Cult of Angels

   The Cult of Angels (Yazdani in Kurdish) consists of several ancient, indigenous, non-Muslim, Kurdish religions, including the Alevis, Ahl-i Haqq, and Yezidis. These religions clearly include syncretic elements of Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
   Creation is often explained by a type of cosmic egg in which the Universal Spirit once lived. Adherents of the cult believe in seven luminous angelic beings of ether who protect the universe from an equal number of dark forces of matter. The cult also believes in the transmigration of souls with repeated reincarnations of the deity through major and minor avatars, or Babs. Both good and evil are important to the creation and continuation of the material world.
   Their numbers are declining as most Kurds now adhere to Sunni Islam. Elements of the cult arguably survive today in the radicalism, economic and social egalitarianism, and martyr syndrome of the Shiites. The cult's attempts to absorb Shiism through claims of a shared identity and willingness to use taquiyah (religious dissimulation to survive) often confuse outside observers.
   See also Dailamites; Ghulat.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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