The Secret of Secrets (Sirr al-Asrar)
Paperback 122 Pages
Size : 216 x 138mm
ISBN : 9780946621293
Publisher : Islamic Text Society (ITS, 1992), Cambridge, U.K.
About The Book
An interpretative translation by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak of Sirr al-Asrar by Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077-1166AD), considered by many to be one of the greatest saints of Islam and the eponymous founder of the Qadiriyya order. This book, appearing in English for the first time, contains the very essence of Sufism, giving a Sufi explanation of how the outward practices of Islam - prayer, fasting, alms giving and pilgrimage - contain a wealth of inner dimension which must be discovered and enjoyed if external actions are to be performed in a manner pleasing to God. When this is achieved the soul finds true peace and the spiritual life becomes complete.
‘A book of great importance to Sufism...Sheikh Tosun has done an admirable job in presenting not only a translation but a lucid interpretation of one of Shaykh Jilani’s most important works.' Gnosis
Table of Contents
- The Places of the Souls within the Body
- On Knowledge
- On Repentance
- On Remembrance
- On the Vision of God
- The Veils of Light and Darkness
- On the Purification of the Self
- On the Meaning of Ritual Worship and Inner Worship
- On Charity
- On Fasting Prescribed by the Religion and on Spiritual Fasting
- On the Pilgrimage to Mecca and the Inner Pilgrimage of the Heart
- On Withdrawing from the World
- On Dreams
About The Author
Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani was born near the Caspian Sea, was the son of the great saint Fatima bint Abdullah al-Sawma’i. After a period of intense intellectual and mystical training he received the khirqa (robe of initiation) and was soon recognized as a saint and scholar, consulted, loved and revered by caliph and pauper alike. As one of the most venerated figures in Sufism his burial place in Baghdad still attracts numerous visitors from many countries.
At the age of eighteen, left his native province to become a student in the great capital city of Baghdad, the hub of political, commercial and cultural activity, and the center of religious learning in the world of Islam. After studying traditional sciences under such teachers as the prominent Hanbali jurist [faqih], Abuu Sa'd 'Alii al-Mukharrimii, he encountered a more spiritually oriented instructor in the saintly person of Abu'l-Khair Hammaad ad-Dabbaas.
Then, instead of embarking on his own professorial career, he abandoned the city and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq. He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad, in A.H. 521/1127 C.E., and began to preach in public. His hearers were profoundly affected by the style and content of his lectures, and his reputation grew and spread through all sections of society. He moved into the school [madrasa] belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimii, but the premises eventually proved inadequate.
In the words of Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak Efendi: "The venerable 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani passed on to the Realm of Divine Beauty in A.H. 561/1166 C.E."
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