By Samy S. Swayd

The Druzes are one of many smallest, least studied, and such a lot esoteric non secular groups within the heart East. for the reason that the Druze teachings stay inaccessible not just to outsiders but additionally to uninitiated participants in the Druze neighborhood itself. additionally, proselytizing-inducing an individual to transform to one's personal non secular faith-has been prohibited because the institution of the sect within the eleventh century. with the intention to withstand assimilation by means of a number of the empires and colonial powers that sought to dominate them-the Byzantines, a number of Arab dynasties, the Mamluks and Ottomans, the British and French, as well as the international locations that govern them-the Druzes cover and hide their beliefs.

Therefore, no longer a lot is understood by way of outsiders in regards to the Druzes. This dictionary presents approximately a thousand concise and informative cross-referenced A to Z entries on non secular, political, and cultural subject matters, in addition to entries on a couple of significant households and members (artists, writers, diplomats, and leaders) who've contributed to the Druze groups. This quantity is additionally complemented with a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and several other maps, plates, and genealogical tables.

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Extra info for Historical Dictionary of the Druzes (Historical Dictionaries of Peoples and Cultures)

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Two Druze factions fought at the battle of ‘Ayn Dara in 1711: the Qaysis of northern Arabian origin, among them the Ma‘nis and the Buhturis, and the Yamanis of southern Arabian origin, among them the Arslanis and the ‘Alam al-Dins. The decisive victory of the Qaysis forced many of the Yamanis to desert their farms and flee to the Hawran region in Syria. The consequent increase in farming jobs led Maronites to migrate from the north to the Druze areas. The principality was gradually reduced during the Shihabi reign, and areas that the Ma‘nis had incorporated earlier were lost.

The initiated individuals prescribe and model the accepted standards for the community, while the uninitiated members draw strength from as well as provide protection for the initiated and the way of life, beliefs, and values they represent. Although the majority of the ‘uqqal may be uninterested in political matters, some of them become politically involved in the affairs of the community. In addition to the communal dualism discussed previously, a second form of dualism is replete in Druze society.

As a result, more political positions have been granted to members of the community than would have been the case if allocation were made proportional. The familial dualism that pervades Druze society may have been the key to their power politics and their success in forging political affiliations in the countries where they live. e. Like other religious traditions, members of the Druze community consider their religious and spiritual values to be central to their daily conduct, whether they are interacting with each other or with other peoples.

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