Sunday, December 5, 2010

Imam Rassi’s Mu’tazili/Zaydi Theories described in English

Thanks to one of our readers, it has come to our attention that an academic named Abrahamov has made a detailed study (originally in Hebrew, now also in English) of Imam Rassi’s Mu’tazili study of the Holy Qur’an, and his position on the subject of Imamate, which is the Zaydi position.
These are available online, at the following links, and provide an excellent insight into Imam Rassi’s thinking, as well as the views of his contemporary opponents:
1. Regarding the Interpretation of the Qur’an in the Theology of al Qasim bin Ibrahim (an excellent summary of Mu’tazili Qur’anic interpretation)
2. Regarding Al Kasim bin Ibrahim’s Theory of the Imamate, which includes his theories on:
(a) the obligation to appoint an Imam
(b) the signs attesting to the legitimate Imam
(c) A refutation of the Rafidite (i.e. 12 Imamer) doctrines concerning the Imamate
When we refer to “Imam Rassi” we mean Imam al-Qāsim bin Ibrāhīm bin Isma„īl bin Ibrāhīm bin al-Hasan al-Muthanna bin al-Hasan bin Fātima bint Muhammad, the Chosen Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny. Al Qasim bin Ibrahim was born in 169/785 and was based in a place called Rass, near Medina. Translations of some of his other works are available at the imam rassi society scribd page and the zaydiyyah.wordpress blog.


  1. I no longer have jstor access. Can you download and upload it scribd ?

  2. Bism allah
    Sister Zaida,

    Just some thoughts about the Book about Imam Alrassi:

    Referencing Imam Rassi's Theological ideoligies as Mutazili is not the full truth. Cramming Zaidies into the line of mutazilies is just as if you are trying to put a different set of people to the already set in stone groups. the writer of this book saw a similarity of the approach of Imam Alqassim to that of the mutazily group but did not say he was mutazily. It is just Incorrect to say he was mutazily. He was a zaidi and his ideologies were zaidi 100%. He hinted that Imam Alqassim was affected by mutazilies but he did not study the factor of what Imam Alqassim studied in his own household. The same discussions and writings are present all the way back to Imam Ali (peace be upon him) in the same manner.

  3. To pro ahlul bait:
    I've just copied an excerpt from the article onto the www.zaydiyyah.wordpress blog; I don't know how to put it in scribd, and don't want to infringe copyright laws. Maybe sufi-light (who sent it to us) can provide us with a link to the complete article if it is available?

  4. To Zabarah: I've reworded the sentences above, hope they are more accurate now. I know what you mean, and I agree with you, but I think most people when they hear the word "Zaidi" think it only relates to the Imamate issue, and don't realize that Zaidism also has a theological standpoint, which must be studied along with the study of Imamate. But when you add the word "mu'tazili" beside the word "Zaidi" people realize we are talking about theology as well as Imamate. That's why I've been adding it on the blog....

  5. the mediafire file is 86 pages of blank...nothing about the tafsir of Imam Rassi.

  6. salaam anonymous.. it worked for me just now...sorry you missed out..