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Friday, 18 January 2008

Zoroastrianism & Islam (again)

More on the influence of Zoroastrianism on Islam. I didn’t think that Muhammad had directly encountered Zoroastrianism during his lifetime. Indeed, later rulers had to add Zoroastrians to the accepted list of ‘People of the Book’. I had thought that Muhammad took a central view between 3 prayers of the Jews and 7 prayers he’d encountered from another religious sect (possibly Christians prevalent at that time).
clipped from
The Muslim institution of five daily prayers also has a Persian origin. Muhammad
himself, at first, instituted only two daily prayers. Then, as recounted in the
Koran, a third was added, giving the morning prayer, the evening prayer, and the
middle prayer, which corresponded to the Jewish shakarith, minkah, and arbith.
But on encountering the religious fervor of the Zoroastrians, Muslims, not
wishing to be outdone in devotion, simply adopted their custom; henceforth,
Muslims paid homage to their God five times a day, in imitation of the five gahs
(prayers) of the Persians.

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