Druze Beliefs

Profoundly Monotheistic

Most monotheists believe in exoteric or literal meanings of their scriptures while some speak of esoteric or inner meanings. The mystical tradition in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity also attempts esoteric reading or interpretation of the scriptures. Druzes believe that both the Bible and the Quran have esoteric meanings in addition to the exoteric or literal ones. Moreover, Druzes also believe that above these two levels of meaning there is "the esoteric of the esoteric." In Druze faith, there are prophets, helpers, and luminaries. Each fulfills a different function in achieving complete spirituality.

For example, Druzes venerate the messages of prophets in the Judaeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, who preached the word of God in their respective lifetimes. Each prophet, according to Druzes, preached only a partial truth since humanity was not yet ready to receive the entire truth. However, underneath the exoteric truth lay the esoteric message. For each of these prophets, God provided a helper or assistant to propagate the doctrine of strict unitarianism and to interpret the esoteric nature of the message. For each period, Druzes argue there were also luminaries who taught these three levels of interpretations.

The Druze doctrine contains rich examples outlining specific moral lessons and rules of individual and communal conduct that are found in approximately thirty manuscripts. Most scholars have mistakenly referred to only one single manuscript, The Epistles of Wisdom, as embodying the complete Druze scriptures. Some have included an additional two to three manuscripts. This writer has documented 23 manuscripts showing the impact and importance of each on Druze identity.

For nearly 1,000 years, Druzes have preserved their beliefs and traditions as outlined in the manuscripts written between 1017-1043. Their doctrine and dualistic structure have persisted despite the changes that their community has undergone.