måndag 30 mars 2009

Alevism and Zoroastrianism, Part 2

Here is a fact sheet I found on the web on the issue of Alevism.
It sounds like we could definitely speak of a lot of similarities between Alevism in Turkey and Zoroastrianism in Iran.
Please also note that the word "alev" means "flame" in Turkish...

+ Pantheism, they don't see Allah as a god of justice, of punishment or of reward as in the Koran.
+ Otherwise they recognize the Koran, but as an irrelevant book that should be read esoterically.
+ They reject the existence of Heaven and Hell, and commonly they adhere to the reincarnationist belief.
+ Almost no Alevi practices ritual prayer five times a day or goes to a mosque [cami] for the prayer service at noon
on Fridays. Assemblies [cuma aksamlari, literally, "Friday nights"] have been traditionally held on Thursday by night
and are conducted with great secrecy in lodges [tekke] inside of particular houses. The assembly is leaded by a guru
[dede], performing animal sacrifices [kurban], and leading the members - males and females - when dancing the
"Semah", a dance characterized by turning and swirling, and symbolizing the putting off of one's self and union
with God (ecstasy). Sins must be confessed at the guru.
+ Avatars: the most important of them would be Ali (from there "Alevism"); he is seen as semi-divine, or even as a
sort of Christian Logos.
+ Existence of innumerable superstitions.
+ The Sufi elitist variance of the Alevism, the Bektashi sect, is usually antinomian (ideological immoralism) at least
in appearance: due to their most high knowledge, it allows them to don't follow the Islamic mandates or laws
(Shariah). Also hermetism and initiations are maintained. The most radicals of them hold the belief that the orthodox
Muslims are in fact devil-worshippers and get the figure of Ali, killed by the orthodox Muslims, as a flag against them.
Also, they do not recognize Mohammed and do not view the Koran as a perfect book.

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