Zaidiyyah or Zaidism (Arabic: الزيدية az-zaydiyya, adjective form Zaidi or Zaydi) is one of the Shia sects closest in terms of theology to the Ibadhi and Mutazila schools. Zaidiyyah emerged in the eighth century out of Shi'a Islam. Zaidis are named after Zayd ibn ʻAlī, the grandson of Husayn ibn ʻAlī and the son of their fourth Imam Ali ibn 'Husain. Followers of the Zaydi Islamic jurisprudence are called Zaydi and make up about 50% of Muslims in Yemen, with the vast majority of Shia Muslims in the country being Zaydi.
The Zaydi madhab emerged in reverence of Zayd's failed uprising against the Ummayad Caliph, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik (ruling 724–743 AD), which set a precedent for revolution against corrupt rulers. It might be said that Zaydis find it difficult to remain passive in an unjust world, or in the words of a modern influential Zaydi leader, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, to "sit in their houses".
Zaydis are the oldest branch of the Shia and are currently the second largest group after Twelvers. Zaidis do not believe in the infallibility of Imāms, but promote their leadership and divine inspiration. Zaydis believe that Zayd ibn Ali in his last hour was betrayed by the people in Kufa. Zaydis as of 2014 constitute roughly 0.5% of the world's Muslim population.
In matters of Islamic jurisprudence, the Zaydis follow Zayd ibn ’Ali's teachings which are documented in his book Majmu’ al-Fiqh (Arabic: مجموع الفِقه). Zaydi fiqh is similar to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. Abu Hanifa, a Sunni madhab shaykh, was favorable and even donated towards the Zaydi cause. Zaidis dismiss religious dissimulation (taqiyya).
In matters of theology, the Zaydis are close to the Mu'tazili school, though they are not exactly Mu'tazilite. There are a few issues between both schools, most notably the Zaydi doctrine of the Imamate, which is rejected by the Mu'tazilites. Of the Shi'a, Zaydis are most similar to Sunnis since Zaydism shares similar doctrines and jurisprudential opinions with Sunni scholars.
Zaydis’ theological literature puts an emphasis on justice and human responsibility, and its political implications, i.e. Muslims have an ethical and legal obligation by their religion to rise up and depose unjust leaders including unrighteous sultans and caliphs.
Traditionally, the Zaydi believe that Muslims who commit major sins without remorse should not be considered Muslims nor be considered kafirs but rather be categorized in neither group.
In the context of the Shi'a belief in spiritual leadership or Imamate, Zaydis believe that the leader of the Ummah or Muslim community must be Fatimids: descendants of Muhammad through his only surviving daughter Fatimah, whose sons were Hasan ibn ʻAlī and Husayn ibn ʻAlī. These Shi'a called themselves Zaydi so they could differentiate themselves from other Shias who refused to take up arms with Zayd ibn Ali.
Zaydis believe Zayd ibn Ali was the rightful successor to the Imamate because he led a rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate, who 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. The renowned Muslim jurist Abu Hanifa who is credited for the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam, delivered a fatwā or legal statement in favour of Zayd in his rebellion against the Umayyad ruler. He also urged people in secret to join the uprising and delivered funds to Zayd.
Unlike the Twelver and Isma'ili Shia, Zaydis do not believe in the infallibility of Imāms and do not believe that the Imāmate must pass from father to son—but believe it can be held by any descendant, from either Hasan ibn ʻAlī or Husayn ibn ʻAlī.
There was a difference of opinion among the companions and supporters of Zayd ibn 'Ali, such as Abu al-Jarud Ziyad ibn Abi Ziyad, Sulayman ibn Jarir, Kathir al-Nawa al-Abtar and Hasan ibn Salih, concerning the status of the first three Caliphs who succeeded to the political and administrative authority of Muhammad. The earliest group, called Jarudiyya (named for Abu al-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 that all should have recognised 'Ali as the rightful Caliph. They therefore consider the Companions wrong in failing to recognise 'Ali as the legitimate Caliph and deny legitimacy to Abu Bakr, 'Umar and 'Usman; however, they avoid denouncing them. They further condemn two other companions of Muhammad, Talhah and Zubayr ibn al-Awam, for their initial uprising against Caliph Ali.
The Jarudiyya were active during the late Umayyad Caliphate and early Abbasid Caliphate. Its views, although predominant among the later Zaydis, especially in Yemen under the Hadawi sub-sect, became extinct in Iraq and Iran due to forced conversion of the present religious sects to Twelver Shi'ism by the Safavid Dynasty.
The second group, the Sulaymaniyya, named 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 'Ali but it did not amount to sin.
The third group is known as the Tabiriyya, Butriyya or Salihiyya for Kathir an-Nawa al-Abtar and Hasan ibn Salih. Their beliefs are virtually identical to those of the Sulaymaniyya, except they see Uthman also as in error but not in sin.
Zaidis accounts state the term Rafida was a term used by Zayd ibn Ali on those who rejected him in his last hours for his refusal to condemn the first two Caliphs of the Muslim world, Abu Bakr and Umar. Zayd bitterly scolds the "rejectors" (Rafidha) who deserted him, an appellation used by Salafis to refer to Twelver Shi'ites to this day.
While not one of the 12 Imams embraced by the Twelver denomination and current largest branch of Shi'ite Islam, Zayd ibn Ali features in historical accounts within Twelver literature in a positive light.
Jafar al-Sadiq's love for Zayd ibn Ali was so immense, he broke down and cried upon reading the letter informing him of his death and proclaimed:
Alid dynasty of Tabaristan. See Alid dynasties of northern Iran.
The Hammudid dynasty was a Zaydi dynasty in the 11th century in southern Spain.
Muttawakili Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of Yemen or, retrospectively, as North Yemen, existed between 1918 and 1962 in the northern part of what is now Yemen. Its capital was Sana`a until 1948, then Ta'izz.
Since the earliest form of Zaydism was Jaroudiah, many of the first Zaidi states were supporters of its position, such as those of the Iranian Alavids of Mazandaran Province and the Buyid dynasty of Gilan Province and the Arab dynasties of the Banu Ukhaidhir of al-Yamama (modern Saudi Arabia) and the Rassids of Yemen. The Idrisid dynasty in the western Maghreb were another Arab Zaydi dynasty, ruling 788–985.
The Alavids established a Zaydi state in Deylaman and Tabaristan (northern Iran) in 864; it lasted until the death of its leader at the hand of the Sunni Samanids in 928. Roughly forty years later, the state was revived in Gilan (Northwest Iran) and survived until 1126.
The leader of the Zaidi community took the title of Caliph. As such, the ruler of Yemen was known as the Caliph. Al-Hadi ila'l-Haqq Yahya, a descendant of Imam Hasan ibn Ali, founded this Rassid state at Sa'da, al-Yaman, in c. 893-7. The Rassid Imamate continued until the middle of the 20th century, when a 1962 revolution deposed the Imam. After the fall of the Zaydi Imamate in 1962 many Zaydi Shia in northern Yemen had converted to Sunni Islam.
The Rassid state was founded under Jarudiyya thought; however, increasing interactions with Hanafi and Shafi'i schools of Sunni Islam led to a shift to Sulaimaniyyah thought, especially among the Hadawi sub-sect.
In the 21st century, the most prominent Zaidi movement is the Shabab Al Mu'mineen, commonly known as Houthis, who have been engaged in an uprising against the Yemeni Government in which the Army has lost 743 men and thousands of innocent civilians have been killed or displaced by government forces and Houthi, causing a grave humanitarian crisis in north Yemen.
Since 2004 in Yemen, Zaidi fighters have been waging an uprising against factions belonging to the Sunni majority group in the country. The Houthis, as they are often called, have asserted that their actions are for the defense of their community from the government and discrimination, though the Yemeni government in turn accused them of wishing to bring it down and institute religious law.
On 20 September 2014, an agreement was signed in Sana'a under UN patronage essentially giving the Houthis control of the government after a decade of conflict. Tribal militias then moved swiftly to consolidate their position in the capital, with the group officially declaring direct control over the state on 6 February 2015. This outcome followed the removal of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012 in the wake of protracted Arab Spring protests. Saudi Arabia has exercised the predominant external influence in Yemen since the withdrawal of Nasser's Egyptian expeditionary force marking the end of the bitter North Yemen Civil War.
There is a wide array of domestic opponents to Houthi rule in Yemen, ranging from the conservative Sunni Islah Party to the secular socialist Southern Movement to the radical Islamists of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and now ISIS in Yemen.
Time line indicating Zaidi Imams amongst other Shia Imams:
Al-Mahdi Abdallah (1793 – 28 November 1835) was an Imam of Yemen who ruled from 1816 to 1835. He belonged to the Qasimid family, who were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. From 1597 to 1962, the Qasimids dominated the Zaidi imamate of Yemen.Al-Mutawakkil Isma'il
Al-Mutawakkil Isma'il (c. 1610 – 15 August 1676) was an Imam of Yemen who ruled the country from 1644 until 1676. He was a son of Al-Mansur al-Qasim. His rule saw the biggest territorial expansion of the Zaidiyyah imamate in Greater Yemen.An-Nasir Ali bin Salah
An-Nasir Ali bin Salah (died 1329) was a claimant to the Zaidi state in Yemen, acting in rivalry with other pretenders in 1328–1329.
Ali bin Salah bin Ibrahim was a grandson of the imam al-Mahdi Ibrahim who died in Rasulid captivity in 1284. When Imam al-Mahdi Muhammad bin al-Mutahhar died in 1328, a turbulent situation arose in the Zaidiyyah territories. Ali bin Salah put forward his da'wa (call for the imamate) in As Sudah, taking the laqab name an-Nasir. He was however immediately opposed by three other claimants. Fighting between the contenders followed, and lives were lost. After one year, an-Nasir Ali bin Salah died and was buried in As Suda. The winner in the power struggle was al-Mu'ayyad Yahya (d. 1346).Batriyya
Batriyya (Arabic: بترية, adjective form Batri) is a Muslim sect from Zaidiyyah, some Shia clerics may use this term to refer to any shiite mixing the allegiance to the Imams and the allegiance to Abu Bakr and Umar.
Among those who used the term were Fadil Al-Darbandi, Muhammad Al-Sanad and Yasser Al-Habib.Dukayniyya Shia
The Dukayniyya Shia (named for one of its leaders, Abu Nu'aym al-Fadl ibn al-Dukayn) were a sect of the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam. The Dukayniyya Shia were led by Abu Nu'aym al-Fadl ibn al-Dukayn and Ibrahim ibn al-Hakam.Family tree of Ali
Alī ibn Abī Tālib (Arabic: عَـلِي ابـن أَﺑِﻲ طَـالِـب, 599 – 661 ACE) was an early Islamic leader. Ali is revered by Sunni Muslims as the last of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs, and as a foremost religious authority on the Qur'an and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Shi'a Muslims consider him the First Imam appointed by the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the first rightful caliph. Ali was the cousin of Muhammad, and after marriage to Fatimah he also became Muhammad's son-in-law. His descendants through Fatimah are revered today in Shia Islam as Imams, Sharifs or Sayyids.
His father was Abu Talib and his mother was Fatima bint Asad, but he was raised in the household of Muhammad, who himself was raised by Abu Talib, Muhammad's uncle. When Muhammad reported receiving a divine revelation, Ali was the first child to accept his message and first to convert to Islam at the age of 12, dedicating his life to the cause of Islam.In Muslim culture, Ali is respected for his courage, knowledge, belief, honesty to Islam, deep loyalty to Muhammad, equal treatment of all Muslims and generosity in forgiving his defeated enemies, and therefore is central to mystical traditions in Islam such as Sufism. Ali retains his stature as an authority on Quranic exegesis, Islamic jurisprudence and religious thought. Ali holds a high position in almost all Sufi orders which trace their lineage through him to Muhammad. Ali's influence has been important throughout Islamic history.Houthi movement
The Houthi movement (; Arabic: الحوثيون al-Ḥūthiyyūn [ˈħuːθij.juːn]), officially called Ansar Allah (anṣār allāh أنصار الله "Supporters of God"), is an Islamic religious-political-armed movement that emerged from Sa'dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s. They are of the Zaidi sect, though the movement reportedly also includes Sunnis.Under the leadership of Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, the group emerged as a Zaydi opposition to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, whom they charged with massive financial corruption and criticized for being backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States at the expense of the Yemeni people and Yemen's sovereignty. Resisting Saleh's order for his arrest, Hussein was killed in Sa'dah in 2004 along with a number of his guards by the Yemeni army, sparking the Houthi insurgency in Yemen. Since then, except for a short intervening period, the movement has been led by his brother Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.The Houthi movement attracts its Zaidi-Shia followers in Yemen by promoting regional political-religious issues in its media, including the overarching US-Israeli conspiracy and Arab "collusion". In 2003, the Houthis' slogan "God is great, death to the US, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam", became the group's trademark. Houthi officials, however, have rejected the literal interpretation of the slogan.The movement's expressed goals include combating economic underdevelopment and political marginalization in Yemen while seeking greater autonomy for Houthi-majority regions of the country. They also claim to support a more democratic non-sectarian republic in Yemen. The Houthis have made fighting corruption the centerpiece of their political program.The Houthis took part in the 2011 Yemeni Revolution by participating in street protests and by coordinating with other opposition groups. They joined the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to broker peace following the unrest. However, the Houthis would later reject the November 2011 GCC deal's provisions stipulating formation of six federal regions in Yemen, claiming that the deal did not fundamentally reform governance and that the proposed federalization "divided Yemen into poor and wealthy regions". Houthis also feared the deal was a blatant attempt to weaken them by dividing areas under their control between separate regions. In late 2014, Houthis repaired their relationship with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and with his help, they took control of the capital and much of the north.In 2014–2015, Houthis took over the government in Sanaʽa with the help of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and announced the fall of the current government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. Houthis have gained control of most of the northern part of Yemen's territory and since 2015 have been resisting the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen that claims to seek to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government to power. Additionally, the Islamic State militant group has attacked all of the conflict's major parties including Houthis, Saleh forces, the Yemeni government, and the Saudi Arabian-led coalition forces.Idris II of Morocco
Idris Al-Azhar Ben Idris Ben Abdellah Al-Kamel (Arabic: إدريس الْأَزْهَرَ بْن إدريس بْن عَبْدِ اللهِ الْكَامِلِ) known as Idris II (791-828), (Arabic: إدريس الثاني) was the son of Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty in Morocco. He was born in Volubilis two months after the death of his father.Imamate
Imamate (Arabic: إمامة imāmah) is a word derived from imam and meaning "leadership". Its use in theology is confined to Shia. An imam is the head or leader of an imamate and is similar to a caliph or khalifah with one major difference: While a caliph is more of a political head of a state, the imam (in imamate) is a religious as well as a political head of a group of people. While the caliph cannot change the religious laws and their jurisprudence, an imam also can not change the original religious laws but can derive verdicts based on Quran, Tafseer, Ahadith and Prophet's Sunnah as per new requirements or new problems faced.Imams of Yemen
The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution in 1962. Zaidiyyah theology differed from Sevener or Twelver Shi'ites by stressing the presence of an active and visible imam as leader. The imam was expected to be knowledgeable in religious scholarship, and to prove himself a worthy headman of the community, even in battle if this was necessary. A claimant of the imamate would proclaim a "call" (da'wa), and there were not infrequently more than one claimant.Jarudiyah
Jarudiyah (Arabic: الجارودية ; Persian:جارودیه) is among the first branches of Zaidiyyah, attributed to Abul Jaroud Ziyad Ibn Mansur. This sect was also known as Shorobiyah, because Shoroub was the title of Abu Jaroud. Among the theorists of the Jarudiyah are Fazl ibn Zubayr al Rasani, Mansour Ibn Abi Al Aswad, and Haroun Ibn Saad al Ajli. Abu Khalid al Vaseti is another prominent figure in this school. Jarudiyah beliefs include: Zayd Ibn Ali ibn Hussein as successor, Ali's preference over other Sahabah and the necessity of arising against a Tyrant.Khalafiyya Shia
The Khalafiyya Shia (named for its founder Khalaf ibn Abd al-Samad) were a subsect of the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam.Khashabiyya Shia
The Khashabiyya Shia (named for their exclusive use of pieces of wood as weapons in their revolt against the Ummayads under the leadership of Al-Mukhtar) are an extinct subsect of the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam. They originated as followers of Al-Mukhtar and hence would have been expected to be categorized under the Kaysanite Shia sect. The Khashabiyya Shia were later known in Khurasan as the Surkhabiyya (named for their leader Surkhab al-Tabari).List of Muslim theologians
This is an incomplete list of notable Muslim theologians.Rassids
The Imams of Yemen and later the Kings of Yemen were religiously consecrated leaders belonging to the Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam. They established a blend of religious and secular rule in parts of Yemen from 897. Their imamate endured under varying circumstances until the republican revolution in 1962. Zaidiyyah theology differed from Ismailis or Twelver Shi'ites by stressing the presence of an active and visible imam as leader. The imam was expected to be knowledgeable in religious sciences, and to prove himself a worthy headman of the community, even in battle if this was necessary. A claimant of the imamate would proclaim a "call" (da'wa), and there were not infrequently more than one claimant. The historian Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) mentions the clan that usually provided the imams as the Banu Rassi or Rassids. In the original Arab sources the term Rassids is otherwise hardly used; in Western literature it usually refers to the Imams of the medieval period, up to the 16th century. The Rassid branch that came to power with imam al-Mansur al-Qasim (r. 1597-1620) is known as Qasimids (Al al-Qasimi).Revolt of Zayd ibn Ali
In 740, Zayd ibn Ali led an unsuccessful rebellion against the Umayyad Caliphate, that had taken over the Islamic Caliphate since the death of his great-grandfather, Ali.Supreme Revolutionary Committee
The Supreme Revolutionary Committee, sometimes referred to as the Revolutionary Council or the Revolutionary Committee, is an interim body in Yemen formed by the Zaidiyyah Shia group Ansar Allah (more commonly known as the Houthis). In their 6 February 2015 "constitutional declaration" after seizing control of the Yemeni capital and much of former North Yemen, and the failure of Thursday talks between the Houthis and Yemen’s many political parties that were aimed at forming a government to replace Hadi and his cabinet, the group declared the committee would act as Yemen's interim authority. The committee was given the task of forming a new 551-seat parliament, which would then select a five-member presidential council to rule the country for two years.The president of the committee is Mohammed Ali al-Houthi.On 15 August 2016, the Supreme Revolutionary Committee partially handed power to the Supreme Political Council.Zaidi (surname)
People with the surname Zaidi trace their origins to the Islamic Holy City of Mecca, located in present-day Saudi Arabia. Descendants of Zaid ibn Ali are known as Sayyid, an honorific title bestowed upon to the descendants of Muhammad. The Zaidi surname is derived from Zaid ibn Ali, the son of Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-'Abidin, who was the great grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Descendants of Zaid ibn Ali who chose to move away from the Arabian Peninsula and have the surname Zaidi are commonly located in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The surname Al-Zaidi (Az-Zaidi) can denote one or both of the following:
Sayyid Arab descendents of Zayd bin Ali that either stayed in Kufa, Iraq or returned to Al-Hijaz.
The use of the surname Al-Zaidi to designate association may be with the Zaidiyyah madhhab, whose adherents are found in Yemen. This is akin to the use of the surnames Al-Hanafi, Al-Maliki, Al-Shafi'i, etc.Zayd ibn Ali
Zayd ibn 'Alī (Arabic: زيد بن علي, also spelled Zaid, Zayyed; 695–740) was the grandson of Husayn ibn Ali, and great-grandson of Ali. Zayd was born in Medina in 695. He was the son of Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin. Ibn Qutaybah in his book "al-Ma'ārif", republished in 1934 in Egypt, writes (at page 73) that one of the wives of the 4th Shia Imam was from Sindh and that she was the mother of Zayd ibn Ali. A similar claim has also been made in the book "Zayd Shaheed" by Abd al-Razzaq al-Hasani, published in Najaf. Zayd ibn Ali's mother Jodha, known by Muslim chroniclers as Jayda al-Sindhi. Zayd is a key figure in the Zaidiyyah (Fiver) Muslim denomination.
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