Yezidi, the Peacock worshipers: the memorial and some prayers

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Last part of a 3-episode series dedicated to the Yezidis and their faith. In this episode: one of the few official documents and two prayers

“Gli adoratori del pavone” by Giuseppe Furlani

All the information on the Yezidis that you will read in this series of 3 articles is derived from “The worshipers of the peacock” by Giuseppe Furlani, an illustrious Assyrologist of the last century, who in 1930 wrote this book, a milestone in the studies on this faith. In fact, it includes not only some notions about the Yezidis (theme of this first episode), but even a very rare translation of the two sacred texts and a series of documents of fundamental importance for understanding their nature and behavior.

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The edition of Jouvence also includes other writings, but in this series we will focus only on the last parts of the text, in my opinion most useful for a far-reaching look. For those interested in learning more about the subject, we invite you to purchase this text or, if you prefer English: “Nineveh and Its Remains” by A.H.Layard and if you prefer French: “Les Yézidis – Adorateurs du Diable” by Joachim Menant, both recommended by Furlani himself.

The memorial of the Yezidis

5. It is unbearable because of our religion: when Muslims begin their prayer in the morning they say – may God look at us – “I take refuge in God, etc.”. If any of us hear this, he must kill the person praying and himself; otherwise, he becomes unfaithful.

11. If someone from our sect makes a new shirt or suit without immersing them in the holy water found in the sanctuary of Sheikh ‘Adi – his mystery be sanctified -, he cannot wear it. If he does, he is unfaithful.

12. We must not wear dark blue clothes. We must never comb our head with the comb of a Muslim, Christian, Jewish or some other. Nor should we shave our heads with the razor that someone other than us has used; except if we wash it in the holy water of the sanctuary of Shaykh ‘Adi. If we do, we are unfaithful.

13. No Yezido can enter a latrine or go to the bathroom or eat with a spoon or drink from the glass of a Muslim or another of the religious nations. If he does, he is unfaithful.

14. As far as food is concerned, the differences between us and other religious nations are many. For example, we do not eat fish, cucumbers, bamiyahs, green beans, cabbage and lettuce. We can’t even live in a place where lettuce is sown.

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This memorial was sent in 1872 in response to the Ottoman request to enlist Yezidi soldiers in their army. It is considered of extreme importance as it is one of the very few official documents issued by the Yezidean authorities and contains a good amount of religious precepts, very useful for fully understanding this religion. For obvious reasons I only mentioned 5 articles, but obviously you will also find the rest in the book.

Prey

Oh my Lord, you are pretty

Oh my Lord, you are eternal,

You are God, the God of kingdoms and countries,

The God of the kingdom of grace, the possessor of the sublime throne.

From the beginning you are eternal, owner of the throne and the firmament,

You are the God of demons and visible beings,

Worthy of the ends of the sky. You have no shape,

Neither voice nor color.

Nobody knows how you are.

You are the judge of prayers, judge of kings and servants.

You created Adam who repented, you created Jesus and Mary.

You have created us pain and joy.

You are God, but what am I?

I fell, I am weak, I fell, but you remember me.

You are the medicine of Zük’ub.

Oh Lord, forgive my sins.

Oh God, oh God, oh God. Amen.

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Except for Zük’ub, not much different from a Christian or Muslim prayer.

Morning prayer

“The sun has risen above me and two executioners have come upon me. Oh poor man, get up and make the confession of religion, which is:” God is one and the Melek ash-Sheykh is Habib Allah. He greets the Sheykh ‘Adi and his people and the great qubbah under which stands the qubbah of the Sheykh Tawris and Fakhr ad-Din and the sheykh and the pir and the mazar Dayrasur, and confesses that it is for the strength of the arm of the Sheykh. He also confesses the tomb of time and the last day. Amen.”

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Extremely useful prayer to understand the religion of the Yezidis as it is de facto an absolute sum of everything said in the 3 episodes, going to represent something similar to the Shahada (testimony of faith) in Islam.

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