Earliest Zaydis, Return of Isa, Companions

3 years 5 months ago #104 by Imam Rassi Society
Asalamu alaikum

1. Who were the earliest Zaydis? Some sources say the Jayduria

2. Do Zaydi's believe in Isa's (as) return? I've seen one source claiming that the zaydi madhab does not believe he (as) will come back..what's the reason for this?

3. What is the status of the companions?

fee aman Allah
wa alaykum as salaam!

Thank you for your questions!

1. Regarding the earliest Zaydis, we say that the followers of Imam 'Ali (as) were the earliest Zaydis. This is because the Zaydi belief in the Imamate of a just Alawi and Fatimi sayyid who calls to himself can apply to Imam Ali, al-Hasan, al-Hussein, etc. Imam Zayd (as) just adhered to the pre-existent principle; he is not the founder of the Zaydi madhhab per se. It became necessary to be called Zaydi to differentiate ourselves from other Shi'ite sects who followed other imams and adopted other beliefs such as the infallibility of the imams, ghayba, etc.

2. Regarding the return of Isa (as), we will quote a response by a contemporary Zaydi scholar, Allama Abdullah ash-Shâdhili, may Allah have mercy on him:

As for the return of Christ, upon him be peace, I am not aware of the statements of our imams, upon them be peace, concerning this issue—by that, I mean the early authorities (al-mutaqadimîn). This is because the issue is not one of affirming deviance or related to the belief or practice. There has not been any from our imams who has refuted or established it.

What is clear to me is that those narrations that have infiltrated are amongst the narrated Jewish legends (Isrâ`îlîyât), especially from the books of the Jews and their interpolations. This is because they do not recognize the Christ that was sent before the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, and they are still waiting for his coming. Yet, according to the Christians and Muslims, he has already been sent. Therefore, they constructed these narrations of his return. The issue is one of small advantage because the one who says that he is to return makes the return under the rule of the Muslims and under the leadership of the Mahdi.

3. Regarding the Companions, let me first preface by saying that they have the honour and prestige afforded to none but them: they were in the presence of the Seal of the Messengers, peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny. This is a virtue in that they were able to take from the Messenger directly in terms of deen. They were able to see his actions, hear his words, and benefit from his blessed state; whereas the rest of us who do not have that honour are forced to rely on books and handed down traditions to learn our deen. There were those who benefited greatly from this ni'ma but there were others who were ungrateful. This brings us to the Companions.

We say that among them were the righteous and wicked, as Allah says:{O thou who believe! If there comes to thee a disobedient one with news, verify it to be true, lest thou afflict a people unknowingly and then repent for what thou hast done} (Q. 49:6). We don't place all of them on equal footing, as Allah says: {Is the believer the same as the disobedient one?! They are not equal!} (Q. 32:18). Therefore, our view of the Companions is the same as Allah's view.

We also say that those Companions who held on to faith and did not change will be awarded the Paradise but those who violated the oath of faith and altered the religion after the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny, will be confined to Hell, as the Messenger said: ((Some of my companions will come to me at my Basin, and after I recognize them, they will then be taken away from me, whereupon I will say, “My companions!” Then it will be said: “You do not that they innovated in the religion after you.")) Therefore, our view of the Companions is the same as that of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny.

We say that they were neither angels nor were they devils, rather they were human beings. By that, we mean that we don’t say that the Companions were perfect and free from criticism, nor do we say that they were all hypocrites bent on the destruction of Islam from within. Instead, they were men and women who had strengths and weaknesses. That withstanding, Allah’s threats of punishment and promises of reward apply to them just as it applies to other than them. Our opinion of the Companions can be said to be the opinion that the Companions had about each other.

When it comes to judging specific Companions, we say that Imam 'Ali (as) was the barometer in judging them.
Those Companions who he praised and approved, we praise and approve. Those Companions who he dispraised,
we dispraise. Those Companions he was silent about, we are silent about. This is based upon the words of the
Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny, uttered in Ghadir: ((O Allah, assist those who assist
him and oppose those who opposes him!))

And Allah knows best!


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3 years 5 months ago #105 by Imam Rassi Society
Barakallahu Feek.

I greatly appreciate the education you are providing, it is fascinating and I am learning a great deal. On Wikipedia it mentions three groups of Zaidi thought: the ‘Jayduria’ ‘Sulaymaniyya’ ‘Tabiriyya’, are these still distinctions in the Zaidi Madhab or not? It states that the Jayduria were the first, is that accurate?
Allah Baarak feek!

No problem! We pray that our humble efforts are of benefit!

Regarding your follow-up questions, it is difficult to speak on the aforementioned sub-sects because it was common practice for scholars like Shahrastani (the author of a major text dealing with Muslim sects) to associate a sect with a madhhab. Some of these classifications were correct and others were incorrect. Therefore, one cannot accurately say much about these groups and their supposed connection to the Zaydiyya.

The book Zaydiyya: Qirâ`at fîl-Mashru'u wa Bahth al-Makûnât by ‘Abdullah bin Muhammad al-Hamîd ad-dîn says that there are contradictions regarding some of the origins, beliefs, and attributions of these groups. Therefore, one cannot say exactly what these groups believe and what their supposed founders actually believed and taught. As an example, it says:

“The Batriyya are attributed to Suleimân bin Jarîr upon one opinion. Others attribute another opinion to him. Regarding the Suleimâniyya, they are attributed to Suleimân bin Jarîr. The Sâlihiyya and the Batriyya are numbered together as one sect. It poses the following problems attributing to them from these perspectives. If the Batriya are attributed to Suleimân bin Jarîr, this would make them and the Suleimâniyya attributed to the same person!”

Regarding the Jârûdiyya, it says:

“Whatever the case, because of the hostility against the Jârûdiyya, one cannot find any traces of them after the 2nd century. One can almost not find anyone who attributes themselves to them. Similarly, after the 2nd century, one cannot find amongst the Zaydis anyone who attributes themselves to this group or say anything similar to what they said.”

So, one cannot say with surety what they said or believed.

Also, keep in mind that you cannot fully trust the material on Wikipedia! They are notorious for errors and inaccurate information! for example, they say that Imam al-Hadi ila al-Haqq Yahya bin Hussein (as) was a Hanafi jurist (!). Academics have also made many errors especially concerning the Zaydiyya.

As we mentioned before, the earliest Zaydis were those who held to the Imamate of Imam 'Ali (as) and sided with any righteous and just Alawi Fatimi sayyid who called to himself as an imam. Regarding issues of whether the appointment of Imam 'Ali was explicit or implicit; whether the first three caliphs were sinners, disbelievers, or pardoned; and other matters, these were issues that arose later.

And Allah knows best!


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