Two of my brothers are from Turkey, Muslim, and are also Freemasons. I am Christian and sometimes Christianity does not accept joining and sometimes forbids people from joining the fraternity. They are great men, intelligent, and faithful to their religion. Case in point, I had
brats bratwurst sausages (سجق = نقانق) and burgers during a cookout at my house and they wouldn't eat the brats because of the pork. We also enjoy each other's company and discuss the differences and similarities of our faiths. Something which I believe we need more of in society. Freemasonry has united us as true friends even though we may have remained in perpetual distance otherwise. However, I am concerned that other Muslims may not appreciate their decision to join. Are there any common beliefs or stands in Islam against (or for) fraternities such as Freemasonry?
Just as a side note: in one of the groups which we belong, there are people who practice Judaism, Christianity (different denominations), and Islam. Where else can people of different faiths come together, discuss, and enjoy each other's company?
Please note that the information below is not enough information to answer the question. It is just an introduction for those who may not know anything at all about the organization. I am specifically looking for reasons why Muslims should or should not join groups such as Freemasonry which are multi-faith groups that promote virtues.
- Freemasonry is one of the oldest and largest fraternal societies in the world.
- It provides you with a code of living in today's community, based on good moral and ethical standards.
- It is an organisation of men who try to live by the principles of integrity and goodwill which unifies them, regardless of colour, creed or worldly status.
- It is a non profit making organisation that is involved in supporting charity and service to the community.
- It provides you with a common interest where you can meet and enjoy the company of like minded men from all walks of life.
When a Mason is initiated into the fraternity, he chooses the Holy Book of his choice to use - which is opened during the initiation as a symbol of the rules and guide he chooses to live by. Freemasonry has many "side bodies" which include groups such as the Shriners, which appear associated with Islam but are not. I find it best described here:
Despite its theme, the Shrine is not connected to Islam. The Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United States, Mexico and Canada. They specialize in orthopedic care, burn treatment, cleft lip and palate care and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. All treatment offered at Shriner's Hospitals for Children is offered without any financial obligation to patients and their families, and there is no requirement for religion, race, or relationship to a Shriner. Patients must be under the age of eighteen and treatable.
In 2008, Shriners Hospitals had a total budget of $826 million and in 2007 they approved 39,454 new patient applications, attended to the needs of 125,125 patients.
Edit After reading some more questions on this site, I realize that my question is very similar to this one - but not quite a duplicate.
Here is some more information from a Muslim who is also a Freemason: http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/islam_freemasonry.html