Manichaean Remarks in ʿAwfī’s Jawāmeʿ al-ḥekāyāt wa lawāmeʿ al-rewāyāt
Abolghasem Esmailpour Motlagh
Jawāmeʿ al-ḥekāyāt wa lawāmeʿ al-rewāyāt (Comprehensive Anecdotes and Luminous Narratives) was written in the first decades of the 13th century AD (c. 1247-1252) by Sadīd b. Moḥammad ʿAwfī, and contains interesting information on Manichaean themes that shall be examined in this paper. The book, for instance, introduces Mānī the inventor of the Zandīqs as the last prophet. His religīion had still followers among Iranians at the time of the composition of the book (13th century AD). A new point in ʿAwfī’s narrative is that he called Manichaeans as Bāṭenī (Esoterics) that shows a kind of assimilation of the Manichaeans with the sect of Bāṭenīya or Ismaʿilis. According to ʿAwfī, Mānī had traveled to India, Keshmir and Tibet, and that the people of Turkistan followed him. Mānī’s journey to the western borders of India (although not to Kashmir and Tibet) and the influence of Mānīchaeism in Xin Jiang of China have been confirmed through the original Manichaean texts. Mānī told his followers that he’ll go up to heaven. So, he hid himself in a cave and painted a paper scroll called Arṯang (Ardahang) as a sacred book from the Lord. According to ʿAwfī, secret life was a tradition established by Mānī, and the Manichaeans rejected the strangers, a habit inherited in China through Manichaeans.
Mānī, Mānīchaeism, the Zandīqs, Bāṭenīya, Aržang
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