” Only the Prophet (upon him be peace and blessings) is the perfected man (mard -e-kamil) but in his ummah there are men of iman (mard-e-momin) some of whom are examplary, others are semi-examplary and yet others that are non-examplary. Their ranks differ in accordance with their knowledge, understanding, actions and character.

Islam is an open book. Apart from the huruf-e muqatt’aat (disjointed letters) which are known only by God there is no secret in the Qur’an or in the forms of worship. In Iqbal’s work where expressions such as “Knower of secrets” etc are used it is mostly for purposes of beautification. It does not mean that there is some secret beyond the Qur’an or in the various forms of worship which has to be discovered before one’s faith is perfected or before one can stake a claim for being a knower of secrets.

There are two reasons why the great shaykhs have often kept their awrad secret. Firstly because after having made their obligatory worship public they do not wish to attract attention with extra devotions. Secondly things related to spiritual phenomena and disclosures which they experience are strictly personal and if made public would not be understood by others not be of any benefit to them. Having said that they do often take their close and trusted companions into confidence regarding these matters.

This habit of great and sincere masters has provided a ready made excuse for false sufis who have turned sufism into a cult of secret knowledge. This is simply a means of abusing and defrauding simpletons. Neither the deen nor sufism is some secret or occult affair. Those that present it as such have some worldly motive for doing so.”