Alawites

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Alawites
ʿAlawīyyah
علوية
Dhulfiqar.svg
Zulfiqar, a stylisit representation o the swuird
o Ali, is an important seembol for Alawites
Total population
3 million[1]
Foonder
Ibn Nuṣayr
Regions wi significant populations
Banner o Sirie Sirie 2.6 million[2]
Banner o Turkey Turkey Aboot 700,000-750,000[3]
Banner o Lebanon Lebanon An estimatit 100,000-120,000[4][5][6]
Lebanon/Golan Hichts 2,100 live in Ghajar
Banner o Australie Australie Alawites comprise 2% o
Lebanese born fowk in Australie[7]
Releegions
Shia Islam
Scripturs
Qur'an, Nahj al-Balagha, Kitab al Majmu[8]
Leids
Arabic, Turkis

The Alawites, kent as Alawi, Nusayris an Ansaris an aw (‘Alawīyyah Arabic: علوية‎, Nuṣayrī Arabic: نصيريون‎, an al-Anṣāriyyah) are a prominent meestical an syncretic[9] releegious group who follae a branch o the Twaler schuil o Shia Islam.

Etymologie[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Alawites tak their name frae ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib cousin an son-in-law o Muḥammad, who was the first Shi'a Imam an the fowert an last "Richtly Guidit Caliph" o Sunni Islam.

Till fairly recently Alawites wur referred tae as "Nusairis", namit efter Abu Shu'ayb Muhammad ibn Nusayr (d. ca 270 h, 863 AD) who is reportit tae hae attendit the circles o the last three Imams o the prophet Muhammad's line. This name is considered derogatory, an they refer tae thairsels as Alawites. In September 1920, French occupational forces institutit the policy o referrin tae them bi the term "'Alawi".

In aulder sources they are aften referred tae as Ansaris, as this is hou they referred tae thairsels, accordin tae the Reverend Samuel Lyde, who livit amang Alawites in the mid-19t century. Anither source states that "Ansari", as referrin tae Alawites, is simply a Wastren mistransliteration o Nosairi.[page needit][10][11]

Alawites are destinct frae the Turkis-based Alevi releegious sect, awtho the terms share similar etymologies.[12]

Population[eedit | eedit soorce]

Map showin the current distribution o Alawites in the Levant.

Sirie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Tradeetionally Alawites hae livit in the An-Nusayriyah muntains alang the Mediterranean coast o Sirie. Latakia an Tartus are the region's principal ceeties. The day Alawites are concentratit in the plains aroond Hama an Homs an aw. Alawites live in aw major ceeties o Sirie an aw. They hae been estimatit tae constitute aboot 11-12% o Sirie's population[13][14]- 2.1 million people. [15]

Thare are fower Alawite confederations – Kalbiyah, Khaiyatin, Haddadin, an Matawirah – each dividit intae tribes.[16] Alawites are concentratit in the Latakia region o Sirie, extendin north tae Antioch (Antakya), Turkey, an in an aroond Homs an Hama.[17]

Afore 1953 they held reservit seats in the Sirie Pairlament, like aw ither releegious commonties. Efter that, includin for the 1960 census, thare wur anerlie general Muslim an Christian categories, athout mention o subgroups in order tae reduce "communalism" (taïfiyya).

There are aboot 2000 Alawites livin in the veelage o Ghajar, split atween Lebanon an the Golan Hichts an aw.[18] In 1932, the residents o Ghajar wur given the option o chuisin their naitionality an owerwhelmingly chose tae be a pairt o Sirie, which haes a sizable Alawite minority.[19] Prior tae the Sax-Day War, the residents o Ghajar wur coontit in the 1960 Sirie census.[20] Whan Israel captured the Golan Hichts frae Sirie in 1967, Ghajar remained a nae-man's laund for twa an a hauf months.

Lebanon[eedit | eedit soorce]

Alawite mosque in Jabal Mohsen, Lebanon

There are an estimatit 100,000 to 120,000[4][21] Alawites in Lebanon, whaur they hae livit syne at least the 16t century.[22] They are recognizit as ane o the 18 offeecial Lebanese sects, an due tae the efforts o their leader Ali Eid, the Taif Greement o 1989 gave thaim twa reservit seats in the Pairlament. Lebanese Alawites live maistly in the Jabal Mohsen neebourheid o Tripoli, an in 15 veelages in the Akkar Destrict [23][24][25], an are mainly representit bi the Arab Democratic Pairty. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen clashes atween pro-Sirie Alawites an anti-Sirie Sunnis hae hauntit Tripoli for decades.[26]

Turkey[eedit | eedit soorce]

In order tae avoid confusion wi Alevis, they prefer the sel-appellation Arap Alevileri ("Arab Alevis") in Turkis. The term Nusayrī, which uised tae exist in (aften polemical) theological texts is revivit in recent studies an aw. In Çukurova, they are namit as Fellah an Arabuşağı, the latter considered heichlie offensive bi Alawites, bi the Sunni population. A quasi-offeecial name uised pairticularly in 1930s bi Turkis authorities wis Eti Türkleri ("Hittite Turks"), in order tae conceal their Arab oreegins. The day, this term is amaist obsolete but it is still uised bi some fowk o aulder generations as a euphemism.

The exact number o Alawites in Turkey is unkent, but thare wur 185 000 in 1970[27] (this number suggest ca 400 000 in 2009). As Muslims, they are no recordit separately frae Sunnis in ID registration. In the 1965 census (the last Turkis census whaur informants wur asked their mither tongue), 180,000 fowk in the three provinces declared their mither tongue as Arabic. Housomeivver, Arabic-speakin Sunni an Christian fowk are includit in this figur an aw.

Alawites tradeetionally speak the same dialect o Levantine Arabic wi Sirie Alawites. Arabic is best preservit in landwart commonties an Samandağ. Younger fowk in Çukurova ceeties an (tae a lesser extent) in İskenderun tend tae speak Turkis. Turkis spoken bi Alawis is distinguished bi Alawi an nan-Alawi alike wi its pairticular accents an vocabulary. Knowledge o Arabic alphabet is confined tae releegious leaders an men who haed wirkit or studiet in Arab kintras.

Alawites show a considerable pattern o social mobility. Till 1960s, they uised tae wirk bund tae Sunni aghas aroond Antakya an they wur amang the poorest fowk in Çukurova. The day, Alawis are prominent in economic sectors such as transportation an commerce. A lairge professional middle-class haed emergit an aw.

In recent years, there haes been a tendency o exogamy, pairticularly amang males who haed attendit universities an/or haed livit in ither pairts o Turkey. These marriages are heichlie toleratit but exogamy o weemen, as in ither patrilineal groups, is uisually disfavoured.

Alawites, like Alevis, mainly hae strang leftist poleetical preferences. Housomeivver, some fowk in landwart auries (uisually members o notable Alawite faimilies) mey be foond supportin secularist conservative pairties such as True Path Pairty. Maist Alawis feel discriminatit bi the policies o Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı.[28][29]

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

Notes
  1. "The sword and the word". The Economist. 12 May 2012. 
  2. "It's Time to Engage Iran, Russia on Syria". al-monitor.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  3. "On Turkey's Syrian frontier, fears of a sectarian spillover". yahoo.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 http://www.repost.us/article-preview/#!hash=0467cbf01990a23ab00bfe1a45696310
  5. "Lebanese Allawites welcome Syria’s withdrawal as ‘necessary’ 2005". The Daily Star. 30 April. "The Alawis have been present in modern-day Lebanon since the 16th century and are estimated to number 100,000 today, mostly in Akkar and Tripoli. The sect is managed through the Islamic Alawi Union, a council of 600 members that are elected every four years." 
  6. "Lebanon’s Alawi: A Minority Struggles in a ‘Nation’ of Sects". Al Akhbar English. 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  7. Ghassan Hage (2002). Arab-Australians today: citizenship and belonging (Paperback ed.). Melbourne University Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 0-522-84979-2. 
  8. "Alawi Islam". Globalsecurity.org. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-31. "Their prayer book, the source of Satanic worship, is the Kitāb al-Majmu‘, believed to be derived from Ismā‘īlī writings. Alawis study the Qur'ān and recognize the five pillars of Islam, which they interpret in a wholly allegorical sense to fit community tenets." 
  9. Lebanon: current issues and background John C. Rolland (2003)
  10. http://books.google.dk/books?id=DnDP09R4s_0C&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false
  11. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8684113/Secretive-sect-of-the-rulers-of-Syria.html
  12. http://books.google.dk/books?id=Ixl3NcvAixAC&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=alawi+accent&source=bl&ots=rpdHtmkAUU&sig=Z5XEkIT_Af1iDbRHFcTeAjyK6I4&hl=da&ei=rK2eTsekFfL74QS55dylCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=alevi&f=false
  13. http://www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/afp/2012/02/20/332152/Turbulent-history.htmhttp://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/us-syria-alawites-sect-idUSTRE8110Q720120202
  14. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/syrians-flee-their-homes-amid-fears-of-ethnic-cleansing-7079802.html
  15. http://www.minorityrights.org/5266/syria/syria-overview.html
  16. Alawi Islam globalsecurity.org
  17. Encyclopædia Britannica. "Encyclopædia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  18. "Getting rid of Ghajar - Haaretz - Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  19. A New Fence Is Added to a Border Town Already Split
  20. Getting rid of Ghajar, Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz
  21. Zoi Constantine. "Pressures in Syria affect Alawites in Lebanon - The National". The National. Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  22. "‘Lebanese Allawites welcome Syria’s withdrawal as ‘necessary’ 2005, The Daily Star, 30 April". "The Alawis have been present in modern-day Lebanon since the 16th century and are estimated to number 100,000 today, mostly in Akkar and Tripoli." 
  23. http://menassat.com/?q=en%2Fnews-articles%2F5210-tripoli-4
  24. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/489c1be4c.html
  25. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4896c47526.html
  26. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/02/13/v-print/138757/syrian-violence-finds-its-echo.html
  27. State and rural society in medieval Islam: sultans, muqtaʻs, and fallahun. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1997. p. 162. ISBN 90-04-10649-9. 
  28. Fellahlar'ın Sosyolojisi, Dr. Cahit Aslan, Adana, 2005
  29. Arap Aleviliği: Nusayrilik, Ömer Uluçay, Adana, 1999

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]