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Zaidi Shia

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Asalaamu alaikum bros and sis'.

I am interested in knowing more about what the Zaidis believe. I have done internet searches and have found very limited information.

This is all i can find so far:

Zaidi beliefs are moderate compared to other Shia sects. The Zaidis do not believe in the infallibility of the Imams, nor that they receive divine guidance. Zaidis also do not believe that the Imamate must pass from father to son, but believe it can be held by any descendant of Ali. They also reject the Twelver notion of a hidden Imam, and like the Ismailis believe in a living imam, or even imams.

In matters of law or fiqh, the Zaidis are actually closest to the Sunni Shafie school.

In matters of theology, the Zaidis are close to the Mu'tazili school, but they are not Mu'tazili...

Can someone clarify Zaidi beliefs or expound on them, please?

Maybe even if you suggested a link or a book I can read.

Thanks!

ws

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(wasalam)

www.altafsir.com you can read their tafsir there.

They believe Caliphate belongs to the family of Mohammad (pbuh). They have much hadiths to support that.

They also show Auli-Mohammad (pbuh) are chosen, and have hadiths about their Spiritual Wilayah as well. However, Zaidis today I think don't focus on that (and are in fact ignorant of that) but just the politics part, so this is perhaps why sunnis see them very much like themselves and not "extreme" like us.

They weren't vocal against Abu Baker and Umar and Uthman but focused on current rulers, however, I don't think they were ok with Abu Baker and Umar, and I don't see any evidence of that but i see the opposite implied because of the hadiths they narrate show it was usurped from Ahle-Bayt (as) and they do say it belongs to Ahle-Bayt (as) via proof from Quran + traditions.

Edited by Link

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Guest fatima2003

Zaydis (also: Zaidi, Zaiddiyah, or in the West Fivers) are the most moderate of the Shi'a groups and the nearest to the Sunnis in their theology. They say that they are a "fifth school" of Islam (in addition to the four Sunni orthodox schools). This Shi`ite sect is named after Zayd b. Ali, grandson of Husayn. The Zaydi sect was formed by the followers of Zayd b. Ali, who led an unsuccessful rebellion against the Umayyad caliph Hisham in 740.

According to Zaydi political theory, Ali, Hasan and Husayn are the first three rightful Imams; after them, the imamate is open to whomever of their descendants establishes himself through armed rebellion. Shia regard Imam Ali Zayn al-Abidin as the fourth imam. While most shias take Muhammed Al-Baqir to be the next Imam, Zayadis take Al-Baqir's brother Zayd as imam.

Zaidi see Zayd as the fifth Imam because of the rebellion he led against the Umayyad dynasty, which he believed was corrupt. Muhammad al-Baqir did not engage in political action, whereas Zayd preached that a true Imam must fight against corrupt rulers.

Not all Zaidis believe that Zaid is the true Imam. Zaidis known as Wastis believes in Twelver Imams. They are part of Shia Ithna Ashiri. Most of them settled in India, Pakistan. The biggest group of Zaidis having their belive on Twelve Shia Imams is known as Saadat-e-Bahra.

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Zaidis in my opinion originally didn't reject the 12 Imams (as) but were politically showing the Islamic teachings regarding politics and that the government needed to be overthrown.

Reading the tafsir, I believe the distinguished between Spiritual Imamate and Worldly Caliphate. See the rejectors of Zaid (ra) were termed Rafidis and I believe Zaidism was originally a movement started by one of the companions of the Imam (as) (i don't believe he renegaded) to make people understand the issue of governance and need to obey anyone who rises for justice and is knowledgeable and of good qualities.

During Imam Musa al-Kathim (as) , a person from the line of Hassan (as) came up to him and asked him permission to rise, and he did, and it was major event in history, and also we have hadiths of Imams (as) condemning those who listened to call of Zaid (ra) but didn't respond.

This shows the righteous scholars calling to justice should have been followed... not just Imams (as), in fact Imams (as) did delegate this permission of leadership to other members of bani-hashim. But the issue is they had to be shown trustworthy and people who return the trust to their owners (ie. had loyalty to the chosen Imams (as))

I believe the original Zaidi movement was this, but it was later misunderstood...

I also believe the rejectors of Zaid (ra) were the worse people on earth and the people who continued to have that view are the worse people.

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(salam)

Ok I need to clarify there is 1 sect of Zaidis the majority of which are in Yemen and they are followers of the son of Zainul Abideen, Zaid Shaheed , similar to Nurari but the other side of it are the Syed Zaidis they are the descendants of Zaid Shaheed and they are Shia ithnasheri and believe in 12 imams etc. After the martyrdom of Zaid Shaheed the younger son of imam Zainul Abideen(a.s) this sect developed in support of his cause and his cause was to avenge the incidents of Kerbala and these are extremist followers of Zaid but in support of his cause. Zaid Shaheed did know that IMAM MUHAMMAD BAQIR (a.s) will become the imam after his father as this is decided for each imam before their birth the minority in that time believed that Zaid Shaheed was their leader as Nusaris do with Imam Ali (a.s) but we know this is wrong.

The prophet said that one of my sons will be martyred in 3 ways and he used to cry when relaying this.

Zaid Shaheed bin ALi was martyred by the enemy of the time by firstly being hanged then he was beheaded and his head was hung on the gates of the city and his body was burnt for punishment.

Please do not confuse Syed Zaidi with Zaidia Firqa (sect)

(wasalam)

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Asalaamu alaikum every1.

Thanks for the replies. This helps some.

I looked at this website suggested (www.altafsir.com) and although they say they have zaidi tafsir, I can't find any under their tafsir listings. Thanks anyhow.

I am really interested in the Zaidi. Aren't they the descendents of those in Yemen directly converted by Ali (ra)? Yemen is the only region that I know of that still speaks quranic arabic as a common language.

shukrun

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Not all Zaidis believe that Zaid is the true Imam. Zaidis known as Wastis believes in Twelver Imams. They are part of Shia Ithna Ashiri. Most of them settled in India, Pakistan. The biggest group of Zaidis having their belive on Twelve Shia Imams is known as Saadat-e-Bahra.

(salam)

I cannot even imagine it being otherwise.

The Zaidies of Yemen are different.

Peace!

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Not all Zaidis believe that Zaid is the true Imam. Zaidis known as Wastis believes in Twelver Imams. They are part of Shia Ithna Ashiri. Most of them settled in India, Pakistan. The biggest group of Zaidis having their belive on Twelve Shia Imams is known as Saadat-e-Bahra.

This is talking about Zaydi family, not Zaydi madhab. Zaydi madhab doesn't recognize the 11 Imams, people descended from al Imam Zayd ibn Ali (rah) are called Zaydi (as their sur-name) and can be of any religion (just like someone called as Kazmi, Fatimi or the like). And modern day Shi'at e Zayd have their website:

http://www.izbacf.org/

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Thanks for all the info, I never knew that Zaidi Shias had distinctions. I thought all Ziadi's are the same probabaly due to the fact that i live in Pakistan. A freind of mine mentioned something about Sadaat-e-bahra a few yrs back, but i never had an idea wat it really was, I thought it was some geographical region.

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hmmmmmm.....

are there any zaidis on this site who can verify any of this...when learning about a particular creed its always best to learn from those who adhere to it

Yeah, I agree. I always like to go to the source. Seems so many of us get caught up in this and that while the truth remains elusive. Thats why i came on this site, because some Sunni folks (I am sunni by default since when I converted to Islam it was at a sunni masjid) were prejudging and misrepresenting some facts that I knew to be true from Zaidis I have known in the past.

Seems a lot of ignorance abounds. I didn't chose Islam out of a desire to remain ignorant and believe what I wanted to. It took a lot of education and overcoming my own prejudices and misunderstandings. There is no blind faith or following in Islam.

People can sincerely be wrong in the eyes of Allah (even though theologically and ritualistically correct and devout) and end up in the hellfire because of their lack of mercy, understanding and willingness to overcome their prejudices against their brothers and sisters in Islam.

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I have some of their literature (hadith works, fiqh, kalam, history).

Referring to them as "fivers" isn't accurate, though you'll commonly read that. Neither is it accurate to say that they are Hanafi in their fiqh. However, in terms of kalam, they are pretty close to the Mu`tazila (with some differences though, particularly on Imama).

They believe that Imam `Ali (as) was the successor of the Prophet (pbuh) and most superior after him, however they do not believe that he was explicitly designated as such, that is, they deny the nass as we Imamiyya hold. In doing so, they seek to justify the rule of Abu Bakr and `Umar as the rule of the less superior over the superior. After Imam `Ali (as), they believe that Imam Hasan (as) and Imam Husayn (as) were the next Imams. After that however, they believe that any descendant of either two Imams (as) can rise up to be the Imam. They do not believe that Imam must be designated, do not believe that he is Ma`sum, do not believe that he has a special knowledge beyond that of a religious scholar. To them the Imam is more or less a dynastic politico/religious position. They do not believe that Imam `Ali b. al-Husayn (as) was an Imam, instead they believe the next one was Zayd b. `Ali ash-Shahid (ra) (they do not believe he was designated, but that he rose up to the position). Then, they move onto his son Yahya, and so on. The longest running dynasty of Zaydi Imams was the Hadawiyya in Yemen, who ruled the area for around a thousand years until their last Imam was killed in the 1960s. Currently, they do not have an Imam. There had also been for a time a Zaydi dynasty in Tabaristan, and then Gilan, with another line of Imams.

The problem with narrowing down precisely what Zaydism is that over the centuries it has morphed and changed itself several times. For instance, the early Jarudiyya Zaydis apparently believed that there would be twelve Imams and understood the position of an Imam to be something closer to what we Imamis believe. Eventually, they largely went over to the Imamiyya and left Zaydism. In fiqh, they apparently do not even use the earlier Zaydi collection of hadiths, the so-called Musnad Zayd, but instead follow the fiqh of their Imam al-Hadi ila al-Haqq Yahya b. al-Husayn, the founder of the Zaydi dynasty in Sana`a, Yemen (I have their main book of fiqh which I think he wrote, with a commentary by Shawkani on it at home, don't remember the title off hand) Nowadays, from what I've heard the situation is even more confused. They have no Imam they recognize, with some Zaydis converting to Wahhabism and others forming around groups (one even I heard having a connection with the Moonies...). Al-hamdu lillah, some have been coming over to Twelver Shi`ism now also.

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Interesting Macisaac.

Can you suggest any books or reading that I might do on the topic?

Also, what is the Mu`tazila school of thought? It there a brief synopsis I can read about it?

Pardon me for my ignorance. I am only familiar with the 4 sunni schools. :blush:

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I am from Yemen but I am not Zaidi, I have never heard of something like a Zaidi mosque or Zaidi region. There are a lot of Zaidis in Yemen but they are nothing like the Shia in general. They do not curse Omer RA, Abo Baker RA, Othman RA or Aysha RA. I am not familiar with their believes and how close or different from the shia but I have never noticed any different between sunnies and Zaidis. Did not really have a fried who identify himself as a Zaidi or Sunni.

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Can you suggest any books or reading that I might do on the topic?

Their ahadith books and other books are available through the website I mentioned (in Arabic). To summarize, they are closer to Ahlus Sunnah wa'l Jammah than Ithna Ashariyyah, and are like other early Tafzilli Shi'a sects (who used to say Ali was superior to sheikhan but didn't reject/curse the first 2, similar to the break-away from early Shi'ism - The Ibadiyyah madhab in Oman).

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Interesting Macisaac.

Can you suggest any books or reading that I might do on the topic?

Also, what is the Mu`tazila school of thought? It there a brief synopsis I can read about it?

Pardon me for my ignorance. I am only familiar with the 4 sunni schools. :blush:

I'm not aware of any books in English that are specifically about the Zaydiyya. The material I have is in Arabic that I was able to find in Qum (and even there, there isn't much to be found in terms edited/published material unless you're in Yemen, I'd suppose). Now, if you can read Arabic, Shaykh Ja`far Subhani has a series of works on different madhahib which are pretty in depth, with discussion on the Zaydiyya in the seventh volume of said work:

http://rafed.net/books/aqaed/almelal-wa-alnahal-7/index.html

As to the Mu`tazila, they are a largely extinct school of kalam (theology) that at one point were the "officially" promoted school of theology amongst the non-Shia (saying "Sunni" at this point isn't all that accurate as Sunnism didn't yet exist then in its current forms), and which received patronage by a number of the `Abbasid rulers. Shahid Mutahhari goes over some of their beliefs (as well as those of the Asharites (dominant school of Sunni kalam) and of the Imami (Twelver) Shi`as) in this article:

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/kalam.htm

Give it a read. The Zaydis largely adopted the Mu`tazila positions in kalam, though in addition to their specific beliefs in Imama as they define it.

Anyhow akh, I think it's a good thing to want to be expanding your knowledge beyond the information you've been presented with so far in your contacts with Sunnis such as by learning of the different sects and schools that exist (or have existed). I hope though, in sha Allah, you'll also go further in studying the beliefs of the Imamiyya, that is, of Twelver Shi`ism. As someone who has himself studied a number of these sects (and being a convert myself) I can say the answers are in the path of the Ahl al-Bayt of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), that of the Twelve Ma`sum Imams from `Ali b. Abi Talib (as) to our living Imam of today, al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (as), may Allah hasten his reappearance.

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I don't know whether this it related or not, but I would wanna know a bit about Abidi's too.

like there are both Zaidi's & Abidi's in our surroundings, right so are Abidi's descendents of the Fourth Imam Zain-ul-Abideen (as)?

and can some one tell wat was the cause of this which gave birth to Zaidi's & Abidi's ? it'll be really nice if someone would help.

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The longest running dynasty of Zaydi Imams was the Hadawiyya in Yemen, who ruled the area for around a thousand years until their last Imam was killed in the 1960s.

Correcting myself here, their last "Imam", Muhammad al-Badr, was not killed in the 60s. Actually, he died in exile in the UK in 1996.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn41...14/ai_n14061849

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This should clarify all of your misconceptions

Zaidiyya, Zaidism or Zaydism (Arabic: الزيدية az-zaydiyya, adjective form Zaidi or Zaydi) is a Shī'a madhhab (sect, school) named after the Imām Zayd ibn ˤAlī. Followers of the Zaidi fiqh are called Zaidis (or occasionally, Fivers by Sunnis).

There is also a group called the Zaidi Wasītīs who are Twelvers (see below).

Zaidi is also a family name, used by claimed descendants of Zayd ibn Ali and, as such, there are Sunni Zaidi, too, mainly in Pakistan and India. Especially in English, the distinction between the sect and and the family name is made in spelling; the sect is referred to as "Zaydi", while the family name is usually "Zaidi".

Contents

[hide]

* 1 Zaidi Imāms

* 2 Law

* 3 Theology

* 4 Unique Beliefs

* 5 Community and former States

* 6 See also

o 6.1 Al-Zaidi

o 6.2 Zaidi Wasitis

o 6.3 Literature

* 7 References

* 8 External links

[edit] Zaidi Imāms

Followers of the Zaidi fiqh recognize the first four of the Twelve Imams but they accept Zayd ibn Ali as their "Fifth Imām", instead of his brother Muhammad al-Baqir. After Zayd ibn Ali, the Zaidi recognize other descendants of Hasan ibn Ali or Husayn ibn Ali to be Imams. Other well known Zaidi imams in history were Yahya ibn Zayd, Muhammad al Nafs az-Zakiyah and Ibrahim ibn Abdullah.

Muhammad Prophet of Islam

Ali ibn Abu Talib 1st Imam

Hasan ibn Ali 2nd Imam

Husayn ibn Ali 3rd Imam

Ali ibn Husayn (Zayn al Abidin) 4th Imam

Zayd ibn Ali 5th Imam

[edit] Law

In matters of law or fiqh, the Zaidis follow Zaid ibn Ali's teachings which are documented in his book Majmu Al Fiqh (in Arabic: مجموع الفِقه). The Zaidis are similar to the Hanafi madhhab with elements of the Jafaari madhhab.

[edit] Theology

In matters of theology, the Zaidis are close to the Mu'tazili school, but they are not Mu'tazilite, since there are a few issues between both schools, most notably the Zaidi doctrine of the imamate imamah, that are rejected by Mu'tazilites.

[edit] Unique Beliefs

The Zaidi Sects [1]

* The Zaidi sect was started by the followers of Zaid bin 'Ali, his companions Abu'l Jarud Ziyad ibn Abi Ziyad, Sulayman ibn Jarir, Kathir an-Nawa Al-Abtar and Hasan ibn Salih.

* The Zaidi sect then divided into three groups:

1. The earliest group called, Jarudiyya (named for Abu'l Jarud Ziyad ibn Abi Ziyad), was opposed to the approval of certain companions of Muhammad. They held that there was sufficient description given by the Prophet so that all should have recognised Imam 'Ali. They therefore consider the companions sinful in failing to recognise Imam 'Ali as the legitimate Caliph. They also deny legitimacy to Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Uthman, they also denounce Talha, Zubair. This sect was active during the late Umayyad and early 'Abbasid period. Its views although predominant among the later Zaidis, became extinct in Iraq and Iran due to forced conversion to Ithna' Ashariyya by the Safawids.

2. The second group, Sulaimaniyya (for Sulayman ibn Jarir), held that the Imamate should be a matter to be decided by consultation. They felt that the companions, including Abu Bakr and 'Umar, had been in error in failing to follow Imam 'Ali but it did not amount to sin.

3. The third group is Tabiriyya, Butriyya or Salihiyya (for Kathir an-Nawa Al-Abtar and Hasan ibn Salih). They are virtually identical in belief with the Sulaimaniyya, however they include Uthman into the non-sin category of error.

The Zaidis do not believe in the infallibility of the Imams, nor that the Imams receive divine guidance. Zaidis also do not believe that the Imamate must pass from father to son, but believe it can be held by any Sayyid descended from either Hasan ibn Ali or Husayn ibn Ali. It must be noted, however, that Shi'i Twelvers do not necessarily believe in Imamate passing from father to son either, as can be seen from the transition of Imamate from the second Imam, Hasan ibn Ali, after his death to his brother Husayn ibn Ali.

Zaidis believe Zayd was the rightful successor to the Imāmate because he led a rebellion against the Umayyads, whom he believed were tyrannical and corrupt. Muhammad al-Baqir did not engage in political action and the followers of Zayd believed that a true Imām must fight against corrupt rulers.[citation needed]

Zaidis also reject the notion of Occultation (ghayba) of the "Hidden Imām". Like the Ismā'īlīs, they believe in a living Imām (or Imāms).[citation needed] Great Sunni Imam Abu Hanifa has given a Fatwa (Legal verdict) in favor of Imam Zaid[citation needed] in his rebellion against Ummayid ruler of his time.

[edit] Community and former States

Since the earliest form of Zaidism was of the Jarudiyya group[1], many of the first Zaidi states, like those of the Alavids, Buyids, Ukhaidhirids[citation needed] and Rassids, were inclined to the Jarudiyya group.

The Idrisids (Arabic: الأدارسة‎) were Arab [2] Zaydi Shia[3][4][5][6][7][8] dynasty in the western Maghreb ruling from 788 to 985, named after its first sultan, Idriss I.

A Zaidi state was established in Daylaman and Tabaristan (northern Iran) in 864 C.E. by the Alavids[9]; it lasted until the death of its leader at the hand of the Samanids in 928 C.E. Roughly forty years later the state was revived in Gilan (north-western Iran) and survived under Hasanid leaders until 1126 C.E. After which from the 12th-13th centuries, the Zaidis of Daylaman, Gilan and Tabaristan then acknowledge the Zaidi Imams of Yemen or rival Zaidi Imams within Iran.[10]

The Buyids were initially Zaidi[11] as well as the Ukhaidhirite rulers of al-Yamama in the 9th and 10th centuries.[12]

The leader of the Zaidi community took the title of Caliph. As such, the ruler of Yemen was known as the Caliph, al-Hadi Yahya bin al-Hussain bin al-Qasim ar-Rassi Rassids (a descendant of Imam al-Hasan) who, at Sa'da, in c. 893-7 C.E., founded the Zaidi Imamate and this system continued until the middle of the 20th century, until the revolution of 1962 C.E. that deposed the Zaidi Imam (see Imams of Yemen). The founding Zaidism of Yemen was of the Jarudiyya group[13], however with the increasing interaction with Hanafi and Shafi'i Sunni Islam, there was a shift from the Jarudiyya group to the Sulaimaniyya, Tabiriyya, Butriyya or Salihiyya groups.

Currently, Zaidis constitute about 40-45% of the population in Yemen. Ja'faris and Isma'ilis are 2-5%.[2],[3] In Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that there are over 1 million Zaidis (primarily in the western provinces).[citation needed]

Currently the most prominent Zaidi movement is Hussein al-Houthi's Shabab Al Mu'mineen who have been engaged in a uprising against the Yemeni Government in which the Army has lost 743 men and thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or displaced by Houthi and government forces causing a grave humanitarian crisis in north Yemen. Shia Population of the Middle East[14]

[edit] See also

[edit] Al-Zaidi

Main article: Al-Zaidi (surname)

[edit] Zaidi Wasitis

Main article: Zaidi (surname)

[edit] Literature

* Cornelis van Arendonk : Les débuts de l'imamat zaidite au Yemen , Leyden , Brill 1960 (French)

[edit] References

1. ^ a b Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005) Referencing: Momen, p.50, 51. and S.S. Akhtar Rizvi, "Shi'a Sects"

2. ^ Hodgson, Marshall (1961), Venture of Islam, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 262

3. ^ Ibn Abī Zarʻ al-Fāsī, ʻAlī ibn ʻAbd Allāh (1340), Rawḍ al-Qirṭās: Anīs al-Muṭrib bi-Rawd al-Qirṭās fī Akhbār Mulūk al-Maghrib wa-Tārīkh Madīnat Fās, ar-Rabāṭ: Dār al-Manṣūr (published 1972), pp. 38

4. ^ http://hespress.com/?browser=view&EgyxpID=5116,'>http://hespress.com/?browser=view&EgyxpID=5116, http://hespress.com/?browser=view&EgyxpID=5116

5. ^ Introduction to Islamic theology and law, By Ignác Goldziher, Bernard Lewis, pg.218

6. ^ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Part 24, By James Hastings, pg.844

7. ^ The Idrisids

8. ^ Shi'ah tenets concerning the question of the imamate

9. ^ Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005) Referencing: Iranian Influence on Moslem Literature

10. ^ Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005) Referencing: Encyclopedia Iranica

11. ^ Walker, Paul Ernest (1999), written at London ; New York, Hamid Al-Din Al-Kirmani: Ismaili Thought in the Age of Al-Hakim, Ismaili Heritage Series, 3, I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies., pp. 13, ISBN 1860643213

12. ^ Madelung, W. "al-Uk̲h̲ayḍir." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. 07 December 2007 [1]

13. ^ Article by Sayyid 'Ali ibn 'Ali Al-Zaidi, A short History of the Yemenite Shi‘ites (2005)

14. ^ The Gulf 2000 Project SIPA Columbia University

Edited by Al-Zaidi

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Asalaamu alaikum bros and sis'.

I am interested in knowing more about what the Zaidis believe. I have done internet searches and have found very limited information.

This is all i can find so far:

Zaidi beliefs are moderate compared to other Shia sects. The Zaidis do not believe in the infallibility of the Imams, nor that they receive divine guidance. Zaidis also do not believe that the Imamate must pass from father to son, but believe it can be held by any descendant of Ali. They also reject the Twelver notion of a hidden Imam, and like the Ismailis believe in a living imam, or even imams.

In matters of law or fiqh, the Zaidis are actually closest to the Sunni Shafie school.

In matters of theology, the Zaidis are close to the Mu'tazili school, but they are not Mu'tazili...

Can someone clarify Zaidi beliefs or expound on them, please?

Maybe even if you suggested a link or a book I can read.

Thanks!

ws

I am also interested in finding out more about zaidism. I'm a muslim convert. I have started a blog where I have collected articles on this topic. It is zaidism.blogspot.com

If anyone has info about Zaidism could they please add it to my blog. In particular, where can I get Zaidi books in English?

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I am also interested in finding out more about zaidism. I'm a muslim convert. I have started a blog where I have collected articles on this topic. It is zaidism.blogspot.com

If anyone has info about Zaidism could they please add it to my blog. In particular, where can I get Zaidi books in English?

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I'm not aware of any books in English that are specifically about the Zaydiyya. The material I have is in Arabic that I was able to find in Qum (and even there, there isn't much to be found in terms edited/published material unless you're in Yemen, I'd suppose). Now, if you can read Arabic, Shaykh Ja`far Subhani has a series of works on different madhahib which are pretty in depth, with discussion on the Zaydiyya in the seventh volume of said work:

http://rafed.net/books/aqaed/almelal-wa-alnahal-7/index.html

As to the Mu`tazila, they are a largely extinct school of kalam (theology) that at one point were the "officially" promoted school of theology amongst the non-Shia (saying "Sunni" at this point isn't all that accurate as Sunnism didn't yet exist then in its current forms), and which received patronage by a number of the `Abbasid rulers. Shahid Mutahhari goes over some of their beliefs (as well as those of the Asharites (dominant school of Sunni kalam) and of the Imami (Twelver) Shi`as) in this article:

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/kalam.htm

Give it a read. The Zaydis largely adopted the Mu`tazila positions in kalam, though in addition to their specific beliefs in Imama as they define it.

Anyhow akh, I think it's a good thing to want to be expanding your knowledge beyond the information you've been presented with so far in your contacts with Sunnis such as by learning of the different sects and schools that exist (or have existed). I hope though, in sha Allah, you'll also go further in studying the beliefs of the Imamiyya, that is, of Twelver Shi`ism. As someone who has himself studied a number of these sects (and being a convert myself) I can say the answers are in the path of the Ahl al-Bayt of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), that of the Twelve Ma`sum Imams from `Ali b. Abi Talib (as) to our living Imam of today, al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (as), may Allah hasten his reappearance.

I'm not aware of any books in English that are specifically about the Zaydiyya. The material I have is in Arabic that I was able to find in Qum (and even there, there isn't much to be found in terms edited/published material unless you're in Yemen, I'd suppose). Now, if you can read Arabic, Shaykh Ja`far Subhani has a series of works on different madhahib which are pretty in depth, with discussion on the Zaydiyya in the seventh volume of said work:

http://rafed.net/books/aqaed/almelal-wa-alnahal-7/index.html

As to the Mu`tazila, they are a largely extinct school of kalam (theology) that at one point were the "officially" promoted school of theology amongst the non-Shia (saying "Sunni" at this point isn't all that accurate as Sunnism didn't yet exist then in its current forms), and which received patronage by a number of the `Abbasid rulers. Shahid Mutahhari goes over some of their beliefs (as well as those of the Asharites (dominant school of Sunni kalam) and of the Imami (Twelver) Shi`as) in this article:

http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/kalam.htm

Give it a read. The Zaydis largely adopted the Mu`tazila positions in kalam, though in addition to their specific beliefs in Imama as they define it.

Anyhow akh, I think it's a good thing to want to be expanding your knowledge beyond the information you've been presented with so far in your contacts with Sunnis such as by learning of the different sects and schools that exist (or have existed). I hope though, in sha Allah, you'll also go further in studying the beliefs of the Imamiyya, that is, of Twelver Shi`ism. As someone who has himself studied a number of these sects (and being a convert myself) I can say the answers are in the path of the Ahl al-Bayt of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), that of the Twelve Ma`sum Imams from `Ali b. Abi Talib (as) to our living Imam of today, al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (as), may Allah hasten his reappearance.

Salaam Mc Isaac, I find it interesting that you prefer the 12 imamer version of Islam over the Zaidi one, which doesn't require you to believe in the rather far-fetched ideas of the Hidden Imam and the Infallible Imams.... I prefer the more moderate and logical Zaidi position, in any case, I would like you to visit my blog and put forward the 12 imamer case for the Zaidi audience there, so we can compare and contrast that with Zaidism, if you have time... at www.zaidism.blogspot.com or if anyone else would like to put forward a convincing and logical argument in favour of the hidden imam etc.. feel free... w/salaam

I'm inviting people from this page to visit my blog on Zaidism and present the 12-er view (i.e. about the infallible imams and the Hidden Imam) to the Zaidis who are visiting my blog and wanting to know the difference between Zaidism and 12 ism, there are also sunnis on there presenting their perspective, it is good to get a comparison and I don't want to misrepresent your views... w/salaam

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Salaam Mc Isaac, I find it interesting that you prefer the 12 imamer version of Islam over the Zaidi one, which doesn't require you to believe in the rather far-fetched ideas of the Hidden Imam and the Infallible Imams.... I prefer the more moderate and logical Zaidi position, in any case, I would like you to visit my blog and put forward the 12 imamer case for the Zaidi audience there, so we can compare and contrast that with Zaidism, if you have time... at www.zaidism.blogspot.com or if anyone else would like to put forward a convincing and logical argument in favour of the hidden imam etc.. feel free... w/salaam

I'm inviting people from this page to visit my blog on Zaidism and present the 12-er view (i.e. about the infallible imams and the Hidden Imam) to the Zaidis who are visiting my blog and wanting to know the difference between Zaidism and 12 ism, there are also sunnis on there presenting their perspective, it is good to get a comparison and I don't want to misrepresent your views... w/salaam

Salam and welcome to our forum.

The reasons I personally reject the Zaydi madhhab (or more accurately, madhhabs as there have been several in their history) are many. While I find them a topic of interest, as I find all “Shi`a” sects to be of at least some interest (even if I do not consider them to truly be Shi`a), and while I can understand how they do carry at least a surface layer of appeal, appearing the more rational and moderate in their approach, this breaks down upon further investigation. Here’s a few quick points to consider.

As to being an Imami, a Twelver, then two clear reasons for adhering to this line to the exclusion of all others would be 1) the direct appointment of the preceding Imam to the next, culminating in the prophesied total of twelve Imams (as found in both Sunni and Shi`i hadiths), giving a continuous stream of divinely appointed authorities on Earth (as befits this especially being the final religion for how else would be it guarded and preserved, especially considering how much fitna, heresies and ikhtilaf we have seen in this umma) and 2) the unparalleled qualifications of each of these twelve, clearly distinguishing them from all their contemporaries, in their piety, their character, their knowledge, and their miracles. Even to the point where a Imam who inherited the Imamate as child _still_ carried on the knowledge of his fathers without interruption.

Neither of these two find a match in Zaydism (or Isma`ilism for that matter). Instead we see the Zaydi dynasties produced little more than petty monarchies, often fighting themselves, even one “Imam” against the other. For example, the most famous book of Zaydi fiqh is al-Azhar written by one of their Imams, Ahmad b. Yahya b. al-Murtada. He composed it while he was imprisoned in the qal`a prison of the qasr of San`a. Thing is, he’d been thrown in jail by another of their “Imams”… What type of Imamate is that??

Centuries of Zaydi rule left Yemen about one of the most backward and impoverished nations in the Muslim world. Their supposed Imams would declare jihads against other Muslims, particularly the Isma`ilis, if they weren’t busy fighting amongst themselves. When one studies the knowledge found amongst them, there’s very little of any apparent inheritance of knowledge as you would expect from the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå. Take for instance their hadith literature. Or rather, what little of hadiths they have. You have the very early Amali of `Isa b. Ahmad and you have the Majmu` al-Fiqh attributed to Zayd. The problem with the latter is that it’s almost certainly a forgery of Abu Khalid `Amr b. Khalid who attributed it to Zayd to give it more weight. Other than sporadic minor collections, that’s really about it for Zaydi hadiths. As such, you find they eventually became increasingly dependent on the Sunnis’ collections instead. Now compare that to the wealth of knowledge as has come down to us through the twelve Imams, with volumes upon volumes filled with their transmitted knowledge on everything from beliefs, tafsir, shari`a, akhlaq and so on, and there’s really little comparison.

Another big problem with Zaydism is that it bears really very little resemblance to the earlier Zaydi madhhabs of yore. Their current adoption of Mu`tazili kalam came relatively later in their history, being initially very resisted in some quarters. While because of the Mu`tazili adoption they might appear to be more rationalist nowadays, the earlier Zaydis held onto some pretty weird doctrines that really stretch credulity. For me what stands out as an example would be the Jarudi belief (and as you might know, for a time the Jarudis were the dominant sect of the Zaydis) that all of the descendants of `Ali Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã are equal in knowledge. Literally. That is, even a newborn baby contains within him the same amount of knowledge as an elderly `Alawid Shaykh, the knowledge having been transmitted through miraculous means to the entire progeny. The `Alawid just had to be reminded of what he already knew, I think the theory went.

The Zaydi fiqh demonstrates to me the weakness of this madhhab and its distance from the actual teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt. Just to give two examples that set them apart from us Imamis, the Zaydis perform their wudu like the Sunnis, washing the feet. Also, they consider mut`a to be haram. Now I pick those two distinguishing examples because from what I believe, each of these are completely opposite what the Ahl al-Bayt in fact taught. There’s zero doubt that for instance they regarded the practice of mut`a to be halal, as several hadiths with various chains reported from them clearly demonstrate. And of course we could go into the Quranic proofs for each of these. But anyhow, I pick these as examples to show the distance between what the Zaydis practice and what the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt actually were.

Doctrinally, numerous Zaydi tenets I find to be very dissatisfying. For instance the doctrine of implicit nomination of Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã as opposed to explicit nomination from the Prophet Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå makes neither intellectual nor traditional sense. The doctrine of the unrepentant grave sinner, even if Muslim, going to Hell eternally with Allah not being able to ever forgive them is to me very much opposed to the belief in an all-powerful and merciful God.

Anyhow, that’s a few quick thoughts to get us started, in sha Allah ta`ala.

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Salam and welcome to our forum.

The reasons I personally reject the Zaydi madhhab (or more accurately, madhhabs as there have been several in their history) are many. While I find them a topic of interest, as I find all “Shi`a” sects to be of at least some interest (even if I do not consider them to truly be Shi`a), and while I can understand how they do carry at least a surface layer of appeal, appearing the more rational and moderate in their approach, this breaks down upon further investigation. Here’s a few quick points to consider.

As to being an Imami, a Twelver, then two clear reasons for adhering to this line to the exclusion of all others would be 1) the direct appointment of the preceding Imam to the next, culminating in the prophesied total of twelve Imams (as found in both Sunni and Shi`i hadiths), giving a continuous stream of divinely appointed authorities on Earth (as befits this especially being the final religion for how else would be it guarded and preserved, especially considering how much fitna, heresies and ikhtilaf we have seen in this umma) and 2) the unparalleled qualifications of each of these twelve, clearly distinguishing them from all their contemporaries, in their piety, their character, their knowledge, and their miracles. Even to the point where a Imam who inherited the Imamate as child _still_ carried on the knowledge of his fathers without interruption.

Neither of these two find a match in Zaydism (or Isma`ilism for that matter). Instead we see the Zaydi dynasties produced little more than petty monarchies, often fighting themselves, even one “Imam” against the other. For example, the most famous book of Zaydi fiqh is al-Azhar written by one of their Imams, Ahmad b. Yahya b. al-Murtada. He composed it while he was imprisoned in the qal`a prison of the qasr of San`a. Thing is, he’d been thrown in jail by another of their “Imams”… What type of Imamate is that??

Centuries of Zaydi rule left Yemen about one of the most backward and impoverished nations in the Muslim world. Their supposed Imams would declare jihads against other Muslims, particularly the Isma`ilis, if they weren’t busy fighting amongst themselves. When one studies the knowledge found amongst them, there’s very little of any apparent inheritance of knowledge as you would expect from the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå. Take for instance their hadith literature. Or rather, what little of hadiths they have. You have the very early Amali of `Isa b. Ahmad and you have the Majmu` al-Fiqh attributed to Zayd. The problem with the latter is that it’s almost certainly a forgery of Abu Khalid `Amr b. Khalid who attributed it to Zayd to give it more weight. Other than sporadic minor collections, that’s really about it for Zaydi hadiths. As such, you find they eventually became increasingly dependent on the Sunnis’ collections instead. Now compare that to the wealth of knowledge as has come down to us through the twelve Imams, with volumes upon volumes filled with their transmitted knowledge on everything from beliefs, tafsir, shari`a, akhlaq and so on, and there’s really little comparison.

Another big problem with Zaydism is that it bears really very little resemblance to the earlier Zaydi madhhabs of yore. Their current adoption of Mu`tazili kalam came relatively later in their history, being initially very resisted in some quarters. While because of the Mu`tazili adoption they might appear to be more rationalist nowadays, the earlier Zaydis held onto some pretty weird doctrines that really stretch credulity. For me what stands out as an example would be the Jarudi belief (and as you might know, for a time the Jarudis were the dominant sect of the Zaydis) that all of the descendants of `Ali Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã are equal in knowledge. Literally. That is, even a newborn baby contains within him the same amount of knowledge as an elderly `Alawid Shaykh, the knowledge having been transmitted through miraculous means to the entire progeny. The `Alawid just had to be reminded of what he already knew, I think the theory went.

The Zaydi fiqh demonstrates to me the weakness of this madhhab and its distance from the actual teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt. Just to give two examples that set them apart from us Imamis, the Zaydis perform their wudu like the Sunnis, washing the feet. Also, they consider mut`a to be haram. Now I pick those two distinguishing examples because from what I believe, each of these are completely opposite what the Ahl al-Bayt in fact taught. There’s zero doubt that for instance they regarded the practice of mut`a to be halal, as several hadiths with various chains reported from them clearly demonstrate. And of course we could go into the Quranic proofs for each of these. But anyhow, I pick these as examples to show the distance between what the Zaydis practice and what the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt actually were.

Doctrinally, numerous Zaydi tenets I find to be very dissatisfying. For instance the doctrine of implicit nomination of Amir al-Mu’mineen Úáíå ÇáÓáÇã as opposed to explicit nomination from the Prophet Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÂáå makes neither intellectual nor traditional sense. The doctrine of the unrepentant grave sinner, even if Muslim, going to Hell eternally with Allah not being able to ever forgive them is to me very much opposed to the belief in an all-powerful and merciful God.

Anyhow, that’s a few quick thoughts to get us started, in sha Allah ta`ala.

Salaam McIsaac,

Thanks for your prompt reply. It is much more convincing than the arguments put forward so far by the salafi contingent. Is it ok with you if I copy this into my blog, under the heading, "a defnece 12-er version of Islam by a 12-er convert" or something similar? Not that I agree with you, but this should provoke an interesting discussion on my blog.... w/salaam

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Salaam,

Sure, but it's really just some quick thoughts I threw together. It isn't really a vigorous defense of our madhhab and rebuttal of the Zaydis. That would require a much more thorough and detailed work. That said, to me the best defense and argument really for the truth of Imamism is simply by looking at their lives and teachings. Nothing in these other sects really compares or matches up to that.

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Salaam,

Sure, but it's really just some quick thoughts I threw together. It isn't really a vigorous defense of our madhhab and rebuttal of the Zaydis. That would require a much more thorough and detailed work. That said, to me the best defense and argument really for the truth of Imamism is simply by looking at their lives and teachings. Nothing in these other sects really compares or matches up to that.

Salaam and thanks! I have just copied and pasted your article on my blog. I had attempted to provide a link to this page, but couldn't make the link work. Also, I am having trouble locating this discussion when I go to Shiachat homepage. I can't see it in the sunni/shia section. Where is it? You can read my response to what you wrote so far at my blog, (www.zaidism.blogspot.com) under the heading "Is Zaidism Successful?" w/salaam

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Salam,

In sha Allah, I'll attempt to respond to your responses :-)

1.He points out that Yemen, where Zaidism has flourished, is "backward" compare to other nations. But, according to this logic, all Muslims should convert to Christianity because the Muslim nations as a whole are backward compared to the Christian/Western ones.

Dunyawi success certainly is not something I'd consider a valid criterion of Imamate, however since the Imamate in Zaydism is little more than a political office, a monarchy, with religious undertones, it's success in terms of the effects of when it had been able to establish what it would consider the ideal form of governance is a valid question. And again, looking at Zaydi history in the Yemen (and elsewhere for that matter), it isn't very appealing. When I look at the beauty and grandeur of this religion, I can't imagine this is what was really intended.

2. He points out that 12-er Shi-ites have more books than Zaidis. But, isn't quality more important than quantity? The Shi-ite books I have read are mostly (a) about the superhuman qualites of their Imams, or the nayure of the hidden Imam on the green island or wherever he is, or (B) philosophical treatises which you need to study shi_ism for 20 years before you can understand them or © harping on about the leadership struggle, whereas Zaidis say, get over it, it happened, let's move on.

Can you read Arabic? I ask because your description of Imami literature is very off the mark here. Admittedly the quality of a lot of the _English_ material can be lacking (though since there's almost nothing in English from the Zaydiyya I'm not sure even there's much comparison), but in terms of the Arabic literature again there's no real comparison. I wasn't only speaking of scholarly output though, but rather the hadiths in particular as have come down through each sect. In the case of Zaydism there's hardly any. As I mentioned, there is the Amali and the likely forged Majmu` al-Fiqh. But neither of these even were enough for the construction of a madhhab so Zaydis had to turn to Sunni methodologies and sources in order to fill the many gaps, both in terms of their fiqh and in terms of their kalam. Where then is the inheritance of the House of Prophecy?

Even if we ignored all of the output of centuries of Imami scholarship (which is immense), and only kept to the hadiths that have come to us, we'd have more than enough to have a complete vision and understanding of the religion from all of it's angles. Sadly very little of this has been translated into English, though some of us are trying to rectify this, in sha Allah (you might visit the site in my sig below, *******.org, it's where I've been putting the translations I've been working on, primarily of hadiths, as well as work from some fellow believers.)

3. He says Zaidis have been busy fighting the Ismailis, but forgot that 12er Shi-ites were busy fighting the Zaidis too. Some say they wiped out an entire Zaidi autonomous nation in Northern Iran, forcing the Zaidis to become 12ers if they wanted to survive.

I'm not sure what you are referring to. How much have you actually studied about the Zaydi Imamates in Iran? Here, give this a read if you haven't already:

http://www.iranica.com/articles/alids-of-tabarestan-daylaman-and-gilan

It's interesting stuff, but not at all what I'd consider role models of piety. Rather it's a long history of internal fighting, Zaydi against Zaydi, each vying for power and conquering territories or towns, even family members conspiring against one another. Again, is this what you think the Imamate is meant to be about?

4. Zaidis may be backward compared to other nations, but at least they are not guilty of:

(a) colonising weaker countries and treating their indiginous residents as second class citizens or slaves

(B) plundering the environment to manufacture useless luxury items which people really don't need

© sending missionaries all over the world to force their views onto others

Again, I'm wondering how much you've actually studied about Zaydi history... I think you might be very disappointed if you learned about how their imams often conducted themselves when in power or when fighting (even fighting each other) for it.

As to our end, I'm really not terribly interested in trying to justify what some supposedly Imami government has done at whatever points in our history (though for most of that history, there has be _no_ Imami government and we had to live under the regimes of others, including Zaydis). They aren't my Imams so it's not my purpose to argue about them. What I would strongly urge you to do is rather to learn about those ones who are my Imams. You would not regret it.

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Salam,

In sha Allah, I'll attempt to respond to your responses :-)

Dunyawi success certainly is not something I'd consider a valid criterion of Imamate, however since the Imamate in Zaydism is little more than a political office, a monarchy, with religious undertones, it's success in terms of the effects of when it had been able to establish what it would consider the ideal form of governance is a valid question. And again, looking at Zaydi history in the Yemen (and elsewhere for that matter), it isn't very appealing. When I look at the beauty and grandeur of this religion, I can't imagine this is what was really intended.

Can you read Arabic? I ask because your description of Imami literature is very off the mark here. Admittedly the quality of a lot of the _English_ material can be lacking (though since there's almost nothing in English from the Zaydiyya I'm not sure even there's much comparison), but in terms of the Arabic literature again there's no real comparison. I wasn't only speaking of scholarly output though, but rather the hadiths in particular as have come down through each sect. In the case of Zaydism there's hardly any. As I mentioned, there is the Amali and the likely forged Majmu` al-Fiqh. But neither of these even were enough for the construction of a madhhab so Zaydis had to turn to Sunni methodologies and sources in order to fill the many gaps, both in terms of their fiqh and in terms of their kalam. Where then is the inheritance of the House of Prophecy?

Even if we ignored all of the output of centuries of Imami scholarship (which is immense), and only kept to the hadiths that have come to us, we'd have more than enough to have a complete vision and understanding of the religion from all of it's angles. Sadly very little of this has been translated into English, though some of us are trying to rectify this, in sha Allah (you might visit the site in my sig below, *******.org, it's where I've been putting the translations I've been working on, primarily of hadiths, as well as work from some fellow believers.)

I'm not sure what you are referring to. How much have you actually studied about the Zaydi Imamates in Iran? Here, give this a read if you haven't already:

http://www.iranica.com/articles/alids-of-tabarestan-daylaman-and-gilan

It's interesting stuff, but not at all what I'd consider role models of piety. Rather it's a long history of internal fighting, Zaydi against Zaydi, each vying for power and conquering territories or towns, even family members conspiring against one another. Again, is this what you think the Imamate is meant to be about?

Again, I'm wondering how much you've actually studied about Zaydi history... I think you might be very disappointed if you learned about how their imams often conducted themselves when in power or when fighting (even fighting each other) for it.

As to our end, I'm really not terribly interested in trying to justify what some supposedly Imami government has done at whatever points in our history (though for most of that history, there has be _no_ Imami government and we had to live under the regimes of others, including Zaydis). They aren't my Imams so it's not my purpose to argue about them. What I would strongly urge you to do is rather to learn about those ones who are my Imams. You would not regret it.

My Arabic is pretty basic and no I haven't studied much about Zaidi history. I think we don't know what's in store for the Zaidis; in the future they could develop into something great, maybe they are just slow starters. Zaidism has the potential to appeal to Western educated people, I don't think 12 imamerism does because of the hard - to- swallow mythical concepts. I think the reason for the sophisticated literature of the imamers is probably the more advanced culture the Persians had pre Islam, compared to the Arabs. It's not because the 12ers have the right Islamic view. If it wasn't for the hidden Imam and infallible imam concept I may have chosen 12ers, but I also find the exclusive selection of Hussein's off-spring as Imams illogical, as Hassan was the older brother of the two. The logical next Imam after Hassan's death would have been Hassan's oldest son, etc. You won't be able to convert me, but I admit that the Zaidis have a long way to go. It's like I'm getting an old bomb of a car and I'm going to fix it, because it's the best make of car, and when it's fixed it will be better than your recent model car which is not the best brand. ... When I have time I'll cut and paste your comments here onto my blog.. it would have been easier if you'd typed them there...in the comments section.... never mind. Would you be able to check my descriptions of the 12 imamer views and see if corrections are needed, in the sections on" free will", "metaphorical interpretations," and "how to pray like a zaidi if u r a 12er." ? I was using a lot of guess work. I do agree with you abouty the wiping of the feet and the mut-aa. I don't know what the Zaidi line is on these, haven't seen their books yet, what makes you think they've taken sunni line on these? w/salaam

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My Arabic is pretty basic and no I haven't studied much about Zaidi history. I think we don't know what's in store for the Zaidis; in the future they could develop into something great, maybe they are just slow starters. Zaidism has the potential to appeal to Western educated people, I don't think 12 imamerism does because of the hard - to- swallow mythical concepts. I think the reason for the sophisticated literature of the imamers is probably the more advanced culture the Persians had pre Islam, compared to the Arabs. It's not because the 12ers have the right Islamic view. If it wasn't for the hidden Imam and infallible imam concept I may have chosen 12ers, but I also find the exclusive selection of Hussein's off-spring as Imams illogical, as Hassan was the older brother of the two. The logical next Imam after Hassan's death would have been Hassan's oldest son, etc. You won't be able to convert me, but I admit that the Zaidis have a long way to go. It's like I'm getting an old bomb of a car and I'm going to fix it, because it's the best make of car, and when it's fixed it will be better than your recent model car which is not the best brand. ... When I have time I'll cut and paste your comments here onto my blog.. it would have been easier if you'd typed them there...in the comments section.... never mind. Would you be able to check my descriptions of the 12 imamer views and see if corrections are needed, in the sections on" free will", "metaphorical interpretations," and "how to pray like a zaidi if u r a 12er." ? I was using a lot of guess work. I do agree with you abouty the wiping of the feet and the mut-aa. I don't know what the Zaidi line is on these, haven't seen their books yet, what makes you think they've taken sunni line on these? w/salaam

salaam, oh I just noticed a zaidi scholar has responded to your article on my blog, and talked about the zaidi position of the wiping, mut'a etc among other things...you are right about them...they take the sunni line on those two...w/salaam

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My Arabic is pretty basic and no I haven't studied much about Zaidi history. I think we don't know what's in store for the Zaidis; in the future they could develop into something great, maybe they are just slow starters.

To be honest I think their time has already past. In former times they had a great deal more influence and back then, for a while, were real rivals to the Imamis and Isma`ilis (another fading sect) for dominance, but over time that has passed away. Zaydism really belongs more to a time of tribal warlords, where a claimant will rally a tribe around him and try to conquer an area to establish his dominion. That's basically how they're history panned out, one warlord or another fighting for dominance. The imamate for them became a tribal thing, the dominance of one blood line over all others. Again, I just don't see that as being what the universal religion of Islam was meant to be, some clan affair. Even now in their last foothold in the world, Yemen, their sect is dying off with many Zaydis converting to Wahhabism and some to Imami Shi`ism. It was an interesting experience for me discussing with some Yemeni converts when I was in Qum about the state of affairs amongst the Zaydis in Yemen. For one there seems to be a serious intellectual stagnation built into it, where their scholars have fiercely been against intellectual pursuits.

Zaidism has the potential to appeal to Western educated people, I don't think 12 imamerism does because of the hard - to- swallow mythical concepts.

As a born and bred Westerner who has studied both, I'll beg to differ ;-)

As to hard to swallow mythical concepts, do you mean the occultation of the twelfth Imam (as)? I'll admit, it is a matter of faith to accept, however that said, for a Muslim there really shouldn't be an objection to this. Think of for instance how Allah tells us about believing in the ghayb in the Quran, or how in the stories of former prophets He tells us how long Nuh (as) remained amongst his people. So for those who believe in Allah's word there really isn't an excuse for not accepting that someone can live this long. There's much more that could be said, how the concept of a Mahdi encompasses the hope of Islam, the fulfillment of Islam's victory across the world, the hope for a better world, the continuation of Allah's guidance on Earth, the preservation of the final religion and so forth.

Here, you might find this interesting. On that site I linked to, we have a translation of an early (pre-occultation) small collection of hadiths, the Asl of Abu Sa`id `Ibad al-`Usfari. The compiler was a Kufan Jarudi Zaydi scholar. Give them a read, especial the first few hadiths and really consider what they are saying in regards to how many Imams there were going to be and what their role is:

http://www.*******.org/hadiths/asl-abu-sa-id-ibad-al--usfari

Remember, this is compiled _prior_ to the occultation of the twelfth Imam (as) and its compiler wasn't even an Imami but rather a Zaydi. The import of this should not be understated.

I think the reason for the sophisticated literature of the imamers is probably the more advanced culture the Persians had pre Islam, compared to the Arabs.

I think that's neglecting to consider that Persia only became Imami relatively late in its history by which time most of our greatest scholarship had already been done and often in non-Iranian lands (i.e. Baghdad, Kufa, Jabal `Amul, Hilla).

It's not because the 12ers have the right Islamic view.

Again, I invite you to read the actual hadiths of the Imams (as) before making such a conclusion.

The logical next Imam after Hassan's death would have been Hassan's oldest son, etc.

That isn't Zaydi belief though as they say that Imam al-Husayn (as) was the next Imam. Also, they also believe that the first three Imams, as well as the Prophet (pbuh) and Fatima (as) were ma`sum, that is sinless and infallible, so even in Zaydi belief you still have to believe in at least some infallible Imams.

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salaam, oh I just noticed a zaidi scholar has responded to your article on my blog, and talked about the zaidi position of the wiping, mut'a etc among other things...you are right about them...they take the sunni line on those two...w/salaam

Salaam,

Yeah, I was looking to find my copy of al-Azhar so I could lay out the Zaydi wudu for you, but looks like he beat me to the punch. It is basically a Sunni wudu (washing the feet, washing three times, etc) which I believe is counter to both the teaching of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and of course the Book of Allah. And with mut`a they, like Sunnis, consider it haram going on that narration that says the Prophet (pbuh) made it haram at Khaybar. Again though, this is contrary to the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and the Quran. And while those are two clear examples of their divergence, it doesn't end there. Time and again I find the Zaydis ended up importing this or that other Sunni concept and practice, usually trying to justify by just declaring it's the "ijma` of the Ahl al-Bayt", which is pretty ridiculous as it's ignoring the many hadiths that have come down from them on these topics. It also ignores the fact the Zaydi Imams couldn't themselves agree on many things, as witness the many differences of view between the Nasiri and the Hadawi lines. an-Nasir for instance, with regards to the wudu, apparently said you had to both wash _and_ wipe the feet.

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