Omissions? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. April 2013 version Few people know about the Druze, a mysterious, 1,000 year old religion in Lebanon. After local success, Syrian nationalists outside the Druze community joined the revolt, and the rebellion spread throughout the region and into Damascus before it was suppressed in 1927. Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more. A new program has been started to help the Druze gain entry into Israel’s lucrative high-tech sector. Israel is home to a sizeable Druze community that is extremely loyal to the state and has high rates of military service. 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«. Druze posing for a picture at Mount Hermon, on the border of Syria and Lebanon. Competing with the Jumblatts in leadership of the Druze has been the Arslan family, often found on the opposite side of Lebanese politics. In Israel, the Druze are active in public life and subject to the military draft. Advertisement. Fact #3: Druze is a blend of Islam, Hindu, and Greek philosophy. Greek philosophy and Asiatic thought both heavily influenced the religion’s foundation. The current form of the religion is made up of Jewish, Christian, Gnostic, Neoplatonic, and Iranian religious teachings. In addition to holding prominent military and political positions, the Druze are active in the realms of sports, media, the arts, and literature. Nonetheless, despite their rivalry, the two families have at times put their differences aside and formed alliances to protect their common interests. They live primarily in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, and are classified as a separate religious group, with their own courts and their own jurisdiction in matters such as marriage, divorce, and adoption. 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. 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. Despite a few holy sites which have become official gathering places for the Druze, the Druze generally spurn the concepts of ceremonies and rituals. The Druze are a religious sect. Equality between men and women, in marriage and in religious life, is an important part of the Druze tradition. 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. Hamza was a renowned Ismaili scholar who came up with the religion which was influenced by Gnosticism and ancient Greek philosophy. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Please try again later. The largest concentration of Druze in the present day is in Lebanon. The persecution of the Dru… Their religious texts are known collectively as "Kitab Al Hikma" (The Book Of Wisdom). What is the definition of Druze (Religion)? Islam is the religion which takes its basis from the Quran, a holy book of the Muslims. Three years later, in 1017 Hamza officially unveiled the Druze faith which also received support from al … Like his father, he was often placed in the position of kingmaker in the country. Women are encouraged to participate in daily prayer, can take part in religious ceremonies, and are able to initiate divorce. Moreover, unlike the Jumblatts, the Arslans have enjoyed strong relations with Syria. 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 centuries their close-knit identity and distinctive faith. The first Druze began settling in modern-day Lebanon and northern Israel centuries ago, and the largest Druze community in the Galilee is called Daliyat el-Carmel, situated in the Carmel Mountains. Druze – about the goodness. The religion was created in the 10th and 11th centuries in Egypt, with aspects of Hindu and Greek philosophy incorporated into the tenets of Islam. Home / Learn / Inside Israel / People and Society / Religions in the Holy Land / Druze Religion. Most of them live in Syria and Lebanon.Some have emigrated to the United States and Canada.. Their most revered religious figure is Jethro, father-in-law of Moses. Druze definition, a member of an independent religious sect living chiefly in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, established in the 11th century as a branch of IsmaÊ¿ili ShiÊ¿ism and containing elements of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and believing in the transmigration of … Druze Religion The Druze community, more correctly known as the Muwahideen, number close to 120,000 in Israel. The Druze community, more correctly known as the Muwahideen, number close to 120,000 in Israel. Historically the relationship between the Druze and Muslims has been characterized by intense persecution. 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. 6. michelle. 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. Oct 15, 2010 @ 12:12 pm. During the reign of al-Hakim (996 - 1021) the Druze creed came into being, blending Islamic monotheism with Greek philosophy and Hindu influences. Al-Hakim, a ruler of Egypt during the 11th century sponsored the religion which was created by Hamza bin Ali. shutterstock There are thought to be around 1m Druze people in … Honesty or truthfulness is given serious consideration in most religions. Also called the Druse, Duruz, Duroz, and the Tawhid faith, there are about 750,000-800,000 of them today, primarily in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. They are the only Arab group conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces, and they participate in Israel’s border security and diplomatic corps. 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. The rest of the Druze, however, are full members of Israeli society. [note 3] His advocacy gained the support of Al-Hakim, the caliph of Shia Islamic Fatimid Caliphate based in Cairo. Muc… The Fellowship’s tax identification number is 36-3256096. The Druze do not have their own homeland. 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. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Despite the small size of their community, the Druze have figured prominently in Middle Eastern history. Honesty is such a revealing character trait, it is said: whoever can be trusted with a little can be trusted with much. 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. The Druze have mainly found employment in the fields of social work, security services, and prison personnel. The Druze religion is monotheistic (believing in one god), and it is considered one of the Abrahamic faiths, along with Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Few of them have accepted full Israeli citizenship, and remain Syrian citizens. The Druze is a monotheistic religious group found primarily in Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Most of the Druze in Syria arrived from Lebanon in the 18th century and settled around Al-Suwaydāʾ in the region of Jabal al-DurÅ«z (the Druze Mountains), where the vast majority of Druze in Syria continue to live today. Not many documents and information on this practice are released to people outside the religion. After Jumblatt’s assassination in 1977, his son Walid took over the political leadership of the Druze community in Lebanon. The caliph supported religious freedom, and as such the Druze grew substantially during his era. In 2011, however, he backed the pro-Syrian Hezbollah in Lebanon’s political crisis. From Encyclopedia Britannica: The Druze permit no conversion, either away from or to their religion. The Druze people in Israel live in the Carmel region, the Galilee, and the Golan. Another Druze revolt led to a national uprising and the overthrow of Pres. Only an elite of initiates, known as Ê¿uqqāl (“knowers”), participate fully in their religious services and have access to the secret teachings of the scriptures, Al-Ḥikmah al-SharÄ«fah. The Druze call themselves Muwahhidun(Unitarians). Israel also has a sizeable community of Druze—about 150,000, located entirely in the northern portions of the country. The Druze religion differs from classic forms of other monotheistic faiths in several key ways. They call themselves muwaḥḥidÅ«n (“unitarians”). In 1017 the doctrine was publicly preached for the first time, causing riots in Cairo. Members of the community have attained top positions in Israeli politics and public service. Fact #4: In addition to not having Druze clergy, there are no ceremonies or rituals. The Druze faith was first preached by an Ismaili mystic and scholar named Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad during the early 11th century. The Druze faith is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion, and an ethnoreligious esoteric group originating from the Near East who self identify as unitarians (Arabic: موحدين ‎, … The Druze regard themselves to be part of Islam. They call themselves muwahhidun , which means people who believe in one god. 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. In 1925 Druze leader Sulṭān al-Aá¹­rash led a revolt against French rule. They live primarily in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, and are classified as a separate religious group, with their own courts and their own jurisdiction in matters such as marriage, divorce, and adoption. 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). Fewer than 1% of married Israeli Druze say they have a spouse or partner from outside their religion. They believe that God was incarnated on earth in the form of their leader, al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla. Moreover, the son of Sulṭān al-Aá¹­rash, Manṣūr al-Aá¹­rash, became one of the founding members of the Syrian BaÊ¿th Party. 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. His opposition to Syrian interference in Lebanon tended to give him a markedly pro-Western orientation. It is a very secretive and small religion. The Druze remained politically salient figures for decades to come. Privacy Policy | Druze is thought to be a community which was derived from Ismaili sect. Today, approximately 800,000 Druze live in Syria, 450,000 in Lebanon, and 120,000 in northern Israel. 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. He later served briefly as a parliamentary speaker in 1965 until his arrest in 1966. Marriage outside the Druze faith is rare and is strongly discouraged. Updates? The Druze place heavy emphasis on philosophy and spiritual purity. Most of the Druze in the Golan are Syrian citizens who hold permanent resident status in Israel. Sulṭān al-Aá¹­rash, leader of the Druze revolt against French rule. The Druze are divided into two groups: al-Juhhal (“the ignorant”) and al-Uqqal (“the knowledgeable”). The Druze religion has its roots in Ismailism, a religio-philosophical movement which founded the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt in the tenth century. 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. 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. Another well-known feature of the Druze religion is a fervent belief in human-only reincarnation for all … The Druze religion is a small, old, unique, and mysterious practice. Donor Privacy Policy. The Druze religion has its roots in Islam, but although some members consider themselves “Muslim,” they have been recognized as a separate religion. The religion is heavily monotheistic, and has ties to the world’s three main religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Druze soldiers have since fought for Israel in every Arab-Israeli war. It is a collection of books, of … Sidq… Dr. Ramy Fayad: I would like to suggest … There are more than 500,000 Druze. Druze community has its origin which took place in 11th Century. The Druze religion doesn't focus on practice but rather on the quest for wisdom and knowledge, and a belief that re-incarnation is a means of enriching our soul. International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. They hold the Qur'an to be sacred, but look upon it as an outer shell, holding an "inner, esoteric meaning." 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). While the Druze religion is an outgrowth of Islam, and incorporates elements of Judaism and Christianity, it is very different from any of those religions. During the Crusades, Druze soldiers aided the AyyÅ«bid and later MamlÅ«k forces by resisting Crusader advances at the Lebanese coast. 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 do not accept converts. In July 2018, when the Israeli Knesset enacted a law with constitutional weight that enshrined Israel as a Jewish state, the Druze led the backlash; they claimed the law made them second-class citizens and was a betrayal to their dedication and service to the country. They believe that God was incarnated on earth in the form of their leader, al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla. Among Syrians, this revolt is remembered as the nation’s first nationalist uprising. Islam. The Druze are an Arabic-speaking minority who live throughout the Middle East. Many Druze religious practices are kept secret, even from the community as a whole. 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. They accept “The Seven Precepts,” which they believe are the essential components of the Pillars of Islam. Israeli Druze rarely marry across religious lines. In fact, for more than … The Druze faith is often classified as a branch of Isma'ili. The Druze are known for their belligerence and independence. His opposition to Camille Chamoun, including instigating an uprising against him in 1958, also helped earn him widespread respect among Arab nationalists. Al-Hakim and other theologians began the Druze movement proclaiming Al-Hakim as a divine figure. Watch this video and use the prompts below to learn about Israeli diversity, national loyalty, and multiculturalism. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 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 enjoyed considerable autonomy under the Ottoman Empire and often rebelled against it, protected from direct Ottoman control by the mountainous terrain of their homelands. © 2020 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews All rights reserved. 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 in the Carmel and the Galilee are Israeli citizens. 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 religion is a unique religious and The Druze are Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel and serve in the Israel Defense Forces, just as most citizens do in Israel. Majid Arslan, who served as minister of defense under Camille Chamoun, was the rival of Kamal Jumblatt. Proselytizing is not allowed under Druze law. Christianity teaches evangelism, often through the establishment of missions, unlike the Druze who do not accept converts to their faith. This feature is not available right now. 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. 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… Religious comparison. mosques or any form of ritualistic behavior historically or currently practiced by both Christians or Muslims A minority of Druze who live in the Golan Heights protested when the Israelis annexed the land from Syria, following the Six-Day War. After the presumed assassination of Al-Hakim, the successive caliph … Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad is credited as one of the pioneers of the religion. Kamal Jumblatt, a prominent Druze leader, enjoyed broad appeal through his charisma. 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. Many Druze religious practices are kept secret, even from the community as a whole. In so doing, he indicated his dedication for Arab unity over either pro-Western or pro-Syrian orientations. Their religion is a secretive one and the community is very close-knit. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Where the reincarnation is a paramount tenet in the Druze faith. There are about 1 million Druze around the world, with most of them living in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Jordan. 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. Researchers examined a … Al-Ḥākim disappeared mysteriously in 1021, and the movement was persecuted under his successor, al-Zāḥir. 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. Druze believe that the various rituals and practices adopted by the three major faiths have turned those believers away from the “true faith.”. The Druze have wielded significant political power in the country since its independence. The Druze are unique among the Arab communities in Israel, known for their loyalty to the state. 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. From the 16th to the 19th century, a series of powerful feudal lords dominated Druze political life. Nearly all Druze (99%) believe in God, including 84% who say they are absolutely certain in their belief. The Druze have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes such as the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Mamluk, Sunni Ottoman Empire, and Egypt Eyalet. The Druze religion branched off from the religion of Islam, and is now considered its own religion separate from Islam. The first and most important principle of the Druze Faith is Truthfulness (“Sidq”, صدق). 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. Marriage outside the Druze faith is rare and is strongly discouraged. Adib al-Shishakli in 1954. 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. The Druze practice a religion related to Islam and Christianity but more based on philosophy. The Druze forbid polygamy, along with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and pork. Druze in the Golan mostly identify with Syria, where their families live, and they often visit family and … Their prophets include Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Mohammed. The Druze do not have their own homeland. Lebanese Druze (Arabic: دروز لبنان ‎, romanized: durÅ«z lubnān) are Druze people with Lebanese citizenship. Al-Muqtanā withdrew from public life in 1037 but continued to write pastoral letters elaborating Druze doctrine until 1043. The al-Uqqal, in contrast, which includes both men and women, are the learned minority. One religion you will most likely not hear about is the religion of the Druze. The religious community adds certain other philosophies of other religions in to it such as the Neoplatonism. 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 Druze faith gradually died out in Egypt but survived in isolated areas of Syria and Lebanon, where missionaries had established significant communities. 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. Members of the Druze faith face an added pressure: keeping the religion alive. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The Druze religion has its roots in Islam. By the early 11th-century the religion had grown, and in 1014, Hamza visited Egypt where he organized a meeting of leaders and other prominent individuals to establish the doctrines of the faith. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Al-Juhhal represents the majority of Druze members, approximately 80% of the community, and is the “unlearned” group. Therefore, they concluded that people today already had their chance to join, centuries ago, and the religion has been closed to converts since 1050. 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 Druze are an Arabic-speaking people of the Middle East.. The Druze still do not permit conversion, either away from or to their religion. There is no official liturgy or prayer book, no holy days or fast days, and no pilgrimages. At that point, proselytism ended, and the Druze ceased to recognize conversions to the faith. Of Shia Islamic Fatimid Caliphate based in Cairo texts are known collectively as `` Kitab Al Hikma (. Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and Jordan tobacco, and personnel... Revise the article philosophy and Asiatic thought both heavily influenced the religion’s foundation to help the Druze permit conversion. 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