Ansarians or Assassins

Ansarians or Assassins inhabitants of a district in Syria (called also ENSARIANS SEE ENSARIANS ). Their religion is a compound of p:ganism and Mohammedanism,which they are said to have been taught by an old man who in 891 inhabited the village of Nasar, near Koufa, and passed for a saint and a prophet. Some of them worship the sun, others the dog and other material objects. A special work on them has been published by the Rev. Samuel Lyde (see a valuable summary of this work in the N. Amer. Review, Oct. 1862). According to Lyde, "they number about 200,000, for the most part rude and vicious. They are divided into Shemseeh (men of the sun, Northerners) and Kumreel (men of the moon, Southerners); the former may be descendants of the Canaanites; the latter, foreigners, brought their present religion into the land. The name Ansaireeh is probably derived from the founder of the sect, Nusari, dating from the ninth century. Their sacred name is Khaseebeeb, from the apostle of the sect. In many points they have affinities with the Assassins. They believe in the divine unity in three personalities, the second and third being created. The first person, the supreme deity, is Manna, or Meaning; the second, Ism, or Name; the third, Bab, or Dove. Of the supreme deity there have been seven manifestations; the last is All, Mohammed, and Salman il Farisee. Ali is the highest manifestation of God, alone to be adored. There is also a system of hierarchies, bewildering in numbers: 14,000 Near Ones, 15,000 Cherubim, 16,000 Spirituals, 17,000 Saints, 18,000 Hermits, 19,000 Listeners, 20,000 Followers — in all, 119,000 — besides prophets, apostles, and heroes. The doctrine of metempsychosis is strictly held, and minutely delineated. They receive the Old and New Testaments, and the Koran, with many apocryphal works." An account of them is given in Chesney's Expedition to the Euphrates and the Tigris. See also Walpole's Travels in the East, and Blackwood's Magazine, 70, 719. SEE ASSASSINS.

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