the movement of tawhid, the druze faith
The sixth Fatimid Caliph Imam, al-Hakim bi-Amrillah, split from the Fatimid Caliphate creating the Druze Faith A.H.408 [A.D.1017] ending the Fatimid Caliphate. The reason d'etre of the split was the prevailing intellectual atmosphere which was the result of the philosophical and theosophical schools that had emerged from Islam. Thus, the Druze Faith!
I mentioned above that the split in the Shi'a branch of Islam was mainly over succession. However, like the other religions, Islam contained in itself the possibility of different types of interpretations. It was established that the great difference in interpretation in Islam began with the Isma'ilis when Muhammad, son of Isma'il, became Imam, and because of this great difference, the Isma'ili faction was obligated to go underground. After the founding of the Fatimid Caliphate, the Isma'ilis came out of the hiding. The Movement of Tawhid started with the reign of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amrillah. Hamza ibn-'Ali was the Imam of the time.
The Movement of Tawhid began with the beginning of Man (Adam is considered to be the first in whom Immamate was vested), and al-Hakim bi-Amrillah resumed the Movement. After al-Hakim ascended to the throne as the sixth Fatimid Caliph, He sent missionaries to herald the coming of the new era which was to start at a time when it would be 'the right moment.' That time was Thursday evening, May 30, 1017. He was just thirty-three years old. Al-Hakim proclaimed the Imam Hamza ibn 'Ali the Imam of the Tawhid Movement. Hamza, who was born the same year that Al-Hakim Bi Amrillah was born, was a leader of the daˤwah (1). He was of Persian descent. Hamza believed in transmigration (2) of souls (3) and in 1017 (4) he sent a letter to Fatimid officers and courtiers, demanding that they should acknoqledge the divinity of al-Hakim, (5) the reigning Fatimid Caliph and Ismaili Imam, and his previous Ismaili Imams.
Hamza became the actual architect of the Druze. Hamza taught that Hakim went into occultation and would return at the end of days as the Qā'im "Ariser" or Mahdi "Guider".
After Hakim's disappearence, Hamza led the group to take to taqiyya(6), the practice of concealing their true beliefs common among Ismailis. They outwardly accepted the religious beliefs of those among whom they lived even as they secretly retained their true convictions.
Also see: Transmigration of souls or Metempsychos
- Arabic دعوة daˤwah, literally: summons or call) is an Arabic term meaning "invite" or "invitation".
- Transmigration also known as Reincarnation, literally "to be made flesh again", is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body.
- Souls The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self-aware ethereal substance unique to a particular living being. In these traditions the soul is thought to incorporate the inner essence of each living being, and to be the true basis for sentience. It is believed in many cultures and religions that the soul is the unification of ones sense of identity. In distinction to spirit which may or may not be eternal, souls are usually (but not always as explained below) considered to be immortal and to exist before their incarnation in flesh.
The concept of the soul has strong links with notions of an after life, but opinions may vary wildly, even within a given religion, as to what may happen to the soul after the death of the body. Many within these religions and philosophies see the soul as immaterial, while others consider it to possibly have a material component, and some have even tried to establish the mass (or weight) of the soul.
- Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad publicly declares Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah to be God, founding the Druze religion.
- Tāriqu l-Al-Hakim, called bi Amr al-Lāh (Arabic الحاكم بأمر الله "Ruler by God's Command"), was the sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, ruling from 996 to 1021.
Born in Egypt in 985, Ḥakīm succeeded his father Abū Mansūr Nizār al-ˤAzīz in 996 at the age of eleven. Because it had been unclear whether he would inherit his father's position, this successful transfer of power was a demonstration of the stability of the Fatimid dynasty. In his long reign as Khalīfa, Ḥakīm extended Fatimid rule to the emirate of Aleppo.
- The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury."
See The Druze Faith Book by Dr. Sami Makarem