Sami Makarem


(1931 - 2012)

Biography and Statement:

These pages are dedicated to all lovers of truth and beauty in the whole world. The content is a summary of my long journey in the dimensional existence of art, poetry, books, literature, history, Islamic studies, Sufism and wisdom. I hope through these dimensions and my long years of teaching as a professor at the American University of Beirut and my love to encounter authentic truth seekers through my continuous discussions with the youth of my society to contribute to Arab civilization and the whole world a modest step toward establishing a more elegant, loving, caring and just universe.

Sami MAKAREM was born in Aitat in the district of Aley, Lebanon, on April 14, 1931.
The town of Aitat overlooks Beirut and is 20 kilometers away from it and is 650 meters above sea level. Dr. Sami MAKAREM's mansion in Aitat goes back to the 17th century. He transformed a large part of it to a cultural center after he bought it from the Talhouk family.

His father Sheikh Nassib MAKAREM, is the author of artistic masterworks covering various types of Arab calligraphy, either in large tableaus or in miniatures pieces of silver and marble ranging from the size of an egg to that of a grain of rice or wheat. He wrote on a piece of marble of the size of an egg ten thousand words, and was able to write on a piece of silver of the size of a grain of rice 30 verses of poetry amounting to 287 words. He also drew on pieces of marble and silver that are the size of a grain of rice the ruins of Baalbek and drew the first 3 cars manufactured by Henry Ford as well as wrote beside each drawing a quote by Henry Ford himself. Also, on a piece of marble the size of a grain of rice, he wrote the French National Anthem, the Marseillaise. These are a few of many other works of the same genre that Sheikh Nassib MAKAREM accomplished.

His mother Wassila Sleiman FARAJ, is a native of Abay, one of the villages of Aley district. She was known, like her husband, for her piety and refined art and produced needlework for which she obtained many awards, decorations and certificates that were added to her husband's awards, decorations and certificates.

Sami MAKAREM is the father of two daughters, Sahar and Rand and two sons, Nassib and Samir. He is married with Leila Adel MAKAREM.

He had one brother - the late Saïd - who was a teacher and was considered an authority in the Arabic language.

Sami MAKAREM completed his primary and intermediate education at the "Lycée Français de Beyrouth - Mission Laïque Française", and his secondary studies at the Lebanon College of Souk El Gharb. Sami MAKAREM then studied at the American University of Beirut (AUB) where he obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Literature and Philosophy in 1954 and his Master's Degree in Arabic Literature in 1957.

Meanwhile, he taught Arabic Literature at the Lebanon College of Souk El Gharb then at Al Sirat College in Aley. Then, he left for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he obtained in 1963 his PhD. in Middle Eastern Studies, specializing in Islamic Batini Studies. In addition, he taught Arabic at the same university.

Sami MAKAREM went back to Lebanon in July 1963, to teach Islamic Thought at the Lebanese University. In 1964, he was appointed assistant professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB), teaching Arabic Literature and Islamic Thought.

In 1970, he was promoted to the rank of associate professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB), and then he was promoted to the rank of full professor to teach Arabic Literature, Islamic Thought and Sufism. In addition, he held twice the position of Head of the Department of Arabic Literature and Near Eastern Languages: from 1975 until 1978 and from 1993 until 1996. He acted as a part time professor at the Lebanese University from 1977 until 1981. Also, he was director of the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Beirut, from 1975 until 1978.

The death of his father, Sheikh Nassib MAKAREM on June 4, 1971 left sad impressions on Sami MAKAREM. He lost a loving wise father, and a creative artist. His relationship with his father was very close. It exceeded any father and son relationships. The loss of his father induced him to discover the artist in himself.

In addition to his academic contributions in the fields of Islamic studies, Sufism, Islamic history, and his artistic contribution Sami Makarem is a poet. Three works of poetry have been published by him: Mir'at 'ala Jabal Qaf (A mirror on Mount Qaf) (1996), Daw' fi Madinat ad-Dabab (A Light over the city of Mist) (1999), and Qasa'ed Hubb 'ala shati' Mir'at (Love poems on the shores of a Mirror) (2004). His books exceed twenty five in number, in addition to a great number of articles in different specialized periodicals, and hundreds of art works.


1. Ash-Shi’r al- ‘Arabi fi Lubnan baynal-Harbayn al- ‘Alamiyyatayn, ready for publication
2. Adwa' ‘Ala Maslak at-Tawhid (ad-Durziyya). (Lights on the Druze Faith), Beirut, Dar Sader, 1966.
3. Ash-Shafiya, an Isma'ili poem attributed to Shihab ad-Din Abu-Firas. (edited and translated into English with introduction and Commentary). Beirut, American University of Beirut, 1966.
4. Shiraz, Madinat al-Awliya' wa-Shu ‘ara (Arabic translation of Shiraz, Persian City of Saints and Poets, by A.J. Arberry, Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1960). Beirut, Maktabat Lubnan, 1967.
5. The doctrine of the Isma'ilis. Beirut: The Arab Institute for Research and Publishing. 1972.
6. The Druze Faith, Delmar, New York: Caravan Books,1974. Second Printing, 1979. Translated into Spanish by N. Saab under the title La Fe Druza, Maracaibo: Astro Data S.A.,1991.
7. The Political Doctrine of the Isma ‘ilis. An edition and translation with introduction and notes of Abul-Fawaris Ahmad Ibn Ya' qub's ar-Risala fil-Imama. Delmar, New York, Caravan Books, 1977.
8. Qisas wa Mashahid min Jabal Lubnan by Mahmud Saab, Edited with an introduction and notes. Beirut: the Druze Council for Research and Publishing, 1979, second printing, 1999.
9. Amin al-Nasiriddin's Diwan al-Falak. (An Anthology of Arabic Poetry). Edited with an Introduction and Notes. Beirut:The Druze Council for Research and Development with the collaboration of Dar an-Nahar, May, 1983.
10. Tarikh al-Muwahhidin ad-Duruz as-Siyasi fil Mashriq al- 'Arabi. Co-author 'Abbas Abu Saleh. Beirut, The Druze council for Research and Development, 1980
11. Maslak at-Tawhid. Beirut, Dar Sader, 1980. 2nd.printing, 1993.
12. Ash-Shaykh Nasib Makarem: Fann Wa Tuqa wa Jamal, (with an introduction to Arabic calligraphy, origins, development, and influence on other Islamic Arts). Beirut, Dar Babil, 1984.
13. al-Islam fi Mafhum al-Muwahhidin, Beirut, Nadwat al-Arbi'a,1985.
14. Al-Hallaj, fima wara' al-Ma'na Wa l-Khatt Wal-Lawn, London: Riyad Najib al-Rayyis li l-Kitab Wa n-Nashr, 1989.
15. Ash-Shaykh 'Ali Faris (an eighteenth century Moslem sufi), Beirut, al- Markaz al-Watani lil-Ma ‘lumat wa d-Dirasat, 1991.
16. 'Ashiqat Allah (seven Sufi Women of the first and second centuries A.H.) (in Arabic). Dar Sader, Beirut,1994.
17. Diwan Amin Takiyy ad-Din, Compiled and edited with an introduction and notes, Dar Sader, Beirut, 1996.
18. Mir' at ‘ala Jabal Qaf (A study on Sufism), Beirut: Dar Sader, 1997.
19. Daw' FI Madinat al-Dabab, Junieh: Dynamic Graphic lit-Tiba ‘a wan Nashr, 1999.
20. Lebanon under the Tanukhid Emirs (in Arabic), Beirut: Dar Sader, 2000.
21. At-Taqiyya fil-Islam, Ready for publication.

Chapters in Books

1. God and Man in the Druze Faith", Prabuddha Bharata (India), vol. 75, 1970, and in World Faith, 83,1971,pp.7ff.
2. "Introduction" to Al-Mu ‘tamid Ibn ‘Abbad wa Shu ‘ara' ‘Asrih, by Zuhdi Yakan. Beirut, Dar Yakan li n-Nashr, 1975.
3. An Advitic Sect in Western Asia", in Spiritual Perspectives, (edited by M.T.Mahadivan), Madras, the University of Madras, 1978.
4. Rafi Ibn Abi l-Layl Amir Bani Kalb fi ‘Ahd al-Khalifa al-Fatimi az- Zahir wa Awa'il ‘Ahd al-Mustansir," in Studia Arabica et Islamica, Festschrift for Ihsan Abbas, ed. by Wadad al-Qadi. Beirut, American University of Beirut, 1981.
5. " Introduction" to al-Wasiyya wal-Mirath ‘ind al-Muwahhidin ad-Duruz by Mursal Nasr and Halim Taqiyyuddin, Beirut, 1983.
6. "Isma ‘ili and Druze Cosmogony in relation to Plotinus and Aristotle, " in Islamic Theology and Philosophy: Studies in Honor of George F.Hourani, Michael E. Marmura. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984.
7. "Introduction" of Ala Durub at-Tawhid (collection of Sufi poems) by Fuad al-Khishn, Beirut, 1985.
8. "Introduction" To Jabal an-Nar (collection of poems) by Malek Hamdan. Beirut,1986.
9. "Introduction" to Khuzamiyyat (collection of poems) by Muhammad Abi Khuzam. Beirut, 1987.
10. "Al-Uruba wal-Masihiyya wal-Islam, " in Al-Haqq fi dh-Dhakira, ed. by Antoine Masarra. Beirut: al-Mu'assasa al-Lubnaniyya lis-Silm al-Ahli ad-Da'im, 1988.
11. "Ad-Dawla al-Lubnaniyya wa Tanawwu al-Adyan, an-Numudhaj wat-Tatbiq," in al-‘Ubur ila d-Dawla, min al-Mu ‘anat ila l-Muwatiniyya, ed. by Antoine Masarrah. Beirut: al-Mu'assasa al-Lubna-niyya li s-Silm al- Ahli al-Da'im,1992.
12. Mafhum al-Insan fi ‘Aqidat at-Tawhid. in Bayn at-Turab war-Ruh, Beirut: Dar al-Mashriq, 1992.
13. "Al- Bu ‘d al-Hadari lil-Qawmiyya al-‘Arabiyya fi fikr ‘Ali Nasir ad-Din (introduction) to ‘Ali Nasir ad-Din, afahat min al-Fikr al-Qawmi al-‘Arabi by Muhammad Shayya. Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1993.
14. "At-Tannukhiyyun,"in Lubnan fi Tarikhihi wa Turathihi, vol.I ed. by Adil Ismail, Paris: Markaz al-Hariri ath-Thaqafi, Abhath wa Tawthiq (Dirasat Lubnaniyya),1993.
15. ‘Alaqat al-Muwahhidin ad-Duruz bil-Masihiyyin: Dirasa Tarikhiyya wa Nazra Mustaqbaliyya," in Al- ‘Alaqat al-Islamiyya al-Masihiyya, ed. by Samir Sulayman. Beirut: Markaz ad-Dirasat al-Istratijiyya wal-Buhuth wat-Tawthiq, 1993.
16. "Al-Mithaq: Ahd wa withaq", Citizen for Tomorrow, vol.4, pp.207-216, Beirut: Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, 1995.
17. "Introduction" to As Sanabil wa r-Rahiq (collection of poems) by Badr Ghazzawi. beirut: Dar Kitabat, 1997.
18. "Al-Batul," in Fi Jannat Maryam, ed. by George Mughanis, Beirut: Notre Dame University Press, 1997.
19. Dr Adil Isma ‘il wa Falsafat al-Tarikh, in Adil Isma ‘il, al Mu'arrikh wa l- Bahith wa l-Diblumasi, Beirut, Dar an-Nashr lis-Siyasa wa t-Tarikh, 1997.
20. ‘Ajaj Nuwayhid, al-Mu'arrikh wa l-Mujahid , in Mu'arrikhun A lam min Lubnan, ed. Mascud Dahir, Beirut: Manshurat Dar an-Nidal lit-Tiba ‘a wa n-Nashr wa t-Tawzi’, 1997. (Proceeding of the Conference in Beirut entitled “al- Mu'arrikhun al-‘Arab, Beirut, 1997).
21. Ar-Risala ar-Rahbaniyya: ad-Dawr wa l-Khiyar, Ar-Rahbaniyyat, Risalat lil-Mustaqbil, Zuq Musbih Notre Dame University Press, 1999.
22. Introduction to Sada as-Sinin by Dr Anis Ubayd (collection of Poems) Beirut: Dar Sader, 1999.
23. "Al Rissala al Rahbania (Friary Mission): Role and Choice in Lebanon and the World", third centenary of the foundation of the Maronite Friary in Lebanon - Saydet Al Jabal Convent - Fatka - Lebanon - 1995. Published in Al Hikma Magazine, Second Era, Second Year, Issue # 11 (January 1996.)
24. "The Druze Faith", Conference at St.Anttony College, Oxford, 2002.
25. "Sufism in the Druze Faith" Conference at St. Anthony College, Oxford, 2004


1. "Abu-Hilal".Da'irat al-Ma ‘arif. F.A.Bustany (ed.), vol.5. Beirut, 1964.
2. "Al-Amr al-ilahi wa mafhumuhu ‘ind al-Isma ‘iliyyin", al- Abhath, vol.1, 1967. Beirut, American University of Beirut.
3. " The Philosophical Concept of the Imam in Isma ‘ilism", Studia Islami-ca. vol.27, 1967.
4. "The Hidden Imams of the Isma ‘ilis", al-Abhath, vol.21,1969.
5. " al-Hakim bi Amrillah's appointment of his successors", al-Abhath, vol.22, 1970.
6. "Arabic Literature”, in James Brazeley (ed.), The Joy of Knowledge Library, Vol. I (History and Culture).
7. "Banu l-Jarrah", Tarikh al-Arab wal- Alam", (ed. Faruk al-Barbir), Beirut,1986.
8. Ad-Durziyya in Al-Mawsu ‘a al-Falsafiyya al-Arabiyya, ed. by Ma ‘n Ziyadeh, vol.2, Beirut: Ma ‘had al-Inma al-Arabi, 1988.
9. "Kalimat Mithaq fi d-Dustur al-Lubnani," Al-Hayat an-Niyabiyya vol. (December, 1994). Al-Mudiriyyah al-'Amma li d-Dirasat wal- Abhath fi l—Majlis an-Niyabi al-Lubnani, pp.51-56.
10. Wurayqat al-Mardakush: ‘Ajaj Nurwayhid al-Mu'arrikh wa l-Mujahid, al Mu'arrikh al-Arabi, Baghdad:al-Amana al-Amma li-Ittihad al-Mu'arrikhin al- Arab, vol. 52 (1995), pp. 112-124.

Presentations in International Conferences:

1. al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, an essay in Historical Reinterpretation", Proceedings of the 27th Congress of Orientalists, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1969.
"Al-Hakim's Western Policy", paper read at Seminar on Lybia in the University of Michigan, July, 1979.
2. "Banul-Jarrah", Paper delivered at the Third International Congress for the History of Bilad Ash-Sham held at the Jordanian University, Amman (19-24 April, 1980).
3. "at-Ta'ifiyya wad-Din, at-Ta'ifiyya wad-Dawla, at-Ta'ifiyya wal-Muwatin," in Waqa'i Liqa' al-Hiwar al-Lubnani, ed. by Mustafa Dandashli. Sidon: Manshurat al-Markaz ath-Thaqafi lil-Buhuth wat-Tawthiq, 1993.
4. "The Druze Point of view of Cohabilation in Lebanon," paper delivered at "Incontri Internazionali Uomini .e Religioni, Comunita' di S. Edigio". Rome, Octobre 7-10, 1996.
5. Ana l-haqq bayn al- allaj wa ibn ‘Arabi Paper delivered at the conference entitled Muhyiddin ibn ‘Arabi held by Instituts Cervantes. Damascus, July 1997
6. al-allaj, a Rebellious Sufi Poet, paper delivered at the School of oriental and African Studies, University of London, Oct. 1997.
7. Ana al-haqq bayn al-Hallaj wa l-Imam al-Khumayni, Proceedings of the Conference, al-Irfan ‘ind al-Imam al-Khumayni, UNESCO, June 16, 1999, Beirut: al-Ma ‘had al-Islami lil-Ma ‘arif al-Hikmiyya, 1999.]
8. Min al-Hiwar bayn al-Adyan ila al-Hiwar bayn al-Mu'minin, Proceedings of the conference, Hiwar ath-Thaqafat wa l-Adyan, min al-Hiwar al- Aqa'idi ila Thaqafat al-Hiwar wa l-Infitah, January 7, 2000, Zuq Musbih: Notre Dame university Press,2000.
9. At-Tankhiyyun fi t-Tarikh, Prodeccing of the Conference, Ubayh fi t- Tarikh, November 20-21, 1999. Beirut: Lajnat Ihya' Turalh Ubayh, 2000.
10. al-Ma ‘na as Sufi li-awn paper delivered at al-Ma ‘had al-Islami lid-Dirasat al-Hikmiyya, Beirut, Dec. 2000.
11. The Euro-Druze relations at the 17th century, paper delivered at the conference entitled Lebanese French relations held at University St. Joseph, Beirut, March, 2001.
12. Al-Ishara wal Ibara fi at-Tasawwuf paper delivered at the conference entitled Art and Sufism held by Institutes Cervantes, Damascus, April, 21-23, 2001, Damascus.


1- Henry Corbin, (ed.& transl.) Trilogie Ismaelienne, Tehran, 1961. Henry Corbin, (ed.& transl.) Molla Sadra Shirazi, Le Livre des Penetrations Metaphysiques, Tehran, 1964, In Speculum, vol. 40, no.4, pp719-722, Oct.1965.

2- Farhat J. Ziadeh, A Reader in Modern Literary Arabic, Princeton University Press, 1964.

Professional Activities:

To the Community (service related to position at University including honors and awards).
- Member in a ministerial committee to study the subject of teaching
- Civil education in high schools, 1972-73.
- Honorary citizen of the city of Huston, Texas, 1978.
- Holder of the key of the city of Huston, Texas, 1978.
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace. Beirut.
- Secretary-General and member of the Board of Trustees of the Druze Center for Research and Development, Beirut.
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Walid Jumblatt Foundation for University Studies, Beirut.
- Order of the Arab Historian, Ittihad al-Mu'arrikhin al-Arab), 1993.

Featured Works

 لا غنى كالعقل ولا فقر كالجهل ولا شرف كالعلم ولا ميراث كالادب علي بن ابي طالب
لا غنى كالعقل ولا فقر كالجهل ولا شرف كالعلم ولا ميراث كالادب علي بن ابي طالب
 وكيف يكون الحب في القلب ساكناً  وقد زفّت الاكوان في لحظة الحب سامي مكارم، قصائد حب على شاطىء مرآة
وكيف يكون الحب في القلب ساكناً وقد زفّت الاكوان في لحظة الحب سامي مكارم، قصائد حب على شاطىء مرآة
 يا غافر الذنوب
يا غافر الذنوب
 اعرف نفسك
اعرف نفسك
 شربنا على ذكر الحبيب بداية سكرنا بها قبل ان يخلق الكرم ابن الفارض
شربنا على ذكر الحبيب بداية سكرنا بها قبل ان يخلق الكرم ابن الفارض
 يا شافي
يا شافي
  حبيبي ليطل لحظك فتسحيل الاكوان رعشة جوكاً جذوة عشق ذرة تدور حول نور المحض  سامي مكارم، مرآة على جبل قاف
حبيبي ليطل لحظك فتسحيل الاكوان رعشة جوكاً جذوة عشق ذرة تدور حول نور المحض سامي مكارم، مرآة على جبل قاف
 سلام قولاً من رب رحيم
سلام قولاً من رب رحيم