• Short Summary

    The spiritual leader of the very secretive Druze sect, died last week in Lebanon. Sheik?

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    The spiritual leader of the very secretive Druze sect, died last week in Lebanon. Sheik Abu Hasib, considered deputy leader of the sect that knows no titled hierarchy, was buried last Monday (2 July) in the village of Ramlieh in north Lebanon, after an illness.

    SYNOPSIS: The Druze are considered by some to be inside the Islamic fold, by others a completely separate religious sect, with its own religion.

    Women in the Druze religion are much freer than most Moslems they enjoy complete legal equality in marriage and divorce. The community in general is divided between majority of "Juhhal" the ignorant, and the "Uqqal" or learned.

    Political leaders are not necessarily chosen from the Uqqal, who attain that status by study, meditation and austerity to pass rigorous spiritual tests. The more pious and learned Uqqals become sheiks and preside over. religious ceremonies.

    The political leader of the Lebanese Druze, Walid Jumblatt, pays his last respects to the spiritual leader Sheik Abu Hasib. The Jumblatt family is one of a small group who have ruled extensive states in Lebanon for generations. Walid Jumblatt became political leader of the community. following his father Kamals' murder in early 1977.

    The sect's doctrines, which are generally secret, acquired their final form in the fifteenth century.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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