Imam Aḥmad, Ibn Mājah, and al-Ḥākim recorded a Ḥadīth from Ibn Abī Awfá, and Aḥmad and al-Ḥākim also recorded it from Abū Umāmah that the prophet (مَّلَسَو ِهْيَلَع ُاهلل ىَّلَص) said: اخلَوَارِجُ كِالبُ النَّارِ "The Khawārij are the dogs of Hell."
The Khawārij are a sect of people who innovate and follow beliefs and practices foreign to Islam. They are called that (derived from the Arabic root verb: َجَرَخ - meaning to exit or rebel against) for their leaving the religion and for their rebellion against the best Muslims (prophet Muhammad’s companions).
The Khawārij used to renounce ‘Uthmān (the third Caliph of Islam) for several things and they declared themselves free of him announced their disassociation from him. The origin of that was that some of the citizens of Iraq criticized the behavior of some of ‘Uthmān’s relatives, so they blamed ‘Uthmān for that. Those people were known as “Reciters” for their diligence in reciting the Quran and for their worship. Yet, they used to twist and misinterpret the Quran from its intended meanings. They used to persist on their own personal opinions, and they used to appear very strict and devout in their humility, their renouncement of worldly things, and other things.
After ‘Uthmān was killed, they fought alongside ‘Alī. They believed ‘Uthmān was a disbeliever and whoever follows him. They considered ‘Alī’s leadership to be legitimate and considered anyone who fought against him to be disbelievers – those who fought him during the Battle of the Camel when their leaders were Ṭalḥah and al-Zubayr.
Yet when ‘Alī made a peace agreement regarding the leadership with Mu’āwiyah, they then declared ‘Alī to be a disbeliever and revolted against him, so he fought them.
Aḥmad, Muslim, and Ibn Mājah recorded a Ḥadīth from Abū Dharr who narrated that: said (صَلَّى اهللُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) Allah’s messenger إِنَّ بَعْدِي مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَوْ سَيَكُونُ بَعْدِي مِنْ أُمَّتِي قَوْمٌ يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ال يُجَاوِزُ حَالقِيمَهُمْ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنْ الدِّينِ كَمَا يَخْرُجُ السَّهْمُ مِنْ الرَّمِيَّةِ ثُمَّ ال يَعُودُونَ فِيهِ هُمْ شَرُّ الْخَلْقِ وَالْخَلِيقَةِ “There will definitely be a people after me from my nation who recite the Quran yet it will not even reach beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through a target, then they will not return back to it. They are the worst of people, the worst of all creatures.”
Ibn al-Ṣāmit, who narrated the Ḥadīth from Abū Dharr, said, “I met Rāfi’ Ibn ‘Amr alGhifārī and asked him about this Ḥadīth of Abū Dharr. He said, “I (too) heard it from “.(صَلَّى اهللُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) Allah’s messenger
Ibn Mājah recorded a Ḥadīth from Ibn ‘Umar (اَمُهْنَع ُاهلل َيِضَر) that the messenger of Allah :said (صَلَّى اهللُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) يَنْشَأُ نَشْءٌ يَقْرَءُونَ الْقُرْآنَ ال يُجَاوِزُ تَرَاقِيَهُمْ كُلَّمَا خَرَجَ قَرْنٌ قُطِعَ “There will arise a group of people who will recite the Quran but it will not reach beyond their throats. Every time a new generation of them rises, they will then disappear.”
Ibn ‘Umar said, “I heard Allah’s messenger (مَّلَسَو ِهْيَلَع ُاهلل ىَّلَص) say, ‘Every time a new generation of them rises, they will then disappear,’ more than twenty times and then said: حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ فِي عِرَاضِهِمْ الدَّجَّالُ “Until the Anti-Christ finally appears among them.”
Ibn Mājah recorded a Ḥadīth in which Abū Umāmah said: شَرُّ قَتْلَى قُتِلُوا تَحْتَ أَدِيمِ السَّمَاءِ وَخَيْرُ قَتِيلٍ مَنْ قَتَلُوا كِلَابُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ قَدْ كَانَ هَؤُلَاءِ مُسْلِمِنيَ فَصَارُوا كُفَّارًا “(They are) the worst people killed under the sky, and the best people killed are those whom they kill. They are the dogs of Hell. These people used to be Muslims but they became disbelievers.” I (Abū Ghālib, one of the narrators) asked, “Abū Umāmah, is this something only you yourself are saying?” He replied, “No, rather I heard it from the messenger of Allah.”
This is an excerpt from an article taken from a book called “Faqad Jāa’ Ashrāṭuhā” by a student of the famous scholar of Ḥadīth, Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Din al-Albānī. (Reprinted from the Full Article).