The Yazidi Religion also known as Yezidi is a Kurdish faith with historical Indo-European roots. The Yazidi are primarily Kurdish speaking and for the most part live in the Mosul region of Northern Iraq.
It is estimated that there may be as many as .5 million adherents.
It is reported that the religion originated in the early 12th century with its founder Shaykh Adi-ibn Musafir who died in 1162. His tomb at Laliş is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.
In the Yazidi Religion belief system, God created the world and it is now in the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, known as Angels.
The reason for the Yazidis reputation of being devil worshipers is connected to the other name of Melek Taus, Shaytan, the same name the Koran has for Satan.
The Kitêba Cilwe "Book of Illumination," which claims to presumably represent Yazidi belief, states that he allocates responsibilities, blessings and misfortunes as he sees fit and that it is not for the race of Adam to question him.
Sheikh Adî believed that the spirit of Tawûsê Melek is the same as his own, perhaps as a reincarnation. He is believed to have said:
I was present when Adam was living in Paradise, and also when Nemrud threw Abraham in fire. I was present when God said to me: 'You are the ruler and Lord on the Earth'. God, the compassionate, gave me seven earths and throne of the heaven.
One of the key creation beliefs of Yazidism is that all Yazidis are descendants of Adam rather than Eve.
Yazidis believe that good and evil both exist in the mind and spirit of human beings. It depends on the humans, themselves, as to which they choose. In this process, their devotion to Tawûsê Melek is essential, since it was he who was given the same choice between good and evil by God, and chose the good.
The Yazidi holy books are the Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Revelation) and the Mishefa Reş (Black Book).
Yazidi society is hierarchical. The secular leader is a hereditary emir or prince, whereas a chief sheikh heads the religious hierarchy. The Yazidi are strictly endogamous. In addition, members of the three Yazidi castes, the murids, sheikhs and pirs, marry only within their group.
Children are baptized at birth and circumcision is common but not required. Dead are buried in conical tombs immediately after death and buried with hands crossed.
Yazidi are dominantly monogamous but chiefs may be polygamous, having more than one wife. Yazidi are exclusively endogamous; clans do not intermarry even with other Kurds and accept no converts.
A severe punishment is expulsion, which is also effectively excommunication because the soul of the exiled is forfeit.
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