Yazidi Black Book

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The Yazidi Black Book (Kurdish: مسحە‌فا ڕه‌ش Mishefa Reş or Meshaf Resh) is one of two books on the Yazidi religion written in the style of a holy book in the Kurmanji dialect of the Kurdish language, the other being the Book of Revelation (Kitêba Cilwe).

It is claimed that the original text of the Book of Revelation is kept in the Yazidi village of Ba'idn and the original text of the Black Book is kept in the village of Qasr 'tzz at-Din[1]

Scholars generally agree that the Book of Revelation and the Black Book, which were published in 1911 and 1913, are 'forgeries' in the sense they were written by non-Yazidis in response to Western travelers’ and scholars’ interest in the Yazidi religion. Nonetheless they do reflect authentic Yazidi traditions.[2]

The actual core texts of the religion that exist today are the hymns known as qawls.[2]


The Black Book claims to originate when the Lord descended Black Mountain. It is not divided into chapters and is longer than the Book of Revelation. The first half of it contains a creation myth, beginning with the creation of a white pearl and Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel. There follows an account of the Fall (in which the forbidden comestible is wheat), and the creation of Eve after Adam has been driven from Paradise.

This is followed by the names of ancient kings who belonged to the Yazidi community. Next comes a statement of food taboos of the Yazidis, prohibitions connected with personal hygiene and verbal taboos.

The discussion then reverts to the subject of ancient Yazidi kings, and the Book concludes with another account of the Creation, which diverges quite considerably from the first.


  1. Guest, John S (1993). Survival Among the Kurds: A History of the Yezidis. London: Kegan Paul International. p. 154n. ISBN 0-7103-0456-0.
  2. 1 2 Encyclopaedia Iranica:Yazidis
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