Māriqūn (Arabic:المارقون) literally means a number of people who have abandoned a group. In Shiite terminology, it refers to Khawarij who fought against Imam 'Ali (a) in the Battle of Nahrawan. At the beginning of the Battle of Siffin, these people were in the army of Imam 'Ali (a), but the story of arbitration led them to revolt against Imam 'Ali (a) and establish a third group that opposed both sides. Imam 'Ali (a) had to fight this group in an area called Nahrawan and defeated them.
Meaning of "Mariqun"
The word "mariq" (Arabic:المارق) comes from the Arabic root, "m-r-q" (م-ر-ق). It originally means to go out of something, like an arrow that goes out of the bow. Khawarij are called "Mariqun" because they went out of the Muslim community.
According to al-Zubaydi, the word, "muruq", (Arabic:مروق) means to go out, and Khawarij came to be called "Mariqun" because they went out of the religion and revolted against Imam 'Ali (a).
Instances of Mariqun
It seems that the only instances of Mariqun are a group of Khawarij who fought Imam 'Ali (a) in the Battle of Nahrawan. So it does not apply to all Khawarij and their survivors after Imam 'Ali (a).
The formation of the term, "Mariqun", has its origin in Imam 'Ali's (a) own words: "I present proofs to Mariqun [people who went out of the religion]".
Moreover, in his al-Shiqshiqiyya Sermon, Imam 'Ali (a) refers to three groups of his enemies who fought against him, one of which is Mariqun, and of them he says: "Another group went out of the religion (maraqa)". This refers to a group of Khawarij who attended the Battle of Nahrawan.
Here are the most prominent figures of Khawarij who count as Mariqun:
- Hurqus b. Zuhayr al-Tamimi
- Shurayh b. Awfa al-'Abasi
- 'Abd Allah b. Shajara al-Sulami
- Hamza b. Sinan al-Asadi
- 'Abd Allah b. Wahb al-Rasibi
There are some people, such as Farwa b. Nawfal al-Ashja'i, who joined Mariqun at first, but they abandoned the group at the beginning of the Battle of Nahrawan.