This is from the book called, "The book of English Magic", by Philip Carr-Gomm & Richard Heygate, p. 351.
"During the thirteenth century, followers of the Sufi Sheykh Adi, in what is now northern Iraq, purued a mystical Gnostic version of Islam, whose hymns resonate with Masonic symbolism. A sufi influence is even suggested in the earliest recored 'secret word' whispered to the Masonic initiate as the secret handshake was demonstrated:
Standing close with their breasts to each other, the inside of Each other's right Ankle Joints the master's grip by their right hands and the top of their Left hand fingers thrust close on ye small of each other's Backbone, and in that posture they Stand till they whisper in each other's ears ye one Maha - the other replies Byn. (Sloane MS 3329, British Library, c. 1700)
Details of the words spoken and the 'gripcan be published here because they were changed by the Grand Lodge some time ago. But what might that secret word mean? The Sufi fraternal greeting is almost identical: muhabba. The potential meaning of the first recorded 'secret word' of Freemasonry is revealed in all its simplicity and nobility: muhabba means 'love'.
One of the distinctive features of most traditions of magic is the way in which they rise above sectarian and religious allegiances. Most magicians share a common belief in the primacy of love as a universal force and in the existence of a 'Perennial Philosophy', which has eisted throughout the ages and which attracts to it a 'brotherhood' and 'sisterhood' of men and women who are more interested in the discovery of truth, the evelopment of the soul and its powers and the practice of virtues, than in the restrictions of an orthodox faith".