Lady Fakhara El Beini
Heritage Spring, 1999
Lady Fakhara El Beini (1764-1849)
By Nazek Abed, Edited by Julia Makarem
Lady Fakhara El Beini was born in Mazraat El-Shouf, Lebanon. During that same period, the son of Bashir Jumbalat, Said Jumbalat, asked for her hand in marriage. However, she preferred to remain single so that she could dedicate her life to worship, as well as, guiding people in the way of religious faith. Lady Fakhara El Beini possessed high religious morals and the courage to present her beliefs and ideas on morals. Great men and intellectuals sought her religious knowledge and her advice.
When Lady Fakhara El Beini died in 1849, Dr. Fouad Abou Ziki said that she was one of the Druze believers whose entire life was dignified and honored, and she found self-satisfaction in depriving herself from the materialistic issues in life. She acknowledged the works of wisdom found in the Druze religion, and she had disciplined herself accordingly. She is considered among the highly recognized ideals who had been appreciated and followed for continuing the Holy message of spirituality, holiness, and piety. She contributed to giving those, who wanted to know themselves as true believers, the opportunity, enlightening the way for them in seeking the Truth. Lady Fakhara El Beini was buried in Mazraat El-Shouf. A shrine was built there for Lady Fakhara El Beini for people to come and receive blessings. Sheikh Abou Zeineddine El-Akailey praised her life and the impact it left on the Druze people.
A faithful woman possesses equal endeavors and struggles in relation to man, and growing up in a humble home which was filled with holiness and faith, Lady Fakhara El Beini was overwhelmed with the surroundings rich in religious hymns and teachings. Her parents were well known for their high morals, and Lady Fakhara El Beini developed a strong determination to realize herself as an individual with equally high morals. Her parents were proud of having such a daughter and provided her with love and extremely high respect. Her name, Fakhara, which means high character, purity, piety, ethics, and religious faith, was exactly the way she lived her life. A poem was referred to her.
Lady Fakhara El Beini soon became secluded from the outside world. She dedicated herself to God disregarding any worldly honor and reputation. She established a religious home where people came to attain teachings in her religious faith and morals, and be graced by her inspirational holiness. Dedicating her entire life to her religious works, she was able to obtain self-satisfaction and perfection. She became well-known in all the districts surrounding her village. She memorized and comprehended all the scriptures in the Druze Holy Books. She followed the way to awareness, and she was exalted as a Druze pioneer in her devotion to God. Lady Fakhara El Beini became a reference to all those seeking perfection in God's way.
Aiming for love and intimacy among her religious brothers, Lady Fakhara El Beini inspired people with her moral advice. People went to her to solve disagreements and arguments. Her influence upon the people and the religious leaders was powerful because she possessed a strong will, determination, and a dignified point of view in her confidence to make decisions. She was so highly respected that when the issue surfaced regarding Bashir II's appointment of attaining the religious leadership, she was consulted. This resulted after the death of Ahmad Aman Eddine, the religious leader of the Druzes. The conflicts and conspiracies among the Druze had increased, and Bashir II, vying for the position, took advantage of the situation in order to be in command of the Druzes. At the time, Prince Shouhab, the ruler of Lebanon, confer with Sheikh Abi Elmona regarding entrusting this position to Bashir II, who in turn, consulted Lady Fakhara El Beini regarding her opinion in assigning this position to Bashir II. Her wise decision led to his appointment of the position. Lady Fakhara El Beini told Sheikh Abi Elmona that Bashir II was fit for the position; however, he had to have the inner perseverance to judge positively or negatively in this position. Bashir II was awarded the position based on her decision.
Lady Fakhara El Beini died in 1849, a revered, exalted, and honored person. Her will, which was read soon after her death, declared that half of her inheritance be distributed to her family, and the other half be given to the poor and needy people. Her funeral was attended by the entire religious community, and she was honored for her dedication to her religion throughout her lifetime. When Sheikh Said Jumbalat received the news of her death, he went to Mazraat El-Shouf to attend her funeral. Impressed by the honor bestowed upon her by the religious community, he stated, "Follow in her steps in God's Faith, and you will reach her place in Heaven." Sheikh Abou Zeineddine El-Akailey expressed his admiration for Lady Fakhara El Beini with a poem.
Lady Fakhara El Beini holds a high place in the annals of the Druze history, and she will be revered by the Druzes for time immortal. God will bless for her devotion to her religion and to her people whom she inspired with all her good works.