The Epistles of Wisdom is the foundational text of the Druze faith. Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant , where it continues to play a large political role. As a religious minority in every country in which they are found, they have frequently experienced persecution , except in Lebanon and Israel , where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Even though the faith originally developed out of Isma'ilism , Druze do not identify as Muslims. They are found primarily in Syria , Lebanon and Israel , with small communities in Jordan. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze literally the "Mountain of the Druzes".
Even though the faith originally developed out of Isma'ilismDruze do not identify as Muslims. They are found primarily in SyriaLebanon and Israelwith small communities in Jordan. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze literally the "Mountain of the Druzes". Before becoming public, the movement was secretive and held closed meetings in what was known as Sessions of Wisdom.
During this stage a dispute occurred between ad-Darazi and Hamza bin Ali mainly concerning ad-Darazi's ghuluww "exaggeration"which refers to the belief that God was incarnated in human beings especially ' Ali and his descendants, including Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allahwho was the caliph at the time and to ad-Darazi naming himself "The Sword of the Faith", which led Hamza to write an epistle refuting the need for the sword to spread the faith and several epistles refuting the beliefs of the ghulat.
In ad-Darazi and his followers openly proclaimed their beliefs and called people to join them, causing riots in Cairo against the Unitarian movement including Hamza bin Ali and his followers. This led to the suspension of the movement for one year and the expulsion of ad-Darazi and his supporters. Although the Druze religious books describe ad-Darazi as the "insolent one" and as the "calf" who is narrow-minded and hasty, the name "Druze" is still used for identification and for historical reasons.
Inad-Darazi was assassinated for his teachings; some sources claim that he was executed by Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah. The word Dogziyin "Druzes" occurs in an early Hebrew edition of his travels, but it is clear that this is a scribal error. Be that as it may, he described the Druze as "mountain dwellers, monotheists, who believe in 'soul eternity' and reincarnation ". Druze people reside primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.
They are Arabs who speak the Arabic language and follow a social pattern very similar to those of the other peoples of the Levant eastern Mediterranean. The number of Druze people worldwide is betweenand one million, with the vast majority residing in the Levant. The Druze faith began as an Isma'ili movement that was opposed to certain religious and philosophical ideologies that were present during that epoch.
The divine call or unitarian call is the Druze period of time that was opened at sunset on Thursday 30 May by the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah and closed in by al-Muqtana Baha'uddinhenceforth prohibiting anyone else from converting to the Druze faith. InHamza officially revealed the Druze faith and began to preach the Unitarian doctrine.
Remove ye the causes of fear and estrangement from yourselves. Do away with the corruption of delusion and conformity.
Be ye certain that the Prince of Believers hath given unto you free will, and hath spared you the trouble of disguising and concealing your true beliefs, so that when ye work ye may keep your deeds pure for God. He hath done thus so that when you relinquish your previous beliefs and doctrines ye shall not indeed lean on such causes of impediments and pretensions.
By conveying to you the reality of his intention, the Prince of Believers hath spared you any excuse for doing so. He hath urged you to declare your belief openly. Ye are now safe from any hand which may bring harm unto you. Ye now may find rest in his assurance ye shall not be wronged. Let those who are present convey this message unto the absent so that it may be known by both the distinguished and the common people. It shall thus become a rule to mankind; and Divine Wisdom shall prevail for all the days to come.
Al-Hakim became a central figure in the Druze faith even though his own religious position was disputed among scholars. John Esposito states that al-Hakim believed that "he was not only the divinely appointed religio-political leader, but also the cosmic intellect linking God with creation",  while others like Nissim Dana and Mordechai Nisan state that he is perceived as the manifestation and the reincarnation of God or presumably the image of God.
Little information is known about the early life of al-Darazi. According to most sources, he was born in Bukhara. He is believed to have been of Persian origins and his title al-Darazi is Persian in origin, meaning "the tailor". Al-Darazi's army was aroun men while the Unitarian movement that started in the Choufe Mountains of Lebanon and the Houran Mountains of Syria had less than 10, men.
The two sides met in battle north of Jerusalem. Al-Darazi's army was destroyed and he was captured. As a result of this victory, the Unitarian movement was called at that time the movement that destroyed the army of al-Darazi.
After the battle, al-Darazi was converted to be one of the early preachers of the Unitarian faith. At that time, the movement enlisted a large number of adherents.
This view is based on the observation that as the number of his followers grew, he became obsessed with his leadership and gave himself the title "The Sword of the Faith". However, al-Darazi ignored Hamza's warnings and continued to challenge the Imam. This attitude led to disputes between Ad-Darazi and Hamza ibn Ali, who disliked his behaviour. Byal-Darazi had gathered around him partisans - "Darazites" - who believed that universal reason became incarnated in Adam at the beginning of the world, was then passed from him to the prophets, then into Ali and hence into his descendants, the Fatimid Caliphs.
He read from his book in the principal mosque in Cairo, which caused riots and protests against his claims and many of his followers were killed. Hamza ibn Ali refuted his ideology calling him "the insolent one and Satan". In an attempt to gain the support of al-Hakim, al-Darazi started preaching that al-Hakim and his ancestors were the incarnation of God.
An inherently modest man, al-Hakim did not believe that he was God, and felt al-Darazi was trying to depict himself as a new prophet.
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The call was suspended briefly between 19 May and 9 May during the apostasy of al-Darazi and again between and during a period of persecution by Ali az-Zahir for those who had sworn the oath to accept the call. The call summoned people to a true unitarian belief that removed all attributes wise, just, outside, inside, etc. These concepts superseded all rituallaw and dogma and requirements for pilgrimagefastingholy daysprayercharity, devotioncreed and particular worship of any prophet or person was downplayed.
Sharia was opposed and Druze traditions started during the call continue today, such as meeting for reading, prayer and social gathering on a Thursday instead of a Friday at Khalwats instead of mosques. Such gatherings and traditions were not compulsory and people were encouraged to pursue a state of compliance with the real law of nature governing the universe. The time of the call was seen as a revolution of truth, with missionaries preaching its message all around the Middle East.
These messengers were sent out with the Druze epistles and took written vows from believers, whose souls are thought to still exist in the Druze of today. The souls of those who took the vows during the call are believed to be continuously reincarnating in successive generations of Druze until the return of al-Hakim to proclaim a second Divine call and establish a Golden Age of justice and peace for all.
Inal-Muqtana Baha'uddin declared that the sect would no longer accept new pledges, and since that time proselytism has been prohibited awaiting al-Hakim's return at the Last Judgment to usher in a new Golden Age. Some Druze and non-Druze scholars like Samy Swayd and Sami Makarem state that this confusion is due to confusion about the role of the early preacher al-Darazi, whose teachings the Druze rejected as heretical.
Al-Hakim disappeared one night while out on his evening ride - presumably assassinated, perhaps at the behest of his formidable elder sister Sitt al-Mulk. The Druze believe he went into Occultation with Hamza ibn Ali and three other prominent preachers, leaving the care of the "Unitarian missionary movement" to a new leader, al-Muqtana Baha'uddin. The Unitarian Druze movement, which existed in the Fatimid Caliphate, acknowledged al-Zahir as the caliph, but followed Hamzah as its Imam.
For the next seven years, the Druze faced extreme persecution by the new caliph, al-Zahir, who wanted to eradicate the faith. Many spies, mainly the followers of al-Darazi, joined the Unitarian movement in order to infiltrate the Druze community. The spies set about agitating trouble and soiling the reputation of the Druze. This resulted in friction with the new caliph who clashed militarily with the Druze community.
The clashes ranged from Antioch to Alexandriawhere tens of thousands of Druze were slaughtered by the Fatimid army. Druze survivors "were found principally in southern Lebanon and Syria". Intwo years after the death of al-Zahir, the Druze movement was able to resume because the new leadership that replaced him had friendly political ties with at least one prominent Druze leader. It was during the period of Crusader rule in Levant - that the Druze first emerged into the full light of history in the Gharb region of the Chouf Mountains.
As powerful warriors serving the Muslim rulers of Damascus against the Crusadesthe Druze were given the task of keeping watch over the crusaders in the seaport of Beirut, with the aim of preventing them from making any encroachments inland. Subsequently, the Druze chiefs of the Gharb placed their considerable military experience at the disposal of the Mamluk rulers of Egypt - ; first, to assist them in putting an end to what remained of Crusader rule in coastal Levant, and later to help them safeguard the Lebanese coast against Crusader retaliation by sea.
In the early period of the Crusader era, the Druze feudal power was in the hands of two families, the Tanukhs and the Arslans.
From their fortresses in the Gharb area now in Aley District of southern Mount Lebanon Governoratethe Tanukhs led their incursions into the Phoenician coast and finally succeeded in holding Beirut and the marine plain against the Franks. Because of their fierce battles with the Crusadersthe Druzes earned the respect of the Sunni Muslim caliphs and thus gained important political powers.
After the middle of the twelfth century, the Ma'an family superseded the Tanukhs in Druze leadership. The origin of the family goes back to a Prince Ma'an who made his appearance in the Lebanon in the days of the 'Abbasid caliph al-Mustarshid CE. The Ma'ans chose for their abode the Chouf District in south-western Lebanon southern Mount Lebanon Governorateoverlooking the maritime plain between Beirut and Sidonand made their headquarters in Baaqlinwhich is still a leading Druze village. They were invested with feudal authority by Sultan Nur ad-Din and furnished respectable contingents to the Muslim ranks in their struggle against the Crusaders.
Having cleared the holy land of the Franks, the Mamluk sultans of Egypt turned their attention to the schismatic Muslims of Syria. Inafter the issuing of a fatwa by the scholar Ibn Taymiyyahcalling for jihad against all non- Sunni Muslims like the Druze, AlawitesIsmailiand Twelver Shia Muslims, al-Malik al-Nasir inflicted a disastrous defeat on the Druze at Keserwanand forced outward compliance on their part to Orthodox Sunni Islam. Later, under the Ottomanthey were severely attacked at Saoufar inafter the Ottomans claimed that they assaulted their caravans near Tripoli.
He also declared that confiscation of Druze property and even the death sentence would conform to the laws of Islam. Consequently, the 16th and 17th centuries were to witness a succession of armed Druze rebellions against the Ottomans, countered by repeated Ottoman punitive expeditions against the Chouf, in which the Druze population of the area was severely depleted and many villages destroyed.
These military measures, severe as they were, did not succeed in reducing the local Druze to the required degree of subordination. This led the Ottoman government to agree to an arrangement whereby the different nahiyes districts of the Chouf would be granted in iltizam "fiscal concession" to one of the region's amirsor leading chiefs, leaving the maintenance of law and order and the collection of its taxes in the area in the hands of the appointed amir.
This arrangement was to provide the cornerstone for the privileged status which ultimately came to be enjoyed by the whole of Mount Lebanon, Druze and Christian areas alike. With the advent of the Ottoman Turks and the conquest of Syria by Sultan Selim I inthe Ma'ans were acknowledged by the new rulers as the feudal lords of southern Lebanon.
Druze villages spread and prospered in that region, which under Ma'an leadership so flourished that it acquired the generic term of Jabal Bayt-Ma'an the mountain home of the Ma'an or Jabal al-Druze. The latter title has since been usurped by the Hawran region, which since the middle of the 19th century has proven a haven of refuge to Druze emigrants from Lebanon and has become the headquarters of Druze power. The ruins of this castle still stand on a steep hill overlooking the town.
Fakhr-al-Din became too strong for his Turkish sovereign in Constantinople.
He went so far in as to sign a commercial treaty with Duke Ferdinand I of Tuscany containing secret military clauses. The Sultan then sent a force against him, and he was compelled to flee the land and seek refuge in the courts of Tuscany and Naples in and respectively.
In political changes in the Ottoman sultanate had resulted in the removal of many enemies of Fakhr-al-Din from power, signaling the prince's triumphant return to Lebanon soon afterwards. Through a clever policy of bribery and warfare, he extended his domains to cover all of modern Lebanon, some of Syria and northern Galilee.
This time the prince decided to remain in Lebanon and resist the offensive, but the death of his son Ali in Wadi al-Taym was the beginning of his defeat. Fakhr-al-Din was captured, taken to Istanbuland imprisoned with two of his sons in the infamous Yedi Kule prison.
The Sultan had Fakhr-al-Din and his sons killed on 13 April in Istanbulbringing an end to an era in the history of Lebanon, which would not regain its current boundaries until it was proclaimed a mandate state and republic in One version recounts that the younger son was spared, raised in the harem and went on to become Ottoman Ambassador to India.
Fakhr-al-Din II was the first ruler in modern Lebanon to open the doors of his country to foreign Western influences. Fakhr ad Din II was succeeded in by his nephew Ahmed Ma'anwho ruled through his death in Fakhr ad Din's only surviving son, Husayn, lived the rest of his life as a court official in Constantinople.
Mulhim's forces battled and defeated those of Mustafa Pasha, Beylerbey of Damascus, inbut he is reported by historians to have been otherwise loyal to Ottoman rule. Following Mulhim's death, his sons Ahmad and Korkmaz entered into a power struggle with other Ottoman-backed Druze leaders. Inthe Ottoman Empire moved to reorganize the region, placing the sanjaks districts of Sidon-Beirut and Safed in a newly formed province of Sidona move seen by local Druze as an attempt to assert control.
During the Ottoman-Habsburg War -Ahmad Ma'n collaborated in a rebellion against the Ottomans which extended beyond his death. They soon made an alliance with the Ma'ans and were acknowledged as the Druze chiefs in Wadi al-Taym. At the end of the 17th century the Shihabs succeeded the Ma'ans in the feudal leadership of Druze southern Lebanon, although they reportedly professed Sunni Islam, they showed sympathy with Druzism, the religion of the majority of their subjects.
The Shihab leadership continued until the middle of the 19th century and culminated in the illustrious governorship of Amir Bashir Shihab II - who, after Fakhr-al-Din, was the most powerful feudal lord Lebanon produced. Though governor of the Druze Mountain, Bashir was a crypto-Christianand it was he whose aid Napoleon solicited in during his campaign against Syria. Having consolidated his conquests in Syria -Ibrahim Pashason of the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pashamade the fatal mistake of trying to disarm the Christians and Druzes of the Lebanon and to draft the latter into his army.
This was contrary to the principles of the life of independence which these mountaineers had always lived, and resulted in a general uprising against Egyptian rule. The uprising was encouraged, for political reasons, by the British.
The conquest of Syria by the Muslim Arabs in the middle of the seventh century introduced into the land two political factions later called the Qaysites and the Yemenites. The Qaysite party represented the Bedouin Arabs who were regarded as inferior by the Yemenites who were earlier and more cultured emigrants into Syria from southern Arabia. Druzes and Christians grouped in political, rather than religious, parties; the party lines in Lebanon obliterated racial and religious lines and the people grouped themselves into one or the other of these two parties regardless of their religious affiliations.
The sanguinary feuds between these two factions depleted, in course of time, the manhood of the Lebanon and ended in the decisive battle of Ain Dara inwhich resulted in the utter defeat of the Yemenite party.
Many Yemenite Druzes thereupon immigrated to the Hawran region, and thus laid the foundation of Druze power there. The relationship between the Druze and Christians has been characterized by harmony and coexistence    with amicable relations between the two groups prevailing throughout history, with the exception of some periods, including Mount Lebanon civil war. This culminated in the civil war of After the Shehab dynasty converted to Christianity, the Druze community and feudal leaders came under attack from the regime with the collaboration of the Catholic Church, and the Druze lost most of their political and feudal powers.
Also, the Druze formed an alliance with Britain and allowed Protestant missionaries to enter Mount Lebanon, creating tension between them and the Catholic Maronites.
The Maronite-Druze conflict in was an outgrowth of the Maronite Christian independence movement, [ citation needed ] directed against the Druze, Druze feudalism, and the Ottoman-Turks. The civil war was not therefore a religious war, [ citation needed ] except in Damascus, where it spread and where the vastly non-Druze population was anti-Christian. The European powers then determined to intervene, and authorized the landing in Beirut of a body of French troops under General Beaufort d'Hautpoulwhose inscription can still be seen on the historic rock at the mouth of Nahr al-Kalb.
French intervention on behalf of the Maronites did not help the Maronite national movement, since France was restricted in by Britain, which did not want the Ottoman Empire dismembered.
But European intervention pressured the Turks to treat the Maronites more justly. This autonomy was maintained until World War I. The Hauran rebellion was a violent Druze uprising against Ottoman authority in the Syrian province, which erupted in May The rebellion was led by al-Atrash family, originated in local disputes and Druze unwillingness to pay taxes and conscript into the Ottoman Army.
The rebellion ended in brutal suppression of the Druze by General Sami Pasha al-Farouqi, significant depopulation of the Hauran region and execution of the Druze leaders in In the outcome of the revolt, 2, Druze were killed, a similar number wounded, and hundreds of Druze fighters imprisoned. Al-Farouqi also disarmed the population, extracted significant taxes, and launched a census of the region.
In LebanonSyriaIsraeland Jordan, the Druzites have official recognition as a separate religious community with its own religious court system.
Despite their practice of blending with dominant groups to avoid persecution, and because the Druze religion does not endorse separatist sentiments, but urges blending with the communities they reside in, the Druze have had a history of resistance to occupying powers, and they have at times enjoyed more freedom than most other groups living in the Levant.
In Syria, most Druzites live in the Jebel al-Druzea rugged and mountainous region in the southwest of the country, which is more than 90 percent Druze inhabited; some villages are exclusively so. A large Syrian Druze community historically lived in the Golan Heights, but following wars with Israel in an many of these Druze fled to other parts of Syria; most of those who remained live in a handful of villages in the disputed zone, while only a few live in the narrow remnant of Quneitra Governorate that is still under effective Syrian control.
The Druze always played a far more important role in Syrian politics than its comparatively small population would suggest. With a community of little more thaninor roughly three percent of the Syrian population, the Druze of Syria's southwestern mountains constituted a potent force in Syrian politics and played a leading role in the nationalist struggle against the French.
Under the military leadership of Sultan Pasha al-Atrashthe Druze provided much of the military force behind the Syrian Revolution of - InAmir Hasan al-Atrash, the paramount political leader of the Jebel al-Druzeled the Druze military units in a successful revolt against the French, making the Jebel al-Druze the first and only region in Syria to liberate itself from French rule without British assistance.
At independence the Druze, made confident by their successes, expected that Damascus would reward them for their many sacrifices on the battlefield.
They demanded to keep their autonomous administration and many political privileges accorded them by the French and sought generous economic assistance from the newly independent government. When a local paper in reported that President Shukri al-Quwatli had called the Druzes a "dangerous minority", Sultan Pasha al-Atrash flew into a rage and demanded a public retraction.
If it were not forthcoming, he announced, the Druzes would indeed become "dangerous", and a force of 4, Druze warriors would "occupy the city of Damascus".
Quwwatli could not dismiss Sultan Pasha's threat. The military balance of power in Syria was tilted in favor of the Druzes, at least until the military build up during the War in Palestine. One advisor to the Syrian Defense Department warned in that the Syrian army was "useless", and that the Druzes could "take Damascus and capture the present leaders in a breeze". During the four years of Adib Shishakli 's rule in Syria December to February on 25 August Adib al-Shishakli created the Arab Liberation Movement ALMa progressive party with pan-Arabist and socialist views the Druze community was subjected to a heavy attack by the Syrian government.
Shishakli believed that among his many opponents in Syria, the Druzes were the most potentially dangerous, and he was determined to crush them.
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He frequently proclaimed: "My enemies are like a serpent: The head is the Jebel al-Druze, the stomach Homsand the tail Aleppo. If I crush the head, the serpent will die. Several towns were bombarded with heavy weapons, killing scores of civilians and destroying many houses.
According to Druze accounts, Shishakli encouraged neighboring bedouin tribes to plunder the defenseless population and allowed his own troops to run amok.
Shishakli launched a brutal campaign to defame the Druzes for their religion and politics. He accused the entire community of treason, at times claiming they were agents of the British and Hashimitesat others that they were fighting for Israel against the Arabs. He even produced a cache of Israeli weapons allegedly discovered in the Jabal. Even more painful for the Druze community was his publication of "falsified Druze religious texts" and false testimonials ascribed to leading Druze sheikhs designed to stir up sectarian hatred.
This propaganda also was broadcast in the Arab world, mainly Egypt. Shishakli was assassinated in Brazil on 27 September by a Druze seeking revenge for Shishakli's bombardment of the Jebel al-Druze.
He forcibly integrated minorities into the national Syrian social structure, his "Syrianization" of Alawite and Druze territories had to be accomplished in part using violence, he declared: "My enemies are like serpent.
The head is the Jabal Druzeif I crush the head the serpent will die" Seale He saw minority demands as tantamount to treason. His increasingly chauvinistic notions of Arab nationalism were predicated on the denial that "minorities" existed in Syria. After the Shishakli's military campaign, the Druze community lost much of its political influence, but many Druze military officers played important roles in the Ba'ath government currently ruling Syria.
Ina community of Druze in the Golan Heights came under Israeli control, today numbering 23, in On 25 Julya group of ISIS -affiliated attackers entered the Druze city of As-Suwayda and initiated a series of gunfights and suicide bombings on its streets, killing at least people, the vast majority of them civilians. The Druzite community in Lebanon played an important role in the formation of the modern state of Lebanon, and even though they are a minority they play an important role in the Lebanese political scene.
Most of the community supported the Progressive Socialist Party formed by their leader Kamal Jumblatt and they fought alongside other leftist and Palestinian parties against the Lebanese Front that was mainly constituted of Christians. After the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt on 16 Marchhis son Walid Jumblatt took the leadership of the party and played an important role in preserving his father's legacy after winning the Mountain War and sustained the existence of the Druze community during the sectarian bloodshed that lasted until The tumultuous reception that Sfeir received not only signified a historic reconciliation between Maronites and Druze, who fought a bloody war in - but underscored the fact that the banner of Lebanese sovereignty had broad multi-confessional appeal and was a cornerstone for the Cedar Revolution in Jumblatt's post position diverged sharply from the tradition of his family.
He also accused Damascus of being behind the assassination of his father, Kamal Jumblatt, expressing for the first time what many knew he privately suspected. The BBC describes Jumblatt as "the leader of Lebanon's most powerful Druze clan and heir to a leftist political dynasty". The Druzites form a religious minority in Israel of more thanmostly residing in the north of the country.
At the end ofthere wereSome scholars maintain that Israel has tried to separate the Druze from other Arab communities, and that the effort has influenced the way Israel's Druze perceive their modern identity.
Members of the community have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service. The Druzites form a religious minority in Jordan of around 32, mostly residing in the northwestern part of the country. The Druze conception of the deity is declared by them to be one of strict and uncompromising unity.
The main Druze doctrine states that God is both transcendent and immanentin which he is above all attributes, but at the same time, he is present. In God, there are no attributes distinct from his essence. He is wise, mighty, and just, not by wisdom, might, and justice, but by his own essence.
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God is "the whole of existence", rather than "above existence" or on his throne, which would make him "limited". There is neither "how", "when", nor "where" about him; he is incomprehensible.
Unlike the Mu'tazilahowever, and similar to some branches of Sufismthe Druze believe in the concept of Tajalli meaning " theophany ". In a mystical sense, it refers to the light of God experienced by certain mystics who have reached a high level of purity in their spiritual journey.
This is like one's image in the mirror: One is in the mirror, but does not become the mirror. The Druze manuscripts are emphatic and warn against the belief that the Nasut is God Neglecting this warning, individual seekers, scholars, and other spectators have considered al-Hakim and other figures divine. In the Druze scriptural view, Tajalli takes a central stage. One author comments that Tajalli occurs when the seeker's humanity is annihilated so that divine attributes and light are experienced by the person.
Reincarnation is a paramount principle in the Druze faith.
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A human soul will transfer only to a human body, in contrast to the Hindu and Buddhist belief systems, according to which souls can transfer to any living creature. Furthermore, a male Druze can be reincarnated only as another male Druze and a female Druze only as another female Druze. A Druze cannot be reincarnated in the body of a non-Druze. Additionally, souls cannot be divided and the number of souls existing in the universe is finite.
When this occurs, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind and achieves the ultimate happiness. The Pact of Time Custodian Mithaq Walley El-Zaman is considered the entrance to the Druze religion, and they believe that all Druze in their past lives have signed this Charter, and Druze believe that this Charter embodies with human souls after death. I rely on our Moula Al-Hakim the lonely God, the individual, the eternal, who is out of couples and numbers, someone the son of someone has approved recognition enjoined on himself and on his soul, in a healthy of his mind and his body, permissibility aversive is obedient and not forced, to repudiate from all creeds, articles and all religions and beliefs on the differences varieties, and he does not know something except obedience of almighty Moulana Al-Hakim, and obedience is worship and that it does not engage in worship anyone ever attended or wait, and that he had handed his soul and his body and his money and all he owns to almighty Maulana Al-Hakim.
The prayer-houses of the Druze are called khalwa or khalwat. The primary sanctuary of the Druze is at Khalwat al-Bayada. The Druze believe that many teachings given by prophets, religious leaders and holy books have esoteric meanings preserved for those of intellect, in which some teachings are symbolic and allegorical in nature, and divide the understanding of holy books and teachings into three layers. Druze do not believe that the esoteric meaning abrogates or necessarily abolishes the exoteric one.
Hamza bin Ali refutes such claims by stating that if the esoteric interpretation of taharah purity is purity of the heart and soul, it doesn't mean that a person can discard his physical purity, as salat prayer is useless if a person is untruthful in his speech and that the esoteric and exoteric meanings complement each other. The Druze follow seven moral precepts or duties that are considered the core of the faith. Complicating their identity is the custom of taqiyya -concealing or disguising their beliefs when necessary-that they adopted from Ismailism and the esoteric nature of the faith, in which many teachings are kept secretive.
This is done in order to keep the religion from those who are not yet prepared to accept the teachings and therefore could misunderstand it, as well as to protect the community when it is in danger.
Some claim to be Muslim or Christian in order to avoid persecution; some do not. Recognition of prophets in the Druze religion is divided into three sort-of subcategories, the prophet themselves natiqtheir disciples asasand witnesses to their message hujjah.
For example, Muhammad is considered a natiqAli is considered an asasbut both are considered prophets.
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Each major prophet had seven minor prophets, and each minor prophet had twelve disciples. The number 5 contains an unstated significance within the Druze faith, it's believed in this area that great prophets come in groups of five.
In the time of the ancient Greeks, these five were represented by PythagorasPlatoAristotleParmenidesand Empedocles.
The Druze allow divorce, although it is discouraged; circumcision is not necessary; they cannot be reborn as non-Druze; those who purify and perfect their soul ascend to the stars upon death; when al-Hakim returns, all faithful Druze will join him in his march from China and on to conquer the world; apostasy is forbidden; they usually have religious services on Thursday evenings, and follow Sunni Hanafi law on issues which their own faith has no particular rulings about.
The mind generates qualia and gives consciousness. The soul embodies the mind and is responsible for transmigration and the character of oneself.
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The word which is the atom of language communicates qualia between humans and represents the platonic forms in the sensible world.
The Sabq and Tali is the ability to perceive and learn from the past and plan for the future and predict it. The colors can be arranged in vertically descending stripes as a flag or a five-pointed star. The stripes are a diagrammatic cut of the spheres in neoplatonic philosophy, while the five-pointed star embodies the golden ratiophias a symbol of temperance and a life of moderation.
Holy places of the Druze are archaeological sites important to the community and associated with religious holidays - the most notable example being Nabi Shu'aybdedicated to Jethrowho is a central figure of the Druze religion. Druze make pilgrimages to this site on the holiday of Ziyarat al-Nabi Shu'ayb.
One of the most important features of the Druze village having a central role in social life is the khalwat -a house of prayer, retreat and religious unity. The khalwat may be known as majlis in local languages. The second type of religious shrine is one associated with the anniversary of a historic event or death of a prophet. The holy places become more important to the community in times of adversity and calamity. The holy places and shrines of the Druze are scattered in various villages, in places where they are protected and cared for.
They are found in SyriaLebanon and Israel. The Druzes do not recognize any religious hierarchy. As such, there is no "Druze clergy". The cohesiveness and frequent inter-community social interaction however makes it in sort that that most Druzes have an idea about their broad ethical requirements and have some sense of what their theology consists of albeit often flawed.
They might or might not dress differently, although most wear a costume that was characteristic of mountain people in previous centuries. They wear black shirts and long skirts covering their legs to their ankles. Traditionally the Druze women have played an important role both socially and religiously inside the community. The Druze believe in the unity of God, and are often known as the "People of Monotheism" or simply "Monotheists".
Their theology has a Neo-Platonic view about how God interacts with the world through emanations and is similar to some gnostic and other esoteric sects. Druze philosophy also shows Sufi influences. Druze principles focus on honesty, loyalty, filial pietyaltruismpatriotic sacrifice, and monotheism. Druze reject polygamybelieve in reincarnationand are not obliged to observe most of the religious rituals.
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The Druze believe that rituals are symbolic and have an individualistic effect on the person, for which reason Druze are free to perform them, or not. The community does celebrate Eid al-Adhahowever, considered their most significant holiday. Mate is often the first item served when entering a Druze home. It is a social drink and can be shared between multiple participants. After each drinker, the metal straw is cleaned with lemon rind. Traditional snacks eaten with mate include raisins, nuts, dried figs, biscuits, and chips.
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Christianity and Druze are Abrahamic religions that share a historical traditional connection with some major theological differences. Nearly everyone attended a gala-style party on the last evening. Several Druze mothers told me they hoped their children would meet their future husbands and wives at the convention. The search for a spouse at these gatherings is supposed to be discreet, Muakkassa explained.
This desire to marry someone within the faith is not just a preference-the religion prohibits exogamy. There are no conversions into the Druze faith. Occasionally, high-profile cases of Druze marrying outside the faith pop up- for examplethe recent engagement of Amal Alamuddin, who is Druze, and the actor George Clooney.
Muakkassa, of the American Druze Society, said that marrying someone non-Druze would never have been an option for her. She met her husband at the convention in Long Beach. She lived in California, but he lived in Ohio. In order for the couple to continue getting to know each other, he had to travel across the country-along with his older sister, who came all the way from New York to chaperone their dates.
Muakkassa laughed as she explained all of this. Things have since become slightly less conservative in the past three decades, she said.
She has been coming to these conventions since she was a child. Kids might learn about Druze history, including its complicated connection with Islam and years of persecution by Muslims. They might also learn about cultural requirements, like modest dress and rules against tattoos and piercings.
Most importantly, they learn about the central belief of the Druze faith: Humans are reincarnated lifetime after lifetime, which is one of the biggest reasons why exogamy is prohibited-marrying a Druze means continuing the cycle.
Harfouch sees being part of her religion as a rare and special opportunity. Over a thousand years ago, when the religion was officially founded although the Druze believe the religion has existed since the beginning of timethere were two periods of openness when people were given the opportunity to become part of the faith. Many other young people grow up less knowledgeable about the faith and choose to marry non-Druze, though, which has led to a declining Druze population, especially in the United States.
So I think coming to a convention is bringing it to the forefront of their mind For those who care about preserving the faith, dating is pretty difficult. Harfouch was at the gala dinner at the National Convention in Florida during the summer of when she met Samer Abou-Zaki, a media engineer at Microsoft.
She was He was She lived in Michigan.
He lived in Washington state. They exchanged numbers after about a month.