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Why do Twelvers accept Zaidis but not Ismailis?

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I notice from personal observation that Twelvers generally have an open-minded and brotherly attitude towards Zaidi Shias but have a more closed-minded and skeptical attitude towards Ismaili Shias? What makes the Zaidi theology more acceptable and the Ismaili theology more heretical?

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It comes down to the observance of the five pillars. Twelvers, Sunnis, Zaydis, and Ibadis all pray, fast, give charity, and make pilgrimage. Our views may differ on theology and jurisprudence, but we see each other as Muslims. There is a notion among these branches of Islam that anyone who outright rejects any of the pillars is a disbeliever. Nizari Ismailis (but not the Bohra Ismailis) believe that the pillars do not need to be fulfilled if their ends are fulfilled (reflection and supplication instead of prayer, cleanliness instead of ablution, visiting the Aga Khan instead of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, paying tithes to him etc).

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13 hours ago, ChristianVisitor said:

I notice from personal observation that Twelvers generally have an open-minded and brotherly attitude towards Zaidi Shias but have a more closed-minded and skeptical attitude towards Ismaili Shias? What makes the Zaidi theology more acceptable and the Ismaili theology more heretical?

This is a great question.  I think that @Qa'im made many excellent points; but I think there's more going on.  My contention is that what we know about the Isma'ilis is generally written from the perspective of the people who were anti-Isma'ili.  So a great deal of what we know about them is not written by them.  As a community, they have also been persecuted for a long time, so there isn't a lot in the way of people who were willing to come forward and clearly define their position.  Also, I know that there is a lot of controversy about non Isma'ilis not being allowed into their Jamatkhanas. My understanding for the reasoning behind that is because of historical persecution, they are more like a Sufi Tariqah, and admission cannot be offered to anyone who has not given bayah to the Imam.   

I believe that the combination of the sources of info about them and the absence of a substantial corpus of their teachings and doctrines (because they spent a great deal of time being persecuted), we are left with the opinions of their detractors.  To me, that's like exclusively using Irenaeus of Lyon's Against Heresies as a sourcebook for Gnostic belief.  I'm not saying it's full of lies, but it's also very biased. I know that someone will mention the Fatimids and why is there nothing (or little) in terms of extant sources.  The counter to that, I would argue that the reason is because Saladin burnt the library at Alexandria before restoring the Sunni interpretation of Islam in Egypt.

There are more factors than the pillars (which are not the same between Sunni and Shi'a and are a later invention anyway) in play here.  It is easy for a Twelver whose exoteric practice and general mode of being looks more like that of the Sunni, Zaydi, or Ibadi than of a Nizari Isma'ili.  Whereas our masajid are segregated by gender, I understand that in an Isma'ili Jamat, men and women pray together.  Also, the issue of the hijab and the beard factor in.  Whereas we understand these things to be a requirement of our faith and are more exoteric in our understanding, the Isma'ilis do not require either.  Both are symbols of modesty for sure, but the Isma'ili position is that neither makes one inherently more modest, and the inner  intention and action of modesty are what matters rather than the outward display of form.  So in short, if I were to visit a masjid whose followers are primarily Maliki in jurisprudence, the prayers would look almost identical to Shi'a (Twelver) prayers, and I think that outward similarity engenders a greater degree of acceptance.

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السلام عليكم

On 12/6/2016 at 6:14 PM, Qa'im said:

It comes down to the observance of the five pillars. Twelvers, Sunnis, Zaydis, and Ibadis all pray, fast, give charity, and make pilgrimage. Our views may differ on theology and jurisprudence, but we see each other as Muslims. There is a notion among these branches of Islam that anyone who outright rejects any of the pillars is a disbeliever. Nizari Ismailis (but not the Bohra Ismailis) believe that the pillars do not need to be fulfilled if their ends are fulfilled (reflection and supplication instead of prayer, cleanliness instead of ablution, visiting the Aga Khan instead of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, paying tithes to him etc).

Would it not be more prudent to base such judgments on `aqeedah as opposed to fiqh?  For example, denying the requirement of a ruqn is kufr, but failing to perform it is only considered a major sin.  To give an example:

Bilal says that sawm is not waajib. Bilal is a kaafir. 

Sulayman says that sawm is waajib but chooses not to fast. Sulayman is a major sinner, but still a Muslim. 

There are many ways to make takfeer of the Isma'illiyah, but using their different practices may not be the most prudent way to go about it. They don't deny the rukn, they perform them differently. 

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7 hours ago, Guerrilla said:

Would it not be more prudent to base such judgments on `aqeedah as opposed to fiqh?  For example, denying the requirement of a ruqn is kufr, but failing to perform it is only considered a major sin.  To give an example:

Bilal says that sawm is not waajib. Bilal is a kaafir. 

Sulayman says that sawm is waajib but chooses not to fast. Sulayman is a major sinner, but still a Muslim. 

There are many ways to make takfeer of the Isma'illiyah, but using their different practices may not be the most prudent way to go about it. They don't deny the rukn, they perform them differently. 

Well the Nizari Isma`ilis believe in "salat, zakat, sawm, Hajj", but not the salat, zakat, sawm, and Hajj of the Prophet (pbuh), and so that does not constitute believing in a rukn and simply not practicing it. Sulayman in your example misses sawm out of a lack of faith, or out of laziness, but he believes in sawm substantively and not just the word sawm misapplied to something else. The ghulat also believed in "salat", but the Imams did takfeer of them, because they misapplied the rukn and believed that the rukn was fulfilled in belief in the Imam (among other things). It's not just that the Nizaris perform salat differently, they explicitly deny the applicability of the prophetic salat.

By the way, this principle doesn't only apply to arkaan, but to much of fiqh as well. One who believes that khamr is permissible is a kafir, but one who drinks and believes it is haram is a sinner. The Nizaris have gotten rid of the physical aspect of the shari`a in principle and not just in practice. Now, this does not mean that I can assume every Nizari is a disbeliever, but the faith system itself is disbelief, and so a public endorsement and propagation of it is potentially disbelief.

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8 hours ago, Guerrilla said:

السلام عليكم

Would it not be more prudent to base such judgments on `aqeedah as opposed to fiqh?  For example, denying the requirement of a ruqn is kufr, but failing to perform it is only considered a major sin.  To give an example:

Bilal says that sawm is not waajib. Bilal is a kaafir. 

Sulayman says that sawm is waajib but chooses not to fast. Sulayman is a major sinner, but still a Muslim. 

There are many ways to make takfeer of the Isma'illiyah, but using their different practices may not be the most prudent way to go about it. They don't deny the rukn, they perform them differently. 

According to some scholars, denying or altering any part of the Shari'ah, not due to jahl, but due to pure rejection of what the Prophet revealed, especially after the proof that this is what he (S) revealed has been presented, constitutes kufr and bid'ah.

So this includes changing Salat Al-Maghrib from 3 rak'at to 6 rak'at, for example.

For such people not to be considered kuffar, their should be some legitimate Shar'i excuse.

ومما ذكرناه يظهر أن الحكم بكفر منكر الضروري عند استلزامه لتكذيب النبي (صلّى الله عليه وآله وسلّم) لا تختص بالأحكام الضرورية ، لأن انكار أي حكم في الشريعة المقدسة إذا كان طريقاً إلى إنكار النبوة أو غيرها من الاُمور المعتبرة في تحقق الاسلام على وجه الموضوعية فلا محالة يقتضي الحكم بكفر منكره وارتداده .

http://www.al-khoei.us/books/?id=508

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okay i get it ,the act of heroism of Zaid ra, but does zaidi follow principles of sunni islam? if it does, then shouldnt we criticize certain aspects of it at least?at least the sunni part if it is there.but i cant remember if it is or not.

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4 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

Would that include living in a country that is not ruled by Sharia law?

That is like asking if a Catholic can be excommunicated in a country that is not ruled by Canon law.

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On 2/3/2017 at 0:44 PM, E.L King said:

I don't think you understand what the issue is.

That's why I ask questions. To be honest, the amount of transliterated words you guys use often makes it hard for me to understand context. That being said, with a little help I'll do my best to keep up.

If I get this straight, Shar'i excuse =  jahl.

Examples?

 

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8 hours ago, Son of Placid said:

That's why I ask questions. To be honest, the amount of transliterated words you guys use often makes it hard for me to understand context. That being said, with a little help I'll do my best to keep up.

If I get this straight, Shar'i excuse =  jahl.

Examples?

 

Someone is away from the Muslim community, someone has not heard the Qur'an properly, someone has a problem understanding issues etc

 

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