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The religion of the Yezidis

Éditeur : Anthony F. De Sousa Date & Lieu : 1940, Bombay
Préface : Jamshedji Maneckji Unvala Pages : 112
Traduction : Jamshedji Maneckji Unvala ISBN :
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 165x245 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Ang. Lp. Gen. 22Thème : Religion

Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
The religion of the Yezidis

The religion of the Yézidis

The Yézidis are a religious sect of Western Asia whose majority lives in the hills and mountains situated to the north-east of Mosul and in the rebel Gebel Singar situated to the west of the city. This sect has also its adherents in the province of Damascus, in the environs of Aleppo, in Baghdad and in Tiflis, and in the territories lying round this city. As it is generally held, although just as we shall see in what follows, erroneously, that they worship the Devil, they are called Devil-worshippers. They call themselves Ezidis. They are often called by the Iranians and the Turks Şeytān-perest  Cyrāg-sönduren respectively. The latter term means extinguishers of lamps, and refers to the orgies in which, according to some authors, the Yézidis plunge themselves during their feasts, during whose course they extinguish the lamps in order to be able to commit abominable acts more freely. Another name by which they are mentioned is Dawāsin...


During my visit to the editing firm of Nicola Zanichelli of Bologna in the summer of 1933, I bought a work in Italian entitled "Testi religiosi dei Yézidi" or Religious texts of the Yézidis — Bologna 1930, written by Prof. Giuseppe Furlani. As I found on its perusal that later Zoroastrianism had contributed not a little to the formation of the doctrine of the Yezidi religion and that some religious customs and beliefs of the Yezidis had a striking resemblance to those of the Zoroastrians of India and Iran, I decided to place the work before the Parsis in an English translation, following therein the example of my well-wisher and patron, the late Dr. Sir Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. The permission for the translation was kindly given by Prof. Furlani, who expressed his desire that it should be published in the journal of a learned society. I submitted, therefore, a manuscript copy of my translation to Mr. Behramgore Tahmuras Anklesaria, Joint Honorary Secretary of the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, for publication in the Journal of the Institute, when I met him in Teheran in September 1934. But owing to unavoidable circumstances the translation could not be published in the Journal.

On December 12th, 1935, I read a paper in Gujarati on "The Yézidi sect of Kurdistan; a comparison of its religious customs and beliefs with those of the Zoroastrians of India and Iran" in the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute under the auspices of the Rāhnumāe Mazdayasnān Sabhā. This paper with corrections and additions is embodied in the appendix.
In additional notes I have given extracts from an account of the Yézidis given by Dr. Mohaqqaqi and published in the Iran League Quarterly, vol. III, No. 4, June 1933, and from a note on the origin of the Kurds and their religion by Dr. Blotch Chirguh published in Publication de la Ligue national kurde - Hoyboon, no. 6, Le Caire 1930. I have passed occasional remarks on certain assertions of these authors.

A student of Zoroastrianism should busy himself not only with Avesta and Pahlavi scriptures and their commentaries, but also with every source of information that throws direct or indirect light on the millenary history of Zoroastrianism. This work of Prof. Furlani, there-fore, although it treats exclusively of the religion of the Yézidis and their scriptures is very useful in ascertaining the influence which later Zoroastrianism exercised on the mind of the founder of this sect as late as the twelfth century of the Christian era.

While placing this work before the Parsis I have the pleasant duty of acknowledging my deep indebtedness to the Trustees of Sir Ratan Tata for their prompt and generous support, without which it would have still remained unpublished, and for granting me all rights relating to its publication. My cordial thanks are due to Prof. Furlani for giving me the permission for this translation.

Jamshedji Maneckji Unvala
Navsari, 28th September 1940

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