Crowley on Islam
"I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him."
- 'Liber Al Vel Legis' 3:52
"COMMENTARY: Mohammed's point of view is wrong too; but he needs no such sharp correction as "Jesus"...The tenets of Islam, correctly interpreted, are not far from our Way of Life and Light and Love and Liberty. This applies especially to the secret tenets. The external creed is mere nonsense similar to the intelligence of the peoples among whom it was promulgated; but even so, Islam is magnificent in practice. Its code is that of a man of courage and honour and self-respect, contrasting admirably with the cringing cowardice of the damnation - dodging Christians with their unmanly and dishonest acceptance of vicarious sacrifice, and their currish conception of themselves as "born in sin", "miserable sinners" with "no health in us"..."Din" - "severity" or "judgement" - may refer to the Jewish Law, rather than to the Faith (al-din) of Islam. I take Judaism as Qabalistic - but the practice imperfect. Assuming this, the six religions whose flesh must be torn out cover the whole globe outside Islam and Christianity."
- 'The Law is for All' (2002 edition) page 169
In 'The Confessions of Aleister Crowley', AC wrote that Islam unlike Christianity is "positive" and "not based on fear". He relates that he studied Islam, the mysticism of the fakir, the Darwesh and the Sufi, that J.F.C. Fuller sympathised with the "manliness of Islam" and according to Crowley "Islam is free from the degrading doctrine of atonement and the glorification of the slave virtues. The Moslem's attitude to Allah only errs in so far as it involves the childish idea of personofying the powers of the universe." (page 540). Crowley wrote that he quelled a "small riot" in Algeria, drawing sigils in the air with his ring, while reciting a chapter of the Qur'an.
Crowley's attitude to Islam would seem topical at the moment.
"My spiritual self is at home in China, but my heart and my hand are pledged to the Arab."
"Where Christian and Moslem missions are in direct rivalry, Islam collects the higher and Christianity the lower sections of the society."
Article - The Islamic Roots of Thelema:
No Paul, not from my pen (or rather keyboard). Some interesting references within the piece I was not aware of before.
There certainly are indications that AC wove a bit of Islam into his philosophy. Liber AL uses terms like Kaaba and Qiblah, and Chapter III resembles the warlike rantings of a Jihad. He also spent a good deal of time in Islamic countries.
But his works (including AL) are also filled with references to/from Hebrew Qabalah. And we've had quite a few post that point out his adherence to basic Christian/Biblical tenets. His philosophy is deeply rooted in Ancient Aegyptian concepts and god-forms. He was a great fan of Lao Tzu.
I think one (anyone) can make an argument for Thelema having this religion or that philosophy as its foundation, but we can always come back to what I have said here, and realze that his work is actually quite cosmopolitan and all-inclusive.
More than "indications" Shiva. Between the publications of "The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O.," "Sex Magick and Rituals of the O.T.O.," "How To Make Your Own McO.T.O." and the writings of Grady McMurtry in the old O.T.O. Newsletter, it's quite clear that Crowley wove more than a 'bit' of Sufi thought and philosophy; indeed he completely re-writes the Ancient and Primitive Three Degrees of Masonry culminating with the murder of a Sufi Master instead of Hiram Abiff. But one must remember that the Sufis themselves are somewhat of a mystic and secret society that pre-date Islam, and clearly they had great influence on Crowley. Some people (and I am one of them) think that those original O.T.O. rituals are some of the most sublime material Crowley ever wrote; the lectures of Saladin are Crowley's direct instructions to all his future students in the Order, and are sometimes astonishing in their insight and wisdom. But it's like Shakespeare's "The Tempest", in that the "Secret Rituals" can't be truly appreciated until one experiences them properly performed by a well-directed cast with all the correct props, sets and costumes.