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Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir

Shrine and tomb of Sheikh 'Adi in the Valley of Lalish.

Sheikh ‘Adī ibn Musāfir (Arabic: عدي بن مسافرKurmanji: Şêx Adî [ʃex ɑdi], died 1162) was a Yazidi Sheikh born in the 1070s in the Beqaa Valley of present-day Lebanon.[1] ‘Adī is said to have been born in the village of Bait Far, near Baalbek, where the house of his birth was – and still is – a place of pious pilgrimage.[2] The Yazidi consider him an avatar of Tawûsê Melek, which means "Peacock Angel". His tomb at Lalish, Iraq is a focal point of Yazidi pilgrimage.[3]

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

Though complete records of his life do not exist, 'Adi was celebrated on account of his saintly life. Physically, he was said to be very tanned and of middle stature. He lived and ascetic lifestyle in the mountains in the region north of Mosul not far from the local Hakkari Kurds. As people flocked to his residency in the hills, he would end up founding a religious order later referred to as al-'Adawiyya ('the followers of 'Adi'). He died at the age of 90 in 1162 CE (557 Hijra) or in 1160 CE (555 Hijra) in the hermitage that he had built with his followers in the mountain. This hermitage within the Valley of Lalish, would continue to be occupied by his followers and his descendants until the present day despite periods of unrest, destruction, and persecution by outsiders.[5]

The Valley of Lalish is located within the environs of the village of Ba'adra, 20 miles to the east of the Nestorian convent of Rabban-Hormuzd. As the holiest site in the Yezidi religion, his tomb (marked by three conical cupolas) still attracts a great number of people even outside holy festivals and pilgrimages. Nightly processions by torch light include exhibitions of the green colored pall, which covers the tomb; and the distribution of large trays with smoking harisa (a ragout with coagulated milk).

See alsoEdit


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. ^ 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 (2005), The Yezidis (2 ed.), London: Saqi, ISBN 0-86356-593-X
  4. ^ "Yezidi Reformer: Sheikh Adi". The Truth about the Yezidis. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  5. ^ Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (1995). Yezidism: Its Background, Observances, and Textual tradition. Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen Press. pp. 27–44. ISBN 9780773490048.