The Secret of Secrets, considered one of the greatest works of classical Sufi mysticism and interpreted here for the first time in English by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al~Jerrahi, was written by ‘Abd al~Qadir al~Jilani )1077~1166), the eponymous founder of the Qadiriya order, the first of the great Sufi brotherhoods which radiate throughout the Islamic world. Born near Caspian Sea, he was the son or the great saint Fatima bint ‘Abdullah al~Sawma’i. After a period or intense intellectual and mystical training ‘Abd al~Qadir 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.
The Secret of Secrets reveals in a brief compass the very essence of Sufism. showing how outward practices such as prayer, fasting and almsgiving contain a wealth of inner dimensions 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. The book forms a bridge between two of the author’s more famous works, Wealth tor the Seekers (Ghunyat al~Talibin ) and Openings of the Unseen ( Futuh al~Ghayb ), It is said that unless one has discovered the Secret, one may not be able to absorb the impact of the Openings.
Tosun Bayrak has also provided an introduction to the work in the long~standing tradition of those who have venerated the Shaykh, and attributed to him numerous miracles ~ a tradition that began soon alter Abd al~Qadir’s death and has continued through the ages. Other works by Tosun Bayrak al~Jerrahi include The Most Beautiful Names and a translation of lbn al~Husayn al~Sulami’s Way of Sufi Chivalry.