Many Druze religious practices are kept secret, even from the community as a whole. Marriage outside the Druze faith is rare and is strongly discouraged. Please try again later. © 2020 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews All rights reserved. Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad is credited as one of the pioneers of the religion. The Druze place heavy emphasis on philosophy and spiritual purity. The Druze religion has its roots in Islam, but although some members consider themselves “Muslim,” they have been recognized as a separate religion. The Druze have wielded significant political power in the country since its independence. Druze, also spelled Druse, Arabic plural DurÅ«z, singular Darazi, small Middle Eastern religious sect characterized by an eclectic system of doctrines and by a cohesion and loyalty among its members (at times politically significant) that have enabled them to maintain for … The Druze religion differs from classic forms of other monotheistic faiths in several key ways. There was also conflict within the emerging movement as the leading proponent of the doctrine of al-Ḥākim’s divinity, Ḥamzah ibn Ê¿AlÄ« ibn Aḥmad al-ZÅ«zanÄ«, found himself competing for authority and followers with a former disciple, Muḥammad al-DarāzÄ«. Al-Ḥākim disappeared mysteriously in 1021, and the movement was persecuted under his successor, al-Zāḥir. The Druze, also known as the "Sons of Grace," are a secretive, tightly-knit religious sect whose origins can be traced to Egypt a thousand years ago. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Druze – about the goodness. He later served briefly as a parliamentary speaker in 1965 until his arrest in 1966. After the Sunni leadership in Jerusalem threatened in 1942 to take control of the tomb of Jethro (called ShuÊ¿ayb by the Druze) in Tiberias, the Druze sided with Jewish forces in the 1948 war. Druze believe that the various rituals and practices adopted by the three major faiths have turned those believers away from the “true faith.”. The rest of the Druze, however, are full members of Israeli society. In 1017 the doctrine was publicly preached for the first time, causing riots in Cairo. A study of Israeli Druze genetics published last week in Scientific Reports of Nature may help shed light on the secretive religious sect’s history and ancestry. They believe that anyone who wanted to join the religion had a chance to do so in the first generation after it was started, and that everyone who is alive today is reincarnated from a previous generation. Fact #4: In addition to not having Druze clergy, there are no ceremonies or rituals. The Fellowship’s tax identification number is 36-3256096. Majid Arslan, who served as minister of defense under Camille Chamoun, was the rival of Kamal Jumblatt. They accept “The Seven Precepts,” which they believe are the essential components of the Pillars of Islam. Conversions are not permitted in the Druze religion, because they believe that the first generation after the establishment of the Druze religion had an opportunity then to join the religion, and everyone alive today is reincarnated from that generation. In Israel, the Druze are active in public life and subject to the military draft. Oct 15, 2010 @ 12:12 pm. The Druze faith gradually died out in Egypt but survived in isolated areas of Syria and Lebanon, where missionaries had established significant communities. Al-Juhhal represents the majority of Druze members, approximately 80% of the community, and is the “unlearned” group. The largest concentration of Druze in the present day is in Lebanon. Equality between men and women, in marriage and in religious life, is an important part of the Druze tradition. Christianity teaches evangelism, often through the establishment of missions, unlike the Druze who do not accept converts to their faith. Druze community has its origin which took place in 11th Century. Men and women adopt a more stringent dress code, and the spiritual leaders of the community arise from the most influential 5% of the al-Uqqal. The religious community adds certain other philosophies of other religions in to it such as the Neoplatonism. Greek philosophy and Asiatic thought both heavily influenced the religion’s foundation. It is a collection of books, of … The Druze, also known as the "Sons of Grace," are a secretive, tightly-knit religious sect whose origins can be traced to Egypt a thousand years ago. Most of them live in Syria and Lebanon.Some have emigrated to the United States and Canada.. Members of the Druze faith face an added pressure: keeping the religion alive. The Druze forbid polygamy, along with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and pork. The Druze still do not permit conversion, either away from or to their religion. Nearly all Druze (99%) believe in God, including 84% who say they are absolutely certain in their belief. In spite of al-Darāzī’s death, outsiders continued to attach his name to the movement as al-Darāziyyah and al-DurÅ«z. The Druze are an Arabic-speaking people of the Middle East.. After the presumed assassination of Al-Hakim, the successive caliph … One of the most famous of them was the 17th-century ruler Fakhr al-DÄ«n II of the house of MaÊ¿n, who forged a coalition with the Maronite Christians of the Lebanon Mountains and challenged Ottoman authority by allying with Tuscany. Their prophets include Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Mohammed. Ḥamzah went into hiding, leaving the Druze to be led by al-Muqtanā Bahāʾ al-DÄ«n (also called al-SamÅ«qÄ«), with whom he seems to have remained in contact for a period of time. The Druze enjoyed considerable autonomy under the Ottoman Empire and often rebelled against it, protected from direct Ottoman control by the mountainous terrain of their homelands. The Druze religion contains seven moral precepts: veracity, love of the brethren, forsaking of idolatry, repudiation of devils, acknowledgment of God‘s unity at all times, secrecy in religion… The Druze religion has its roots in Islam. Even though the faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, most Druze do not identify as Muslims, and they do not accept the five pillars of Islam. During the reign of the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt, in the 10th and 11th centuries, the Druze religion was formed, combining tenets of Islam with the philosophy of the Greeks and Hindus. In 2011, however, he backed the pro-Syrian Hezbollah in Lebanon’s political crisis. The Druze do not have their own homeland. Not many documents and information on this practice are released to people outside the religion. Despite the small size of their community, the Druze have figured prominently in Middle Eastern history. It is a very secretive and small religion. They do not have access to the holy writings of the faith, do not attend the religious meetings, and in general are not expected to follow the ascetic rulings of the al-Uqqal. Omissions? Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Islam is the religion which takes its basis from the Quran, a holy book of the Muslims. Lebanese Druze (Arabic: دروز لبنان ‎, romanized: durÅ«z lubnān) are Druze people with Lebanese citizenship. Another well-known feature of the Druze religion is a fervent belief in human-only reincarnation for all … This feature is not available right now. The Druze is a monotheistic religious group found primarily in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The Druze religion branched off from the religion of Islam, and is now considered its own religion separate from Islam. The al-Uqqal, in contrast, which includes both men and women, are the learned minority. Druze is thought to be a community which was derived from Ismaili sect. In fact, for more than … The Druze do not accept converts. Like his father, he was often placed in the position of kingmaker in the country. The persecution of the Dru… They believe that God was incarnated on earth in the form of their leader, al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Islam. The first and most important principle of the Druze Faith is Truthfulness (“Sidq”, صدق). There are more than 500,000 Druze. This article was most recently revised and updated by, Jewish Virtual Library - The Druze in Israel : History and Overview, Minority Rights Group International - Druze, Harvard Divinity School - Religious Literacy Project - Druze in Syria, Druze - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Druze - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The Druze are divided into two groups: al-Juhhal (“the ignorant”) and al-Uqqal (“the knowledgeable”). Honesty is such a revealing character trait, it is said: whoever can be trusted with a little can be trusted with much. Druze in the Golan mostly identify with Syria, where their families live, and they often visit family and … Israel is home to a sizeable Druze community that is extremely loyal to the state and has high rates of military service. In addition to holding prominent military and political positions, the Druze are active in the realms of sports, media, the arts, and literature. Watch this video and use the prompts below to learn about Israeli diversity, national loyalty, and multiculturalism. Hamza was a renowned Ismaili scholar who came up with the religion which was influenced by Gnosticism and ancient Greek philosophy. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more. They have also become prominent members of the IDF and of the Knesset, where they hold a disproportionate number of seats relative to the size of their community. During the Crusades, Druze soldiers aided the AyyÅ«bid and later MamlÅ«k forces by resisting Crusader advances at the Lebanese coast. Druze Religion The Druze community, more correctly known as the Muwahideen, number close to 120,000 in Israel. The communities are located along the western edges of the Lebanon Mountains as well as in the southeastern portion of the country, and the total Druze population numbers well over 300,000. Updates? From Encyclopedia Britannica: The Druze permit no conversion, either away from or to their religion. At that point, proselytism ended, and the Druze ceased to recognize conversions to the faith. Fact #3: Druze is a blend of Islam, Hindu, and Greek philosophy. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The Druze community, more correctly known as the Muwahideen, number close to 120,000 in Israel. [note 3] His advocacy gained the support of Al-Hakim, the caliph of Shia Islamic Fatimid Caliphate based in Cairo. They are the only Arab group conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces, and they participate in Israel’s border security and diplomatic corps. Their religion is a secretive one and the community is very close-knit. Israel also has a sizeable community of Druze—about 150,000, located entirely in the northern portions of the country. There is no official liturgy or prayer book, no holy days or fast days, and no pilgrimages. Few of them have accepted full Israeli citizenship, and remain Syrian citizens. Nonetheless, despite their rivalry, the two families have at times put their differences aside and formed alliances to protect their common interests. The Druze do not have their own homeland. A tomb built over his believed burial site, at the Horns of Hittin near the Kinneret, is a gathering place for members of the Druze faith, and every April, the Druze meet there to discuss matters pertaining to the community. During the reign of al-Hakim (996 - 1021) the Druze creed came into being, blending Islamic monotheism with Greek philosophy and Hindu influences. Although the idea was probably encouraged by al-Ḥākim himself, it was condemned as heresy by the Fāṭimid religious establishment, which held that al-Ḥākim and his predecessors were divinely appointed but not themselves divine. Three years later, in 1017 Hamza officially unveiled the Druze faith which also received support from al … Researchers examined a … Moreover, unlike the Jumblatts, the Arslans have enjoyed strong relations with Syria. Al-Muqtanā withdrew from public life in 1037 but continued to write pastoral letters elaborating Druze doctrine until 1043. Religious comparison. The Druze faith is often classified as a branch of Isma'ili. In terms of religious comparison, mainstream Christian denominations do not believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul, contrary to the beliefs of the Druze. The principles of the Druze faith are: guarding one's tongue (honesty), protecting one's brother, respecting the elderly, helping others, protecting one's homeland, belief in one God. Sidq… Dr. Ramy Fayad: I would like to suggest … The Druze religion is a small, old, unique, and mysterious practice. The Druze religion is a closed and esoteric religion founded about 1000 years ago in Egypt by Al Hakim, who is considerred having been God incarnated as a human by the Druze community. The Druze have mainly found employment in the fields of social work, security services, and prison personnel. Israeli Druze rarely marry across religious lines. Fact #1: Druze is a monotheistic religion and are often referred to as “People of Monotheism.” Fact #2: Druze originated in Egypt at the end of the 10th century. Moreover, the son of Sulṭān al-Aá¹­rash, Manṣūr al-Aá¹­rash, became one of the founding members of the Syrian BaÊ¿th Party. They hold the Qur'an to be sacred, but look upon it as an outer shell, holding an "inner, esoteric meaning." The Druze are known for their belligerence and independence. Where the reincarnation is a paramount tenet in the Druze faith. April 2013 version Few people know about the Druze, a mysterious, 1,000 year old religion in Lebanon. Among Syrians, this revolt is remembered as the nation’s first nationalist uprising. The Druze have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes such as the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Mamluk, Sunni Ottoman Empire, and Egypt Eyalet. They call themselves muwahhidun , which means people who believe in one god. While Lebanon has the largest concentration of Druze, the much larger country of Syria has the largest total population of Druze—more than 600,000. During the British Mandate, the Druze purposely kept out of the Arab-Israeli conflict; when Israel’s War of Independence broke out in 1948, the Druze fought on the Israeli side. The caliph supported religious freedom, and as such the Druze grew substantially during his era. His opposition to Syrian interference in Lebanon tended to give him a markedly pro-Western orientation. Jumblatt was given several cabinet posts throughout his political career; he was appointed minister of the interior because his pull with various communities put him in a unique position to manage the internal affairs of the country. The Druze people in Israel live in the Carmel region, the Galilee, and the Golan. The precepts, which form the core of Druze faith, include truthfulness in speech, belief in one God, protection of others, and the belief that every hour of every day is a time to reckon oneself before God. Today, approximately 800,000 Druze live in Syria, 450,000 in Lebanon, and 120,000 in northern Israel. Proselytizing is not allowed under Druze law. The Druze are unique among the Arab communities in Israel, known for their loyalty to the state. Women are encouraged to participate in daily prayer, can take part in religious ceremonies, and are able to initiate divorce. Ḥamzah seems to have been favoured by al-Ḥākim, however, and al-DarāzÄ« was declared an apostate within the movement and later disappeared (it is believed that al-Ḥākim ordered him killed). Adib al-Shishakli in 1954. The Druze faith originated in Egypt as an offshoot of IsmaÊ¿Ä«lÄ« ShÄ«Ê¿ism when, during the reign of the sixth Fāṭimid caliph, the eccentric al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (ruled 996–1021), some IsmaÊ¿Ä«lÄ« theologians began to organize a movement proclaiming al-Ḥākim a divine figure. From the 16th to the 19th century, a series of powerful feudal lords dominated Druze political life. The Druze numbered more than 1,000,000 in the early 21st century and live mostly in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, with smaller communities in other countries. 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