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Allāh (الله) is the proper name of God, and humble submission to His Will, Divine Ordinances and Commandments is the pivot of the faith. He is unique (Wāḥid) and inherently one (ʾAḥad), all-merciful and omnipotent.

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The preferred religion

Al-Islam (الإسلام) is the monotheistic and Abrahamic way of life articulated by the Qur'an & by the teachings & the normative example (the Sunnah or سنة & Hadith or حديث‎) of Prophet Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), the conclusive prophet of Allāh. A person with this belief is a Muslim (مسلم‎).

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The Life of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)


 Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in the Parsi Scriptures

 


"Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire, but when it had illumined all around him, God took away their light, and left them in darkness-they do not see. (The Holy Qur'an, II:17.)

ZOROASTRIANISM, which is commonly known as Parsi-ism, is the ancient religion of Persia. This was the religion of the Iranian people before Islam. This religion is also called the religion of the 'Fire worshippers' and 'Magianism'. The religious scriptures of the Parsis are found in two languages, Zendi and Pahlawi. Besides these two scripts, some literature in cuneiform writing is also found. The Pahlawi script resembles the present Persian script but Zendi and cuneiform writing is different from it. Two divisions in the ancient Iranian scriptures are of importance-the one is known as Dasatir and the other as Vesta or Zend Avesta. Each one of them is again divided into two portions-the Khurda Dasatir and Kalan Dasatir, the Khurda Avesta and Kalan Avesta, also known as Zend or Maha Zend.

So many different versions there are, about the number, language, and the period of revelation of these books, that nothing can be taken as definite. There are eleven different pronunciations of Zoroaster's name, who is said to be the chief author of these books. What the name Zoroaster means, is also doubtful and similarly, nothing can be definitely said as to what place did he belong to and where he was born (Cf. Introduction of Gatha, Sarodhai Zarthustara, pub1ished by the Iranian Association of Zoroastrians, 1927.) These differences have led some of the learned scholars to think that the very person of Zoroaster is fictitions and imaginary.

It is held by Zoroastrians that their religion is of a very ancient date, but many orientalists and research workers have disproved this contention, and have also shown, through facts of history, that this religion has borrowed a good deal from Egyptian and Jewish legends and Greek mythology. The propagation of Zoroastrianism had been, of old, limited to Persia only. It is, however, recorded in Dasatir, that Shankara Kas and Vyasaji, two dignataries of India, after much discussions, were convinced of the truth of this religion, and hence began to preach it in India.(Cf. Dasatir, Namah-i-Sasan.) Similarly, we find in Zend Avesta Farvardin Yasht, that Buddha also argued with them and was vanquished. But these anecdotes cannot prove either that the religion of the Vedas was spread in Persia or that the Iranian Faith was promulgated in India. No historical, record is found in support of these theories. Only this much can be concluded that both the Indians and Persians had just become aware of each other's religion. Neither Vedic Dharma nor Parsi-ism was a missionary religion and hence they remained confined to the precincts of their own respective countries.

The Zoroastrians call themselves monotheists, but others hold them to be believers in two Gods. They call their God as 'Ahurmazda', Ahur means Master and Mazda means Wise, the name of their God thus means the 'Wise Master'.

The relation of Zoroastrian teachings with other religions

The earliest part of Zoroaster's teachings is known Gathas. We find a mention of Gathas in Vedas as well.(Artharva Veda, XV: 6-12.) But there is no mention of the Vedas and other Hindu books in Zoroastrian scriptures. This shows that Gathas are of an earlier date than Vedas. Similarly, in the Vedas there is a reference to Puranam Yajusha Sah. (Atharva Veda, XI: 7-24.) "Yajush comes with Puran," which, in is 'Yajush Ha Puranam' or 'Yajush Ha Puran'. 'Yajush Ha' is a part of the Parsi scripture Zend Avesta. And according to the Vedic religion Puranas not older than Vedas but Vedas are older than Puranas. But 'Purana Yajush Ha' does exist in Zend Avesta.

The Teachings of Zoroastrianism

A PART of the teachings of Zoroastrian religion is also in conformity with the teachings of the Bible and the Holy Qur'an. Below we give a few instances:-

1. The creation of this universe was completed in six periods of time. Ahurmazda first created the heavens then water then the earth then vegetables then animals, and last of all He created man.

2. Mankind was born of one pair, which is known as Mashya and Mash yana (male and female). Mashya means male.

3. God told Yim (Noah) that a fierce snow-storm was imminent, which would cause all the evil-doers to perish. Noah was then asked to make an underground alcove and to accumulate in it a pair each, of vegetables, animals and man. So was it done, and with the exception of those who were sheltered in that cave, all creation perished.

4. Yim or Noah, is stated to be the first Law giver prophet, but he is said to have declined to preach his prophethood, and thus Zoroaster became the first' Law-giver. (Vendidad Fargard. II: 4.)

5. Just as Christ and other prophets gave the news of the advent of a Promised one, in like manner, Zoroaster has also prophesied the coming of the one resembling him. His name is said to be 'Soeshyant' which means 'Mercy for the Worlds'. His chief attribute is, that be will be 'Astvat-ereta' or the upholder and gatherer of all nations. He will be raised for the guidance and reformation of all men. This prophecy is not only found in Zend Avesta, but is also mentioned by scholars of other religions in their researches. For instance, H. P. Blavatsky has referred to it in her book 'Isis Unveiled', Vol. II, p. 236.

THE FIRST PROPHECY OF ZARTUSHTRA

Eulogy of the Holy Prophet and his Cormpanions

THERE are numerous clear prophecies in Zend Avesta, the recognized book of the prophet Zartushtra, about the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet Mohammad and his companions. A part of these prophecies is mythical, and is stated in such terms which cannot be taken to be literally true. But if we interpret them in a reasonable manner and corroborate them by facts of history, they clearly apply to the Holy Prophet Mohammad and none else. For instance, in Vendidad, the first part of Zend Avesta, and Yashts, the second part of the same book, it is recorded that there is a hidden progeny of Zoroaster which will appear some time after him. A woman, it is said, will bathe in the Kasava Lake and will get pregnant. She will give birth to a promised prophet "Astvat-ereta" or "Soeoshyant" (the Mercy for the worlds), who will protect the Zoroastrian Faith, will kill devil, sweep away idol-worship and will reclaim the Zoroastrians from their vices. This Kasava Lake is located by Zoroastrians somewhere in Sistan, where the Persian King Xerxes had disappeared while bathing. It is the same "spring of the water of life" where Xerxes of Zoroastrians is said to be still alive teaching wisdom to the people and guiding those who have gone astray. According to our interpretation however this Kasava is not a material Lake, but is a spiritual fountain or the "Kausar" of the Prophet Mohammad, as the Qur'an says, "We have given thee Kausar." This 'Kausar' is nothing else but the sacred Qur'an, which is a mine of truth and bears the common teachings of all the prophets. It was through this 'Kausar' that the Holy Prophet became the confirmer of all the prophets and also the promised one of all religions. Just according to the prophecy of Zoroaster, he protected his real teachings as he protected the teachings of other prophets. And the water of this very spring cooled down the fire that was burning in the Zoroastrian temple.

The following is the translation of the original prophecy:-

'We homage the good, strong, beneficent Fravashes of the faithful, who fight at the right hand of the reigning Lord . . . They come flying unto him, it seems, as if they were well-winged birds. They come in as a weapon and as a shield, to keep him behind and to keep him in front, from the enemy unseen, from the female varenya fiend, from the evil-doer bent on mischief and from that fiend who is all death, Angra Mainyu (Abu Lahab). It will be, as if there were a thousand men watching over one man, so that neither the sword well-thrust, nor the club well-falling, nor the arrow well-shot, nor the spear well-darted, nor the stones flung from the arm shall destroy him." - (Farvardin Yasht, 63, 70-72).

This prophecy gives a vivid picture of the protection of Zoroastrian Faith and the loyalty and selfless sacrifices of the companions of the Holy Prophet. How they built a human wall around the Prophet to protect him from the enemy's attacks, is a well-known fact of history; but how this 'Kausar', that was given to the Prophet, incorporated in itself the teachings of Zoroastrianism and thus protected them, will be proved from the following quotations:-

Zoroastrian Teachings Confirmed by the Holy Prophet.

1. "Allah is One". But His unity is not a numerical oneness, but is a personal attribute. Zoroaster, similarly, says, "He is one, not one in number." (Namah Shat Vakshur Zartusht Dasatir, p. 69.)

2. "None is like Him." (The Quran, CXII:4.) Similarly, we find im Dasatir, "He has none like Him."

3. "Nothing is like a likeness of Him". (The Quran, XLII:11) In Dasatir we similarly, find "Nothing resembles Him". (Dasatir)

4. The Dasatir say: "He is without an origin or end, without a rival, an enemy, a prototype, a friend, father, mother, wife, son, an abode, a body or form and without colour and scent." (Ibid) The Holy Qur'an has more beautifully put it: "God is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten; none is like Him." (CXII:1-4)

5. The Dasastir state that 'He gives life and existence to everything. The Qur'an confirms it, saying: "He created every thing." (VI :102)

6. "Neither the eye can behold Him nor the power of thinking can conceive Him." (Dasatir, p. 68.) The Holy Qur'an says: "Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision; and He is the Knower or subtleties, the Aware." (VI :104) The Qur'an has not merely made a statement, but has also advanced an argument. The Being that comprehends all vision and is, at the same time, Subtle and Infinite One, cannot be comprehended by the physical eye. He is the spirit and can be seen only with the spiritual eye. This fact is also stated in Dasatir "Tell the world that God cannot be seen with these (physical) eyes; some other eyes are required to behold Him." (Dasatir, p. 107.)

7. Matter and Soul are not eternal like Him "Thou art the most ancient, there was none before thee nor shall anything remain after thee." (Dasatir, p. 66.) The Holy Qur'an has, in like manner, expressed: "He is the First and the Last and the Ascendant (over all) and the knower of hidden things." (LVII : 3)

8. In Dasatir it is said "He is above all that you tan imagine of." The Holy Qur'an says: "His Is the most exalted state." (XXX: 27)

9. "Don't be disappointed of His favours and kindness" (Dasatir. p. 33.) is the teaching of Dasatir. The Qur'an corroborates it by saying "Do not despair of the mercy of Allah." (XXXIX: 53.)

10. Zoroaster said: "I am nearer to you than your ownself."(Dasatir, p. 122) The Qur'an also says: "We are nearer to him than his life-vein (L:16.)

11. Regarding angels, Zoroaster said "Angels are countless." (Dasatir,p.6.) In the Qur'an we find: "And none knows the hosts of your Lord but He Himself." (LXXIV: 31)

12. God says unto Adam: "The Word of the Lord is that which the angel reveals to your heart." (Dasatir. p. 37) The Holy Qur'an verifies this truth saying:

"For surely he (Gabriel) revealed it to your heart by Allah's command."' (II : 97)

13. "When a man of good deeds," says Zoroaster, "leaves this body, I send him to the paradise." (Dasatir, p. 13) The Holy Qur'an says: "Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of Paradise." (XVIII :107)

14. About paradise, Zoroaster says: "The dwellers of Paradise will get, through the kindness of the Lord, such a body that will neither wear out nor will get old nor anything dirty will enter it." (Dasatir, p. 9) Again he said: "They will live for ever in that joyful abode." (Ibid. p. 13) The teachings of the Qur'an are as follows: "The righteous shall live in the midst of gardens and fountains. Enter them in peace, secure. And we will root out whatever rancour is in their breasts- (they shall he) as brethren, on raised couches face to face. Toil shall not afflict them in it, nor shall they be ever ejected from it." (The Quran, XV:45-48.)

15. "The dwellers of hell will live there for ever they will be tortured both with intense heat and intense cold." {Dasatir, p. 38). The chastisement of fire and intense cold is found particularly in the Zoroastrian religion and in no other principal religion. The Holy Qur'an also corroborates this fact: "They shall not taste therein cool nor drink, but boiling and intensely cold water." (LXXVIII : 24, 52.)

16. Besides, we find in Dasatir, commandments regarding gentlemanly behaviour, marriage, chastity, fulfilment of promise, prohibition of wine, hair cutting of a young born, cleansing the body by taking bath, ablution, and Tayammum, etc.

17. In the beginning of every namah of Dasatir, verses equivalent to Aaoozobillah and Bismillah are found, just as every chapter of the Holy Qur'an begins with "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful."

18. Three different ways of Divine revelation are described-in dream, in a state between dream and wakefulness and in wakefuluess. (Namah Shat Vakhshur Zartusht, 5-7.)

19. Two kinds of injunctions decisive and allegorical are described as Parkhida and Aparkhida. (Ibid. 5)

20. About prophethood, Zoroaster remarks: "A prophet is needed for enforcing such laws which everybody could abide by. Men are inter-dependent and they stand in need of Divine laws acceptable to all of them, which could root out tyranny, deceit and ill-feeling and give peace and harmony to the world. These lawgivers should be Divinely inspired men so that all could submit to them." (Ibid., 45-49)

As regards the recognition of a prophet, the prophet Zoroaster has said: "They ask you as to how should they recognize a prophet and believe him to be true in what he says; tell them what he knows the others do not, and he shall tell you even what lies hidden in your nature; he shall be able to tell you whatever you ask him and he shall perform such things which others cannot perform." (Namah Shat Vakhshur Zartust, .5-7. 50--54) Shortly before the advent of the Holy Prophet in Arabia, Persia was under the sovereignty of Sasan V. When the companions of the Prophet, on invading Persia, came in contact with the Zoroastrian people and learned these teachings, they at once came to the conclusion that Zoroaster was really a Divinely inspired prophet. Thus they accorded the same treatment to the Zoroastrian people which they did to other "People of the Book." Though the name of Zoroaster is not mentioned in the Holy Qur'an, still he was regarded as one of those prophets whose names have not been mentioned in the Qur'an, for there is a verse in the Holy Book saying: "And We did send apostles before thee: there are some of them that We have mentioned to thee and there are others whom We have not mentioned to Thee." (40 : 78). Accordingly the Musalmans treated the founder of Zoroastrianism as a true prophet and believed in his religion as they did in other inspired creeds, and thus according to the prophecy, protected the Zoroastrian religion. James Darmestar has truly remarked in the translation of Zend Avesta: "When Islam assimilated the Zoroastrians to the People of the Book, it evinced a rare historical sense and solved the problem of the origin of the Avesta." (Introduction to Vendiad. p. 69.)

How did Zoroaster prophesy the truth of the Holy Prophet

SOME materialistic and thoughtless people, on finding a close resemblance between the teachings of two religious scriptures, are inclined to think, that the one that was revealed on a later date has cribbed those teachings from the older book. But God Who has given the Light to one prophet and people can also give the same Light and Truth to another prophet. Moreover the prophets and their followers have always been trying to keep those Divine gifts to their own particular sphere only. So there is little likelihood of imitation or reproduction. God being the Cherisher of the worlds can not ignore any of His creatures. He is the Lord of the Easts and the Lord of the Wests. Just as the physical sun travels from the East towards the West giving light to every people and place, similarly, the sun of spiritual and Divine Light also equally sheds light on all people and all countries. Every nation has got its own East and seeing the sun rising from there thinks that it has risen for them alone, there being only one East and West. But anyone who knows the shape of the earth can understand that every point from where the sun rises is the East for the people on its one side and the same point is the West for another people on the other side. This great scientific truth was revealed by the Holy Qur'an thirteen centuries before when it said "Lord of the Easts as well as of the Wests" East and West are relative terms. The same point can both be East and West for different people. Thus God equally blessed His creatures with both the physical and spiritual lights. The Lord who gave a Fire to Zoroaster with which he brightened the country of Iran, also gave the Israelites, the 'Morning Star' (in the person of Jesus Christ) for their guidance (Revelation, XXII: 16) and He raised, for the people of India, Kirshna Chandra or the "Moon", for showing light to the people of this country. Then the point worth considering is that all these illuminaries, the Fire of Zoroaster, the Morning Star of Christ and the Moon o f Krishna have prophesied the advent ot the Shining Sun who was to appear last of them all in the person of Mohammad. If the Holy Qur'an has corroborated their teachings, they too have foretold the truth of the Prophet's mission. None of them has, thus, borrowed anything from the other. All of them drank at the same fountain and the One Lord gave them light and learning.

The verse quoted at the top of this chapter well applies to the Parsi people--"Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire, but when it had illumined all around him, God took away their light, and left them in darkness-they do not see." These people are known as the fire-worshippers and their sanctuary is called the "Temple of Fire." Of these people, God says in this verse, that their surroundings got illumined for a time with the fire that was kindled, but when that light was taken away by God, they began to stumble in darkness like the blind. As they have, deviated from the right path of Zoroastrian teachings they are, in the words of the Qur'an, "Deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not turn back" - II:18. 'Kavis' and 'Karapons' are the two special terms applied in the Zoroastrian religion to those who cannot see nor hear anying of God. (Ormazd Yasht. 10 - Bahram Yasht, I :4.) When King Yazd Gard III (5th century A.C.) declared Zoroastrianism as the State Religion of Armenia, he promulgated the following edict: "You must know that any man who does not follow the relion of Mazda is deaf, blind, and deceived by Ahriman's devs." (Elisacus, The War of Vartan.)

The Fire that was kindled by Zoroastrians, was, fact, a symbol of Divine worship. By lighting fire they were supposed to make a covenant that they would always follow the Divine Light and abide by their religious laws. The prophet Zoroaster himself explained this point as follows :- "I explain to you, who have assembled here, the wisdom of the All-Wise God. I explain to you His praise and glory and the melodies of pious souls which is a mighty Truth and which I see rising from these Holy Flames. Listen carefully to the reality of these phenomena. and ponder, with a clear and devout mind, over the flames of Fire." (Gatha Yasht. XXX : 1, 2.) It is thus clear from this wise saying of Zoroaster that the Fire in the Temple was the conventional sign of the promise to abide by the laws of religion and to give them a deep thought.

The Holy Qur'an has also spoken of a Fire and has made this point more clear to the Zoroastrians. The Qur'an, in fact, speaks of four kinds of fire:

1. The fire which has light as well as which burns just as the material fire.

2. The fire neither having light nor' the quality to burn, as the fire that is present in trees.

3. The fire that has no light, but that burns, as the fire of hell.

4. The fire that has light but that does not burn. And this the cardinal of guidance. As Moses had said, "Or I find a guidance at the fire." The Qur'an, XX:11. At another place we find the words "Blessed is he who is in search of the fire." (The Quran: XXVII: 8.)

The present history of the Parsi religion shows that some time after Zoroaster, the Parsis abandoned their religious laws and that "Covenant of Fire," which was then reduced to mere worship of Fire, was totally forsaken by them. (Epistles of Sasan I and Sasan V in Dasatir). Their religious scriptures having been thrown in the background were either destroyed by the sacking of Parsis by the Greeks or were tampered with so that today they are regarded only as the ruins of a religion. "As the Parsis are a ruin of a people so are their sacred books the ruins of a religion." (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. IV.)

If a nation or religion is said to be alive on account of its guiding force and the unpollutedness of its scripture, then the Parsi religion is surely devoid of that life. Neither the Parsi scriptures are found today in their original form, nor their language is a living language. Some relics, however, are still to be found in these ruins containing some guidance and prophecies of Zoroaster for their present decay. And among these relics are the prophecies of the cooling down of the fire in their temples, the renaissance of the Parsis, their following the lead of the Arabian prophet, turning their faces in worship towards Ka'ba and the acceptance of Islam by the Persian chiefs.

Just as Zoroaster kindled a Spiritual Fire in Persia, in like manner, the Prophet Mohammad, on extinguishing of that fire, lit the same in Arabia. The Prophet, accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur'an,(Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire II:17 ) is reported to have said "My parable is like the parable of that man (Zoroaster) who kindled a fire." (Bukhari). These words, in fact, refer to a great prophecy of Zoroaster. Just as Moses bore witness of one like him "And a witness from among the children of Israel has borne witness of one like him", (The Quran. XLVI:10.) similarly, Zoroaster bore witness of a prophet like him.

TWO OTHER PROPHECIES OF ZOROASTER

Reform of Zoroastrianism and the Holy name of the Prophet

GOD Almighty addressed the Prophet Zoroaster in the Zend Avesta in the following terms: "The most powerful amongst the Companions of the Muslims, O Zaratushtra, are those of the men of the primitive law, or those of the 'Soeshyant' (not yet born), who are to restore the world." (Farvardin Yasht. XIII :17.)

Just as the followers of Zoroaster, by walking in his footsteps, attained the height of glory, similarly, a nation of believers will come into existence at a later date who will give a new life to the world and its religions; and who will stand for the help of their Prophet in the most fearful battles.

Again was said with more explicitness: "Whose name will be, the Victorious, 'Soeshyant' and whose name will be 'Astvat-ereta.' He will be Soeshyant (the beneficent one) because he will benefit the whole bodily world. He will be Astvat-ereta (he who makes the people rise up) because as a bodily creature and as a living being he will stand against the destruction of the bodily being to withstand the idolaters and the like and the errors of the Mazdaynians." (Ibid., XXVIII 129.)

There is no other prophet but the Prophet Mohammad on whom this prophecy applies with true appropriateness. His being a beneficent victorious is clearly illustrated from the treatment he meted out to his blood-thirsty opponents, after the fall of Mecca, whom he let go just by saying "There shall be no reproof against you this day." His name Mohammad (the praised one), his being a 'mercy for the worlds', while the preceding prophets were only a 'mercy unto their own people', and his correcting the errors of both the idolaters and the Mazdaynians,-are characteristic signs found in no other prophet save the Prophet of Arabia (peace and the blessings of Allah-be upon him)!

THE FOURTH PROPHECY

The remarkable sanctity of the Prophet's Companions

"AND there shall his friends come forward, the friends of Astvat-ereta, who are fiend-smitting, well-thinking, well-speaking, well-doing, following the good law and whose tongues have never uttered a word of falsehood" (Zamyad Yasht, 95).

Along with the Holy Prophet, a mention is also made of the piety and sanctity of the companions of the Prophet in various prophecies. In the Bible also we find a reference to the ten thousand saintly people. In fact, the holiness of the life of his companions and followers, is the greatest proof of the truth and success of a prophet. He himself must be the truest man who can make his followers so truthful and honest. It is a well-known fact to the student of Islamic Traditions that whichever hadith is narrated by a companion of the Holy Prophet, is decidedly taken to be true, for falsehood can in no way be ascribed to the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet. Their veracity and truthfulness is a matter of fact.

THE FIFTH PROPHECY

Fire in the Temple would cool down with the advent of the Prophet

THE following prophecy is also very striking and worthy of notice and deep thought by every serious student. The prophet Zoroaster remarked: "Mayest thou burn in this house! Mayest thou ever burn in this house! Mayest thou blaze in this house! Mayest thou increase in this house! Even for a long time, till the powerful restoration of the world, till the time of the good, powerful restoration of the world." (Atash Nyayish: 9).

This verse is quite plain and hardly needs comment. It was foretold that the fire would cease to burn when the restoration of the world would take place. The Zoroastrian prophet had taken a covenant from his followers to burn fire in the house of God as a symbol of the appearance of Divine Light; and they were to keep it burning till the Promised Prophet, who was to bring about a complete restoration of the world appeared. And the world has seen that when the Promised Prophet came into the world, the fire in the temples was extinguished.

In the foregoing prophecies, one word, however, needs an explanation. We have translated the word 'Astvat-ereta' as 'the praised one' or 'Mohammad' (in Arabic). The root of this word is 'Astu,' which means both in Sanskrit and Zend, 'to praise'. The infinitive 'Sitaudan' used in the present day Persian also means 'praising'. Some lexicographers, however, have translated it as 'one who makes a thing rise up', and have derived it from the root 'Istadan'. But as Sanskrit is nearer to Zend than Persian therefore the word 'Astvatereta', according to the common root in both Zendi and Sanskrit, would mean 'the praised one', which is just the translation of the Arabic name 'Mohammad'.

PROPHECIES IN THE SECOND PART OF THE ZOROASTRIAN SCRIPTURES

News of the Prophet's advent in Dasatir

THERE are two parts of Zoroastrian scriptures, as we have stated in the beginning of this chapter. Opinions differ as to the authenticity of these books. Some hold that Zend Avesta is more authentic; while according to others Dasatir are more reliable. We have already discussed the prophecies in the Zend Avesta, and now deal with those that are found in Dasatir. We have faken the two parts separately, lest any sect of the Zoroastrians may come forward to say that it believes In one part and not the other. Dasatir is divided into two parts, 'Khurdah Dasatir' and 'Kalan Dasatir'. Various interpretations have been given to the term Dasatir. According to some, it means 'a book of ten partsa'-'das' meaning ten and 'tir' meaning a part or portion. Some orientalists have taken the word 'tir' be a Sanskrit word meaning an edge or bank. While others hold that Daaatir is the plural of Dastur which means law or religious code.

In the current editions of Dasatir there are fifteen epistles beginning with the epistle of Mahabad and ending with that of Sasan V. Among these epistles the epistle of Sasan I is strikingly remarkable, and records a prophecy about the Holy Prophet in very clear words. The edition of Dasatir from which this portion is copied was published by Mulla Pheroze with the help of several other learned Zoroastrian priests, in the time of Nasirud-Din Kachar, Shah of Persia. Mulla Pheroze, also the author of Dabistan-i-Mazahib, was a well-known scholar in Bombay who besides being a master of Pahlwi, Zend and Persian, was also a scholar of Arabic, and it was mainly through his efforts that the present Dasatir were published.

The real author of this prophecy was, in fact, Zoroaster and not Sasan I, for Sasan was just a reformer of the Zoroastrian faith. Before the actual prophecy begins, a mention is made of the profligacy and dissolution of Iranians. The original text is in Pahlawi but its translation in Persian is also given. Few explanatory notes have also been added, here and there, by Sasan.

The sum and substance of the prophecy is, that when the Zoroastrian people will forsake their religion and will become dissolute, a man will rise in Arabia whose followers will conquer Persia and subjugate the arrogant Persians. Instead of worshipping fire in their own temples, they will turn their faces in prayer towards Ka'ba of Abraham which will be cleared of all idols. They (the followers of the Arabian prophet) will be a mercy unto the world. They will become masters of Persia, Madain, Tus, Balkh, the sacred places of the Zoroastrians and the neighbouring territories. Their prophet will be an eloquent man telling miraculous things.

We have stated before that Zend Avesta and Dasatir are two separate scriptures and different sects hold their own respective book to be authentic. Notwithstanding their differences, both the books agree in the prophecies about the Holy Prophet. Both the scriptures clearly declare that a man will be raised in Arabia whose name will be Mohammad, who will be a mercy unto the world, who will testify to the truth and religion of Zoroaster and whose companions will be pious and saintly people. Fire in the temples will cool down with his advent, idols will be removed from the Ka'ba of Abraham, the Persian chiefs will turn towards the Ka'ba, and that he will correct the errors of both the idol-worshippers and Zoroastrians. It is hardly possib1e for any Zoroastrian to deny such a clear, vivid and lustrative prophecy. Some bigoted people may, hower, tamper with their books to avoid the issue, or ay suggest that the promised reformer must necesrily have been from among the Zoroastrians, or that is prophecy was just a trick to persuade the Zoroastrians to formally embrace Islam and then to uproot the religion in the guise of Musalmans; but no sensible man can believe that such tricks and devices are worthy any prophet or divine. The real truth is that every word of these prophecies has been fulfilled in the person the Prophet Mohammad. There is no other alternative for the Parsis; either they should believe in the Prophet and take him to be 'Astvat-ereta' (the praised one or Mohaxnmad), or should point out any other man on whom these descriptions could apply, who would have exterminated idol-worship, produced truthful and saintly followers, and according to Avesta, must have corrected Mazdaynians as well as idol-worshippers, and who would have become the master of the Persian religion, crown and kingdom.

A very strong prejudice is generally experienced in every creed and community about matters concerning religion. Nobody will easily accept even a clear and plain fact if it is presented by a man of a different persuasion, rather several adverse reasons will be put forth. We have recounted some very clear prophecies of Zoroaster, still, to refute a possible objection that the promised reformer must necessarily have been a Zoroastrian, we record another historical proof. When there is a dispute between two communities over a point, an easy course to decision is to appoint an arbiter, whose decision should be binding on both the parties as long as it is not tinged with any personal bias or prejudice on the part of the arbiter. Before the advent of the Holy Prophet, the Zoroastrians had lost most of their scriptures. They were deteriorated both in morality and religion, and all these facts are clearly recorded in the epistle of Sasan. This was the first sign of the appearance of the reformer. The prophecy of his advent was so well-known to the Parsis and Magians and they were so anxious about the appearance of their redeemer, that they flocked with their presents to any place where they heard a reformer had appeared. The author of St. Matthew's Gospel also heard of this news and in order to apply this famous prophecy on Jesus Christ he coined an imaginary tale and recorded it in the Gospel. The author of this Gospel is well-known for this peculiar trait. Whatever good news he heard of, he at once applied it on Jesus, end he never cared what interpretation he was giving to the text of an ancient scripture, but he did his best to prove somehow or other that the text referred to Jesus Christ. A prophecy of the appearance of 'the raised one' was current in Persia, and the Gospel writer having come to know of it at once coined a story, without contemplating that he was recording any unbelievable things and events contrary to actual facts. And the very fact that no other Gospel-writer's confirmed this st ory is enough to reject it. The author of St. Matthew's Gospel writes that when Jesus as born, some Magians and wise men of the East were directed to him by a star; the star went before them till it came and stood over where Christ was, and us they came to worship him and offer him their presents. St. Luke, on the other hand, claims to 'have perfect understanding of all things from the very first', he makes no mention at all of the Magians having come to Christ or of the star that directed them to him, although he makes mention of a petty fact of the shepherds having come to see Christ. No star directed the shepherds, the only sign given to them by the angel was: "Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger". (Luke, II :12) Nowhere else save in the Gospel of St. Matthew, is there a mention of the Magians having come all the way from Persia to present their gifts to Christ or of the star going before them.

Dr. Ferrar, in his 'Life of Jesus Christ', writes of these contradictions in the following terms: "There is nothing but a mass of confused and contradictory traditions to throw any light either on their rank, their country, their number or their names." (p. 20).

This tradition in the Christian scriptures, however, proves that a prophecy of the advent of the Holy Prophet was current among the Magians and they were so anxiously waiting for the Promised Prophet that even their anxiety was known far and near. The author of St. Matthew's Gospel misused the widespread publicity of this prophecy and at once applied it to Christ Jesus.

The Reformation made by the Prophet

WE have seen in the prophecies of Zoroaster that the promised reformer will correct the evils of the Zoroastrians as well as the idol-worshippers. It is a fact that there is no idol-worship in Zoroastrianism, but a sort of nature-worship is, of course, present. To start with, they believe in two Creators. The One is the Creator of light and the other is the Creator of darkness. Yazdan and Ahriman are their respective names. All the useful and good things are the creation of Yazdan or Hormuzd and the evil ones are created by Ahriman. Life, light, health and all pure things are created by Hormuzd, while death, darkness, disease and other dirty things are the creation of Ahriman.(Vendidad Fargard, I.) The idea of two Gods in the creation of this universe is incongruous and is due to an ignorance of the properties of the things created. Everything, though apparently it may seem harmful or injurious is possessed of several advantages and hidden utilities and when used properly exhibits extreme wisdom of the All-Wise God. Day time seems to be more advantageous for man, but night too is equally essential and useful. The Holy Qur'an says: "And We made your sleep to be rest (to you), And We made the night to be a covering, And We made the day for seeking livelihood". (LXXVIII, 9-11) How dreadful death appears, yet death is the way to future progress and development. How rightly did the Prophet remark: 'He created death and also He created life.' (The Quran LXVII:2) Had there been different creators of these things, there would have been a great clash between them and life in this world would have been impossible.

Again, the idea that fire was created by Hormuzd and darkness by Ahriman, is also unsubstantial. The real fact is, that neither fire is all good nor darkness is total evil. The proper use or misuse of a thing makes it good or bad. If fire is all good, and really a pure and sacred thing, why does it so often burn men and their properties? Similarly, is not darkness, which is regarded as an evil creation, very essential for the development of our faculties and for the life and mistenance of vegetables and animals? Disease, of course, is a bad and painful thing, but it was not created by God. How truly Abraham had said: "When I fall sick he restores me to health." (The Quran XXVI 80). Disease is the result of man's own actions and is mostly due to violation of the laws of health. In a word, all those things that have been regarded as evil and attributed to Ahriman, are not without their uses and advantages. Everything that is properly used is good and the same thing if misused becomes bad. Thus, the verdict of the Holy Qur'an-"He created everything," carries the point.

The Qur'an and the Holy Prophet Mohammad have corrected hundred and one flaws and wrongs in the Zoroastrian religion. Ours is the age of science and reason and no absurdity in the name of religion can appeal to any one in this age. The intelligentsia of every community are rather getting averse to religion, on account of so many unreasonable and ridiculous things named as religion. And all those defects which strike the Parsi youth to-day were corrected by the Holy Prophet Mohammad thirteen hundred years ago. We give below a brief account of some of the points:

1. It is said that Hormuzd granted prophethood to Yim (Noah), but he refused to take that responsibility. Similar actions of disobedience to God are ascribed to Vakhshur (prophets), which are contrary to reason and common sense. Did not God know before hand that such and such person was not fit for the onerous work of a prophet? Vakhshur or prophets come into the world as models and, examplaries, and if they themselves begin to disregard God's commandments, what guidance will they give to others?

2. It is believed that a dead body makes unclean the earth, the air and the men who carry it; and that the wards of hell enter into a dead body and on seeing a dog they leave the body and fly away. (Vendidad. VIII: 14-21) All this is nothing but old superstitions.

3. Women are considered to be so unclean and dirty during their days of menstruation that even their meals are not properly served to them. Food can not be handed over to these unclean women, but is thrown away from a distance in a pan or pot. They can not eat to their fill nor can they drink such a pure thing as water, except when they begin to die of thirst. (Fargard V:45, VII:70)

4. Killing a dog is more punishable an offence than a man's murder. Even giving bad food to a dog is also more punishable than killing a man. Ninety lashes is the punishment for a murder and two hundred iashes for improperly feeding a dog. If a woman drinks water after giving birth to a child, she is punishable with two hundred lashes; and the penalty for an unclean man's touching water or a tree is four hundred lashes. Burying a dead body or burning it, is an offence that cannot be atoned or pardoned at all. (Fargard, IV:49, VII:20, VI:5, V:39-44, VI:47 and VIII:22-29)

Many base and indecent things regarding women were introduced by Mazdak in the Zoroastrian faith. But Anushirvan the Just, being influenced by the teachings of Islam, removed these abuses.

Let our Parsi friends carefully consider the prophecy of their prophet Zoroaster about that great reformer, Astvat-ereta (Mohammad), the Arab, whom Zoroaster praised and eulogized his companions and also commended his teachings and foretold that he would correct the evils of the Parsi faith, would extirpate idol-worship, would face towards Ka'ba in his prayers and whose companions would become the masters of the sacred places of the Parsis. Let the Parsis believe in these clear facts and thus obey their Lord Hormuzd and also fulfil the heart felt desire of Zoroaster. It is said, "The wise men of Iran and others also will join them." (Dasatir) Wise is, thus, only he who believes in this prophecy, embraces Islam and joins the Muslim brotherhood.