Minority sect of Shi'ite Islam. The sect, which exists mainly in Syria, traces its roots to the teachings of Muhammad ibn Nusayr al-Namiri (fl. 850) and was chiefly established by Husayn ibn Hamdan al-Khasibi (d. 957/958). Its basic doctrine includes a deification of 'Ali and an interpretation of the five Pillars of Islam as symbolic. Some of the group's religious practices are secret; it celebrates some Islamic and some Christian holidays.

Variants of 'ALAWIYYAH

'Alawiyyah or Alawite or Nusayriyyah

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