SALAH AD-DIN (SALADIN) IMPERIAL GRAND COUNCIL AND DIVAN

Illustrious Imperial Grand Potentate

Noble Michael T. Thomas (Illinois) 

Masonic History

 

AKIROP LODGE #12
Master Mason: Raised 1994/ Junior Warden 2005/ Senior Warden 2007
Worshipful Master: 2008
Co Chairman Building Maintenance Committee
By Laws and Regulation Recorder
Grand Masonic Congress Workshop Committee
Award: Certificate of Appreciation From The General Grand Masonic Congress 2010
ROYAL ARCH ST. ANTHONY #4
Royal Arch 1996
Royal Arch Captain 2008
Principal Sojourner 2009
General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons
Right Puissant Grand Treasurer 2014
Josiah Grand Council
Honorary Most Illustrious Grand Master of Cryptic Masons 2019
JOHN COMMANDERY #1
Knight Templar 2008
Black Knights Ignition Team 2011
State Deputy Illinois, Michigan 2016
St. Peter Commandery #2
Honorary Past Eminent Commander 2018
ZEM ZEM TEMPLE #2  A.A.O.N.M.S.
Co Founder/Grand Potentate 2017-2019
Grand Potentate Emeritus 2019
ADAHN TEMPLE
Honored Past Potentate 2019
SALADIN IMPERIAL GRAND COUNCIL AND DIVAN
Appointed Imperial Grand Potentate Dec./1/2017
Elected Aug 2019 
JOHN CONSISTORY #1
Sublime Prince 32nd of The Royal Secret 2008
Chairman Sublime Prince of The Royal Secret 2009
Knight Commander Code of Honor 2010
Co Chairman Knight Commander Code of Honor 2010
Rose Croix Most Excellent and perfect Senior Warden
33RD 2015
UNIVERSAL SUPREME COUNCIL
Assistant Secretary of the High East 2017
ANCIENT PRIMITIVE RITE OF MEMPIH MISRAIM
33RD/95- 2015

DECLARATION

The name of this Imperial Council shall be known as Salah Ad-Din (Saladin) Imperial Grand Council and Divan Ancient African Order of the Nobles Mystic Shrine Inc.; located at 7443 S. Ingleside Chicago, IL. 60619, as designated in its charter. Its Jurisdiction shall be North and South America. 

Be it known throughout these United States of America that in the summer of 2017, five Temples dialogued, had meetings and agreed to establish Salah Ad-Din (Saladin) Imperial Grand Council and Divan of the Ancient African Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North and South America, Inc. The Temples that agreed were, Zem Zem Temple, Chicago, Illinois, represented by Noble Anthony R. Pugh and Noble Michael T. Thomas; Adhan Temple, Chicago, Illinois, represented by Noble Christopher Jackson; Faaris, Temple #17, Harvey, Illinois, represented by Noble Carlos Smith and Noble Jeffery Owens; King Tut Temple #1, Detroit, Michigan, represented by Noble Greg Butts; Arabia Temple, Houston, Texas, represented by Noble Maurice Meadows, Noble Chester Green and Noble Devon Simpson. The representatives mentioned, do heretofore, set forth our goals as a non-profit charitable fraternal organization, do ordain and establish this document as proof of our resolve and observance of such, as a commitment to equity, justice, and fidelity.

Why did we choose African Order instead of Arabic Order? We chose the term, “African,” in the Mystic Shrine to put an emphasis on the geographical placement of Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and the historical legacy of African people. Egypt is in Africa. The Ancient Kingdom of Egypt (Kush, Ethiopia, Punt…), at one time extended as far south as Uganda and as far north as India. The Arabian Peninsula is a part of the African continent. The Red Sea, which formed approximately 35 to 50 million years ago, separated the two lands. The people of Africa and the original people of Arabia are one and the same. Due to political agendas by colonial European nations, the Arabian Peninsula was taken from the African continent, placed in Asia and termed, “The Middle East.”

We chose, Salah Ad-Din (Saladin), as the name of our Imperial Council and Divan because of the history of Salah Ad-Din (Saladin) that he shares with the African people of Egypt, Arabia and the religions of Islam and Christianity. Salah Ad-Din (Saladin) was a just man and a protector of all religions, especially in Jerusalem and Egypt. He had a good relationship with many of the Knights Templar and held their code of honor in high esteem. Taking his example, we too, chose to uphold, respect and unite all religions, especially the religions of Islam and Christianity.

SALAH AD-DIN (SALADIN) IMPERIAL GRAND COUNCIL AND DIVAN

Mission Statement

The purpose of this august body is to promote fraternal brotherhood within the edicts of this honorable society with integrity and dignity; to be allies of freemasonry and its endeavors; to promote truth and equity among all mankind; to provide aid and assistance to those in need, especially children of all races and creeds; to provide academic, monetary, and social assistance to communities within our various jurisdictions; and to practice religious tolerance for all who have a belief in a supreme being.

2019-2021

Elected Officers

Illustrious Imperial Grand Potentate 

Noble Michael T. Thomas

Illinois

Illustrious Imperial Deputy I. Grand Potentate

Noble Weston Jarvis 

Texas

Illustrious Imperial Grand Chief Rabban

Noble Dexter Freeman

New York

Illustrious Imperial Grand Assistant Rabban 

Malichi Dean

Illinois

Illustrious Imperial Grand High Priest and Prophet

 Noble Anthony Mondrey

Texas

Illustrious Imperial Grand Oriental Guide

Noble Shaler Davis

Illinois

Illustrious Imperial Grand Treasurer

Noble Michael Haythorn

Illinois

Illustrious Imperial Grand Recorder

Noble Amzi Muhammad

Illinois

Illustrious Imperial Assistant Grand Recorder

Noble Brian Jasper

Texas

Illustrious Imperial Grand Orator

Noble Kenneth Simms

Ohio

Illustrious Imperial Grand Lecturer

Noble Eric Keyes 

New York

Illustrious Imperial Grand First Ceremonial Master

Noble Willie Russel 

Michigan

Illustrious Imperial Grand Second Ceremonial Master

Noble Otis Saulsberry

Illinois

Imperial Grand Prelate

Noble Louis Rogers

New York

Illustrious Imperial Grand Marshal

Noble Sultaan Moammad

Ohio

Illustrious Imperial Grand Asst. Marshal 

Noble Arric Jones

Texas

Illustrious Imperial Grand Captain of the Guard

Noble Mark Mack

New York

Illustrious Imperial Grand Outer Guard 

Noble Leo Kendle

Arkansas

ILLUSTRIOUS IMPERIAL GRAND DIVAN
(BOARD OF DIRECTORS)

Illustrious Imperial Grand (Chairman)

Noble Joe Knight

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble David Crosby

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Ronald Eddings

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Kevin E. Fair

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Amzi Muhammad

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Anthony R. Pugh

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Carlos Smith

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Andre Storey

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Michael T. Thomas

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Charles Vaughn

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand (Chairman)

Noble Joe Knight

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble David Crosby

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Ronald Eddings

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Sultaan Moammad

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Andre Cannon

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Norris Singleton

 

Illustrious Imperial Grand

Noble Norris Alonzo Smith

 

AFRICAN MYSTIC TEMPLES​

   

Abyssinia Temple #1 

Noble Weston Jarvis

Potentate (Texas)

Adhan Temple  

Noble Shaler S. Davis Jr. 

Potentate (Illinois)

Alsunad Temple #7

Noble Anthony Mondrey

Potentate (Texas)

Amlak Temple #2

Noble Kendrick Minor 

Potentate (Texas)

Arabia Temple

Noble Devon Simpson  

Potentate (Texas)

EL Mecca Temple #2

Noble Michael Chavers

Potentate (New York)

Eureka Temple 

Noble James Stanley

Potentate (Arkansas)

Faaris Temple

Noble Jeffrey Owens

Potentate (Illinois)

Haram Temple

Noble Dexter Freeman

Potentate (New York)

Islam Temple 

Noble Kenneth Simms Jr. 

Potentate (Ohio)

Kindah Temple

Noble Arric Jones

Potentate (Texas)

King Tut Temple

Noble Willie Russell

Potentate (Michigan)

Mecca Temple #1

Noble Alphonso Ayers

Potentate (New Jersey)

Menelik I Temple #1

Noble Robert Thomas 

Potentate (Texas)

Omar Temple

Noble Louis Rogers

Potentate (New York)

Zem Zem Temple

Noble Malachi P. Dean

Potentate (Illinois)

Kalahari Temple #7

Noble Otis Saulsberry 

Potentate (North Carolina)

Jedda Temple #7 

Noble Robert Dunbar

Potentate (New York)

Ishamel Temple #3 

Noble Eugene Martin

Potentate (New York)

The African Mystic Shrine

The African Mystic Shrine is a house meant for education, charity, fellowship, relaxation and study. As a house of education, its members have come to engage in the study of Ancient Africa and its traditions and customs. As a house of charity its members come to promote, donate, and volunteer to charities around the nation, especially charities associated with children and education. As a house of fellowship its members have come to acknowledge the fraternal bond and affiliation of togetherness and brotherhood of man. As a house of relaxation, its members have come to a point of momentary rest in their masonic journey where they can, for a time, focus their energy on more lofty activities and goals. As a house of study, The African Mystic Shrine Temple is meant to represent and act as a historical and spiritual library where its members can immerse themselves in the vast histories of people of African descent who gave knowledge, wisdom, understanding and high civilization to the world. Specifically, an emphasis is placed on the true African-Islamic heritage in Europe and the Middle East during the times of the founding of the Knights Templar and the Crusades, including the hidden history of the Muslims and Templars. 

An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub الدين يوسف بن أيوب

Salah ad-Din is known to the world as Saladin. Saladin was born in Tikrit in modern-day Iraq in 1137 or 1138 A.D. His birth name was Yusuf; “Salah ad-Din” is a laqab, an honorific epithet, meaning “Righteousness of the Faith.” His family was of Kurdish ancestry, and had originated from the city of Dvin in medieval Armenia. 

Saladin’s military career began under the tutelage of his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh, a prominent military commander under Nur ad-Din, the Zengid emir of Damascus and Aleppo and the most influential teacher of Saladin. Saladin was inaugurated as vizier of Egypt on March 26, 1169. During his time as Egyptian Vizier, he survived many attempted assassinations, revolts and campaigns organized by Christian Crusader armies in the region. He was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity, Saladin led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa. Salah ad-Din is best known to the world as the leader of the Muslim (Saracen) armies that fought the Crusaders for Jerusalem. 

The Wisdom and Humanity of Salah ad-Din

Salah ad-Din is known to the world as Saladin. Saladin was born in Tikrit in modern-day Iraq in 1137 or 1138 A.D. His birth name was Yusuf; “Salah ad-Din” is a laqab, an honorific epithet, meaning “Righteousness of the Faith.” His family was of Kurdish ancestry, and had originated from the city of Dvin in medieval Armenia. 

Saladin’s military career began under the tutelage of his uncle Asad al-Din Shirkuh, a prominent military commander under Nur ad-Din, the Zengid emir of Damascus and Aleppo and the most influential teacher of Saladin. Saladin was inaugurated as vizier of Egypt on March 26, 1169. During his time as Egyptian Vizier, he survived many attempted assassinations, revolts and campaigns organized by Christian Crusader armies in the region. He was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid Dynasty. A Sunni Muslim of Kurdish ethnicity, Saladin led the Muslim military campaign against the Crusader states in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa. Salah ad-Din is best known to the world as the leader of the Muslim (Saracen) armies that fought the Crusaders for Jerusalem. 

Ismat (Asimat) Ad-Din Khatun

Iṣmat ad-Dīn Khātūn, also known as Asimat, was the daughter of Mu’in ad-Din Unur, regent of Damascus, and wife of two of the greatest Muslim generals of the 12th century, Nur ad-Din Zangi and Saladin Salah Ad-Din.

Ismat ad-Din is a laqab (the descriptive part of an Arabic name) meaning “purity of the faith”; Khatun is an honorific meaning “lady” or “noblewoman”. Her given name is unknown.  Her father became regent of Damascus in 1138, and ruled the city on behalf of a series of young emirs of the Burid dynasty. During this time, Damascus’ chief rivals to the north, Aleppo and Mosul, were united under the rule of the Zengid dynasty. Damascus had maintained an unsteady alliance with the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, but in 1147, Mu’in ad-Din negotiated an alliance with the Zengid emir of Aleppo, Nur ad-Din, who married Ismat ad-Din (Asimat) as part of the agreement. The next year, the Second Crusade besieged Damascus, and Mu’in ad-Din was forced to recognize Nur ad-Din, who had come to his rescue against the crusaders, as overlord of the city. Ismat ad-Din Khatun’s (Asimat) father died in 1149 and her husband gained complete control over Damascus by 1154.

When Nur ad-Din died in 1174, King Amalric I of Jerusalem took advantage of the situation and besieged the city of Banias. Ismat (Asimat) offered him a bribe to lift the siege, but, hoping for a larger offer, Amalric continued the siege for two weeks, until finally accepting the money along with the release of twenty Christian prisoners. William of Tyre describes Ismat (Asimat) as having “courage beyond that of most women” in this matter. Nur ad-Din’s general Saladin (Salah Ad-din) had meanwhile gained control over Egypt, and claimed Damascus as his successor; he legitimized this claim by marrying Ismat at-Din (Asimat) in 1176. However, by the time she died in 1186, Saladin (Salah Ad-Din) was writing letters to her every day; as he was himself recovering from a lengthy illness at the time, news of her death was kept from him for three months.

She had no children with either Nur ad-Din or Saladin (Salah Ad-Din). In Damascus she was the patron of numerous religious buildings, including a madrasa and a mausoleum for her father. She was buried in the Jamaa’ al-Jadid in Damascus. Mu’in ad-Din Unur, regent of Damascus,

The Knights Templar

A lot of ink has been spilled by many historians with regards to the Order of the Knights Templar (or the Order of the Temple of Solomon). Most of them tend to support the status quo tradition that the order was founded for the benevolent purposes of keeping pilgrims traveling from the confines of the Holy Land safe from marauders, Christian and Muslim alike. Most historians have the order as permanent militia acting under the protection of both Baudouin II and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. This could not be further from the truth. To start with, we must come to terms with the fact that there were thirty members when the order was founded, and out of this thirty, only nine were remembered in history. But the most interestingly, one of the founding families, the De Payens family, is its genealogy, which spread across oceans, tracing it to Imperial Byzantine and Merovingian houses and to the highest accolade of them all in the East, Muslim families during the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through marriage.

The De Payens family’s background was Shiite and drawn from Sufism, a mystic belief in which Muslims seek to find divine love and knowledge through direct firsthand experiences with Allah (God). Sufis believe that a soul can be, either for a moment or for longer periods of time, purified and renewed with a new energy and levels of spiritual consciousness. It teaches that individuals, through this journey of purification and renewal, will become contented, reassured, and calm and will experience the overwhelming presence of Allah (God) within their heart, a heart free of fear. Sufi follows tend to regard their life, prior to joining the Sufi Order, as rather wasted. On joining the first stage of Sufi wisdom, the newly initiated member is given a robe of blue wool, the color of mourning and rejection of the material pleasure. After three years of study, and going through various stages involving robes of diverse colors, they are finally given a white robe of purity.

Historically speaking, the Templars were both Christian and Islamic in practice. Hugh De Payens, the first Grand Master of the Knights Templar was from a family of Muslims and practiced both Christianity and Islam. The Islamic hierarchy of neither Mecca nor Cairo (up into and after the time of Salah ad-Din) made any military moves to prevent the Templars from taking charge of the Dome of the Rock, the second most-holiest site of Islam, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In some Islamic records, the Knights Templar were referred to as the Knights Templar of Islam. 

Muslim (Moorish) Mysticism as a Source of Templar Esoteric Heritage

Therefore, the parallel institution for Muslims in membership with the Order of the Temple of Solomon properly holds the chivalric name of the “Knights of the Order of Salah ad Din” (Wuzzará min Háshia Salahadín) (وزراء من حاشية صلاح الدين). Just as Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon are informally and unofficially called the “Knights Templar”, the Knights and Dames of the Order of Salah ad Din can be referred to by the informal short form “Knight (Dame) of Salah ad Din” (Wazzír(a) min Salahadín) (وزير من صلاح الدين). 

In Arabian Chivalry of the tradition of Salah ad Din, the correct equivalent prenominal styles of address are: “Saídi” (“Sir” for a Knight) (سيدي), and “Saídatí” (“Dame”) (سيدتي). The Arabian chivalric title Saídi was used as “Sir” for a Knight on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. There it was often pronounced ‘As-Sayyid’, used as “Lord” for nobility, which thus became the near-sounding Spanish title “El Cid.” 

The title Saídi for a Knight is also the name of a specific dialect of Arabic language, which is unique to the region of “upper Egypt”, associated with its capital Thebes in modern Luxor. The dialect itself is characterized by the frequent use of medieval Old Arabic words and phrases of honor and respect in social discourse. Calling it “Saídi”, literally the “Knightly dialect of nobiliary Sirs”, reflects the uniqueness of the Luxor region as the heartland of ancient Arabian Chivalry (Al-Furúsiyyah Al-Arabiya) (الفروسا العربيه). In the modern Templar Order, Luxor is a major site of Holy pilgrimage to sites of the Templar Priesthood, and of the medieval world of the tradition of Chivalry of the Sultan Salah ad Din.

SALAH AD-DIN (SALADIN) IMPERIAL GRAND COUNCIL AND DIVAN 
ANCIENT AFRICAN ORDER OF NOBLES OF THE MYSTIC SHRINE

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