The Full Wiki

Inayat Khan: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 – 1927

Hazrat Inayat Khan (Urdu: عنایت خان ) (July 5, 1882 – February 5, 1927) was an exemplar of Universal Sufism and founder of the "Sufi Order in the West" in 1914 (London). Later, in 1923, the Sufi Order of the London period was dissolved into a new organization formed under Swiss law and called the "International Sufi Movement". He initially came to the West as a representative of classical Indian music, having received the title Tansen from the Nizam of Hyderabad but soon turned to the introduction and transmission of Sufi thought and practice. His universal message of divine unity (Tawhid) focused on the themes of love, harmony and beauty. He taught that blind adherence to any book rendered any religion void of spirit.

Contents

Life

Inayat Khan was born into a noble Muslim Indian family (his mother was a descendant of the uncle of Tipu Sultan, the famous eighteenth century ruler of Mysore). He was initiated into the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi orders of Sufism but his primary initiation was from Shaykh Muhammed Abu Hashim Madani into the Nizamiyya sub-branch of the Chishti Order. He was also indebted to the philosophical Vedanta/Shankara spirituality of Hinduism.

With the Shaykh's encouragement he left India in 1910 to come to the West, traveling first as a touring musician and then as a teacher of Sufism, visiting three continents. Eventually he married Ora Ray Baker (Pirani Ameena Begum) from New Mexico and they had had four children: Noor-un-Nisa (1913), Vilayat (1916), Hidayat (1917) and Khair-un-Nisa (1919). The family settled in Suresnes, near Paris.

Khan returned to India at the end of 1926 and there chose the site of his tomb, the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in Delhi, where the eponymous founder of the Nizami Chishtiyya, Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya (died 1325), is buried. Khan died shortly after, on February 5, 1927.

Today active branches of Inayat Khan's lineage can be found in the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, the United States, Canada, and Russia. He left behind a rich legacy of English literature infused with his vision of the unity of religious ideals, which calls humanity to awaken to the "Truth of Divine Guidance and Love."

"Those who criticize the faith of another do not understand the meaning of religion."

He also stated:

"if the following of Islam is understood to mean the obligatory adherence to a certain rite; if being a Muslim means conforming to certain restrictions, how can the Sufi be placed in that category, seeing that the Sufi is beyond all limitations of this kind?"[1]

Inayat Khan's emphasis on spiritual liberty led many contemporary Westerners to understand that Sufism and Islam are not inherently intertwined, although his followers continue to perform (Dhikr). There is a historic precedent of certain Chishti masters (and masters of other orders) not requiring their non-Muslim followers to convert to Islam. The numbers of non-Muslim Sufis before the twentieth century, however, were relatively few.[2]

Sufi temple

Universal Sufi Temple

In 1922, during a summer school, Inayat Khan had a 'spiritual experience' in the South Dunes in Katwijk. He immediately told his students to meditate and proclaimed the place where he was on that moment holy. In 1969, the Universal Sufi Templea temple was built there. Every year a Sufi summer school takes place in this temple and many Sufis from around the world visit.

Teachings

Inayat Khan set forth ten thoughts that form the foundational principles of Universal Sufism:[3]

  1. There is One God, the Eternal, the Only Being; None exists save He.
  2. There is One Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, Who constantly leads all followers toward the Light.
  3. There is One Holy Book, the Sacred Manuscript of Nature, the only Scripture that can enlighten the reader.
  4. There is One Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction toward the Ideal, which fulfills the life's purpose of every soul.
  5. There is One Law, the Law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience, together with a sense of awakened justice.
  6. There is One Brotherhood, the human brotherhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the fatherhood of God. ... (later adapted by followers) There is one Family, the Human Family, which unites the Children of Earth indiscriminately in the Parenthood of God.
  7. There is One Moral, the Love which springs forth from self-denial and blooms in deeds of beneficence. ... (alternative, source unknown) There is one Moral Principle, the Love which springs forth from a willing heart, surrendered in service to God and Humanity, and which blooms in deeds of beneficence.
  8. There is One Object of Praise, the Beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
  9. There is One Truth, the true knowledge of our being, within and without, which is the essence of Wisdom.
  10. There is One Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all perfection. ... (alternative, source unknown) There is One Path, the effacement of the limited self in the Unlimited, which raises the mortal to immortality, in which resides all Perfection.

Sayings

Some of Inayat Khan's most famous sayings are:

  • "Shatter your ideals on the rock of Truth."
  • "There is nothing valuable except what we value in life."
  • "Sleep is comfortable, but awakening is interesting."
  • "In a small affair or in a big affair, first consult yourself and find out if there is any conflict in your own being about anything you want to do. And when you find no conflict there, then feel sure that a path is already made for you. You have but to open your eyes and take a step forward, and the other step will be led by God."
  • "The difference between the divine and the human will is like the difference between the trunk of a tree and its branches. As from the boughs other twigs and branches spring, so the will of one powerful individual has branches going through the will of other individuals. So there are the powerful beings, the masters of humanity. Their will is God's will, their word is God's word, and yet they are branches, because the trunk is the will of the Almighty. Whether the branch be large or small, every branch has the same origin and the same root as the stem."
  • "The more one studies the harmony of music, and then studies human nature, how people agree and how they disagree, how there is attraction and repulsion, the more one will see that it is all music."
  • "Reason is the illusion of reality."

Notes

  1. ^ The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan: Volume I - The Way of Illumination, Vol. I Sec. I, Part III, Sub-Sec. iii. Online reference found at: The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan: Part I - The Way of Illumination
  2. ^ Carl Ernst and Bruce Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs of Love, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p.142. ISBN 1-4039-6027-5.
  3. ^ In The Spiritual Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Volume I - The Way of Illumination, VOLUME I - I - 1 at wahiduddin.net
Advertisements

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Every living being on earth loves life above all else.

Hazrat Inayat Khan (5 July 18825 February 1927) was an exemplar of Universal Sufism and founder of the Sufi Order International.

Sourced

Strictly speaking, every seeker after the ultimate truth is really a Sufi, whether he calls himself that or not.
For a Sufi, the self within, the self without, the kingdom of the earth, the kingdom of heaven, the whole being is his teacher, and his every moment is engaged in acquiring knowledge.
People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught.
To a Sufi, revelation is the inherent property of every soul. There is an unceasing flow of the divine stream, which has neither beginning nor end.
In the name of religion the selfishness and ignorance of mankind have been given free reign. This is the reason why man, revolting against this state of things, has forsaken religion and forgotten that spirit which, in the name of religion, has also played its part in the world.

The Spiritual Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan

  • What is a Sufi? Strictly speaking, every seeker after the ultimate truth is really a Sufi, whether he calls himself that or not. But as he seeks truth according to his own particular point of view, he often finds it difficult to believe that others, from their different points of view, are yet seeking the same truth, and always with success, though to a varying degree. That is in fact the point of view of the Sufi and it differs from others only in its constant endeavor to comprehend all others as within itself. It seeks to realize that every person, following his own particular line in life, nevertheless fits into the scheme of the whole and finally attains not only his own goal, but the one final goal of all.
    Hence every person can be called a Sufi either as long as he is seeking to understand life, or as soon as he is willing to believe that every other human being will also find and touch the same ideal. When a person opposes or hinders the expression of a great ideal, and is unwilling to believe that he will meet his fellow men as soon as he has penetrated deeply enough into every soul, he is preventing himself from realizing the unlimited. All beliefs are simply degrees of clearness of vision. All are part of one ocean of truth. The more this is realized the easier is it to see the true relationship between all beliefs, and the wider does the vision of the one great ocean become.
  • What is the Sufi's belief regarding the coming of a World Teacher, or, as some speak if it, the "Second Coming of Christ?" The Sufi is free from beliefs and disbeliefs, and yet gives every liberty to people to have their own opinion. There is no doubt that if an individual or a multitude believe that a teacher or a reformer will come, he will surely come to them. Similarly, in the case of those who do not believe that any teacher or reformer will come, to them he will not come. To those who expect the Teacher to be a man, a man will bring the message; to those who expect the Teacher to be a woman, a woman must deliver it. To those who call on God, God comes. To those who knock at the door of Satan, Satan answers. There is an answer to every call. To a Sufi the Teacher is never absent, whether he comes in one form or in a thousand forms he is always one to him, and the same One he recognizes to be in all, and all Teachers he sees in his one Teacher alone. For a Sufi, the self within, the self without, the kingdom of the earth, the kingdom of heaven, the whole being is his teacher, and his every moment is engaged in acquiring knowledge. For some, the Teacher has already come and gone, for others the Teacher may still come, but for a Sufi the Teacher has always been and will remain with him forever.
  • Many people of various beliefs and faiths have written about the practice of the presence of God, and all speak of the happiness they receive from being in His presence. So it is no wonder that the Sufi also, should he wish to speak of it, should testify to similar happiness. He does not claim to a greater happiness than his fellow men because he is a human being and subject to all the shortcomings of mankind. But at the same time others can decide about his happiness better even than his words can tell it. The happiness which is experienced in God has no equal in anything in the world, however precious it may be, and everyone who experiences it will realize the same.
    • Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi
  • The religion of the Sufi is not separate from the religions of the world. People have fought in vain about the names and lives of their saviors, and have named their religions after the name of their savior, instead of uniting with each other in the truth that is taught. This truth can be traced in all religions, whether one community calls another pagan or infidel or heathen. Such persons claim that theirs is the only scripture, and their place of worship the only abode of God. Sufism is a name applied to a certain philosophy by those who do not accept the philosophy; hence it cannot really be described as a religion; it contains a religion but is not itself a religion. Sufism is a religion if one wishes to learn religion from it. But it is beyond religion, for it is the light, the sustenance of every soul, raising the mortal being to immortality.
    • Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi
  • Is a Sufi a follower of Islam? The word Islam means 'peace'; this is the Arabic word. The Hebrew word is Salem (Jeru-salem). Peace and its attainment in all directions is the goal of the world.
    But if the following of Islam is understood to mean the obligatory adherence to a certain rite; if being a Muslim means conforming to certain restrictions, how can the Sufi be placed in that category, seeing that the Sufi is beyond all limitations of this kind? So, far from not accepting the Quran, the Sufi recognizes scriptures which others disregard. But the Sufi does not follow any special book. The shining ones, such as 'Attar, Shams-i Tabriz, Rumi, Sadi, and Hafiz, have expressed their free thought with a complete liberty of language. To a Sufi, revelation is the inherent property of every soul. There is an unceasing flow of the divine stream, which has neither beginning nor end.
    • Vol. I, The Way of Illumination, Section I - The Way of Illumination, Part III : The Sufi
  • Religion is a need of the human soul. In all periods and at every stage of the evolution of humanity there has been a religion which people followed, for at every period the need for religion has been felt. The reason is that the soul of man has several deep desires, and these desires are answered by religion.
    The first desire is the search for the ideal. There comes a time when man seeks for a more complete justice than he finds among men, and when he seeks for someone on whom he can rely more surely than he can on his friends in the world. There comes a time when man feels a desire to open his heart to a Being who is above human beings and who can understand his heart.
  • Every living being on earth loves life above all else. The smallest insect, whose life lasts only an instant, tries to escape from any danger in order to live a moment longer. And the desire to live is most developed in man.
    • The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part I : Seeking for the Ideal
  • With the maturity of his soul, a man desires to probe the depths of life, he desires to discover the power latent within him, he longs to know the sources and goal of his life, he yearns to understand the aim and meaning of his life, he wishes to understand the inner significance of things, and he wants to uncover all that is covered by name and form. He seeks insight into cause and effect, he wants to touch the mystery of time and space, and he wishes to find the missing link between God and man — where man ends, where God begins.
    • The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part I : Seeking for the Ideal
  • In the world today many people think that one can do without religion, and that they themselves have outgrown religion by reason of their evolution. Many have no religious belief, and therefore the world has never been in a more chaotic condition. No doubt one finds in tradition and in history that in the name of religion the selfishness and ignorance of mankind have been given free reign. This is the reason why man, revolting against this state of things, has forsaken religion and forgotten that spirit which, in the name of religion, has also played its part in the world.
    • The Unity of Religious Ideals, Part I : Seeking for the Ideal

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message