Criticizing the Claim of Borrowing the Rij’at Belief among the Imāmiyya Shiites from the Iranian Zoroastrians

Document Type : Original Article


Seminary School of Qom


One of the beliefs which the Shi’a Imāmiyya has in common with the Iranian Zoroastrians is the doctrine of Rij’at (return) and some of the humans’ coming back to life before the general resurrection. Therefore, some of the orientalists who have sought the genealogy of the eastern religions in the past 150 years make the claims upon the belief of Rij’at (return) among the Shiites influenced by ancient Iran doctrines. Having been stated the assumed probabilities about Shi’a beliefs – especially Rij’at – and the point that it is quite natural for the divine religions (provided that Zoroastrian is considered a celestial ritual) to share some beliefs, the present paper is going to adopt a historical-theological approach in order to criticize this claim, and to prove the authenticity of Rij’at belief and its reveal on the basis of the following reasons: first, one cannot claim these beliefs to be equal and the same due to fundamental differences between them, which sometimes are related to their essential distinction;second, There is plenty of historical evidence that this be-lief has existed among Arab Muslims for years before their communicating with Iranians; third, Shiism did not belong exclusively to the Iranians, and this Shi’a belief as well as the other ones have been in common among the Shiites in other countries; on the other hand, the Sunnis dominated Iran up to the 18th century and the majority of Iranians were totally against Shiism and its doctrines; fourth, the Arabs’ being ethnically biased against the non-Arab Ira-nians (Ajam Iranians) and their beliefs did not allow the Shi’a beliefs to be affected due to their Arabic entity; and finally, since the Iranian Zoroastrians lack credible sourc-es, it is very difficult to attribute any doctrines to them and then to claim that the later schools have been influenced by them; however, Based on credible historical evidence, many of the similarities in the doctrines of these two schools can be attributed to the impact of Islamic-Shiite doctrines on the Iranian texts, and probably Rij’at belief is one of them.