I learned about the Yazidis after I did a report on Gnosticism in one of my Christianity classes for my Religious Studies course. They apparantly believe that they are tied to Adam and Seth, and by extensions the Gnostic figure of Norea (alternate spellings abound). They have vagarious Abrahamic influences.
Here's a JSTOR link: "Gnostic Seed of Seth"
Thanks for the link. It will only let me read one page.
Oh, snap, sorry! I'll abridge it for you later.
Thanks, I appreciate that.
Alright Barry here ya go:
The Yezidi origin story has roots in the traditional Judeo-Christian one. After the births of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve argued as to who was the true parent of their children. They argued for the typical reasons: Eve claimed to be the true parent since it was her womb, but Adam claimed that it was fathers who gave their children life. To settle the argument, they each took a jar and put their seed in it (according to the article’s footnotes, the usage “seed” has had different meanings including saliva, blood, or the bodily fluids from their genitalia). They sealed the jars for nine months, after which upon opening them Eve’s jar was filled with maggots while Adam’s had a little boy whom he named Shahid bin Jarr (the witness of the jar).
The Yezidis believe that they, along with all the prophets except Mohammed, are descendants of Shahid while everyone else is descended from Adam and Eve. Shahid begat the Yezidi race with his wife said to be a houri (also called hurryah, which according to Islamic scriptures is a beautiful, alluring, virgin, and pure woman; the word translates to “splendid” or “pleasant”, remember this it’s important for later). However, other versions of the story say that a twin girl was found with Shahid in the jar and that she became his wife. Through this myth, the Yezidis believe that they are not only direct descendants of Adam, but also inheritors of the true religion. Although, because of this myth the Yezidis do not believe in marrying or mating with people from outside their culture.
Shahid was created without the help of a woman (asexually so-to-speak), and therefore his descendants cannot marry or procreate with those descended from the carnal union of Adam and Eve. Shahid’s story and depiction by the Yezidis is similar to the Gnostic depictions of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve. During the early years of the Church, one of the many heretical Gnostics sects devoted themselves to Seth and by extension a female figure called Norea; the sect’s name was the Sethians. In contrast to other Gnostic sects at the time, the Sethians drew on more Jewish influences than Christian ones. In short, the Sethians saw Seth as the forefather of a Chosen Race.
The Sethians, along with other Gnostics, view that Cain and Abel were the offspring of the Devil via raping Eve whereas Seth is the true and only son of Adam and Eve. Various Gnostic sources say that Sophia, or Wisdom (sometimes called the Mother in Gnosticism) wanted to create a pure being to be against the evil material world, and thus Seth. However, some Gnostic sources say that Adam begat Seth without Eve, rather with divine powers similar to Adam and Shahid. Now similarities can be seen between Seth and Shahid, starting with that they married their twin sisters. To the Gnostic, Seth’s wife is the aforementioned Norea, given with other names such as “Noria”, “Noraia”, “Horea”, “Orea”, “Horaia”, “Nuraita”, and “Niriyah” (see Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity for more details); all the names sounds similar to hurryah and have the same meaning (“splendid” or “pleasant”).
Norea is the protagonist of one Gnostic text called The Thought of Norea. Like Seth, Norea’s conception is tied to divine powers and together with Seth they are the ancestors of a spiritual race similar to Shahid and his sister the houri. Shahid’s sister is named Nama (similar pronunciation to Naamah, a female descendant of Cain whose name means “splendid” or “pleasant”) who had another husband named Malik Miran, who the Yezidis see as Noah. Interestingly enough, in another Gnostic text Norea’s husband is Noah and she destroys the ark to prevent the Demiurge, the evil creator god, and his servants from spreading around the world. Also, sometimes Noah’s wife’s name is given as Naamah in Jewish sources and popular culture; you can even see this in the new NOAH film and the webcomic Holy Bibble.
Basically in short, the Yezidi origin myth is a survival from Abrahamic and Gnostic sources.
Thanks Van! Very interesting.
Yes, it is.
OOh thanks! This looks interesting, and sad too but still.
They are forbidden from speaking the name Shaitan.
The 'Book of Illumination' is a Sufi text, what's the connection?
I thought you were an encyclopedia of religion.
I'm just glad that it is you that is stuck with that title & not me.
If you can pick up the film, Meetings with Remarkable Men, it's a decent overview of the Yazidi people. Since they don't pen tomes, much of what is understood today either comes from bad anthropology, Islamic propaganda, or stuff you find on the Internet.