A mobed /ˈmoʊ'bɛd,-bæd/ or mobad (Middle Persian: 𐭬𐭢𐭥𐭯𐭲) 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.

Golden statuettes of two mobads, Oxus Treasure

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 𐬨𐬀𐬔𐬀 maga- or magu- (of uncertain meaning), and with Avestan 𐬞𐬀𐬌𐬙𐬌 -paiti meaning "master" or "teacher". Through Old Persian 𐎶𐎦𐏁 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 an assistant 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", parsikhabar.net, Parsi Khabar
  3. ^ Khosraviani, Mahshad (June 19, 2013), "Sedreh Pooshi by Female Mobedyar in Toronto-Canada", parsinews.net, Parsi News, archived from the original on October 9, 2014, retrieved October 10, 2014