unfortunatley for yourself, you are a typical sunni, you are neglegent when it comes to history, your probably one of those guys that thinks shiasm was spread from Iran to South-Lebanon, when infact it was the other way around.
Lebanon is not just part of the cradle of civilisation, it is also part of the cradle of shiasm, there was a shia community in Lebanon even before karbala, the first muslim inhabitants of Lebanon were converted to shia by Imam Ali's close friend, abu dharr, that was prior to othman aka "mr dollars" exiling him to Lebanon thinking his cousin muawiyah can reign him in.
Recent genetic testing has shown that nearly 40% of Lebanese Shi'a belong to the Y-DNA haplogroup J2
. The J2 haplogroup is found at its highest frequency in the Fertile Crescent
regions, and has been considered the Y-haplogroup most characteristic of the Phoenicians
Lebanese Shi'a are said to have been among the original inhabitants of the Kesrewan
region in the Mount Lebanon District, and it is also known that many Shi'a Lebanese come from Christian
origins. They were converted at the hand of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari
. Abu Dharr was the prophet's companion; he was known for his strict piety and his opposition to the caliph Uthman ibn Affan
for his mishandling of power and wealth as a caliph. He was exiled by Uthman to Sham (modern day Syria
), so that he would be under the eyes of Muawiya. That is when he converted the people of Lebanon to the Shi'a Muslim faith in the early 7th century AD. Later a Shi'a emirate was established in Keserwan
. The growth of Shi'a Islam in Lebanon stopped around the late thirteenth century, and subsequently Shi'i communities decreased in size. This development may be traced to 1291, when the Sunni Mamluks sent numerous military expeditions to subdue the Shi'is of Kesrawan, a mountain region overlooking the coastal area north of Beirut. The first two Mamluk expeditions, sanctioned by the blood-thirsty jurist Ibn Taymiyyah
, were defeated by the Shi'a in Keserwan. The third expedition, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly large and was able to defeat the Shi'a in Keserwan; many were brutally slaughtered, some fled through the mountains to northern Beqaa
while others fled moving through the Beqaa plain, to a new safe haven in Jezzine
. Keserwan began to lose its Shi'i character under the Assaf Sunni Turkomans whom the Mamluks appointed as overlords of the area in 1306. The process intensified around 1545 when the Maronites started migrating to Keserwan and Jbeil, encouraged by the Assafs, who sought to use them as a counterweight to the Shi'i Himada sheikhs who reemerged in Kesrewan. When in 1605 the Druze emir Fakhr al-Din Ma'n II
took over Kesrewan, he entrusted its management to the Khazin Maronite family. The Khazins gradually colonized Kesrewan, purchasing Shi'i lands and founding churches and monasteries. They emerged as the predominant authority in the region at the expense of the Shi'i Hamedeh clan. By the end of the eighteenth century, the Khazins owned Kesrewan and only a few Shi'i villages survived. During the time of the Ottoman Empire
the Shi'as suffered religious persecution and were often forced to flee their homes in search of refuge in the South. One example is the Lebanese city of Tripoli
, which had formerly had a Shi'a Muslim majority. Many Lebanese Shi'a are rumored to have concealed their religious sect and acted as Sunni Muslims in fear of persecution. It is also rumored[by whom?]
that some of the Shi'a permanently adopted the Sunni Muslim sect. The Ottomans and Druze
were well allied and a Druze family seized power of Tripoli. Maronites
who were persecuted by the Ottoman's and the Druze, sought refuge amongst the newly relocated Shi'a population in the South. Jezzine, once famously known
as a Shi'a capital in Lebanon, is now known as a major Christian
city in the South. The Shi'is withdrew further south and eventually had to abandon even Jezzine, which until the mid-eighteenth century had functioned as a center of Shi'i learning in Lebanon.
Although the Jabal 'Amil enjoyed a degree of autonomy in the eighteenth century, this ended with the Ottoman appointment of Ahmad al-Jazzar
as governor of Sidon province (1775–1804). Jazzar crushed the military power of the Shi'i clan leaders and burned the libraries of the religious scholars using the Druze tribes established in the Shouf, mainly the strong Nakad family, allied to the Maan. He established a centralized administration in the Shi'i areas and brought their revenues and cash crops under his domain. By the late eighteenth century, the Shi'is of the Jabal 'Amil lost their independent spirit and adopted an attitude of political defeat. Al-Jezzar was nicknamed "the butcher" and a big population of the Shi'a were killed under his rule in Lebanon.
During most of the Ottoman period, the Shi'a largely maintained themselves as 'a state apart', although they found common ground with their fellow Lebanese, the Maronites
; this may have been due to the persecutions both sects faced. They maintained contact with the Safavid
dynasty, which they help establish the Shi'a Islam as the state religion of Persia. These contacts further angered the Ottoman Sultan, who had already viewed them as religious heretics. The Sultan was frequently at war with the Persians, as well as being, in the role of Caliph, the leader of the majority Sunni community. Shi'a Lebanon, when not subject to political repression, was generally neglected, sinking further and further into the economic background.
The Shi'i ulama of South Lebanon became famous not because of their activities in Ottoman Lebanon, but because of the role they played in spreading Shi'ism in Iran
following the establishment of the Safavid state in 1501.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Comte de Volmy was to describe the Shi'a as a distinct society.
The Sunni had attempted to resist the French mandate; and when they were defeated, refused to participate in the administration of what they considered to be an artificial political entity. Sunni opposition had aimed at the creation of a 'greater Syria', where the Shi'a would have been a permanent minority. In the new state of Lebanon they acquired both an independence and a far greater political significance in relation to the size of their community. This was further emphasized by French colonial policy, which sought to reach out to the Shi'a, with the intention of preventing a possible alliance with the Sunni
Edited by south-lebanon, 17 March 2012 - 04:15 PM.