” As for the world Hurqalya, its meaning relates to an other world. What this word designates is the world of the barzakh or the interworid. In fact, there is the lower, or terrestrial world; this is the world of material bodies made up of Elements, the world visible to the senses. Then there is the world of Souls, which is the world of Malakut. The world of the barzakh, which is the world intermediate between the visible material world (alam al-mulk) and the world of the Malakut, is another universe. It is a material world that is other. To put it differently, the world of bodies composed of Elements constitutes what we call the visible, material world. The world of Hurqalya is a material world (the world of matter in the subtle state), which is other.As for its position, it is situated in the eighth climate. Its lower plane borders on the convex surface of the Sphere of Spheres, the surface that defines the directions of space. It is not itself in a dimension or direction of our space, since there is nothing beyond the convexity of the supreme celestial Sphere that defines orientations; or rather, it has no spatial beyond. Nevertheless, the lower plane of the world of Hurqalya corresponds, by its position, to the highest degree of the supreme Sphere, that which is called the “crystalline sphere.” The form or image at which you look in a mirror belongs to this lower plane of the world or Hurqalya. The language from which this term comes is the Syriac Language (Surraya), that is, the language in use today among the Sabeans, those whom we now call the Subbda (more exactly, the Mandeans), most of whom and they are many, have settled in and around Basra.”

(from Kitab Sharh al-Ziyara, Tabriz, 1859 pp369-70)

Shaikhi School Description of Misunia Kusta


Now, inasmuch as these Sufi were composed exclusively of the learned amongst the Persians and Syrians, at a time when learning signified little else than proficiency in medicine and astrology (the two points that brought the Eastern sages into amicable contact with their barbarous invaders from the West), it is easy to see how the latter may have imbibed the esoteric doctrines simultaneously with the other teaching of those who were their sole instructors in all matters pertaining to science and art. Now the Sufi doctrine was based on that grand idea–one universal creed that could be secretly held under the outward profession of any established religion–taking, in fact, virtually the same view of all religious systems as that in which the philosophers of old had regarded them. Such too had been a striking feature in the Gnostic teaching: the Naaseni, or Ophites, says Hippolytus, boasted in language truly Masonic, “We of all men are the only Christians, standing in the third gate, and anointed with the ineffable unction out of the horn like David, not out of the earthen vessel like Saul, who consorted with the evil spirit of carnal concupiscence.” These same genuine Christians at the same time zealously celebrated all the Mysteries of Paganism, affirming that in their higher knowledge they possessed the only key to the one truth locked up under those superstitious ceremonies. And in our day the acknowledgment of one universal religion by the Freemasons, as expressed by their requiring from the candidate for admission nothing more than the declaration of his belief in one God, is denounced with pious horror by the bigots of every variety of the Christian scheme.

This recognition of one universal religion in fact pervades all the works of the lights of Mohammedan literature. In the Makamat of Hariri the sermons preached by his hero the Dervish are full of a sentiment more sublime when touching upon things pertaining unto God–a sentiment harmonising infinitely more closely with those of enlightened religious men of our times upon the same subject–in a word, these sermons breathe a spirit in every respect more Christian (to use the modern phrase) than characterises any writings of the actual Christian divines, the contemporaries of the author. * But this is necessarily so, Hariri and Mohammedans like him being guided by the traditions of the old philosophy still secretly maintained amongst them, whilst the spirit of modern Christianity is strongly, though unconsciously, directed by precisely the same influence revived, though under a different name, and professedly contemning its real source.

Again, the greatest of all Mohammedan sovereigns, the Mogul Akbar, was a true Sufi; equally so was his prime minister and historian, Abul Farez. It would be difficult to find in a modern Christian prayer-book, much less in any one composed in his age, an address to the Deity so sublime, so consonant with our present notions, as the invocation opening his Ayeen-Akbari. In all such outpourings of Oriental adoration no allusion whatever to their special lawgiver is to be detected, nothing to betray any distinctive sectarian prejudice; the reader, if unacquainted with the history of the author, would admire, but know not to what creed to adjudge the composition. Akbar, according to his vizier, “made a point of never ridiculing or condemning any form of religion.” He had thus, perhaps without knowing it, reverted to the grand and distinguishing feature of the religion of Greece and Rome in their best times that discerned the same great truth, the real basis of universal toleration, that all religious systems were but expressions of the same idea,

“By saint, by savage, or by sage.”

Wherever, in ancient times, the principle of toleration was apparently violated, it was in cases where the rites, by their corruption, had become prejudicial to public welfare, as when the Senate put down the Bacchanalia, or Claudius the Druids in Gaul, on account of their human sacrifices; exactly as hero of Syracuse had made it an article in his treaty with the vanquished Carthaginians, that they should discontinue their burnt-offerings of young children to Melcarth. Hesiod’s maxim, Μ ρρητος μωμεειν, was that of his race, as well as of the Roman, and the same was the guiding principle of Akbar. From a hint dropped by his panegyrist it would almost appear that the Emperor had imbibed some slight tinge of Zoroastrian doctrine, for he remarks his particular veneration for the element of fire; and again the significant circumstance of his regulating his frequent daily prayers by the position of the sun in the heavens; and, what bears directly upon our subject, his favourite occupation was to converse with the Sufi and the learned of all nations and religions. It sounds also very odd to hear a Mohammedan grandee, like this writer, declaring that amongst the Brahmins were to be found “the most virtuous men upon earth,” those very religionists in whom Akbar’s successors, like Aurungzeb, could (quite according to our own ideas of what necessarily should have been his feeling) discern nothing but devil-worshippers, whom it was his bounden duty either to convert or exterminate.


415:* The semi-Magian Abdallah and his new Ismaelites have a strong family resemblance to Weishaupt and his illuminati in the last century.

416:* He flourished in the ninth century.

–CW King (Gnostics and their Remains Ancient and Mediaeval)