Revealing the Secrets of Enlightenment


Kashf al-asrār li-tanwīr al-afkār (Revealing the secrets of enlightenment) is a handbook for inductees into the Yashruti branch of the Shadhiliyah Sufi order. The secrets referred to in the title have to do with the meaning of prayer and other spiritual matters rather than with hidden rituals. The author, Muṣṭafá ibn Muḥyī al-Dīn Naja (1853−1932), was born in Beirut and spent most of his life there. He received his Sufi training from the shaykh of the time, ‘Ali Nur al-Din al-Yashruti. As the supreme religious authority in Lebanon, Naja took the lead in representing Sunni interests to the colonial French authorities until his death in 1932. Naja opens his work with a biography of Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, the 13th-century founder of the Shadhiliyah order, and provides explanations of his sayings and practices. He points out that Abu al-Hasan rejected monkish self-denial and taught that eating well and sleeping comfortably lead to humility and a thankful frame of mind. Naja instructs the murid (novice) that he must memorize the chain of leadership back to al-Shadhili and thence to the Prophet Muhammad himself. He provides a mnemonic poem for this purpose. The remainder of the book offers the “secret” interpretations of the prayers that bring enlightenment. Sufi orders, or mystical fraternities, are embedded in Islamic history and continue to thrive to the present. Many of these fraternities welcome men and women of all social classes as members.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Jarīdat Bayrut Press, Beirut


Title in Original Language

كشف الأسرار لتنوير الأفكار

Type of Item

Physical Description

148 pages ; 25 centimeters

Last updated: January 16, 2015