This article reassesses the “Khārijite” rebellion of Muṭarrif b. al-Mughīra b. Shuʿba al-Thaqafī in 77/696–97 and recontextualizes it within a different “category” of revolt. Analyzing both the history and the historiography of this uprising, the article argues that Muṭarrif’s rebellion is best understood not within a Khārijite framework, but rather as part of a series of revolts carried out by other Iraqi tribal notables (ashrāf) in the same period. This reevaluation is based, for example, on the composition of Muṭarrif’s following, which shows clear connections with other important Iraqi/eastern leaders, such as Muṣʿab b. al-Zubayr, Ibn al-Ashʿath, and Yazīd b. al-Muhallab. These connections, observable in other structural patterns common to Marwānid-era rebellions as well, point to a similarity of grievances, reactions, and aims whose salience far exceeded the context of individual revolts. More broadly, this article also seeks to challenge the received scholarly understanding of Khārijism and to question its usefulness as a category of historical analysis, suggesting instead different approaches to a renewed engagement with this phenomenon.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hannah-Lena Hagemann