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




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

The Gorham

Press, Boston, U. S. A.


In the

United States of America








—The Origin of the Manu- Page

Notes on the Introduction




Most Com. .

Preface, in the Name of the passionate God



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

— —




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






Religious Origin of the Yezidis



The Yezidi Myth The Christian Tradition The Speculative Theories

89 89 96

of Western


The Dogmatic View

of Mohammedan Scholars and the Writer's Own Ex-

118 138

Notes on Part

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



especially with the family of MuUa Haidar. The Sacred Books comprise Kitdb al- Jilwah (Book so of Revelation). many The manuscript comprises a brief Introduction. Siouffi. the Sacred Books.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. and Mashaf Re^ (Black Book) named because in it mention is made of the descent of 11 — . Daud Hawaja as-Saig was a man of culture. In the first. N. in sympathy with western thought. I know he was in close touch with of them. 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. and an Appendix. the chief saint of the Yezidis. From the first page of the manuscript it appears that through some Yezidis he had access to their literature. and an intimate acquaintance of M. the compiler indicates the sources of his information and gives a sketch of the life of §eih *Adi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

the Chosen One — . he separated himself from those who The Yezidis followed after them with the exception of the Abadiyah.^'^ The Yezidis themselves had a curious legend connecting the name with the Caliph Yezid bn Mu'awiya^^ (seep. 'god. ed. 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.^ Some finally maintain that was founded by Seih 'Adi. kept friendship with the first Muhakkama. I. a town in central Persia. and would reveal the whole (book) to him at one time.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.^ while others associate it with Yazd or which are the sect Yezid. or good spirit/ over against Ahriman. Cureton. but which appears to me to give the most probable explanation of the name and of the original affinities of the sect. the evil principle. He believed that God would send an apostle from among the Persians. The passage is as follows (Kitdb al Milal wan-Nihal.^^ and as a result he would leave the religion of Mohammed. and would reveal to him a book that is al- ready written in heaven. 37).^^ for with these he kept friendly. lOi): who are the followers of Yezid bn Unaisa. the inhabitants of chiefly Parsees. before the Azarika.

188. Vol. reads Zaid (The Egyptian bn Abi Ubaisa. is idolatry.^* 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. his followers. edition of Ibn Hazm. And he said that the followers of the ordinances are among those who agree with him. 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 . He calls them his 'ashdh. a term by which he designates the relation between a sect and its founder.^® 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. Ibn Hazm.^^) But Yezid associated himself with the people of the of the Sabians mentioned in the Koran. almost in the same words. ^* Book who recognized the Chosen One as a prophet. who lived a century before As-§ahrastani. even though they did not accept his (Mohammed's) religion. but that others are hiding the truth and give companions to God. IV. that is. small or great. by another great Mohammedan authority on religious sects. and that every sin.^' 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. The prediction about the Persian prophet is quoted.INTRODUCTION may God bless 19 religion and save him ! —and follow the (These are not the Sabians who are found in Haran and Wasit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

26 ^° DEVIL WORSHIP Such a state of affairs finds a historical parallel in other religions. for example. Christianity. 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.



In the


of the

Most Compassionate God!



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


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

own knowledge and


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

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




Musafir bn Ismael bn Mousa bn

bn Marwan.


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






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.


creation this revelation

was with Melek
world that he


'Abd Ta'us



might separate truth


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.




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


knows not my presence.


participate in
call evil




which those who are without


their nature

not such as they approve.
office is

Every age



own manager, who

directs affairs according to



to generation, that the ruler

changeable from generation of this world and his


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







have made



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


That there are interpolations


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



and falsehood are known.





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


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

due time.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A young lady may be herself as an acre of land ried. stories.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ she is 49 the booty of his hand. Here ends Kitab Res. some openly. which some of which are told followed by several secretly. . is sold. Daughters may not insold herit their father's wealth. 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.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From this we know that the great God has been reconciled to . 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. He showed the written paper which he took from the mansion and said. Afterward he created Adam the first. Verily he loves him exceedingly. that is from the meaning of this saying. "Go into the iron ring which I. "See what is written here. because you have disobeyed me and transgressed my commandment." From this we know that God speaks in the Kurdish language. they do not admit that such is the case. *No one ascended up to heaven but he who came down from heaven. "It may be that you have opened the mansion which I forbade you to open." Then God said to him. Melek Ta'us refused to worship Adam when God commanded him to do so." He answered. Similar is the relation of the great God to Melek Ta'us. "You are a heretic.* No one came down not understand the l- from heaven but Melek Ta'us and Christ. Then God created an iron and hung it in the air between the heaven and ring the earth." 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. You do cks which you read The Gospel says. "Yes.62 DEVIL WORSHIP else to one know about it." Then the great God said. thy God. have made for whosoever does contrary to my commandment and disobeys me.

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

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

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

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

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

and they suffer no one who is not one of them to read it. They have a book named Al Jilwah that they ascribe to Seih *Adi. and when he did so this world came into being. and so on until another thousand years the seventh god. with which he was playing. 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. The ruling and administrative power is in his hands until the thousandth year.68 DEVIL WORSHIP also the Lasiferos. was enjoying himself over the seas. Mention is made First Cause is the Moreover. They make him a graven image after the form of a cock^* and worship it. who before he created this world. They {kawwdls) travel within the Yezidis* villages to collect money. And yet there is accord and love among these gods. They play the tambourine and dance before it to make it rejoice with them. the chief of the fallen angels. To him all things are referred. at which time they take it into the houses that it may bless and honor them.^^ and in his hand was a great White Pearl. is God. but that they are begotten of the son of Adam. This is Melek Ta'us age. they think themselves not to be of the same seed from which the rest of mankind sprung. Some say that §eih *Adi is a deity others that he . like a Vizier to When an end he will deliver the and administer until power god shall be ended. who bears name Melek Ta'us. Then he resolved to cast it into the sea. may in some of their books that the Supreme God. For this reason they . who was born to Adam of his spittle.

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. . into an animal.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 69 imagine themselves nobler and more pleasing to the gods than others. aters. enters into another man man goes if it be just. . baptism from Christians. prohibition of foods from the Jews. forth They say if that it when the spirit of from his body. 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. Coming to me and kissing my feet. And I am he to whom all created men come In obedience to kiss my feet. I am he that caused Adam to dwell in Paradise And Nimrod to inhabit a hot burning fire. And I am he to whom came the book of good tidings From my Lord. and turn toward me my disciples. who burneth the mountains. And the truth of my descent is set forth by itself. I guide him that asketh for guidance. And all the habitable parts and deserts. And I am he that spread over the heavens their height. And when it was known it was altogether in me. And everything created is under me. And my truth is mixed up in me. And I am the ruling power preceding all that exists. And I am he that cried in the beginning. And I am he that spoke a true saying. And I am the just judge and the ruler of the earth. And I am he that of myself revealeth all things. And I am he that men worship in my glory. And before this light the darkness of the morning cleared away. And all that are in the universe are under me. 70 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

if any one of our sect wish to fast. his fasting is not acceptable. 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. likewise. wine. and afterward return to his place. For while fasting he must go every morning to the house of his seih and his pir. have something called the blessing of Seih 'Adi. ^® Therefore if any one of us make for himself a new shirt. And if he eat not of it intentionally. If anyone give him a wife. he must go to the house of his seih and his pir. 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. tify — his Article VIII Regarding our fasting. as we have mentioned in the fourth Article that every one of our sect has a brother for the next world. he must fast in his own place. it is necessary that his sister for the next . and none of us will give him a wife. and there he must begin to fast and when he breaks his fast. and he becomes . Article X Regarding our dress. not in another.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Article VII 79 We that is. Likewise at the time of death. that one is an infidel. then his wife is forbidden him. he has also a sister for the next world. he is an infidel. he dies an infidel. an infidel. 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.

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

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

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. . result was that when they presented this they were exempted from military service. and from which we copied a few things The petition.

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

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

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

Al Masrik. 434. cabbage. 3^ The Moslem begins his prayer by cursing the devil. and a Jew with a Jew. A. the mountain being then named 'Arafat. "Recognition.86 his ^^ DEVIL WORSHIP wife. p. Yakut. 31 32 The text has "her hand. ^® A 37: 38. IV. ^^ superstitious name signifying an ill omen. 298. a Yezidi. VII. a Christian with a Christian. ed. At-Tarfh. may become a Mohammedan with a Mohammedan." The god Nisroch of Isa. That is the spring of Seih 'Adl. moved from its place near Lalis to enable every Yezidi. wherever he may be. Hebraeus. on the contrary. 780. Salhani. 33 This belief is taken from Mohammedanism. cf. to direct his morning prayers toward the tomb of *Adf. cf. *^ The Sabians did not eat purslane. That 313. The Syriac Doctrine of Addai (ed. VIII. 3* *® That is a person of the same faith. and lentis. Bar. . II Kings 19:37. cf. and the Babylonian Creation Epic. Scripture. 35 3^ 3^ Cf Gen. according to the Yezidi belief. cauliflower. 274. beans. George Philips). A . which. Beirut. the Nusairis curse him. JAOS. garlic. Nusairi. 266." While the Yezidis venerate *Abd al-Kadir of Jilan. As-§ahrastani. public prayers like those of the Mohammedans and of the Christians. II. 1 2. is. 1890. II. JAOS. 24. : The reference is to Jabal Makliib. cf. 3* The Arabs worshiped a deity under the form of a nasr (eagle).



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

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

^ told. it days. are from the seed of Ham. 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. a separate community. their book and their oral tradition agree. On this latter. but the quotation differs from the instance previously cited in stating that the quarrel which took place between Adam is said. We have. as a religious body.^ miraculously gave birth to a son. Not only when the tradition. a very pretty daughter. Thereupon. married her to his son. they come from a very ancient time but also when it speaks of them as a nation. Attracted by her Adam Now. the tradition that the Yezidis are descendants of a son born to Adam of his spittle. and of him. the King of Peace. as well as on the former point. and Eve led to their separation to places distant There. 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. which is the sect of Melek Taus. however. Distressed by this incident. we are are the blessed seed of these two children. antiquity.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ of 91 whom nothing is known. it continues. it points out their . whose -name was Na-*umi. moreover. icals. the Yezidis. The Yezidis are said to have sprung from a noble personage. who \ . she begot beauty. that the Yezidis are a noble progeny of Adam.^ The rest of mankind. tracing the origin of the Yezidis as a race. asserts that. but whom they now call Melek-Miran.

etc. and began to lick the bleeding spot. ment. 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. claim also that the ancient Assyrian kings were They members of their race. of course. When he was told that this act would result in his giving birth to a nation which would oppose the followers of his master. however. Enoch. they assert. Mohammed's servant. antedates Christ. in another myth. Mu'Awiya declared that he would not marry. The story.92 DEVIL WORSHIP father. he cut the prophet's scalp. is represented in form as being half angel and half . as to the prophets likewise seem to trace their origin and other personages of the Old TestaTheir rehgion Seth. but it is likely that they as one of the other two sons of Noah. They furthermore. bitten by a serpent. While performing the duty. He was afterwards. is mocked his or Miran it regard him Whom they signified by Na-'umi hard to say. and that some of the Persian. Noah. Roman and Jewish kings were appointed for them by Melek Ta'us. but chose an old woman in order not to have children. and was told that he would die He therefore consented to marry.* There is still another tradition that traces the devil- worshippers to a different origin.^ Mu'awiya was asked by his master to shave his head. But she miraculously became a young woman of And from her the God Yezid was bom. is a myth. . I refer to the state- ment which Masehaf Res makes regarding Mu'awiya. unless he married. twenty-five. and it is of such a it.

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

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

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

96 DEVIL WORSHIP This second encounter proved should be doubled. have a tradition that gives a different It is to the effect that the interpretation. people in question were originally Christians. The tradi- . at length later on. but that ignorance brought them into their present condition. 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. I have dwelt upon the superstitious theories of the Yezidis themselves regarding their religious origin. the Satan parasts are the victims of their by a young prophet who. 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 . but failed as soon as that zeal gave place to a sordid cupidity for earthly treasure. was victorious over the principle of evil. not because these theories have an importance in themselves. spiritual antagonist."" to the youth. as long as he was disinterested zeal for religion. According actuated to this legend. but because of their bearing upon the views advanced by modern scholars. The scholars have based their theories on some of these conflicting stories this without sufficient criticism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Such an 103 not more than they have for any other religious body. affinity is Christians or the Yezidis. what seems to me to be the best position. 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. The degree of interest shown in this particular case. Christian tradition can be regarded as a more probable theory to account for the rise of Yezidism than any other view And. is a corrupt form of Christianity. Now we turn our attention to the West. 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. however. 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. The English-speaking scholars come . or implying. hence. which also has expressed itself on this subject. the Christian tradition. yet they same conditions. to point out. 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.

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

called those who did not Al-jahaleen. without. from Yezid bn Mu'awiya. not give.. The inevitable con- sequence has been. and he became the nucleus of the sect that appropriated his name. his father. 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. the showing of reasons for so doThis fact will be proved presently when we shall ing. The Yezidis possess a genealogical tree by means of which they to trace their religious origin back him. Among the latter was Yezid bn Mu'awiya who refused to accompany Mu'awiya.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ 105 religion. Many of the ignorant ones rallied around Yezid. who says. therefore. the writer does is entirely silent as to the source of his . as an attendant upon his person."" Now. the ignorant ones. but what I do mean to say is that the method of the scholars in question is almost purely speculative. This view is takes its rise advocated by a modern writer. Mohammed e. "The Arabs who accepted i. examine their respective writings. that in their theories exists an uncertainty and indefiniteness that puzzles the student of history. 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. however. he the ground for this assertion. and they do not seem to appeal to historical facts in support of their assumptions.

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

as to his founding any religious schism. Avestan Yezata. answer is made of that Yezid Ferfer evil spirit is the name of the attendant the among the Parsees. method of procedure from the of Persian origin. 107 the basis of the relation of the devil-worshippers to For he was one of those who most bitterly hated *Ali.^® Others believe that the word "Yezid" It indicates in the plural the signifies God. however. means God. 122.*^ which the others say that . they all agree that he was not On the Mohammedan the second only a but a successor of the prophet. To the objection that the Yezidis worship the evil spirit. 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. They There are those who take their They argue that this term in name Yezid or Yazd. see pp. and says that his works were collected. There is still another school among the western orientalists. He says nothing. Furthermore. I mean those is who hold that the religion of the devil. being in the Omayyid dynasty. Still doctrines as Bishop of may be seen by the Nagham overthrew. observers of superstitious idol Yezid. calif Ibn Hallikan mentions his name two or three times. or good spirit. Hence. the name Yezid. 128 of this book. contrary. according to them. Yazd (pla Yazdan). indicates the people that believe in this good god.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Yezid bn Unaisa.worshippers are of two wings. Persian. the evil principle. over against Ahriman. 'worthy of worship*.

a name of a town Central of which the Parsees form the principal part of the inhabitants. of Columbia University. that is. but they demand their full share in solving such an important problem as the one under discussion. V." ceeds to point "The Yezidis may actually traces of old devil-worship in Zoroaster anathematized so bit: reminiscences of common To verify this hypothesis. or Yezid. and particularly Yezidi question. In support of this theory. Briefly stated. too.^^ 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." and "some old Iranian faith. he proout many instances. Persia. Dr. that the Yezidis derive their in name from Yazd. 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. Jackson's is position as follows show some surviving Mazandaran. it is claimed that in reality the Yezidis worship God and not the devil. which terly.io8 DEVIL WORSHIP in the tradition of these people Yezid must have been an abbreviated form of Aez-da-Khuda. One example he . Conspicuous among the representatives of this school is Professor A. It is thought by many. therefore. This distinguished scholar is considered an eminent authority on Iranian religions. Jackson. not only deserve careful consideration. created of God. an eye-witness authority on the His views.

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

What are we to do with these ?^^ The advocates of the theory in question admit that such is the case. but is exceedingly difficult. and leave to advance his own idea. the sect naturally has much in common with Islam. and almost impossible."^* 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. after critically reviewing the views held by the different scholars. I refer to those among the western who maintain that the writer Yezidi sect was founded by Seih *Adi. modem who holds this theory. There is still another school orientalists. To quote: generally agreed upon that the sect of the Yezidis was founded by §eih 'Adi."^' He supports his notion by an appeal to an Arab . to establish any historical facts out of the mist of verv fantastic stories current about him.no the traces of DEVIL WORSHIP some other religions. 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. Now. he claims that the theory has been "generally" accepted. that "owing to the residence of the Yezidis among the Mohammedans. proceeds To emhasize it. but they assert that "the resemblances of the Yezidi religion to Christianity and Islam are accidental". He is a historical it personage.

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

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

to wit."^^ 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. His origin is from Ba*albek. which is well the object of pious pilgrimages. I. who performed miracles.' '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. The visit which they pay is God or in spite of him. n. one of the dependencies of Mosul. 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. who died in the ear 558. because known." him by a calamity. Adultery becomes lawful when committed by in a small tract (mutual) consent. is "God tried they claim to be descended from Yezid. They adore the sun and render worship to the devil. called the Yezidis. They pretend that when the day of judgment comes. the appearance of a sect of apostates. and without being concerned about the expenses that the journey carries with it. His grave. His death took place in the city Hakkariya. . I make them do by compelling HI. 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.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.

and in which the author makes menfollowed. This is the translation of the passage which I have extracted from a song composed by a bishop of Arbil. 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.*'' of Omayyids. in honor of Rabban Hormuzd** and other " saints. who pretended that this seih is God. that he might consecrate himself to God. a formidable enemy came torment He was a descendant of Hagar. the slave of our mother. The following passage which one reads in a Chaldean manuscript entitled 'Awarda'^® and which I saw some time ago in the Church of Karmalis." "He was versed in the knowledge of the divine law. God tried him by a calamity by raising the Yezidis. to tion of 'Adi in these terms: 'Great misfortunes have falling us. They arrive there every year at the sound of drums in order to give themselves to games and debauchery." "The Christians of the land. and who have made his tomb the object of their pilgrimage. upon us . This enemy who made our life unfortunate was a Moham- . 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. and the lineage attributed to himself: 'Adi proves this sufficiently.114 DEVIL WORSHIP left in which he order to come to Mosul." 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.

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

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

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. but method that they employ does not seem proper one for solving such a question. that some But as to who Yezidis are Persian in their origin. the foundation of whose curse times. that some Yezidis might have who was the Likewise. him and the religion is the devil. without historical justification. We us not a whit. He only one of many whom their ignorance led to class as deities. all As that to the Christian tradition. 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. but as to founder of the sect it gives us no light. . that they should write the life of one who is responsible for the rise of a sect. may admit.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ criticism to 117 what we know of the character of the Mohammedan historians. I think. 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. that can tell us is been at one time Christians. 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. and we have found not only that they are far also that the to be the from reaching the solution of the problem.

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

he says. Another Mohammedan scholar that mentions these people is Yasin Al-HatibMausili. authoritative than that of any other Mohammedan scholar on matters pertaining to equally. they leave us entirely in the dark as to who that person was. al-'Omari-al praising him was tried him by a calamity by raising up the Yezidis. the 119 on to say. Mohammed medan language.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ to wit. Writing on Seih *Adi.** "He God who While these authors throw some that the sect in question derives light on the subject appellation from a historic person. "God tried him (i. as the Arab historians its mention many prominent Yezid. I sects. and as the former writer does. 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. versed in the knowledge of the divine law. He writer that traces could This authority is the only Mohamreach that. and he separated himself from those who followed after them with the . *Adi) by a calamity. called the Yezidis because they pretended to have been descended from Yezid.. if religious and philosophical As-§ahrastani. and who have made his tomb the object of their pilgrimage. pretend that this Seih is God. founder. in a clear is this most interesting sect to its "The Yezidis are the followers o| Yezid bn Unaisa.*^. appearance of Al-Murtaddoon. who [said that he] kept friendship with the first Muhakkama before the Azarika. e.

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

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

together with the Christians and the Jews. Christians 2. also: believe as well as Jews. 73. and do that which is right. in three different One such reference is in Surah places in the Book. and those who join gods . because they first assembled there and accepted the doctrine that government belongs only to God. who believe as well as Jews. whoever believeth in God and in the Last Day. 59: "They and Sabeans." Surah 5. but this is only one side of his religious system. 17: "They who believe as well as Jews. 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. Sabeans and Christians and the Magians. on them shall no fear come . shall have their reward with their Lord. Such is the place among the Moslem heretics.122 DEVIL WORSHIP it from which is distant two miles. Day.^^ There is another side to Yezid's doctrine. to He held whom he would reveal a book already written in heaven." And Surah 22. "They who neither shall they be put to grief. and do what is right. They are called also Al-Heroriyah. These are referred to by Mohammed. Christians and whoever of them believe in God and the Last Sabeans. that God would send an apostle from Persia. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

174) of its . there were at least two shrines to sun-god Samas. and ther other at Larsa. the is that of Mecca.134 DEVIL WORSHIP planets). 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. as the water of Zamzam now is (Yakut I. The water of such holy springs was believed to possess healing power. one at Sippar. A woman in her uncleanness was afraid for her children's sake to bathe in the holy water at the sanctuary of Dusares. 434). furthermore. 150) the . 46.^^ An impure person. According to Ibn Hisam "A woman who adopts Islam breaks with the heathen god by purifying herself in this pool. cast into the sacred wells of other places. he found two golden gazelles and a number of swords. dared not approach the sacred waters. many religious beliefs of the Pre-lslamic Arabs survive among the modern Yezidis. as they were found in all parts of the Semitic region. 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." This was taken to mean that her . in the heavens (see p. the were found in Judea. and was carried home by pilgrims. 174). 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. In Babylon. Moreover. the moon. worship of the host of heaven (the sun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

place. the people themselves confess their loyalty to the chief angels. nor wings. under the influence of the devil-worshippers of Persia the . "Thou hast neither feather. from other sources. vol. learn." in the Enc. Newton says: "The bird is well known as the proverbial presonification of pride.. Moreover. It is seldom kept in large numbers for it has a bad reputation for doing mischief in gardens. Melek Ta'us holds an important place in the theology of the Yezidis. 18. old tradition lost its original significance.152 DEVIL WORSHIP 28-31. but nothing is said about the guilt of the latter. and that. Hence they contend also that no direct worship is offered to the latter deity. Some Peacock. Brit. "Peacock.'' It seems to me In the first that such a contention is not justifiable. and came to be understood to represent the peacock as a symbol of the god-devil. 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. Professor A. that the bird in question is In his article thought of as a symbol of pride." 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. 443. the crime of the former was pride. the expression in this prayer. how- We ever. the three branches of the deity in the second degree. p. nor .

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

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

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


from place
to place.

put water jugs


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

charm by the
at the

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



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.


then each approaches

the sanjak,

bows before

and puts

his contribution into the plate.


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





(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





ones; they say they were




the shoulder of the


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


the Kochers; on the fifth the district

of Malliah, the villages around Aleppo; on the sixth

the district of Sarhidar,


seventh remains at

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




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
to announce Sanjak has come." fineries and go out


sanjak be?").




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





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

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


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


refer to

respect of his name.

him as Meiek



Mighty King.
allusion to

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


by others so


and vexes them

that they put to death persons outraged their feelings by its

who have



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

common Kurdish word Ave,

or the Arabic




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

simply al-Frat.


Seih 'Adi


to the devil in rank

comes Seih


But he

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

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.


has not died and will never

is is

In verse ten of







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


dwells in their prophets,


are called







them truth and the

mysteries of heaven.

The modern





some good and Melek

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


as one of the

names of the


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
tians call


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


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


mode of expressing



of their deity in by-

gone days

to that of 'Adi,

one of the descendants of

Califs, with


by the

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

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

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

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

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

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

the tambourines are beaten more frequently.^° their meal. of them by tasting. the right side of the temple entrance. the chiefs Kochaks at priests sit around the inner court. When they ^^ cover of the tomb of Seih end. 165 the chants quicken. the fakirs move faster. time bring food and call the people to eat of the After they have finished hospitality of Seih *Adi.es to an end with great noise and excitement. offering money. and this After taking the cover back to its place.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ increases. entrance to receive the homage of the seihs and elders all who kiss his hand. as they pass by. they take the green 'Adi and march with it around the outer court with to music. those who were marching is in procession kiss. these are given to the servants of . 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. 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. the women make tahlil with a great shouting. The people rush them and reverently kiss the corner of the cloth. When the chanting is ended. where the serpent Then the emir stands at this figured on the wall. and the ceremony com. of their saint. Afterward that are present give one another the kiss of peace.^^ After the ceremony the }Oung men and women dance in the outer court until early in the morning.

(3.i66 DEVIL WORSHIP the sanctuary. on one side. the mercy of God be upon him"." kept burning all In the corner of this court a lamp night in honor of the two. there is the inscription "Melek Yezid. whom frequently they God and regard as their ancestral father. He is given.) 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. to whom they trace their descent. the people return to their several abodes. the mercy of God be upon him. however. a place of honor in the court of the temple. is . When the feast comes to an end. No other worship is offered him. on the other side "Seih 'Adi.

35. IV. his letter to A.NOTES ON CHAPTER II * P. Fihrist. calls the devils. SGM. says Originally nasr was worshipped by the people of Noah.. 297.. N. ^* R. vol. LI. Bedrus Efendi Ar-Ridwani. 120." : So far as I am aware no writer on the Yezidis has ever raised this question. ' Victor Dingelstedt. p. 780) Sahrastani. Smith: Religion of the Semites. •Hughes: Dictionary of Islam. 24) the people of Edessa worshipped "the eagle as the Arabians. p. G. vol. " Dingelstedt Ibid. As. 326. " Layard Ibid Victor Dingelstedt. 1887. George Philips. Smith: Religion of the Semites. N. p. April 22. p. and from them was brought to the tribe of Hamyar. " •Badger: The Nestorians. "The Hibbert Journal. 21. I. According to the Syriac doctrine of Addai (Ed. 152. Nineveh. 151.337. No. p. W. vol. : . p. 2. vol. Andrus. XIV. II. p. ^ See "Tammuz" in Jastrow's religion of Babylonia and Assyria. II. 322. vol. Anastase: Al-Masrik. p. and Cheney's Dictionary of the Bible. * P. Lidzbarski Z. p. : p. Jan. 434. 219. 299. p. 125. V. p. vol. 167 gods of the Harranians . p. I. Layard. 592 he is followed by Makas Kurdische Studien. * R. Anastase: Al-MaSrik. 1907. p. Ibid. vol. II. D. * Yakut (vol. W. vol. P.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

takes off his clothes. near enough to the tomb of Seih is 'Adi to be taken there without great inconvenience or danger. it But with baptism case different. Religious Observances and Sacerdotal System Sacraments Circumcision." ("Hoi hola!^ Yezid is a sultan.") The parents are not admitted to the domed shack of the spring. the The is first rite is optional. 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 . putting his hand on the child's head. the Eucharist and baptism are the three rehgious rites administered by the followers of Yezid. the religion of Yezid. and immerses him three times. he mutters. saraka rea Azid.CHAPTER IV Sacraments. it should be baptized as early as possible after birth. 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. is When a child bom a matter of obligation. After the second time. tou bouia berhe Aizd. they remain out178 . "Hoi hola soultanie Azid.

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

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

. They never pray. eating only twenty-four hours and immediately after sunset. . and acknowledge that they do not pray. he : told his followers in one of his sermons "God commanded me you that there is no need of prayer." ! . Amin. It is as follows: to tell " mesarmen dou Chand-il-manhatie sobayaka rosh halatie. 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."^ "How often two executioners came upon me as the morning sun arose. It is said that when Seih 'Adi came from Mecca. and the Last Day. meskino raha. washeikho Pir. they do not even have a form of prayer." They have. believe in the power of Melek Ta'us and ye shall be saved. which the devout among them mutters in Kurdish as he rises up from his bed. Hatna Beda ^ade sada jaladie. stand up and bear witness Witness for my religion. Prayer is not considered a religious duty. and the grave of time (mysterious power). O poor man. and the power of Deir Zor and Deir Chankalie (two Christian monasteries). hanpouteka deira chankulie waKabri Zaman wa-ahro douni. Kawata deira sor.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ §eih fasts rigidly i8i once in one month in the year. 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. what is called morning recital. however.




Sacerdotal Orders

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

the religious affairs of the
in their rites.

community and





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,




must be







powerful over a

composed of













questions between the

His charge

hereditary, in direct succession



his eldest son be considered

unworthy, he


appoint another to succeed him.



said to be


from Seih




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.

Besides the head
selh, the


Yezidis have


Each has a parish
his If a

to look after.

Twice a year




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

special power, such as the

§eih of the Cocks.


office is to



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

The next




Arabic, meaning one


speaks fluently, an orator.


lastly, the


from the Arabic poor.


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

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


Besides the above,




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



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



has charge of


kawwals who










amount of money.


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


'AH, and he resides



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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1907. Al-Masrik. p." 2 P. A. 3 Cf. N. vol. Andrus. p. Anastase: Al-Masrik. 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.NOTES ON CHAPTER V ^ In his letter to me. I I I 200 . II. of Mardin. 734. the Rev. II. 831. of date August 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

to which I was an eye-witness. The Yezidis took refuge in caves. e. was perhaps the one which the Yezidis . And thus the population was reduced by three.. 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 the ground that they were plunderers. he accomplished his purpose in 1837.fourths. of From the cruel Rawanduz. "the slaughter of the sheep. and they have even sent commissioners to the Sultan. who set fire to the Jabal Sinjar and caused all the inhabitants to flee.SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ were helpless and Mohammedans rejoiced action 207 to see the this devil-worshippers of the Beg exterminated." Bagdad sent a large army to Sinjar under the command of Lutfee Effendi." Soon after this Suleiman Pasa of mounds of i. On both occasions there was a massacre. 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. Then Hafiz Pasa of Diarbeker attempted the subjugation of the Yezidis of Sinjar. Nineveh gained the name "Kuyunjik. After meeting some resistance. and appointed a Moslem to watch over them. At another time Mohammed Rasid Pasha of Mosul attacked Sinjar. where they were either suflFocated by smoke or killed by the discharge of cannon. But the severest of all persecutions.

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

But they console objects Thy are still declining clouds of themselves with the idea that they suffer in the cause of their religious convictions. the Farik banished him with soldiers to Katamuni. .SACRED BOOKS OF THE YEZIDIZ Moslems from civil chief. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were 200.000. especially those at Bahzanie and Baasika. the number of the Yezidis has been considerably decreased. encouraged the Kurds to come down and Such events add greater cruelty to what was already done. That he might not be an example of firmness to the Yezidis.000. But amir *Ali Beg. In the fifteenth century there were 250. and ordered the newly con- verted Yezidis to pray five times every day and to perform all the religious rites. 209 their fear. a place near Constantinople. among these Merza Beg. after long imprisonment and torture. he tore down their shrines. their chief in civil and religious aifairs. of aversion and hatred. did not change his religious belief. children the Then he placed mullas among them to teach the Muslim faith. As a consequence of these persecutions. and remaining under the and are consequently misconception. To make them continue to be Mohammedans.

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


1 .

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

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

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

Eugene Bore Eugene Bore 401 . Ernest Chantre Tiflis. Kurdische Studien. des Religions. Niebuhr: Voyage en Arable. Z. vol. 272. 252. and 1882. yy2. vol. 78. p. p. Brockelmann. Le Tour du Monde. Yezidis. Menant: Les Yezidis. d' Orient. Receu du Monde Musulman. p. Tome 12. 55.I05> ^9ip. T. Diet. G. D. vol. M. p. 39. Bulletin Soc. 1682. 432. Lidzbarski: Z.. sail II. G. . p. : Nuchel Febore Vital Cunet: Turque. Correspondence 188. J. Spiro: p. M. 1809. 592. p. T.. 388. T. No. Journal Asiatique. M. La Turquie : : d'Asie. E. : 2. LX No. 35. 1896. Siouffi: p. II. pp. p. T. T. D. IV. B. 275.2i6 DEVIL WORSHIP French J.. 201. p. 194. : 2. 1908. 100. German Hugo Makas C. Tcheraz: Le Museon. LX. 1885. PP. Paris. p. II. Annales des Rois d'Assyria. Schwolsohn: Dies Sahien. August. Olivier: Voyage dans l' Empire Othoman. 342. Ncuchatel Geog. M. de Beyrouth a Theatre de la 184. Garzoni Sylvestre de Sacy. I. p. 1776. Reclus: Nouvelle Geographic. 51. : M. Chabot: Journal Asiatique. T. p.

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


Comb. 115. 105. 171. 99. 45. 108. ff. 40.. 100. 167. 45. 64. 147. 36. 174. Ash-Shahrastam. ff. 68. 125. 152. 41. Bath. ff . worship 160-163. Circumcision. 169. 188. Assyrians. %Vd Dancing. Ablution. 98. 41. 128. 71. ff.. 98. 22. 139. 39. 80. 135. 57. 'Adi. feast of. 30. 113. 133. 56. 116. 135. 57.. 179. 68. 12. 92.. 116. Ceremonies. Cosmogany. 136. lOl. i8.. 59.INDEX Abadiya. P. 100. 127. 79. Angels. 108. 120. 'Ain Sifni. 92. 122. 164 Cholsohn. temple of. 128. 123. 151. 133. 178 14. . and Eve. 137. 24. Al Jilwah. Birds. 70. 61. 119. 36. 178 ff. Daseni. 112. 150. 12. Al-'Ozza. Adam 19.121. 90. 42. ff. 63. B'aadri. . 160. 29. iii. tomb of. 148. 45. Arafat. 161. Basra. 154. As-Saig. Candles. 48. 67. 63. Baptism. ff. 17. of. II. 54. 14. 123. 21. 158. 163. 16. 112. 165. II. Adawiah. 55. 94. 93. 123. N. 17. 100. 170. 119. 90. 17. 38. 93. 116. Bahazani. 155- . 68. 169. 161. 29. Christ. 68. Creation. 170. 69. 41. 53. 38. 37. Apostle. worship ff. ff. 14. 113. 158. Badger G. 80. ff. 150. 117. 20. 37. 66. 54. 163-166.. 156.. 124. Andrus. 134. 53. iii. 17. 56. Devil. Al-Lat. Ba'ashika. 22. Assemani. 77. 12. 120.. 200-201. A. 22. 160. 130. 95. of.

29. 128 Kissing. 62. 66. 108 Yezidis. 128. Incense. ff. 135. 183. 17. 75. V. 55. Mashaf Rcsh. 149. 174.. 123. 40. 38. 62. 53. 42. 59. 42. 186 ff. 53. '1 130. 54. 37. 193. 20. 149. Hatchet. 18. Ishtar. 129. 126. 44. Fakir. Idol. 112. Mohammed. 37. iii. 128-130. Eucharist. 22. 116. 189 Fastine. form of. Khawarij. 115. 57. 21. 44. 107. 79. 47. 122. 113. 152. . 47. 186. Ibn Unaisa. 164 ff. 12. 123. 78. 48. loi. 63. Lamps. Yezid. 163. 163-165. 125. Ibn Khallikan. 105. Jesus. 78. Kochak. Jackson. 36. 180 ff. 165. 48. 58. 40. 58. Mary. 179-180. yy. 178. 60. Kawwal. 19. 48. 68. 180. 60. 154. 127. 164. Mu'awiya. 37. 150. 11. 192 ff. 69. 106. 19. loi. 162. 58. 122-124. 48. ff. io8.. ff. Kreamer. Funeral. ff. 90. Dewish. 20. loi. 53-57. Marriage. 64. 80. 38. 134. Lidzbarski. 156. 64. 46. 106. Family. 122. 18. Lalish. 159. Koran. 40. Melek Ta'us. Mulla Haidar. 76. Ibn Hazm. 165. 22^ 149. 116. 71. 19. 43. 93. 30. 48. 160. 153158. 175- 173. 156. see no. Hell. 133 ff. 162-164. Emir. 133. 45. 59. Heaven. Evil. 107. Fahkr-ad Din. 11. 104. 75. 78. festivals Lettuce. 92. 173 ff.220 Devil worship. 119. 182 ff. 150. A. 22. 121. INDEX Islam. 61. 61. Hierarchy. 127. 161. 157. 75. 67. 128. ff. 49. 43. 22. 148. 18. 102. 12. 116. 60. 107. Feasts. 25. 130. 107. 118. 68. 36. 116. 125. Iranion. 120. 183. 21. 164 . 122. 92. Moon. 120. 43. 174. 120. 151. 19. 165. Dowry. 12. 108-110. 159. Devil Worshippers. 92. 128. 92.

191 ff. 22. 120. Tans. 113. 46. 53. 29. . religion of. 54. 106. 64. 69. 158. ff. Sinjar. Oil. 89. 123. 69. 14. 168. origin of. 56. 38. Shaving. 164. 105. Pilgrimage. 58. 59. Sabians. Tahlil. 112. kiss of. 43. 12. 19. 22. Shirt. 133. myth of. 164. 75. 103 if. 114. 68.. 178. 134. 33. Isaac. 104. 190 ff. 63. 119. 44-47. 13-14. 42. . 92. 16. 43. Sheikh. 94. Priests. 67. 58. of. 163. 195. 56. 159. 61. 55. 71. 125-128. II.INDEX Musicians. 67. 78. 82 Torch. 166. 126. 64. 66. 56. 17. 43 sign of. 95. Stars. 17. Peter. 136. Serpent. N. 44. Peacock. 14 ff. 51. worship of.. 133 ff. 56. 135-137Sun. 58 worship of. 24. 194 ff. 116. 53. 132. 164. Wine. 55. 147. kissing of. no. 79» 157. Noah. 94.. 135 78. . 174 221 Mattie. i35. 195 ff. 55. 183. 59. 42. see Melek Ta'us. . 107. 69. 161. 40. 55. 164.. 129 ff . nationality of. Prophets. Pir. 161. 75. Stone. Yezidis. Persia. 130. 47. 165. 122128. 155. 183 ff. 100 Sacrifice. 79. 75. 150153. 21. 45.. 181. 157. 103 ff. 40-42. M. ff- Vow.. Sanjak.. Sheikh ff. Tamerlane. from 120. 85. ff. Yezid. Orientalists. 17. 92. 129. 116. 44. 65. 130.. 56. 79-80. 90. 80. 58. flood Oath. ff. Tammuz. Sacrament. 103 ff...1 33. 56. 20. 112. 11. ff. 12. no. 175. and 115. Tax. 147.. . Trees. 100. number Scholars. Woman. 130. manuscripts of. 165. Prayer. 149. Shammas Eremia. Springs. Syriac. 93. Siouffi.. 170. 89. Omari. 164 168 ff. 118. Transmigration. 124 ff. ff. 95. 100. 106. . New Year. 113.155 ff. locality of.

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


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mm CLAPP .. the sacred books and trad BP 195 ....l 00165 5450 worship. Isya. Y5 J6 1919 Joseph. Devil worship .3^^5002 Dev.

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