Druze (; Arabic: درزي darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz) are members of an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia. They practice Druzism, an Abrahamic, monotheistic, syncretic, and ethnic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and ancient Greek philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Zeno of Citium. Adherents of the Druze religion are called The People of Monotheism (Al-Muwaḥḥidūn).The Epistles of Wisdom is the foundational and central text of the Druze faith. The Druze faith incorporates elements of Isma’ilism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Zoroastrianism,Buddhism, Hinduism, Pythagoreanism, and other philosophies and beliefs, creating a distinct and secretive theology based on an esoteric interpretation of scripture, which emphasizes the role of the mind and truthfulness. Druze believe in theophany and reincarnation. Druze believe that at the end of the cycle of rebirth, which is achieved through successive reincarnations, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind (al-ʻaql al-kullī).Druze believe there were seven prophets at different periods in history: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and Muhammad ibn Isma’il ad-Darazi. Druze tradition also honors and reveres Salman the Persian, al-Khidr (who identify as Elijah and reborn as John the Baptist and Saint George), Job, Luke the Evangelist, and others as “mentors” and “prophets”. They also have a special affinity with Shuaib, or Jethro.

Even though the faith originally developed out of Isma’ilism, Druze do not identify as Muslims. The Druze faith is one of the major religious groups in the Levant, with between 800,000 and a million adherents. They are found primarily in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, with small communities in Jordan. They make up 5.5% of the population of Lebanon, 3% of Syria and 1.6% of Israel. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze (literally the “Mountain of the Druze”).The Druze community played a critically important role in shaping the history of the Levant, where it continues to play a significant political role. As a religious minority in every country in which they are found, they have frequently experienced persecution by different Muslim regimes, including contemporary Islamic extremism.

Read More About Druze

Lists containing Druze :