Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Zaidism: The Key to Muslim Unity?

The biggest obstacle that Islam faces today is disunity. Fighting over petty things drains energy, resources, and lives. The mainstream groups, the sunnis and 12er Shi-ites, both stubbornly insist that they, and only they, are right, and refuse to budge even a centimeter from their standpoints, which are etched in ideological concrete. The salafis have made the situation even worse by branding as non-Muslims anyone who disagrees with the Sunni standpoint. Once they have branded someone with disbelief (takfir) they think that killing them is a good deed. Hence the massacres of innocent 12er shi-ites and Zaidis in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, to name a few countries, by Salafi zealots. To an outsider, the issues Sunnis and 12ers are differing on seem trivial. What can be done to mend these rifts, so that Muslims can be one nation, working towards the ultimate goal of world peace?
Rarely is the blame for a disagreement only on one side. As each side states their case, they exaggerate, even lie, to get you on their side. So it is with the sunnis and 12er Shi-ites. Without going into unnecessary detail, the exaggerations in both of their collections of “prophetic” narrations, and versions of history, are obvious and laughable. The Zaidis are the only Muslims who have not resorted to political propaganda, mythical fairytales and intimidating threat tactics, to get people on their side.
It doesn’t really matter who is right and who is wrong about the leadership issue and the theological debates; what matters is that both sides reach a compromise.
In the case of sunnis and 12ers, the compromise position (Zaidism) is already established. It has been there all along, sadly ignored by most of the Muslim world.
Zaidism has not, in the words of the 12ers “had its day”. Its day has only just begun. As the world becomes better educated, as historians delve more and more into Islamic history using a scientific and objective approach, as reason and logic increase in the minds of muslims and non-muslims, the Zaidi alternative will become more and more sought after. It may not always be called “Zaidism”, it may one day simply be called “Islam”; it may become the accepted norm and the majority view, while those other views will become relics of the superstitious and intolerant past.
In an argument, it is the person who stops fighting who is the better of the two… I invite the Sunnis and 12ers to show who are the better ones amongst them, by making those first steps towards reconciliation. The Zaidis are in the perfect position to be the peacemakers because while the Sunni an 12er views are poles apart, the Zaidi view has much in common with both the Sunni and 12er views.
There is much work to be done, in (a) reconciling the Muslims and (b) working towards world peace and (c) the fair and just distribution of the world’s resources, without ruining the planet for future generations. There is no time for petty arguments, let alone civil sectarian wars. Sunnis and 12ers, join us in our efforts for justice and peace in the path of Allah.


  1. thank u sister
    very great article

    I would just like to add a few points about the extent of the Salafi problem:
    1 ) The Salafis do not represent all sunnis . Historically they were a minority group within the sunnis, but because of the oil wealth of the Saudis they have recently become the dominant force within the sunni community.

    2) The 12ers, unlike the salafis, do not encourage violence. Wherever there is a violent struggle between them and the salafis, it is the salafis that have provoked it.

    3 ) It is impossible to speak about compromise with salafis, as they attach no importance to Muslim unity.

  2. The problem with the Zaydis is most of their material is in Arabic. If they were to produce ahadith, seerah, fiqh, theology in English, many Muslims would benefit. Also we need more Zaydi scholars who can speak English. If English speaking Zaydis scholars start posting their lectures on youtube than that will be great progress for the Zaydi Madhab.

  3. I think I agree with ProAhlulBayt1 that the problem of Zaidism is their material is in Arabic, and the people who knows or introduce the zaidism in fact not come from original zaidis itself.

  4. From what I have read, the Zaidis are under seige at the moment, trying to defend their mosques, schools, libraries and colleges in Yemen from provocative attacks (including bombs and forced closures). I guess their priority is preservation at the moment... but Imam Rassi Society has begun this task for us and will be keeping us updated as they progress...

  5. Join my facebook group.

    Also there are introductory lectures on my youtube account on the Zaydia.