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ABRIDGED LIFE OF HAKEM.
secret, and certainly—so far as the veil of mystery Certainly you will know one day, yes, certainly may be supposed to have been drawn aside by this you will know one day, ah, if ye were instructed translation of their books—very unprofitable. in a sure knowledge.
“The Druses designate themselves by the name “ You have had a multitude of benefits heaped of Unitarians. They are called Dorouy or Duz- upon you, in such abundance, that none of those zeyyeh. They are the disciples of Hamza, son of who have preceded you have ever received the Ali; and honor with divine worship Hakem-biamr-like; neither have any of the people that have Allah, Caliph of Egypt, of the family of Obaid. been before you in past ages, neither the compaAllah Mahdi."
nions of the flight of Mohammed, nor those who received him hospitably in Medina, ever attained to a more exalted degree of prosperity.
“ It is not on account of your merit or good works, O men and women, that the vicegerent of
God has bestowed upon you these benefits; but “ Our lord Hakem, whose name be glorified, from his kindness, goodness, tenderness and pity was the son of Ishmael of the race of Al, son of for you; and in order to prove you, that he might Abu-Talib, and his mother was of the race of Fa- know who among you are given to good works. tima, the daughter of Mohammed. He was born at “ As to the exterior precious benefits which ye Cairo, in the
year 375 of the Hegira. His father have received from him, they are talents heaped declared him his successor in the year 383. He up of gold and silver, horses of the greatest price, ascended the throne in the year 386, and reigned all sorts of cattle and a multitude of other gifts, as 25 years. He disappeared on the night of the pensions, fiefs, lands, and an infinity of temporal 27th of the month Shoual, in the year $11. The goods.,. Besides, he has raised you all, generally time of his sojourn in this world, from his birth and individually, to the most sublime honors and to his disappearing, was thirty-six years and seven ranks, that ye might walk in the paths of intelligent months. He wrote a Venerable Charler, and sus- beings. He has honored you with the quality of pended it in the mosques. He then disappeared. Emirs, and decorated you with the most eminent We expect his return in a short time, if it please titles. He has extended your power on earth, to the him. He will reign over all the earth, throughout east and to the west, in the plains and in the mounall ages. Those whom he has invited to the pro- tains, by sea and by land. You have been made fession of his unity and have not obeyed, that is, kings and sultans. You have received tribute. the men of all other sects and religions, will be By the aid of the vicegerent of God, you have subjected to him, put in irons, and laid under an been put in full liberty. All hostile and factious annual tribute ; but as for the Unitarians, they will parties have come to submit themselves to you. reign with him throughout all ages."
“ As to the interior gifts which you have received from him, of this number is the intercourse which you have externally seemed to have with
him; intercourse, which constitutes your glory in Copy of the Charter which was found suspended in this world, and the hope of your happiness in eter.
the mosques, at the time of the disappearance of nity:* Another of his internal benefits, is the our lord the Imam Hakem.
having revived the laws of Islamism and of the
faith, which are in the eyes of God the true reliIn the name of God the pitying and merciful. gion.f “The future recompenses are destined to those “ It is thus that you have been raised since his who rouse themselves from the slumbers of the time, in honor and purity, above all other sects : thoughtless, and retire from the folly of the sense he has distinguished you from the adorers of idols; I less, to him, whose faith is firm and sincere, and he has separated them from you, in frustrating who hastens to return to the Most High God; and their hopes and desires : he has overturned their to him, who is his vicegerent and witness to mor- churches and their schools of religion, although tals, his vicar upon earth, to whom he has con- they had subsisted for a long course of ages: the fided the care of his creatures, the prince of the partisans of these sects, tolerated among Mussulbelievers.
mans, have been subjected to you, by good will or “O men, the threatenings, the exhortations, the force; they have entered in crowds into the relipromises, which till now have been made to you gion of God. by your sovereign chief, the Imam of your age, the “ But you have hated knowledge and wisdom : successor of your prophets, the witness of your you have despised his benefits, and cast them beCreator, the vicar of him who will render witness hind your back: you have preferred the good of against you for the crimes which cause your perdition; in short, all the counsels and warnings which " This intercourse between Hakem and his subhave been lavished upon you, are more than suf-jects, and all the actions of his humanity, are, accordficient for those who have heard with submission ing to the doctrine of Hamza, merely appearances and docility, who have entered into the right way, designed to veil his divinity and incomprehensible who have resisted their passions for the salvation nature. (Note by De Sacy: p. 373.). of their souls, and who have preferred the future
+ “That is to say, according to the doctrine of the life to this present world. But, all this notwith- Druses, all the precepts of the literal and the allestanding, you are still plunged in the torrent of have their true explication only in the Unitarian re
gorical doctrine, that is of Islamism and the faith, ignorance, and wandering in the desert of error: ligion.” (Note by De Sacy.) you amuse yourselves unceasingly, till surprised “ These adorers of idols are the Jews and the by that day with which you have been threatened. I Christians.” (Note by De Sacy.)
this world, as did before you the children of Israel profitable and useful to those, to whom he shall in the time of Moses (upon whom be peace !) The grant grace to observe its contents ! vicegerent of God was unwilling to compel you “Anathema, anathema to whomsoever shall not against your choice : he has shut the door of his copy it, and shall not read it to the penitents in a preaching :* he has caused you to be taught wis- low chapel.* dom: out of his palace he has opened a school of “Anathema, anathema to whomsoever shall have science, where were to be had al instruction con- the opportunity of copying it, and shall neglect to cerning religion, the jurisprudence of the Alcoran do so. Praise be to God alone.” upon things permitted or forbidden, decisions and judgments conformably to the books of the ancients and the books of Abraham and Moses. (May the favors of God repose on all of them !) The oath, by which the initiated Druses are He has given you paper and pensions, ink and admitted, is given by the baron De Sacy, accordpens, in order that you might attain to that which ing to the following translation :might render you happy, opening your eyes and delivering you from your foolishness.
Form of engagement to the vicegerent of this ago “ The blessed and Most High God hath said •If my servants ask you concerning me, tell them sole, the one, the eternal, exempt from all associ.
“ I put my confidence in our lord Hakem, th that I am near; and that I hear the prayers of those ations, and all number. who call upon me.' Up, then, O men! If you keep yourself in these desert and uncultivated mind and body, in full liberty and acting by an
“Such a one, son of such a one, being of sound places,t your eyes will trace the commencement obedience perfectly voluntary, without violence or of that route, which was taken by the Emir of the constraint, does, by the present act of submission, to believers at the moment when he was conceal which he binds his soul and body, confess and declare ed. Assemble yourselves, therefore, with your that he renounces all sects, professions, religions, children: purify your hearts : render your inten- and creeds, and acknowledges no other obedience tions pure before God, the Lord of the universe : than that to our lord Hakem (whose name be be sincerely converted to him: avail yourselves glorified !) obedience which consists in serving and of the most powerful mediation with him, that He adoring him—that he will serve none other with may pardon you, and grant you the return of his him, past, present, or to come—that he gives over vicegerent. But take good heed that none of you his soul, his body, his goods, his children, and all inquire into the course taken by the Emir of the that he possesses, to our lord Hakem (whose name faithful (on whom be the peace of God !) or en be glorified !)—that he submits to his disposal of deavor to learn what has become of him. Cease him, without opposing him in any thing, or disapnot to reiterate your prayers, all of you together, proving any thing in his works, whether he bestow at the entering of the way, saying, Behold our pleasure or pain. If he renounces the religion of abiding place!' and, when the moment of mercy | our lord Hakem, (whose name be glorified !) to is come for you, the vicegerent of God, satisfied which he has submitted by this writing, and to with your conduct, will, of his own choice and free which he has bound his soul by this authentic dewill
, appear at your head-He will show himself claration, or if he reveals it to others, or if he disin the midst of you.
obeys any of its commandments, he shall no longer “ The servant of the empire of the prince of have any part with the Creator who is adored : the believers (on whom be the peace of God!) he shall be deprived of the advantages which he wrote this in the year 411. “ May God be propitious to Mohammed, the religion of the Unity,) and he shall merit the
might have received from the ministers (of the prince of apostles, the seal of prophets !
chastisements of God most high (whose name be “ Care shall be taken for the security of those glorified !) Whosoever confesses, that he has not religious persons, who shall observe what is writ- in heaven any God worthy of adoration, nor on ten in this document; and none shall be hindered earth any Imam existing other than our lord Hafrom copying and reading it. May God render it kem (whose name be glorified !) is in the number "That is, he has destroyed the monastery named
of the happy Unitarians. Deir-alkasr." (Note by De Sacy-page 374, refer- the erat of the servant of our lord (whose name
6 Written in such a month, of such a year of ring
to page 79.) This passage has an illusion to a curious piece be glorified !) and of his slave Hamza, son of Ali
, of history respecting the disappearance of Ha- son of Ahmet, the director of those who are obekem; who, according to the account of some, died dient, and the avenger of those who adore many a violent death—some pretending that his sister caused him to be murdered.-(Chrestomathie, II. *" It seems probable to me, that this piece was to 87.) De Sacy, in his note on this passage, observes, be read only by those who were initiated into the that these desert places refer to a part of the city of doctrine of Hamza; and it is doubtless with this Cairo, situated to the south-east, and the Mount view, that the promise is given of watching over the Mokattam. "It was hither," he remarks, " that security of those who conform to the orders made Hakem used to go out for his evening walks; and, to them. It is in this view, also, that the reading of the night when he perished, he had gone out this this document is commanded to be in some retired way, and reached the Mount Mokattam, where he and subterranean place, which should serve as a was killed. The next morning, the principal officers chapel for the assembling of the initiated.” Note of the palace, with a numerous train, went out by by De Sacy, p. 377. the same route to seek for the Caliph, whose body +"The era of the Druses, or of Hamza, begins was found in a well near Holwan.” “Note by De with the year 408 of the Hegira; that is, about A. Sacy, Chrestomathie Arabe-vol II. p. 376. D. 1016."-Note by De Sacy-p. 379.
Gods, and of apostates by the sword of our lord enter the mosques, and perform the ablutions and (whose name be glorified !) and by the force of prayers. Or are they among the Marsonites, they his sole power.”
follow them to church, and take the holy-water The Christian reader will discern, in the midst like them. Many of them, importuned by the of this unintelligible jargon, various traces of Ju- missionaries have received baptism; then, solicitdaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism. The ed by the Turks, they have allowed themselves general scope of the system, supposing these do- to be circumcised; and have finished by dying, cuments to exhibit it truly, would seem to be pure neither Christians nor Mussulmans." - Volney's Deism. The doctrine, however, of incarnate Trarels in Syria—Chap. 22. Seclion 3. Deity, and the expectation of a second advent of It will, however, be proper to hear what the the head of the Druse religion, are points of re- Romish missionaries themselves relate concerning semblance to the New Testament, peculiarly the reception which their labors have had among striking. That the Druses are not to inquire into the Druses. They speak without reserve of their the time of this second advent, is analogous to the total want of success; and even seem to regard feeling which the Jews at present hare concern the conversion of this people as a hopeless exing their Messiah; and the belief that all nations periment. With the following extract, the acare to be subject to Hakem may be a corruption, count of the Druses shall conclude. either of the secular expectations of the Jews, or “ We often perform a mission to the Catholics of the spiritual hopes of Christians. In respect who are in their country; and we have as often to the practical or experimental part of this reli- the pain of seeing that this nation is very far from gion, while much is said of acknowledging un- the kingdom of God. It is true that they love the deserved favors, while human merit seems to be Christians, and do not love the Turks. It is true, disclaimed, and an illusion is even made to the likewise, that they prefer calling themselves Chrisidea of mediation; it is nevertheless impossible tians rather than Turks, although they wear the not to see, that the exhortations to piety all pro- green turban. They even receive us kindly and ceed on the idea that man has the power in him- joyfully into their houses. self to become pious. However far Moham Notwithstanding these favorable dispositions, medans, Druses, Deists, or the propagators of any their inviolable attachment for their religion, which other false religion, may extract matter from the is a frightful compound of Christian and MohamOld or the New Testament, yet they all drop the medan ceremonies, and still more, their obstinacy doctrine of man's corruption by the fall—both the in refusing instruction, give just reason to fear fact, and all its train of inevitable consequences. that this nation will persist in shutting its eyes to These docunients form an additional proof of the the light of the gospel.”—Lettres Édifiantes et tendency of mankind to corrupt pure revelation, Curieuses : Vol. I. pp. 372, 373. and to fabricate a religion of their own ; while the barrier of secrecy, with which they endeavor to surround it, is but a stratagem of the arch enemy to preclude the detection and overthrow of their
A curious additional circumstance shall here be THE Ansari are a people residing in the moun. quoted from the writings of the Jesuit missionaries, tainous parts near Antioch, and in other places which, if correct, seems to prove that the Druses of Northern Syria. The origin of this sect, marare not exempt from the reproach of idolatry. vellous and seini-fabulous, is thus given by Asse
“ There are only two of their villages, which mann, translated from the Syriac of Bar-Hehave the honor (speaking their language) of pos- bræus :sessing the statue of their great legislator.
“Whereas many desire to know the origin of “His statue, according to their law, must be the Nazaræi, receive the following account from of gold or of silver. They enclose it in a wooden us. In the year of the Greeks 1202,* there apcase, and exhibit it only on the day of their grand peared an old man in the region Akula (this is ceremonies; when they address their vows to it, Cupha, a city of Arabia, as Bar-Hebræus elseto obtain the object of their desires. They ima- where notices,] in a village which the inhabitants gine that they are speaking to God himself, so call Nazaria. "This old man having the appear. great is their veneration for this idol. The only ance of a person given to severe fasts, great potwo villages where it is preserved are called Ba- verty, and strict devotion, many of the natives of gelin and Fredis.”—Lettres Edifiantes et Curi- that place followed him; out of whom having euses, Vol. I. pp. 371, 372.
chosen twelve, according to the number of the Volney has intimated, that the Druses have, at apostles, he commanded them to preach a new different times, imposed upon the missionaries in doctrine to the people. The governor of the place, the Levant, by a profession of Christianity. It is hearing of this, commanded to apprehend him; almost superfluous to observe, that the statements and, having cast him into a dungeon in his own of an avowed enemy of the gospel are to be re- house, swore that on the following morning he ceived with extreme reserve. The following ex- would have him crucified. On the same night, tract from that traveller, so far as it may demon- the governor, going to bed half intoxicated with strate the facility of temper of the Druses, is wor- wine, placed the key of the dungeon under his thy of attention ; but cannot be regarded as a pillow : a maid of the household, perceiving this, faithful account of the proceedings of the mis- when he was fast asleep withdrew the key ; and, sionaries :
pitying this old man, given to fasting and prayer, “When they go among the Turks, they affect the external appearance of the Mussulman; they
* Corresponding to A. D. 891.
opened the dungeon, set him at liberty, and then which the Assassins profess and that professed in restored the key to its former place : the governor, the present day by the Kesbins and the Nassagoing in the morning to the dungeon, and opening riens. it with the same key, and finding no person, ima “These two nations, the Kesbins and the Nasgined the culprit to have been miraculously re- sariens, ought to be regarded as making one and moved; and as the maid, through fear, kept si- the same nation. lence as to what she had done, the report spread “ They have different names, from the different abroad that the old man had escaped from the countries which they inhabit. Those among them prison while the doors were shut. A short time who inhabit the mountains are called Kesbins, after, having found two of his disciples in a distant because their country is called Kesbie: the others, country, he contrived to persuade them that he who occupy the plains, are called Nassariens, that had been delivered by angels from the prison, and is to say, bad Christians ;* a character which beconveyed to a desert place. He then wrote a longs to both of them, for they have made for book of his religion, and gave it to them with an themselves a religion which is a monstrous comorder to promulgate it, and invite men to receive pound of Mohammedanism and Christianity, and his new doctrines. These doctrines were of the which gives them an extravagant idea of our holy following nature:-1, such an one, commonly be- mysteries. lieved to be the son of Othman of the town Naza “ The doctors of their sect are called Sheiks. ria, saw Christ, who is Jesus, who also is the word, These doctors amuse them with their foolish imaand the director, and Achmed the son of Moham- ginations : for example—they teach them that med the son of Hanaphia of the sons of Ali; the God has been incarnate several times that he same also is the Angel Gabriel : and he said to has been incarnate, not only in Jesus Christ, but me, thou art the reader: thou art the truth. also in Abraham, -Moses, and other persons cele. Thou art the camel, that retainest anger against brated in the Old Testament. They even attrithe infidels. Thou art the heifer, bearing the bute the same honor to Mohammed ; an absurdity yoke of the believers. Thou art the spirit. Thou into which even the Turks have never fallen. art John the son of Zacharias. Preach therefore
“ This is not all. . They imagine that they honor to men, that they kneel four times in their prayers; Jesus Christ, by maintaining that he did not die twice before sunrise, twice after sunset, toward on the cross, as the Christians profess, but they Jerusalem, saying each time these three verses, add that he substituted another man who died in God is sublime above all, God is high above all, his place. They likewise say that Mohammed God is the greatest of all. On the second and ordained that another body, in lieu of his own, sixth festival, let no man do any work: let them should be put into the tomb which had been prefast two days every year : let them abstain from pared for him. the Mohammedan ablution : let them not drink “ They further admit the metempsychosis : and strong drink; but of wine as much as they please. say that the same soul passes from one body into Let them not eat the flesh of wild beasts. Hav- another, as many as seventy times; but with this ing delivered these ridiculous doctrines, he went difference, that the soul of a good man enters into to Palestine, where he infected the simple and a body more perfect than his own, and the soul of rustic people with the same teaching : then de- a vicious man passes into the body of an unclean parting, he hid himself; nor is his place known to animal. this day."--Assemanni Bib. Orient. Vol. II. pp. “ They have borrowed from Christianity the 319, 320.
communion : but the mode in which they practise Assemann then proceeds to give various rea- it is perfectly fanatical; for they celebrate it with sons, why the persons formerly called Assassini wine and a morsel of meat. They admit only are the same with these Nazaraei, or Ansari.— men to this communion, excluding women and He says that they were originally Mohammedans, children. It is in their secret assemblies, that the and afterwards became semi-christians. He adds, men observe this practice among themselves. also, that the Druses bitterly persecute them, as 6. They celebrate some of our festivals; for exa people loose in morals and hostile to their sect. ample—those of Christmas, the Circumcision,
The account given in the Encyclopædia Britan- Epiphany, Palm Sunday, Easter, and some of our nica, under the word Assassins, partly accords Apostles and Saints' days. with the above; referring the origin of that sect • When they are at their prayers, they turn to a Sheik vulgarly called, in Europe, the Old themselves toward the sun; which has led some Man of the Mountain. The following accounts to say that they adore the sun : but, on this point, from the Jesuit missionaries, from Niebuhr, and they are not agreed. from Burckhardt, may probably be considered as “I omit various other of their customs, as being throwing a little additional light upon the obscure only so many extravagancies. They are, howand melancholy picture before us.
ever, strongly attached to them; persuaded as The Jesuit missionaries observe
they are, that their religion is not less good than “At the present day we are not acquainted here that of the Maronites, because they have some with any people bearing the name of Assassins ; practices in common with them. yet it is possible that the Kesbins, a nation which
“ Several of our missionaries have used their inhabits the mountains two days' distant from utmost efforts to gain some of them ; but as they Tripoli, and the Nassariens, another nation which is established in the plain toward the sea, may be
* This etymology, which seems so plausible, rethe successors of the Assassins. These two na- ceives no countenance from Assemann, who, if it tions inhabit the same country, and, what is more, had been correct, was too go an Oriental scholar there is much resemblance between the religion not to have discovered it.
only obstinately hear their own wicked doctors,
ISMAYLY. and will follow no other opinions than those in which they were brought up, our missionaries, de The situation and character of another sect in spairing of their conversion, have been obliged Syria, named Ishmælites, or Ismayly, will be learnt often to shake off the dust of their feet against from the following extracts. them.”—Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses : Vol. I. Maszyad (situate between Aleppo and Tripoli
, pp. 361-364.
but nearer to Tripoli) is remarkable from being
the chief seat of the religious sect called Ismayly. Niebuhr has given, with a minuteness, which Inquiries have often been made concerning the it would scarcely be compatible with the nature religious doctrines of this sect, as well as of those of this work to copy, a view of the mystical doc- of the Anzeyrys and Druses. Not only European trines of the Ansari. The following short con- travellers and Europeans resident in Syria, but cluding paragraph is quoted, as exhibiting a strik- many natives of influence, have endeavored to peing and painful illustration of the words of the netrate the mysteries of these idolators, without apostle—Their foolish heart was darkened. Rom. success; and several causes combine to make it i. 21.
probable that their doctrines will long remain un
known. The principal reason is, that few indivi. “ The soul of a devotee among the Ansari can duals among them become acquainted with the enter Paradise, after it has passed through a most important and secret tenets of their faith ; the small number of bodies; but the soul of another generality contenting themselves with the obsermust have passed through eighty. The souls of vance of some exterior practices, while the arca. infidels must pass through five frightful degrees na are possessed by the select few. It will be Fesgh, Nesgh, Mesgh, Wegsch, and Resgh; and asked, 'perhaps, whether their religious books after that, must remain in the world as sheep, till would not unveil the mystery. It is true that all the return of Sochra, that is Fatima. Who could the different sects possess books, which they rebelieve that the founders of such religions could gard as sacred; but they are intelligible only to possibly find followers ?”— Niebuhr, Vol. II. pp. the initiated. Another difficulty arises from the 360, 361.
extreme caution of the Ismaylys upon this sub
ject. Whenever they are obliged to visit any Burckhardt, in 1812, on his journey from Alep- part of the country under the Turkish government po to Damascus, rested a night at Shennyn, a they assume the character of Mussulmans; being village of the Ansari, a little north of Tripoli
. He well aware, that if they should be detected in the thus speaks of them
practice of any rite contrary to the Turkish reli
gion, their hypocrisy, in affecting to follow the lat“ As our hosts appeared to be good natured ter, would no longer be tolerated : and their being people, I entered, after supper, into conversation once clearly known to be Pagans, which they are with them, with a view to obtain some informa- only suspected to be at present, would expose tion upon their religious tenets; but they were them to the heaviest exactions, and might even extremely reserved on this head. I had heard be followed by their total expulsion or extirpation. that the Anzeyrys maintained, from time to time, Christians and Jews are tolerated, because Mosome communication with the East Indies; and hammed and his immediate successors granted that there was a temple there belonging to their them protection, and because the Turks acknowsect, to which they occasionally sent messengers. ledged Christ and the prophets; but there is no In the course of our conversation, I said that I instance whatever of Pagans being tolerated.”knew there were some Anzeyrys in the East In- Burckhardt's Travels in Syria : pp. 151, 152. dies ; they were greatly amazed at this, and in Niebuhr, so copious his accounts of other quired how I had obtained my information ; and sects, is, upon this, extremely concise. He obtheir countenances seemed to indicate that there serveswas some truth in my assertion. They are divid “Concerning the religion of the Ishmaelites, I ed into different sects, of which nothing is known have learnt nothing certain. The Mohammedans except the names, viz: Kelbye, Shamsye, and and the Oriental Christians relate of them things Mokladjye. They entertain the curious belief, that incredible. The number of the Ishmælites is not the soul ought to quit the dying person's body by great. They live principally at Killis, a town the mouth; and they are extremely cautious between Shugr and Hama; also in Gebel Kalbie, against any accident, which they imagine may a mountain not far from Latachia between Aleppo prevent it from taking that road; for this reason, and Antioch. They are called Keftun, from the whenever the government of Ladakie or Tripoli name of a village in this country.” condemns an Anzeyry to death, his relations offer Speaking of the Metawali
, Ansari, and Ishconsiderable sums, that he may be empalled in- mælites, Niebuhr addsstead of hanged. I can vouch for the truth of “ These nations, taken on the whole, are in this belief, which proves at least that they have general so weak that they can scarcely resist the some idea of a future state. It appears that there Turkish Pachas. The Druses, on the contrary, are Anzeyrys in Anatolia and at Constantinople. are masters of the chief part of Mount Lebanon, Some years since a great man of this sect died in and consequently more powerful.”—Niebuhr, Vol. the mountain of Antioch; and the water, with II. pp. 361, 362. which his corpse had been washed was carefully The notice taken of this sect, by the Jesuit put into bottles and sent to Constantinople and missionaries is also exceedingly brief: they Asia Minor.”—Burckhardt's Travels in Syria : write
“ The Ishmælites inhabit a small territory