'Abd Allah b. Wahb al-Rasibi

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ʿAbd Allāh b. Wahb al-Rāsibī (Arabic: عَبدالله بن وَهب الراسِبی, d. 38/658) was a head of Khawarij who was known as Dhu l-Thafinat (possessor of forehead callus) because he prostrated very much. He was elected as the head of Khawarij in 37/658, after they separated from Imam 'Ali (a). He was killed in the Battle of Nahrawan.

Lineage, Birth, and Title

The lineage of 'Abd Allah b. Wahab al-Rasibi al-Azdi goes back to Banu Rasib b. Mayda'an b. Malik b. Nasr from the Azd tribe. He was born during the period of the Prophet Muhammad (s). Ibn Hajar said that 'Abd Allah saw the time of the Prophet (s).

Since 'Abd Allah practiced sujud very much, he came to be known as “Dhu l-Thifnat”. Zirkili referred to him as a leader of the Ibadiyya, characterizing him as a brave, eloquent person.

In the Periods of the Caliphs

'Abd Allah b. Wahab accompanied Sa'd b. Abi Waqqas in the Conquest of Iraq, and accompanied Imam 'Ali (a) in his battles, until he parted company with the Imam (a) after the event of Hakamiyya.

Battle of Khawarij

After the event of Hakamiyya, Khawarij elected 'Abd Allah b. Wahab as their leader on Shawwal 10, 37 (March 21, 658). He wrote a letter to Khawarij in Basra and asked them to join him in Nahrawan. Imam 'Ali (a) wrote a letter to him and his followers to join him for a war with Mu'awiya. In response, they asked the Imam (a) to admit his kufr and repent from it. Following the activities of the Imam (a), a number of Khawarij joined him or sidestepped from the war, but others insisted on the war with the Imam (a) under the leadership of 'Abd Allah b. Wahab.

'Abd Allah b. Wahab was killed in the Battle of Nahrawan by Ziyad b. Khasafa al-Tamimi and Hani b. Khattab al-Hamdani. It is said that Shabath b. Rib'i also played a role in his murder.

Imam 'Ali's (a) Letter to 'Abd Allah b. Wahab and Other Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrawan

“The two men on whose arbitration we had agreed have violated the Book of God, and followed their desires without any guidance from God, and did not practice the Prophet's (s) tradition and the ruling of the Qur'an. God, the Prophet (s), and believers hate them. When my letter reaches you, come to us. We are going to [a war with] our enemy and your enemy, and we are up to the task that we were at first”.

The Reply by 'Abd Allah b. Wahab and Others to the Letter of Imam 'Ali (a)

“You are not angry for the sake of your Lord. You are angry for your own sake. If you admit to your kufr right now and repent to God, we will consider your request to return to you. Otherwise, we fairly declare a war with you”.