Abdul Alhazred, or the Mad Arab, is a recurring character in the works of H.P. Lovecraft. He is frequently cited as the author of the fabled Necronomicon. The Necronomicon has 15 ratings and 0 reviews. The Necronomicon The Book of the Dead. This Book will Swallow your Soul. Find out how Abdul Ahazred is related to the “Necronomicon. Well, within the context of the fictional Cthulhu mythos, Abdul Alhazred was a poet who was born .
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Why did the novelist H. Lovecraft claim to have invented the Necronomicon? The Necronomicon of Alhazred, literally: It was conceived as a history, and hence “a book of things now dead and gone”. An alternative derivation of the word Necronomicon gives as its meaning “the book of the customs of the dead”, but again this is consistent with the book’s original conception as a history, not as a work of necromancy.
Alharzed author of the book shared with Madame Blavatsky a magpie-like tendency to garner and stitch together fact, rumour, speculation, and complete balderdash, and the result is a vast and almost unreadable compendium of near-nonsense which bears more than a superficial resemblance to Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine.
Azif is a word the Arabs use to refer to nocturnal insects, but it is also a reference to the howling of demons Djinn. The Necronomicon was written in seven volumes, and runs to over pages in the Latin edition.
What we do know about him is largely derived from the small amount of biographical information in the Necronomicon itself. He was born in Sanaa in the Yemen. We know that he travelled widely, from Alexandria to the Punjab, and was well read.
He spent many years alone in the uninhabited wilderness to the south of Arabia. He had a flair for languages, and boasts on many occasions of his ability to read and translate manuscripts which defied lesser scholars. His research methodology however smacked more of Nostradamus than Herodotus. Just as Nostradamus used ceremonial magic to probe the future, so Alhazred used similar techniques and an incense composed of olibanum, storax, dictamnus, opium and hashish to clarify the past, and it is this, combined with a lack of references, which has resulted in the Necronomicon being dismissed as largely worthless by historians.
He is often referred to as “the mad Arab” or “the mad Poet”, and while he was certainly eccentric by modern standards, there is no evidence to substantiate a claim of madness other than his chronic inability to sustain a train of thought for more than a few paragraphs before leaping off at a tangent.
It is interesting that the word for madness “majnun” has an older meaning of “djinn possessed”, the significance of which will become clear below see What are the Old Ones? Alhazred is better compared with figures such as the Greek neoplatonist philosopher Proclus – A. Proclus was completely at home in astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, and metaphysics, but was sufficiently well-versed in the magical techniques of theurgy to evoke Hekate to visible appearance.
Proclus was also an initiate of Egyptian and Chaldean mystery religions. It is no accident that Alhazred was intimately familar with the works of Proclus. No Arabic manuscript is known to exist. A Latin translation was made in not in the 17th. Wormius, a German by birth, was a secretary to the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, Tomas de Torquemada, and it is likely that the manuscript of the Necronomicon came into his possession during the persecution of Spanish Moors “Moriscos” who had been converted to Catholicism under duress and did not exhibit the necessary level of enthusiasm for the doctrines of the Church.
It was an act of sheer folly for Wormius to translate and print the Necronomicon at that time and place. The book must have held an obsessive fascination for the man, because he was finally charged with heresy and burned after sending a copy of the book to Johann Tritheim, Abbot of Spanheim better known as “Trithemius”. The accompanying letter contained a detailed and blasphemous interpretation of certain passages in the Book of Genesis. Virtually all the copies of Wormius’s translation were seized and burned with him, although there is the inevitable suspicion that at least one copy must have found its way into the Vatican Library.
Almost one hundred years later, ina copy of Wormius’s Latin translation surfaced in Prague. John Dee leftthe famous English magician, and his assistant Edward Kelly below, right were at the court of the Emperor Rudolph II to discuss plans for making alchemical gold, and Kelly bought the copy from the so-called “Black Rabbi”, the Kabbalist and alchemist Jacob Eliezer, who had fled to Prague from Italy after accusations of necromancy.
At that time Prague had become a magnet for magicians, alchemists and charlatans of every kind under the patronage of Rudolph, and it is hard to imagine a more likely place in Europe for a copy to surface.
The Necronomicon appears to have had a marked influence on Kelly, because the character of his scrying changed, and he produced an extraordinary communication which struck horror into the Dee household. Crowley interpeted this as an abortive first attempt of an extra-human entity to communicate the Thelemic Book of the Law.
Kelly left Dee shortly afterwards. Dee translated the Necronomicon into Necrono,icon while warden of Christ’s College, Manchester, but contrary to Lovecraft, this translation was never printed – the manuscript passed into the collection of the great collector Elias Ashmole, and hence to the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Parts of the Necronomicon were translated into Hebrew probably in and circulated in manuscript form, accompanied by an necromomicon commentary by Nathan of Gaza, mystical apologist for the pseudo-messiah Sabbatai Tzevi. The story surrounding this version is so unusual that it is treated fully below see Who was Nathan of Gaza. There are many modern fakes masquerading as the Necronomicon. They can be recognised by a total lack of imagination or intelligence, qualities Alhazred possessed in abundance.
The book is best known for its antediluvian speculations. Alhazred appears to have had access to many sources now lost, and events which are only hinted at in Necrnoomicon or the necronimicon Book of Enochor disguised as mythology alhazrex other sources, are explored in great detail.
Alhazred may have used dubious magical techniques to clarify the past, but he also shared with the 5th. Greek writers such as Thucydides a critical mind, and a willingness to explore the meanings of mythological necronomicin sacred stories. His speculations are remarkably modern, and slhazred may account for his current popularity.
He believed that many species besides the human race had inhabited the Earth, and that much knowledge was passed to mankind in encounters with beings from “beyond the spheres” or from “other spheres”. He shared with some Neoplatonists the belief that the stars are similar to our sun, and have their own unseen planets with their own lifeforms, but elaborated this belief with a good deal of metaphysical speculation in which these beings were part of a cosmic hierarchy of spiritual evolution.
He was also convinced that he had contacted beings he called the “Old Ones” using magical invocations, and warned of terrible powers waiting to return to re-claim the Earth. He interpreted this belief most surprisingly! Johnbut reversed the ending so that the Beast triumphs after a great war in which the earth is laid waste. It is abundantly clear that Alhazred elaborated alhazredd existing traditions of the “Old Ones”, and he did not invent these traditions. According to Alhazred, the Old Ones were beings from “beyond the spheres”, necronomcion the spheres of the planets, and in the cosmography of that period this would imply the region of the fixed stars or beyond.
They were superhuman and extrahuman.
The Necronomicon by Abdul Alhazred
They mated with humans and begat monstrous offspring. They passed forbidden knowledge to humankind. They were forever seeking a channel into our plane of existence. This is virtually identical to the Jewish tradition of the Nephilim the giants of Genesis 6. The word literally means “the Fallen Ones” and is derived from the Hebrew verb root naphalto fall.
The story in Genesis is only a fragment of a larger tradition, another piece of which can be found in the apocryphal Book of Enoch. According to this source, a group of angels sent to watch over the Earth saw the daughters of men and lusted after them.
Unwilling to act individually, they swore an oath and bound themselves together, and two hundred of these “Watchers” descended to earth and took themselves wives. Their wives bore giant offspring.
The giants turned against nature and began to “sin against birds and beasts and reptiles and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood”. The fallen angels taught how to make weapons of war, and jewellery, and cosmetics, and enchantments, and astrology, and other secrets. These separate legends are elaborated in later Jewish sources such as the Talmudwhich make it clear that Enoch and Genesis refer to the same tradition.
The great flood of Genesis was a direct response to the evil caused by humankind’s commerce with fallen angels. The fallen angels were cast out and bound:. And I saw something horrible: I saw neither a heaven above nor a firmly founded earth, but a place chaotic and horrible.
And there I saw seven stars of the heaven bound together in it, like great mountains, and burning with fire. These are the number of the stars of heaven which have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and are bound here till ten thousand years, the time entailed by their sins, are consummated.
Arab traditions hold that the Jinn or Djinn were a race of superhuman beings which existed before the creation of humankind. The Djinn were created from fire.
Some traditions make them a lesser race than human beings, but folk-tales invariably endowed them with unlimited magical powers, and the Djinn survive to this day as the genies of the Arabian Nights and Disney’s Aladdin. Islam has subordinated the Djinn to the Koranand like elves and fairies they have lost alhazrd dark and extremely sinister qualities with the passage of time.
In Alhazred’s time the older and darker traditions of the Djinn were still current, and Arab magicians “muqarribun” would attempt to gain forbidden knowledge and power through commerce with the Djinn. It is now generally agreed by occult scholars that the Enochian system of Dee and Kelly was directly inspired by those sections of the Necronomicon which deal with Alhazred’s techniques for evoking the Old Ones.
It must be remembered that the Necronomicon was primarily intended as a history, and while it provides some practical details and formulae, it is hardly a step-by-step beginner’s guide to summoning praetor-human intelligences.
Dee and Kelly had to fill in many details themselves, so their system is a hybrid of ideas taken from the Necronomicon and techniques of their own invention There seems little doubt that the Sigellum Dei Aemeth abovehecronomicon Enochian language, and the Enochian Calls or Keys are authentic borrowings, and we must doubt Dee’s claim that Kelly received them from the archangel Abdil.
Bulwer Lytton, who studied Dee’s manuscript of the Necronomicon in the last century, asserts bluntly that they were transcribed directly from the book, and if they were received from Uriel, then it was Alhazred necronomiccon did the receiving!.
The very name of their system, “Enochian”, is a clue, if there were no other, that it alhazrev inspired by the age-old traditions recorded in the Book of Enochand alahzred was Dee and Kelly’s intention to contact the Nephilim, or Great Old Ones. The manuscript of the Book of Enoch was lost until the late 17th. There is no doubt that Alhazred would have had access to the Book of Enoch, as it was current throughout the Nedronomicon East in the ninth century.
Aleister Crowley called this Call “the original curse on the Creation”.
It is uttered as if by God, and is an appalling and immensely literate  curse on the world, humankind, and all its creatures, ending, “And why? It repenteth alhazted that I have made Man.
This is identical to the sentiment of Genesis 6. This verse immediately follows the verses which describe the evil done by the Nephilim necronomivon the resulting sinfulness of the world, and it is followed by God’s decision to wipe out all the life on earth with a great flood. Aleister Crowley, using abudl immense knowledge of the Bible, recognised the Call of the Thirty Aethyrs for what it was: God’s curse on the Nephilim and the evil they had caused.
It was this curse which cast them out of the earth and consigned them to the Abyss. It is difficult to underrate this clue. This is consistent with an age-old practice for controlling demonic power: This formula is used in almost every mediaeval grimoire. In some cases the magician is quite explicit in naming precisely those occasions where the entity has been controlled by means of a formula.
The entry into the thirty Aethyrs begins with a divine curse because it is a means to assert control over the entities it evokes: The Great Old Ones. This establishes beyond any doubt that the Enochian system of Dee and Kelly was identical in spirit, and almost certainly in practice, to the system of Alhazred as described in the Necronomicon. One of his most important pieces of magical work recorded in The Vision and the Voice was his alhaxred to penetrate the Aethyrs using the Enochian Calls.
He did this while crossing the North African desert in the company of the poet Victor Neuberg.