Druze






by Pam Rohland

Overview

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. They believe that God was incarnated on earth in the form of their leader, al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla. The Druze do not have their own homeland. Thus, many of them migrated to the isolated mountains of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, while others settled throughout the Middle East.

The Druze are of mixed race. They are largely of Arab descent but they also have Iranian, Kurdish, and European heritage. Little scholarly study has been done on the Druze, and much of what is available has not been translated into English. The Druze themselves are reluctant to share information about their faith or their culture with outsiders, primarily because of the fear of persecution. They have seemed radical for their belief in equality for men and women, the abolition of slavery, and separation of church and state.

The Druze have survived and thrived within their own communities by remaining isolated and secretive. Estimates of their numbers vary from 700,000 to 2 million worldwide. This wide range is because the Druze have not been part of any formal census since the 1930s. However, rough estimates place the number of Druze at 390,000 in Lebanon, 420,000 in Syria, 75,000 in Israel, 15,000 in Jordan, and about 80,000 scattered around the rest of the world, mostly in North America, Australia, and West Africa. The American Druze Society estimates the number of Druze in the United States at between 15,000 and 20,000.

Although they live in various parts of the world, the Druze have a flag, which strengthens their sense of unity. The flag includes five colors, which represent five prophets. It combines a green triangle on the hoist side and four horizontal stripes of red, yellow, blue, and white. Red symbolizes the heart and love of humanity, green the farmer and life, white the air and purity, yellow the sun and wheat, and blue the sky and faith.

HISTORY

In 1009, al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla announced that he was the earthly incarnation of God. He began attracting followers, and the Druze sect was born near Cairo, Egypt. Early years were marked by fighting with members of the Shi'a, a sect of Islam, who were incensed that the supremacy of the prophet Muhammad, leader of the Muslims, was disputed. The last years of al-Hakim's life were marked by unusual, irrational actions, which led outsiders to stereotype the Druze as madmen. The Druze themselves found al-Hakim's actions to be further evidence of his divinity. Druze historians believe al-Hakim's reputation for instability was exaggerated, but they do describe him variously as capricious, whimsical, enigmatic, and prone to violence. In The Druze, Robert Benton Betts wrote, "The general picture that emerges is of a brilliant megalomaniac who dreams of uniting the Islamic world under his own aegis at whatever cost - a goal toward which all his political moves, internal reforms, even the creation of a new religious movement with himself as the divine center, were aimed." Al-Hakim disappeared around 1020. The widely accepted theory is that he was murdered by conspirators with the help of his sister. Others believe he simply vanished while despairing that his goals would ever be reached.

Al-Hakim's apostle Hamzah ibn Ali ibn Ahmad subsequently gave the religion form and content, and formed the various dogmas into a creed. But fear was rife among the Druze, and for six years following their leader's disappearance, they hid. They slowly re-entered public life, but most began emigrating to remote mountainous regions in Lebanon, Syria, and what became Israel, where they hoped they could practice their faith without persecution. Because of their fear of outsiders, no new members have been admitted to the sect since 1043.

Despite trying to avoid conflict with large religious groups, Druze living among Muslims in the Middle East faced retribution. Tribal skirmishes have been sporadic but ongoing for nearly a thousand years. Over the years, Druze who did not want to contend with the hostility publicly adopted the doctrine of the Muslims, while privately practicing their own religion.

During the mid-1800s, Protestant American missionaries traveled to Syria to convert the Druze, but failed. A missionary named A. L. Tibawi wrote, "The Druze are a deceitful and truculent race who, under changed conditions, professed themselves to be Muslims with the same readiness that they declared themselves Protestants." During the same era, the Druze in Lebanon worked their way into a position of power, some becoming feudal lords. But an insurrection by the Christians turned many of the Druze into serfs.

The Druze in Syria fared somewhat better, remaining autonomous, mainly because of their self-imposed isolation. This detachment also led to poverty, as Syrian Druze attempted to make a living from farming. They were considered more militant than their Lebanese counterparts and were involved in various tribal wars with other sects.

MODERN ERA

The Druze developed a fierce loyalty to each other because of their isolation. It also made them an easier target for French, British, and, later, Israeli occupying forces that wanted to undermine Arab nationalism after World War I. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the Druze lived under Christian rulers. Although the Druze were not really part of the Arab Nationalist movement, they were at odds with Christian leaders, especially the French. They feared that the French maintained contacts with Muslim sects that still tried to suppress them.

In 1926, Syrian Druze rose up against the French in what is called the Druze Rebellion. This insurrection failed and French authority was restored. Tensions continued to simmer until 1936, when France recognized both Lebanon and Syria as independent states and sovereign members of the League of Nations. The French remained a presence in both countries until the end of World War II.

The Druze had no geographical base from which to lobby for an autonomous regional authority. They were also too small in number to take any kind of powerful role in national affairs, which were dominated by two large sects, the Maronite Christians and Sunni Muslims. They had one privilege granted by the French that they had not enjoyed under the Ottomans: the right to officially administer their own civil affairs according to the laws and customs of their community. Despite this, a long and complicated number of coups and upheavals continued in Syria and Lebanon.

Later, in Israel, the growing Druze population was permitted to exercise separate jurisdiction in matters of marriage and divorce, although the Druze had to participate in the same compulsory military service required of all residents. During the period of civil and political unrest in the 1960s and 1970s, some Druze protested Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and a minority of Druze was involved in violent acts. It was at this point that the rest of the world began hearing about the Druze from media reports, and modern misconceptions of the Druze as radical and violent emerged. Since the late 1980s, the American Druze Society has been involved in an educational campaign to inform the public that they are neither Muslim nor leftists nor anti-American.

IMMIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS

An information packet distributed by the American Druze Women's Committee described the first wave of immigrants arriving in the United States in the early 1900s. Most settled in small towns across the country, with a significant group in Seattle, Washington. They maintained a very low religious profile. Many became at least nominally Christian, usually Protestant.

The second period of immigration lasted from 1947 to 1970, and the third phase occurred from 1971 until the late 1980s. Many Druze still send money to relatives in their homeland and visit as often as they can. Some arrange marriages with women from their home village. Their cultural ties, more than their religious bonds, are what bind the Druze together in their adopted countries.

Acculturation and Assimilation

CUISINE

By tradition, the Druze are farmers who depend on olive groves and fruit orchards, carefully nurtured on the hillsides in the Middle East, for food. They grow cherry and apple trees, as well as wheat. Most families grow their own vegetables and fruit, bake their own bread and live, for the most part, on a vegetarian diet, with meat, primarily lamb, served only on special occasions.

A typical meal may include olives, pita or "mountain bread," eggplant, cauliflower, cheese, and chickpeas flavored with onions, garlic, and sesame oil, rice, burghul (dried cracked wheat) or potatoes, a salad made of cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and other herbs flavored with lemon and olive oil, yogurt, baklava, and seasonal fruit. Strong coffee is often served with meals.

In places where there are no butcher shops, animals are slaughtered infrequently, and the meat is eaten the same day. Animals are butchered by slitting their throats, in the Muslim fashion. The basic cooking ingredients are olive oil, clarified butter, and, sometimes, animal fat. The Druze favor lamb but also eat chicken and beef. They frown upon eating pork, although not as severely as Muslims. Most Westernized Druze do not object to eating it.

TRADITIONAL COSTUMES

Druze living in America typically wear Western dress. But in most of the Middle East women still wear the traditional long black or blue dress with a white head covering. Men, who often grow mustaches, have abandoned the shirwal (traditional baggy pants, tight around the ankles) for Western-style trousers, but shirwal still can be purchased in Middle Eastern shops. Men working in the fields usually wear the traditional red and white checkered kufiya on their heads.

NAMES

The Druze are often given a name that could be Christian or Muslim. In the past, men were given Muslim names such as Mahmud, Ali or Muhammad; now, a Druze boy is more likely to be called Samir, Samih, Amin or Fawzi, names of no particular religious significance. The same is true for Druze girls. Muslim names such as A'isha and Fatima have all but disappeared in favor of neutral or even Christian names. Few family names are predictably Druze, aside from Arslan, Junbalat and al-Atrash.

HOUSING

In keeping with their belief in austerity, traditional Druze homes are sparsely furnished with low wooden tables and thin cushions lining the walls.

Language

The Druze language is derived from Arabic. In everyday speech, the Druze are easily recognizable by the use of the qaf, a strong guttural "k" sound that is found in Arabic and translated as "q" in English. Outside the Middle East, the Druze may consciously drop the qaf and other distinct speech characteristics to avoid identification or appear more sophisticated.

GREETINGS AND COMMON EXPRESSIONS

Among the many Druze sayings are "Reason is above all" and "The pen is in thy hands, write and fear not." A traditional Druze war song proclaims, "We are the Children of Maruf! Among our rocks is sanctuary. When our spears grow rusty, we make them bright with the blood of our enemies."

Family and Community Dynamics

The life of the average Druze revolves closely around his or her family and his or her relationship with other Druze. Apart from Thursday night religious meetings, the Druze enjoy spending time together through visits to each other's homes. Hospitality is an important feature of the culture. The Druze are known for their generosity and are guided by a sense of chivalry and honor. This concept compels the Druze to look after each other, including widows, orphans, and the destitute. If the extended family cannot take care of a member, the larger community will find a means of support.

BIRTH

The birth of a baby, especially a son, is cause for celebration, with a typical gathering including family members and friends and gift giving. Sons are considered an asset, socially and economically. If a Druze couple has only daughters, they keep having children until sons are born. This leads to large families. The average Druze family has five or six children. More recent generations of Druze see the logic of having fewer children and providing for them, so the size of modern Druze families is shrinking. Male circumcision, which is universal among Muslims, is not ritually practiced by the Druze. There is no ceremony for the circumcision of newborns, although it is a practiced among those living in urban areas or outside the Middle East, mainly for hygienic reasons.

WEDDINGS

Weddings and funerals provide another opportunity to bond, and these usually involve the whole community. Marriage celebrations can be quite extensive, depending on the means of the families involved. Guests expect large quantities of food and drink. The dishes served are copious and extravagant and, unless there are too many disapproving attendees, wine and other spirits may be served. Although frowned upon, the Druze drink alcohol, the men more frequently than the women.

Marriage festivities also provide one of the few social occasions in which young men and women are allowed to mix socially and eye each other as potential marriage partners. Both the bride and the groom are expected to be virgins at the time of marriage, although men find opportunities to engage in premarital sex. The subject of sexual relations is taboo in a traditional Druze household. Nothing of a physical or sexual nature is ever brought up in conversation, especially with elders. The telling of a slightly off-color anecdote is considered a breach of manners.

Polygamy, while permitted to Muslims, is forbidden among the Druze. The Druze may marry within their family, including first cousins. Marriage outside of the Druze faith is forbidden. "If you marry out, you convert out," said Haeyl Azaam, a 30-year-old Israeli Druze who was quoted in The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California . "You're excommunicated. There's just no place for you in the community any more."

To keep marriage ties strong, a Druze will marry a spouse from another country rather than wed a local non-Druze. In an event arranged by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1993, seven Druze brides in elaborate white gowns crossed the Israel-Syrian border to marry bridegrooms in the Golan Heights, according to a report in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California . From both sides of the cease-fire lines, hundreds of Druze danced and cheered as the couples married in the United Nations zone. The couples met each other through videotapes.

DIVORCE

Divorce is not easy for Druze. Although a Druze woman can initiate divorce proceedings, this is a rarity. The most frequent grounds for divorce by men are the failure of a wife to bear children, especially sons, disobedience, immodest behavior, or some chronic mental or physical illness that makes intercourse impossible. The wife may ask for divorce based on impotence, non-support, and desertion or lengthy absence. If a woman is divorced through her own failings, the husband is permitted to reclaim the dowry and the marriage expenses. In most cases, the Druze follow the custom of compensating the divorced wife for her "exertions." This benefit is especially important for the older woman who has few prospects of remarriage and cannot return to her father's house or expect other support in her old age.

FUNERALS

Funerals are major events in the Druze community, even more so than marriage. Funeral arrangements are made immediately after death, and ceremonies are held that day, or the next day, at the latest. The body is washed and dressed in the finest clothes. At the funeral, women lament loudly and at length, and acquaintances tell stories of the departed's virtues. Bodies are interred above ground, marked by monuments ranging from the very simple to the highly elaborate.

THE ROLE OF WOMEN

Druze women have always had the right to own and dispose of property freely. Historically, a significant number of Druze women were literate and educated. At the end of the twentieth century, literacy was almost universal for people under the age of 25. But a Druze woman holding a full-time job was still the exception.

Marriage is expected of all Druze women at a relatively early age, usually between 17 and 21 years, although a few marry as early as 15 years of age. The marriage, which often is arranged by the families, is usually preceded by a two-year engagement. Marriage partners are chosen from eligible young people within the same community.

Although Druze women traditionally enjoy a privileged status of near equality with men, there is no compromise in the matter of female chastity. A young woman is expected to be faithful to her husband throughout her whole life. A woman's honor is the single most important factor in Druze family life, and its defilement is cause for great humiliation. If a woman's dishonor becomes public knowledge, it is the responsibility of her father or brother to take what is considered appropriate action in their culture. It is not unknown, even today, for a Druze woman living in the Middle East to be murdered by her nearest male relative for shaming the family.

In Israel, Druze judges have forced the government to waive the requirement for a Druze woman's photograph to appear on official documents, such as identity cards. They also object to male doctors attending or autopsying women. Many conservative Druze consider these acts as a shaming of a woman's honor, in addition to things such as going to a cinema. It is becoming more common, however, for women to leave the house with other women in pursuit of innocent pleasures such as shopping or going to lectures.

Religion

The origins of the Druze faith can be traced to Egypt in the early eleventh century. Their faith subsequently spread to many regions in the Middle East and North Africa. The basis of the religion is the belief that at various times God has been divinely incarnated in a living person. His last, and final, incarnation was al-Hakim bi-Amrih Alla, who announced himself as the earthly incarnation of God in about 1009. A year later, his followers helped shaped a creed that is still followed today.

The Druze religion is an outgrowth of Islam, although Muslims disavow it. The religion also incorporates elements of Judaism and Christianity. When the religion was established, its founders were influenced by Greek philosophy and Asiatic thought. Their progressive ideas—including the abolition of slavery and the separation of church and state—were considered unorthodox and placed its followers at risk. This cloak of secrecy continues today.

The tenets of the Druze religion are secret and mysterious, even to many Druze themselves, since the faith allows only a limited number of elite men and sometimes women, called uqqal ("the enlightened"), to study and learn all of its aspects. The uqqals oversee the religious life of their particular community, acting almost as intermediaries with God. Other Druze, known as the juhhal ("the unenlightened"), are not permitted to access the religion's six holy books but are given a simplified outline of their faith in the form of a strict code of moral and ethical behavior.

The seven duties that all Druze are required to observe are recognition of al-Hakim and strict adherence to monotheism; negation of all non-Druze tenets; rejection of Satan and unbelief; acceptance of God's acts; submission to God for good or ill; truthfulness; and mutual solidarity and help between fellow Druze. While they are respectful of other religions, the Druze are convinced that a severe judgment awaits all non-Druze.

Religious meetings are held on Thursday nights in inconspicuous buildings without embellishments or furniture, except a small lectern to lay books on during meditation. Men and women may sit together, but with a divider between them. During the first part of the service, community affairs are discussed, and everyone may attend. However, the juhhal must leave when prayer, study, and meditation begin. The secrecy surrounding the Druze faith is meant to protect its followers from persecution.

In order to protect their religion and not divulge its teachings, the Druze worship as Muslims when among Muslims, and as Christians when among Christians. They allow no outside converts to their religion: one must be born into the Druze faith. What is known is that the Druze are Muwahhidun, or Unitarians, who believe in one God whose qualities cannot be understood or defined and who renders justice impartially.

Reincarnation is a key belief of the faith. The Druze believe that the number of days of one's life is fixed, not to be exceeded or diminished by a single day. Since a Druze considers his body a mere robe for the soul, he does not fear death because it is only a tearing of the robe. The Druze believe that as soon as one dies, his soul immediately is reborn into another body. If that person was bad in a previous life, however, his soul may return in the body of a dog. Reincarnation continues until one's soul achieves purification and merges with the Holy One. Hell is the failure to achieve this state.

Employment and Economic Traditions

Although still a largely rural people with a long tradition of farming, younger Druze are seeking more professional occupations as they arrive in the United States and other countries, where they study and establish businesses. Today, the Druze work in banking, trade, small business, and transportation services. Druze students in American universities are likely to major in business administration, economics, or engineering. In Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Druze men are prominent members of the local business community, particularly in American and European firms. They are known to be especially hardworking and trustworthy. In recent years, a number of Druze have joined the ranks of academia and can be found on the faculties of high schools and universities, particularly in the Middle East.

Politics and Government

MILITARY

The Druze believe in the co-existence of all religions, national and ethnic groups living under one flag. The sect's beliefs include loyalty to the country in which they reside, although all maintain close ties with their homeland. Syrian Druze serve in the Syrian military; Lebanese Druze serve in the Lebanese Army; and Israeli Druze service in the Israeli Defense Forces. Many young Druze play a part in the daily defense of Israel's borders, serving the required three years.

When called upon, Druze living in America have serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, Druze are reluctant to battle other Druze, and some defected from the Lebanese and Syrian armies when those countries were at war. Having been subjected to onslaughts from other sects, Druze also form their own militias to defend their territory when necessary.

Individual and Group Contributions

POLITICS

Salwa Shuqayr, the elder daughter of Druze immigrants from Lebanon, was appointed the State Department's chief of protocol by President Ronald Reagan in 1982.

Media

There is no established Druze media in the United States, but Druze around the world stay connected through the Internet. Most Druze get news of what is going on in their native country and within their community in the United States through websites posted by the American Druze Society, the American Druze Foundation, and the American Druze Youth. Actadruze is a quarterly publication of the Druze Research and Publications Institute. It includes articles of special interest to the Druze community and general information about Druze around the world. The first issue appeared during the third quarter of 1999. To receive one free copy, go to ( www.druzeinfo.com/actadruze.htm .)

Organizations and Associations

The Druze quickly recognized that modern technology could enable them to maintain contact with other Druze around the world. Websites are posted, but most of the associations do not list a contact name or mailing address.

American Druze Foundation.

Provides cultural and heritage information on Druze.

Address: P.O. Box 7718, Flint, Michigan 48507.

Telephone: (810) 235-3200.

E-mail: adf@druzeadf.com.

Website: http://www.druzeadf.com .



American Druze Society—Michigan Chapter.

Provides information about Druze activities and events around the United States. Holds an annual convention.

E-mail: druze@druze.org.

Website: http://www.druze.org .



Young Druze/Tawheed Professionals.

Provides information and networking opportunities.

E-mail: webmaster@ydp.com.

Website: http://www.ydp.com .

Museums and Research Centers

The Druze Research and Publications Institute.

Formally organized as a non-profit institute in 1998. Researches all aspects of Druze culture and publishes works based on that research. Implements projects intended to preserve Druze culture.

Address: PO Box 1433, New York, NY 10018.

Toll Free: (877) 500-3774.

Fax: (718) 426-1940.

E-mail: druze@druzeinfo.com.

Website: http://druzeinfo.com .



Institute of Druze Studies (IDS).

Dedicated to research and discourse on the Druze.

Address: P.O. Box 641025, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Fax: 310-474-5900.

E-mail: ids@idspublications.com.

Sources for Additional Study

Alamuddin, Nura S. Crucial Bonds: Marriage Among the Lebanese Druze. Caravan Books. 1980.

Betts, Brenton Robert. The Druze. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.

"The Druze." Encyclopaedia of the Orient. http://icias.com/e.o/index.htm .

"Druze rights activist from Philadelphia ordered released." Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. Aug. 30, 1996.

Lapousterle, J.P.H. Shaykh al-Aql and the Druze of Mount Lebanon. Frank Cass, London. (No publication date available.)

Layish, A. Marriage, Divorce and Succession in the Druze Family. 1982.

Naff, A. Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience. 1985.

Oppenheimer, Jonathan. Culture and Politics in Druze Ethnicity. Gordon and Berach Science Publishers. (No publication date available.)

"Our History." American Druze Foundation. http://www.druzeadf.com .

Sami, Makarm. Druze Faith. Scholars Facsimiles and Reprints. 1960.

"Secret, closed faith of Druze merges modernity, antiquity." Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. July 26, 1996.

"Who Are the Druze?" Institute of Druze Studies. http://www.idspublications.com/#anchor1079681 .



User Contributions:

Walid Jamal
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Aug 24, 2008 @ 5:05 am
this is the best article i read about druze.....and i am proud of being a durze because we present stability and peace where ever we are...
Khaled Aboul Hosn
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Oct 4, 2008 @ 5:05 am
Pam Rohland has done a very good research about the Druze. Being a Druze myself, I was happy about the author insight and understanding our culture. I would have been a bit happier if the article had a section mentioning the Druze's great history in Lebanon. Still, it's a great piece of research. Good job Pam!
nisreen
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Feb 7, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
hello:

it's somehow a good article yet many things are ought to be ubdated and corrected.

druze women are equally experiencing life and not trapped in their community.she travels to study abroad,,she may travel to work as well..

the riencarnation issue and especially that of ones soul going into a dog's body is not true since druze refuse this and believe that the human soul is transfered from one human to another.

hope you take these clarifications into consideration.
Marc
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Feb 27, 2009 @ 7:19 pm
I am an Armenian, born and raised in Lebanon. Have had lots of fine memories of my childhood in the Druze city of Aley. Our landlord, family friends, were a kind Druze couple, who treated us with respect and unconditional love. I never forget the days when as a 7 years old restless child, I mercilessly tormented our dear beloved landlord by pulling his beard. I have never seen such a quiet, peace loving people as the Druze. I will always feel safe with the Druze, and once they win your trust, they will forever be your best friends and protectors. I wished there were more Druze today, because they are all of PEACE and for PEACE. Thank you Druze people.
Your Armenian friend
Marc
Nassri Obeid
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Mar 8, 2009 @ 10:10 am
The article captured a great deal of information however; as a mouwahed (singular) from Syria (AKA Druze (Plural) and Durzee or Derzee for singular) I reject the name Druze (derived from Nashtakeen Darazee who was excommunicated from the Mouwahdeen (Plural)) Dawa'a (inviting others to join the religion) because he strayed in his teaching from the holy teaching and began claiming himself as a profit . The name Druze was given to us by others and some how the foreign powers to be ( UK and France) and now is Israel capitalized on that and used this name (Druze) as a tool to split the Mouwahdeen from their Arab identity and from their brothers and sisters in the Arab world. Further, The writer seems to ignore the origination of the Mouwhadeen (Druze)as an old Arab tribes who came from Yemen and later were assigned the duty by the Abassi Calif to dfened the Mediterranean coastal area of old Syria(Syria, Lebanon and Palestine now). The Mouwahdeen dawa'a began in Baghdad secretly then Iran, then Egypt. Finally , The writer seems to have very little information about the Syrian Mouwahdeen and the incredible progress they have made in the last fifty years and the high positions they have held in the government not to mention ignoring the historical fact of leading the Syrian revolution of 1925 (Sultan Basah Alatrrach)against the French occupation and forcing France to sign a treaty with Syria and Grant Syria its independence. Since Syria's Independence, The Mouwahdeen (Druze) learn the holly Qura'an in schools from the first grade to grade twelve and also at the University and consider themselves as an Islamic Sect and by the same time abide by the strict marriage rules from each others. In The last twenty years many of the women and men have married from outside of the Sect with little or no consequences fro men and disowning to women who dared.
ceyalc
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May 9, 2009 @ 5:17 pm
You appear to be denying "Druze" their identity and non-acceptance of archaic Muslim traditions. I consider this an excellent article and laud any belief system that believes in peace and whose followers do not use their (religious) writings as a lese-majeste to kill with misguided fanatacism.
m
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Jul 23, 2009 @ 1:01 am
It's a fine article, but there are some mistakes..
A human soul never reincarnate in a body of dog..
Sultan
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Jul 25, 2009 @ 3:15 pm
It is a great overview of druze. It mainly covers the outside behaviour of our unitarian community.
Thanks Pam for this general overview, and I suggest to have another research going deep into the uniterian beliefs in soul eternity and reincarnation.

Regards,
Sultan
STEPHANIE
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Aug 22, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
its a great article... I wanna know/clear something...

is it really forbidden that a man from Druze religion marries a woman from another religion??? what will gonna happen if a Druze man marries a Christian woman???

kindly email me at STEPHANIE_EHRA@YAHOO.COM
Diana
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Sep 26, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
This is the most informative article I've read about my relegion>
thanks a aa lot I appreciate your help!
hamad jamalidine
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Nov 16, 2009 @ 9:09 am
THIS RELIGION FULL OF PIECE AND LOVE TO OTHERS EVENTHOUGH TO OTHER RELIGIONS WITH A GREAT RESPECT TO THEM. ITS FULL OF PHILOSOPHY AND TRUTH
WHICH MAKES LIFE EASIER.
howaida hatoum
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Jan 6, 2010 @ 2:14 pm
this report is so nice,thank u very much,hope 2 meet all the druze arround the world
Doua'a Alhadi
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Jan 14, 2010 @ 7:07 am
It's a good article overall but it concentrates mainly on the Druze living in villages and rural Areas ..i find the Difference between the Druze living in cities and the Druze villagers both major and interesting , it is almost as if we are 2 different groups ..you might wanna check on that !!

i also believe that the article is is outdated when it comes to talking about the Druze woman and her effect and status in society , Druze women nowadays are a lot more educated , they lead amazing careers and they do not marry that early , girls in my society marry between the ages 20-27 , and 20 is considered extremely early !! ( but as i said it differs in the cities ).
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Jul 13, 2010 @ 8:20 pm
Very well writen, this artical gives us evry detaild aspect of the druce ppl thanks to the highly talented author: Pam Rohland, apperently we are good ppl :p but u know that many druze women are much more educated then the guys...
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Aug 14, 2010 @ 12:00 am
Courious, My first cousin (female) was given a DNA kit for a birthday present. To make a long story short, her DNA report indicated her origin was of the MIDDLE EAST/DRUZE TRIBE. WE ARE BLACK AMERICANS AND AS FAR AS HER OR MYSELF HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE AND THROUGH OUR OWN RESEARCH, OUR PRESENCE IN AMERICA TODAY, WAS BY WAY OF THE SLAVE SHIPS FROM AFRICA. CAN ANYONE OFFER MORE BACKGROUND ON THE DRUZE?
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Oct 31, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
HI, I also had a dna test that showed that I had druze backround...most of my moms ancestry(that I was aware of) is from Netherlands, England,France , etc..Europe.. Also some North Africa, and parts of Asia! This is all a surprise. I guess we are all related in one way or another...:-)
The Druze sound like a very special people..
Pat
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Nov 15, 2010 @ 5:05 am
This definitley was a helpful article as I am quite clueless about my religion, but as said from several people, never heard of the whole dog part.

However, I must say that it is becoming very furstrating that I cant but marry a druze when I've met several guys who could have been great potentials for me. And this issue about not allowing druze to marry a non druze, goes back to the family's morals. As I have met several druze families who have no problem mixing and giving their children away to Muslims or Christians (but mine are strict about this issue)

I personally dont have much druze friends and unfortunatley, I havent found my druze "soul mate" or a guy I can see myself living with for the rest of my life. Meanwhile, I'm with someone I have no future with, secretly, and I'm happy with him but I know that I cant be with him.

I was told that at some point, they were going to open the option of letting "outsiders" become Druze but then either the prophet got killed or something had happened that stopped this from happening. I am still trying so hard to understand why this is still such an issue. Why is it so complicated when we're all humans and we barely even practice the Druze relgion? I have so many questions, but I know I'll bore you all to death. So, all I can say is that if it's meant to be, it will be. If not, then I guess this is my destiny. But I truly am very frustrated about this and its getting me to hate what I am (God forgive me for saying this).
Ben M
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Mar 24, 2011 @ 7:07 am
this is a very interesting article.
and it's also interesting to read other people's opinions about the religion. it's very hard being raised in a western country, being druze and trying to retrieve information about being druze as most of the scripture and information is in arabic.

in response to the marriage prospect, i believe it is hard for most people to understand, but it makes sense as you can only be druze if you are born into a druze family. apparently marrying a non-druze and having children with them will make your children non-druze, as you have decided not to follow the "conditions" and faith of the religion. i think this makes our religion pure even though it may not be favourable.

and also may i point out the druze people were one of the first middle-eastern cultures to recognise womens rights. because before marriage the man is contracted (by documents) to giving the wife a bed suit and sewing machine and jewellery (or other things) if he were ever to leave her to make sure she would be able to look after herself.
Shazzy
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May 6, 2011 @ 2:02 am
hey all, well i myself am not Druze ut my best friend is, and i find it very interesting reading about it...

i have a question? i know in earlier years they say that one Druze can only marry another Druze..is this still relevant in todays culture? and if so why is this the case...

any help would be greatly appreciated...
Joseph
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May 9, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
It is (and always will be) important to marry within the Druze religion if you are Druze. This rule will never be changed and may i add that in my opinion it is a GREAT rule and should never be changed. No one is allowed in & marrying outside the religion is a serious sin. If you wish to marry others just know you are committing a horrible sin and your spouse will not be Druze and neither will your children. Also, another rule people seem to be forgetting lately is NO PREMARITAL SEX. Times are changing but the Druze faith is timeless. We have to keep our morals
marwan
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May 30, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
hello there ,im from the druze who lives in lebanon and i read almost every article about the druze and with all my respect to the people who r writing these articles including this one is that u have a lot of wrong informations and inaccurate such as the traditional customs and the divorce for women including the war with the french
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Dec 1, 2011 @ 6:06 am
I THANK YOU FOR THE ABOVE INFORMATION ABOUT DRUZES. STILL I NEED TO KNOW MORE AS I M VERY INTERESTED.

ACTUALLY, I HAD A RELATION WITH DRUZ MAN, AT FIRST I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT HIS RELIGION BUT WHEN I FOUND THAT HE IS DRUZE I LEFT HIM. BECAUSE I KNEW THAT HE CAN NEVER ACCEPT ME AND AT THE END IT IS GOING TO HURT. SINCE THEN I M VERY CURIOUS TO KNOW ABOUT DRUZES.

TODAY I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF DRUZE MAN CAN MARRY A CHRISTIAN WOMAN?

IF I COULD GET THE ANSWER I WOULD BE VERY HAPPY ATLEAST TO KNOW THAT IF I DID RIGHT BY LEAVING HIM?. BECAUSE STILL I SUFFER.
takingfor a ride
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Nov 5, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
I read all comments about marry only druze's if you are. What if you fell in love with one and he leads you to believe its ok to marry me and really it was only for a green card.. Is druze's religion fine with that?
nader
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Dec 23, 2012 @ 4:04 am
im looking for druze to marry im Lebanese druze I live in Dubai and I want to get married with druze girl any idea where I can search to find
milorad
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Jan 15, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
in serbian druze means men goong in school togater or in service for the term (this is very interesting expration
milorad
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Jan 15, 2013 @ 11:23 pm
in serbian druze means men going in school togather or in service for the term. or I can call my friend Mr. Adam or DRUZE Adam (this is very interesting how this name was derived)
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Apr 11, 2013 @ 3:15 pm
Since I have lived in Israel, the Druze people have been the ones who have accepted me and embraced me within their communities, they are the people I have built the deepest friendships with in the Galilee. I am thankful to have an up close and personal look into their world and lives and they have treated me as one of their own, not as an outsider. It's a blessing to be around people who have genuine warmth, and a strong commitment to family and their country. My heart is with the Druze people forever.
nizar
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Oct 24, 2013 @ 1:01 am
This is overall a good article. I'm Druze(technically Mouwahdeen) and very proud to be. I love how people have recognized that the Druze are very peaceful, loyal, and we were early to recognize women's rights. I live in America and at times it's pretty hard to stay connected with the religion since there aren't many other Druze here, but the Druze that are here are primarily very close with each other and have a lot of respect for each other. Marrying within the religion is also challenging considering 99% of the opposite sex that you do encounter are not Druze, but I still want to marry within. Thank you for this article.
Adrian
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Aug 30, 2014 @ 7:07 am
An interesting article about the Mouwahdeen and their existence in and around the middle east. It entices Me to learn more about this section of the Arabs and their sects.

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