Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

In Quest Of Alhazred

This article was written by Donald Tyson
posted under Alhazred

Abdul Alhazred is attributed as the mysterious author of the Necronomicon. Like the dark book he is reputed to have written, he was the creation of the fertile mind of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), who invented both Alhazred and the Necronomicon as background details for his terrifying stories of cosmic horror.

Lovecraft wrote that Alhazred was a mad poet of Yemen who in his youth explored the great Arabian desert known as the Empty Space. He traveled widely across the ancient world in search of arcane wisdom, and in his old age wrote a book documenting what he had gleaned in secret places beneath the earth—of strange necromancies, lost cities and god-like races of extraterrestrials so alien they were not even composed of flesh. Alhazred worshiped these gods, and in the year 738, while living out his old age in Damascus, he paid the ultimate price for his hubris. He was caught up into the air in the city marketplace in full view of the throng and devoured piece by piece by an invisible monster.

Alhazred plays no active role in Lovecraft’s stories, but is merely said to be the author of the Necronomicon, which is the focus of the reader’s attention. When I put together Necronomicon (Llewellyn, 2004), I felt Alhazred’s presence constantly at my shoulder, filling my mind with his wanderings and his curious adventures. He does not appear in my version of Necronomicon, save for a brief mention at the very end of the book, but his unseen presence haunts each page. The Necronomicon was based on the knowledge he acquired while wandering the Empty Space and traveling through Egypt, Persia, and other lands. It was written in his old age, as he gazed back over the years into his past.

When I finished Necronomicon, I knew there was another story to tell—the story of Alhazred in his youth, the wonders and terrors he experienced while roaming distant lands acquiring forbidden wisdom, the passion that drove him to venture into the dark caverns at the roots of the world and confront the abominations of nature that dwell there, the circumstances of his life that resulted in his madness on the burning sands of the Empty Space. Whereas the Necronomicon is a gathering of wisdom by the poet in his old age, stripped of human emotion and personal details, the novel Alhazred presents the actual life of the young poet as it is being lived.

Because of youthful indiscretions with the king’s daughter, Alhazred, who had been court poet of Yemen and a favorite of the king, was exiled into the Empty Space. Before his expulsion into the desert, he was punished in ways too horrifying to mention in this essay, ways that robbed him of his love, his humanity, even his very reason. His wanderings detail his efforts to recover what had been so cruelly stripped away from him, and to transform himself from a naked and penniless vagabond into a necromancer. As he travels through lost cities and occult portals unknown to those who walk upright, he learns of the early history of this planet, of the races from the stars who were its masters long before the evolution of mankind, of their terrible wars and the consequences of their inevitable return.

Alhazred does not wander in solitude but moves through the rich world of the Middle East at the close of the Seventh Century, not many decades after the armies of Mohammed swept through Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Persia, and other lands to create the Muslim Empire. He is outwardly a member of the Muslim ruling class, but in his tortured soul he gives no allegiance to the teachings of Mohammed. Alhazred’s gods are the Great Old Ones who came in eons past from beyond the stars, and who continue to maintain a foothold in our world, biding their time until the heavens realign themselves and cease to cast down rays poisonous to their kind.

Against his will, Alhazred is forced to become a spy for the Old One known as Nyarlathotep, who seeks to use him to probe the plots of his enemies. In the Seventh Century, many nameless cults still flourished alongside Christianity and Islam. Much of the world remained unexplored and unknown. Strange worshipers of alien gods conducted dark rituals beneath the moon, and gave sacrifices of human blood. Yet in addition to those who remained loyal to the Old Ones, there were sworn foes that fought them with potent arts.

Alhazred meets these and other wonders in his wanderings, but perhaps the greatest of them all is love. In spite of the horrors committed against him and his madness, which together transform him into something other than human, he is not without companionship and affection, though they take forms that would earn him a sentence of death were they to become known, for his lover is even less human than Alhazred.

Donald TysonDonald Tyson
Donald Tyson (Nova Scotia, Canada) is an occult scholar and the author of the popular, critically acclaimed Necronomicon series. He has written more than a dozen books on Western esoteric traditions. Visit him online at DonaldTyson.com....  Read more


Author of the Necronomicon
Donald Tyson
$29.95 US,  $34.95 CAN | Add to Cart
The Wanderings of Alhazred
Donald Tyson
$19.99 US,  $22.95 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

It seems strange, doesn't it? A patron saint of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other sexually fluid shades in-between. Popular opinion would have us believe that, by default, a saint would be against such liberal sexuality, but then again, just because an opinion is popular doesn't mean that it's true. In my book La... read this article
The Mutable Grand Cross from the Perspective of Evolutionary Astrology
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path
Tracing Lincoln's Ghost

Most recent posts:
Magic of Flowers Oracle
Magic of Flowers Oracle By Tess Whitehurst with are by Anne Wetheim This oracle deck was inspired by Tess’s book The Magic of Flowers: A...

Necromancy Made Easy
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Tomás Prower, author of the new La Santa Muerte. "How can I get in contact with the spirits of the...

Ritual Purity vs. Spiritual Coolness
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep
By: Lisa Maxwell
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Dream Alchemy Dream Alchemy
Shaping Our Dreams to Transform Our Lives

By: Ted Andrews
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband
By: E. J. Copperman, Jeff Cohen
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.19 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!