About the Lodge

Al-Sharq Lodge No. 2020 is a bilingual Masonic Lodge that was consecrated on December 9, 2019 under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, F.A.A.M., of the District of Columbia. Al-Sharq (Arabic word that means “The East”) Lodge is committed first and foremost to promoting the values, principles, diversity, inclusiveness, universality, and overall growth of Freemasonry in the grand jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. Through this vision, the Lodge strives to:

  • Promote diversity in Freemasonry by expanding our ritual through the use of the Arabic language.
  • Spread the light of Freemasonry as an exemplar to motivate the formation of other Arabic-speaking Lodges.
  • Attract a pool of worthy men in the local DC area.

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. Masonic lore traces the history of the fraternity to ancient Phoenicia and Hiram the first, King of Tyre. The history of Freemasonry is further intertwined with the formation of the United States of America. Many founding fathers including President George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and others were Freemasons. Freemasonry has been an integral part of community life in the United States for over 250 years, with the Masonic values of freedom, equality, fraternity, and religious freedom being the underpinning foundation for the formation of the United States of America and then codified into the Constitution.

Freemasonry is an open moral society that leverages symbols veiled in allegory to teach good men to become better – morally, socially, intellectually, and spiritually. The Fraternity uses fellowship to provide motivation and drive for self-improvement, especially in the practice of its key tenets: brotherly love, relief, and truth.

The mission of the Grand Lodge of DC is to unite men of differing beliefs, races, and professions into a harmonious and productive community through the application of Masonic moral values and the practice of benevolence, intellectual development, and mutual respect. According to the Preamble to the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia:

  • Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, and educational society.
  • Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.
  • It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit or for the financial benefit of any individual and it is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
  • It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty. It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon Sacred Law.
  • It promotes religious tolerance and prescribes a belief in deity. The Volume of Sacred Law (holy book) is open upon its altars whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.
  • It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may forgather in numbers, thereby providing greater opportunity for its primary work of education, worship and charity.
  • Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with that feeling of charity, or good will, toward all mankind which will move to translate principle and conviction into action.
  • To that end, it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; and enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious, and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any state in which he may be.
  • It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, country, sect and opinion may agree rather than by setting up a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions can assemble.

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Al-Sharq, A Bridge to Light!

It is not known where, how, or when Freemasonry began. There are many theories for the origins of Freemasonry. One theory states that Freemasonry has roots that go back to the Middle Ages (7th – 13th Centuries). During these dark ages of medieval Europe, the golden age of Islam had begun in the East with incredible social, scientific, and technological advances throughout the Muslim world.

Geniuses in Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, and Cordoba took on the scholarly works of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, India, and China, developing innovations that drove what we would call “modern” art & science. New disciplines emerged – algebra, trigonometry, and chemistry as well as major advances in medicine, astronomy, engineering, music and agriculture – in addition to other inventions that shaped the modern world.

Arabic texts replaced Greek as the founts of wisdom, helping to shape the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. What the medieval scientists of the Muslim world articulated so brilliantly is that math, science, and music are universal, the common language of the human race.

In 1118, nine French chevaliers led by Hughes de Payen went to Jerusalem and took quarters at the Temple Mount, near the Western wall, a sacred site for Jewish prayer, less than half a mile from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, marked by some Christians as the site of Jesus’ tomb, adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, built in the 7th century on top of where the Temple of Solomon once stood. These nights were later known as Les Chevaliers du Temple (Knights Templar). The Templars during that time had a dual mission: war and gnosis. Wars took many forms including protecting the pilgrims, fighting in the crusades, safeguarding Jerusalem, and re-establishing Christendom in the Mare Nostrum region (Mediterranean). At the same time, the Templars were transitioning gnosis (knowledge of spiritual mysteries) from the East (Al-Sharq) to the West (Al-Gharb). Such knowledge was both exoteric (science, finance, technology, architecture, etc.) and esoteric (Order of the Assassins, Jewish mystics, Sufism, Druze, etc.) in nature.

By early 14th Century, Europe was in a much better place. The process of translating the Islamic heritage into Latin, which began in the 11th century and continued unabated enabled the transfer of knowledge in the sciences of medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, veterinary medicine or zoology, botany, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, geography, maritime science, and navigation. Furthermore, the Greek heritage translated by the Arabs and augmented by their advances and experimental approaches, which exceeded the scope of Aristotelian measurement, further revolutionized knowledge in Europe.

With the arrest of leadership of the Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307 and the burning at the stake of their Grand Master Jacques DeMolay in 1314, the Order went underground. The prevailing theory states that, the Knights Templar, using the knowledge and skills they acquired from the East (Al-Sharq), infiltrated Operative Stone Masons guilds in the West (Al-Gharb) to travel in foreign countries, spread knowledge outside the controls of the absolutist Church, and influence the organization of Speculative Lodges. The Renaissance, which came to be through the transfer of knowledge from Al-Sharq to Al-Gharb, caused the birth of modern Freemasonry and paved the way for the Age of Enlightenment. During the 18th & 19th Centuries, we saw the gradual ascendance of Al-Gharb and the gradual demise of Al-Sharq as the center of Gnosis. Al-Gharb became dominant in the areas of Governance, quest for knowledge, and scientific discovery.

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Why Al-Sharq Lodge?

Today, an eastern version of the Renaissance and Enlightenment is under high demand. The principal tenets and fundamental teachings of Freemasonry embody that immortal knowledge that enables the transformation from Darkness to Light. Al-Sharq Lodge No. 2020 is ideally positioned to be a bridge to light by playing an active role in facilitating the transfer of Gnosis from Al-Gharb to Al-Sharq for the betterment of the human condition universally.

How to Become a Mason

​Freemasonry can be found in almost every country of the world. There are nearly 3 million Freemasons in the United States today, with another 3 million worldwide, and the numbers are growing. Membership is open to men who:

  • Believe in deity
  • Have good moral character
  • Are 18 years or older

Freemasonry does not interfere with the duties a man owes to his God, his country, his neighbors, or his family. It aspires to make a good man a better father, husband, brother, son, and custodian of society.

Freemasons do not solicit members. Men wishing to join Freemasonry must first ask.

  • Are you a qualified man?
  • Are you interested in learning more?

Please fill out the form to the right.

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