Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mu’tazilism Saved from Extinction by Zaydism / Zaidism

There are many Sunnis today who would love to be Mu’tazilis, but are under the mistaken impression that Mu’tazilism is “extinct”. Here is a typical comment from one of them:
“As a Mutazili Muslim from Turkey who abandoned the foolish dogmas and barbaric absurdities of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaah, who is fed up with secularist state-control toward Islam, and who perhaps is the last of the adherents of a revolutionary 'dead sect' that made such notable contributions to a logical and consistent monotheistic creed based on Quranic revelation, I must confess, I was overjoyed to discover the great theological and philosophical reasoning of Mutazilah the first time I encountered it early this year. Never before in any Islamic text or school had I seen such clarity and sophistication in thinking regarding ontological matters. The question of free will and existence of evil in the world were elucidated to such a level that no question or doubt remained. Even now, to my astonishment, I read to explore how Mutazilah has successfully answered all issues of faith, law, justice, morality, etc... in Islam more than a thousand years ago.
Equally, I am baffled as to how a rational, intellectual, meritorious, virtuous, well-principled school of Islamic thought as Mutazilah could fade away. Is it because of Asharite slanders against the magnanimously upright tenets of Mutazilah for centuries? Or the hatred caused by the Mihna unfairly attributed to Mutazilah? Was it Al-Ghazali who delivered the final blow with his inconsistence and irrationalism? The downfall and demise of this sect is shrouded in mystery. Whatever the cause, Mutazilah is too precious a phenomenon to neglect...” (by Ozan Yarman).
There are many modern Sunnis who feel the same way as Osman, and have no idea that the Zaydis are the only Muslims who, instead of neglecting the noble principles mentioned above, have let them flourish throughout the centuries. It is important to educate our Sunni brothers and sisters about Zaydism so that they can emerge from their Dark Age and join us in the Age of Muslim Enlightenment. Also to inform them that by adopting Zaydism, one can unashamedly be a Mu’tazili and at the same time be a loyal and faithful supporter of the Prophet’s family.


  1. In comparison to uniqueness of the Mutazilla I give a preference to them on the 3 out of the 4 points above. I think all school today suffer from at least one of the above. When it comes to imitation, the Ahle Sunnah and 12rs are both proponents of it. Today both schools followers consist of followers who are blind followers of taqleed. On the contrary, the Zaydis, have not suffered from this problem, since their school of opinions is not restricted to one monolithic group or on the basis of taqleed.

    When it comes to ahadith, I would have to speak against the Mutazilla for lacking education in the area of ilm-e-rijal. The 12rs try to substitute this area, by simply applying rational reasoning(aql) toward ahadith. On the contrary, if this is the case then there can always be opinions on the contrary. For example in Nahj al-Balagha the sermon of Shiqshiqiyya is widely quoted by the 12r to dismiss the legitimacy of rule held by Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra) and Uthmaan (ra). Since, Nahj al-Balagha, has no chain the only method they use to authenticate this sermon is through their rational reasoning. On the contrary, the Mutazillah have recognized this sermon through their rational reasoning came to another conclusion. Ibn Abi al-Hadid al Mutazilli (ra) recognized al-Khutbat al-Shiqshiqiyyah as genuinely attributed to al-'Imam
    Ali (as), he, however, tried to interpret it in accordance with Sunni belief in the legitimacy of al-Khilafat al-Rashidah. The Zaydi in the area of ilm-e-rijal are still unknown to the majority of the Muslim world. On the issue of Imam Ali (as) caliphate not all of them say Imam Ali (as) position is was an explicit one. However, through his merits they point out that Imam Ali's (as) position of caliphate was implicit which is not disagreed by many of the Scholars of Ahle Sunnah. Both Shia sects Zaydi and 12rs invite the Sunni schools to recognize the Imam of the time. The 12th Imam of the 12rs has left the world for over 1000 years. Until he doesn’t appear people really have no “infallible imam” to rely on. This mean the 12rs expect Muslims to follow a system of imamate which is no longer functioning. Zaydis on the contrary also suffer from a high level weakness in this area. Their main weakness is that they have not established their schools in the Western nations. Their main imams of knowledge can only speak in Arabic and have sources which are also restricted in the Arabic language.

    When it comes to scientific knowledge, once again I believe the Muslim world lack in this area. Today’s society of Islam is either filled with Muslims of worldly knowledge or Muslims of religious knowledge. There seems to be no balance between the two.
    Shaykh Tahir Ul Qadri in the clip below identifies the roots of terrorism within Muslim lands.

    Next Shaykh Hakim al Quick lists the weakness of the Muslim scholars.

    Imam Al Asi points us that we have more fiqhi scholars in comparison to scholars who are scientist. He says the Quran has more hints toward science as comparison to fiqh.

    As for the last point, I believe the early Mutazillah were closer to the school of Ahlul Bayt (as). However, the later Mutazilla started to deviate toward the wrong direction. Orators are needed the Muslim world, but if they lack scholarly knowledge then they are not different than the non-Muslim who present their ideas.

  2. Mutazilla and zaidyah are not the same, a distinction must be made.

    It is completely false to deduce that ahlulbayt learned usuli knowledge from non-ahlulbayt. This concept demolishes the ideology of zaidyism.

    The truth of the matter is that both ahlulbayt and wasil bin ata are both student of Imam Ali in one way or another.

    wasil bin Ata studied from Mohamad bin alhanfiah while imam zaid (blessing be upon him) studied from his fathers.

    Sunnies want to adapt the Usuli matters of both sect but they unfortunately have a problem with joining any shia group as they have gained false misconception of shias in general. therefor Mutazillah is the closest they can get.

    I ask Allah to enlighten us and remove stubbornness from our hearts.

  3. My advice to sunnis who want to be mu'tazili is, disown the sunnis before they disown you.
    It is much easier to defend the mu'tazili position from a Zaidi standpoint than from a Sunni standpoint. Sunnis officially rejected Mu'tazilism centuries ago, and they do not appreciate mu'tazilis in their ranks.
    I agree with "my first name" that the ahlul bait inspired the mu'tazili ideals, particularly Imam Ali, and I hope that with further research we will be able to clarify this important and neglected part of Islamic history for English speaking readers.

  4. How can a Sunni be a Mutazilla today ? Their books no longer exist. What is left over from them is from the material where they are refuted.
    In my opinion, I cannot follow another school unless I have a scholar from that school to guide me on various issues. Otherwise, if you take this step then it will like placing each foot in two different boats.

    As for the Zaydi school, if they had masjids in the West I would love to visit them. However, its not the case. What I learn from the internet is not sufficient for me to make a decision to switch to another school.

  5. Zabarah (my first name previously)September 1, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Brother ProAhlulbayt1

    I understand what you are saying about not having direct guidance from scholar. But you must understand the truth is the truth no matter where you maybe and how far it is from you.

    If you are 100% certain that this is the truth then you most do your best to follow it. even if it means if you have to migrate. ( قل ياعبادي الذين آمنوا اتقوا ربكم للذين أحسنوا في هذه الدنيا حسنة وأرض الله واسعة إنما يوفى الصابرون أجرهم بغير حساب () قل إني أمرت أن أعبد الله مخلصا له الدين)

    But migration is not needed these days as the internet have helped a lot in bringing information closer.

    Sister zaida is a good example, as she is doing what she can with what she has and I can see she has gone a long way. I ask Allah to assist her in her works and efforts and shower her with blessings for the sake of this blessed month.

    I ask allah to guide us to the truth whatever it maybe.

  6. Salaams brother Zabara, and thanks for your du'aa. We are blessed to have access to the internet; it is easier to gain knowledge than ever before, and easier to express one's opinions freely; all we need to do is open our minds, not be afraid of the reactions of close-minded people around us, and keep on asking Allah for guidance...

  7. Brother Zabarah
    I don't think there is any madhab out there which is presents a 100% light toward the teachings of Ahlul Bayt (as). Instead I think the truth is found in every madhab.
    As for migrating, that's a big no for me. I don't think I can live in country such as Yemen or even a country like India or Pakistan. The Western countries are the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and I believe all Muslims benefit from their advance fields of education. Don't take this the wrong way. I am not putting down any Muslim nation, but I am only condemning the tyrants and lazy Muslims who have slowed us down in this direction.
    Imam Jafar As Sadiq (as) in his time was a master in fields of Mathematics and Sciences. Today it’s the Western nations who have become masters of these fields.

    What Muslims today need is to work together. They should adopt the Western sciences and also gain a strong Islamic background.

    As for the internet, I don't think it’s enough for me. I can always make errors when come to interpretation. I need a scholar to teach me everything. Since the year 2002 till present day, the 12r Shias made their strong presence on the internet. They put up many websites, e-books and also opened up many debate forums. Also since the Iranian revolution the 12rs managed to also make a shift in the Geo political world too. Of course through these methods they converted many Sunni and Salafis into 12rs. However, most of these 12rs Shias who converted, I question them in areas are which are not presented on their websites. For example I ask them if they have heard about the Mutazillah. If they know who other Ahlul Bayt (as) imams are such Imam Abdullah ibn Hassan (as) (one of the teachers of Imam Zayd (as)), Imam Nafs-az-Zakiyah etc..Guess what? They have no clue. On the contrary, the 12r Shia scholars such as Shaykh Al Mufid and Syed Murtaza studied under the Mutazilla, benefited from them, and they were able to advance their aqeeda what they extracted from them.

    On the internet from the 12rs Shia I see a heavy emphasis on refutation material vs actual beliefs of their madhab. Its seems like they survive by celebrating the birthdays and emphasizing on the martyrdom of the 11 Imams. On the contrary, if one wants to study their aqeeda then they will encounter problems with their ahadith. From their ahadith on the Ahlul Bayt (as), I have concluded that Imam Baqir (as), and Imam Sadeq ( as) are the victims of a massive 12r forgery operation. They respond to this by saying we don't accept everything as sahih. Well if that's the reality then what the point of calling me toward a path which is not infallible after all. Of course this doesn’t mean I think they are 100% off. They do have a lot of views on the ahlul bayt, which seem to be missing in present day Ahle sunnah.

  8. In the recent years, I got interested in Zaydi Shiaism. In fact, one can a Musnad Zayd e-ahadith which is translated in Urdu. From what I read in that ahadith book, I believe 90% can be traced back to the 6 major ahadith of the Sunnis. Now, one can translate the other books of ahadith and post it up online too. However, when it comes to ahadith one needs a scholar to be present. For example one might say Musnad Zayd is authentic book. In fact in some articles, some extremes even go as far as saying that Imam Zayd ibn Ali (as) wrote this book himself. Now suppose I read this on the internet. I would be only be fool to base my full aqeeda on this, and next day I would feel embarrassed to learn that this is not the reality. See what internet learning can do to a person ? It might increase their knowledge, but at the same time it might destroy their faith as well. If one fairly analyzes this fairly the earliest Zaydi book Musnad Zayd it has Imam Zayd's (as) narrations which were presented by their students' students etc. There is no direct work by Imam Zayd's (as) hand. Therefore we are back to square one in terms of reports. Just read the musnad's commentaries and also the book 'ra'b al-sada' it sheds light upon musnad and majmu, and how it disagrees and has differences with the other Zaydi books.

    As for incident of history such as what happened during the time of the sahaba, there are Sunni scholars who have convered these details without bias. Refer to my youtube account for more info.

    For me internet is not enough. Zaydis need to send their mujtahid imams to the West, and spread their madhab there. If they take this step then that's how Zaydi will spread around the world.

  9. Also recall that Imam Zayd ibn Ali (as) was among the first Ahlul Bayt (as) members to leave Madina, and settle in to a more advance nation which was Basra. If you truly are Zaydis why don't your mujtahid imams follow this Sunnah of his ?

  10. proahlulbayt,

    i did not mean to offend in anyway. i ask you forgivness for any thing i said that was not for your liking.

    my dear brother, i understand what you mean about the internet. as they say among scholars whoever makes his book his teachers then his/her errors are more then his/her rights. but you can get online voice lectures if you want. they do one every night in ramadan.

    my dear brother, do not blame the zaidi scholars for not travelling they are always fought where they are and they do not have the ability to open centers or live abroad because they do not have the financial backing that 12rs do. zaidiah is the most fought mathhab of all mathaheb. remember zaidiah believes of fighting oppressors, i dont think all rulers like that very much.

    it must be understood that ahlulbayt imams believed in one usuli ageedah. In the matters that are fariah there are some difference. these differences are based on ijtihadi matters, and they are not as essential.

    concerning the matter that not one mathhab is completly right: is a matter that depends on you. but it should be that way becuase allah promised of having a hadi and the availability of the ultimate truth for every era. if this wasnt the case then how can allah punish us if the ultimate truth is not available to us? allah forbid such gross calamity to fall upon us!

    Not feeling that zaidiah is the right mathhab is another issue. but if you believe it is then i leave you with one of many ayahs in this regard {الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَاهَدُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً عِندَ اللّهِ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ} سورة التوبة: 20

  11. Brother zabarah
    You didn't offend me at all. I think is always good to give constructive criticism. Likewise, for Sunnis, they also lack financial backing too. Most mosques in the West are funded by the Saudis who promote the radical wahabi ideology. As for Sunnis most of us really came here to earn wealth as this was lacking in our own home lands. Today we can blame a lack of funds, but we must also blame a lack of faith within ourselves.
    The 12rs Shias of today, have the financial backing, but in my view they also have their weakness. From what I discovered is that most Western 12r Shia Zakirs today have a stronger education is Western studies as compared to Islamic education. In another words they studied basics alim courses which means they are not scholars. I believe the 12r Shia sect is pushing for this more so so they can gather the youth attention, and force them to attend the majalis.

    There are some Sunni leaders out there, but again most of them are just alims. On the contrary, the Wahabis have the funding and they have the financial means to support their institutions. However, the problem they have is most the wahabi scholars lack Western education.

    Its seems to me that the Ummah is all over the place.

    You said that you have lectures online ? Are they in English. If they are why don't you post them online. I will promote them. In the past I have promoted to Zaydi material on Sunni forums. Many Sunni were happy to read them. If you have English lectures that is even better. On youtube, I found a good 12r Shia scholar, I didn't mind promoting his lectures toward Sunnis either.

  12. To Pro ahlul bait, if you would really like to see Zaydi mosques and scholars in the West, why not help us promote Zaydism on the internet? (Becoming a Zaidi yourself would help). When there are tens of thousands of Zaydis in Western countries, they will soon organize themselves into groups and raise money to build mosques and import scholars from Yemen. I have been trying to promote this blog and the Zaydi facebook pages on Sunni and Shi-ite websites, but help is needed.

  13. From what I understand the ilm-e-rijal of the Zaydis is very solid. However, the Zaydis who are presenting information are not mujtahid imams. On the contrary, the Sunni scholar I have on my youtube account are mujtahid imams.
    Maybe we can start with smaller steps. You posted some books in relation to fiqh. How about we get a Zaydi brother who can make a video which shows us how to do wudhu and how to pray ?

    Take example from this clip.
    Here is one on namaz.

    Can the Zaydis post videos like these.
    Then the next step will be to cover bigger areas.
    From al Rasael of Imam Zayd ibn Ali (as) I pasted a few ahadith in relation to international law. Yet nobody so far has taken the time to translate these ahadith.

    Even if don't ever become Zaydi I am always open to exchanging knowledge.

  14. Zabarah (my first name previously)September 3, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Broter proahlulbayt

    On the contrary there are Zaidi mujtihad. most notably.

    1. ALmujtahed, my master, and the imam: majd aldeen almoyayadi (peace be upon him)

    2. almujatehed, the pious, and my master: Hamud bin abbas almuaid

    3. Almujtahed, almujahed: badr aldeen ahouti

    4. almujtahed: mohamad bin mohamad almansoor

    5 almujtahed: Almortada almahatwari

    and much more of this age.

    As for the rest you are completely right. that is why I am working on a site for the English speaking audience.

  15. thank you for this great work
    You can join us at the site
    Where you can upload files, articles and books, etc.
    Thank you again
    ANAZAIDI Group | Center of Imam Izz ibn al-Hasan peace be upon him

  16. Yes, but then you have to remember that Shaykh Mufid and Syed Murtaza studied under the Mutazilla. By this time they were able to get rid of the non-sense found in their books. Then again Shaykh Tusi made some corrections on their works which he thought were too Mutazilli.

  17. like Pro AhlulBayt Said ina Earlier Post.All People Who Originate From Ali(a.s)Have The Same Views egarding Free will and Destiny:

    There Are copyright Restrictions so i am Not Posting the Article.

  18. the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare and they shall be called to prostrate , but they shall not be able to do so,
    (surah 68:ayah 42)
    So allah has a leg.what is the metaphorical meaning behind leg?

  19. According to what I have read on the site, I don't know if we can really say that the Mu'talizah and the Zaydies are as similar as we think.

    As for the status of an ahaadi hadith in determining the obligation of something in the deen, I would pose the following question: When alcohol was declared haraam by Allah in the Holy Quran, it is reported that some of the Companions went to the others who werent in the immediate vicinity of the Prophet and declared that alcohol was haraam. Was the testimony of the Companion considered trustworthy to affect a hukm to those Companions who had not heard the ayat from the Quran?

    It is for this reason and others that one of our imams, Imam Ahmed bin Yahya al-Murtaza (as) declared in his Al-Bahr az-Zakhkhaar that the reason that a hadith ahaadi can be used to determine an obligation is because it would be considered like the testimony of a just witness. And just as the Companions accepted the witness of an individual Companion, it is similarly admissible to accept the ahaaadi report in terms of obligations and even the huduud. I know that the last thing will open up a another can of worms ;) however Imam Ahmed (as) stated that the proof is that the Companions collectively accepted the ahaadi report from Amr bin Hazm regarding the diya (indemnity) that is to be paid, and they implemented it. Similarly, they all acted upon the report of Hamal bin Maalik regarding the punishment for killing two foetuses. Therefore, not only can an ahaadi report be used to establish an obligation but also a huduudpunishment.

    The reason that ahaadi reports are considered less authoritative than mutawaatir is not because of the doubt that is in them but rather, the difference is like that of the testimonies of two reliable witnesses versus that of one hundred reliable witnesses. One is stronger and weightier than the other. This does not imply doubt in the testimony of two just witnesses.

    As for the tawaatur of the statements of imams (as), these terms (ahaadi and mutawaatir) are typically reserved for the ahadith of the Prophet, salla Allahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. I've never read or heard of these terms being applied to the statements of our imams (as).

    And Allah knows best!"

    1. It is clear from the Quran that no other saying has religious authority except in its ability to expound on the Quran in a way that does not exceed its text. This goes for wisdom to be found in any source. It has been my conclusion that anything quranic that can be found in the mutawaaatir hadeeth is historically accurate but being not based in the Quran is highly encourageable but not obligatory. What is considered saheeh as we know are ahaad hadeeth. These are known to be conjectural. With that said, what is Quranically redundant and conveys some wisdom that we can build upon can be accepted but it is a conjectural claim that the prophet did this, so I do not see how anyone can take these hadeeth to take hudud that are not mentioned explicitly in the Qur'an. Thoughts?