Lebanon, chiefly by the immigration of various more or less heretical elements, Kurd, Turkoman, Persian and especially Arab, the latter largely after the break-up of the kingdom of Hira; and early in the i ith century these coalesced into a nationality (see Druses) under the congenial influence of the Incarnationist creed brought from Cairo by Ismael Darazi and other emissaries of the caliph Hakim and his vizier Hamza.
His system of persecution was not abandoned till in the last year of his reign (1020) he thought fit to claim divinity, a doctrine which is perpetuated by the Druses, called after one DarazI, who preached the divinity of Ijakim at the time; the violent opposition which this aroused among the Moslems probably led him to adopt milder measures towards his other subjects, and those who had been forcibly converted were permitted to return to their former religion and rebuild their places of worship. Whether his disappearance at the beginning of the year 1021 was due to the resentment of his outraged subjects, or, as the historians say, to his sisters fear that he would bequeath the caliphate to a distant relative to the exclusion of his own son, will never be known.
This madman caused the church of the Holy Sepulchre to be entirely destroyed: and giving himself out to be the incarnation of Deity, his cult was founded by two Persians, Darazi and Hamza ibn Ali, in the Lebanon; where among the Druses it still persists (see Druses).
Next in rank, and equally supporting the throne of the Almighty, are four Ministering Spirits, the Soul, the Word, the Right Wing and the Left Wing, who, in Hakim's time, were embodied respectively in Ismael Darazi, Mahommed ibn Wahab, Selama ibn Abd alWahal and Baha ud-Din; and beneath these again are spiritual agents of various ranks.
The calf, if calf there be, is probably a symbol of the execrable heresy of Darazi, who is frequently styled the calf by his Orthodox opponents.
The people showed such bitter hostility to the new gospel that Darazi was compelled to seek safety in flight; but even in absence he was faithful to his god, and succeeded inwinning over certain ignorant inhabitants of Lebanon.
Darazi, who had acted independently in his apostolate, was branded by Hamza as a heretic, and thus, by a curious anomaly, he is actually held in detestation by the very sect which perhaps bears his name.