The Druze are group of people and a religion with somewhere between 350,000 (estimate of Western scholars) and 900,000 (figures as presented by the Druze ) members (our estimates put it at around 600,000 in the Middle East and nearly 700,000 all over the world), living in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and Jordan; often in mountainous regions. There are also important Druze communities abroad, living in Australia, Europe and USA.
The Druze call themselves muwahhidun, or 'monotheists'.
MEANING OF THE DRUZE STAR
The Druze star symbolizes the five wise superior ministers, each with his quality.
Green is for "the mind", 'al-'akl, which is necessary for understanding the truth.
Red is for "the soul", 'an-nafs.
Yellow is for "the word", 'al-kalima, which is the purest form of expression of the truth.
Blue 'as-sabik, is for the mental power of the will.
White'al-tali, is the realization of Blue, where its power has been materialized in the world of matter.
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 of seven principles:
1. Truthfullness - love of the truth
2. Fellowship - take care of one another
3. Abandoning false beliefs
4. Avoidance of confusion - avoid evil
5. Accept divine unity in humanity
6. Acceptance of all al-Hakim's acts
7. Submission in accordance to al-Hakim's will
Central in the Druze world system is the belief in reincarnation, where all souls are reborn as humans, good as well as bad. Good people have a more fortunate rebirth than bad people. Behind this system is the belief that man cannot reach perfection and unite with God. Hell and heaven in this world view differ from most other Middle Eastern religions, and bear clear resemblances with Gnostic philosophy and religion, as heaven is only spiritual, where man stops being man and is saved from more rebirths. Hell is just as spiritual and is the distance from, and the longing to, unity with God which goes on in life time after life time for the bad.
1. The Druze hold the Qur'an to be sacred, but look upon it as an outer shell, holding an "inner, esoteric meaning". Their religious texts are known collectively as "Kitab Al Hikma" (The Book of Wisdom). It is a collection of books, of which the first six are most commonly used.
2. They are firmly monotheistic, believing in a single God.
3. They recognise the Major Prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Each Major Prophet had seven Minor Prophets; each of the latter had twelve disciples, including Daniel, Plato and other individuals from Biblical and Greek history. Prophets are not worshipped, although their names may be called out for help in times of trouble. The prophets are considered special people who are free of mistakes and of sin.
4. In common with the followers of many Eastern religions, they believe the transmigration of the soul: that, at death, one's soul is instantaneously reincarnated (in time and space); it is reborn into another life.
5. Through successive reincarnations, the soul eventually unites with the Cosmic Mind "al- aaqal al kulli." The Cosmic Mind is considered as "God's will" from whom the universe came into being.
6. The conception of heaven and hell is spiritual in nature. "Heaven is the ultimate happiness that the soul encounters when it unites and meets its creator...Hell is...the bitter feeling of being deprived endlessly of the glorious presence of the Mighty."