In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Az-Zaidiyyah

 The article was collected by Ummu Mariam.

 

 

 

Verily, all praises and thanks are due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our souls and evils of our deeds. One whom Allah guides none can lead him astray, and one whom He misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAAS) is His servant and His messenger.

"O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allah)]." (Al-Qur‘aan 3:102 - interpretation of the meaning)

"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve), and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you." (Al-Qur‘aan 4:1 - interpretation of the meaning)

"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAAS) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise)." (Al-Qur‘aan 33:70-71 - interpretation of the meaning)

Ammaa ba'd (as for what follows), the best of speech is the speech of Allah that is the Book of Allah. The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAAS). Of all matters, the worst are innovations; and everything new is an innovation, and every innovation is a deviation, and every deviation leads to Hell-fire.

 

 

Az-Zaidiyyah refers to a sect within Shia that separated from the main branch [Twelvers (al-Ithnay 'Ashariyyah)] over the fifth imam. Twelvers believe it was Muhammad al-Baqir, while az-Zaidiyyah hold that it was his brother, Zaid ibn 'Ali ibn al-Hussain ibn 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 740).

When Zaid had some disagreement with the Umayyad Caliph Hisham, the Shia of Kufa promised that they will support him in uprising against the caliph. Thus, they invited him to Kufa. When the Shia questioned Zaid about his position with regard to Abu Bakr (RAA) and 'Umar (RAA), he said: "They are the companions of my grandfather. I will remain loyal to them." They said: "In this case we will reject you." Thus, they were called the Rejecters (ar-Rawaafid). On hearing that Zaid declared his loyalty to Abu Bakr (RAA) and 'Umar (RAA), the Rejecters deserted him and he was obliged to face the army of the caliph with around 500 persons who were left with him, and he was killed in the battle.

The first Zaidiyyah state was established in Daylaman (Gilan) and Tabaristan (northern Iran) in 864 C.E.; it lasted until the death of its leader Hasan ibn al-Qaasim, who fell in battle at the hand of the Samanids in 928. Forty years later the state was revived in Gilan (north-western Iran) and survived under Hasanid leaders until the 12th century. From the twelfth century az-Zaidiyyah communities declined in importance and during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were gradually incorporated into the Twelver Shia. In Yemen, az-Zaidiyyah state was founded around 890 by Yahya ibn al-Hussain who had originally been invited to mediate between quarrelling Yemeni tribes. In spite of internal fighting over succession and attacks from al-Ismaa'iiliyyoon, the Yemeni state retained its independence until 1539 when it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and became a province within the Ottoman Empire. In 1595 the Yemen Zaidiyyah declared war on the Turks, which finally led to the departure of the last Ottoman governor in 1635. Yemen retained its independence until 1872 when once again it became a province within the Ottoman Empire. De facto independence was achieved during the First World War and actual independence with the fall of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. Following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire Imam Yahya was left in control of the Yemen. In 1948 Imam Yahya was assassinated in an attempted palace coup. The coup was defeated by Yahya's son, Ahmad, who succeeded his father as imam. When Imam Ahmad died in September 1962 he was succeeded by his son, Muhammad. A week later an army coup deposed the imam and established the Yemen Arab Republic. Since that time the imamate has remained vacant. But still to nowadays the centre of az-Zaidiyyah is in Yemen.

Az-Zaidiyyah are theologically closest to al-Mu'tazilah school. Al-Mu'tazilah and az-Zaidiyyah believe that knowledge of Allah can be acquired through reason as well as revelation. Thus, they base their arguments on rational reasons (adillah 'aqliyyah). Among the deviations of az-Zaidiyyah are:

    Denying the attributes of Allah.

    Believing that men have complete freedom with regard to their deeds.

    Believing that every Muslim who committed a major sin is in the position between a believer and a disbeliever (al-manzilah bayn-al-manzilatayn).

    Considering that at-taqiyyah can be used when necessary.

    Allowing rebellion against a wicked ruler.

According to az-Zaidiyyah political theory, 'Ali, al-Hasan and al-Hussain are the first three rightful imams. After them, the imamate is open to whomever of their descendants, unlike the Shia al-Ithnay 'Ashariyyah who consider that the imamate is only from the descendants of al-Hussain. About the infallibility ('ismah) of the imams, some of az-Zaidiyyah claim that only four members of the Prophet's household are infallible (Fatimah, 'Ali, al-Hasan and al-Hussain), while the Shia al-Ithnay 'Ashariyyah claim that all their imams are infallible.

Nowadays some of the sub-groups of az-Zaidiyyah believe many of the same things as the Shia al-Ithnay 'Ashariyyah. Among them there are those who even insult as-sahaabah (RAA)!

Rebelling against those in authority is common among some deviated sects. On the other hand the belief of the saved sect is that obeying a ruler is obligatory even though he might be evil and oppressive. 'Abdullah (RAA) narrated that the Prophet (SAAS) said, "A Muslim has to listen to and obey (the order of his ruler) whether he likes it or not, as long as his orders involve not one in disobedience (to Allah), but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed one should not listen to it or obey it." (Al-Bukhari)

Anas ibn Malik (RAA) narrated that Allah's Messenger (SAAS) said: "You should listen to and obey your ruler even if he was an Ethiopian slave whose head looks like a raisin." (Al-Bukhari)

On the authority of Abu Najih al-'Irbad ibn Sariya (RAA), who said: Allah's Messenger (SAAS) gave us a sermon by which our hearts were filled with fear and tears came to our eyes. We said: "O Allah's Messenger, it is as though this is a farewell sermon, so counsel us." He said: "I counsel you to fear Allah 'azza wa jall and to give absolute obedience even if a slave becomes your leader. Verily he among you who lives (long) will see great controversy, so you must keep to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Rashidite Caliphs - cling to it (as-Sunnah) stubbornly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray is in Hell-fire." (Related by Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi, who said that it was a good and sound hadiith.)

"Ibn Abil-'Izz al-Hanafi ad-Dimashqi said in the commentary of al-'Aqiidah at-Tahaawiyyah (after these words of the author): 'We do not hold (the permissibility of) rebellion against our imam or those in charge of our affairs even if they are oppressive, nor do we supplicate against them, nor do we withdraw from obeying them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and (therefore obligatory) as long as they do not order with disobedience. We pray for rectification and pardon for them.' This is the statement of the author of at-Tahaawiyyah, then the commentator (ibn Abil-'Izz) mentioned the proofs and evidence for this, then he said (in his commentary): 'As for sticking to their obedience even if they were oppressive, then this is because leaving their obedience would result in evils which would be far greater than that which would occur due to their oppression. However, having patience upon their oppression is expiation for the evil deeds and will multiply the rewards. As Allah did not place them in power over us except due to the corruption of our actions and the recompense is based on our deeds. So it is upon all of us to exert great efforts, seek forgiveness, repent and rectify our actions.

Allah, the Most High, says (interpretation of the meaning): "And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much." (Al-Qur‘aan 42:30)

Imam al-Haafidh Abul-Qaasim Isma'il ibn Muhammad al-Fadl at-Tamimi who was named 'the Supporter of the Sunnah' who died in 535 A.H. said in his book (al-Hujjah fee Bayaan al-Mahajjah): 'Chapter: Clarifying the impermissibility of rebelling against those in authority', then he mentioned in the chapter those ahaadiith which show the impermissibility of rebelling…

Muhammad Mahmood Abu Ruhayyim the one who checked this book said in his footnotes upon the previous chapter heading that was mentioned, - the one with the title 'Chapter: Clarifying the impermissibility of rebelling against those in authority'- 'This is the belief of Ahl-ul-Hadiith and no one opposed them in this except al-Mu'tazilah, al-Khawaarij and az-Zaidiyyah.'

I say (Sheikh Ahmad): Az-Zaidiyyah have adopted the sayings of al-Mu'tazilah in matters of creed ('aqeedah)." (An Explanation of Sharh-us-Sunnah of Imam al-Barbahaari by Sheikh al-'allaamah Ahmad ibn Yahya an-Najmee)

And Allah knows best.


Published on Friday the 1st of Muharram, 1428/the 19th of January, 2007



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