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Druze

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Druze

    Millenarian offshoot of Ismaili Shiism, founded by Hamzah ibn Ali , a Persian missionary, in the tenth century in Cairo. Named for the eleventh-century missionary Muhammad al-Darazi . Considered a separate religion rather than a sect of Islam. Followers believe in the imamate of Fatimid caliph al-Hakim ibn Amr Allah and call themselves al-Muwahhidun (unitarians) due to a strict emphasis on monotheism. Missionary activities ended in 1043 , after which no conversions were accepted. The faith is largely kept secret from outsiders. It forbids polygyny and concubinage, which are allowed in mainstream Sunni Islam, and temporary marriage, which is allowed in Shii Islam. Believers hold that ultimate truth is contained in revelations to their teachers, particularly Baha al-Din , contained in their scriptures Al-hikmah al-sharifah. A distinctive belief is that souls transmigrate (are reincarnated) from generation to generation. Largest populations today are in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. Population totals slightly over one million worldwide.

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