and renewed rituals of the Persians
Zoroastrianism includes a group of teachings known as “Avesta” or “Gathas”, which are ritualistic hymns developed by Zoroaster, the founder of that religion. That religion stipulates equality between men and women in leadership, inheritance, expressing opinions and on rights and duties in all areas of life. The Zoroastrian woman assumed power, became a priest in the temple and sat in the councils of men.
This religion is very ancient and is known in English language as “Zoroastrianism”. It is an ancient Iranian religion and Asian religious philosophy. It was the official religion of the ancient Persian empires such as the Achaemenids, the Parthians and the Sassanids, as it was introduced.
Zoroaster’s ideas led to the formation of an official religion named after him around the sixth century BC. Some religious scholars argue that his ideas influenced later monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity, and Islam. There are major differences between the Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism, as Zoroastrians remain closer to the ancient Indian religions, but there are some similarities that the Jews had learned from them during the Babylonian captivity as it is widely believed among the religious scholars. The Zoroastrian religion itself was influenced by the influences of the religious philosophy of the ancient Iraqi civilization of Babylon.
Zoroastrian rituals show the amazing interweaving between ideas and deliberate dissolution, which made generations adhere to them and to their rituals. An example of this is the ritual of the sacred fire. During it, the Zoroastrians turn in their prayers towards a fire that they had kindled as a sacred symbol of the Creator’s light. They also glorify nature and the sun. It is noted that they are constantly preoccupied with good and evil and light against darkness. This was reflected in their human nature, despite the fact that their conflicts are about nature that Allah Almighty created within the circle of life itself.
Their rituals also include fasting. According to what was mentioned in Al-Arabi magazine (issue 563 – 2005) entitled (The Ritual of Fasting through History), the writer said: “The ancient Persians were Zoroastrians. It is a religion that calls for optimism in life and interaction with it. That is why this religion forbid fasting because it stresses the body and spoils health. As for Mani’s religion, which justifies evil by claiming that the world was created by Satan, it was more inclined to austerity, so fasting was one of its main pillars. Mani’s interest in astronomy had an impact on determining the times of fasting according to Manichaeism. If the moon becomes full of light, they fast for two days. If the moon becomes a crescent, they fast for two days. If the sun descends Aquarius and eight days have passed from the month, then they fast for thirty days and break their fast every day at sunset”.
History books prove that the Magian religion has a fast, some of which are related to the fasting of the common people, which means separate days of the year, and some of which are related to the fasting of the religious leaders, until the matter reached the point of sanctification and deification in some cases. That fast may last for about five consecutive years. That is a strange thing, how is it forced on the human soul?
As for the details of their rituals of prayer, one of their clergymen called Qadiruk mentions: “We have 5 prayers a day but it is different from Muslim prayers. Our direction in prayer (kiblah) is fire, light and sun, but we do not worship fire as some think, but it is sanctification. We fast 4 days each month, during which we abstain from eating meat only, and the total days of fasting are 48 days per year”.
We still have a lot to say about the suspicions that claimed that the Islamic religion took somethings from the teachings and rituals of Zoroastrianism because it is older than it. These are nothing but lies and heresy.