The historical study of the Ibāḍiyya offers a means by which scholars can gain a fresh perspective on the course of Islamic history by side-stepping the usual Sunni and Shi‘ite accounts and assumptions. Ibāḍī imāmate theories offer a means to reassess the uniqueness of Ibāḍī sectarian identity by tracing the development of the imāmate, and locating the historical precedents for it in the broader Islamic currents out of which the Ibāḍiyya developed. In so doing, this study has attempted to correct the common scholarly misperception of the Khārijites and Ibāḍiyya as anomalous cases in Islamic history. This study has offered a model for understanding how a religious institution develops, even across geographical boundaries, into an integral aspect of religious identity.
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