Yemeni scholar, jurisprudent, and reformer. Rejected the Shii Zaydi school of law into which he was born. Influenced by Salafi thought; called for a return to the textual sources of the Quran and hadith. Viewed himself as a mujtahid mutlaq, an authority to whom others had to defer in religious law. Developed a series of syllabi for attaining various ranks of scholarship. Used a strict system of legal analysis based on Sunni thought. Despite his Shii background, he is regarded as a great revivalist of Sunni Islam in his time by various Salafi and Wahhabi movements and has influenced contemporary Islamist movements in other parts of the Muslim world such as the Ahl-e-Hadith in India. His legal decisions and discussions are frequently used in contemporary debate among Muslim scholars.