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Published: Oct 15 2016
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Adam R. Gaiser is an associate professor of religion at Florida State University, where he teaches classes on Islamic studies. His research interests include early Islamic sectarianism, the Khārijites, Ibādiyya, and early Shīa. Gaiser is the author of Muslims, Scholars, Soldiers: The Origin and Elaboration of the Ibādī Imāmate Traditions.
"In a nuanced and sophisticated exposition Gaiser shows how Ibāḍīs, the first distinct Muslim sectarian group, engaged in identity construction and boundary maintenance by using narratives of asceticism and martyrdom harking back to the earlier shurāt, who exchanged this world for Paradise, that resonate with similar late antique themes."—Michael Morony, University of California, Los Angeles
"The author of this meticulous study examines the shurāt and Ibāḍī hagiographical narratives in the context of late antiquity and early Islam. He offers a useful corrective to certain strains of scholarship regarding the Khārijites, namely that the Khārijites and their subgroups possessed coherent, distinctive theologies. He discusses the classification and subsequent treatment of non-Ibāḍīs in order to distinguish the emerging Ibāḍiyya from the militant Azraqites and Najdites. Following the early Ibāḍī authors, the author also clarifies Ibāḍī taxonomies of unfaithfulness to sort non-Ibāḍīs into recognizable categories. In addition, he accentuates the importance of viewing Ibāḍī hagiographical depictions of martyrs and saints and their opponents."—Abdulrahman al-Salimi, Sultanate of Oman
"Adam Gaiser has produced an engaging study of the creative process of fashioning early Ibāī communal identity that will hopefully also inspire renewed engagement with Khārijism. He is to be commended for his skill in presenting such a complex subject in a well-structured and accessible fashion. His work will be of interest not just to scholars of Ibāī history and doctrine, but also those working on (Islamic) Late Antiquity and the complex nexus of asceticism and martyrdom in this period."—Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations
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