Politics and Identity

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2 years 10 months ago - 2 years 10 months ago #8 by Imam Rassi Society
Reposted from two years ago
Asalamu Alaikum,

I have a general question. I tried to contact the gmail account given on this website a few months ago, but no response was given. I wanted to know if this madhab is in possible risk of being extinct, considering the current political turmoil of Yemen; where it is most concentrated. Secondly, how is the progress regarding the distribution of dawah/information so far....(as mentioned on this site); thirdly how do you reconcile being an American Zaydi muslim, without getting sucked into the politics of another culture. What is it that American Zaydis plan to do "differently" to avoid the "extremist view/pitfall-trap" that sunnis, shias, and other haven fallen into.

As with most American muslims, there seems to be a disconnect, and dissappointment in regards interpreting Islam for America and not having immigrant baggage and politics attached with it. Lastly, there used to be internet blogs, chats, etc. a year or to ago on this topic. What happened with that?

Sincerely,

Sister Khadija
Last edit: 2 years 10 months ago by Imam Rassi Society.

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2 years 10 months ago #9 by Imam Rassi Society
as salaamu alaykum!

We pray that Allah blesses and protects you!

As for your first question, the political situation in Yemen as well as the high concentration of Zaidis there presents a perilous situation for Zaidism. However, with the proliferation of Yemenis to other parts of the world, as well as with the production of works in English, we hope that those outside of the Arabian peninsula will come to know about Zaidiya. It is unfortunate that many Zaidis in Yemen see it as confined to Yemen. Some of us have tried to convince the Yemeni brothers of the importance of spreading the madhhab outside of the confines of Yemen. However, there's no concerted effort except on the parts of individuals who work towards it.

As for the second question, progress cannot be measured as we dont have the means of assessing who is interested in Zaidism. Judging from the hits we receive from Zaidi websites and the number of people who purchased our book (an essential for English-speaking Zaidis and those interested in Zaidi belief) the numbers are quite low. However, as they say "Quality is better than quantity." We pray that the word spreads and our efforts are sincere. Our humble society (Imam Rassi Society) is a group of translating volunteers who work and have families, so our efforts are slow.

As for the third question, the point of reconciliation depends upon the individual Muslim. The Zaydi madhhab does not impose a particular cultural standard nor does it seek to shy away from socio-political responsibility. We are commanded by Allah, the Prophet (sawas) and the imams to pursue justice. However, our standard is based on beliefs based on knowledge which manifest itself into actions. For example, if we believe that Justice is an essential attribute of Allah and that He demands it of His slaves, then we are duty-bound to uphold it wherever they are.

Practically speaking, there are respectable American Sunnis and Shias who are attempting to reconcile their faith with Americana (which already implies conflict). However, there is still debate as to what will that look like exactly. Is it simply eating halal hamburgers instead of shawarma?

I would have to pose the question as to how is it that we "interpret Islam for America"? What exactly needs to be interpreted or reinterpreted?

IRS

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