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Replies to Questions by Shias and a review of their beliefs

The Zaidi Shias

Posted by answersforshiafriend on October 7, 2011

Muhammad Al Baqir is considered to be the fifth divinely appointed Imam after Ali, Zainul Abidin.But did you know that Ali Zainul Abdin had another son called Zaid.

The Zaydis, Twelvers and Ismailis recognize the same first four Imāms of Shias, however, the Zaidis recognize Zaid ibn Ali as the Fifth Imām. After Zayd ibn Ali, the Zaydis recognize other descendants of Hasan ibn ʻAlī or Husayn ibn ʻAlī as their Imāms. Other well known Zaydi Imāms in history were Yahya ibn Zayd, Muhammad al Nafs az-Zakiyah and Ibrahim ibn Abdullah.

Zaid  ibn Alee was born in Madinah in 700 CE. He was well known for his great legal knowledge and narration of Hadiths. He became one of the most foremost scholars amongst the descendants of Ali (r). He narrated hadiths from all his relatives including his older brother Muhammad Al Baqir (the 5th 12er Imam). He is the founder of the Zaidi Madhab and is considered to be a legitimate scholar of fiqh amongst  his contemporaries Abu Haneefah and Sufyan As Thori.

The Zaidis are the ones who followed him and they  propounded the doctrine of Immamat Al Mafdul- that it was possible for a man of lesser excellence to be appointed Imam during the life time of a man

of greater excellence. Through this doctrine, they justified the Caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar (r) and they did not consider them to be apostates.

Zaid became the first of Ali’s descendants to try to wrestle the caliphate from the Umayyads after the catastrophe of Kerbala. He gained many followers due to his activist approach and his intentions of over throwing the Umayyads. The shias started considering him to be the true Imam. How ever when he openly professed his beliefs about Abu Bakr and Umar, many left him and went back to Muhammad Al Baqir.

Before his preparations were complete, disputes arose amongst his new followers when they found out that he did not consider Abu Bakr and Umar (r) to be apostates. The majority of his followers broke away from him and the Umayyad caliph Hishaam took advantage of this situation and made a surprise attack on Kufah. Only a little more than 400 followers rallied to Imam Zaid’s side and he was killed during the fighting that ensued.

The Zaidi shias are mostly like the sunnis.They do not give divine attributes to their Imams nor do they believe in the occultation of Imams. They are still found to this day in Yemen.


Imam Zaid was a direct descendent of Ali and Fatima (r), yet the 12er shias give do not even acknowledge him.

He was courageous enough to stand up against the tyrant ruler, but yet again the shias failed and deserted him just like they deserted Imam Hussain, just because he did not consider Abu Bakr and umar to be apostates.

If the Imams were divinely appointed, then why did the shias divide over who should be their next Imam. Some considering him to be the rightful Imam, while the other considered Muhamad Al Baqir to be the true Imam?

Further Reading:

Wikipedia Article on Zaidi Shias

The real Villians of Kerbala

The qualities of Imams of 12er Shias

2 Responses to “The Zaidi Shias”

  1. […] FOOD FOR THOUGHT: These are the real villans of Karbala, they are the real Shias of Ali and Husayn, who deserted him after inviting him with promises of their support. They did this again with the grandson of Husayn sixty years later and deserted him after promising their support in uprising against the tyrant caliph. (See Zaidi Shias) […]

  2. […] After the assasination of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Abdullah ibn Saba was the first one to have stated that Ali had not died at all and that he was alive in the clouds and would return to earth to fill the earth with justice [ibn Hazam] Thus the Sabaiyyah were the first group of extremist religious shias who were  Waqifa/Waqifiyyah (those who hesitate) this term is applied to any group who deny or hesitate over the death of a particular imam and therefore stop at that imam and refuse to recognize any  other imam.  The Sabaiyyah were the waqifiyyah who stopped at Ali. The the modern day shias stopped at the 12 Imam al Mahdi. However there are many other shias groups who stopped at various different Imams and will be discussed in another post. (See Zaidi Shias) […]

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