Posted on 06/29/2012 by __socrates

Lit. “A forsaker,’ Synonymous with Rafizah (pl. Rawafiz) A term used for a body of soldiers, who have deserted their commander and turned back again. applied to a sect of Shi’ahs who joined Zaid the son of ‘Ali, the son of al-Husain, the second son of the Khalifah ‘Ali who when they had submitted to Zaid, demanded that he should abuse Abu Bakr and Umar, the first two Khalifahs of the Sunnis; but Zaid refused to do so, for he said, “They were both Wazirs of my forefather Muhammad.” Upon this they forsook the party of Zaid, and were called Rafizah. Zaid had then only fourteen faithful companions left, and be was soon surrounded by al-Hajjaj ibn Yusef. the general of the Imam Ja’far’s army, and fell at the head of his brave companions,. not one of them surviving him.
(2) The term Rafizi is used by Sunni Muslims for any sect of Shi’ahs.

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam