Special Collections
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Ancient Arabic Order of the
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

Brief History | Search

The order of the nobles of the Mystic Shrine was instituted by the Mohammed Kalif, Alee, the cousin-german and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed in the year of the Hegira 25 (A. D., 644), at Mekkah, in Arabia, as an Inquisition, or vigilance committee, to dispense justice and execute punishment upon criminals who escaped their just deserts through the tardiness or corruption of the courts, and also to promote religious toleration among cultured men of all nations. The original intention was to form a band of men of sterling worth, who would, without fear or favor, upon a valid accusation, try, judge and execute, if need be, within the hour having taken precautions as to secrecy and security.

The Nobles perfected their organization and did such prompt and efficient work that they excited alarm and even consternation in the hearts of the evil doers in all countries under the star and crescent.

The order is yet one of the most highly favored among the many secret societies which abound in oriental countries, and gathers around its shrines a select few of the best educated and cultured classes.

Their ostensible object is to increase the faith and fidelity of all true believers in Allah.

Its membership in all countries includes Christians and Mohammedans, one of the most noted patrons is the present Khedive of Egypt, whose inclinations towards Christians are well known. Frequent revolutions in the East have osbscured from time to time, causing many lapses in it records; but it has been as often revived and frequently under the direct patronage of the reiging sovereigns.

From Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Persia Shrines were established in other lands, until Italy, France, Germany, England, and finally America were represented.

It is of the American branch this article will speak more minutely. In 1870, the popular and talented comedian, Mr. William J. Florence, received the degrees at Cairo, Egypt, and obtained a special dispensation to confer them in America. In 1871, assisted by Dr. Walter M. Fleming, an eminent Arabic scholar, Mr. Florence founded Mecca Temple in the City of New York, and from this mother Temple the Shrines now in existence have had their birth. In 1870, The Imperial Grand Council of the United States was organized. The regulations of the Council, as in Europe (except England), Asia and Africa, have established as a prerequisite for membership that each candidate must be either a 32d Degree A. A. S. Rite, or a Knight Templar in good standing. In England the 18th Degree is sufficient.

While the Shrine is at all times a liberal dispenser of charity and faithful ally to Free Masonry, it is not founded upon insurance or any but the broad principles of charity which man owes to man. It is rather of a social nature, and its ceremonies partake largely of the form of entertainment on account of the rich costumes used, and a marked dramatic intensity. The general robes in use are of Eastern character, and made principally of either brocade velvets or silks of the brightest color, and of course be made very costly. The ordinary costume for street parade is conventional black, with red fez. The emblems and jewels of the Shrine are the characteristic insignia of the Oriental nation from which the order emanates -- the Crescent, Pyramid, Sphinx Head, panther-boried Female Sphinx, the Urn, Sun, Moon, Stars, etc. The original and universal emblematic jewel is a scimiter with crescent pendant formed of tiger's claws, bound in gold, joined in the center by sphinx head of metal or stone. The Koran and black stone of Mecca are held especially sacred by Shriners, and much of the rish metaphor of the East has been used in the translation of the ritual.

(Source: By-Laws of Kora Temple A. A. O. N. M. S., Auburn, Maine: Merrill & Webber, Printers and Binders, 1898)

Search Order of the Mystic Shrine members

We have a growing collection of membership rosters for the Shriners organization. See the list below for details.

Shriner Temples, 1898

Rosters included in the search above for items in bold. We are actively acquiring and transcribing rosters for additional Temples.

AbdallahLeavenworth, Kansas
AccaRichmond, Va.
AfifiTacoma, Wash.
AhmedMarquette, Mich.
AleppoBoston, Mass.
AladdinColumbus, Ohio
AlgeriaHelena, Mont.
Al ChymiaMemphis, Tenn.
AlhambraChattanooga, Tenn.
Al KaderPortland, Oregon
Al KoranCleveland, Ohio
Al MalaikahLos Angeles, Cal.
AlmasWashington, D. C.
AraratKansas City, Mo.
Alee, U. D.Savannah, Ga.
Ballut AbyadAlbuquerque, N. M.
Ben HurAustin, Texas
BoumiBaltimore, Md.
Beni KedemCharleston, W. Va.
CyprusAlbany, N. Y.
DamascusRochester, N. Y.
El JebelDenver, Colo.
El KalahSalt Lake City, Utah
El KahirCedar Rapids, Iowa
El KatifSpokane, Wash.
El RiadSioux Falls, S. D.
El ZagalFargo, N. D.
El ZaribahPhoenix, Ariz.
El Korah, U. D.Boise City, Idaho
HamasaMeriden, Miss.
HellaDallas, Texas
India, U. D.Oklahoma, O. T.
IsisSalina, Kansas
IslamSan Francisco, Cal.
IsmaliaBuffalo, N. Y.
IremWilkes Barre, Pa.
JerusalemNew Orleans, La.
KaabaDavenport, Iowa
KemGrand Forks, N. D. (est. after 1898)
KismetBrooklyn, N. Y.
KosairLouiseville, Ky.
KoraLewiston, Maine
KoreinRawlins, Wyo.
LuluPhiladelphia, Pa.
MeccaNew York, N. Y.
MedinahChicago, Ill.
MediaWatertown, N. Y.
MohammedPeoria, Ill.
MoilaSt. Joseph, Mo.
MoolahSt. Louis, Mo.
MoroccoJacksonville, Fla.
MoslemDetroit, Mich.
Mount SinaiMontpelier, Vt.
MuratIndianapolis, Ind.
NajaDeadwood, S. D.
OrientalTroy, N. Y.
OsirisWheeling, W. Va.
OsmanSt. Paul, Minn.
OasisCharlotte, N. C.
PalestineProvidence, R. I.
PyramidBridgeport, Conn.
RajahReading, Pa.
RamesesToronto, Canada
SaharaPine Bluff, Ark.
SalaamOlney, Ill.
SaladinGrand Rapids, Mich.
SesostrisLincoln, Neb.
SyriaPittsburg, Pa.
SyrianCincinnatti, Ohio
SphinxHartford, Conn.
TangierOmaha, Neb.
TripoliMilwaukee, Wis.
TebalaRockford, Ill.
YaarabAtlanta, Ga.
ZamoraBirmingham, Ala.
Zem ZemErie, Pa.
ZivaraUtica, N. Y.
ZuhrahMinneapolis, Minn.

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