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A mobed[pronunciation?] or mobad is a Zoroastrian cleric of a particular rank. Unlike a herbad (ervad), a mobed is qualified to serve as celebrant priest at the Yasna ceremony. A mobed is also qualified to train other priests.

In general (lay) use, the term is also used as an honorific to denote any priest, of any rank. For instance, Hormizd I appointed Kartir moabadan-moabad, which is frequently translated as 'priest of priests', but more precisely indicates 'high priest of high priests'.

The term 'mobed' is a contraction of Middle Persian magu-pati, the first half of the expression apparently deriving from Avestan maga- or magu- (of uncertain meaning), and with Avestan -paiti meaning "master" or "teacher". Through Old Persian magush and Ancient Greek μάγος magos, Old Iranian magu- is also identified as the origin of the Latin word magus, a "magian". Through the Greek adjective μαγικός magikos and Old French magique, 'mobed' is distantly related to the English language word "magic".

Zoroastrian priests in India are required to be male,[1] but women have been ordained in Iran and North America as a mobedyar, meaning a woman mobed.[2][3]


  1. ^ Nigosian, Solomon Alexander (1993), The Zoroastrian Faith: Tradition and Modern Research, Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen's University Press, p. 104, ISBN 077351144X, OCLC 243566889 
  2. ^ Wadia, Arzan Sam (March 9, 2011), "The Jury Is Still Out On Women as Parsi Priests",, Parsi Khabar 
  3. ^ Khosraviani, Mahshad (June 19, 2013), "Sedreh Pooshi by Female Mobedyar in Toronto-Canada",, Parsi News