Zoroastrianism: An Introduction for Muslims

Verily, those who believe (in Allāh and in His Messenger Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the majus, and those who worship others besides Allāh, truly, Allāh will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily! Allāh is over all things a Witness.[1]

The Majūs, i.e., Zoroastrians have a very unclear and problematic background. There are mixed up sources of information – as attested to by Western scholars and researchers – on this particular religion. Moreover, there are no reliable sources of the religion itself that distinctly document the entire religion or its structure.

The clearest understanding of this particular religion can be gleaned from the Noble Qur’ān and the authentic Tafāsīr.

‘The Majūs are the fire-worshippers and those who serve the fire. They state that the universe has come from two sources; light and darkness.’[2]

It has been said about them, ‘Indeed the Majūs is upon an evil religion. They do not have honor in them like the traditional Arabs, they do not possess the knowledge of the People of the Book, they marry those whom one would be ashamed to marry, they eat that which people do not consume (out of self-respect) and in this world, they worship the fire which will consume them on the Day of Qiyāmah.’[3]

Ibn Kathīr rahimahullāh says that the Majūs fall under the category of the polytheists because they hold the view of two deities, they worship fire and in fact, they are the worst type of polytheist.’[4]

The Majūs, or, Zoroastrians, also known as Parsis, establish two sources or deities, to begin with. This is basically Dualism. However, the problem arises when the Majūs in antiquity or the original Zoroastrians feel that both sources, deities, or powers cannot be both from eternity. They say that light has been eternal and darkness was created later on.

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Going ahead, there is a difference of opinion amongst them regarding the cause of the creation of this darkness. Did the darkness come about from the light? Light cannot give rise to a portion of darkness, so how did the source of darkness come about? There is nothing that played a role together with light in order to bring existence – this is where the Zoroastrians are dumbfounded.

Western researchers and some Muslim scholars converge in their statements at the point where they say that the Zoroastrians are linked to Zarathustra, more well known as Zoroaster, a person claimed as a prophet. He flourished in Iran before the 6th century BC. At this point, the claim of being a prophet must be questioned because no Messenger or Nabī of Allāh Ta’ālā preached or taught dualism or polytheism.

Zoroaster, as claimed, taught belief in a deity called Ahura Mazda.[5] Ahura Mazda translates as ‘Wise Lord’. Adherents to this belief as well as onlookers feel that on the basis of this, Zoroastrians are monotheists in belief. However, this is not accurate because Ahura Mazda is seen only as the creator of good, not bad. A creator or deity cannot be incompetent or incomplete in his power and actions.

The Avesta is said to be the sacred book of scripture of the Zoroastrians. It covers the law and teachings of Zoroaster. The original manuscripts are said to have been destroyed when Alexander the Great conquered Persia. The present Avesta was put together from the remnants acquired and standardized under the Sasanian Kings (third to seventh century AD). The Avesta is only a fragment of the whole and how it came into form today is open to doubt and question too.

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The confusion and problematic issues with every religion besides Islām shows us, clear as daylight, that all of them cannot be viewed as authentically preserved. In their current state, they stand as disfigured and totally deformed – totally divorced from their original essence and far-removed from the ideas that are pure and divine.

At this point, we must consider the following point:

The adherents of other faiths claim that their religion and way is divine, but it is just their claim. There is no established and genuine evidence to back this up. On the other hand, the teachings of Islām are backed up by scripture, by history, by logic and probably the most glaring is the fact that every religion has made Islām its target – simply because it has stood and will stand the test of time. The truth always shines through.

Follow Mufti Abdullah on Twitter: @MuftiAMoolla

Notes

Source: The Zoroastrian Faith, Tradition & Modern Research, SA Nigosian, Mcgill-Queen’s University Press 1993

  1. Sūrah Al-Hajj: 17
  2. Tafsīr Qurtubī vol.12 p.23
  3. Al-Jawāb As-Sahīh vol.1 p.329
  4. Tafsīr Ibn Kathīr vol.5 p.402
  5. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ahura_Mazda
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dirk kawanka

Khomeini came from a majus family (similar to many khomeinists in the rafidi state), as well as transplanted parsis living today in s arabia (ie the ansari family)

Aseel

Hey, I’ve got a question about Zoratrainism, westerners currently hold that it is a monotheistic faith and that they are not fire-worshippers, I’m not sure if I missed it in the article but what is the evidence that was provided that they were apart from the questionability of the claims due to the lack of authentic sources on said religion.