The Khazen Cheikhs and Emir Fakhr Al Din Al Maa’n

22 March 2008

Emir Fakhr Al Din Al Ma’an was the biggest Lebanese Emir of all times, taking into consideration his power, good management, and good morals. His power expanded beyond Lebanon, large parts of Syria, and else where. His influence is still seen.

He was known for helping the Christians especially the Catholic and releasing them from the oppression that they were put under. Add to that, most of the Emir’s army was made of the Christians especially the Maronites. He also allowed Christian missionaries to spread around the Mediterranean defending them and their faith. He also treated the Christian mission tolerantly granting Abbeys of Nazareth and Sidon.

A biography of the Emir was written by Father Jean Roger, telling in a book he published in year 1664 in Paris, that he was a Muslim (Druze) in public but Christian in secret. He spoke about the Ottoman Sultan’s order to kill him by being strangled and before that was done, he turned his face towards the East and marked himself a Cross. They also found on his body a small gold Cross he was wearing. His death occurred on 14.March.1635.

This mutual support which the Emir and the Khazen Cheikhs shared brought benefits to both sides and the Maronites in general, who also helped his rise and development of the missionaries ambitions. This mutual support was based on the fact that the El Khazen Cheikhs saved his and his brother’s life, teaching them Christian principles. Add to that, The Khazen Cheikhs, carried on being their advisors directing them how to act, and caused support of the Maronites to their rule but that was not the end of it, as the Khazens with the protection of the Christian countries in Europe, formed a great hand to the Emirs to rely on as to their rule and indication.

 A picture of Emir Fakhr Al Din was found in library of the Vatican and you can find it also here, in the Pictures section of this website