Druzes

Posted on 03/25/2012 by marina

DRUZES. A heretical mystic sect of Muslims, which arose about the beginning of the eleventh century in the mountains of Syria. They are now chiefly found in the districts of Lebanon, and in the neighborhood of Damascus. They were founded by al-Hakim, the fanatical Khalifah of the Fatimite race, who reigned at Cairo, assisted by two Persians named Hamzah and al-Darazi, from the latter of whom the sect derives its name.
DeSacy, in his Exposé de la Religion des Druzes, gives the following summary of their belief:-
“To acknowledge only one God, without seeking to penetrate the nature of His being and of His attributes; to confess that He can neither be comprehended by the senses nor defined by words; to believe that the Divinity has shown itself to men at different epochs, under a human form, without participating in any of the weaknesses and imperfections of humanity; that it has shown itself at last, at the commencement of the fifth age of the Hejira, under the figure of Hakim Amr Allah; that that was the last of His manifestations, after which there is none other to be expected; that Hakim disappeared in the year 411 of the Hejira, to try the faith of His servants, to give room for the apostasy of hypocrites, and of those who had only embrace the true religion from the hope of worldly rewards; that in a short time he would appear again, full of glory and of majesty, to triumph over all his enemies, to extend his empire over all the earth, and to make His faithful worshipers happy forever; to believe that Universal Intelligence is the first of God’s creatures, the only direct production of His omnipotence; that it has appeared upon the earth at the epoch of each of the manifestations of the Divinity, and has finally appeared since the time of Hakim under the figure of Hamza, son of Ahmad; that it is by His ministry that all the other creatures have been produced; that Hamza only possesses the knowledge of all truth, that he is the prime minister of the true religion, and that he communicates, directly or indirectly, with the other minister and with the faithful, but in different proportions, the knowledge and grace which he receives directly from the Divinity, and of which he is the sole channel; that he only has immediate access to God, and acts as a mediator to the other worshippers of the Supreme Being; acknowledges that Hamza is he to whom Hakim will confide his sword, to make his religion triumph, to conquer all his rivals, and to distribute rewards and punishments according to the merits of each one; to know the other ministers of religion and the rank which belongs to each of them; to give to each the obedience and submission which is their due; to confess that every soul has been created by the Universal Intelligence; that the number of men is always the same; and that souls pass successively into different bodies; that they are raised by their attachment to the truth to a superior degree of excellence, or are degraded by neglecting or giving up religious meditation; to practice the seven commandments which the religion of Hamza imposes on its followers, and which principally exacts from them the observance of truth, charity towards their brethren, the renunciation of their former religion, the most entire resignation and submission to the will of God; to confess that all preceding religions have only been types more or less perfect of the true religion, that all their ceremonial observances are only allegories, and that the manifestation of true religion requires the abrogation of every other creed. Such is the abridgement of the religious system taught in the books of the Druzes, of which Hamza is the author, and whose followers are called Unitarians.”
There is a very full and correct account of the religious belief of the Druzes in the Researches into the Religions of Syria, by the Rev. J. Wortabet, M.D.. In this work, Dr. Wortabet gives the following Catechism of the Druzes, which express their belief with regard to Christianity:-
Q. “What do ye say concerning the gospel which the Christians hold?”
A. “That it is true; for it is the sayings of the Lord Christ, who was Salman el Pharisy during the life of Muhammad, and who is Hamzeh the son of Ali – not the false Christ who was born of Mary, for he was the son of Joseph.”
Q. “Where was the true Christ when the false Christ was with the disciples?”
A. “He was among the disciples. He uttered the truths of the gospel and taught Christ, the son of Joseph, the institutes of the Christian religion; but when Jesus disobeyed the true Christ, he put hatred into the hearts of the Jews, so that they crucified him.”
“What became of him after the crucifixion?”
A. “They put him into a grave, and the true Christ came and stole him, and gave out the report among men that Christ had risen out of the dead.”
Q. “Why did he act in this manner?”
A. “That he might establish the Christian religion, and confirm its followers in what he had taught them.”
Q. “Why did he act in such a manner as to establish error?”
A. “So that the Unitarians should be concealed in the religion of Jesus and none of them might be known.”
Q. “Who was it that came from the grave and entered among the disciples when the doors were shut?”
A. “The living Christ, who is immortal, even Hamzeh, the son and slave of our Lord.”
Q. “Who brought the gospel to light and preached it?”
A. “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”
Q. “Why did not the Christians acknowledge the unity of God?”
A. “Because God had not so decreed.
Q. “Why does God permit the introduction of evil and infidelity?”
A. “Because He chooses to mislead some from and to guide others, to the truth.
Q. “If infidelity and error proceed from Him, why does he punish those who follow them?”
A. “Because when He deceived them, they did not obey Him.”
Q. “How can a deluded man obey, when he is ignorant of the true state of the case?”
A. “We are not bound to answer this question, for God is not accountable to his creatures for his dealings with them.”

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam