Zindīq ( _ar. زنديق) refers to those, who Muslims believe, have strayed so far from mainstream Islamic beliefs to have left Islam altogether. During medieval times, Muslims used to refer to Manichaeans, apostates, pagans, heretics, and those who antagonized Islam and in modern times it is occasionally used to denote members of the Druze and Bahá'í Faith — religions which originated in a Muslim society but are considered independent faiths. Some Muslims consider members of the Ahmadiyyah movement to fit this description as well, although the Ahmadiyyah faithful still consider themselves to be Muslims and follow most of the teachings of Orthodox Islam.


The word "Zendiq" is now known to derive from Middle Persian Pahlavi word of "zandik" or "zendik" (Persian: زنديك) consisting of "zand" plus "îk" (attribution suffix in Pahlavi language) referring to those who resorted to interpretation in their understanding of Zoroastrian faith. citation|last=Zarrinkoub|first=Abdolhosein|title=Two Centuries of Silence|year=1999|id=ISBN 964-5983-33-6 ] According to Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary "zand" is derived from Avestan "zanda" found in two instances in Avesta [ Yasna 61, 3; Vendidad 18, 53-55. ] whose root is unknown today, however it has seemingly implied sinners such as bandits, thieves, enchanters, renegades and liars. The first recorded use of the word "zandik" is probably on the inscription in Naqsh-e Rajab attributed to Kartir, high-priest and advisor of Sassanid emperors Hormizd I, Bahram I and Bahram II, in which it explicitly denotes Manichaeans as "the ones with corrupted faith". [ Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary. ]

Famous and Alleged Zendiqs in Islamic History

* Yazdan pour-e Badhan
* Bashar ibn Burd
* Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa
* Yazdanbakht
* Abdulkarim ibn abi Al-Ouja'
* Ali ibn Ubaydah Rihani
* Aban Abdulhamid Lahiqi


*cite book
last = Hughes
first = Thomas Patrick
authorlink =
coauthors =
year = 1994
title = Dictionary of Islam
publisher = Kazi Publications Inc. USA
location = Chicago, IL
id = ISBN 0-935782-70-2


See also

*Ahmadiyyah Islam
*Bahá'í Faith

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