Daily Topic for December 21, 2009
What sad words! Those He loved did not welcome him who loved mankind so much. Today how easy it is to say, “Unreached peoples like the Zaydis do not want us. Let’s go to someone who does.” It is also easy to become critical and discouraged when missionaries who are trying to show that they love the unreached peoples are not welcomed with open arms. Yet our missionary God did not wait for us to desire Him. He came incarnate in Jesus to reveal His love in a way we could understand, in a way that wooed us to Himself.
Pray that the Lord will plant in our hearts His love for lost peoples. Pray for a harvest of Ismaili souls during this Christmas season.
Saudi Arabia’s Zaydi Muslims are under constant threat from the government. There are no longer any Zaydi mosques in Saudi Arabia, and most Zaydis hide their faith. Even so, they are still believed to number around 1,000,000 persons, with the majority living in cities in western Saudi Arabia.
This sect was formed by followers of Zayd b. Ali, the leader of an unsuccessful rebellion against the Umayyad caliph in the year A.D.740. According to Zaydi political theory, after Ali, Hasan, and Husayn, the first three leaders in their history, the imamate (i.e., office of imam, or Islamic teacher) is open to any descendant of theirs who will establish himself through armed rebellion. Their first state was established in northern Iran in A.D.864 and lasted until the death of its leader at the hands of Samanids in 928. A history of occupations runs from the 10th century onward, forcing the Zaydis to retreat northwards, but the imamate survived until the death of their last imam in 1962.
Zaydis give less priority to the qualities of the imam than do dominant Shi’ite groups. Their theology is strongly influenced by rationalism rather than Shi’ite Muslim sources.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that God’s people will begin intentionally connecting with Zaydis in Saudi Arabia. Pray that Zaydis will realize that those who live by the sword will die by the sword, but those who put their faith in Christ will have an abundant life.-JR