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Video clips from the archive of Israel's channel 2 news company showing Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
in traditional clothing. The flags shown are the Druze
Druze
flags.

Sixth caliph of the Fatimids, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah

The Druze
Druze
(/druːz/;[16] Arabic: درزي‎ darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz; Hebrew: דרוזי‎ drūzī plural דרוזים, druzim) are an esoteric ethnoreligious group[17] originating in Western Asia
Western Asia
who self-identify as unitarians (Al-Muwaḥḥidūn/Muwahhidun).[18] Jethro of Midian
Midian
is considered an ancestor of all people from the Mountain of Druze
Druze
region, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet.[19][20][21][22][23] The Druze
Druze
faith is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion
Abrahamic religion
based on the teachings of high Islamic
Islamic
figures like Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad
Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad
and Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Greek philosophers such as Plato
Plato
and Aristotle.[24][25] The Epistles of Wisdom
Epistles of Wisdom
is the foundational text of the Druze
Druze
faith.[26] The Druze
Druze
faith incorporates elements of Islam's Ismailism,[27] Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism, Hinduism[28][29] and other philosophies and beliefs, creating a distinct and secretive theology known to interpret esoterically religious scriptures, and to highlight the role of the mind and truthfulness.[18][29] The Druze
Druze
follow theophany, and believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul.[30] At the end of the cycle of rebirth, which is achieved through successive reincarnations, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind (al-ʿAql al-kullī).[31] Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze
Druze
community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant, and continues to play a large political role there. As a religious minority in every country they live in, they have frequently experienced persecution, except in Lebanon
Lebanon
and Israel
Israel
where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Even though the faith originally developed out of Ismaili
Ismaili
Islam, Druze
Druze
are not considered Muslims, although Al Azhar
Al Azhar
of Egypt
Egypt
recognizes them as one of the Islamic
Islamic
sects akin to Shiite Muslims.[32][33][34][35] Fatimid Caliph
Caliph
Ali
Ali
az-Zahir, whose father al-Hakim is a key figure in the Druze
Druze
faith, was particularly harsh, causing the death of many Druze
Druze
in Antioch, Aleppo, and northern Syria. Persecution
Persecution
flared up during the rule of the Mamluks
Mamluks
and Ottomans.[36] Most recently, Druze
Druze
were targeted by the Islamic
Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant
Levant
and Al-Qaeda[37] in order to cleanse Syria
Syria
and neighboring countries of non- Islamic
Islamic
influence.[38] The Druze
Druze
faith is one of the major religious groups in the Levant, with between 800,000 and a million adherents. They are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon
Lebanon
and Israel, with small communities in Jordan
Jordan
and outside Southwestern Asia. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and in the south of Syria
Syria
around Jabal al-Druze
Jabal al-Druze
(literally the "Mountain of the Druzes").[39] The Druze's social customs differ markedly from those of Muslims
Muslims
or Christians, and they are known to form close-knit, cohesive communities which do not fully allow non- Druze
Druze
in, though they themselves integrate fully in their adopted homelands.

Contents

1 Location 2 History

2.1 Etymology 2.2 Early history 2.3 Closing of the faith 2.4 During the Crusades 2.5 Persecution
Persecution
during the Mamluk
Mamluk
and Ottoman period 2.6 Ma'an
Ma'an
dynasty 2.7 Shihab Dynasty 2.8 Qaysites and the Yemenites 2.9 Civil War of 1860 2.10 Rebellion in Hauran

3 Modern history

3.1 In Syria 3.2 In Lebanon 3.3 In Israel 3.4 In Jordan

4 Beliefs

4.1 God 4.2 Scriptures 4.3 Reincarnation 4.4 Pact of Time Custodian 4.5 Sanctuaries 4.6 Esotericism 4.7 Seven Druze
Druze
precepts 4.8 Taqiyya 4.9 Other beliefs

5 Religious symbol 6 Prayer
Prayer
houses and holy places 7 Initiates and "ignorant" members 8 Culture

8.1 Cuisine

9 Origins

9.1 Ethnic origins

9.1.1 Arabian hypothesis 9.1.2 Druze
Druze
as a mixture of Middle Eastern tribes 9.1.3 Iturean hypothesis

9.2 Genetics

10 See also 11 Notes 12 References

12.1 Citations 12.2 Bibliography

13 Further reading 14 External links

Location[edit] Druze
Druze
people reside primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel
Israel
and Jordan.[40][41] The Institute of Druze
Druze
Studies estimates that forty to fifty percent of Druze
Druze
live in Syria, thirty to forty percent in Lebanon, six to seven percent in Israel, and one or two percent in Jordan. About two percent of the Druze
Druze
population are also scattered within other countries in the Middle East.[40][42] Large communities of Druze
Druze
also live outside the Middle East, in Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin America (mainly Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil[dubious – discuss]), the United States, and West Africa. They use the Arabic language
Arabic language
and follow a social pattern very similar to those of the other peoples of the Levant
Levant
(eastern Mediterranean).[43] The number of Druze
Druze
people worldwide is between 800,000 and one million, with the vast majority residing in the Levant.[44] History[edit] Etymology[edit] The name Druze
Druze
is derived from the name of Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin ad-Darazī (from Persian darzi, "seamster") who was an early preacher. Although the Druze
Druze
consider ad-Darazī a heretic,[45] the name has been used to identify them. 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
Hamza bin Ali
mainly concerning ad-Darazi's ghuluww ("exaggeration"), which refers to the belief that God
God
was incarnated in human beings (especially ' Ali
Ali
and his descendants, including Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who 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 1016 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
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.[46] Although the Druze
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. In 1018 ad-Darazi was assassinated for his teachings; some sources claim that he was executed by Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah.[45][47] Some authorities see in the name "Druze" a descriptive epithet, derived from Arabic
Arabic
dāresah ("those who study").[48] Others have speculated that the word comes from the Persian word Darazo (درز "bliss") or from Shaykh
Shaykh
Hussayn ad-Darazī, who was one of the early converts to the faith.[49] In the early stages of the movement, the word "Druze" is rarely mentioned by historians, and in Druze
Druze
religious texts only the word Muwaḥḥidūn ("Unitarian") appears. The only early Arab
Arab
historian who mentions the Druze
Druze
is the eleventh century Christian scholar Yahya of Antioch, who clearly refers to the heretical group created by ad-Darazī rather than the followers of Hamza ibn 'Alī.[49] As for Western sources, Benjamin of Tudela, the Jewish traveler who passed through Lebanon
Lebanon
in or around 1165, was one of the first European writers to refer to the Druzes
Druzes
by name. 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
Druze
as "mountain dwellers, monotheists, who believe in 'soul eternity' and reincarnation".[50] He also stated that "they loved the Jews".[51] Early history[edit] The Druze
Druze
faith began as a movement in Ismailism
Ismailism
that was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy
and Gnosticism
Gnosticism
and opposed certain religious and philosophical ideologies that were present during that epoch. The faith was preached by Hamza ibn 'Alī ibn Ahmad, an Ismaili
Ismaili
mystic and scholar. He came to Egypt
Egypt
in 1014 and assembled a group of scholars and leaders from across the world to establish the Unitarian movement. The order's meetings were held in the Raydan Mosque, near the Al-Hakim Mosque.[52] In 1017, Hamza officially revealed the Druze
Druze
faith and began to preach the Unitarian doctrine. Hamza gained the support of the Fātimid caliph al-Hakim, who issued a decree promoting religious freedom prior to the declaration of the divine call.

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.[53]

Al-Hakim became a central figure in the Druze
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
God
with creation",[54] while others like Nissim Dana and Mordechai Nisan state that he is perceived as the manifestation and the reincarnation of God
God
or presumably the image of God.[30][55][page needed] Some Druze
Druze
and non- Druze
Druze
scholars like Samy Swayd and Sami Makarem state that this confusion is due to confusion about the role of the early preacher ad-Darazi, whose teachings the Druze
Druze
rejected as heretical.[56] These sources assert that al-Hakim rejected ad-Darazi's claims of divinity,[47][57][58][page needed] and ordered the elimination of his movement while supporting that of Hamza ibn Ali.[59] 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
Druze
believe he went into Occultation with Hamza ibn Ali
Ali
and three other prominent preachers, leaving the care of the "Unitarian missionary movement" to a new leader, Al-Muqtana Baha'uddin (also spelled Baha' ad-Din). Closing of the faith[edit] Al-Hakim was replaced by his underage son, 'Alī az-Zahir. The Unitarian Druze
Druze
movement, which existed in the Fatimid Caliphate, acknowledged az-Zahir as the caliph, but followed Hamzah as its Imam.[47] The young caliph's regent, Sitt al-Mulk, ordered the army to destroy the movement in 1021.[45] At the same time, Bahā'a ad-Dīn as-Samuki was assigned the leadership of the Unitarian Movement by Hamza Bin Ali.[47] The chart below shows bifurcation point from where Druze
Druze
movement started. It indicates the position of the Druze
Druze
relative to Shia
Shia
Islam and its branches, such as the Ismaili
Ismaili
and Twelvers. For the next seven years, the Druze
Druze
faced extreme persecution by the new caliph, al-Zahir, who wanted to eradicate the faith.[60] This was the result of a power struggle inside of the Fatimid empire in which the Druze
Druze
were viewed with suspicion because of their refusal to recognize the new caliph, Ali
Ali
az-Zahir, as their Imam. Many spies, mainly the followers of Ad-Darazi, joined the Unitarian movement in order to infiltrate the Druze
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
Antioch
to Alexandria, where tens of thousands of Druze
Druze
were slaughtered by the Fatimid army.[45] The largest massacre was at Antioch, where 5,000 Druze
Druze
religious leaders were killed, followed by that of Aleppo.[45] As a result, the faith went underground in hope of survival, as those captured were either forced to renounce their faith or be killed. Druze
Druze
survivors "were found principally in southern Lebanon
Lebanon
and Syria." In 1038, two years after the death of al-Zahir, the Druze
Druze
movement was able to resume because the new leadership that replaced him had friendly political ties with at least one prominent Druze
Druze
leader.[60] In 1043 Baha' ad-Din declared that the sect would no longer accept new adherents, and since that time proselytization has been prohibited.[47][60]

Position of Druze
Druze
showing where it originates.( Note: Kaysani's Imam Hanafiyyah is descendant of Ali
Ali
from Ali's wife Khawlah, not Fatimah)

During the Crusades[edit] It was during the period of Crusader rule in Syria
Syria
(1099–1291) that the Druze
Druze
first emerged into the full light of history in the Gharb region of the Chouf
Chouf
Mountains. As powerful warriors serving the Muslim rulers of Damascus
Damascus
against the Crusades, the Druze
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
Druze
chiefs of the Gharb placed their considerable military experience at the disposal of the Mamluk
Mamluk
rulers of Egypt (1250–1516); first, to assist them in putting an end to what remained of Crusader rule in coastal Syria, and later to help them safeguard the Syrian
Syrian
coast against Crusader retaliation by sea.[61] In the early period of the Crusader era, the Druze
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
Lebanon
Governorate, the Tanukhs led their incursions into the Phoenician coast and finally succeeded in holding Beirut
Beirut
and the marine plain against the Franks. Because of their fierce battles with the Crusaders, the Druzes
Druzes
earned the respect of the Sunni
Sunni
Muslim caliphs and thus gained important political powers. After the middle of the twelfth century, the Ma'an
Ma'an
family superseded the Tanukhs in Druze
Druze
leadership. The origin of the family goes back to a Prince Ma'an who made his appearance in the Lebanon
Lebanon
in the days of the 'Abbasid caliph al-Mustarshid (1118–35 AD). The Ma'ans
Ma'ans
chose for their abode the Chouf
Chouf
District in south-western Lebanon
Lebanon
(southern Mount Lebanon Governorate), overlooking the maritime plain between Beirut
Beirut
and Sidon, and made their headquarters in Baaqlin, which 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.[36][page needed] Persecution
Persecution
during the Mamluk
Mamluk
and Ottoman period[edit] Having cleared Syria
Syria
of the Franks, the Mamluk
Mamluk
sultans of Egypt
Egypt
turned their attention to the schismatic Muslims
Muslims
of Syria. In 1305, after the issuing of a fatwa by the scholar Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Taymiyyah
calling for jihad against all non- Sunni
Sunni
Muslims
Muslims
like the Druze, Alawites, Ismaili, and Twelver
Twelver
Shia
Shia
Muslims, al-Malik al-Nasir inflicted a disastrous defeat on the Druze
Druze
at Keserwan and forced outward compliance on their part to orthodox Sunni
Sunni
Islam. Later, under the Ottoman, they were severely attacked at Saoufar
Saoufar
in 1585 after the Ottomans claimed that they assaulted their caravans near Tripoli.[36][page needed] As a result of the Ottoman experience with the rebellious Druze, the word Durzi in Turkish came, and continues, to mean someone who is the ultimate thug.[62] One influential Islamic
Islamic
sage of that time[who?] labeled them as infidels and argued that, even though they might behave like Muslims
Muslims
on the outside, this is no more than a pretense. He also declared that confiscation of Druze
Druze
property and even the death sentence would conform to the laws of Islam.[63] Consequently, the 16th and 17th centuries were to witness a succession of armed Druze
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
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 amirs, or 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
Druze
and Christian areas alike.[61] Ma'an
Ma'an
dynasty[edit] Main article: Maan family

Fakhreddin Castle in Palmyra

With the advent of the Ottoman Turks and the conquest of Syria
Syria
by Sultan Selim I
Selim I
in 1516, the Ma'ans
Ma'ans
were acknowledged by the new rulers as the feudal lords of southern Lebanon. Druze
Druze
villages spread and prospered in that region, which under Ma'an
Ma'an
leadership so flourished that it acquired the generic term of Jabal Bayt- Ma'an
Ma'an
(the mountain home of the Ma'an) or Jabal al-Druze. The latter title has since been usurped by the Hawran
Hawran
region, which since the middle of the 19th century has proven a haven of refuge to Druze
Druze
emigrants from Lebanon and has become the headquarters of Druze
Druze
power.[36][page needed] Under Fakhr-al-Dīn II (Fakhreddin II), the Druze
Druze
dominion increased until it included Lebanon-Phoenicia and almost all Syria, extending from the edge of the Antioch
Antioch
plain in the north to Safad
Safad
in the south, with a part of the Syrian
Syrian
desert dominated by Fakhr-al-Din's castle at Tadmur (Palmyra), the ancient capital of Zenobia. 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 1608 as to sign a commercial treaty with Duke Ferdinand I of Tuscany
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
Tuscany
and Naples
Naples
in 1613 and 1615 respectively. In 1618 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
Lebanon
soon afterwards. Through a clever policy of bribery and warfare, he extended his domains to cover all of modern Lebanon, some of Syria
Syria
and northern Galilee. In 1632 Küçük Ahmet Pasha was named Lord of Damascus. Küçük Ahmet Pasha was a rival of Fakhr-al-Din and a friend of the sultan Murad IV, who ordered the pasha and the sultanate's navy to attack Lebanon
Lebanon
and depose Fakhr-al-Din. This time the prince decided to remain in Lebanon
Lebanon
and resist the offensive, but the death of his son Ali
Ali
in Wadi al-Taym
Wadi al-Taym
was the beginning of his defeat. He later took refuge in Jezzine's grotto, closely followed by Küçük Ahmet Pasha who eventually caught up with him and his family. Fakhr-al-Din was captured, taken to Istanbul, and 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 1635 in Istanbul, bringing 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 1920. One version recounts that the younger son was spared, raised in the harem and went on to become Ottoman Ambassador to India.[64] Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
was the first ruler in modern Lebanon
Lebanon
to open the doors of his country to foreign Western influences. Under his auspices the French established a khān (hostel) in Sidon, the Florentines a consulate, and Christian missionaries were admitted into the country. Beirut
Beirut
and Sidon, which Fakhr-al-Din II
Fakhr-al-Din II
beautified, still bear traces of his benign rule. See the new biography of this Prince, based on original sources, by TJ Gorton: Renaissance Emir: a Druze
Druze
Warlord at the Court of the Medici (London, Quartet Books, 2013), for an updated view of his life. Fakhr ad Din II was succeeded in 1635 by his nephew Ahmed Ma'an, who ruled through his death in 1658. (Fakhr ad Din's only surviving son, Husayn, lived the rest of his life as a court official in Constantinople.) Emir Mulhim exercised Iltizam taxation rights in the Shuf, Gharb, Jurd, Matn, and Kisrawan districts of Lebanon. Mulhim's forces battled and defeated those of Mustafa Pasha, Beylerbey
Beylerbey
of Damascus, in 1642, but he is reported by historians to have been otherwise loyal to Ottoman rule.[65] Following Mulhim's death, his sons Ahmad and Korkmaz entered into a power struggle with other Ottoman-backed Druze
Druze
leaders. In 1660, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
moved to reorganize the region, placing the sanjaks (districts) of Sidon- Beirut
Beirut
and Safed in a newly formed province of Sidon, a move seen by local Druze
Druze
as an attempt to assert control.[66] Contemporary historian Istifan al-Duwayhi reports that Korkmaz was killed in act of treachery by the Beylerbey
Beylerbey
of Damascus
Damascus
in 1662.[66] Ahmad however emerged victorious in the power struggle among the Druze in 1667, but the Maʿnīs lost control of Safad[67] and retreated to controlling the iltizam of the Shuf mountains and Kisrawan.[68] Ahmad continued as local ruler through his death from natural causes, without heir, in 1697.[67] During the Ottoman–Habsburg War (1683–1699), Ahmad Ma'n collaborated in a rebellion against the Ottomans which extended beyond his death.[67] Iltizam rights in Shuf and Kisrawan passed to the rising Shihab family
Shihab family
through female-line inheritance.[68] Shihab Dynasty[edit] Main article: Shihab family

Druze
Druze
woman wearing a tantour during the 1870s in Chouf, Lebanon

As early as the days of Saladin, and while the Ma'ans
Ma'ans
were still in complete control over southern Lebanon, the Shihab tribe, originally Hijaz
Hijaz
Arabs but later settled in Ḥawran, advanced from Ḥawran, in 1172, and settled in Wadi al-Taym
Wadi al-Taym
at the foot of mount Hermon. They soon made an alliance with the Ma'ans
Ma'ans
and were acknowledged as the Druze
Druze
chiefs in Wadi al-Taym. At the end of the 17th century (1697) the Shihabs succeeded the Ma'ans
Ma'ans
in the feudal leadership of Druze southern Lebanon, although they reportedly professed Sunni
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
Amir
Bashir Shihab II (1788–1840) who, after Fakhr-al-Din, was the most powerful feudal lord Lebanon
Lebanon
produced. Though governor of the Druze
Druze
Mountain, Bashir was a crypto-Christian, and it was he whose aid Napoleon
Napoleon
solicited in 1799 during his campaign against Syria. Having consolidated his conquests in Syria
Syria
(1831–1838), Ibrahim Pasha, son of the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali
Ali
Pasha, made the fatal mistake of trying to disarm the Christians and Druzes
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 Druzes
Druzes
of Wadi al-Taym
Wadi al-Taym
and Ḥawran, under the leadership of Shibli al-Aryan, distinguished themselves in their stubborn resistance at their inaccessible headquarters, al-Laja, lying southeast of Damascus.[36][page needed] Qaysites and the Yemenites[edit] Main article: Battle of Ain Darra

Meeting of Druze
Druze
and Ottoman leaders in Damascus, about the control of Jebel Druze

The conquest of Syria
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
Bedouin
Arabs who were regarded as inferior by the Yemenites who were earlier and more cultured emigrants into Syria
Syria
from southern Arabia. Druzes
Druzes
and Christians grouped in political rather than religious parties so the party lines in Lebanon
Lebanon
obliterated racial and religious lines and the people grouped themselves regardless of their religious affiliations, into one or the other of these two parties. The sanguinary feuds between these two factions depleted, in course of time, the manhood of the Lebanon
Lebanon
and ended in the decisive battle of Ain Dara in 1711, which resulted in the utter defeat of the Yemenite party. Many Yemenite Druzes
Druzes
thereupon immigrated to the Hawran
Hawran
region and thus laid the foundation of Druze
Druze
power there.[36][page needed] Civil War of 1860[edit] Main article: 1860 Lebanon
Lebanon
conflict The Druzes
Druzes
and their Christian Maronite
Maronite
neighbors, who had thus far lived as religious communities on friendly terms, entered a period of social disturbance in 1840, which culminated in the civil war of 1860.[36][page needed] After the Shehab dynasty
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
Druze
lost most of their political and feudal powers. Also, the Druze
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
Druze
conflict in 1840–60 was an outgrowth of the Maronite
Maronite
Christian independence movement,[citation needed] directed against the Druze, 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
Druze
population was anti-Christian.[citation needed] The movement culminated with the 1859–60 massacre and defeat of the Christians by the Druzes. The civil war of 1860 cost the Christians some ten thousand lives in Damascus, Zahlé, Deir al-Qamar, Hasbaya, and other towns of Lebanon. The European powers then determined to intervene, and authorized the landing in Beirut
Beirut
of a body of French troops under General Beaufort d'Hautpoul, whose 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
Maronite
national movement, since France was restricted in 1860 by Britain, which did not want the Ottoman Empire dismembered. But European intervention pressured the Turks to treat the Maronites more justly.[69] Following the recommendations of the powers, the Ottoman Porte granted Lebanon
Lebanon
local autonomy, guaranteed by the powers, under a Christian governor. This autonomy was maintained until World War I.[36][page needed][70][page needed] Rebellion in Hauran[edit] Main article: Hauran Druze
Druze
Rebellion The Hauran rebellion was a violent Druze
Druze
uprising against Ottoman authority in the Syrian
Syrian
province, which erupted in May 1909. The rebellion was led by al-Atrash family, originated in local disputes and Druze
Druze
unwillingness to pay taxes and conscript into the Ottoman Army. The rebellion ended in brutal suppression of the Druze
Druze
by General Sami Pasha al-Farouqi, significant depopulation of the Hauran region and execution of the Druze
Druze
leaders in 1910. In the outcome of the revolt, 2,000 Druze
Druze
were killed, a similar number wounded and hundreds of Druze
Druze
fighters imprisoned. Al-Farouqi also disarmed the population, extracted significant taxes and launched a census of the region. Modern history[edit] In Lebanon, Syria, Israel
Israel
and Jordan, the Druze
Druze
have official recognition as a separate religious community with its own religious court system. Druze
Druze
are known for their loyalty to the countries they reside in,[71][page needed][verification needed] though they have a strong community feeling, in which they identify themselves as related even across borders of countries.[72] Despite their practice of blending with dominant groups to avoid persecution, and because the Druze
Druze
religion does not endorse separatist sentiments but urges blending with the communities they reside in, the Druze
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.[72] In Syria[edit] Main article: Druze
Druze
in Syria

Druze
Druze
warriors preparing to go to battle with Sultan Pasha al-Atrash in 1925

In Syria, most Druze
Druze
live in the Jebel al-Druze, a rugged and mountainous region in the southwest of the country, which is more than 90 percent Druze
Druze
inhabited; some 120 villages are exclusively so.[73][page needed] Other notable communities live in the Harim Mountains, the Damascus
Damascus
suburb of Jaramana, and on the southeast slopes of Mount Hermon. A large Syrian
Syrian
Druze
Druze
community historically lived in the Golan Heights, but following wars with Israel
Israel
in 1967 and 1973, many of these Druze
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
Quneitra Governorate
that is still under effective Syrian
Syrian
control.

Druze
Druze
celebrating their independence in 1925.

The Druze
Druze
always played a far more important role in Syrian
Syrian
politics than its comparatively small population would suggest. With a community of little more than 100,000 in 1949, or roughly three percent of the Syrian
Syrian
population, the Druze
Druze
of Syria's southwestern mountains constituted a potent force in Syrian
Syrian
politics and played a leading role in the nationalist struggle against the French. Under the military leadership of Sultan Pasha al-Atrash, the Druze
Druze
provided much of the military force behind the Syrian
Syrian
Revolution of 1925–27. In 1945, Amir
Amir
Hasan al-Atrash, the paramount political leader of the Jebel al-Druze, led the Druze
Druze
military units in a successful revolt against the French, making the Jebel al-Druze
Jebel al-Druze
the first and only region in Syria
Syria
to liberate itself from French rule without British assistance. At independence the Druze, made confident by their successes, expected that Damascus
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.[73][page needed]

Druze
Druze
leaders meeting in Jebel al-Druze, Syria, 1926

When a local paper in 1945 reported that President Shukri al-Quwatli (1943–49) had called the Druzes
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
Druzes
would indeed become "dangerous" and a force of 4,000 Druze
Druze
warriors would "occupy the city of Damascus." Quwwatli could not dismiss Sultan Pasha's threat. The military balance of power in Syria
Syria
was tilted in favor of the Druzes, at least until the military build up during the 1948 War in Palestine. One advisor to the Syrian
Syrian
Defense Department warned in 1946 that the Syrian
Syrian
army was "useless", and that the Druzes
Druzes
could "take Damascus and capture the present leaders in a breeze."[73][page needed] During the four years of Adib Shishakli's rule in Syria
Syria
(December 1949 to February 1954) (on 25 August 1952: Adib al-Shishakli created the Arab Liberation Movement (ALM), a progressive party with pan-Arabist and socialist views),[74] the Druze
Druze
community was subjected to a heavy attack by the Syrian
Syrian
government. Shishakli believed that among his many opponents in Syria, the Druzes
Druzes
were the most potentially dangerous, and he was determined to crush them. He frequently proclaimed: "My enemies are like a serpent: the head is the Jebel al-Druze, the stomach Homs, and the tail Aleppo. If I crush the head the serpent will die." Shishakli dispatched 10,000 regular troops to occupy the Jebel al-Druze. Several towns were bombarded with heavy weapons, killing scores of civilians and destroying many houses. According to Druze
Druze
accounts, Shishakli encouraged neighboring bedouin tribes to plunder the defenseless population and allowed his own troops to run amok.[73][page needed] Shishakli launched a brutal campaign to defame the Druzes
Druzes
for their religion and politics. He accused the entire community of treason, at times claiming they were agents of the British and Hashimites, at others that they were fighting for Israel
Israel
against the Arabs. He even produced a cache of Israeli weapons allegedly discovered in the Jabal. Even more painful for the Druze
Druze
community was his publication of "falsified Druze
Druze
religious texts" and false testimonials ascribed to leading Druze
Druze
sheikhs designed to stir up sectarian hatred. This propaganda also was broadcast in the Arab
Arab
world, mainly Egypt. Shishakli was assassinated in Brazil on 27 September 1964 by a Druze seeking revenge for Shishakli's bombardment of the Jebel al-Druze.[73][page needed] He forcibly integrated minorities into the national Syrian
Syrian
social structure, his "Syrianization" of Alawite
Alawite
and Druze
Druze
territories had to be accomplished in part using violence, he declared: "My enemies are like serpent. The head is the Jabal Druze, if I crush the head the serpent will die" (Seale 1963:132).[73] To this end, al-Shishakli encouraged the stigmatization of minorities. He saw minority demands as tantamount to treason. His increasingly chauvinistic notions of Arab
Arab
nationalism were predicated on the denial that "minorities" existed in Syria.[75][page needed] After the Shishakli's military campaign, the Druze
Druze
community lost much of its political influence, but many Druze
Druze
military officers played important roles in the Ba'ath government currently ruling Syria.[73][page needed] In 1967, a community of Druze
Druze
in the Golan Heights
Golan Heights
came under Israeli control, today about 20,000 strong. In Lebanon[edit] Main article: Druze
Druze
in Lebanon

Prophet Job shrine in Lebanon
Lebanon
the Chouf
Chouf
region

The Druze
Druze
community in Lebanon
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. Before and during the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
(1975–90), the Druze
Druze
were in favor of Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
and Palestinian resistance represented by the PLO. Most of the community supported the Progressive Socialist Party formed by their leader Kamal Jumblatt
Kamal Jumblatt
and they fought alongside other leftist and Palestinian parties against the Lebanese Front
Lebanese Front
that was mainly constituted of Christians. After the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt
Jumblatt
on 16 March 1977, his son Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt
took the leadership of the party and played an important role in preserving his father's legacy after winning the Mountain War
Mountain War
and sustained the existence of the Druze
Druze
community during the sectarian bloodshed that lasted until 1990. In August 2001, Maronite
Maronite
Catholic Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir toured the predominantly Druze
Druze
Chouf
Chouf
region of Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and visited Mukhtara, the ancestral stronghold of Druze
Druze
leader Walid Jumblatt. The tumultuous reception that Sfeir received not only signified a historic reconciliation between Maronites and Druze, who fought a bloody war in 1983–84, but underscored the fact that the banner of Lebanese sovereignty had broad multi-confessional appeal[76] and was a cornerstone for the Cedar Revolution
Cedar Revolution
in 2005. Jumblatt's post-2005 position diverged sharply from the tradition of his family. He also accused Damascus
Damascus
of being behind the 1977 assassination of his father, Kamal Jumblatt, expressing for the first time what many knew he privately suspected. The BBC describes Jumblatt
Jumblatt
as "the leader of Lebanon's most powerful Druze
Druze
clan and heir to a leftist political dynasty".[77] The second largest political party supported by Druze
Druze
is the Lebanese Democratic Party
Lebanese Democratic Party
led by Prince Talal Arslan, the son of Lebanese independence hero Emir Majid Arslan. In Israel[edit] Main article: Druze
Druze
in Israel

Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
Scouts march to Jethro's tomb. Today, thousands of Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
belong to such ' Druze
Druze
Zionist' movements.[78]

The Druze
Druze
form a religious minority in Israel
Israel
of more than 100,000, mostly residing in the north of the country.[79] In 2004, there were 102,000 Druze
Druze
living in the country.[80] In 2010, the population of Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
citizens grew to over 125,000. At the end of 2014 there were 140,000.[81] Today, thousands of Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
belong to 'Druze Zionist' movements.[78] In 1957, the Israeli government designated the Druze
Druze
a distinct ethnic community at the request of its communal leaders. The Druze
Druze
are Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel
Israel
and serve in the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces just as most citizens do in Israel. Members of the community have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service.[82] The number of Druze
Druze
parliament members usually exceeds their proportion in the Israeli population, and they are integrated within several political parties. In Jordan[edit] Main article: Druze
Druze
in Jordan The Druze
Druze
form a religious minority in Jordan
Jordan
of around 32,000, mostly residing in the northwestern part of the country.[10] Beliefs[edit] God[edit] The Druze
Druze
conception of the deity is declared by them to be one of strict and uncompromising unity. The main Druze
Druze
doctrine states that God
God
is both transcendent and immanent, in which he is above all attributes but at the same time he is present.[83] In their desire to maintain a rigid confession of unity, they stripped from God
God
all attributes (tanzīh). 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. God
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.[84][page needed] In this dogma, they are similar to the semi-philosophical, semi-religious body which flourished under Al-Ma'mun
Al-Ma'mun
and was known by the name of Mu'tazila
Mu'tazila
and the fraternal order of the Brethren of Purity (Ikhwan al-Ṣafa).[36][page needed] Unlike the Mu'tazila, however, and similar to some branches of Sufism, the Druze
Druze
believe in the concept of Tajalli (meaning "theophany").[84][page needed] Tajalli is often misunderstood by scholars and writers and is usually confused with the concept of incarnation.

[Incarnation] is the core spiritual beliefs in the Druze
Druze
and some other intellectual and spiritual traditions ... In a mystical sense, it refers to the light of God
God
experienced by certain mystics who have reached a high level of purity in their spiritual journey. Thus, God
God
is perceived as the Lahut
Lahut
[the divine] who manifests His Light in the Station (Maqaam) of the Nasut
Nasut
[material realm] without the Nasut
Nasut
becoming Lahut. This is like one's image in the mirror: one is in the mirror but does not become the mirror. The Druze
Druze
manuscripts are emphatic and warn against the belief that the Nasut
Nasut
is God ... Neglecting this warning, individual seekers, scholars, and other spectators have considered al-Hakim and other figures divine.  ... In the Druze
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.[84][page needed]

Druze
Druze
dignitaries celebrating the Nabi Shu'ayb
Nabi Shu'ayb
festival at the tomb of the prophet in Hittin

Scriptures[edit] Druze
Druze
Sacred texts include the Kitab Al Hikma
Kitab Al Hikma
(Epistles of Wisdom).[85] Other ancient Druze
Druze
writings include the Rasa'il al-Hind (Epistles of India) and the previously lost (or hidden) manuscripts such as al-Munfarid bi-Dhatihi and al-Sharia al-Ruhaniyya as well as others including didactic and polemic treatises.[86] Reincarnation[edit] See also: Reincarnation
Reincarnation
§ Druze Reincarnation
Reincarnation
is a paramount principle in the Druze
Druze
faith.[87] Reincarnations occur instantly at one's death because there is an eternal duality of the body and the soul and it is impossible for the soul to exist without the body. 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
Druze
can be reincarnated only as another male Druze
Druze
and a female Druze
Druze
only as another female Druze. A Druze
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.[88] The cycle of rebirth is continuous and the only way to escape is through successive reincarnations. When this occurs, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind and achieves the ultimate happiness.[31] Pact of Time Custodian[edit] The Pact of Time Custodian (Mithaq Walley El-Zaman) is considered the entrance to the Druze
Druze
religion, and they believe that all Druze
Druze
in their past lives have signed this Charter, and Druze
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.[89]

The Druze
Druze
also use a similar formula, called al-'ahd, when one is initiated into the ʻUqqāl.[90] Sanctuaries[edit] The prayer-houses of the Druze
Druze
are called khalwa or khalwat. The primary sanctuary of the Druze
Druze
is at Khalwat al-Bayada.[91] Esotericism[edit] The Druze
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. These layers, according to the Druze, are as follows:

The obvious or exoteric (zahir), accessible to anyone who can read or hear; The hidden or esoteric (batin), accessible to those who are willing to search and learn through the concept of exegesis; And the hidden of the hidden, a concept known as anagoge, inaccessible to all but a few really enlightened individuals who truly understand the nature of the universe.[92]

Druze
Druze
do not believe that the esoteric meaning abrogates or necessarily abolishes the exoteric one. Hamza bin Ali
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.[93] Seven Druze
Druze
precepts[edit] Further information: Seven pillars of Ismailism
Ismailism
§  Druze
Druze
list The Druze
Druze
follow a total of forty eight moral precepts or duties that are considered the core of the faith.[31] The Seven Druze
Druze
precepts are:[94]

Veracity in speech and the truthfulness of the tongue. Protection and mutual aid to the brethren in faith. Renunciation of all forms of former worship (specifically, invalid creeds) and false belief. Repudiation of the devil (Iblis), and all forces of evil (translated from Arabic
Arabic
Toghyan, meaning "despotism"). Confession of God's unity. Acquiescence in God's acts no matter what they be. Absolute submission and resignation to God's divine will in both secret and public.

Taqiyya[edit] Complicating their identity is the custom of taqiyya—concealing or disguising their beliefs when necessary—that they adopted from Ismailism
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. Druzes
Druzes
tend to follow the dominant religion of the country where they reside. Some claim to be Muslim or Christian in order to avoid persecution; some do not.[95] Druze
Druze
in different states can have radically different lifestyles.[96] Other beliefs[edit] The Druze
Druze
forbid divorce; 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;[97] apostasy is forbidden;[98] religious services usually take place on Thursday evenings;[99] they follow Sunni
Sunni
Hanafi
Hanafi
law on issues which their own faith has no particular ruling;[100][101] other influential figures of the religion include Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Alexander the Great and Akhenaten.[102][103] Religious symbol [edit]

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The Druze
Druze
strictly avoid iconography but use five colors ("Five Limits" خمس حدود khams ḥudūd) as a religious symbol:[year needed] green, red, yellow, blue, and white. Each color pertains to a metaphysical power called ḥaad, literally 'a limit', as in the distinctions that separate humans from animals, or the powers that make human the animalistic body. Each ḥaad is color-coded in the following manner:

Green for ʻAql "the Universal Mind/Intelligence/Nous", Red for Nafs "the Universal Soul/Anima mundi", Yellow for Kalima "the Word/Logos", Blue for Sabiq "the Potentiality/Cause/Precedent", and White for Tali "the Future/Effect/Immanence".

The mind generates qualia and gives consciousness. The soul embodies the mind and is responsible for transmigration and the character of oneself. 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 ratio, phi, as a symbol of temperance and a life of moderation. Prayer
Prayer
houses and holy places[edit]

Jethro shrine and temple of Druze
Druze
in Hittin, northern Israel

Holy places of the Druze
Druze
are archaeological sites important to the community and associated with religious holidays[104] – the most notable example being Nabi Shu'ayb, dedicated to Jethro, who is a central figure of the Druze
Druze
religion. Druze
Druze
make pilgrimages to this site on the holiday of Ziyarat al-Nabi Shu'ayb.

Druze
Druze
Prayer
Prayer
house in Daliat al-Karmel, Israel

One of the most important features of the Druze
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.[105] The second type of religious shrine is one associated with the anniversary of a historic event or death of a prophet. If it is a mausoleum the Druze
Druze
call it mazār and if it is a shrine they call it maqām. The holy places become more important to the community in times of adversity and calamity. The holy places and shrines of the Druze
Druze
are scattered in various villages, in places where they are protected and cared for. They are found in Syria, Lebanon
Lebanon
and Israel.[104] Initiates and "ignorant" members[edit]

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Druze
Druze
sheikh (ʻuqqāl) wearing religious dress

The Druzes
Druzes
do not recognize any religious hierarchy. As such, there is no " Druze
Druze
clergy". Those few initiated in the Druze
Druze
holy books are called ʿuqqāl,[106] while the "ignorant", regular members of the group are called juhhāl. Given the strict religious, intellectual and spiritual requirements, most of the Druzes
Druzes
are not initiated and might be referred to as al-Juhhāl (جهال), literally "the Ignorant", but in practice referring to the non-initiated Druzes; however, that term is seldom used by the Druzes. Those are not granted access to the Druze
Druze
holy literature or allowed to attend the initiated religious meetings of the ʻuqqāl. The cohesiveness and frequent inter-community social interaction however makes it in sort that that most Druzes
Druzes
have an idea about their broad ethical requirements and have some sense of what their theology consists of (albeit often flawed). The initiated religious group, which includes both men and women (less than 10% of the population), is called al-ʻUqqāl (عقال "the Knowledgeable Initiates"). They might or might not dress differently, although most wear a costume that was characteristic of mountain people in previous centuries. Women can opt to wear al-mandīl, a loose white veil, especially in the presence of other people. They wear al-mandīl on their heads to cover their hair and wrap it around their mouths. They wear black shirts and long skirts covering their legs to their ankles. Male ʻuqqāl often grow mustaches, and wear dark Levantine-Turkish traditional dresses, called the shirwal, with white turbans that vary according to the seniority of the ʻuqqāl. Traditionally the Druze
Druze
women have played an important role both socially and religiously inside the community. Al-ʻuqqāl have equal rights to al-Juhhāl, but establish a hierarchy of respect based on religious service. The most influential of al-ʻuqqāl become Ajawīd, recognized religious leaders, and from this group the spiritual leaders of the Druze
Druze
are assigned. While the Shaykh
Shaykh
al-ʻAql, which is an official position in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, is elected by the local community and serves as the head of the Druze
Druze
religious council, judges from the Druze
Druze
religious courts are usually elected for this position. Unlike the spiritual leaders, the authority of the Shaykh
Shaykh
al-ʻAql is limited to the country he is elected in, though in some instances spiritual leaders are elected to this position. The Druze
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
God
interacts with the world through emanations and is similar to some gnostic and other esoteric sects. Druze
Druze
philosophy also shows Sufi
Sufi
influences. Druze
Druze
principles focus on honesty, loyalty, filial piety, altruism, patriotic sacrifice, and monotheism. They reject nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs, and often the consumption of pork (to those Uqqāl and not necessarily to be required by the Juhhāl). Druze
Druze
reject polygamy, believe in reincarnation, and are not obliged to observe most of the religious rituals. The Druze
Druze
believe that rituals are symbolic and have an individualistic effect on the person, for which reason Druze
Druze
are free to perform them, or not. The community does celebrate Eid al-Adha, however, considered their most significant holiday. Culture[edit] Cuisine[edit] Matè is a popular drink consumed by the Druze
Druze
brought to the Levant from Syrian
Syrian
migrants from Argentina
Argentina
in the 19th century. Mate is made by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water and is served with a metal straw (bambija or masassa) from a gourd (finjan). Mate is often the first item served when entering a Druze
Druze
home. It is a social drink and can be shared between multiple participants. After each drinker, the metal straw is cleaned with a lemon rind. Traditional snacks eaten with mate include raisins, nuts, dried figs, biscuits, and chips.[107][108] Origins[edit] Ethnic origins[edit]

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Arabian hypothesis[edit] The Druze
Druze
faith extended to many areas in the Middle East, but most of the modern Druze
Druze
can trace their origin to the Wadi al-Taym
Wadi al-Taym
in South Lebanon, which is named after an Arab
Arab
tribe Taymour-Allah (formerly Taymour-Allat) which, according to Islamic
Islamic
historian, al-Tabari, first came from Arabia
Arabia
into the valley of the Euphrates
Euphrates
where they had been Christianized prior to their migration into the Lebanon. Many of the Druze
Druze
feudal families whose genealogies have been preserved by the two modern Syrian
Syrian
chroniclers Haydar al-Shihabi and al-Shidyaq seem also to point in the direction of this origin. Arabian tribes emigrated via the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
and stopped in Iraq on the route that was later to lead them to Syria. The first feudal Druze
Druze
family, the Tanukh family, which made for itself a name in fighting the Crusaders, was, according to Haydar al-Shihabi, an Arab
Arab
tribe from Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
where it occupied the position of a ruling family and apparently was Christianized.[36][page needed] Travelers like Niebuhr, and scholars like Max von Oppenheim, undoubtedly echoing the popular Druze
Druze
belief regarding their own origin, have classified them as Arabs. The prevailing idea among the Druzes
Druzes
themselves today is that they are of Arab
Arab
stock. Druze
Druze
as a mixture of Middle Eastern tribes[edit] The 1911 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
states that the Druzes are "a mixture of refugee stocks, in which the Arab
Arab
largely predominates, grafted on to an original mountain population of Aramaic blood."[48] The Tanukhs must have left Arabia
Arabia
as early as the second or third century AD. The Ma'an
Ma'an
tribe, which superseded the Tanukhs and produced the greatest Druze
Druze
hero, Fakhr-al-Din, had the same traditional origin. The Talhuq family and 'Abd-al-Malik, who supplied the later Druze
Druze
leadership, have the same record as the Tanukhs. The Imad
Imad
family is named for al-Imadiyyah — the Kurdish town of Amadiya, northeast of Mosul
Mosul
inside Kurdistan, and, like the Jumblatts, is thought to be of Kurdish tribal origin, the Janpulad ("soul of steel") are still found east of Adana
Adana
in Turkey, across the borders from Syria. The leading "Atrash" family also can trace its background to the Kurdish tribe, the Hartush/Atrush, found in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey today.[citation needed] The Arsalan family claims descent from the Hirah
Hirah
Arab
Arab
kings, but the name Arsalan (Persian and Turkish for lion) suggests Persian influence, if not origin.[36][page needed] During the 18th century, there were two branches of Druze
Druze
living in Lebanon: the Yemeni Druze, headed by the "Harmouche" and "Alamuddine" families; and the Kaysi Druze, headed by the Jumblatt
Jumblatt
and Arslan families. The Harmouche family was banished from Mount Lebanon following the battle of Ain Dara in 1711. The battle was fought between two Druze
Druze
factions: the Yemeni and the Kaysi. Following their dramatic defeat, the Yemeni faction migrated to Syria
Syria
in the Jebel-Druze
Jebel-Druze
region and its capital, As-Suwayda. However, it has been argued that these two factions were of political nature rather than ethnic, and had both Christian and Druze
Druze
supporters. Iturean hypothesis[edit] According to Jewish contemporary literature, the Druze, who were visited and described in 1165 by Benjamin of Tudela, were pictured as descendants of the Itureans,[109] an Ismaelite
Ismaelite
Arab
Arab
tribe, which used to reside in the northern parts of the Golan plateau through Hellenistic and Roman periods. The word Druzes, in an early Hebrew edition of his travels, occurs as "Dogziyin", but it is clear that this is a scribal error. Archaeological assessments of the Druze
Druze
region have also proposed the possibility of Druze
Druze
descending from Itureans,[110] who had inhabited Mount Lebanon
Lebanon
and Golan Heights
Golan Heights
in late classic antiquity, but their traces fade in the Middle Ages. Genetics[edit] In a 2005 study of ASPM gene variants, Mekel-Bobrov et al. found that the Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
people of the Carmel region have among the highest rate of the newly evolved ASPM- Haplogroup D, at 52.2% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele.[111] While it is not yet known exactly what selective advantage is provided by this gene variant, the Haplogroup D allele is thought to be positively selected in populations and to confer some substantial advantage that has caused its frequency to rapidly increase. One small DNA
DNA
study has shown that Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
are remarkable for the high frequency (35%) of males who carry the Y-chromosomal haplogroup L (though some Afshar village[dubious – discuss] and the Raqqa
Raqqa
Syrians have even more), which is otherwise uncommon in the Mideast (Shen et al. 2004).[112] This haplogroup originates from prehistoric South Asia
South Asia
and has spread from Pakistan
Pakistan
into southern Iran. However, studies done on larger samples showed that L-M20 averages 5% in Israeli Druze,[Footnote 1] 8% in Lebanese Druze,[Footnote 2] and it was not found in a sample of 59 Syrian Druze. Cruciani in 2007 found E1b1b1a2 (E-V13) [a subclade of E1b1b1a (E-M78)] in high levels (>10% of the male population) in Turkish Cypriot and Druze
Druze
Arab
Arab
lineages. Recent genetic clustering analyses of ethnic groups are consistent with the close ancestral relationship between the Druze
Druze
and Cypriots, and also identified similarity to the general Syrian
Syrian
and Lebanese populations, as well as a variety of Jewish groups (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Iraqi, and Moroccan) (Behar et al. 2010).[113] Also, a new study concluded that the Druze
Druze
harbor a remarkable diversity of mitochondrial DNA
DNA
lineages that appear to have separated from each other thousands of years ago. But instead of dispersing throughout the world after their separation, the full range of lineages can still be found within the Druze
Druze
population.[114] The researchers noted that the Druze
Druze
villages contained a striking range of high frequency and high diversity of the X haplogroup, suggesting that this population provides a glimpse into the past genetic landscape of the Near East
Near East
at a time when the X haplogroup was more prevalent.[114] These findings are consistent with the Druze
Druze
oral tradition, that claims that the adherents of the faith came from diverse ancestral lineages stretching back tens of thousands of years.[114] The Shroud of Turin analysis shows significant traces of mitochondrial DNA
DNA
unique to the Druze
Druze
community.[115] A 2008 study published on the genetic background of Druze
Druze
communities in Israel
Israel
showed highly heterogeneous parental origins. A total of 311 Israeli Druze
Israeli Druze
were sampled: 37 from the Golan Heights, 183 from the Galilee, and 35 from Mount Carmel, as well as 27 Druze
Druze
immigrants from Syria
Syria
and 29 from Lebanon. The researchers found the following frequencies of Y-chromosomal haplogroups:[116][dubious – discuss]

Mount Carmel: L 27%, R 27%, J 18%, E 15%, G 12%. Galilee: J 31%, R 20%, E 18%, G 14%, K 11%, Q 4%, L 2%. Golan Heights: J 54%, E 29%, I 8%, G 4%, C 4%. Lebanon: J 31%, E 22%, K 21%, R 14%, L 10%. Syria: J 39%, E 29%, R 14%, G 14%, K 4%.

A 2016 study based on testing samples of Druze
Druze
in the Syria
Syria
(region) in comparison with ancient humans (including Anatolian and Armenian), and on Geographic Population Structure (GPS) tool by converting genetic distances into geographic distances, concluded that Druze might hail from the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
and the surroundings of Lake Van in eastern Anatolia, then they later migrated south to settle in the mountainous regions in Syria, Lebanon
Lebanon
and Palestine.[117] See also[edit]

IDF Sword Battalion Jaysh al-Muwahhideen Jabal Druze
Jabal Druze
State List of Druze Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
and Gnosticism Religious syncretism

Notes[edit]

^ 12/222 Shlush et al. 2008 ^ 1/25 Shlush et al. 2008

References[edit] Citations[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

Dana, Nissim (2003), The Druze
Druze
in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status, Sussex University Press, ISBN 1-903900-36-0 . Hitti, Philip Khūri (1924), Origins of the Druze
Druze
People and Religion, Forgotten Books, ISBN 1-60506-068-2, retrieved 4 April 2012 . Nisan, Mordechai (2002), Minorities in the Middle East: a history of struggle and self-expression (2nd, illustrated ed.), McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1375-1, retrieved 4 April 2012  Swayd, Samy S (2006), Historical dictionary of the Druzes, 3 (illustrated ed.), Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0-8108-5332-9, retrieved 4 April 2012 

Further reading[edit]

Jean-Marc Aractingi, « Les Druzes
Druzes
et la Franc-maçonnerie », in Les Cahiers de l'Orient, no 69, 1er trimestre 2003, Paris : L'Équerre et le Croissant, éditions Les Cahiers de l'Orient Jean-Marc Aractingi, « Points de convergence dans les rituels et symboles chez les Druzes
Druzes
et chez les francs-maçons », in Les Cahiers, Jean Scot Erigène, no 8, Franc-maçonnerie et Islamité, Paris: la Grande Loge de France. Pinhas Inabri " Pan-Arabism
Pan-Arabism
versus Pan- Islam
Islam
– Where Do the Druze Fit?"- http://jcpa.org/arabism-islam-where-druze-fit/ Abu Fakhr, Sakr (2000). "Voices from the Golan". Journal of Palestine Studies. 29 (4): 5–36. doi:10.1525/jps.2000.29.4.02p00787.  Aractingi, Jean-Marc; Lochon, Christian (2008), Secrets initiatiques en Islam
Islam
et rituels maçonniques-Ismaéliens, Druzes, Alaouites, Confréries soufies, Paris: L'Harmattan, ISBN 978-2-296-06536-9 . Rabih Alameddine I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters, Norton (2002). ISBN 0-393-32356-0. B. Destani, ed. Minorities in the Middle East: Druze
Druze
Communities 1840–1974, 4 volumes, Slough: Archive Editions (2006). ISBN 1-84097-165-7. R. Scott Kennedy "The Druze
Druze
of the Golan: A Case of Non-Violent Resistance" Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Winter, 1984), pp. 48–6. Dr. Anis Obeid: The Druze
Druze
& Their Faith
Faith
in Tawhid, Syracuse University Press (July 2006). ISBN 0-8156-3097-2. Shamai, Shmuel (1990). "Critical Sociology of Education Theory in Practice: The Druze
Druze
Education in the Golan". British Journal of Sociology of Education. 11 (4): 449–463. doi:10.1080/0142569900110406.  Samy Swayd The Druzes: An Annotated Bibliography, Kirkland, Washington: ISES Publications (1998). ISBN 0-9662932-0-7. Bashar Tarabieh "Education, Control and Resistance in the Golan Heights" Middle East
Middle East
Report, No. 194/195, Odds against Peace (May–Aug., 1995), pp. 43–47.  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Druses". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 603–606. 

External links[edit] Media related to Druze
Druze
at Wikimedia Commons

Look up druze in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Druses.

Druze
Druze
at Curlie (based on DMOZ)

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