Haran Gawaitha

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The Haran Gawaitha or Inner Haran is a Mandaean text written during the 7th to 9th century which purports to tell the history of the Mandaeans and their arrival in Iraq as Nasoreans from Jerusalem.[1] It contains some of the earliest non-Muslim references to Prophet Muhammad.

Text from the Haran Gawaitha[edit]

In the following excerpt, Muhammad is referred to as "the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab", "the most degraded of false prophets", "the Seal of prophets of the Lie", who "converted people to himself by the sword".

I will tell you, (O ye ) priests who live in the Arab age, (of that which occurred) before the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, went out and prophesied as a prophet in the world so that they performed circumcision like Jews and changed sayings - for he is the most degraded of false prophets. Mars accompanieth him because he is the Seal of prophets of the Lie, (although) the Messiah will appear after him at the end of the age! I will inform you, Nasoraeans, that before the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, emerged and was called prophet in the world and Mars descended with him, he drew the sword and converted people to himself by the sword. About eighty-six years before the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, Adonai sent S'urbis'- Ruha who is his spouse, to the city of T'ib, called locally the City of As'ganda because of all that was done (during) his rule in Baghdad. (For) As'ganda (dwelt?) in T'ib; it was his native place; and it was called "the city of S'ganda" (also) because in it there were Nasoraeans and ris'amia (ethnarchs)". And there was one ris'ama called Qiqil.

And Adonai sent S'urbis'-Ruha into this world and said to her: "Go, appear to Qiqil of the Nasoraeans disguised as Hibil-Ziwa, so as to take his judgement away from him. And distort the words by which the structure of (their faith) is defined. When thou hast done this, the whole nation of the Nasoraeans will turn to us". And Ruha-S'urbis', wife of Adonai, went and dwelt upon (entered into) Qiqil of the Nasoraeans and disguised herself as Hibil-Ziwa - and there is none lovelier than Hibil-Ziwa whom the Soul acknowledge! And She taketh away the judgement of Qiqil and instructeth him and saith to him: "I, Hibil-Ziwa, have brought parch- ment and reed-pen, so write a Root of Life and a Saying and a Mystery, and disseminate (them) send (them) forth and act in accordance with them. For the Life hath sent me and I have come to thee".

Thereupon Qiqil brought parchment and reed-pen and wrote and distributed (doctrine emanating) from Ruha, whilst his understanding was reft from him. So schism ensued amongst the Nasoraeans and candidates for priesthood as result of those writings which he had written. Then She removed herself from his presence, and Qiqil's mind and understanding returned and he recanted his words and revoked phylaeteries (scrolls?) of her construction and that which had been taught to him by Ruha, yea, every writing that he had by him of those writings (dictated) by Ruha, he burnt in the fire. And he sent to the Nasoraeans and candidates for priest-hood (saying): "Bring the writings which I give (gave?) you; burn them with fire, for she (Ruha) deluded me when I knew not from whom she came". And he took away his writing from such Nasoraeans as practised the orthodox faith, and they gave it to him and he burnt it in the fire. But all those who were of the Root of the Jews did not bring it back nor give it to Qiqil, and some of those writings remained with them.

And Hibil-Ziwa hath delivered this saying and warning to Nasoraeans who exist at the end of the last age: "Beware, and again beware! Act only (in accordance) with this writing of the Great Revelation. The (Mandaean) Root (Church) shall be steadfast, shall testify, shall act and not neglect this pure warning, and (so) will ascend to the presence of the Father. (But) any man who doth not testify to this Way or lay hold of it, seeketh darkness and will fall. (O) ye Nasoraeans that shall exist at the end of the last age, I exhort you, be firm and act according to this book - its name is the Great Revelation. For at that time peoples, nations and tongues will multiply, and every individual will seek his own gain. And books and religious treatises of Ruha and Adonai ('s making) will be many, and through them souls will sink down to the Darkness". Thus, before the appearance of the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, the Christian, Idumaean, Jewish, Hurdabaean and Dilbilaean peoples became many. The peoples were divided and languages became numerous; even the languages of Nasoraeans multiplied. This; and then sovereignty was taken from the descendants of King Artabanus, and (they were driven) from Baghdad; the Hardbaeans (Sasanians) taking over the kingdom. (Nevertheless) there remained one hundred and seventy banners and bimandiaia in Baghdad.

And so a Hardabaean (Sasanian) dynasty ruled for three hundred and sixty years, and then the Son of Slaughter, the Arab, set up as king, went forth and took a people to himself and performed circumcision. (Even then), after this had happened and these events had taken place, sixty banners (still) remained and pertained to me in Baghdad. Then he took the sword and put to the sword from the city of Damascus unto Bit Dubar, which is called Bdin. He governed it all and ruled over the lord of the hill-country of the Persians who are called Hardbaeans and took away sovereignty from them.

Then, when this had taken place, in time there came (one) Anus', called the son of Danqa, from the uplands of the Arsaiia [from (to? ) the city of Baghdad bis'us' kings of the planting of Artabanus, and brought in his own, belonging to Muhammad son of 'Abdallah son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, when he was seven hundred years old] . And he took him from his city to Suf-Zaba which is called Basrah, and showed him the hill-country of the Persians (unto) the city of Baghdad. And Anus' (-'Uthra?) instructed the Son-of-Slaughter, as he had instructed Anus'-son-of Danqa, about this Book (compiled) by his fathers, upon which all kings of the Nasoraeans stood firm. And a list of kings is in this book, which teacheth (chronicleth) from Adam, king of the world, unto King Artabanus, (yea even) unto Anus'-son-of-Danqa, who were (all? ) of the Chosen Root. Then he told him about the king of the Ardubaiia (Sasanians); about all he sought to do and (of) his connection with the children of the great Nation of Life , in order that they (the Moslems) should not harm the Nasoraeans who lived in the era of his government . Thus did Anus'-son-of-Danqa explain and speak so that, through the power of the lofty King of Light - praised be his name! - it was not permitted to the Son-of-Slaughter, the Arab, to harm the congregation of souls, owing to the protection afforded by these explanations of the Great Revelation - praised be its name! And, concerning that which I found in these commentaries on the Great Revelation , I found not (its equal?) amongst all the treatises and mis'rria and miscellanies about the Great Life which were in libraries and in my possession. I went round to all the Nasoraean ris'-amia that there were; I saw many scripts, writings of research and manuscripts of the Great Revelation, but saw not the like of this well-established Source. For it is reliable, existing from ancient times and eternally, from the beginning of the eighth world unto worlds' end. (These are) writings which teach orthodox procedure, that are all clarity. Instruction about the beginnings of all light and the end of all darkness is found in these writings of the Great Revelation and not found in any other books. That which is taught in this book and Road of the Righteous hath been bestowed upon the righteous unto worlds' end; this Road of the Righteous hath been bestowed upon (every) son of the True Root, upon (every) son of the Pure Drop who, when listening to the words and teachings of this writing of the righteous, witnesseth publicly thereto, and his mind testifieth thereto and is enlightened. But when a foolish person heareth these trustworthy words his mind groweth dark and he doth not appreciate them, nor can (such a person) discern that they are pure sayings. And (their) colours die away from his mind like as a burgeoning plant (fadeth) and the root from which it appeared".

Hibil-Ziwa expounded these interpretations and revealed and declared: "Any Nasoraean man in whose library these explanations are found should beware lest he reveal in the presence of foolish persons (mysteries) penetrated and revealed by deeply thinking theologians; because he that revealeth anything that is weighty in this writing (book) in the presence of foolish and ill-conditioned 'uthras who would bring pure words into contempt, layeth up for himself sixty causes of stumbling and sixty sins . (But he that is silent before foolish persons concerning such interpretations) sixty offences and sixty sins shall be forgiven him and Abathur win grasp (his hand) in honourable kus'ta.

Then Hibil-Ziwa - praised be his name! - taught that every man who concealeth (the Great Revelation?) it but observeth it, when his measure is full he will rise up without sin and (moreover) will loose and take with him sixty (souls) who are bound. And he will rise up towards his fathers and his Father will take his hand in honourable kust'a and he will be acclaimed as one in a thousand like Abathur Rama. And he will behold the great Countenance of Glory and will take His hand in honourable kus'ta and will be set at the King's right hand. (For) he whose mind testifieth to these teachings about orthodox procedures belongeth to the portion of the lofty and great King of Light, and hell-beasts and purgatory demons have no power over him".

And then Hibil-Ziwa - praised be his name! - taught Nasoraeans about the end of the last age. For evil will increase and pollutions will be many and abound in the world, since it is decreed that wickedness will increase and pollutions multiply greatly in the world; because it is destined in that age. So that of a great shekel of gold but half-a-draehma's weight will rise up to the Light; everything will sink down into Darkness. In that period and epoch - from the rule of the Arab Son-of-Slaughter unto the end of the worlds - persecution and tribulation will increase for Nasoraeans; purity will decrease and pollutions, adultery, theft and fraud will increase.

And men will be polluted and during that period man will drink the blood of fellow-man. All that is fair (will disappear), (but), amongst Nasoraeans, he that is steadfast in and holdeth to these teachings and this great revelation will rise up by the path of believers and will behold the great Countenance of Glory. Hibil-Ziwa taught concerning this age - that is, the age of the Arab Law - that it must needs occupy its destined span, for the Law is constituted of four mysteries; part therein is (of) the Light, and part therein wholly Root of Darkness. And it endureth for (?) two kings. To it was imparted a kind of order. It is formed from four natural humours: the Root of Darkness is composed of and arrayed in blood, gall, (wind), and mucus.

(But) the habiliments of the soul are formed of mystery , light and the jordan; the soul is formed by proper observance of the three mysteries, by purification of the four natural humours is the soul's vestment formed . For this is the eighth world, and it will turn from this habiliment, this garment in which it dwelleth; it will not tarry therein.

(During) this Arab age every evil creature multiplieth like evil weeds that grow apace, and peoples, nations and languages disperse and become measureless and numberless, like the Darkness that came into being with abundance.[2]

See Also[edit]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Karen L. King - What is Gnosticism? - Harvard University Press, 2005, P. 140, ISBN 9780674017627
  2. The Haran Gawaita and the Baptism of Hibil-Ziwa: The Mandaic Text Reproduced Together with Translation, Notes, and Commentary by E. S. Drower (Citta del Vaticano, 1953).