|Alawite falconer in Banyas, Syria, during World War II. The Alaouite Dynasty is the name of the current Moroccan royal family Yemen ( Arabic: اليَمَن al-Yaman officially the Republic of Yemen ( Arabic: الجمهورية اليمنية al-Jumhuuriyya This article deals with a former state in what is now Yemen For the religious group prominent in Syria see Alawite. Baniyas (بانياس is a city of northwestern Syria, located at the foot of the hill of Qalcat el-Marquab 55 km to the south of Latakia (ancient Laodicea Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including|
More than 3 million
|Regions with significant populations|
|Qu'ran, Kitab al Majmu|
The Alawites are a sect of Shi'ite Islam  prominent in Syria. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. For the village in Azerbaijan see Qacar. Ghajar (or al-Ghajar is an Alawite village on the Hasbani River and on the border Borders of Israel The Golan Heights ( الجولان al-Jawlān, הגולן ha-Golan) is a strategic Plateau and mountainous For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Qur’an ( القرآن, literally "the recitation" also sometimes transliterated as Qur’ān, Koran, Alcoran Kitab al Majmu ( كتاب المجموع) is a holy book of the Alawite sect of Islam. Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Alawī is not to be confused with Alevi, a different religious sect based in Turkey, although they share the same etymology. Alevis (Aleviler Elewî are a religious sub-ethnic and cultural community in Turkey, numbering in the millions
The Alawites take their name from ˤAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad,  also the 4th and last "Rightly Guided Caliph" of Islam. ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (a=علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب|t=ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib 13th Rajab, 24 BH – 21st Ramaḍān, 40 AH IMPORTANT PLEASE READ ##### For all questions relating to the addition of (pbuh peace be upon him or other honorifics The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs ( ar الخلفاء الراشدون) is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first Historically, the Alawites have been called Nusayrīs (Arabic: نصيريون), Nasiriyya, and Ansariyya.
The origin of the Alawites is disputed. They are believed to be descendants of people who lived in the Fertile Crescent at the time of Alexander the Great, and gradually added elements of Islam and Christianity to their existing, pre-Islamic religion, when these flourished in the region. The Fertile Crescent is a Crescent -shaped region in the Middle East, originally incorporating the Levant and Ancient Mesopotamia, and often Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings The history of Pre- Islamic Arabia before the rise of Islam in the 630s is not known in great detail 
The Alawites themselves trace their origins to the eleventh Shia Imam, Hasan al Askari (d. Imāmah (إمامة is the Shī‘ah doctrine of religious spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. Hasan al- Askari (الإمام الحسن بن علي العسكري (Eighth of Rabi' al-thani 232 AH – Eighth of Rabi' al-awwal 260 AH 873), and his pupil Ibn Nusayr (d. Abu Shu'ayb Muhammad ibn Nusayr (c868 AD was the pupil of the eleventh Shia (شيعة Imam Hasan al Askari (d 868). 
Ibn Nusayr proclaimed himself the Bāb "Door" (representative) of the 11th Imam in 857.  The sect seems to have been organised by a follower of ibn Nusayr known as al-Khasibi, who died in Aleppo in about 969. For other meanings see Aleppo (disambiguation. Halab redirects here for other meanings see Halab (disambiguation. Al-Khasibi's grandson, al-Tabarani, moved to Latakia on the Syrian coast. Latakia or Latakiyah (اللاذقية Al-Ladhiqiyah, Λαοδικεία transliterated as Laodicea, Laodikeia or Laodiceia, There he refined the Alawite religion and, with his pupils, converted much of the local population.
In the 10th century Alawites were established during the Hamdanid dynasty of Aleppo, but they were driven out when the dynasty fell in 1004. The Hamdanid dynasty (حمدانيون was a Muslim Arab dynasty of northern Iraq ( Al-Jazirah) and Syria (890- 1004) In 1097, Crusaders initially attacked them, but later allied with them against the Ismailis. The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of conquering the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and freeing For the Egyptian city see Ismaïlia. The Ismāʿīlī ( Urdu: إسماعیلی Ismāʿīlī, Arabic: الإسماعيليون In 1120, the Alawites were defeated by the Ismailis and Kurds, but three years later, they fought the Kurds successfully. In 1297, the Ismailis and Alawites tried to negotiate a merger, but it came to nothing. For the Egyptian city see Ismaïlia. The Ismāʿīlī ( Urdu: إسماعیلی Ismāʿīlī, Arabic: الإسماعيليون
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Syria and Lebanon came under French mandate. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish The French Mandate of Syria was a League of Nations Mandate created after the First World War and the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The French recognized the term "Alawī" when they occupied Syria in 1920. The French gave autonomy to Alawites and other minority groups and accepted Alawites into their colonial troops.  Under the mandate, many Alawite chieftains supported the notion of a separate Alawite nation and tried to convert their autonomy into independence. A territory of "Alaouites" was created in 1925. The Alawite State (العلويين also known in French as Alaouites, after the locally dominant Alawite sect of Shi'a Islam, was a In May 1930, the Government of Latakia was created; it lasted until 28 February 1937, when it was incorporated into Syria. Latakia or Latakiyah (اللاذقية Al-Ladhiqiyah, Λαοδικεία transliterated as Laodicea, Laodikeia or Laodiceia,
In 1939, a portion of northwest Syria, the Sanjak of Alexandretta, now Hatay, that contained a large number of Alawites, was given to Turkey by the French, greatly angering the Alawite community and Syrians in general. Hatay State (Hatay Devleti لواء الإسكندرونة also known informally as the Republic of Hatay, was a transitional political entity that formally existed from Zaki al-Arsuzi, the young Alawite leader from Antioch in Iskandarun (later renamed Hatay by the Turks) who led the resistance to the annexation of his province to the Turks, later became a founder of the Ba'ath Party along with the Eastern Orthodox Christian schoolteacher Michel Aflaq. Zakī al-Arsūzī (in Arabic: زكي الأرسوزي born Lattakia June 1899 died Damascus July 1968 was a Syrian political activist and writer Antioch on the Orontes (Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη Antiochia ad Orontem also The Arab Socialist Ba'th Party (also spelled Baath or Ba'ath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي was founded in Damascus Michel Aflaq ( Arabic: ميشيل عفلق Mīšīl ʿAflaq, born Damascus 1910 died Paris June 23, 1989) was the After World War II, Salman Al Murshid played a major role in uniting the Alawite province with the mother land Syria. He was executed by the newly independent Syrian government in Damascus on Monday 12 Dec, 1946 (only three days after a hasty political trial). Damascus ( دمشق,, also commonly known as الشام ash-Shām) is the capital and largest city of Syria.
Syria became independent on April 16, 1946. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Syria endured a succession of military coups in 1949, the rise of the Ba'th Party, and unification of the country with Egypt in the United Arab Republic in 1958. The Arab Socialist Ba'th Party (also spelled Baath or Ba'ath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي was founded in Damascus The United Arab Republic ( الجمهورية العربية المتحدة al-Jumhūrīyah al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah / al-Jumhūrīyah al-‘Arabīyah The UAR lasted for three years and broke apart in 1961 , when a group of army officers seized power and declared Syria independent again; a further succession of coups ensued until a secretive military committee, which included a number of disgruntled Alawite officers, including Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid, helped the Ba'th Party take power in 1963. Hafez al-Assad (حافظ الأسد) ( October 6, 1930 &ndash June 10, 2000) was president of Syria, for three Salah Jadid (1926? &mdash August 19, 1993, Arabic: صلاح جديد was a Syrian General and Political figure in the In 1966, Alawite-oriented military officers successfully rebelled and expelled the old Ba'ath that had looked to the Christian Michel Aflaq and the Sunni Muslim Salah al-Din al-Bitar for leadership. A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth Michel Aflaq ( Arabic: ميشيل عفلق Mīšīl ʿAflaq, born Damascus 1910 died Paris June 23, 1989) was the Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam. Sunni Islam is also referred to as Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā‘h (Arabic A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Salah ad-Din al-Bitar ( صلاح الدين البيطار) (born Damascus 1912 died Paris 21 July 1980) was a Syrian They promoted Zaki al-Arsuzi as the "Socrates" of their reconstituted Ba'ath Party. Zakī al-Arsūzī (in Arabic: زكي الأرسوزي born Lattakia June 1899 died Damascus July 1968 was a Syrian political activist and writer SOCRATES is the European Community action programme in the field of Education.
In 1970, then-Air Force Colonel Hafez al-Assad took power and instigated a "Correctionist Movement" in the Ba'ath Party. The Syrian Air Force (القوّات الجوية العربية السورية Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya al Arabiya as-Souriya) is the Aviation branch of the Syrian Colonel ( RP ˈkɜnəl GA ˈkɜrnəl is a Military rank of a Commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every country Hafez al-Assad (حافظ الأسد) ( October 6, 1930 &ndash June 10, 2000) was president of Syria, for three The Corrective Revolution (الثورة التصحيحية is an expression used by some self-described Revolutionary governments to describe an internal political or bureaucratic  In 1971, al-Assad became president of Syria, a function that the Constitution only allows a Muslim to embrace. A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Then, in 1974, Imam Musa Sadr, leader of the Twelver Shi'ites of Lebanon and founder of the Amal Movement, was asked to proclaim that he accepted the Alawites as real Muslims. For the Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, see Mūsá al-Kāżim Sayyid Mūsá aṣ-Ṣadr (1928-1978 (السيد موسى Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية For other uses of Amal see the disambiguation page. Amal Movement ( Arabic: abbreviation of أفواج المقاومة اللبنانية transliterated A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion  Under the dictatorial but secular Assad regime, religious minorities were tolerated, political dissent was not. Secularism is generally the assertion that governmental practices or institutions should exist separately from Religion or religious beliefs During an uprising led by the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in 1982 in the city of Hama, perhaps 20,000 were killed by the Syrian military. The Hama massacre ( مجزرة حماة) occurred on February 2, 1982 when the Syrian army bombarded the town of Hama in order The Muslim Brothers ( Arabic: الإخوان المسلمون al-ikhwān al-muslimūn, full title The Society of the Muslim Brothers, often simply الإخوان Hama (ancient Hamath; Arabic: حماة meaning fortress is a city on the banks of the Orontes river in central Syria north of Many more were killed and arrested throughout Syria and especially in Damascus and Aleppo. Damascus ( دمشق,, also commonly known as الشام ash-Shām) is the capital and largest city of Syria. For other meanings see Aleppo (disambiguation. Halab redirects here for other meanings see Halab (disambiguation.
After the death of Hafez al-Assad in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad maintained the outlines of his father's regime. Hafez al-Assad (حافظ الأسد) ( October 6, 1930 &ndash June 10, 2000) was president of Syria, for three Dr Bashar al-Assad (بشار الأسد) (born 11 September, 1965) is the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Regional Secretary Although Alawites predominate among the top military and intelligence offices, the civilian government and national economy is largely led by Sunnis, who represent about 70% of Syria's population. The Assad regime is careful to allow all of the religious sects a share of power and influence in the government, but there is clear Alawite domination of the highest levels of power. Today Alawites exist as a minority but politically powerful, religious sect in Syria.
Alawites practise religious secrecy. They generally claim they are Muslims, which may be especially the case of the non-initiated. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "The basic doctrine of 'Alawite faith is the deification of Ali. The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc They consider themselves to be moderate Shi'ites, not much different from the Twelvers. "
Theologically, Alawites today claim to be Twelver Shi'ites, but traditionally they have been designated as "extremists" (Arabic: غلاة ghulat) and outside the bounds of Islam by the Muslim mainstream for their high level of devotion to ˤAlī. See also Shi'a Islam Twelver Shi'ism ( ar اثنا عشرية Ithnāˤashariyyah) is the largest branch of Shi'a branch of Islam Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Ghulat (غلاة Exaggerators is the adjectival form of Ghuluww (غلو Exaggeration, a technical term mainstream Muslims For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. 
The Alawite sect is a somewhat Gnostic version of Shīˤa Islam. Gnosticism (γνώσις gnōsis, Knowledge) refers to a diverse Syncretistic Religious movement consisting of various Belief systems  The Alawites believe ˤAlī is the true successor of Muhammad as well as in esoteric reading of the Qur'an. The Qur’an ( القرآن, literally "the recitation" also sometimes transliterated as Qur’ān, Koran, Alcoran Alawites regard ˤAlī as the purpose of life and the divine knowledge of the Prophet. Alawites also believe that in each world age, special prophets like Jesus or Muhammad came to show the right path.
ˤAlī, Muhammad and a third entity, Salman the Persian, are important to the faith. TemplateInfobox Salaf --> Salman the Persian or Salman al Farisi ( سلمان فارسی Salman e Farsi Respectively, they are called the Idea, the Name, and the Door (to god). In Sura 6 of the Majmuˤ, one of their texts, it is stated, "I make for the Door, I prostrate myself before God, I worship the essence. "
Alawites do not accept converts or openly publish their texts, which are passed down from scholar to scholar. The vast majority of Alawites (the Ammah) know little about the contents of their sacred texts or theology, which are guarded by a small class of male initiates (the Khassah).  For initiation, a person must be at least 15 and cannot be a non-Alawite. Initiation is a Rite of passage Ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society  They believe in metempsychosis; the soul of the pious ascends to the starry heavens via a series of transformations. Reincarnation Metempsychosis is a philosophical term in the Greek language referring to the belief of Transmigration of the soul, especially its Reincarnation The less pious souls require more transformations. 
Several sources suggest that Alawism is a syncretic sect and has affinities with Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and ancient Phoenician paganism, but these claims are hard to verify, due to the secret nature of the sect. Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs often while melding practices of various schools of thought Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world They are believed to celebrate Christian festivals such as Christmas, Easter, and Epiphany, as well as the Zoroastrian new year, Nowruz, along with regular Shi'ite festivals. Easter ( Greek: Πάσχα Pascha or Pasxa) is the most important religious feast in the Christian Liturgical year. Epiphany ( Greek for "to manifest" or "to show" is a Christian Feast day which celebrates the "shining forth" or revelation of Nowrūz ( /noruz/ ↔, (English New Day various local pronunciations and spellings) is the traditional Iranian New year Holiday celebrated 
Because only one book has been translated, outsiders know little about Alawite theology. Hanna Batatu's last book has a short but reliable section on Alawite doctrine, theology, and recent debates within the community. The French tried to pressure leading Alawite shaykhs to declare ˤAlawiyya a separate religion during the early 1920s, but they lost their battle because many religious leaders refused to do so. Sheikh, also rendered as Sheik, Cheikh, Shaikh, and other variants ( Arabic:, shaykh After all, Alawites declare themselves to be Muslims in their catechism and believe that Muhammad is God's messenger.
Alawites try to follow the prime example left by ˤAlī. ˤAlī lived out of the eye of the public. Like ˤAlī, the ˤAlawī are called names and rejected by the common; like ˤAlī, Alawites also keep to themselves; like ˤAlī, they say that they "worship God in private and not for show".
Although Alawites recognize the five pillars of Islam, they do not believe that anyone has the privilege of practicing them because they are too pure to be performed by "any" soul. The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic أركان الإسلام is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. Alawites believe that there is no back door entrance to the gates of Heaven (i. e. follow the five pillars and you receive the keys to heaven). Instead they believe that one should devote his life the way that the prophet Muhammad would have permitted by following the example of ˤAlī.
The insistence on conformism has brought rich political rewards — Alawites enjoy all the rights of Muslims in Syria. Nevertheless, Alawites have paid a steep price for political success and for a share of political power and equality in the nation.
Alawites who have speculated on the success are considerably more optimistic about the percentage of Syrians who considered them Muslim than are their Druze counterparts. The Druze ( Arabic: درزي derzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz) are a religious community found primarily in Syria, Lebanon Several claim that 50% of Syrians or more accepted them as Muslims. The reason Alawites give for their success is that they try harder than the Druze to be like orthodox Muslims and to assimilate to the textbook version of Islam.
Alawites are divided into subsects: Haydariyyah, Shamsiyyah (Sun Sect) and Qamariyya (Moon Sect).  The sects are oriented by tribe. Some hold a mistaken belief that the Murshidiyya (after Salman Al Murshid) are an Alawite group.
Traditionally Alawites live in the mountains along the Mediterranean coast of Syria; Latakia and Tartous are the region's principal cities. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Latakia or Latakiyah (اللاذقية Al-Ladhiqiyah, Λαοδικεία transliterated as Laodicea, Laodikeia or Laodiceia, Tartus ( طرطوس, also transliterated Tartous) is a city in Syria, the capital of Tartus Governorate. Alawites are also concentrated in the plains around Hama and Homs. Hama (ancient Hamath; Arabic: حماة meaning fortress is a city on the banks of the Orontes river in central Syria north of For military actions near the city see Battle of Homs. Homs ( حمص,, anciently called Emesa (ἡ Ἔμεσα or "La Chamelle" Today Alawites also live in all major cities of Syria. They were never estimated at more than 11% of the Syrian population (which would be about 2 million people if true today). Imami Twelver Shīˤa comprise an additional 10% of the population.
Before 1953, they had reserved seats in the Syrian Parliament, like all other religious communities. After that, including for the 1960 census, there were only general Muslim and Christian categories, without mention of subgroups in order to reduce "communalism" (taïfiyya). This article deals with the use of the word communalism in South Asia as a name for a force separating different communities based on some form of social or sectarian
There are an estimated 100,000 Alawites who live in Lebanon, where the Taif Agreement of 1989 gave them two reserved seats in the Parliament (Alawites are recognized as one of the 18 official Lebanese sects). Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية The Taif Agreement ( Arabic: اتفاقية الطائف) (also "National Reconciliation Accord" or "Document of National Accord" was an agreement They live mostly in Tripoli and small villages in Akkar. Tripoli ( Lebanese Arabic: طرابلس Ṭrāblos or Ṭrēblos locally Ṭrōbles Standard Arabic: Ṭarābulus Τρίπολις Tripolis is the second-largest Akkar (عكار is a district ( Qadaa) in the North Governorate, Lebanon. An Alawite militia, the Red Arab Knights, took part in the Lebanese Civil War. The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary Citizens to provide defense emergency law enforcement or Paramilitary service The Arab Democratic Party (الحزب العربي الديمقراطي al-Hizb al-'Arabi al-Dimuqrati) is a Lebanese party based The Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990 was a multifaceted Civil war whose antecedents can be traced back to the conflicts and political compromises reached after the end
There are tens of thousands of Alawites who live in the Hatay, Adana and Mersin provinces of southern Turkey, where they are still called Nusayrī in order not to confuse them with Alevis. Adana (the ancient Antioch in Cilicia or Antioch on the Sarus) is the capital of Adana Province in Turkey. This article is about the city of Mersin see Mersin Province, (named İçel province until 2002 for information about the surrounding area Alevis (Aleviler Elewî are a religious sub-ethnic and cultural community in Turkey, numbering in the millions
There are also about 2000 Alawites living in the village of Ghajar, split between Lebanon and the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, alongside Druze. For the village in Azerbaijan see Qacar. Ghajar (or al-Ghajar is an Alawite village on the Hasbani River and on the border Borders of Israel The Golan Heights ( الجولان al-Jawlān, הגולן ha-Golan) is a strategic Plateau and mountainous The Druze ( Arabic: درزي derzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz) are a religious community found primarily in Syria, Lebanon