Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is Zaidism Successful?

In a detailed article, a 12-er Shi-ite has expressed the view that Zaidism has an unsuccessful history, therefore it is not the version of Islam that people should prefer. Interesting argument, but it calls into question, how does one measure success in this regard?
1.He points out that Yemen, where Zaidism has flourished, is "backward" compare to other nations. But, according to this logic, all Muslims should convert to Christianity because the Muslim nations as a whole are backward compared to the Christian/Western ones.
2. He points out that 12-er Shi-ites have more books than Zaidis. But, isn't quality more important than quantity? The Shi-ite books I have read are mostly (a) about the superhuman qualites of their Imams, or the nayure of the hidden Imam on the green island or wherever he is, or (b) philosophical treatises which you need to study shi_ism for 20 years before you can understand them or (c) harping on about the leadership struggle, whereas Zaidis say, get over it, it happened, let's move on.
3. He says Zaidis have been busy fighting the Ismailis, but forgot that 12er Shi-ites were busy fighting the Zaidis too. Some say they wiped out an entire Zaidi autonomous nation in Northern Iran, forcing the Zaidis to become 12ers if they wanted to survive.
4. Zaidis may be backward compared to other nations, but at least they are not guilty of:
(a) colonising weaker countries and treating their indiginous residents as second class citizens or slaves
(b) plundering the environment to manufacture useless luxury items which people really don't need
(c) sending missionaries all over the world to force their views onto others
If this is what it takes to be successful, then I don't think Zaidis want to be successful...

1 comment:

  1. Imam Rassi SocietyJuly 11, 2010 at 2:21 AM


    Yeah, I think that the Zaydi madhhab is for the most part unknown to people who live outside of Yemen, so I am always happy to find non-Yemeni Zaydis. This shows that open-minded people have allowed their curiosity to guide them to a path that is often misunderstood!

    Unfortunately there is no money being pumped from Yemen to support the Zaydi school! It just spreads by word of mouth and Yemeni Zaydi international students.

    Ive talked to fellow Zaydis in Yemen and told them that if they do not work towards promulgating their views, it will remain confined to Yemen and die out!

    Many of them see the neccessity of translating the works of the imams and scholars into English. Insha-Allah, the efforts of brothers and sisters like us will help towards spreading this school!