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Moorish Americans make up one of the oldest communities in the United States. Sadly, adherents of the culture are often categorized as separatists, or fall under the term “Black Islam,” by Eurocentrists, who refuse to step outside the doors of a worldview adapted for the benefit of colonialism, a topic we will discuss in a future article. Sharif Anael Bey, a Moorish American researcher and one of the community’s leading educators, has done a wonderful job in presenting some of the core spiritual elements of the Moorish Science Temple of America in his new book, entitled, Al-Iksir Sagala: Portable Illumination for the Moorish American.
Al-Iksir Sagala is a wonderful addition to the library of any spiritualist, regardless of their faith. I was not only impressed by Sharif Bey’s presentation, but the approach this work takes in establishing some of the deeper aspects of the Moorish American gnosis. First, I will must say that this book is a “must read” for anybody involved in esoteric studies, occultism, and other knowledge relating to the work of the Greater Mysteries. Different than a lot of material produced by Moorish American authors, Al-Iksir Sagala is not infatuated with the concerns of trying to convince the reader of an “illustrious” Moorish American identity, nor the science normally associated with this unique culture. Instead, we find that Al-Iksir Sagala’s theme fully illustrates how the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple of America align with a universal understanding held by all traditional schools of occult knowledge. One of the highlights of Al-Iksir Sagala is found in its presentation and use of the Holy Koran of the MSTA in discussing scientific truths. An example of this can be seen in the following excerpt:
“When he, through the teachings of Jesus, tells us to “forget the flesh and go with mind into the land of fleshless things,’ he’s inviting us to venture into realms, worlds and experiences that we have not yet known, yet are part of the vastness of the totality of the Oneness, and definitely within our reach. When he teaches us that “man is not the body, not the soul; he is spirit and part of Allah,” he’s informing us that we are in fact luminous beings not bound by space and time.”
The book is filled with illustrations and diagrams that help explain the information presented, but also make Al-Iksir Sagala a classic work in the field of esoteric studies. Sharif Bey sums up the book nicely by including the notes from an online debate he had with a “Mr. Keith Dandridge El,” which serves as a resourceful way of summarizes information written in earlier portions of the book without sounding redundant. I am giving Al-Iksir Sagala five our of five stars! Bravo!