As a small sect that emerged from Islam over a thousand years ago, the Druze religion and society has long been cloaked in a tradition of secrecy. Veiled from the outside world, the religious tenets have been vulnerable to distortion, misunderstanding, and misrepresentation. In this book Dr. Anis Obeid, a Druze layman with a scientific and medical background, provides a penetrating analysis of Druze scriptures and beliefs (Tawhid). Presenting a chronological narrative on the foundation and development of the faith, Obeid explains the historical conditions and religious rationale behind this closed religion. The Druze faith is the result of Abrahamic monotheism as it coalesced with other philosophies, belief systems, and political structures of the West and the East and, as Obeid maintains, should be recognized for its core monotheism, and not fundamentally different from Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. He argues convincingly, with examples and translations from the Druze scriptures, that Tawhid is a progressive and dynamic spiritual process based on freedom of choice, concepts that challenge traditional religious dogma. Obeid's thorough understanding of the faith provides readers with a valuable resource and a deeply thoughtful book. While members of the Druze community in the West will undoubtedly appreciate this rich exploration of their faith, the author's appeal to a sincere cultural dialogue will resonate with a wide audience of Druze and non-Druze in the West and in the Middle East.
Anis Obeid was born and raised in Lebanon. He is a clinical professor of medicine at the Upstate Medical University and director of echocardiography at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, New York. He is the author of Sada Assinin, a book of Arabic poetry.