THE DRUZE

THE DRUZE

 

Durzi (singular) - Duruz Plural)

Name of the Druze religion: RELIGION OF DIVINE UNITY - DIN AL TAWHID

Other name of the Druze in onsideration of their faith: MUWAHIDDUN

derived from DIN AL TAWHID


By Didier Bertin - February 28, 2012



The number of Druze is difficult to determine because of their secrecy rule of faith, but there are bout 500,000 people.

Their reputation of warlords ready to prompt insurrections gave them in history a role far bigger than their number.

The Druze, beyond their religion derived from Islam, form a specific community and are now generally loyal citizens of the countries in which they live.

I-ORIGIN

1-The Druze faith is derived from the Ismaili Shia Islam

The Shiite branch of Islam recognizes as descendants of the prophet the sole descendants of his cousin Ali, husband of Fatima, daughter of the prophet.

Ismaili does not refer to Ishmael son of Abraham and Hagar or to Ishmael's descendants (12 tribes) but to the faith in Imam 'ISMAIL BEN JAFAR AL SADIQ " who will return to earth as the redeemer: MAHDI .

The Ismaili faith broke into several currents. The Druze originate from The Fatimid Ismaili current but have developed dogmas and traditions that deviate from Islam.

2-The Druze have adopted their own dogmas such as the transmigration of the souls, which can be found in other religions or philosophies.

II-DRUZE FAITH AND RELIGION

1-FEATURES:

a-The Druze have a free liturgy and their places of prayers have no particular features; they are places of retreat named HALVA.

b-The Druze do not follow the five pillars of Islam but seven commandments of their own.

We recall that the five pillars of Islam are:

1-No one but God can be worshiped and Muhammad is his prophet

2-Duty of the prayers

3-Fast of Ramadan

4-Zakatt:tax for the poor people

5-Pilgrimage to Mecca: Hajj

The seven commandments of the Druze are:

1-Absolute Truth among the followers of Divine Unity

2-Mutual protection among the followers of Divine Unity

3-Reject of any other religion than that of Divine Unity

4-Refusal of any obligation towards those who are not adepts of Divine Unity

5-Recognition of the Uniqueness of God

6-Approval of the actions of God

7-Secrecy of faith as God's commandment

The Points 1 and 7 refer to the Ismaili practice of concealment called TAQYA and applied for safety reasons in respect of external
hostility. The precepts of the Divine Unity emphasize unity and truth between adepts and distrust of others and recommend the secrecy. The Druze form a closed community and reject the proselytism.

2-HISTORY AND FORM OF DOGMA

God has incarnated in man at different times and most recently in the form of the Fatimid Caliph "AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH" (996-1021).

AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH revealed that he was the incarnation of God in 1017 and is the basic reference of the Druze faith.

The form of the faith of the Druze was organized during the lifetime of the Caliph AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH, by his Vizier MUHAMMAD AD DARAZI, then after the death of the latter by "HAMZA IBN ALI IBN AHMAD", both Ismailis.

Druze (Duruz) comes from the name of the Vizier MUHAMMAD AD DARAZI.

MUHAMMAD AD DARAZI put emphasis on the worship of the Caliph AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH as a divine incarnation, beyond that of the Prophet MUHAMMAD and on the dogma of the transmigration of souls.

The assertions of MUHAMMAD AD DARAZI caused troubles, which constrained "probably" the Caliph AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH to withdraw his support for him.

HAMZA IBN ALI IBN AHMAD took after MUHAMMAD AD DARAZI and established the form and rules of the Druze religion whose he became the Imam.

HAMZA IBN ALI IBN AHMAD maintained the basic principle of the Druze religion, which is the worshiping of the Caliph AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH as a divine incarnation.

GOD, by the voice of AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH, has called men to redemption. GOD will return on earth in the form of the caliph AL HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH to impose the primacy of the Druze faith.

The return of AL-HAKIM BI AMR ALLAH as a Divine Incarnation will be the last appearance of GOD on earth in an incarnated form according to the Druze. As a result the Druze religion is the ultimate religion according to his believers.

 

The Druze believe in one unique God, whose nature is not within the reach of human understanding and whose exceptional incarnation does not involve any doubt about "his uniqueness" in contrast to the "Christian trinity" that casts a shadow on monotheism.

III-HISTORY



Until 1918, the Druze have suffered the Turk's domination to which they "generally" opposed.

In 1859 and 1860 the Druze and the Sunnis made massacres of Christians respectively in Lebanon and Damascus that led Napoleon III to organize a humanitarian intervention from August 1860 to June 1861 in order to assist the Turkish sultan to restore peace in the the region.

The number of Christians killed was comprised between 15 000 to 20 000 approximately. This intervention was probably the first humanitarian one.

A Christian Turkish governor (Armenian) became in charge of Lebanon advised by a multi-religious council.

Many Christians preferred to leave Damascus to Beirut. Similarly many Druze left the Mount Lebanon (Jabal  Lubnan) to go to Syria in the Hauran and Jabal Druze where they continued their uprising against the Turks.

Although they were officially neutral during the 1914-18 world war, the Druze joined the Emir Faisal allied to the English Army under the advice of Captain Lawrence.

After the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Druze were spread as a result of he official borders in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

Following various disagreements, Druze representatives went in Damascus in 1925, to protest to the French authorities administrating Syria and Lebanon; General Sarrail, the French High Commissioner made them prisoners. This arrest triggered a general revolt against the French troops, which suffered heavy losses. General Sarrail was considered as responsible for this insurrection and was recalled immediately to France. General Gamelin succeeded in evacuating the French troops from the Jabal Druze.

On the eve of Israel's independence, the "Druze of Palestine", rejected by the Muslims (like the other Druze) sided the new state.

Following their principle of loyalty to the country where they live, they have become dedicated Israeli citizens serving the Israeli army sometimes at the highest hierarchical levels. The Druze are generally well integrated into Israeli society except in the Golan where they consider themselves as Syrian citizens.

The Israeli Ambassador in Libya, "if any", should be Druze, as agreed in 2012.

Despite an undeniable advance of Druze customs of the Druze as compared to other peoples of the Middle East , a 2010 film has reported threats of murder for honor on an Israeli Druze young woman, who in 2007 expressed the desire to become a model.