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Druze, also spelled Druse, Arabic plural Durūz, singular Darazi, small Middle Eastern religious sect characterized by an eclectic system of doctrines and by a cohesion and loyalty among its members (at times politically significant) that have enabled them to maintain for centuries their close-knit identity and distinctive faith.The Druze numbered more than 1,000,000 in the early 21st century and live mostly in Lebanon, with smaller communities in Israel, Syria, Jordan, and abroad.This led to the suspension of the movement for one year and the expulsion of ad-Darazi and his supporters.

The Druze enjoyed considerable autonomy under the Ottoman Empire and often rebelled against it, protected from direct Ottoman control by the mountainous terrain of their homelands.The Druze faith gradually died out in Egypt but survived in isolated areas of Syria and Lebanon, where missionaries had established significant communities.Al-Muqtanā withdrew from public life in 1037 but continued to write pastoral letters elaborating Druze doctrine until 1043.During this stage a dispute occurred between ad-Darazi and Hamza bin Ali mainly concerning ad-Darazi's ghuluww ("exaggeration"), which refers to the belief that God was incarnated in human beings (especially 'Ali and his descendants, including Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, who was the caliph at the time) and to ad-Darazi naming himself "The Sword of the Faith", which led Hamza to write an epistle refuting the need for the sword to spread the faith and several epistles refuting the beliefs of the ghulat.In 1016 ad-Darazi and his followers openly proclaimed their beliefs and called people to join them, causing riots in Cairo against the Unitarian movement including Hamza bin Ali and his followers.

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