From the middle of the 19th century, Islam and Freemasonry came to be connected in strange but significant ways that, ultimately, helped shape the world we are living in today. Prominent Muslims that were Freemasons, at least for a period, include Shaykh Quilliam, founder of the first mosque in Britain; Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, founder of anti-colonial politics in the Middle East; and Muhammad Abduh, theologian.
Moreover, ideas about Islam — and more especially about Sufism — also influenced a range of esoteric thinkers, societies and fraternities in the West, including the prominent Ancient Arabic Order of The Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
I recently spoke to Greg Kaminsky, publisher of the excellent Occult of Personality podcast about this subject. If you’re interested in Freemasonry, Islamic esotericism, and politics, you can check out the podcast here.