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ISYA JOSEPH

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Volumes. Worship. the Sacred and Traditions of the By Isya Joseph. Zoroastrianism By George William Carter. and Judaism. The Deeper Aspects of Roman Louis Emperor-Worship. By Wilson D. II. Wallis.WORLD WORSHIPS History of SERIES Christianty. BADGER. Matthews Sweet. Messiahs: Christian and Pagan. BOSTON . PUBLISHER. By RICHARD G. By Sanger Brown. in 4 By Andrew Stephenson Sex Worship and Symbolism of Primitive Races. Devil Books Yezidiz.

.

THE SYMBOL OF THE DEVIL .

BADGER PRESS THE GORHAM . M. BOSTON RICHARD G. B. Ph.A.DEVIL WORSHIP THE SACRED BOOKS AND TRADITIONS OF THE YEZIDIZ BY ISYA JOSEPH.A...D.

Copyright, 1919, by Richard G. Badger
All riffhtB reserved

The Gorham

Press, Boston, U. S. A.

Made

In the

United States of America

TO

MY TEACHERS
BOOK
IS

IN UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY,

COLUMBIA, AND HARVARD UNIVERSITIES, THIS
INSCRIBED

WITH GRATITUDE AND ESTEEM

CONTENTS
Chapter

Introduction
script

—The Origin of the Manu- Page
II

Notes on the Introduction

22

PART

I.

THE TRANSLATION OF THE ARABIC TEXT
Most Com. .

Preface, in the Name of the passionate God
I.

II.

III.

Al-Jilwah The Revelation Mashaf Res The Black Book Appendix to Part 1

— —

.

.

IV.

V. VI. Seven Classes of Yezidis VII. The Articles of Faith

The Poem in Praise of §eih *Adi The Principal Prayer of the Yezidis
.

29 30 36 53 70
73 75 yy 83

....
. . .

.

Notes on Part

1

PART
I.

II.

THE CRITICAL DISCUSSION
OF YEZIDISM
.

The
I.

Religious Origin of the Yezidis

II.

III.

The Yezidi Myth The Christian Tradition The Speculative Theories
Orientahst-s

89 89 96
103

of Western

IV.

The Dogmatic View
planation
1

of Mohammedan Scholars and the Writer's Own Ex-

118 138

Notes on Part

Locality V. Nationality IV. The So-Called Seven Divinities .. Sacraments II. . . II. . The Sacerdotal Orders Notes on Chapter IV. . Occupation Notes on Chapter VI. . The Essential Elements I. Persecution Notes on Chapter VII V 192 194 195 197 198 198 200 . . Religious Observances /nd Sacerdotal System I. Dwellings VI.. . 145 145 147 158 166 .. Marriage II...CONTENTS II. .. . . . III. Bibliography Index 213 219 . .147 Melek Ta'us §eih *A*di 2. Funerals III. . .. II. Sacraments. 201 201 . .. . Some Other Religious Practices III. The Day of Sarsal or New 167 169 169 Year . Yezid Notes on Chapter II Other Deities and Festivals I. The Yezidi View of God The Deity of the Second Degree 1. The Language VII. Their Customs I. 202 203 205 210 .. in Yezidism . 3. . ..174 178 178 180 182 185 186 186 Notes on Chapter III 177 IV. List of the Yezidi Tribes The Tribes Across the River from Mosul The Tribes at Sinjav and Jezireh The Tribes of Midyat Region VII. V.. ...

DEVIL WORSHIP .

.

N. and Mashaf Re^ (Black Book) named because in it mention is made of the descent of 11 — . which is the only Yezidi family that can read and guard the sacred tradition of the sect. the vice-consul of the French Republic in Mosul. in sympathy with western thought. and an intimate acquaintance of M. From the first page of the manuscript it appears that through some Yezidis he had access to their literature. In the first. many The manuscript comprises a brief Introduction.INTRODUCTION THE ORIGIN OF THE MANUSCRIPT The Arabic manuscript here sented to translated was pre- me before I left Mosul by my friend as-Saig as a memento of our friendship. the Sacred Books. Siouffi. especially with the family of MuUa Haidar. The Sacred Books comprise Kitdb al- Jilwah (Book so of Revelation). Daud Hawaja as-Saig was a man of culture. the chief saint of the Yezidis. and an Appendix. the compiler indicates the sources of his information and gives a sketch of the life of §eih *Adi. I know he was in close touch with of them.

In work in seven days Sunday to Sateach day he creates an angel or king is — {melek). and that he was sent by his god Ta us to instruct the Yezidi sect in truth. 32). . In the first chapter he asserts his omnipresence and omnipotence. their temptation and quarrel . the New Year. in the fourth he warns his followers of the doctrines of those that are without. Then follows a story about Adam and Eve. and in the fifth he bids them keep his commandments and obey his servants. but is not divided into chapters. the miraculous birth of Yezid bn Mu'awiya and certain ordinances in regard to food. The Black Book. *Adi is represented as the speaker. and animals. Melek Ta'us.^ which perhaps dates from the thirteenth century. in the second he claims to have power to reward those who obey him and to punish those who disobey him. In ters. is made chief of all. and marriages.12 the Lord Al Jilwah} INTRODUCTION upon the Black Mountain (p. coming of the chief angels to the world to establish the Yezidi kingdom. is the Preface the Seih says that he existed with Melek Ta'us before the creation of the world. who created on Sunday. the . who will communicate to them his teachings. d. ascribed to Seih 'Adi himself. man. in the third he declares that he possesses the treasures of the earth. After that Fahr-ad Din creates the planets. It begins with the narrative of creation: God finishes his urday. is larger than the Book of Revelation. and would accordingly date from the twelfth century a. It is divided into a brief introduction and five short chapIn each. the flood.

" are a small and obscure religious sect. of the Arabic in hand is a translation from Syriac. D.INTRODUCTION The Appendix 1. a third.^ extending in length from the neighborhood of Aleppo in northern Syria The mass of to the Caucasus in southern Russia. at least. partly from observations by an outsider. numbering about 200. exempt the sect service. analysis of the texts shows that the material is taken from different sources: part of it is clearly derived from the religious books of the sect. A description of the Yezidi sacerdotal A petition to the Ottoman government to from military system. On closer examination it is evident that part. A poem in praise of §eih The principal prayer of 'Adi. 5. The Yezidis. partly their Chris- from stories about Yezidis current among tian neighbors. 4. . presented in the year 1872 A.000. 3. and practice. 13 contains the following: A collection of materials concerning the Yezidi belief 2. the Yezidis. Unfortunately the compiler does not whence each particular part of his information specify is obtained. in the Kurdish language. frequently called "Devil-Worshippers.^ ritory three They are scattered over a belt of ter- hundred miles wide. another An part from a description of the beliefs and customs of the sect given by a member of it to an outsider.

also in . Our chief first-hand sources of information in regard to the manners. and the article by Victor Dingelstedt. The Nestorians and their Rituals (1852). s. Nineveh and Babylon (1853). 1882 (vii^ serie. He published an extract relating to 'Adi from Ibn Hallikan's Wafaiyat 'al-Ayan (bibliographical work). XIV. and 1885 Siouffi was the first to dis(viii® serie. F. 252. however. Rev. Badger. Of *Adi. 1892). T. pp. p.14 INTRODUCTION them. my honored teacher. bia University.. Anastase." in the Scottish Geographical Magazine. 259 ff. Persia Past and Present (1906) Yezidis. Vol." in the International Encyclopaedia." in the Arabic periodical. Nineveh and its Remains (1849). are to be found in the mountains of northern and central Kurdistan and among the Sinjar Hills of Northern Mesopotamia. veteran missionary of the A. N. JAOS. M. P. 78. 5). P. Williams Jackson. B." in the Encyclopaedia of Missions. XXV. about whom the second-hand sources of information may be men- tioned Les Yezidis. and practices of these people are: Sir Henry Layard. 20). II (1899) Professor A. A. 178. p. customs. Al-Mahik. V. M. N. "The Yezidis. cover and establish the historical character of §eih the scholars had been puzzled. C.. resident in Mardin. Vol. Andrus. Mesopotamia. the DevilWorshipers have been an object of interest and investigation for several generations. By reason of their mysterious religion. "The Yezidis. "The Yezidis. Siouffi. of Colum. "The v. Menant (Paris. in the Journal Asiatique. T. by J. G.* .

are inserted between the Intro- duction and Al-Jilwah. 7. Nos. 306 and • Two the Arabic (Carshuni) texts in these manuscripts relative to the Yezidis was published by Professor E." the greater part of which is contained in the Black Book of my text. the Black Book. H. and an Appendix. and some other matters. Six Months in a Syrian Monastery. some : differ- ences in contents and arrangement my copy is divided into the Book of Revelation. moreover. p. translated by Browne. 325).INTRODUCTION have come 15 In addition to these descriptions. Browne in an appendix to O.-B. which acParry {loc. Journal Asiatique. in Paris (Fond Syriaque. while Browne's embraces the Book of Revelation which corresponds to that in my manuscript). seems to be closely related to that The manuscript cording to translated below. in my manuscript Al-Jilwah immediately follows the Introduction.. A translation of Parry. In Browne's. Further. ix® serie. cit. 357) was written by a native of Mosul. 1895. 100) but so far as I can ascertain this intention has not been carried out. There are. the petition to the Ottoman government. the . . p. while in Browne's the discussion of the sacerdotal system. several manuscripts to light of recent years which give a great deal of information about the beliefs and customs of the Yezidis of these manuscripts are in the Bibliotheque Nationale. T. Professor Browne at that time proposed to edit the Arabic text (see J. and two other "Accounts. however. H. 1896. Chabot. and the rest in the Appendix.

with slight variations. but. p. loc. The author of this work. which treat lets it is we at present possess. Isaac. and the answers contain the fullest exposition of these time among the Yezidis. edited and translated by J. traditions. in its original form. matters appear that the no other than Priest Isaac himself. from the Paris manuscripts referred to above. 592 if." of Browne (Parry. under the title. while the petition to the Turkish government is briefer. Poem (in was published by Lidzbarski in ZDMG. 100 ff. 1896 (ix® serie.i6 INTRODUCTION in Praise of §eih 'Adi. corresponds. Two Syriac texts have also been printed. 380-87). Monte Singar. as is evident from several anecdotes. to the second "Account. and the Principal Prayer Kurdish) are absent. 7). Italian transla- The second was published with an tion. thor falls out of his role. and customs of his people.. cit..-B. 1900). Chabot in the Journal Asiatique. questioner The work is divided into ten sections. from a manuscript copied for him in 1899 from an original in the monastery of Rabban Hormizd. and lacks articles iv and xiv. His work is in catechetical form: a youthful Yezidi inquirer questions a teacher about the beliefs. after a manuscript in Berlin which was procured from Sammas Eremia Samir.. pp. The first. The text of this petition. and Occasionally the au- . LI. Storia di un Popolo I gnat (Rome. T. possessed their confidence and esteem in a singular degree. a Syrian priest. lived for a long and not only had unusual opportunities of observation. by Samuel Giamil.

. and in certain readings in which they differ from the other texts.Year . Andrus. death and burial (p. N. who ancient Manichaeans the Yezidis sive others entertain the view that were ignorance originally Christians. whom progreshas brought into their present con- . A. but no satisfactory solution of the There are those assert that the Yezidis are the remains of the .INTRODUCTION 17 . (p. Priest Isaac's work is clearly the source from which is derived most of the material in the Syriac and Arabic manuscripts that have hitherto come to light. Beside the Arabic manuscript from Daud as-Sai^ which is translated below. the New. 87). of The origin of the Yezidi sect has been the subject much discussion. The first of these written by Sammas Eremia Samir (designated in the notes hereafter as SS). I have in my possession two others.^ problem has as yet been reached. 16) . which were sent me by the Rev. the Yezidi saints 2^)'^ . seems to be a duplicate of that from which Browne's translation was made. At the close of SS the writer says that he compiled it (chiefly from Al-Jilwah) for the benefit of some of his friends who wished to acquaint themselves with the Yezidi religion. respectively of the works of God and his abode (p.3) the creation of Adam and Eve (p. 46) Seih 'Adi's shrine (p. 53) the pilgrimage to (p. 8) the wonderful . 80) and the Yezidi kings (p. Apart from the Kitah al-Jilwah. (p. deeds of the god Yezid (p. 32) . They agree in contents and arrangement. 67) the festivals and assemblies at Seih 'Adi (p. marriage customs .

'god. and would reveal the whole (book) to him at one time. and would reveal to him a book that is al- ready written in heaven. In a dissertation presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Harvard University I called at- tention to a statement of as-Sahrastani the importance of which seems hitherto not to have been appreciated. ed. before the Azarika. a town in central Persia.i8 dition^ INTRODUCTION —some even going so far as to connect the name "Yezidi" with "Jesus" !^ Some think that the Yezidi sect takes its name from the Persian word yazd. the Chosen One — . the inhabitants of chiefly Parsees. The passage is as follows (Kitdb al Milal wan-Nihal. I. but which appears to me to give the most probable explanation of the name and of the original affinities of the sect. or good spirit/ over against Ahriman.^^ for with these he kept friendly. he separated himself from those who The Yezidis followed after them with the exception of the Abadiyah. kept friendship with the first Muhakkama. 37). the evil principle.^ Some finally maintain that was founded by Seih 'Adi.^ while others associate it with Yazd or which are the sect Yezid. lOi): who are the followers of Yezid bn Unaisa. He believed that God would send an apostle from among the Persians. Cureton.^'^ The Yezidis themselves had a curious legend connecting the name with the Caliph Yezid bn Mu'awiya^^ (seep.^^ and as a result he would leave the religion of Mohammed.

who lived a century before As-§ahrastani. that is. a term by which he designates the relation between a sect and its founder. 188. The prediction about the Persian prophet is quoted. reads Zaid (The Egyptian bn Abi Ubaisa. even though they did not accept his (Mohammed's) religion. his followers.^® The statement of As-Sahrastani is so clear that it can bear no other interpretation than that the Yezidis were the followers of Yezid bn Unaisa.^* relating to philosophical precise definition of the position of Yezid bn Unaisa in the sectarian conflicts of the first century of Islam seems to show that he had exact information about him. and that every sin. p. but that Unaisa should be restored is evident from the fact that Ibn Hazm is at pains to distinguish the author of this unorthodox prediction from . but that others are hiding the truth and give companions to God. almost in the same words. He calls them his 'ashdh. ^* Book who recognized the Chosen One as a prophet. by another great Mohammedan authority on religious sects.^^) But Yezid associated himself with the people of the of the Sabians mentioned in the Koran. is idolatry. edition of Ibn Hazm. small or great.^' The statement comes from the pen of one who is considered of the highest authority among the Arab scholars on questions This and religious sects. Vol.INTRODUCTION may God bless 19 religion and save him ! —and follow the (These are not the Sabians who are found in Haran and Wasit. Ibn Hazm. And he said that the followers of the ordinances are among those who agree with him. IV.

. it appears The Yezidis were originally a Harijite^* sub- akin to the Abadiya. Yezid bn Unaisa. any particular individual is meant Kremer ^° cannot be right in possible to determine. ^^ On that: sect. . As-Sahrastani's statement. the significant part of Hazm source. a Sufi saint in good standing. g. such as the tolerant judgment of Jews and Christians. Certain distinctive Hari- jite peculiarities have outlived among them the common faith of Islam. Who — — identifying him with Seih *Adi. the 135" The prophecy was perhaps preserved among leaders of the Abadiya. for the supposed prediction was in circulation a century or more before He is said to have been. which we have found also in Ibn was doubtless derived from an older written is intended by the coming Persian prophet it is not if. appears as a Moslem. not a Persian. In their new seats in Kurdistan. the basis of these scanty bits of fact. — e. the condemnation seem indeed to of every sin as implicit idolatry. indeed. with which sect Yezid bn Unaisa is associated. bearing the name of their founder. The Yezidis to this day await the appearance of the Persian prophet. whither they migrated about the end of ^^ the fourteenth century they were drawn into the movement of which Seih 'Adi was in his life time the . but a Syrian from Baalbek or elsewhere in the West and ^* he both in Arabic authors ^^ and in his own writings his time.20 INTRODUCTION name the well-known traditionist of the 1. Tabari.

INTRODUCTION leader and after his death the saint. rather than orthodox). and ended by him the incarnation of God in the present With this they joined elements drawn from ^^ with here and there a trace of Judaism. 21 making of ^® age. many of which they share with their neighbors of all creeds. to which Moslem. Difficult problems. ^® however.^" Yezidis is Christian . ^® The certain thing is that the actual religion of the a syncretism. remain unsolved. pagan. es- pecially the origin and nature of the worship of Melek Ta'us. with large survivals of the persistent old Semitic and heathenism. and perhaps also Persian religions have contributed. (heretical. Christianity.

* For a fuller account of the literature on the Yezidis. 1903. Bulletin.. dated October 28. of Baadrie. and Paul Perdrizet.297® Fraser. p. Al Masrik. 284. Societe de Geographie de I'Est. of Kasr 'Az-ad-Din. . one hour west of Semale. having over it a thin covering of red broadcloth. III. pp. 22 . 69. II.) 2 The Black Book is said to have been written by a certain Hasan al-Basri. the secretary of leih 'Adi. ^ Societe de Geographie de TEst. is kept in the house of MuUa Haidar. 439. A. Menant. Les Yezidis. 281 ff. consult J. wrapped in Unen and silk wrappings. The original copy is kept in the house of Kehyah (chief) *AH. Al Masrik. pp. ^ The original copy. and other wrappings. at the dictation of the latter. H. 287 Rich. which is of wood. The book rests upon a throne.NOTES ON THE INTRODUCTION Al-Jilwah is said to have been written in 558 A. 1892. . Andrus. Then is disclosed the binding. a village east of Tigris. Residence in Kurdistan. of Mardin. 1903. in 743 A. by Seih Fahr-ad-Din. I. 834. 1903. Bulletin. Bulletin. Mesopotamia and Persia. H. II. Bibliotheca Orientalis. N. The exact number of the Yezidis is unknown See also Societe de Geographie de I'Est. II. 285. The Nestorians and their Rituals. ^ P. iii Assemani. Twice a year the book is taken to Seih 'Adi's shrine. of linen. Badger. (Letter from Sammas Jeremia Samir to Mr. 396.

203 on the location of Harran and Wasit. Victor Dingelstedt. 1903. the to whom. 190. see Fihrist. Dingelstedt. V. p. 881. also J. Menant. II. and IV. A. . 364 . according to Koran was revealed at intervals. Williams Jackson. 331. Persia Past and Present. A Tour 317. see Baidawi 2. ^° New International cit. 939. 22. 132. II. 89. cf. ^2 On these sects consult As-§ahrastani. EnGeographic de TEst.)y etc. Les Yezidis. Bagdad. Mohammedan learning. p. New International Encyclopedia. 1900." Perdrizet. Vom Mittelmeer . Bulletin. loi). Revue de VOrient Chretien. "Yezidis. I. . Southgate. the Perdrizet. see Yakut. pp. loc. V. "Kurdistan. 86. 100. Scottish Geo- graphical Magazine. Zamahsari on Suras "On . p. pp.. al-Hafaziyah. zum persischen Golf. Williams Jackson. three to centers say. loc. 5. loc. on the Sabians in general consult As-Sahrastani. the Sabians of Harran. Encyclopedia. 52. Theatre de la Turquie." ^^ Societe de Not Moslem ^* ^^ like Mohammed. and Cairo. the wrote of to in regard to Mosul. ^^ To get more particular information I Yezid bn Unaisa. light strange subject. XIV. 86. 299. 73. p. ®A. A. Williams Jackson. cit. XVII. 301. Ashab Hafez {ihid. 148. loc. II.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ ^ 23 Michel Febvre. 17. "Yezidis". Societe de Geographic de I'Est. through Armenia. cyclopedia of Missions. cit. On the Sabians of the Koran. and 59." in II. V. belief. cit. 10. ^^ none could throw any and on the Ashah Alas he describes Al-Haratiyah Haret (I. . I. ^ Oppenheim. 295 cit. loc. 299. "Yezidis.

2^ See p. 374. 254. 724. Layard. "§eih 'Adi. II. 264. 281. edited by Heinrich Hilgenfeld. 80. Serie viii. Mohammed al-'Omari. 289. 1310). al-*Omari al-Mausili and Yasfn alHatib al-'Omari al-Mausili. N. cf. VI. I." is It is to be noticed also that the name "Unaisa** very common among the Arabs. 219) speaks of similar practices 2' . I. IV." quoted by M. "§eih 'Adi. Ibn Sa'ad (ed. Poems. ^^ P- 195^^ Ibn Hallikan (Egyptian edit. p. The Nestorians. "Counsels to the Califs". (1885). He displayed the highest abilities as a jurisconsult. al-Mausili. I. 316. cf. "° Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des Islams. Leipzig. Siouffi. "Belief of the Sunnites. N. Yakut. 287. 1904. A. 22. III. 260. ^* As-§ahrastani regards them a Harijite sub-sect. Bishop of Arbila. Sachau). 265. Journal asiatique. The Kitdb al-Milal wan-Nihal (this is the book in which As-Sahrastani traces the Yezidi sect to Yezid bn Unaisa) is one of his works on scholastic theology. C. 117). which have obtained for them the name Cherag Sonderan. a dogmatic theologian of the Asarite sect. "The Extinguishers of Bar Hebraeus (Chronicon Eccles.24 DEVIL WORSHIP 18 Ibn Hallikan says: "As-Sahrastani. Nineveh and its Remains. George Warda." the Wasaya. ^® ^^ Mohammxd V 80.. 434. ^* Such as their ceremonies at Seih 'Adi (Badger. 273." quoted by M. Siouffi. H." Abeloos-Lamy. ed. 254. 61 of this book. 1885. 22'Itikad Ahl as-Sunna. 283. History of Arabic Literature.. Musnad. Mishkat. was distinguished as an Imam and a doctor of the law. Huart. Light. Journal asiatique. He remained without an equal in that branch of science.

In Islam the gods of heathenism are degraded into jinns. 202. untenable." a branch of the Manichaeans. His contention is based on the assumption that the word Ta'us must embody the ancient god. "Tauz . the Kurdish-speaking people never . Die Ssahier. 178). aigues that Ta'iis is the god Tammuz." and. of Columbia University. pronounce Tammuz. or as the gods of Greece and Rome became devils to early Christians. See W. see 25 calls "Borborians. 177. is uncertain (see Chwolsohn. ^^ Professor Jackson. Professor M. the language of the Yezidis. 124. 322. 326. II. the statement that in Kurdish m is frequently changed to w is not true. and calls them "The Extinguishers of Light. on the other hand. V. R. But it is not certain that the Yezidis believe in Melek Ta'us as an evil spirit. just as the gods of North Semitic heathenism are called se'irim (hairy demons) in Lev. Fihrist. . Lidzbarski {ZDMG. seems to trace it to the "old devil-worship in Mazanderan" (JAOS. Religion of the Semites. if one would set it up as a grammatical rule to explain such phenomena.SACRED BOOK OF THE YEZIDIZ among what he also. In the history of religion the god of one people is the devil of another. p. finally. 120. XXV. 322." This name is applied to other eastern sects Abhandlungen fur die Kunde des Morgen- landes. The exact form for one might guess at of the name "Tauz" any ancient god. Smith. 592). LI. that in Fihrist. Asura is a deity in the Rig Veda and an evil spirit only in later Brahman theology. This theory also is frequently changed to w. the god Tauz has a feast on the 15th of Tammuz m (July) is that in Kurdish. in the Yezidi conception of Melek Ta'us there are no traces of the notion held respecting Tammuz. pp.

Christianity. .26 ^° DEVIL WORSHIP Such a state of affairs finds a historical parallel in other religions. Take. In it we find that the distinctive characteristics of the founder have been wrapped up in many foreign elements brought in by those who came from other religions. for example.

PART I THE TRANSLATION OF THE ARABIC TEXT .

.

PREFACE
In the

Name

of the

Most Compassionate God!

With

direction,

the help of the Most High God, and under his we write the history of the Yezidis, their

doctrines,

and the mysteries of their religion, as contained in their books, which reached our hand with
their

own knowledge and

consent.

In the time of Al-Muktadir Billah, A. H. 295, there
lived

Mansur-al-HallajV the woU-carder, and §eih *Abd-al-Kadir of Jilan.* At that time, too, there ap-

peared a

man by the name of §eih *Adi, from the mountain of Hakkari,* originally from the region of Aleppo or Baalbek. He came and dwelt in Mount
near the city of Mosul, about nine hours distant from it. Some say he was of the people of Harran, and related to Marwan ibn-al-Hakam. His
Lalis,^
full

name

is

Saraf

Musafir bn Ismael bn Mousa bn

bn Marwan.

He

ad-Din Abu-1-Fadail, 'Adi bn Marwan bn Al-Hasan died A. H. 558 (A. D. 1162-63). His
it

tomb

is

still

visited;

is

villages of Mosul, distant eleven hours.

near Ba'adrei, one of the The Yezidis

are the progeny of those who were the murids (disSome trace their origin to ciples) of §cih 'Ad!.

Yezid,* others to Hasan-Al-Basrl.
Z9

AL-JILWAH (THE REVELATION)
Before
Ta'us,
all

creation this revelation
sent

was with Melek
world that he

who

'Abd Ta'us

to

this

might separate truth

known

to his particular people.

This was done, first of all, by means of oral tradition, and afterward by means of this book, Al-Jilwah, which the outsiders may neither read nor behold.

80

CHAPTER

I

I was, am now, and shall have no end. I exercise dominion over all creatures and over the affairs of I am all who are under the protection of my image. ever present to help all who trust in me and call upon me in time of need. There is no place in the universe

that

knows not my presence.
is

I

participate in
call evil

all

the

affairs

which those who are without

because

their nature

not such as they approve.
office is

Every age

has

its

own manager, who
This

directs affairs according to

my

decrees.

to generation, that the ruler

changeable from generation of this world and his

offices

may discharge the duties of their respective every one in his own turn. I allow everyone to follow the dictates of his own nature, but he that opposes me will regret it sorely. No god has a right
chiefs
to

interfere

in

my

affairs,

and

I

have made

it

an

imperative rule that everyone shall refrain from worAll the books of those who are shiping all gods.

without are altered by them; and they have declined from them, although they were written by the prophets

and the

apostles.

That there are interpolations

is

seen in the fact that each sect endeavors to prove that the others are wrong and to destroy their books. To

me

truth

and falsehood are known.
31

When

temptation

32

DEVIL WORSHIP

comes, I give my covenant to him that trusts in me. Moreover, I give counsel to the skilled directors, for I have appointed them for periods that are known to

me.
in

remember necessary affairs and execute them I teach and guide those who follow my instruction. If anyone obey me and conform to my commandments, he shall have joy, delight, and
I

due time.

goodness.

power and dominion over all that is on earth. I do all this in keeping with the characterisof each epoch. me this I afflict with disease but the sons of Adam that are Those who oppose own shall not die like my without. I enrich and impoverish. I give and take away.CHAPTER II I requite the descendants of Adam. Moreover. None shall live in world longer than the time set by me. I appear in divers manners to those who are faithful and under my command. and if I so desire. I place my afifairs in the hands of those whom I have tried and who are in accord with my desires. I cause both happiness and tics misery. both that which is above and that which is beneath. . And none has a right to interfere with my management of affairs. with other people. nor do I deprive them that are my own and that obey me of anything that is good for them. and reward them with various rewards that I alone know. . I do not allow friendly association are in my hand. I send a person a second or a third time into this world or into some other by the transmigration of souls.

and I bestow them upon every worthy descendant of Adam. known to me. and the fish of the sea are all under the control of my hands. the transition of generations. I them. I punish in another world who do this contrary to my fall will. wealth. Nor do they know that such a course is against their own interests. and riches are in my hand. But those who are without are my adversaries. and them from one and bestow them reveal my wonders to those who seek Thus the government of the worlds. and in due time my miracles to those who receive them from me. the birds of heaven. All treasures and hidden things are as I desire. all all aright my beloved and my chosen ones by unAll my teachings are easily applicable to times and all conditions. 34 . Now many the sons of Adam For do not know the reason they state of things that is to come. seen means. The beasts of the earth. for might. into errors.CHAPTER I I direct III lead to the straight path without a revealed book. and the changes of their directors are determined by me from the beginning. hence they oppose me. I take upon another.

CHAPTER IV not give my rights to other gods. I have allowed the creation of four substances. my Whatsoever is contrary to these they have Three things are against altered. Now. nor do they proceed from me. and sayings of such as are withhave not taught these teachings. ers shall unite in a my It is my bond of sake surely reward in desire that all my followI will unity. The books of Jews. because they are necessary things for creatures. me. 35 . and four comers. four times. lest ye regret it. secrets shall receive the fulfilment of my promises. then. and MosI will lems. Do not mention my name nor my attributes. and conform to. I those who are without may do. as of those i. all ye who have followed my commandments and my teachings. do not accept it. Christians. so far as they agree with. statutes.. and I hate three things. for ye do not know what reject all the teachings out. lest those who are without prevail against them. accept in a sense. Those who suffer for one of the worlds. But those who keep my e. who are without.

greater part of them. Thus endeth the book of Al-Jilwah. and do not carry it before those who are without. for they remind you of me. He placed the He also created a bird White Pearl on of the bird. which is followed by the book of Mashaf Res. Learn by heart the . Receive that that you of the hidden dictated. lest they alter them without your knowledge. Jews. is Tuesday he created Melek 36 and he Seih . and he is Ta'us-Melek. Observe O my to laws and statutes. is Seih Hasan. i. and dwelt on it for forty thousand years.CHAPTER V ye that have believed in me. Christians.. Moslems. the Black Book. the chief of all. and others for they know not the nature of my teaching. lest they be altered. Do not give them your books. and he Israfel. honor my symbol and my image. Obey my dictate to is servants and listen whatever they may things. On Monday he created Melek Dardael. On the first day. e. named Angar. Mashaf Res (The Black Book) In the beginning God created the White Pearl out the back of his most precious essence. God created Melek Anzazil. Sunday.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 37 Sams (ad-D!n).® Then the Great God said: "O Angels. He put them all in pockets of cloth. the earth. I will . and was not divided. He sent created Gabriel and the image of the bird. He created fruit-bearing trees and plants and mountains for ornaments to the earth. He created the throne over the carpet. and he is Seih Abil Bakr. But Fahr-ad-Din and birds and beasts. Then he shouted at the Pearl with a loud voice. and from its midst Pearl broke up came out the water which became an ocean. and the sea became solidified and the land appeared. And he made Melek Ta'us ruler over all. and he is Sajad-ad-Din. Gabriel to set the four corners. but it began to shake. the sun. and he is Yadin (Fahr-adDin). After this he came and dwelt in Mount Lalis. and from the scattered pieces of the White Pearl he created the stars also which he hung in heaven as ornaments. sel He also made a ves- and descended in it for thirty thousand years. Then he cried out at the world. and came out of the Pearl accompanied by the Angels. one he placed beneath the earth. Thereupon the White into four pieces. The Then he world was round. the other stayed at the gate of heaven. Saturday he created Melek Nurael. At this time he commaned Gabriel to bring two pieces of the White Pearl. Thursday he created Melek Azrael. He then placed in them the sun and the moon. Wednesday he created Melek Mihael. and the moon. Friday he created Melek Semnael. created man and the animals.® After this God made the form of the seven heavens. and he is Nasir-ad-Din.

earth." Melek Ta'us replied and said. that of Yezidis. and commanded Gabriel to bring earth from the four corners of the world. At this time the Lord came down to the Holy Land (al-Kuds). fire. and of him a separate community shall appear upon the earth.38 create shall DEVIL WORSHIP Adam and Eve. Then he Then he commanded Gabriel to escort Adam into Paradise. i. They worshiped him for forty thousand years." Adam ate of the grain and immediately his belly was inflated. "No. and water. e. Then the Lord came down to the Black Mountain. and divided them into three divisions. "I have put the whole matter into thy hands. Thereupon. Melek Ta'us asked God how Adam if could multiply and have descendants he were forbidden to eat of the grain. when he delivered them to Melek Ta'us who went up with them to heaven. . God forbade me. which is the sect of the sent §eih *Adi bn Musafir from the land of Syria. and leaving him. and from the essence of Adam proceed Sehar bn Jebr. and called it Adam. He created it and put in it the spirit of his own power. Shouting.. that of Azazil. "Eat of Then the grain and all shall go better with thee. ascended into heaven. Melek Ta'us. air.^° for a hundred years. But Melek Ta'us drove him out of the garNow den. God an- swered. he created thirty thousand Meleks." Thereupon Me^ek Ta'us visited Adam and said '"Have you eaten of the grain?" He answered. and to tell him that he could eat from all Here Adam remained the trees but not of wheat. and he came (and dwelt in Mount) Lalis.

the Yezidis. This quaroriginated in their observation of the fact that to among animals both the male and the female were factors in the production of their respective species. When they opened the jars at the completion of this period. and she bore two chilmale and female and from these the Jews. for outlet. and other nations and sects are descended. This is the reason why man knew Eve. And God caused nipples to grow for Adam that he might suckle the children descended. Christians. Then God years. that proceeded from his jar. has nipples. . for each Gabriel to create commanded shoulder of wished rel be the sole begetter of the race. But our first fathers are §eth. God therefore sent a bird to him at his which pecked anus and made an outlet.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Adam was he had no 39 troubled because his belly was inflated. Now from these two our sect. the dren. and seal with his own seal. are worms In Eve's jar they found naught but rotten emitting a foul odor. Noah. and Adam was relieved. they found in Adam's jar two children. Now Gabriel was away from Adam for a hundred And Adam wa-s sad and weeping. close it. male and female. Eve from under the left Adam. After this Adam . after the creation of Eve and of all the animals. and wait for nine months. After a long discussion Adam and Eve agreed on this : each should cast his seed into a it jar. the Moslems. that Adam and Eve quarreled over the question whether the human race should be descended from him or her. Now it came to pass.

Then Melek Ta'us came down (i. and still another in Constantinople. Nisroch. Before Christ came into this world our religion was paganism.40 DEVIL WORSHIP and Enosh. the righteous ones. who is Melek Sams. The man The persisted in his claim that she was his wife. whose name was Ahsuras. the Moslems. and Artamis. another in Persia. besides the kings of ancient Assyria.. name was Agrikalus. but they failed to subdue us. Nowadays we call him Pir Bub. kings the Yezidis). resulting from the denial on the part of the woman that the man was her husband. and even the Persians. We had a king in Babylon. whose their seed. the created ones. Kamush.(ad-) Din. trouble between the two was settled. whose name was Bahtnasar. After this we had two kings. The Jews. through one of the righteous men of our sect.) and Second (309-379). to earth for our sect e. who is Nasir-ad-Din . and our amirs have been descended from day But we hated four kings. however. who is Melek Fahr-ad-Din. And the god of Ahab was called Beelzebub. fought us. It came to pass that trouble arose between a man and his wife. D. who reigned one hundred and down to the present fifty years. Sabur (Sapor) First (224-272 A. the Christians. and appointed for us. who were descended from Adam only. King Ahab was from among us. who decreed that at every wedding a drum and a pipe should be played as a testimony to the fact that such a man and such a woman were married legally. for in the strength of the Lord .

they And know that besides the flood of Noah. created Adam and Eve. the sixth. and their creation was as one lights a light from another light. the hell. the heavens out of its smoke. ified it. God was on the He made himself a sea. the vault of heaven. "Now I have created the heavens. . call him Melek Miran. soHd- He then spat pillars. there was the another flood in this world. And one of his teachings is Before heaven and earth existed.. as we formerly wrote you.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ we prevailed against them. are descended from Na'umi. the moon . Then God ascended to heaven. Now our sect. who despised his father. the fourth. And God said. king The other sects of peace. established it without upon In the beginning he created six gods from himself and from his light. began to ' write a narrative of all the creation. Afterward. an honored person. e. the farg morning star). let some one of you go up and create something therein.^* distant . and taking a pen in hand. growing angry at tlie Pearl. he kicked it and it . vessel and traveled in it in kujisiniyaf "of the seas. We are descended from Ham. He then created the White Pearl and ruled over it for forty years. paradise. 41 first He teaches us the : and last science. thus enjoying himself in himself. the hills out of its wonders. the Yezidis. We have already told you that after this seventh. was a great surprise to see the mountains formed out of its cry. the fifth. The ship rested at a village called 'Ain Sifni. (i." Thereupon the second god ascended and created the sun the third. the ground.

Then moved on and rested on Mount Judie. Moslems. When not upright before him. the prophet of the Ishmaelites. and others descended from Adam and Eve. as already indicated. it The serpent ran aground and was pierced by a twisted itself like a cake and the ship stopped the hole. It was finally caught and burned. are first descended f rom- Adam only. He spoke in the Kurdish language. who had that a servant named Mu'awiya. he soto his abode. As a result. Fearing that the blood might drop . From the time of the flood until now are seven thousand years. for we have every kind of holy places. with us. and with some difficulty. journs This last time the god dwelt among us longer than any which he returns of the other gods who came before him. he cut his head and made it bleed. He confirmed the saints. the Yezidis. he afflicted him with a headache. and began man and animal. and from its ashes fleas were created. He also illuminated Mohammed. We. As the water rose and the ship floated. This second flood came upon our sect. Now to bite the species of the serpent increased. Jews.42 DEVIL WORSHIP from Mosul about five parasangs. and laws. statutes. The cause of the flood was the mockery of those who were without." where rock. after While below. The prophet then God saw asked Mohammed was his servant to shave his head. on the other hand. Christians. In every thousand years one of the seven gods descends to establish rules. knew how He shaved his master in haste. for Mu'awiya to shave. it came above Mount Sinjar.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ to 43 the ground. ^or la'anat (curse). are you doing. for I feared that it might drop to the ground. kaitdn it. "You have sinned. We is know It is the the form of his person and his form of a cock which we possess. Mu'awiya knew his wife. sar (evil). believe this not. in order that no child might be born. by the power of the great God. image. and the Nor do we pronounce maVun (accursed). All these are forbidden us out of respect . dispised and driven out by the great reason they blaspheme him. None that of us resembles allowed to utter his name. like. "Then I will not enter the world. he consented. But tlie foreign sects. In this they have erred. For seven gods. They brought him an old woman." Mu'awiya answered and said. I will not marry. Whereupon Mohammed asked. "I hcked thy blood with my tongue. nor anything such as seitdn (Satan). or any word that has a similar sound. causing his face to break out with poison. Mu'awiya. Hearing this. eighty years of age. (cord)." It came to pass that after some time God sent scor- pions upon Mu'awiya. say that our god came from heaven. and in the morning she appeared a woman of twenty-five. the Yezidi sect. "What Mu'awiya?" He repHed. ignorant of this fact. you shall draw a nation after you. And she conceived and bore our god Yezid." Then Mohammed said to him. for we know that he is one of the above-mentioned this God. which bit him. You O shall oppose my sect. Physicians urged him to marry lest he die. or na'al^'^ (horseshoe). But we. sat (river). Mu'awiya licked it with his tongue.

and the traditions. he received these sanjaks with great reverence. handed down from father After Melek Ta'us returned One of the seven gods made the sanjaks'^^ (standards) and gave them to Solomon the wise. And when our god. of our prophetess Fish is prohibited. be- cause they dislike Melek Ta'us. The meaning of the song is this: Hallelujah to the jealous God. nor does he visit them.^^ Whosoever does contrary to this is an infidel. After his death our kings received them. He. or to take a bath according to the custom of the people. he delivered to us the doctrines. therefore. like the We do not for Hassiah. he composed two songs in the Kurdish language to be sung before the sanjkas in this language. or to go to the toilet room. for the sake of our Ta'us. the rules. all of which have become an to son. or to dress up while sitting down. Moslems. . of our prophets. was born. Now the other sects. to heaven. for deer are the sheep of one sounds name Squash also is debarred. does not teach them. Christians. Jews. The peacock is forbidden to our §eih and his disciples. Moreover.44 for him. in honor of Jonah the Likewise deer. know not these things. the barbarian Yezfd. It is forbidden to pass water while standing. prophet. which is the most ancient and acceptable one. eat it. in- heritance. DEVIL WORSHIP So hass it (lettuce) is debarred. this. and others. But he dwelt among us. and bestowed them upon our sect.

the seih. Every four months these kawwdls village . and the great general. These sanjaks are given to four kaw~ wdls by contract. The kawwdl is entertained by the people with whom he stops. When these are sent away. however. where they are baptized amid great singing and dancing. there are three others. carrying incense. All turn out in fine clothes. Besides these four sanjaks. who is the representative of Seih Nasir-ad-Din. they are brought to Seih 'Adi's tomb. i. Before they are sent. Then they send each sanjak in care of a kawwdl to its own place.. one to Halataneye. god of the They visit the sanjaks. the kazvwdls assemble with the emir. which is distant from Mosul about four hours. in all. e. Nisroch. each about the and carries them along with the When he sanjaks to give them away as blessings. one to Russia. These three are kept in a sacred place for purposes of healing. one to Aleppo. These sanjaks remain with our emir. approaches a town. everyone according to his means. and one to Sin jar. who sits on the throne of Yezid. remain with Seih *Adi. The rest give him silver presents.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ As 45 they sing it. He fashions it into small balls. Two of them. ^^ from Seih 'Adi's tomb. and all together size of a gall nut. The women shout. and the third remains in the seven of Bahazanie. they march before the sanjaks with timbrels and' pipes. After this each of the contractors takes a load of dust ancient Assyrians. he sends a crier before him to prepare the people to accept the kawwdl and his sanjak with respect and honor. sing joyful songs.

they are to hang them on the doors ^^ as a sign of the baptism of the people living in the houses. and. slaughter a lamb or an ox the poor must kill a chicken or something else. be- . the morning of which is Wednesday. be given at tombs where the souls of the dead the girls. Now They are to make them into bundles. singing in the Kurdish language. On the above-mentioned day of Sersdlie no instruments of joy are to be played. Every time he goes out. This is the law that pertains to the sanjaks. night. DEVIL WORSHIP One of them must travel in the province travel in a fixed order. this is to be done at the graves. after keeping them three days. In the morning all doors will be seen well decorated with red the poor lilies.. For so doing they are en- titled to money. large and small. He must also lamp at each idol that has a chamber. e. But as to the kawwdls. the traveler must cleanse himself with water made sour with summak (sumac) and anoint himself with an oil. But women are to feed and needy who pass by and have no food. It falls on the Wednesof the first week in April ^^ On that day there day must be meat in every family.46 travel about. The first day of our new year is called the Sersdlie. These should be cooked on the . they are to go around the tombs with timbrels. With On the break of day the food should the first day of the year alms should lie. They each year. New Year's day. be blessed. light a the beginning of a year. The wealthy must i. differing of the emir. are to gather from the fields flowers of every kind that have a reddish color.

every one is to kiss the and respectfully. then he is not released from his fasting. Then God seals them with his is God sitting for the year). The worship of any idol. At that time. grants things according to his him power do own will. And when he tells them that he will come down to earth with song and praise. Every Friday a load of offering to gifts is to be brought as an is an idol. and. prefers doing good and charity to fasting and praying.^" own seal. When it comes to pass that the God yearly tithe-gatherer finds that the people have not whips them till they become and some even die.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ cause 47 on the throne (arranging decrees and commanding all the wise and the neighbors to come to him. And to the great to all God gives a sealed decision to the god who is come down. all arise and rejoice before him and throw upon each the squash of the feast. it is the call of the prophet to a feast. All are to listen reverently it. Some layman is to give a banquet to a kochak after the fasting of the latter forty days. on hearing ground and the stone on which he happens to lean. whether it be in summer or in winter. The people are to give the kochaks money to fight the Roman army. moreover. he sick.. . He. a servant to call the people aloud from the roof of a kochak's house. If he (the kochak) says this entertainment is an alms given to the sanjak. and thus save the sect (Yezidis from the wrath of the man of fully paid their tithes. saying. such as Seyed-adDin or §eih Sams is better than fasting. the year.

for . does not apply kawwdls. But our emir may have for a wife any one whom he pleases A layman may marry between the ages of to love. or her sister or mother. Everyone is to take a wife from his own class. On her arrival at the bridegroom's house. with his wife on the night the morning of may sleep which is Wednesday. they may marry during this month. he must hit her with a small stone in token of the fact that she must be under his authority.48 It is DEVIL WORSHIP our law that no kawwdl his face. or his own former wife. If a man steal the wife of his neighbor. to the house of the bridegroom. Whosoever does contrary to this commandment is an infidel. he may take for a wife one woman to after another for a period of one year. a loaf of bread must be broken over her head as a sign to her No Yezidi that she must love the poor and needy. however. No layman is allowed to marry a kochak's daughter. Moreover. shall pass a razor over regarding marriage is that at the time of the wedding a loaf of bread shall be taken Our law from the house of a kochak and be divided between the bride and the bridegroom. for it is the first month of the year. each to eat one-half. a bride On must her way visit the shrine of every idol she may happen to pass. and the night the morning of which is Friday. ten and eighty. she must do the same. eat some dust from Seih 'Adi's tomb instead of the bread for a blessing. even if she pass a Christian church. however. This rule. he is not obliged to give her dowry. Marriage in the month of April is forbidden. They may.

Daughters may not insold herit their father's wealth. stories. which some of which are told followed by several secretly. Here ends Kitab Res. If she refuses to be mar- then she must redeem father a sum of money earned by her is by paying her service and the labor of her hand. .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ she is 49 the booty of his hand. A young lady may be herself as an acre of land ried. is sold. some openly.

.

APPENDIX TO PART I .

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. and our seihs us everything from the second Adam until now and the future." "We appear to people in is many Sams different Some believe that Christ §eih himself.' where he remained forty Another said: "I was sitting with sea. he was thrown into the days and nights. ways." the great God. that they have had prophets in all times the kochaks are the prophets. When they notice the sun rise. Some say.APPENDIX TO PART They say our tell I hearts are our books." pears kiss the place . that by the multiplication of presents to siehs and idols they keep troubles and afflictions away. They think. sun. where a lot was cast in my presence. One of the kochaks says in one of his prophecies: "I was in Jonah's ship. 'Yes. Others say. 'I hope the time will come when I shall send Christ to the world. It fell on Jonah and They say ." He appeared to 68 . moreover. *'Melek Ta'us apto me and reveals to me many revelations. After making a sign in the came down to the earth. they contradict one another. same at sunset. Christ Then he sent him. Likewise they kiss the spot where the moon first casts its rays and where it last casts them. who said. they where the rays first fall they do the where its rays last fall.' I said to him. There is a great difference among the kochaks.

and are known. Some people hide silver or gold coins that they plan to take out in case they are born the second time in this world. We may are allowed to drink wine. We are better than they. Some believe that the spirits of many righteous persons travel in the air. in Moreover. teries who and secrets. and muUas for themselves out of those who priests had none of their kindred in those offices before. and sons of emirs. which the other sects do not observe. which are Now he appeared to us because we obat §eih *Adi. the dung of sheep is placed on his tomb. we are kochaks and sons of But Christians and Moslems make kochaks. young men also company with women. Some of dancing and playing. They tell the relatives of the dead what they see condition of their lated to the dreams and visions. serve the necessary order. When one is about to die. are not allowed to drink it. Their origin and race are unknown ours . in human or to the animal race. for which service they are paid. and the whether they have been transdead. we are seihs and sons of seihs. and made for us seven circles. . Those spirits make revelations to the kochaks. etc. however. who places a bit of §eih 'Adi's dust in his mouth.54 DEVIL WORSHIP our sect only. he is visited by a kochak. kochaks pray for the dead at the graves. Before he is buried his face is anointed with it. our desire it when engage in religious the kochaks and seihs. food is offered on behalf of the dead. they. The Finally. are acquainted with the world of mysLife and death are in their hands. are emirs We never will have afterward.

and is in the third place of pilgrimage is village of Karabek. All this he does that he may be cured. This place Anof Ba'asika. Now. the time of the first Adam. If any one becomes (Rasan) sick. they say. when our father. He then cast it into hell. is a mulberry tree in the village other such place is called 'Abdi Rasan. so that the most sacred oaths are sworn by him. i. pillars he takes refuge in making vows to hasin. e. hell has no existence. A Nearby is a spring. In seven years it was filled. which is called §eih Bakd. According It was created in to Yezidis. noble deeds. the fish. resting They have many more such upright men of Such an one is Mohammed Rasan. when he viewed hell he became very sad. He had a small bakbuk asfar. and casts bread in the spring for. osity was born. Jbrik had many friends. and all its fires were put out that man- kind might not be tortured. pilgrimage which is called Sitt Nafisah. hangs on its branches a piece of cloth from his clothes. Now there is a place of religious of idols.^' is He exceedingly strong. whose place is behind the mount of §eih Mattie.^^ By reason of his generand noble deeds.^^ into which.. and beside this is is a mulberry tree. They entertain the belief that whoever unties or shakes off one of the shreds . his tears fell.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Hence 55 the fate of the people depends on the gratitude and honor which they show the kochaks. in the village Bahzanie. goes to that tree. as he kept weeping Ibrik al-Asfar. This incident relates to one of the noble deeds of our first father. Ibrik-alAsfar. Whoever afflicted with fever.

they go up the mountain.e. After eating. of Ba'asika. the laity go. their They give To them. Now. and then return to Seih Everyone of them takes a little dust and preit for the times of wedding and death. cook anything. Then they like eat in haste. When they assemble at the New they dance and play with instruments of joy. everyone according to his means. they swim in the water of Zamzam. at the New Year the places are given in contract. snatching meat from the pot fanatics.^* In this swim those There also a spring are afflicted with the disease of ahu-safar (jaunBut those who are troubled with dropsy go dice. seeking succor.. i. sheep and oxen. a spring coming from beneath the temple of §eih *Adi. and in some other it the common The who of water. every As one of them sits on a stone. Year. so that their hands are frequently burned.) for cure to the house of the Pir that lives in the village Man Res. called in 'Ain as-Safra (Yellow Spring). the vowed ox. serves . shooting with their guns. no one is allowed Everyone is to eat from §eih 'Adi's to the kochaks. them money while making petition.56 DEVIL WORSHIP man when he hung is of cloth will catch the disease with which the was afflicted such trees in the village places. of When to table. and vow to the stone on which the kochak sits. as one sits in prayer. This practice is in accordance with their rules. Before eating the kahdiis. they assemble at §eih 'Adi's. There are many up. language Yezidis call it Kani-Zarr. They wear entwined girdles which they call the ties of the 'Adi.

When the money from it the gathering' comes to an end. In return money is taken. They baptize these and the sanjaks with He who is called Jawis ^^ the water of Zamzam. This is called "the road of the kochaks/' his neck. cording to his rank. to the mountain which is called Jabal al-*Arafat. they hasten toward §eih *Adi. is He who arrives there before his com- Hence everyone tries to praised much. It is nine spans in length and around it are sansuls (tinsels). the kochaks go around with the their rust. wears a stole which is woven from the hair of a goat. During these assemblies the sanjaks are passed around. and bring to the emir. In purposes the second place. sanjaks to collect money. it After colit wood they bring to §eih *Adi. carrying on their backs. blessings.^^ up After remaining there an hour. goes when each. putting a rope up the mountain. they collect the kochaks and the contractors.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 57 back (belt). panions The one who succeeds receives abundant excel. . the After everyone has taken acremainder goes to the emir. In the first place they are washed with water made sour with sumac in order to be cleansed from The water is given away in drinks for of blessing. They have another gathering which takes place at At this pilgrimage they go the feast of Al-Hijajj. The wood is used for heating purposes and for the emir's cooking. They around lecting still have another assembly.

of one of their prophets.^^ who is Nasr-ad-Din. the seihs tell the people that all kings have come from their descent. and Yeztd. together with their own (Yezidi) kings. as Shabur and Yoram. It differs from shirts that of the other people.. and Artamis. such as Nisroch. They fast three days in a year from morning evening. and Kamus who is Fahr-ad-Din. and then tells him that Melek Ta'us and all those who were mentioned above will not intercede for him after his death. him in the middle of the circle. Then if he swears to tell the truth. who is §ams-ad-Din. and that the hand of Nasim be on his neck and eye. the all is bosom of whose the way down. him that this circle belongs to Ta'us-Melek. and even than that made in the name falsely.58 DEVIL WORSHIP In their preaching. and baryshabakei. he cannot conceal anything. There tells one occasion when no Yezidi will swear when one draws a circle on the ground. and that Nasim be his brother for the next world. viz. For an oath made under such conditions is considered greater than that made in the name of God. is till The fast falls in December. They have no mentioned above. and He places §eih *Adi. and that the shirt of the Jewish Nasim^^ be on his neck. are from their seed. and many royal names of the ancient kings. and let him be to him for a seih and a pir if he does not tell the truth. such as that referring prayer^" except what to the sun . and many others. according to the oriental calendar. The sign of the Yezidi is that he wears a are open shirt with a round bosom.

"O Seih *Adi. told about them by reliable people. knowing not what to do. seeing the house filled with people. with the exception of two stanzas which they teach their children out of necessity and because it is is traditional. When the Christian awake and listen§eih Nasir began to preach saying: "Once the ing." and the like. story when §eih Nasir was preaching in a village at A Once Mount Sin jar. They are all forbidden to teach their children anything. Jesus therefore remained in sorrowful state. calling upon the prophets and the saints for help and asking their aid. O Seih Sams. there was a Christian mason in the audience who. to But God did not a grant their requests." After this the preacher remained silent for a quarter of an hour. thought they were going to pray. to be asleep. beg the great God to release him. Then he went on to say: "O poor Jesus. but was really at Jesus because of a dispute with him. and asking help from seihs 59 and holy places when they say. Before the mouth of the den he placed a great Jesus remained in the den a long time. He knew seemed the kurdish language. He then pretended to take a nap.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ and the moon. why are you so Do you not know that all forgotten. and thus a great silence prevailed in the house. Every one whose succor Jesus asked went stone. so neglected? the prophets and all the saints have no favor with . He was angry great God appeared to me in vision. that he might amuse himself with what he should hear. He therefore caught him and imprisoned him in a den which had no water.

'Had it been another. and he will not intercede for them. save me from this den. praying. brought thee out." "Notice that those who are without do not like Melek Ta'us. I would here. he said to him. and received his blessing. he descended from heaven to earth quicker than the twinkling of an eye. .' When the great God saw Jesus. he will put us all in a tray. Afterward he again continued: "J^sus remained in the den till one day when he happened to remember Melek Ta'us. carry us upon his head. remain here for the sake of my honor. as for us. *0 Jesus." When the congregation heard they rose up.' So The preacher added. Now. on his head.' When Melek Ta'us heard this. 'Melek Ta'us brought me out of the den and up Then God said. I have been in this den for some time. I have sought the help of all the saints. but Melek Ta'us is much beloved by me.6o the great DEVIL WORSHIP God unto Melek Ta'us? Why have you him and have not called upon him?" Sayforgotten ing this. 'Come up. and said to Jesus. while we are in the tray this. behold I have Then both went up to heaven. Jesus remained in heaven. the preacher again remained silent as before. like ye that in the resurrection he will not them either. He then sought his aid. who brought thee out of the den? Who brought thee here without my permission?* Jesus answered and said.' have punished him. and take us into heaven. removed the stone from the top of the den. I am imprisoned. Know But. *0 Melek Ta'us. and none of them coud deliver me. kissed his clothes and feet.

At that time the Jews had a custom that. the wife of Jonah. if a woman gave birth. She called his name Simon Cifa. which runs thus: "Verily Mary the Virgin mother of Jesus. and. the great God created the heavens. God alone. . opened the house and found a "Thou shalt piece of paper on which was written. and in the left hand they would carry a stone. carried a plate of fruit in her right hand and a stone in her left. She begat him from her right side. This custom was a very ancient one. As she entered and gave Mary the plate. he put and the mansions and commanded him not to open a certain mansion. who is the mother of Peter.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 6i Now the view-s of the Yezidis regarding the birth of Christ and the explanation of the name of the Apostle Peter. and him alone shalt thou worship thy serve. came to her. begat Jesus in a manner unlike the rest of women. all her relatives and neighbors would bring her presents. The women would call. according to the custom. Therefore when Mary the clothes and her body. are found in one of their stories.^^ between her . that is." They have is : When It a story explaining the word heretic. Virgin gave birth to Jesus. without the knowledge of God. son of the stone." He kept the paper with him and allowed no the keys of the treasuries there in the hands of Melek Ta'iis. behold. the stone which was in her left hand begat a male. as Christians do not know these things we this all do. carrying in their right hand a plate of fruits which were to be found in that season. But he.

thy God. "See what is written here. Then God created an iron and hung it in the air between the heaven and ring the earth. "It may be that you have opened the mansion which I forbade you to open. "Go into the iron ring which I.* No one came down not understand the l- from heaven but Melek Ta'us and Christ. "Yes. They answer: "It is possible that one of us in his anger let should drive out his child from his house and him wait until the next day before bringing him back? Of course not. "You are a heretic. have made for whosoever does contrary to my commandment and disobeys me. You do cks which you read The Gospel says." He answered. that is from the meaning of this saying." Then God said to him. they do not admit that such is the case." When that one criticizes such a story as this by saying God drove Melek Ta'us from heaven and sent him to hell because of his pride before God the most high." Then the great God said." From this we know that God speaks in the Kurdish language. because you have disobeyed me and transgressed my commandment. Afterward he created Adam the first. Melek Ta'us refused to worship Adam when God commanded him to do so. Similar is the relation of the great God to Melek Ta'us. *No one ascended up to heaven but he who came down from heaven. Verily he loves him exceedingly.62 DEVIL WORSHIP else to one know about it. He showed the written paper which he took from the mansion and said. From this we know that the great God has been reconciled to .

"Wait till tomorrow that I may see about it." They camx to him on the next day and said. I repeated the Then I twice and thrice.' I came down and do not I know what took place after You may go to the priest was and said after told I descended from heaven. The sitting. until away who sat there. We beseech thee to send us rain as thy wont. They (people) gathered to ask Beru to see about the rain." They went to the priest him the story. and some other seihs and righteous men were The priest Isaac was sitting beside God. great God said to me. O Kochak Beru. this year the rain has been withheld from us till now. Seih 'Adi. why have you come here?' I said to him. "What lated that at one time there have you done concerning the question of rain? We are exceedingly alarmed by reason of its being withheld. asking their help The great God answered me.' He re- mained and answered me not. 'What do you want. and all thy servants are poor and needy. just as God came down from heaven and went up again. There were also some saints and men of vision dwelling there. Isaac and ask him what came down. 'Go we think it over. In this village there was a Yezidi whose name was Kochak Beru. He told them. who went up to heaven. speech silent turned to the seihs and intercession. *My lord. beseeching him." He answered: "I went up to heaven last night and entered into the divan where the great God. and asked him what was said .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 63 Melek Ta'us." The following is a story told of a kochak It is re: was no rain in the village of Ba'asika.

This priest Isaac was a great joker. and by a strange coincidence. the people believed in what they were told. He answered them. prayer considered a religious obligation. did not find straw for their animals. entertained by God in heaven. where he remained four years. therefore And in they do not teach their children about it. Seeing this. As it was being transported. It was agreed that after six or seven days he would send it. "After the kochak came down. and honored the priest looking upon him as one of the saints. of the straw man. more than twenty years one of the this story has been told as tales of their saints. and thinking that he must have Yezidi blood in him. at the end of the period it rained like a flood for some time. He dictated them many tilings. made a pilgrimage to Mecca. I begged God for rain on your behalf. Some assert that at one time Seih *Adi. on the way. Therefore they Seih *Adi ordered his murids to carry straw from his threshing floor on the earth.64 after DEVIL WORSHIP Kochak Beru came down. For Isaac. some fell sign in heaven unto our day. After his absence Melek Ta'us appeared symbol. in company is book neither with Seih *Abd-al-Kadir." They waited accordingly. and has remained as a It is known as the road They think that prayer is in the heart. to them (the two seihs) in his some rules to them and taught Then he was hidden from them. Once Seih *Adi bn Musafir and his murlds were When they arrived. their nor is there any rule regarding prayer. .

to the And they are all attributed great Seihs. the hut of Seih Mansur-al-Hallaj. There are also ." excellent spot than Mecca. Jilani. but was without spect. as the hut of 'Abd-al-Kadir-al. He remained with them. in addition gation . They are there for the purpose of receiving blessings from the tomb. In their estimation it is a more himself. ''This former reMelek Ta'us Seih 'Adi appeared them and declared.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Four years 65 later Seih 'Adi returned from Mecca. They asserted that he had died or ascended to heaven. his When to the time of his death came. his to Therefore they regard the pilgrimage to tomb as a religious duty greater than the pilgrimage Mecca. it said that the reason is why the pil- grimage to his is by God regarded as excellent by us and that in the resurrection §eih *Adi will carry tomb in a tray all the Yezidis upon his head and take them to give into paradise. Everyone is under oblito visit it once a year at least and. around the tomb of §eih *Adi. is Then they honored him and buried him with due veneration. honor him. (that Seih *Adi may be pleased Whoever does this not is disobedient. to this. and the hut of Seih Hasan-al-Basri. but they refused him and would not accept him. There are some domes. they give a sum of money through the seihs to obtain satisfaction with them). and made his tomb a place of pilgrimage. without requiring them account or answer. is Moreover." the hut^of Seih Kadib-al-Ban the hut of Seih Sams-ad-Din . huts.

" "thirty. of deer's meat is forbidden them. In addition to this. passing by a garden. "Whosoever wants to hear the preaching of Alercise. some other calico. this reason. he used to hear the preachHe used ing of 'Abd-al-Kadir-al-Jilani in Bagdad. (Yezidis) fast Moreover. they For . saying to them in the Kurdish language. and not eaten. about lettuce *'Huss" (hush). to draw a circle on the ground and say to the religious ones. Eating because the deer's eyes resemble the eyes of Seih *Adi. a seih draws a circle. they believe there are eating. began with him: If we wish to swear to anyone. For this reason lettuce is forbidden As regards fasting." Mohammedans did not understand it. let From Mount The following have. and he who enter within this circle. they say. he likewise commanded the Yezidis. enters into it. "sese. It is Each hut has a banner made of a sign of conquest and victory. Therefore. He was the first to accept the Yezidi He gave them the rules of the religious sect religion. as no one answered. Seih *Adi asked ." meaning "three. he was renowned for his devotion and religious exLalis. Jilani. At one time. they took The it for "se. and. and founded the office of the seih." him custom." three days. which is we to take an oath. Verily his virtues are well-known and his praiseworthy qualities are traditions handed down from generation to generation. when God commanded the Moslems to fast.66 DEVIL WORSHIP huts. he said. they say about the month of Ramadan that it was dumb and deaf.

or a net-like cover. Without knowing what had happened. Being tired. jars with narrow necks. to annul the law of Mohammed and seven They believe that there are gods. but she did not perceive it until she became pregnant. on the water. is that when one drinks water from them they make a sound. This is evinced by the fact that when the soul of Mansural-Hallaj parted from his body when the Caliph of Bagdad killed him and cast his head into the water. At that moment the soul of her brother his soul floated entered her. They assert that they expect a prophet who will come from Persia abrogate Islam. They believe in the transmigration of souls. the sister of the said Mansur went to fill her jar. By a wonderful chance and a strange happening. The reason why they do not use drinking-vessels which have narrow mouths. he bestowed upon him according to 'Adi's desire. but the rule of the earth is in Seih 'Adi's hands. When the head of §eih Mansur was thrown into the water §eih Mansur ing to birth In his honor they do not use the small it gurgled. The soul of her brother entered it. He became her brother accordand her son according to imputation. she came with it to the house. Being exceedingly beloved by God. and that one of these gods is . world. and that each god administers the universe for ten thousand years. ^^ 67 Some and other earthly pleasures in the next hold that the rule of heaven is in God's hands. she felt thirsty and drank from the jar.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ drinking. She gave birth to a son who resembled himself.

who before he created this world. they think themselves not to be of the same seed from which the rest of mankind sprung. They have a book named Al Jilwah that they ascribe to Seih *Adi. Some say that §eih *Adi is a deity others that he .68 DEVIL WORSHIP also the Lasiferos. Then he resolved to cast it into the sea.^^ and in his hand was a great White Pearl. was enjoying himself over the seas. who bears name Melek Ta'us. and they suffer no one who is not one of them to read it. may in some of their books that the Supreme God. and none is jealous of the one who the time to to the next to rule comes rule and administer the world for a period of ten thousand years. who was born to Adam of his spittle. This is Melek Ta'us age. To him all things are referred. and so on until another thousand years the seventh god. They make him a graven image after the form of a cock^* and worship it. at which time they take it into the houses that it may bless and honor them. They play the tambourine and dance before it to make it rejoice with them. is God. but that they are begotten of the son of Adam. the chief of the fallen angels. For this reason they . and when he did so this world came into being. with which he was playing. And yet there is accord and love among these gods. The ruling and administrative power is in his hands until the thousandth year. like a Vizier to When an end he will deliver the and administer until power god shall be ended. They {kawwdls) travel within the Yezidis* villages to collect money. Mention is made First Cause is the Moreover.

into an animal. . forth They say if that it when the spirit of from his body. baptism from Christians. their way of dissimulation doctrine of worship from the idolfrom the Rafidis human sacrifice and transmigration from (Shi'ites) the pre-Islamic paganism of the Arabs and from the Sabians.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 69 imagine themselves nobler and more pleasing to the gods than others. enters into another man man goes if it be just. aters. . prohibition of foods from the Jews. but unjust. They say they have taken fasting and sacrifice from Islam.

THE POEM IN PRAISE OF §EIH 'ADi Peace Be unto Him My understanding surrounds the truth of things. I bring forth fruit from the first juice of early youth By my presence. And I am the ruling power preceding all that exists. And I am he to whom came the book of good tidings From my Lord. And I am he that spoke a true saying. And before this light the darkness of the morning cleared away. And I am he that cried in the beginning. and turn toward me my disciples. Coming to me and kissing my feet. 70 . who burneth the mountains. And the truth of my descent is set forth by itself. And my truth is mixed up in me. And I am he that spread over the heavens their height. And all that are in the universe are under me. And I am he to whom all created men come In obedience to kiss my feet. And all the habitable parts and deserts. And I am he that men worship in my glory. I am he that caused Adam to dwell in Paradise And Nimrod to inhabit a hot burning fire. And when it was known it was altogether in me. And I am he that of myself revealeth all things. And everything created is under me. I guide him that asketh for guidance. And I am the just judge and the ruler of the earth.

purpose.^^ And I am he before whose majesty the wild beasts cried . To move under me and at my will. some of my wonders. feet. And goodness and charity proceed from my And I am he that made all hearts to fear 71 mercy. he that judged justly. And by my will I made him dust. And I am he that caused it to appear in my mercy. And made to burst from its sides the sweetest of waters. the son of Musafir. And I am he that visited all the heights. . and they magnify the majesty and power of my awfulness. And I am he that struck the rock and made it tremble. and kissed my *Adi as-§ami. And let him into my path and way. And I am he unto whom all creatures Come for my good purposes and gifts. And I am he to whom the Lord of heaven Thou And And some art the just Judge and I am he that disclosed of my hath said. Sweeter and pleasanter than all waters.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ And I am he that guided Ahmed the Just. They turned And I am to me worshiping. and I shouted against him and he became My stone. virtues are manifested in that which exists. And I am he to whom the destroying lion came Raging. Ruler of the earth. And I am he that caused the mountains to bow. And by my power I called it the pure. ^^ And I am is For me And I am And when I judged it was my right And I am he that made the springs^* down the certain truth. And I am he to whom the serpent came. he that sent to give water. the book that comforteth the oppressed.

and the earth. possess the highest place. deny me not. and the (seven) heavens. 1 say I am the only one and the exalted. I am the king that magnifies himself. And the universe is lighted by some of my gifts. I will cast him In the midst of Paradise. O mine enemies. Praise it to myself. But he that dies unmindful of me Will be thrown into torture in misery and affliction. I sought the truth and became a confirming truth. in meeting Who dies in my love. I have made known unto you.^2 DEVIL WORSHIP Verily the All-Merciful has assigned unto me names. can also speak the true saying. create and make rich those whom I will. The heavenly throne. like myself. In the day of judgment you will be happy me. by my will and pleasure. for all things are by my will. why do you deny me? men. the garden on high is for those who do my pleasure. desireth I me must forsake the world. And by the like truth shall they. people. some of I O my Who And And ways. but submit. . And all the riches of creation are at my bidding. and the seat. These things are subservient to my power. In the secret of my knowledge there is no God but me.

in journeys. Lord ! No one knows how thou . King of joy and happiness. §eih Bakr. Sovereign God of the sun and of the fire. king of kings and lands. Judge of society and of the world. thou hast no money. art lord of grace and good luck. thou art gracious. art king of jinns and human beings. eternity thou art eternal. The abode of religious duty and Worthy of praise and thanks. King of the holy men (saints). Lord.THE PRINCIPAL PRAYER OF THE YEZIDIS Amen. Lord of terror and praise. Lord of goodness. Seih Sin (Husein). hast no going forth thou hast no number. ! Fahr ad-Din. 73 . Thou Thou hast no beauty. . Kadir ar-Rahman. King of good possession From Thou Thou Thou (eternal life). Thou hast revealed the repentance of Adam. Amen. Lord! Protector praise. art. thou art merciful Thou art God. Lord! Judge of kings and beggars. thou hast no height. of the moon and of the darkness. art tlie seat of luck (happiness) and life. Sajad ad-Din. Nasir-ad-Din. Lord. God of the great throne. Amen Through the intermediation of Sams-ad-Din. thou hast no house.

thou art gracious. Thou I am Lord My sin and my guilt. Take them and remove them. a fallen sinner. sinner by thee remembered. hast no voice. hast made us lucky and satisfied. Thou hast led us out of darkness into light. O God. A art Lord.74 DEVIL WORSHIP Thou Thou Thou Thou hast no wings. faithful. Lord. Merciful. O God. I am nothingness. Amen! m . thou hast no color. hast created Jesus and Mary. ! O God. hast no feathers.

and each class has functions peculiar to itself that cannot be discharged by any of the other classes. Pir. To him fasts. the breaking of 5. appertain the conduct of fasts. Seih. flutes and religious hymns. The emirship specifically belongs to the descendants of Yezid. No one can a desgive a seih legal decision or sign any document except the who is the servant of Seih 'Adi's tomb. preserved from their fathers and forefathers. To him . 2. cendant of He is the servant of the tomb. and have the right to say." He has charge of tambourines and 3.SEVEN CLASSES OF YEZIDIS They are divided into seven classes. they bow down and pay him their respects. He has a which he is distinguished from others. sign by is goes among his people. appertain the duties of religious 75 Kochak. and net-like sign If he gloves. 4. which goes up to Yezid himself. They have a genealogical tree. The a belt which he puts on his body. and Imam Hasan al-Basri. The emirs have charge of the temporal and governmental affairs. "Do this and do not that. which resemble the halters of camels. The seihs sell a place in paradise to anyone who wishes to pay money. and hair-dressing. Emir. Kawwal. They are : 1.

. DEVIL WORSHIP and sepulture. To him appertain the duties of instruc- tion of boys in and girls in playing on the tambourines. He serves §eih 'Adi. dancing Mulla. prophecy. and interpretation of dreams. e. He appertain the duties of instructguards the books and the mysteries of religion and attends to the affairs of the sect. 7. 6. and religious pleasure. Fakir.76 instruction. i. . To him ing children.

ARTICLES OF FAITH At one time (A. that is. 1872). from the beginning to the end of the month of September. Roman calendar. girl or woman. These all pertain to religion and are moral obligations upon them. Article If II of our sect. whether big or little. Roman calendar. from the beginning to the end of the month of November. If anyone visit not the image of Melek Ta'us. big or little.. H. They are as follows : Article I According to our Yezidi religion every member of our sect. secondly. the Ottoman power wanted to draft from among them an army instead of takmg the tax which was its due. from the fifteenth to the twentieth of the month of September. first. e. from the beginning to the last of the month of April. They presented to the government all the rules that prevented them from complying. must visit Melek Ta'us three times a year. A. 77 . 1289. he is an infidel. visit not his highness §eih *Adi bn Musafir may God sanctify his mysteries once a year. i. D. any member ! — he is an infidel according to our religion. thirdly.

whose ways are high. or Christian thing religion. if there be no brother of the next world and his seih. Melek l^a'us. he is regarded as an infidel. his brother of the next world. he is an infidel. or his pir and one of the kawwdls with him to say three sayings over him. and there should not be Moslem. and do not follow him. viz. you shall die an infidel."^^ If any one of us hear it." he becomes an infidel. If any one do this not. Moslem in God forbid! "I . some one should come and say to you somefrom the Mohammedan religion. you must die in the religion of the one we worship. do not believe him. he must kill the one who says it and kill himself otherwise he becomes an infidel. etc. whose ways are high. when the prayer.78 DEVIL WORSHIP Article III Every member of our sect must visit the place of the sunrise every day when it appears. Every member Article According to V something intolerable our religion the it is to say in take refuge in God. Article IV of our sect must daily kiss the hand of his brother. and the hand of his seih or pir. the servant of the Mahdi. and do not die in any other religion than his. nor Christian. if And . If any one do this not. nor any one else in that place. . or some other religion. or Jewish religion. who is Melek Ta'us. "O servant of Melek Ta'us. morning begins Article VI When one of our sect is on the point of death. And if you believe and follow another religion than that of the one we worship. namely.

have something called the blessing of Seih 'Adi. not in another. as we have mentioned in the fourth Article that every one of our sect has a brother for the next world. And if he eat not of it intentionally.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Article VII 79 We that is. if any one of our sect wish to fast. it is necessary that his sister for the next . Article IX If one of our sect go to another place and remain there as much as one year. if he possess not some of that dust intentionally. that one is an infidel. For while fasting he must go every morning to the house of his seih and his pir. his fasting is not acceptable. and he becomes . wine. and there he must begin to fast and when he breaks his fast. ^® Therefore if any one of us make for himself a new shirt. and there break the fast by drinking the holy wine of the seih or the And if he drink not two or three glasses of that pir. the dust of the tomb §eih *Adi may God sancmystery! Every member of our sect must have some of it with him in his pocket and eat of it every morning. and afterward return to his place. an infidel. he is an infidel. Article X Regarding our dress. If anyone give him a wife. and none of us will give him a wife. he has also a sister for the next world. likewise. Likewise at the time of death. then his wife is forbidden him. he must fast in his own place. tify — his Article VIII Regarding our fasting. he must go to the house of his seih and his pir. he dies an infidel.

not comb our heads with the comb of a Moslem or a Christian or a Jew or any other.8o DEVIL WORSHIP its world should open neck band.*^ We We . except it be washed in the blessed water which is to be found at the shrine of his highness Seih *Adi. fasulia (beans). Article XII may not wear a light black dress at all.*^ Article Concerning food. from a cup used by any one of another sect. if e. i. If he does. or lettuce. with her hand. or eat with a Moslem spoon or drink from a Moslem's cup. Article XI If some one of our sect make a shirt or a new dress. Nor may we shave our heads with the razor used by any other than ourselves (Yezidis). the neck band of she open it not with her hand. that shirt. or take a bath at a Moslem's house. Then it is lawful for us to shave our heads. there us and the other sects. he is an infidel. is XIV a great difference between do not eat meat or fish. and he wear tlien he is an infidel. cannot even dwell in the place where lettuce is sown. we become may infidels. But if we shave our heads without the razor having been washed in that water. We We Article XIII No Yezidi may enter the water-closet of a Moslem.. bamia (okra). cabbage. squash. he is an infidel. he cannot wear it without baptizing it in the blessed water which is to be found at the shrine of his highness Seih *Adi may God sanctify his mystery! If he wear it. And it.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ For these and other reasons. The Village Chief tt of Muskan. the Emir of Seihan. military service. Pir Suleiman. Husein. Seih Nasir. etc. Murad. . 8i we cannot enter the The names of those who affixed their signatures : The Head The of the Yezidi Sect. Religious Seih of the Yezidi Sect of the District of Seihan. The Chief of the Village of Mam Resan.

and from which we copied a few things The petition. result was that when they presented this they were exempted from military service. .82 DEVIL WORSHIP These are they whose names were in the petition above mentioned. but they paid a tax in money as did the Christians.

of Muir. 48. The Caliphate. cf. Ibn Haukal. wheat was the forbidden fruit. 33. The life of *Abd-al-Kadir of Jilan is given in Jami's Nafahat (ed. calls it Lailes and says that §eih *Adi lived there. H. 295 (A. first pointed the Koran text. p.NOTES ON PART I ^A. ^° According to Moslem belief. H. and inhabited by Kurds and Nestorians. 327. Yakut. ® Presumably Yezid bn Mu'awiya. 190. (ed. Sura 60: 131. S3 . According to Mohammedan tradition Zazil or Azazil was the original name of the devil. D/932) ^ . assistance of Yahya bn Yamar. and by the "carpet" the earth. Fliigel). IV. In Menant's Yzidis. ii. the second caliph in the Omayyid dynasty. of Mansur-al-Hallaj is given in Fihrist cf. H. see Baidawi on Sura. ^ cf. The Caliphate. 320 Muir. the names of these seven angels are somewhat differently given. 559. A. W. p. W. who reigned (A. 807-8). is till the date of The life A. 104. Kitab al-Masalik wal-Mamalik (ed. 373. 143 f. Lee)* p. D. ® By the "throne" here is meant the throne cf God. pp. according to Mohammewith the dan ® tradition. ^ De 680-83. D. p. 584. cf. He is given in Ibn not to be identified w'th Hasan alal-Basrt is Hasan Basri (died no A. M. This Al-Muktadir s accession. * The Hakkari country is a dependency of Mosul.. The life Hallikan. ^ Goeje). who. J. who reigned. p.

^^ See note 2y. wherein the fate of the wicked." R. ^^ Sanjak is a Turkish word. etc. the Hibbert Journal. fell on the first day of April. cf. cf. And according to Talmud (Misna. V." 'Penitential : day all men ^^ Ibrik al-Asfar means "the yellow pitcher. and on the sixth day they slaughtered an ox ^^ The Harranian New Year ate and it.84 ^^ DEVIL WORSHIP ^^ Kunsiniyat is an obscure term. ^* These are indications of Mohammedan influence and censorship. who hang a string of leaves across the entrances to their houses at the beginning of every New ^^ A Year. Ros hasana. Day. meaning banner. and those of the intermediate class are recorded. it is the name by which the Yezidis generally designate the sacred image of Melek Ta'us. for no Yezidi will ever write in his sacred book such words as Seitan. I. cf. and the decree is sealed on the Day of Atonement . Akiba says "On New Year are judged. that an unfavorable decision might be averted. human :2). On this day three books are opened. cf. 158) mentions a similar tradition." cf. §ar." ^^ Bakbuk is a pitcher with a narrow spout. *Ain Sifni is about five miles from Ba'adrie. ^^ That is. 322. "Day of Joudgment. those of other religions. 1907. ^^ Yakut (III. the righteous. 2^2. similar practice is found among the Parsees of India. Fihrist. Nineveh. Layard. Hence prayer and works of repentance are performed at the New Year from the first to the tenth days. Jewish Encyclopedia. .. on which all creatures pass for judgment before the Creator. 1 mythology. January. New Year's is the most important judgment day. ibid. 2° According to Babylonian destiny was decreed on the New Year's day and sealed on the tenth day.

In Kurdish. the children of the Hebrew. Ta'alimi Faresi. after separation of 200 years. Jawis is a Turkish word. ed. "The Mount of Recognition. signifying a sergeant.. etc. yellow. a place where the pilgrims stay on the ninth day of the day of the Pilgrimage. known as Abu-1-Faraj. Metropolitan of Mosul." Aphrates was bishop of §eih Mattie. H. chiefly interesting as containing the tomb of the great Bar Hebraeus. 1312). zarr. Adam was conducted by the Angel Gabriel to a mountain near Mecca. Elijah is known as Al-Huder. He lies buried. and over them is placed the inscription "This is the grave of Mar Gregorias. seems to be a mere copy of the Meccah ^^ ^'^ 'Arafat. ." situated twelve miles from Mecca. The New Method for Teaching Persian (in the Turkish language. 18. generally known by the name of §eih Mattie. : Syriac ^* name in Kani for Jabal Maklub). that when prayer. they were cast down from the Paradise. and Eve near Jiddah (the port of Mecca) in Arabia and that. is pilgrimage. with his brother Barsom. A. where he found and knew . and recite the midday and afternoon The Mohammedan legend says. as well as the names 'Arafat. . This ceremony. Kasbar. in the "Beth Kadiseh (sanctuary) of the church. as in Persian. p. Constantinople. in accordance with the general custom of sheltering a Christian saint beneath a Moslem title. The church of this rrionastery is a large building. the adjective usually follows the modified noun cf Tartibi Jadid.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ ^^ 85 Mar Mattie is a Syrian monastery about seven hours' ride east of Mosul. our first parents forfeited heaven for eating wheat. . and of Mar Barsome his brother. Adam fell on the Isle of Ceylon. who was ordained and became in 1246 A. on Mount Elpep" (the at Tripolis. Zamzam. "the green one. Kurdish means a spring . D.

: The reference is to Jabal Makliib. on the contrary. Yakut. JAOS. cauliflower. cf. 1890. That 313. p. 266." The god Nisroch of Isa. 24. may become a Mohammedan with a Mohammedan. 3^ The Moslem begins his prayer by cursing the devil. cf. IV. garlic. Al Masrik. VII. to direct his morning prayers toward the tomb of *Adf. II. "Recognition. 274. George Philips). and the Babylonian Creation Epic. wherever he may be. according to the Yezidi belief. II. As-§ahrastani. Scripture. cf. *^ The Sabians did not eat purslane. and lentis. JAOS. and a Jew with a Jew. Salhani. 3* The Arabs worshiped a deity under the form of a nasr (eagle). 3* *® That is a person of the same faith. 33 This belief is taken from Mohammedanism. beans. public prayers like those of the Mohammedans and of the Christians. a Christian with a Christian. VIII. 434. That is the spring of Seih 'Adl. 298. Hebraeus. Nusairi. 1 2.86 his ^^ DEVIL WORSHIP wife. moved from its place near Lalis to enable every Yezidi. cf. is. 31 32 The text has "her hand. ^® A 37: 38. II Kings 19:37. a Yezidi. 780. 35 3^ 3^ Cf Gen. ^^ superstitious name signifying an ill omen. which. cabbage. the Nusairis curse him. Beirut. A. A . Bar." While the Yezidis venerate *Abd al-Kadir of Jilan. At-Tarfh. ed. The Syriac Doctrine of Addai (ed. . the mountain being then named 'Arafat.

PART II THE CRITICAL DISCUSSION OF YEZIDISM .

.

no satisfactory solution of the problem has as yet been reached. The different theories which have been advanced may be four general heads : classified under The Myth of the Yezidis them- selves.CHAPTER The The I Religious Origin of the Yezidis origin of the devil-worshippers has been the subject of much controversy. One 89 . but aside from an expression of views. from the appendix of the manu- and from actual conversation of travellers with them or with natives dweling among them. the tradition of Eastern Christians. and the speculative theory of the western orientalists. script. the dog- matic idea of the Mohammedan scholars . The The Myth Yezidi Myth may of the Yezidis concerning their origin be derived from three different sources: from their sacred book.

the Yezidis. But how they have come to be such unique descendants answered. that they might not go astray. the same tradition implies. God e.. as an explanation of the origin of the sect. From these two the Yezidis were descended. a male and a female. the writer of the revealed book goes on to trace the origin of the "elect** to the very beginning of human history. After nine months they opened the jars. He asserts that from the start 'Azazil. they finally agreed to put their seed in separate jars and seal them with their own seals. But here we have a mass of material so clouded by superstition and ignarance that it is next to impossible to come to any conclusion as to the history of this interesting One point the myth repeatedly emphasizes. Starting from this assumption.90 noticeable DEVIL WORSHIP fact is that this tradition assumes the of the sect as existing long before the time of religion their chief saint. while the other For this sects were descended from Adam and Eve. the Yezidis are reason. that Another explanation is from Adam's essence was bom Seher bn Jebr. each claiming to be the sole begetter of the race.y Melek-Ta'us. One account has is it a question not easily that when Adam and Eve disputed as to the generation of the human race. is that it was descended from Adam alone. nobler than the others. created them as a peculiar people of In the main. Seih *Adi. . and in Adam's jar they found two children. people. Al-Jilwah begins with the statement that Melek Ta'us sent his servant. e. this idea finds expression in the oral traditions. '%. i.

as a religious body. that the Yezidis are a noble progeny of Adam. the King of Peace.^ The rest of mankind. tracing the origin of the Yezidis as a race. and of him. it points out their . the tradition that the Yezidis are descendants of a son born to Adam of his spittle. who \ . which is the sect of Melek Taus. Not only when the tradition.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ of 91 whom nothing is known. a separate community. but the quotation differs from the instance previously cited in stating that the quarrel which took place between Adam is said. moreover.^ told. Now whether this son be identical with Seher bn Jebr Writing in one of the oriental periodan eastern scholar quotes a Yezidi seih in a statement which seems to corroborate the tradition is not certain. as well as on the former point. however. but whom they now call Melek-Miran. Eve asked God that she might find favor in her husband's eyes by giving birth to a from each other a journey of forty Adam child. We have. and Eve led to their separation to places distant There.^ miraculously gave birth to a son. antiquity. Distressed by this incident. the Yezidis. Attracted by her Adam Now. they come from a very ancient time but also when it speaks of them as a nation. icals. their book and their oral tradition agree. The Yezidis are said to have sprung from a noble personage. whose -name was Na-*umi. a very pretty daughter. asserts that. are from the seed of Ham. it continues. married her to his son. we are are the blessed seed of these two children. it days. she begot beauty. On this latter. Thereupon.

Mohammed's servant. of course. The story. ment.* There is still another tradition that traces the devil- worshippers to a different origin. and was told that he would die He therefore consented to marry. antedates Christ. bitten by a serpent. he cut the prophet's scalp.^ Mu'awiya was asked by his master to shave his head. however. is mocked his or Miran it regard him Whom they signified by Na-'umi hard to say. claim also that the ancient Assyrian kings were They members of their race. as to the prophets likewise seem to trace their origin and other personages of the Old TestaTheir rehgion Seth. in another myth. they assert. and that some of the Persian. I refer to the state- ment which Masehaf Res makes regarding Mu'awiya. and began to lick the bleeding spot. but it is likely that they as one of the other two sons of Noah. He was afterwards. But she miraculously became a young woman of And from her the God Yezid was bom. . and it is of such a it. is represented in form as being half angel and half . When he was told that this act would result in his giving birth to a nation which would oppose the followers of his master. Mu'Awiya declared that he would not marry. Noah. etc. unless he married. They furthermore. is a myth. but chose an old woman in order not to have children. While performing the duty. nature that no historic fact can be derived from It is further is complicated by the fact that this Yezid indentified with Melek Ta'us and.92 DEVIL WORSHIP father. Enoch. twenty-five. Roman and Jewish kings were appointed for them by Melek Ta'us.

But the devil-worshippers have still another story. however. his followers have been called Yezidis. yen- . is the son of mother was of Christian To accomplish his desire. This said. a comparatively new appellative. unable to marry a mortal's daughter. to Seih *Adi.® But while some. some explained corruption entered the Yezidi religion. who presented to him an houri. finally possessed of Adam. that the descendants continued worshipping God and Melek Ta'us without bringing a foreign element into their religion. at first. sought the assist- ance of Melek Ta'us. As to to be called by this new name. and. the sect did not bear the name Yezidis. to be called after him. in their own opinion. considering this legend as authoritative. which goes to show that Yezid bn Mu'awiya is not This myth asserts that they are the their founder. from that time on. the tradition continues. Since then. being himself half angel. in the course of time. riage of a desire to marry. who was a learned and devout but cunning person. learned 'Adi's religion his followers and. there arose a is how they came certain Calif by the name of Yezid who wrought Yezid. bn Mu'awiya went origin. Mu'awiya bn Sufian.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ man and 93 as remaining a bachelor long after the marHe was. . of Adam's son who was married to Eve's progeny daughter. and that. it is that when. and had instituted a religious innovation. the Yezidis. which. and his and taught it to the sect came Yezid. and from this union there sprang a pious people. it is miracles.

as taking their name from Azd. connection with him/ The testimony of some travellers another explanation of the origin of the sect in question. God. As to the date of their settle- ment obtained. and subsequently took possession of the Sinjar Hill and the district now inhabited in Kurdistan. and from that it the name of the they are i. It is stated that the Yezidis have a tradition to the effect that they came from Basrah and from the country watered by the lower part of the Euphrates.94 erate DEVIL WORSHIP others deny offers all the man bearing the name. and comfort through the ages in their tribulations . Mesopotamia. of Yezid bn Mu'awiya. has been their consolation e. and Sabalans. as being of the colony from the north. no positive information can be Some scholars infer that it took place about the time of Tamerlane. Christians. the ancient pers name sect for is God is Azd. I refer to a myth which is current among the people of Seistan. Jews. Yezidis. God's people. toward the end of the fourin teenth century. Shiites. there is another account. an eastern province of .^° the derived f conviction that and that they have taken many religious observances from different bodies Mohammedans. — the Besides these different explanations of the origin of devil-worshippers as descendants of Adam. Pagan Arabs. among their own number.® It is related that the devil-worshiphold that. an account which has perhaps more historical significance than the preceding theories. that after their emigration they first settled in Syria..

He was human Turn to in this by the who let fell me and conquer. and prepared to cut down the at this. But yet unshaken. when he addressed the successor of Hanalalah. however. devil. he died. Astonished. the tree. they. After seven days the holy victor again visited the tree to claim the gold or fell it to the ground but Satan persuaded him to hazard another struggle on the . whom and was succeeded by his Satan. promise that. seized worship of the an tree. though ignorant of the use of money. whose life was prolonged to the measure of a thousand years. to length. if he conquered again. desist! of If you "The prophet contended and vanquished his oppo- nent. tempted to sin by entering a large mulberry tree. however. enraged axe and a saw. At factor .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Persia. then exclaimed. to turn to the prophet.* a appearance 'Rash boy. who. the youth resisted the temptation. with much gratitude to him. presuming on his inexperience. 95 where there are a considerable number of these : Shaitan parasts (devil worshippers) "In former times there existed a prophet named Hanalalah. the miracle proved too much for the constancy of his flock. procured all the comforts of life. and called on him to worship the prince of darkness. their flocks gave birth lambs and kids miraculously once a week. who now began The young arrested being. son. us wrestle for the victory. bought his own safety and that of the tree by the promise of a large weekly treasure. He was their ruler and bene- and as by his agency. the amount .

"" to the youth. The scholars have based their theories on some of these conflicting stories this without sufficient criticism. I shall dwell upon more II The Christian Tradition is But the myth of the Yezidis Christians that attempts to trace their religious origin not the only account the eastern . The tradi- . the Satan parasts are the victims of their by a young prophet who. people in question were originally Christians. but failed as soon as that zeal gave place to a sordid cupidity for earthly treasure.96 DEVIL WORSHIP This second encounter proved should be doubled. was victorious over the principle of evil. According actuated to this legend. spiritual antagonist. I have dwelt upon the superstitious theories of the Yezidis themselves regarding their religious origin. but that ignorance brought them into their present condition. as long as he was disinterested zeal for religion. fatal He was put to death by his and the result confirmed the tribes over whom he had ruled in their worship of the tree and its tutelary demon. at length later on. but because of their bearing upon the views advanced by modern scholars. not because these theories have an importance in themselves. have a tradition that gives a different It is to the effect that the interpretation.

^^ one of the seventy-two disciples who. would marry and beget children. but that these were tempted by the The Church of the devil and left their convent. was sent to King Abgar of Edessa. a piece of paper with this Let it be known inscription "O ye devout monks : ! to that God has forgiven all your sins. and that he wishes his followers to pull down the altar of the church in that priory and bury him there. while the hermits bearing the cross went in procession around the church. same thing. Shortly after the fulfilment of his prophecy. disperse. after the ascension of our Lord. Peace you . they saw. be unto you On the second day they observed the !" and were led to dispute among themselves whether this were a device of God or of a devil. hanging on a tree. tion of Monastery was dedicated to St. small .^^ The story of cloister was deserted is as follows: how the On a great feast day. would become Yezidis. they agreed to leave the abbey and follow what seemed to them a divine order. marry and rear children. had foretold to the Yezidis of that district that the monks of this monastery would desert their place. Thaddeus or Addai. great and cease to undergo religious exercises leave your hermitage. that he would die during that time. the §eih .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ tion runs that the shrine of §eih *Adi 97 was formerly a Nestorian monastery which was noted for the devoits monks. It is said that the temple of 'Adi has a conventicle resembling that at Jerusalem. §eih *Adi. the legend goes on. When on the third day the same incident was repeated.

had forgotten the fundamental principles of their faith. And since that time. in the course of time.^® This state- . says that the Yezidis were at one time Christians. but its character critical is of course. that there In support of was a Syriac inscription in the temple mentioning the name of the founder of the monastery and the patriarch in whose time it was built. is and reclaim Such a legend is the eastern Christian's It is. asserted. himself an oriental of distinguished scholarship. may embody a measure of truth that will indirectly throw some light on the subject in hand. else it might be said to be the creation of ignorance at a time far removed from the event which it records. it is argued. that bear testimony to this the writing from its at the entrance to 'Adi's temple.^* may see explained. who. The some of the Yezids themselves and say they have removed former place and have hidden it fact. DEVIL WORSHIP and was entombed it is in the place of the altar. in that part of his book wherein he treats of the religion of Mesopotamia. .98 died. it is it the fear that the Nestorians the church. merely such as to require careful It examination and study. a spot the whereabouts of which only a few of them know. Assemani. reason why this record is hidden. One noticeable thing regarding this current view is that it is not a recent invention. this statement. however. the spot has become the sanctuary of the devil-worshippers. tradition relative to the origin of the Yezidis. according to the natives of the country.

help them.^® Another thing worthy of notice is that the Chrishave such a sacred regard for his tradition as to hand it down to posterity at the risk of their tians should own reputation. One such fact is that the family name of the Yezidis around Mosul is Daseni. Certainly the Christians are not cherishing this theory with any expectation of receiving honor by assuming relation with the Yezidis.^® . may this arouse the sympathy of the dominating race for degraded people. and could not. Oriental Christians themselves despise the Yezidi sect. we might just But there are other things which as well dismiss it. legend that leads the church to regard a despised people as having been at one time co-religionists. and they themselves the ancient is name time immemorial. go to point out some historic facts underlying the current theory. or Dasaniyat. the only two reasons for its consideration. There must then be some truth in a Were the antiquity of the tradition. and the unfavorable result which its entertainment causes. was name is which of a Nestorian Diocese. existing from Now Daseni. plur Dawasen.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ ment is 99 incorporated in the writings of all western orientals that have travelled in the East. and say of their race. ^^ the also use it. The this it Christians and the Mohammedans know them by name. The devil-worshippers are utterly d'^spised by all their Nor do they do it out of love. They would not. that they neighbors. \he disappearance of simultaneous with the appearance of the Yezidis in these places.

there is a library at Jabal Sinjar. furthermore." Persians. principal pointed out. and that the diocese continued to exist : till the middle of What goes to verify this trathe eighteenth century dition is that. belonging to the ancient Syriac Church and having a very prominent diocese. suffering.^^ It is from their forefathers. that all the people of Sin jar were formerly Christians. under the control of the Yezidis. that consists of ancient Syriac books. besides whom and his son no one else is allowed to touch the books. who were names of the Syriac. The Yezidis have religious practices which are to be found only in the Christian Church. They are kept in a small room guarded by a Yezidi. What is is more interesting. Sinjar. I mean the rites of baptism and the Eucharist. which was called the diocese of Saki. e. that the to*vns of the Yezidis are Ba'sika comes from **the house of the falsely accused. Bahzanie from "the house of visions or inspiration" Talhas from "the hill of . Ba'adrie from "the place of help or refuge". DEVIL WORSHIP moreover. It is true that . i. On Sunday and Friday of every week they burn incense and light lamps in honor of the manuscripts and once a month they take them out in the sun to dust and to preserve them from destruction by dampness. where many Christians were martyred by These are a few of many Yezidi villages having Syriac names.. the people of Sinjar say they have inherited the library Christians.100 It is stated. . at present. After the door is locked. the key kept by the Seih. or oppressed".

but it is argued that this ordinance as observed by the Yezidis is so similar to that of the Christians that its origin is to be traced back to Christianity.^'' Finally. What requires special note is that this practice is observed where the Yezidi influence is not very strong. possible baptize their children at the earliest In performing the rite. such as the Mandeans. visit a Mohammedan mosque. cup the cup of Isa (Jesus) and when a couple marry. the Dawaseni must age.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ the use of water as a rite is loi practised by other non- Christian sects. were able to retain some of their originally much favored practices. a custom . puts his hand upon the child's head. the Dawaseni entertain great reverence for They respect Christianity and the Christian saints. they go to a Christian town to partake of Al-Kiddas (the Eucharist) from the hand of a priest. lived remote from strongly Yezidising influences. like the Chris- tian priest. which prevails among eastern Christians. and vice versa. a bride should. rather than to any other system. is In the Black to the Book a statement made that on her way house of her bridegroom. a fact which seems to indicate that the Apostate Nasara. the churches and tombs of the Christians." They have also professed reverence for . even if it be a Christian Church. it is The Yezidis call the strictly Christian in character. the Seih. and kiss the doors and walls when they enter them but they never who . In regard to the sacrament of the Lord's supper. if Like their neighbors. visit the temple of every idol she passes by.

at least. in which they have been as sincere and unshaken as have been the heroes of any religion.102 'Isa DEVIL WORSHIP (Jesus). a people must nection feeling which clearly indicates that these at one time have had a very close conChristianity. both have lived for generations under the same yoke of bondage and oppression and under similar circumstances. they are not hypocrites in their The theory is also refuted by our understandfaith.^^ true the Christians have been co-sufferers with them. sympathy but of religion. fied Such an assumption cannot be veriby the facts collected through our observation of the Yezidis' character as a religious body. and never compromise in religious matters. History has shown again and again that they have suffered martyrdom for their faith. Nasara than affinity to They affect more attachment to AnMohammedans. . They believe in some forms of Christianity. No matter how uneducated they may be. they want to exercise their faith and not to express their sympathy. Such a religious cannot be fully accounted for on any other ground than that of their sincere respect for Christainity. as some scholars seem to think. ing of the nature of the affinity in question between It is not a matter of the Yezidis and the Christians. They are sincere in their beliefs. or by kindred It is experiences. What is more. But this alone could not create sympathy between them. the eastern Christians have no sympathy for the devil worshippers. with This intimate relation cannot be explained by their ignorance. and when they visit a church.

affinity is Christians or the Yezidis. Now we turn our attention to the West. Christian tradition can be regarded as a more probable theory to account for the rise of Yezidism than any other view And. but am simply aiming to show that if the similarity of a certain religion with another in some phases be taken as a ground for the explanation of its origin. the Christian tradition. however. The degree of interest shown in this particular case. which also has expressed itself on this subject. Ill The Speculative Theories of Western Orientalists Thus far we have been dealing with the different theories regarding the origin of the Yezidis held in the East: the myth of the devil-worshippers themselves. yet they same conditions. I wanting between the Jews and the all live under the am that the Yezidi sect not here advocating the theory. differs with different nationalities. that the explanathe : tion must be found ultimately in some historical document which will give us a reasonable clew in the its tracing of the sect in question to founder. is a corrupt form of Christianity. The English-speaking scholars come . or implying. what seems to me to be the best position. to point out.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Such an 103 not more than they have for any other religious body. hence.

And. Romans or Jews. The German writers do not seem to be interested so much in the problem of the origin of this people as a sect. in the last must be accredited to the influences emanatanalysis. unless they regard the question as settled on the ground of the Yezidis' own statement that they are the descendants of Yezid bn Mu'awiya. Canaanites. This may be due in part to the extreme interest which they have taken in the matter. Greeks. DEVIL WORSHIP next come the French.^^ I do not mean to deny the value of such a course of investigation in questions pertaining to . Babylonians. in the discussion of these. the rise of the interest in the basis. Assyrians. They have employed the philosophical and not the historical method. and The German scholars seem to be finally the ItaUans. To tell the truth. Nevertheless modern orientalists have been far from approaching the solution of the question. ing from these scholars and these scholars only. they go so far in their unbounded speculation that one cannot tell whether the people they deal with are the Yezidis in question. And any solution of the problem (and it does not matter who does the work). an interest which led them to accept the phenomena without critical examination. But the inductive study of their respective writings tends to show that this is due to their method of procedure rather than to anything else. then the Russians.I04 first. interested mainly in certain words and festive events. is due. to the scholarship of the West. inquiry about the founder of this sect on a scientific without question.

Mohammed e. however. The Yezidis possess a genealogical tree by means of which they to trace their religious origin back him. and they do not seem to appeal to historical facts in support of their assumptions. The inevitable con- sequence has been."" Now. Many of the ignorant ones rallied around Yezid. called those who did not Al-jahaleen. Western orientalists are divided into three schools of opinion on the question of the religious origin of There are those who hold that the sect the Yezidis. the ignorant ones. who says. Among the latter was Yezid bn Mu'awiya who refused to accompany Mu'awiya. he the ground for this assertion. Another fact which the inductive study of the views of the western scholars reveals is that their theories there Yezidis' are nothing more nor less than the expression of the tradition in terms of modern scholarship. and he became the nucleus of the sect that appropriated his name. as an attendant upon his person.. the writer does is entirely silent as to the source of his .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 105 religion. that in their theories exists an uncertainty and indefiniteness that puzzles the student of history. the showing of reasons for so doThis fact will be proved presently when we shall ing. from Yezid bn Mu'awiya. not give. his father. This view is takes its rise advocated by a modern writer. therefore. without. "The Arabs who accepted i. but what I do mean to say is that the method of the scholars in question is almost purely speculative. examine their respective writings.

DEVIL WORSHIP It is evident. as their true Imam. son the hands of the Mu'awiya to secure toleration at Mohammedans. Husein. the Yezidis are really the followers of Ibn Mu'awiya but that they deny it for fear of persecution on the part of Shiites. with Mu'awiya his brother came in company with their father Abu Sofian.io6 information. He also seems the to be confusing this Yezid with his uncle of same name. And. who is regarded by them This inference is founded on the of Persia consider the theory that the Mohammedans people in question as descendants of the Calif whose name is odious to them. Yezidis is too.^^ But the scholar quoted may entertain the view of those who say that .^^ Others maintain that the sect adopted the of name Yezid. Their hatred of the sect can be better explained on .^^ But it is not certain that the followers of *Ali entertain such a view regarding the origin of the Yezidis. But the Arab historians tell us that not only Abu Sofian and each of his two sons received a hundred camels but that they were each presented with forty ounces of silver. Some assert it was them by the Mohammedans as a term of reproach.^^ Then. they have no historical facts to justify them in their opinion. who. many scholars deny that the name put upon the original appellation. to Mohammed to receive presents from the Prophet. if they do. These latter hate Yezid. because he murdered 'Ali's son. therefore. that he is regarding the superstitious theory of the Yezidis as a fact without making any reflection upon it.

Avestan Yezata. the evil principle. calif Ibn Hallikan mentions his name two or three times. the theory of this school is neutral- ized by the fact that none of the Arab historians mentions the son of the first Calif in the Omayyid dynasty as a founder of any heretical sect. 121. Yazd (pla Yazdan). or good spirit. and says that his works were collected. the name Yezid. 'worthy of worship*. see pp.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Yezid bn Unaisa. however. He says nothing. There is still another school among the western orientalists. 128 of this book. Still doctrines as Bishop of may be seen by the Nagham overthrew. over against Ahriman. answer is made of that Yezid Ferfer evil spirit is the name of the attendant the among the Parsees. contrary. means God. Persian. Furthermore. according to them. Hence. being in the Omayyid dynasty. observers of superstitious idol Yezid. method of procedure from the of Persian origin. they all agree that he was not On the Mohammedan the second only a but a successor of the prophet. 107 the basis of the relation of the devil-worshippers to For he was one of those who most bitterly hated *Ali.worshippers are of two wings. I mean those is who hold that the religion of the devil. 122.^® Others believe that the word "Yezid" It indicates in the plural the signifies God.*^ which the others say that . indicates the people that believe in this good god. as to his founding any religious schism. To the objection that the Yezidis worship the evil spirit. They There are those who take their They argue that this term in name Yezid or Yazd.

Dr. Persia. that is. One example he . a name of a town Central of which the Parsees form the principal part of the inhabitants. Briefly stated. and particularly Yezidi question. It is thought by many. This distinguished scholar is considered an eminent authority on Iranian religions.^^ The other wing of the second school attempts to trace the origin of the devil-worshippers to a Persian source on the basis of certain resemblances between the two religions. V. Conspicuous among the representatives of this school is Professor A." ceeds to point "The Yezidis may actually traces of old devil-worship in Zoroaster anathematized so bit: reminiscences of common To verify this hypothesis." and "some old Iranian faith. I have preferred his discussion of this theory to that of others because he has expressed himself clearly and consistently and without part rendering himself liable to misapprehension on the of the reader. it is claimed that in reality the Yezidis worship God and not the devil. of Columbia University. not only deserve careful consideration. or Yezid.io8 DEVIL WORSHIP in the tradition of these people Yezid must have been an abbreviated form of Aez-da-Khuda. therefore. he proout many instances. that the Yezidis derive their in name from Yazd. which terly. In support of this theory. created of God. Jackson's is position as follows show some surviving Mazandaran. Jackson. too. an eye-witness authority on the His views. but they demand their full share in solving such an important problem as the one under discussion.

" And this information leads him to think that such a notion helps "the Zoroastrian student to recognize at once a far-off reminiscence of Avestan Gaya-Mashai. For the inductive method. not mentioning the name of Satan.^^ Now. Poincare. cannot give us exact knowledge because its experiments do not cover all the instances in a given case. Only in some phases does the Yezidi religion resemble that of There are other beliefs which do not come under this category." He traces this abhorrence to "Zoroastrian prescription. L e. the Iranian Adam and Eve. and which seem to bear the old Persians.. Yet however scientific their method may seem to be their conclusions cannot be accepted as final. it is inductive. sense of the term. partial noticeable thing in favor of the that cannot be brought within the sphere of a particular observation." any way to be "The Daevayasna or devil-worshippers in Avesta." he goes on to say. that lived before Adam. this is exactly One phenomena the case in the subject under consideration. "may indirectly have had a kindred notion. . There can be only a There will always remain some verification. forbidding the earth in defiled. because they interpret this as an insult to the devil. according to the great French scientist.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ cites is that "the 109 Yezidis are shocked if one spits upon the earth. and did not fall into sin."*^ two schools is that their method is strictly scientific." Moreover this American critic is informed that the Yezidis "believe in a father primeval. in the modern It is a posteriori and not a priori.

no the traces of DEVIL WORSHIP some other religions. the sect naturally has much in common with Islam. but is exceedingly difficult. To quote: generally agreed upon that the sect of the Yezidis was founded by §eih 'Adi. and leave to advance his own idea. I refer to those among the western who maintain that the writer Yezidi sect was founded by Seih *Adi. and almost impossible. He is a historical it personage. What are we to do with these ?^^ The advocates of the theory in question admit that such is the case. to establish any historical facts out of the mist of verv fantastic stories current about him."^* But why are the resemblances to Iranism not to be accounted for in the same way as those to other religions? Why may not equally strong inference be the likeness to Christianity? And what the basis of such a discrimination? On these questions we are left entirely in the dark. A no room for further "It is criticism. Now. it is this made from is lack of ground for their method of procedure that leads one to seek the solutirn of the problem on some other verifiable hypothesis."^' He supports his notion by an appeal to an Arab . proceeds To emhasize it. after critically reviewing the views held by the different scholars. modem who holds this theory. but they assert that "the resemblances of the Yezidi religion to Christianity and Islam are accidental". he claims that the theory has been "generally" accepted. that "owing to the residence of the Yezidis among the Mohammedans. There is still another school orientalists.

they took him for and imagined that in the next life they in him their most precious treasure and Before this. from whom. and fixed his residence among the mountains of the Hakkari. celebrated for the holiness of his life. he had as a disciple a their best support. would have country to a degree unexampled in the history of the anchorites. an extract relating to Seih *Adi was published by one who for years was a resident of the city of Mosul. His reputation spread to distant countries.^® This statement that Ibn Hallikan gives the biography of *Adi is a fact that cannot be questioned. §eih What "The Ibn Hallikan has to say on §eih *Adi: *Adi Ibn Masafir Al-Hakkari was an ascetic. It is said that the place of his birth was a village called Bait Far." justify this position. let biographer to say I be substantiated. near Mosul.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ author. his followers increased to a great Their belief in his sanctity was so excesin saying their p-ayers. To me quote in full what the Arab and two other Mohammedan scholars have Nor can on the problem. and the number of multitude. and the founder of a religious order called after him Al'Adawiah. where he built a cell (or a monastery) and gained the favor of the people in that their kibla. sive that. situated in the province of . iii Kasi Ahmad ibn-Hallikan. according to this writer. great number of eminent seihs and men remarkable He then retired from the world for their holiness. but that *Adi founded the Yezidi sect is a theory that is it by no means "generally agreed upon.

and places him in the list of those persons who visited that city. when a boy he saw . and that his lineage goes back as far as Marwan bn al-Hakam. in the town Hakkari region). he was a man of medium size and tawny complexion he related also of his great sanctity. He was His the monastery that he had erected. where he resided until his death. visited (as a place of sanctity). 557 (a. is The confidence their merits tor. Muzaffar Ad-Din. the sovereign of Arbela.112 DEVIL WORSHIP still Baal-bek. According to him. ninety years.h. They also say that he was from Hawran. being considered by his followers one of the most sacred spots to which a pilgrimage can be made. 1 162). and that the house in which he was bom is He died a. said that the §eih *Adi at Mosul. and from thence to Jabal Las. also that he is Saraf ad Din Abou'l Fadail 'Adi bn Masafir J ."^^ many circumstances indicative The seih died at the age of has to say 2 What Mohammed-Amin-Al-'Omari that on Seih 'Adi: "They say the §eih 'Adi was one of the inhabitants of Ba'albek. equal to that formerly like shown to their ances- and him they are treated with profound Ibarakat ibn Al-Mustawfi notices the respect. that he transported himself to Mosul. Abu §eih *Adi in his history of Arbela. a dependency of this city (Mosul). d. or as where he resided interred in some say a. (in the tomb is much frequented. h. 555. His descendants continue to wear the same in his distinctive attire as he did and to walk placed in footsteps.

The visit which they pay is God or in spite of him. and without being concerned about the expenses that the journey carries with it. who died in the ear 558. I make them do by compelling HI. which is well the object of pious pilgrimages. called the Yezidis. I. to wit. Adultery becomes lawful when committed by in a small tract (mutual) consent.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ bn 113 r Isma'il bn Mousa bn Marwan bn al Hasan bn Marwan bn Mohammed bn Marwan bn al Hakam. because known. They pretend that when the day of judgment comes. the seih 'Adi will put them into a wooden basin which he will place on his head in order to cause them this) to enter into Paradise while uttering these con: temptuous words *I do this (or. the appearance of a sect of apostates. His death took place in the city Hakkariya. They adore the sun and render worship to the devil."^^ 3 What Yasin Al-Hatib-al-Omari-Al-Mausili has : to say on Seih 'Adi "In this year 557 died the saint and the pious devotee *Adi bn Musafir. who performed miracles. His origin is from Ba*albek.' 'Adi for to the tomb of §eih them a pilgrimage which the devotees accomplished no matter how far distant the country is that they inhabit. one of the dependencies of Mosul. The following are some of the precepts of their faith that I found made by one of the inhabitants of who knows their religion: Aleppo. n." him by a calamity. His grave. . is "God tried they claim to be descended from Yezid.

They arrive there every year at the sound of drums in order to give themselves to games and debauchery. This is the translation of the passage which I have extracted from a song composed by a bishop of Arbil. to tion of 'Adi in these terms: 'Great misfortunes have falling us. that he might consecrate himself to God.*'' of Omayyids." "The Christians of the land. the slave of our mother." "He was versed in the knowledge of the divine law. and who have made his tomb the object of their pilgrimage. This enemy who made our life unfortunate was a Moham- . The following passage which one reads in a Chaldean manuscript entitled 'Awarda'^® and which I saw some time ago in the Church of Karmalis. and in which the author makes menfollowed. who pretended that this seih is God.114 DEVIL WORSHIP left in which he order to come to Mosul. in honor of Rabban Hormuzd** and other " saints. a formidable enemy came torment He was a descendant of Hagar." was descended from this the family which he bn Musafir bn Isma'il bn Mousa bn Marwan bn al-Hasan bn Marwan bn alHakam bn Al-'Ass bn Omayya. He passed a solitary life in on the mountains and "It is said that he caverns where lions and other wild beasts visited him is often. and the lineage attributed to himself: 'Adi proves this sufficiently. upon us . God tried him by a calamity by raising the Yezidis. and especially the partisans of the Nestorians are far from having the same opinion of the §eih *Adi as have the Moslems or the Yezidis.

come from a the home of sciences. fact is Another noteworthy that all three of these scholars agree in their account of Seih *Adi. He deceived us by vile tricks. which is the only city in the Mohammedan world whose widely spreading scholarship has acquired for it the name "Dar-al-'Ulum. they family whose members are known as 'Olama. While at Mo-sul. The last two are from the city of Mosul.' "*^ These are the accounts which we have of Seih *Adi and they deserve our special attention.." e. of the highest authority. highly intellectual. and especially on Suleiman Ibn Hallikan as a trustworthy further introduction than the biographer needs no name. in their . What adds to his reputhe fact that.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 115 medan. has spread down to our days in all the cities of all the countries. Efendi al Efendi al Omari. being a resident of Arbila in the province of Mosul^ he had at his com- mere mentioning of his tation as a scholar is mand firsthand information. but they are to a certain extent eye-witness authorities. The renown of his name. which is Seih *Adi. which he consecrated to things that are illicit (to have a strange worship). i. and has finished by taking possession of our riches and of our convent. had the honor of calling often on 'Omari. broad-minded Mohammedan gentlemen. Moreover. An innumerable multitude of Mussulmen have attached themselves to him and have vowed to him a blind submission. called 'Adi. For not only are the writers scholars in his relation to the Yezidis. I Hasan.

They agree also in their definition of the common people's attitude toward the Seih that he was deified and that his tomb has been made the object of pilgrimage. in most praising him for his manner of life. that they were some time of *Adi . that have taken rise from time to time in the religious history of Islam. Ibn Hallikan makes mention of a religious order which was called after the Seih's name. To be sure. but he designates them as 'Adawia and not as Yezidis. or as many other as-Sanusi. and that they were worshippers of the sun and the devil. which they regard as a life of holiness. in describing perfect model of hermits. that they were apostates from Islam. There is no intimation that he was a heretic. Their remarks tend to show that the Yezidi sect were known as such before the that their appellation was based on the pretension that they were descendants of Yesid. It is inconceivable to us. and were led by their ignorance to take him for a god. of those who weer attached to *Adi by reason of his wide reputation as a saint. if we apply the principles of modem . And finally they are silent about his sup: posed founding of the sect in question. of orders of dervishes and seihs of mystical type. The other two speak of the appearance of the Yezidis.ii6 DEVIL WORSHIP him as the tracing of his genealogy. or that he established such a schism. but they look at the incident as a calamity to the seih because they deified him and worshipped at his tomb. as the This might have been such an order *Ali Brotherhood ibn Mohammed after called Assanusi.

but as to founder of the sect it gives us no light. and not devil with him a hundred million Such are the theories that have been advanced in the discussion relating to the religious origin of the Yezidi sect. the foundation of whose curse times. that some Yezidis might have who was the Likewise. without historical justification. He only one of many whom their ignorance led to class as deities. that some But as to who Yezidis are Persian in their origin. but method that they employ does not seem proper one for solving such a question. that can tell us is been at one time Christians. tradition of the Yezidis that they are descended The from Yezid bn Mu'Awiya which has been accepted as the fact by some western scholars is only a myth. that they should write the life of one who is responsible for the rise of a sect.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ criticism to 117 what we know of the character of the Mohammedan historians. We us not a whit. was the originator of their religion this theory helps So also we have found that the relation is of §eih 'Adi to this sect is not that of a founder. . all we can learn is second school from the theory advocated by the that some phases of the Persian reli- gion might have survived with that of the devil- worshippers. I think. may admit. and we have found not only that they are far also that the to be the from reaching the solution of the problem. all As that to the Christian tradition. him and the religion is the devil.

I must mention the several words used for those who are considered as infidels is Kafir is according to Mohammedan theology. of Yezid bn Mu awiya. . that is. assert that they are Murtaddoon. after once accepting the gion of Islam. an explicit statement regards these people as I refer to Amin-al-*Omari-al Mausili (of After praising Seih 'Adi. on the other hand. or of a colony from the north. Watani is a pagan or idolator. Mosul). while among the western orientalists some say that they were founded by Yezid bn Mu awiya. others that they are of Persian origin. The Yezidis are put in the one category of those who. while the Christian tradition of the East traces them to a Christian origin. To under- stand the significance of this term. who secretly disbelieves in the misMunafik sion of Mohammed. of those to whose writings I had access. Mushrik one who ascribes companions to God. and finally Murtadd is one who apostasizes from Isalm. reli- One in author. Zandik is one who asserts is his belief in the doctrine of dualism. the Mosulian goes apostates. etc.ii8 DEVIL WORSHIP IV The Dogmatic View ants of of Mohammedan Scholars While the Yezidi myth regards the sect as descendAdam. Mulhid is one who has deviated from the truth. the Mohammedan dogmatics.. apostates from Islam. Dahri is an atheist. one who hides or denies the truth. later rejected it.

if religious and philosophical As-§ahrastani. Another Mohammedan scholar that mentions these people is Yasin Al-HatibMausili. founder. I sects. men who bore the name This obscurity regarding the person of the founder of the sect is made clear by one whose work is not more. they leave us entirely in the dark as to who that person was. appearance of Al-Murtaddoon.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ to wit. e. He writer that traces could This authority is the only Mohamreach that.** "He God who While these authors throw some that the sect in question derives light on the subject appellation from a historic person. and who have made his tomb the object of their pilgrimage. pretend that this Seih is God. he says. Writing on Seih *Adi. as the Arab historians its mention many prominent Yezid. in a clear is this most interesting sect to its "The Yezidis are the followers o| Yezid bn Unaisa. versed in the knowledge of the divine law. called the Yezidis because they pretended to have been descended from Yezid.*^. who [said that he] kept friendship with the first Muhakkama before the Azarika. al-'Omari-al praising him was tried him by a calamity by raising up the Yezidis. and he separated himself from those who followed after them with the .. authoritative than that of any other Mohammedan scholar on matters pertaining to equally. "God tried him (i. the 119 on to say. and as the former writer does. Mohammed medan language. *Adi) by a calamity.

the Chosen One. but that others are hiding the truth and give companions to god and that every sin. small or great. he says. He calls them his Asehah. in a logical way. But these are not the Sabians who are found in Haran and Wasit. which took name from him. i. bn Unaisa its is the founder of the Yezidi sect. is on the positive side. may God bless and save him! and follow the religion of the Sabians mentioned in the Koran. and would reveal the whole (book) to him at one time/^ and as a result he would leave the law of Mohammed.** and so on. then.^® It is clear. in sympathy . that to the knowledge of the writer. is idolatry. a term by which he designates the relation between a sect and its originator. that As-Sahrastani finds the religious origin of this interesting people in the person of Yezid bn Unaisa.120 DEVIL WORSHIP exception of Al-Abadia. from among the Persians and would reveal to him a book that is already written in heaven. for with these he kept friendHe believed that God would send an apostle ship." and "Al Hafeziyah Asehab Hafez. the theological views of the head of the Yezidis. Al-Haratiyah he describes as "Asehab al-Haret. But Yezid kept friendship with the people of the book who recognized the Chosen One as a prophet. his followers. And he said that the those followers of ordinances are among who agree with him. even though they did not accept — his (Mohammed's) the religion. e. We are to understand. therefore.. Yezid. Mohammed A§-§ahrastani states also.

were guilty of infidelity. Mohamnnedan (Cf. 118-119) regard them as apoatate Moslems. They still hold to the Harijite principle. is idolatry. so named in rela- tion to Nafi' ibn-Al-Azrak. a certain suburb of AI-Koofa. namely *Abd Mousa al-As-'Aree and Am ibn-al-'As. writers other than Ashahr-Astani also (pp. man Government. therefore. 71-74).. . their position to the OttoAs we said some pp. *. a sect founded by *Abd-Allah ibn Ibad. It is evident. the two judges. and they declare that the companions (of the Prophet) is Yezid moreover.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ with the the first first 121 Muhakkamah before the Azarika. Muhakkamah is an appellative applied to the called Al-Hawarij. Now against 'Ali at Al-Hawarij were the first to rebel Haroora. And Al-Azarika were a heretical Muslim sect called Al-Hawarij or Heroriyah. and said that judgment belongs only to God. small or great. who taught that if a man commits a kabirah or great sin he is an infidel and not a believer. said to have been in sympathy with Al-Abadiyah. According to this it might be inferred that the Yezidis were originally a Harijite sub-sect. because they Muslim schismatics disallowed the judgment of the Hakaman. that according to this ex- position the Yezid in question was one of Al-Hawarij. AsSahrastani himself classes them with the Moslem heretics. e. They asserted that *Ali committed an act of infidelity by submitting his case to arbitration. and that the slaying of him by Ibn Muljama was just. and their principle is expressly attributed to him : every sin. Now.

^^ There is another side to Yezid's doctrine." And Surah 22. Day. 17: "They who believe as well as Jews. also: believe as well as Jews. Christians and whoever of them believe in God and the Last Sabeans. Sabeans and Christians and the Magians. 73.122 DEVIL WORSHIP it from which is distant two miles. who believe as well as Jews. on them shall no fear come . and do that which is right. that God would send an apostle from Persia. because they first assembled there and accepted the doctrine that government belongs only to God. shall have their reward with their Lord. to He held whom he would reveal a book already written in heaven. and do what is right. Christians 2. This apostle was to be an opponent of the prophet of Islam in that he would leave Mohammed's religion and follow that of the Sabians mentioned in the • Koran." Surah 5. whoever believeth in God and in the Last Day. together with the Christians and the Jews. "They who neither shall they be put to grief. And Nasibiyah who made of bn Unaisa one sect of Al-Hawarij was Anit a matter of religious obliga- tion to bear a violent hatred to *Ali. These are referred to by Mohammed. Such is the place among the Moslem heretics. 59: "They and Sabeans. and those who join gods . but this is only one side of his religious system. in three different One such reference is in Surah places in the Book. They are called also Al-Heroriyah.

Al-Baidawi says that some assert that they were worshippers of angels. In com- menting on Surah 2. This implies that he will believe in the true tion.Sabians. and openly professed to be Christians. we are to infer that the Apostle of whom Yezid bn Unaisa says that he will come from the land of the 'Ajam (Persian).Sabi. except that their kiblah was toward the South. verily God shall decide between them on the Day of Resurrection. the son of Adam. he seems them from Magians and polytheists. will identify himself with the religion of the ." In these passages Mohammed seems to regard the Sabians of the Koran as believers in the true God and in the resurrection. while others said they resembled the Christians. distinguish . the son of sect of unbelievers Seth. 59. they were of the religion of . to And in Surah 22 17.Sabians were a who worshipped the stars secretly. from whence the wind blows. Zamahsari (Al-Kessaf) says that the name Sabian comes from a root meaning one . Hence. According to others.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 123 with God. Hebraeus^® asserts that the religion of the Sabians is the same as that of the ancient Chaldeans. According to some the . In the Kamus it is said that they were of the religion of Noah. and that others say that they are the worshippers of stars. Al-Bertuni*^ calls Bar the Manichaeans of Samarkand Sabians. God and in the Day of ResurrecBut from some Arab writers we learn more of these vSabian beliefs than the Prophet of Islam has mentioned.

. stood between the Magians and the Jews and the Christians without having any revealed religion of their own. Now what Mohammed philosophers." . those who departed from one reli- gion to another religion. The authority we are quot- . pp. In by his general discussion of Sabianism however (vol. according to others while others they were worshippers of angels . 73. he seems to speak of two main Sabian He refers to one together with the ancient sects. but had no revealed say. On this same verse Zamabsari remarks." "The Sabians were those who departed from all religions. and declares that the Sabians followed rational ordinances and judgments which originally they may have derived from some prophetic authority. some say that they were worshippers of angels others assert that they worshipped God alone. Sams Ad-Din Mohammed Al-Harrani (Jami Al-Bijan fi Tafsir Al-Koran) says: "The Sabians. 201-250). religion. According to some they were people of the Book. i. says: "The Sabians were a Christian sect. they believed in one God but Prophet. The philosophers followed their own devices and took their system from no prophetic source. followed no This same commentator on Surah 5. but that they denied all prophecy. e. ^''^'V'i^%\ As-§ahrastani really means the Sabians of the Koran. On this same verse.124 DEVIL WORSHIP religion to another reli- who has departed from one gion. I am unable to state. and that the Sabians were those who departed from Judaism and Christianity and worshipped angels. 2.

the Christians and the Jews believe in these. worship of idols among heathens (pp. the writer points out. the original philosophers. and in the the followers of idols. 24) he writes. the Christians. The ." and says that it followed Seth and Enoch. moreover. p.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 125 ing calls this sect "the original Sabian sect. the adoration of stars among the fol- lowers of stars . 203. In another place (vol. is that "the Sabians do not follow the Law (of God) or Islam. and mediators. "The Jews and the Chris- tians follow a revealed Book. I. derives the name Sabian (p. has itself manifested in three different forms: in the veneration of angels among what he calls the followers of angels. and that therefore he is in constant need of intercessors Sabianism. the star-worshippers. the Magians and the Manichseans. according to As-Sahrastani. to regard the notion that man is incapable of approaching God. and the Brahmans believe none of these. while the Moslems believe in them all. and the Moslems. 244). but do not accept the Law (religion) in The of Mohammed . 203) from a root meaning one who turns aside. the idol-worshippers. a like Book." other main Sabian sect is mentioned together with the Jews. The difference between these religious bodies. ordinances and judgments. as a controlling idea in This belief. As-Sahrastani. deviates. the original Sabian sect. the atheists. and declares that the Sabians were those who turned aside from the statutes of God). but accepts no Book. and He seems deviated from the path of the prophets.

but many in his appearances. 'This is my Lord. the night is ("And when and said.* And when he saw the moon beginning to rise he said.") — And star in the following references: overshadowed him he saw a my Lord. excellent in righteousness. 'This is my Lord/ And when he saw the sun beginning to rise he said.126 last DEVIL WORSHIP two. 'This — 76. They believed also. But Mohammed As-Sahrastani makes mention of another Sabian sect which he names Al-Harbaniyah (pp. 37» 93sir ! When he — Abraham—said hew — — Surah out?' Said he to his father. is his temple He is too good. good. we the source of good. to create anything evil. in the earthly beings that are rational. God and evil is either an accidental and necessary or related to the evil source. *0h my why dost thou worship what can neither hear nor see nor avail thee aught?* Surah 19. 'Dost thou take idols for gods?* Surah Abraham 'Do ye serve what ye — — 6. is the belief that the They and he held that God Creator indwelleth in other beings. Its distinctive feature. 77. we are told. He dwells in the seven planets. in the transmigration of souls. this is greatest of all/ '*) Surah 6. 74. 43. 248-250). thing. our authority informs us. and . he says. and referred to : in the Koranic statement ("When Abraham said to his father. is one in his essence. Azar. read. and taught that the Resurrection of which the prophets had spoken was only the . 78. Human live may is abide within it and body and move as a man. are polytheists.

and have become dust and bones. the religion of the . Such is. They were regarded as such by the Mohammedans. This doctrine. Yezid bn Unaisa says." One thing. — there I Away. however. as in the worship of the older Babylonian and Syrian faiths. the Persian Apostle will follow nor can I say which are those that "are found in Harran and Wasit. is alluded to in the passages : ("Does he promise you that when ye are dead. polytheistic. they sheltered themselves under the name." which .") ! We and 23. 37-39. that they might be entitled to the toleration which the Sabians of the Koran have because they were considered among the people of the Book. that then ye will be brought forth? ised. The Harranians were remnants of the old heathen of they were Mesopotamia had the chief place worship . so that under Al-Mamun. is clear: according to As-Sahrastani the Sabians of the Koran differ in their faith from those of Harran. Now those that cannot say which of the Sabian sects are ''are mentioned in the Koran. away with what ye only our shall life in are promdie is the world we live and we not be — Surah raised. in the main.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ here 127 end of one generation and the beginning of another on earth. Sabians. the Mohammedan critics affirm.^^ Another thing to be noticed is that there is a close resemblance between the calls belief of the Sabian sect which As-Sahrastani Al-Harbaniyah Persian and that of the Yezidi sect. and star- in their religion.

We may conclude. This last point referred to also explicitly in the statement that Yezid associated himself with those of quoted. is comes from the pen of one who considered of the . This statement tends to indicate that he might have accepted some phases of the Muslim faith. so to speak. And the fact that he belonged to Al-Hawarij implies that he was one of those who were ''condemning and rejecting *Ali for his awiya. of bn Unaisa's religious views. There can be no doubt. The statement of our authority. and submitting Such are in brief the to arbitration. the his claims scandahus crime of parleying with Muof the Omayyid line." fundamental elements in the religious system of one first who may be held responsible for the rise of the sect in question. perhaps. that he. honored the angels and the stars. (see pp. He is also said to have claimed that the followers of the ordinances'^ agreed with him. and that he was neither polytheistic nor a true believer in the Prophet of Islam.128 DEVIL WORSHIP is Apostle and logically the religion of Yezid bn Unaisa which announces the coming of such a messenger. 1 Mohammed it As-Sahrastani 19-120). This is the negative aspect. that the Yezidis are the followers of Yezid bn Unaisa. is so clear that is can bear no other it interpretation. And what far more important. the people of the Book who recognized Mohammed is as a prophet though they did not become his followers. therefore. that the founder of the Yezidi sect believed in God and in the Day of Resurrection. it seems to me.

(a. their founder as a kharijite sub sect in the early period of Islam that. and Moslems it and that large survivals or absorptions of pagan beliefs or customs are to be found in modern Yezidism. The Kitab sects) al-Milal is wa n-Nihal (treatise on in reUgions and theology. that in the early history of the sect and of *Adi many Christians. am of the opinion. tions relating to philosophical In his work Ibn Hallikan speaks of : **Asprofound scholarship in the highest terms Sahrastani. h. nor does he make mention of any other supposed founder except the one he records. 1072-1162. He displayed the highest abilities as a juris- consult. In other words the actual religion of the united with . they joined his movement and took him for their chief received . h. one of his works on scholastic that He remained without an equal branch of science. was distinguished as an Imam and a doctor of the law. yet he makes no allusion to him when he refers to the rise of this most interesting sect. Persians. Now. Mohammed As-§ahrastani of 'Adi (a. Yezidis is syncretism in which it is easy to recognize .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ highest authority his bibliographical 129 among the Arab and scholars on quesreligious sects. D." 467-549) A. religious teacher. D. 465-555) 1074-1133 was a contemporary A. attracted by Seih 'Adi's reputation. therefore. that the Yezidis their name from Yezid bn Unaisa. a dogmatic theologian of the 'Asarite sect. For I these reasons I accept the historical assertion of this distinguished author.

especially sufism and elements. however. remembering also that the fourth Calif ored am. and consequently any contemptuous attitude toward the father will give rise to more bitter feeling on the part of his followers than the murder of the son would occasion. Moslem. honor the angels and the stars. as they of their seibs with angels and ignorant people. as idolatry or 'Ali. and expect the appearance of a prophet disbelieve in the mission of from Persia. The fol- lowers of bn My'awiya can only be despised by the latter. namely. as these are.ong the is more honMoslems of Persia than his son Husein is. There is one question. with- out record and without any one who can read. The fact of their connection with such a religious leader explains the reason why they are hated by both the Sunnites and the Shiites. Mohammed and ignore small or great. as I have already stated. And it is worth of former also. regard every sin. anti-Mohammed and anti-'Ali. Among latter. but the believer such a heretical one as the son Unaisa are necessarily condemned by the For he was. which does not appear very easy to answer. Three explanaOne is that their ignorance led tions may be given. DEVIL WORSHIP Christian. how the Yezidis came to trace their origin to Yezid bn Muto be 'awiya and not to Yezid bn Unaisa. them have to mistake the former for the identified many deities.130 Yezidi. the . pagan Like the master they believe in the true God and in the Resurrection. infidelity.

This declaration magnified Persia and inhabitants and gave them preeminence. And if the pre- we can imagine which he must have had among dicted teacher arose. the great success his countrymen. It is to And much contained. 35). the identity of the two names. Another that they intentionally made the identification in order to escape the persecution of the Sun- answer is nites. among whom most of them lived. Though specious. it insulted the latter country by despising its prophet. conit sequently. On the other hand. their igno- rance led them to take him for their founder. led many fire. The third theory is that they have a notion that they are descended from a noble personage. it expressed its sympathy with a prophet from Persia and with his its religion. p. 2.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ occasion of such an error 131 is not strange. Therefore they looked on native cult. for it is not their habit to deny their origin for the sake of safety. from be noticed that the religion of this Yezid its inception. . vol. The not as a foreign but as a entertaining of such a view. a fundamental doctrine to the which appealed pagans of Persia more than it In its very structure did to Al-jahaleen of Arabia. and the second Calif being such a personage. or devil-wor-shippers the followers of Zoroastrianism to embrace the religion and new (Al-masrik. Even in that case. this idea is not tenable. helped toward the formation of the legend. they would still be hated by the Shiites. of course. thereby making an impression on the attitude of the people toward Yezidism.

The Nestorian bishop of Arbela. and complains of the possession by the Seih of a monastery belonging to his denomination. which lived in his neighborhood and paid serpents him frequent visits were endowed. 111-115). they might have thought him the promised one. whom Yasin Al-*Omari quotes (see p. The both faiths bear witness to the fact that 'Adi's reputation was widespread. Therefore. and that people of every condition followed him (see pp. with miracles supernatural sweetness. but it gives the reason why the Kurdish predominates over the Arab element in Yezidism. The new sect appears to have existed as a very loose organization after the death of its founder: this looseness put them in a condition to follow any one who would exhibit some qualifications for leadership. Moreover. to whom a number of Even the lions and the were attributed.132 DEVIL WORSHIP This fact not only accounts for the existence of traces of old Persian religion. And it is very likely that. there . What might have added to the confirmation of this notion was his fame as a saint. deplores the situation of the Christian church resulting from this uprising. we have of reason to conclude that many Moslems and historians Christians followed him. entertaining the idea of a coming prophet as they still do. From what we know sufficient of 'Adi's movement. as has been shown. 114) asserts that innumerable multitudes flocked to him. it is said. when they heard about *Adi they naturally flocked to him.

like the Harranians. an idea which belongs to the common the ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia. and Christian elements are to be found in modern Yezidism. 6: 9. the number seven played an important part in the religious system of Israel. the sceptre en- graved on the front of the temple of their great saint has seven branches. Further. This reminds us at once of the seven gods or angels who directed the course of seven planets. Moslem. The sun was worshipped also in Canaan. find expression in the devil-worshippers of Such is the notion of the sacredness of the number stock of seven. II Kings 25: 5. Persian. The Yezidis have seven . The horses of the sun were worshipped I Sam. we note in the Babylonian-Assyrian poem. The . Sabians who adored Moreover. each has seven burners. but there are many remains of the old pagan religions which to-day. they make no compromise in matters of religion. so far as we know their character. the seven days of the week were dedicated to their respective deities. Not only Yezidi. the modern Satanparast worship the sun and the moon at their rising and setting. since. their cosmogany shows that God created seven angels or gods their principal prayer is the appeal to God through seven seihs.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ exist 133 the Yezidis certain Moslem and Christian which cannot be accounted for on any other practices among ground. 11. in the temple at Jerusalem. sanjaks. Likewise. the seven gates through which I star descended to the land without return.

many religious beliefs of the Pre-lslamic Arabs survive among the modern Yezidis. Moreover." This was taken to mean that her . furthermore. cast into the sacred wells of other places.^^ An impure person. as the water of Zamzam now is (Yakut I. in the heavens (see p. Other survivals of the ancient religions found in Yezidism are the worship of birds (see p. When the grandfather of Mohammed *Abd Al-Muttalib cleaned out the well. the moon. 174). 434). 174) of its .134 DEVIL WORSHIP planets). The water of such holy springs was believed to possess healing power. special importance attached to the New Year because bearing on individual welfare by reason of the or evil decision of the gods rendered them (see good and the belief in occurrences of nuptials pp. the is that of Mecca. In Babylon. According to Ibn Hisam "A woman who adopts Islam breaks with the heathen god by purifying herself in this pool. he found two golden gazelles and a number of swords. dared not approach the sacred waters. one at Sippar. aries Such is the belief in sacred wells in connection with sanctu- most Gifts were conspicuous of which cast into this holy water of Zamzam. A woman in her uncleanness was afraid for her children's sake to bathe in the holy water at the sanctuary of Dusares. 46. worship of the host of heaven (the sun. and was carried home by pilgrims. 150) the . there were at least two shrines to sun-god Samas. the were found in Judea. as they were found in all parts of the Semitic region. and ther other at Larsa.

According to Ibn Hisam^'^ the beginning of this idolatry was that "the Meccans when their land became too narrow for them spread abroad over the country. when it was hung all around with fine clothes and women's ornaments. and noteworthy is the theory advanced by the Mohammedan writers to account for its origin. sanctuary. It was adored at an annual feast. and hung upon it weapons. According to Tabari there was a date-palm tree at Nejran. . 261). the tree at Hadaibiya." or "tree to hang things on. garments. pluck a It was con- sidered deadly twig from is such sacred The prevalence of stone-worship another sign of paganism existing before Islam. And the pilgrims changed their clothes the sacred precinct. 18) was visited by pilgrims who expected to derive a blessing from it. and all took stones from their the Kaaba. ^^ when they entered Another common heathen practice in the time of Al-jahliya was the worship of holy trees.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ act 135 all was a breach of the ritual of the spot."^* The Goddess Al-'Ozza was believed to reside in a tree. A similar tree to which the peop'e of Mecca resorted annually. ostriches' eggs. and other things. out of reverence for their and they set them up whenever they formed temple. till it was cut down by to the Calif Omar lest it should be worshipped trees. According to Yakut (III. like Al-Lat and Al-*Ozza. mentioned in the Koran (sura XLVIII. is spoken of in the tradition of the prophet under the name of **dhat anwat.

especially in that of 'Adi's. The water valley with its sacred fountain. in spirits. his body and clothes. traces of this belief have been preserved in the Many Old Testament. 11. which. these religious beliefs are In connection with the 22). 28. jewelry. They make pilgrimages to . that poly-demonism. is the most feature of the old nomad religions. there is a sacred spring.^^ Now. 14: 7) and Beerseba (Gen. 31). temple of Seih 'Adi. refer to the sacred wells at at trees. homes. as it is called "a house of God" (Gen. 30. they think. sacred trees. characteristic the belief in divine powers. and they walked around them as they used to go about the Holy House. Deut. the chief saint takes from time to time and to this day no one may enter the holy districts. There are many instances in the Old Testament of the belief in divine powers inhabiting springs. . 6. We may Kade§ (Gen.. and there are similar ones in different parts of the Yezidi of these springs is held to have and is carried by pilgrims to their healing power. 28. 21. to the sacred oracular tree at Shekem (Gen. to the sacred stone of Bethel." be noticed. found in the traces of all modem Yezidism.*^' likewise. e. and also in the popular religion of the Syria and Palestine of to-day. the Yezidis cast coins. unless he first purify The devil-worshippers adore. 3). stones. In these pools. This led them at last to It is to i.136 DEVIL WORSHIP a settlement. which gave the place its name. 12. worship every stone that pleased their fancy. and other presents. furthermore.

Chrisreligions? we find that the distinctive characteris- of the founder have been wrapped up in many foreign elements brought in by those who came from other religions. pagan.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ that 137 them. 50). are the steps which the Yezid took before present form. not such a state of affairs find a historical parallel in some other tianity. and vows to them (see pp. Again. with its dancing^® and its excitement a rite which — —arebrought against nothing but paganism. It it is came to shape made up of five contributed itself religion into of its different ele- ments.*® has them the all sorts of accusations^® remnants of Pre-Islamic Such. Does founder. the Yezidis kiss the stones that satisfy their imagination. . for example. that by the Mohammedan. and the noisy ceremony of their hajj. Persian. then. and Christian. tics In it Take. as they reach the sacred territory. 41. hang things on them. make The shouting of the Yezidi pilgrims. and entertain the belief whoever unties or shakes off a shred of cloth will be afflicted with disease. Nor is this all.

Eraser Mesopotamia and Persia. p. p. Rich. p. : : Ibid. 33. M. Ill. p. 832. 17. 69. vol. 56. 254. p. Arabia. vol. no. p. on the site of the present Kaaba. by B. 36. p. Ill. Beirut. p. p. 'Abdisia bishop of Sinjar. ^Al-Masrik. 37. vol. II.. 396. 1889. ^^ ^^ Eraser: Ibid. vol. p. " ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^5 S. 5. vol. 11. ibid.. 34. After a hundred years of wandering. S. Badger: Nestorians and ibid. p. vol. and here Allah constructed for them a tabernacle. 2. 287. pp. 493. M. ' Cf . 94. Anistase : Al-Masrik. 430. 2. 18 Al-Masrik. p. As-Sahrastani. they met near Meccah. Mag. vol. 1^ was Ibid. 14. : ^Layard: Nineveh and Its Remains. p. Fardaisa de 'Eden. on the western coast of Arabia.NOTES ON CHAPTER ^ I may be traced to the Mohammedan myth that the primal pair fell from their estate of bliss in the heavenly Paradise. 33. 295. p. This when Zwemer. ® Layard Nineveh and Babylon. 35. Cf. G. Eraser. Cardahi. cf. p. Rich Residence in Kurdistan. II. p. p. at one time Their Rituals. 147. Eraser: Ibid. Adam landed on a mountain in Ceylon and Eve fell at Jiddah. II. 285. ed. * ' Cf. ^ p. ^ Scottish Geog. vol. ibid. Al-Masrik. vol. 14. 300. I. p. 138 .

151. South s^ate. 179. vol. S. p. method is based on speculation the latter on historical See 42 of ^^ I mean by . p. ^^Southgate: II. p." ^^ ^° Jackson : : J. "Yezidis. p. etc. p. M. G. ^* The Enc. p. 171. and by the historical method the endeavor to verify a theory by The former obtaining data from historical sources. Southgate. ^^ H. vol. p. Badger. B. G. Badger. this bock. ^^The fact that the importance of the method of comparative religion has been generally recognized in the scientific world has led to the danger of rushing into the other extreme of paying attention exclusively to points of similarity and resemblance. Andrus. of Mardin. Yezidis. T. 14. 2° Eugene Bore: Diet. In his letter to me of date August 6. Past and Present. 5 seq.. 797.. New Int. ibid. This rite is practiced by the Yezidis of Halitiyeh. 205. or at any rate "thrusting into the : background as unimportant that which ^* is di'^'^^imilar. IV. p. S. 289. . 129. where the Yezidis are few in number." 2^Muir: Life of Mohammed. XXV. Poincare Science and Hypothesis. '® ^^ vol. ibid. 25. A. Eraser: ibid. and of entirely disregarding. a dependency of Darbeker. of Mission. Art. ibid. p. N. says: "The Yezidis may be related in religious cult with the Guebres of India. inquiry. p. 317. ib'd. 28 Eraser. Halsted.. Enc. p. J.. A.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 139 ^° Ibid. IV. the philosophical method the attempt to prove certain assumption by theorizinj^. A.. the Rev. 128. p. p. p. S. ^^ A Tour Through Armenia. 178. Persia. des Religions. O. Trans. 10 O. 317. Jackson. 1907. ibid. vol.

51. Romanized Nestorians. 1885. S. 374) also regards Seih 'Adi an orthodox Mohammedan." quoted by M. XIV. II. p. 1904. 1901. *^ Rabban Hormusd is a Chaldean monastery at Giworgis Alkos.). Badger has translated one in his Nestorians. p. who was for about twenty years a French vice-consul in Mosul. p. p.5 1 "57Heinrich Hilgenfeld. "§eih *Adi bn Musafir As-§afe'e. Leipzig. II. The Nestorians." ^^ quoted by M. are given by Cardahi in Liber Thesauri. Some of his hymms speak of the vol. Bar Hebraeus. "Seih *® 'Adi. Siouffi.. vol. 402. D. Journal Asiatique. Ausgewdhlte Gesdnge des A Warda von Arbil. I. p. and by Manna.140 8« DEVIL WORSHIP Victor Dingelstedt. *' Ibn Hallikan.*' 'Adi's He wrote orthodoxy is seen also in his writing. 316. Journal Asiatique. Badger. G. "the rose. 80. Yakut (vol. a village about twenty miles north of Mosul. 1885. N. IV. Eccl. "Seih 'Adi. ISf. Siouffi. Warda's poems have been edited by PP. one of the most conspicuous writers of hymns in the thirteenth century which was His the age of song with the Nestorian church. vol. p. vol. *2 . 81. 25. p. p. cf. 8«Manhal Al-Uliya wa Masrab-ul-Asfia. vol. Mosul. seih of the Kurds and their Imam. poems have entered so largely into the use of the Bishop of Arbila. II. few specimens calamities of the years 1 224-1 227. 295. Warda is this Nestorian church that one of their service books is to day called the Warda." is the name of a collection of hymns composed by George Warda (1224 A. Siouffi. *° The village Karmalis is about twelve miles distant from Mosul. Al-Der-Al-Makn'un fi-1-Miater Al-Madiyat min Al-Kerun. Warda. M.. and is inhabited by Chaldeans. that is. Chron.

Clement Huart. Harran was a road with the highway from Nineveh to Carchamish. IV. I. p. n. 881) mentions about twenty different places bearing this name. the Harranians who are mentioned by the authors of Kutub Al-Milal wa n-Nihal. a town on the western side of the Euphrates. Siouffi. and about two days' journey from Harran. Al-Der-Al-Maknun "§eih 'Adi. N. ibid. 85. The city retained its importance down to the time of the Arab ascendency. It is called Wasit "the intermediate" because it was situated midway between Kufa and Basrah. city in the north of Mesopotamia. Sachau." the to the Cailifs.Sabians. quoted by Al-Madiyat min M. 100 (42). is. the whom. 81. 1885. but it is now in ruins. The most prominent one is that built by Al-Hajjaj in 83 A." ** Manhal-al-Uliya wa quoted by M. Journal Asiatique. 273. Perhaps this is the Wasit that As-Sahrastanf means. Leibzig. *^ 'Adi. His history. p. Yakut that this p. vol. History of Arabic Literature. which enjoyed a high reputation as a place of pilgrimage. 89. at the junction of the Damascus Kitab Al-Milal " belief. and southeast of Edessa. 80. p. according to Koran was revealed at intervals. loi seq. p. *^ Contrary to Mohammed to Moslem wa n-Nihal. "Seih Journal Asiatique." fi-1-Miater Al-Kerun. vol. 1885. p. The moon-god had a temple in Harran. 331) says: "It was the home of . 1878. 889) mentions is Wasit ul-Rakkat. ed. ul Asfiya. cf. II." and two odds both of them mystic in their conception. 207. Masrab Siouffi.' N.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 'Itikad 141 Wasaya "Consuls Ahl Al-Sunna "Belief of the Sunnites. same Yakut (vol. . p. Another place Yakut (p. *' On these sects. See As-§ahrastani. pp." As to Wasit (vol. They are all preserved in the Berlin Library. H. 87.

marriage. for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground". holy. and D. of unlawful.142 49 ^^ DEVIL WORSHIP the reli- At-Tarih. or statutes. "And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua off thy feet. those ordinances respecting eatables. . or punishments. preor appointed. Hudud. ^^ Cf. Stade's Biblische Theologie des Alien Testaments. also W. . ^^ 17. In Islam. Alton Salhani. iii and 290. first does that which he has been forbidden to do. castigations. Beirut. the pilgrims put off their : . pp. p. put off thy shoes from off thy feet. See Lane's Arabic Dictionary in Loco. Second. Smith. God respecting things lawful and things The Hudud of God are of two kinds : First. The Arabs used to call Fihrist. 266. because they prevent one's committing again those acts for which they are appointed as punishments. p. cf. Prophet As-sabi. to be inflicted upon him who scribed. etc. 167. ^^ R. . of Hadad. Smith. restrictive ordinances. Al-Kessaf on Surah XXII. ibid. "And he said. 5: 15." Loose thy shoe from whereon thou standest is : In idolatrous days the Arabs did not wear any clothing in making the circuit of the Kaaba. 320. : Draw not nigh hither. and Josh. The kind are called Hudud because they denote limits which God has forbidden to transgress the second. 3 5. what are lawful thereof and what are unlawful. because he departed from the gion of the Koreish to Al-Islam. drinkables. p. p. pi.. R. B. ed. or because the limits thereof are determined. 49 cf Ex. Religion of the Semites. the orthodox way is as follows Arrived within a short distance of Mecca. And for the place Joshua did so.

" Prayer Meeting of — the Starworshippers. In Ps. the ceremonial white garment. Stade. verses 15. Oct." Now Kais was the name of an Arabian god in Pre-Islamic time. 5: 24. 5: 24). In Deut. vol. "He is the rock. p. ibid. *' Layard : Nineveh and Its Remains. R. S. 39. In Mandeanism." Gen. 3- Sam. 280. an accused woman is tested by a sacred water. the word rock is used of God. and the head must be left uncovered. I. p. 22. 19. each one robes him or herself in the rasta.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 143 ordinary clothing and assume the garb of a hajjee. 32 4. ibid. the river Kishon. 28: 18. "the Lord is my rock. 31 II Sam." "rock" is as much a term for God as El. Smith. 114. '^^ Weil's translation. Sandals may be worn but not shoes. and John 5: The original idea might have been that the waters. and bathes in the little circular reservoir. 203-212. I. see also II 2. or elohim. p. was nothing less than the divine voice speaking to David in accordance with in the tops of the for ancient conceptions. 18: 2. and raised it up as a pillar. disOn robes. and the trees themselves were divinities.' p. 5: 21. In Num. we have the statement: "The river Kishon swept them away. "The sound of a going : . 23: 3. 84-89. iii seq. pp. mulberry trees" (II Sam. poured oil upon it and called it the "house of God. The London Standard. . which David was to wait. pp. p. each person as he or she enters the Miskana. cf. ibid. emerging from the water. or tabernacle. the stones. R. that ancient river.. seq. 1894." Jacob took the stone which he had put under his head as a pillow. 18. " Cf. In Jud. Smith.. ibid. 185. 30. and Stade. "Cf. 19. Curtiss' Primitive Semitic Religion To-day. 5: 17 seq.

pp. 432. This practice may be a survival of the institution of Kadeshes. Smith. 61-64. 2. festivals (Gen. According to Hurgronje (vol. R. p. 23: 18). ibid. ^® The people in the East are under the impression that the Yezidis violate the law of morality during festivals. W. who offered themselves in honor of the Deity in the sacred places where license usually prevailed during the 38: 21. «° Cf. and Deut.144 '^ DEVIL WORSHIP Dancing might have been in the also a religious cere- mony their Pre-Kanaanitic religion of Israel. immorality is practised also in the sacred mosque of Mecca. .

^ The It is Yezidi View of God not easy to discover whether the conception of God. ignorant. and distinguish them from every other religious body. which exists to-day among the Yezidis. §eih *Adi and Yezid. or whether it comes from that primitive stage where the worship of God and of inferior deities exists One thing. who. the followers of Yezid are not without definitely formulated doctrines of faith which bind them together as a sect. and practically without a literature of any sort. has come from Mohammedan or Christian sources. They believe in a deity of the first degree. and that is that the Yezidi notion of God apparent. does not seem to be influenced by any "positive reli145 . however. is side by side. Melek Ta'us. They cherish two fundamental beliefs. God. and in a deity of the second degree.CHAPTER The II Essential Elements in Yezidism Although comparatively few in number. is composed of three persons in one. however shadowy. they seem to think.

the belief in a personal God. are to be found in the religion of the devil-worshippers. Another element which may be said to be a remnant of some other religions is the idea of a transcendent God. and deliberately departed from the traditional religion. and as having nothing to do with . Its maintenance. The notion. is complete in himself. But in this point. ity and Islam. as in the other.146 DEVIL WORSHIP gion" which traces its origin to the teachings of a founder. Hence. The former retiring far conceives of the Almighty as away. outside of time So etc. Mohammedan idea of God as an absolute ruler. of God as an existence absolute and any is and space. who spoke as the organ of a great religious divine revelation. is unknown in Yezidi theology. also the theocratic conception of Jehovah in Judaism Not even the foreign to the dogma of this sect. which may be traced to Judaism.ed ourselves to think of the Supreme Being There is one element.worshippers is not of the same degree as that of the other religions. namely. unchangeable. is left to the seven gods. simple as it is. Christianhowever. But Yezidism holds that this deity is only the creator of the universe and not its sustainer.. the notion of transcendentalism in the religion of the devil. And we have accustom. according to this system. and the distinctive notion which the Christians have of God as Christ-like in character. so prominent in Greek philosophy. in these conventional terms. The Yezidis' idea of God is rather an image left on their mind than the result of reflection. this conception not so easy to define.

calls the gods unto him. In this it resembles somewhat the Platonic idea of the absolute. lines 12-35) argues that Ta'tls (see the printed is the god Tammuz. but owing to the obscurity in which the origin of Yezidism and the being of Melek Ta'ias are god is wrapped. man. They call God in the Kurdish Khuda.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ the affairs of the world. Seili Yezid. They do not seem to offer him a direct prayer or sacrifice. for some god-name which resembles the word Ta'us. therefore. 'Adi. except once a year. Melek Ta'us in the form of an old . His argument is that the word Ta'us must embody an ancient god. and believe that he manifested himself in three different forms. and delivers the power into the hands of the the god who is to descend to the earth. it is very difficulty to say which meant. Taking this as a . in the form of a bird. when he sits on his throne. 147 on New Year's day. of the Second Degree Melek Ta'us A distinguished modem scholar text. 80. but was occasioned by some "folk-etymology. p. the Yezidis' conception of a personal God is transcendental and static of the extreme type. he assumes that the term does not come from the Arabic word Ta'us. and in the form of a young man." and that we must look. And to determine this. II The Deity I. To sum up.

no need for further discusLikewise. Theatre de la Turque. The statement that in Kurdish the letter meem is changed to waw frequently is untenable. the change of meem waw in this language However clusion. p. philologically cannot here yield a satisfactory conFor it is based on wrong premises. What is more. and nothing else. 1. Christ sect — . This is so clear to the Yezidis. And to the question who this god Tauz is. 2yiy which treats «>f the feasts and gods of the Haranians. unless are many such names. It is the not true that deity. It word Ta'us signifies an ancient denotes the devil and nothing else. the critic calls attention to the fact that in Fihrist. the And is to question the religious consciousness of a sect to engage in pure seculation. 322. he answers it is Tammuz. the writer contends that the Yezidis speak in Kurdish. if one would set it up as a grammatical rule to explain such phenomena. There One might also infer that the under the form of the devil. To justify his explanation. He infers from this that the god Tauz is identical with Melek Ta'us. is 82ff. method of determining this supposed god by the name of some deity resembling it is objectionable. we read that the god Tauz had a feast in middle of Tammuz. as to leave sion.^ to Justi's Kurdische Grammatik. and according frequent. worship This theory has actually been advanced. to p. or to anyone acquainted with their religion.148 DEVIL WORSHIP startingpoint. 364. plausible this process it may seem to be. the Kurds pronounce the name tammuz.

and son of Ea and the goddess Sirdu. so that instead of saying tammuz. quoted by an-Nedim. shepherd. prophet. and Mustafa (the chosen one). when applied to the (king). and the bridegroom of the goddess Istar. Unquestionably the attempt to trace this term to tauz. Not only the inference which identifies Ta'us with Tammuz is based on wrong premises but. when applied to Ta'us. p. Melek Further the assumption that Ta'us does not come from the Arabic Ta'us is unverifiable. But according to the author of ''Die Sabier und Sabismus" (p. zamanie aherat (the last day). The latter was originally a sun-god. an Arab author of the that ammuz was tenth century.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 149 some one has a physiological difficulty which will not permit him to close his lips. he would mutter taouz. . the well of Zamsam. and mourned for long and . was suggested to Professor Lidzbarski by the fact the name of an ancient and that Abu Sayyid Wahb ibn Babylonian god. or slain by the boar's tusk in winter. cut off in the beauty of youth.even in words of Arabic origin: 'Amelie salih (good works). 202) the original form of this word is unknown. Ibrahim. Mohammed. states that the god Tauz has a feast in his honor on the fifteenth of Tammuz (Fihrist. The following are a few of many instances to show that meem is not changed to waw in Kurdish . there are no traces of the notion which is held respecting Tammuz. The legendary poems of Babylonia described him as a 322). then to Tammuz. in the Yezidi conception of Me^ek T^'^s.

Tammuz had from country to passing later. and had become the representative of the vegetation of spring. but the idea of him as a slain god. 4: 16. On the contrary his festival is for them the occasion of joy and pleasure. Hence in Babylonia his funeral festival came his to be observed in the and in Palestine two months changed character in month of June. but how the devil-god came to be symbolized by the image of a bird. It in condemned especially in Deut. The sect write The faith of pronounce the sect finds expression in the fact that they represent their angel Azazil in the form of the peacock. then. an answer is This question finds the fact that the worship of a bird appears to have been the most ancient of idolatry. a kind of "All Souls Day. country. and of his festival as the idealization of human sorrow. the . and thence to Greece. had ceased to be the young and beautiful sunto god. vainly by the goddess his The god Tammuz made way "He Canaan. Cyprus."^ Such beliefs are not found in the Yezidi view of their King Peacock. to be so. is word word meaning king or it. just as Melek I is the Arabic the Arabic it. 17: "Lest ye corrupt yourselves and make a graven image." was never altered wherever he was adored. conclude. that Ta'us meaning peacock. It seems to me that the real question is not what Melek Ta'us is.ISO DEVIL WORSHIP I star. but parched and destroyed by the fierce heat of the summer. growing by the side of the canals of Babylonia. and believe it angel.

or sacred birds. were in the palace of the king of Babylonia. They were a kind of demons.* question suggesting itself is how the Yezidi god to be designated by the form of a peacock. in 151 winged his Nineveh and Nimrud. who exercised a peculiar mfluence over mankind. Sacred Nasar (eagle) was a deity of the tribe of Hamyar. . In Palestine the they Philistines. Adam at Ceylon. they were cast down upon earth. dove was sacred for the Phoenicians and The Jews brought accusation that they were worshippers doves were found also at Mecca. According to Philostratus were connected with magic. 462. This bird is a native of Ceylon. penalty at the same time.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ similitude of any figure. In this myth the devil and the peacock are figured as sharing the same According to Surah 2. p. describe The as oracles attributed Zoroaster them powers anointed by God. and Satan at Bilbays. gives the sketch of a bird from one of the slabs dug up at vol. and not of Mesopo- A came tamia or Kurdistan where the Yezidis live. the likeness of any fowl that flieth in the air. the peacock at Gabul. Its He remarks to the that the lyuges. against the Samaritans of the dove.' The answer may be found in the Muslim tradition® that when the first parents forfeited heaven for eating wheat. belonged Remains. made of gold." And Layard. resembling the feroher to of Zoroastrianism. Eve descended upon 'Arafat. Babylonian and probably also to the Assyrian religion. Their images. II.

that the bird in question is In his article thought of as a symbol of pride. old tradition lost its original significance. Moreover. nor . the crime of the former was pride. 443. the three branches of the deity in the second degree. It is seldom kept in large numbers for it has a bad reputation for doing mischief in gardens. the expression in this prayer." Hence we may infer that the notion of the peacock as a symbol of pride together with the Koranic idea of Satan's sin led to the formation of the myth that this story was current among the followers of Yezid bn Unaisa. from other sources. Hence they contend also that no direct worship is offered to the latter deity. Brit. "Thou hast neither feather. Some Peacock. "Peacock. and that. vol. learn. 18. and came to be understood to represent the peacock as a symbol of the god-devil." in the Enc. Professor A. The language used in his Among praise is is so elevated that one is led to think that he scholars deny this theory on the ground that the principal prayer of these people is directed to God and no mention is made of King identical with God..'' It seems to me In the first that such a contention is not justifiable. nor wings. Newton says: "The bird is well known as the proverbial presonification of pride. under the influence of the devil-worshippers of Persia the . the people themselves confess their loyalty to the chief angels. p. place. but nothing is said about the guilt of the latter. Melek Ta'us holds an important place in the theology of the Yezidis. how- We ever.152 DEVIL WORSHIP 28-31.

and is under the command of God. because he is so good that he cannot but forgive. otherwise he will take revenge and cause For this reason. I is 153 to the more applicable There can be no doubt. that to appears I in the conception of the sect 'Azazil This fact finds be identical with God. not worship God. While this true. think. not as the natural expression of love but of fear. but ail. 74) symbol Peacock than to God. it is claimed. being In omnipresent and omnipotent and unchangeable. definite expression in the Book of from of Jilwah.^ they do great misery. when any misfortune overtook the worshippers. the world. Some^ explain this by supposing he is so bad that he requires constant It propitiation . In Chapter as he as represented as being having absolute control is eternity to eternity. nor voice" (see p. but superior to all other gods. there are other phrases which refer to Ta'us is being inferior He to the great God. And in Chapter III he is declared to be the is source of revelation. made is the chief of not quite easy to understand the underlying idea in worshipping the devil. was he is created. confirmed by the nature of the religious service It seems to partake much more of a pro- pitiatory than of a eucharistic character. This is the usual interpretation.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ arms. II he is said to appear in divers manners to Chapter the faithful ones. According to this religion. and it is rendered. and life and death are determined by him. This reminds us at once of the Babylonian religion. they regarded it as a sign that their deity .

Still others^^ assert that the sect does not believe in venerate them an but as a true divinity. This theory is not generally accepted. worship was to secure and retain the somewhat capricious favor of the deity. So that as a matter of precaution.^° This the natural feeling of man in his is in accord with which leads him primitive state. and will restore him to his high place in the celestial hierarchy. but seems more probable than the preceding ones. and had therefore left them to their own To be thus resources or had become their enemy. rather to dread punishment for his sin than to be thankful for blessings received.154 DEVIL WORSHIP was angry. that their Others" hold that the Devil-worshippers believe Lord is a fallen angel. The great God will be finally reconciled to Ta'us. whether they be fallen or not. On the contrary the charge that he was rejected and driven from heaven is repudiated. on the contrary man's duty is to all alike. . For there is nothing in the sacred evil spirit book to indicate that Melek Ta'us is an evil spirit or a fallen angel. But it is not for man to interfere in the relations of God with his angels. it was well to mainHence the great object of tain a propitiatory attitude. or because he did not recognize the superiority of Adam as commanded by God. deserted was accounted a calamity because of the innumerable dangers to which the soul was exposed from the action of the powers seen and unseen. now suffering a temporary punishment for his rebellion against the divine will because he deceived Adam.

diminutive figure head. It is the of a peacock with a swelling breast. and an later Brahman theology. In the Avesta. divine. or as the gods of Greece and Rome in became The devils to the early Christians. in common with and Slavs gave the name of dev (devin. under the name of powers by whom mankind to their destruction. Aryans of India. one above the other.000 years. and containing seven burners. This figure is fixed on the top of a candlestick around which two lamps are placed.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ The mentioning of insult 155 his name is looked upon as an and blasphemy against him because it is based. and is taken to pieces when . the Romans. Finally. and widespread tail. were in shipped as gods. "^^ Yezidis' veneration for the devil is their assemblies paid to his symbol. the Yezidis think. Zoroaster only in is thought that the beings reality whom his opponents wordacva. the sanjak. in the history of relithe god of one people is the devil of another gion. the evil spirits are called daeva It is interesting to (Persian Div) the . tail is flat The stand has a bag. on the assumption that he is degraded. The body is full but the and fluted. spirits. who is now ruling the world for a period to of 10. just as the gods of north Semitic heathenism are called seirim (hairy demons) in Lev. 17: 7. note that. Celts. he is declared to be one of the seven gods. are unwittingly led "In Islam the gods of heathen- ism are degraded into jinn. Asura evil spirit divny) to their good or god-like a deity in the Rig Veda.

156
carried

DEVIL WORSHIP
from place
to place.

put water jugs

filled

Close by the stand they with water, to be drunk as a
set the
cloth.

charm by the
at the

sick and afflicted. They end of a room and cover it with a

sanjak

Under-

The neath is a plate to receive the contributions. kawwal (sacred musician) kisses the corner of the At a given cloth when he uncovers Melek-Ta'us.
signal,
all

arise,
it

then each approaches

the sanjak,

bows before

and puts

his contribution into the plate.

On

several times

returning to their places, they bow to the image and strike their breasts as a token of

their desire to propitiate the evil principle.

The Yezidis have seven

sanjaks,

but

the

Farik

(Lieut.-Gen. of the Turkish Army), who tried to convert them to Mohammedanism in 1892, took five of

were real Each sanjak is given a special place in the Emir's palace, where it is furnished with a small brazen bed and a vessel in the form of a mortar placed before it. They burn candles and incense before it day and night. Each is assigned a special district, the name of sanjak which is written on a piece of paper and placed on its
them.
deny,

Some

however,

that

they

ones; they say they were

imitations.

shouMer.

On

the shoulder of the

first

the district of

Seihan, which comprises the villages around Mosul, is indicated; on the second Jabal Sin jar; in the third

the district of Halitiyah, which is one of the dependencies of Diarbeker; on the fourth the district of

Hawariyah, i

e.,

the Kochers; on the fifth the district

of Malliah, the villages around Aleppo; on the sixth

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ
the district of Sarhidar,

157

seventh remains at

which is in Russia; and the the tomb of Seih 'Adi.
village to village of its respective

When

sent

from

sanjak is put in a hagibah^* (saddle-bag) and carried on a horse that belongs to a pir (religious teacher). On nearing a certain place, a messenger is
district, a

Kurdish "Sanjak hat," "the all the people don their to welcome it with tambourines. As the representative of Melek Ta'us reaches the town, the pir cries out in Kurdish language, "Sanjak mevan ki sawa?" (literally: "Whose guest shall the
sent
to announce Sanjak has come." fineries and go out
in

Then

sanjak be?").

On

hearing

this,

each person makes

a bid for the privilege of entertaining it. Finally he who bids the highest receives the image. At that moment the accompanying pir takes the hagibah off
the horse's back

person
night.

who

is

to

and hangs it on the neck of the keep the symbol of the devil over
wars

The Yezidis

say, that in spite of the frequent

and massacres to which the sect has been exposed, and the plunder and murder of the priests during their journeys, no Melek Ta'us has ever fallen into the hands of the Mohammedans. When a kawwal sees danger ahead of him, he buries the Melek Ta'us and afterwards comes himself, or sends some one to dig up the brazen peacock, and carries it forward in
safety.

the

Besides revering the devil by adoring his symbol, Yezidis venerate him by speaking with great

158

DEVIL WORSHIP
They
or
refer to

respect of his name.

him as Meiek

Ta'us,

King
it

Mighty King.
allusion to

al-Kawwat, the Peacock, never mention his name and any They
;

Melek

by others so

irritates

and vexes them
intentionally

that they put to death persons outraged their feelings by its

who have
use.

They

carefully

avoid every expression that resembles in sound the name of Satan. In speaking of shatt (river) they use
the

common Kurdish word Ave,

or the Arabic

ma

(water).

Ave

In speaking of the Euphrates, they call it 'Azim, or ma al-kabir, i. e., the great river, or

simply al-Frat.

2.

Seih 'Adi

Next
is

to the devil in rank

comes Seih

'Adi.

But he

not the historical person whose biography is given by the Mohammedan authors. He is identified with
deity

and looked upon as a second person in a divine He is sent by Melek Ta'us to teach and to trinity.
;

He is his chosen people lest they go astray. conceived to be everywhere, to be greater than Qirist and, like Melek-Sedek, has neither father nor mother.
warn

He
the
to
all

has not died and will never

die.
is is

In verse ten of
distinctly

poems

in

his

praise,

he

said

be the only God.

His name

associated with

the myth that human imagination can possibly To express the Yezidi dogma create about a deity. in terms of Christian formula, Seih *Adi is the Holy
Spirit,

who

dwells in their prophets,

who

are called

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ
kochaks.

159

He

also

reveals

to

them truth and the
views
the

mysteries of heaven.

The modern
is

entertaining
critics

of
think

such
'Adi

to

some good and Melek
has
led

poem (30-32), he represented as the good deity and the source of all Others identify him with Adde or Adi, a good. Still others regard his disciple of Manes or Mani.
Ta'us the
evil principle.

In the

name
his

as one of the
is

names of the

deity.

In this case,

myth and the prefix "Seih" is added to deceive the Mohammedans, and thus to prevent them from desecrating the sacred shrine, just as the Christomb
a
tians call

of

Mar Mattie, Sheikh Mattie, and the convent Mar Behnan, huder Elias.^*^ But the most inis

advanced by the Rev. G. P. whether "the Yezidi 'Adi be not Badger. queries cognate with the Hebrew Ad, the two first letters in the original of Adonai, the Lord, and its compounds, The writer is aware, howAdonijah, Adonibezek. that "This derivative is open to objection on the ever,
genious theory
that

He

ground that the Yezidis write the word with *ain and not with alif ." But he explains "They write so only in Arabic, of which they know but very little, and not in their own language (Kurdish) in which they do not write it at all. Moreover, they may have assimilated
:

the

mode of expressing
Merawian

the

title

of their deity in by-

gone days
the

to that of 'Adi,

one of the descendants of

Califs, with

persecuted
identified

by the
him."

whom, from fear of being Mohammedans, they sometimes Having thus expounded his own

the critical mind can find much in it to aid him in his efforts to discover the true identity of the verse his fifty of his in poem. according to him. in verse fifty-seven he is a man. who. thus cannot be regarded as other than deficiency in A treatment. in verse eighty he declares that the high p^. the for our of critic man. since there is no proof. when their worship to assemble at his shrine. like person in question.i6o DEVIL WORSHIP view. they Seih 'Adi.ace which he had attained is attainable by all him. I need only ask the reader to recall the description by the Mohammedan biographers of the who. it is beyond any possible is For such a starting-point misleading when not sup- failure to support it ported by historical proof. that Mani himself was deified by his followers. Now. this English scholar proceeds to repudiate the suggestion that Seih 'Adi "is the same Adi. by tne same method. Seih receives his authority from God who is his lord. 'Adi of Damascus." one of the disciples of Mani. son of Musafir. attempts to identify Melek Ta'us with Tammuz. while one may be misguided by the Yezidi myth surrounding the personality of Seih 'Adi. Badger's theory is more reasonable and tenable than that of Lidzbarski. To justify my criticism. In draws the conclusions light this poem. is This his The latter lies in a narrow . shall find the truth. The Yezidis offer usually tomb within a temple. So far as the application of the method of com- parative philology is concerned. the former is Nevertheless. the inference of justification.

Close by there are two . each Toward belonging to a Yezidi district. a hatchet. which the guardians. and the servants of the sanctuary on all In the vicinity are scattered a number of shacks. To the right of the entrance are a platform. each named after a seih. and a large hall in the centre which is divided by a row of columns. live. a man and a comb. The latter is regarded with great veneration. There are also a few edifices. way and is surrounded by a few buildings in a courtyard. as the rock rises sides except where a small stream forces its The tomb stands in into a large valley beyond. and supposed to be his tomb. They are regarded as mere ornaments placed there at the — request of those who furnished money for building the temple. and is believed to be derived from the holy well of Znmzam at Mecca. so that each portion of the valley is known by the name of the of those who resort. The interior of the temple is made up of an oblong apartment which is divided into three com- partments.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ valley i6i which has only one outlet. and a spring of water coming from the rock. On lintel the country of the doorway of the temple. the light lasts but a short time. various symbols are engraved. and arches support the roof. It is used for the baptism of children and for other sacred purposes. putting one at the entrance to each tomb in token of their respect. thither.^® Their mystical meaning is unknown. a lion. a snake. sunset these sacred places are illuminated by burning sesame oil lamps. in which the pilgrims reside during the time of the feast.

His throne reacheth both burdeneth over the heavens and the earth. Book IV. led to its inscription on the tomb. and this. and the upholding of Him not. the verse of the throne. which dimly lighted. To Him soever is belongeth whatsoever is in heaven and whaton earth." §eih *Adi might have been says it when he goes in to his by God in the habit of repeating this verse . perhaps." It is related (in the Mishkat. except by life. He is the High. Who is he that can intercede with Him but by His own permission? He knoweth what has been before them and what shall be after them. the Living. There is no God but He. "That person who repeats the Ayat al-Kursi after every prayer shall in no wise be prevented from III) that 'Ali heard Mohammed entering into Paradise. i. the sleep seizeth Neither slumber nor Him. or Chapter II of the Koran. and at sunset lights are scattered over the walls. yet naught of His knowledge do they comprehend. the Great. and whoever bedchamber will be kept with his house and the safety together house of his negihbor. al-Kursi. "God. Part say in the pulpit. save what he willeth to reveal. Abiding. which is the 256th verse of suratal-Bakarah. In the center of the inner room. In the principal halls a few lamps are usually burning. close by the tomb. that is. is The tomb has written upon which Ayat a large square cover. . The tomb is of ^eih 'Adi lies in the inner room.i62 DEVIL WORSHIP small apartments in which are tombs of the saints and of some inferior personage. 19.

useful against disease and evil spirits. all Roman held yearly on April calendar. direct and indirect. Such is the sanctuary of 'Adi. . It is said that there are three hundred and sixty lamps in the shrine of *Adi. the place to which they look while persists of traditional in forming their holy ceremonies. is The whole valley which the shrine lies held sacred. their where they offer him homage. heaven in which the sun rises. and regarded as sacred relics. They are chanted to the sound of flutes and tambourines. is that part of the The great feast of §eih *Adi to is fifteenth twentieth. the sacred musicians of the sect. No other sect are than the high priest buried near the tomb. in which are small balls of clay taken from the tomb. pilgrims take off their and go barefooted as long as they remain in its vicinity. The latter kind concelebrating their religious rites with great And rejoicing on the feast day of their great saint. shoes on approaching and the chiefs of the Many it.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 163 there is a square plaster case. when the Yezidis from their districts come to attend the Before entering the valley. thing permitted within its holy No impure bounds. Their worship may be divided into consists two kinds. The former hymns sung by the kawwals. their Kubla. men and women perform their ablutions. which are in is lit every night. The tunes are monotonous and generally loud and harsh. These are sold or distributed to the pilgrims. for no one can enter the sacred valley without having first purified festival celebration.

who As they walk in a circle. No stranger symbol is allowed to witness this ceremony or to know the The ceremony nature of it. and they always venerable the go in barefooted. Some play on on the tambourine.^^ begins with the exhibition of the holy of Melek T^'us to the priests. the wall on one side of the others . they sing in honor of §eih 'Adi. . and in another a large vessel of oil. The seibs and the chiefs form a procession. A fakir holds in one hand a lighted torch. All are in white apparel except the fakirs. forming a long procession. from which he pours into the lamp from time to The kawwals stand against court and commences a the flute. and they follow the measure with their voices. They start an hour after sunset. preceded by musicians. who play the tam- bourine and the pipe. they sing in honor of Tsa (Jesus). of the tomb. they all together discharge their arms. and all are men with long beards. and marching they discharge their guns into the air While and As soon as they see the tower sing their war cry. This being done. they begin the rite.i64 his DEVIL WORSHIP body and his clothes. necessary carpets They load domestic the donkeys with utensils. The people of the villages are gathered and start together. Only the chief and kawwals and two of the order of the priesthood enter the inner court of the temple. Afterward. are dressed in black. The seihs and the principal members of the priesthood are dressed in pure white linen. walking two by two the chief priest walks ahead. chant. As they proceed the excitement time.

165 the chants quicken. these are given to the servants of . as they pass by. and this After taking the cover back to its place. and the ceremony com. of their saint. offering money. of them by tasting. the tambourines are beaten more frequently. entrance to receive the homage of the seihs and elders all who kiss his hand. time bring food and call the people to eat of the After they have finished hospitality of Seih *Adi.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ increases.^^ After the ceremony the }Oung men and women dance in the outer court until early in the morning. the women make tahlil with a great shouting. The people rush them and reverently kiss the corner of the cloth. a collection is taken for the support of the All people that come temple and tomb to the annual festival bring dishes as oflFerings to their After he has indicated his acceptance living seih. the fakirs move faster. those who were marching is in procession kiss. the right side of the temple entrance. When they ^^ cover of the tomb of Seih end.^° their meal. where the serpent Then the emir stands at this figured on the wall.es to an end with great noise and excitement. the chiefs Kochaks at priests sit around the inner court. Afterward that are present give one another the kiss of peace. In the morning the seihs and the kawwals offer a short prayer in the temple without any ceremony and some kiss the holy places in the vicinity. they take the green 'Adi and march with it around the outer court with to music. When the chanting is ended.

the mercy of God be upon him". on one side. When the feast comes to an end." kept burning all In the corner of this court a lamp night in honor of the two. to whom they trace their descent. there is the inscription "Melek Yezid. the people return to their several abodes. No other worship is offered him. a place of honor in the court of the temple.i66 DEVIL WORSHIP the sanctuary. is . the mercy of God be upon him. whom frequently they God and regard as their ancestral father. (3.) Yezid third essential element in the religion of the devil-worshippers is the belief that their sect has The taken call its origin from Yezid. where. on the other side "Seih 'Adi. however. He is given.

and from them was brought to the tribe of Hamyar.. p. 24) the people of Edessa worshipped "the eagle as the Arabians. p.NOTES ON CHAPTER II * P. April 22. V. p. 322. George Philips. Layard. vol. Bedrus Efendi Ar-Ridwani. I. : p. Smith: Religion of the Semites. D. 2. N. : . says Originally nasr was worshipped by the people of Noah. "The Hibbert Journal. Lidzbarski Z. " •Badger: The Nestorians. 1887. IV." : So far as I am aware no writer on the Yezidis has ever raised this question. p.337. Andrus. p. his letter to A.. According to the Syriac doctrine of Addai (Ed. 125. 35. I. ^ See "Tammuz" in Jastrow's religion of Babylonia and Assyria. Jan. II. * R. vol. II. Fihrist. Ibid. p. Nineveh. 120. 151. 167 gods of the Harranians . p. vol. p. W. 152. Anastase: Al-MaSrik. " Dingelstedt Ibid. p. 21. ^* R. 326. 434. calls the devils. W. N. P. vol. p. ' Victor Dingelstedt. G. 299. p. LI. p. * P. •Hughes: Dictionary of Islam. 592 he is followed by Makas Kurdische Studien. SGM. Smith: Religion of the Semites. No. and Cheney's Dictionary of the Bible. 780) Sahrastani. As. " Layard Ibid Victor Dingelstedt. * Yakut (vol. 297. 1907. p. vol. II. 219. XIV. vol. vol. vol. Anastase: Al-Masrik.

The lion was both an ornament and support in the throne of The Solomon. Layard. p. 301. 315. ^^ The Mandeans. such changes are made to a'if. vol. ^^ The kiss of the peace is a regular part of the church service in the East. p. ^^ ^° — it In This Mohammedanism. with the arrows and short angular bow. 247. or of the bull and of the lion were placed at the right and left of the palaces of the Assyrian kings to protect their path. is however. 23. p. II. 139. p. that in some kaf is localities the *ain is pronounced changed Kurds. Badger: Ibid. vol. Nineveh. pp. II. Mr. is the color of seihs. Nineveh and Babylon. Layard. 343. the star-worshippers. hatchet was among the weapons of those who fought in chariots. but this alif. London Standard.i68 ^* DEVIL WORSHIP Hagibah is a Turkish word. 148. p. . (137) Ibid. F. also begin their rasta ceremony after the sunset. Assyrian and Babylonian Literature. 1994. meaning a saddle- back. 112. Harper. II. Nineveh. green is a communal meal. Al-Mutaktataf. ^^The figures of the bull and of the serpent. vol. and continue through the night. p. 162. just as the not confined to the by the Arabic. Nineveh. 88. October 19. They sometimes even change the Arabic Alif to ain. and carried in the quiver. B.and the Syriac-speaking people also. This is not true. " This is to be said. the Kurds pronounce this letter as well as other gutterals. 153. Badger seems to contend that the Kurdishspeaking people do not pronounce the letter *ain.

and or still others. alien Zweifel ein sonnentempel der so gebaut dass die ernsten Strahlen der sonne so The ground for haufig als moglich auf ihn fallen. his contention on the 169 .^ the assertion. places of honor at Seih 'Adi's side. others. the invoke seven other seihs through whose intermediation they These are also deified and assigned God. the seven spirits Amshaps Avesta. of Zoroaster.CHAPTER Other Deities III and Festivals The £o-Called Seven Besides their Divinities Yezidis believe in great saint. the tradition has led some critics to believe that they are archangels . that the herd of white oxen which are slain on great festivals at Seih 'Adi's Now. different attributes of God." this statement is. "Der Tempel des sheikh Shams making ist ohne ist. last immortal is of the The conjecture made by Victor Cholsohn goes a step further in Dingelstadt."* the English scholar seems to base fact that the' building is called the sanctuary of §eih Sams. In their case as in that of their chief. we are told "Layard positive berichtet.

which probably originated in Assyria." Two persons are mentioned in the inscription. Take is for example.^ the ground for such a view is the apriori assumption that the religion of the devil. round about the tomb of Seih *Adi are shrines. Many of these known to be historical personages. He was born in a.worshippers is the mind remnant of an ancient cult. The most celebrated one that bore this name was Sams u-d-Din the in full.170 are dedicated to to the sun" DEVIL WORSHIP . the founder of the Kadiri order of dervishes. so is as Badger the rightly place designate the entablature over the for remarks. reason. the the sake of doorway records "Sheikh Shams Ali Beg and Faris. who flourished during the first half of the 13th century of our era. is not the case. name of Tabriz. and that the Yezidis may have uncon- To my sciously preserved a myth of their ancestors. d. 471 (a. many such abandoned seihs are Moreover.* In like manner. Sams "that the dedication of the bull was generally recognized in the religious system of the ancients. therefore. One Yezidis brevity. He Din *Abd al Kadir of Gilan h. the friend and spiritual guide of Jalal adDin. the word Sams frequently enters into the construction of Mohammedan names. each of which is dedicated to a similar deified seih. 1078-9) and died % I I . and that every phenomenon in it is to be regarded. in Persia. Seih Seih Muhiyyu d *Abd al-Kadir of Gilan. a survival of For certain reasons I hold that su„h the past system.

and was a contemporary of He was In giving the life of Muhi ad Din asSeih *Adi. Ibn Hallikan (v. surnamed Fahr ad-Din (glory of faith). "His corpse was removed to a mausoleum built for its reception outside the Maidan Gate of Mosul. His Hfe is given by Ibn Hallikan. He was a doctor of the Shafite sect. His virtues and at Kai.651) says. Mansur al-Hallaj was a celebrated mystic. from Mosul. from Basrah. was put to death with great cruelty at Bagdad in A. There are still others who are mentioned even among the seven seihs enumerated in the principal Seih Hasan (written also Seihisin) was prayer. H. 921-2) on a charge of heresy and blasphemy. d. 728. would preached both in Arabic and Persian. Ibn Al-Taim al-Bakri al-Taberstani ar-kai-zi (native of Kai in Tabarestan). d. "Ana-1-Hakk. He was noted for self -mortification." All biographers of sufi saints speak of him with admiration. 1 164-5). 2. He surhis contemporaries in scholastic theology. And Fahr ad-Din is ibn Abd Allah H. Mohammed *Ali Ibn Amar al-Hasain Ibn al-Hasan. He was a celebrated theologian and died in a." Further. 25th of merits were boundless. 171 So also Seih Kadib al-Ban. a pearl of his age. the celebrated worker of miracles. 516 (a. because he had said in one of his ecstacies. a passed all and man without a peer. God. fear of God and devotion. He draw floods of tears from his eyes. He was born . He revered as a saint by the more advanced sufis. 309 (a. I am the truth. Shamozuri. d. near the tomb of Kadib al-Ban.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ A.

54D (a. 606 (March a. the relation became familiar. the philosophical carried on critically. a. be made in the sphere this.) In the light of these facts. and we do not know which is which — are also historical personages. my god. then. one of the characteristics of the human mind is the tendency to defy man. In the Tellal-Amarna tablets. in writing to the king of Egypt. so that their association was sought and sacrifices and gifts were ofifered to them. superhuman character is attributed to the dead. observations should of religious consciousness. the first h. who knew the future events.172 DEVIL WORSHIP a. Gradually." What is more. They came to be looked upon as elohim. we find various kinglets of Syria. This is what I mean by the statement that in order to yield satisfactory results the inductive method must be supported by In a question like historical investigations. At first. however. 1150). method also. This is shown in the titles Now which men gave to their superiors. d. the king. Ramadan. h. may yield a Accordingly. Thus we find that in the Old Testament. when satisfactory result. worship was . my son. I conclude. d. that for many bear the those who cannot be identified — same name. of Shawal. hence their spirits were feared. Thus Abimilki of Tyre writes: "my "To my a lord. I2to) (See ibn HalHkan in loco. and died at Herat. address him as gods" (ilani-ia). This appears from the attitude which the primitive mind entertained towards the deceased. the relation to the dead was hostile.

when they burn . They their saints.® Now this is practically what we find in the evolution of modern Yezidism. Out. stand out as individual divities. next festivals in to seih *Adi. seven. as. the Babis their Beha. the of Nusairiyeh of Syria have deified 'AH. the Drus their Hakim. and these are plainly imagined to be personal gods. be surprised that the Yezidis have defined their seihs and heroes.. such as Hadad and Aschirat. g. therefore. e. further. the grave of Miriam at Kadish (Num. 26: i). and the Christians cannot. of many Astarte and Ba'al by the side of seihs and murids. Likev^ise. Even to-day tombs of and ask chief saints are common in Arabia. Lamps are nightly lighted and left to burn in the shacks called after the names of their respective seihs. and that the tombs of ancestors and heroes frequently appear as places of worship.^ We have only shown that common tendency to deify man. thousands the people visit them annually to intercession of the saints. and in those to which a room is attached. l^awwals assemble at sunset every Tuesday and Thursday. It is trait of the mind —the to be noticed. individual deities stand out from the great mass of the spirits. that in the historical development of religions we find that when the stage of the mere belief in spirits is past. Yearly honor of these seihs are com- memorated in April at different villages with the same rites as those observed at §eih 'Adi's tomb.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 173 offered to the dead.

holding a conference at which he decrees the events of the year. the Yezidis say. hands lighted candles which they move bystanders and As they pass along the it hands immersing their their arms and faces. An interesting festival is that of Seih Mohammed. perfume with visits are paid to it. carrying to in their fro. and after watching a short time. during which all profane festivals are suspended and in the bow adoration and. Two pirs precede the bearer of the sacred in peacock. where his tomb exists. for God sits no drums are on the throne. to be beaten. whom they believe to be The men and women dance together while the kawwals play on their flutes and tambourines.174 DEVIL WORSHIP incense over each tomb. They also stick wild scarlet anemones to the entrance . Mohammed. II The Day of Sarsal In addition to the festivals mentioned above is the one observed on New Year's day. celebrated by the people of Ba'sika. smoke. They carry the image of Melek Ta'us to the house of the one who is the highest bidder for the honor of entertaining it. they return home. On this day. the first Wednesday in April. They say that they are solemnizing the nuptials of Seih married once a year. Here it remains two days. They bring Melek Ta'us in procession from Bahazanie to Ba'sika amid rejoicing and sound of music. and smoking their pipes.

Such a belief has a parallel in many religions. therefore. Ros hasana. therefore. that they must now.'' The Day of Atonement (Lev. vol. and to ward off calamity during the coming year. It was designed to deepen afresh the national and individual sense of sin and dread of the judgment of God. Hence. to be of special importance because of the bearing on individual welfare by reason of the good or the evil decision of the gods. The New Year period was held. I. 175 The refraining from the sound of instruments of pleasure on the part of orientals signifies a state of contrition.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ of their houses. adjust their relation If this is so. tion of the whole nation and of every individual member thereof in their relation to Yahweh. or at least to make sure of one's relation to him. It was there- fore necessary to placate the deity. 25: 29) had a most important place in the Jewish ecclesiastical This was the occasion of a thorough purificayear. the to him with sincere sorrow for sin. significance of the hanging of the flowers at the entrance of their houses can be taken as intended to propitiate the Evil Principle. before this particular day. 2) . it is very likely the Yezidis entertain the view that on this day that God is decreeing their destiny for the coming year. According to Talmud (Misna. Our modern custom of wishing our friends a Happy New Year has perhaps some connection with this idea. 23: 27. According to Babylonian mythology human destiny was decreed on New Year's day and sealed on the tenth day thereafter.

176 DEVIL WORSHIP is Ros hasana which all creatures the most important judgment day.. is who are. Moreover. the red lilies of the doors of the Yezidis remind us at once of the blood sprinkled on che doorposts of the dwellings of the Israelites in Egypt as a This sigrn for the Destroying Angel to pass over. favorable decision might be averted (Jewish Ency. In the light of what has been said. Year Day all men are judged. | | (New Year day). to propitiate God on be- reincarnated in according to their belief. R. and the degree is sealed on the Day of Atonement (Ibid. some form or other. three books are opened Creator. Day of Judgment). Akiba says: "On New Penitential Day). art. who hang a string of leaves across the entrances to their houses at the beginning of every new year. wherein the fate of the wicked.® . the Yezidis' idea in giving food to the poor at the grave on the day of Sarsal half of the dead. the righteous and those of the intermediate class are recorded. on pass for judgment before the On this day. Hence prayer and works of repentance are performed on the New Year from the first to the tenth that an unart. notion is found also in a similar practice among the Parsees of India.

Nestor ians and Their Rituals. J.. p. ibid. I. M. ^ ^ " Die Sah'ien. Marti's 28-29. Cf. Die Religion des A. G. The Hibbert Journal. I. S. vol. p. For different interpretation of the Yezidi New Year. G.. Nineveh and Its Remains. 96. 388. O. II. vol. pp.NOTES ON CHAPTER ^ 2 III S. p. 117. see Brockelmann in Z. vol. J. 223. ibid. 55. S. p. ^ 177 . Curtis : Primitive Semitic Religion To-day. D. M. 296. T. 239. vol.. 8. ® ^ A.

The mode of baptism is as follows: A seih carries the baby into the water. Thou hast become a lamb of Yezid thou mayest be a martyr for . he mutters. Religious Observances and Sacerdotal System Sacraments Circumcision.CHAPTER IV Sacraments. it But with baptism case different. tou bouia berhe Aizd.") The parents are not admitted to the domed shack of the spring. near enough to the tomb of Seih is 'Adi to be taken there without great inconvenience or danger. takes off his clothes. is When a child bom a matter of obligation. After the second time." ("Hoi hola!^ Yezid is a sultan. and immerses him three times. saraka rea Azid. the The is first rite is optional. the religion of Yezid. The kawwals in their periodical visitations carry a bottle or skin filled with holy water to baptize those children who cannot be brought to the shrine. the Eucharist and baptism are the three rehgious rites administered by the followers of Yezid. "Hoi hola soultanie Azid. putting his hand on the child's head. they remain out178 . it should be baptized as early as possible after birth.

It is observed The They sit around a table. the relatives and the friends. amid rejoicing with the sound of the flute and the tamthe bourine. a seih is The If the male child is circumcised. To perform the rite. 179 of the child. When this comes to an end. among them holding a cup of wine. It is usually administered by the Yezidis of a place called Halitiyeh. that if one does not work As the other may. Before starting. Then every one observe the two returns home. two seihs are employed. Within twenty days from the time of baptism. during which period they dance." ("This is the He continues. When the child entertains the ceremony is ended. The reason why they is they say. One : holds the child in his lap. "Ave Chia. the father of all those present for seven suc- cessive days.^ its observance is local. the gift must be more valuable than if it be a female. All this is done in the presence of the parents." ("What is this?") Then he himself answers. a dependency of Diarbeker. the seih who holds him repeats the sentence for him." ("I am lamb of illuminating Yezid. "Ave Tsa naf cup of Jesus. he asks the child to say "As berhe Azide Sarum. "Ave Kasie Tsaya.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ side.") in the following manner: chief . the other performs the operation. rites. to the Eucharist.") If he be too small to repeat. paid for his services by the father baby be a male. the two seihs are presented with gifts. asks in Kurdish. sing and eat the food sent to them by the friends and neighbors of the circumcised child. and neither is harmful.

person drinks passes that the cup is left in the There refer to another sacrament rite among the Yezidis. One this person in a family may fast for the rest. whoever he may be. the priesthood. It is for three successive days in the month of Decemkept ber. cup. The chief . when the Eastern Christians celespring brate the memory of Christ's abstinence from food Yezid. members of still This having been done. the of repentance.i8o DEVIL WORSHIP ("Jesus last is rounishtiya. rite This of repentance. when they profess to commemorate the death of Fasting Some observe also the forty days' fast in the of the year. at the time of his temptation in the wilderness. first The is partaken himself. undergo again the same exercises. however. I When persons covering his face with his hands. betakes himself to the most venerable seih to The latter. no reconciliation be must is the offending person.^ II Some Other Religious Practices i-s one of the religious observances.") Having around. enjoins him the if to kiss the hands of his enemy and those of effected. the penitent one slaughters a sheep and wine to the reconciled one and the clerical body." sitting and present he all in it. giving the penitent confess his sin. instructions. quarrel. During period fasters abstain from animal food. is not obligatory. the guilty one. When peace offers established.

" They have. O poor man."^ "How often two executioners came upon me as the morning sun arose. and the power of Deir Zor and Deir Chankalie (two Christian monasteries). which the devout among them mutters in Kurdish as he rises up from his bed. however. and the grave of time (mysterious power). and acknowledge that they do not pray. . hanpouteka deira chankulie waKabri Zaman wa-ahro douni. Kawata deira sor. and the Last Day. It is as follows: to tell " mesarmen dou Chand-il-manhatie sobayaka rosh halatie. They never pray. dina mine eik Allah melek seih-sin Habib Allah maklub al-mergle salah maklub w-mergie al-jem's salah Al-bani ma-ieh al-jem'sieh wal jot kuobaieh Kwa-samsi Tauris zval-Fahra-Dinn. they do not even have a form of prayer. he : told his followers in one of his sermons "God commanded me you that there is no need of prayer. what is called morning recital. believe in the power of Melek Ta'us and ye shall be saved. stand up and bear witness Witness for my religion. . It is said that when Seih 'Adi came from Mecca. Amin. eating only twenty-four hours and immediately after sunset.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ §eih fasts rigidly i8i once in one month in the year. Hatna Beda ^ade sada jaladie. meskino raha. Prayer is not considered a religious duty. washeikho Pir." ! . God is one the Seih *Adi and upon his congregation upon the angel great shack and the shack of Seih Tauris and Fahr ad-Din and to every seih and piT.

i82

DEVIL WORSHIP
III

The

Sacerdotal Orders

The hierarchical orders of the Yezidi sect are four. The head seih is the patriarch of the sect. He directs
all

the religious affairs of the
in their rites.

community and

leads

them

He

is

also the principal inter-

preter of their religion, the chief spiritual judge, a sacred person, whose hearth is regarded as a sanctuary, only second in importance to Seih 'Adi's temple,

and

whose
is

will

must be

obeyed.

His

weapon
tribunal

excommunication.
in

He

presides
in

powerful over a

composed of
to

ecclesiastical

superiors,

which

has

jurisdiction

religious

offences,

relating
clergy.

marriage,
is

and

in

disputes

questions between the
;

His charge

hereditary, in direct succession

but

if

his eldest son be considered

unworthy, he

may
be

appoint another to succeed him.

He
is

is

said to be
to

descended

from Seih

'Adi,

and

believed

endowed with supernatural power for healing disTwice a eases, and for blessing cattle and crops.
year he
visits the

neighboring villages to collect con-

tributions, and sends his kawwals to far distant districts for the same purpose. Occasionally he takes

part in celebrating the marriage of persons of distinction in his community. He is also at times solicited to
preside over funeral rites, which are generally conducted by the kawwals and seihs. The chief §eih

wears a black turban and white garments.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ
Besides the head
seihs.
selh, the

183
other

Yezidis have

many

Each has a parish
his If a

to look after.

Twice a year

he

visits

offerings.

parishioners to receive their free-will member of a congregation does not

he js anathematized by his spiritual and no one will speak to him or eat with him. leader, Every one of these seihs is supposed to possess a
satisfy his seih,

power to drive scorpions over water and sprinkling it in the away by praying corners of the house. They have one called §eih
Deklie, that
is,

special power, such as the

§eih of the Cocks.

His

office is to

go

from

village to village to collect chickens.
.

Several of

these seihs always reside at Seih 'Adi's.

from the Persian meaning an old man. They wear red turbans and black garments. Then come the kawwals, from the
in

The next

dignity

are

pirs,

Arabic, meaning one

who

speaks fluently, an orator.

And

lastly, the

fakirs,

from the Arabic poor.

These

are the lowest order in the Yezidi priesthood. (For the different offices of the last three orders, (see p.
69.)

The clergy of all ranks enjoy particular respect. Their pe^-sons and homes are held inviolate. They
and
take precedence at public gatherings. And the seihs pirs possess the much dreaded power of excom-

munication.

Besides the above,
chief,

the

who

is

called amir.

Yezidis have a temporal His dignity is also heredi-

tary and confined to one family. He is believed to be a descendant of Yezid. He exercises a secondary

i84

DEVIL WORSHIP

authority over the Yezidis. He is a mediator between his sect and the Turkish government. He has the to cut off any refractory member from the power

community.
to
collect

He
for

has charge of
at

fifty

kawwals who
visits

try

him
a

their

annual

to

each

Yezidi

district

certain

amount of money.

The

money received by them is divided into two equal parts, one of which goes to the support of the tomb of §eih *Adi, and the second part is divided, one-half
being for the amir, the other half being shared equally

by the kawwals.

The name
in Ba'adrie.

of the present amir

is

'AH, and he resides

NOTES ON CHAPTER
^

IV

is an interjection, or exclamation, exsudden emotion, excitement, or feeling, as pressing "Oh!" "Alas!" "Hurrah!" "Hark!" in English. ^ P. Anastase Al-Masrik, vol. H, p. 309.
:

Hoi Hola

^

Ibid, p. 311.

*Ibid, p. 313.

185

186 . they are the father's property. price. The number of wives for the amir. When a man wants to get rid of his wife. but it is frequently dissolved. A A daughter. but usually confined to rich men. except cattle in A man must have money or order to be able to get married. wives. or a pir's daughter. The price is called kalam. They forbid union between the secular and the reUgious classes. who is generally have two limited to six. girls. he must be killed. A respectable girl will not sell herself at a low Parents get rich if they have several pretty The kalam. he simply lets her go.CHAPTER V Their Customs Marriage The / Yezidis are endogamic. but he may take for a wife a kawwal's or a kochak's daughter. so pirs' sons. divorce being as easy to obtain among them as among Moslems. and kawwals' or kochaks' sons may marry marries a seih's is Marriage But if a layman laymen's daughters. pirs' layman cannot marry a seih's or a pir's daughters. as also seih's son within certain degrees of relationship. Polygamy is allowed. marries only a seih's daughter. for life.

etc. or the price give presents to the relatives of his bride. parents. the family of the bridegroom invites the relatives. weeks to escape Some strong men accompany them when for a few they elope. The man must usually thirty sheep or goats. is 187 of them. girl informs latter The father acquaints the father of the young man with the fact. his kin- The dred come to the house of the bride's father on an appointed day. If a couple love each other and cannot marry because the man has no money to pay his sweetheart's father. The couple choose one another. Each takes with him a silk handkerchief as a present for the bride. After that the young couple are allowed to arrange nuptial meetings in the company of a matron. brothers. a ring. For three days they drink "arak. who is presented with a gift. They to usually make arrangements before elopement will stay as where they detection."^sing and dance to the sound of flutes and drums at the house of the young man. follow. informs her husband. they return after some time and are then forgiven. After that. the women. two by two. then they elope. If they catch the bloodshed may But if they succeed in escaping. and give the dance. The her mother that she loves so and so. then they and eat black raisins. When they agree. rejoice all girl night. wrestle. According to a Kurdish proverb everything is pardoned the brave. The father of the girl with his relatives fugitives.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ dowry. and the daughter is given to the young man. When the time of marriage comes. play. ride on . ensue.

who ride behind them. The money is collected as it falls in this an open handkerchief held by his companions. He is then placed within a circle of dancers. and likewise the men. the father comes out and according to the custom. After ceremony a number of the young men. discharging their guns as they proceed. which upon their daughter covers her from head to foot. . The men take with them their children. Everyone of the children takes a spoon from the After being bride's house and sticks it in his turban. brought to the house of the bridegroom. When they reach the house they all discharge their guns together. v/ho have attached themselves to the bridegroom. a scarlet hailiyah (veil). they bring her out.i88 DEVIL WORSHIP horseback together. all They respond "Your daughter. lock the most wealthy of their companions in a dark room until they The are willing to pay a ransom for their release. the bridegroom the morning. receiving at each a small present. is sought early in triumph by his friends from house to house. asks the visitors what they want. thus taken is added to the dowry of the newly money married couple." Then he goes in and tells answering at once. and led in guests and bystanders wetting small coins stick them to his forehead. In this manner they go to the bride's house. Hearing the sound. the bride is kept behind a curtain in the corner of a darkened room for three days. and the On the third day. and the young man is not allowed to see her during this period. After putting his wife.

Putting the hand of one in that of the other. they Now. leaving onehalf in the hand of each." and "Do you want this young young man this husband?" After hearing each say "Yes. the knocks newly wedded husband strikes his young wife with a small stone as a token of his superiority over her. and covering the couple with a haiUyah. "Who are you?" "I am Then he the daughter of so and so. the priest discharges his gun." responds she." the marks their shoulders and foreheads with red ink. As each holds one end of it. in. the than those of the tribe. Respect for parents and . at and locks them After a while the door three times. stay at dies home and do no work. if the husband father's house. he asks the bride. The family proper family bonds are stronger consists of parents and their children." he takes the couple to a room waiting at the door.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 189 On the evening of the third day the seih takes the bridegroonT to the bride. "So you remain one until When the this is done. the seih asks. After receiv- ing an answer. and unmarried. death breaks you asunder. W^ith the Yezidis. For seven days. When they first meet. living in the same house. he asks them to break it in the middle. Then the seih says. "Will you take woman as a seih as a wife. the seih sends them home. and hands them a stick. the wife goes to her first. ample. bridegroom Understanding the signal. and all the bystanders outside follow his exAfter shouting and dancing for some time. asks the bridegroom the same question. married.

Women are inferior to obey their husbands. they till of cattle. children. Married women are dressed entirely their shirt is in white. They converse with men A woman at. fight the enemy and This enables young women to choose their sweethearts and run freely. the men. as it is among The head of the family is the all. the eldest son. take care are courageous and very independent. long dresses open in front and confined at the waist by a girdle ornamented with pieces of silver. but not beyond beyond father is to maintain his moral influence. Only personal objects and dress are the property of the wife. held Bedouins. who are bound obey him. and of the same cut as the man's. sole proprietor of the possessions of the family. married women must They work like men. is away with them. He can punish his wife to and the he his is If a son leaves his father's house. with a white herchief under their chin. The by the *agal or woollen cord of the girls wear white skirts and drawers. the ground.I90 DEVIL WORSHIP elder persons is considered a virtue. and answer charges brought against Next to the father in authority stands its members. and another over their heads. and holds full control over his wife and children. They bind fancy kerchiefs . does not conceal her face unless she stared when she draws a corner of her mantle over her face. the eastern people. the father's authority. defend it. A family. and over them colored zabouns.

with longer features The Yezidis bright eyes. from hair falls beneath which their in ringlets. They are clothed besides with loose trousers and cloaks. rough. and a sword at their side. with large chest. uncultured. and bluish brown The . audible afar clear. or fierce . and fairly small head. irregular nose. Their shirt is the distinctive mark by which the Yezidi sect is recognized at once. . and large.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ around their heads 191 and adorn themselves with coins as well as with glass and amber beads. eyes. nose of moderate length. Their complexion is usually dark and their eyes are black. sometime shave the hair off their head. they are a fine. and with a black turban. general. with black hair. The men wear shirt? closed up to the neck. and their religious law forbids them to wear the common east- ern shirts open in front. pistols in their girdles. and angry. Their legs are rather short. They are muscular. The predominant type is tall. But there are diflFerent types. but the soles of their feet are large. both of white. rest light. and capable of bearing great hardship. strong deep voice. In active. thin forelock. . wild. They usually carry long rifles in their hands. manly race : tall or of medium stature. In their physical characteristics they are like the Kurds. are of shorter stature. fine regular nose. leaving only a long. keen eye frank and confident.

On the seventh and fortieth day from the time of death. according their parents of the dead man. they make in likeness a wooden form and clothe it in the dead clothes. they lost one. For a year they give a plate of food with a loaf of bread daily to some person. and on his .192 DEVIL WORSHIP II Funerals If a his young or well-known man dies. they walk in procession in a circle around the form." They They continue wailing for three days. man's tunes. is washed in simple. buried an hour or two after his death. under his shoulders and eyes. thinking that thereby they are feeding their own dead. he is not honored with such a ceremony. He is usually The Yezidi. on his face and foreclay head. place the sacred of Seih 'Adi in his mouth. After wailing for a while. ask the the scene. they him with his former clothes. Those who come custom. and now and then kneel down to to receive a blessing from to it. dress running water. Then the the musicians while relatives stand play mourning round the model. **What have you?" reply. After being laid on a flat board. "We have the wedding of our son. if the dead be a grave to mourn over their common man. Afterward they distribute food on behalf of the dead. visit the Now. funeral like rites are that of a The body of the Mohammedan. close the openings in his body with pieces of cotton.

will say. The kochaks . prophesy of the dead. thou wert dust and hast returned to dust to-day.' And head will strike the stone. "O man. The poor kill four or five sheep the rich." Then the seih says. the immediate relatives. 'Let us rise and go home. and that spend the dead have communion with the living. whether he will return to the earth or will go to another world. 'I will not when he when he they tries to get up. especially the following. make revela- .' " When return home. an expiatory period. they then dance. women. long locks cut from her own hair. Everyone present throws a little dust over the grave while saying. 'O. dressed in white and throwing dust over their heads. If the dead be a man. to the cemetery. in which They hold all that some but that will the good souls dwelling in the heavens tions to their brethren on earth. the mother or the wife holding in one hand the sword or shield of the dead. a hundred.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ stomach. and other. him with his face turned toward the in the They bury north star. they carry the dead on the board The kawwals. lead the procession. burning incense. his go home with the people.neighbors. and accompanied by male and female friends and. 193 This done. "When we say.' then the dead man will say. the slaughters oxen and sheep and gives meat to the poor. will be eternally condemned. I am among family the dead.

which. they can no longer be regarded as such. He bases this inference on the independent and martial spirit which they possess. in his "Asshur and the Land of Nimrud" seems to agree with those who suppose them to be of Assyrian origin. may be taken as an indication of ancestral inheritance. those who suppose them to be Arabs on the ground is that the color of skin of another type is brown. dark. have in the taken them for Kurds because of the past always close resemblance of the two in appearance and manIn his "La Turquie d'Asie. moreover. and their tendency to rebel against their oppressors.^ . their eyes are wide. blue eyes and light hair. their lips are thick and their hair is writers. for in many ways they resemble other nationalities.194 DEVIL WORSHIP III Nationality Four different theories have been advanced as to the race to which the Yezidis belong. according to him. for there round a type among them that has a white skin. a And there are skull." Vitol Cunet says ners. On the other hand Hormuzd Rassam. There are those who think them to be of Indo-European origin. The western that though the Yezidis have been taken for Kurds.

Its slopes are covered with a picturesque valley. This term is the Persian plural of seih. Mosul. Lalish is the centre of their It is situated in a deep. national and religious life. This district lies northeast of Mosul. was formerly a Christian with a Ba'adrie. fifty . The former the latter is is the center of the tombs their principal burial place. The term Jabal Sinjar. Ba'asika and Bahazanie. is. dense wood.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ IV Locality 195 The Yezidis dwell principally in five districts. where their sacred shrine. It is a solitary range. Lalish. and it signifies the country where seihs dwell. northeast of the City of monastery. the most prominent among these being that of Seihan. In in which are many villages. Persian. the tomb of Seih *Adi. a six hours' ride from Mosul. Other notable places here are the two adjoining villages.' Sinjar is about three days' Next importance journey from Mosul. meaning "Sinjar" It signifies that its inhabitants are. covering a wide area It is their Palestine. safe and cannot be caught. It is close to is §eih 'Adi's. about ten hours' ride away. like the eagle. all which bodies are carried from It the various disvillage tricts. is the village where their And amir in is resides. a bird. an old man. perhaps an eagle. it lies their Mecca. and at the bottom of it runs the sacred water. at the foot of the mountain of Rabban Hormuzd. of their seihs to .

also as Yezidis. One can see the hills of Ba'adrie and Seih 'Adi. and on the other over the plain bounded by the Tigris and the lofty mountains of Kurdistan. The devil: worshippers of this locality are commonly called Yezidis.^ . where two ziarahs are found. sect. Nisibin and Mardin are both visible in the distance. while those of Seihan are known both as Yezidis and Dawaseni. The Malliyeh region includes all And the territory west of the Euphrates and Aleppo.196 DEVIL WORSHIP miles long and nine miles broad. Sin jar village. where one ziarah exists. the eye ranges on one side over the vast level v^^ilderness stretching to the Euphrates. and In almost every Aldina. Some regard who. Another district is Halitiyeh. the Sarahdar section includes the Caucasus in southern Russia. and villages distinguished from afar by their white spires. there is to be found a covered water which they use as a fortress during their fights with the Kurds or with the Turkish army. rising in the midst of the desert. in the early the Lepchos of India appearance of the went there to proselyte the Hindoos. which includes all the territory north and northeast of the Tigris in the province of Diarbeker. From its summit. Among the sacred places of this district are two Assofa.

and are called Kotchar. like the Arab Bedouins. tered with white plaster. the Yezidis are divided two classes: Ahl al-hadar. the people of the tents are. stone or mud. the people of the or cultivated land. fancy designs in red being introduced here and there. The houses are kept neat and clean. and Ahl al into villages Wabar. nomadic. They say that cleanliness is next to heaven. village consists house is divided Into three of about sixty houses. opening one into another. which is open on one side to the The sides of the room are honeycombed with air. The whole is plassmall recesses like pigeon-holes. upon which are placed wooden pillars supporting the ceiling. The roof rests on trunks of trees raised on rude stones in the centre chamber.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 197 Dwellings In regard to their dwellings. Now. These are separated by a wall about six feet high. . A A principal rooms. people of the tents. having no houses and no permanent place of abode. the The villages are built of clay. and unburned brick. They form but a small portion of the Yezidis.

VII Occupation Generally speaking. raise fruit. and richer in deep gutteral fairly sounds. but they do not engage in business. and cattle-raising. and hence to cursing Melek-Ta'us. group This Kurmanji possesses a number of dialects not differing much from one another. the Yezidis are an industrious This is people.. Both languages are spoken by those living in the Sin jar hills and in Seiban. the devil.198 DEVIL WORSHIP VI The Language The language Kurds. rich in vowels. except the zaza dialect. cheating and lying. Their usual occupation is agriculture e. which is spoken in eastern Mesopotamia by The main characteristic the Kurds. the Yezidis. Though Kurdish is the general language of Kurdish. who constitute almost the entire population. due to their belief that any form of business leads to i. in common with the which belongs to the Iranian of the Indo-European or Indo-Germanic stock. is of the Yezidis. such . of the Kurmangi are the great brevity of its words It is and the simplicity of its grammatical forms. called Ali Alia. their religious mysteries are in Arabic. The Yezidis of Sinjar.

for the Christians and at Mohammedans expense. out.. breaking and highway robbery they are the terror of those regions. until some one they find a Yezidi their breaks Saitan. city people from the habitations of these despised devil-worshippers. are wont to seek amusement in their When company. are But those in the mainly engaged in menial work. from which he superstitiously believes he cannot get out. districts of Redwan and Midyat are given to house- Russian territory. and when they do they conceal their peculiarities as much as . possible. Accordingly the Yezidis have keep aloof little Satan be cursed. Jabal famous for its figs. The Yezidis seldom appear in the cities. also almonds and nuts. it. Na'lat Moreover. They annoy him by crying e. they draw a circle about him on the ground. intercourse with their neighbors.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ as figs 199 Sinjar is and grapes. t. . Those who live in the like the sweeper class of India.

expresses the opinion that "many of the Yezidis around Sinjar might have come from Indian stock" on the ground that **they are darker and more hthe than the Kurds around them. vol. of date August 6. II. 3 Cf. I I I 200 . Anastase: Al-Masrik. of Mardin. 734. the Rev. 1907. 831. vol. p. II. N. Andrus. p.NOTES ON CHAPTER V ^ In his letter to me." 2 P. Al-Masrik. A.

6oo guns for war. lives in tents. . of Mardin) The 1 Tribes Across the River tribe From Mosul mountains The named Seihan lives in the of Al-K6s. and can furnish It 200 guns for war." He Miry Miran." These three are all sons of the former Amir Husein Beg. Said *Ali Pasa has received from the "the Turkish government the order of Amir ul-Umara Amir of Amirs. They are all under the orders of Seih *Ali Beg Pasa. Dar Bazi Husein.CHAPTER VI List of the Yezidi Tribes (The materials were collected for me by A. This tribe can furnish i. Andrus. Bedri Sohr and are 201 all They shepherds. "the Amirs of has a second brother who has received the order of Romeli Beglar Begi. and has sixteen villages. "the Beg of Begs." He has a brother who has received the order of Amirs. N. and can bring 800 guns to war. 3 The Howari is This tribe tribe lives in the region of Zaho. the Amir. 2 The Denodi tribe lives in Dakoke district. It occupies fifteen villages. or chief of the Yezidis. nomadic. has two chiefs.

202 DEVIL WORSHIP Tribes at Sinjar and Jezireh Districts The Tribes. .

when needed. and Namirdani. . "the destroyed or the sunken city. it was called Haltah. Selahar. The tribes around Weran Sahr or Goran §ahr. Keunos. This tribe inhabits six villages and can produce. and of the Kurdish tribes around them on the other. Bajinne. Mazazah. southwest of Mardin. There are fifteen 2 The tribe called Sohrani. northwest of Jabal Al-Tor. 500 guns. 1 The tribe of Semmike. this tribe has moved to the Sinjar Mountains. Bimbarik. Dooshah." because it was deThis district lies stroyed by earthquake or in war. a Jacobite Syrian priest of Mazazeh near Midyat. On account of the oppression of the government on the one hand. and Soolan. small villages to this tribe with 300 guns. This tribe had five villages : Redwan. This tribe has seven 3 The tribe called Mamila. The tribe of Besreyeh. There are three tribes here. villages : Taka. These all have houses built of stone.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ The 203 Tribes of Midyat Region. and till the ground. Kochano. There was only one tribe in this district. Harobia. Mr. Usually Called Jabal Tor Al-'Abedin (Mountain of the Worshipers) This region lies one day's journey east of Mardin. Andrus writes me that he has learned of this tribe from Kas Samuel.

Kupan occupies (2) Nukti. Kahiah. u. Kafar Bali. §eih Bersef. i ) Adi Tal Karmi Apo *Alo Reso. Suhan has one village.204 1 DEVIL WORSHIP of the The Denodi tribe. The tribe called Serkian. Kara Kuzeye. f. (4) Shda Ausman. (3) Karmi Sim. He is now the right arm of Ibrahim Pasa of the The three villages are Salmi. Maskan occupies two villages Birj Baluji. Tarik. Sim means hoof. It occupies three villages. (2) Kor kahiah. (3) Al-Asehan. (5) Al-Kaureyee. Malla Kachar has one village: Malla Kachar means the Malla flees. Hamideyeh army. : suri Minet. (6) has three villages ( (4) MenkMenmenik. (i) Sahda Nasu. four villages: b. (2) : . kor. : This tribe has seven subdivisions a. g. Mardanah occupies two villages: (i) Hajj Zain. This is probably an offshoot Dahoke tribe of the same name. head man. Beleki has six villages: c. Turnah lives in one village called Laulanji. and. u. h. (2) (i) Mouzan d. blind. Payamlo and 2 Desi. e. (3) Mouzan Auso. and has Hasan Kanjo for the chief. Abmazut.

e..CHAPTER ' VII Persecution The history of the Yezidis. The Yezidis with the Christians have been exempt from the military service on the general law sanctioned by the Koran. and with such Mohammedans have no treaty. namely. no binding oath. (2) Their ceremonies have given rise among their neighbors to fables con- founding their practices with those of the Nusairi of Syria and ascribing to them certain midnight orgies. But from time to time the Turkish government has endeavored to raise recruits for the regular troops among the Yezidis on the ground that. (3) Their determined refusal to enter the military service. reason they have to make choice between conversion and the sword. this as they For do with the other non-Mohammedan bodies. has been one of persecution. that none but true believers can serve in the armies of the state. being of no recognized 205 infidel sect. Consequently they must accept the faith or be killed. for them the name of cherag sanderan. The causes of their misfortune have been (i) the fact that they are not the regarded as the people of the Book. Uke that of the Jews. . the extinguishers of light. which obtained i. and it is unlawful even to taxes take from them.

therefore. but the greater multitude of men. alleging that their religious law absolutely forbids them to take the oath to which the Turkish soldiers are weekly subjected. who had united most of the Kurdish tribes of the surrounding mountains under his command. women and children were left on the opposite side and crowded on tal 'Armus. unwilling to render any assistance. who put him to death. hand-s of the local authorities. For the Christians . the then amir worshipers. and to the Lebanon among Mohammedans. The people of Seihan fled to Mosul. Hence they have One of the most cruel persecutions which the Yezidis have suffered was that brought upon them in the Seihan district by the famous Beg Rawmanduz in 1832. while the people of Mosul were witnessing the horrible massacre from the other side of the stream and hearing the cry of the unfortunate for their help. were much inferior in number to those of the Khurdish Beg. eat several articles of food that are offered to the suffered severely at the troops. A few succeeded in crossing. The fell latter and into the (Ali Beg) was dehands of his enemy. to wear the blue color and certain portions of the uniform. It was in the spring and the river had overflowed and carried the bridge away. showing no mercy. of the Yezidis. feated. The hostile Beg followed and butchered them indiscriminately.2o6 they must be DEVIL WORSHIP included like Druses of Mount But they have resisted the orders. His cry was to crush the hateful sect of the devil- The forces of 'Ali Beg.

Nineveh gained the name "Kuyunjik. But the severest of all persecutions." Soon after this Suleiman Pasa of mounds of i.. he accomplished his purpose in 1837. on the ground that they were plunderers. After meeting some resistance. of From the cruel Rawanduz. and they have even sent commissioners to the Sultan. to which I was an eye-witness. The Yezidis took refuge in caves. who set fire to the Jabal Sinjar and caused all the inhabitants to flee. At another time Mohammed Rasid Pasha of Mosul attacked Sinjar. e. These and other similar injustices at the hands of the Pasas of Bagdad and Mosul and the Kurdish chiefs led the Yezidis from time to time to send a deputation to lay their grievances before the agents of the European powers. and appointed a Moslem to watch over them.fourths. They finally succeeded in enlisting the interest of Lord Stratford in 1847 to obtain at Constantinople a proper recognition of their religion and exemption from military service. On both occasions there was a massacre. where they were either suflFocated by smoke or killed by the discharge of cannon.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ were helpless and Mohammedans rejoiced action 207 to see the this devil-worshippers of the Beg exterminated. Then Hafiz Pasa of Diarbeker attempted the subjugation of the Yezidis of Sinjar. And thus the population was reduced by three. "the slaughter of the sheep. was perhaps the one which the Yezidis ." Bagdad sent a large army to Sinjar under the command of Lutfee Effendi.

and would please the great Allah. and commanded them to choose between Islam and the sword. and take captives the pretty women and girls and marry them. directed them to slaughter the men. Lieutenant-General of the Turkish Army. council of the state. others fled. and a few. They met him when Mijlis alEdarah. composed of 'Olama and a few Christians. Then he sent an army to their villages. But they answered not. He . was in session. Many became and methods. his son. In the presence of these noblemen he began to tell them that if they would give up their devil-worship. who was commanding the soldiers. 'Omar Beg. to induce the Bedouins to exchange their nomadic life for village life. some died. through the fear of torture and painful death. He slew about five hundred men. Yezidis of Seihan and Jabal Sinjar from their idolatry He was a harsh man in his manners first invited some of their chiefs to came and listened to what the new They Pasa had to say. When the Farik saw that his words failed to persuade them. Mosul. to convert the to the true faith. prison. pronounced al-sehadah^ with their lips but not from their hearts. of This Farik was sent in the summer states of 1892 as a special commissioner by the to collect Sultan to accomplish certain definite things in the Mosul and Bagdad: twenty years' unpaid taxes. he began to He cast them into apply the weapon of cruelty.2o8 DEVIL WORSHIP of both Seihan and Sinjar suffered in 1892 at the hands of Farik 'Omar Pasa. they would be rewarded with high place and rank.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Moslems from civil chief. That he might not be an example of firmness to the Yezidis. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were 200. 209 their fear. . a place near Constantinople. As a consequence of these persecutions. especially those at Bahzanie and Baasika. In the fifteenth century there were 250. their chief in civil and religious aifairs. the number of the Yezidis has been considerably decreased.000. he tore down their shrines. after long imprisonment and torture. did not change his religious belief. children the Then he placed mullas among them to teach the Muslim faith. and remaining under the and are consequently misconception. among these Merza Beg.000. encouraged the Kurds to come down and Such events add greater cruelty to what was already done. But they console objects Thy are still declining clouds of themselves with the idea that they suffer in the cause of their religious convictions. To make them continue to be Mohammedans. and ordered the newly con- verted Yezidis to pray five times every day and to perform all the religious rites. But amir *Ali Beg. the Farik banished him with soldiers to Katamuni. of aversion and hatred.

participle of the infinitive of to put out. Constantinople..NOTES ON CHAPTER ^ VII is Cherog sonderan is Turkish ." : 'T testify that Mohammed is 210 . H. Yani sarfi Otamani "the New Turkish Grammar" (in the Turkish language. p. cf. In Turkish hterally lamp. ed. Ahmad Jaudat & Co. sonderan the and cherag. the object precedes the verb.). 1318 A. 772 Kalimatu. is the object of sonderan. s-Sehadah is as follows there is no deity but God and that apostle of God.

BIBLIOGRAPHY » -N .

1 .

p. i. IV. 190 seq. vol. Yakout: Lalis. loi Yasin Al-Hatib Al 'Omari Al-Mausili: Al Der al Maknun 'Adi. Abu-1-Kasim Ibn Haukal: Kitab Al-Masalik Wal- Mamalik p. 1883. A Book of the Two other manuscripts containing the history of the Yezidis. 373. Lyden) Hakkari. on Sabeans: The Sixth : Session of the Oriental Congress.'* HaUikan: A. II." fi-1-Miater Al-Madiyat min Al-Kerun. M.300-340.BIBLIOGRAPHY Arabic manuscript containing the Sacred Yezidis and their tranditions. Leide. Wafaiyat-el-'Aiyan I. Eureton. 1310. Wm. 213 . Uliya wa Masrab ul Asfiya. London. ed Fliigel : The Religion of Hauran. p. Anistase Tabari Al-Masrik. 144. vol. J. Fihrist: 1894). "Seih *Adi. vol. As-§ahrastani : Kitab Al-Milal wa. D. (Cairo a. n-Nihal (ed. De Goeje. MDCCCXLIII. Vol. "Seih Mohammed Ibn Al-'Omari Al-MausiH: Manhal-alh. 1873. p. seq). (ed. PP. 316. p.

Sec- English G. 1836. II. Buckingham: Travels Media. Kurdish Yezidis Songs and Prayers. Constantinople. B. Badger: vol. : From Nineveh. J. Ainsworth Travels and Researches in Asia Minor. Layard Nineveh and lis Remains. II. Southgate: A Tour Through Armenia. ond Turkish Reader (Constantinople. 1850. : : G. vol. Journey to Ararat. Eraser: Mesopotamia and Persia. Part. I. H. vol. II. Parrot J. p. d'Asie. Layard Nineveh and Babylon. Rich: Residence in Kurdistan. and Persia- . Turkish Vital Cunet: Translation of La Turquie a. h. Fletcher: Notes F. in manuscript. Persia. J. in Assyria. vol. 1318). and Mesopotamia.214 DEVIL WORSHIP Syriac A manuscript containing an abstract about the History of the Yezidis. : The Nestorians and Their Rituals. S. P. 20 seq.

Gottheil Mandeans in J. O. F. "Yezidis/' in New Inter. Hughes: Muslin Sect. Kessler: Mandeans. LX. V. Tylor: Journal of Geographical Society. U. Past and Present. p. A. T. : A. Pary Six Months in a Syrian Monastery. R. Sc. F. 17. : Sabeans in J. Account of Yezidis of Jahal Sinjar. Enc. Williams Jackson Persia. Mag. Ainsworth : Transactions of Ethnographical Society. G. Brit. Enc. 409. Gottheil : . 1868. Williams Jackson : J. Forbes: J. Art. Cycl. : The Article. Hextheusen: Transcaucasia: Account of Yezidis in Russia. vol. XXXI. Transactions of the Syro-Egyptian Society. V. Ainsworth Ch. vol. H." A. O. Bunbury: Sabeans. E. D. Millingen: 215 Wild Life Among : the Kurds. R. 1855. 939. 1861." The Independent. "Yezidis. January 17. Andrus: Missionary Ency. Cycl. Hormuzd Rassam Asshur and : the Land of Nimrod. vol. 178 seq. of Islam.. vol. N. A. 25. Scottish Geog. Williams Jackson A. Brit. Green: The Armenian Crisis in Turkey. U. : Victor Dingelstedt p. 295. "Yezidis. H. the article. the 14. 1895. S. in Diet. V. Enc.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ F. : Travels and Researches in Asia Minor. K. i.. 1870. R. p.

No. T. p. p. Lidzbarski: Z. des Religions. p. 342. M. Le Tour du Monde. Ernest Chantre Tiflis. La Turquie : : d'Asie. E. p. T. Paris. Diet. Yezidis. : 2. p. p. 35. 1896. 1776. vol. p. de Beyrouth a Theatre de la 184. 100.I05> ^9ip. 1809. G. 51. LX. 1682. I. 55. p. PP. Kurdische Studien. Receu du Monde Musulman. p. Correspondence 188. d' Orient. 194. : 2. German Hugo Makas C. 252. yy2. Tcheraz: Le Museon.. vol. Bulletin Soc. 388. 272. 275. Chabot: Journal Asiatique. Schwolsohn: Dies Sahien.. M. p. Garzoni Sylvestre de Sacy. Ncuchatel Geog. IV. M. Tome 12. : M. and 1882. vol. T. J. Eugene Bore Eugene Bore 401 . pp. 592. G. T. Journal Asiatique. Spiro: p. Brockelmann.2i6 DEVIL WORSHIP French J. 39. Annales des Rois d'Assyria. Olivier: Voyage dans l' Empire Othoman. D. 1908. sail II. : Nuchel Febore Vital Cunet: Turque. 1885. August. M. T. D. 201. T. B. p. Siouffi: p. 432.. Z. 78. LX No. II. Niebuhr: Voyage en Arable. II. Menant: Les Yezidis. . Reclus: Nouvelle Geographic.

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ C. p. Clementino'Vatican. p. . 16. 1886. vol. vol. 50 Jahrgang. 39 und 40 Stutgart. 27. A. Das Ausland. 1760. T. 3. vol. Hyde: Historia Religionis vetrum Persarum. 399. 217 Brockelmann : Z.. No. Latin Assemani: Bibliotheca Orientalis. p. 493. 790. p. Ill. Archie fur Anthropologic.

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29. 41. 161. 38. 90. 56. 155- . Cosmogany. 54. 150. Daseni. 158. ff. Al-Lat. 57. 178 14. 53. 95. 139. ff. ff. 135. Candles. Assemani. 80. ff. 93. 119. i8. 67. 29. 55.. 120. 160. 99. 17. 169. iii. 45. tomb of. 93. 188. 136. 66. 127. 61. 14. Devil. 122. of. 24. iii. 160. 'Ain Sifni. 59. temple of. 71. 80. 22. 48. 116. 63. 137. 92.. . 45. 123. II. 112. 100.INDEX Abadiya. 100. 116. . 158. Circumcision. Birds. 154. 169. 12. feast of. 117. 105. 37. 124... 41. 130. 135. 178 ff. 41. %Vd Dancing. 68. 40. 36. 30. Christ. 113. Andrus. 16. 147. 165. and Eve. 134. 64. Basra. 116. 171. 163. Bath. A. 54. 79. 90. 119. 21. 128. 128. 113. 170.. 164 Cholsohn. 94. 167. 108. ff. 57. N. Ba'ashika.. 12. P. Baptism. 120. ff . 98. 123. 133.. Adawiah. 53. 179. Creation. 68. 174. 45. 22. 17. 152. Comb. 170. worship 160-163. 151. 163-166. 17.. Al-'Ozza. 200-201. Ash-Shahrastam. Adam 19. Arafat. As-Saig. 68. 161. 125. 39. 20. Al Jilwah. 150. 56. 98. 123. 92. Angels. 14. 100. B'aadri. Badger G. ff. 38. 'Adi. Bahazani. 69. 133. 108. 42. 12. 156.121. 68. 63. 115. worship ff. 148. II. Ablution. 36. 22. Ceremonies. lOl. Assyrians. 70. 17. Apostle. 112. 37. 77. ff. of.

61. 128. 20. 126. 107. 164 . 19. 121. 44. Mohammed. 120. 90. Fahkr-ad Din. 128 Kissing. 165. 113. A. 122. Melek Ta'us. 149.. Ishtar. 58. form of. Ibn Unaisa. 118. 175- 173. 186 ff. 75. 182 ff. 21. 78. 193. 53-57. 173 ff. 22. 22. 129. 36. 46. 192 ff. Emir. 22^ 149. 122. 150. Mu'awiya. 174. Hell. 186. 11. 161. 43. 76. Moon. 12. 48. Fakir. 120. 48.. 122. 115. 58. Family. 68. 125. 122-124. 60. Lalish. 108 Yezidis. 79. 148. 11. 60. 112. Feasts. 128. 38. 49. 43. 19. Idol. 80. 156. 165. 130. 78. 150. 133 ff. 18. Devil Worshippers. 43. Ibn Khallikan. 107. 154. 75. 47. 55. 93. 128. 25. 36. 157. 30. 21. 107. Mashaf Rcsh. 19. 69. 125. Lamps. 53. Kreamer. Funeral. 78. 63. 135. 107. V. 149. 153158. Ibn Hazm. 71. 38. see no. 133. 152. ff. 12. 123. 159. 92. 44. 53. 116. 163-165. 58. loi. Kochak. 67. Evil. loi. 22. 57. ff. 62. 162-164. 37. Khawarij. 105. 180. Incense. 61. Kawwal. 18. Jesus. iii. 106. 19. 48. 156. 17. io8. 40. 102. 47. Iranion. 37. 183. 119. 68. 116. 164. Heaven. 183. 62. 54. 12. 127. 48. Mulla Haidar. Jackson. 159. Hierarchy. 45. 174. Lidzbarski. 106. Koran. 162. 165. 163. 179-180. 20. 120. 160. . 127. 64. 104. 66. 64. 37. 48.220 Devil worship. 128-130. loi. 116. 59. 134. 151. 42. ff. 40. ff. Marriage. ff. 108-110. 42. Dewish. 189 Fastine. 29. Yezid. Eucharist. 180 ff. Dowry. '1 130. 40. 60. Hatchet. 75. festivals Lettuce. 123. 59. 116. INDEX Islam. 92. 92. yy. 164 ff. 18. Mary. 92. 178.

. 59. 164. M. 29. 82 Torch. 13-14. Pilgrimage. ff- Vow. 69. 130. Springs. 53. 67. 106. 43. Peacock. 56. 61. 40. 135-137Sun. 135 78. 100. 89. 132. 58. Sinjar. . 190 ff. 175. 92. 166. Tahlil. ff... 69. 168. 100. 46. Wine. 42. N. 165.. 113. 20. 149. Stone. flood Oath. 147. 75. Omari. 159. 130. 85. 17. 58. Stars. 40-42. 161. 114. myth of. 116. 42. 16. 194 ff. Yezid. 107. Siouffi. 195. 56. . 195 ff. 44. 68.1 33. 164. 119.. 106. 157. Trees. 103 ff. 66. 44-47. kissing of. 118. 164. 120. Sheikh ff. 103 if. 104. 43 sign of. Tans. 19. .. number Scholars. 136. Orientalists. Sheikh. see Melek Ta'us. 64. New Year. 125-128. 79» 157. no.. Tamerlane. locality of. 163. 17. 22. 124 ff. Sacrament. 79. 122128. II.. 130. 21. Shaving. from 120. ff. 56. 95. 55. religion of. and 115.. ff. 183 ff. 55. Tammuz. 129 ff . 79-80. 161. Noah. Transmigration. Priests. 94.. ff.155 ff. 158. 94. 89. 95. 64. Syriac. 112. 78. 44. 93. 100 Sacrifice. 116. Prayer. 164 168 ff. 178. 43. 53. worship of. Woman. 65. 33. 24. 165. 126. 133. . 133 ff. Persia. 55. 69. nationality of. Shirt. Oil. Isaac. no. 147. 134. 105.. 155. Yezidis. 123. 56. Sabians. Prophets. . 59. kiss of. 56. 45. 75. origin of. 90. Pir. 92. 170. 164. 51. 22. 103 ff. 150153. manuscripts of. 183.INDEX Musicians. 11. Shammas Eremia. 47. 12. Serpent.. 174 221 Mattie. Peter. 75. 55. ff. 38. 58. 14 ff. 17. 54. 67. 113. 14. 58 worship of.. Tax. Sanjak. 12. 56. 112. i35. 63. 129. 80. 71. 191 ff. of. 181.

129. 161. occupation of. 131. 136. 145. tribes of. 56-57. 201 ff. lang198. 151. 103. 134.. persecution lings of. . 108. dwel- 197 ff. 205 ff. 134. Zoroaster. continued tradition of. 169. Zamzam. 94. uage of. 131. 109. 133. .. 155. 198 ff. ff. Yezidis.222 INDEX Yezidism. 173.. of.

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