The Strange Rules of Fire in Zoroastrianism

They [i.e., the hypocrites] will call to them [i.e., the believers], “Were we not with you?” They will say, “Yes, but you afflicted yourselves and awaited [misfortune for us] and doubted, and wishful thinking deluded you until there came the command of Allāh. And the Deceiver [i.e., Shaytān] deceived you concerning Allāh.

So today no ransom will be taken from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is most worthy of you, and wretched is the destination.”

Verses 14 and 15 of Sūrah Al-Hadīd in the Noble Qur’ān have always struck me as unique in the field of interfaith critique. Scholars over the years have persistently referred to the Majūs as fire-worshippers. However, most Zoroastrian and Western sources say that the Zoroastrians do not worship fire. So, let us do a skeptical analysis of Fire and its role in Zoroastrianism in the light of the verses of the Noble Qur’ān.

RELATED: Zoroastrianism: An Introduction for Muslims

No Zoroastrian ritual or religious ceremony is complete without the presence of the ‘holy fire’. The flame is considered to be the visible sign of Ahura Mazda’s presence.

Now, at every religious ceremony, the fire is essential AND it is considered the visible sign of the deity Ahura Mazda. At this point, let us go back to the story of the creation of the first human being created by Allāh Ta’ālā, i.e., Sayyidunā Ᾱdam ‘alayhi as-salām. Shaytān refused to bow and vowed to lead mankind astray. Not only did he lead many astray, but he also tried to make mankind worship him. Satan is made of fire, and here, in the Zoroastrian religious ceremonies, the presence of fire is essential. Subhānallāh, that shows us exactly how Shaytān has deceived man regarding Allāh Ta’ālā. This is a clear demonstration of the verse of the Noble Qur’ān!

The word used in the Noble Qur’ān – as quoted above – is Maulā. Maulā has many meanings and in the case above, it has been translated as ‘most worthy of you’ [Saheeh International]. Other translations are:

  1. ‘your companion’ [Daryabadi]
  2. ‘your master’ [Arberry]
  3. ‘your patron’ [Pickthall]

In brief, the disbelievers will be told that the fire was their Maulā. Ahura Mazda can be said to be the Maulā of Zoroastrians. At the same time, Ahura Mazda is simply a figment of the imagination and a myth. Zoroastrians feel that the flame denotes the presence of Ahura Mazda, whilst they pay homage to the fire and venerate it. In simple terms, the fire is their Maulā, their refuge, their friend, their master, and their deity.

This ties in with idol worship, as practiced by the polytheists in Makkah Mukarramah before Islām and the Hindus today. The polytheists of Makkah Mukarramah claimed to worship a higher being but the idols are intercessors before the higher being. In this way, both the polytheists and the Zoroastrians have been deceived by Shaytān.

RELATED: Hinduism and the Satanic Origins of Fire Worship

Muslims are forbidden to perform Salāh at sunrise time, when the sun reaches its zenith, and at sunset. One of the reasons explained in the hadith is that Shaytān goes in front of the sun and deceives the sun-worshippers into thinking that they worship the sun, but they, in fact, worship him. Here again, with the sun-worshippers, Shaytān deceives them firstly about identifying the true deity, and then he deceives them into worshipping him.

The same applies to Christians. They have the image of Jesus or Mary in their chapels and churches. They stand before these images and statues and pray. The reality is that they have been deceived into thinking they pray to a deity, but they pray to an image or statue.

Another verse of the Noble Qur’ān that amazes the sound mind is:

‘O my father, do not worship Shaytān. Indeed, Shaytān has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient.’ [Sūrah Maryam: 44]

Sayyidunā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhi as-salām told his father not to worship Shaytān. However, his father was an idol worshipper! So, in the words of this great messenger of Allāh Ta’ālā, idol worship is tantamount to Satan worship, i.e., Satanism.

Now let us co-relate the verse of Sūrah Al-Hadīd with the verse of Sūrah Maryam. When they will be told that their master, their patron, and their deity is the fire, it means that they, i.e., all those who took Shaytān as their patron and master by turning to idol worship and fire-worship, were in fact worshipping Shaytān.

Hence, when Zoroastrian and western sources state that they are not fire worshippers, they have been deceived into saying so. The Zoroastrians do worship fire. Shaytān has been made from fire. He is their Maulā. He desires their company in the eternal hell-fire.

Indeed, Shaytān is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze. [Sūrah Al-Fātir:6]

Allāhu Akbar, doesn’t the truth of the Noble Qur’ān simply stun you?

Fire Rules in Zoroastrianism

  1. All sacred fires, whether for temple or domestic use must be kept constantly burning. Extinguishing a fire is considered a grave sin.
  2. Placing or dropping objects into a fire is considered impure. Only clean, dry, fragrant wood is to be placed in a fire.
  3. Cooking pots must be kept a third empty to prevent the contents from spilling over and polluting the flames.
  4. The fire should be kept 15 paces away from menstruating women. (Where are the Zoroastrian feminists?)
  5. A worshipper in a fire temple always faces the fire, with a mask on, to prevent saliva or anything else from ‘polluting’ the flames.

All praise is for Allāh Ta’ālā for guiding us to Islām. May He keep us firm and steadfast upon the truth and save us from falling into satanism. Āmīn

Follow Mufti Abdullah on Twitter: @MuftiAMoolla


Source: The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition & Modern Research, SA Nigosian, pp.112-114

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Zoroastrian feminists

Mohammad Talha Ansari

The fire should be kept 15 paces away from menstruating women. (Where are the Zoroastrian feminists?)
Tell them that Zoroastrianism is a sect of Islam and watch them froth at the mouth