Al-Hadi Ali

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Al-Hadi Ali (1345/46 – September 6, 1432) was a claimant to the Zaidi state in Yemen, who posed as imam from 1393 to 1432 in rivalry with another prince.

Ali bin al-Mu'ayyad was a fifth-generation descendant of the imam al-Hadi Yahya (d. 1239).[1] After the demise of imam an-Nasir Muhammad Salah ad-Din in 1391, a struggle broke out between his son al-Mansur Ali and another contender, al-Mahdi Ahmad bin Yahya. Al-Mansur imprisoned his opponent in 1392, but was then challenged by Ali bin al-Mu'ayyad, who took the honorific (laqab) name al-Hadi Ali. During his almost 40 years long imamate he was generally overshadowed by al-Mansur Ali, who was celebrated as a mujaddid bi-sayfihi, a warlike restorer, and who died only in 1436. Nevertheless, al-Hadi Ali had a following and was counted by some as a mujaddidun. These are figures who, according to a hadith, will appear every century to restore Islam.[2] He died in 1432, leaving ten sons, of whom al-Hasan (1401–1486) became a prominent scholar. Al-Hasan's son in turn, al-Hadi Izz ad-din, held the Zaidi imamate in 1474–1495.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The line of descent is: al-Hadi Yahya – Ali – Muhammad – Jibril – al-Mu'ayyad – al-Hadi Ali; see Imam Zaid bin Ali Cultural Foundation, .
  2. ^ Ella Landau-Tasseron, 'Zaydi Imams as Restorers of Religion; Ihya and Tajdid in Zaydi Literature', Journal of Near Eastern Studies 49:3 1990, p. 260.
  3. ^ Madeleine Schneider, 'Deux études d'épigraphie arabe', Journal asiatique 275 1987, p. 234.
Preceded by
al-Mahdi Ahmad bin Yahya
Imam of Yemen
Succeeded by
al-Mansur Ali bin Salah ad-Din