- Category : Religion-Spiritual-Leader-Guru
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Individualism 1
East Indian musician and poet, one of the spiritual giants of the twentieth Century and Muslim founder of the Sufi Order of the West. He was raised in a family of musicians where the home was crossroads for visiting poets, composers, mystics, and thinkers, an environment of openness and mutual understanding. This produced in the young man a sympathy for many different religions, and a strong feeling of the "oneness" of all faiths and creeds.
He was so fine a master of classical Indian music by the age of twenty that one of the greatest patrons of music, the Nizam of Hyderabad, responded to Inayat Khan's singing by awarding him the greatest musical title in India: Tansen of India.
Having fulfilled his purpose in music, he then relinquished a brilliant career to devote himself to the spiritual path. Having a divine spiritual experience at the age of 21, he found his ideal teacher in the being of Hazrat Abu Hashim Madani, the successor to one of the branches of the Chisti Sufi Order in India. He took the sacred vow of initiation and went through a course of training in the four Sufi Schools: Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadiri, and Shurawardi, studying for four intense years at his teacher’s side. Before Abu Hashim Madani died, he called his pupil Inayat Khan to his bedside: "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 compassionate."
With this blessing the guru enjoined his student to take the message of Sufism to the West. Inayat Khan wrote, "Following my decision and the call of God, I left India in 1910 to sojourn in the Western world, strong in the courage of the most blissful command I had received from my Murshid and in the glory of the noble object he had awakened in my soul." Leaving his home on 9/13/1910, he landed in North America, giving lectures and guiding an ever-growing group of seekers. He then traveled to Europe and Russia, sowing the seeds of Sufism for 15 years. After a decade of wide travels, he decided to do more intensive teaching during the summer in France, and took up residence there near Paris in Suresnes in 1920 where he could hold his "summer schools". It was at Suresnes that Inayat developed the Universal Worship service that is now associated with the "Sufi Order in the West." The ritual consists of an invocation, a reading from each of the holy books of the world's major religions, and the lighting of a candle for each tradition. A candle is also lit for all those individuals or religious systems (unknown or forgotten) that have inspired mankind. The ritual continues with a discourse, and ends with a blessing.
He was dedicated to harmonizing East and West with the concept that all religions are one with only surface differences, recognizing the basic love and wisdom through which humanity may realize the purpose of life. The Omega Uniform Edition of the Works of Inayat Khan has little editing but retains the beauty and simplicity for which he is widely known. The master addresses a range of qualities which are necessary for the accomplishment of the task of improving oneself and therefore, the quality of one’s life: will power; self-control; gentleness; self-respect; gratitude.
His difficult schedule had weakened him over the years. He left for India in 1926 to see his homeland for the first time in 17 years. He hoped to rest and meditate but was asked to lecture and graciously consented as was common. He died in New Delhi on February 5, 1927 of influenza.
Inayat's son Vilayet Khan has continued to spread the message of Sufism in the west. He also travels and teaches extensively. He was one of the founders of Omega Institute.