Sabians of Maimonides

From Wikinoah English
Jump to: navigation, search

To be merged with Harranians and Yazdânism and Mithraism.

Maimonides writes that Abraham was a 'Sabian' before he came to a belief in the One God. Maimonides proposed that Sabianism evolved into Abrahamic monotheism which then evolved into Mosaic teaching. Maimonides uses the term Sabian to depicts typical “pagan” culture would have existed before Abraham brought the message of the one god. He writes that the Sabians believed in a form of Adam. The description he recounts in Guide to the Perplexed is a typical Harranian creation in which Adam is brought into the worship of Sin. He writes that the idolaters pray to the morning sun in the east. It is for this reason that Abraham initiated the notion of facing west in all prayers. Maimonides wrote that that the Sabians held great respect for all animal life in particular the bull. Maimonides wrote concerning the notion that blood is unclean yet they partake of it.[1]

Why does he use the Sabians as this general term denoting all “pagan” worshippers? This is because in the Islamic system under which Maimonides lived, there are two kinds of Tsabi (Disciples of G-d's Angel). The first are the Mushrik (Hanif) Sabians while those who like Abraham had come from among the Mushriks but had repented were called Hanifian Tsabis but not Mushrik. There could be several reasons for this. One would be the fact that the term “Sabians” as indicated in the Qu’ran had already degraded into being a generalized term for all religions, other than Islam, Jewish, and Christianity, that fit into generalized descriptions of a qualified religion under Islamic law. [2]

Quotes from Maimonides on Sabians

  • These are remnants of the Sabians, who once filled the earth. ... In a succeeding chapter I shall explain why the Sabians had their religious doctrines ...[3]
  • The following words of the Sabians are quoted there: "All ancient wise men advised, ... These are the words of the Sabians. When these ideas spread, ...[4]
  • This Law alone is called divine; other laws, such as the political legislations among the Greeks, or the follies of the Sabians, are the works of human ...[5]
  • When you read the books which I mentioned to you. you will find that witchcraft, which will be described to you, is part of the customs of the Sabians, ...[6]
  • The Sabians, in their ignorance of the existence of God, believed that the spheres with their stars were beings without beginning and without end, ...[7]
  • Some sects among the Sabians worshipped demons, and imagined that these assumed the form of ... Although blood was very unclean in the eyes of the Sabians, ... [8]
  • But the practice of the Sabians, even at present general in the East, among the few still left of the Magi, was to keep a menstruous woman in a house by ...[9]
  • If the religious rules of the Sabians and the events of those days were known to us, we should be able to see plainly the reason for most of the things ...[10]
  • You know how widespread were in those days the opinions of the Sabians: all men, except a few individuals, were idolaters, that is to say, they believed in ...[11]
  • expression would have implied that God occupies a place or is a power in the sphere, as was in fact believed by the Sabians, who held that God was the soul ...[12]


  1. The Sabians of Moses Maimonides Writing
  2. ibid.
  3. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XXIX
  4. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XXX
  5. Guide for the Perplexed: Part II: Chapter XXXIX
  6. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XXXVII
  7. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XLV
  8. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XLVI
  9. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter XLVII
  10. Guide for the Perplexed: Part III: Chapter L
  11. Guide for the Perplexed: Part I: Chapter LXIII
  12. Guide for the Perplexed: Part I: Chapter LXX