There is no doubt some difference between the two accounts: the Muslims holding that Azāzīl worshipped the Almighty, while the Zoroastrians say he knew him not. Still the similarity is obvious, for according to both, he came forth from the pit to destroy God's creation.

Before leaving Azāzīl, there is another tale of which comparison may be made between the Muslims and Zoroastrians, namely, the story of the Peacock. The following is the Muslim tradition: —

Azāzīl kept sitting at the gate of Paradise, anxious to enter. The Peacock also was there seated on a Pinnacle, when he saw one repeating the mighty Names of God. Who art thou? asked the Peacock. "I am one of the angels of the Almighty"; - "But why art thou sitting here?" "I am looking at Paradise and wish to enter." The Peacock said, "I have no command to let any one enter as long as Adam is there." — "If thou wilt let me in," said the other, "I will teach them a prayer which if any one repeat, three things will be his — he will never grow old; never be rebellious; nor will any one ever turn him out of Paradise." Then Iblīs (the devil) repeated the prayer. The peacock also from his pinnacle did the same, and forthwith flew up to the Serpent and told him what he had heard from Iblīs. We also learn that when God cast down Adam and Eve with the devil (Iblīs) from Paradise, the Peacock also was expelled along with them.1

The old Persian account of the Peacock differs from the above; but they too associate him with Ahriman, for Eznik in his book "Against Heresies" writes as follows: —

The Zoroastrians tell us that Ahriman spake as follows:— It is not the case that I am unable to do anything good myself, but that I do not wish it; and to make this thing certain, I have produced the Peacock.

1 Qissas al Anbia.

So the Peacock having been the creation of Azāzīl, it is quite consistent with the Muslim tradition that he should be his assistant, and with him have been cast down from Paradise.

IV. The Light of Muhammad.— Muhammad is reputed by Tradition to have said:— The first thing created by the Almighty was my Light.1 Again:— When Adam was created, the Lord having placed that light upon his forehead, said, O Adam, this light which I place upon thy forehead is that of the greatest and best of thy descendants, the light of the Chief of Prophets that shall be sent. This light descended from Adam to Seth, and then in successive generations to Abdullah, and from him to Amina at the time of Muhammad's conception. We are further told by the Traditionists that the Prophet is reputed to have spoken thus:—

The Almighty parted that light into four sections, from which he made the heavens, the pen, Paradise, and believers; each of these four he again divided into four: from the first he formed me, who am the Prophet; from the second he formed reason placed in the Believer's head; from the third modesty within the Believer's eye; and from the fourth love within his heart.2

Let us compare this with the Zoroastrian views:—

In a very ancient book, Ormazd is represented as having created the world and the universe, angels and archangels, and the heavenly intellect, all out of his own light, with the praise of Boundless Time.3

Again, from a still much older work, we quote as follows:—

1 Rouzat al Ahbab. 2 Qissas al Anbia.
3 The Mīnūkhirad, as old as the Sāsānides.