عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Natural phenomena such as the sun, the moon, stars, water, plants, fire, mountains, animals, the earth and the sky bear special value among different tribes. Mankind has sanctified these phenomena, has created signs and symbols for them and has attributed them to certain deities. Ancient Iranians cherished water and plants and considered them the signs of Mehr and Anahita. Religious rituals related to water and trees and the deities to whom they were attributed had their roots in Iran’s prehistoric culture, and continued to exist with new content in the Islamic era in such a way that worshipping Anahita has changed into shefa'at (intercession) and tawassul (supplicating to God through a prophet or saint, dead or alive). Anahita, the goddess of water, is characterized as a lady with natural features and a developed personality and is the symbol of the fertility of mankind, animals and plants. This belief has been so strong in the Persian culture that it still continued to exist after the advent of Islam into Iran. The rain ritual and recourse to Hazrat Fatehem Zahra (SA), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and Hazrat Abbas (SA), the brother of Imam Hussein (SA), replaced water rituals and recourse to Anahita. Although the form of the ritual has been preserved during the metamorphosis, the content has changed from “recourse to Anahita for bringing rain” to “recourse to Islamic divine individuals for intercession with God”. Intercession with God, of course, relies on God’s permission. Water and plants are not sacred in Islamic beliefs. Nevertheless, they are revered as cherished elements of nature in Quran due to their important role in mankind's life and their relations to ancient beliefs. A great change which took place about these rituals is the reference of the ritual. While Anahita was the reference of prayers in ancient Iran, now Islamic divine individuals are resorted to as intermediaries and intercessors, and the intercession itself depends on God’s permission.