Skip to main content

Druzes

DRUZES

The Druzes are a schismatic Muslim sect, derived from ultraShīism (see shĪites) and quartered largely in southern Lebanon and Hawrān (Hauran). The name (Ar., Durūz, sing. Durzi ) stems from al-Darazī (from the Turkish word for tailor), a missionary (dāi ) of the Egyptian Fātimid caliph, al-Hākim (9961021), who, while following the Ismaili doctrine (see ismailis) of the imĀm as the supreme authority and guardian of islam, proclaimed himself the incarnation of the Deity. Al-Darazi (d. 1019) introduced the Hākim cult into Wādi al-Taym, at the foot of Mt. Hermon; but it was another missionary, the Persian Hamzah al-Labbād (the Furrier), who gave Druzism its system of theology. This was an esoteric system (Bātini ), giving the Sacred Writings an inner meaning, beyond the apparent, literal one. Hamzah died shortly after al-Hākim and was succeeded by al-Muqtana Bahā'-al-Dīn, whose letters to the Byzantine Emperor and the Christians suggest Syrian-Christian origin. Bahā'-al-Dīn introduced the doctrine that, during the "absence" (ghaybah ) of alHākim, no part of the religion should be divulged or promulgated. Dictated by the urge for safety amid a hostile environment, the doctrine made of Druzism a closed corporate body. Only to the initiated few, uqqāl (intelligent, sage), was given the knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, kept hidden and in handwriting. The bulk of the community remained juhhāl (ignorant, uninitiated).

In accordance with the Shīite doctrine of dissimulation (taqīyah ), Druzes profess Islam but do not observe prescribed Muslim prayers, fast during ramadan, undertake the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, or pray in a mosque. Their religious meeting places are inconspicuous, secluded buildings (khalwahs ) on hills outside their villages. Meetings are held Thursday evenings, for prayer, meditation, religious instruction, and discussion of current problems.

Bibliography: p. k. hitti, Lebanon in History (2d ed. New York 1962); The Origins of the Druze People and Religion (New York 1928). n. bouron, Les Druzes: Histoire du Liban et de la montagne haouranaise (Paris 1930). a. i. silvestre de sacy, Exposé de la religion des Druzes, 2 v. (Paris 1838).

[p. k. hitti]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Druzes." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Druzes." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/druzes

"Druzes." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/druzes

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.