Author/Artist: Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
Publisher: Islamic Texts Society
First published: 1992
An interpretative translation by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak of 'Sirr al-Asrar' by Hadrat Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
Review by Reijo Oksanen
Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani is by far the least known of the three poles of Sufism, which are: knowledge - El-Arabi; love - Rumi and power - al-Jilani.
After I read The Secret of Secrets, I also read al-Jilani's Ghunyat al-Talibin in an English translation, in which I found very little of interest. This raises the question of the importance of finding the right translation and at the same time makes clear that there is no way of knowing how good the translation is without knowing the original language, in this case Arabic.
At least in the English version this book is full of power!
The Secret of Secrets repeats the secret so many times that it is no more a secret! The book is full of wisdom and deep insight into the workings of the Ego and the Unity with the Absolute, also called Allah.
Al-Jilani has a fairly peculiar view on seclusion and solitude, which I found hilarious; he says that those who withdraw from life do it to save people in the world from his undesirable character and existence. Something to reflect upon!