and wickedness of the religion of his people. He did not teach the whole truth, however, because he still retained in his system of religion not a little of the errors in which he had been brought up. In particular his religion was defective in regard to the way to obtain forgiveness of sins, and in its teaching a kind of dualism instead of the doctrine of the Divine Unity.

Zoroastrianism gradually became corrupted after Zoroaster's death, and many of the old superstitions reasserted themselves. It was overthrown when the Arabs conquered Persia in the Khalifate of 'Umar. Most of those who professed it were compelled to become Muslims. The rest fled to India or were compelled to pay the jizya, or poll-tax, and were brought low, in accordance with Suratu't-Tauba (ix) 29. Our readers will find full particulars of the Arab conquest of Persia in such books as the Katibu'l-Waqidi's Futuhul-'Ajam (فتوح العجم), the second volume of the Raudatu's-Safa (روضة الصفا), the Sanadu't-Tawarikh (سند التواريخ), and similar works. The Zoroastrians in India say that they are now monotheists, but they still worship the sun and fire. At one time very little was known about the doctrines of their religion, though something might be learned from Masuj ibn 'Abdi'l-Hasan's book entitled رياض الذهب ومعدن الجواهر, and from the Dabistan-i-Mazahib of Mulla Fani. But Zoroastrians and European scholars have now devoted


much study to what remains of the sacred book of the Parsis, and we are thus enabled to ascertain much more correctly the teachings of the founder of their faith and to learn what was believed in Persia before the Arab conquest.

Their sacred book is called the Avesta (اوستا). Zoroastrians say that it once consisted of many volumes, but that the only manuscript of a large part of it was burnt in the destruction of the royal palace at Persepolis (Istakhr) by Alexander the Great (324 B.C.). In the time of the Sasanian kings, especially in that of Ardashir Babagan (A.D. 226 to 240), the fragments of the Avesta were carefully collected and edited. Some newer compositions were added then and even later. It is said, however, that many valuable manuscripts were destroyed when the Khalifa 'Umar commanded the libraries of Persia to be cast into the rivers, as the author of the Kashfu'-z-zunun informs us he did. What still remains, however, constitutes the religious law of the Parsis. Only the oldest part is thought by scholars to have been possibly composed by Zoroaster himself.

The Avesta teaches that at first there existed two great principles, one good and the other evil, called respectively Hormazd and Ahriman. In later times it was thought that these had both sprung from Zrvan-i-Akarana (زروان اكرنة) or Boundless Time. Hormazd was one of the seven