Sunni-Shi'aZaydiyyaTwelverAhl al-Bayt
Is it true that the first three Shia states were all Zaydi? How do the Twelvers respond to the views of Imam Zayd and his followers, the Zaydis, who claim to be true followers of the Ahlul Bayt?
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53473
Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the Islamic College of London. He also studied at the Hawza Ilmiyya of England and continues Hawza and Islamic studies with private teachers. 113 Questions Answered & 1 Day Average Response Time.
Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from ANU, Canberra. He has written and translated several Islamic texts and also prepared educational videos on Islamic rulings and practices. 374 Questions Answered & 4 Days Average Response Time.
Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD from the University of Exeter in the philosophical and mystical readings of Mulla Sadra in the context of the schools of Tehran and Qum. 310 Questions Answered & 6 Days Average Response Time.
Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to religious questions. In the past, he has also spent significant time in India guiding the community. 1902 Questions Answered & 7 Days Average Response Time.
Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies. 415 Questions Answered & 9 Days Average Response Time.
Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been teaching for seventeen years through different media, and has also worked in media for ten years, producing and presenting programs for several TV channels. 87 Questions Answered & 31 Days Average Response Time.
Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in London, Damascus and Qom and taught for different institutions in Italy and UK. 208 Questions Answered
Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb, Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open University and has also taught Arabic conversation at Masoomieh school. 56 Questions Answered
Mahmood Abu Maryam, Trying to make sense of it all... 47 Questions Answered
Abolfazl Sabouri, Abolfazl Sabouri is based in New Zealand and has an MA in Jurisprudence and Islamic Studies. He is a graduate of Elmiyeh seminary in Qom with more than 15 years of study and research where he has also taught Tafsir, Theology and Jurisprudence. 43 Questions Answered
Mateen Charbonneau, Sheikh Mateen Joshua Charbonneau achieved a certificate from Harvard University in Islamic Studies. He undertook Howza classes under esteemed scholars since 2013 and has been teaching at Imam Mahdi Howza since 2017. He has compiled and published several books, has filmed several documentaries on Islamic subjects and has also promoted Islamic propagation in US jails. 39 Questions Answered
Zeinab Donati, Zeinab Donati has been studying books about various Islamic subjects for more than 19 years. She is deeply interested in history and politics as well as social issues in particular those pertaining to women. 25 Questions Answered
Nour Tessie Jørgensen, Nour Tessie Jørgensen has an MA in Islamic studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a degree in Philosophy of Ethics at Al Mustafa International University in Qum, Iran. She works as an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor in spiritual and female-related issues. 18 Questions Answered
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour, Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental Studies. He was raised in Iran and holds a BA and an MA in Sociology from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran. He has also studied at Queen Mary College London and the London School of Economics. 15 Questions Answered
Saleem Bhimji, Shaykh Saleem Bhimji was born and raised in Canada. After completing his post-secondary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), he moved to Medina, New York, to study at the Imam al-Asr Theological Seminary. He later continued his religious studies at the Hawza of Qum. To date he has translated over 40 full-length books into English that have been printed worldwide. 15 Questions Answered
Abbas Jaffer, Sheikh Abbas Jaffer is an optometrist by profession and has a Master’s degree in Islamic Sciences. He is a part time lecturer at the Islamic College in London and is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the challenges faced by educators of young Muslims in modern day Britain. He has also co-authored a book on Qur’anic sciences for the Islamic College as well as translating several works from Persian into English. 14 Questions Answered
Vinay Khetia, Shaikh Vinay Khetia has studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has an undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University. He is a PhD Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University with a focus on the intellectual history of Islam and specifically Shi'ism. 14 Questions Answered
Seyed Ali Musawi, Seyed Ali Musawi studied religion and history at the University of California, San Diego and subsequently he studied for more than 8 years at the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran, focusing on Islamic history and jurisprudence. 11 Questions Answered
Masuma Jaffer, Dr Masuma Jaffer is a qualified dentist, with a Masters in Islamic Studies and has also attended Hawza in Qum. She obtained a PGCE - teaching qualification – and has taught Hawza studies at the Islamic College in London. She also has a Diploma in Counselling and is a Qualified Chaplain and worked with women prisoners at Holloway and with Hertfordshire Police advising them on Muslim matters. 10 Questions Answered
Seyed Saied Alavi, Seyed Saied Alavi is a researcher based in Qom who has studied from the Howzah of Qom and also completed a Pastoral studies program. He is currently a university lecturer in the fields of Shia Theology and the History of Religions as well as other subjects. 9 Questions Answered
Mohammed Al-Hilli, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, originally from Iraq, has a Masters in Pharmacy from the University of London. He completed his Hawza degree from the ICAS in London under the supervision of Ayatollah Fadhil Milani, and also has an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University via the Islamic College. He is a teacher at the Hawza Programme at Islamic College in London. 8 Questions Answered
Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at mosques, universities, churches and interfaith gatherings and also recites majalises in Urdu, English and Gujarati. A published freelance writer, playwright, motivational speaker and Anti-Racist Educational Counsellor by profession, she conducts workshops on Race and Cultural sensitivity and often appears on TV program panels and radio talk shows to speak on Race Relations. 4 Questions Answered
Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini, Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. 3 Questions Answered
Syed Nabi Raza Abidi, Syed Nabi Raza Abidi is based in the US and has a PhD in Theology and Philosophy having attended Howzah in Iran for several years. His research was conducted under the guidance of Ayatollah Ja'far Subhani. He has also taught various subjects such as Usul, Fiqh, Philosophy, and Tafseer in different Islamic schools. 3 Questions Answered
Hassanain Govani, Hassanain Govani is based in Sweden and has an MA in History of Religion from Uppsala University and an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London, and has also studied Arabic in Damascus. He has a position as project secretary at SST, the committee for state support for religious communities. 3 Questions Answered
Hamid Waqar, Shaykh Hamid Waqar was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and converted to Islam at the age of sixteen. He started his Islamic studies in the year 2001 in Beirut and, a year later, moved to Qum where he has been studying since. He currently studies at the highest levels of Islamic jurisprudence, translates many books and runs the Muntazar website. 2 Questions Answered
Jerrmein Abu Shahba, Jerrmein Abu Shahba is originally from Egypt and has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a masters in Chemistry from Rutgers State University in the US. She is actively involved in many Islamic projects that include organizing annual youth camps, teaching Islamic subjects, writing articles and translating texts from Arabic. 2 Questions Answered
Faiyaz Jaffer, Shaykh Faiyaz Jaffer is the Associate Chaplain and Research Scholar at the Islamic Center at New York University. He attained an MA degree in Islamic Studies (UK), with a concentration on early Islamic history, after his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook University in Political Science and Religious Studies. In pursuing the classical course of Islamic education, Faiyaz has studied in the Seminary of Karbala, Iraq. 1 Question Answered
Shahid Pradhan, Shahid Pradhan is a graduate of Al-Mustafa International University, Qum. He is an activist and interested in Indian and international political and social issues. 1 Question Answered
Berak Hussain, Berak Hussain is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Canada. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Ottawa. She speaks on a variety of Islamic and psychological issues bridging the connection and misconceptions around Islam and mental health and Islam and women. She has worked locally and internationally on a variety of mental health initiatives working tirelessly to break the stigma around the topic within the community. 1 Question Answered
Sayed Mohammedhassan Alsheraa, Sayed MohammedHassan Alsheraa attended the Hawzah in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States. Thereafter he continued his Islamic studies in the Hawza of Karbala, Iraq. Alongside his Hawza studies, he is also a student of political science at the University of Michigan, USA. 1 Question Answered
Mohammad Zakaria, Mohammad Zakaria is a senior lecturer at the Islamic College where he specialises in Research methodology and Islam's Education Philosophy and Teacher Training. His doctoral work focused on the intersection between Race, Human Rights and Education. 1 Question Answered
Nasim Walji Pirmohamed, Nasim Walji Pirmohamed is a religious lecturer and a teacher in Islamic Religious Education, Holy Qur'an and Arabic language. She has translated works from Persian to English, and has been very active in working for the improvement of women’s condition and their mental health across many countries. 1 Question Answered
Anwar Jaffer, Born and raised in London, Sheikh Anwar Jaffer has a Bsc in Economics and Finance from Queen Mary University of London. In 2010 he began his religious studies in Najaf and transferred to Qom in 2015 where he currently resides with his family. No Questions Answered
Greg Sowden, Ali Mahdi Greg Sowden studied world history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Since then he has been a student at Al-Mustafa International University in Qom, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.No Questions Answered
Ayub Rashid, Shaykh Ayub Rashid is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He has a BA in Islamic law and MA in Islam and Community Studies from the UK and is also a qualified Muslim Chaplain from the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester.No Questions Answered
Amir De Martino, Amir De Martino is of Italian origin and has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College and a combined BA degree in Persian Language and Studies of Religion from SOAS in London. He has also obtained a PGCE in Social Research Methods from the Department of Education at Roehampton University as part of his preparation for doctoral studies, and is a member of Westminster’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.No Questions Answered
Jaffer Ali Ladak, Shaykh Jaffer Ali Ladak is from Milton Keynes in the UK and has studied at Jami'a Imam as-Sadiq (a) Hawza Imam al-Jawad (a) in Karbala and at Al Mahdi Institute in Birmingham. He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Islamic Law at the Islamic College in London. He has also authored a book on Lady Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Imam Ali (a).No Questions Answered
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi,

Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).

9 Answers
Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi went to the Hawza-e ‘Ilmiya-e Qum, Iran where he attended the dars-e kharij lectures of Ayatullah Wahid Khurãsãni. He also obtained an MA degree in History in 1991 from Simon... Answer imported 1 year ago

1. Zayd bin 'Ali ash-Shahid:

Among the children of Imam 'Ali Zaynul 'Abidin (a.s.), after Muhammad al-Baqir, Zayd was the most outstanding and the most learned. Shaykh Mufid describes him as "a devout worshipper, pious, a jurist, God-fearing and brave." (al-Irshad, p. 403) It is worth mentioning that he is also the first narrator of the famous as-Sahifah as-Sajjădiyya of Imam Zaynul 'Abidin (a.s.).

Zayd led an armed rebellion against the Marwanid (the Umayyid clan which came  to power after Yazid) ruler, Hisham bin 'Abdul Malik; and was calling people towards "the accepted person from among the descendants of the Prophet". He led the uprising in Kufa but was killed on 2nd Safar in 120 A.H. at the age of forty-two by Yusuf bin 'Amr ath-Thaqafi (the Umayyid governor), his body was taken out of the grave, put on a cross for four years, then it was burnt and his ashes were spread in the wind. (See al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 404; al-Mas'udi, Muruj adh-Dhahab; al-Qummi, Muntahal Amăl, p. 36).

Because of his jihad and his claim for the Ahlul Bayt, some Shi'as, however, thought that Zayd was claiming imamate for himself and therefore started believing in him as the Imam.

The Ithna-'Ashari sources do not believe that Zayd claimed imamate for himself. For example, Shaykh Mufid, one of the earliest Shi'a theologians says, "However that was not his intention because he knew of the right of his brother, peace be on him, to the Imamate before him, and of his bequest of trusteeship (wasiyya) at his death to Abu 'Abd Allăh (i.e., Ja'far as-Sadiq), peace be on him." (al-Irshad, p. 404).

Even the way Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) reacted to Zayd's martyrdom shows the uprightness of the latter in his faith in the Imams of Ahlul Bayt. When Imam as-Sadiq was informed about Zayd's martyrdom, "he was very sad...and he set apart a thousand dinars of his own money for the families of those of (Zayd's) followers who were killed with him." (al-Irshad, p. 405) For other such narrations by Shaykh as-Saduq, see Muntahal Amăl, p. 36.

In conclusion, we can say that Zayd bin 'Ali was an outstanding Shi'a, a mujăhid and a shahid who was loyal to the line of the Imams of Ahlul Bayt, including his own brother, Muhammad al-Baqir, and, his nephew, Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.). This leaves us with no choice but to reject the statement made by the late 'Allamah Tabătabă'i that Zayd himself "considered the first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, as their Imams." (Shi'a Islam, p. 77)

2. The Zaydiyya Sect:

Among the three sub-sects of the Zaydiyya, al-Jărudiyya is extinct. The other two sub-sects, the Sulaymăniyya and the Batariyya, cannot be technically considered as "Shi'a". Both believe that the Prophet did not appoint anyone as his successor; both believe in the caliphate of Abu Bakr and 'Umar but not in the caliphate of 'Uthman; they do not believe in the infallibility of the Imams; they believe that it is possible to have two imams at the same time but in two different regions.

According to the Zaydiyya, any descendant of the Prophet (i.e., a sayyid) who is a jurist (faqih, mujtahid), pious, courageous, and calls people towards Allăh by the "sword" (i.e., jihad) can be the imam. (On this account, the late Ayatullah al-Khumayni was definitely fulfilling all these requirements for the imamate of the Zaydis! I wonder what the Yemeni Zaydis have to say about this? But, on the other hand, they might say that this would apply to the Zaydis in Iran only!!)

All historians of religion, Shi'ahs and Sunnis, say that the Zaydis follow the Mu'tazila school in their beliefs, and the Hanafi school in their laws. As such, the Zaydis are more closer to the Sunnis than the Shi'as. (For details, see S.S. Akhtar Rizvi, "Shi'a Sects" published in The Light, and also reprinted in The Right Path [Toronto] in 1995).

3. Zaydi States:

It is true that one of the earliest states founded by the descendants of Imam 'Ali (a.s.) was a Zaydi state, but it was not necessarily a Shi'a state for the reasons mentioned above. Năsir al-Utrush, a descendant of the brother of Zayd ash-Shahid, arose in Khurasan. After being pursued by the 'Abbasids, he fled to Mazandaran (Tabaristan) whose people had not yet accepted Islam. "

After thirteen years of missionary activity in that region he brought a large number of people into the Zaydi branch of Islam. Then in the year 301/913 with their aid he conquered the region of Mazandaran, becoming himself Imam." (Tabătabă'i, Shi'a Islam, p. 77) The Zaydi rule in Tabaristan continued until 1126 C.E. 

The Idrisi dynasty (from 788-985 C.E.) in Morocco was not a Zaydi dynasty. It was founded by Idris bin 'Abdullah, a great-grandson of Imam Hasan bin 'Ali (a.s.).

4. What is our response?

Since the Zaydiyya believe in the caliphate of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, our response and arguments with them should not be any different from our arguments for the Sunnis.