July 21, 2003

Alawites

Razib of Gene Expression asked, in a comment on my post on the Druze post,

you should write about the alawites, they're pretty weird too.... (or perhaps the alevi minority of turkey which seems to be off everyone's radar)

I don't know too much about the Alawites, who mostly live in Syria (I think they make up 12 percent of the population; Bashar Assad is an Alawite, and during the French colonial period, the Alawites along with the Marionite Christians were treated far better than the Sunni Muslims); I believe there are some Aliwites in Lebanon as well. I think they're a tenth century C.E. spinoff from the Ismaili Shi'ites. The name Aliwite derives from Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet, whom the Alawites believe was an incarnation of the divine. Like the Druze, their holy books are only for the initiated; they read the Qur'an and follow Muslim rites, but some celebrate Christian holidays as well (Easter in particular). In the ceremonies of their elect, they use bread and wine. They have some sort of astrological component to their belief system, and also believe in metempsychoses, or reincarnation.

That's about all I know about them, but if I have some time later in the week I'll see what else I can find. As for the Alevi, I've heard the name but that's about it.


Posted by Ideofact at July 21, 2003 10:13 PM
Comments

"Alevi" = "Alawi", the only difference is the Turkish way of pronounce the original (Arabic) word 'Alawi', because Turks (like the Iranians) change the letter sound 'w' into 'v', thus u have 'Alawi' becoming 'Alavi' then 'Alevi', that's all! :)

Posted by: qays at November 12, 2003 07:00 AM

ALAWISM IS MORE OF A PHILOSOPHIC TREND THAN A RELIGION. ITS BELIEF IN PRIMITIVISM AS THE ONLY SALVATION FOR MAN. ALAWITES COME FROM ALEXANDER THE GREAT. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT PLATO IS ONE OF THE PROFETS HIGHLY DEEMED BY ALAWITES. FOR EX, AN ALAWITE MIGHT PRAY WHILE DOING SOMETHING ELSE (DERITUALISED PRAYER) BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT THE ESSENCE IS IN THE IDEA OR THE MIND ITS VERY MUCH SIMILAR TO PLATOS FAMOUS PHRASE 'THREE TIMES REMOVED FROM THE TRUTH'

Posted by: EAMON at March 25, 2004 06:27 AM