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THE BOWL OF SAKI
Daily Bowl of Saki ..via email
THE SUFI MESSAGE OF
HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN
Lectures, Biography and Sayings
HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN
Religion of the Heart
The Sufi Teacher
Khatum... a prayer
Ten Sufi Thoughts
Brief Bio of Inayat Khan
Today's Bowl of Saki
BEAUTIFUL NAMES OF ALLAH
to the Prophets
Al-Fatiha The Opening
Al-Ikhlas The Purity
PBS Interview with Pir Zia
Masnavi - Book I
Fihi ma Fihi
POETRY BY WAHIDUDDIN
In the Garden of Lovers
Rendezvous with the Beloved
MUSIC BY WAHIDUDDIN
Follow Your Bliss
Eyes of the Heart
My God versus your God?
a Path to God
God in Buddhism?
One Nation Under God?
The Fullness of life
Differences of opinion
Vengeance and retribution
What is this web site??
The Assisi Decalogue for Peace
ROOTS OF WORDS...
hast thou forsaken me?
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity
Fear the Lord ???
Bismillah ir rahman ir rahim
Arabic Devotional Terms
la ilaha illa allah
la hawla wa la quwwata
In the Vision of God
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
Prayer of St Francis
As a Man Thinketh
The Hundred Verses
DANCES OF UNIVERSAL PEACE
Delight of Dance
Song of the Month
la ilaha illa allah
Love, Harmony and Beauty
Dancing in Peace
Introduction to the Dances
The Magic of Silence
Living the Dance
Murshid SAM Suras on Breath
11 Keys to Dancing
Words...what good are they?
Index to published DUP Dances
Wilderness Camp 2002
Wilderness Camp 2000
A Few Favorite Spiritual Links
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Brief Biography of Hazrat Inayat Khan
based on quotes from
Biography of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, East-West Publications, 1979
Inayat Khan was born in Baroda, India on July 5, 1882. As a
youth, Inayat was brilliant in poetry and music, yet his deepest inner
calling was in spiritual matters. As a youth, one day as Inayat was praying...
... he thought to himself that there had not been an answer yet to
all the prayers he had offered to God and he did not know where God was
to hear his prayers and he could not reconcile himself to going on
praying to the God whom he knew not. He went fearlessly to his father
and said: "I do not think I will continue my prayers any longer, for it
does not fit in with my reason. I do not know how I can go on praying
to a God I do not know." His father, taken aback, did not become cross
lest he might turn Inayat's beliefs sour by forcing them upon him
without satisfying his reason and he was glad on the other hand to see
that, although it was irreverent on the child's part, yet it was frank,
and he knew that the lad really hungered after Truth and was ready to
learn now, what many could not learn in their whole life.
He said to him: "God is in you and you are in God. As the bubble
is in the ocean and the bubble is a part of the ocean and yet not
separate from the ocean. For a moment it has appeared as a bubble,
then it will return to that from which it has risen. So is the
relation between man and God. The Prophet has said that God is
closer to you than the jugular vein, which in reality means that
your own body is farther from you than God is. If this be rightly
interpreted, it will mean that God is the very depth of your own
being." This moment to Inayat was his very great initiation, as if a
switch had turned in him, and from that moment onward his whole life
Inayat busied himself, and his whole being became engaged in
witnessing in life what he knew and believed, by this one great
early life primarily revolved around music, and he was given many awards and
medals of honor for his magnificent singing.
Following a vision of meeting a Sufi teacher, he met Muhammad Abu
Hashim Madani who trained him in the ways of the Chishti, Naqshbandi,
Qadiri, and Suhrawardi Sufi orders.
... an incident of an amusing nature occurred as for
the first time in his life Inayat heard his Murshid's words on
metaphysics. He became so keenly interested and filled with
enthusiasm about what was being said that he took a note-book from
his pocket, intending to take notes of it. But as soon as the
Murshid saw the pencil and notebook in his hand, he instantly began
to speak of an altogether different subject. Inayat realized by this
that his Murshid meant that his words must be engraved on the soul,
they were not to be written with a pencil on the pages of a
He would return home silent and remain speechless for hours,
pondering over the words which had fallen upon his ears. His friends
began to wonder what could have happened to him in such a short
time, that his whole life should be so changed. He had now become
quite a different person in his speech, actions, ways, expression,
in his attitude and in his atmosphere. In all these, he showed a
marked and definite change. It seemed to them as if, while a
traveller walking at a certain rate of speed should have journeyed a
mile, Inayat had suddenly made such an advance as to cover a hundred
miles in the same space of time...
[his Murshid] used to wear shoes embroidered with
gold. One day, when Inayat's eyes strayed to these shoes, a thought
arose in his mind: why Murshid with all his simplicity should wear
such costly shoes? At once his conscience pricked him, he felt so
guilty that such a thought of one who was above question should have
entered his mind, that instantly his face turned pale. But the
Murshid knew all about it and only said with a smile: "The wealth of
this earth is only worth being at my feet."
In looking back on those days with his teacher, Inayat
I remember my murshid giving me, in blessing me,
this wish, 'May your faith be strengthened.' Being a young man, I
thought, 'Is that all he is saying to me?' - not, 'May you be
inspired, or illuminated, or prosperous,' or something else? But
when I think of it now I know that in that blessing there was all.
When belief is strengthened, then there is everything. All that we
lack in life is mostly because of our lack of belief. But again, it
is not something that one can learn or teach or that one can give to
anybody. This comes from the grace of God.
Inayat began a tour of the sacred sites across India,
and early in that adventure, he met the son of Guru Manek Prabhu who
"What has brought you here?" said he and Inayat
replied: "I have heard that the home of Manek Prabhu is not only a
religious temple, but a centre of music also and as I have taken
this tour to pay homage to the holy men living on the soil of India,
I first chose to visit this place." "But I am very surprised that
you have chosen our place, instead of choosing the place of some
Moslim Saint," remarked the astonished youth. To this Inayat
replied: "Moslim or Hindu are only outward distinctions, the Truth
is one, God is one, life is one. To me there is no such thing as
two. Two is only one plus one."
... "Mukti (liberation) is the ideal of life; it is
the rising above the various births and deaths, rather than being
involved in the eternal wheel of births and deaths, which is
continually running by the ever changing battery of karma (action)."
After touring widely in India and and briefly settling in Calcutta, Inayat began
to realize that the time had come for him to begin a new phase of life.
Inayat lived in Calcutta for several years and there
received the news of the death of his beloved father, which was to him
a blow inexpressible in words, though thus his life became free from
any duty binding him as a sacred tie, as he had felt his duty toward
his parents to be. Soon after this another misfortune befell him,
namely the loss of his medals. In a moment of abstraction the case of
medals was left in a car, which could not be traced despite all his
efforts. But in place of the disappointment which at first oppressed
him, a revelation from God touched the hidden chords of his mind and
opened his eyes to the truth. He said to himself: "It matters not how
much time you have spent to gain that which never belonged to you, but
which you called your own; today you comprehend it is yours no longer.
And it is the same with all you possess in life, your property,
friends, relations, even your own body and mind. All which you call
'my', not being your true property, will leave you; and only what you
name 'I', which is absolutely disconnected
with all that is called 'my', will remain." He knelt down and thanked
God for the loss of his medals, crying: "Let all be lost from my
imperfect vision, but Thy true Self, ya Allah!"
Shortly before the death of his beloved teacher,
Inayat had been instructed:
"Fare forth into the world, my child, and harmonize the East
and the West with the harmony of thy music. Spread the wisdom of Sufism
abroad, for to this end art thou gifted by Allah, the most merciful and
To fulfill that mission, Inayat along with his cousin and brother sailed from India to America on September 13, 1910. In his
autobiography, Inayat wrote of that voyage:
I was transported by destiny from the world of lyric and poetry to
the world of industry and commerce on the 13th of September 1910. I
bade farewell to my motherland, the soil of India, the land of the sun,
for America the land of my future, wondering: "perhaps I shall return
some day", and yet I did not know how long it would be before I should
return. The ocean that I had to cross seemed to me a gulf between the
life that was passed and the life which was to begin. I spent my
moments on the ship looking at the rising and falling of the waves and
realizing in this rise and fall the picture of life reflected, the life
of individuals, of nations, of races, and of the world.
I tried to think where I was going, why I was going, what I was
going to do, what was in store for me. "How shall I set to work? Will
the people be favourable or unfavourable to the Message which I am
taking from one end of the world to the other?" It seemed my mind moved
curiously on these questions, but my heart refused to ponder upon them
even for a moment, answering apart one constant voice I always heard
coming from within, urging me constantly onward to my task, saying:
"Thou art sent on Our service, and it is We Who will make thy way
clear." This alone was my consolation.
public performances centered on Indian music and they accompanied dancers such
as Mata Hari and Ruth St. Denis in both America and Europe.
I found Miss Ruth St. Denis an inventive genius, and
I was struck with a witty answer she gave upon hearing my ideas
about human brotherhood, uniting East and West. She said, "Yes, we,
the people of the Occident and Orient may be brothers, but not
In addition to
the musical performances, Inayat gave Sufi
lectures that were often held in bookstores or homes. Rabia Martin, of San
Francisco, became one of his first students and was soon appointed as his
I had a vision that night that the whole room became
filled with light, no trace of darkness was to be found. I certainly
thought that there was some important thing that was to be done next
day, which I found was the initiation of Mrs. Ada Martin, the first
mureed on my arrival to the West and, knowing that this soul will
spread light and illuminate all those who will come in contact with
her, I initiated her and named her Rabia after the name of a
great woman Sufi saint of Basra.
Inayat traveled widely in America and Europe from 1910 until
1920, when he set up a residence in France, where he focused on summer schools,
classes and lectures.
His message was always aimed at
unity, bringing together all of humanity, rising above the differences and
distinctions that have separated us.
One day a visitor came to have an interview with
Pir-o-Murshid. He was a lawyer, materialist and atheist, besides was
greatly opposed to all those who did not belong to his nation, and
had been turned against the work of Murshid by somebody. Therefore
he began his conversation, expressing with vigour his attitude. But
as he got answers, so it seemed as if the fire of opposition met
with water, and as he went along in his dispute, he, instead of
getting hotter became cooler. He had expected to hear from the
Murshid spiritual beliefs that he could argue upon and to tear them
to pieces, but he found Murshid's belief not very different from
what he himself believed. He found no effort on the part of Murshid
to force his ideas upon anybody. He saw in Murshid the tendency to
appreciate every kind of idea, for in every idea there is a good
side and he felt that the tendency was to be sympathetic rather than
antagonistic. He saw that there was nothing that Murshid stood for,
but only believed that the truth was in every heart and no-one else
can give it to another unless it rose up from the heart of a person
as a spring of water from the mountain. He became so softened in his
tone and in his manner after an hour's conversation that he parted
quite a different man from what he had come. He shook hands with
Pir-o-Murshid and said, "We shall always be friends" and Murshid
thought that it was not a small achievement.
In this uniquely western form of
Sufism, there are no barriers of race, creed or religion, it is not a religion,
but rather a way of life that enhances and fulfills every religion. As
Inayat Khan said, "The Sufi sees the truth in every religion."
"You have nicely said to us, Murshid, how Sufism is
one with all religions. Now please tell us, what is the difference
between Sufism and other religions."
Then Murshid said, "The
difference is that it casts away all differences."
Inayat promoted unity and understanding in every aspect
of life, and said "religion is the foundation of the whole life in the
world, and as long as an understanding is not established between the
followers of all different religions, it will always be difficult to
hope for better conditions."
In speaking about mankind's longing for the Divine
message, yet rebelling against every messenger that has ever come to
show the way, Inayat once wrote:
... who can answer this demand? He alone who is sent
from above, who is appointed by God to deliver His Message, who is
empowered by the Almighty to stand by them in their struggles, and
who is made compassionate by the most Merciful to heal their wounds.
Man wants something he cannot get, man wishes to believe in
something he cannot understand, man wishes to touch something he
cannot reach. It is the continual struggle for the unattainable that
blinds man, and he forms such high ideas even of the prophet who is
only a Messenger, a human being, one like every one else, and who is
subject to death and destruction and all the limitations of life,
that the prophet does not seem to come up to man's ideal until he
has left the world, leaving behind the memory which again rises as a
resurrection of the prophet, spreading the influence of all he
brought to the world and pouring from above that blessing which
arose as vapour and came back from above as a rainfall.
The Sufi Message of Inayat Khan is
the echo of the same Divine message which has always come and will always come
to enlighten humanity. It is not a new religion or a new
message; it is the same message of Unity that has been given to humanity again
and again, yet so few hearts are open to hear it.
Inayat continued to travel widely, offering the message to all
who were ready to hear it, but in 1926 as he was becoming physically exhausted, he
decided to go home to India to rest. However, his popularity was so great in
India that he found himself once again endlessly traveling to spread the
Message, and while traveling he became ill.
Following the brief illness, Inayat Khan departed from this
world in Delhi on February 5, 1927.
Hazrat Inayat Khan 1926
Additional On-Line resources:
of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan
of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, East-West Publications, 1979.
Click here to hear
Inayat Khan singing Surat
http://wahiduddin.net/hik/hik_music_bio.htm .... brief
summary of Inayat's musical background
There may also be a brief 1925
audio recording of the voice of Hazrat Inayat Khan in the archives
of the Sufi Movement