Druze gnosis and the mystery of time

Authored by: Adnan Kasamanie

The Gnostic World

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138673939
eBook ISBN: 9781315561608
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315561608-33

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Abstract

The people known as Druze (Arab. Dūrūz) form a renowned religious minority in the Near and Middle East. The Druze see themselves as followers of the path of divine Unity, and trace their origin to late tenth-century Egypt, accepting that they branched out from the larger grouping called the Isma’ilis to become an independent faith. They hold their separateness was by divine guidance and with the blessing of the sixth Fatimid Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amri Allah, seated in Cairo, Egypt. This new faith officially began on the first day (1 Muḥārram) of A.H. 408, which corresponds to Thursday sunset, 30 May 1017, after 21 years of “Preparation” (nathara). Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah (b. 985–1021) announced the beginning of the new era and proclaimed Hamza ibn Ali Ben Ahmad al-Zouzani (b. 985) as the Imam of the movement, with “first ploughers of the field” (nudhr, “missionaries”) having been enlisted before him (996–1016). The political, cultural, spiritual and administrative center of the first Druze era was Cairo (al-Muizzia), named in honor of the Imam al-Muizz, the founder Fatimid caliph who made the city the capital for his dynasty (De Smet 2007: 15–26).

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