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Ahl-i Haqq


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


Extract

[ xviii ] The ‘People of Truth’, nominally an ultra-Shi'ite sect ( see S hi'ism ), some of whose beliefs, however, are of pre-Islamic Iranian origin. Another name for the group is Yarsan. Little is known about the early history of the sect; Sultan Sahak (or Ishaq), one of the divine incarnations who lived in Kurdistan (14th–15th century ce ), is widely regarded as the founder [7: 12]). Iranian Kurdistan (Kirmanshah province) is still the heartland of the sect. Later, Ahl-i Haqq beliefs spread; there are now sizeable communities in various places in Iran and Iraq outside Kurdistan, and some in Turkey. Estimates of their numbers vary from over 500,000 [6: 39] to several millions. The Ahl-i Haqq believe that, before creation, God dwelt in a pearl. Inside the pearl He created a Heptad ( Haftan ) of divine beings. He made a covenant with the leader of the Heptad. The covenant was accompanied by the sacrifice of a bull, and followed by the creation of the world from the pearl [6; 9]. History, according to Ahl-i Haqq teaching, is cyclical, and God and members of the Heptad manifest themselves again and again in human form; thus Sultan Sahak and Ali, the Prophet M uhammad 's son-in-law, are both manifestations of the Deity. Since Ali has a place in their mythology the group can present itself as a Shi'ite sect, although they do not normally perform the external duties or P illars of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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