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Khalwat al-Bayada

Khalwat al-Bayada, in the early 1850s, by van de Velde

Khalwat al-Bayada (Arabic: خلوات البيضاء, romanizedKhalwat al-Bayaḍāʾ) is the central sanctuary and theological school of the Druze, located in Lebanon and founded in the 19th century by Shaykh Hamad Kais.[1][2][3] Located near Hasbaya, the khalwat is the location where al-Darazi is supposed to have settled and taught from during the first Druze call.[4][5]

It features a large, circular, stone bench next to an ancient oak tree known as Areopagus of the Elders that is secluded amongst nature and trees. The Kalwaat provides around forty hermitages for Al-ʻuqqāl (the initiated) at various times of the year.[6] In 1838, copies of the Epistles of Wisdom were taken from the site by invading Egyptians.[3] Visitors are politely requested to seek permission from the resident sheikh before entering the site and female visitors are requested to cover their heads as a courtesy.


  1. ^ Mordechai Nisan (2002). Minorities in the Middle East: A History of Struggle and Self-Expression. McFarland. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-0-7864-1375-1. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. ^ Nissîm Dānā (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-903900-36-9. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b Laurence Oliphant (28 May 2010). The Land of Gilead - With Excursions in the Lebanon. Read Books Design. ISBN 978-1-4460-0407-4. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  4. ^ Karl Baedeker (Firm); Albert Socin; Immanuel Benzinger; John Punnett Peters (1912). Palestine and Syria, with routes through Mesopotamia and Babylonia and the island of Cyprus: handbook for travellers. K. Baedeker. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  5. ^ Khalwat is the name of the prayer-houses of the Druze.
  6. ^ Robert Boulanger (1966). The Middle East, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran. Hachette. Retrieved 11 September 2012.

33°23′11.33″N 35°40′45.47″E / 33.3864806°N 35.6792972°E / 33.3864806; 35.6792972

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Khalwat al-Bayada
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