Dadestan-i Denig Index
Dadestan-i Denig ('Religious Decisions')
Translated by E. W. West, from Sacred Books of the East, volume 24,
Oxford University Press, 1880.
- As to the fifty-first question and reply, that which you ask is thus: There
is a man who hands over a dirham as regards five bushels (kafiz) of wheat,
thus: 'I give this to thee as an installment (bon-ae) of five bushels of wheat
at the end of a month;' and during the month, and at its end, those five bushels
of wheat become five times the price; would they authorisedly seize the five
bushels of wheat when winnowed (pekhto kardo) by him, through that installment
which he handed over, or not?
- The reply is this, that when they who shall take his dirham have to entrust
the five bushels of wheat, unsuspiciously and by their own will, to him to
winnow, even so as they are advisedly and unsuspiciously winnowed by him they
should take them just as winnowed; this is the decision authorizedly given.
3. But when it is winnowed by him on account of very grievous necessity for
payment, it is more suitable for the soul to beg the giver of the money, who
is the purchasing payer, for some of that excess of undivided (apar) profit.
4. For he has to consider the profit of his successors as among the profit
of money on the spot -- when more than such installment demanded -- and not
as a fresh carrying off of a gift.
- As to the fifty-second question and reply, that which you ask is thus: If
people of the good religion, in their country or out of their country, shall
buy and sell with those of a different religion as regards cattle, or shall
lay hold of traders (vanikgaran) and shall sell to them, what is then the
decision about it? 2. When those of the good religion shall not buy, as they
have not come up to the price, but the orthodox dealers shall sell to traders
and those of a different religion, what is then the decision about it? 3.
And about him, of whom the means of existence (zivishno mindavam) are such,
what is then the decision?
- The reply, is this, that it would be very grievously sinful, and it would
be an evil occupation to transact such business through the influence of opportunity,
and to seek profit unauthorisedly, in that manner. 5. But if it be the means
of existence of those of the good religion of whom you have written, and they
are not able to seek it in any other business and proper occupation which
would be a less sinful means of existence, complete purchasers who have acquired
the good religion shall sell unto those of the good religion; because it is
possible for him to be less sinful to whom it is allowable to beg the life
of comrade, for still the rule of a righteous man, with the righteous who
are in his guardianship, is to live. 6. So it is possible, when they shall
sell cattle for slaughter and foreign eating, many cattle -- amounting even
to a diminution of the maintenance of Iran -- are more wretched than a righteous
man forced to kill them through a living becoming unobtainable and the fear
- As to the fifty-third question and reply, that which you ask is thus: A
man whose wife, daughters, sisters, and relations are many, and who is the
master of much wealth, becomes sick, and during the sickness has given this
hoard of wealth unto one daughter. 2. And his other sisters and daughters
are not contented therewith, and speak thus: 'This wealth ought to have been
given during health and consciousness, not during sickness; and now it should
not be allowable to give anything whatever unto any one during sickness, for
if anything happens the wealth all comes back for division amongst us.' 3.
Would it be allowable to give anything whatever of that wealth to any one,
during sickness, or not? 4. Is it necessary for one of such wife, daughters,
and sisters as there happen to be to appoint an adopted son for that man,
because of that wealth, or not? 5. Are the wife, daughters, and sisters who
shall take their share of the wealth responsible for the religious rites of
every kind, and is it necessary for them to order the annual ceremonies for
that man at the daily and yearly periods, or not?
- The reply is this, that, when there is nothing therein on account of which
I should so deem him otherwise than a man in sickness and nearly passing away,
it is not allowable to give it up, except when it is for his debts, or his
wife and children, or an aged person (zarman) or father who is in his guardianship
-- whom it is indispensably necessary to maintain -- and is such as, or as
much as, is discreetly requisite for payment of the debt, or for the food,
maintenance, and protection of those: that I have written about; then, however,
it is allowable to give it up away (biruno) from those of whom you have written,
as much as during his consciousness. 7. In other sickness, not while passing
away, whatever is given up by him himself during consciousness is allowable;
when he is not conscious it is not allowable. 8. And on that which he says
during unconsciousness one is not reliant and it is not credible (vavar);
but that which he says during consciousness, and that, too, which the same
man gave unto a daughter when he was ill, if given by him consciously, are
even then proceedings to be granted; if given by him during unconsciousness
it is just as though he died without an opportunity of speaking (avang-piruz).
- Of the property left by will, one share is needful for each separate daughter
for whom a husband is not provided, and two shares for a wife who may be a
privileged one; and so long as the wife is living she exists as the house-mistress
of the family; moreover, it is not needful to appoint an adopted son (sator),
for the adopted son's duty (satorih) remains with her, and she manages to
claim guardianship for the family from some man out of the relatives most
nearly allied. 10. Out of the portion of the property for food and maintenance
the wife should provide the daughters with husbands; and to keep going the
necessities in the guardianship, the nurture which the deceased man afforded,
and the ceremonies and good works imposed upon the family, and thereby become
indispensable, she herself is to take lapfuls and armfuls out of the income
- As to the sisters of that man, if they have been necessarily in his guardianship,
even as to nourishment, and there is no property for them in any other way,
their food and maintenance are also needful to be out of the income of the
property, unless that man has otherwise devised, or the appointment of a husband
is not provided on account of the non-subjection (loito airih) in which they
have been unto the guardianship of that man, or anything else opposed to it,
so that nothing whatever of the property of that man is needful for them.
- He who is a husband of one of the daughters is a leader in the management
(dastobarih) of the family, but with the concurrence of the house-mistress
of the family, and even so when the action is one which they should not do,
and his son is not born, or becomes passing away.
- As to a daughter not provided with a husband, should the one whose husband
is not provided be an only child, to keep her subject also to the house-mistress
of the family it is needful for her that there should be an adopted son in
it; and when they shall appoint her husband unto the adopted-sonship the property
then comes over into his possession.
- When the house-mistress of the family passes away, and the daughters are
provided with husbands, the adopted-sonship is to be appointed.
- As to the fifty-fourth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What
is the occupation and capacity (giriftarih) of the person that has to preserve
those who are in their three nights' trials, and who is he?
- The reply is this, that it is said a husband (gabra) is indispensable for
preservation through the three nights' trials which shall be for a privileged
wife, a father for those of a child, and a master for those of a servant.
- As to the fifty-fifth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What
is this adopted-sonship and guardianship of the family, and what does it become;
what manner is it necessary to appoint it, whence is it necessary to provide
food and clothing for it, and how is it necessary to be for it?
- The reply is this, that the adopted sonship is thus: It is requisite whenever
a man of the good religion is passing away, while he is a complete ruler of
a numerous household, who has no wife and child that may be privileged and
acknowledged, nor associating brother, nor son by adoption, and his property
is sixty stirs of income. 3. The controlling (khudayinag) of the property
is to be publicly provided out of the kindred of the deceased, and is called
the adopted-sonship; and he is to be appointed to it who is the nearest of
the same lineage (min ham-nafan), who will manage and keep the property united
in its entirety.
- The guardianship of a family is that when a guardian has to be appointed
in that manner over the family of a man whose wife, or daughter, or infant
son is not fit for their own guardianship, so it is necessary to appoint someone.
5. And it is necessary to appoint the adopted son and the family guardianship
at such time as may be convenient to them; and when the man passes away as
I have written it is necessary to appoint at such period as I have written,
and to neglect it temporarily, even the length of a year, would not be authorized.
- fit for adoption is a grown-up sister who is not adopted in another family,
then a brother's daughter, then a brother's son, and then the other nearest
relatives. 7. Fit for the family guardianship is first the father of the serving
wife (chagar), then a brother, then a daughter, and then the other nearest
relations; among brothers he who is the eldest (mas) among them is the fittest.
- The food and clothing of a wife that may be privileged -- who is the house-mistress
of the family, and is one kind of adopted son -- of a living infant son till
he becomes grown up, and a daughter of the family while she is in the guardianship
of the family guardians, are out of the property of the family so long as
it exists for the purpose.
- It has become the custom that the lapfuls and armfuls of the family guardian
are every month four stirs of, it may be, sixteen, which is the disbursement
(andazishno), for food, clothing, medicine, and shelter, out of the income
(bar), or out of the capital (bun), of the property which remains in the family,
by a perfect wife when she is capable -- such as the former house-mistress
-- so as want of nourishment (atafdado) may not come nakedly and unlawfully
- As to the fifty-sixth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Who
is suitable for adoption, and who is not suitable?
- The reply is this, that a grown-up man of the good religion who is intelligent,
a complete ruler of a numerous household, expecting offspring, and not having
sins worthy of death [tanapuhr] is suitable for adoption; even when he has
accepted either one adoption, or many adoptions, he is then still suitable
for another adoption. 3. And a grown-up woman, or even a child, is suitable
for one adoption, but when adopted in one family she is not suitable for another
- A woman requiring a husband -- though a complete worshipper -- or a foreigner,
or an infidel, or one having sins worthy of death, is unfit for adoption;
so also those who are demon-worshippers, she who is a concubine (shusar neshman)
or courtesan, and she who is menstruous are unfit.
- The fifty-seventh question is that which you ask thus: How many kinds of
family guardianship and adoption are there?
- The reply is this, that it is said there are three kinds, which are the
existent, the provided, and the appointed. 3. An adopted son who is existent
is such as a wife who may be privileged, or an only daughter is a kind of
adopted son owing to confidence in herself, such as happens when there is
no wife, and a daughter for whom there is no husband, and none is provided,
is the one that has remained.
- An adopted son who is provided is such as a son that is acknowledged, who
is accepted by one's self, and free from being appointed, or from necessity.
- And an adopted son who is appointed is he who is to be appointed among the
relations who are suitable for adoption -- and are nearest to him who is to
be appointed as adopted son -- and the ministers (padan) of religion, and
he performs the duty of family guardianship; he who is the appointed one is
he who is appointed by the men who are the nearest relations (nabanazdishtano)
on account of proximity.
- As to the fifty-eighth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: For
how much property is it then necessary to appoint an adopted son?
- The reply is this, that when the property which has remained his for whom
it is necessary to appoint an adopted son is as much as sixty stirs of income,
it is then indispensable to appoint an adopted son for him. 3. Even when it
is less they should recognize him whose adoption is needful, and who conducts
an adopted son's duty; and, similarly, an adoption is to be appointed for
him, though it may not come as a possession unto him who is fittest for adoption.
- As to the fifty-ninth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What
is the sin owing to not appointing an adopted son?
- The reply is this, that for the man himself it is allowable when he gives
up all the property in righteous gifts, and when he has no property they should
not provide an adopted-sonship for him, and his relations are innocent as
regards it. 3. But should they recognize him who has the adopted-sonship of
the deceased, or has accepted the position of his adopted-sonship, or should
they have seized the property for the adopted-sonship in order to appoint
an acting adopted son (satorgar), and he conducts the adopted-sonship, and
throws away both the portion (bon) provided for disbursement (vishopo) and
the entirety, and quite destroys the property, and thoroughly ruins the adopted-sonship,
though, on account of not restraining him, it is said to be a sin worthy of
death for every single dirham, it is not said they are killed outright.
- As to the sixtieth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: What
is the propriety and impropriety, the merit and demerit, of family guardianship?
- The reply is this, that the merit is the appointment and recognition of
him who accomplishes more worthily the greater benefit; the demerit is as
to him who is unworthy, or him whose worthiness is not appointed to avert
a lesser benefit and the ruining of a worthy adoption. 3. Nearer details (khurdako)
of the family guardianship which is proper and which is not proper for an
adopted son's duty, of the child of good religion with whose business it is
connected, and of the fathers for whom a family guardian is to be appointed,
are in the recital of five chapters (fragardo) of the Husparum Nask, and in
the abstracts (giriftakoiha) of the good ideas in various scriptures (Nasko)
in which many decisions are together.
- As to the sixty-first question and reply, that which you ask is thus: How
stand the shares in the inheritance (mirato) of property among those of the
good religion, and how is it necessary for them to stand therein?
- The reply is this, that in the possession of wealth the wealth reaches higher
or lower, just like water when it goes in a stream on a declivity, but when
the passage shall be closed at the bottom it goes back on the running water
(puy-avo), and then it does not go to its after-course.
- When there is nothing otherwise in the will and private, property goes to
a wife or daughter who is privileged; if one gives her anything by will then
she does not obtain the share (dash) pertaining to her. 4. Whenever a share
for a son is not provided by it, every one has so much and the wife who may
be a privileged one has twice as much; and the share of that one of the sons,
or even the wife of a son, who is blind in both eyes, or crippled in both
feet, or maimed in both his hands, is twice as much as that of one who is
- And it is needful that he who was in the father's guardianship shall remain
in guardianship, as when a father or mother is decrepit and causing awe (chagarin),
or of a nurture different from that of the guardian -- or a child of his brother
or sister, or a father, or one without nurture apart from him, is without
a guardian -- the ready guardianship of a capable man, and the shelter and
nourishment that have become inadequate are as indispensably forthcoming from
the possessors of wealth, of those who have taken the property, as that taking
- If there be no son of that man, but there be a daughter or wife of his,
and if some of the affairs of the man are such as render a woman not suitable
for the guardianship, it is necessary to appoint a family guardian; if there
be, moreover, no wife or daughter of his it is necessary to appoint an adopted
son. 7. This that is, when it is necessary to appoint a family guardian and
who is the fittest, and when it is necessary to appoint an adopted son and
which is the fittest -- is written in the chapters on the question [ch 56-59].
- The sixty-second question is that which you ask thus: Would they authorisedly
carry off any property whatever from foreigners and infidels, or not?
- The reply is this, that wealth and property and anything that foreigners
(an-airano) possess and is carried off by them from the good with violence,
and which through obstinacy they do not give back when it is proper, it is
well allowable in that case that they should seize from the foreigners. 3.
So long as it is the lawful order of the procurator of its owners it is allowable
for a just decider to consider properly, and to demand authoritatively the
sending of interest (sudo) thereon for himself. 4. But if they proceed in
their obstinacy he is sent to come up with them in obstinacy, not to dissemble
- It is the custom to give an infidel (ak-dino), who is not a foreigner, food,
clothing, and medicine, when his renunciation (vaz) has come, for keeping
away matters (chishano) of death and sickness owing to hunger and thirst,
cold and heat; but wealth, horses, accouterments, wine, and land are not given
authorisedly, it is said, unto foreigners and idolators [dev-worshippers].
- As to the sixty-third question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Whence
was the first creation of mankind, and how was the formation of the original
race of men? 2. What issued from Gayomard, and what did it really become;
and from what have Mashyaih and Mashyayoih [Mashye and Mashyane] arisen?
- The reply is this, that Ohrmazd, the all-ruling, produced from the endless
light the shape of a fire-priest (asruko) whose name was that of Ohrmazd,
and its brilliance that of fire; its incombustibility was like that inside
the light, and its expansion like the western (khurbarag) land. 4. And in
the shape of the fire-priest was created by him the material existence (stih)
that is called man, and for three thousand years, when it did not progress
and did not eat, it did not speak; likewise, it did not utter, but it thought
of, the righteousness of the perfect and true religion, the desire for the
pure glorification of the creator.
- Afterwards, the contentious promise-breaker injured the life of it, and
produced a burdensome mortality; and the mortality is clear from the appellation,
Gayomard, of the nature produced. 6. The seed which was the essence of the
life of the leader (mirako) of life, who was Gayomard, flowed forth on his
passing away, came on to the earth of the beneficent angel [Spandarmad], and
is preserved in the earth until, through the protection of the angels, a brother
and sister of mankind, connected together, have grown from it, have attained
to movement and walking upon the earth, and have advanced even to intercourse
and also procreation.
- The ground where the life of Gayomard departed is gold, and from the other
land, where the dissolution of his various members occurred, as many kinds
of decorative metals flowed forth it is said.
- As to the sixty-fourth question and reply, that which you ask is thus: Where
and from what did the origin of race, which they say was next-of-kin marriage
(khwedodas), arise; and from what place did it arise?
- The reply is this, that the first consummation of next-of-kin marriage was
owing to that which Mashyaih and Mashyayoih [Mashye and Mashyane] did, who
were brother and sister together, and their consummation of intercourse produced
a son as a consummation of the first next-of-kin marriage. 3. So that they
effected the first intercourse of man with woman, and the entire progress
of the races of every kind of lineage of men arose from that, and all the
men of the world are of that race.
- It is truly said, that it was the joy of the lord and creator after the
creation of the creatures, and, owing to that, its consummation, which was
his complete accomplishment of the existence of the creatures (damanih), was
owing to him. 5. And its occurrence, too, is in evidence that the creator,
who is so with unflinching (atorak) will, is as much the cause of the begetting
and entire progress of his own perfect creatures, in whom begetting is by
destiny, as Hooshang by whom two-thirds of the demons were smitten, Takhmorup
who overturned Ahriman through the power of the angels, Yim [Jamshed] by whom
order was arranged and death was driven away (avakaldo), Faridoon who fettered
Az-i Dahak [Zohak] and stripped his blaspheming (nirangak) from the world,
and the many princes (kayan) and high-priests of grave spirit who were, and
are, and will be.