14. The Nusayri Mass

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The Nusayri Mass

 

As noted in the last chapter, the celebration of the Quddas (mass), or consecration of wine, forms an integral part of observance of Nusayri festivals, and thus hold an important place in their religious system.

 

Since the Nusayris have no place of worship, like those of the Muslims, they celebrate their festivals and perform their Quddas in private homes or-out-of-the-way places.[1] According Sulayman al-Adani, every rich Nusayri man is bound to celebrate one of three festivals every year with his family, relatives, and friends, and to bear the entire cost. The amount he spends on the food, drink, and entertainment on these occasions is a measure of his religious zeal.[2]

 

The consecration of wine is conducted with utmost secrecy. Watchmen are posted at the meeting place to make sure no stranger gets in. Lyde mentions that many times Nusayris would ask Christians living near their meeting place to leave their homes, because the Nusayris did not want them anywhere near the place where the wine was to be consecrated.[3]

 

Al-Adani tells us that the meetings are held in the evening and only in towns, because extreme secrecy is not practical in a village.[4] Only the initiated male members of the community partake from this Nusayri mystery; women and children are prohibited from attending.

 

The celebration of the consecration of the wine is extremely important; this writer is convinced that nothing else in the whole Nusayri religious system so fully reveals the essence of their creed than their belief in the manifestation of their God Ali in the consecrated wine.

 

We have sources of information regarding the Quddas, or sacrament, and the prayers recited during their service. One is Kitab al-Bakhurah, by Sulayman al-Adani; the other is Kitab Ta’lim al-Diyanah al-Nusayriyyah, the Nusayris’ catechism. The information in the two sources is nearly identical except for some prayers which al-Adani had either abbreviated or merely mentions in passing. But the catechism is concerned not so much with the mechanic’s of the celebration of the Quddas as with its mystical meaning and theological and connotation as a sir (mystery): the manifestation of the God Ali in the wine, which is called Abd al-Nur (the servant of light). Significantly, the concept of light is associated with the Persian Nawruz (New Year). The subject of the Quddas is covered by several questions in the catechism:

 

Question 76: What is the Quddas?

Answer: It is the consecration of wine, which is drunk in the mystery of the Naqib’s and Najib’s (religious rank of the Nusayri shayks)

 

Question 77: What is the Qurban?

Answer: It is the bread offered by the believers to the souls of their brethren, and for this reason the Quddas is read.

 

Question 79: What is the great mystery of God?

Answer: It is the sacrament of the flesh and blood which Christ offered to His disciples, saying, “Eat and drink thereof, for it is eternal life…”

 

Question 82: What is the mystery of the faith of the Unitarians? What is the secret of secrets and chief article of righteous?

Answer: It is the knowledge of God… It is the mystery of the vesting of our Lord [Ali] in the light [i.e., the eye of the sun and his manifestation in wine, his servant Abd al-Nur, the servant of light]…[5]

 

Question 91: What is the consecrated wine called which the believers drink?

Answer: It is called Abd al-Nur (servant of light).

 

Question 92: Why is it called Abd al-Nur?

Answer: Because God has manifested himself in the same.

 

Here follows a very important poem by al-Khasibi which associates the Nawruz with the manifestation of Ali in wine:

 

The Nawruz of truth is full of benefits and bounty.

It is realised by the allegiance of the most noble Hashimi (Ali)

It is the day God manifested His theophany in the

Persian period, before he did in the Arab period

He exalted the Persian period towards heaven,

Where they [Persians] saw His excellence.

And on that day Salsal [Salman al-Farisi] manifested

Himself with authority, who was conformable to an

Ancient One [Ali], the predecessor.

Drink, then, from the pure wine, for

It is the day whose light has shone through the clouds,

Namely, the day of al-Ghadir [the khumm Pond],

Where Muhammad

Intentionally referred to [Ali] as the all-knowing god and Lord. . . .[6]

 

We have elaborated on the Nusayri concept of light and its possible sources in chapter 28 and so shall not repeat that discussion here.[7] It is worth emphasising, however, that the celebration of the Quddas by the Nusayris is an affirmation of their belief, not Jesus as Lord and Saviour as the Christians hold, but in Ali as God, who manifested Himself in wine. As noted earlier, the Nusayris believe Ali appeared in the Persian period in the persons of the Sassanid kings before he appeared among the Arabs.[8] Thus the implication in this catechism is that the Persians are more favoured by the God Ali than Arabs, although Ali was a pure blooded Arab from the house of Hashim, to which Muhammad belonged. This belief in the spiritual superiority of the Persians over the Arabs allows as a corollary the belief that Nusayrism is far superior to the orthodox Islam, since Ali is the eternal God who was veiled in light, but appeared in the Muhammadan period and created Muhammad from the essence of his light.

 

There is a great, irreconcilable difference between orthodox Islam and Nusayrism. In Qur’an 24:35, God is the light of the heavens and the earth, in Nusayrism, Ali is the eternal light who manifested Himself in wine. To the Nusayris wine is a sacred substance, a personification of the God Ali. When he calls it Abd al-Nur (the servant of Light) al-Khasibi is actually considering it a as a person. Thus because of this sacred nature, the Nusayris refrain from mentioning wine; they associate it exclusively with themselves. For this same reason, they glorify the grapevine.[9]

 

There are two versions of the celebration of Quddas, or consecration of wine, one given in Kitab al-Mashyakhah, the other in Kitab al-Bakhurah. The order of the service is quite different in the two versions, although they contain some identical prayers. According to Kitab al-Mashyakhah, the service begins with a prayer of direction, followed by the reading of the first Quddas, called Quddas al-Isharah (the Indication Mass). A second Quddas, containing the prayer of al-Khasibi quoted earlier as the answer to Question 92, is followed by several prayers and chapters from Kitab al-Majmu’. The partakers of the wine drink the mystery of the host in whose home the ceremony is conducted, and the mystery of the Imams, Naqibs, Najibs, Abd Allah ibn Saba’ (a contemporary of Ali who was the first to proclaim his divinity), and the pillars of the Nusayri religion, such as al-Khasibi.[10] In Kitab al-Bakhurah, the service begins with Quddas al-Tib (the Perfume Mass), Quddas al-Bukhur (the Incense Mass), and Quddas al-Adhan (the Mass of the Call to Prayer). They are followed by several prayers and then Quddas al-Isharah, which comes first in the order given in Kitab al-Mashyakhah.[11]

 

The two versions essentially agree, however, on the main purpose of the ceremony, which is the consecration and partaking of the wine. Indeed, the purpose of the celebration of the Quddas is to praise and glorify the God Ali and the Nusayri trinity of Ali, Muhammad, and Salman al-Farisi. It also reminds the people that the eternal God Ali is ever-present in the community in the form of wine, and that he is the only God.

 

Here follows a summary of al-Adani’s account of Quddas in Kitab al-Bakhurah. It should be remembered that this mass is conducted during the Nusayri festivals in private homes, because the Nusayris have no places of worship like those of the Muslims.

 

When the day of festival comes, the people assemble at the house of the sponsor of the feast. The Imam takes his seat, and before him is placed a white cloth, on which are laid mahlab-berries, camphor, candles, and myrtle or olive branches, and a vessel filled with wine or raisin juice.[12] Two naqibs (Nusayri religious officers) seat themselves on either side of the Imam, the sponsor of the feast designates another Naqib to act as minister for the occasion, and then the sponsor kisses the hands of the Imam and the Naqibs.

 

The Naqib designated to conduct the service then rises and, placing his hand on his chest, bids the people good-evening. He asks them whether they want him to minister for them at the feast. When the people agree to this ministering, the Naqib kisses the group. Then he distributes the myrtle leaves while reciting the prayer called Myrtle-String. This prayer is actually an eulogy to some of the early Shi’i companions of Ali, including Sasaa ibn Sawhan and Ammar ibn Yasir. The prayer likewise is also recited by those present, who rub the myrtle leaves and smell them. Afterward the officiating Naqib takes a bowl of water, puts in the mahlab-berries and the camphor, and reads Quddas al-Tib. In this Quddas, those assembled are enjoined to put away hatred and malice from their hearts and remember that Ali is ever present among them, and that he is the omniscient God, to whom sincere worship is due.

 

The minister (or officiating Naqib) then pours a spoonful of perfume on the Imam’s hand and passes the bowl to another Naqib who pours perfume upon the hands of those present. The minister then reads the prayer called Sitr-Rayhan, based on Qur’an 21:31 and 3:43. Those present recite these same passages while washing their faces. Then the minister takes a censor, stands up, and recites the second Quddas of the Bakhur. This mass refers to the wine as Abd al-Nur, and describes it as a mystery. The believers are instructed to incense their cups and light their lamps. They are told to believe that the person of Abd al-Nur is lawful to them and unlawful to others. Al-Adani comments that wine is thus presented as an image of Ali.

 

After this, the minister incenses the Imam, the two Naqibs seated at his side, and then each of those present while reciting the Sitr al-Bakhur. The receivers of the incense likewise recite this prayer, invoking the names of the Prophet Muhammad and the Imams. When they finish reciting, the minister takes the cap of wine in his hand and, rising, recites the third Quddas, al-Adhan. This service is an exaltation of Ali, the Mana, his wife Fatir (Fatimah); their sons; Muhammad as the veil of Ali; and Salman as his Bab. This is a succinct illustration of the Nusayris’ extremist belief. This prayer states that at the time of call to prayer, Salman proclaimed that there is no God but Ali, no Veil but the Lord Muhammad, and no Bab but Salman al-Farisi, and the Lord Muhammad as Ali’s Veil, is bound to Him, His sent prophet, His revealed book (the Qur’an), His great throne and firm seat.

 

The believers are also enjoined to say this prayer, that they may enter the Garden, delivered from bodily grossness and corporeal darkness, and behold their glorious Lord, Ali. The officiating Naqib then presents the cup he has filled to the Imam, and presents another to each Naqib. They drink the wine and recite the following prayer: “I testify that my master and yours is the Prince of Bees, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who is unchanging and imperishable and does not proceed from one state to another. I testify that his Hijab is the Lord Muhammad and his Bab is the Lord Salman, and that there is no separation between the Mana, the Ism, and the Bab.”

 

The minister then says, “Brother, take this cup in your right hand and implore your right hand and implore your Lord Ali ibn Talib to help and support you.” To this each one replies, “Give, O my brother, that which is in your right hand, and implore your Lord and creator to help and guide you in the affairs of your religion. May God make it to flourish by the sanctity of Muhammad and the members of his family.”

 

Then they kiss each others hands. Afterwards the minister rises and, placing his hands upon his breast, he says, “May God grant you a good evening, O brothers, and a good morning, O people of the faith. Forgive us any errors and negligence, for man is so called only because he lapses into error. Absolute perfection belongs only to our lord Ali, the Glorious and Omniscient.” He then kisses the ground and sits down.

 

At this point the Imam stands to officiate. Facing the assembly, he says, “May God grant you a good evening, O brothers, and a pleasant morning, O people of the faith. It is your pleasure that I should minister to you on this blessed day on behalf of the sponsor?” He kisses the ground, and, doing the same, the assembly salutes him, saying, “We have accepted you as our lord and shaykh (chief).” The Imam then recites the following tradition:

 

It is reported on the authority of Ja’far al-Sadiq, the Samit (mute) and Natiq (proclaimer), that he said, “At prayer time it is forbidden to take or to give, to sell or to buy, to talk or gossip, to make noise or tell stories over the myrtle (considered a religious symbol). Let every man then be silent, listen, attentive, and saying Amen.

 

Know, O my brothers, that if anyone bears a black turban on his head (meaning Muslims) or a thimble (Kustaban) on his finger (indicating Christian bishops, who wore rings on their fingers), or has at his waist a two-edged sword (indicating the Druzes and Isma’ilis, who kill with poisoned knives), his prayer is not valid, because the greatest sin is the one against the myrtle. It is the duty of the messenger to deliver what he has been charged with.”

 

At the end of the prayer, those present prostrate themselves, kiss the ground, raise their heads, and say, “To God, may he be exalted, be your obedience, O our shaykh and lord.”

 

At this point, the Imam recites what is termed Tabari, a condemnation by Muhammad ibn Nusayr of those Sunni Muslims whom the Nusayris consider their accursed enemies, among whom are the first three rightly guided Khulafa’, Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman. After adjuring Ali, to make this an hour of favour, acceptance, and forgiveness for those present, the Imam says, “It is related of Abu Shu’ayb Muhammad ibn Nusayr al-Abd al-Bakri al-Namiri that he said, ‘Whoever desires salvation from the glow of infernal fire, let him say, “O lord, curse that company of iniquitous men, oppressors, and those who turned against Ali and who shall end up in hell. Chief among these men are the accursed Abu Bakr, iniquitous adversary Umar ibn al-Khattab, and the Satan, Uthman ibn Affan. Others are Talhah, Sa’d, Khalid ibn Walid; Mu’awiyah and his son Yazid; al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi, the Wretched; Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the Stupid; and Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid khalifah. May the curse of God rest upon them until the Day of Judgement, when Jahannam (hell) is asked whether it has been filled and it replies, ‘There is room for more.’”

 

Ibn Nusayr’s condemnation of all the enemies of the Nusayris continues, naming such enemies as Ishaq al-Ahmar, founder of the Ishaqiyyah sect; Ismail ibn Khallad and other prominent Sufis, including the two shaykhs Ahmad al-Rifai and Abd al-Qadir al-Ghilani; the four Islamic schools of jurisprudence, the Hanafis, Shafis, Malikis, and Hambalis; and every Jew and Christian, including the Maronites, who follow the Patriarch John Marun. In brief, this condemnation is directed against all those who regard Ali as begotten rather than divine and subject to natural needs such as eating and drinking. The condemnation ends with Ibn Nusayr entreating Ali to curse all those who, while feeding themselves on his bounties as God, worshipped other gods. Ibn Nusayr beseeches Ali to rid the Nusayris completely of those accursed enemies as flesh is stripped from bone, by the sanctity of Ali, Muhammad, and Salman, and by the mystery of Ain, Mim, Sin. Apparently, the latter part of this condemnation is an interpolation by a later Nusayri because both al-Rifai and al-Gilani lived more than two centuries after Ibn Nusayr.

 

The service does not end here, but continues with more drinking of wine and the recitation of many more prayers, the longest of which is Quddas al-Isharah. This indication of Mass epitomizes the whole theological concept of the Nusayris. It proclaims the divine attributes of Ali, who is alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the personification of all the Biblical patriarchs from Adam and Shamum al-Safa (Simon Cephas, or Peter), the embodiment of religion and Islam.

 

The Quddas al-Isharah is followed by the recitation of still more prayers and poems, including a number by al-Khasibi. Two of these prayers, the Right-Hand Invocation and the Left-Hand Invocation, are contained in Kitab al-Mashyakhah. It is not clear what source al-Adani followed, but it seems that he omitted many prayers in his account, recording only what he thought was most necessary.

 

The ceremony, as described by al-Adani, ends when all the prayers, including the Right-Hand and Left-Hand Invocations, have been recited. The Imam closes by saying, “This homage to God and to you, O brethren, and to all present.” Then he and each member of the assembly kisses the ground and the hands of the persons to the right and the left. They rise and uncover their heads, and the Imam directs the assembly to recite the Fatihah (opening chapter of the Qur’an), so that the Ottoman state will fall, the rulers of the Muslims perish, and the Khasibiyyah — Nusayriyyah sect triumph. At the end of the mass, the ministers rise and place food in front of those present, giving a good part of it to the Imam, who distributes some of it to those sitting near him. Then all eat and finally disperse.[13]

 

The Christian elements in the Nusayri religion are unmistakable. They include the concept of trinity; the celebration of Christmas, the consecration of the Qurban, that is, the sacrament of the flesh and blood which Christ offered to His disciples, and, most important, the celebration of Quddas. How did these Christian elements find their way into the Nusayri religion? Are the Nusayris Christian converts to extreme Shi’ism? Rev. Samuel Lyde (d. 1860), who worked among the Nusayris, states that they received their sacraments from Christianity.[14] Father Henry Lammens (d. 1937) who wrote at length on the Nusayris goes a step further, asserting (in an article entitled “Les Nosairis Furent-Ils Chrétiens?” Paris, 1901]) that the Nusayris were formerly Christians who converted to extreme Shi’ism.[15] Lammens wrote this article in response to René Dussaud, who, in Histoire et Religion des Nosairis (Paris, 1900), rejected the hypothesis that the Nusayris were of Christian origin. Dussaud maintains that the trinity of the Nusayris is a vestige of the divine trinities worshipped by the Syro-Phoenicians. Furthermore, this is not a real trinity, says Dussaud, for Muhammad and Salman are regarded as lesser beings than Ali. He gives as evidence the phrase “Ali Most High,” used by the Nusayris.[16]

 

As to the celebration of the sacraments and the consecration of wine, Dussaud rejects any Christian influence on the grounds that there are only superficial similarities. Furthermore, he states, the Nusayris do not use the two elements, bread and wine, that characterize the Christian Mass; they use only wine in their service. Thus, Dussaud concludes, one should not pay attention to “certain Nusyri writings” whose authors attempt to show the excellence of the Nusayri religion by identifying it with Christianity.[17]

 

Dussaud also observes that the tradition of Christmas was transmitted to the Nusayris through the Muslims, not the Christians. With respect to the Christian names, Dussaud remarks that such names are also common among the Yezidi tribesmen. His final argument rests in the theory of “religious syncretism, which postulates that two religions living side by side “have a fatal influence on each other.” This, he avers, supports his conclusion that the Nusayris were originally Muslims.[18]

 

Lammens disagrees with most of Dussaud’s opinions. He states that he personally visited four Nusayri areas and found many vestiges of Christian churches, sculptures, inscriptions, crucifixes, and tombstones. Lammens does not produce any convincing evidence that the Nusayri trinity is based on the Christian trinity; he makes a rather weak argument that while the author of Nusayri catechism reveals the incoherence and inconsistence of his ideas, this is characteristic of all Nusayri writing. To Lammens, such inconsistency is insufficient reason to deny the Christian origin of the Nusayri trinity.

 

Lammens also states that on one of his visits to the house of a Nusayri shaykh, someone brought a jar of oil, intended for a sick person, for the shaykh to bless. Lammens was able to jot down part of the blessing the shaykh said over the oil. One phrase, “The Messiah, who brought dead persons back to life. . .” led Lammens to compare it with the Christian sacrament of Extreme Unction.

 

Lammens also believes that the initiation ceremony of the Nusayris has replaced Christian baptism. According to the Nusayris the initiate becomes the son of the initiator, creating between the two a spiritual relationship identical to a real blood kinship, prohibiting the initiate from marrying the daughter of the initiator because she has become like his real sister.

 

Finally Lammens presents as proof of the Christian origins of the Nusayris their observance of traditional Christian feasts such as the Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost, and the feast days of some saints, including John the Baptist, John Chrysostom, Mary Magdalene, and Barbara. Moreover, says Lammens, Christian names such as Matthew, Helen, Gabriel, and Catherine are common among the Nusayris.

 

In conclusion, Lammens maintains that the Nusayris were originally Christians who did not bend under the pressure of Muslim conquest but stuck firmly to the Christian ideas and traditions they had adopted very early in the Christian era. The Muslim customs evident among the Nusayris, he believes, were superimposed on this Christian framework as the result of dogmas spread by the Isma’ilis and Persian Shi’i.[19]

 

Abu Musa al-Hariri dismisses Lammens’ argument on the grounds that he did not consult a single Nusayri source, but based his opinions solely on physical evidence of Christian practices — Christian ruins and vestiges of Christian faith — observed on his visit to Nusayri villages, evidence that al-Hariri dismisses as misleading.

 

Al-Hariri states that many villages in the Middle East once had Christian inhabitants who were, for one reason or another, evicted and replaced by non-Christians (most likely Muslims). A man like father Lammens, with his European mentality, says al-Hariri, is unable to understand this pattern of successive evictions and settlements common to the Middle East.[20]

 

Abd al-Rahman Badawi agrees with Dussaud that the Nusayri celebration of Christmas is inspired not by the Christian but by the Muslim tradition, based on the Qur’anic narrative of the birth of Jesus. He observes that the Nusayris celebrate the feast of Christmas because Jesus manifested Himself on Christmas Day and spoke in the cradle, in accordance with the Qur’anic, not the Biblical, narrative.

 

Furthermore, Mary is portrayed in the Qur’an as the daughter of Imran and has no relation to the Mary of the Bible; the Nusayris believe that Mary was none other than Aminah, the mother of Muhammad. Finally, Badawi asserts that the Nusayri invocation of Christmas is addressed to the God Ali and not to Jesus. He concludes that the Nusayris’ celebration of Christmas is free from Christian influence.[21]

 

Whether the Nusayris were originally Christians or not, the fact that their religious system and traditions contain many Christian elements cannot be overlooked. Although it may be argued that Father Lammens fails to produce convincing evidence for many of his views, he does pinpoint a significant weakness in Dussaud’s argument when he questions the latter’s assertion that the reason for many Christian elements in the religious traditions of the Nusayris is “religious syncretism.” What Dussaud means by this is that since the Nusayris lived side by side with their Greek and Maronite Christian neighbours for many centuries, they were likely to have been influenced by Christian tradition. Lammens forcefully retorts that the Isma’ilis, and especially the Druzes, also had prolonged and close contact with Maronite Christians. Why, he asks, didn’t Dussaud’s “religious syncretism” affect them?[22]

 

Dussaud’s “religious syncretism” theory is further undermined by the fact that the Nusayris, like the Druzes, are very secretive about their religion and do not divulge anything to strangers. Both groups are closed religious communities. Why, then, should the Druzes show so little evidence of Christian influence and the Nusayris show so much?

 

Our own study has shown that the Nusayris are one of the ancient Ghulat, or extremist Shi’i sects, founded by Abu Shu’ayb Muhammad ibn Nusayr, a follower of the eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari (d. 873). Ibn Nusayr taught that al-Askari was God, and that he believed in the transmigration of souls, and declared incest and homosexuality to be commendable and lawful. These beliefs led al-Askari to condemn and renounce Ibn Nusayr.[23] Although the Nusayri sect takes its name from Ibn Nusayr, it is also known by other names such as al-Namiriyyah, al-Khasibiyyah, and al-Jiliyyah.[24]

 

NEXT⇒ The Nusayris, Sunni, and Twelver Shi’i


[1] Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 158; al-Adani, Kitab al-Bakhurah, 36; and al-Hariri, al-Alawiyyun al-Nusayriyyun, 143.

[2] Al-Adani, Kitab al-Bakhurah, 34.

[3] Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 157.

[4] Al-Adani, Kitab al-Bakhurah, 36.

[5] Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 154-55.

[6] Kitab Ta’lim al-Diyanah al-Nusayriyyah, Arab MS. 6182, fols. 17-26 especially fol. 24, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[7] See chapter 28 of this book.

[8] See Kitab Ta’lim al-Diyanah al-Nusayriyyah, Arab MS. 6182, fols. 17-26 especially fol. 24, Bibliothèque Nationale.

[9] Al-Umari, al-Ta’rif al-Mustalah al-Sharif in al-Qalqashandi, Subh al-A’sha, 13:250.

[10] Kitab al-Mashyakhah, in Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 243-56.

[11] Al-Adani, Kitab al-Bakhurah, 36-54.

[12] Ibid., 36-37. Dussaud, who follows al-Adani’s narrative, states that people assemble at daybreak at the house of Sahib al-Id to show that like the Harranians the Nusayris conduct their prayers before sunrise. While it is true that the Nusayris recognise the sun and its rising, the celebration of the feast, as evident from al-Adani, is done in the evening, not at sunrise. See Dussaud, Histoire et Religion des Nosairis, 89-90. Furthermore, Dussaud, and also Salisbury, state that a vessel filled with wine of pressed grapes or figs is made ready. I found no mention of a juice of pressed fogs in al-Adani’s Kitab al-Bakhurah.

[13].Al-Adani, Kitab al-Bakhurah, 37-38, 40-48, 53-54, 176-77, 198-99; and Dussaud, Histoire et Religion des Nosairis, 90-91. A French translation of the perfume mass is found in Langlois, “Religion et Doctrine des Noussaries,” 436. The first English translation of the Perfume Mass was made by Rev. Samuel Lyde with the title Mass of the Ointment. See Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 246-48 and 198-99. For an explanation of the black turban, the thimbles, and the two-edged knife, see al-Hariri, al-Alawiyyun al-Nusayriyyun, 147 n. 10, 156-58. See also Kitab al-Mashyakhah, Arab MS. 6182, fols 23-24, 28-30, Bibliothèque Natioanle.

[14] Lyde, The Asian Mystery, 155.

[15] Lammens, “Les Nosairis Furent-Ils Chrétiens?” 33-50.

[16] Dussaud, Histoire et Religion des Nosairis, 51-52, 64.

[17] Ibid., 92.

[18] Ibid., 48, 147, 201, 211, quoted by Lammens, “Les Nosairis Furent-Ils Chrétriens?” 33-50.

[19] Lammens, “Les Nosairis Furent-Ils Chrétriens?” 33-39, 42, 44-49.

[20] Al-Hariri, al-Alawiyyun al-Nusayriyyun, 186-87.

[21] Badawi, Madhahib al-Islamiyyin, 2:466-69.

[22] Lammens, “Les Nosairis Furent-Ils Chrétiens?” 48.

[23] See above p. 260; Sad ibn Abd Allah al-Ashari, al-Maqalat wa al-Firaq, 100-1; al-Nawbakhti, Firaq al-Shi’ah, 102-3; Abu Jafar al-Tusi, al-Ghayba, 244; and Abu Mansur Ahmad ibn Ali al-Tabarsi, al-Ihtijaj, 190-91.

[24] Al-Tabarani, Kitab Majmu’ al-Ayad, ed. Strothmann, 19, and the discussion of the names of this sect in the previous chapter.