8. Ethics and Customs

The ethics of the Druses are closely connected with the practise of their faith, but the Mohammedan prescriptions of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, and the like, already allegorized away by the Bataniyyah, are altogether discarded. According to De Sacy, the seven religious duties of the Druses are as follows: to speak the truth; to watch over their mutual safety; to follow the religion which they have professed, and to and renounce the faith and worship of vanity and falsehood; to separate themselves from evil spirits and men of false creed; to confess the unity of God, as it has existed throughout the centuries; to be content with the acts of God, whatever they may be; and to submit entirely to the divine guidance in weal and wo. They are also enjoined to abstain from unlawful gain, to be dignified, and to refrain from cursing.


The use of wine and tobacco is forbidden, at least to the initiates, while grave misdemeanors are punished severely, and even with exclusion from the community. Women are more highly esteemed among them than by the modern Mohammedans, and are usually instructed in reading and religion, although, in conformity with ancient Oriental usage, they are veiled in the presence of strangers.

It is impossible, with the sources thus far known, to give a complete presentment of the religion of the Druses, nor do they themselves possess a perfect system of all their dogmas, for in the course of centuries many new doctrines have been developed, and others have been forgotten. Although their faith is not without its dark aspects, the Druses have sought with all their might to preserve their views and customs, and to defend against external influences their consciousness of nationality, which rests upon a foundation of religion.

(A. Socin†.)

Bibliography: S. de Sacy, Exposé de la religion des Druzes, 2 vols.. Paris, 1838; C. Niebuhr, Reisebeschreibung, ii. 428 sqq., Copenhagen, 1778; C. H. Churchill, Ten Years' Residence in Lebanon, . . . Full Account of the Druze Religion, 4 vols. (vol. iv, is Druzes and Maronites under Turkish Rule), London, 1853-62; G. W. Chaesseaud, Visits to the Druzes of Lebanon, ib. 1854; Earl of Carnarvon, Recollections of the Druzes of Lebanon, ib. 1860: B. H. Cowper, Sects in Syria, ib. 1860; H. Petermann, Reisen im Orient, i. 375 sqq., Leipsic, 1860; H. Guys. Théogonie des Druses, Paris, 1863; idem, La Nation Druse, son histoire, sa religion, ses mæurs, Marseilles. 1864; R. Dozy, Het Islamism, Haarlem, 1880; L. Oliphant, Land of Gilead, London, 1880; idem, Haifa, or Life in Modern Palestine, ib. 1887; A. Müller, Der Islam im Morgen- und Abendland, i. 629 sqq., Berlin, 1885; T. Waldemeier, Autobiography: . . . Sixteen Years in Syria, London, 1886; W. Ewing, Arab and Druze at Home, ib. 1907.


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