Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/494

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Noah, also called Melek Salim, the blessing passed to his grandson Marge Meran, the father of the Yezidee race. The Mussulmans are descended from Ham, who, having detected his mother in an intrigue, mocked her to his father. The children of Eve and of Ham hate the children of Yezdani, because they are the chosen people of Melek-Taus, who induced their father to eat the forbidden fruit, thereby forfeiting paradise.

The children of Eve laughed at Noah while he was building the ark in anticipation of the flood. When the ark struck on Mount Sindiar, it sprung a leak. The snake swelled itself up and stopped the hole with its tail; but after the flood, the snakes increased so fast as to do much harm to men. Noah was so vexed at this that he seized one of them and threw it into the fire. From its ashes arose fleas.

The history is continued, with a mixture of distorted incidents from the Old and New Testament accounts, the life and sufferings of Christ, stories of the Koran, and secular history. Christ, after suffering, but not actually dying, upon the cross, was taken by Melek-Taus into heaven, where, with him and God, he forms the Trinity.

Yezid, who made war upon his father, the Caliph Moanzeh, although he lived in reality a Mussulman, but unorthodox, is fabled in these books to have been a great champion of the religion of Sheik Adi, and to have possessed miraculous powers. He is said to have ordered all the books of Islam to be brought together and cast into the sea, and to have pronounced a curse of body and soul against every one, except those to whom special license might be given, who should thereafter read or write a letter of the Arabic language. Having overcome Hussim and Hassan, the sons of Ali, Yezid lived three hundred years at Damascus and then ascended to heaven. The Mohammedans obtaining possession of Damascus again, and beginning to oppress the faithful, Yezid was sent down to earth to protect them. This time he took the name of Sheik Adi. He again performed many wonderful works and effected some marvelous conversions, receiving the adhesion, among others, of the Caliph and of Hassan el Bassri, and drove the Christian monks from Lalish, where he established the seat of his religion. Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans, says the book of Sheik Adi, "curse and blaspheme in the way that they are led by their books. They are blind and hardened, and do not know that God comes down from heaven every thousand years and punishes blasphemers. They habitually speak of Satan, meaning thereby our holy Melek-Taus, who is one with God. This wicked name was invented by infamous and accursed people to shame our august protector. It is no less sinful to let words of similar meaning or like sound pass over the lips, such as kańętan (a sting).