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Druze

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Megan
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« on: May 05, 2007, 03:16:51 am »

Beliefs of the Druze

The Druze faith keeps its tenets secret. They are publicly open about very few details of their faith (they practice taqiyya) and they do not accept converts and strongly discourage conversion from their religion to another. This is due to many religious, political, and historical reasons: the Druze were violently and brutally persecuted for centuries by other religious communities.

The Druze believe in the unity of God, hence their preference for the name "People of Monotheism" or "Monotheists". Their theology has a Neo-Platonic view about how God interacts with the world through emanations and is similar to some gnostic and other esoteric sects. They are not, however, influenced by the Sufi philosophy, as many believe. The Druze believe in reincarnation and are pantheistic.

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, and belief in one God. Another well-known feature of the Druze religion is a fervent belief in human-only reincarnation for all the members of the community. They reject polygamy, tobacco smoking, alcohol, or consumption of pork, although pork and alcohol may be consumed in many non-religious and/or al-Juhhāl households.

Druze religion does not allow them to intermarry with Muslims, Jews, or members of any other religions.

It is also known that Druze believe in five cosmic principles, represented by the five colored Druze star: intelligence/reason (green), soul (red), word (yellow), precedent (blue), and immanence (white). These virtues take the shape of five different spirits which, until recently, have been continuously reincarnated on Earth as prophets and philosophers including Adam, the ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer Pythagoras, and the ancient Pharaoh of Egypt Akhenaten, and many others. The Druze believe that, in every time period, these five principles were personified in five different people who came down together to Earth to teach humans the true path to God and nirvana, but that with them came five other individuals who would lead people away from the right path into "darkness".

The Druze believe in prophets like Adam, Muhammed (mohamad), Noah (Nūħ), Abraham (Ibrāhīm), Sarah, Jacob (Yaˤqub), Moses (Mūsā), Solomon (Sulaymān), John the Baptist (Yahya), and Jesus (Isā) and Jethro, or Shuayb. They also believe in the wisdom of classical Greek philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras, who have the same stature as other prophets. In addition, they have an array of "wise men" that founded the religion in the 11th century.

Individual prayer does not exist. Druze are not required to follow the Muslim duties of prayer, fasting, or pilgrimage to Mecca. However, they may have to be inclined to.

One of the faith's holy books is called the Kitābu l-Ħikma or "Book of Wisdom", largely compiled by a mysterious figure called al-Muqtana. It has six volumes and is compiled in chapters, each covering a specific issue. The teachings denounce materialism, especially materialism relative to religion. The sacred books of the Druzes, successfully hidden from the world for eight centuries, have since the middle of the 19th century found their way into European libraries. [8]

As the religion is surrounded in secrecy (Arabic: باطنية i.e. internal 'not to be declared') a strict system is followed to hide the articles and sacred books of Druze.
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