize inputs other than labour as a factor of production did not encourage reinvesting in expensive irrigation reconstruction.

11)               Civil War And Aftermath
This chapter analyses the causes of the civil war sparked off by the deposing of Imam al–Salt in 272/886 and which ended up with the collapse of the First Imamate in a Caliphate invasion. It was not really Yaman versus Nizâr conflict, but an increasing marginalization of the northern tribes in manoeuvres over power and patronage in the Imamate system. The actual deposing and replacement of the Imam led to a growing dispute between the so-called Rustâq and Nizwâ parties, which is examined and shown as less to do with politics than principles in the early days of its formulation by Abû Sa'îd al–Kudami and Ibn Baraka. An attempt is made to resolve the confusion over dating events and personalities involved in the complex relationship between interior Oman and the occupying powers on the coast (Saffarids, Bûyids, Qarâmita and their Omani vassals) in the ensuing period, to understand how the (Second) major Imamate was re-established, Rustâq party dogma declared official, causing the Hadrami Imam Abû Ishâq Ibrâhîm b. al–Qays to break away as well as finally alienating the northern Omanis.

12)               Consequences
This chapter considers the changes resulting from these events as they affected Ibâi theory concerning types of Imam, the principle of one Imam in a misr , permitted behaviour towards occupying powers, and what is permitted in warfare against the jabâbira and ahl al–baghi (tyrants and renegades). It continues with a survey of the evolution of Ibâi fiqh during this period, the concern with recovering and recording past records (taqyîd) into hifz and jawâmi', culminating in works like the Musannaf and Bayân al–Shar', and with it abandonment of the old peculiarly Ibâi form of siyar literature. In the process, Ibâism opened itself to developments elsewhere in the Islamic world, notably Sunni norms: analysis of Omani, Maghribi, and Hadrami contemporary literature shows how hadîth were absorbed into the âthâr of the community but without the accompanying isnâd scholarship. The key figures of the period as well as their literature are surveyed. The chapter concludes with a preliminary discussion of the last main figure of the 5/11th century, al–'Awtabi.

13)               The 6/12TH Century
This chapter attempts to reconstruct the even more fragmentary history of the 6/12th century, with intermittent Imams and increasing regional dislocation, the end of Ibâism in Hadramawt, the rise of the Nabâhina whose origins are reconsidered, the start of a major incursion of 'Amiri tribes from Bahrayn which was to shift the whole political geography of northern Oman in the ensuing centuries; likewise a major reorientation of Indian Ocean trade with the rise of the Red Sea–Mediterranean axis and expansion of Muslim colonization on the East African coast and a consequent shift of the Omani entrepôt to Qalhât in conjunction with the establishment of Hormuzi power. Yet despite this century being the prelude to Oman's ‘Dark Ages’, it was an era of very active Ibâi scholarship and even missionary activities, including a re-conversion of Kilwa which was celebrated by the last major figure treated in this book, al–Qalhâti.

14)               Madhhabization
This chapter examines the final stages in Ibâism developing as a madhhab. In Oman it was essentially the work of 'Awtabi who finalized the process of conforming to the criteria of the Shâfi'i-Ash'ari school, but avoiding the Sunni criteria of hadîth scholarship by formalizing a chain of Ibâi hamalat al–'ilm, whose âthâr provide the equivalent of the Sunni isnâd chains. A comparison is made between developments in Oman and the Maghrib where two trends evolved — one introspective, aimed at ensuring the survival of true values in the small communities like the Mzab; the other to establish oneself as the true firqa and go out and do battle with the others. The latter approach prevailed in Oman, but in a 5–6/11–12th century revivalist movement in the Maghrib it went to the extent of Abû Ya'qûb al–Warjlâni ‘Arranging (Tartîb)’ a hadîth collection, supposedly essentially transmitted by al–Rabî' b. Habîb from Abû 'Ubayda and back through Jâbir b. Zayd to Ibn 'Abbâs and the first Muslims. The origins of this work (along with other important Mashriqi material preserved in the Maghrib, notably the Mudawwana) is examined and shown to be a manipulation that has done great disservice to the Ibâis, leading them to be called the ‘Fifthers’ in the Maghrib. At the same time, the Maghribis rationalized the early history of Ibâism with a line of Imams in kitmân in Basra, exaggerating the role of Abû 'Ubayda and eliminating the key role played by other proto-Ibâis. It was only really with the development of an Ibâi renaissance from the 17th century onwards and yet further conformism of the madhhab to Sunni norms that this hadîth collection found nominal acceptance in Oman along with the Maghribi model of Ibâi origins.

I copied the abstract of each chapter from the following link:

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