The Buddislamic faith was a broad, high-level belief system and cultural tradition that evolved through the joining of two ancient religions of Old Earth: Zen Buddhism and Islam.It had emerged as a consequence of the so-called second and third islamic movements.
Within the Known Universe the Buddislamic tradition is broken into three denominations:
The Zensunni subgroup was historically the most commonly practiced. For a long time, it was marginalized and limited to groups such as the Fremen of Arrakis, who evolved from the Wandering Zensunni of old. During the Butlerian Jihad era, Zensunni lived upon other planets as well, notably Harmonthep, though these Zensunni were pacifistic, quite unlike the uncompromising and militaristic ones of Arrakis. The rise of Paul Atreides to Padishah Emperor, and the subsequent Muad'Dib's Jihad, saw an explosion in the denomination's popularity across the Known Universe.
The Zenshiite subgroup was, during the Butlerian Jihad, a relative equal to Zensunni in popularity, even greater in numbers on the planet Poritrin, in fact. However, over the subsequent millennia, the Zenshiite denomination faded, possibly out of existence. Much like the Zensunni of Arrakis, the Zenshiites of Poritrin and IV Anbus were rebellious, violent, and uncompromising.
Pious adherents of two of the Buddislamic denominations, Zensunnis and Zenshiites, choose to flee from war when Cymeks, Robots, and Thinking Machines rose up to conquer the Old Empire during the Time of Titans. The adherents fled due to mistakenly assuming that this was the long-foreteld Kralizec, but many of the League of Nobles interpreted the fleeing as cowardice. With the human-machine war proving itself to not be Kralizec, most Zensunni and Zenshiite adherents still refused to participate, considering the war pointless. As a result, many members of the League, notably Savant Tio Holtzman, still despised Zensunnis and Zenshiites a millennia later (notably purchasing many of them as Solver slaves), claiming that they owed a debt to the rest of humanity.
As a result of fleeing during the Time of Titans, and refusing to participate in the subsequent Jihad, Zensunni and Zenshiite adherents became scattered as separate communities on many planets of the Known Universe, both League and Unallied ones. The most notable one of these communities was the Wandering Zensunni one, which, according to their own legends, originated on Nilotic al-Ourouba (likely the Nile Valley on Old Earth), and then migrated to Poritrin, then Salusa Secundus, Bela Tegeuse, Rossak, and Harmonthep, before finally settling on Arrakis a roughly four generations prior to the Butlerian Jihad. This Zensunni community gradually evolved over the next few millennia - into the Free Men (under Selim Wormrider), the Freemen, and, finally, the Fremen.
Behind the Scenes Edit
- The Zenshiite faith is not explicitly mentioned by Frank Herbert in his original novels. It is, however, regarded as relatively popular among the wider Buddislamic faith in the Legends of Dune novels by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. In these stories, it is portrayed as a more forceful and aggressive alternative to the Zensunni religion.
- The split of Buddislam into Zensunni, Zensufi and Zenshia seems to be modeled after historic Islam, however the names might simply refer to a (neo)-traditionalist, a purist or untenable faction and adherents of a majority faction and were not necessarily still very closely connected to either historic terran Sunni, Sufi or Shia islam (most Sufi-schools were parts of either Sunnitic or shiite traditions and not set apart from them as an independent third faction).
- The Dune Encyclopedia mentions the Budislamic Codex, the holy book of Budislam.