Why is the Zaydi school named after Imam Zayd bin Ali, upon him be peace?
We do not say that Imam Zayd bin Ali bin al-Hussein bin Ali bin Abi Ťâlib, upon them be peace, was the founder of the Zaydi school. Rather, we say that we are named after Imam Zayd because as with the imams before him, he exemplified the principles established by Ahl al-Bayt and upheld them by giving his life. In this way, he is no different from Imam ‘Ali, al-Hassan, or al-Hussein, upon them be peace.
The contemporaries of Imam Zayd, upon him be peace, recognized that his followers were those who adhered to Ahl al-Bayt in speech and actions. They also were known as those who supported an active rebellion against the tyrants with a Fâŧimi imam at their helm. They faithfully adhered to the rebellion led by Imam Zayd as well as his son Yahya, upon him be peace, after him. These key principles form the basis of the Zaydi school, and it is for this reason that the Zaydi school was named after Imam Zayd, upon him be peace. Even to this day, those who follow Imam Zayd, upon him be peace, in these principles and call themselves Zaydis faithfully uphold these teachings.