Ancient history and wrong perceptions on Yazidis – 1

Kurdish people is considered one of the most an ancient people who settled in Mesopotamia region, whose history dating back thousands of years, and have had major role in the path of the history and democratic civilization, but they are marginalized till the present day,

Kurdish people are considered one of the most an ancient people who settled in Mesopotamia region, whose history dating back thousands of years, and have had major role in the path of the history and democratic civilization, but they are marginalized till the present day, because they have no clear studies on their history, so all what is being written about them is distorted, most of them have no specific information about their origin they tie them with the Persians, sometimes with the Arabs, and sometimes with the Georgians and others.

The Yazidi Kurds were considerably exposed to the campaigns of extermination and eradication because of the religion they believe in, and in this the dossier we will talk about the Yazidis and their areas of spread, their religion, their culture, the genocide massacres that they were subjected to the last of which was at ISIS’ hands, and reorganization themselves after the last massacre and the policies that are being planned against them at the present time.

History and regions of spread

The roots of the Yazidis go back in history. They are indigenous to the Fertile Crescent, “Mesopotamia”, and they date back thousands of years. According to what is reported by the Yazidi clerics, the date goes back to 8 thousand years, and there are inscriptions found in the region, dating back to the third millennium BC.

Many studies confirm that the Yazidi language is the basis of the Kurdish language.Ph.D. Sidikzadeh Purki says: “The Kurds had a language and an alphabet called the Yazidi Kurdish alphabet.”

Traces of this language are still found in many manuscripts and archaeological evidence. There is a manuscript belonging to a Yazidi sacred book in the Museum of Austria written in the Yazidi language.

This language is also inscribed on the walls of the Lalish Temple, as Agatha Christie, who visited the temple, says: “At the entrance to the mausoleum in Lalish, he is carved into the rock and carved on his right is a three-dimensional image of a snake and on the walls of the entrance wall writings in the Yazidi language began to lose their clarity by looking at the erosion and the natural act of the weather. “

The Yazidis are historically present in Kurdistan divided between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, in addition to their presence in Armenia and Georgia. According to the book “Sharaf Namah” written by the Kurdish historian and poet Sharaf Khan Shams al-Din al-Badlisi between 1597-1599 AD, the most famous sites of their presence are: Botan Island, Mosul, Dohuk, Amed, Aleppo, Ruha, Xewî.

The presence of the Yazidis is concentrated in southern Kurdistan, where there is a Lalish Temple “the pilgrimage of the Yazidis”. According to the available statistics, the number of Yazidis in this region ranges between 500 – 700 thousand people distributed in the Nineveh governorate, Şêxan, Beşîqa, Behzanî, Şengal, Zimar, Alqûş, Dohuk, Şariya, Xanik and Dêrhebûn.

In Syria, the Yazidis are spread in Al-Jazeera region,” Serêkaniyê, Tirbespiyê

, al-Hasakah and Amouda”, Afrin region, and a number of neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo, and according to the 1963 census, the number of Yazidis reached 10 thousand, but now there are no accurate statistics, especially with Turkey’s occupation of the Yazidis villages in Afrin and Serêkaniyê, were forcibly displaced from their villages, and their religious shrines and villages had been destroyed.

In Bakur (northern Kurdistan), the Yazidis are concentrated in the region of Botan island, but they were displaced by the Turkish massacres, in addition to their presence in Sêrt, Ruha, Qeres, Agirî and Erdhan

The Yazidis in Turkey were subjected to massacres at the hands of the Ottomans and their Turkish descendants, which led to a decrease in their numbers, as statistics indicate that their number decreased from 30,000 in 1982 to about 500 in 2009 due to the restriction policies.

Whereas, the number of Yazidis in Georgia was 30,000, but it began to decrease until it reached less than 5,000 in the 1990s.

In Armenia, they number about 40,000 people, and the number is relatively stable, while the number of Yazidis in Russia currently stands at more than 31 ,000 people due to immigration from Georgia and the rest of their areas.

Most of the Yazidis who were forced to leave their homes went to Western Europe, and the Yazidi presence is currently concentrated in Germany, with families in most Western European countries, and the number of Yazidis in Europe is estimated at more than 50,000 people.

Their religion

The Yazidi religion is one of the oldest religions in the fertile region of “Mesopotamia”, and it dates back, according to some manuscripts, to the third millennium BC.

This religion has progressed from natural worship to monotheism and has beliefs and rituals of its own, and the Yazidis believe that God is in everything, and that the foundation and creatures are parts of his soul, and because the part belongs to the whole, so the idea of their sanctification of cosmic phenomena such as the sun, light and moon is based on the fact that these phenomena are a part of the divine self and the embodiment of the supernatural power of God.

The word Yazid is derived from the word “Yazda” which means God, and therefore the Yazidi means “the worship of God.”, the Yazidis have sacred books, such as the Book of Jilwa and the Qur’an of Rash, while they also call God “Azdai,” meaning whoever created me and from whom they derived their name.

The Yazidis do not believe in the existence of evil spirits, because they believe that acknowledging the existence of other powers means that man is guided and not free. Therefore, the human being in the Yazidi creed is the only one responsible for what he does, and that God is all good, but evil comes as a result of human actions, and they believe that the struggle between good and evil is fundamentally a struggle between the soul and the mind, and if the mind triumphs over the soul, the person will gain good, then men will attain evil.

The Yazidis have their own pilgrimage in Lalish in Başûr Kurdistan, where the tomb of Sheikh Adi is located, and Lalish is also the seat of the Spiritual Council of the Yazidi religion in the world.

The Yazidis make the pilgrimage to Lalish on the sixth of October, and the pilgrimage lasts for 7 days, during which the pilgrims offer sacrifices and offerings, and wash themselves with the waters of the Kaniya Spî in “Al-Ain al-Bayda” spring.

Yazidi religion is a non-missionary religion. No one may convert to it unless he was born a Yazidi, and whoever leaves it does not return to it again.

Yazidis do not have what is called prayer, but it is called supplication to God and Peacock is a king, during which they turn to the sun at sunrise and sunset, while the Yazidis recite the text of “testimony of religion” before bed.

Yazidis are prohibited from adultery, disbelief, associating with God, false testimony, eating pork, drinking wine, lying, cheating, hypocrisy and gossip, and marrying the wife of the deceased brother.

there are special rituals among the Yazidis, as washing the newborn at the spring of Kaniya Spî “Al-Ain al-Bayda” is considered a duty, in Lalish, and carrying ” Elbirat ” are small balls made of Lalish soil mixed with milk, and the child wears a special collar called the Azi collar and is washed by “Elbîr ” It is one of the clergy classes.

In the marriage ceremony, the loaf of bread is divided into two halves, one of which is given to the bride and the other to the groom.

According to the Yazidis, Wednesday is the day of the creation of the universe, which requires people to suspend their work in it.

The Yazidis bury their dead, with their face facing the sun, and their graves are invisible and not exaggerated in their construction. During the funeral, religious hymns are read.

The Yazidis are divided into three religious classes: ” Şêx, Elbîr and Mirîd. It is not permissible to marry among them, just as the Yazidis can only marry a Yazidi woman.

The Yazidi religious teachings, prayers, and rituals are not written and transmitted only by oral indoctrination, which results in their loss with the death of the clerics.


Lalish Temple, “Lalish Noorani” is one of the most important archaeological and sacred sites for the Kurds in general and the Yazidis in particular. It is located in the Sheikhan area in Başûr Kurdistan, in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. The west is a mountain of Hazrati, and no one knows its exact date, but according to the Yazidis, it dates back 8 thousand years.

There were many opinions about the naming of Lalish, and these opinions were not based on scientific and historical evidence due to the absence of studies and scientific archaeological excavations on the Lalish Temple to know its history, the meaning of its name, and the period to which it belongs.

There are many opinions about the name, but the opinion that is closest to the truth is that the name Lalish came from (Laksh) Kotî, which means (light, life), here, the city of Laksh is one of the oldest Sumerian cities after Uruk and Ur, and its name is close to naming the temple.

According to what was stated in the Yazidi religious texts, the name Lalish means “the leaven of the earth.” According to the texts, the land was in the beginning in a liquid state (all seas and waters), and after God sent down it to Lalish, the earth was formed and the angels of the throne descended in it and the Kng of Peacock (Taus), the seven archangels according to the Yazidis, came down. On the ground there is a tree called “Harhar”, meaning the tree of life in Lalish.

“The most important holidays”

The Yazidis have many festivals that reflect the richness of their cultural heritage, and the most important Yazidi holidays are:

(Cejna Cemaya) or Jama festival: it lasts from 6 to 12 October.

Azid or Fasting Festival: It falls on the second week of January, when the Yazidis fast for three days, then Friday is a feast.

Cejna Bêxwîn or (Cejna Xidir Ilyas): it falls on the second Friday in February.

  • Eid Yazidi New Year or Red Wednesday “Çarşemba sor”: It falls on the first Wednesday of the New Year according to the Eastern calendar (the first Wednesday of April).
  • Batzmi or Patisma Pir Alli: The Eid ceremony begins on the first Sunday after the Eastern New Year and continues for a period of 7 days, and each day has a special name and ritual.

Religious classes

The Yazidis are led by a prince and represent them in all international forums. The princes come from one family known as the “Mira” family.

The Yazidi religion is divided according to a specific system of classes, which are as follows:

Sheikh: It is the most revered class, whose members are descended from the sheikhs.

Al-Bir: In Kurdish, it means “the old woman,” and its members descend from Bir Ali, who is one of Addi’s owners.

Murid: they represent the majority of Yazidis, as everyone who does not belong to one of the two classes mentioned above is from the murid class.

As for the Yazidi clerics, they are divided into three types:

Al-Faqeer: He is one of the people who is familiar with religion and is of great value to the Yazidis. And since his birth, his beard and mustache must not be shaved, he also wears a clothing called “rags” that is considered sacred and made of wool.

Al-Qawwal: They are the ones who read the Yazidi religious hymns and pass on preserving the religious heritage from father to grandfather.

Clairvoyants “Xilmetkar”: They are the workers in Lalish Temple, and the Yazidis believe that they possess special spiritual capabilities.

“Wrong concepts “

Since the teachings of the Yazidi religion are not written and transmitted orally, so no one knows them except the Yazidis, and this is what makes many misconceptions spread about Yazidi.

Among those misconceptions is the description of the Yazidis as being from the Magi, and also as the sun worshipers, as well as the devil worshipers. others, especially the hard-liners of Muslims, believe that their name goes back to Yazid bin Muawiya, the second of the Umayyad rulers (647-683 AD), while some return their origin to the city of Yazd in Faris, all of these concepts are wrong.

These misconceptions have always been the cause of massacres and racist policies for the Yazidis.