Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir

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Shrine (that also contains the tomb) of Sheikh Adi.

Shaykh ‘Adī ibn Musāfir al-Umawī (Arabic: عدي بن مسافر الاموي‎; Kurdish: Şêx Adî [ʃex ɑdi], died 1162), a descendant of Umayyad Caliph Marwan ibn al-Hakam, was born in the 1070s in the Beqaa Valley of present-day Lebanon.[1] Adi is said to have been born in the village of Bait Far, near Baalbek, where the house of his birth was in and is still the place of pious pilgrimage.[2] The Yazidi consider him an Avatar of Tawûsê Melek, the "Peacock Angel". His tomb at Lalish, Iraq is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.[3]

Shaykh ‘Adī spent much of his early life in Baghdad. To attain a sufi life and seclude himself he sought a quiet haven in Kurdistan, an area strongly associated with indigenous Iranian religious movements such as Zoroastrianism.[citation needed]

Despite his desire for seclusion, he impressed the local population with his asceticism and miracles.[1][4]

Adi was said to be of middle stature and was much tanned. The Yazidis had adopted him as their national saint. Adi was celebrated on account of his saintly life, founded a religious order called after himself, al-Adawiya. He resided in the mountains of Hakkari Kurds in the region north of Mosul and died at the age of 90 (557 Hijra or 1162 CE), or according to others, he died in 555 Hijra (1160 CE) in the hermitage that he had built himself there, where his descendants lived after his demise. His sepulchre is indicated by three conical cupolas in the environs of the village of Baadri, 20 miles to the east of the Nestorian convent of Rabban-Hormuzd. His tomb still attracts a great number of people. Nightly processions by torch light, the exhibitions of the green colored pall, which covers the tomb, and the distribution of large trays with smoking harisa (a ragout with coagulated milk) compose the ceremony. His followers believed that he was the incarnation of the divinity.[2]


Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir
Preceded by
Shaikh of the ‘Adawiyya Ṣūfī Order Succeeded by
Sakhr Abu l-Barakat


  1. ^ a b Kreyenbroek, Philip G; Jindy Rashow, Khalil (2005), God and Sheikh Adi are Perfect: Sacred Poems and Religious Narratives from the Yezidi Tradition, Iranica 9, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 3-447-05300-3 
  2. ^ a b The Encyclopædia of Islam: A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples. Holland: EJ Brill. 1913. pp. 136–137. 
  3. ^ Spät, Eszter (1985), The Yezidis (2 ed.), London: Saqi (published 2005), ISBN 0-86356-593-X 
  4. ^ "Yezidi Reformer: Sheikh Adi". The Truth about the Yezidis. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16.