Druze Revered Sites in Palestine

Since there is no ritual or ceremony in the Druze religion, there is also no sanctification of physical places. However, the Druze gradually instituted gatherings at significant sites for the purpose of discussing community affairs, and over time such gatherings have taken on the meaning of a sort of religious holiday.

Most of the regional assembly places are located in or near Druze villages in upper and western Galilee, in the Golan and on Mount Carmel.

 

Jethro's Tomb

One of the most important Druze gathering sites is the tomb of Nebi Shu'eib - the prophet Jethro - at the Horns of Hittin, overlooking Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). According to Druze tradition, Saladin had a dream on the eve of his battle against the Crusaders at this site, in which an angel promised him victory on condition that after the battle he gallop westward on his horse. Where the stallion would pull up, the angel promised, he would find the burial site of Nebi Sheuib. When the dream came true, the Druze built a tomb at the site, next to which is a rock bearing a footprint, believed to be that of Nebi Sheuibhimself. On April 25 each year, the Druze gather at the site to discuss community affairs.

The older section of the existing structure was built by the Druze in the 1880s, after the spiritual leader of the community, Sheikh Mahna Tarif of Julis, summoned an assembly to discuss its construction. A delegation of uqqal traveled to Syria and Lebanon and collected funds for this purpose, and the local Druze also contributed extensively. Renovation work and additions to the building continued throughout the years of the British Mandate, and more intensively after 1948. In recent years access to the site has been improved and connected to electricity and water, with funding from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and various other government ministries, as well as from the Minorities Unit of the IDF.

 

 

Sabalan's Tomb

Sabalan was a Druze prophet, believed to be either Zebulun, the sixth son of the Patriarch Jacob, or one of the emissaries who propagated the Druze religion in the eleventh century. Sabalan's tomb is located above the Druze village of Hurfeish (see Druze towns and villages). It is the site of an annual festive pilgrimage and is visited throughout the year by those who have taken a vow to do so.

Nabi al-Khadr

Al-Khadr means "green" in Arabic. It is also the name given to the Prophet Elijah in Muslim tradition. His tomb is to be found in Kafr Yasif, near Akko. Members of the Druze community gather at his tomb on January 25th.

Tomb of Al-Ya'afuri

The prophet Al-Ya'afuri is not mentioned in any other religion, and the name is neither Arabic nor Persian. His tomb, located near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan, is considered to be an important place for the Druze.

Nabi Zakarya

This is, in all likelihood, the Jewish prophet Zechariah. His tomb is located in the village of Abu Sinan near Akko. It is a very modest site; there is no set date for gatherings there.

 

Tomb of Abu Ibrahim

Another minor shrine, the tomb of Abu Ibrahim attracts Druze from all over Israel, in fulfillment of vows and to receive a blessing. It is located in the town of Daliyat el-Carmel on Mount Carmel.

Tomb of Abu Abdallah

This tomb is visited almost exclusively by residents of the village of Isfiya in which it is located.

 Information Courtesy of Dr. Naim Aridi, a Druze Scholar


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