On Zoroastrianism and Islam

Zoroastrianism might possibly be the most influential religion in human history. Historians date its beginning to about 1500 BC. It was the first religion in human history to suggest monotheism, belief in one God; that is about 800 years before monotheism took hold among Jews. (As any scholar of Torah will tell you, significant portions of it, including the story of Noah, were borrowed during Jewish exile in Babylon.) Here is a list of beliefs, tenets, practices, symbols that may have been borrowed by Islam, and other Abrahamic religions, from Zoroastrianism:

1. Mira’aj: Zarathusthra was the first prophet in history to narrate a tale of his journey to heavens to meet the God Ahuramazda and receive, according to him, the right religion.
2. It was the first religion to suggest the existence of a devil, Ahiraman.
3. It was the first to posit light as an element of divine.
4. It was the first to posit linear time, of one earthly life; before it all religions took time as a circular entity with possibilities of multiple lives.
5. It was the first to suggest the existence of heaven and hell.
6. The existence of a narrow, almost pin shaped, bridge between the earth and the skies. This bridge needs to be crossed by all humans, and bad ones among us fall off it towards and into hell. This was later borrowed by Islam by the name of pul-e-sirat in Arabic.
7. Nimaz: The division of 24 hours in 5 stages of prayers.
8. Wudhoo: Each prayer must be preceded by an ablution.
9. Ramadhan: Manichees fasted from sunrise to sunset for 30 days before their annual festival.
10. Headcap: They consider hair impure, and were the first to use headcaps for prayers. (They even invented sleeves and trousers for the same reason.)
11. Girban: The existence of a book suspended by the middle of every human’s collar. This book is supposed to contain a list of all our deeds, and is also mentioned in the Qur’an.
12. The belief in a final messiah who will come before the end times to bring the just and righteous kingdom of God to this planet called earth.
13. Finally, it was the first religion to have a series of religious texts in the shape of a book (that was orally transmitted in the ancient Avestan language up till the 4th century AD).

Leave a Comment

Log in