FIVE DAILY SALAT IN ISLAM AND ZOROASTRIANISM

The Mazdayasni religion or commonly called Zoroastrianism which is the ancient religion of Iran enjoins a specified worship five times a day whose timing is based on the movement of  Sun as in the case of Islam.

Zoroastrians call this specified worship ‘Gah worship/prayer’. The term ‘Gah’ means ‘period of time’ or ‘place’.  So Gah worship means ‘timed worship’. It is apparently a name given in latter days to Yasna which has to be performed five times daily in its respective times.  In reality, Gah worship is nothing but Yasna in Avestan language which means Fire Oblation or Worship through fire/Fire based worship or Sacrifice.  Its Sanskrit equivalent is Yajna as practiced in other revealed religion ‘Hinduism’.   This worship is called ‘Incense Burning’ or ‘Burnt Offering’  in Hebrew scriptures when it is named Salat in the Quran.

The striking similarity between Islam and Zoroastrianism in the timing of five daily worship is given below:

TIME/ISLAM/ZOROASRIANISM

Dawn/Fajr/Havaan
Noon/Zuhar/Rapithwan
Afternoon/Asr/Uziren
Evening/Maghrib/Aiwisuthrem
Night/Isha/Ushaen

CALL FOR FIVE DAILY WORSHIP

Just like the believers are called for Salat in a Masjid by a Muezzin (caller) in Islam five times a day, the Zoroastrian believers are summoned by the ringing of a bell in the Atash Behram / Agiary / Fire Temple to perform Yasna (Gah worship) five times a day.

Ablution

Muslims are required to do ritual purification like washing face and limbs before commencing Salat. Likewise, Zoroastrians are required to do wash their face and limbs before commencing Yasna(Gah worship).

Head Cover

In the same way as Muslims cover their heads traditionally when performing Salat, Zoroastrians are required to cover their heads when performing Yasna (Gah worship).

Facing the Direction

The direction at which Muslims are to perform Salat is called the Qiblah in the Quran. In the Atashbehram/Agiary the room where the Atash Padshah (Sacred Fire)  is enthroned is called the Keblaah in Zoroastrianism.

Reading/Reciting portions from Scripture

As Muslims are required to read/recite portions from the Quran in the original  language of its revelation ie Arabic while performing Salat, Zoroastrians are required to read/recite portions from the Avesta(Gathas)  in the original language of its revelation ie Avesta when performing Yasna(Gah worship).

Sacred Fire and Incense

The method of performing Yasna (Gah worship) done by Zoroastrians is as follows:

1.Stand before the sacred fire enthroned on the fire altar in an Agiary /Fire Temple or sit or stand before the sacred fire ignited at the home fire altar;

2. Read/recite portions from the scripture;

3.Burn the powdered herbals/incense on the sacred fire ie oblation into sacred fire.

It is where the so-called Muslims shunned the true Salat by substituting the sacred fire and offering incense as oblation into sacred fire with the acts of bowing and prostrating. This is how the sectarian Muslims lost the core part of Salat ie oblation into sacred fire and retained Salat only in the name.

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