Our resident expert on Zaydiyah, James King, has generously shared with us his translation of a statement issued last week by a group of prominent Zaydi scholars, along with his own commentary on the statement: The statement translated below was issued by twenty of the leading Zaydi scholars in Yemen today. To varying degrees, the signatories have historically situated themselves between the Salih regime and leaders of the Huthi movement. While a number of these men (most prominently Miftah and al-Daylami) have faced imprisonment and severe persecution for their criticisms of the regime’s actions during the Huthi conflict, they have not publically aligned themselves with the Huthis, although many of them undoubtedly maintain close ties. In other words, while there’s no love lost between this group, or the constituents they represent, and the regime, this represents a significant public defection. This is particularly true considering the prestige the ‘ulama hold in the Zaydi tradition.
Another important community has fully thrown its lots in with the revolution.
Furthermore, for a community that continues to face severe repression and marginalization, they are taking a major risk. If the revolution fails, this will only intensify. Of course, if it succeeds, they will likely enjoy some enhanced credibility in a future state. My sense, however, is that their statement reflects the signatories’ sincere commitments to peace and justice more than political calculations.
In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.
A statement from those ‘ulama who fear God.
“Intentional killing is an unforgivable crime”
What has happened in the land of faith and wisdom is unthinkable! [This is a reference to the Prophet’s declaration that “faith and wisdom is Yemeni.” Protestors in Sana’a are camped out at Sana’a University near a monument that quotes this hadith.] Young and old, men, women and children – demonstrating peacefully, not carrying weapons, and demanding their rights – are being killed. Those who attack them in front of the world do not fear God, and they have no deterrent. They throw the laws of God behind them and disregard the Qur’an and its verses as if they have no relationship with Islam and its rules. The attack on [these protestors] is a sin and a crime.
Attacking these protestors is forbidden and it is impermissible for any soldier to attack a protestor or demonstrator, because this is considered an intentional killing.
God Most High said: “Whoever kills a believer intentionally has the recompense of Hell, where he will abide eternally. God has become angry with him, cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” [Surat al-Nisa’ (4), verse 93]
God Most High said: “Whoever kills a soul – unless for murder or ‘corruption in the land’ – it is as if he had slain all of mankind. And whoever saves one, it is as if he had saved all of mankind.” [Surat al-Ma’idah (5), verse 32]
We not only call the military, security services and police to protect our brethren, but also to join them for the sake of bringing down this corrupt and unjust regime. We also call all sons of the Yemeni Muslim people to descend to the “Square of Change” – the square of honor and dignity – in order to support our brethren in repelling the discord [fitnah] that only happened due to some people’s negligence in coming out to protest, which encouraged the regime to carry out these attacks.
What humiliation! What shame, like what happened in the land of faith and wisdom!
The curse of God, the angels, and all people be upon the killers and whoever orders [the attacks] or silently consents. The ‘ulama condemn this disgraceful behavior and place all responsibility for these actions and their consequences on the regime.
God is witness to what we are saying. He is the best Lord and the best Defender. He is sufficient for us and the most Dependable.
The ‘ulama of Yemen:
- Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Mansour
- Hamoud b. ‘Abbas al-Mu’ayyad
- Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Muta’
- Qasim Muhammad al-Kibsi
- Muhammad Ahmed Miftah
- Al-Murtada al-Mahturi
- Isma’il al-Wazir
- Taha al-Mutawakkil
- Abdul-Majeed Abdul-Rahman al-Huthi
- Abdullah Muhammad al-Shadhili
- Ahmed Dirham al-Huriyyah
- Abdul-Salaam al-Wajih
- Yahya al-Daylami
- Shams al-Din Sharaf al-Din
- Muhammad Abdullah al-Shar’i
- Yunis Muhammad al-Mansour
- Muhammad b. Ali Luqman
- Salah Muhammad al-Hashimi
- Muhammad b. Qasim al-Hashimi
- Muhammad al-Ghayl