FREEMASONRY AND ISLAM: WHAT DO THEY SHARE?
By Fahim A. Knight-El
The topic of Freemasonry is a vast and complex subject, it encroaches on the history and culture of every past, present society and undoubtedly it will even impact future civilizations to come. One could spend an entire life time researching and delving into the inner mysteries, symbolism and rituals of this ancient order; moreover, and never exhaust the traveling path of constantly acquiring wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment that Freemasonry seems to lead the serious minded scholar and researchers toward.
Most non-Masons whom have engaged me in conversation, relative to Masonry seemed overly infatuated with this so-called idea of Masonry being a "covert brotherhood" that operates behind a cloak of secrecy and communicate in a language of symbolism that is un-discernible to the uninitiated.
However, there is a false contention that Masons wield a lot of power and influence throughout society, in which some will argue for the worst or betterment of humanity, it depends on one's perspective of this controversial fraternal brotherhood.
Freemasonry in modern terms had its inception in Europe from local trade Guilds that functioned as Operative Masons in the early 1700's, but Speculative Masonry can be traced back to Ancient Egypt (Kemit) where spiritual schools of thought were developed that evolved around understanding the mysteries of Deity and enhancing moral principles.
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN IN KEMET (EGYPT)
The esteemed scholar and researcher Dr. George G.M. James in his monumental book titled, "Stolen Legacy" that was written in 1954, wrote about the Egyptian Mystery Schools, which he maintained that a complex system of neophyte initiations were developed and worked in Kemet (Egypt).
But more importantly, this sophisticated system of learning was of an African origin and not indigenous to Greece and Rome as traditional Eurocentric scholars have falsely maintained, but Plato, Aristotle and Socrates sat directly or indirectly, at the foot of African Sages who inspired them to enlighten Europe.
This small article is offered as a challenge to Prince Hall Masons, in particular those who are a part the Blue Lodge, concordant bodies, appendant adoptive bodies and auxiliary bodies to began to research, write, debate, document, etc., masonic philosophy and stop relying on other scholars to interpreted this ancient craft for them. Many believe the beauty in Masonry lies in one's ability to work and recite ritual, but what good has this, if we have very little understanding of truly why the Worshipful Master sits in the East, the Senior Warden in the West and Junior Warden in the South. We then only have symbol without real substance.
Many have never heard of Heru, Isis, Aset and the countless myths of resurrection fables that existed long before Jesus Christ and the Hiram Abiff mythical resurrection advents. They fail to know that the Masonic ritual has a basis of duality (macrocosm and microcosm), which is steeped in nature and cosmological mythology and correlated to human spirituality. How can they know, unless they have a teacher, and how can they have a teacher, unless one be sent? "Freemasonry (Moslem Sons) and Islam: What do they share?" This research evolved simply out of my wanting to know, if there was truly an Islamic and Masonic connection and if it was, how was these two entities related?
Thus, there is very little written on the subject of Masonry and Islam and I was not going to wait on a Blue lodge, Consistory, Shrine, Royal Arch, Worshipful Grand Lodge, United Supreme Council, Nation of Islam, etc., to sanction me with the permission to do this investigation. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad often stated we must get up and do something for ourselves.
SHIA ISLAM AND SHRINERS ORIGIN
The topic of Islam and Freemasonry is a very sensitive topic for Muslims because Shrine Masonry in particular, employs Islamic symbolism, philosophy and the entire general theme of Shrindom evolves around so-called aspects of Islamic history and the Islamic religion. The Shriners (Moslem Sons) perhaps will argue that their ritual represents the highest aspect of Speculative Masonry, it is designed to teach moral lessons and further define principles of spirituality, as well as their ever quest to know Deity by all his attributes.
This writer does not believe that Shrine Masonry places Islam on a higher echelon than it does Christianity, Judaism, Kabala, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, etc., nor is the Shrine Temple propagating Islam per se. But this is not to suggest that Islamic terminology such as: Allah, Mohammed, Holy Qur'an, Kaaba, Mecca, Medina, Moslem, Mosque, Ali, Hajj, Shahadah, Hegira, Islam, etc., aren't being drawn on by Shrine Masonry to reflect both the sacred and secular, as well as many more Islamic jargons.
The Mystic Shrine legend so-called had its inception in 644 A. D. in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, relative to Shia Islam in particular, and Caliph Ali Ibn Ibi Talib in general, the son-in-law and cousin of the Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (Peace and Blesses of Allah be upon him --570-632), the founder of the Islamic religion.
Shia Islam teaches that Ali was the first person to convert to Muhammad's religion of Islam and that Muhammad hand picked him as his true and only successor; thus, this belief nullifies the legitimacy of the other three Caliphs (Ali in Sunni Islamic doctrine is the fourth and final Caliph), Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman known as the "Rightly Guided Ones", and the successors to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which is accepted by the dominant and mainstream Sunni Islam.
However, it is perfectly logical to reason that perhaps Shia Islam had to develop on the lines of "secrecy" because its "unorthodox" theology of only recognizing Ali as Muhammad's true successor, which went contrary to Sunni beliefs. Furthermore, Sunni Islam rejects the claim of the only legitimate bloodline is through Fatima, the Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) daughter and the wife of Ali, but according to Shia Islam this represents the so-called true heir apparent to Islam's right to succession.
Nevertheless, from this perspective came the belief in the Twelve Imams (blood descendants from Muhammad Ibn Abdullah through the linage of Ali and Fatima) leadership would only be recognized and accepted by Shia Islam. Historically Shia Muslims were persecuted by Sunni Muslims for deviating from "mainstream" Islamic theology and had to evolve clandestinely due to Sunni Islamic opposition. Some historians maintain that "passwords", "tokens" and "signs" were developed by Shia Clerics in order to properly identify a Shia believer, from a non Shia and this allowed the Shia Muslims Sect to quietly coexist alongside Sunni Islam and go undetected.
This controversial "Sect" survived from being extinguished by Sunni Muslims due to the concealment of its theology. Perhaps Shrine Masonry affix itself to the tradition of Islam because of the mystique and the aura, associated with Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. And with the majesty and valor of Ancient Egypt (Kemit), but Freemasonry will argue that these societies became illuminated because of their direct involvement with Masonic "Free Thinkers" who advocated a doctrine of liberal arts, e.g., Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. These sciences evolved out of humanities ability to activate and exalt our dormant natural senses of hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting, which led to certain societies progressing politically, socially, economically, culturally, spiritually, etc.
NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE
There is a contemporary belief in Shrindom teachings that acknowledge that the ritual (the Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine) was compiled, arranged and issued at Aleppo, Saudi Arabia, by Louis Maracci, the great Latin Translator of Muhammad's AI-Koran. In 1871 the ritual was brought to America by transient foreign members and representatives and placed in the hands of Dr. Walter M. Flemings 33rd degree, Sovereign Inspector General A and A. Rite, and Eminent Commander of Columbia Commandry No.1. Knights Templar of New York.
Dr. Fleming and eleven other members had complete sovereignty, Mecca Temple No.1, remained inactive until December, 1875, when W. J. Florence came from Europe bringing with him the Oriental Ritual of the order, as it was worked in foreign countries. 1876 W. J. Florence called together such of the original members of the organization of 1871 as were living and constituted in December 1876 Mecca Temple No.1 as head of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Caucasian Shrine Order) III America.
There is some belief that Caucasian Shriners do practice Islam in secrecy, but African American Shriners who belong to the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine founded in 1893, has a romanticized ritual and view of Islam, that lack the seriousness, in which Caucasian Shriners truly observe Islam as the final Masonic step in their traveling from west to east in search of more light in Masonry.
Islam is one of the world's three great religions, it translate to mean surrender, obedience and peace. Those who adhere to the religion are called Muslims, thus, this Arabic term is defined as on who submits his/her will in order to do the will of Allah (God).
Muslims in general, view Shrine Masonry as profane, heretical and blasphemous. However, the majority of African-American Islam had its roots in Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; moreover, Noble Abdul Sharrief Ali (Noble Drew Ali) the founder of the Moorish Science Temple of America in 1913 formalized the first Islamic organization in America in Newark, New Jersey, he himself was 33rd degree Mason.
THE FIVE PERCENTERS: THE POOR RIGHTEOUS TEACHERS
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad who admitted that he was once a Mason and if one objectively looked at his Supreme Wisdom Lessons, Supreme Mathematical Lessons, English Lesson C-l and English Lessons C-2, etc., it is very similar to the Masonic Catechism. I know many Nation of Islam members that received their X (And can wear the attribute of Muhammad) and was recorded in the book of life. They had to verbally recite their "Student Enrollment" and "Actual "Facts lessons". This writer had the opportunity to visit at Muhammad's Mosque #25 (Newark, New Jersey) where newly made members had to recite their "Student Enrollment" at that time in front of Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad and the mosque captain, brother Sterling Muhammad (may God be pleased with him) and before they could move on to said lesson number one. The recitation had to be 100% correct according to the Department of Supreme Wisdom and Rules of Islam.
This writer interviewed some African American Prince Hall Masons that were Initiated, Passed and Raised in a Prince Hall lodges and they shared with me that each degree required study and recitation of ritual, which other than the subject matter was no different than the experiences of many Muslims whom I interviewed in the Nation of Islam.
ELIJAH MUHAMMAD SAYS MASONRY WAS NOT MEANT FOR THE BLACK MAN
Elijah Muhammad depicts Freemasonry as a true rendition of the Caucasian man's history whom blacks permitted to come amongst them in the Holy Land, but once they started causing trouble and confusion, according to Muhammad they were stripped of everything (interpreted to mean the Islamic Supreme Wisdom), other than the original man's language, e.g., of the royal garments and gave him an apron to hide his shame, hoodwinked and cable towed him and ran him 2200 miles across the hot Arabian Desert. Muhammad teaches that the Asiatic Black man chased him back to the hills and cave sides of Europe (a place of darkness and un-enlightenment).
THE SHRINERS RECOGNITION TEST
Muhammad also maintains that when the black Shriners crosses over the hot burning sands, it is an indication that he lacks the knowledge of self and history (the black man is original home is the East but he has been made blind, death and dumb to the knowledge of self). The Caucasian man who is originally from the West, it is he who must TRAVEL East in search of attaing those higher lessons of knowledge.
In the Shriners recognition test, it is formatted in a Question and Answer sequence it reads: Are you a Noble of the Mystic Shrine?" ANSWER: "I am so accepted by all men of noble birth." QUESTION: "Have you traveled any?" ANSWER: "I Have." QUESTION: "From where to what place have you traveled?" ANSWER: "Traveled east over the hot burning sands of the desert." QUESTION: "Where were you stopped at?" ANSWER: "At the Devils Pass." QUESTION: What were you requested to do?" ANSWER: "I was requested to give a few drops of urine." QUESTION: "Why were you requested to do this?" ANSWER: "As a token of my renouncing the wiles and evils of this world, and be granted permission to worship at the shrine" QUESTION: "At what shrine did you worship?" ANSWER: "At the Shrine of Islam." QUESTION: "Did you ride?" ANSWER: "Yes I rode the camel, until I was caused to dismount." QUESTION: "Then what you do with your camel?" ANSWER: "I tied him." QUESTION: "Where did you tie him?" ANSWER: "I tied him to a date tree where all true and good Shriners so do."
POTENTATES NOW HAVE A COMPASS TO UNDERSTANDING ISLAM'S ROLE IN SHRINE MASONRY
This article was written with the intent of fostering better communication and understanding between Shriners (Moslem Sons) and those who profess the religion of Islam, but also, to lay a foundation for the serious minded Masonic scholars, researchers and free thinker who was just curious to know and had no idea where to start.
Islam is a religion and Freemasonry is a fraternity and the standards for the former are greater than the standards for the latter because of the sensitivity most religions ordinarily generate. Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols and taught in away to make good men better.
This article will perhaps assist those who are member of Shrine Masonry and hold offices such as: Potentates, Chief Rabbans, Assistant Rabbans, Oriental Guides and High Priest and Prophets, etc., as well as Masons in general, to get a brief understanding of Islam and Moslem (Sons) and their historical, theological, and ritualistic roots.
This small article was not written with an anti- Masonic slant nor was it written as a defender of the Islamic religion. The author's intent was to add something to field of Masonic scholarship (discussion) because often my brothers of Prince Hall Masonry are time and again, left to depend upon other Masonic scholars to interpret, research and write Masonic scholarship for them. Lastly, there is very little comparative research relative to Islam and Freemasonry (Mystic Shrine Masonry), yet the similarities are astounding and the differences are obviously viewed by Muslims as heresy.
Mustafa El-Amin in his book titled, "Freemasonry: Ancient Egypt and The Islamic Destiny", is one of the few scholars who has giving us a starting point, as it pertains to this subject, but his research is overly dogmatic with the teachings of Imam Warithuddean Mohammed and it takes away from his objectivity. This article will represent more of an impartial approach to this subject minus the emotionalism.
THE MEANING OF ISLAM
The religion of Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world (second largest to Christianity), it claims a membership to over one billion adherents. Islam was founded by Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (Peace Be Upon Him) in 610 A.D. on the Arabian Peninsula. It is believed that Allah (God) commissioned the Angel Gabriel to deliver Muhammad (PBUH) divine revelations,1 which would later be translated into the Holy Qu'ran, a process that took twenty- three (23) years. This is the holy book of the Muslims and serves as the spiritual guide for all Muslims. The Qu'ran is divided into 114 Suras (chapters); thus, some extensively long and others blatantly short. Islam is defined as complete surrender and obedience and most of all, the religion of peace.
THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM
A Muslim is defined as one who surrenders his/her will, in order to do the will of Allah (God).2 The religion of Islam is based on "Five Principles or Pillars", which are a). Shahadah (Arabic term meaning confession of faith) each Muslim must utter in the presence of at least three witnesses that he/she "bears witness that there is no God, but Allah and that Muhammad Ibn Abdullah is his Messenger". b). Salat (Arabic term for prayer), prayer is prescribed five times daily, in which Muslims turn east toward Mecca. c). Zakat (Arabic term for almsgiving charity) each Muslim has an obligation to give and assist the poor and downtrodden. d). Ramadan (Arabic term for fasting), the Muslims subscribe to the lunar calendar and each year, which is based on the setting of the moon, Ramadan is observed throughout the Islamic World.
Thus, in recognition of Allah revealing the Holy Qur'an, which fasting (Muslims do not consume food nor drink and abstain from sex and other worldly activities are prohibited between sunrise and sunset during this holy month), prayer and offer supplication to Allah (God) takes place for approximately thirty (30) days and thanking God for the glorious Qur'an. Ramadan is Islam's most sacred holiday. e). Hajj (Arabic term for pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims that are physically and financially able, are required to at least once in a lifetime make the holy pilgrimage to Mecca and pray at the Kaaba. 3
ISLAM'S QUEST FOR SURVIVAL: AFRICANS FACTORED IN TO ISLAM REMAINING AS A FAITH
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) very seldom ventured outside the Arabian Peninsula, but as he attempted to proselytize this new found faith in the seventh century, it was met with opposition; thus, Muhammad (PBUH) had to flee for his life and some historians' record that he sent his followers to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Africa and sought protection and temporary asylum under the militarily strong Coptic Christians. Abyssinian Christians of the Negroid race qualified Muhammad's fleeing Arab companions and found that Muhammad's Islamic teachings resembled and mirrored their own Coptic faith tradition and therefore refused to release Muhammad's followers to their would- be persecutors and tormentors whom were seeking to kill them. The religion of Islam survived due to the mercy and compassion that were rendered by these black Africans. 4
ABRAHAM, ISSAC, AND ISHMAEL
The Muslims believe that the Kaaba (Islam's most sacred Mosque) was built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael (two so-called Prophets of Islam) who was the progeny (Ishmael) of the slave woman Hagar and the son that God instructed Abraham to sacrifice and is considered the beloved of God by Muslims.5
The Christians believe just the opposite and that Isaac was the one up for sacrifice and it is he, who is the beloved of God and he received God's favor6; thus, it is this theological controversy that has divided the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions and its peoples for over 4000 years, which has led to the present day political, social, economic, cultural and ethical disputes over land and sacred edifices, in particular in the Middle East between the so-called Jew and the Arab. Abraham is considered the father of nations, yet two nations of people, Muslims and Jews claim to share one father but have never been able to peacefully coexist. 7
9-11 CHANGED ISLAM FOREVER
The religion of Islam was placed at the center of the world stage after September 11, 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, in which sixteen of (16) of the nineteen (19) allege hijackers were Saudi Arabian nationals (a so-called U.S. Allied Nation), as well as Muslims.8
This incident as a consequence created hostility in the United States between Muslims and non-Muslims, but it also mandated scholars and layman alike, in America to judiciously investigate Islam and the political viewpoints of this controversial faith, conceivably for the first time on such a large scale. 9
Islam is one of the three major world religions and yet, prior to 9-11 most Americans were oblivious to its tenets, customs, political diversity, beliefs, factions, etc., furthermore, after this incident, the western media, both electronic and print (the 'Talking Heads') were creating fear, as well as, inciting paranoia by declaring Islam as a "mean-spirited" and a "terrorist based faith."10
Most Americans concurred that for any civilized human beings that would systematically carryout such a barbaric act of murdering over 3000 innocent human beings had to be the embodiment of evil, and perhaps it was not by coincidence that these allege perpetrators happened to be fundamentalist Muslims who had declared Jihad (Holy War) against the United States of America and its allies. 11
ISRAEL AND ARABS: FIGHTING OVER KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE SITE
The United States Government had unconditionally backed the Israeli Government since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and many Arabs in the Middle Eastern Region both conservative and liberal, sympathized with the Palestinians quest for a .11 homeland, it has been this issue that consistently serves as an international powder keg and it appears to have no political solution insight.
Elijah Muhammad in the Student Enrollment lessons, which was giving to registered Muslims only and after passing an exmination (test) 100 percent correctly; they are asked the QUESTION: Why Did We take Jerusalem from the Devil? How long ago: "Because one of our righteous brothers, was a prophet by the name of Jesus, was buried there. He uses his name to shild his dirty religion, which is called Christianity. Also to deceive the people so they would believe in him. Jesus teachings was not Christianity. It was freedom, Justice and equality. Jerusalem is in Palestine, Asia Minor. Jerusalem is a name given by the Jews which means foundedin peace' and was first built by the Original man called Rebus, Salem, and Ariel. We took the city from the devils about 750 years ago."
The 9-11 incident single-handedly has goaded Americans to begin to read and research Islam, because not since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that America was on the defensive and this act of domestic terrorism in many ways exposed our vulnerability as a nation. Americans wanted to know, why were there sectors of the Islamic World so angry with the west? This crucial question fostered debate and caused Islam to receive serious evaluation within the American populace. 12
The United States Intelligence Community held Osama Bin Laden (Saudi national) responsible and his Al-Qaeda movement for carrying out the 9-11 attack and the United States Arm Forces invaded Afghanistan in anticipation of bringing Bin Laden to Justice (U.S. Government put a twenty-five million dollar bounty over Bin Laden's head), but this offensive action only furthered strained the United States relations with international Islam. 13
Moreover, in 2003, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Government were accused of having weapons of mass destruction, although, the United Nations Weapons Inspectors could not substantiate this claim but President George Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell used undocumented propaganda to justify invading Iraq. 14
This war continues to intensify the polarization between Islam and the United States. The so-called 'War on Terror' has only infuriated Muslim Nations who have witnessed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi casualties and better than a few thousand or so United States Troop being killed on foreign soil. Some believe the motivational factor for this war was Oil and the multinationals, in particular the energy sector instigated this unjust conflict.
PRINCE HALL MASONS SPEAKS
This writer had converse with many Muslims and Prince Hall Masons in order to gather an understanding of both organizations perspectives, but to the Muslim this topic would sound like an oxymoron and most of all, as a religious, social, and political contradiction because they would unequivocally deny and reject any association with Freemasonry .
This writer was well aware of the controversy and the antagonistic relationship that exist between Freemasonry and Islam. He had objectively read what most of the Islamic pundits had written about Freemasonry, but he wanted to hear from those that had been raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason and traveled through the different houses of Scottish Rite and York Rite and eventually gained membership in to the Shrine.
Many who chose membership in this ancient order had little knowledge and understanding of Islam. Nevertheless, their decision to become Masons and not Muslims have unfortunately led to this involuntarily antagonism which continues to lead to religious ignorance, misconceptions and most of all suspicion. The Muslims did not understand that Masonry was a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. It is a fraternal brotherhood designed to make good men, better. 15
MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS: MIS-CHARACTERIZE FREEMASONRY
However, there is a false presupposition advocated by both Christian and Muslim that erroneously claim Freemasonry to be a religion 16 and some of the Muslims that this writer spoke with believed that you can not be a Freemason and belong to the religion Islam. But this is not to suggest that Freemasonry does not make use of religion (all theological faiths and philosophies are incorporated) in its philosophical and ritualistic orientation, it is (religion) employed in a non- sectarian manner in order discern out of Speculative Masonry those inner principles which reinforce spirituality. 17
MUSTAFA EL-AMIN, IS A PIONEER
This writer had thoroughly read Mustafa EI-Amin's books titled, "AI-Islam. Christianity. and "Freemasonry", "Ancient Egypt and the Islamic Destiny" and "African-American Freemasons: Why They Should Accept AI-Islam". EI-Amin stated: "When you read the history of Freemasonry among the African- American, you will find no where, a conscious, determined effort on their part to reconnect our people with our lost heritage, AI-Islam or any of the positive teachings of our ancient fathers. What you will find is a selfish attempt to keep knowledge among themselves and to receive benefits from the white establishment. Yet there ritual tells them to 'travel from west to east in search of light and that which is lost. ' The Caucasian travels to the east, Africa, Arabia, Asia, China, Russia, etc., but the African-American Freemasons and others don't travel beyond their lodge. Why? Because we were made too blind to see the wisdom. You African? American Freemasons and Shriners are supposed to accept AI-Islam, the religion of your ancestors" 19
EI-Amin in all of his writings was very clear about his belief in the religion of Islam and was unapologetic in his analysis of allege Masonic distortions aimed at Islam and he was most critical of high degree Masonry (Shrine Masonry) whom EI-Amin accused of using the religion of Islam in a profane manner. He considered this to be heretical, which in his opinion has led to some gross misunderstanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.20
EI-Amin is an Orthodox Sunni Muslim and a devout student of Imam Warithhuddeen Mohammed, the leader of the Muslim American Society and the son, of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Warithuddeen Mohammed succeeded his father in 1975, as the leader of the Nation of Islam and he transformed the Nation of Islam from a Black Nationalist organization into an Orthodox Sunni Islamic movement that embraced racial universalism, where as his father Elijah Muhammad taught separation of the races. 21
The younger Mohammed restructured the Nation of Islam and while doing so was openly critical of his father, the late Elijah Muhammad accusing him of being sacrilegious and blasphemous. Mohammed condemned his father for not teaching "true Islam" and it was his duty to offer the correct teachings of Islam as advocated by Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (PBUH) 1400 years ago. 22
EI-Amin and I, are both from Newark, New Jersey and within the last two years upon visiting Newark, I was hearing whispers within the Islamic community that EI-Amin was seeking to become the national leader of the American Muslim Society due to the untimely resignation of Imam Warithuddeen Mohammed. El-Amin's critics although, respected him as an Islamic intellectual and as a credible Muslim Imam, but he did not have the leadership experience on the national level, which was needed to keep this fragile organization solidified, in particular if he was going to succeed, a charismatic (Mohammed is not an electrifying orator but his charisma is seen in his uncanny ability to interpret Qur'an) leader like Imam Mohammed. 23
El-Amin shares the opinions of his leader Mohammed who depicted the Nation of Islam as structured by his father, Elijah Muhammad as a 'sect and a cult', 24 which any group or organization such as Masonry that is considered "oath takers" and operate so-called behind a cloak of "secrecy" would also be viewed by mainstream Islam and Muslim Clerics as a 'cult and anti-Islam'.
Shrine Masonry in particular, and Masonry in general, have not been completely honest about the role Islam has in its philosophy and ritual, even if that role is considered allegorical, metaphorical, figurative, emblematic, symbolic, mythological and have no greater reverence in its relations to Freemasonry than Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroasterism, etc., it will perhaps be this divulgence that would possibly open up meaningful dialogue and establish critical and much needed communications between Masons and Muslims in order to remove the stigmas and suspicion.
ELIJAH MUHAMMAD WAS A MASON
Elijah Muhammad stated: "To all of you that have remained in here that are not really followers of Islam and have not accepted the religion which is your own religion. It was the religion of Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus.There is no religion by the name of no prophet in the Bible, the white man knew this as well as I , that the religion of the prophets was Islam but he didn't want the so-called Negro to know that religion by the name of Islam. Islam has been practiced in secrecy call Higher Masonry, Shriner, that is a small degree of his knowledge of Islam taught in secrecy by that society".
Muhammd further states:"You don't need to join Masonry to be a Muslim. It is free and why would you buy that or spend money for that which brings you know gain? Regardless to how high you go in Masonry, you are still a Negro. And you are not treated as equal to white masons. But if you accept Islam, you are forcing all to recognize you". "If you come and follow me (Elijah Muhammad), I will give to you the meaning of all those degrees and your ritual. I will show that is only a history of you and the fall of you among them. That is all it is. I will prove it. You must be directed to look eastward again toward your people. Your God, like there's and toward that holy temple back there which have no roof on it and that is the Temple of Islam in the near east and the far east". "The temple of Mecca has no roof And hundreds of other temples there in the east where Muslims go and get in the courtyard and bow to Allah and prostrate have no roof on it. I say to you my friend that is a secret of your history, own history here practiced.
Muhammad goes on to state, "I reckon you're saying now, we'll get you now for that! But that is true. And I must tell the truth. That is the truth. Don't go and buy anymore Masonry, come and accept free Islam. I've been waiting on the Masons to come over and join me for years and now I'm going to tell on you if you don 'to You won't get anymore members if I start telling the truth as I know it. I know your First Degree to the Thirty Third Degrees. I know exactly what it means but you don't know what it means. I also have a few more degrees than that." 25
Elijah Muhammad appeared to have been initiated into Freemasonry via his own testimony and as a religious critic of Masonry went to great lengths to interpret the ritual and its symbolism, which he maintained that Masonry was set-up for Caucasian people whom the Asiatic Black man (believers in Islam) chased out of the Holy Land because of immoral behavior. Muhammad taught that the Asiatic Black man stripped the Caucasian of everything other than the original man's language, including their original garments; moreover, hoodwinked, cable-towed and gave him an apron to hide his shame and walked him 2200 miles across the hot Arabian Desert (this is perhaps consistent with ritual aspects of the Blue Lodge and definitely with the Shrine ritual). Muhammad said when the black man crosses the hot burning sands, he in essence lack knowledge of self and history. 26
Moreover, they are acting out the history of Caucasian people. Muhammad stated: "I will not go into the history of the Masons since I was a Mason myself once and I swore, too, not reveal the secrets. Masons who have reached such degrees as 32nd and 33,d are not called Masons. They are called Moslem Shriners. They are reaching up to us. When you take the 33rd degree you are taught to greet each other; 'As- Salaam Alaikum '. You are taught Islam from then on because you become a Muslim when that degree is conferred on you. At least you are supposed to be a believer in Islam. They teach you, almost from the start, to turn your face to the east." 27
AN ORIGINAL MAN
Claude Clegg a former Professor of History at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, authored the book titled, "An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad", which was considered the first scholarly biography on Elijah Muhammad. Clegg contacted me via telephone in 1995, he and I, had various conversations during this time period about the Nation of Islam during the research stage of this project. Clegg had received a copy of my book titled, In Defense of the Defender: The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, (published in 1994) and he thought I would be a good resource to assist him with making contact with former followers of Elijah Muhammad prior to 1976. 28
Clegg's perspective on the Nation of Islam sums up their view of admitting the unorthodox correlation of Islam and Freemasonry but the Nation of Islam teaches that Islam offers a "superior" theology" and one could transition from a "pseudo Islamic" organization like Freemasonry (Shrine Masonry aka in Islam as Moslem Sons) into the "Supreme Wisdom" as taught by the Nation of Islam. Clegg stated:
"At least for some Masons, membership in the Nation of Islam represented a spiritual graduation to a new level of knowledge even more intriguing and coveted than the thirty-three degrees of Masonic secrets. The Muslims believe that their gnosis was superior to the knowledge of the Masons in philosophical breadth and practical utility. It was not so much that they felt that the Nation's theology was radically different from Masonic doctrines, though it was in many ways, but instead, that the beliefs of the Muslims were 'original' formulations from which Freemasonry flowed as a sort of doctrinal distributary. Both the Muslims and the Masons shared an affinity for mystical symbolism, biblical allegories, and numerology, but the former considered themselves superior custodians of arcane knowledge. Whatever their ultimate motives for becoming Muslims, Masons did number among the early converts of the Nation of Islam". 29
ISLAM'S KNOWLEDGE IS 360 DEGREES A COMPLETE CIRCLE
Islam claim to represent 360 degrees of knowledge, which is a complete circle and the Masons who reaches the apex of becoming a thirty-third degree only have attained partial knowledge. It is this so-called incompleteness of the acquisition of knowledge, which often draws the un-daunting criticism from Muslims. However, I do not think Masonry was intending for thirty-third degrees to freeze or terminate its devotees ability to continue this infinite quest to study, research, analyze and to acquire wisdom, etc. Masonry is both a science and a social science and this journey (or traveling path) could lead you in various directions.
For example, Masonry can led you Madam H.P. Blavatsky who is a master in the field of Theosophy and authored two monumental works, The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Religion and Philosophy and "Isis Unveiled" and you could spend a lifetime deciphering Manley P. Hall's book titled, "Secret Teachings of all Ages". Moreover, and never exhaust the boundless wisdom because the ancients intended for it to be never-ending and to suggest that our Masonic travel ends at the United Supreme Council, 33rd Ancient Accepted Scottish Rites of Freemasonry conferring the honorary 33rd degree in a formalized way, completes our knowledge goal is ludicrous. This false contention is arguably the fuel that breeds so many misconceptions between the two entities.
Elijah Muhammad stated" "Only in higher freemasonry is there a little teachings at the top, mostly of this particular order that mentions the teachings of Almighty God Allah, but ( you have to pay a lot of money to become a 33'rd degree Mason. .. A Mason cannot be a good Mason unless he knows the Holy Qur'an and follow its teachings ... " 30
The secret to Freemasonry, is that there is no secret, and anyone who is willing to take the time to investigate this subject could get a working knowledge of the order from the first degree (Entered Apprentice) to the thirty-third (Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry) and/or the York Rite Side.
ALI IBN TALIB THE FOUNDER OF SHIA ISLAM
Dr. Malachi Z. York formerly known as Imam As Sayyid Issa Al Haddi AI Mahdi who at on time headed the Ansaar Allah Community (aka the Nubian Islamic Hebrews), who perhaps borrowed a sizable amount of his Masonic philosophy from Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.
But Dr. York adds some historical rationale to when and how Islam and Freemasonry perhaps got intertwined. Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (PBUH 570-632 AD.), the founder of the Islamic religion and at the death of the prophet, questions of succession arose and a Caliphate system called the "Rightly Guide Ones" was enacted and some of the closes companions to the Prophet Muhammad would be the ones ordained to continue promoting Islam after the prophet's death. This leadership came from four men: Abu Baker (632-634 AD.), Umar Ibn AI-Khattab (634-644 AD.), Abdullah Ibn Uthman (644-656 AD.), and Ali Ibn Abi Talib (656-661 AD.). 31
Caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib (the fourth and final successor) rein of leaderships is perhaps the most controversial of all the proceeding Caliphs, he was Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law. Some Islamic scholars maintain that Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (PBUH) had chosen Ali as his successor and he should have been ordained as the first Caliph of Islam and the succession of leadership would have been past down through the seed of Ali and his wife Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad, which would have secured a bloodline succession. 32
Shia Islam believes that Ali was the first person to convert to Muhammad's new Islamic religion and was so-called hand picked by Muhammad to serve as his only legitimate successor and this belief brings in the question the credibility of the other said three Caliphs that has found legitimacy within Sunni Islamic doctrine.
This belief is being taught within Shia Islam even today in countries like Iran, Iraq, and Yemen. etc., this is one of the ideological and theological discrepancies, which separates Shia Islam from the dominant majority Sunni Islam. Sunni Islam is very clear about its criteria, e.g., one must accept the Prophet-hood of Muhammad as the last Messenger of Allah, the Holy Qur'an as Allah (God's) revealed word and lastly the Sunnah (the sayings of the prophet Muhammad) which was recorded and complied in book known as Hadiths. 33
However, there has been questions of some Hadiths authenticity and Muslims generally speaking are partial to those Hadiths compiled and translated by scholars Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. If one uses deductive reasoning, it is logical to ascertain that Shia Islam as a minority sect, in its early inception had to survive in covert secrecy due to the opposition held by the dominant Sunni sect.
Freemasonry (Shrine Masonry) may have latched on to this historical conflict between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam. The Shriners use the 644 A.D. as a date of origin for the Order and as a way to romanticize Islamic history and validate mystical rituals with an objective of teaching secular moral canon and at the same time assigning it-self to legitimate Islamic historical events.
Albert Mackey in his monumental work titled, "The History of Freemasonry". alludes to the fact that there was a Freemason like sect under the guise of shia Islam adhering to Ali Ibn Ibi Talib in a mystical like manner he stated: "Externally they practice the duties of Islamism, although they internally renounce them; they believed in the divinity of Ali, in uncreated light as the principles of all created things, and in Sheikh Ras-ed-dia, the Grand Prior of the Order in Syria, and contemporary with the Grand Master Hassan I., as the last representative of Deity on earth. The Rev. Mr. Lyde, who traveled among the remains of the sect in 1852, says that they professed to believe in all the prophets, but had a chief respect for Mohammed and his son-in-law Ali, and speaks of their secret prayers and rites ... " 34
PROPHET MUHAMMAD OF ARABIA
Islam as a religion didn't start to geographically expand itself beyond the Arabian Peninsula until approximately 640 A.D. some eight years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); there is a historical misnomer that Prophet Muhammad was this great conquer, that colonized huge foreign territories by way of the sword. Islam's expansion beyond its boarder must be attributed Ali Ibn Abi Talib two sons, Hasan Ibn Ali and his brother, Husayn Ibn Ali.
Dr. York stated: "The Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of Mystic Shrine began exactly one hundred years before the opening of the Seventh Seal in 1970.Shriners falsely claim the Son-in-law and cousin of Noble Prophet Mustafa Muhammad Al-Amin (aka Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, Amiyrul Mu 'Miniyn Ali (Ali Ibn Abi Talib), the commander of the faithful, founded this secret society in 644 A.D.
He goes on to state, "the Shrine Rituals were concocted for the amusement of American Masons. The Shriners bear such titles as High Priest, Rabban, Oriental Guide, Worshipful Master, Warden, and Imperial Deputy. Incorporated within their studies are the basic precepts of AI-Islam. The laws of the Mystic Shrine are not to be broken. They are to be kept secret and never let out or passed on to anyone. A Shriner supposedly is devoted to the cause of justice, truth and mercy. Justice is the sword which is their symbol".
"Truth is AI-Islam and the mercy is shown by the Arabs allowing the Christians to enter into their Holy City, Jerusalem. These teachings were gifts granted by the mercy of the Arabs. The Muslim Sons (Shriners) were allowed to serve as guides-to the Christian pilgrims to the city of Mecca".
"The Christians and the Arabs made a covenant by crossing swords, whereby the Arabs permitted the Christians to enter this city because the Christians believed in the Messiah, Jesus. The sword was there as an emblem of justice and it was used by the original man in the Prophet Mustafa Muhammad Al-Amin 's time (570-632 A.D.). It was placed on the upper part of the flag so that the Devil could be constant~ reminded that if he revealed any secrets, his head would be taken by this sword." 35
Whether one view Dr. York's explanation as being plausible or not, he does make an attempt to introduce some historical events and dates that loosely connects Islam and Freemasonry, which gives it some chronological rationale.
DID FREEMASONRY INSPIRE THE AFROCENTRIC MOVEMENT
In the mid 1990's the Afrocentric Movement in America came under attack mainly by white academia and Zionist Jews, as a result of Black scholars making a serious scholarly and intellectual attempt, to reclaim the contributions Black Africans made to Egypt and to all of humanity.
It was Moleif Kete Asante, a Temple University African American Studies professor who authored the book, "Afrocentricity" that took the brunt of this attack, but other black scholars such as Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan, Leonard Jefferies, Asa Hillard, John Henrik Clarke, Amos Wilson, Na'im Akbar, Tony Martin, Frances Cress Welsing, Khallid Abdul Muhammad, etc., were not spared by this counter on-slaught.
Mary Lefkowitz was one of the Zionist scholars who led this counter movement against Afrocentric scholars; she is an Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College who authored the book, titled, "Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History".
Lefkowitz accused the African-Centered thinkers of concocting fantasies and myths and claim it to be history, but more interesting she attributes these so-called fictional tales that were being advocated by African-Centered thinkers to be nothing more than glorified Masonic history. Leftkowitz's in a chapter titled, "How Did the Myth of an Egyptian Mystery Come to be Preserved in Freemasonry". 36
She stated,"In reality, the Freemasonic movement in its present form is relatively modern, and has its origin in the seventeenth century A.D. But it is an article of faith in the Freemasons' own histories of their movement that there were freemasons in earliest antiquity. Their rites and mythology preserve the essence of 'Egyptian' mysteries and philosophy prevalent in late antiquity ... A striking quality of Freemasonry is its 'imaginative attachment to the religion and symbolism of the Egyptians". 37
Lefkowitz's contention is of important because as the same way she describes how Freemasonry had so-called attached itself to the origin and the development of ancient Egyptian civilization, Muslims and Islam would argue a similar point of how Freemasonry has connected itself to the religion of Islam in a like manner.
If Freemasonry claims of antiquity is factual (this author believe that it is), then there is no other civilization that could compare to the majesty and valor of Egypt and on the other hand, Islam (interpreted to referring to Mecca and Medina) with all its religious mystique would have been two perfect mythical and historical societies for Freemasonry to affix itself to, but Freemasons would argue that these nations aspired and flourished because of Masonic enlightenment and not the other away around.
MIDDLE EAST FREEMASONRY AND ISLAM
In a book titled," Freemasonry". authored by Muhammad SafWat al- Saqqa Amin and co-authored by Sa'di Abu Habib which was published by the Muslim World League in 1980. These two authors are Muslims and quite naturally they are apologist for Islam, but there was a segment in this book I found intriguing, in subchapter titled, 'A New Lodge: Christian-Muslim Freemasonry,' that in: 37
"Beirut, a new Freemasonic lodge named, Christian-Muslim Freemasonry , is affiliated with the Oriental Lodge, or the Grand Arab Orient. The Master of the Grand Arab Orient claims that he is the awaited Mahdi, as he is a direct descendant of the Prophet Daud (the biblical David, father of biblical Solomon) on the one side, and of Muhammad, on the other. Muslims of both sexes gather at the Oriental Lodge to hear 'worldly' principles expounded by their founder. .. As to the consecration, at it the applicant repeats constantly: The covenant of Muhammadan? Christian guidance, laid down by the Mahdi, is legal since whoever obeys the Mahdi obeys God and whoever defies him defies God ... The Prophet Muhammad asked God to complete his spiritual glory through a person whose sobriquet is Nur. Muhammad is a Christian, his father is a Christian and the origin of the word 'Muhammad' is Mu' ammad. Muhammad has come forth with a new religion, nay, rather with a Christian Arab way like the Orthodox and the Protestant." 38
The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (white shriners) and there is some debate whether white Masons and black Masons have different study and Masonic ritual criteria, it may vary from jurisdictions, but the fundamentals of Masonic ritual and teachings are closely similar.
SHRINERS SPEAK THE SAME AS MUSLIMS
Here is another example of a Shriner's traveling card explicitly using Islamic vernacular that reads: "In the name of Allah, Merciful, and Compassionate. I desire to visit a Temple or Shrine in many cities. He is a good man, patient, cultural of sterling worth. There is no conqueror but Allah. Authorized with power by the Imperial Council Ancient Arabic Order Lodges of The Mystic Shrine. Witness the deputy and representative of temples in the East. Mohammed traveled from Mecca in the South to the North in Medina. Please Allah, we shall travel every where in safety. Small things influence great. Do not travel in the heat of the day. Travel with your eyes and ears open. By the grace if Allah, we have found repentance. Politeness is small solver. Action is power. Everything is from Allah. There is no deity, but Allah". 39
However, once again I do not think there is any intent to proselytize the religion of Islam within the Shrine Temple nor is the Masonic Order placing Islam on a higher plateau in relations to other faiths. But Shriners have created a mythological Islam that is full of mysticism in order to further teach the importance of Deity and justify ritual and enhance moral lessons. I learned that in the Masonic Lodge there were supposedly two subjects, that were considered off limits religion and politics, yet these subjects consistently dominate lodge discussions.
THE VICTORY CEREMONY, DIRECTLY FROM THE HOLY QURAN
Muslims will never accept Freemasonry ritual concept of an allegorical Islam that is steeped in legendary fairy-tales. My research revealed that the Holy Qur'an is used in the Shrine Temple, in fact the first Quranic chapter titled, "Al-Fatihah" (the opening) is recited. This is the language used by the Shriners: "Assalamo Aleikum was rahmatullah " which the Shriners translate from Arabic to English interpret as "Be Our Salutations and God's Blessing on You". 40
It is further stated in broken Arabic: Alhamdo-Lilahi Rabbil A 'lamen Arrahman Irrahim Malik -I Youmiddin. Iyyaka Na ' Buda- Iyyaka Nasta' In Ehdinnassiraim Ustabin Sinatallazina An ' Amta Ailaihim Ghairil Maghzubilalahim Walazzalin Aamin. 41
This Arabic Islamic prayer is translated by the Shriners in the English language as such, "All possible amount of praises and thankfulness goes to God who is the creator and cherisher of all the worlds. He is most kind, most merciful. He is the only King of the day of judgment. 0' Allah! Only thee do we worship and only thee do we beg assistance (in all our needs). Guide us the right wiry; the way of those to whom you been gracious and bountiful; not those who go astray, Aamin! (Grant my prayers)." 42
This above phraseology is the identical Quranic verses that are often recited in Islamic Mosques and Masjids as one of the majestic prayers of Islam, with the exception to the poor Arabic as cited by the Shriners. If nothing else, Muslims could assist Shrine Masonry as lecturers, which will alleviate some of the ignorance toward at least understanding Islam from the secular and offer Arabic language classes to refine the beauty in this language.
Robert McCoy who authored the book titled, "A Dictionary of Freemasonry", stated that the : "Alcoran (AI-Koran). The sacred book of the Mahommedans (Muslims), or rather a sacred book; for they recognize the old Hebrew Scriptures as of greater authority. The Alcoran (AI-Koran) contains the revelation made to Mahommed, his doctrines and precepts. In a Masonic Lodge of Mahommedans it should lay on the alter as the Bible does in a Lodge of Christians" 43
The Shrine Obligation explicitly uses Islamic terminology " ... On my voluntary desire, uninfluenced and of free accord do hereby assume, without reserve, the Obligations of the Nobility of the Mystic Shrine, as did the elect of the Temple of Mecca, the Moslem and the Mohammedan. I do hereby, upon the Bible, and mysterious legend of the Koran, and its dedication to the Mohammedan faith, promise and swear and vow on the faith and honor of an upright man, come weal or woe, adversity or success, that I will never reveal any secret part or portion whatsoever of the ceremonies I have received ." 44
How many Shriners would know and understand that the term Mohammedan is highly offensive to Muslims because it suggest that Muslims worship Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, as opposed to Allah (God). The Shrine Obligation goes on "In willful violations where of I may incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my fleet flayed and I be forced to walk the hot sands upon the sterile shores of the Red Sea until the flaming Sun shall strike me with a livid plague, and may Allah, the God of Arab Moslem and Mohammedan, the God of our fathers, support me the entire fulfillment of the same Amen. Amen. Amen". 45
This penalty (Shrine Obligation) gives credibility to Elijah Muhammad's explanation in his Lost-Found Muslim Lesson, Number 1, which reads like the Masonic Catechism. Muhammad in his 'Supreme Wisdom' lesson asked the Question: "Why does Muhammad make the devil study from thirty-five to fifty years before he can call himself a Moslem son? And he must add a sword on the upper part of the Holy and Greatest Universe flag of Islam".
Muhammad provides us with the answer to this riddle like question, "So that he could clean himself up. A Moslem does not love the devil regardless to how long he studies. After he has devoted thirty-five or fifty years trying to learn and do like the original man, he could come and do trading among us and we not kill him as quick as we would the other devils, that is who have not gone under this study. After he goes through with this labor from thirty- five to fifty years, we permit him to wear our Holy Flag which is the Sun, Moon, and Stars. He must add the sword on the upper part. The sword is the emblem of Justice and it was used by the original man in Muhammad's time".
Muhammad continues "thus, it was placed on the upper part of the flag so that the devil can always see it, so he will keep in mind that anytime he reveals the secrets, his head would be taken off by the sword. We give him this chance so that he could clean himself up and come among us. The Holy Flag of Islam is the greatest and only flag known ... " 46
FARRAKHAN'S MINISTER MAKES THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ISLAM AND SHRINE
Tynnetta Muhammad, a scholar in the Nation of Islam, as headed by Minister Louis Farrakhan, she has an affinity toward numerology, esoteric, metaphysical science and her writings often reflect the philosophical insight of a Sufi Islamic Imam and/or an Eastern Religious Sage who had mastered the lessons in the, "Kybalion: A Study of the Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece".
Tynneta Muhammad wrote that she visited the George Washington Masonic Memorial Museum in Alexandra, Virginia, she stated: "On the sixth floor of the towering ten (10)-story edifices is the Shriner's Temples and Hospitals as they are numbered throughout North America. In a glass showcase one may view a display of various Shriner's fezzes adorned with Arabic names."
She cotinues "Above these names is placed the emblem of a Crescent-like scimitar with a star, symbolizing their oath of secrecy ... Within this room there are several portraits of at least four Presidents of the United States who were Shriners. There are also portraits of at least four Mexican Presidents and the last reigning Monarch of Hawaii. In the Imperial Throne Room, there is a mural on the walls depicting the gathering of Pilgrims in the Holy City of Mecca, Arabia. "Centered in the mural is a replica of the Kabah. Directly in front of this mural is a slightly elevated center platform around which are placed thirteen chairs. On the center table facing these chairs is placed a miniature copy of the Kabah and a copy of the Holy Qur 'an. We learned in our investigations that the use of the Islamic symbols was introduced a little over one hundred years ago between 1876 and 1877. It is only after a Mason or Moslem Son attains the 32nd degree that he can be admitted as a shriner" 47
THERE IS A LACK OF SCHOLARSHIP RELATIVE TO SHRINE MASONRY AND ISLAM
What this writer found to be astonishing is that other than the literary works of Mustafa EI-Amin who dedicated a body of work to understanding the relationship between Islam and Freemasonry, it is for the most a part a virgin subject. I applaud El-Amin for being a pioneer on this controversial subject Islam and its connections to Freemasonry.
There need to be more scholarship in this area and an in depth comparative study done on Islam and Freemasonry. There is no deniability that Shrine Masonry and the Religion of Islam share some commonalities, which the former perhaps view as inconsequential, but the latter is a lot more passionate about any "pseudo sect" using Islam in an incorrect manner. This is not surprising because most religions and their parishioners are not taught to be tolerant nor is it permissible to deviate from the original theological intent. So why should I think any different about El-Amin's position and the religion of Islam position as it relates to Freemasonry in general. The Shriners philosophy continue evoke sentiments of Islamic history throughout the Mystic Shrine but perhaps not out of any Islamic convictions, rather to instill the value of moral principles.
SHRINE POINTS US TO THE EAST
"Our alliance or the Rite of our Mystic Shrine is ancient, honorable, benevolent and secret. It is devoted to the cause of justice, truth and mercy. It is ancient as the corner-stone of Mohammed's Temple of Mecca; as secret as the Moslem that bound the tribes of Arabia to Allah or their God; as honorable as the Christian, and the tenets to which it is dedicated when once assumed cannot be eschewed or cast aloof. We Know no retrogression; justice is our escutcheon; charity beyond reason we do not expect; virtue must be regarded for its peerless worth and morality observed for the general good of all. We require absolute secrecy and desire all our disciples an interest in our noble cause and a just observance of the tenets of our faith. Let these preliminary teachings be deeply graven upon your hearts. They are priceless when well observed and attributes that cannot be bought with paltry, sordid gold. By the existence of Allah and the creed of Mohammed; by the legendary sanctity of our Tabernacle at Mecca, we greet you, and in commemoration of the Arab's faith in purity and innocence.48
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO DO THIS RESEARCH
What inspired me to write this article, I was giving a copy of the Phylaxis, Fall 2003 magazine by a Past Master named Ben Taylor of Doric Lodge # 28 Prince Hall Affiliated in Durham, North Carolina. Brother Taylor is an older brother perhaps in mid-seventies, but he has always struck me to be a serious student of Masonry.
He was aware that I was doing research on Islam (Muslims) and Shrine Masonry and there was an article in this particular issue titled, "The Moorish Science Temple: A Religion Influenced by Prince Hall Freemasonry", authored by Reverend Dr. Robert L. Uzzel that he thought, I could appreciate. 49
I was very intrigued by brother Uzzel's scholarship, which his investigation uncovers the root connections between the Moorish Science Temple and the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. I believe Brother Uzzel is a Christian and a Mason and this writer considers himself a free thinker thus, this is not to suggest that objectivity can not be giving to an Islamic topic when covered by a Christian scholar.
Brother Uzzel does an extremely excellent job with this topic, he gave a great deal of attention to the Moorish Science Temple point of view, but did not expound upon what Freemasonry has in their body of liturgy, teachings, philosophy, dogma, ritual, etc., relative to the Islamic Religion. This is what will separate my research from Brother Uzzel and I too will cover some aspects of the Moorish Science Temple and its enigmatic leader Nobel Drew Ali.
A few years ago prior to his death, I had the opportunity to visited with Dr. C. Eric Lincoln who was a professor Emeritus at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. He lived about two miles from my home and we discussed the plight of Islam in America and consequently he had written the first scholarly sociological study on "Black Muslims" in 1961 titled, "Black Muslims in America" . Dr. Lincoln also was a 33rd degree Mason and he and I spent over two hours talking about Noble Drew Ali, I still value that discussion .
NOBLE DREW ALl: MUSLIM OR MOSLEM SON
Noble Drew Ali was born Timothy Drew on January 8, 1886, in the state of North Carolina in the rural mountain town of Cherokee. Ali incorporated Shriners philosophy, literature, Masonic regalia, etc., as part of his mystic Islamic teachings. In the Shriners 'Recognition Test', the question is asked, "Then I presume you are a Noble?" Answer: "I am so accepted by all men of Noble birth". 50
Thus, it is clear that the title 'Noble' was used by the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the Caucasian side of the Mystic Shrine) years before the Moorish Science Temple of America was formulated. I stated earlier that the Mystic Shrine claimed an origin that dates back to 644 A.D. to the Grand Sheik of Mecca, but history gives the Mystic Shriners origin as being June 6, 1876. 51
There is no doubt in my mind and I am in agreement with Brother Uzzel that Ali had some involvement in Freemasonry. Noble Drew Ali's full and complete attribute was Sharieff Abdul Ali (name translates to mean: Honorable, Servant, Exalted). Some scholars claim that Ali came out of the Marcus Garvey Movement of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). However, in truth and reality Garvey did not teach Islam, although, his mentor Duce Muhammad Ali was an Egyptian-Sudanese Muslim but Marcus Garvey taught a Pan-Nationalist view of Christianity and not Islam. 52
SHRINE MASONRY IS THE ROOT OF BLACK ISLAM IN AMERICA
Noble Drew Ali perhaps became affiliated with the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the African American side of Shrine Masonry), which was founded in Chicago in 1893. Ali may have even discovered a distorted view of Islam via his initiation into the 33rd degree Masonry and the Mystic Shrine. 53
The Shriners in a subtle way perhaps pointed Ali to investigate Egypt, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Morocco, etc., because the Order in theory does understand that the root of civilization and knowledge originated in the east. Ali borrowed the tall burgundy fez with the tassel from the Shriners, who borrowed it from the Muslims in the east. The symbolic clasped hands in Moorish Science regalia, in particular the position of the right thumb depicts a Masonic Hand shake(Masonic Token). This is the symbol of unity in Moorish doctrines. 54
It is alleged that Ali traveled to Egypt, where he was initiated into the Lesser Mystery Systems of the great pyramids and also traveled to Morocco where he studied Islam under some of the top Imams of North Africa. It is believed that the Imams commissioned Sharrieff Abdul Ali (Noble Drew Ali) to come back to North America and teach the African descendants the true religion of Islam. 55
Sharrieff Abdul Ali (Noble Drew Ali) claimed a so-called bloodline lineage to Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Bin Faisal AI-Saud (1876- 1953). He was passionately called King Abdul Aziz. Al-Saud took the country of Hijaz, the Arabian Peninsula in 1926 A.D., and renamed it 'Saudi Arabia' after himself. Al-Saud rule's marked the beginning of an anti-Islamic Monarchy in the Holy Land. He had 43 sons including King Fahd. Surely Allah will reveal and distinguish truth from falsehood. 56
Ali required his followers to relinquish their United States Citizenship; moreover, he issued them 'Nationality Cards', which stated, "This is your nationality and identification card for the Moorish Science Temple of America, and birthrights for the Moorish Americans, etc. We honor all of the Divine Prophets: Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Confucius. May the blessings of the God of our father Allah, be upon you that carry this card. I do hereby declare that you are a Moslem under the Divine Laws of the Holy Koran of Mecca. Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice. I am a citizen of the USA" 57 Note the spelling of Muslim is 'Moslem', which is typically the way that the Shriners pronounce and spell it, the terms Holy Qur'an is spelled 'Holy Koran,' and Prophet Muhammad is spelled Mohammed the exact ways the Shriners use this lexicon. A1i could never from an ideological standpoint distance his teachings and Islamic philosophy from the essentials of the Mystic Shrine, even after visiting the east and witnessing the theology of Islam being taught by some of the wisest Imams and Sheiks.
His movement remained interdependent on shrinedom evidence of Islamic mysticism that existed in an oriental allusion. However, A1i's efforts must be applauded because he was the first African American (Asiatic Black man) and Muslim leader in 1913 in the city of Newark, New Jersey to formalize an Islamic movement in America. There is a loose theory that maintains Master Wali Fard Muhammad who was born February 26, 1877 in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and was in and out America, for twenty years prior to making his identity known; moreover, he personally taught five men, Drew A1i, Father Divine, Marcus Garvey, Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses Founder) and Elijah Muhammad and with the exception to Muhammad, it is believed by some, that the other four leaders corrupted his original teachings. Whether the latter taught the former or visa versa, it is without a doubt that the greatest influence on "black Islam" in America has been its unconventional relationship to Shrine Masonry.
Professor Ravanna Bey states, "Moorish Americans are required to master the Holy Koran, a text written in 1926 by the prophet Nobel Drew A1i. It is not to be confused with the Orthodox Qur'an inspired by the Arabian Prophet Muhammad. Drew A1i's Holy Koran is an abbreviated version of a Tibetan Text written in the Pali Language before being translated into English. The more complete version of the Tibetan Text is the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ. (written by Levi H. Dowling 1844-1911). Some of A1i's critics state that as far doctrines are concern, he did not bring anything new. In fact he plagiarized the foundations of his teachings from The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ. 58
The author Peter Lamborn Wilson, who authored the book titled, Sacred Drifts: Essay on the Margins of Islam had this to say about Moorish Symbols: "The mystic circle-seven appears at the front of Noble Drew Ali's Circle Seven Koran. It relates to the Elohim, the angles or 'gods' called by him 'the Seven Eyes of Allah.' The handshake, used as a symbol by many groups, may be Masonic in origin. According to Isa Al- Mahdi, the handclasp represents Divine Unity. The Fez may also be adopted from the Black Shriners, although in Drew Ali's time it was common in the Islamic world, and the shape here is distinctly Moroccan ...Nobel Drew Ali was initiated in several branches of Masonry---a movement which has translated certain elements of Islamic into occidental culture. One possible link with Islam might have risen from the meeting between 'Assassins' and Knights Templar during the Crusades; Rosicrucian's also claim an Eastern origin (in Yemen). From the point of view of 'heretical' Westerners, Islam represents a source of esoteric knowledge. From Xerox Moorish Science Temple text, 1973. 59
Noble Drew Ali stated in his Holy Koran in a chapter titled, "After the Feast----the Homeward Journey-- The Missing Jesus--- The Search for Him---His Parents Find Him in the Temple----He goes with them to Nazareth----Symbolic Meaning of Carpenter's Tools. Ali stated: "One day as he was bringing forth the tools for work he said: These tools remind me of the ones we handle in the workshop of the mind where things are made of thought and where we build up character. We use the square to measure all our lines, to straighten out the crooked places of the wiry and make the corners of our conduct square. We use the compass to draw the circles around our passions and desires and keep them in the bounds of righteous. We use the ax to cut wiry the knotty, useless, ungainly parts and to make character symmetrical. We use the hammer to drive home the truth, and pound it in until it is a part of every part. We use the plane to smooth the rough, uneven surface of joint and block and board that go to build the temples for the truth. The chisel, line, the plummet and saw all have their uses in the workshop of the mind And then this ladder with its trinity of steps, faith, hope and love; on it we climb up to the dome of purity in life. And on the twelve step ladder, we ascend until we reach the pinnacle of that which life is spent to build the Temple of Perfected Man. 60
This above quotation by Noble Drew Ali is classical Masonic philosophy in each degree in Masonry the candidate is provide a set of working tools, but we as Free and Accepted Masons are taught to use them for the more noble and glorious purpose.61
This is what separate Operative Masonry from Speculative Masonry, the former used artistic trades to beautify the external, and the latter Speculative Masonry teaches how to subdue one's passion and improve themselves in Masonry by instilling the principles of God, friendship and brotherly love. The sublime teachings of right angles, perpendiculars and horizontals, etc., it is also designed to inculcate moral edification and spiritual values. The construction tools have a meaning of duality in Masonry that can only be interpreted from it rites and sacrament.
Arthur H. Fauset, in his pamphlet, Moorish Science Temple of America supports the contention that of Peter Wilson and Robert Uzzel who maintained that Ali's Islamic movement was heavily influenced by the Mystic Shrine and he indeed borrowed their philosophy, lingo, ritual and the Masonic world view; Fauset states, "Note the extensive use of ritual regalia reminiscent of the 'Ancient Arabic Egyptian Arabic Orders of the Mystic Shrine of North and South America and its Jurisdiction, 'known as 'Black Shriners'. The 'Black Shriners', consisting of 32 and 33 degree Masons were incorporated as an organization in 1893 in Chicago. They used such titles as 'Noble' (Sharif) and 'Sheik'; called their meeting places 'Temples' claimed an ancient origin in Islamic countries and wore fezzes on ceremonial occasions. The Moorish Science Temple utilize the symbols of the symbols of the star and crescent, the' All -Seeing-Eye' and two hands shaking (in a Masonic grip) their letterhead. The wearing of the red fezzes was mandatory for male members. 62
The Freemasonry critic Ed Decker in his book titled, "The Dark Side of Freemasonry", in which he gives a reasonable explanation relative to how the fez was introduced into Shrine Masonry, Decker states, " ... I did a little study on the Fez. The Fez comes from the name of the City of Fez, a city in Morocco, in northwest Africa. In the early eight century, the city was overrun by Islamic Hordes. They came into the Christian City of Fez and demanded they convert to Islam ... 63
In conclusion, this study could have focused a little more on the Master Wali Fard Muhammad (1877-1933), *the founder of the Nation of Islam who mysteriously disappeared in 1933 and Elijah Muhammad (1897- 1975). However, there is little doubt that the Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, the Five Percent Nations of Gods and Earths, the Tabernacle Temple (Dr. York's Organization), Hebrew Israelite Nation (headed by Yahweh Ben Yahweh), the EI-Rukns, etc., have been influenced by Black Freemasonry in America. Yet, in an uncanny way, international Islam may have sparked Shrine Masonry in to existence in 644 AD. But there is very little research in this area to fully answer all the questions of how, when, where, what, who and why the six questions that allows social scientist and historians to objectively answer and substantiate the facts based on empirical findings.
SHRINE MASONRY HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO PRACTICE ITS CRAFT
This article will perhaps challenge Prince Hall Masonry scholars, in particular and Shrine Masonry in general, to delve deeper in their ritual and Islamic roots in order understand the sensitivity of Muslims; however, both Freemasonry and Islam have a moral obligation to ease the suspicion, misconceptions and enhance better communications between the two entities. Islam as a religion is here to stay and the Black order of Freemasonry is here to stay and Freemasonry in general. In the early 1900,s Caucasian Masons took Prince Hall Masons and Shriners to court claiming that Prince Hall Masonry was 'clandestine' " ... the White Masonic Order lost their legal battle to the Black Masons and on June 23, 1929, the United Supreme Court handed down the decision that guaranteed that Prince Hall Masons and Shriners had all the rights as a fraternity to appear in public and in private to practice the time honored traditions of Masonry" .
Fahim A. Knight is located in Durham, North Carolina United States of America and is the Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL BLACK THINK THANK. Our objective is to inform, educate and re-train the thinking of black people and all people of goodwill. Fahim Knight is a Prince Hall Mason of Doric Masonic Lodge # 28 in Durham, NC and has been engaged in Masonic research for over ten years. Fahim can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAY AWAKE UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
FAHIM A. KNIGHT
1 R.F. Dibbles, Mohammed. (New York: Viking Press, 1926), pp. 55-56.
2 Khurshid Ahmad, Islam, Its Meaning and Message, (London Islamic Foundation, 1980), p. 28.
3 Understanding Islam and the Muslim, (Washington, DC: The Islamic Affairs Dept., The Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 1989). p. 9.
4 Muhammad Husayn Haykak, The Life of Muhammad, (New York: North American Trust Publication 8th Edition, 1976), pp. 97, 98, 100, 101, 105.
5 Muhammad Ali, The Holy Quran, (Illinois : Specialty Promotions Co., originally published in Lahore, Pakistan, translated in Arabic Text and the said English translation was publishedin 1985 .This Quranic Translation was perhaps offered to Wali Fard Muhammad (the Founder of Nation of Islam) in the early 1900's by the Ahmaadiyyah Muslims (Mizra Ghulam Ahmed) of Pakistan that were in America during this timeframe propagating Islam in the blackcommunity) Quranic Foot Note # 2116 and 2116a reference Ishmael whom Abraham was ordered by God to be sacrificed.
6 King James, Holy Bible , (Kansas: Heirloom Bible Publishers, 1991) , the Book of Genesis the 22"• Chapter; Verses 1-17 depicts Prophet Abraham's called to sacrifice his son Isaac and this is Theologically accepted by the Judo-Christian as the son that God showed favored upon. However, the Islamic World believe that Ishmael was the one ordered by Allah (God) to be sacrificed.
7 Malachi Z. York; aka As Sayyid Issa AI-Haadi AI Mahdi, 360 Questions to Ask the Orthodox Sunni Muslims, (New York: Tents of Kedar, 1989), pp. 30-31. Dr. York is the controversial former leader Of the Ansaar Allah Community who came under attack in New York by Orthodox Sunni Muslims in the late 1980's and early 1990's accusing him of teaching a perverted religion under the banner of AI-Islam. His most recognizable critic was Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips that authored a book titled, "The Ansar Cult in America". York's book represented the antithesis to the entire negative his Islamic critics spewed against him. York moved his headquarters to Eatonton, Georgia, which he disavowed his former Islamic teachings and set up a Freemasonry type organization where he served as Grand Master of the Ancient Mystic Order of Melchizedek. He also claimed Moorish American Heritage and Native American linage. York has Perhaps authored thousands of manuscripts on philosophy, occult, esoteric, metaphysical science, Egyptology, history, religion, science, etc., and he stands unmatched on the amount of research credited to his name. Dr. York is presently serving various life sentences for so-called molestation of children at his compound.
8 Gary Bunt, "Studying Islam after 9-11: Reflections and Resources";November 2001, http://www/. Prs-ltns.leads. ac,uk/relig_ studies/islam/bunt. html .
9 Ibid. 1-2.
10 lbid., 1-2 .
11 Daniels Pipes, and Wladyslaw Pleszczynski; ed, "A New Round of Anger and Humiliation: Islam After 9/11"; 2002, http://www/. Danielpipes.org/articles/ 417; also published in Our Brave New World Essay on the Impact of September 11; Stanford: Hoover Institute Press, 2002, pp. 41-61.
12 AIi Nawaz Memon, "The Islamic Nation: Status and Future of Muslims in the New World Order", (Maryland: Writers' Inc. International, 1995), p. 9.
--- Daniel Pipes., lbid. (also drew from Pipes article in a manner of paraphrasing that made up this Reference notation).
13 lbid., Daniel Pipes.
14Jerry 'Politex' Barrett, "Big Bush Lies: 20 Essays and a list of the 50 Most Telling Lies of George Bush", (Oregon: River Wood Books, 2004); thus the Web page http://.www.bushwatch.com/ Gave an article titled, "29 Bush Lies About Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction" , pp. 5-9.
15 Robert Lomas, "Turning The Hiram Key: Rituals of Freemasonry Revealed", (Massachusetts: Fair Winds Press, 2005), p. 213 •
• Allen E. Roberts. "The Craft and its Symbols: Opening the Door of Masonic Symbolism", (Virginia: MaCoyPublishing and Masonic Supply Company, Inc.,1974), p. 8.
17 Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogmas of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry" , (Virginia: L.B. Jenkins, Inc. reprint 1927; originally prepared for The Supreme Council Of the Southern Jurisdiction, A.A.S.R., U.S.A., 1871), pp. 195-197.
18 Derrick Burgman, Worshipful Master; Doric Lodge Number 28 Prince Hall Affiliated; Durham, North Carolina; permits Master Mason candidates who are Muslims to take their Masonic Obligations on the Holy Qur'an and are allowed to be raised from a dead level to a living perpendicular on the square. Thus reciting the Master Mason Obligation with one's right hand placed on the Holy Qur'an.
19 Mustafa EI-Amin, "Last Written Appeal! African-American Freemasons: Why They Should Accept AI-Islam", (New Jersey: New Mind Productions, 1990), p. 11.
20 EI-Amin, "Freemasonry: Ancient Egypt and the Islamic Destiny", (New Mind Productions, 1988), pp.133-134,141- 142.
21 Matthias Gardell, "In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam", (North Carolina: Duke UniversityPress, 1996), 102-118.
• Clifton E. Marsh, "From Black Muslim to Muslim: The Transition from Separation to Islam. 1930--1980", (New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1984), pp. 89-101.
22 Wallace D. Muhammad (aka Warithuddean Mohammed), As the Light Shineth From the East, (Illinois: WDM Publishing, 1980), pp. 31-32.
NOTE: Minister Louis Farrakhan in September 1977 severed his relationship at that time with the World Community of AI-Islam in the West (formerly the Nation of Islam) and Elijah Muhammad's son, Imam Mohammed because of theological disagreements. Minister Farrakhan went back to the Nation of Islam's theology as taught by Elijah Muhammad and began to rebuild the original organization based the principles of black religious nationalism. However, it was Minister Silas Muhammad who was the first to initially raise public and private opposition to Imam Mohammed's dismantling Elijah Muhammad's program and theology.
23 Geneive Abdo, "New Leader Steps Forward to Revive Islamic Group", 2003, http://www.religion/newsblog.com; Chicago Tribune USA. Sub-titled, "N.J. Cleric Vows to Unite Blacks, other Muslims".
24 EI-Amin, The Religion of Islam and the Nation of Islam: What is the Difference?, (New Jersey: El¬-Amin Productions, 1991), pp. 39-40.
25 Elijah Muhammad, Birth of a Savior, (Chicago: The Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah, 1993), pp. 45-46.
26 Malachi Z. York, The Problem Book, (this work represents a compilations of "Supreme Wisdom, Supreme Mathematical lesson, Actual Facts lessons, Student Enrollment" etc., this body of Knowledge (information) was taught by Elijah Muhammad and given to register Muslims Only. The Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths was founded by Clarence 13X Smith who was known as 'Allah'. Clarence 13X was murdered in 1969, but the Five Percenters fully understand the science of etymology and epistemology. I really like this group because their body of knowledge do not allow Freemasonry to remain stagnated. The Five Percenters attacked Dr. York's teachings and Dr. York wrote the said book in order to expose their teachings. Thus, many Five Percenters do not accept "The Problem Book", yet this is the first book that has taken a body of scattered Five Percent lessons and systematically arranged them in book form), p. 103.
27 Adlib Rashad, Elijah Muhammad and the Ideological Foundation of the Nation of Islam, (Virginia: U.B. & U.S. Communications, 1993), p. 84.
28 Claude Clegg, (December 12, 1995) Interview with author in reference to him establishing contacts with former followers of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam from 1930-1975. Clegg was in the process of writing his biography on Elijah Muhammad titled, "An Original Man; The life and Times of Elijah Muhammad", however, I was disappointed that the Nation of Islam as headed by Minister Louis Farrakhan and his Chicago officials were not accommodating to Clegg, but gave free access to the Swiss Caucasian Theologian Mattis Gardell who was writing his book titled, "In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam", at same time Clegg was doing his research. The Nation of Islam chose to offer no assistance to Clegg.
29 Claude Clegg, "An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad". (New York: St.Martin's Press, 1997), p. 72.
30 Nasir Makr Hakim, The True History of Master Fard Muhammad, (Georgia: Messenger Elijah Muhammad Propagating Society, 1996), p. 31. Note: Mr. Hakim has edited numerous of Elijah Muhammad's original writings and/or tape recorded speeches and placed them in book form, then strangely applies the authorship to Muhammad who has been dead since 1975.
31 Hussein Abdulwaheed Amin, "The Origin of the Sunni/Shia Split"; http://www.islamtoday.com/p.1.
31 Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith, "Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America", (Florida: University Press of Florida, 1993), pp. 2-4.
32 Ibid, 2.
33 Ezzeddin Ibraham and Denys Johnson-Davies, Forty Hadiths: An Anthology of the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, (The Holy Koran Publishing House), pp. 7-8.
34 Albert Mackey, "The History of Freemasonry: The Legends of the Craft", (New York: Originally Published in 1898 by the Masonic History Company. Presently being published by Barnes And Noble Books, 1998), pp. 237 and 238.
35 As-Sayyid Issa AI-Haddi AI-Mahdi (aka Dr. Malchi Z. York), "The Paleman", (New York: The Original Tents of Kedar, 1990), pp. 220-221.
36 Mary Lefkowitz, "Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History", (New York: A New Republic Book, Basic Book, 1996), pp. 110.
37 Ibid, 106.
38 Muhammad Safwat AL-Saqqa Amini & Sa'di Abu Habib, Freemasonry, (Iowa: Printed by Ingram Press and published by Muslim World League, 1980), pp. 68-69.
39 As-Sayyid Issa Al-Haddi Al-Mahdi (aka Dr. Malchi Z. York), Our Symbol, (New York: Tents of Kedar, 5th Edition, no published date recorded), p. 70.
40 The Pyramid", a horn of the Price Hall Family of Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North and South Americaand its Jurisdiction, Inc. (Fourth Quarter Vol. Number 52-Issue No. 196, 1993), p. 6.
42 Walter M. Fleming, The Mystic Shrine illustrated, (New York: The Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine was established at Mecca,Arabia, in the year 5459 (in the year of the our Lord 1608) The ritual was complied, arranged and issue as Aleppo, Arabia, by Louis Maracci, the great Latin translator of Mohammed's AL-Koran. In 1871 the ritual was brought to America by one transient foreign members and representatives and placed in the hands of Dr. Walter M. Fleming, 33'" degree, Sovereign Grand Inspector General A and A. Rite, and Eminent Commander of Columbia Commandry No. I., Knights Templar of New York. Fleming and eleven other members had complete sovereignty. Mecca Temple No.1. remained inactive until December, 1875, when W. J. Florence came from Europe bringing with him the Oriental Ritual of the order, as it was worked in foreign countries. In 1876 W. J. Florence called together such of the original members of the organization of 1871 as were living and constituted in December 1876 Mecca Temple No. I, as the head of the Order in America. P. 21 and said Shrine history pages 5-7. Re-published by Kessinger Publishing Company. No published date was offered.
43 Robert MaCoy, "A Dictionary of Freemasonry" , (New York: Gramercy Books and Random House Value Publishing, 2000), pp. 81.
44 E. M. Storm, Should A Christian Be A Mason?, (New Jersey: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1994), p. 65.
45 Fleming, The Mystic Shrine Illustrated, pp. 22-23.
46 Elijah Muhammad, "Lost-Found Muslim Lesson No.1," (Chicago: Muhammad's Temple No., 2).p. 22.
47 Tynnetta Muhammad, Beverly Muhammad, Nisa Islam Muhammad, Hakima Muhammad, Arealia X. Denby, Banetta X. Williams, Rashida Muhammad, Minion Man March: Women in Support of the Million Man March. (Chicago: FCN Publishing Company and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Educational Foundation, 1995), pp.21-22.
48 Fleming, The Mystic Shrine Illustrated, pp. 17-18.
49 Robert L. Uzzel, "The Moorish Science Temple: A Religion Influenced by Prince Hall Masonry",(Washington: The Phylaxis Society, "The Phylaxis", Fall, 2003). It was this article that sparked me to write "Freemasonry and Islam: Religion and A Fraternity, What Do They have in Common? Uzzel's work focused specifically on the cultural dependency of the Moorish Science Temple of America on the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (African-American Prince Hall Masonry Appendent body) for its philosophy, Ritual, And mysticism. However, this writer saw a need to expand this Freemasonry and Islamic research not just inclusive to Noble Drew AIi, but to evaluate historical data that shows a relationship between the broader Islamic society and Freemasonry that extends back to at least 644 A. D. In addition, this writer sought out to determine what Shrine Masonry teaches about Islam and so unlike Uzzel my research looked at Shrine Masonry philosophy to understand the perplexities, as well as the un-conventional correlations, it shares with its distant cousin, the religion of Islam.
50 EL-Amin, "Freemasonry Ancient Egypt and the Islamic Destiny", pp. 28.
51 Fleming, "The Mystic Shrine Illustrated" , p. 7.
52 Edmund David Cronon, "The Black Moses: The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Negro Improvement Association" , (Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1968), pp. 178-182.
53 Prince A. Farad, "Moorish Science History" this article appeared in publication titled, "The Universal Truth" Vol. 2, No.3: I purchased it in Newark, New Jersey in 1998: pp. 12-13.
54 Arthur B. Fauset, "Moorish Science Temple of America": New Jersey: Published by Universal Research Associates, 1994. Originallypublished in 1944.
56 As-Sayyid Issa A1-Haadi A1-Mahdi (aka Dr. Malachi Z. York), "360 Questions to Ask the Sunni Orthodox Muslims", (New York: The Original Tents of Kedar, 1989), pp. 42~24.
57 Fauset, "Moorish Science Temple of America", p. 2.
●Charles Eric Lincoln, "The Black Muslims in America", (Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; third Edition, 1994), pp. 47-52.
58 Ravanna Bey, "Moorish American Prophet Drew A1i". This article also appeared in the "Universal Truth", a possible horn of a 'sect of the Moorish Science Temple' and/or a sect of the Five Percent Nations of Gods and Earths. Thus, this author was unclear about these brothers and sister's organizational affiliations. The editor of the magazine was Prince Cuba, Vol. No.3, p.6.
59 Peter Lamborn Wilson, "Sacred Drifts: Essays on the Margins of Islam", (California: City Lights Book, 1993), p. 20.
60 Drew Ali, "Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America", (Chicago: 1928), Chapter V, Verses 12-21. Noble Drew A1i's Koran should not be mistaken for the Holy Qur'an revealed to Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (PBUH) of 1400 years ago. Thus, they are two distinct Books with very little similarities.
61 A. Nizzardini, "The Masonic Ritual Ecci Oriente) for the use of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". (New York: Masonic Supply Company, reprinted 1999), p. 57. This is the Blue Lodge Masonic Ritual guide, which was authorized by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina. Doric Lodge # 28 Masonic Instructor A. O. Grady who was the Senior Warden in the West during this writing, he was very careful not give me the entire Ecci Monitor during these discussion, but carefully explained that each prospective candidate were given lessons according to their degree level. For example, the Entered Apprentice (first degree) lessons was tailored for the first Masonic step and until an individual/class had demonstrated suitable proficiency in that degree, in order to move to the next degree of Fellow Craft (second degree of Masonry) and then meeting all the study requirements that qualified an individual to move to the Third and final degree in Masonry, the Master Mason degree. Senior Warden Grady explained to me that there was no degree higher than the Master Mason Degree. The Worshipful Master at the conclusion of most third degree ceremony (work and lecture) almost always present each newly made Mason with a Ecci Orienti (the ritual book) but unlike most that decide to investigate Masonry, I had already read," Duncan Rituals" and "Lester's Look to the East" and I had considered myself a student of Masonry prior to coming in contact with these various gentlemen that had been raised from a 'dead level to a living perpendicular on the square'. My study orientation was perhaps a direct result of my involvement with doing research on the Nation of Islam, in which there was very little room for ignorance. I expected this same study disposition from my Prince Hall Lodge brothers and after being 'raised' the majority thought this was the pinnacle of all they needed to know about this ancient fraternity, which truly has no beginning or ending.
62 Fauset, "Moorish Science Temple of America"
63 J. Edward Decker, The Dark Side of Freemasonry, (Louisiana:Huntington House Publishers, 1994), p. 25.
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