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Al-Khirrit b. Rashid al-Naji

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Sahaba
Al-Khirrit b. Rashid al-Naji
Personal Information
Lineage Banu Najiya
Place(s) of Residence Fars
Cause of Death/Martyrdom Killed by Nu'man b. Sahban
Religious Information
Known for Revolt against Imam Ali (a), Converting to Christianity
Notable Roles Governor of a part of Fars
Other Activities Participating in Battles of Ridda, in the army of Talha and al-Zubayr

Al-Khirrīt b. Rāshid al-Nājī (Arabic: الخِرّیت بن راشد الناجی) was one of the Sahaba and Khawarij. He played an effective role in the Battles of Ridda (or apostasy) in the period of Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa's caliphate. And in the period of 'Uthman b. 'Affan, he was appointed as the ruler of an area in Fars. In the Battle of Jamal, he took the side of Talha b. 'Ubayd Allah and al-Zubayr b. 'Awwam. After the Battle of Siffin, Khirrit led oppositions and revolts against Imam 'Ali (a) and converted to Christianity. He was finally killed after several confrontations with Imam 'Ali's (a) envoy.

Lineage

There is little information in sources about Khirrit's life. His name is sometimes distorted as Hārith b. Rashid and Ḥarīth b. Asad. According to al-Mas'udi, Banu Najiya claimed that they were the progeny of Sama b. Lu'ayy b. Ghalib, but al-Mas'udi cast doubts over the accuracy of this claim.

In the Period of the Prophet (s) and the Caliphs

According to Sayf b. 'Umar al-Tamimi in his al-Futuh, Khirrit and a group of Banu Sama met the Prophet Muhammad (s) in a place between Mecca and Medina.

In battles against apostasy (battles of Ridda) in the period of Abu Bakr, Muslims defeated Luqayt b. Malik al-Azdi, the rioting ruler of Oman, with the aids of Khirrit who was the commander of Banu Najiya.

According to Sayf b. 'Umar, in the period of 'Uthman b. 'Affan, Khirrit was appointed by 'Abd Allah b. 'Amir b. Kariz as the ruler of an area in Fars.

In the Period of Imam 'Ali (a)

The Battle of Jamal

The most detailed account of Khirrit b. Rashid's life concerns his riots in the period of Imam 'Ali's (a) caliphate. In the Battle of Jamal, he took the side of Talha and al-Zubayr. After the Battle of Jamal, Banu Najiya insisted on their position and sought to combat Imam 'Ali (a). Sources are silent about Khirrit's position in this regard. Al-Thaqafi's account of this event shows that Banu Najiya were Christians.

After the Battle of Siffin

After the Battle of Siffin, Khirrit and 30 of his companions went to Imam 'Ali (a), announcing their opposition to Imam 'Ali (a) and their decision to quit supporting him. The Imam (a) reminded Khirrit of his promise when he pledged his allegiance to him and warned him about such a decision.

Apostasy

According to al-Mas'udi, after breaking his allegiance to Imam 'Ali (a), Khirrit b. Rashid and 300 other people returned to Christianity and abandoned the Imam's (a) army. In order to quench his revolts, Imam 'Ali (a) sent Ziyad b. Khasafa to chase Khirrit and hunt him down.

Khirrit and his fellows went to the Niffar village around Kufa and killed Zadan b. Farah, an advocate of Imam 'Ali (a) and probably the ruler of the village. In the Midhar area (between Wasit and Basra), Ziyad confronted Khirrit. Khirrit was defeated and fled to Ahvaz together with 200 of his fellows who had just joined him from Kufa. With the rise of Khirrit's threat and the revolts of some people from Banu Najiya, Imam 'Ali (a) sent an army under the commandership of Ma'qil b. Qays al-Riyahi to quench him.

After being defeated by Ma'qil, Khirrit went to the 'Abd al-Qays tribe and could make them rebel against the Imam (a). However, when Ma'qil announced a safety conduct, many of Khirrit's advocates abandoned him. Eventually, Khirrit was killed by Nu'man b. Sahban in a battle.

References