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On the Significance of

The Teachings of René Guénon

Shaykh Abdu-l Wahīd Yahya

For Seekers of Truth

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To deny or to ignore all pure and super-rational knowledge was to open up the path to positivism and agnosticism, and to all those sentimental and flippant theories which seek in the infra-rational for what reason cannot give them. 45

  1. Introduction
  2. The Message Of Islam Is Universal
  3. R. Guénon And The Islamic Tradition
  4. How René Guénon Restored Some Key Concepts
  5. New Concepts - Necessary In Our Epoch
  6. A Warning - What the Teachings Of René Guénon Are Not
  7. Significance of The Teachings Of René Guénon For Muslims
  8. The Doctrinal Heritage of René Guénon
  9. Questions And Answers
  10. Footnotes

1. Introduction

René Guénon's writings can benefit every searcher of truth and meaning in an otherwise - as it might appear - meaningless world.1 Even Muslims, especially those brought up in the West or with a Westernized, i.e. modern, non-traditional background will gain an understanding, inshah Allah.

”We may add that his role and importance is constant and many people came back to Christianity, others left Protestantism for Catholicism and many "Western" minded Muslims by name returned to their own Islamic tradition.” A.V.

René Guénon has clarified many important metaphysical concepts which relate to the religious (or: traditional) worldview, but which have been stripped of their original meaning. Such as tradition, metaphysics, intellect etc.2 First of all to state the distinct definition of tradition which clears the way from a lot of debris:

Tradition has nothing to do with peoples' usages or customs from old but is understood as revealed tradition, that is truths and principles of divine order revealed or unveiled to mankind.

He also conducted a fundamental and necessary critique of dominant modern society,40 a critique which goes beyond the ’flat’ and deficient41 theories of non-traditional social scientists and philosophers, who ignore the transcendental perspective of God and the role of humanity. Before setting out to establish some new political or other ’system’,42 it is necessary to understand what has gone wrong with the present system, the one of ’progress’ and ’liberty’, which in reality is utterly restrictive, nihilistic because it is materialistic and one-dimensional.

It is essential for the well-being of each and everyone in this world, and also for a successful vision of the Hereafter – to bear in mind and to act according to the traditional principle that man is infinitely more than a body and a psyche.51 Consequently it means to know the soul - in respect to the Creator of souls and men: Allah.43

Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi: ”The Messenger of God Mhmd said that there is no path to knowledge of God but knowledge of self, for He said, “He who knows himself knows his Lord.” He also said. “He who knows himself best knows his Lord best.” Hence He made you a signifier.”44

 link-in For a deep critique of modern society: The Crisis Of The Modern World; R.G.
 link-in Islamic Tradition, On The Islamic Tradition And The Unchanging Religion, A.V.

2. The Message of Islam is Universal

Islam is A UNIVERSAL RELIGION, as one can - and should - live according to its tenets at any time and place – meaning: it provided functioning, effective solutions for pre-modern man and does so for modern man if he is determined to repair and improve his standing in front of God - Allah. The foundation remains the same, but applications may vary. And Islam is also a universal way of life because it takes its point of departure from the natural, original condition of man (al fitrah ), not from any utopian idea of what he should be when considering only 'profane' aspects.[47] Man is a wholeness of body, mind and spirituality.[48]

Furthermore Prophet Muhammad, saws_5k sallAllahu `aleihi wa sallam - is the blessed prophet for the whole of humanity and for the universe.

On the one hand, it is clear that the message of Islam is directed at every human being. Allah (swt) addresses Himself to all men when He says:

{ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ }

{ O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who has created you and those before you, so that you will be able to ward off evil.} Sura 2-21

On the other hand - and this is another aspect of the universality of Islam - also we Muslims have to learn from other religions' experiences in historical times,29 for example from the case of the Christian West, from their decadence and their deviation from the eternal, divine Tradition as a warning example.3 This is where René Guénon can assist every seeker of truth to recognize the early signs of such deviations, and especially the loss of doctrine 4 and the slackening of practice.

But in any case, it is Islam which is the religion that reigns5 in the world today, despite problems from inside and outside.46 Allah (swt) advises man and woman to take this way:

{ وَأَنْ أَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا وَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ }

{ And dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to the pure original faith as a true monotheist…} Sura 10-105

No single person in our times of spiritual delusions and tribulations formulated the universal principles as did Shaykh Abdu-l Wahīd Yahya René Guénon. He elaborated on the true, eternal tradition (al-Dīn al-Qayyim )6, which is at the root of all world religions. He also researched many other aspects of spiritual realization, which were all intended to lead toward an understanding of the different levels and manifestations of Ultimate Reality.

 link-in For an overview over his work at the present website:
An introduction to Shaykh Abd Al Wahid Yahya - René Guénon

3. R. Guénon and The Islamic Tradition

3.1 Islam as Faith and Practice

For his faith and practice, he chose Islam and one of its spiritual paths (turūq ) and lived as a respected Muslim scholar for the rest of his life in a Muslim country.7 Shaykh Abdu-l Wahīd Yahya connected with the Shadhiliyya tariqa via Shaykh Elish8, but he was one of the Afrād, i.e. someone by himself. This means, that although he gave advice and good counsel to people about Sufism or tasawwuf or aspects of Tradition, he did himself have no disciples in a tarīqa. 3.2

We take from René Guénon primarily what facilitates our understanding of the First Principles5.1 and secondly of the process of decline of the various world religions over time, as well as an analysis of our present bleak postmodern era. From this follows a better appreciation of the value of an authentic living tradition – which is the role of Islam in the world.9

 link-in For the role of Islam in the postmodern era: Modernism And Postmodern Thought, OmarKN

3.2 Importance of Eastern Traditions

When studying the different so-called spiritual movements of the West in the early 1900s he was inspired by the teachings of Eastern traditions, as in the saying from antiquity: “Ex Oriente Lux”:10

“It is the study of the Eastern doctrines which has made us see what the West lacks and the falsity of many ideas which are current in the modern world.” 11

Concerning the usage of Hindu concepts by R.Guénon, Hamza Agostino wrote:

Hindu concepts “are used mostly among people who take part in his works, simply because he used them. Another reason is that the Hindu system is rather well-known. The Islamic teachings of the cosmic cycles were formalized by Ibn Arabi, although no one knows about it, hardly the Muslims themselves.”12

Apart from his studies in many religions and wisdom traditions, he actively followed a tarīqa (i.e. a spiritual path in Islam).27

 link-in More on spirituality in Islam: Tasawwuf - Sufism in Islam

4. R. Guénon Restored Some Key Concepts

Three examples:

4.1 Restoration of Correct Etymological Meanings

Shaykh Abdu-l Wahīd Yahya René Guénon restored the correct etymological meaning of different concepts, first and foremost of 'Tradition', this concept is central to Islam and to every genuine religion.13

The word 'tradition' is derived from Latin 'tradere', i.e. to hand over, deliver, entrust  - in its general sense - something from God, Allah via His prophets (upon them be peace). What is handed over is the Quranic revelation, the āyah (Quranic verses) and - through those - the baraka, Divine blessings, which are heavenly powers, all of these leading to sacred knowledge. Islam is fundamentally and originally Tradition - the timeless, divine message, applied to the *Now*, i.e. to the context of the present situation, and this is why the Islamic Tradition defines the Islamic religion, not the other way round. Living the Islamic tradition in its application through the Islamic dīn (or deen) is one of the ongoing wonders of Islam.28

4.2 Safeguarding the Authenticity of a Religion

René Guénon:

”There is continual talk about morality14, while doctrine15 is scarcely mentioned on the pretext that one cannot expect it to be understood; religion nowadays amounts to little more than ‘moralism’.”16

There are similar tendencies in other religions and even in Islam, although here he is obviously referring to the Christianity of his time and age. There has always been the risk of excessive formalization, and getting stuck in the details, while losing sight of the maqāsid - intention - of the Law: gaining the good pleasure of God - Allah, while purifying the soul.52 The eminent scholars of Islam were able to combine the two wings of the Shar`ia: the inner and the outer aspects of the divine law.36

René Guénon understood that in reality, religion has to include three essential elements, without which it does not fulfil its function. These three elements are the following:

- a doctrine (the intellectual component),
- a rite (the ritual component) and
- a moral, i.e. an ethic, (the social component),

but not any ethical system based on human, rational thought but deriving from the super-human level. 17

From this follows that any religion which lacks one or more of these basic elements has to be rejected. The fact that Islam has preserved all three elements is proof of its authenticity and when it is claimed that Islam reigns supreme, it is meant that Islam is the summit and summary of the earlier divines messages.18 While confirming the original messages of the earlier world religions, Islam remains the only effective way for the spiritual ascent of man because man is one31 and the Truth is one. 32

 link-in Purifying And Striving Against The Ego (nafs), Shaykh `Abd al-Qadir `Isa

4.3 Difference Between the Spiritual and the Psychic

This difference is very important, as the spiritual and the psychic are constantly interchanged and confused, especially by those who are outside religion or tradition.

The 3-fold main human levels are the basis to understand the human being:

”According to almost all ancient traditions, including traditional Christianity and Platonic philosophy, the human being is composed of three levels of being: Spirit, soul and body - in Greek, Pneuma (or Nous), psyche and soma; in Latin, Spiritus (or Intellectus), anima, and corpus. (Arabic: rūh, nafs and jism ).” 19 [back to text]

The difference between the spiritual and the psychic can be at first presented as follows:

”In the modern era … the distinction between Spirit and soul has been lost, with disastrous consequences. We now tend to believe, unless we are complete materialists, that anything which isn't material must be spiritual, which often means to us that whatever we encounter through dreams or psychological introspection or psychic experiences must be true, and by implication 'good' - or at least not to be criticized, even if we hate or fear it… even less so, of course, if it is pleasant or fascinating. And it is precisely this metaphysical error - that there is no distinction between psyche and Spirit which is at this moment opening whole masses of people to demonic influences, and which will make it possible for the Antichrist to concoct a plausible psychic counterfeit of the eternal Spiritual Reality.”37

 link-in More on the psychic ≠ the spiritual: Metaphysical Foundations

5. New Concepts - Necessary in Our Epoch

Apart from the concept of Tradition, which has been briefly explained above50, three other examples of concepts which were introduced by the teachings of R. Guénon will be mentioned here:

5.1 Metaphysics

”Metaphysics is the study of 'first principles'. These principles are permanent truths, statements about eternal realities.”20 Metaphysics is what is beyond and above nature, therefore it is the one most appropriately to be called "the Supernatural", it is the knowledge of the universal principles, a kind of knowledge, which goes beyond what can be comprehended by man.

The first principle is the metaphysical doctrine of the Supreme Identity (tawhīd). 32 39

5.2 Anti-Tradition

Anti-Tradition is what ignores the teachings of tradition, such as modernity, positivism, materialism, democracy, and secular humanism.21

5.3 Counter-tradition

Counter-tradition is what takes the place of tradition, but is only a caricature of spirituality, misguiding many.22

6. A Warning - What the Teachings of René Guénon Are Not

It is worth pointing out that René Guénon's teachings do not by themselves constitute a spiritual path or tarīqa and that they should not be confused with such.

Mr Fawzi Sqali (a Budshishi muqaddam in Maroc) explained23:

“Traditionalism is one expression of spiritual truth but is not in any way a spiritual path.” In his view, it is confused with a spiritual path “only by those who have insufficient spiritual experience, who have not properly encountered a real spiritual path.” Sqali argues that it is not only the works of Guénon that present the risk of being taken for the definitive spiritual doctrine, that even Ibn al-Arabi can (but should not) be taken in this way. In his view, to take any single corpus as a definitive doctrine is incompatible with Sunni Islam; “the definitive guide is the shaykh.”

This means that the determining spiritual leader is the shaykh and in reality Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

7. On the Significance of the Teachings of René Guénon for Muslims

On the one hand, is it alright to be Muslim today without being acquainted with the teachings of René Guénon, but on the other hand it is true that we do need intellectual support and the tools regarding the challenges of postmodern, nihilistic and hedonistic movements in our societies. It is essential to understand the underlying mentality and clouding myths of this materialism and one-dimensionality,[49] when people and societies - especially in times of crisis - open up to nefarious and satanic influences.

Nevertheless, we have to evolve into an atmosphere of dispassionate, rational dialogue with each other and with Non-Muslims, which far surpasses issues such as dress code and the like. We have to talk about the future of our societies and see to what extent they give room for holistic viewpoints from world traditions.

While no one is forced to take the teachings of Tradition to heart, they are for those brought up and conditioned in a Western, one-dimensional mentality, for who would need them. Anyway, one should speak to people the language they understand and remind them that there is a spiritual dimension to our lives.[50]
In the case of studying René Guénon's works, what is needed is the intellectual language - but it isn't an absolute need (or a wājib), it is only for some, and it is better so.

Let us be clear that the teachings of Tradition constitute a necessary tool of faith and intellectuality against spiritual stupor24, which threatens many good people.

This is the case of today’s culture of rapid globalization with its spread of an (originally Western) materialistic consumer mindset, penetrating into and destroying the last remnants of traditional societies.

When this process of globalization introduces technological inventions and solutions with a materialistic, one-dimensional bias, it is simultaneously slashing out the effects of cultural imperialism which potentially is about to dominate every country.38 As a consequence there will be (and already are) severe problems of the integrity of society, culture and the safeguarding of the environment. Even religious practice is affected to a certain degree.

The teachings of Tradition are - regarding this development - a means of understanding (post-)modernity and its blighting process of secularization33 and are as such safeguarding faith in Absolute Truth. In his teachings, René Guénon addressed himself to the adherents of all world religions, and not the least to those of unconscious "disbelief." However, he refrained from categorizing people and their leaders - personal matters were not important anyway.

The writings of René Guénon are excellent support for those who want to transcend the positivistic thought patterns of consumerism, materialism, anti-tradition and anti-intellectualism in which modern man has been cast - this poor creature who has (in many cases) lost his intuitive knowledge of the sacred. – As a start, a few of his books can be recommended, such as Crisis of the Modern World, or East And West.25

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

{ وَاللّٰهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللّٰهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ }

{ But Allah selects for His mercy whom He wills…} Sura 2-105

{Yakhtasu bi-rahmatihi man yashā’u.}

8. The Doctrinal Heritage of René Guénon

The focus of his teachings cover four areas:

The core elements of his teachings could be summarized as such:

9. Questions and Answers

  1. What is ”traditionalism” and what is “philosophia perennis?”

In any case, it is not a well-formed, uniform group or organization, but quite disparate currents of thought, which refer in a greater or lesser degree to what they found with René Guénon. Whereas they may be critical to the materialistic development of the modern West, not all of them abide by the principles of Tradition.

The perennialist outlook is characterized by raising all religions and traditions to an equal footing as if it would not matter which one to follow.
Sh. Nazim Al-Haqqani: “Christianity, Judaism and Islam…”.


First of all, it is Islam that reigns (see Sura 5:3). Traditional Islam does not accept the notion that the world religions (or even any other man-made belief systems) are equally valid roads to God - Allah, these are perennialist interpretations.

◊ Even so - except for elements of corruption and deviation - they still reflect some sacred truth, they did not turn into complete falsehood by being abrogated.

◊ In the words of Muhyiddīn Ibn `Arabi:

”The religious laws (shara`ī - of different religions) are all lights, and the law of Muhammad ( Allah bless him and give him peace ) among these lights is as the sun's light among the light of the stars…” [more]

And he wrote:
”So all paths return to look to the Prophet's path (Allah bless him and give him peace): if the prophetic messengers had been alive in his time, they would have followed him just as their religious laws have followed his law.…”

 link-in Such marked stripes indicate in-site referrals for Livingislam.org pages

  1. This text here is not meant to be a survey over the work of René Guénon, but as a set of answers to questions posed by readers who may benefit from his writings, - inshah Allah.

  2. He also shows how to differentiate between authenticity and fallacy in spiritual and religious issues, how to disclose impostors and other fortune hunters who are to be found in all human activities, unfortunately even within religions, and not the least among those modern organizations and sects. These are all the symptoms of the age we live in.

  3. There are similar trends of deviation in other religions, such as Judaism, Hinduism and Buddism.

  4. On the loss of doctrine: Crisis of the Modern World > “doctrine” > esp. p. 58: Several steps occurred over time in a process of decline:
    – 1. doctrinal dissolution
    – 2. disappearance of the intellectual elements of religion
    – 3. decline into sentimentalism
    – 4. no longer religion, but ‘religiosity’ = vague sentimental aspirations, unsanctioned by any real knowledge (compare William James and the Subconscious)

  5. - In the sense which has been mentioned here.

    - This has also been elaborated at another place: On The Common Eternal Principles, And That Islam Reigns 

  6. ”The true, eternal tradition (al-Dīn al-Qayyim)” from the quranic verse:

    { وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللّٰهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ }

    { And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, (being) sincere to Him in religion – as true monotheists, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And this is the true, eternal religion.} Sura 98-5

    Concerning tradition, this word has two significations: a general and a specific one. However, it does not have the meaning that it has acquired today, such as ‘customs’ and ‘usages’. –– In its general meaning, tradition has to be understood in the sense of transmission of an element of the suprahuman level, as explained by René Guénon.

    In its more specific sense the term tradition signifies the words and sayings reported from the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ - may Allah bless him and grant him peace - which have been recorded in the hadith collections. So when speaking of the Islamic Tradition we do not only mean the sayings and words of wisdom by the Prophet of Islam ﷺ, but also the entire Islamic religion (Qur'ān, Sunnah, schools of law, spirituality, sanctity, etc.)

  7. About his life in Egypt: “Despite this continued interest in Hinduism and other religions, however, Guénon’s own practice was (as far as we know) purely Islamic. He … introduced many to Islam.” Guénon the Egyptian: Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World and:

    “In Cairo Guénon lived as a pious Muslim and a Sufi. All reports indicate that he scrupulously followed not only the requirements of the Sharia* but also the recommendations of the sunna, the voluntary practices of Islam.”
    *Note: The Sunna is part of the Shariʿa and he followed the Shariʿa with all the adab belonging to it.

  8. wikipedia.org: His initiation into Sufism was effected by Ivan Aguéli (Abdul Hadi) and performed in accordance with Sheikh Abder Rahman Elish El-Kebir, an important representative of Islam in Egypt at that time, in both its exoteric (outward) and esoteric (inner) aspects. Sheikh Abder Rahman Elish El-Kebir was the head of the Maleki Madh'hab (one of the major lineages of Islamic jurisprudence) at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Guénon later dedicated his book The Symbolism of the Cross to him.

  9. S.H. Nasr, What Is Traditional Islam? “Two centuries ago, if Westerners were to study Islam, they would have encountered but a single Islamic tradition.”

  10. Out of the East comes the light: Ex oriente lux (Lat., ‘out of the East, light’). The belief is that greater wisdom and deeper spirituality can be found in Eastern religions than in the materialistic West. …It led (after ca. 1870 onwards) to an extensive and serious academic endeavour to study the religions of the East, and to publish texts and translations.

  11. Ideas, current: about what had happened in the modern West, esp. the falsification of doctrine leading to a belief in (perfect?) man instead of faith in God, Who alone is Perfect, True and Who loves beauty. Tradition And Civilization, Some Quotes from René Guénon in “East and West”

  12. Hamza Agostino continued on the usage of Hindu concepts: Islam i Europa: ”If one would want to seek for a Muslim explanation of those laws, one has to turn to Ibn Arabi. But his writings are tremendously complicated and difficult to penetrate. There are teachers in the school of the Akbariyya, who know about those subjects and who can teach them, but they are very scarce. The Hindu system is easily accessible and good.”

    ”When we are talking about the epoch of darkness - we are talking about a reality, a truth. The laws of time are precisely as real as f. ex. gravitation. That’s why they found their expression in all religions. When Muslims talk about physics may be they are using Latin or Greek words, so when we are dealing with the cycles (in time) why should we not use Hindu words? The laws of time are neither Islamic nor are they Hindu, they are real. Which terminology is used is strictly speaking secondary. The laws of time are real, this is the essential fact.”

  13. More on Tradition: Are Non-Islamic Religions Valid?: It should be understood that while Tradition, here explained as the eternal, immutable Truth, has been applied over the ages through different religions of mankind - bearing in mind that the Truth is One - that this does not mean that all those applications of the Primordial Tradition35, i.e. all those religions as they appear today, are on the same level or have the same authenticity or the same divine blessings because there is the function of time and with it the renewal of divine authentication, which Allah gave to Islam. ”So all paths return to look to the Prophet’s path ﷺ  (Allah bless him and give him peace): if the prophetic messengers had been alive in his time, they would have followed him just as their religious laws have followed his law.” Ibn `Arabi

  14. morality: right and wrong or good and bad behaviour; Apple Dictionary

  15. doctrine: from Latin "doctrina" ‘teaching, learning’; Apple Dictionary

  16. quoted from “Crisis of the Modern World”, page 62, CMW62:

    ”Doctrine is thus in fact forgotten or reduced almost to nothing, an attitude which brings one remarkably near to the [Christian] Protestant position, since it is indeed a result of the same modern tendencies, altogether opposed as they are to any kind of intellectuality; and”

    ”what is most deplorable is that the instruction which is commonly imparted, instead of reacting against this state of mind, on the contrary, favours it by adapting itself only too readily to it: there is continual talk about morality, while doctrine is scarcely mentioned on the pretext that one cannot expect it to be understood; religion nowadays amounts to little more than ‘moralism’, or at least it would seem as if nobody wished any longer to recognize what it really is, which is indeed something quite different from that.”

    ”If nevertheless, the doctrine still happens to be talked about sometimes, the result is only too often to debase it through discussing it with its opponents on their own ‘profane’ ground, which inevitably leads to the making of the most unjustifiable concessions; it is for this reason in particular that people imagine themselves obliged to take account, to a greater or lesser extent, of the supposed discoveries resulting from modern ‘criticism’, whereas nothing would be simpler, by placing oneself at a different point of view, than to demonstrate their shallowness; under those conditions how much can really survive of the genuine traditional spirit?” CMW62

  17. An ethic deriving from the super-human level: Étude Des Doctrines Hindus; Guénon, René; EDH82+8

  18. Sh. Nazim Al-Haqqani: “Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All of them have vessels, but the vessel of Christianity is 2000 years old, the vessel of Judaism is 4000 years old and the Islamic one is the newest one. If you had to choose for long and dangerous travelling, would you use the oldest or the newest vessel? That is the question I would like to raise to the people of …! They must accept the newest vessel which is mostly intact, powerful and strongest, not the rusty old ones.” Interview with Shaykh Nazim 01.01.1997, in Interview: Bayat, Kissing of Hands, Touching Women, Islamic Clothes
    On the common eternal principles, and that Islam reigns, okn

  19. Metaphysical Foundations , Difference Between Spirit And Soul Or Psyche, in The System Of Antichrist, Charles Upton; SAC80

  20. SAC69 and texts:
    SAC, The System Of Antichrist, Charles Upton; so SAC69 is for p.69

    Links Metaphysics
     link-in On the Supreme Principle And That Metaphysics May Not Be Limited, OmarKN
     link-in Who Needs Metaphysiscs? OmarKN
     link-in Metaphysical Foundations, OmarKN

  21. more on anti-tradition

  22. more on counter-tradition

  23. F. Sqali: in chapter: Moroccan Traditionalism

  24. - stupor: a state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility; Apple Dictionary

    - When simple faith does not count any more…

  25. more references are at: Texts René Guénon

  26. What Is Traditional Islam? edited from Islam In The Modern World, S. H. Nasr

  27. [René Guénon’s Life And Work] ”Although he had found his own resting place within the fold of Islam, Guénon remained interested in the possibility of genuine initiatic channels [i.e. allowing for a genuine process of initiation] surviving within Christianity.” … However, he finally concluded, ”that there was no effective hope of an esoteric regeneration” within Catholicism or any other would-be esoteric Western organization.

    Probably also because of R.Guénon being affiliated to a real spiritual path with their way of initiating the searcher for truth and supporting him, ”in his later years (he) was much more preoccupied with questions concerning initiation into authentic esoteric traditions. He published at least twenty-five articles in Études Traditionnelles dealing with this subject, from many points of view.”

    ”Guénon’s work, from his earliest writings in 1909 onward, can be seen as an attempt to give a new expression and application to the timeless principles which inform all traditional doctrines.” These timeless principles are also called the Primordial Tradition, or just ’the Tradition’.

  28. ”Tradition, then, is not just anything that comes to us from the remote past; plenty of philosophical errors and religious heresies are of ancient pedigree. It is specifically the transmission of Absolute Truth via the human form and human consciousness – a transmission which is so crucial that, according to many authorities, if it were absolutely to cease the world would be destroyed. It is the ’stem’ of creation, the vital connection between the flower of the visible universe and its Divine Ground. Cut the stem and the flower withers.” SAC79

  29. Re: We Muslims have to learn from other religions – in any case, we are reminded by the Holy Quran not to isolate ourselves from the rest of humanity or society, but to get to know each other, even if we don't agree with other ways of living or religions.

    { يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا }

    { O mankind, indeed We … made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.} Sura 49-13

    Re: in historical times: There are abundant examples from Medieval Islamic history of mixed communities living side by side in harmony. Maybe the best is S. D. Goitein’s study of the daily life of Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Egypt: [ ’A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza.’ ] commented by Michael Nordberg below:

    ”What picture do the Geniza-papers then paint of life in the Fatimid era in 11th and 12th century Egypt? Compared with today's situation are conditions almost idyllic. What emerges is a society characterized by great mutual tolerance and respect between different religious groups that inhabited contemporary Egypt. Jews and Muslims lived mixed together - there is no semblance of an isolated ghetto existence - they had frequent business dealings with each other and hung out socially on very amicable terms, which many private letters testify. There were absolutely no restrictions on the Jews' right to practice any profession they chose.” Michael Nordberg, in Om 4, 1990

  30. -

  31. man is one: this means the essential qualities and spiritual needs of all men & women of goodwill are the same.

  32. the Truth is one:

    - This is monotheism (tawhīd): (Allah, the one beside whom there is no other God), and the declaration of it is what makes a person a Muslim, acc. to the scholars of Islam. (See The creed of Imam al-Tahāwī, ed. Hamza Yusuf; Zaytuna Institute 2007; p.10)

    - ”Simply say: ’See One. Say One. Know One.’” Mahmūd Shabistarī in his Garden of Mystery; quoted in Sufi Expressions of the Mystic Quest, Laleh Bakhtiar, 1976, London, p.9

  33. secularization: what is not connected with sacred, religious or spiritual matters. (Apple Dictionary)

    - “After the blight of secularism had set in a few hundred years ago, René Guénon's analysis enables us to talk about religion as such, not the different world religions in competition with each other, but as phenomena or manifestations of the Divine.
    And how the process of secularism destroyed people's sense of the sacred to a point where unintelligent leaders can sell any false, satanic concept to the people: Blind leading the blind.
    Also within Islam, there are those who use the rhetoric of religion for their own schemes, misleading some of our good people.” OmarKN

  34. - primordial: existing at or from the beginning of time (Apple Dictionary)

  35. - The Primordial Tradition: As Gai Eaton has observed, Guénon “believes that there exists a Universal Tradition, revealed to humanity at the beginning of the present cycle of time, but partially lost…. (His) primary concern is less with the detailed forms of Tradition and the history of its decline than with its kernel, the pure and changeless knowledge [also called metaphysics] which is still accessible to man through the channels provided by traditional doctrine.”

  36. “Some formalists recognise only the science of the external religious law comprised in the Quran and the Sunna, and declare that the esoteric science, i. e. Tasawwuf or Sufism, is without meaning. In fact, however, the science of the religious law of the (Shariʿa) has an internal as well as an external aspect and inculcates inward as well as outward actions. The outward actions are bodily, such as hunger, fasting, almsgiving and the like, while the inward actions, or the actions of the heart, are faith, sincerity, knowledge of God, etc. The esoteric science (of Islam) signifies the science of the actions of the interior which depend on the interior organ, namely, the heart (al-qalb) and is identical to Sufism. The inward aspect of religion is the necessary complement of the outward aspect and vice versa. Both aspects are inherent in the Quran, in the Traditions of the Prophet ﷺ, and in Islam itself.”
    Abu Nasr ʿAbdallah b. ʿAli al-Sarrāj al-Tusi (Kitab al-luma fi l-Tasawwuf)

  37. ”If we knew psyche and Spirit as two different things (or, rather, two different levels of being) we would not, for example, patronize the many psychic hotlines now advertised on TV and elsewhere because we would know that just because someone can tell you the colour of your underwear or what you did last Tuesday, it doesn't mean her or she is necessarily either wise or good. And the fact is that many psychics (though certainly not all) often have imbalanced personalities, and will tend to use their psychic powers dishonestly, since those powers have given them a certain ability to 'live by their wits'.” SAC80, System of The Antichrist, Charles Upton, p.80, quoted in Metaphysical Foundations.

  38. Globalization also has a military aspect, as it is always accompanied by the brute force of the superpowers of this world when their interests are threatened. This is the state of affairs at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century.

  39. - To start at the beginnings, that is at the principles, is the essential condition (sine qua non) for a correct understanding of reality.
    Go deeper: Oriental Metaphysics, R. Guénon

    - Related: The Supreme Identity

  40. A method and critique which inspires a new, 'updated' analysis of the postmodern era.

  41. deficient: and therefore misleading theories, stopping short of the Reality of God.

  42. some new political or other ’system’: either in the realm of political theory, or in the realm of ’politicised’ religion, and their attempts to realize those systems in the world.

  43. know the soul: and the spiritual heart of man and woman, see: About The Pure Heart

  44. Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi quoted in The Self-Disclosure of God, Principles of Ibn `Arabi's Cosmology, From the translation of the Futuhat al-Makkiyya by W C Chittick; NY. 1998

  45. The complete quotation:
    ”To deny or to ignore all pure and super-rational knowledge was to open up the path which logically could only lead on the one hand to positivism and agnosticism, which resign themselves to the narrowest limitations of intelligence and of its object, and on the other hand to all those sentimental and "voluntarist" theories which feverishly seek in the infra-rational for what reason cannot give them.”
    René Guénon, East And West, p.24

  46. NB: We don't accept the ongoing interference and often violent intervention of the arrogant powers into the affairs of Muslim countries (War of Terror) and at the same time we don't accept or condone illegal (because against the Shariʿa no matter if the language of the Holy Quran is used) and abhorrent acts against civilians, committed by militant groups using terrorism (Clarification of Extremism), and if they are Muslim they should know better. (Open Letter To Al-Baghdādī)

  47. This was the pipe-dream of communism and fascism of old and of all those new anti-traditional movements of later times, may they be right-wing groups, racists, supremacists, Zionists, narrow-minded liberals, activists of various shades: if they deny or ignore the Divine and the presence and revelation of Allah.

  48. Man is a wholeness of body, mind and spirituality, although mind or intellect (ʿaql ) in the Islamic Tradition is not restricted to 'profane' or materialistic, positivistic aspects as it is in Western epistemologies. (profane: not relating to that which is sacred or religious; secular).

    In the Islamic Tradition 'mind' or intellect (ʿaql ) always includes those higher states of knowledge and understanding, which are open to the divine, also called 'intellectual intuition', among other names.

    See also: Intelligence and Reason

  49. See 'The materialistic attitude' in The Illusion of the ’Ordinary Life’

  50. However, "modern man has become quite impermeable to any influences other than such as impinge on his senses; not only have his faculties of comprehension become more and more limited, but also the field of his perception has become correspondingly restricted."
    Source: The Illusion of the ’Ordinary Life’



Related texts
link-in Shaykh Abd Al Wahid Yahya - René Guénon; Introduction and Texts
link-in Suicide Or 'Martyrdom'-Operations And The Killing Of Civilians Are Unlawful And Cursed


* Living Islam – Islamic Tradition *