- Middle East -
The Druze are a religious group in the Middle East. There are aprroximately one Million Druze worldwide with the majority living in Syria, Israel, Jordan and the Lebanon. The Druze call themselves “al-Muwahhidun”, meaning that they are monotheists who believe in the uniqueness of God. This Arabic term is attributed to several Muslim groups. Another name the Druze have for their own religious community is “Bani Maaroof”, originally meaning that they are descendants of the “People of God’s Deeds”. Nowadays, the term is used as “People of Good Deeds”.
Although the faith of the Druze is strongly influenced by Shia Islam, especially of the Ismaili tradition, there are so many differences that the Druze can be seen as an independent religious community – not so much as a denomination of Islam. The Druze interpretations of the Koran are often quite different from the Sunni or the Shiite faith. Further, they believe in the transmigration of souls, which is something that usually does not belong to the Muslim faith. As the Druze firmly believe that everything is ordained by God, they categorically reject proselytizing or conversion. Thus, one can only be born as a Druze; there is no other way into the religious community. In this respect, there are similarities between the Druze and the Yazidis, the Ahl-e Haqq and the Zoroastrians, who live in today’s Kurdistan or in Iran.
Further information about the Druze
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