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The Secret of Secrets (Golden Palm Series) Paperback – December 1, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A valuable contribution to the field...clearly and elegantly presented, accessible." -- Journal of Islamic Studies

"An admirable job in presenting not only a translation but a lucid interpretation of one of Jilani's most important works." -- Gnosis

About the Author

Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, born near the Caspian Sea, was the son of the great saint Fatima bint ABook Descriptionullah al-Sawma'i. After a period of intense intellectual and mystical training he received the khirqa (robe of initiation) and was soon recognised 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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Golden Palm Series
  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Islamic Texts Society; 2nd edition (December 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946621292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946621293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of those rare books which, no matter how many superlatives one uses, one cannot fathom its reality. The language is wonderfully lucid, clear and yet still poetic and enchanting. Indeed, Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jilani, who by concensus is regarded as THE greatest Saint in Islam amongst the latter generations (i.e. exluding the Prophet's generation and the two generations after him), and whose honorific title is "Al-Ghawth al 'Azam" (The Greatest Helper) to reflect his unparalleled rank in the spiritual heirarchy of Saints, is THE Perfect Guide to all those on the Sufi path or those interested in the mystical way. This book is unique in that anyone at any level can read it and he or she will no doubt benefit but in reality it is a book which contains in it the secrets of Existence itself except that one has to be on a high spiritual station oneself to truly understand the great wisdoms and oceans of spiritual knowledge contained herein. Each chapter is short and succint yet contains an ocean of hidden meanings. Each person takes from it according to his level. Though I cannot say how accurate this intepretation is to the original as I dont know Arabic, I can voachsafe that for all English speaking Muslims (and non-Muslims interested in Islamic mysticism or in the Way to God) this book is a must-have and truly unique and the English language employed is wonderful to read. (It will be interesting to compare it to Muhtar Holland's translation of the same work by Al-Baz Publications). This is poetic prose if you will containing hidden secrets!
The lengthy and beautiful introduction by Shaykh Tosun is a brilliant synopsis of the life and works of His Excelleny Shaykh of Shaykhs, Shaykh Abd al Qadir al Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him and with us for his sake!) and a great introduction to this greatest of Muslim Saints. It gives a glimpse of the exalted status and spirituality of this amazing human being.
A must read!
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By A Customer on March 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a great introduction to the mystical thought of Ash-Sheikh Aj-Jilani. Anyone who has any interest in finding the true, simple meaning of life, or seeks self purification should start with this book. Keep in mind, if you haven't read about mysticism/sufism before, you need to keep an open mind as to his wording and his actions. He does mention things in a way that the average person would deem, arrogant or self centered, but this man was beyond anything even closely related to that. This translation is better than others found, however the English, in terms of grammar and usage, can be unusual. But I find it a more closer translation in terms of Arabic usage. I hope anyone who reads this will be as enlightened as I was.
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Format: Paperback
Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani is 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!
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There are chapters in here that can speak to the 21st century seeker like they are written today and yet it is from over 600 years ago. Wonderfully translated and easy read for such a deep teacher. Highly recommend for someone wanting to read the writings of a true sufi.
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The book is a treasure. It contains all the wisdom of such a person who understands human beings and its deficiencies. It clearly demonstrate the path to be adopted to better ourselves and thus have a better insight into our unity with Allah (SWT).
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This book should be in the spiritual library of every open-minded pure-hearted person who is seeking greater understanding of the universal journey.
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