They call themselves muwaḥḥidūn (“monotheists”). Unfortunately, the rest of the world tends to refer to them as "Druze" or "Druse", a name derived from their fallen preacher Darazi.
The Druze a relatively small Middle Eastern religious sect characterized by an eclectic system of doctrines and by a cohesion and loyalty among its members that have enabled them to maintain through almost a thousand years of turbulent history their close-knit identity and distinctive faith.
- a fiercely independent group concentrated in Lebanon around the base of Mount Hermon, and in the mountains behind Beirut and Sidon. A few villages are also located on the Golan Heights, in Syria and just inside the Northern border of Israel. (Approximately 1 million followers) in the mountains
- Very little information is known about the Druze religion. It started in the 9th Century CE as a break-away group from Islam. - Darazi (a preacher) and Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad (a Persian mystic) were instrumental in popularizing the religion.
- Darazi announced that God had manifested himself in human form as al-Hakim Bi-amr Allah, (985 or 996-1021 CE), a Muslim caliph from Cairo Egypt.
- The Druze now believe that Darazi distorted the message; he was, in essence, excommunicated and later executed. His writings are now considered improper.
- They are divided into 2 groups. Uqqal (the knowers) 20% & Juhal (the ignorant ones)
The Druze consider their faith to be a new interpretation of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For them, the traditional story of the Creation is a parable, which describes Adam not as the first human being, but as the first person to believe in one god. Since then, the idea of monotheism has been disseminated by "emissaries" or prophets, guided by "mentors" who embody the spirit of monotheism. The mentors and prophets come from all three religions, and include Jethro and Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, and Salman the Persian and Mohammed - all reincarnations of the same monotheistic idea. In addition, the Druze hold other influential people - regardless of their religion - in great esteem, as the advocates of justice and belief in one god. These include the Egyptian Akhenaton, the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and Alexander the Great.
Although the Druze recognize all three monotheistic religions, they believe that rituals and ceremonies have caused Jews, Christians, and Muslims to turn aside from "pure faith". They argue that individuals who believe that God will forgive them if they fast and pray, will commit transgressions in the expectation of being forgiven - and then repeat their sins. The Druze thus eliminated all elements of ritual and ceremony; there is no fixed daily liturgy, no defined holy days, and no pilgrimage obligations. The Druze perform their spiritual reckoning with God at all times, and consequently need no special days of fasting or atonement.
The theology of Druze religion is called hikma and its main theme is that God incarnated himself in the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim, who disappeared in 1021. While most Muslims believe he died in 1021, the Druze disagree and believe that al-Hakim is awaiting to return to the world in order to bring a new golden age to true believers.
Druze believe in one God and claim that the qualities of God cannot be understood or defined by humans. Al-Hakim is worshiped in Druze religion, he is called 'Our Lord' and his cruelties and eccentricities are all interpreted symbolically.
But while God incarnated himself in al-Hakim in his unity, other aspects of God can be incarnated in other human beings. These aspects are represented with 5 superior ministers. Under the ministers one finds three other groups: functionaries, preachers, and heads of communities. The knowledge of this hierarchal system is the highest knowledge in the Druze religion.
The moral system of Druze religion consists