Lit. “The Necessitarians.” A sect of Muslims who deny free agency in man.
they take their denomination from Jabr, which signifies “necessity or compulsion;” because they hold man to be necessarily and inevitably constrained to act as he does by force of God’s eternal and immutable decree. This sect is distinguished by two species, some being more rigid and extreme in their opinion, who are thence called pure Jabariyahs; and others, more moderate, who are therefore called middle Jabiriyahs. The former will not allow men to be said either to act, or to have any power at all, either operative or acquiring, asserting that men can do nothing, but produces all his actions be necessity, having neither power, nor will, nor choice, and more than an inanimate agent. They also declare that rewarding and punishing are also the effects of necessity and the same they say of the imposing of commands. This was the doctrine of the Jahmiyahs, the followers of Jahm ibn Sufwan, who likewise held that Paradise and Hell will vanish, or be annihilated, after those who are destined thereto respectively shall have entered them, so that at last there will remain no existing being besides God, supposing those words of the Qur’an which declare that the inhabitants of Paradise and Hell shall remain therein for ever to be hyperbolical only, and intended for corroboration, and not to denote an eternal duration in reality. The moderate Jabariyahs are they who ascribe some power to man, but such a power as hath no influence on the action; for as to those who grant the power of man to have a certain influence on the action, which influence is called Acquisition, some will not admit them to be called Jabriyahs, though others reckon those also to be called middle Jabriyahs, and to contend for the middle opinion between absolute liberty, who attribute to man acquisition, or concurrence, in producing the action, whereby he gaineth commendation or blame (yet without admitting it to have any influence on the action), and, therefore, make the Asharians a branch of this sect. (Sale’s Koran, Introd.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam