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Karramiyya (Arabic: كرّاميّه‎, romanizedKarrāmiyyah) was originally a Hanafi-Murji'ah[1] sect in Islam which flourished in the central and eastern parts of the Islamic worlds, and especially in the Iranian regions, from the 9th century until the Mongol invasions in the 13th century.[2]

The sect was founded by a Sistani named Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Karrām[3] (d. 896) who was a popular preacher in Khurasan in the 9th century in the vicinity of Nishapur. He later emigrated with many of his followers to Jerusalem. According to him, the Karrāmites were also called the "followers of Abū'Abdallāh" (aṣḥāb Abī'Abdallāh) . [4]. Its main distribution areas were in Greater Khorasan, Transoxiana and eastern peripheral areas of Iran. Early Ghaznavids and the early Ghurid dynasty granted the Karrāmīyan rulership. The most important center of the community remained until the end of the 11th century Nishapur. After its decline, the Karrāmīya survived only in Ghazni and Ghor in the area of today's Afghanistan.


The doctrine of the Karramiyya consisted of literalism and anthropomorphism. Ibn Karram considered that God was a substance and that He had a body (jism) finite in certain directions when He comes into contact with the Throne.[5][6][7] This belief was rejected by orthodox Sunni Muslim scholars such as Ibn Hajar al-Haytami who stated that, "They believe that God is a body sitting on the Throne, touching it and resting on it, and then moves down every night during the last third of the night to the heavens, and then goes back to His place at dawn."[8]

They also believed that Munkar and Nakir angels were actually the same as guardian angels on the right and left side of every person.[6]

The Karramiyya also held the view that the world was eternal and that God's power was limited.[5]

These beliefs were rejected by many Sunni theologians as heretical and eventually disappeared. The Karramiyya operated centers of worship and propagated asceticism.[9]

See also


  1. ^ KERRÂMİYYE, TDV İslâm Ansiklopedisi, v. 25, pp. 294-296, 2002.
  2. ^ Karrāmiyya. BRILL. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, "KARRĀMIYA"
  4. ^ Zysow: Two unrecognized Karrāmī texts. 1988, p. 580
  5. ^ a b Lewis, B.; Menage, V.L.; Pellat, Ch.; Schacht, J. (1997) [1st. pub. 1978]. Encyclopaedia of Islam (New Edition). Volume IV (Iran-Kha). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 667. ISBN 9004078193.
  6. ^ a b J. Hoffman, Valerie (2012). The Essentials of Ibadi Islam. Syracuse University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-0815650843. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Fleming, Benjamin; Mann, Richard (2014). Material Culture and Asian Religions: Text, Image, Object. Routledge. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-135013738. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed, Introduction in Ibn Taymiyya and His Times, eds. Yossef Rapoport and Shahab Ahmed (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010), 278
  9. ^ Porter Berkey, Jonathan (2003). The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800. 2 (illustrated, reprint ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 286. ISBN 9780521588133. Retrieved August 28, 2014.