ELEMENTS IN THE QUR'AN
and the desire of inflicting injury, and in the abyss.
... And that injuriousness and that darkness too are
a place which they call the dark region. Ormazd in his
omniscience knew that Ahriman existed, because he"
— that is, Ahriman — "excites himself and intermingles
himself with the desire of envy even unto the end. ...
They" (Ormazd and Ahriman) "were for three
thousand years in spirit, that is, they were without
change and motion. ... The injurious spirit, on account
of his after- knowledge, was not aware of the existence
of Ormazd. At last he rises from that abyss, and he
came to the bright place; and, since he saw that brightness
of Ormazd, ... because of his injurious desire and his
envious disposition he became busied in destroying."
We necessarily find a certain difference in form between
the legend as it arose among the dualistic Zoroastrians
and the aspect it assumed among the Monotheistic Muslims.
Hence in the former the Evil Principle is not a creature
of Ormazd, and does not at first know of His existence,
whereas in the latter he is, of course, one of the creatures
of God. In the Muhammadan legend he gradually ascends
higher and higher by his piety, while in the Zoroastrian
account piety can have nothing
TRADITIONS OF ISLAM.
to do with the matter. But in both cases the Evil
Spirit at first dwells in darkness and ignorance and
comes up to the light, and in both cases he sets himself
to work to destroy God's creatures through envy and
ill-will. The twelve thousand years during which, according
to Zoroastrian ideas, the contest between good and evil
goes on is divided into four periods of three thousand
years each. A reference to this is probably to be found
in the three thousand years during which, as we have
seen, 'Azazil (Iblis) lies in wait for Adam's destruction.
Before leaving this subject it may be of interest
to point out that the Peacock has some connexion
with the Evil Spirit both in the Muhammadan and in the
Zoroastrian legend. In the Qisasu'l Anbiya we
are told that when Iblis was seated in ambush before
the gate of Paradise, watching for an opportunity to
enter and tempt Adam and Eve to sin, the Peacock was
sitting on the wall, on top of one of the battlements,
and saw him most piously engaged in repeating the loftiest
names of God Most High. Struck with admiration for so
much piety, the Peacock inquired who this ardent devotee
might be. Iblis replied, "I am one of the angels
of God; may He be honoured and glorified!" When
asked why he sat there, he replied, "I am looking
at Paradise, and I wish to enter it." The Peacock
was acting as watchman, so he replied, "I have
no orders to admit any one to Paradise while Adam is
in it." But Iblis bribed him to